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Cools Box

Having the right tools to increase efficiency and automation is the key to your growth no matter what level your business is at currently at. Whether your planning to launch a new product or ready to scale due to growth, the right tools are critical.

One thing that has consumed a lot of my time and money has been testing and scraping together different tools for my marketing automation and process management. I don’t want you to go through the long pains and struggles that I did.

My core belief as that we as entrepreneurs should share our knowledge and not buy into the belief of scarcity so, I wanted to create this page of resources that creates a direct path of tools no matter if your just beginning or if your ready to take your business to the next level.

I created this page because I wish one was available years ago when I started. I’m hoping to save your hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars of anguish that’s involved in trying to choose the right tools so you can get back to focusing on loving your business and providing as much value as possible to your clients and customers.

Just to transparent….many of these links are affiliate links, meaning I may get a little scratch if you decide to try and/or buy. However, this does not increase the price. Quite opposite. Many links will provide a discount that I’ve been given and I’m passing them to you.

Find some tools, get more clients, get more profit! Enjoy 😉

Beginner Level

I know how confusing it is when your just starting out deciding on what products work and what gives you the greatest bang for your buck. I have built all of my business sites and content and currently manage this site daily. So, I’m in the trenches and wanted to provide you with the “starter kit” of the products you will need to get up and running quickly and inexpensively. You’re primary focus at this point is to get your self out there and start list building and putting out content so here I comprised a list that will help you achieve those goals without a whole bunch of tech headach without breaking the bank.

The tools below will help you get started in the right direction, even on a tight budget.

 


WEB HOSTING

HostGator

If you’re completely starting from scratch you will need hosting. I have been using Hostgator since 2007 and have zero complaints. You will first need to register your domain (URL) and this is the service you can trust for it’s stability and customer service.  Additionally if you’re looking to add Content Management to your business (blogging) then you can easily install WordPress.   TRY HOST GATOR


 

WEBSITE DESIGN

Unbounce

Unbounce is a free page design platform. I have used Unbounce for about 5 years for different personnel and client projects. If you are new and trying to decide if your idea is worth perusing or just need a simple site then this is the platform for you. You can create a simple 3-5 page site or just take advantage of all of the landing pages they have available without having to design a complete site for the purpose of content management (blogging).   TRY UNBOUNCE                                                                                                                                                         


WEBSITE THEME

WordPress Theme

Divi by Elegant Themes is the foundation of all of my websites…. period.!I have built a lot of sites for clients and for my businesses and this is by far the best theme to use for beginners and advanced designers. It has a drag and drop builder and gives you the ability to bring your brands vision to life. (I know a little cheesy) So, if you like the function of my site then you will love this theme. This is one area you don’t want to skimp on. So, if you’re having to make a choice on whether to spend the money on this them or just get some free theme, i would suggest creating your first site in Unbounce above and then make this your first project.    TRY ELEGANT THEMES


FILE ORGANIZATION

Dropbox

Dropbox should be another staple in organizing your business. I primarily use Dropbox to keep all my files, but also it allows for me to share and collaborate with my team. Even if your just a business of 1 or 100 you need to ensure you have this tool in your business tool box.   TRY DROPBOX


 

IMAGE DESIGN

Canva

Canva is my go to FREE online image design tool when I need something that looks great and I need to get it out quick. You can quickly create images for your blog and social media needs that will give you the professional look you’re looking for.   TRY CANVA

 


 

LANDING PAGES

OntraPages

Having the ability to collect leads will be the life blood of you business. If you have no leads or prospects, you have no leads. Ontrapages provides you a FREE tool to create amazing landing pages that will stand out when attracting your perfect customer. One of the great features on Ontrapages is that you can create the pages in minutes then publish them to your WordPress site. TRY ONTRAPAGES


 

EMAIL MARKETING

Mail Chimp

The bottom line with Mail Chimp is that there is not a more tried a true email marketing automation tool ever created but it also integrates with every tool I’ve recommended or use. (In one of my businesses, I have used MailChimp for 10 years) Not only can you create lead capture forms, and automate your email communication….you can also connect it to your e-commerce store for customer service.   TRY MAILCHIMP


