One of my biggest assets in online marketing and building businesses over the years has been the tools I've used and how I used them. So I've put together the most extensive list of tools, software and personal contacts I've ever seen online (my own personal rolodex) which I know, use, like and trust. If you use the tools I outline below in your arsenal on a day to day basis, whether it be in your marketing or just in your entrepreneurial life, you'll be operating on a very high level.
Leveraging your time and your energy to make sure you're working on getting the best results possible, working in your ‘genius'. So here's literally my life laid out to you on a silver platter with all the tools, tips, people and secrets I use to run my business.
(Last Updated 16th June 2017)
The Vital 5
If you're lazy and are just skimming through, make sure you spend time on these vital five tools. These five tools are what my core business are based on and come with my highest recommendations.
Since Clickfunnels launched earlier in 2015, it has changed the way I build funnels for clients and changed the way I build my own sales funnels. It's one of the most versatile pieces of software I have ever seen for creating a sales funnel online. Not only does it have the best features on the market, but the support team behind it is absolutely phenomenal. I can't say enough about this product, and all I can say is if you're doing any marketing online and not using this tool you're out of your mind. I go into great depth with my review of how it stacks up against LeadPages in my review, so I recommend checking that out to give you an idea on what it's all about.
2. ActiveCampaign – Video review coming soon
An email marketing tool is one of the most important pieces of software in any business. After moving away from Aweber looking for an alternative, I landed on ActiveCampaign and would never look back. It's amazing clean functionality, simplicity, support makes it a dream to work with. Although it make look simple on the outside, it has an advanced CRM behind it which makes it work for marketers with a complex back-end funnel. Their pricing is also very attractive when starting off as it begins at $9 per month for up to 500 email contacts.
3. Traffic Planet Hosting – Video review coming soon
The first website I launched was when I was around 12 years old on a Free hosting plan. Between now and then I've investigated hosts like BlueHost, HostGator, Arvixe and many many more. After discovering Traffic Planet Hosting – I literally haven't seen anyone come close. A traffic host which loads ridiculously fast, optimized for WordPress, premium(ish) service, 24 hour live support from native English speaking support agents who know what they're talking about, awesome ticket turnaround…and the list goes on. If you're new to blogging, you might think it's a bit expensive, but I can assure you, make an extra sale and cover your ass with high quality hosting. These days having your website load fast is a necessity and spending time on the tech side with silly issues means you'll be wasting your time and aren't focusing on generating sales in your business.
4. HotJar – Listen to my podcast interview with founder David Darmanin and check out the Complete HotJar Review
HotJar is an incredible tool which allows you to take charge on what's happening with the visitors on your website. It's service has combined what used to require 5-8 different tools which would cost around $250/mo in one, at $29/mo. It's simply a clean and awesome tool for any website or blog owners who want to see what's going on in their site beyond the day to day Google Analytics. It allows you to engage with users through surveys and even send polls out on your website to gather feedback. You'll see it appear across my site from time to time and see how easy it is to use. I recently wrote this review on HotJar which you can head over and check out over here
5. Dashlane – Video review coming soon
This password management tool was only introduced to me about 90 days ago by a friend and has saved me a ridiculous amount of time. It's 1 yearly fee to go premium which means that Dashlane will import ALL your passwords across all your devices into their software (I realized I had over 900+ saved passwords across 4 computers/laptops saved on all my browsers). But the best feature is that you can add it to your smartphone and it will automatically fill forms on whichever site you've saved credentials for. This includes auto-filling of credit card data, don't you hate entering your credit card whenever you need to make a purchase? Yeah I did too. Can't recommend this highly enough.
Best Tools & SAAS Products
One of the biggest changes I made in 2014 was go completely reliant on the cloud. This changed my business/life dramatically and forced me to really clean up my act. Dropbox is without doubt the best cloud hosting solution on the market. While there are cheaper alternatives around, I've always stuck with Dropbox. I mean who really needs more than 1TB of cloud hosting? I use Dropbox to share folders with friends, other marketers, virtual assistants and anyone else I need to pass on files to.
