“I’m just one person, I don’t have a team around me…”
“I’m not very good with technology.”
“I’m always on the road and don’t have time…”
These are actual quotes we’ve heard from speakers we’ve met on the road and at our own events. They are desperate to scale their message beyond the stage but don’t feel they have the resources or knowledge.
Let me ask you a question:
- What if you could leverage technology to make it “feel” like you had a team?
- What if your email marketing were automated, so when you are 30,000 feet in the air between gigs you know people are being followed up with?
- What if you had a “system” that generated leads for you around the clock?
- What if you were able to quickly launch new products, resources and campaigns (without having to hire a web designer)?
That would make running your business a whole lot easier, right?
Here at Advance Your Reach we don’t just “use” technology.
We leverage it.
We’re always looking for “hacks” and shortcuts to grow and run our business, and sell our products and services.
We get asked all the time what we use to run our speaking business, book stages, and scale beyond the stage.
So here it is! The 9 tools we use (and they are ALL cheaper than hiring an employee or contractor)…
CRM / Marketing Automation
First off, CRM stands for “Customer Relationship Management.” Think of it as a database (or, if you’re stuck in the 80’s you’d call it a Rolodex). When you’re just starting your business, you might keep the names of your prospects and customers in an Excel spreadsheet or Google Sheet. That’s OK, for a period of time.
But you will quickly scale beyond a spreadsheet as a tenable option as you make follow up calls, appointments, and sales. You can’t just keep adding rows and columns to a spreadsheet and expect nothing to fall through the cracks.
What we use:
What it is:
Infusionsoft is an industry leader in small business marketing and automation. We’ve used multiple CRMs (customer relationship managers, i.e. “databases”) in the past, and this is by far our favorite. Some CRMs felt too big and clunky (and we used a fraction of their capability). Some felt too small and disconnected. Infusionsoft is “just right”.
Infusionsoft captures all our leads, runs our webinar sequences, helps us book stages, follow up with customers and leads, and even process our payments.
Why we love it:
It is the backbone of our business and integrates with almost everything (most of the tools listed on this page integrate seamlessly). Someone can fill out a form on ClickFunnels or register through GoToWebinar, and they are instantly in our system and being followed up within an appropriate manner.
In short, Infusionsoft lets us run our “follow-up machine” to ensure every customer and lead has a great experience, and no one falls through the cracks.
How you can get it:
Landing Page Builder
One of our favorite advancements in technology is how easy it is to get a web page up and live in a few short clicks. HUGE improvements have been made in recent years and there are multiple solutions you can use without having to understand HTML or CSS.
What we use:
What it is:
Fully customizable web page builder, but organized in a cool and easy to use interface.
Multiple templates are available based on your objective (opt-ins, webinar registrations, sales pages, etc), or you can start from scratch.
Once you get the hang of it, you’ll never need a web designer again. Many companies are building their entire web presence completely on the ClickFunnels platform (as opposed to WordPress, Squarespace, etc). You can get a free 14 day trial here.
- Fully customizable
- Very fast to make pages
- Great integrations
- Slightly higher learning curve
- Price (but, you get what you pay for)
What it is:
Landing page builder largely based around ease of use. There are lots of templates available, but they are not able to be customized. So if you like the template, but you want a video instead of a picture… tough luck!
**UPDATE they are rolling out a Beta version of a customizable drag & drop page builder but I have found it to be clunky at the time of writing. We’ve had issues with the lead boxes integrating with our CRM and have had to uninstall and reinstall the integrations multiple times (as advised by their support team). Inconvenient, to say the least…
- Easy to use
- Can get started for only $47/mo
- Not customizable
- “Look and feel” not as modern
We offer products, services, archives through a membership site platform. Basically, you have to have a username and password to access the content (even if the content is free).
There is much to be said about a membership model (think Costco, Netflix, Amazon Prime, a gym or YMCA, etc.). Look at your bank statements, and I think you’ll be surprised to see all the transactions that are related to some form of membership economy.
We use Memberium to manage it all. Memberium is a WordPress plugin that integrates Infusionsoft and WordPress. You can protect content (think of a resource, blog post, digital product, video, etc) based on membership levels. You can offer free courses and free content but you still have to be a member (which is a powerful way to grow your list, by the way).
- World-class support (seriously, it’s the best!)
- Excellent training via their video documentation
- Reliability and consistency
- Full integration with WordPress and Infusionsoft
- You might need to rely on their support as the install/setup can be kind of tricky.
- You can’t use it if you don’t have WordPress and Infusionsoft
As a speaker, author, communicator, would you agree that it’s important for people to understand your speaking style? To get a vibe for what you might be like on stage?
Video email does just that. It’s hard to communicate via black text on a white background on a computer screen. Adding a video has shown that 81% get more replies, 68% convert more leads, and 56% get more referrals over normal email.
We use a service called Bombbomb and we love it…
What it is:
Bombbomb is a way to send videos in an email. You can use your webcam or your smart phone, record a video and embed it right there into your email. We use it for 1-on-1 communication (we still use Infusionsoft for our mass email communication/automation).
You are alerted when someone opens your email or watches your video. They can also reply with video and keep the conversation.
People get dozens (hundreds?) of emails each day, and sending a video can make you stand out. Plus, you can make these really cool email templates:
Digital Marketing Resources:
I don’t care what your area of expertise, we are all marketing on some level. As a speaker, entrepreneur, author etc. you’re always marketing. You might be marketing to get on a stage, to have someone sign up for your newsletter, read your blog or e-book.
You are solving a pain point on the other end of that phone, email, or computer screen. How you communicate that pain and solution is “marketing.”
We are huge Digital Marketer gurus. They are a great company based out of Austin Texas, and they provide seemingly endless resources around marketing yourself and your message online.
Our other favorite resources are called Funnel Blueprint (how to construct any funnel for anything, including landing page templates and email templates) and The Machine (all your emails for any reasons).
Last but not least, we use 99 Designs for graphics, e-book covers, branding, presentation decks. We even hired the last one for a larger project (started out designing some banners and we expanded that to presentation decks and all visual components for our live event).
Comment below anything that you love to use in your business! We are always looking for new and improved tech to make everyone’s life easier!