Online Marketing & Business Development Resources
Creating more online traffic and sales opportunities is hard. But you don’t have to go it alone. On this page, you will find a great collection of tools & resources that we use every day. These are tools that we’ve vetted, used and loved. These are resources that we stand behind. We couldn’t run our businesses without them. Check back often, as we are always trying new tools to make this work easier. And to be fully transparent, you will find some affiliate links below, but we like to make money too. But know that we use these resources to run our business – so we aren’t going to suggest some garbage just because they offer a commission. If we haven’t used it, read it, listened to it, worked in it, sweated over it, or thanked our lucky stars that we found it, you won’t find it on this list. If you have a bad experience with one of these tools and think that we should reconsider our endorsement, please let us know.
We are big fans of landing pages – we use them all the time. They are a great way to capture focused traffic and drive your visitor towards a desired action – you know, capturing an e-mail address, watch a sales video, etc. There are a great resource for the modern marketer. We have two favorites:
LeadPages makes it easy to create simple pages. They have hundreds of pre-made templates, and a very good drag and drop editor that allows you to customize your landing page exactly how you want. Further, they have a great (and very active) Facebook community and weekly free trainings. If you need the functionality of a landing page, LeadPages is terrific and easy way to get started. And it also has a terrific integration with WordPress (the best blogging platform in the world).
For more advanced sales efforts, especially those that require a multi-step funnel (like an e-mail capture page, then a special offer, and then a webinar invite), ClickFunnels is a terrific funnel-building machine. ClickFunnels offers integration with popular shopping carts, has its own customer information management solution (Actionetics) and affiliate program and membership management solution (Backpack). ClickFunnels has hundreds of hours of free training videos, and an incredibly vibrant community (Facebook group is hopping!) There is a 14-Day free trial. Completely worth checking out.
Financial Services & Bookkeeping
We love FreshBooks – it’s that simple. For invoicing, online payments, time tracking and expense tracking, FreshBooks is an amazing deal. At $9.95/mo, the functionality that you get is amazing. And what is terrific is that you get a 30 Day Free Trial. This is probably the best value in financial services. This is what we use currently, and we are big fans!
Quickbooks has served us well, too. For more full-fledged accounting and bookkeeping, as well as a terrific marketplace full of add-on solutions (like inventory management, invoice advances, payroll and more), QuickBooks is hard to beat. And the new “Self Employed” version looks terrific for solo agents and consultants.
Web Hosting, Web Design & Domains
WPEngine is a web host that is built for WordPress. They are laser-focused on delivering a great WordPress experience. And they have a nice offer – Get 2 months free hosting with WP Engine on any shared annual plan. WPEngine may not be the cheapest host in the world, but I think that they are the best.
GoDaddy – they of the scandalous ads – is simply an awesome domain registrar. I don’t use them for hosting (although I think they are making some big improvements here), but their domain management is top notch, I think their pricing is fair, and the customer service is awesome.
Themeforest is our favorite place to buy WordPress themes – they have an enormous selection, and Themeforest makes it easy to keep track of files, licenses, etc. And if you are a WordPress neophyte, they can install your theme too. Some of our favorite themes are Avada (this site is built on Avada), and our sister site, The Side Hustle Institute is built on X Theme (it is a pretty powerful setup).
This one is pretty simple. We are GIANT fans of Shopify. From the simple management interface, to a built in payment processor, to a wealth of themes (check out Themeforest again) to a robust application marketplace to a vibrant developer community, and a truly wonderful Support Forum where e-commerce owners share solutions, opportunities and troubles, Shopify is a great way to easily step into e-commerce. And you get a free 14 day trial! Totally worth a try.
Graphic Design & Technology Resources
Fiverr has been a constant resource for us, especially for smaller, one-off jobs, like logo design or infographics. We’ve even had terrific success with things like voice-overs, and WordPress programming. Pay attention to the ratings that the seller has, and reward great performers by buying from them again. We have found a terrific logo designer and have used them multiple times via Fivver. (And there is some crazy guy who will do an SEO walkthrough of your site on video…)
UpWork is also a terrific place for graphic design and tech help. It is different than Fivver in the fact that you offer a task and there are competitive bids for it (rather than a fixed price). The turnaround time isn’t quite as good as Fiverr, but for more intricate designs or bespoke technology work, you can tap into a wealth of global talent at UpWork.