LeadPages is one of my favourite tools as a marketer which brings you high converting landing pages right out of the box. If you read the review linked above, it's quite similar to Clickfunnels in a few ways and I do a side by side comparison of the two. Although currently I use Clickfunnels more for my landing pages with clients, I still favor LeadPages for their ‘LeadBoxes' which generate a ton of opt ins across my websites. LeadPages is also very reliable with a clean looking interface and makes it very easy to work with. It takes very little time to setup a LeadBox or LeadPage and start split testing different areas of your site to capture more leads, a must have for any business collecting leads on their website.
AdBeat is a great spy tool for serious media buyers who are looking to see what their competitors are up to in their chosen industry. It's one of the most versatile tools which allows you to see the exact display ads which are being run from advertisers on which networks, how long they've been running for and on what platform (along with a ton of other metrics). The best way to get a successful advertising or media buying campaign up is to start by using what already works, and AdBeat is a phenomenal tool to see what's working and converting in the industry.
This is my all time favorite in scheduling tools. As I do more and more podcasts and networking with entrepreneurs and marketers from across the globe, I realized that there wasn't an easy way to book in a time which works for both of us. ScheduleOnce makes it super easy for me to show my available calendar to my guest's timezone so they can automatically book in a time which suits them. Literally, for under $10 a month, you can't go wrong. It almost replaces having an assistant, and they never make mistakes with the time zone conversion! Been using the software for about 6 months now and don't know how I lived without it.
You always need to have a screen recording tool. Screencast-O-Matic is the perfect tool for doing training modules for your VA or sending clients a quick ‘How To' on something they should get done. It's extremely affordable and very easy to setup. If you're on Windows and looking for a Camtasia alternative, this is it (and I just found out recently that it works on Mac, and it's awesome!). It's editing tools aren't as extensive as some other programs, however to record something on the go, you'll have no issues.
Until recently I didn't have an accounting software in place, and was reluctant to get one as I despise doing the numbers! But after having a look at some of the alternatives around I decided to go with Xero and am very glad I did! I spent a couple of hours systemizing the business and it's taken what used to be a tedious task into a few clicks every month and I'm good to go! Keep in mind I'm in Australia, but they also service the US, UK and NZ too!
You'd be crazy managing your emails on anything else but Gmail in this day and age. Google has done a great job of organizing and managing emails for me and my team, however most importantly, they actually help you live over the phone if you have any issues with the service. Every single time I've needed help or migrated accounts they've always been a call away and have stepped up to the plate to sort out my problem. Once I moved all my work and files to the cloud, moving to Google was the next logical step, and literally 10X'd my business' productivity and eliminated the technical issues I was previously facing with outlook.
Having a good SEO analysis tool in your arsenal is another notch in your belt you need to have, and SEMRush is mine. I began using the tool to generate reports, check my back links and even do some display/search advertising snooping on competitors. It's a great tool for the projects which are outside of the IM niche too. I have a few projects on the go which I've partnered with some pretty big SEOers and they recommend this tool when looking for analytics too. So have a look at it if you're looking to get into SEO or looking to do research on what's currently going on in the market.
You know what's great about having a podcast, having a podcast which is on auto-pilot after you finish recording it! I knew nothing about podcasting going into it, and just knew I wanted to have one out there. So I looked around and BuzzSprout was the obvious choice. BuzzSprout allows for a very simple setup to get your podcast off the ground for a very fair monthly price. You'll be able to track your listeners, where they're from along with a bunch of other analytics. But for me, it meant that my virtual assistant could do all the necessary work on autopilot extremely easily and knock out podcast after podcast without any hiccups.
I wasn't sure if I was going to put this in the resources area, but thought it would be fitting. It seems whenever I get bored or want to look up some quick information on a new niche I end up spending way too long looking at the search volumes which are in the Google Keyword Planner for the different keywords people put into Google. It makes it really easy to be able to pin point which keywords I should keep in mind when writing blog posts or even when doing other projects involving SEO.
