Latest EOFire Podcast What you really want…

Here’s the latest Entrepresneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

There are a lot of things people SAY they want…

  • More time with family
  • A new car
  • Better/longer vacations
  • etc etc etc

What you REALLY want is the freedom to choose to spend more time with family, a new car/vacation etc etc etc.

Freedom of CHOICE is something we all yearn for.

Take away our freedom to choose and you’ve taken away a part of the human soul.

My Podcast, EOFire (Entrepreneur On Fire) is over 4 years old.

I’ve interviewed over 1400 successful and inspiring Entrepreneurs, from Tony Robbins to an Entrepreneur making 2k a month doing what they LOVE.

The ONE commonality all my guests share is this:

Successful Entrepreneurs know how to SET and ACCOMPLISH goals.

Unsuccessful Entrepreneurs don’t.

It’s really that simple.

In early 2015, I decided it was time for me to create the SOLUTION to the problem so many of my listeners (Fire Nation) struggle with.

It took hundreds of hours of research, countless interviews and painstaking attention to detail, but in early 2016 I unveiled The Freedom Journal; Accomplish your #1 goal in 100 days.

We launched The Freedom Journal on Kickstarter and during the 33-day campaign became the 6th most funded publishing campaign of all time, generating $453,838 in revenue with over 7,000 backers.

The Freedom Journal has now sold over 14,000 copies and has helped hundreds and soon thousands accomplish their #1 goal in 100-days.

The Freedom Journal is a step-by-step guide that will teach you how to set a S.M.A.R.T. goal, and with daily tasks, nightly recaps, 10-day sprints and quarterly reviews you WILL accomplish your #1 goal in 100-days, I guarantee it!

Imagine the excitement you’ll feel once you’ve accomplished your #1 goal.

Knocking over that ONE BIG DOMINO that’s been standing in your way for FAR too long feels GREAT.

My domino was EOFire, and the 7-figure business I’ve built is a result of accomplishing the goal of launching a podcast interviewing todays most successful Entrepreneurs 7-days a week.

What’s YOUR #1 goal?

Start accomplishing it today with The Freedom Journal!

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Latest EOFire Podcast S3E10: A finale on the top entrepreneurial tools and resources

Here’s the latest Entrepresneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

entrepreneurial tools and resources

Creating an entire season around tools and resources was a big risk on my part.

Big risk, big reward – right?

I think so, because my hope is that once you’ve landed here – on the finale – that the tools and resources I’ve shared with you have helped save you time, money, and frustration, and that they’ve also helped you make a whole lot more progress than you might have otherwise.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the process of creating this season, it’s that there are literally hundreds of tools and resources available to us, and it’s simply not possible to know exactly which one is right for you until you just take the leap and try it.

No wonder so many tools and resources have a free trial…

So today, in our finale, let’s take a look back at the topics we’ve covered, and then we’ll wrap with yet a few more tools and resources that didn’t fit into one of our topics.

Tools and resources by topic

I also had the opportunity to share my Top 5 Favorite tools and resources with you, which included:

  • Workflowy
  • Boomerang for Gmail
  • Asana
  • Skype
  • TextExpander

Entrepreneurial tools and resources

When I started working on the finale for season 3 I realized that some of my favorite tools and resources were left out simply because they didn’t quite fit into any of our categories.

That’s certainly no reason to not share them with you, so here they are…

Video Speed Controller

Speed up those videos!

LastPass

Password and security protection online.

WebinarNinja

Your all-in-one Webinar platform. Use promo code FIRE for a special discount!

DocuSign

Electronic signatures and storage for important contracts, agreements, and more!

S3 by Amazon

Cloud storage for PDF’s, documents, samples, templates, videos, audio – and more!

CPA On Fire

Your CPA and tax professional – on fire!

Kahuna Accounting

Your bookkeeping team, (and ours, too!)

David Lizerbram

Your legal professional (and ours, too!)

Up next on Kate’s Take

That’s a wrap! Season 3 has come to a close, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look forward to much more by way of actionable advice from EOFire.

Season 4 is just around the corner, and I’d love your input and recommendations for what Season 4 should be about! Just click here to fill out a quick form with your input, or record me a voice message – I love hearing your voice 🙂

In between Seasons you can definitely expect to see some posts and episodes, but not on the Mon / Thur schedule you’re used to. Make sure you’re subscribed to Kate’s Take so you don’t miss a thing!

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Latest EOFire Podcast EOFire’s August 2016 Income Report

Here’s the latest Entrepresneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

August 2016 Income At-A-Glance

Gross Income for August: $196,324

Total Expenses for August: $71,812

Total Net Profit for August: $124,512

Difference b/t August & July: $26,813

eofire income report button

Why We Publish An Income Report

This monthly income report is created for you, Fire Nation!

By documenting the struggles we encounter and the successes we celebrate as entrepreneurs every single month, we’re able to provide you with support – and a single resource – where we share what’s working, what’s not, and what’s possible.

There’s a lot of hard work that goes into learning and growing as an entrepreneur, especially when you’re just starting out. The most important part of the equation is that you’re able to pass on what you learn to others through teaching, which is what we aim to do here at EOFire.

Let’s IGNITE!

CPA On Fire’s Monthly Tax Tip

What’s up Fire Nation, my name is Josh Bauerle. I’m a CPA and the Founder of CPA On Fire, where we specialize in working with entrepreneurs to minimize their tax liability while keeping them in line with the ever-changing tax laws.

I’ve been working with EOFire for years now, and John and Kate have included me in these monthly income reports with unlimited access to all their accounts so I can verify that what they report here is complete and accurate.

And because they believe in delivering an insane amount of value to you, my job doesn’t stop at the verification level; I’ll also be providing tax and accounting tips to you along the way!

Josh’s August Tax Tip: Tax deductions on inventory

Hopefully reading these tax tips over the last few years has provided you with a good understanding of how tax deductions work.

At this point, you probably realize that if you spend money to improve your business in some way, you will generally get to deduct some – or all – of that cost against your income.

And now that you’ve thoroughly learned how that process works, I’m going to throw a giant wrench in it!

If you have a business that has inventory – meaning you buy or make some type of physical product to resell to others – the tax deduction works completely different.

Instead of being able to deduct the costs right when you spend the money, inventory doesn’t become a tax deduction until the time it is sold.

Tax deductions on The Freedom Journal: An example

Let’s look at EOFire and The Freedom Journal as an example.

Late in 2015, EOFire spent a lot of money to create The Freedom Journal. But because of the way Kickstarter works, none of those journals technically sold until early 2016.

What this meant was that while EOFire spent a lot of money on a legitimate business expense in 2015, they weren’t able to actually deduct any of that money until 2016.

On a small scale this might not seem like a big deal. How much of a difference can it really make?

But on a larger scale, it can become a major cash flow issue, especially for those who purchase the inventory early for the sole purpose of a tax deduction.

I can’t tell you the number of clients we started working with who came to us thinking they would owe little-to-no taxes because they made a large inventory purchase at year end for the sole purpose of bringing down their taxable profits.

We unfortunately had to give them the bad news that all that unsold inventory is not an expense until it is actually sold, and that they still owe taxes on all those profits, which creatied a large tax bill they had no idea was coming.

An inventory checklist

So is the IRS actually punishing those who hold inventory?

I guess that depends how you look at it; but let’s focus on what’s important: what you can do to ensure you don’t get hit too hard for unsold inventory.

1. Understand the rule

Now that you know exactly what the rule is, your excuses are gone.

You CANNOT, under ANY circumstances, deduct unsold inventory.

Trust me, I’ve heard all the ideas in the book; the fact remains, you cannot do it and making a large inventory purchase at year end to reduce your taxable income will not work.

2. Purchase inventory as needed

I get it – you don’t want to be caught in a situation where you have demand for your product with no way to fill it.

But you also don’t want to get caught with a large quantity of unsold inventory at year end that won’t provide a tax deduction.

So carefully monitor your inventory turnover rate and adjust accordingly, especially at year end.

3. Know the numbers you need

If these rules on inventory make taxes seem even more concerning, fear not – I have a quick and easy way for you to figure out your inventory deduction!

You basically need three numbers:

– Your beginning inventory

What was the total cost of the inventory on hand at the beginning of the year?

– Your total purchases

How much inventory did you purchase during the year?

– Your ending inventory

What was the cost value of your unsold inventory at year end?

