As you grow your business and your online presence, do you wonder which tools and services you should have in place?
I know it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the options, as well as the need to sign-up for the “next best thing.”
Today, I am going to share my top recommendations for which tools are most important for you to utilize in your business. I’m going to help you keep things simple by focusing on the tools that will help you bring in more revenue.
Regardless of what stage you’re at in your business, I recommend you have the following tools set up:
- Payment processing
- Email marketing service
- Electronic agreement service
- Online Scheduling System
- Drag and drop squeeze page builder
- Teleseminar service
- Affiliate tracking
Let’s dig in to the specifics on each of these…
This is a top priority because you need an easy way for clients to pay you.
PayPal is a low-cost service that I highly recommend if you:
- mostly offer private coaching
- have a small number of “group programs” throughout the year
- Use Aweber or MailChimp for email marketing (they integrate with PayPal)
- do not have a need for an affiliate program
1ShoppingCart is a pricier option, but is worth the investment if you:
- offer several programs or products throughout the year
- have (or want to have) a large, and more complex affiliate program
- are bringing in over $100,000 in revenue
Email Marketing Service
Signing up for an email marketing service is vital, so you can start building a list and communicate with your list by sending them free content and invitations to work with you.
My top choices for email marketing are MailChimp and AWeber because they both integrate with PayPal.
If you set up what is called and IPN (instant payment notification), between PayPal and these services, you can have purchasers automatically added to a list in the email marketing system.
This means that you won’t have to manually add purchasers to a list in your email marketing system.
This is an important feature because you will want to stay in touch with people who purchase from you. At the very least, you will want to make sure they receive newsletters/ezines and any promotional emails you send out.
You can click here to read more about the pros and cons of MailChimp and AWeber, so you can determine which one’s the right choice for you.
Electronic agreement service
Signing up for an electronic agreement service will make it easy for new clients to sign your agreement.
When a client signs up with you, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to complete any paperwork you have. Don’t make the mistake I did by asking clients to print out, sign, and mail me their agreement! EchoSign
allows you and your clients to sign electronically, with the click of a button.
Online Scheduling System
Using an online scheduling system will make it easy for potential clients and current clients to schedule a time to speak with you, while saving you a huge amount of time.
There are many online scheduling tools out there, but we use and recommend TimeTrade
. It’s easy
to create a calendar with your logo and branding. And, you can easily connect your online calendar with your Google Calendar or iCal. This way, you never double book. One feature I love is TimeTrade will automatically send clients a reminder email.
Drag and drop squeeze page builder
If you want to build your list, you’ll want to have squeeze pages where people can sign-up to receive your free gift and/or register for teleseminars.
You can quickly and easily build your own squeeze page, without any technical skills, using an amazing service called LeadPages. (It has a drag and drop editor and loads of templates to choose from.)
This service will free you from having to hire a web designer to build your pages. This will save you money and allow you to set-up and edit pages more quickly.
LeadPages offers a 30 day money back guarantee, so you can take it for a test drive and see what you think.
Don’t have a website yet?
Don’t worry! LeadPages hosts all of your pages, so you can create your squeeze page and start building your list before you launch a website.
By setting up a “polite” pop-up on your site, you’ll be able to get more of the people who visit your website to opt-in to your list. This means you’ll build your list more quickly.
Have a WordPress site?
PopUpAlly is the popup service we use and the tool I recommend if you have a WordPress site. Ordinary popups are rude and annoying, but PopupAlly is a simple to implement popup that will build your list without annoying visitors. (Note that this tool only works on WordPress sites.) This popup is only a one-time fee of $97.
Have an IIN website or non-WordPress site?
While I love PopUpAlly, if you don’t have a WordPress site you’ll need another popup service. LeadPages’ pop-up functionality (called LeadBoxes) integrates with all website platforms, including IIN sites. This means you can now easily promote your free gift on your site. LeadPages also has lots of options to make it polite for your visitors. This is a pricier option that PopUpAlly, but will also give you the ability to easily set-up squeeze pages.
If you want to lead free teleseminars or group calls as part of your programs, you’ll need to sign up for a teleseminar service.
If you are just starting out, don’t often offer teleseminars and don’t need to share slides or your screen, then going with a free service will probably work perfectly for you. My favorite free teleseminar service is FreeConferencing.com.
If you want your calls to be branded and want to share slides, I recommend Instant Teleseminar. This is the service I use for our webinars and group calls. They offer a 21 day trial for $1.
You can click here to read more about these teleseminar services, so you can determine which one’s the right choice for you.
Lining up one or more affiliates who will promote your free gift, free teleseminar, and/or programs is a great way to reach a wider audience. If you’re just starting out, you may not plan on having an affiliate program for a while and that’s totally OK. You can file this information for the future.
E-junkie is a very low cost service you can use to set-up an affiliate program. It only costs $5/month for 10 products.
There are some drawbacks to E-junkie.
1) E-junkie tracks all purchases from affiliates, but it does not track affiliate clicks. For most people this is not a huge drawback, but it is something to consider.
2) E-junkie does not support multi-pay options (2-pay, 3-pay, etc.) If you are offering a higher-priced program and you want your clients to be able to break up their payments, E-junkie is not the right solution for you.
If you’re looking for a more robust affiliate tracking solution, I recommend 1ShoppingCart
. This is the service we use both as a shopping cart and for affiliate tracking. It is a pricier option, but one worth considering as your business grows.
I’m a proud affiliate for several of the services listed above, so I will earn a commission if you sign up through my link. I only recommend services that I have used and believe will help you be more successful in your business.
Now I’d like to hear from you.
Which services do you currently use in your business? Which ones would like to set-up in the near future? Please share below and post any questions you have about the services discussed above.