Sell Your Digital Goods And Services Online:
This may seem astoundingly simple but the easiest way to start selling your goods or services online is with PayPal. You set up a free account, link it to your bank account and then you’re off and running. You can accept payments via email or through creating email links directly to a PayPal checkout page. Or you can embed simple `Buy Now’ or `Add to Cart’ buttons on your site or blog. People can also pay by credit card and they accept over 20 currencies which makes doing business internationally much easier. In addition with a Pro Account – which really just requires going through some extra security checks, you can then offer recurring payments (great for memberships or group programs) or subscriptions and free trial periods. The world is your oyster.
This is my number one recommendation to people starting out on line who want to set up shop quickly and easily. For $5 a month e-Junkie lets you sell your digital products and programs simply by creating a new product, uploading a digital file or pointing to a page on your site for a program and naming your price. Then you can choose from a range of payment methods like Google Checkout or PayPal and embed that code straight into your blog or website page to ensure people can `buy now’ and setup a simple affiliate program.
Website Hosting and Design Solutions
After my previous hosting company took down my website when I went over my storage quota, and effectively shut down my business, I’ve been really careful about who I entrust my website and blog hosting too. Hostgatorsimply rock my world as they get that my business is growing. So they give you a variety of plans to chose from and allow you to upgrade at any time. For example I went from their Hatchling plan of $3.95 per month to their Baby Plan when my traffic increased. Hostgator is one of the best choice for the small to medium-sized business owners and blogging websites because they deliver a variety of services including setting up your own website from scratch using their templates, great customer support and other useful services.
If you want to buy a domain name for your new project or business then I suggest you check out Namecheap, because they offer some of the most affordable domain names in the industry, in addition to full-featured web hosting packages, secure SSL certificates, WhoisGuard domain name privacy, and so much more. For a limited time, Namecheap you can get a .COM/.NET/.ORG domain plus private ad-free email for only $6.99! Visit namecheap.com and use our exclusive coupon code – “SUITCASE” to redeem your offer.
LeadPages™ was designed to help you build your audience, build your list and make more sales with video. It’s the easiest way to create beautiful landing pages, launch pages, sales pages and squeeze pages for your website that actually convert. This used to be a tricky thing that stalled a lot of my clients as it involved understanding which software to install, knowing some basic code and figuring out the design. I personally think the team at LeadBrite have changed the way in which we do online marketing by making this software so damn useful and so simple to use (think drop and drag).
If you want to go a step further then you’re going to love Optimize Press which allows you to set up fully customized squeeze pages, landing pages and video optins but more importantly create and manage membership sites. If you want to attract an audience, increase opt-in’s, convert traffic and avoid tech challenges then I know you’ll love this. Plus they just upgraded the entire product in July 2013.
If you are sick and tired of trying to figure out how to use WordPress, fix any bugs or errors, update plugins and get the right formatting then let me introduce you to to your new best friend.
WP Curve gives you unlimited WordPress support, maintenance & small jobs 24 / 7* for just $69 per month which is unbelievably affordable (and it’s run by two super friendly Australian Entrepreneurs who’ll make you laugh too).
If you consider how many hours you’re probably spending right now, on niggly little issues, you’d be wise to check them out.
Social Media and Online Marketing Tools
I’ve been extolling the virtues of Hootsuite ever since I started using it in 2010.. It’s made my life on Twitter immeasurably easier. It’s my number one most used tool for managing not only my two Twitter accounts but also post to LinkedIn, Facebook – both my page and my profile and even more. With my Pro account, I can manage multiple accounts, set up columns for keyword searches plus see and track all mentions of my twitter handle or my blogs so that I can easily respond back to those people. It’s so useful for sorting your your DMs from your RTs to your list and top people to follow plus much more. There’s a free plan too.
I’m not normally one to automate anything on social networks but then I came across Tweet Adder and realized how much valuable time I was wasting not using this great tool. Not only will it bring you more followers – naturally it also allows you to automate a lot of those time consuming tasks. You can set up a friendly auto-responder for up to 5 Twitter accounts, thank people who RT you, auto follow people and bulk unfollow inactive accounts. You can also schedule out your own personalized tweets in one hit. It’s seriously one of the handiest Twitter tools I’ve used. Plus you can do keyword searches to follow people in your industry.
Create Awesome Online Courses
Do you often wonder how the top personal brands & “mediapreneurs” generate revenue online? Create Awesome Online Courses is a program in which David shows the the exact steps to turn what you already know into an online course that sells 24/7. Here you learn how to generate revenue from your platform (blog/web show/podcast/.etc) by creating your own online course.
