Tools of The Trade
As someone who's obsessed with technology and business, I often get asked about the software tools that I use in my own businesses and projects. Below you'll find a bit about every tool I use and recommend. You'll notice there are some tools here that do the same thing as others and that's because I've tried several different ones and the ones I list are ones I think are worth using.
Online Course Platform
If you’re looking for an easy-to-use solution for creating online courses, Teachable is the best I’ve found. Plus, they are one of the few that have free tiers of their platform. That means you can get started using Teachable without spending any money.
Easy Online Design Software
Not everyone is a designer and most people don’t know how to use Photoshop, nor do they have time to learn. That’s where Canva comes into play. It makes it super easy to design anything you need. From podcast cover art, to social media posts, and even printable brochures. If you need to design something, use Canva.
Domain Registration & SSL Certificates
Namecheap has been my go-to for domain name and SSL purchases for the last 10 years. Their interface is really easy to use and prices are always great. The support is awesome, too. I’ve never had any complaints on my end. I have all of my domains with them and I always recommend clients do the same.
Even as a designer, I often go searching for assets to use in my designs. There’s one place that’s always first on my list, and that’s Creative Market. Its a marketplace filled with a ton of great designs, fonts, images, and more. Plus, they give away 6 free design assets every week!
Email Marketing & Membership Platform
I have a love-hate relationship with Clickfunnels. The software package is pretty powerful but has its limitations. But, one thing is true – if you’re just getting started and you can invest in a tool like Clickfunnels, you can experience growth and success if you use it properly. Plus, the guy that runs Clickfunnels is truly a great guy and he’s super passionate about helping other people grow their businesses. One of the most popular features of Clickfunnels is its affiliate program which includes a pretty generous commission.
There are lots of online learning websites out there these days, but I’ve found none as easy to use and containing as high-quality courses as Skillshare. You can find courses for pretty much anything on there. If there’s something you’re wanting to learn, I bet someone has a course on Skillshare that will teach you how to do it.
I use Mailchimp as my main email marketing tool for almost all of my side projects. It’s always the tool I start with. I find that their interface is easy to navigate and setting up email newsletters is super simple. Their free tier is great and will save you some up-front costs while you build your business.
WordPress Themes & Frameworks
Studiopress is the company behind my favorite WordPress theme framework, Genesis. I’ve followed the team at Studiopress for years and they are all amazing people. The Genesis framework is so well developed and all of the themes Studiopress releases are great. If you’re looking for quality themes for your WordPress site, check their catalog first.
I love stickers. Most people do. If you have a brand or just want some cool stickers, you should absolutely order from Stickermule. Not only do they provide the highest quality stickers on the market, but they are also great people. Customer service is top-notch and they run some amazing discounts almost weekly.
On-Demand Apparel Printing
Whether you’re interested in starting a t-shirt brand or just adding swag to your business’ online store, Printful can take care of the whole process for you. It’s print-on-demand and basically you set the prices, pick the items, upload your artwork and they handle the rest. Your customers order an item, Printful prints it and ships it directly to the customer. You sit back and enjoy the profits.
Transistor is a podcast hosting platform, but what they provide goes well beyond what you’ll find at the typical podcast hosting service. Not only is their system super easy to use, but it also comes with the ability to launch more than one show without adding costs ($19/month for the lowest plan – unlimited shows), a free website for your each of your podcasts, and you can submit to iTunes, Spotify, etc. right from within Transistor. If you are doing a podcast, there’s no reason to host your show anywhere else.
WordPress Page Builder
Beaver Builder is a page builder plugin for WordPress. Basically a page builder allows you to build your website via a drag-and-drop interface making it possible for non-developers to create websites from scratch. I’ve used a few of the page builder plugins out there, but Beaver Builder is by far my favorite. I use it on almost every website I own or manage.
Video Hosting Platform
If you’re producing videos and you don’t want to upload them to Facebook, Wistia will be a valuable tool. This is a video hosting platform that’s super simple to use and the embed player is fantastic. You can really customize it however you need to. The team behind Wistia have released another tool that’s super valuable called Soapbox, so definitely check them out for both tools.
Email Marketing Automation Platform
ConvertKit is a super easy to use marketing platform. It starts with email marketing, but ConvertKit puts it into overdrive. If you need more than just simple email sends, you need to be on ConvertKit. Audience segmentation, automated follow-ups, and more.
I use the Genesis Framework as the base for all of my WordPress sites. I typically use Beaver Builder in conjunction with Genesis, but some of my sites are only Genesis. Either way, if you’re a developer of any skill level looking for a solid framework to build your new WordPress site with, Genesis is a great choice.