If you can get those three numbers to your accountant at year end, they will easily be able to figure out your exact amount of deductible inventory.

Remember that while many people will consider this inventory rule a disadvantage for those with physical products to sell, the truth is, if you understand the rule and plan accordingly it won’t have any real impact on your business!

If you have a question you would like to see covered in a future income report, leave it in the comments section below, or reach out to me directly!

As always, please feel free to contact me if you’d like to discuss what would be best for YOUR business. I LOVE chatting with Fire Nation!

*Bonus* If you haven’t checked out our FREE course on business entities yet, you can get it here!

Mentioned in this episode: Kahuna Accounting (our incredible bookkeeping team!)

What Went Down In August

Filming for The Messengers

In late June we receive an email from Chris Krimitsos, founder of the Tampa Bay Business Owners Association, co-founder and host of Podfest Florida, and partner in crime to Katie Krimitsos of Biz Women Rock.

We’ve known Chris and Katie for quite a while and have participated in several online summits and Podfest in the past.

It was a super short and sweet email about a new project they’d been working on with a team of podcasters and film-makers called The Messengers: A Podcast Documentary.

He shared the trailer with us, which you can check out below, and said it plain and simple:

We would love to schedule time to visit you and Kate and have you filmed for the documentary sometime in August.

Needless to say, we accepted, and on Friday, August 5th we met up with the crew right here in Palmas Del Mar for a pre-filming dinner – all 15 of us!

The Messengers Documentary

This crew is so insanely inspiring.

The dedication, the hours, the passion, and the straight up HARD WORK that they’re putting into this documentary is incredible, which is why we’re so honored to be a part of it.

Filming lasted all day, and while it was intense at times (imagine having multiple cameras, microphones, and 5-7 people surrounding you at all times – PLUS having to answer some tough questions), we know the end result is going to be POWERFUL.

And of course, we had a ton of fun in the process…

The Messengers: A Podcast Documentary

The film is at about 75% funded right now with 11 days to go, so make sure you head over and check out their IndieGoGo campaign and help support what this team is doing to share the power of podcasting.

The Messengers- A Podcast Documentary

Mastermind in Puerto Rico

We also welcomed a couple of house guests in August: Michael O’Neal of the Solopreneur Hour Podcast and Greg Hickman of System.ly.

While the primary focus of the trip was to mastermind, we also set aside time for outdoor bbq’s, watching Monica take home the first gold medal for Puerto Rico at the Olympics, a night out at the casino here in Palmas, and a day of exploring in Old San Juan.

Old San Juan

Oh, and we luckily to sneak in a guest appearance on the Solopreneur Hour Podcast in our kitchen 🙂

Filming Solopreneur Hour

While I didn’t participate in the mastermind day the guys had, I did get to spend a day with Greg brainstorming and re-working how our campaigns, welcome journey, and our overall customer journey works.

Here’s a VERY rough look at what we came up with…

Mastermind with Greg

We’re in the process of implementing this all now, and while it’s been a ton of work we know the new EOFire welcome journey will be well worth it.

When you take a step back and put yourself in your prospect or customer’s shoes, you can uncover a lot about what’s missing, and how you could be better introducing them to your business and brand.

SkillsOnFire

In late August I launched SkillsOnFire, which si where I will be creating short but POWERFUL tutorials to make you DANGEROUS in a number of different areas. Social media, email, time management, morning routines and MUCH more.

Check out the current tutorials here!

SOFSlide

Self-Mastery Journal

Are you ready to master productivity, discipline, & focus in 100 Days?

My next project is Self-Mastery Journal: Master productivity, discipline, & focus in 100 Days!

I’m INCREDIBLY excited for the launch of Self-Mastery Journal (coming Q1 2017) because this is a project that’s very personal for me.

The Freedom Journal was creating the solution for how to set and accomplish meaningful goals. My EOFire guests thrive with goals, while many of my listeners struggle with goals; The Freedom Journal bridges that gap.

But Self-Mastery Journal is personal.

I believe my strengths are productivity, discipline, & focus. 

There is a method to my madness, and in Self-Mastery Journal you WILL learn how to master productivity, discipline, & focus in 100 days.

Straight up, Self-Mastery Journal is going to be work, but if you want to achieve your dreams, it’s time to raise your hand and join me! Allow Self-Mastery Journal to be your guide.

I’ll be sharing my progress, as well as providing gifts and awesomeness along the way, so be sure to sign up for updates at SelfMasteryJournal.com!

SMJSlide

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

August 2016 Income Breakdown*

Product/Service Income: $146,250

The Freedom Journal: Accomplish your #1 goal in 100 days!

  • Shopify: $20,773 (439 Freedom Journals & 48 Digital Packs sold!)
  • Amazon: $12,285 (315 Freedom Journals sold!)
  • Total: $33,058

Podcasters’ Paradise: The #1 Podcasting community in the world!

  • Recurring: $12,732 (119 monthly)
  • New members: $7,404 (23 monthly, 3 annual)
  • Total: $20,136

Podcast Sponsorship Income$87,000

Podcast Websites: $5,000 Your all-in-one podcast website peace of mind

Free Podcast Course: A free 15-day course on Podcasting

Free Webinar Course: A free 10-day course on Webinars

Free Goals Course: A free 8-day course on Setting & Accomplishing Goals

WebinarOnFire: $672 Learn how to Create & Present Webinars that Convert!

The Fire Path Course: $162 A step-by-step business roadmap

Podcast LaunchAudiobook$184 | eBook: $38

Affiliate Income: $50,074

*Affiliate links below

Resources for Entrepreneurs: $16,545

Courses for Entrepreneurs: $32,366

Resources for Podcasters: $411

Other Resources: $752

  • Amazon Associates: $640
  • Other: $112

Total Gross Income in August: $196,324

Business Expenses: $67,467

  • Advertising: $2,696
  • Affiliate Commissions (Paradise): $4,809
  • Accounting: $250
  • Cost of goods sold: $4,342
  • Design & Branding: $1,980
  • Education: $2,112
  • Legal & Professional: $25,750
  • Meals & Entertainment: $804
  • Merchant / bank fees: $4,890
  • Amazon fees: $4,764
  • Shopify fees: $412
  • Stripe fees: $24
  • PayPal fees: $460
  • Office expenses: $2,580
  • Other Business Expenses: $36
  • Promotional / events: $323
  • Paradise Refunds: $579
  • WebinarOnFire Refunds: $2,388 (invoice total)
  • Shipwire: $6,000
  • Sponsorships: $21,750
  • Show notes: $398
  • Total Launch Package Fees: $175
  • Travel: $834
  • Virtual Assistant Fees: $2,530
  • Website Fees: $1,581

Recurring, Subscription-based Expenses: $4,345

  • Adobe Creative Cloud: $100
  • Boomerang: $70
  • Brandisty: $24
  • Authorize.net: $91.10
  • Cell Phone: $280
  • Google Storage: $9.99
  • Go2MyPC: $12
  • Internet: $1,892 (includes 1-time set-up fee)
  • eVoice: $9.95
  • Infusionsoft CRM: $497
  • Insurance: $551
  • Libsyn: $320
  • Chatroll: $150
  • PureChat: $20
  • ScheduleOnce: $9
  • Skype: $2.99
  • Shopify: $29
  • TaxJar: $19
  • Payroll fee: $77
  • Workflowy: $4.99
  • MeetEdgar: $49
  • Wistia: $25
  • WPCurve: $29
  • Taxes & Licenses: $77

Total Expenses in August: $71,812

Payroll to John, Kate & PR Team: $24,236

In our May 2014 Income Report and our June 2016 Income Report, Josh focuses on how to pay yourself as an entrepreneur. Check them out!

Total Net Profit for August 2016: $124,512

Biggest Lesson Learned

EntrepreneurOnFire

Take ownership

In August, I learned one of the toughest lessons to date here at EOFire:

NO ONE cares about your business as much as you do, and that means YOU have to take ownership.

  • Ownership of what’s happening in your business.
  • Ownership of who is working in your business.
  • Ownership of how your prospects and customers see and experience your business.
  • Ownership of the way your business runs.
  • Ownership of how you want your business to run.
  • Ownership of the results you see if your business.
  • Ownership of the things you want to change in your business.
  • TAKE OWNERSHIP.

No one else cares about your business as much as you do. Take ownership.

