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Tools I Use

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Ok – so I was torn today between doing a fully uplifting inspirational post and a down and dirty practical post. After much feedback from the tribe, here is what I decided:

I know you are all ready, willing and incredibly capable of doing GREAT things in this world. And part of how I see my job here is to both inspire you to go out and do them AND give you the tools you need to do that.

See, it’s one thing to know you have something big to say. It’s quite another to  a) decide you are going to say it and b) be equipped with the right tools to say it. Without the tools, we can get mired down in our own heads THINKING about it, knowing we should take action but not having a handle on the fundamental blocks we need to start building.

So to give you grapple hooks to start “doing the doings” of creating something amazing, I am going to share the tools I use. I will base the list largely on The GameChangers Roundtable so that I have examples to point to.

And, in full FTC disclosure, most of these links are affiliate links. 🙂

My list of tools:

Blog theme:
Hands down recommendation: Headway. It is the theme I used to create the GameChangers blog and if I had known about it when I created this blog, I would have used it. Quick, simple, nimble and you don’t have to know how to code to make your site look dazzling.

List management:
Aweber. This is the gold-standard of collecting and communicating with your list. If you look at the form at the top of this blog – that is an aweber form. If you’ve signed up for your Keys, they were delivered through aweber. It is a bit more expensive than some of the others out there, but if you start with the gold standard, you won’t have to go through the rigmarole of switching to it later.

Call Recording and Distribution:
AudioAcrobat. Again – this is the tool most everyone uses. You can record just yourself or a conference call that you can then use as your tantalizing giveaway on your site. Those of you who invested in the mp3 recordings of The Roundtable, received links that were built in AudioAcrobat. Oh – they offer a free 30 day trial.

Group Conference Call service:
I use two different services, depending on what I am doing:
FREE option: No Cost Conference. I’ve found them to be incredibly reliable and I like their web panel. Plus, they are free!

Paid option (and the service I used for The Roundtable calls): Instant Teleseminar. This is the Rolls Royce (IMHO) of conference call services. You can have participants call in using a phone line or participate via webcast, enable chat, load up powerpoint slides to share – it’s pretty cool. (WARNING: the sales page is way too sales-y for my taste – just so ya know!)

Taking Money:
Until you are doing a significant number of online transactions, I HIGHLY recommend using PayPal. It’s simple and they’ve added great features since I first started doing this stuff. 1 shopping cart is great for taking money (thought they pretty much suck at list communication) – but it is VERY expensive. Save your money and use PayPal till you outgrow it.

BONUS RESOURCES:

If you want to really kill it out there in the social media world, hang on John Haydon‘s every word. I learn so much from him. Go to his website and sign up for his list. NOW.

Learn high-level, high band-width business models and business strategies from my mentor Andrea J. Lee. She just added a “virtual attendance” component to her Wealthy Thought Leader event in March that takes away all excuses (and burns the ships!) on not attending. I can’t attend live because it it the young turk’s Spring Break so I will be attending my very self using this option. Go here to read all about it.

So there you go. The list of fundamental online tools and resources I use and recommend. I realize that many of you will have most of these in place. I’m hoping that I’ve offered up one or two that you may not be using. 🙂

And here is my “inspirational” challenge to you:

What tool(s) will you add to your tool box right away and HOW will you employ them in the next seven days?

And of course – if you have questions about any of them ask away!!

Photo Attribution: http://www.flickr.com/photos/booleansplit/ / CC BY 2.0

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