Empower & Equip Entrepreneurs: My 2 primary business goals.
On this page, you'll find the best resources, tips, knowledge, and tools possible to help entrepreneurs build successful businesses. To accomplish my goal, I've created this resources page. After testing thousands of plugins, apps, services and sites, I've compiled this list. I've done the research, so you don't have to.
Disclosure: Some of these links are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you use them to make a purchase. Please understand, I use or have used each of these products, and I recommend them only because they're useful and because I've benefited from them in the past. I do not recommend them because I get a small commission for doing so. Please only spend money on these products if you need them or believe they'll help you achieve your goals.
These resources are divided into these convenient categories:
- Websites & Design
My #1 Most-Recommended Tool
Exit Strategy - Regardless of the size or stage of your business, this book will help you make more money. In Exit Strategy, you'll learn about content marketing and how you can build your business without going broke buying ads. You'll learn how to identify and understand your ideal clients and develop your avatar which will make you a marketing wizard. I'll show you how to lay the groundwork for a new business or how to repair the holes in the foundation you already have. If you want to start a business, this is the best resource you could get; I promise.
Websites & Design
WordPress Hosting - After you buy your domain, the next step is to get the best hosting you can get for the best possible price. I wish I'd found GreenGeeks sooner - it would have save me lots of headaches, and hundreds of dollars. They have great customer service that's available 24/7. They have great prices - hosting starts at $3.95/mo. And they have super-fast SSDs (solid state drives that I LOVE). To top it all off, and I'm not exaggerating, my sites that are hosted on GreenGeeks have never been faster. Don't even worry with those other hosting companies! They'll even help you migrate your existing site for free.
ThriveThemes - After you get hosting and your domain, you'll want to grab the best software out there for making a beautiful WordPress website. Everything ThriveThemes does is focused on converting traffic into customers, and they make it super-simple. Their drag-and-drop visual editor, called "Architect," is easy to use, and I couldn't recommend ThriveThemes more. Plus, if you get their full membership, you'll also have access to landing page templates, split testing headlines, welcome mats, quiz builders, and more!
Opt-In Forms & Lead Magnets - Building a list of email address is critical to the growth of your business. The tool I use to make opt-in boxes and many of awesome lead magnets is Thrive Leads by Thrive Themes. I highly recommend this tool because you can split-test almost everything. I have the full Thrive package, which includes themes, a headline optimizer, and a drag-and-drop content builder (which I used to design this page! Thrive Leads comes included with a full membership to ThriveThemes (see above).
Kraken.io - The faster your website, the more business you'll do. That's a fact. Kraken.io takes any image you upload and compresses and optimizes it. A 100kb image could be reduced to 3-4kb which reduces the load time for your users, as well as the strain on your server. I run 100% of my images through Kraken before uploading to WordPress. Thrive's themes also integrate with Kraken.io automatically, so this is a double win!
ActiveCampaign - The service I was looking for when I started my online journey, ActiveCampaign offers the most features for your dollar. If you want to treat subscribers differently based on the actions they take with your emails, you can do that. If you want to send someone a coupon after they visited your store, you can do that. If you want a built-in CRM that shows your most active contacts, yep, that's included. Loaded with automation features and customization options, ActiveCampaign is my email marketing service of choice. Prices start at just $9, or you can get started with a free trial today!
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Grammarly - The free plugin for Chrome browsers scans any text I'm typing. By reviewing everything from new blog posts to Facebook status updates, Grammarly helps me keep egg off my face. Because it checks for everything form spelling errors to misplaced commas, Grammarly is a must-have tool for writers. On the premium plans, Grammarly connects to MS Word and Outlook and even checks for style issues, poor word choices, passive voice (which is bad writing), colloquial phrases, possible plagiarism and vocabulary enhancements like synonyms and such, and more. Ya, it's pretty cool.
Hemingway Editor - Every blogger needs to be a good writer. We need to entertain and educate. To improve your writing, the Hemingway Editor checks your writing for unnecessary words, phrases that are difficult to read, as well as other common mistakes. I now run 100% of my blog posts through this tool.
Buffer - When it comes to social scheduling, the best tool I've found is Buffer. Their software allows you to build a “buffer” of social media tweets, posts, updates, etc. that will post at a later, predetermined time. Load it up in the morning and your updates will go out during the rest of the day.
IFTTT - An acronym that stands for "If This, Then That," IFTTT is free software that connects two other pieces of software on a conditional basis. Connect 2 services to work together and streamline some of the details associated with building your business. HINT: You can even use IFTTT with your Google Home and Amazon Alexa devices!
ThriveCart All-in-One Checkout System - Before I got ThriveCart, I was paying $330 PER YEAR for a combination of other plugins and software. ThriveCart not only replaced all of the software I was using, but they did the job better than the other guys. They have an amazing integration with ActiveCampaign (see above) and their checkout options are extremely flexible. ThriveCart's support team is always adding new features, and I love using them!
My eCover Maker - Create 3D mockups of your digital products! No more basic or boring covers for your ebooks or training courses. My eCover Maker lets you upload almost any image and transpose it onto a 3D surface like a book, DVD cover, laptop screen, tablet or TV. We all judge books by their cover, My eCover Maker makes those covers look awesome.
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