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.

Compare this tool

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.

Compare this tool

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.

Compare this tool

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!

Compare this tool

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

       
 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2b0Qc5i

Latest EOFire Podcast S3E3: Top 7 tools and resources for communication and relationship management

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

top tools and resources for entrepreneurs

Your ability to communicate and build meaningful relationships in the online space is at the core of successfully creating and growing your business.

Without support, feedback, accountability, and a community of like-minded people who understand and can relate to our struggles and our vision, we will continue to be held back.

But with everything else that goes into creating and growing your business, keeping up with emails, voicemails, engagement on social media, and even simple follow up can be tough.

Below are my favorite tools and resources for efficient and meaningful communication and relationship management.

Gmail for staying in touch

How I use Gmail

Gmail is the communication tool I use the most; my activity on Gmail accounts for probably 90% of my communication and relationship management.

We use the Business Plan on Gmail, and so we do pay an annual fee to be able to create multiple email addresses and manage things from one place.

I use Gmail for everything from personal communication with my family and friends all the way to customer support and audience feedback.

I also use Gmail to learn by signing up for email campaigns and studying how others are leveraging the one direct connection we have to our audience: email.

Why I love Gmail

Gmail makes things simple, while still offering A LOT.

Features like Canned Responses and Boomerang, and Extensions like Rapportive make Gmail an all-in-one communication powerhouse. The platform itself gives me the tools I need to communicate and build relationships, and the features and add-ons available make it easy.

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Outlook: To be frank, I only know of one other email provider that comes close to Gmail, and that’s Outlook.

That said, the only time I’ve ever successfully used Outlook is as an employee at a corporation, so the in’s and out’s of setting it up and leveraging everything it has to offer is not something I’ve ever been able to accomplish on my own.

Boomerang for time management

How I use Boomerang

  • To send messages that I’ve already composed at a later time
  • To remind myself of messages that I’ve sent, but that I haven’t received a response on
  • To return a message that I want to get to later
  • I started with Boomerang for free, then upgraded to get unlimited messages for only $5 / month

Why I love Boomerang

If I had to guess, Boomerang saves me about 5 hours per week. It literally gives me 5 hours of my life back every single week.

With Boomerang, I don’t have to take additional notes about tasks or set separate reminders, and I don’t have to carry the weight and stress of “what if I forget to follow up on this?”

Boomerang helps me stay on top of my A-game by having my back when it comes to follow up and response time.

Compare this tool

FollowUp.cc: Similar to Boomerang; starts at $18 / month, so while you can try it for free, there are no free subscription levels.

Infusionsoft for managing subscribers / contacts

How I use Infusionsoft

Infusionsoft is our CRM: Client Relationship Management platform. It’s how we send out emails to our subscribers; create email campaigns, opt-in connections, and order forms; and it’s where we house our affiliate program.

Infusionsoft is an “all-in-one” platform, meaning everything having to do with relationship management and marketing to your audience and customers can be done there. It’s probably not the best solution for business owners who are just getting started because the amount you’ll pay will far surpass the features you’re able to leverage.

To get started with Infusionsoft, you’re looking at around $300 / month as the base package, which increases based on the number of email subscribers you have.

Why I love Infusionsoft

It’s a single place with a lot to offer.

There are times that I don’t love Infusionsoft; it’s tough to understand, and a lot of the reports I wish I had don’t exist, and that’s frustrating. But at the end of the day, every platform and software has its own issues, and what Infusionsoft does for us in terms of being able to stay in touch with our audience and provide them daily value – all automated – can’t be beat.

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ConvertKit: The #1 contender to IFS; CovertKit offers a platform with optin forms, drip email campaigns, automation, integrations and more. The cost will vary depending on the number of subscribers you have, but it starts at just $29 / month.

MailChimpA more basic form of email marketing for business owners that allows you to get started for free! Upgrade for more features starting at $20 / month (based on number of email subscribers).

AWeber: A middle ground where you can set up emails and leverage powerful automation and integrations. AWeber offers a 30-day free trial, then pricing starts at $19 / month (based on number of email subscribers).

Skype for instant messaging and video calls

How I use Skype

  • For accountability calls
  • Mastermind meetings
  • Recording interviews
  • Catching up with friends
  • Communicating with our virtual team

Why I love Skype

As is the case with any tool or resource that relies on the Internet to function, Skype has its hiccups; however, I love Skype because it’s a simple way to stay in touch with people. Send someone a quick note, or have a 1-hour video call – it’s up to you!

I use the free version of Skype, but you can choose to buy Skype Credits any time in order to make phone calls to landlines and mobile devices.

