I’m sure you have resources, apps, tools and online mentors that you LOVE.
This is a collection of my favorite free and paid resources that I’ve used to grow (and automate) my business in the areas of content marketing, conversion marketing, and marketing automation.
Email Service Providers
Drip by Leadpages – THIS. Yes, that was a one-word sentence advocating for my favorite email marketing automation platform. I share more details of why I love Drip by Leadpages on my Consulting page. The combination of Liquid templating, visual workflow and basic automation rules, custom subscriber events and fields, lead scoring, and HIGH email deliverability is a home run.
Well done, Rob Walling and Drip team.
ConvertKit – ConvertKit is an email marketing platform with the ability to fire some basic automation and tagging that I still use for one of my blogs and do recommend as a wonderful alternative to Drip by Leadpages in some specific instances.
Conversion Marketing Resources
Leadpages – The flat out LEADER in the landing page, lead collection market. If you want to use simple drag-and-drop builder technology with dozens of tested, proven landing page template designs, then you NEED a Leadpages account.
And conversions are NOT just about killer landing pages…you also need my #1 secret weapon, Leadboxes® popup forms. Pro accounts (like I have) gain access to A/B split testing, Leadlinks® 1-click signup links and Leaddigits® text to opt-in codes.
Gravity Forms – A full-featured, but easy to use contact form WordPress plugin that I use to collect my free 5-lesson course self-assessment worksheet answers which also integrates handsomely with Drip by Leadpages.
Content Marketing Resources
Grammarly – Online grammar checker that saves me…whether I’m updating a Facebook status, writing a blog or creating an email marketing campaign. I use the Grammarly App for Mac and the Google Chrome extension.
Hemingway – Before I knew of Grammarly, I knew of the free Hemingway editor, which is a great tool that identifies opportunities to improve the readability of your writing. Check it out:
keywordtool.io – Writing copy that gets found by your ideal audience STARTS with research. This is one of the tools I use to identify and evaluate which keywords to write about.
Google Docs – There are few online tools that I use EVERY day, Google Docs being one of them. It’s how I communicate and edit with my clients, take notes on the books I’m reading and write out email campaigns. If you’re still using Microsoft Word and have dozens iterations of the same document on your hard drive (with no access from your phone), it’s time to make this change.
Skitch – This was one of the favorite online tools I found in 2017, and what I use to annotate and add arrows to images on this blog. It’s also super simple to use…#Bonus.
Genesis Framework for WordPress – I don’t know man, but a lot of really smart, successful pros online power their WordPress blog on the Genesis Framework. Success leaves clues you know.
Parallax Pro Theme – I researched and researched and bought and then didn’t use a few themes…and then I found the Parallax Pro child theme to use with the Genesis Framework with this website. It’s pretty, mobile responsive and has cool typography options, and isn’t complex to navigate when publishing an article.
Who I Learn From
*NOTE: I’ve seen a lot of resource pages online from people I admire and trust, but I don’t recall ever seeing a “mentors” section. To be honest, these people, their teachings and, in some cases, their coaching and courses have changed my life.
Chalene Johnson – I first learned of Chalene as a Beachbody celebrity fitness trainer. Her high energy and fun personality is what drew me in at first, but her BUSINESS SAVY is what has made me one of her “lifers.” I’ve met Chalene a few times, downloaded and listened to hundreds of her podcasts, attended her SMART Success LIVE seminar and completed FOUR of her online courses.
It’s through Chalene that I’ve learned to identify and then HONOR my priorities, run a successful virtual business in a secure way, and live a healthy, fit, FUN life…among other things. Chalene is my homegirl!
Brennan Dunn – I first learned from Brennan at Leadpages Converted conference in 2016. I opted into his mailing list and a few months later purchased his Double Your Freelancing Rate Course. What first attracted me to Brennan was his knowledge of Drip by Leadpages, but I’ve gone on to learn much more about building a freelancing business that creates incredible value, both for clients I serve and my business.