Alright Fire Nation, that’s a wrap!

Until next month, keep your FIRE burning!

~ Kate & John

Note: we report our income figures as accurately as possible, but in using reports from a combo of Infusionsoft & Xero to track our product and total income / expenses, they suggest the possibility of a 3 – 5% margin of error. 

Click here for all of EOFire’s Income Reports

This post was written by Kate Erickson, Content Creator and Implementer at EOFire. Follow Kate on Social:

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Latest EOFire Podcast S3E9: Top 6 tools and resources for creating and selling courses and recurring memberships

Here’s the latest Entrepresneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

online courses and recurring membership sites

I’m not the first person to tell you about the power and importance of creating recurring revenue in your business, or about the importance of having multiple streams of income. You know the saying, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”.

It’s something we’ve taken very seriously here at EOFire because at the end of the day, if your business isn’t generating revenue – or at least on a solid path to generating revenue – it’s not going to be sustainable for long.

One of the very first products we created here at EOFire was a membership mastermind called Fire Nation Elite. At the time, I didn’t fully understand the impact this membership mastermind would have on us, or the members within – let alone how to actually create and run it.

Since, we’ve created three different recurring membership communities, and we’ve netted over $4 million as a result of these communities.

That’s why today I’m excited to share some of the top tools and resources we’ve used to create – and sell – our recurring memberships here at EOFire.

But first, a shout out to Matt D’Angelo for requesting more info on this topic. I received an email from Matt a few weeks ago asking about different options for course platforms, which gave me the idea to make this episode around recurring memberships.

Teachable for hosting your online course

How I use Teachable

Well, to be honest, we just started using Teachable, and we’re checking it out to help us host our most recent course, SkillsOnFire. You check out what we put together in literally a couple of hours over at SkillsOnFire.com (Teachable is an incredibly easy platform to use!)

Why I love Teachable

It might be a little too soon for the L word, but we’re definitely digging Teachable thus far. What’s awesome is it connects to both Stripe and PayPal, and if you join at the $99 / month level, you pay NO transaction fee to Teachable.

While we’re not currently leveraging a ton of the features, you can manage your affiliates on Teachable and even have them pay out your affiliates for you (for a 2% fee). They also offer video and web hosting right on the platform, so it truly is an “all inclusive” platform for hosting and selling your courses.

Compare this tool

Course Cats: From David Siteman Garland comes a platform that makes it super easy for you to create a beautiful course website right on WordPress.

Teachery.co: Try it free for 14-days, or choose a lifetime, annual or monthly plan. Teachery has no transaction fees and appears to be a stellar option if you’re looking to get your course up quickly and easily!

Customerhub for your membership site

How I use Customerhub

Both Podcasters’ Paradise and WebinarOnFire are hosted on Customerhub. When we first launched Fire Nation Elite, that was also hosted on Customerhub.

Customerhub houses all of our membership site content, plus keeps it behind a wall so that only members have access to it.

Why I love Customerhub

I’m not sure that I love Customerhub all the way, but I do really, really appreciate that it integrates flawlessly with Infusionsoft, making the backend process (from the time a customer hits our order form to the time they’re logging into the site) totally seamless. I literally do not lift a finger.

That said, Customerhub was pretty much one of the only platforms available when we launched Fire Nation Elite and Podcasters’ Paradise back in 2013. Because we’re so established on the platform, it’s been a tough sell to get us to consider moving (although we are making moves towards bringing Paradise onto a new platform for functionality reasons).

Customerhub is $79 / month.

Compare this tool

The number of options available for hosting a membership site is pretty unreal, so it’s definitely something you want to fully research and take your time vetting as it relates to exactly what you’re looking for the platform to offer you / allow you to do.

  • Wishlist Member: We’ve also used Wishlist Member (we moved Fire Nation Elite from Customerhub to Wishlist in 2014). Wishlist is fairly easy to use and it’s definitely super affordable: just a 1-time fee of $197 (or $297 for a multi-license).
  • Rainmaker Platform: Your all-in-one solution for online marketing and sales. Rainmaker truly does so much more than just help you sell your courses, but I haven’t personally used this platform, so I can’t speak to ease-of-use or integrations. If you’re already established with your site and CRM, then it may not be as powerful as it could be if you’re just starting out.
  • Memberium: Now where the heck was this back in 2013? It’s basically an upgraded Customerhub as far as I can tell, and it integrates with both Infusionsoft and WordPress. This means that most of the plugins you can use on WordPress, you can integrate into your membership site as well.
  • iMember360: Another Infusionsoft + WordPress solution that appears to be a really great option.

Stripe for payment processing

How I use Stripe

Stripe integrates with several platforms, making it an easy solution for payment processing. We use Stripe with Shopify for The Freedom Journal.

Why I love Stripe

It’s super simple and their fees are reasonable, plus, you can accept mobile and online payments quickly and easily. You can get started with Stripe for just 2.9% + 0.30 for each successful transaction.

Compare this tool

PayPalPayPal may be the simplest solution for linking a buy now button on your site or sales page. Anywhere you can put HTML, you can put a buy button, and PayPal even lets you create links you can email to customers.

GumroadSell your work, grow your audience.

Braintree Payments: Braintree Payments is a sponsor of EOFire and they allow you to accept payments no matter where you are in several different currencies and forms.

Keynote for content

How I use Keynote

I use Keynote to create the slides – or content – that will show up in the video tutorials in our courses and on our membership site.

Why I love Keynote

Keynote is for Mac users and gives you several template options and tons of flexibility when it comes to customizing your slides or presentation to look exactly how you want it.

Compare this tool

PowerPoint: PowerPoint is the Microsoft office equivalent of Keynote, and while I used (and loved) PowerPoint for some time, it doesn’t even begin to compare to Keynote.

Prezi: Animated and creative presentations.

Slidebot: A software that will create your slides for you?! Sound too good to be true, right? I haven’t had the chance to check this out yet, but I definitely will be soon!

Screenflow for video recording and editing

How I use Screenflow

I use Screenflow to record and edit the video tutorials we put in our courses and on our membership sites.

Why I love Screenflow

It allows you to do SO MUCH! There’s a bit of a learning curve, but once you know it, you won’t know how you lived without it.

Compare this tool

I’m dive into details on Screenflow and other video recording and editing options in Season 3, Episode 5!

Vimeo for hosting videos

How I use Vimeo

We host all of our videos on Vimeo. Depending on which course platform you choose, you may not even need an independent host for your videos.

Why I love Vimeo

Vimeo’s Pro plan makes it easy to control who has access to your videos – and where they show up.

Compare this tool

I’m dive into details on Vimeo and other video hosting options in Season 3, Episode 5!

Recommended resources

The Tribe Course: Stu McLaren is the master when it comes to creating recurring revenue in your business, and he just launched a brand new course on how to transfer your knowledge and influence into recurring revenue.

So, if you’re thinking – “I don’t need the tools, I just want someone to walk me through how to do it!“, then Stu and The Tribe Course are for you.

Create Awesome Online Courses: David Siteman Garland is a one-of-a-kind guy – not just because he oozes energy and has an amazing personality and sense of humor, but also because he knows his stuff when it comes to creating online courses that sell.

So, if you just want a guide on how to create – well, an awesome online course – then DSG and CAOC are for you. You don’t even have to dive straight into the course; at the very least, you should snag his free download, a Cheat Sheet: 7 proven steps to creating, promoting, and profiting from online courses. (See, I told you he’s awesome!)

Plus, DSG created his very own course platform called Course Cats, which I’ve mentioned above.

Up next

Sharing and reviewing all these tools and resources with you in Season 3 reminds me of how lucky we are to live in a world where we have access to so many helpful things.

Are the tools and resources we use always perfect? Not even close. But the fact that we have any option at all is something to be really grateful for.

Up next is our Season 3 finale, where we’ll take a look back at the top tools and resources shared this season!

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Latest EOFire Podcast S3 Bonus: My Top 5 favorite tools and resources

Here’s the latest Entrepresneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

top 5 tools and resources

As you can imagine, after sharing over 40 tools and resources with you thus far in Season 3, coming up with my Top 5 Favorites was tough.

But what excites me most about this post is that the tools and resources I’m about to share with you are ones I use every – single – day. I’ve also included quick video tutorials of HOW I use each of these tools so you can see them in action!

