06 September 2013 ~ 29 Comments

The Exact Tools I Use to Run My Business

When I got started online I wish someone would have told me the very best tools to use in my business. It would have saved a LOT of testing and heartache. Plus hours upon hours of trial and error.

So I’ve decided to share the very best tools I’ve discovered over the past 7 years. Inside this article, you’ll get exclusive access to my favorite tools for automating, delegating, and outsourcing my business…

The Essentials

Aweber – This is one is probably pretty obvious. If you’re not building a list of engaged subscribers, you’re NOT building a business. I wish someone would have kicked me in the butt and forced me to start building my list from Day 1. It should be the sole, primary focus of your business.

WordPress – This is the #1 blogging platform online. Makes it super easy to create great-looking websites on the fly. I remember back in the day when I used to code websites by hand. Can you imagine? Oh… how things have changed :) WordPress makes it super easy to create great looking websites.

Lead Pages – This is a tool that I WISH was around when I first got started. Lead Pages makes it super easy to create squeeze pages, landing pages, launch pages, sales pages, webinar invites, welcome gates, and much, much more. Plus, they’re completely mobile responsive. Allows you to create new pages in 5 minutes or less. Which I love – because that means I can get things into the market even faster.

OptimizePress 2.0 – OP is very similar to LeadPages in that it allows you to create squeeze pages, pre-launch pages, sales letters, and complete funnels. It’s a bit more ‘techie’ than Lead Pages – but offers more flexibility. I own both LeadPages and OptimizePress and use both. I like Optimize Press in particular for creating my membership and product areas. (i.e. the look and feel of the product area itself). Which LeadPages doesn’t provide. So while they do have a lot of cross-over – I find both of them indespensable. I use LeadPages when I want to deploy something quickly and OP when I want more flexibility and options.

Wishlist Member – Turn any WordPress site into a full-blown membership site. This is the software I use to run ALL of my products. Integrates directly with PayPal, Clickbank, Infusionsoft, and many others.

Wishlist is essentially for creating membership sites but you can use it to create ANY type of product.

Wistia – This is where I host all of my videos. It works extremely well for video hosting and creating custom video players. But what I like best about it is that I’m able to upload my raw GoToWebinar files and create a video player that is compatible with all mobile devices.

Camtasia Studio – This is the software I use to create ALL of our videos. It’s one of the best when it comes to creating screencast videos. In fact, all of our products have been created entirely on Camtasia.

Adtrackz Gold – This is where I do all of my tracking so that I know exactly how much traffic is coming from each traffic source. Along with how many of those visitors are converting into subscribers and sales.

If you don’t know the effectiveness of each of your different traffic sources – there’s no way to scale. You MUST measure to improve.

GoToWebinar – Webinars are one of the most powerful tools for marketing and engaging with your community.

DiyWPBlog.com – This guy is a tech wizard who makes my life easier.

PayPal – We use PayPal as our main payment processor for almost all of our products.

GumRoad – This PayPal alternative is becoming VERY popular online. GumRoad allows you to setup your product and start taking payments in a matter of minutes. Here’s a great video about this all-in-one platform.

DigiResults.com – Create an affiliate program for your products quickly and easily. DigiResults also allows you to setup instant payments for your affiliates.

Hybrid Connect – Create beautiful, engaging pop-ups for your blog and dramatically increase your opt-in rate.

 

Graphic Design

99designs.com – 99Designs has created a revolutionary design process where you actually have multiple designers competing to win your bid. So you can have hundreds of different designers creating multiple designs for you and you only have to pay the one you like best.

GraphicRiver.net – This is my secret spot for finding really cool graphics to use inside my product download areas and within my membership site.

ThemeForest.net – Another under-the-radar site. Here you’ll find a HUGE collection of incredible WordPress themes.

KillerCovers.com – Amazing designs for your eBooks, DVDs, CDs, etc.

DimpleArt.com – Very affordable, high-quality caricatures you can create for your website, squeeze page, and overall branding. Also makes a great gift for JV partners.

Dribbble.com – Premium graphic designers for just about any project. Used by Niel Patel.

