I wanted to take this chance to show you some of the key tools and resources we’ve covered during Act 2 that will help you maintain and streamline your online business building efforts.
Although there are so many great tools you could be using online, here are the ones I find have worked best for me here at the Suitcase Entrepreneur HQ!
By setting yourself up with these key fundamental tools (or similar versions of them) you should be able to save yourself time and effort while strengthening the foundation of your business.
1. Get Your Domain & Build Your Website on Hostgator
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. Hostgator simply rock my world as they get that my business is growing.
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 website templates, great customer support and other useful services.
2. Build Your Audience List and Increase Your Sales With LeadPages
LeadPages claim to be the easiest way to create beautiful landing pages, launch pages, sales pages and squeeze pages for your website that actually convert.
After using them for 6 months now I have to agree. Building any of these types of pages on your website 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.
But then along came LeadPages which I think has personally changed the way in which we do online marketing by making software that’s so simple to use (think drop and drag solutions to sell your products online).
3. Sell Digital Products Online Quickly With e-Junkie
This is my number one recommendation to people starting out online 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 page you’ve set up with LeadPages, to ensure people can `buy now’ and setup a simple affiliate program.
If you want something even more simple, that doesn’t even require PayPal and works in seamlessly to your page you can check out Gumroad for selling digital products by just uploading your file and letting them take care of the rest. I really like what they offer through this platform.
4. Start Selling Your Goods and Services Online with PayPal
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.
5. Manage Your Social Media in One Place Easily With Hootsuite
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 Direct Messages (DMs) from your Retweets to your list and top people to follow plus much more. There’s a free plan too.
6. Build Your Mailing List & Send Newsletters With MailChimp
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.
7. Get Help From Professional Freelancers Online With 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!
Running an online business requires you to manage and maintain so many moving parts, that having the right people on your team to assist you in covering every aspect is one of the smartest and best investments you’ll ever make.
When it comes to using these tools, or the combination that you like the most, remember to actually implement the tools into your schedule, and set yourself up to use them consistently and your business like a pro in no time!
Day 20 Blog Challenge to accept in 3 easy steps
1. Write a response blog post to this question:
State your top three tools that you will use (or already use) to save time and money and make your online world more seamless
2. Share your blog post response:
Don’t forget to leave a comment below or a trackback to your blog response. Share your post from your own site on social media using #TSE30DC at the end of your tweet or post.
3. Embed the 30 Day Blog Challenge badge in your post:
Choose the badge you most like from right here. Then just COPY the HTML code already pre done for you, and PASTE it into the HTML tab of your post.
What’s next in the 30 Day Blog Challenge?
Click to tweet this: These 7 tools could save your online business. Are you using them? #TSE30DC
Grab a copy of my No #1 Bestselling Suitcase Entrepreneur book on Amazon
Follow the 30 Day Blog Challenge Pinterest board which looks beautiful with all your posts pinned there!
See you tomorrow to recap on the whole of Act 2!
Round up of your blog posts today
- Deborah has added many tools to her toolbox over the years, but is always on the lookout for more and better solutions
- Angela loves technology and she does not have a top three list but she has shared an extensive list her favourite tools
- Marc finds Evernote, Hootsuite and Feedly extremely helpful among several other apps on her list
- Elisa has posted about her favourite apps and is hugely excited about blogging
- Kirk loves gadgets, and writes that smartphones are one of the most awesome inventions in the world
- Michelle is a techie freak and would love to use every possible tool on her site. She has written a brief post while enjoying the surf and sun in Kihei
- Elizabeth’s first priority is to build her site, write content, and make it live. She is a fan of E-Junkie and Leadpages