We have all heard that “Time is Money”, but in some cases “Time Costs Money”. In business, it often makes sense to find cool new tools that make your life easier, less complex, or helps you speed up processes.
As we move deeper into the new year, I've tried to look at my business and find ways to make the things that I do more efficient. It's all about time. I would like to dive into some of the products and services I have started using. Some of these are new, some are not. Some are free, some are expensive. But the bottom line is each one of these is designed to help make us more efficient and proficient in business. Hopefully you can learn from what I've learned about how these cool new tools can help you save time and make more money.
The five cool new tools I'd like to discuss today are:
- ActiveCampaign – an email program
- Blinkist – an audiobook and podcast program
- Lunch Club – a networking program
- Clubhouse – a digital audio networking program
- reMarkable 2 Pad – a digital notebook that you can handwrite into
If you want more info on each of these tools, go to brianloves.info.
I've been using a handful of different email programs over the last few years, and they all have their pluses and minuses. Some are cheaper than others, some offer more robust features that, honestly, were just hard to use. I started looking for something that better suited my business model. I also wanted to find something that could enhance my client's businesses as well.
One of the things I was looking for in an email program was one that allowed for segmentation. This means that I could bring people into different lists and add them to different drip email campaigns and different broadcast campaigns, depending on what they were truly interested in.
The key thing that was important to me and to my clients was the ability to add one person to multiple lists. In my world it would be my books or my podcast or my blogs, but only send one copy of an email out to that person regardless of how many of my lists they were on. So, if I sent the same email to my blogs lists, my podcasts list, my books lists; they would only get one email, not three.
The other thing that's really important is being able to tag them and add them to drip campaigns based on the activities that they did. This may be a fairly complex way of doing email compared to what you may be used to. But it's going to guarantee that the right person will get the right email at the right time.
One of the things I found about ActiveCampaign is that it does all of this and more. Now it's not inexpensive, but it's not as expensive as other options I explored, costing $250 a month, $500 a month, and upwards of $5,000 to set up.
Their onboarding and support teams make it relatively easy. I would recommend it especially if you have a solopreneur business that's not e-commerce based or a B2B business. Check it out for a Free Trial Account – Click Here.
The next tool I want to talk about is a company called Blinkist. I believe they're based in Germany. They record audiobooks similar to what you'd get on Amazon Audible, and deliver CliffsNotes versions. In other words, they provide “Blinks” or overviews of the chapters. That way you can get the gist of an entire audiobook in around 15 minutes.
I originally signed up for their 7-day free trial and I was hooked. I wanted to go back and listen to a handful of the books I've listened to over the years like “The Four Hour Workweek”, “The E-Myth Revisited”, “The GoGiver” and more. But what I've found in the process is these little 15 minute overviews really give you a great refresher or overview of these books.
You can pick and choose the categories you want to listen to: business motivation, whatever it is.
Then I discovered that the software was smart enough to deliver similar books in sequence. I started a book about copywriting and then it went into reading and it went into the mental capacities of how we read in psychology.
These were books that I never have heard of or listened to, but it expanded my knowledge in a short but very enhanced way. With those short 15-minute bursts, it tied together concepts that built upon each other and I responded, “Whoa, this is cool”. It gave me a broad-brush overview of things I never would think of taking the time to search out before. So I'm really digging, not only the shortened versions but the way that it kind of sequences things and gives you context based on whatever it is you listened to last time. Check it out for a Free Trial Account – Click Here.
The next one is Lunchclub which is a networking app that connects you with like-minded individuals all over the world. It's kind of like an online dating app for business professionals who want to meet somebody for lunch but just to discuss business ideas and concepts. Since we can't meet in person nowadays, you do it virtually.
You can categorize or narrow down the type of people you want to meet. You tell Lunchclub, “Hey, I would like to meet people that are entrepreneurs or are in the marketing field and I want to brainstorm ideas or I want to discuss ideas.” This is not a place where you go to pitch people (like traditional networking). This is a place where you go to have a conversation. I've learned some incredible things from some incredible people.
Once you've created your profile, you can tell Lunchclub what dates and times you want to meet and they pair you up with somebody. So far all of the Lunchclubs I've had have been amazing. But even more amazing is that the next one I'm about to do is with a friend of mine from Nashville who's signed up too. We probably would meet without the connection, but Lunchclub kind of forced the issue.
So that's what Lunchclub does, it's kind of pre-canned networking that you can do online. It's a way to meet people that you probably would never meet similar to the way that Blinkist gives me the ability to listen to books I'd probably never pick off the shelf. To join and give it a try – Click Here.
The next tool I was invited to that I've tried is called Clubhouse. This is an iPhone, audio only based app that you currently have to be invited to it. Clubhouse is a place where people start rooms around topics like LinkedIn, Podcasts, and other non-marketing likes or interests. There are a lot of big names in there like John Lee Dumas, Gary Vaynerchuk, Cliff Ravenscraft, and others. Some of these people I've interviewed on my podcast.
You basically start out by joining an open room and decide if you want to ask questions. Moderators may choose you to come up on stage and be part of the panel discussion or you can just sit back and listen. It's a great platform to get a pulse of what's happening in industries that may interest you.
As I said before, it's audio-only, and it's done through an iPhone only app. If you haven't gotten an invite, try to find somebody you know who has it. Then, ask them to invite you. I suggest that you go and listen, and if you dig it then try creating a room of your own and see how it works.
The final tool I want to talk about is something I bought myself as a birthday gift and I finally got it. It took months to get, it's very simple, but very expensive. It's called the reMarkable Pad. Basically, it is a digital piece of paper. Okay? So it's not cheap. It starts at $400 bucks and then you have to add accessories to it. And a lot of my friends said, “Hey, why don't you just get an iPad? You could do the same thing with that.”
And the key thing is I didn't want an iPad. I didn't want the distractions. And I didn't want all the rest of the pieces that go along with it. I just wanted something that I could use to take notes because my desk is filled with pieces of paper and post-it notes and all these other things. Now I can digitally take them and they have apps that you can use both for the desktop, online, and on your phone that allows you to organize them.
You can also OCR them, meaning turn them into texts that you can import into other programs. And it makes it super simple. It comes with a stylist, the one I bought has an eraser. I now have the ability to take meeting notes and save them not only on this device, but on the web.
So those are my tips today, I hope you found these useful. I would love to hear from you on your thoughts.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas, or questions about these cool new tools. Have you had to overcome any of the presented concepts? What worked and what did not live up to expectations? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?
To learn more about this and other topics on Internet Marketing, visit our podcast website at http://www.baconpodcast.com/podcasts/