 

Video

Splasheo – Awesome online service for creating professional looking intros and outros for your videos. Run by Gideon Shalwick.

LeadPlayer – WordPress plugin that allows you to customize your YouTube videos. Add an opt-in box at the beginning, middle or end of your video. Create active hyperlinks inside your videos. Customize your video player design. And track your analytics. Leadplayer is one of the best ways to start generating more leads and revenue from your videos.

SEO & Keyword Research:

SEMRush – Strap on your ninja spy glasses. This is by far my favorite SEO competitive intelligence tool. One of the few tools available that will show you EXACTLY which keyword phrases your competitors are ranking for. Priceless.

I’ve used this tool to uncover hundreds of untapped keyword phrases
with very little competition.

Long Tail Pro – This is by far one of my favorite keyword tools. It’s quick, easy, and spits out hundreds of keywords in a matter of seconds.

But even more importantly, it then allows you to see exactly
how competitive those keywords are. (a.k.a. how long it will
take to rank for those particular keywords in Google)

I know a lot of people like Market Samurai. And Market Samurai
IS a great tool. But it’s also a bit bloated and clunky.

In terms of speed – Long Tail Pro runs at least 10x faster. And when I’m doing my work – I appreciate speed.

AccuRankTracker – This is by far my favorite tool for tracking all of my keywords and their ranking in Google. AccuRankTracker allows you to track an unlimited number of websites and keywords for one-low price.

 

Productivity:

LastPass – Password manager that makes web browsing easier and more secure. No longer will you have to worry about remembering hundreds of different passwords. Plus, LastPass allows you to securely share login details with your team members.

EverNote – This is one of my favorite tools online. I use it every day. Evernote allows you to take notes, save url’s, web clips, files, images and entire webpages. I use it to create my online swipe file. Mark down ideas for new products. Keep a running list of article ideas, subject lines and more.

TimeTrade – Online Appointment Scheduling. Take the headache out of going back and forth trying to coordinate appointments with your clients. Let them schedule a meeting based on your availability.

Wunderlist.com – It’s like a to-do list on steroids :)

FreeMind – My favorite free mind mapping software. I use mindmaps to outline articles, webinars, new products, and business ideas.

LeechBlock – A Firefox extension that allows you to block those time-wasting sites that can suck the life out of your working day.

 

Marketing:

SocialOomph – My favorite social media software. Allows you to automate your tweets, Facebook posts, LikedIn updates, and more!

Facebook Ads – This is my favorite (highly-scalable) on-demand traffic source. Our best-performing ads are Sponsored Stories that appear in the News Feed.

PerfectAudience.com – My favorite retargeting platform.

BuySellAds.com – Purchase ads that go live within 24 hours.

DedicatedEmails.com – This company will take your solo ad marketing to a completely new level. Run by Brian and Mike Litman.

 

Outsourcing:

VirtualStaffFinder.com – A few months ago I hired my very first full-time VA and this is where I found my superstar! Virtual Staff Finder helps you find the very best Philipino VA based on your specific needs.

SpeechPad – On demand transcription service.

 

Miscellaneous:

osTicket – A widely-used open source support ticket system. It seamlessly integrates inquiries created via email, phone and web-based forms into a simple easy-to-use multi-user web interface. Manage, organize and archive all your support requests and responses in one place while providing your customers with the accountability and responsiveness they deserve. osTicket is an
attractive alternative to higher-cost and complex customer support systems; simple, lightweight, reliable, and easy to setup and use. The best part is, it’s completely free. (Easily installed from cPanel using Fantastico).

Doc2PDF.net – Convert any Microsoft Word document into a PDF.

Zamzar.com – A Free online conversion tool that allows you to convert nearly unlimited types of media file formats, including documents, images, audio, videos, etc… Convert your files to different formats quickly and easily.

YouConvertIt.com – Similar to ZamZar, this site allows you to convert almost any type of file.

Vletter.com – handwriting fonts

Shrink-O-Matic – Dramatically reduce the file size of your images. Increase the speed of your website. Images can really slow down your website. Be sure to optimize them with something like Shrink-O-Matic or TinyPNG.

TinyPNG.org – Shrink your png images while preserving quality and transparency.