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Blab.im: A more public-facing platform that allows you to start live chats and keep in touch with partners and clients for free! What’s cool about Blab is that you have features like group chat and social sharing to get the word out (if this is a call you want broadcasted, like a webinar or podcast episode).

Zoom.us: A great way to host private group calls or connect with clients one-on-one. Zoom has recording capabilities and a chat box feature, but some of the features require that you pay a monthly subscription (one example, if you want your call to run longer than 40 minutes, it’s $15 / month).

Vocaroo for voice messages

How I use Vocaroo

To send voice messages.

Why I love Vocaroo

It’s sometimes easier to record an answer to a question or a reply to an email via voice versus typing it out. Plus, voice messages come across much more personal than an email, since an email could technically be coming from anyone.

And who doesn’t love receiving voice messages? Vocaroo is free and easy to use, making it a no-brainer for those who like to talk 😉

Compare this tool

Online Voice Recorder: I haven’t used this tool personally, but it’s free and looks like an easy-to-use solution very similar to Vocaroo!

SpeakPipe: What’s really cool about SpeakPipe is it actually allows you to collect voice messages from people, too. So if you’re requesting feedback or doing a Q&A show, you can embed SpeakPipe on your site and have other submit voice messages to you. They have a free version with a limited number of messages per month, or you can upgrade starting at $8 / month.

Social Media for keeping in touch

How I use Social Media

This is kind of a loaded question, but when it comes to communication and relationship management, social media is a great way to connect and stay in touch.

How many times have you met someone for the first time and said “let’s connect on Facebook!”? Probably more times than you can count.

Why I love Social Media

It not only helps me stay up to date with what’s going on in others’ lives, it also helps me get to know people better. So if I’m trying to build a relationship with someone, or looking to get to know someone better before reaching out to them, social media allows me to do.

Compare this tool

How do you compare social media?

PureChat for live support chat

How I use PureChat

Customer support / live chat on our Podcasters’ Paradise membership site.

We pay $20 / month for 2 users and unlimited chats per month, but you can also start using PureChat for free with a limited number of chats per day.

Why I love PureChat

It’s easy to set up and allows us to offer 24/7 support via live chat and email submission. This gives our members a quick and easy way to get in touch with us for questions, concerns, or requests.

PureChat also has a dashboard that tracks support questions and user feedback, along with allowing you to add other members as operators for the chat.

Compare this tool

FreshDesk: I definitely considered FreshDesk when looking for a live chat function, but it seemed to offer more than what I was looking for (a whole ticketing system and other features I simply didn’t want at the time). They do have a free option with up to 3 agents, so if you’re looking to a ticketing system it’d be worth checking out.

Zendesk: Zendesk, like FreshDesk, is more of a robust ticketing system. They’re lowest subscription is $5 / month for 1 agent and increases from there.

Other tools and resources to note

Insightly: CRM and project management in one! Also gives you insights into your contacts based on social media profiles and more. Free for up to 2 users.

Contactually: Helps you identify and follow up with key relationships among your contacts. Subscriptions start at $29 / month.

The post S3E3: Top 7 tools and resources for communication and relationship management appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       
 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2b07ros

Latest EOFire Podcast EOFire’s July 2016 Income Report

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

July 2016 Income At-A-Glance

Gross Income for July: $166,721

Total Expenses for July: $69,022

Total Net Profit for July: $97,699

Difference b/t July & June: -$51,614

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 July Tax Tip: What should I do with business profits?

We love nothing more than to answer questions directly from Fire Nation, and this month we have the opportunity to do just that!

In the June report, Buzz Park asked in the comments section what EOFire does with the profits in the business after paying themselves, and what the tax implications of that are.

It’s a great question, and it ties in perfectly with the previous two tax tips.

The past two months we have discussed separating your business and personal finances and how to pay yourself from the business.

What we haven’t mentioned is what to do with the remaining profits in the business after paying yourself, and the answer, as usual, is: it depends.

The first thing to consider, and it’s something we’ve mentioned several times here, is that unless you are a C Corp, (which almost none of you should be), then your business is a pass through entity. This means your business pays no taxes. Instead, the profits of the business pass through to you, the owner, and you pay taxes on those profits as a part of your personal tax return.

This means two important things:

  1. You are taxed on those profits even if you leave every dime in the business and never take it out.
  2. Taking those profits out in the form of distributions incurs zero additional taxes. There are essentially no tax consequences for taking the profits out of the business and using them personally.

So the question becomes, if you are taxed whether you take the money out or leave it in, and you incur no additional taxes by taking it out, how do you decide how much to take out and how much to leave in?

