top-15-tools-im-using-for-business-and-why

As an Online Business Professional, it’s very important that we have access to the right tools that will make our lives easier! You’ll quickly discover how much of your time can go into searching the net looking for tools and resources that will allow you do what’s necessary to grow and build your business.

I remember when I first got started, I’d spend countless hours digging though the source code of other peoples websites trying to figure out “How’d they do that?”

As years have gone by, I’ve begun to keep a running list of what’s working for me in my business, along with other powerful tools that I may need to use in the future, depending on which projects I’m working on.

For the first quarter of 2015, I’m focusing on organizing my business better, getting better systems and automation for my websites, developing more income streams, and tracking and measuring what’s working and what’s not working so I can easily assess what I need to change when necessary.

Today I want to share with you the Top Tools I’m using now and why you may want to use them for your business, so let’s look at my Top 15 that I use daily!

#1: Leadpages

When it comes to creating lead capture pages, sales pages, webinar promotion pages and selling products YOU MUST HAVE LEAD PAGES!

Seriously, this is like an industry favorite that has been a godsend to us online marketers because it takes the fuss out of creating sales funnels. I personally have created multiple pages with this tool as seen below, and it has put a lot of money in my pocket so I highly recommend you add it to your arsenal for your business.

Here are a few examples of pages that I’ve created using LeadPages:

Screen shot 2015-02-09 at 8.26.10 AM
This is a screenshot of the Sales Page for the 6 Figure Rolodex!

 

 

leadpages coming soon example
This is a screenshot of the coming soon page for the MMSP Course!

 

 

 

 

 

Screen shot 2015-02-09 at 8.27.49 AM
This is a screenshot of a sales funnel I’m working on for an upcoming product I’m working on!

 

 

As you can see, LeadPages will make you look good and professional without a lot of work, so head over here now and set up your account so you can start leveraging this tool for your business!

Click Here To Check Out LeadPages!

 

#2: Optimizepress 2.0

One of my business models is based on coaching programs and membership sites. Optimizepress is the tool that I use to build out my various membership sites and in some cases, build out lead capture pages.

It’s pretty user friendly once you start using it and it integrates well on wordpress, allowing you to install it as a theme on the wordpress platform, integrating it with whatever additional tools you’ll need for membership management (I share several with you in this guide).

You can also create Lead Capture Pages, Sales Pages, Blog Sites and so much more with this tool. You will need to know the basics of setting up a blog, installing a theme and integrating it with other plugins to use it, but if you’re not knowledgable on how to do that, then you can start with LeadPages, and work your way up to Optimizepress when you are ready to have more control over the layout and back end of your products.

Here are some examples of my Coaching Programs and how they’re set up in Optimizepress:

Here’s my MMSP (Money & Marketing Success Plan) Coaching Program Back Office Using Optimizepress:

Screen shot 2015-02-09 at 9.53.29 AM
Here’s a pic of what my Money And Marketing Success Plan Back Office Looks like!

 

Here’s my 6FCA (6 Figure Career Academy) Coaching Program Back Office Using Optimizepress:

Screen shot 2015-02-09 at 9.54.44 AM
Here’s a pic of what my 6 Figure Career Academy Back Office Looks like!

 

 

Although I did invest in customizations for my website, the options using OptimizePress are endless as you’ll see.

Go ahead and head over here now to discover more about Optimizepress and ways to leverage it for your business!

P.S. To learn more about the 2 coaching programs listed above, go here now to see how you can get in on these amazing coaching programs!

#3: Aweber

We all know the term “the money is in the list”. I’ve been building my list since 2008, and have been using Aweber ever since I started. I have also used sites like mailchimp and getresponse but found that Aweber is capable of doing what I needed so I stuck with it.

Over the years they’ve gotten way more user friendly by adding drag and drop based templates, allowing you to easily add images, buttons or whatever else you need. they also allow you to create newsletters.

I use Aweber to create my personal newsletters, however, my newsletter isn’t template based, it’s custom. So my assistant uses a tool called Kompozer to create the newsletter in html, then she integrates it into Aweber. I’ll shoot a video sharing how this works soon so you can see, but I’m very pleased with Aweber. (see a picture of my newsletter below)

Nicole S Cooper Newsletter Online Biz Professionals

I also even added a tool called AW Pro Tools with Aweber (See overview of AW Pro Tools below) to have more segmentation for my emails. This is something that I’m learning more about and I’m finding that it’s way more beneficial to segment your list based on their responses to your emails versus not doing so, and AW Pro Tools is the tool I’m using to do that.

#4: Premium Web Cart

Because I own a few e-commerce stores here at www.mlmplrstore.com and www.write4youplr.com, I needed an e-commerce store that allowed me to set up a shopping cart, have affiliate management capabilities and a product management resource. Premium Web Cart was the solution for me.

It’s pretty user friendly and I’ve been using it going on 4 years now for all my basic needs without very little complaints. They’ve grown in what they can do as a shopping cart like having a lot more segmentation and Infusionsoft style capabilities but honestly, I’ve used it for the basic needs of product delivery, receiving payment and managing affiliates.