Audacity is a free tool which allows you to play around and edit your audio files. This is what my virtual assistant uses to edit each and every podcast after I get off the phone with my guest. You can remove background noises, add in intros and outros and do all the cool techy stuff you want with your audio file before you upload it to BuzzSprout. Really neat and a completely free tool.
While I don't use this software as much anymore, it's a great tool when using FTP for your website and you're uploading and changing files around. I'm not as techy as I used to be, but Filezilla is a great free FTP tool where you can connect to your web server and add/remove files as you need to for your website. These days I've got a developer who does most of this, but if you're just starting out and doing most of your own work, I'd stick with Filezilla.
If you don't already have a Skype account you're out of your mind. Creating a Skype account is imperative when you're a business communicating and working with others. I use Skype everyday without fail for contractors, freelancers, interviews, clients and much much more. These days Skype has become the professional person's Facebook account where you can immediately get on the phone and make sales or hold interviews.
When I started running webinars I felt very overwhelmed with the amount of tools and software available on the market. It took me a little while to find one which did the job for me. After many disappointments, the industry standard ‘GoToWebinar‘ got my vote. It's a very effective tool to run your webinars and can hold a decent number of attendees. There's others available but if you take a look at the big guys and which platform they're all using, you'll see the majority are still using GoToWebinar as their platform of choice because it's reliable and consistent.
It's always good to have a social media scheduling tool available so you can automate where necessary. For me, rather than automating my Facebook Pages, I like to stick with automating some of the content which gets released in my Facebook groups. SlackSocial allows me to make sure what I want to say goes out on time, and it allows me to schedule everything I need in a nice, organised and timely fashion.
Sometimes it's the free tools which do the best job, and when I began looking into podcasting for a recording tool there wasn't much around. iFree Skype Recorder has been fantastic when holding my interview for Marketing On The Move. You just load it up while Skype is running and it starts recording the call. That's it. Not playing around. Free, simple and a great little tool that you can always refer back to.
Best Online Services
One of the biggest ways I waste money and time is registering useless domains. Usually after I get into a really heated conversation with friends we'll come up with a crazy idea or amazing brand name and I'll go spend $3-4 using a GoDaddy coupon to register it. I use GoDaddy to host all of my domains (JUST DOMAINS) which means they're all in one spot. I've never had any real issues with GoDaddy so far. The only thing I've noticed recently is that their renewal fees are sitting around $16USD per year after the first year. It's a little bit high, but at the end of the day, it keeps everything in one place and puts my mind at ease. It's also so widely well known that every 3rd party service goes in depth with screenshots on what you need to do if you ever need to integrate it.
Looking for a freelancer, developer, virtual assistant……the list goes on. UpWork! (Formerly known as oDesk) is one of the most critical resources which has allowed my business to operate at the level it is today. I've hired all my freelancers from oDesk from all over the world. When you search for a freelancer you want to be able to find someone reliable who can do the job you're looking for and UpWork makes it nice and easy. I'll be releasing some of the job hiring templates and strategies I use to hire great talent over night – so If this isn't linked yet just remind me via the contact section and I'll get onto it as soon as possible!
I use Stripe as my payment gateway where possible (depending on the software I'm using and integrating with). It's a great clean platform which allows for cool things like ‘1 Click Upsells' and being able to see all the details of your income directly in their super clean dashboard. Unlike the payment processor below, I've never had any issues with funds being frozen or withheld. Definitly worth a look and they also have quite competitive fees.
PayPal – (A necessary evil)
PayPal is a trusted payment processor and is generally what most of my clients pay me in. Having said that, it's also given me a lot of grief in the past freezing my accounts and not letting me withdraw funds. After a few hours on the phone and a lot of back and forth I managed to solve the issue but overall they're a pain. However, seeing as most people have PayPal accounts these days, it's very easy to take payments. They do however have high fees (especially if you're dealing with high $$ projects) so I'd recommend having an alternative if you're looking to take in a lot of cash flow on a regular basis.