The answer is: it really comes down to knowing your business.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself when making that decision:

How much cash does my business need to operate?

Obviously you never want to put your business operations at risk by draining the cash flow it needs to run.

How much legal risk does your business face?

If you’re worried about the possibility of your business being exposed to potential lawsuits, it certainly doesn’t hurt to move available cash from the business to you personally, assuming you set things up right by legally separating yourself from the business.

If you are an S Corp, how much salary did you take?

S Corps come with enormous tax benefits, but they also require you to take a “reasonable” salary. If you aren’t doing that, taking additional profit distributions can put you at risk of an audit, which can result in losing your S election.

So the biggest keys to remember here are:

  • Your business will be taxed on the profits with or without you taking them out;
  • Taking them out will incur no additional tax consequences;
  • How much of the profits you should take out depends entirely on your own circumstances; and
  • Most important of all, remember: the first step is to create a profitable business so that you can start worrying about questions like these!

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!

A Legal Tip from David Lizerbram

What is a trade secret, and how does it affect your business?

A trade secret is defined as “a piece of information, not generally known or reasonably ascertainable, that gives a business an economic advantage over its competitors.

Well, that’s the legal language, but what does that actually mean?

If you have a business, no matter how large or small, you probably have trade secrets. Examples might include recipes, algorithms, customer lists, or upcoming products.

Trade secrets can last forever and be incredibly valuable (think of the formula for Coca-Cola or Google’s search algorithm), but their legal protection lasts only as long as you keep them secret.

Some steps you might want to take include to protect your trade secrets:

  • Create written confidentiality policies for your employees, independent contractors, and VAs.
  • Have people you work with sign non-disclosure agreements.
  • Have a secure computer password policy.
  • When you end your relationship with someone (an employee, a contractor, a VA), have them sign an agreement stating that they will still keep the information confidential.
  • Have an attorney do an audit or review of your trade secret policies.

Click here to download your free 3-Step Checklist to stay on top of your trade secrets and protect these valuable assets!

What Went Down In July

Podcast Movement 2016

This was our third annual trip out to Podcast Movement, and this conference just keeps getting better!

What was so great about it?

For starters, the setup this year was top-notch:

  • Prime location in downtown Chicago, right next to Navy Pier
  • Great signage and dozens upon dozens of volunteers who were available and eager to help
  • Smooth flow from hotel entrance, to downstairs, to checkin, to exhibition area, to presentation rooms
  • The hotel lobby was very conducive to engagement – running into or meeting up with fellow PM16-er’s in the lobby for coffee, a cocktail, or a meal was seamless.

Podcast Movement Chicago

But of course, the real greatness could be found in the people:

  • Motivated and driven attendees who are passionate about podcasting
  • Top-notch speakers who brought a ton of value to the stage
  • Amazing organizers and volunteers who kept everything running flawlessly

Podcast Movement

And something that was really interesting to see unfold was the recurring theme that ran throughout the presentations and hallway chats – something that has been quite obvious all 3 years.

  • The overall theme at the first annual Podcast Movement: be unique
  • The overall theme at the second annual Podcast Movement:
  • The overall theme at the third annual Podcast Movement: the power of story-telling

For a full recap of our Podcast Movement experience, including our top takeaways and advice for those looking to leverage conferences in the future, we’ve got you covered right here!

Podcast Movement 2016

The Adventure Continues in Puerto Rico

July brought with it A LOT of projects for both EOFire and for our new HQ. You can basically think of the month of July as ‘the month of the home’.

Since we moved to Puerto Rico in May 2016, we’ve been doing a lot of exploring, and we’ve been lucky to welcome several family members to the island for visits.

But in July, we were a lot more focused on settling into our new home versus exploring the island.

Our project list for EOFire HQ is growing daily, and it’s been a true test of patience and really good planning to make sure we’re covering our bases.

How do we keep track of it all?

With some good old list-making:

planning

We’ve also made a standing rule that unless it’s major and requires both of our input, only one of us will take the lead on any given project. Knowing when and how to delegate to one other – or to someone else – has been key to helping us move forward consistently.

While our focus on the HQ has taken some of our bandwidth away from business building projects and activities, you’ll notice in our numbers below that we’re not far off from our typical revenue generated.

How does that work?

Great question 🙂

We cannot stress enough the power of systems in your business. Systems are the reason why we were even able to make this move to Puerto Rico in the first place. Systems are what help us keep the business running, even if we’re not able to fully focus on it 100% of the time.

You can check out an entire walkthrough of our new home in Palmas Del Mar, “cribs style”, and also stay tuned for updates once the EOFire Headquarters is in full swing!

