Yes, I know that the post title sounds a little bit dramatic, but it's true. 😛
If I could only have FIVE business resources to invest in, then I'm pretty sure that the five I'm about to talk about would be it!
I know that it can be super scary to make investments, especially when you are just starting out and aren't actually making any money in your business yet.
(Because I've been there!)
I also know that investing in certain tools wisely can really help you grow your business faster and help you to actually start making some darn money!
(Plus they're write-offable business expenses, so investing in them for your business means that you'll have to pay LESS towards taxes at tax time! And I don't know about you, but I'd rather spend more of my money on handy tools to grow my business then stupid taxes. Blegh.)
If you're just starting out and are wondering what the heck might be wise to invest in, or if you're looking to up level certain areas of your business, OR if you're just plain curious as to what I use and love, then read on!
OR watch the video below.
Because I like to give people options when it comes to consuming content. 😜
And now, without further adieu ...
Here's My top 5 business resources that I can't live without:
Um ... can I just say that I absolutely LOVE Convertkit? They're who I use for my email marketing and they're seriously worth every single penny.
And WHY do I love them so much, you might be wondering? Ahhhh, allow me to count the ways ...
- They're super easy to use. I am NOT very tech savvy, but they make even incorporating really advanced features into your email marketing super flipp'in easy! Speaking of advanced features ...
- They have tons of advanced features. You can easily do things like smartly segment your list, create advanced funnels, add unique rules to better serve your subscribers, split test email subject lines (SO cool!) and so much more.
- They don't charge you for double subscribers. Meaning, if someone opts onto your email list multiple times for whatever reason, they only count that as ONE subscriber. Whereas some other providers (like Mail Chimp), will count the person as a new subscriber every single time that they opt onto your list! So if Mr. McBugle signs up for 10 different freebies on your website, then Mailchimp will say that you just got 10 new subscribers (even though you really only just got one.) AND unfortunately, Mailchimp also charges you for all "10" Mr. MrBugles!
- They care about their customers. The people behind Convertkit are cool and actually listen to their customers needs and wants! Which means that ...
- They're continually adding new, awesome features. Convertkit really does just keep on getting better and better! Do I ever plan to switch? At this rate ... probably not. They just keep on coming out with new features every month that make me want to pee my pants with excitement!
So ... if you're looking to up your email marketing game, are unhappy with your current email marketing provider OR don't even HAVE an email marketing provider, then give their free trial a whirl!
Oh!!!! Just one more thing. 😛
Speaking of email marketing, if you want to up your email marketing game by creating the perrrrrrfect freebie to grow your list (and business) with, then you should enroll in my free Ignite Your List Challenge!
It includes a 4 part video series + workbook and extra resources to walk you through not only how to create the perfect freebie, but how to promote your freebie and what to actually send to your subscribers after they get on your list in order to build relationships and make sales!
So. Check it out right here, or just click the button below to get started. BOOM!
You'll also learn how to make ice cream appear out of thin air!!!
Just kidding. I really just want some ice cream right now, and that rather desperate need is currently leaking out into my writing. 😂
What the heck is Leadpages?
It's software that allows you to build and customize high converting landing pages, registration pages, thank-you pages, workshop pages, opt-in boxes, giveaway pages and like ... so much more.
For example, click right here and you'll see a Leadpages "Leadbox" in action!
This was the first "big" investment that I made in my business in the beginning, because at the time I had just been using Mailchimp for my email marketing (which was free because I had less than 2,000 subscribers!)
And you know what? Making the investment in Leadpages was pretty dang terrifying because at the time, I was literally not making ANY money from my business yet.
As in ... I was making zero dollars per month.
Buuuuut as I mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, I firmly believe that there are particular tools that you can invest in wisely in order to grow your business faster so that you can start making money faster.
Here's why I love using Leadpages ...
- They save me a ton of time. Sure, I could build things like custom landing pages on my website (and I do sometimes!) but that takes me a lot more time. Having a ton of pre-made templates that are ready to use and super easy to customize in Leadpages just makes things sooo much easier.
- They're easy to customize! And not only that, but they're continuously adding new features to make them even easier to customize and even more customizable. They now have a swanky drag and drop editor (a-mazing), where you can easily put your personal touches on just about anything! Because I've found that sometimes ... the opt-in forms that come with certain email marketing providers just don't look all that great and aren't very customizable.
- They're optimized for conversions. And not only that, but when you're searching through their templates you can even sort them based on the highest conversion rates! And just incase you're all like, but wait ... what the sam hill does conversion rate even mean?! Allow me to explain. A "conversion" is how particular actions that your audience takes are measured. So for example, if 10 people visit your freebie's landing page and 3 of them decide to opt-in for the freebie, then that landing page would have a 30% "conversion rate" since 3 out of 10 people who visited the landing page opted in. Makes sense right?
- They make growing my email list easier. Because creating things like opt-in forms and boxes is so easy, I've been able to grow my list faster by adding them to ... well ... basically everywhere!
So yes ... Leadpages is pretty much the bomb diggity and is a business investment that I'm super glad that I made early on!
This was the second real business investment that I made in the beginning and have stuck with them ever since. Why? Well ... I love Teachable like I love my cream-infused coffee because ...
- It all looks simple and clean. I love how the inside of my courses look to students! Everything just looks simple and streamlined, and not only that but it's also super easy for students to use! Which leads me to my next point ...
- It's user friendly. Students can easily log in and access their course materials in a simple, organized fashion (which equals happier students!) It's also user friendly for the actual course creators, too. Uploading and organizing course content is so easy, even a caveman can do it! (Does anyone else remember those silly commercials? Anyone? ... Anyone?)