Workflowy: A note-takers best friend

You’ve heard me mention it more than a few times: Workflowy is my notepad of choice and it contains just about any and every ‘note-to-self’ I’ve had in the past 3 years.

Because it can take time to get the hang of how Workflowy functions, I created the video below to show you how I leverage Workflowy. And trust me, even this video doesn’t dive into all the things you can do with this incredible tool.

 

Workflowy is free, but you can upgrade for additional functions and customizations. I’ used the free version for a couple of years and just recently upgraded to support the team who created one of my favorite tools ever!

Boomerang for Gmail: My peace of mind

The hugest benefit of Boomerang is that it gives you peace of mind that you’re not dropping the ball. If you’re like me and you love to plan and put deadlines on tasks and projects, then Boomerang will save you enough times that you’ll be willing to pay anything to keep it in your toolkit.

Lucky for all of us, it’s only $5 / month.

Check out the video below to see how I use Boomerang, and at the very least, sign up for the free version so you can experience its awesomeness!

 

Asana: My task keeper

With how many different projects, tasks, and to-do’s I have on my mind, I’d be completely lost – and probably super unproductive – without Asana.

Plus, I get to use the platform with my team – to assign others tasks, keep people up-to-date on the progress of certain tasks, and, of course, to keep myself accountable and on-pace for doing the things I’ve said I’ll do.

Asana is free, or you can opt for their Premium version for about $4 / month. I’ve been using the free version for years now and have never felt the need to upgrade.

Check out how cool this tool is…

 

Skype: My instant chat buddy

John and I use Skype so often that we now have special Skype codes we use for one another. Weird that we Skype one another when we live in the same house, and work in offices that share a wall? Not at all, because it’s how we guarantee that we’re not disrupting one another’s focus and productivity.

Skype is also a great tool for keeping in touch and building upon relationships. For example, I use it twice per month to Skype with my accountability partner; I also use it once per month to Skype with a friend.

As if the above weren’t enough reasons for me to name Skype of one of my Top 5 favorite tools, I also use it to communicate quickly and easily with our virtual team, in addition to connecting with other podcasters for interviews.

You can use Skype for free, or you can purchase “Skype credits”, which allow you to receive and make calls to land lines and cell phones from your Skype account.

Text Expander: A time-saving ninja tool

I call it like I see it: Text Expander is NINJA.

Any text that you type out more than 1 time per week deserves a short code.

What’s a short code?

It’s the letters and/or numbers you assign to things like your email address, your mailing address, your website, your bio – even responses to FAQ’s – that will expand the entire text you want it to with just a few key strokes.

I literally smile every time I use Text Expander because it makes me that happy I’m saving time by not having to type out an entire sentence – or better yet, an entire paragraph – every time I want it to show up.

TextExpander is less than $40 / year (which comes out to $3.33 / month) and is worth 10x that investment. Find out for yourself with their 30 day free trial!

Here’s a video of how I use Text Expander

 

More awesome tools, resources and shortcuts

Creating Season 3 around top tools and resources has me obsessed with all things that help me save time and work most efficiently on a daily basis.

Things that I do most times without even realizing I’m doing them are shortcuts I’ve learned over the past several years, and since I wasn’t sure which “category” these shortcuts might fit under, I decided to include just a few of them here.

Command+Shift+T: re-opens the last tab you closed in your browser

Command+Shift+4: take a screen shot of a specific frame (saves to your desktop)

Command+Shift+3: take a screen shot of your entire screen (saves to your desktop)

Right click on a tab to: “pin” or “mute” that tab

Up next in Season 3

It’s hard to believe we’re coming to the end of another season here on Kate’s Take, but I’m fired up for what’s ahead: next, I’m going to dive into the top tools and resources for creating a membership site!

The post S3 Bonus: My Top 5 favorite tools and resources appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       
 

 

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Latest EOFire Podcast S3E8: Top 7 tools and resources for social media

Here’s the latest Entrepresneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

social media tools and resources

Social Media has become a huge part of our lives – whether we like it or not. In fact, entire businesses are built on services and courses that will teach you how to use Social Media effectively.

But with a platform that moves at the speed of light, how are we supposed to keep up?

New platforms, strategies, and features are popping up every single day, and that’s why having the right tools and resources in place is so huge.

But before we dive in, I want to be sure it’s clear that you do not have to “be everywhere” on social media. In fact, you shouldn’t even try – at least not in the beginning. How our social media strategy is set up and run has taken us years to build, and so if you’re just getting started with building a social presence, it’s best to choose just ONE platform where you know your audience is hanging out at, and focus all of your social media presence energy there.

Once you start to gain traction, THEN you can go out and start building a presence in multiple places.

Here are the tools and resources we use to stay on top of our Social Media presence.

Google Drive for creating

How I use Google Drive

Because our virtual team manages the actual posting of our social media, we share a Google Spreadsheet with them to make sure we’re all on the same page when it comes to the type of content being shared.

For example, we have a single sheet that is Social Media, then individual tabs for each platform (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc). Within each tab, we have sections – for Twitter, we have a section for The Freedom Journal, and under that section is where our team can copy / paste the most up-to-date content for our social media.

Why I love Google Drive

We create the content for them, and they have access to it anytime! It’s great to know we’re always on the same page in terms of what we’re sharing on social media. Plus, Google Drive is free 🙂

Compare this tool

I’ve talked about Google Drive a couple of times now in Season 3, but for details on comparisons, check out Episode 2.

BigStock for stock images

How I use BigStock

BigStock is where we go to purchase licenses for stock images we use, which isn’t too often these days. However, it was super helpful back when we didn’t have the funds to hire photographers and designers to create our own images that looked great.

Why I love BigStock

It’s pretty easy to search BigStock and they have a pretty sweet subscription that gets you 5 images per day for $79 / month. To think you could stock up on that many images in 1 month and have full license to use them on your site and in your marketing is pretty sweet.

Compare this tool

Unsplash: I was just turned on to this site this past week by Jodi Flynn of Women Taking the Lead and I cannot believe what an incredible resource it is! Get high-resolution images for free (but be sure to read their license agreement first.) This site offers Thank you, Jodi!

MeetEdgar for scheduling

How I use MeetEdgar

Our entire team plays a role in using MeetEdgar, and we use it to schedule out our social media content in advance. This helps us automate a huge part of our process.

Why I love MeetEdgar

What’s so great about MeetEdgar that you can’t find with other social media scheduling tools is that it recycles your content for you. So instead of uploading a Tweet and sharing it one time – or creating and FB post and having it go out once – the content you upload to MeetEdgar continues to be shared over time on a schedule that you set.

All of this said, it’s not cheap. MeetEdgar is $49 / month.

Compare this tool

Hootsuite: Hootsuite is what we used to schedule our social media for about 2 years (until MeetEdgar was created). Hootsuite is great because it allows you to perform bulk uploads of content plus schedule things out in advance, which saves a ton of time. Best part: it’s free for up to 3 accounts! (Switch to Pro for $9 / month, billed annually)

Buffer: I haven’t used Buffer myself but I’ve heard from several people who use and love it. Buffer is free for 1 social media account, and then the plans start at $10 / month for multiple profiles.

IFTTT: If This Then That also allows you to set up automated social media sharing. For example, one of your “recipes” might be: If I post a blog, Then share it on Twitter. I’ve talked about IFTTT in Season 3 already (click here for reference), so you know it allows you to do so much more than just social media.

Facebook for Groups

How I use Facebook

Facebook is a great platform for connecting with others, but what I believe Facebook is most powerful for is Groups.

Why I love Facebook

The fact that you can search for targeted groups filled with people talking about and focused on a specific topic is something that is grossly under-leveraged.

Want to find out more about your avatar’s pain points? I can guarantee you they’re talking about those pain points – maybe outright, or maybe via questions – in a Facebook Group.

Want to provide your community a platform to come together? We created a Facebook Group for The Freedom Journal, and the engagement and encouragement that takes place in that group every single day is gold!

Compare this tool

Of course, there are other platforms that offer groups, and those other platforms might be best for you and your business. It all depends on where your ideal client is hanging out at. Are they on Facebook? LinkedIn? Meetup.com?

All of these are potential options that might be best for you and your business.

Twitter for feedback

How I use Twitter

I find that Twitter is the best place for honest and easy-to-consume feedback. I love to share my Twitter handle on podcasts – including my own – to request feedback, because I know that with the 140 character limit, it makes it easy for people to reply.