If you need something done quickly and dirty, Fiverr's your guy. You can get almost anything done for five bucks from video testimonials to Facebook cover photos. I've used Fiverr for odd jobs but would highly recommend against using it for anything serious. It's great to have a look around and funny rap written about a friend, but for anything serious like SEO or a logo? Work with professionals on oDesk and pay them what they're worth.
Similarly to Fiverr, Microworkers is great for small jobs. You can pay $0.05 for people to do simple things like vote for you in competitions, search keywords, like you on Facebook…the list goes on. Definitely worth a look and a handy resource to have with you if you're looking for extremely simple tasks completed in volume very quickly.
SoundCloud is a great platform to host your podcasts on as MP3's which will allow you to grow your audience. Although it is limited and requires a paid account to upgrade, it's a great platform which will allow you to embed your content across multiple web pages and increase your authority overall.
This is the website which I used for all my website SSL certificates. It's the cheapest and most effective I've seen.
If you're looking to stay anonymous on the web, you'll want to have a VPN handy. This will encrypt your actions online and allow you to stay anonymous.
Have you ever had issues with some platforms not integrating with others? Zapier has built in multiple integrations for platforms which haven't developed them yet. For example, creating a new user in WordPress every time a new customer is added through Stripe. If you're looking for more automations and simplicity, Zapier's your man.
Best Personally Used and Recommended Freelancers & Services
I've found that the best contacts I've got in my Rolodex are all people that other entrepreneurs have recommended to me. It's very difficult to find the contacts entrepreneurs really use, so I thought I would share with you my PERSONAL freelancers and services that I have on hand. These guys are the best of the best, take it from me.
If you're a big SEO or someone looking to rank websites, you're going to need some kick-ass SEO domains. There's a lot of time wasters and crap that gets thrown around the SEO world, so take it from me you want to work with people who know what they're doing and won't screw you over. Tell them Stephen Esketzis sent you and you should get a little deal on the price.
BannerJunky – Facebook Ad Designer
This guy is a MACHINE at creating banner ads. If you've been retargeted using Facebook by me or seen any of my cold Facebook ads in the past and thought “Dayuuuum they look good, I wonder who did them?” BannerJunky's your guy. You can reach him on Skype at ‘bannerjunky' and if you tell him you found him using Stephen Esketzis, he might give you a little bonus 😉
I've worked with A LOT of web designers in the past. Now I mean, A LOT. But I've never found a more professional and affordable designer who produces incredible quality. I mean just look at this website….it's crazy good. Tell him Stephen Esketzis sent you over and you won't regret it. Seriously, this guy's epic.
After looking around the market for a fulfillment company who can send out my physical goods, I was recommended Dollar Fulfillment by a friend who have been fantastic. Jason Macek is extremely easy to deal with and runs a tight ship when organising the fulfillment of product to customers around the US and internationally. They have a flat $1 fee on any product they fulfill, how awesome is that? Shoot him a message from the website and mention that you found his company from the blog and he'll take great care of you.
I've had countless people ask me who I use to transcribe my podcast episodes across the website, so I thought I'd help everyone out. I've put together a super simple little service where people can purchase a transcription for their own podcast on an ‘episode to episode' basis and have it set out just like mine are. The rate is a very cheap $0.50/minute and turn around time is 3-4 days. Have a look for more information. This isn't some massive business I have, but thought if people really did need help, this would be a nice way to help out.
Best WordPress Plugins
The DISQUS commenting system for WordPress websites is one of my all time favourite plugins. It's the cleanest and most effective commenting system I've found and has let me keep all my comments on other people's websites easily accessible if I need to reply or continue the conversation. I highly recommend engaging in other conversations across entrepreneur's websites as it not only builds rapport but will increase your own brand as you become more familiar in the industry you're in. When I began getting involved and started commenting on other blogs, I found my followers on my own socials increase and even got more referrals for work.
Always, always have a backup plugin for your websites. You never know when you'll need to roll back to a previously working version of the site. Although my host Traffic Planet Hosting does daily backups, (I think!) I always do weekly database backups to Dropbox and monthly local backups which I download to my home computer. I'm not super techy, and BackUpBuddy allows you to automate the entire backup process so you can use backup and restore effectively. I'll put out a quick video on this at some stage, if you want it be sure to remind me here.