We’re back on Amazon!

And ready to rock!

After some intense research and a lot of reaching out to those who know the space best, we finally figured out how to manage The Freedom Journal on Amazon the right way (more on this in a separate income report).

In our April 2016 income report, we talked about the reasons why we took The Freedom Journal off Amazon (mainly because of the massive pain it seemed to be to track and report on taxes paid per state that people were purchasing in).

We’re excited to report that The Freedom Journal is not only back on Amazon, but we’ve also hired a mentor to help us understand the Amazon advertising platform. He’ll be working hand-in-hand with our newest member of Team Fire, Ian, for the next 3 months.

You know we’ll be reporting back in a future income report with our findings and biggest lessons learned, Fire Nation, so stay tuned!

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!

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 7.48.57 AM

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

July 2016 Income Breakdown*

Product/Service Income: $129,665

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

  • Shopify: $21,310 (487 Freedom Journals & 48 Digital Packs sold!)
  • Amazon: $1,716 (43 Freedom Journals sold!)

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

  • Recurring: $6,590
  • New members: $12,010 (34 monthly, 7 annual)
  • Total: $18,600

Podcast Sponsorship Income$81,500

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: $1,344 Learn how to Create & Present Webinars that Convert!

The Fire Path Course: $14 A step-by-step business roadmap

Podcast LaunchAudiobook$148 | eBook: $33

Affiliate Income: $37,056

*Affiliate links below

Resources for Entrepreneurs: $4,873

Courses for Entrepreneurs: $23,317

Resources for Podcasters: $3,832

Other Resources: $5,034

  • Amazon Associates: $2,826
  • Other: $2,208

Total Gross Income in July: $166,721

Business Expenses: $66,276

  • Advertising: $1,020
  • Affiliate Commissions (Paradise): $4,451
  • Accounting: $250
  • Cost of goods sold: $3,289
  • Design & Branding: $823
  • Education: $218
  • Legal & Professional: $0
  • Meals & Entertainment: $1,228
  • Merchant / bank fees: $2,011
  • Amazon fees: $239
  • Shopify fees: $390
  • Stripe fees: $36
  • PayPal fees: $542
  • Office expenses: $7,251 (includes new office setup for both Kate & John)
  • Other Business Expenses: $400 (includes postage & delivery)
  • Promotional / events: $54
  • Paradise Refunds: $11,469 (7 lifetime, 7 recurring)
  • WebinarOnFire Refunds: $1,344 (invoice total)
  • Shipwire: $2,000
  • Sponsorships: $15,500
  • Show notes: $624
  • Total Launch Package Fees: $175
  • Travel: $4,869
  • Virtual Assistant Fees: $6,125
  • Website Fees: $1,968

Recurring, Subscription-based Expenses: $2,746

  • Adobe Creative Cloud: $100
  • Boomerang: $70
  • Brandisty: $24
  • Authorize.net: $91.10
  • Cell Phone: $230
  • Google Storage: $9.99
  • Go2MyPC: $12
  • Internet: $318
  • eVoice: $9.95
  • Infusionsoft CRM: $497
  • Insurance: $551
  • Libsyn: $312
  • Chatroll: $150
  • PureChat: $20
  • ScheduleOnce: $9
  • Skype: $2.99
  • Shopify: $29
  • TaxJar: $19
  • Payroll fee: $77
  • Workflowy: $4.99
  • MeetEdgar: $49
  • Wistia: $25
  • Sweet Process: $29
  • WPCurve: $29
  • Taxes & Licenses: $77

Total Expenses in July: $69,022

Payroll to John, Kate & PR Team: $29,653

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 July 2016: $97,699

Biggest Lesson Learned

EntrepreneurOnFire

Have you noticed something different about the layout of our income reports recently? Instead of wrapping with just a single lesson learned here at the bottom, I’m working in lessons learned throughout!

Check back towards the end of each section to read or listen in to our biggest lessons learned throughout the month.

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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The post EOFire’s July 2016 Income Report appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       
 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2aOC4vE

Latest EOFire Podcast No more sponsors at the beginning of EOFire…

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

Sponsors…

On many successful Podcasts, you’ll hear them.

Some VERY successful shows like The Tim Ferris Show often dedicate the first 2-4 minutes of every show to sponsors (note that his shows often run well over an hour of great content).

For EOFire, I was approached by sponsors at month six of my Podcasting journey.

Since then, I’ve rocked two 15-second Preroll sponsors (beginning of the show) two 60-second Midroll sponsors (right before the lightning round) and sometimes even a 30-second Postroll (end of the show).