 

29 Responses to “The Exact Tools I Use to Run My Business”

  1. Laura Raisanen 6 September 2013 at 11:25 am Permalink

    Hi Kim,

    This is a fantastic list of resources, thanks so much for putting this together. Some of these I’m already using but there are many that I haven’t even heard of! I’m going to look into them now as I really think I need some of these.

    Thanks again and take care,

    Laura

    • KimRoach 6 September 2013 at 1:08 pm Permalink

      Thanks Laura!

      It’s taken me a number of years to find what works best.

      Feel free to add some of your own favorites :)

      Cheers,

      Kim

  2. Donald Thomas 6 September 2013 at 11:39 am Permalink

    Hi Kim,

    Great list. This is a page that I will definitely bookmark. FreeMind looks like it might be interesting to check out – actually they all do.

    I tried Wunderlist but opted for Simpleology instead, which to me is the best productivity software out there. But being old school as I am nothing replaces the pen and paper for me.

    Thanks for taking the time to share this list.

    Donald

    • KimRoach 6 September 2013 at 1:09 pm Permalink

      Hey Donald!

      You’ll love Freemind :)

      I actually customize Wunderlist and do a few tweaks
      that make it super effective for me.

      I’ll be sure to take a look at Simpleology as well!

      Cheers,

      Kim

  3. Sue Hanson 6 September 2013 at 11:42 am Permalink

    Kim,

    I love your lists. They are like the secret black book of successful online marketers. I found several things on your list that I have been needing to research. Loving it. Thank you for putting out such amazing value.

    • Bob Roach 6 September 2013 at 12:41 pm Permalink

      Kim, You are so amazing! Thanks so much for the list. EVERY tool that you have led me to use has been user friendly and has helped me over deliver my product. Also… Thanks for the best advice I have ever received from anyone. “TAKE ACTION” It has made all the difference.

    • KimRoach 6 September 2013 at 1:09 pm Permalink

      Awwwww. Thanks so much Sue!!

      You totally just made my day :)

      Cheers,

      Kim

  4. Elisha Hong 6 September 2013 at 11:51 am Permalink

    Great list Kim. Thank you for sharing. Any tips on using buysellads.com effectively? I have been looking for a good source of paid traffic for niche sites and was wondering what your experience is on this?

    • KimRoach 6 September 2013 at 1:11 pm Permalink

      For paid traffic – one of the best places to start is Facebook Ads.

      My personal favorite is Sponsored Stories in the News Feed. You’ll need to use the Power Editor to be able to get placement in the News Feed.

      Cheers,

      Kim

  5. Mark Gubuan 6 September 2013 at 12:03 pm Permalink

    Kim,

    I’ve been following you for a while now (no I’m not stalking you)….or am I? Just kidding.

    You are so consistent I the pure value and tips that you provide online. It’s awesome. I’m actually modelling how you do this (easier said than done).

    Thanks again for the awesomeness!

    Mark

    PS I can’t live without Evernote. I save everything now (like this blog post).

    • KimRoach 6 September 2013 at 1:11 pm Permalink

      Thanks so much for your kind words Mark!

      I REALLY appreciate that :)

      And ditto on Evernote! Definitely can’t live without that one.

      - Kim

  6. fran 6 September 2013 at 12:35 pm Permalink

    Thanks Kim,
    It is always nice to see what others are using to market their business. I think I’ll try your recommendation on the long tail pro. I appreciate the list.

  7. Mellie 6 September 2013 at 12:37 pm Permalink

    Hi Kim,

    Great resource, this one is a keeper. Some of the resources I’m already familiar with, will definitely check out the ones that are new to me. Thanks again for taking the time to compile such a fantastic resource for your readers.

  8. Daniel Adetunji 6 September 2013 at 12:42 pm Permalink

    Kim, I love your lists… This is a secret book of successful internet marketers….

    Thanks dear

  9. Ericka D. Jackson 6 September 2013 at 1:06 pm Permalink

    Kim,
    Thank you for sharing this list! I appreciate it!!! More than you know! – Ericka

    • KimRoach 6 September 2013 at 1:12 pm Permalink

      Thanks Ericka!