I've already mentioned ClickFunnels in the vital 5 at the top of the post, but this is specifically the WordPress plugin which they offer.
This plugin is one of the best tracking code management plugins I've used. It allows you to place all the retargeting, tracking and conversion pixels that you want across your entire header/footer of your site. It's super simple and straight forward to use and saves a ton of time.
This WordPress plugin allows you to create a ‘pretty' url of your affiliate links using your website URL so you don't have to show /affiliateid=12321312313123123 blah blah blah. It keep things much organised and cleaner, and even allows you to see the clicks in a simple report on the backend.
For a long time when I started on my previous theme design, SumoMe was all I used for list building because I was just lazy. I highly recommend using SumoMe as a bonus tool to drive additional (potentially lost) optins to your site as it's completely free and allows you to see what exit conversions are like. Takes barely any time to setup and can really give your list an extra boost. I no longer use it now on the site but would still recommend it to new blogs as you continue to build you email list. (Just a side note, remember to actually engage with your list, no tool is going to warm your leads up more than you!)
Sometimes you don't want to use emails as payment for your content and you want to use a ‘like', ‘tweet' or ‘share'. This is where a plugin like social locker is handy and will allow you to build social signals to your site and popular pages to grow your authority.
This is a great interactive plugin to get your audience engaging in the golden nuggets of your content (it works really well with podcast transcripts specifically). I'd recommend installing this onto your site and you'll see people sharing the best bits of what was mentioned in your interviews or blog posts.
It took me a long time to find a podcast player which actually looks good and makes the experience of listening to an interview awesome. The smart podcast player by Pat Flynn is great ($97/yr) and you can integrate it into your site really easily. Not only does it stand out, but it'll make it far more accessible to listen to. I just started using this with my new site design, so I'll be sure to make an update on this post when I get more feedback from visitors and users.
If you're looking for a complex or solid membership site, I'd go with MemberMouse. It's monthly paid plugin, but it's very easy to use and flexible for a range of uses. Although ClickFunnels does offer a membership site program which is quite good, if you want something a little more advanced, MemberMouse is your go-to membership site of choice.
This is the best plugin I've come across to boost my SEO on my blog posts and make sure I'm not leaving anything out like links, tags, keyword mentions and more. While I'm not completely ignorant of SEO this keeps me on the right track after I write each post down so I can make sure I'm hitting my targets.
Best Google Chrome Addons
This Google Chrome addon has been massive for me. I'm a marketer who always likes to see what's going on behind closed doors on people's websites, businesses and so on. Ghostery will let you see what tracking, plugins and scripts are being run on people's websites as soon as you land on their pages. It's main purpose is to block them, hence the term ‘Ghost'. However for me, I'm more interested to see which marketers are using which tools, how they're using them and why they use them. If you're new to the plugin, I recommend installing it and going to some big websites like news sites, mobile carrier websites or any other big public site which generally sees a lot of traffic. You'll be extremely surprised at what type of tracking is involved in some of these massive sites and what type of information they store from your visits.
Facebook marketing is a key part of my business and my client's businesses. Audience intersect allows you to 2 intersect two interests when targeting people on Facebook. Originally it was built for Tee shirt campaigns, however I've used it for a variety of campaigns which allow them to be very successful. So for example, rather than targeting people who like ‘Anthony Robbins' OR ‘Frank Kern', the Audience Intersect tool will allow you to target only people who like ‘Anthony Robbins' AND ‘Frank Kern'. This means you can get super specific on your audience and give them an offer which will resonate with them. A great simple tool which will integrate in your Facebook marketing campaign.
This chrome add on speaks for itself, it gives you the opportunity to screenshot full pages while surfing the web. It's a neat screenshot tool which I've relied on for a couple of years now. Until I find another one more awesome, this is my go to screenshot tool.
Another great spy tool (works great hand in hand with Ghostery). Not only does BuiltWith let you see the plugins and programs which are being used on a website, but it also links to their website which gives you an overview of how popular sites and tools are growing across the web. Another top free plugin I couldn't live without.