Having a daily show with that many sponsorship slots is quite lucrative, and if you’ve read our income reports you’ll see we often generate over 50k a month in sponsorship revenue, even topping 100k a few times… wowser.

Sponsorship revenue is important to EOFire.

A daily show is a lot of work, and as our income reports show, we spend a lot of money each month running this ship.

However, as the years have gone by, we’ve added more revenue streams to our business, and have also been able to build a nice nest egg of savings.

The Freedom Journal, Podcast Websites, joint ventures, and other revenue streams have helped diversify our income.

As a result, sponsorship revenue is less important now than when I started.

So a few months ago, I sat down to think deeply on the direction I wanted EOFire (The Podcast) to take.

My #1 goal with EOFire is to grow my audience and provide free, valuable, and consistent content to Fire Nation.

So how can I do that?

By creating a BETTER listening experience for those who tune in.

Every day I receive emails from listeners who share how much value they receive from EOFire and how they often recommend it to others.

That got me thinking about the JOURNEY of those who were encouraged to listen to EOFire for the first time by friends, family, or peers.

I realized:

1. Most have likely never heard of me before.

2. Many have likely not listened to a lot Podcasts – if any.

3. Most likely go into the experience with an open mind.

Then what happens?

They press play, my voice hits their ears for a few seconds welcoming them, and then **BAM** Sponsor #1, then **BAM** Sponsor #2.

Before they’ve even settled in, I’ve tried to send my new listener off on two different calls to action, leaving them confused and disoriented – and perhaps a bit turned off since they don’t even know ME yet.

To compare, it’s like going to a website to read an article that was recommended to you, and then **BAM** popup ad #1, then **BAM** popup ad #2.

Most people probably press through and read the article, but how are they going to look back on their experience, both consciously and subconsciously?

Yes Forbes.com, I’m talking to you…

When I was done turning all this over in my head, I decided my #1 priority was to focus on making the first minute of EOFire a great listening experience.

Of course, making ALL of EOFire a great listening experience is the goal, but Rome wasn’t built in a day now was it?

I came to the realization that Prerolls were the first thing that had to go.

Is it going to hurt my bottom line?

Yes.

Is it going to improve the listening experience?

Yes.

The decision?

No more Prerolls.

As of August 1st, 2016, you will not hear a Preroll on EOFire.

When you press play, you’re diving STRAIGHT into an episode of EOFire.

The new structure:

1. A welcoming word to Fire Nation.

2. A blurb on what EOFire is.

3. A blurb on an EOFire resource (like FreeGoalsCourse.co).

4. Then BOOM, by the 30-second mark I’m welcoming that day’s guest and diving right into the interview!

The difference for a first-time listener?

Now they are welcomed, given a quick overview of EOFire, alerted about a sweet EOFire resource, and BOOM, it’s showtime!

Click here to listen to the NEW EOFire format 🙂

In summation, I have NOTHING against Prerolls. They’ve played a VERY important revenue roll at EOFire for over 3 years.

However, I’m in a fortunate situation where I’m able to start a new chapter in EOFire’s journey, and this chapter will have NO sponsorship Prerolls.

Fire Nation, I would LOVE your feedback on the new EOFire format.

I hope many will love it, I’m sure some will hate it, and others may fall somewhere in between.

ALL feedback is super helpful, so bring it on Fire Nation, bring it ON!

~ JLD

PS: Join me on the journey to creating Self~Mastery Journal, and be prepared to master productivity, discipline, and focus in 100 days!

The post No more sponsors at the beginning of EOFire… appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

        

 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2awHXga

Latest EOFire Podcast S3E2: Top 7 tools and resources for organization

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

top 7 tools for organization

I’m an organizational freak.

I like taking notes, I thrive on having a plan or some type of structure in place, and if something isn’t where it’s supposed to be, then I will stop to put it there.

And while some might see this as unproductive or obsessive, I see it as a super power – a habit and strength that allows me to work optimally most of the time (cause let’s be real, no one is perfect!) without distractions.

A personal example

I don’t start my workday until the kitchen is clean. I’m a neat person – give me a break 😉 But in all seriousness, I know this about myself: if I walk through the kitchen, which I do every morning to grab my water and my coffee, and I see a pile of dirty dishes sitting in the sink, I will think about those dishes all day long.

This is a major distraction for me.

A business example

I spend 10 minutes every evening before I shut down to make sure that I have my task list ready for the next day. This guarantees that I won’t sit down at my computer the next morning and get stuck in the black hole that is my email, social media, etc.

Both of these examples have one major thing in common (along with the dozens of other examples of my ‘organization at work’ I could give you): they help give me FOCUS.

