Everything I Use To Run My Biz!
It’s taken me years and years to find the best resources to support my biz! As a DIYer (Do-It-Yourself’er), I need cost-effective, easy to use solutions. On this page you’ll find everything I use to run my business! Many are FREE and some do have a cost associated with them.
I didn’t purchase these things overnight, but as strategic decisions when I was ready to expand my work in a new way. I have included affiliate links to many of the products, so I would love to ask you to use the links I’ve provided if you do decide you want to use any of these tools or equipment. I get a very small financial reward. (But rest assured – I haven’t listed anything here I’m not using! So I actually recommend them!)
DISCLAIMER: You are 100% responsible for the results (or lack of results) you achieve through use of these tools. These are recommendations only. I am not responsible for the quality of the product or service. Make sure to do your own homework, too!
ONLINE SERVICES & SOFTWARE
Build Your List Faster!
I use LeadPages to create amazing landing pages for opt-ins, freebies, webinars and more! Their templates are super easy to create. They have a plugin to integrate with your WordPress site so that any page you create in LeadPages can show up on your personal URL. They make it easy to integrate with your email marketing program, webinar host and Facebook Ads! Plus – those cool pop-ups you see on so many websites? That’s easy to do with LeadPages feature called “LeadBoxes”!
Automate Your Client Scheduling!
Streamline your life and empower your clients to schedule their sessions online. After testing SO MANY online scheduling systems, I found Acuity to cover all my bases and be (relatively) easy to use! They are affordable, super easy for your client to use and integrate well on your own website. Plus, I love how professional and “clean” their design is.
Build Your Team & Delegate Tasks
Upwork allows you to find freelancers all over the world. (Many who’s rates are a fraction of what a local freelancer would cost!) Delegate web design, web development, graphic design, bookkeeping, transcription, podcasting, audio/video editing and so much more! Upwork takes care of all the tax and contractor paperwork – taking this burden off your hands. I’ve built powerful teams from Upwork! Remember, you are responsible for ensuring that you find QUALIFIED individuals. Make sure to test freelancers and train them well so you don’t get disappointed or spend money without getting results.
Store Everything In One Place!
Evernote is an amazing tool to keep yourself organized and on track. I use it to write notes, manage projects, collect and save articles & web clippings I want to read later. Plus, use it to keep clear notes on client sessions.
Create Amazing Designs Effortlessly!
Stencil is the best design tool I’ve used! They offer incredible templates and designs that you can easily customize. You can create social media posts, banners, logos, infographics and so much more. Plus, you can automatically post them to social media right from the program! It literally takes just a couple minutes for super professional designs.
A Free & Highly Effective Email Platform
I recommend MailChimp for your email marketing as a starting point. The program is FREE for your first 2,000 subscribers. It’s easy to use, and has basic automation. It integrates with so many of the other softwares you may be using to list build. This is the email marketing system I used for my first two years of business – before I upgraded to ActiveCampaign (see below). Start here and get started building your tribe!
Automate Your Email Marketing!
If you want to build a highly automated online business (advanced topic!) – you’ll need an automated marketing platform. After researching things like Infusionsoft & Ontraport (averaging $300/mo), I found ActiveCampaign to provide incredible functionality, great price and a wonderful user interface. It’s changed my online business life! Make sure to do your own research, and know that you probably have MORE than enough features with MailChimp unless you’re delivering online programs, etc.
Merchant Account Without Hassel
I love Stripe! When I started my business, I got a Merchant Account to be able to take credit card payments. Such a bad idea! You have to be processing thousands of dollars via credit card for the fees to be worth it. I then moved over to Paypal – which I still think is great. However, when Stripe came along, my online biz got another upgrade! Stripe has the flexibility and functionality of a Merchant account, with the ease of Paypal. I can create reoccurring subscriptions, payment plans, etc. There are no monthly fees – just a standard % for each transaction. You may need support if you’re not tech saavy – in which case you might just want to try Paypal!
Host Online Trainings & More!
I use WebinarJam to host all of my webinars and online trainings. It integrates with Google Hangouts. You can chat with your participants and they make it possible to track lots of analytics on who shows up, how long they stay, if you make sales and more. It took me a while to really learn how to use WebinarJam, but I find that of all the things out there, they are a great option. You can always start with Google Hangouts and just embed a GoogleHangout on your own website if you don’t want a paid software.
CREATE A MEETUP
Build Your Tribe In Person!
In person events are arguably one of the fastest way to grow your biz! I started a Meetup when I arrived in LA… held my first meeting 3 weeks later, had 8 people show up, and ended up with one new client! Not bad for one hour of my time, right? Meetup.com is awesome because you don’t have to market your own event. (Of course, you will have even MORE success when you DO market your event, too!) Here’s a tip – find other “similar” groups on Meetup who already have a lot of members and cross-promote. That means you ask them if they will invite their members to your event and you’ll do the same for them.
BUILD YOUR WEBSITE
The #1 Platform For Websites
If you really want to build a solid foundation for your business, I recommend WordPress. A WordPress website has more of a learning curve than some of the “drag & drop” website builders. However, it’s the industry standard. It’s what all the Greats use because it can expand and grow with your business. Check out upwork.com or ask around for recommendations if you need support building your site. Plus, check out the Bonus Training where I teach you how to set up your WordPress site!