Why I love Twitter

I get so much great feedback on Twitter through engaging with those who are reaching out. For example, if someone Tweets that they loved a post or episode I’ve released, then I’ll ask them more about that – something like, “What was your biggest takeaway”, or “What would you like to hear more about?”

It’s a great way to get quick feedback on a platform people are already using to reach out to me on.

Compare this tool

Twitter nailed it in the unique category. The fact that you can only use 140 characters to express something really sets this platform apart. I wouldn’t know what else to compare it to in the social media space.

Instagram for inspiration and motivation

How I use Instagram

I tend to use Instagram for more inspirational / motivational thoughts. For whatever reason, I personally feel that these thoughts are best expressed with a visual.

I also know that Instagram just came out with Instagram Stories, which is similar to SnapChat, so it’s also a great way to “pull back the curtain” and allow your audience to learn more about you personally.

Why I love Instagram

Instagram is my favorite social media platform because it allows me to be creative and share a bit about myself personally, all while still providing value to those who follow me.

When I post on Twitter, I don’t necessarily feel “creative”, but when I post on Instagram, I do. Plus, I’m able to say a lot more than I can just on Twitter 🙂

Compare this tool

SnapChat: John LOVES SnapChat, and I definitely see the value in this platform as well. John uses SnapChat to create stories and his “JLD Rants” to share a quick lesson around inspiration and motivation. SnapChat is one of the only platforms I’ve seen that allows this super intimate connection between you and your viewers – they’re literally walking through your day with you when they watch your story.

Pinterest: I compare Pinterest to Instagram in that it’s another platform that is primarily visual. Pinterest is an incredible platform for anyone selling physical products, and also for anyone who knows their audience appreciates and consumes content via visuals.

Share Link Generator for creating quick share links

How I use Share Link Generator

Share Link Generator allows you to input a title, text, and image and generate a single link for easy and quick sharing on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Why I love Share Link Generator

Share Link Generator makes it super easy to make the BIG ask! Looking for others to help support your next book launch, the podcast episode they were featured on, or a course you’ve just finished creating? Imagine being able to share a single link they can click that pre-populates all the info, and all they have to do is click share!

Plus, it’s free 🙂

Compare this tool

Click to Tweet: Create Tweets that can be shared by others with a single click. Get advanced tracking and other great tools when you upgrade to Pro for $5 / month.

Bit.ly: Create short links for LONG URL’s using Bit.ly. You can even upgrade and get your own bit.ly URL (i.e. eofire.co)

Recommended resources for Social Media

Social Media Examiner: A daily post and a weekly episode about all things social media? This is the top resource for someone looking to consume highly valuable content about all things social media.

Wallaroo Media: Done-for-you social media strategy and marketing.

Facebook Ads: They’re all the rage, but who on earth actually knows how to create and run them effectively? Rick Mulready does. In fact, he has 2 courses you can choose from that will teach you how:

Up next in Season 3

I’m really excited for our next episode, which is going to be a bonus episode where I share my Top 5 Favorite tools and resources.

The post S3E8: Top 7 tools and resources for social media appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       
 

 

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Latest EOFire Podcast S3E7: Top 7 tools and resources for your website

Here’s the latest Entrepresneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

website plugins and resources

The one place online you own and control is your website, making its importance obvious. It’s your home base, where people can go to learn more about you and your business.

But let’s be real: creating a website isn’t easy. All the options, platforms, plugin’s, and development that goes into a website can be overwhelming, to say the least.

These tools and resources are ones that have helped us effectively manage an ever-growing website without going crazy. Of course, we can’t do it all alone, so I’ve included some incredible recommended services for those of you looking for the more “done for you” approach!

WordPress for publishing your site

I talk about the reasons why we use and love WordPress in Season 3, Episode 4 as it relates to content creation, so you can check out that post and episode out for more details.

Simply put, WordPress is the strongest leader in the website publishing space when it comes to building your website on a platform you can do just about anything with. But this is definitely not to say it’s the only option, and there are probably better options out there for you depending on your specific needs.

Let’s take a look at some of those options…

Compare this tool

Podcast WebsitesYour all-in-one podcast website solution, which includes pre-loaded plugin’s, a stats dashboard, podcast hosting, and personalized support – built on WordPress, specifically for podcasters. (co-founded by EOFire)

You can check out PodcastersParadise.com, which is built on and supported by Podcast Websites.

Squarespace: Set your website apart; drag and drop your way to a beautiful website! (past sponsors of EOFire)

Shopify: For all you eCommerce lovers out there – running an online store can be tough; with Shopify, you’ve got everything you need to showcase your products, plus a backend that can handle payments and reports. (affiliate link)

You can check out TheFreedomJournal.com, which is built on WordPress, with a shop supported by Shopify.

BlueHost for hosting your site

How I use BlueHost

EOFire started out as a website hosted on BlueHost, and I’ve also personally used BlueHost for my own website in the past. I’ve always had a great experience with the on-boarding process and ongoing support.

Why I love BlueHost

I love BlueHost because it’s super affordable and it’s simple. You can start hosting your website for just $2.95 / month using EOFire’s affiliate link.

*Note: When choosing your host, it’s a great time to ask questions and figure out what options are available for you to add a backup tool and potentially a security tool to your website. These options typically can be built in with your hosting cost.

Compare this tool

Podcast WebsitesIf you’re a podcaster, then this is the way to go. You have everything you need to host your website and your podcast – PLUS personalized support – all in one place.

WPEngine: WPEngine is what we currently use to host EOFire.com. The reason we switched from BlueHost is because the support level and bandwidth we’re currently running on required more than what BlueHost could offer for the price point.

They do offer a 60 day free trial, then plans start at $30 / month.

GoDaddy: I use GoDaddy to purchase the actual domain I want, and if I’m not going to be actively using the site, I will “park” it with them. They also offer hosting packages that are very reasonable – starting at $3.99 / month – and in my experience, their support is always reachable and really great.

Thrive Leads for opt in pop up

How I use Thrive Leads

When you visit EOFire.com, you might get served a pop up opt in offer – something like “Enter your email below to learn the 11 Habits of Successful Entrepreneurs”. That pop up is supported and run through Thrive Leads.

Why I love Thrive Leads

Thrive Leads is an easy-to-use WordPress plugin that helps you a/b test and customize the pop ups on your website. You have control over everything – including where your pop ups show up, and when they show up.

Compare this tool

Optin Monster: We used Optin Monster for over a year here at EOFire, and we loved it. We switched to Thrive Leads simply to check out a new platform. Both are great! Optin Monster starts at $49 / year.

FireUP: FireUP is currently in beta, and it’s a suite of traffic and conversion apps built by yours truly. We’re super excited to launch FireUP, and you can see it in action at PodcastersParadise.com.

SumoMe: The tools and apps available through SumoMe go way beyond just your website’s pop up box. Each individual tool is separate and is on a different pricing structure. Learn more at sumome.com.

Disqus for comments

How I use Disqus

Disqus is the Wordpress plugin we use for engagement and comments on the blog – for free!

Why I love Disqus

Disqus helps keep spam off our blog and it gives us a direct connection to our audience.

Being able to request and receive feedback on specific blog posts is incredibly helpful when it comes to understanding what type of content helps our audience the most. Plus, it’s a great way for us to engage with our audience one-on-one!

Compare this tool

When it comes to commenting plugins it’s really about your personal preference and how you want it to look visually. If you’re trying to decide which one to use, check out each of the sites below and see how each one looks. They’re all great tools and provide similar functions.

Easy Social Share Buttons

How I use Easy Social Share Buttons

Easy Social Share Buttons give us the ability to have social sharing icons on our blog posts and podcast episodes so that our audience can share our content on social media.

Why I love Easy Social Share Buttons

You can download Easy Social Share for $19 and install it on your WordPress site, and it will allow you to customize how you want your social share buttons to show up.

Giving your audience the opportunity to share your content on social media will help you get the word out, and who doesn’t need a little help getting the word out?

Compare this tool

There are so many different options for social media share buttons that I could list dozens here; the one that comes up on WordPress with high ratings and that’s free is MashShare.

I don’t know too much about this plugin, but from the feedback and updates they’ve made recently, it looks like a great tool.