Sometimes being organized is about prep work – planning things ahead of time and being proactive about where things belong so you don’t waste unnecessary time putting things in place before you can start your work day.

Other times, being organized is about removing distractions – being up front with yourself about the things you can quickly and easily use as an excuse to not do the things you know you should be doing.

One thing is for sure: no matter what level of organizational freak we may be, we can’t do it alone.

Let’s take a look at the top tools and resources I use to help me stay organized and work most productively on a consistent basis.

Workflowy for notes

How I use Workflowy

I use Workflowy for several purposes – both personal and business.

From a personal standpoint, it’s where I create my grocery list, my household to-do list, my Amazon list, and where I store things like my frequent flyer #’s and what I’m getting each of my family members for Christmas.

From a business standpoint, it’s where I:

  • Keep track of affiliate links and info
  • Remind myself of acronyms and DBA info
  • Create checklists for some of my similar systems
  • Gather content ideas and topics
  • Collect articles, websites, or tools and resources I want to re-visit later
  • Gather quotes I love

I use the free version of Workflowy, and I’ve never gotten a warning about running out of space – and I use Workflowy A LOT.

They do have a Pro Plan (click on the “get more space” link in the upper right of your Workflowy to see all the details), which gives you some pretty awesome features, like backup to Dropbox, password collaboration, and customization options for themes and fonts. The Pro Plan is only $49 / year.

Why I love Workflowy

For starters, it’s super bare bones and doesn’t have any bells or whistles. It’s the most basic note taking I’ve ever seen online that still allows you to easily format things in an outline AND quickly search for anything.

You can collapse certain categories and expand them, and also move things around by dragging and dropping entire lines of text.

In addition, there are mobile apps, so your Workflowy syncs across multiple devices, which helps when I’m out and about and want to make note of something or remind myself of something I want to do later.

Compare this tool

Evernote: I’ve tried it, but it’s just too complex for me.

OneNoteI’ve never tried it because I love Workflowy so much!

Asana for tasks

How I use Asana

I use Asana for basic task-management. While you can use it for more in-depth project planning and management, I prefer to use other tools for this purpose, which I’ll get into in a later post here in Season 3.

Whether I’m assigning a task to myself, (which I do often to keep track of the things I want to accomplish each day), or assigning a task to a team member, Asana allows me to keep a running list of all the tasks I’m managing in a single place.

I use the free version of Asana, which allows for up to 15 team members and unlimited tasks.

Because I use Asana at a very basic level, I’ve never considered upgrading to their Pro Plan, although it is super reasonable and could be incredibly valuable for anyone looking to leverage the project management aspect of Asana (it’s about $8 / month).

Why I love Asana

Asana is super easy to use and I love it because it allows you assign things to yourself and to other team members, create checklists within tasks, and set due dates.

In addition, it eliminates the back-and-forth via email because you can comment directly on any given task to keep yourself and team members up-to-date on the status.

Asana also allows you to create entire projects, which I don’t personally utilize it for, but I’ve seen others do this and the capabilities are impressive.

Compare this tool

Trello: I have used Trello quite extensively, and it’s a tool I’ve very seriously considered for more in-depth project management, but not for basic task-management.

What’s great about Trello is you can have multiple team members, assign only specific parts of a project to individuals, and it’s very visual.

Wrike: I’ve only heard great things about Wrike, but because Asana does everything I need it to for task management, I’ve not had a reason to spend time exploring Wrike.

Finder for file organization

How I use Finder

Finder saves my life – multiple times per day.

I use Finder to organize my documents, pictures, PDF’s, media files, videos – everything that’s on my computer is organized within a folder to help me find exactly what I’m looking for, faster.

Why I love Finder

I didn’t realize how much I love “simple” tools until I started writing this post; Finder is so simple – you just create a folder, name it, and start dragging files into it.

There’s nothing I hate more than wasting time trying to find something, and with the organization I’ve created in Finder – plus the search function – I very rarely find myself stuck looking for something for more than a few seconds.

Compare this tool

Depending on the computer and operating system you’re using, your “Finder” tool might look slightly different. Luckily, they’re all pretty much the same in terms of their functionality.

Bonus: check out this video of how I organize my files in Finder

Dropbox for file sharing and storage

How I use Dropbox

I use Dropbox for overall cloud-based storage purposes, especially for files that are big in size so they don’t take up storage space on my computer.

I also use Dropbox to share files with extended team members, like our designer, Brandy, and Brian, who hosted the Podcasters’ Paradise Podcast. That way, final files that are large in size can be easily accessed and transferred to specific people on our team.

