Powerful Tools of the Trade for Consultants and Sales Professionals of all Stripes

Below you'll find many of the tools I use every day to manage and grow my business. It's a relatively short list, because I only recommend tools and tech I know and love. I'm quite proud to share each of these companies with you. Good luck on your journey!

“The right tool for the right job.”

Words of wisdom from the son of an engineer…

 

My grandfather was a civil engineer, and he had a workshop in the basement of his home. Tools and woodcraft was everywhere, but neatly arranged like the master craftsman he was. My father has always been fond of using this phrase about using the right tool for the job, and so am I, because it’s really what life (and work is all about). Enjoy this little peek into my toolbox. I couldn’t accomplish a fraction of what I’m able to do without these tools.

It’s worth noting, by the way, that we’re proud to be affiliates for a number of the companies below. Channel partners if you will. So, if you go on to use them as we do, we both benefit. Me in the form of a commission from them, which costs you not a cent. And, you benefit in the form of a wonderful tool that just might help drive your business. Should you fall in love with these tools as I have, why not partner up as well? It’s the way business works, right? Have fun!

Most Recommended Tools

$ This is an affiliate link.

Kartra | #1 For Lead Generation and Marketing Funnels

Finally, a marketing platform that does (just about) everything for you.

For a decade, I dreamed of finding a platform that allowed me to create, finesse and scale a variety of lead generation and demand generation efforts using one tool. Kartra finally figured out how to do it. If you’re doing any sort of content marketing or lead generation, and not in the market for an custom-tailored enterprise platform like Pardot, or Eloqua, Kartra can really help make a difference. Done-for-you campaigns, marketing, funnels and membership sites allow you to get up and going fast. And, with legendary copywriter Frank Kern supplying much of the copy, for drip sequences, you lead off on the right foot right out of the gate. In addition to Canva (linked below), THE only tool I’ve ever used online that allowed me to complete a project within its free trial period is Kartra. Can’t say enough good things about it.

$ This is an affiliate link.

CoSchedule | #1 For Content Marketing & Project Management

CoSchedule is another dream tool for me. The only place I put all of my ideas, and schedule all of my content. 

Are you or your team having trouble getting their content pipline moving? Are you missing content distrubution opportunities because your current content calendar allows things to fall through the cracks. CoSchedule will make all that go away so you can finally create, distribute, and manage your content marketing plan. They have monthly plans that run the gamut, and offerings that help single bloggers to complete agencies. Fortune 50 companies use CoSchedule because it stands head and shoulders above others when it comes to project managing content. CoSchedule is another tool I dreamed about for decades and am so happy to now put to use.

$ This is an affiliate link.

WPMU Dev | #1 WordPress Maintenance & Support

WPMU makes it so I never, ever, get stuck with WordPress tech problems. EVER.

If you’re an SME without a website support team, a consultant, founder / co-founder, or a marketing team lead looking to hire offsite talent to manage your WordPress, you’d be doing yourself a favor to consider the amazing folks at WPMU be great if when you ran into a problem with WordPress you could get it fixed right away? With WMPUDEV, that is precisely what your new world will look like. As a premium customer you get access all of their amazing plugins, 24/7 help desk, automated backups, installations… it’s incredible. They are absolute magicians. I love them, and imagine you will as well—particularly if you have more than three websites to manage. I have dozens on a single price plan!

$ This is an affiliate link.

Mailchimp | #1 For Building Email Lists

The legend, and still the best. Still free to start as well. 

There are a multitude of email providers out there. What I like about Mailchimp is that it really is the standard in business. And because of that, they have the capital to have in place an amazing support team. Which is what you’re going to need when you’re using email. When you don’t want to wait hours, or overnight for an answer you’re looking to solve now, Mailchimp is the only way to go. Add that to enhance email delivery capabilities that boost your delivery rates, and there really isn’t another on-enterprise choice in my mind.

$ This is an affiliate link

Media Temple | #1 For Website Hosting

I only ever use and recommend one domain provider and hosting service: Media Temple.

Ever since switching from a large domain provider to MediaTemple in 2013, I’ve never looked back. I find their 24/7 support to be unmatched, their pricing fair, and their tech easy to manage. I’ve used many providers since first jumping online in 1994, and I know what the good ones look like. One-click WordPress installs help ease you into creating a site if you’re just getting started, and a host of other ready-to-go installs cover just about anything you’d need for marketing and promoting your business. 

$ This is an affiliate link.

Elegant Themes | #1 For WordPress Themes

Divi, from Elegant Themes helps me stay productive at scale. It is the only theme I use and recommend.

Productivity Wins. If you’re building out a new website with a relatively small team, or completely on your own the best way to do that is to leverage the same WordPress theme across your properies. It helps you scale quickly because of the exisiting support structure online, and because the team you outsource to (if you you do) will learn quickly how to manipulate things for you. Which means less time-to-market, and less spend overall.  Elegant Themes’ Divi Theme ships with hundreds of designs of the that use the same theme structutre making its drag and drop functionality simple as pie. Combine Elegant Themes with WPMUDEV, and you may never have to touch WordPress again. Which, of course, is where you want to be.

Canva | #1 For Beautiful Images & Design

Canva changed my life and made me look like a designer. Simple to use and worth every penny.

If you, or your business needs to look good. You, or someone on your team needs to be using Canva. I love graphic designers—they make my writing truly come to life. But, if you’re bootstrapping, or just looking to save on a designer salary that can run upwards of 80K, give another creative employee time to learn Canva. The work they’ll end up with will be top notch, it’ll cost you pennies, and you and your firm will look amazing in the process.

$ This is an affiliate link.

Animoto | #1 For Video Production

Get your product trailers out the door in no time.

If you want to really spice up your LinkedIn posts, your marketing emails, or add video to yur website without investing a small fortune, Animoto can help. They’re one of the earlier players in the game, and still strong in my opinion. Their site gives you the ability to drag and drop photos as well as videos and sound files into a video timeline so you can edit and produce quickly. Good graphics, templates and a free music library make video creation a breeze. The best deal is their annual plan. It’s the one I use as it provides me with greater roductivity and flexibility. 

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