Redirection for quick links

How I use Redirection

Redirection is the tool we use to be able to create quick (or short) links on our website.

For example, when John says “visit EOFirebook.com”, you will be redirected to Audible’s site. Likewise, when I say visit EOFire.com/episode45, you’ll notice when you visit that link, it directs you to a different URL.

Why I love Redirection

Creating quick links helps you create strong and easy-to-follow calls to action for any page or post on your website. It even helps you create easy-to-follow links for affiliates (like EOFirebook.com) or for other web pages / resources outside of your own domain that you want to share. Plus, it’s free!

You can check out this function on your WordPress dashboard under Tools > Redirection.

Compare this tool

Pretty Link Pro: Pretty Link is what we initially used for our quick links here at EOFire, but we quickly realized (around episode 300) that it wasn’t designed to support hundreds and hundreds of quick links.

Pretty Link is a great tool, and it’s just $49 to download and install.

Yoast SEO for SEO

I talk about Yoast SEO in detail in Season 3, Episode 4 as it relates to content creation, and that’s really the gist of how we use this tool and why it’s so great.

Recommended resources

Sometimes I really wish I knew the in’s and out’s of WordPress, CSS coding, themes, plugins, updates, backups… and other times I’m SO grateful that I recognize what my true strengths are (insert: NOT all of these things).

Our true strengths are what have the potential to set us apart, because when we use our true strengths we not only feel amazing ourselves – because we’re kicking butt and taking names – but we also get to step into our zone and that’s when we serve our audience in the best way we know how.

If your strengths aren’t all things websites, then here are some recommended resources to help you along the way.

Up next in Season 3

We’ve covered A LOT here in Season 3 thus far, and in our next episode we’re going to dive into tools and resources for your social media.

I’m anxious to share the tools and resources we use here at EOFire because they’ve changed the way we were able to first build, and now sustain, a strong online presence.

The post S3E7: Top 7 tools and resources for your website appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       
 

 

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Latest EOFire Podcast S3E6: Top 5 tools and resources for design

Here’s the latest Entrepresneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

design resources

I am NOT a designer, and I’ve proved this to myself time and time again. But that doesn’t mean I can’t still create simple things, like images for social media, infographics for the blog, and even checklists and downloads that look nice for our communities.

The tools and resources I use for design are ones I can’t live without, and once you try them out for yourselves, I think you’ll feel the same way.

PicMonkey for creating images

How I use PicMonkey

I use PicMonkey to edit existing images, add text to images, and even to create images from scratch.

Why I love PicMonkey

What’s great about PicMonkey is you don’t have to be a professional designer to create a good looking image. They have a super easy-to-use toolkit that offers text, overlays, shapes, boarders – even tools you can use to put filters on images.

Here’s a peek at their “toolkit” – each of those icons on the left opens up a whole new set of fun effects, overlays, and other features you can use to spruce up your images:

picmonkey

Here’s one image I uploaded to PicMonkey, and then added an overlay and text to:

The Freedom Journal

PicMonkey is also great for creating collages with multiple images, like this one I created after Podcast Movement 2016:

Podcast Movement

Pretty much every image you’ve seen here on the blog was either created or edited using PicMonkey!

Here’s another example of an image I created totally from scratch using PicMonkey:

o_1k timeline

There is a totally free version of PicMonkey, which I used for a long time before upgrading to the “Royale” membership. Given all the extras you get with Royale, it’s worth the $33 / year.

Compare this tool

Canva: I’ve heard a lot of people rave about Canva, and I’ve used it myself on several occasions. I think what prevents me from using it more often is there are simply too many options; they literally have hundreds of banners, templates, and options to choose from, and for me, the fewer, the better!

Canva is a great tool though, and it’s super helpful when your looking to create images or infographics from scratch. Canva has a free and paid versions.

TinyPNG for shrinking images

How I use TinyPNG

To reduce the file size of my images before uploading or sending them via email.

Why I love TinyPNG

Ever visit a website or a blog post that takes ages to load? Chances are, it’s a result of that site or page loading images that are massive in size. I love TinyPNG because it allows you upload any image and within seconds it will shrink the file size by 60, 70, sometimes even 80% of the original without losing any of the quality.

Here’s TinyPNG working its magic – you’ll see the image I uploaded started at 767 kb, and it gave it back to me at just 177 kb:

reduce file size of images

TinyPNG is also totally free.

Compare this tool

PicResize: This is another tool I’ve used on several occasions to shrink the size of image files, but more often than not I use it simply to resize multiple images completely (so not necessarily the size of the file, but the size of the image itself).

PicResize allows you to do bulk resizes, so say you have 20 images that you want to all be 200×200, you can upload them all and tell it to resize every image to 200×200. As long as the % is equal, you can resize as many images as you want all at the same time.

Photoshop for layering images

How I use Photoshop

Even though I’ve taken several online classes to learn Photoshop, I realize that the level of the program far exceeds my design skill. Nonetheless, I use Photoshop primarily to layer images.

Why I love Photoshop

While it’s super complex, I love that Photoshop allows me to layer and alter images in ways that I wouldn’t otherwise know how to.

For example, if I have an image that I’m putting on the blog, and I want the EOFire logo to be a part of it, I can make that happen quickly and easily using Photoshop – like this:

hiring a team

This image was originally created in PicMonkey, and then brought into Photoshop in order to add our logo to the top.

Also, every image you see as the “featured image” on the blog here? That was created using Photoshop, too… but I can’t take any of the credit 😉 Our designer created a template for me using Photoshop, and it has 5 different options I can choose from. Once I have the image and text overlay I want selected, then I can edit the text and I’m good to go!

Photoshop is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud, so if you have that subscription ($50 / month), then you can use Photoshop. If not, it’s $20 / month for the single app.

Compare this tool

Illustrator: This is somewhat similar to Photoshop in terms of what it will allow you to do, but unlike my ability to “get” some of Photoshop, I get ZERO of Illustrator. I’ll leave this tool for the pro’s 🙂

Adobe Acrobat for PDF’s

How I use Acrobat

I use Acrobat for SO much, including creating PDF downloads, forms, saving sponsorship agreements, signing documents, building eBooks and more.

Why I love Acrobat

It allows you to do so much! And it works great with Microsoft Word and other programs. Acrobat is great because it not only allows you to create professional looking downloads and documents, but it also has some impressive editing tools and gives you the ability to create form fields.

Here’s an example of what a form looks like once it’s created in Acrobat – see the blue area? That means someone can type directly in the PDF, just like an online workbook:

pdf acrobat

Any opt in download, PDF document, or eBook you’ve seen here at EOFire was at one point run through Acrobat. You can use it for free, but to have access to all of the bells and whistle, you have to subscribe (included with Creative Cloud).

Compare this tool

I honestly don’t know what to compare this to. I guess for advanced designers, you might compare some of the capabilities Acrobat has to Illustrator, but how I use it, I don’t know of a comparable tool.

Instagram for filters

How I use Instagram

I know it’s a social media platform, but sometimes I’ll use Instagram just for its filters.

Why I love Instagram

I love how easy it is to create filters for images on Instagram without actually having to post them on Instagram. Wait, what?… Tune in to today’s episode to hear how I do this, and how on earth I figured it out 😉

Compare this tool

Word Swag: Add colored text and overlays to your images!

Here’s an example of an image I posted on Instagram, but that I ran through Word Swag first to be able to add the text in the upper lefthand corner:

instagram and word swag

Camera+: Great for quickly editing images and adding filters.

Pic Stitch: Allows you to edit images and created collages straight from your phone.

Recommended design resources

We’re entrepreneurs, superheroes, and rockstars, but we can’t do it all – especially when it comes to the things that are super important for our business, but that we’re not experienced with or great at handling.

For me, design is one of those things, which is why over time we’ve graduated ourselves from totally hacking it, to hiring designing for individuals jobs, and most recently, hiring a designer on retainer who we now turn to for all of our design projects.

Here are some resources for you if you’re looking to create something and don’t want to do it yourself.

Up next in Season 3

Up next we’re going to be talking about tools and resources for your website.

Wondering what the best plugin’s are, and where you should turn for things like hosting, support, and backups? I’ve got you covered!

The post S3E6: Top 5 tools and resources for design appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       
 

 

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Latest EOFire Podcast S3E5: Top 10 tools and resources for systems and project management

Here’s the latest Entrepresneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

systems and project management

Creating systems in your business is what will help you create freedom in your life, and having the right tools and resources to make it happen is integral.