Why I love Dropbox

Dropbox is awesome for several reasons, but I primarily love it because it helps me keep my computer running optimally and gives me access to files no matter where I am.

Before I started using Dropbox, I didn’t realize how much the larger files on my drive were slowing down my computer, and it was always a pain to share larger, final files with our designer and other extended team members.

Once we started using Dropbox, we were able to quickly and easily access final files without having to email someone, request the file, wait for it, figure out how to transfer it, and so on.

I’m currently using the Dropbox Pro Plan, which is $99 / year and gives you 1 terabyte of storage (that’s A LOT of storage!) But you can sign up for Dropbox for free and earn space by sharing Dropbox with your friends, on social media, etc.

They also have business plans available.

Compare this tool 

Box: I really haven’t had a reason to try Box, but I see it come up in searches often for “cloud-based storage” solutions.

Google Drive: I love Google Drive, and I use it often (it’s actually next on our list!), but when it comes to straight file sharing and storage, I like how Dropbox is set up (it’s easier to create folders and locate documents using Dropbox).

WeTransfer: I love WeTransfer, and I use it for one-off file sharing. For example, if I’m sending a video to someone who I don’t collaborate with often, or who I’m just sharing a single file with, then WeTransfer is quick and easy.

Google Drive for live document sharing

How I use Google Drive

I use Google Drive to create and share living Word Docs, Excel Spreadsheets, and Forms of all kinds.

Just to give you an idea of the wide range of files I create there, a few of our current Google Drive files include:

  • The on boarding process we use for our employees (Google Doc)
  • Our Social Media Scheduler (Google Spreadsheet)
  • The application to be a guest on EOFire (Google Form)

Why I love Google Drive

Google Drive offers something pretty priceless: living documents that are updated in real time.

What I love most about Google Drive is that I can share documents and spreadsheets with team members, and regardless of which team member is making updates or additions, everyone who has access to the document can see the changes and updates in real time.

This helps ensure that everyone is on the same page, all the time.

Compare this tool 

Quip (past sponsor of EOFire): Quip also allows you create living, breathing documents you can share with your team. With Slack integration and other great features like built-in chat, this could be the tool for you and your team. Free and paid options are available; Quip.com/fire will get you your first 6 months on the team plan free 🙂

Bookmarks bar for convenience

How I use Bookmarks bar

Any site that I visit regularly is on my Bookmarks bar, which saves me a TON of time because I go to a lot of the same websites every day.

I not only have sites saved to my Bookmarks bar, but I also have folders that help me categorize sites. Here’s what my Bookmarks bar looks like right now:

My Bookmarks Bar

Why I love Bookmarks bar

This means that when I log in to EOFire.com, go to our Podcasters’ Paradise Facebook Group to moderate and engaged, or to get into my Google Calendar, all I do is press a single button. It might not seem like it will safe you a ton of time upfront, but imagine going to Facebook.com, logging in, being directed to your Newsfeed, then clicking on your Groups, finding Podcasters’ Paradise…

No way, Jose – take me straight there and not only do I save clicks, I also save myself from a lot of potential distractions.

Google Calendar for reminders

How I use Google Calendar

Google Calendar is like my North Star – I use it for everything. And when I say everything, I truly mean everything:

  • My workouts
  • My coffee dates
  • My accountability chats
  • My webinars
  • My themed days
  • My dentist appointments
  • My dinner reservations
  • My travel itineraries
  • My “me time”
  • My birthday reminders
  • My podcast reminders

EVERYTHING.

A couple of years ago I was listening to a podcast episode from Amy Porterfield, and she said something that hit me really hard: “Schedule it to make it real” – something she learned working with the great Tony Robbins.

Ever since, I’ve become obsessed with scheduling anything and everything that is important to me. If I want to get it done, then you’ll find it in my Google Calendar.

Why I love Google Calendar

Google Calendar syncs across all of my devices – email, phone, and within several other tools I use like ScheduleOnce and Tripit. This makes is super convenient and easy to use: everything I have to do is in one place.

I also love that you can create recurring reminders and appointments using the “Repeat” option on any invite you create. Want to reminded of something daily, weekly, monthly, annually? Google Calendar has you covered!

Compare this tool

iCal (if you’re a Mac user)

Outlook Calendar (if you’re an Outlook user)

Up next in Season 3 on tools and resources

What started out as a 500 word post quickly became 2,000!

That’s because I’m passionate about finding the right tools and resources that can help you maximize your time and grow your business.

That’s exactly what the tools and resources I’ve shared above have done for us here at EOFire, and I hope that some – if not all of them – can help you do the same.

