So if you run your own business or if you want to one day run your own business then one of the best places to start is by understanding the mechanics of how businesses generate revenue behind the scenes.
So today I want to run through 7 essential apps that I use when running my businesses.
Okay so the first app we're going to be looking at is called Tidycal. At it's core Tidycal enables people to book and schedule meetings in my calendar saving me loads of back and forth over emails as I can just send out my booking link and then people can find a time slot that suits them and book in.
Tidycal is from the team at AppSumo who are in fact sponsoring this portion of the video and they've also included a special offer to try TidyCal which I've popped in the description below.
To get started you just simply sign up, set your working hours, and add your calendar and then share your booking link.
Prior to switching to TidyCal I used to use Calendly as my go to booking tool but because I have quite a large team and I also have loads of different calendars I found that the life-time pricing $29 and features like being able to connect up 10 different calendars made TidyCal a simpler and more scalable option for myself and my team.
As a sales tool I'll use it for scheduling sales calls with minimal friction either using my booking link over email or embedding a booking page into a website.
I'll also use it for things like Podcast guests booking into podcast slots and for my internal team if they want to jump on a quick call.
The next sales tool I want to touch on is a big one. It's my go-to customer relationship management tool that gives you real-time, visual insights on your sales activities and it's HubSpot.
I've used this Hubspot for the last 10 years, and one thing that always stands out is Hubspot does a lot from sales to marketing and help desks.
I'll primarily use Hubspot as a way to store sales contacts and track deals across my companies. At it's core Hubspot is a database of everyone that interacts with your business and it will let you email them and help you move them from prospects to customers.
For most companies getting started you can add a Hubspot contact us form to your website and this then captures potential customers and tracks things like emails, phone-calls and any interaction.
The CRM has a user-friendly interface and probably the most generous free plan on the market. If you have a small team it's free tier will get you going and they also offer a start-up discount that is very generous with 90% off in year one. The additional features on paid plans do ramp up quite quickly however and we now spend around $25k/year on hubspot.
Next up on the list we have ConvertKit which is the platform that we use to grow our email list and to send out my weekly newsletter and basically this is an email marketing platform with some really nice features.
So if we take a look we can see how many people I have on my current newsletter which is just over 18,000 and we really only started doing this newsletter around 8-months ago. We can also see we've got an open rate of 41.24% a click rate of 7.77% and in that 8-month period we've sent out 97,174 emails.
If we jump over into the broadcast area this is where we'll send out my weekly updates newsletter Thursday Thunder and we can get a bit more granular data for specific emails and see what people clicked on and what resonated with them to try and make things as helpful and valuable as possible.
The cool thing about convertkit is that you can send broadcast but you can also send sequences and so for example as part of our Courses like 7-Day AI Pro we have a series of five emails that people get every day but that is a sequence so we don't have to send those manually we just write the sequence once and then it's all automated.
We mainly use ConvertKit for newsletters and updates but you can also do things like selling digital products to generate revenue too.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator: LinkedIn Prospecting Made Easy
For my B2B businesses most deal makers tend to hang out on LinkedIn with their company profile and job title readily accessible. A big part of enterprise sales is prospecting to find your customers.
If you’re using LinkedIn for prospecting, Sales Navigator is a must-have platform to track lead activities on the social media platform. You can save lead lists based on your chosen criteria and get customizable notifications about your prospects.
The tool’s most popular feature is probably its search filters for people and companies that let you discover new leads.
My favorite feature, however, is the ability to see who has viewed your profile--this lets you see if leads have been checking you out. It also allows you to reach an extended network, send InMail, and create custom lead lists to target propsects in the right stage of your sales cycle.
Sales Navigator isn't cheap and we pay around $100/month/user for our sales teams.
While direct outreach to customers is vital sales is as much about expression as it is impressions.
Designed to optimize and amplify your LinkedIn and Twitter presence, Hypefury has quickly become my go-to for all things LinedIn and Twitter. From scheduling posts to maximizing engagement, Hypefury has helped me grow my business audience, increase my reach, and build genuine connections on the LinkedIn and twitter.
I use Hypefury to automatically send posts, plug my newsletter when posts get a certain amount of engagement and repurpose content across platforms.
Scheduling and Automation: Hypefury lets you schedule posts in advance, so you can maintain a consistent presence on Linkedin and Twitter without being glued to your screen. Plus, its automation features ensure your evergreen content is regularly shared with your audience.
Analytics and Insights: Hypefury provides detailed analytics on your performance, helping you understand your top-performing content and refine your strategy. Use these insights to make data-driven decisions to improve your engagement and grow your following.
Content Library: Hypefury's content library feature lets you store and organize your best tweets, making it easy to repost your most engaging content.
Thread Builder: Its intuitive thread builder makes it easy to make threads (which is usually a huge pain).
When it comes to sales not all of your customers are going to live on LinkedIn. You're going to have to go and find them yourself and do some cold outreach and direct sales.
When I first started out I had no idea how to send a sales email and I probably made my emails too wordy and too salesy. To get results I find that personalized emails with genuine thought are the best way to go but often these take ages to build and because everyone's inbox is flooded it often takes at least 7 points of contact before someone takes an interest in what you're selling.
This is where Lemlist comes in. It's an AI-powered sales outreach platform that helps you to craft cold outreach emails, enrich any contact information you might have and personalize your emails at scale with their AI campaign builder.
I use this as a precursor to Hubspot so that any cold prospects I want to reach out to go into my LemList leads database and then the team will try and connect with them and build trust to a point where we can show off our products to them and then we'll move them into Hubspot.
Lemlist also has a really great community which shares effective email templates and data and the interface is really nice to use.
The final app I want to talk about is stripe which is what we use for our payment processing and the great thing about stripe is that it just lets you accept payments from most places in the world and it keeps all our payments across all my businesses safe and secure.
Stripe will show successful payments, any failed subscription payments which is really important if you're running a SaaS company as well as any refunds that can be processed from directly within Stripe by the support team.
Stripe also does some really helpful things like adding taxes, accepting multiple currencies and generating invoices if you want to bill a customer manually.
Most of the time we use Stripe's checkout as part of our digital businesses to just automate the whole closing part of the sales process and we then get a payout at the same time each month while tracking sales growth for just a small percentage cut that stripe takes.