 

VIDEO EDITING

Screen-O-Matic

The ability to create screencast and webcam videos are essential to getting your product and service in front of your potential customers. Screen O Matic provides a free platform to develop you sales videos, pre-recorded webinar videos. So if you’re looking to start disseminating screen or webcam videos then this is you tool for you. Signup is FREE so give it a try.  TRY SCREEN O MATIC


 

VIDEO HOSTING

Wistia

Wistia is a video hosting platform used by beginners and veterans alike. You will need to host and distribute your videos and Wistia is by far the best platform on the market. The most important asset of Wistia is that the playback of your videos is smooth. I hate seeing videos and they constantly pause and crash. So, you can rest assured this platform is stable. You also have the ability to secure your content and see multiple performance analytics. Give it shot for FREE!   TRY WISTIA 


 

COURSE HOSTING

Gum Road

If you’re at the point where you want to create an ebook, or promote a video series, or host your first course then GumRoad is for you. It’s definitely the most inexpensive alternative you have when starting out. One of the best features about Gum Road is the fact you have a built in shopping cart and checkout which is invaluable when your first setting up. You also are provided with different analytics and customer management.  Starting at $10 a month there’s not a better deal in town. Trust me I’ve looked…hard!  TRY GUM ROAD


PAYMENT ACCEPTANCE

PayPal

Well, you’re at the last stage of setting up your funnel. You’ve created your site, videos, and ready to collect some money. This is by far the easiest and free merchant platform that integrates with every service on earth…literally. I still use PayPal in conjunction with my other merchant services to this day. I know there are multiple other services such as Stripe (which I use) for merchant services however they are more intensive in the setup. So, for right now PayPal should be you’re go to until you implement more complex platforms and offer more products and services in your business.    TRY PAYPAL

 

Intermediate 

You have found some momentum in your business and now you would like to start implementing scalable platforms and tools. These tools are specifically great if you looking to begin going from the consultant phase of your business to start conducting 1 to many trainings through online courses, webinars, and automate dynamic marketing funnels.


CRM AUTOMATION

OntraPort

This is where the rubber hits the road. If you’re looking to automate your whole business then this is the platform you MUST have. I depend on this for all of my business marketing and CRM automation. Ontraport provides email automation, landing page setup, upsells, metrics, and integrates your Facebook marketing. This is the tool the gurus and professionals use. You can eliminate most, if not all of the tools you have strung together with this one platform. I can’t say enough about this tool and how it changed my business so, take a look for your self.                                                                                                                                                                                                                 TRY ONTRAPORT



LANDING PAGE DESIGN

LeadPages

Although I use Ontraport for all of my landing pages and email automation…I do use LeadPages for one specific reason…LeadBoxes. Don’t get me wrong, you can whip together all sorts of landing pages and integrate with all known 3rd party tools, but LeadBoxes allows me to embed quickly lead generating optins throughout my blog post. If you’re not quite ready for Ontraport then this is 100% necessary if you want to grow your list and provide content to potential and current customers.   TRY LEADPAGES

 


Shopping Cart

Sam Cart

Sam Cart provides high converting check out pages along with its shopping cart functionality. Anyone can tell you that this part of your funnel has always been painful until now. You don’t have to worry about the tech headache that is associated with shopping cart integrations and it works with all of the major platforms. In my own case, Ontraport provides checkout pages but Sam Cart makes it soooooo much easier to setup and implement.  TRY SAMCART


SCREEN CAPTURE AND VIDEO EDITING

Camtasia (PC)

Since I’m a PC user and needed a all in one video editing software…I went with the best. Now, don’t worry, it’s not crazy expensive, however, it’s definitely worth every penny. This software not only allows you to customize your videos, it also has a plugin directly to PowerPoint so you can voice over your presentation without having to leave PowerPoint. This is the only tool you will need for your                                                                      professional video editing needs.   TRY CAMTASIA


SCREEN CAPTURE AND VIDEO EDITING

Screenflow (Mac)