If you’re wanting to sell products and have affiliates to promote them where you have full control, then you’ll want to try Premium Web Cart. There are other alternatives like using Gumroad, like I do for simple products I’m selling, but for my in depth coaching programs that have payment plans, I use PWC.

Premium Web Cart

#5: Evernote

I’m literally writing this blog post on Evernote before launching it on my blog. I use Evernote for EVERYTHING (nearly), as it relates to ideas, writing and plans.

Whenever I come up with ideas and headlines for books I want to write, products I want to create, blog posts I want to set up, business plans and ideas for the year, I store them all in evernote.

I also use an extension in the Google Chrome Browser for Evernote (see image below) that allows me to save website clippings, screenshot websites or whatever I want to do while browsing the web, into my evernote folders, which is freaking phenomenal!

Here’s a screenshot of the Google Chrome Extension:

google chrome evernote extension

Here’s an image of the types of folders I have in Evernote:

How to use Evernote

How to use Evernote

 

To get an Evernote account for Free, Click here now

#6: PicMonkey

Graphic design can simply be a pain in the butt. Yes, it’s essential to what we do, especially with new emerging trends like Instagram and Pinterest, it’s a MUST Have to use graphic images for marketing and promotions.

However, what do you do when you don’t want to spend hours creating one image, or spend tons of money hiring someone to do it for you? You use PicMonkey.

PicMonkey is the tool that most crafty bloggers use on their sites to make images like this:

Picmonkey examples

picmonkey

PicMonkey-Collage-cheesecake-done

Here are a few examples of how I created quick and easy graphics with PicMonkey on the fly, probably spending 10-15 minutes or less:

 

money and marketing success plan
I created this logo using PicMonkey

 

online biz professionals
I created this for my OBP Facebook group using an Image I got from Dollar Photo Club and putting the text over it using PicMonkey!

 

I’m the least creative when it comes to graphics but I use this when I need a quick blog image or promotions post so head on over to PicMonkey, open an account and play around with it and you’ll surprise yourself with what you can do with this tool!

#7: Calendly

If you are running a business where you’re booking appointments with clients or business partners, Calendly is a simple and easy tool you can use that easily integrates with Google Calendar. I use Google Calendar for all my schedule management needs, so Calendly immediately shows any scheduled appointments in my Google Calendar and my Iphone as soon as someone books an appointment.

#8: Dashlane

How in the world do you manage all the passwords you have?? I’ll tell ya, Dashlane!

I was originally using LastPass and still do for my team but I must say, I find Dashlane to be rather impressive.

It not only stores passwords, but it will store your credit cards for future use, save receipts from any purchases made, allow you to document notes and so much more.

The only reason why I’m still using LastPass is because Dashlane doesn’t have a tool (at least I haven’t discovered it yet) for my team to access multiple sites using my pw without me giving them the pw to each site, like lastpass does.

However, right now I’m on the free account, so if premium provides that offer, I just might be upgrading soon!

Here’s a pic overview of what it looks like:

dashlane

 

Go here now to set up your account with Dashlane!

#9: Basecamp

Building my businesses online requires a team effort. So amongst all of the various people that I work with like my graphic designers, project manager, virtual assistant, transcriptionist, podcast editor and the likes, I needed one central location where we all met, discussed projects, kept up with documents and files and can keep track of progress as we’re launching and managing projects.

Basecamp is that place.

However, there are alternatives. The down side to basecamp is that they don’t make it easy for you to export your content, forcing you to remain with them. I am happy with them but have found other tools that might be even more beneficial (as I share here in this guide), but for now, it works!

Here’s a sneak peek at how it lays our projects out:

basecamp project management tools

#10: Dollar Photo Club

Royalty Stock Photos are another essential for Online Business Professionals. Yes, you can go download images from others, but there’s no integrity in that. It’s best to have a variety of photos that you use for your business consistently so you can leverage them any way you can. Besides, you also want to make sure the quality of the image is there, which isn’t possible when randomly downloading images from people’s websites.

Stock photos can get a bit pricey, but I’ve been fortunate to find an inexpensive alternative that I use a lot for various websites like the ones below (I use the royalty free photos for the background images)

Dollar Photo Club is just that… you get photos for $1. I’m on the monthly plan for 10 photos for $10 and I use the images multiple ways.

For my blog posts, lead capture page backgrounds, plr products, and so much more.

The photo I used for this header was from Dollar Photo Club and so was the one I used under PicMonkey that says “Online Biz Professionals”.  I find it easy to know where to grab photos from when needed so I can get them up on the site, and DPC is my place when I need pics!

check it out here!

#11: Mailstrom

Is your email inbox flooding over with far too much mail? Mine was too, which is why I use Mailstrom. It easily allows you to delete emails, unsubscribe from various lists and so much more.

Here’s an example of the layout for all the things you can do with Mailstrom:

mailstrom

check it out here

#12: Toggl

How much time are you spending on specific tasks daily? Toggl is a great way to capture what you’re doing and monitor your productivity. I’ve recently implemented this so that I can make sure I manage my time properly, stay on task for completing projects and have a clear assessment of what I did for the week.