Now I bet you're wondering why I have a color picker in my chrome addons. I use this mainly for my ‘funnel hacking' endeavors when re-building landing and sales pages. It works really well when you have a logo you want to style a page around and you can get the exact same colors to style the page.
You always have to have a video downloader in your inventory. Whenever I come across a VSL hosted in Wistia I like, I'll download it using this plugin onto my computer and have it transcribed to reverse engineer it (comes especially in handy when cheeky marketers want to remove the controls from videos!).
As you probably already know, I'm not a super duper SEOer, but I know a thing or two. Trust Flow is a very important metric to be able to find across websites, so I use this plugin to give me a quick indication of how a website is going and if they're seeing traffic and authority.
Another SEO tool which comes in handy and gives me a good idea about how other websites are travelling. This chrome addon provides a bit more information than Majestic does, so it works great hand in hand!
I found this plugin from Matthew Woodward's website and loved the idea how he used PDFs as lead magnets. I've had it sitting in my chrome addons for some time now however have yet to use it to create my lead magnets. I'm sure you can come up with a good idea on how to use it in your own business whether it's to generate content or to save great quality blog posts you find as files.
Got a lot of tags across your websites? Then this Google Tag Manager will definitely come in handy for you. Your website and business depends on using tags across the website, so using Google Tag Manager means you can create macros, rules and auto-event tracking to follow user actions in all the detail you need. The tag manager is designed for marketers so it's worth spending some time getting your head around it.
This is a neat little plugin which does exactly what it says….sniffs WordPress themes of websites (ha! good try, this is all custom baby!). This highlighted to me how many well known blogs are hacked together using cheaper themes (nothing wrong with that starting out). Just a bit of quick advice, make sure your blog design converts!
Best Business Books & Audiobooks
One of the best business books which was recommended to me. I've got the principles outlined in the books stuck up on my bedroom wall as reminders, don't hesitate to jump right into this one.
This was the very first business book I'd ever read (I remember picking it up off my dad's bookshelf and being blown away). It's an absolute classic which I'm sure you've already heard of, but if you're an entrepreneur and still haven't read it yet, you need to make sure to read it and learn the fundamentals.
I only recently finished this one in the last few months, and it has been a game changer to my business. All businesses are ultimately built on sales and making money, and you shouldn't forget it. Grant Cardone is a machine of a salesmen who practices what he preaches, pick this one up to get you in the zone to start crushing the sales in your business (The audio book is narrated by him too, so I recommend listening to this one if possible).
An oldie but a goodie. It really highlights what the real millionaires of the world look like and do with their wealth. Filled with facts and figures, it's not the most exciting read but it's extremely powerful.
More book recommendations coming soon…
An Entrepreneur's Best iPhone Apps
A super clean and straightforward iPhone app which I use for my podcasts, notes to my VA and a whole lot of other notes which I might need to remember. If you go to events and want to record some of the content you hear being presented on the stage, all you need to do is hit the big red button and you're good to go. When you're finished, it'll magically upload your recording to Dropbox ready for you VA to organise.
After taking my first Uber, I quickly realized that being able to travel at a moments notice with all the details in my phone would come in handy. I've used Uber countless times in countless cities across the world, highly recommenced.
iPhone Default Calendar
Organizing my calendar is simple using the iPhone calendar which comes with the phone. Integrated with Gmail and ScheduleOnce, you'll never have any issues.
Recently I picked up the app to try out and was addicted. Reaching people from across the globe live using my phone…an awesome app to increase engagement with your community. I also realize Meerkat is out there but it's UI frustrated me so I stuck with Periscope.
More and more I want to record conversations I have with friends and colleagues over the phone and TapeACall is my go to app. I had issues initially finding an app which would record voice calls but this app cleverly adds a 3'rd caller (which is just a recorder) and then at the end of your call, saves the recording to your phone. Great setup and super easy to use.
GoToWebinar is the industry standard for webinars, and occasionally I'm out of the office or in the car as they run so I ended up installing the app. Works great without any issues.