FREE CONFERENCE CALL
Your Very Own Conference Line
Want to lead amazing group calls? Well, you can host them for free with FreeConferenceCallHD.com. Yes, FREE! Tons of functionality. Super reliable. Get started with your own group calls!
Collaborate & Take Your Biz With You!
Google Drive has become indispensable in my biz, especially as I grow a team. It allows me to collaborate on documents, share files and keep everything that I need to take “on the go”.
Host Multi-Person Video Conferences
Zoom rocks my world! It seems much more reliable than Skype. Plus, I can share my screen, record my screen and create a “meeting” once, and so that the same link works every time for reoccurring sessions. It’s free for two-person video conferencing. For more than two people on the line, you can host up to 45 minute video calls before you get dropped. Pro Services are just $9.99/mo for up to 50 participants (on video!) with the ability to create break-out rooms & more!
Always Feel Confident Your Data Is Safe!
Backblaze is my backup software of choice! For just $5/mo, you get unlimited data backups of your hard drive and any external hard drives you use. As a biz owner – it’s imperative you back-up important files and save your work! Backblaze automates that process and gives you peace of mind!
Have A Lawyer On Call
As a small biz owner, it’s important to understand your legal requirements and responsibilities to your clients. I am by no means an expert on this, which is why I use LegalShield for support! The monthly membership fee is less than $40 for a small biz owner, and provides you with access to a local attorney who’s part of the program. Call them any time, have them review contracts, contact individuals on your behalf, and more!
Get Coverage As A Healer
As a healer, you’ll have to find out what your local regulations/requirements are for working with clients. Liability insurance is a must. Associated Massage & Bodywork Professionals (ABMP) provides liability insurance coverage for just $200/year. You’ll need to see if you’re covered depending on what type of modality/certification you have.
SOCIAL MEDIA SHARING
Auto Schedule To Share Once & Share Everywhere!
I use Hootsuite to have my team schedule regular social media posts to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Fb Groups, etc. Schedule once and have your post shared everywhere! Plus, you can allow your team to login and manage. Their plan is free for up to three social media accounts. You can upgrade to include more social media platforms!
GET $5 SERVICES
Outsource So Many Projects
Fiverr has a plethora of services for, you guessed it, $5 each! Great place to get some good design ideas stared, have an audio recorded, get something transcribed, and more! Of course, you really gotta watch for quality. There are definitely some great finds!
SECURE YOUR PASSWORDS
Secure & Easily Share Your Passwords!
LastPass makes my collaborating life a breeze! It securely stores ALL my passwords in one place so I don’t need to remember them. Plus, when I want to share my account login info with my Virtual Assistant, I can do so with LastPass. She never see’s my unique password, but is given secure access through the LastPass app. It’s a real gem. The free version is awesome – and premium upgrade does have benefits as you grow!
Easily create connections between your systems!
Zapier is like a dream come true! It allows you to set up links or “zaps” between your various softwares and technology platforms. Here’s an example of the way I use it: When someone makes a payment through Stripe, they are automatically added to my ActiveCampaign email marketing system and tagged as “Client”. For any system that I collect an email address, I zap it over to ActiveCampaign automatically! It’s amazing!
AUDIO & VIDEO EQUIPMENT
HIGH DEFINITION WEBCAM
Clear, High-Quality Video
The Logitech HD Pro Webcam C92 is what I use for super high quality videos, webinars and online interviews! If you’re moving into the world of video – I recommend this camera.
Plug-In & Record High Quality Audio
The Yeti is rated the highest for audio quality. This USB microphone is perfect for podcasting, webinar audio, recording mp3s of meditations, classes, and more. Just plug it into your USB and you’re all set to go!
AUDIO TECHNICA LAVALIER MIC
Use A Lapel Mic For Highest Quality Videos
This is the lavalier (lapel) microphone that I use to record all of my video trainings. It provides really amazing sound quality, minimizes any/all wind or background noise. It’s great! If you want to use it to record from your iPhone or Laptop computer, you’ll also need the adapter that I list below.
LAVALIER MIC ADAPTER
Use Your iPhone or Laptop With Your Lapel Mic
This adapter is needed for any lapel mic or standard microphone that you use. What it does is allow you to plug your lapel mic directly into your iPhone, Smartphone or Laptop computer. This means you can use a lapel mic and record audio/video directly on your mobile device! I use this with my audioTechnical Pro70 Lavalier Microphone.
VIDEO LIGHTING KIT
Make Professional Quality Videos!
This lighting kit is very similar to the one I use! (Mine is no longer for sale!) I set up the three light boxes… two at a forty-five degree angle and one head-on! I prefer natural light where possible, but for the videos where I have an all white background or when I’m shooting in a dark location, my light boxes have been awesome!
Use Your iPhone For Professional Videos
The iPhone 5 model and above all have cameras that create professional quality video. This is incredible because it means anyone can make professional quality videos! When I’m not doing webinars, I use my iPhone to make my videos. This inexpensive Tripod has a handy SmartPhone adapter. It’s not too sturdy, but I bring it with me when I’m traveling and it does the job!