resources I use to run my online business (1)

This is it… This is everything that I use or have used to build my business!

I often get asked which apps or software I use and what I recommend so I thought it was about time I put together a resources page for you! Now, to be completely transparent, some of these links are affiliate links, which means I will get some kind of payment if you go and buy something from clicking through the link, it won’t cost you anything but might buy me a coffee or a well deserved bar of fancy chocolate! These are all products that I use and recommend, I’m only sharing the things I really love!

Courses

I have done a shedload of courses but these are the two that really stand out for me. If you are on the fence about joining and want some honest, upfront answers to your questions about either of them, contact me! I Have talked about other courses and programs I’ve taken in the past and I’m happy to share what I got out of them. I have yet to invest in a course where I have learnt nothing at all but there are some that weren’t the right fit for me (that doesn’t mean it won’t be a good fit for you)

LuckyBitchBootcamp
Lucky Bitch Bootcamp – This is, hands down my favourite program that I have invested in. It has made a huge difference to me, my family and my business and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have got this far without this! I am always happy to answer questions about the bootcamp and I have a Q&A video HERE if you want to know more.
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Marie Forleo’s B-school was also a game changer. The content is great but more than that the community rocks. I finally found people like me! Who knew that they existed? Finding a tribe of like-minded people is key to your success. B-school has grown considerably since I joined up, amazing friendships have been formed and business partnerships have been made.
Sold Out Launch with Bushra Azhar. This woman is a genius! I LOVE everything she put out and her Sold Out Launch system is worth every penny. She is also one of the guest experts in The Kaizen Revolution. The SOL system has everything and I mean EVERYTHING for launching your business. She doesn’t have an affiliate scheme but if you do decide to join, please drop her or Tara a quick email and tell them I sent you, cheers!

Software, Apps, Plugins and all that jazz…

My company is internet based, therefore the bulk of my expenses go on software and plugins. These are the ones I use all the time and recommend. Many are free, those that are paid are not expensive.

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Gmail 
 – I love me a bit of gmail! I have numerous email accounts but I have them all set up so they all go through one mail gmail account. From the one account I have everything filtered and I can send out emails that look like they come from my biz accounts. All very simple and everything is in one place.
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Google Drive  – I use this more as a data storage system, I prefer to write guest posts and the such here. I used slides for presentation and making pretty PDFs (easier than Docs). I also use Sheets for basic account keeping and tracking my sales/social media stats etc. Forms are brilliant for questionnaires, you can design the form to match your branding and there are numerous types of question plus unlimited amount of questions.
Again, because it’s closed based, it doesn’t matter which device I am using, everything is up to date.
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Google Cal – If google cal ever dies, I’m quitting! This app keeps me sane. Log into your gmail account I have calendars for work, school, holidays, blog posts, launches, travel… having everything in ONE place keeps my mind and life organized. I can set up reminders and recurring events easily and have a digest of what’s happening for the day delivered to my inbox first thing every morning. Everything syncs including my husband’s calendar and my scheduler Calendly
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Google Keep – I have only recently started using this but I already like it! It’s easier for those quick to grab notes that you need on the go.  As I use this more I’ll update here but like the other Google apps, it’s clean and easy to use.
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With the Google service you can upgrade and pay but as of yet I haven’t needed to.
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Calendly – scheduler, used for booking in clients and setting up podcast interviews. Clean and easy to use and integrates beautifully with google cal. You can use the service for free if you only want one kind of appointment set up.
Evernote
Evernote (I use the free version) – This is great to keep everything and anything stored in one place! I also love that I can have notebooks that I can share with partners or my VA and it works great with Siri too. Because it’s cloud-based I can access everything no matter which device I’m using, no downloading and uploading nonsense. You can store, text, audio, video, graphics, make check lists, set reminders and has a clipper add on in Chrome so it’s easy to snag things from around the net to use later.

 

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Amazon S3 (paid but 1st year is free)- When I got my first bill through I laughed at it, $0.48! Massive storage space basically, using a combo of Amazon S3 and a WordPress plugin you can make sure that your course content is secure. Much better than linking it to Youtube! I admit, Amazon s3 isn’t the most user friendly application out there but once you get the hang of it, it works fine.
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Why not Dropbox? Well I have a story about that! Dropbox, in a virus scare, broke all my links (I wasn’t the only one, I’m not feeling special about this!) then they reckoned they had a magic way of fixing the links, except it didn’t work! Yep, OK, shit happens – except Dropbox didn’t email their customers about the action they had taken and were slow as shit at trying to fix it. I only found out when I had clients complaining they couldn’t access their files. And that is why I don’t use Dropbox. Rant over.
Social Bee– (paid) Holy Smoley, Social Bee really is the bees knees! This is a social media scheduling tool but unlike most schedulers out there, Social Bee allows you to create libraries. For example, I have a category (library) for my blog posts, one for posts that go to my Inspired Mama Revolution Group another for Moms That Rock and various categories for Facebook and Twitter that include questions, tips, Montessori…
I have very few posts that are individually scheduled to go out, most run on the library systems and the main scheduler. So I might have Montessori posts going out on a Monday at 6pm and questions on a Wednesday at 10am. Because the libraries are well stocked it can be months before the same post comes up again. I spend about half an hour each week adding new content and occasionally shuffling things around on the schedule for a bit of variety. This might seem like a frivolous expense but it saves me heaps of time and is cheaper than paying a VA to do the work!
Stencil App – I know a lot of people love canva but I am not one of them. I find it glitchy as hell and often I download something and the text has moved.What I do LOVE is Stencil. You can resize your images really quickly – great when you are making social media posts.
They also have over 1 MILLION FREE stock images and icons. I use Stencil EVERY day, it is so simple and quick, I can’t imagine going back to canva or anything else.
ojoebi resources
Webinar Ignition (paid) – This is a WordPress plugin used for hosting webinars. There are lots available out there but from all the ones I have used, this is the one I prefer. WI streams through google hangouts and onto Youtube and records everything as it happens. You can set the webinars up as live or evergreen, free or paid. It doesn’t have some of the bells and whistles of some of the more expensive plugins (like being able to make it look like you have 500 people on live but in fact they are made up names! It was $97 when I bought it which is lifetime use, not a subscription! Which is MUCH cheaper than most out there.
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Photoshop – I first used Photoshop way back when in uni. It has come a long way since then. There is quite a learning curve and I recommend taking some kind of course to learn the basics, it’s a very powerful bit of software. You can now get it with the Adobe Creative Cloud, I haven’t taken the plunge yet but as I am several editions behind, it’s just a matter of time…
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YouTube – the alternative is Vimeo, which is prettier if I’m honest but YouTube is a part of the Google so integration works better. I use it for hangouts, my webinar software streams through it, posting tutorials and videos etc. If you want to monetise your channel then you really need to spend some time and learn how to set it all up properly and how to set up your videos to maximise their potential.
Mailerlite – Email provider. I have recently moved over to Mailerlite because I had outgrown Mad Mimi (whom I still love) but they don’t have the systems I need for a growing business.
So far I have found Mailerlite incredibly easy to use, even if you are not techie, you will be able to do it! You will get $20 credit using this link!
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Screenflow – I have a Mac which comes with imovie but Screenflow is much easier to use. It is movie editing software and MUCH more, you can also record your screen, perfect for making techie tutorials or presentations and you can record from the camera, you can even use both together! I’ve also made animations with it, including the one on my landing page.
Sitegound – Website hosting. I used to be with Bluehost and had a nightmare with them, after migrating over to Siteground life has been much better! The customer service team rock, they are really helpful and actually know what they are talking about. Siteground will also migrate your site for free, so if that is stopping you from moving, it’s all sorted!
Do it now before everything goes wrong and if you are with Bluehost, move ASAP I have heard so many horror stories like mine about them!
If you are new to hosting then google EIG webhost companies, you will find a list of all the companies owned by them, steer clear of all of them.
Lastpass – If you are anything like me, you have a squillion accounts all with different passwords – please tell me you use different passwords for all your accounts! LastPass is brilliant, I can keep all my passwords safe and it syncs across all devices, I only need to remember one main password now! Hurrah for that.
Is it secure? The way I look at it, it is in their best interest to keep their site secure, their business relies on it and it is probably a whole lot safer than me trying to remember a squillion different passwords or being daft enough to use the same on all sites – a hackers dream come true!
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Nathalie Lussier is my geek girl crush and she rocks. She has a great 30 day list building challenge and also the plugins Popupally (a polite pop up box!), Progressally a great way to make your online course more fun for your users – I use both of these. She also has a webinar plugin Webinarally and her Launch It And profit Course
ColorZilla – another chrome extension, allows you to easily pick up colours from your screen, handy when doing graphics work.
Tailwind – this is a Pinterest scheduler.  It doesn’t have a looping feature which would be handy and you do need to sit down and schedule posts out but it can be done in a couple of hours. You can get your first month free if you sign up here
Deposit Photos – I use this for paid stock images. They often have bundle sales which are good value. For other stock images – I have a whole post on the 100+ Stock Image sites, bookmark that page, you will thank me later.
https://www.useloom.com/Loom – I can’t even express how much I love Loom, it is just fab! It is for recording your screen or yourself or both! And it records straight to the cloud so the recording is available immediately, no uploading and downloading! I joined when it was in beta and they keep adding new features, at the moment it is free but paid feature will be coming.
Ecamm live is brilliant if you do a lot of Facebook lives. You can share your screen, schedule your lives, add text, images and video to your live and when you are done, send the video straight over to YouTube to repurpose! For a one-off payment, it is well worth the investment. I have also used Ecamm for Skype for years with zero complaints!
Namecheap – this is where I buy my domain names, I’m a bit of a domain hoarder when I think of a great name I will buy it even if I don’t know what to do with it yet! I recommend getting the WHOIS protection too for your privacy. It is also recommended to keep your domain and hosting separate.
AirTable –  Part spreadsheet, part database Airtable is used to organise your work, projects, members or client lists, calendars etc.
It is super flexible and integrates with all the big players.

Hardware

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Camera – Pentax K-50 DSLR and yes, it really is bright pink! I do use my iphone camera a lot too, mainly because the Pentax is bulky and I am never without my phone. I decided on the Pentax because I owned an SLR Pentax so I already know my way around it, we also used Pentax at college so it’s the camera I feel most comfortable with.
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Techie stuff for doing biz on the go! I use an iphone 6, I also have an ibook air which is invaluable when I’m travelling. It allows me to have my business running smoothly even if I spend 6 weeks in the UK. For the day to day stuff I have just upgraded to a new iMac. What can I say, I have always been a Mac girl, I have never owned a PC and if you want to see me throw a tantrum, ask me to do something on Word!
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Samson Meteor Mic USB Studio Microphone (Chrome) – Love this mic, the legs fold up and it comes in a bag so it’s easy to take with you. The sound quality is great if you have a quite spot to record from. You can also screw in a tripod if you don’t want to use it at desk top level.

 

MT tape

MT tape – some people (namely my husband) would say I have too much MT tape but I would have to disagree! This is basically fancy masking tape but there are a million and 1 ways to use it including making the receipts in your account’s folder look pretty. No, I’m not sure if the tax man will appreciate it but I don’t really care!

Stencil This is one of the best apps I have bought. I can set up templates and easily change poster sizes depending on the social media needs and they have a HUGE – over a million, library of stock images and icons.
This page has all the resources, both paid and free that I use to run my business.

 

Icons credit: Minimal Business Line