      Feel free to add some of your own favorites :)

      Cheers,

      Kim

  10. Cristian 6 September 2013 at 2:44 pm Permalink

    Amazing list, I don’t think that I might be able to use all of them… perhaps that’s why I’m still in the amateur level of this business.

  11. Dave 6 September 2013 at 2:59 pm Permalink

    Kim,
    Wow!! You just saved me months of trial and error! This resource list is worth gold. Thanks.

  12. Paul Warner 6 September 2013 at 9:36 pm Permalink

    Thank you Kim for this wonderful resource list. You are one of the rare IM marketers that does more giving than taking and for myself I really appreciate this. You have a good personality too.

    I like coffee myself although I have never able to acquire a taste for iced coffee.

    I will go through this list a lot in the next few months.

    Have a great weekend and thank you again, Paul

  13. Aaron Parker 7 September 2013 at 6:49 am Permalink

    Hi Kim,

    As always, you’ve outdone yourself. An awesome list of resources. Totally agree with you about Market Samurai. So slow. Didn’t know about Long Tail Pro. Heading over there now. I’ve seen a number of pundits advising against the use of the Sponsored Stories in Facebook due to excess cost. Why do you advocate them?. Glad to see I’m already using many of these resources but there are plenty here I have never heard of so thank you again.

    Aaron.

    • KimRoach 7 September 2013 at 12:32 pm Permalink

      Hey Aaron!

      Sponsored posts in the news feed have been VERY effective for us :)

      They generate leads, traffic, and new fans.

      You just have to know how to set them up properly. Let me know if you
      have any specific questions. I’m happy to help!

      Cheers,

      Kim

      • Aaron Parker 8 September 2013 at 12:32 am Permalink

        Hi Kim,

        So all things being equal, how does “setting up a sponsored post” differ from a normal ad?. Assuming all the guidelines have been followed re headline, text and image, just how different/better performing can one make a sponsored ad?

        And getting off that topic (which I really do want to pursue further :-), How come you use Wistea for hosting videos?. I mean, I know the service is awesome and all, but isn’t there a downside to not having them on youtube?. Am I missing some fundamental ninja tactic here?

        Aaron.

  14. jim 7 September 2013 at 12:05 pm Permalink

    Awesome Kim. Thanks a mil for sharing.

  15. Baggio 8 September 2013 at 9:04 am Permalink

    Hey Kim,

    Outstanding content as usual!!

    Actually I was looking for an optin solution when I read your post – and immediately purchased it (Hybrid Connect) – thanks for helping me get rid of one of my weekend problems! The current plugin I’m using is malfunctioning and your post showed up in my email…you’re a genius Kim :)

    Anyway, just wanted to add to Hybrid Connect – there’s also a plugin they offer called WP Sharely to help you bump up your social media shares, it’s looks really promising and am trying it out to see the results.

    Again, gracias!!

    Cheers
    Baggio

  16. Laura Black 10 September 2013 at 6:24 pm Permalink

    Thanks Kim, this is a great list of resources. Just what I needed.

  17. Mike G. 10 September 2013 at 8:58 pm Permalink

    This is a fantastic list of resources Kim. I’ve already bookmarked it. Love your blog. Always good, useful info.

  18. Mats 14 September 2013 at 10:59 am Permalink

    Nice list, its much like your rolodex. I have most of them on my list to, but some of them was new, so I will check them out.

    But as an internet marketer, why haven´t you got affiliate links to the tools, so we the readers can repay you by using them? Like Pat Flynn does on his blog, SmartPassiveIncome?

    Thanks for a very useful blog!

    Sincerely
    Mats

  19. John 19 September 2013 at 1:49 pm Permalink

    Hello Kim: What an awesome list! Just getting started with my online business can’t wait to start using some of these awesome tools.
    Thanks so Much,

  20. Joanne 25 September 2013 at 12:57 pm Permalink

    This is such an informative and a very useful blog, Kim! It’s so nice of you to share what you’ve learned from your trial and error up until your success. Your article will definitely help those who are aspiring to become successful marketers.

    Thanks for this! :)

    I found and “kingged” the post on Kingged.com.


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