Swank Entrepreneur Enclave
The Whole Shebang: Online Utensils
My Mission The Whole Shebang: Online Utensils
I believe private business is the foundation of all free people. Pride of ownership cannot be substituted. Small business and the entrepreneurial spirit have created untold amounts of wealth, innovative products and jobs. It is the financial engine of the world. I praise the genius of business people and salute the entrepreneurial spirit! I have put together a list of the online tools I use (or have used) to run my business along with a book list of recommended reading. Some are affiliate links. There is an endless amount of great online tools so this list is not exhaustive by any means. I hope this saves you time & grief if you decide to set up a business. Also, feel free to contact me if have a question on a service not listed here. I would love to help you. We need your business up and sharing your goodness to the entire world!
Domains, Hosting & WordPress Themes
GoDaddy is my place for buying domain names. For hosting I use BlueHost, HostGator and AceNet. All 3 are good. There are many very nice free WordPress themes available to choose from: Free Theme Layouts. My website is made with Elegant Themes in DIVI. Check out DIY Themes and FlexSqueeze, remember to search google for WordPress Themes free & paid. If you are loving the Parallax style (I love it) have a look at this Theme. It is sharp, clean and professional with tons of flexibility. Newave is beautiful too. WP Curve offers a monthly service for your wordpress site. For $69 monthly they are like Insurance. They do unlimited tweaks and troubleshoot. I view it has something like car insurance. Great to have!
Once you decide on your WordPress theme, next you will probably want to fancy it up with a few plugins. There are so many cool plugins, just be careful as to many can can slow down your site. Here are a few I use: TinyMCE Advanced, All in One SEO Pack, PopUp Ally, Flare, Google Analyticator .
Email Marketing & Auto Responders
Do not delay getting your email marketing set-up and start building your email LIST! I use Aweber which is a paid service, very reasonable. Also Mail Chimp is great and it is free up to a certain amount of subscribers. I would check them both out, both have pro’s and con’s. Get Response is also very nice. I like making Newsletters with their program.
Buying Photos & Making Your Own Custom Designs
If you need high resolution photos have a look at Fotolia, and Veer. For FREE photos have a searching good time at Pixabay and Creative Market. PicMonkey and Canva are two of my most favorite sites evah! I spend a huge amount of time on both. Amazing the professional graphics you can create.Both sites have a free version (what I use) and an upgraded paid version as well. I couldn’t get through 1 day without my Jing! Seriously, it is a must have and it is FREE! You can take screen shots & make short videos in a presto of a second. Love!
Social Media Tools
For scheduling your updates out to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, my favorite is HootSuite. Easy to understand & gets the job done. There are many applications on the market that will schedule, so google to check them all out. Also, I use Buffer. Tweetdeck might be another good one.
You do not have to do all these things yourself & actually you shouldn’t even try. Outsource a few jobs to keep things running smooth. There are some fantastic services to help out. I use Fiverr several times a month. Basically they will do about anything for $5 dollars, don’t expect super high end work, but it has been perfect for my needs. Odesk, Elance are excellent for outsourcing all different kinds of work. If you need a logo or an entire Marketing Package go visit 99Designs! Amazing.
Video et al
I use Screenflow. Want to learn fast. Get the Screenflow Hero training. You can almost be a pro within 90 minutes. iPhones are producing some fantastic quality videos today. I took the iPhone Video Hero training & I use it everyday for business and personal use! Woot, love it. One of the best video training on the market is from James Wedmore. His Video Traffic Academy is excellent. Be a Pro. Learn from the best. He is killing it on Youtube.
Webinars, Conference Calls etc
I am currently using MeetingBurner for webinars.You can record & export video & audio separately, add a Paypal button to charge for your webinar and many other great features! Google Hangouts are popular. Check out Webinar Jam it incorporates with Google Hangouts for full service webinar platform. Skype is what I use for one on one meeting the most. For recording Skype calls check out ECAMM Skype Call Recorder. Leadpages is a drag and drop application for creating landing pages, squeeze pages. It will synch up with your email auto responder provider. You can create webinar registrations, thank you pages etc. . .
Staying organized can be a big job 😉 I suggest really trying to set up systems from the beginning. I didn’t exactly do this & I am still chasing it. Take a look at Evernote it is free and a wonderful tool for collecting ideas, photos etc as you cruise the internet. DropBox is used for storing and backup of your computer. It can get cluttered quickly. Google Voice, this will get you a 2nd phone number so you do not have to give out your real phone number. GREAT!It rings your phone but the number is masked.
Books of Wisedom
by Tom Rath. Are you trying to figure out your path in business & life? This is the best book ever for the topic.
by Michael E. Gerber. Dispels myths about owning your own company & points you in the right direction about how to set up your new company.
by Scott Belsky. A miracle in organizing and keeping me focused.
by Robert Kiyosaki. Defines wealth and teaches the value of passive income and cash flow.
by Chris Guillebeau. People with no special skills discover aspects of their personal passions to monetize.
by Chris Guillebeau. Chris is changing lives and getting people moving.
by Drew Eric Whitman. One of the most valuable skills we must master: Copywriting. This book will give you a great base.
by Seth Godin. The Internet has eliminated the barriers of geography, cost, and time. All those blogs and social networking sites are helping existing tribes get bigger.
by Steven Pressfield. Have you started a project but never finished? Would you like to do work that matters, but don’t know where to start?
by Marcus Buckingham. Unfortunately, most of us have little sense of our talents and strengths, much less the ability to build our lives around them. Instead, guided by our parents, by our teachers, by our managers, and by psychology’s fascination with pathology, we become experts in our weaknesses and spend our lives trying to repair these flaws, while our strengths lie dormant and neglected.
by Simon Sinek. Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty?
by Richard Branson. Combining invaluable advice with remarkable, and candid stories of Virgin’s greatest achievements, as well as some of its setbacks, this is a dynamic, inspirational, and truly original guide.
by Timothy Ferriss. Create and test a “muse”, excellent source of how to live like a millionaire even if you are not one yet. Required reading for anyone starting an online business.
by Gary Vaynerchuk. Learn how to leverage your passion with social media.
by Robert B. Cialdini. Learn six universal principles, how to use them and become a skilled persuader.
by T. Harv. Eker. Ever wonder why some people get rich easily, while others are destined for a life of financial struggle?
by Keith Ferrazzi. The general principles are about networking and building relationships. Both are essential to success.
by Steven Pressfield. You will read this in 2 hours and it will totally change your life.
by Malcolm Gladwell. This book puts the idea of expertise into perspective.
by Jonah Berger. What makes things popular? If you said advertising, think again. People don’t listen to advertisements, they listen to their peers.
by Jason Fried. Most business books give you the same old advice: Write a business plan, study the competition, seek investors, yadda yadda. If you’re looking for a book like that, put this one back on the shelf.
by Russell Simmons. Being “super rich” has little to do with living in a mansion and everything to do with living in a state of consciousness where you are equally connected to the world and your highest self.
by Danielle LaPorte. The Fire Starter Sessions is an apathy-kicking, integrity-infusing guide to defining success on your own terms.
by Richard Branson. Argues that it’s time to turn capitalism upside down-to shift our values from an exclusive focus on profit to also caring for people, communities and the planet