Up next, we’ll be diving into tools and resources for communication and relationship management! As always, you can always visit our home base for Season 3 to check out our entire season lineup!

The post S3E2: Top 7 tools and resources for organization appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       
 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2aWrQcB

Latest EOFire Podcast S3E1: The power tools and resources hold for growing your business

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

tools and resources for your business

There are so many tips, strategies, and lessons to digest and learn when you’re creating and growing your business.

Some of the earlier tips, strategies, and lessons you consumed hopefully included things like:

This is not an exhaustive list by any means; however, I’ve just name some pretty massive pieces of the puzzle when it comes to creating and growing your business.

All the different options

Once you’ve digested these things, and maybe done a little research on the steps you need to take to get started, you’ve likely realized there are a lot of options available to you: tools, resources, software, and services that can help you accomplish these things.

As if digesting and learning about these things wasn’t overwhelming enough, now you’re supposed to choose from dozens of tools and resources that all claim they’re the best one?

Aside from the obvious (that this can be paralyzing and cause us to procrastinate, or worse, never take any action at all), this also puts you in a situation where you feel like you have to hurry up and choose one in order to move forward.

Choosing the tool or resource that’s best for your business

Sometimes this means choosing a tool or resource that costs too much, or that isn’t truly the right tool for you and your business. And when the wrong tools and resources are in place, you run the risk of:

  • Wasting time
  • Wasting money
  • Not making as much progress as you could be
  • Increased (and unnecessary) frustration

None of these things are the things that will help you successfully create and grow your business.

On the flip side, if you’re able to make well-informed decisions about the tools and resources you choose for your business, you’ll not only be able to charge ahead with confidence, you’ll also avoid the risks involved with choosing a tool or resource just to choose.

Tools and resources we use at EOFire

The tools and resources we use here at EOFire are literally what have helped support our business growth. We wouldn’t be where we are right now – with over 1 million monthly listens on the podcast, tens of thousands signed up for our email lists, and generating hundreds of thousands of dollars per month – without the tools and resources we leverage every day.

Now don’t get me wrong: we’ve definitely experienced what it’s like to choose the wrong tool or resource. As a result, we’ve wasted a lot of time and money and not made as much progress as we could have.

This is why I’m passionate about sharing the tools and resources that I know work – because I don’t believe anyone should waste time, money, or be halted in their progress towards creating and growing a business they love because of a ill-informed decision.

Every business is different

I can’t guarantee that every tool and resources I’m going to talk about here in Season 3 is going to be right for you and your business.

Every business is different.

What I can guarantee is that I will tell you everything I know about the tools and resources I’m going to talk about so you have information to go off from when choosing the tools and resources that will be best for your business.

I’ll not only cover the exact tools and resources I believe are most powerful in our business, but I’ll also talk about similar tools and resources. I’ll share why we’ve chosen one over the other, and I’ll even include price comparisons and feature and benefit info to help you decide.

When you choose the right tools and resources for your business, and leverage them correctly, you save time and money.

When you choose the right tools and resources for your business, and leverage them correctly, you make more progress than you would otherwise.

When you choose the right tools and resources for your business, and leverage them correctly, your journey becomes that much more FUN, and the frustration of not having the best possible structure in place disappears.

Are you ready to put the right tools and resources in place for your business, and start leveraging them to fullest in order to save time, money, make more progress, and all the while, have FUN doing it?

In Season 3 we’ll be covering tools and resources by category. You can check out a full outline of what to expect right here.

A quick rundown of Season 3 on Tools and Resources

  • Communication & relationship management
  • Organization & systems
  • Content
  • Project management
  • Your website
  • Social media
  • And more!

Have a category you’re dying to hear about, and that you DON’T SEE in the Season 3 outline? That’s why I’ve set aside an entire episode for YOU to choose which tools and resources you want to hear about most.

Shoot me an email, or drop a comment below and let me know what category interests you MOST – or that would be MOST helpful – and I’ll pick the listener favorite for Episode 9!

The post S3E1: The power tools and resources hold for growing your business appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       
 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2aKz96L

Australian Finance Experts Support Podcasting

Recently I came across this mention of leading Australian small business podcast “Flying Solo” on the blog of a decent sized acounting and business advise firm Northern Business Consultants.  They make the point that most of the leading business podcast come from the US.  Hmmm, well I guess that would make sense, and indeed, we promote three of them on this blog LOL!

So in the interests of the global village, its a pleasure to highlight NBC’s mention of the Australian solo-preneur podcast “Flying Solo”.

You can check out NBC’s post here, and podcast they mention about the different options for getting business growth finance is embedded below: