When you’re a pro (professional dancer, here!), you know the gear is critical to help you perform to your highest abilities. (ah, no. Those flip flops are not going to cut it on the dance floor.)
It’s the same when it comes to being a pro in business.
You need the right tools for online success. Don’t let uncertainty or too many choices stop you from taking ACTION.
Lucky for you, I’ve already done the trial and error, made the bad investments, and crash tested plenty of online tools out there, so you don’t have to.
These here are the primo, state of the art resources that I use in my own online business.
I can honestly recommend each one of these companies as an important key that has made building my virtual business easier and faster.
Full disclosure: Some of these are affiliate links, and I will receive a commission if you click and choose to purchase (at no cost to you!). Keep in mind that I only recommend companies that I have personal positive experience with and that have helped my business.
Get the Gear
1. Website Hosting
WP Engine: Hands down the best hosting I’ve used. Super fast load speed, great security, and the support team are dynamos.
A little more pricey then some, but so worth the peace of mind.
StudioPress: There are tons of WordPress themes to choose from, but StudioPress has some of the cleanest and easiest to use. This website (melissacyr.com) is built on a StudioPress theme. I love that the mobile versions are just as beautiful and functional as the full theme versions.
Each StudioPress theme is built on the Genesis framework (think of it like the frame and body of a car), with plenty of gorgeous child themes available (your car’s “paint job”) to customize your theme to your taste.
3. Email Marketing:
MailChimp: I didn’t start off with MailChimp as my email provider, but once I switched over, I couldn’t believe how easy it was to make attractive emails.
Behind the scenes, the analytics are awesome too, so you’ll know how your message is being received and by who to the utmost detail. The best part? It’s FREE for email lists under 2000 subscribers. Pretty sweet!
4. Visual Editing:
PicMonkey: PicMonkey, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways! Super user-friendly image editing, which you can use to make graphics for your website, social media, blog posts, events, Facebook ads, and product pictures. You will use this practically every day–I do!
Plenty of functions are included in the free version, but I suggest upgrading to Royale, which is just $34/year and gives you access to all the goodies. Totally worth it for how much you will use it.
Screenflow: Awesome editing for screencasting. Screenflow makes recording and editing videos on your computer so easy, you’ll literally hug your monitor and weep tears of relief for saving yourself countless hours of time. For a one-time investment of $99, it’s a no-brainer investment for anyone who wants to put video online.
Final Cut Pro X: When you’re ready to go pro, Final Cut is the last word in the business. Used by filmmakers, it’s an Apple product that has practically unlimited abilities.
Heads up! The learning curve is steep and for most people starting out in business, you do not need this product! If, however, your goal is to make kick-ass high end video, it’s the way to go.
5. Video and Webinars:
Wistia: This is the video platform we use for all our videos on DanceSport Place, and this website. It has a super cool vibe, great tutorials and the team is fresh and fun. Customer service rocks, too!
WebinarJam: The easiest (and most convenient way) to do webinars. Based on Google Hangouts, there is so much flexibility and functionality in this platform. Webinars are the way to go to build your list, your authority and educate your potential clients. WebinarJam makes it easy and really fun, too!
6. Video/Audio Gear:
CowboyStudio Lighting Kit: Video content is a marketing must for your business. But, it’s got to look good. We all click away from grainy or dark video. And if the presenter isn’t looking bright-eyed, it’s a def turn off. Here’s the secret to always looking good on video-LIGHTING. I had an epiphany about the importance of good lighting years ago watching “The Addams Family”. Ever notice how Morticia always looks positively glowing? Well, it’s because she’s got her own personal spotlight following her, diffusing every shadow and wrinkle! The results, like her complexion, are flawless. Bottom line–you need good lighting. It doesn’t take much. This kit is a great start for the value, a three point lighting system that will make your video look pro and your face look 5-10 years younger. Now, if they only made a travel size…
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World by Gary Vaynerchuk
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie