Small Business Tools
I built this page, and wrote this ebook, to share the tools that I use to run Monkeypod.
These are the small business tools that I believe in, and feel good about endorsing. But I want to call out that some of these companies offer partner programs, and so some of the links are referral links.
I’d never recommend something simply to earn a commission; but if any of these tools sound like they’d help your business, and you’re going to sign up anyway, I always appreciate it if you mention me, or use my link.
Feel free to download the ebook – or peruse the options on this page.
I use Infusionsoft to create Order Forms to sell my courses and membership, but there are some limitations to what you can do with the native Infusionsoft Order Forms – so I recommend Spiffy for anyone looking to really take them to the next level. Spiffy is really easy to use – and it gives your order forms the professional polish that you’re missing; oh, and they’ve also built in a boatload of advanced features (like one-click upsells, and check box order bumps).
If you use Chrome, and you need to record a quick video to demonstrate something, or show someone something, I strongly recommend Loom. It’s a free tool, and it allows you to quickly and easily create videos that you can share or embed. I love it.
If you need to take a picture of your screen, or part of your screen, there are native ways to do it on a PC and on a Mac, but I also use Jing, from techsmith on nearly a daily basis. I love that it let’s me quickly capture what I’m doing, highlight certain parts, or add a quick comment to it.
Jing can also record videos (up to 5 minutes) and it will host them so I can just send the link to someone. I like Loom a little better because it also has an option to include your webcam with the recording so the recipient can see you talking. But if you don’t want that, or you don’t use Chrome, then Jing is good alternative. These are great for demonstrating something when asking or answering complicated questions. Jing does have a paid version as well, and I believe it lets you record videos that are longer than five minutes, and probably a few other fun features as well.
My friend Scott Richins turned me onto this little tool, Paste App, and it’s been a game changer.
Basically it gives you a robust clipboard where you never lose the things you’ve copied; you can search your history and paste things from weeks or months ago. It also gives you the ability to organize so you can quickly and easily find the things you use most regularly (blog posts, affiliate links, hex codes, etc).
Infusionsoft is the marketing automation platform that we use. It combines a robust CRM, email marketing, and e-commerce into a powerful tool for small business. If you’re looking to grow sales, save time, and get organized, then marketing automation is definitely something you should explore. Even if Infusionsoft isn’t the right fit. (Want to learn more about Infusionsoft without having to opt-in?)
Leadpages is a great tool for building landing pages that work. You can build anything from simple designs (like this one) to more complex ones (like this) and they’re all easy to use, and mobile responsive. Leadpages also has leadboxes, which is how you can do exit-pop forms, and timed pop-out forms, like the one pictured to the left. In addition, their leadigits product allows you to collect info when your prospects text in- oh, and they all integrate with Infusionsoft.
When people are on your website, or looking at products, they need a way to quickly and easily get in touch with you. If they don’t see one, then there’s a reasonable chance they might just close the browser and walk away. Think about it, of course they could find your email and send you their question – but nothing takes the place of a LiveChat option for engaging your most active leads. I use PureChat, and you can start using it today, for free.
There’s a million different webinar options out there, and I’ve tried (and ditched) my share of them. My current favorite is Demio, which pretty much does all the things I need without much fuss.
The registration pages are clean and very usable, but also offer the ability for quick customization.
There is a native integration with Infusionsoft that allows you to tag people when they register, attend, don’t attend, join late, etc. And you can also map the Join Link back to a custom field if you’d prefer to send follow-up and reminders from Infusionsoft instead of Demio directly.
And yes, Demio has an Automated Webinar feature as well.
I use Camtasia to record all my courses. It let’s me capture the screen, or part of the screen, and it has a nice editing studio where I (a novice) can add an intro and outro, can do volume leveling, add transitions, overlay images, and easily remove any under my breath curse words I may utter. If you need to record videos for courses, or just for your youtube channel, Camtasia is an awesome tool.
Video is a great way to encourage engagement with your content – but the process of producing a video can be intimidating, right?
Let me introduce you to Lumen5, a super easy tool that allows you to quickly turn your content into a shareable video, with a library of stock images and royalty free music tracks.
Here’s the first ever video I made with this tool, from a blog post of mine about a tea kettle.
If you use Infusionsoft to process orders, one of the first things you’ll note is that it is not an accounting software. Most people use Quickbooks Online, or Xero for their bookkeeping – and there are a few ways to set up an integration between the two, but by far the easiest (and most affordable) is InvoiceSync. Check it out here.
It was built to solve this specific problem, so it does an excellent job of anticipating exactly what people will need for an integration of this type.
Big news people – I’m moving my membership site to AccessAlly. I’ve done my homework, and it seems to do everything I need (and then some). Check it out for yourself.
Depending on your business and business structure, it may make sense to set up payroll for yourself (and your employees, obviously). The tool I use to pay myself is Gusto – it came at the recommendation of my bookkeeping company and it’s been terrific. It’s very intuitive, support has been great, and they handle all the quarterly paperwork on my behalf.