Everyone asks me “Steve where do you get your awesome backgrounds from?”. It's been my secret for ages, but I'm coming clean. Day Zero is an awesome nifty app which allows you to add a beautiful looking background, along with a countdown/date where you add your goal over the top. I'd love to have the founders of the app on at some stage to congratulate them, truly is an epic app if you're looking to spice up the lock screen of your phone.
Awesome Screenshot (Same As Awesome Screenshot Chrome Addon)
Shortly after I downloaded ‘Awesome Screenshot‘ for Google Chrome, I downloaded the app too which now lets me take screenshots of complete web pages from safari. Pretty neat eh?
I was at a friend's house who used this program to auto-fill forms, credit card information, passwords and more and I just had to have it. It's a password management app I now can't live without. I've got it installed on my phone so now all my passwords are saved with me wherever and whenever I need to use them.
Purchased this app a while ago and use it from time to time to scan/take photos of documents which I need to email to people. Works great and saves me from needing to use a scanner. It's got one neat feature which allows you to colour the actual document after you've taken the photo to make it appear as if it's been scanned tool. Great to have an app like this if you're on the road.
I'm not a big user of BitCoin, but I still have a bit left over here an there which I use for deals where I am 100% confident in the other party (it's a non reversible digital currency, very easy to be scammed). I use CoinJar to manage my account. It's a super easy system which works with Australian banks and it allows me to monitor the price changes live.
Best Folders To Have On Your Computer
Facebook Ad & Landing Page Screenshots
Since Facebook launched, I'd been pretty much been screenshotting the ads which look good or I think are converting well. It's allowed me to launch my very own ‘Screenshot Swipe Vault' as a result. Go check it out.
Training Module For VA
When you're teaching you VA in the early days, film yourself doing exactly what you want them to do and begin to build up a training module library. Use the software tool I mentioned earlier called Screencast-O-Matic and you'll be ready to go. Whether you lose your VA or stick with them for a long time, you'll always be building up an on-boarding training section for anyone you want to teach a specific skill to.
Templates For Podcast
When you're just starting off, you don't have the cash available for a graphic designer for all your work. So what I did was generate one great design in Photoshop from a designer as a template, and taught my VA how to edit it for my podcast/thumbnails where necessary. This will save you a ton of time and money getting off on the right foot.
Mentorship or Consultation
I work 1 on 1 with a select few people doing consultations on their funnels, traffic and more. If you'd like to learn more about this, check out my consultation area.
Go-To Industry Influencers & Blogs
One of the best internet marketing blogs around. Ryan and his crew are doing some massive things (did you know they're making 50M/year in revenue through their backend companies they're involved in and mergers & acquisitions?). I learnt some of the best strategies from these guys and can't recommend them highly enough. They also run a summit called ‘Traffic and Conversion' summit which you should check out once a year.
Todd Brown. The dude's an absolute WEAPON when it comes to building out funnels which convert. You'll see his ads in FB if you're on my content guaranteed. I've reverse engineered his stuff so many times and he's a marketer who really knows what their doing at the most advanced levels. Awesome dude (I managed to jump on for a bit of Q&A during his DotComSecrets promo for Russell Brunson's book and he did a 4 hour Google Hangout).
Justin Brooke is a media buying machine. Not only does he deliver excellent content on his blog, but the way he lays what he's doing out is phenomenal. We're having him on the podcast shortly (if it's not up already) so keep an eye out. I'll be grilling him about what he's been doing for some of his monstrous clients.
Gary doesn't need a lengthy explanation. The guy is a hard core implementer and gets shit done. His content is the most engaging and direct you'll come across. He's someone I first started following when I wanted to become an entrepreneur and to see what brand he's turned into today is epic. Watch some of YouTube keynotes if you're ever feeling unmotivated. Would love to get him onto the podcast at some stage (so if you're reading, please reach out!).
Did someone say podcast? John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur On Fire is a weapon at monetizing podcasts and sticking to a schedule. Aside from his incredible earnings from each podcast episode and products he's rolled out, being disciplined enough to learn internet marketing and do a podcast day in day out to inspire entrepreneurs from around the world every single day is absolutely awesome.