Contest Domination offers a step-by-step solution to generate a contest that converts. To make a great looking contest, you need not be a designer. All the things are automatically track. It even helps you pick winners.
My friend, Amy Porterfield, is THE #1 EXPERT on Facebook Marketing and using Facebook to generate massive traffic and leads for your business. She’s created Facebook Influence 2.0 – the COMPLETE Roadmap for Creating And Leveraging Facebook to Drive Traffic And Build Your Brand! I think it’s the best $97 you will spend.
James Wedmore created Video Traffic Academy to help you create your own video marketing plan and dominate on YouTube. I personally love the step by step nature of this program and that it’s actually easy to implement – for $97 it’s a steal. He also offers lots of great free content on his YouTube channel.
iPhone Video Marketing
Jules Watkins is a former MTV and BBC Producer and Director and so his advice has proved invaluable to me for shooting my own lifestyle video series on my iPhone – yes you can make professional videos and with no fancy setup. Jules covers exactly how to do this, all the key accessories and much more in his excellent iPhone Video Hero program designed for every day users and novices. Check it out here for just $97. – oh and you get lifetime updates too.
Vision Mobile Apps
Having a mobile strategy is an absolute must for your business and that includes the option to build your own mobile app to build a list, engage with customers, push notifications and market your content and products. I personally recommend Vision Mobile Apps who build custom, branded mobile apps for small businesses at an affordable price helping you to develop a powerful marketing campaign.
LeadDyno is a tool designed specifically for online entrepreneurs who are setting up a formal referral program. If you want to grow your business you’re going to need an affiliate program to allow your fans, community and customers to spread the work around your products and services It adds, manages and tracks affiliates in a few clicks. You can also use it to automate your affiliate signup process. Here’s how it works:
- 1. When new affiliates sign up with you, they receive a unique referral link, so that they can send their friends and colleagues your way
- 2. When their referrals purchase your product, you provide them with a commission – which is automatically tracked, calculated, and paid by LeadDyno
The result is you get more business, without any up front cost.
Ruzuku makes creating courses awesomely easy. It is a great tool that helps you market, launch, and sell own online course. You can build your own courses and publish them on Ruzuku.
Email Marketing and List Building
Mailchimp makes sending out a newsletter amazingly easy – design and send beautiful emails, manage your subscribers and track your campaign’s performance. I recommend it to anyone starting out in email marketing because it’s so simple to use, and easy to navigate. You can create campaigns easily and setup autoresponders to go out automatically each time you get a new subscriber to welcome them.
If you’re looking for a robust solution to really turn your business into a serious and sales and marketing machine, you should take the leap to InfusionSoft. From here you can take email list building and lead generation to a whole new level. I switched to this platform in January 2013 and have really seen the difference in terms of sales funnel optimization and affiliate marketing, plus it’s an all-in-one CRM system too.
WiseStamp is a groovy email signature tool that transforms your email recipient’s experience into an engaging and social one.You can link your social media profiles, blog feed, videos and more into your signature. It is a great way to direct people to your content like your book, latest post or product for sale as well as your social media sites – it’s like an ad right in your email!. It integrates with Google Apps and most other webmail systems.
Run Your Team And Business from Anywhere:
oDesk and Elance
oDesk and Elance are my two online workforce communities of choice. They let entrepreneurs like you and me hire, manage, and pay remote contractors as if they were in our own office. You can choose from a talent pool of nearly 1 million contractors and they make it easy as pie to search for the right people, post jobs, interview your potentials and hire someone within minutes. You select your budget, contractor rate and whether you want someone on an hourly or project basis. They even take care of automatically billing you and paying your contractors. I started by posting a research job. Within 10 minutes, I had 20 applications. Within 45, I had hired someone. I’ve gone on to find people to manage all sorts of things from design to website coding and building a small virtual team for specific projects. If you’re not outsourcing work so you can focus on what you do best, then you’re missing out.
Virtual Staff Finder
I love this service because it’s like your one-stop shop to finding and hiring your first virtual assistant, website developer, content writer or SEO specialist. Virtual Staff Finder helps you find your perfect match for a one off setup fee and then you work with them independently from as little as US$400 per month full time!
Nobody likes accounting and invoicing (well I don’t), and that’s why so many people love Freshbooks. It is built for small business owners to get organized and get paid. You’ll be tracking time on project, logging expenses and invoicing your clients in no time. Plus you can use it to track your contractors, invoice on their behalf and allow them to bill you. It has a great interface that makes it incredibly user friendly. I really like the handy ‘time-tracking’ tool which I use to track just how long I’m spending on a project. Sometimes it surprises me. It is free to use for the first 30 days and you can also download the FREE FreshBooks app and enjoy the freedom of working anywhere including taking photos of receipts for expenses.