With ScreenFlow screen recording, you can record any part of your monitor while also capturing a video camera, iOS device, microphone, multi-channel audio device and computer audio.                                                                                                                                                                  TRY SCREENFLOW


AUDIO RECORDING

Yeti Mic

I know from experience how frustrating it is to create a great presentation for your video sales letter or webinar and when you go to voice it over it sounds like crap. If you’re serious about creating any type of content or use webinars to attract new customers and clients then you have to have great audio. This is the mic I use daily and is my go to.   TRY BLUE YETI

 


VIDEO HOSTING

Wistia

Wistia is a video hosting platform used by beginners and veterans alike. You will need to host and distribute your videos and Wistia is by far the best platform on the market. The most important asset of Wistia is that the playback of your videos is smooth. I hate seeing videos and they constantly pause and crash. So, you can rest assured this platform is stable. You also have the ability to secure your content and see multiple performance analytics. Give it shot for FREE!   TRY WISTIA               


                                                                                                                                                          

COURSE PLATFORM

Kajabi

If you’re not quite ready to host your courses on your site then Kajabi is the platform you need. Kajabi provides you an online platform to host your online courses. Kajabi allows you to create your membership sites, training portals, and host your digital downloads and videos, If you’re ready to get your course online and start taking memberships then this is the only tool you need.  TRY KAJABI 


Payment Processing

Stripe

This is my current merchant service. You can accept all major cards from customers around the world on web or in mobile apps. Design the experience yourself or drop in Checkout, our pre-built, conversion-optimized form. Save card details so customers can pay again with a single click.     TRY STRIPE

Growth and Scale 

Now that you have created your product and/or service and have clients and customers it’s time to embrace growth and prepare for scaling. The most important phase of your business is to ensure that you not only have the tools in place to allow you to get your product and/or service to the market but for you to have the tools internally to begin exploding your business.


CRM AUTOMATION

OntraPort

This is where the rubber hits the road. If you’re looking to automate your whole business then this is the platform you MUST have. I depend on this for all of my business marketing and CRM automation. Ontraport provides email automation, landing page setup, upsells, metrics, and integrates your Facebook marketing. This is the tool the gurus and professionals use. You can eliminate most, if not all of the tools you have strung together with this one platform. I can’t say enough about this tool and how it changed my business so, take a look for your self.   TRY ONTRAPORT


LANDING PAGE DESIGN

LeadPages

Although I use Ontraport for all of my landing pages and email automation…I do use LeadPages for one specific reason…LeadBoxes. Don’t get me wrong, you can whip together all sorts of landing pages and integrate with all known 3rd party tools, but LeadBoxes allows me to embed quickly lead generating optins throughout my blog post. If you’re not quite ready for Ontraport then this is 100% necessary if you want to grow your list and provide content to potential and current customers.   TRY LEADPAGES


WEBINAR PLATFORM

Go To Webinar

GoToWebinar is an all-around great platform for live webinars. If you’re hosting webinars with under 1,000 live attendees, this tool is my top pick. With built-in reports, analytics and full-service registration, GoToWebinar handles all the backend stuff so you can focus on delivering your content.       TRY GOTOWEBINAR

 


PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Asana

Now that you’re starting to manage a lot of moving parts, you’ve got to stay organized. Asana helps my entire team keep track of our work. We use this tool to communicate, share links, stay on top of deadlines and keep everybody in the loop.      TRY ASANA


VIDEO HOSTING

Process St.

As far as growth and scale of a business is concerned, there is nothing more important than capturing and documenting your processes. Having your processes documented allows your to guarantee repeatable, scalable, and replinashable results within your business.      TRY PROCESS STREET


TEAM COMMUNICATION

Slack

Slack is a communication tool that can literally eliminate the hassle of having to go back and forth via email with your team. It allows you to keep in touch with everyone — and it even connects to other tools you use, so you won’t have to switch between apps. A word of warning: stay focused in Slack by keeping topics separate, setting up private communication channels and archiving channels that you don’t use.  TRY SLACK