I’ve now completed THREE of Brennan’s courses and had the opportunity to attend his Business Mastery Summit in Thailand in 2017.
Bryan Harris – I learned about Bryan Harris on Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income show in 2016, and have gone on to complete his 10K Subs course and religiously follow his blog and twitter. What I’ve learned most from Bryan are skills that work to grow an email list.
Noah Fleming – I learned of Noah when he spoke at the Converted conference in 2016, and his message TOTALLY resonated with me. Two of his books, Evergreen and The Customer Loyalty Loop, are two of my absolute FAVORITE books EVER.
Noah and I are 100000000% on the same page in our beliefs about the value of what happens AFTER you acquire a new customer, and it’s that belief that I partner with marketing automation to make magic happen.
Jeff Walker – I’ve not yet personally launched a physical or digital product, but have implemented many of the strategies taught by this man, creator of Product Launch Formula, in email marketing education campaigns.
I’ve also learned a lot about the power of positioning and building your audience with video (which will be a core component of this platform as I continue to grow).
Pat Flynn – I learned about Pat and his Smart Passive Income blog and podcast from Chalene Johnson. I’ve had the opportunity to meet Pat (where he signed a copy of his book Will It Fly) and he is as genuine in person as he is on the show.
Pat introduced me to the idea of earning alternative forms of passive income and his story of building a blog, podcast and online community after being laid off are inspiring. And it’s the way he’s done it which is what makes it impactful.
He’s 100% open, honest and transparent about what’s worked for him…and what’s NOT.
Joe Pulizzi – Joe’s book Content, Inc., just made sense to me as a specific path to using content marketing to build a loyal audience that you can serve and build trust with over time. Social Media Marketing definitely has its place in building community, but I’m choosing to play a LONG TERM game focused on long form content marketing delivery through this blog.
Jon Acuff – To be honest, Jon is incredibly entertaining on his Twitter…and one of the lessons I’ve learned from him is that humor and sharing your whole life with your audience builds trust quickly. I’ve also learned a ton about the mindset it takes to be successful when venturing out on my own in three of his books Do Over, Quitter and Start.
Nathan Berry – Nathan is the CEO and founder of ConvertKit. One of the things I’ve learned from Nathan is to unapologetically be who you are…and to share each step of your course to becoming an authority on a topic.
No one just arrives as an authority in a space…they BECOME one by authentically sharing their journey to get there.
Clay Collins – Clay is the CEO and founder of Leadpages and it’s his focus and vision for breaking down and then providing value across the entire customer journey (from internet browser –> website visitor –> email subscriber –> new customer –> PROMOTING CUSTOMER) that gives me clarity in identifying how I can best serve a client, and grow this blog.
Brian Dean – My goal with content marketing is to write articles that get FOUND through organic search. Brian has some of the absolute best resources at backlinko.com to guide the content marketing beginner from basic on-page SEO tactics to more advanced strategies.
Neverbounce – This is tool #1 for saving my clients money and maintaining a clean email list when completing an email service provider migration from Mailchimp, Aweber or Infusionsoft to my top two recommended email service providers, Drip by Leadpages and ConvertKit.
TextExpander – Still copying and pasting “frequent flyer” pieces of copy or code? Why not create an intuitive keyboard shortcut on the fly?? THAT is precisely what TextExpander does.
1Password – Can I get real with you? If you still are not using 2-step authentication, are using the same few “simpleton” passwords for your entire online life, are still answering your security questions honestly or have your passwords written down somewhere…you’re an online hacking victim in the making.
I’ve been using 1Password EVERY. SINGLE. DAY since June of 2015, and I know now only ONE Master password and all of my other passwords are something like this: 7jdan73*kd723@T.
All 200 plus of them. If you need to up your security game and 1Password is how you do it.
Slack – If you’re part of a community or team, Slack will give you much more functionality and productivity than having to check in with a Facebook group.
Dropbox – deliver your content upgrades to your email list, store family photos, house blog assets, offer permission-based sharing, and more. And you can use it for free for a LOOOOONG time (up to 2GB).