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.

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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 😉

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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.

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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.

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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.

       

 

 

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