- They take care of payments. Yep, people purchase your courses through their platform and they handle all of the payments! Which means that YOU don't have to worry about invoicing, handling fees, handling taxes and all of that other boring / confusing stuff that makes me want to cry. 😭
- They offer payment options for students. You can offer your students one time payments, payment plans, or even subscription services! Oh and you can of course create coupons and discount codes too, which is pretty nifty.
- You can create sales pages. While I sometimes use a whole Squarespace website for my course sales pages (like this one right here), you CAN create sales pages for each of your courses (at not additional cost), like this sales page that I created right here.
- They have extra super awesome features. Depending on the plan that you choose, they have different features available and some of them are THE BEST-EST. Like customizable checkout pages and one-click upsells!
- They have a free plan option for course creators. So if you're just getting started and want to give them a whirl without the investment, then you can totally do that!
Want a little peek? Here's what my Be Your Own Brand course looks like on the inside to a student! Pretty simple and sleek, eh?
Annnnnd there's lots more reasons why I love using Teachabe, but if you sell online courses (or are interested in selling online courses), then you should check'em out!
I don't mean to sound dramatic but ...
SmarterQueue has been life changing!!!!!!!!
It's who I use to schedule and automate my social media, and it's truly a tool that I would probably literally lose my sanity without. 😂
Why am I so passionate about SmarterQueue? WELL my delightful pumpkin pie, allow me to elaborate. It's because ...
- It saves my time and sanity. Among being on other social media platforms, (like Instagram) I also run FOUR different Facebook groups alone, and each group has daily prompts that go out Monday - Friday in order to keep the ball rolling! Do you know how annoying / stressful it was trying to manage all of that on a daily basis manually? VERY.
- It allows you to create evergreen content. Remember how I just said that I run 4 different Facebook groups, all of which have daily prompts? Well, those prompts repeat themselves each week. But before when I was using Hootesuite, I was still having to manually schedule each and every day, despite the fact that it was just the same thing over and over. But with SmarterQueue, I can schedule just 5 posts in like two seconds, and then set them to "evergreen" so that they keep repeating each week for as long as I want! #GAMECHANGER
- Great customer support. When I first signed up for my free trial, they sent a helpful onboarding sequence of emails that gave me tons of useful info AND I also received a personalized thank-you from a real human being!
- Customized monthly plans. Um ... I love this one because I really hate wasting money, haha. And yo ... if I'm paying for features that I don't need, then I feel like I'm wasting my money! But with SmarterQueue, you can actually customize your plan so that you're only paying for the features that you actually WANT. #YASSSS
- Tons of cool features that I'm too lazy to type. I don't want to babble about them all day, but they DO have a ton of really cool features and have been continuously adding new, equally cool features ever since I started using them! But to save you from reading a SUPER lengthy blog post, I'll just let you check'em out for yourself. (And yes, you can try a free trial!)
So go on ... check'em out and discover how you can save yourself so much time and sanity!!!!!!
:::starts laughing maniacally:::
Ehem. But seriously.
5. Deadline Funnel
What's a great way to make more sales with your evergreen sales funnels?
Adding genuine urgency, baby!
And that's what Deadline Funnel is all about.
When you've got products or services that are just available on your site 24/7, people don't really have a good reason to buy them right now. Sure, they might really WANT your offering, but without any real urgency, most people tend to be like ...
Ehhhhh, I'll wait until next week.
:::next week rolls around:::
Ehhhh, I really want to buy that new Cosplay costume so ... I'll buy it next week.
:::another week rolls around:::
Ehhhhh, I've waited this long to buy so ... what's one more week?
:::five weeks later and they still haven't bought:::
See what I mean? In fact, you've probably done something similar yourself! I know that I have. I'll constantly put off important purchases because I think that I've got better, more urgent things to buy!
Like cashew ice cream in every different flavor.
And ridiculous amounts of headbands that I'll never get around to wearing.
And more pretty office supplies from the sale bins at Target!!!!!
Yes ... it's a real problem. Here's a few MORE reasons why I love Deadline Funnel ...
- My evergreen funnels make more sales. Yep, it's true! Ever since I implemented Deadline Funnel into the sales funnels that sell my evergreen online courses, I've been making more sales. Why? Because I give people a good reason (with a time limit!) to just bite the bullet and buy now.
- The urgency is genuine. None of that fake urgency bull crap that's going to turn people off and damage my reputation! No sir. Because that's what FAKE urgency does, my friends. For example, saying that a particular offer is going to expire by a certain date and then ... it never actually does. No matter WHEN different people enter your funnel, they all get their own unique deadline that actually does expire!
- They have lots of tutorials & support. Incase I haven't said this enough ... I AM NOT VERY TECH SAVY. 😂 But they make set up really easy with their step-by-step videos, plus they also offer a free 15 minute support call to make sure that everything is actually working correctly. Woo to the HOO!
- It pays for itself. Literally. I just use the $37 / month plan, and the increase in sales from my evergreen funnels makes Deadline Funnel pay for itself and then some! Not gonna lie, it's pretty dang nice when business expenses pay for themselves.
SO my delightful little peapod, if your evergreen sales funnels are currently feeling a little lackluster (and giving you lackluster results), then I encourage you to give Deadline Funnel a try. They even have a free trial (of course!)
And there you have it, my top 5 favorite business resources that I simply can't live without! Or my business and I would die.
:::throws hand across forehead dramatically::;
But seriously, I DO actually love these 5 particular resources a lot and have found them all to be well worth the investment.
(Speaking of investment, I've been going back and forth for DAYS trying to decide if I want to invest in a sweet Wonder Woman cosplay costume! Haaaalp.) 😂
Ehem. Is there a particular resource that YOU love? Let me know below!
I seriously LOVE hearing about what other resources people use!
And now ... it's time to go scare the crap out of myself by watching 'Paranormal Survivors' on Netflix. Because I'm a glutton for punishment.