My good friend Ricky Baldasso (with whom I share an office with actually) is one of the most switched on under the radar IMers I know. Keep an eye on this guy ladies and gentlemen, the metrics are his specialty.
Facebook advertising is one of my favorite types of paid traffic, and Jon covers the topic like a hawk. If you're looking to learn more about what Facebook Advertising is, how it works, the specifics and advanced tactics of making it work for your business, he's your guy.
Charles is one of the most down to earth, successful and switched on affiliate marketers I've ever spoken with. Not only is his blog full of incredible value, but what he preaches is pure gold. I've spent hours through his site reading his reviews, blog posts and still wonder how he manages to find the time. You won't find many super affiliates sharing their secrets openly like Charles does. Don't waste time, check him out.
Whenever I need an SEO guy, or want to find out a bit about the best tools in the industry, Matthew Woodward is my guy. His site is filled with high quality content. From resources, reviews and strategies, you won't find a more transparent SEOer who breaks it down for you at the cost of an affiliate link. One of my favourite things about him is the way he sets out his income reports, so be sure to take a look, if I ever release an income report, I'm stealing your layout!
So this was a recent blog I started reading and have really enjoyed it. For me, 2015/16 is the year of content marketing and really growing a valuable asset (this blog, along with some other sites and projects I'm working on). His content marketing blog posts are as ‘no fluff' as they come, which if you've been following my blog, I'm very much a fan of. Definitely jump on this blog and have a look around if you want to spice up and chisel your content marketing strategy, whether you're running a personal blog or a new company from scratch.
QuickSprout Blog (Hear Our Podcast Interview)
Neil Patel of QuickSprout is another incredible marketer who you just can't ignore. His content is vast and actionable. He has one of the best content marketing strategies in the industry (if not the best) and breaks down all of what he does. What I love about Neil and QuickSprout is that he has made a killing in his other businesses outside the blog, yet never neglects how powerful QuickSprout is and stays on top of it. Watch and learn ladies and gentlemen!
Top Business Podcasts
This podcast was accidentally dropped dropped by Zeus himself off the pinnacle of Mt. Olympus. Legend has it that the marketing advice which stems from this podcast has changed the way people make buying decisions globally. If you listen to every episode backwards, there's also a cryptic 4 digit code which is said to add two 0's to your bank account if you enter it into your nearest ATM. Barack Obama himself once requested to be on the show and struggled to get a spot with the iconic host. I wouldn't miss this one.
Russell is a killer marketer who never fails to drive real value in his podcasts. He keeps it real giving his audience marketing nuggets while driving between his house, office and other errands. He's the founder of Clickfunnels and has generated millions of dollars in revenue and profit through his various businesses. An awesome internet marketer and probably my most listened to podcast at the time of writing this.
So essentially Justin's turned all his videos he does into podcasts (hence not having a name for it), but they're absolutely awesome. Listening to his ideas and results from his big clients which he works with always inspires me to try new testing and methodologies in my own business. Highly recommend his podcast if you're in the direct response, media buying or conversion optimization space.
The podcast hosted by Tim from LeadPages is always chocked full of value and metrics. They interview entrepreneurs who have used LeadPages to get phenomenal results in their business using various strategies or tactics. Although the podcast is pretty ‘LeadPagesy' some of the strategies discussed are simple and effective to add to your business.
Jeremy Reeves is an incredible sales funnel specialist whom I've followed for some time. His work and value he brings on the podcast is ‘all killer no filler'. He gets into many different areas of the sales funnel and how you can increase your profits. Would love to have him on my podcast at some point to butt heads!
This is the very first entrepreneurial podcast I ever listened to which got me addicted to listening to podcasts. He records one episode every single day and makes a killing from it. His episodes are all quality and he interviews a bunch of different people. The podcast episodes usually run for 20-40 mins depending on the guest and have a pre-defined set of questions. Been trying to jump onto the podcast as a guest for a while but he's always flat out. (I'll get there eventually!).