This is my favourite project management tool. Asana is free. It’s as easy as ‘type in your task and hit enter’. You can create specific projects and assign tasks to yourself and your team very quickly. You can manage due dates, leave notes, links and upload documents so that anyone using it, better understands the task. Better yet you can look at a comments thread live on the specific project or task from your team member. This makes it much easier to communicate on the priorities and the task at hand.
Communicate In Style:
With the tagline of “The Virtual Phone System Designed for Entrepreneurs” how could you not love Grasshopper , a service where you have complete control of the experience you give your callers. You can set up multiple extensions, adjust voicemail greetings based on time of day, have your voicemail transcribed and sent to you, and more. It’s also been proven that having your phone number on every page of your website increases sales. I especially love that they have no long term contracts, and prices start at just $9.95 a month. I’m excited to support Grasshopper to support you. Check out Grasshopper virtual phone system
If you don’t already use Skype, start using it now! Skype is my number one go-to software. It lets me stay in touch with not only family and friends, but also with my colleagues and team worldwide. It’s the one tool that allows me to communicate with anyone, worldwide, for free. Just add a decent internet connection and a headset, and you’re set to go! It even allows for video conferencing and screen sharing, which is super helpful when you need to get things done.
MeetingBurner is hands down the best webinar and online meeting platform I’ve used and I’ve tried them all. What I like most about it is the clean interface, that it’s dead simple to use and to set up meetings in an instant. I wrote a review and did a video walk-through of how I use MeetingBurner in `How to hold the fastest online meetings ever with MeetingBurner‘. You can also record your meetings and upload them direct to YouTube and share on social media in one click, or download them as an MP4 movie or MP3 audio file. I think webinars are a great way to offer a ton of value in one presentation, get feedback, answer questions and create fabulous leads for your business. Try this out and see for yourself.
Improve Your Productivity:
Dropbox has to be my favorite tool for syncing documents across multiple computers. And since everything’s saved to the cloud, your data’s safe from hardware failures! Their free account is great – it gives you up to 2G of space, and allows you to earn up to 6G more through referrals. Dropbox’s paid versions give 50G and 100G for $99 or $199 per year (respectively).
Shoeboxed is a damn cool service for those of us who keep all those pesky receipts we want to use to claim expenses. Rather than letting them build up in your wallet or some envelope like I used to, Shoeboxed lets you send receipts, business cards and documents to them via postage-paid envelopes or camera-equipped smartphone for a really low monthly fee. They scan and data-enter every document, then organize everything in a secure, searchable online account. All of the receipts you send to them are also accepted by the IRS, so if you are ever audited, just show the images of your receipts from your account. The bottom line: no more crinkled, unorganized receipts, no more expensive scanners, no more data entry or lost documents, and best of all, no more stressful tax seasons!
Ever get that email from that person you vaguely remember, and know that you should probably know this person better? And they just said they’re going to give you a call about that thing you guys talked about last week, but you can’t, for the life of you, think of what that one thing was… and a quick search in Gmail isn’t pulling anything useful up? Well, Rapportive is the answer to that. It’s a very handy app that works right inside Gmail, giving you a real time report of who the person on the other end of the line is. It’ll show you their name, picture, location, company, social media accounts, other basic information, and then a somewhat comprehensive google search on their latest web hits. It even has a section for you to save your own notes about each contact! This is a definite must have, especially for all those ninja networkers out there!
Boomerang is a life-saving email tool that allows you to answer an important email straight away, but send it a day or so later so people don’t think you’re too accessible. Plus you can ‘boomerang’ emails for another date, so you don’t lose track of them, but you can read and action them when it’s really necessary. I certainly think this tool has revolutionized my inbox. I wrote about it here How to To Send And Receive Emails When You Want With Boomerang
If your email inbox is out of control then it’s time you try SaneBox which I love. It’s revolutionized my inbox. It takes unimportant emails out of your Inbox, puts them in a separate folder, and aggregates them into a daily summary so you can focus on what’s important, but not miss anything. It has a bunch of other features: one-click-unsubscribe, follow up reminders, deferring non-urgent emails, etc. Best of all, it works right away, on any email, and there are no plug-ins or downloads.
Chrometa helps you become more productive as an entrepreneur by showing you exactly where you time goes. It’s the ultimate time management tool, as it “passively” records where exactly your whirlwind workday goes. At the end of each busy day, you’ll have an accurate picture of where you spent your time – so that you can continue to improve how you allocate your valuable (and limited) time going forward.
For lots more, check out The Ultimate Toolkit where I’ve gathered up 85 amazing tools complete with write-ups and reviews.