Similarly, any system you want to create, task you want to accomplish, or goal you want to crush will require that you have project plan in place to execute. Therefore, being able to successfully manage a project for your business is what will help you progress.

So what are some of the top tools and resources you can use to accomplish both: setting up systems in your business and being able to effectively manage the projects you have going on?

Here are the top tools and resources I use for systems and project management!

Workflowy to draft out steps

How I use Workflowy

I use Workflowy for every day note-taking, to-do’s, and creating checklists. But in terms of systems and project management, I love using Workflowy to just draft out the steps I need to take.

Why I love Workflowy

Because Workflowy is so simple, it allows me to free-flow my thoughts about how a system will work, or how a project might be laid out. Once I’ve drafted this out in Workflowy, I can then move the system, steps, or entire project into a more advance tool or resource like process.st.

Workflowy is also completely free and will synch up on your mobile device, so no matter where you are you can access your notes and outlines.

Click here for a user case – it will show you just how powerful it truly is.

Compare this tool

I talk about Workflowy in detail and compare it to similar tools available here in Season 3, Episode 2. Make sure to check that out for the full rundown!

process.st for documenting systems

How I use process.st

I literally JUST starting using process.st to document and keep track of systems here at EOFire, although it’s a tool I’ve been meaning to check out for a  LONG time.

It’s funny how the world works: many, many months ago I did an interview with Tony and Vinay on the Business Systems Explored podcast. We of course talked about systems 🙂

During the interview, I was raving about my current resource of choice for documenting systems: SweetProcess. Turns out Vinay is the founder of process.st, a direct competitor of SweetProcess, so he had his own opinion about that 😉

Long story short, my interview recently went live on BSE, and after listening back to it I was reminded of my convo with Vinay about how I would check out process.st. So today’s post, plus that interview, plus a recent review of our monthly expenses all collided and resulted in me making the switch!

Why I love process.st

You can use process.st for free – always – with as many members as you want. How cool is that?

They also have some really great features, like checklist templates you can use to get started fast. Here’s a quick look at some of the templates they have you can customize to create processes for things like Content Promotion:

processst

But why I really love process.st is because it gives me peace of mind that our processes are documented and in a single place so my team can work together most efficiently and always be on the same page.

Compare this tool

SweetProcess: SweetProcess is an amazing tool and resource for a company that has 5 or more employees; I speak from experience.

I used SweetProcess for over a year, and I absolutely loved it. But after reviewing our monthly expenses, I realized there wasn’t anything in particular about SweetProcess we HAD to have (although it was very nice to have).

Our team simply isn’t big enough to justify the monthly cost, which isn’t high, but if you’re not using it, then it is. SweetProcess starts at $29 / month.

ScreenFlow to record videos

How I use ScreenFlow

ScreenFlow is the tool I use to create video tutorials in order to document certain steps or an entire system that I’m going to be delegating to someone else. I also use ScreenFlow to create video tutorials for our communities and videos for our free courses.

how to create a training video

Why I love ScreenFlow

ScreenFlow allows you to do so much in one place.

You can record yourself, your screen, your voice, and/or your computer’s sound, in addition to being able to create overlays of text, highlights, and pointers.

It takes a few times to get the hang of it, but ScreenFlow is incredibly powerful once you know how to use it.

ScreenFlow is for MAC and is a 1-time fee of $99 to download. Every once in a while they will perform updates, and depending on the intensity of the update, you may be required to pay more to access it. I’ve been using ScreenFlow for 3 years now, and I’ve only had to pay for 1 update.

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Camtasia: Camtasia is another video recording tool that is very similar to ScreenFlow and works on both MAC and PC. Camtasia is also $99.

SnagIt: SnagIt comes from the same “family” as Camtasia (TechSmith), and it’s essentially a quicker and easier screenshot and video tool. You don’t have all of the same capabilities ScreenFlow and Camtasia give you, but you can still take screen grabs and create short videos that you can share in just seconds using a URL (versus having to share in the mp4 format). SnagIt is also a bit cheaper: $50.

Vimeo to host videos

How I use Vimeo

Vimeo is where we host all of our training videos (and more). Once we record a video using ScreenFlow, we can directly upload that video to Vimeo, so you can think of it as our video host.

Why I love Vimeo

Vimeo “houses” your videos and it’s where you can go to grab links and embed codes to share videos with your team or community. Vimeo also has a Pro Plan that allows you to keep your videos private, which is really helpful if you’re creating videos for a paid course or private community that you don’t want others to be able to find.

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WistiaWistia is very similar to Vimeo, and we actually use Wistia, too. I primarily use Wistia to house The Fire Path Course videos and all of our virtual team training videos.

I started a subscription with Wistia really just to check it out and compare it to Vimeo, and I love how it let’s you customize projects and just how it looks visually overall.

With my recent obsession and review of our monthly expenses, Wistia is probably a tool I will cut simply because Vimeo already gives us everything we need.

Google Drive to share documents

How I use Google Drive

When I was first starting out with creating systems here at EOFire, I went super bare bones: I used Google Drive to share videos and checklists that I had created using simple Word Docs with my team.

Why I love Google Drive

Google Drive is great because it offers you a platform where you can not only share videos, documents, and files, but also where you can rest assured that everyone is on the same page. Because Google Drive offers living, breathing documents, you know you’re working with the most recent changes.

Compare this tool

I talk about Google Drive in detail and compare it to similar tools available here in Season 3, Episode 2. Make sure to check that out for the full rundown!

Asana for project & task management

How I use Asana

Let’s get down to business – any project or task that’s going on at EOFire is in Asana.

This means I don’t have to guess at what my next most important step is, and it also means I’m not going to get off track when it comes to focus and productivity.

I use Asana to lay out projects (meaning, to establish the individual steps that need to happen in order for a project to go from start to finish), and I also use Asana to assign myself and our individual team members tasks.

systems and processes

Why I love Asana

Asana is super easy to use and it allows you to communicate quickly and easily with your team. You can assign tasks to a particular team member, give each task its own due date, attach documents and pictures, and even write comments back and forth with team members on individual tasks.

They also have a very user-friendly app that has come in handy when I’m traveling and need to assign a task to someone (or remind myself of something I need to get done).

Compare this tool

I talk about Asana in detail and compare it to similar tools available here in Season 3, Episode 2. Make sure to check that out for the full rundown!

Dropbox to share files

How I use Dropbox

Dropbox has come in handy for helping our team manage projects more than a few times. One specific example of how we’ve used Dropbox for project management is with The Freedom Journal launch.

Why I love Dropbox

Throughout The Freedom Journal Launch we had a lot of moving pieces, a lot of different documents and files, and a lot of different team members working simultaneously.

Being able to have a single Folder where everything having to do with the project lived – and that was shared with everyone – made it super simple for our team to access the files they needed – when they needed them – no matter where they were.

Compare this tool

I talk about Dropbox in detail and compare it to similar tools available here in Season 3, Episode 2. Make sure to check that out for the full rundown!

Slack to communicate

How I use Slack

I use the free version of Slack to stay (and keep my team) up-to-date on current and ongoing projects and tasks.

Why I love Slack

In Slack, you can create a team, then create separate channels for each project you have going on to keep communication structured and separate. You can also upload and share files and images, which makes it a very valuable tool for reference.

There is a free version you can use for all time, or you can upgrade for addition features starting at about $7 / month.

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HipChat: A group messaging and communication tool that keeps everyone on the same page.

When doing research on HipChat (because I’ve never used it before myself), I found this interesting write up their team did on HipChat vs. Slack. Interesting stuff 🙂

You can also use HipChat for free all time, and to upgrade for additional features it’s $2 / month per user.

Zapier to automate tasks

How I use Zapier

I use Zapier to connect multiple apps so they can work together. It’s sort of like an API for everything and anything that works even if you have no idea what an API is 😉

Why I love Zapier

It took me a while to catch on to using Zapier. In the beginning, I wasn’t convinced that it was as great as everyone was saying it was. But now that I’ve given it a fair chance, it’s doing some amazing things for us, like adding all new Freedom Journal purchasers to our Infusionsoft app automatically!

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IFTTT: If This, Then That is a great tool for helping automate tasks and actions.

