Tools for Entrepreneurs and Creators
In running my business I've used a lot of tools. While many of them found their way out of my toolkit, there are a handful that I found myself going back to every single time.
Some of the links on this page are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. These are all things that I currently use or have used before and I am recommending them because they are helpful and are companies that I trust, not because of the tiny commissions that I may earn from you using these products and services. Please buy them only if you need to, and find yourself in need for the product. Thanks, and I appreciate your understanding.
I have used Siteground for all my business website hosting needs. Extremely happy with their uptime. You don't have to be a tech geek.
If you want to build a professional-looking website for your business, I highly recommend Thrive Suite. I have tried many page builders, but no one has made it as easy to build a marketing
If there's one thing that my business cannot do away with, it's my email list. I have used ConvertKit from the start, and it's been one of the best decisions I have made.
Create a Website or Blog
Any online business needs to have a website or a blog. If you decide to use Wordpress (43% of the web uses it!), here are a few tools that I have personally used and recommend.
I purchase a lot of domain names for my business. Sometimes it's in anticipation of a new project, and some other times it's just because I spot a very good domain name. No matter what the reason is, I have used Namecheap. The discounts on Namecheap is something one cannot ignore.
If you aren't using a hosting platform like Siteground, get Updraft Plus. I used Updraft a lot before Siteground started to offer a staging setup. If you decide to use Wordpress, I strongly recommend using Updraft Plus. If you didn't guess yet, it helps you backup and migrate your Wordpress website. Highly recommend.
Security is the topmost priority if you have a website. Wordfence is a Wordpress plugin for securing your site. It's a great plugin and is updated regularly. It constantly monitors your Wordpress site and keeps you up-to-date on anything suspicious. This is a free plugin, and they have regular updates coming out. So install it right away and secure your site.
Start a Podcast for Your Business
Starting a podcast? Wonderful. Here are tools you'll want to consider for your podcast. If you need more details about them, do check out the blog.
One of the hardest part of podcasting is editing. Descript has transformed podcast editing at a very fundamental level. As an audio editing tool, Descript transcribes your podcast audio so you can edit the transcript like editing a document in Google Docs.
It's after you are done removing portions you don't want (by literally deleting words), that Descript does something magical -- it automatically reflects those changes in your audio too. Plus, Descript packs in some powerful sound cleaning/editing tools to help you produce professional quality audio.
When you have created your podcast, it's important you upload your MP3 in a podcast hosting platform. Buzzsprout is the hosting platform I have been using for the past few years, and it's great. For one, Buzzsprout offers a lot of features for enhancing your audio quality. But as someone that's also been using Descript, the seamless integration between Buzzsprout and Descript is one I love. You will love this too.
Recording podcasts has changed a lot since 2020. Riverside.fm is a platform I have used ever since. It's a simple service that offers you an elegant and efficient interface to conduct your podcast interviews.
The platform records high-definition video and audio for your interviews. With features to include multiple guests, live audience, and a lot more, Riverside.fm is my choice and recommendation.
Music Radio Creative
If you decide to have a jingle for your podcast, or get someone to do a voice-over, Music Radio Creative is the place I recommend. I have used it regularly from the time I recorded my first podcast. I particularly like their interface to select a voice for a voice-over -- everything looks and feels so simple.
As entrepreneurs with businesses online, we use a lot of images in our content. Here are some really useful tools that will help you create powerful content online.
If you sell information products on your website, you know how important it is to have mockups. It could be a mockup for your online course or membership, or just an e-book. Mediamodifier is one of the best services that I've used to create these mockups.
You can take your book cover design from Canva and create a mockup of the book. Or, create an attractive package with mockups on different devices. Try Mediamodifier. and you'll know why I'm a big fan of this service.
As online entrepreneurs, we are always on the lookout to use the right images for our blog posts or the website design itself. Unsplash is a great place to get royalty-free images for free.
Canva is one of the best tools on the internet for entrepreneurs and creatives. I've used it all the time, and don't foresee a day without it. That's why I wholeheartedly recommend it.
Whether it's creating online courses or content on YouTube, videos play a big role in the lives of entrepreneurs and creators today. Here are some tools I find highly useful.
If you are a YouTube creator, TubeBuddy is your friend. It's a free tool that offers a lot of features to help your videos rank and get discovered on YouTube.
SCREENFLOW (FOR MAC)
If you create online courses or even YouTube videos, I highly recommend Screenflow. It's one of the best editors for Mac. I've tried other editors including iMovie, but find Screenflow to be consistently better.
There are times when the whole purpose of creating a video is to share it with someone like a team member or a client. The ease of communication is more important than quality. I've used Loom for such purposes. It's a great tool, and just can't think of something better.
Level-up Your Productivity
No matter what business you are in, staying productive is so important. Yes, I said staying productive. At first I chased a lot of productivity tools. But soon I realized that most tools don't make us productive in the long run. In fact, the results vary so much from one person to another. Here are some that's worked really well for me and many others I know (who are not like me).
Notion is my all-in-one tool. This is where I take notes, share first-drafts with my copywriting clients, share notes with my wife, and just about everything else. If you haven't tried Notion, you're seriously missing something. It's free.
As online entrepreneurs, we are constantly communicating through emails, writing blogs, articles, sales letters, social media posts, and so much more. Grammarly is a tool that can help you sound great in your written communication. It fixes your grammar, sentences, and so much more. Get it.
As communicators, we often run out of words, struggle recalling idioms and phrases. Power Thesaurus is my personal companion. They even have an app for iOS users. Get it, bookmark it. More importantly, use it.
Reading books are a part of my daily routine. But not all books are best read. I listen to them. In fact, there are books that I both listen and read. I know it's something that I've just figured out works best for me. Try Audible and see if you like it too. Signup for a free trial.
Books & Courses
One thing I've done a lot is invested in learning. Books are the first choice, but courses are a close second. Sometimes I jump and pick up courses if I'm clear about what I want to learn. Here are some of my favorite books and courses.
When I started my first podcast in 2016, I learned everything I knew about podcasting from one person -- Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income. In 2018 he created Power-up Podcasting, a course I wish he had available in 2015.
In this course, Pat covers everything you need to know to get started with podcasting. It's a course I very highly recommend.
AMP'D Up Podcasting
If you're interested in growing your existing podcast, AMP'd Up Podcasting by Pat Flynn is one that I highly recommend. In this course, Pat teaches you specific ways to market and monetize your podcast.
Maybe you have a podcast based on a personal interest or perhaps it's for business. This course will hold your hand and take you step-by-step through the process. Plus, you'll also find a lot of useful templates and worksheets including one for your show's editorial.
One of my biggest income streams has been through affiliate marketing. It's all thanks to this course by Pat Flynn. By now you know I'm a fan of this guy. That's because his courses are really good.
In 123-Affiliate Marketing, Pat teaches you a step-by-step process to start generating affiliate income from scratch. Highly recommend this course.
When I got started with online business, I was very distracted. There are days in a row when did so many things that I struggled to gather or summarize what I did. This book brought about a profound change in the way I thought about doing things. Please take time to give this a read.
Your Best Year Ever
This entered by bookshelf very recently, but has left a mark in me. I used the book to do my yearly planning, and I can't be more confident and excited about the outcome.
Highly recommend this book if you are getting started with business or looking to take your business to the next level.