Here’s an example of what it looks like when you’re documenting what you’re spending your time on:

toggl

It’s def a great way for you to do the same!

Head over here now to start using Toggl!

#13: Feedly

If anyone knows me, they know I loooove to read! And I’m also a very big blog fan, where I have several blogs that I love to read but rarely have the time to sit down and go through.

In comes feedly! It’s kinda like a modern day RSS Feed where all the blogs that you love, you can go and subscribe to them, allowing you to read all your favorite bloggers post in one place!

As a matter of fact, head on over there now and subscribe to mine;)

It’s a little lonely right now with only 1 subscriber (me) so go and show me some love by subscribing to my blog via feedly! (Thanks in advance)

Here’s a look at what my feedly feed looks like:

feedly

 

Head over to feedly now to open up an account for free!

#14: AW Pro Tools

I shared above how I’m using Aweber and integrating AW Pro Tools for better segmentation. If you know anything about CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Tools, most marketers are raving about Infusionsoft. As much as I want to make the move it’s become more like Confusionsoft because there’s just far too many components to it and you literally have to hire someone to figure it all out and run it for you.

It can easily run you about $2500-$3,000 just to get started with Infusionsoft and I’m personally not ready to do that yet, so AW Pro Tools is the next best thing!

It allows you to move subscribers to other lists, clean up your unsubscribes daily, tag email users based on the actions they make and so much more. So I look at it as my Freshman year in Infusionsoft University, so by the time I’m ready to make the move, I’ll understand Direct Response Email Marketing a lot better by playing around with AW Pro Tools!

aw pro tools

 

To learn more, go here now!

#15: Mindmeister

I am an Innovation type personality that is filled with ideas, concepts, strategies and product development ideas always. So one of the things that helps me to manage the many ideas is Mindmeister.

I love this tool because if you’re a creative thinker like I am, you don’t think linear, you may think like a mindmap, where there’s one central idea, but there’s so many different branches of that idea that you want to build off of that central idea.

Every product or idea that comes to mind for me, I use mindmeister to develop it out.

Here’s an example of how I used one of my Mindmeister maps as a giveaway for my Money & Marketing Success Plan Workshop:

money and marketing success plan
I gave this mindmap away as a gift for my Money & Marketing Success Plan Promotion, which is a great freebie to use to build your list.

As you can see, it puts structure and organization into the scatterbrain type person and ideas. I highly recommend you start using mindmaps if you feel like you’re all over the place and need to get a grip on all the stuff floating around in your head!

To set up a Mindmesiter account, head over here now!

Conclusion

This my friends is the list of 15 Tools I’m using daily right now, and there’s so much more I can share, but it would take me ages to share.

ft-bg-formSo here’s what I’ve done! I’ve put together a Resource Guide that has all the tools and resources I use and need for my business, along with others that we may grow into as our business expands.

Whether you’re a newbie online biz professional or a veteran, there’s something in here for every entrepreneur to use that will save you time and money trying to search around and look for!

Head over here now to grab your copy of the 6 Figure Rolodex and shave years off of the learning and searching curve of your career. I spent years putting this together so you wouldn’t have to!

>> Yes Nicole, I Want To Grab Copy Of The Rolodex Now <<

What are your favorite tools?? Do you use any of these? Share your favorite tools below, I’d love to hear more about them!

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10 Comments
  • This is right on time for me. I was unfamiliar with a couple of these resources, and after reading this article I realized that I needed a couple of them. Thanks for the brilliant content Nicole. Love all of your stuff.

    • Thanks Beachy!! Good to know a superstar like yourself can benefit from these tools;)

  • This is like the 3rd time I’ve heard about AW Pro Tools in the last 24 hours after first discovering it a few weeks ago.

    I’ll be back soon to grab it through your link, Nicole.

    I feel you on the Infusionsoft thing, I’m not ready to make that leap and AW Pro tools gives me the extra flexibility I’ve been craving for a while now.

    Cheers!
    AG

    • Hey Avram, yes, AW Pro Tools is an awesome induction into the world of segmentation for us Segmentation rookies, lol! Thanks for the support and I’ll be looking forward to hearing from you on even more amazing ways to use it, lol!

  • This information was amazing to read. Unfortunately I just started a network marketing company and getting a very slow start and can’t utilize these tools financially yet. However will save the information provided for up-to-date growth.
    Thank You for being awesome …!

    • Thats okay Pat. Just keep them in your pocket for when you need them!

  • Wow Nic!! Thanks for the Goods!! Thats an In-depth list and I appreciate it!

    • It’s my pleasure as always Tara. So good to see ya lady! Thanks for stopping by!

  • thank you nicole for all tool you shared yes as Avarm said i will go for aweber pro through your link when i figure out your great tool .you are true leader and sharing and leading other and help community grow healthy thank you again i,m gratful sitting besid great leader during neil wp work shop.

    • Hey Ms. Sadie! Thank you. So good to hear from you! It’s my pleasure to share what I’m learning along the way. These tools should definitely help you with your business!

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