Zapier and IFTTT both take patience. For me, the setup and dashboard in Zapier is easier to grasp, and when I was first introduced to IFTTT it was primarily for social media. I was looking for something that would go way beyond social media, and that’s when I found Zapier.

Most tools and resources I’ve shared thus far have been high on my list because of how easy they are to use, so just a heads up that this is probably one of the more complex tools I’ve shared. Don’t let complex scare you from trying it because these automation tools can change A LOT for you and your business if leverage correctly.

Google Calendar to stay on schedule

How I use Google Calendar

Google Calendar helps me in so many ways, but as it relates to systems and project management, I use it to remind me of recurring tasks I need to do to keep our systems running, and also to help me stay on schedule for hitting project due dates.

Here’s how you can create a recurring task in your Google Calendar in order to receive reminders every week, every month, every quarter, or every year:

checkpoint reviews for your systems

Why I love Google Calendar

Plain and simple: I’ve learned that in order to make something real, it’s gotta be on my schedule, and that’s why I love Google Calendar. When I schedule a task or a reminder, I am making a commitment to getting that task done.

Google Calendar also helps me visually see what I have going on and this really helps me be realistic about what I can and cannot do. Remember, every time you say “yes” to one thing, you’re saying “no” to something else!

Compare this tool

I talk about Google Calendar in detail and compare it to similar tools available here in Season 3, Episode 2. Make sure to check that out for the full rundown!

Up next in Season 3 

Up next I’ll be sharing the tools and resources I use for design. This will be one of the first episodes here in Season 3 where I dive deep into actual resources. Because design is NOT my strong suit, I rely on those who are experts to help.

The post S3E5: Top 10 tools and resources for systems and project management appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       
 

 

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Latest EOFire Podcast S3E4: Top 7 tools and resources for content creation

Here’s the latest Entrepresneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

tools for content creation

Creating valuable, consistent, and free content for your audience is a must.

However, managing your content schedule can be time consuming, frustrating, and leave you wondering at the end of the year whether you were able to move the needle.

The tools and resources I use for content creation help me not only ensure I’m creating the right type of content for my audience (the type I know they want and need), but also that I’m being efficient and strategic based on feedback and raw data.

Here are my favorite tools and resources I use to help with content creation.

Feedly for content ideas

How I use Feedly

Feedly helps me organize and keep up with the blogs, podcasts, and online magazines that I follow – for free! This is important for my content creation because a lot of the ideas I get and inspiration for my own content comes from those I follow.

Why I love Feedly

It’s my go-to resource for content ideas and inspiration!

Feedly takes a while to set up (you have to enter the blogs, podcasts, and online magazines you want to follow), but once you have it set up, you’ve given yourself a single online resource where all of the content you want to consume can live.

Compare this tool

I did some research on tools and resources similar to Feedly, but every time, Feedly came up as #1 (it’s what replaced Google Reader, so it has quite a bit of authority and credibility behind it). But of course, there are other options out there you can use for free, one of them being Digg Reader.

Workflowy to keep track of ideas

How I use Workflowy

Workflowy is like my content repository – it’s where I keep quick notes on ideas for content that I’ve gotten either from my own listeners, or from reading other great blog posts, books, and listening to podcasts.

Keeping a running list of ideas not only helps guarantee that I’ll never run out of content, but it also guarantees I’ll know exactly where to go when I need ideas or inspiration.

Why I love Workflowy

It’s bare bones and I can access it across multiple devices, so it doesn’t matter where I am or what I’m doing – I know I can access and add to my Workflowy any time.

Compare this tool

I did a full review of Workflowy this season in Episode 2, so be sure to check that out for the full rundown!

Google Drive to measure results

How I use Google Drive

When I started recording data from the blog to measure progress and track what types of posts were performing best, I used a Google Spreadsheet to do it.

Why I love Google Drive

The reason I chose a Google Spreadsheet is because I was having both Jess and JM help me with this task, and so the fact I could share this sheet with both of them, and have everyone working in it simultaneously with the most up-to-date info, made it perfect – this is the reason why I love using Google Drive.

Being able to refer back to a single document for all the feedback and data I needed to measure the content that received the greatest amount of feedback (I based this on social shares and comments) helped me shape the content you see on the blog today.

Compare this tool

I did a full review of Google Drive this season in Episode 2, so be sure to check that out for the full rundown!

Google Calendar for my content calendar

How I use Google Calendar

Google Calendar helps me visualize my content, and for me, being able to see visually when something is being posted not only helps me better prepare for it schedule-wise, but it also helps me see what other pieces of content we have going live around that.

Why I love Google Calendar

I love using Google Calendar for our content calendar and schedule because:

  1. I’m already using Google Calendar for my every day schedule, so it’s convenient;
  2. It helps us make strategic and smart decisions around publishing like-content around the same time frame;
  3. I can track repurposing opportunities at the same time.

Compare this tool

I did a full review of Google Calendar this season in Episode 2, so be sure to check that out for the full rundown!

Microsoft Word for drafts

How I use Microsoft Word

When I’m getting ready to write a new post for the blog, or any other piece of content for EOFire (optin offer, email campaign, etc) I open up a Word doc to help me get started with my draft.

Why I love Microsoft Word

It’s what I’ve used for as long as I can remember! I love Word because I’m super familiar with the in’s and out’s – plus, it auto-saves my documents and I can use it offline. So regardless of whether my Internet goes out mid-post, or I’m 10,000 feet in the air, I can use Word to create content with the peace of mind it won’t be lost (which has happened to me multiple times when drafting content in WordPress).

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Scrivener: Some of the greatest writers out there use this software to help draft and compose their content. The only reason I haven’t checked out Scrivener yet is because I’ve been focused on other things.

I will carve out a time and space to check it out at some point, but how I draft my content now works great, and so I’m not in a rush to change my process (and you shouldn’t be either if what you’re currently doing is working for you!)

Evernote: I’ve heard from a lot of people that they use Evernote to draft their content. As I explained back in episode 2 of this season, Evernote didn’t stick with me when I tried it because it seemed too complex and complicated.

WordPress Post for editing, formatting, scheduling & publishing

How I use WordPress posts

Once I’ve drafted a post in Microsoft Word, I’ll bring it into WordPress in a draft post in order to edit, format, schedule, and eventually publish it.

Why I love WordPress posts

Believe it or not, there are platforms available for publishing your posts – and your website for that matter – outside of WordPress 😉 I love WordPress because it’s what I’ve always known, and I think it’s incredibly user-friendly.

It being the leading website publishing platform around helps, too.

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SquareSpace: SquareSpace is a sponsor of EOFire and a great alternative to WordPress if you’re looking to create a beautiful website on a drag and drop platform.

Wix: Another great alternative to WordPress that will help you create your own website in minutes!

Yoast SEO for SEO

How I use Yoast SEO

To ensure the content I’m creating will be searchable and has great SEO for Google.

Why I love Yoast SEO

I’ve never been super “smart” when it comes to SEO. I mean, I get it, but I’m not a pro. I love Yoast SEO because it literally gives me the green light when I’m good to go. All you have to do is type in the keywords you want your content to come up for, and Yoast SEO will give you a red light, a yellow light, or a green light based on how good your content is given the keywords you chose.

There is a free version of this tool, or you can upgrade to premium for advanced features and better insights.

Compare this tool

Moz Pro: I haven’t experienced Moz Pro, but just by looking at the site, it appears to have great reviews and a ton of capabilities. Only downside I can see is that it’s quite expensive: $99 / month.

Other tools and resources of note

Co-Schedule: “Plan, Publish, Promote, and Execute Your Marketing on One Master Calendar

The first time I heard about Co-Schedule was from Michael Hyatt, and if Michael Hyatt uses and recommends this tool, then you know it’s good!

Co-Schedule helps you manage everything having to do with your content and it’s built right into your WordPress blog. But it’s not cheap. You can try it for free, but then it starts at $60 / month for the subscription.

Curata: Similar to Co-Schedule, Curata helps you organize and analyze your content marketing in one place. It also helps you curate content from other sources you can post and share on your own site. Their site doesn’t list pricing, but I’m willing to bet it’s at least the same price as Co-Schedule, if not more.

Up next in Season 3 on tools and resources

Looking for great tools and resources when it comes to systems and project management? Then you’re going to LOVE our next post and episode!

The post S3E4: Top 7 tools and resources for content creation appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       
 

 

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