43+ Proven Tools to Help You Grow Your Virtual Business Faster

In this blog post, I’ll share the tools and resources I personally use to create income streams and automate my marketing.

(Note: some of these are affiliate links, many are not, but they’re all tools I use in my business and recommend.)

Websites & Funnels

  • WordPress – My websites are all powered by WordPress.  It allows me to easily publish blog posts and other content online.  With my blog I can generate revenue with affiliate links, paid posts, advertising and so many other possibilities.
  • Genesis Framework & Themes – I use this framework and it’s child themes on all of my websites.  It’s designed to be great for SEO (search engine optimization – so people find you) and has a great community and lots of extra free plugins to add features, etc.
  • ClickFunnels – For opt-in pages, sales pages and everything you need for a drag-and-drop, point-and-click funnel.  Lots of choices and helpful support.

Affiliate Offers to Promote

Tip: the best way to find products/services to offer as an affiliate is to do exercises like “empathy mapping” and “milk & cookies” to get insider your audiences head and figure out what exactly they need and are already buying so you can share things they want and need.

  • ClickBank – Variety of offers you can promote as an affiliate from languages to cooking to dance and more.
  • JV Zoo – Mostly virtual and internet marketing related products to share as an affiliate.
  • Share-a-Sale – Great place to look for offers to share as an affiliate.
  • Amazon Affiliate Program – With nearly everything but the kitchen sink available at Amazon, their affiliate program includes products for almost any niche.

Membership Sites

Online Payments

You’ll need a way to get paid your affiliate commissions and for your products or other items.  I use PayPal and Stripe both.  You only pay a fee for receiving payments when you make a sale.

  • PayPal – Send and receive payments online with PayPal.  With the PayPal debit card you can get instant access to your funds.
  • Stripe – Receive credit card payments online.  Works with many major shopping carts and membership software (including LifterLMS).
  • Square – Super simple way to accept credit cards.  Only pay when you process a sale, no monthly fees.  You can swipe cards with their free reader plugged into your phone or ipad, or key in the card number in the app.  You can also process payments by sending invoices through their website.  My favorite way to accept payments for consulting and project work.

Video Presentations & Meetings (Live or Recorded)

  • CamStudio (free) or Screencast (for Mac) – Useful for recording presentations with video or slides and audio.
  • Google Hangouts / YouTube Live (free) – Yes, they still exist, just hidden under YouTube Live… this is my favorite way to host webcasts and record training presentations.
  • YouTube (free) – Speaking of YouTube, it’s a great place to host your videos.  As with any video or other file host, keep a backup of your files.  Use the unlisted or private settings depending on your goals for a specific video.
  • Wistia – If you’re looking for more details/analytics, Wistia is awesome and has a free account option you can test out.
  • Zoom – I’ve been using the Pro version for the past 5 or 6 months as a way to host private masterminds and other group calls where everyone is on video.
  • ChatWing – My go to chat solution for webcasts or anywhere else that a live chat box makes sense.  Try the “Free Chatbox Lite” first.

Product Creation (Transcripts, Graphics, etc)

  • Speechmatics – Amazing automated solution for transcripts. Quality depends on the audio and how fast the speaker talks but it’s a great resource for transcribing presentations, etc.
  • Fiverr – For all sorts of things from project help to graphics and more… if you haven’t looked at Fiverr recently give it another chance as it’s evolved into a great marketplace and has higher quality sellers than when it was just $5 (you’ll see a variety of order prices and levels now).
  • Google Docs & Sheets – Useful for collaborating with your team, coach, assistant, etc and for general file editing/storage. Everything’s in the cloud so you can access and work from anywhere.

Email Management

  • GMail – Free email from Google. Pretty sure you already know about this one.
  • Boomerang – AMAZING app for helping you stay organized and on top of emails that await your response – you can “boomerang” things back to your inbox later, schedule emails to send at specific times, and more.  Check out the video about this app.
  • Wisestamp – Is every email you send working for you?  With Wisestamp it can be!  I use it to add my latest blog post and point to opt-in pages in every single email I send.
  • InfusionSoft – This is what I use for email campaigns. It’s not an entry level tool so I recommend you check out GetResponse.

Appointment Scheduling

  • YouCanBook.me – For scheduling appointments from strategy sessions to coaching calls.

Social Media

  • HootSuite – My secret weapon for social media.  This is how I keep content going out to Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Canva – This is my current favorite graphics design option.  It’s free, it runs in my browser, and I can easily create graphics for social media with it.
  • ManageFlitter – This is one of the main tools I use to grow my Twitter following.  I use it to unfollow people who aren’t following me and to follow people based on keywords in their bios.
  • Social Oomph – You can automate, schedule, and handle a variety of social media tasks with Social Oomph. I use it to send DMs to my new followers on Twitter.

Health & Personal Development

  • Self Talk – Yep, I’m including a personal development link here… because if your mind isn’t growing, neither is your income.  (Free for 30 days – don’t miss this one!)
  • FitBit – Have you noticed it in nearly every video I’ve released in the past year?  My Fitbit helps me stay sane by tracking my sleep and exercise. When it’s right there in front of you in charts and numbers, it’s a lot easier to take care of yourself and make healthy decisions.

List Building

  • Thrive Leads – Creates popups, widgets, screen overlays, ribbons and more to help you get more opt-ins from your blog.
  • Hello Bar – Super easy to use, allows you to add a bar that sits at the top of your blog or website and invites people to opt-in or whatever you’d like to promote.
  • Snip.ly – Add your invitation/CTA when you’re sharing content on social media – click through and check this one out, it’s pretty awesome (and there’s a free account level).

Traffic

  • HookLine Dynamic App – Free headline analyzer that helps you create more attention-grabbing titles, headlines, etc.

Organization/Productivity

  • Workflowy – A simple checklist app that you can use on your computer and/or your phone.

Tracking & Analytics

  • Google Analytics – I’ve got this on all my sites so I can track traffic, watch trends and generally understand who’s coming from where.
  • Pretty Link Lite (or GoCodes) – For tracking links, these plugins will let you share a link with your own domain in it, redirected to where ever you choose, and show you how many clicks it go.

Legal Reference

  • Nolo – Excellent for researching business issues.
  • Legal Zoom – I use Legal Zoom to setup my LLC and handle other legal paperwork.
  • TESS – Always search here before you name anything, and be sure it’s not a registered trademark.

Miscellaneous Marketing & Sales

  • Proof Factory – This one I had built custom and I’ll tell you about it this week.
  • Sendtric – Free email countdown timers you can use

These are just some of the tools you can use to get setup and generating multiple streams of income in your business.

If you found this list of resources useful, would you tweet to share it?

What tools do you use in your online business?  What’s missing from this list?  Share in the comments!

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11 Comments

  1. I have heard so much about list building and how it can generates incredible income. However, I haven’t seen anyone who could take me through the rudiments of the business.
    I’m glad this post provided some major points, but I will still appreciate if you could help me more on list building. Thanks.

  2. You made mention of using WordPress to power all your blogs. I intend starting a blog soon and I’m looking into using the blog to generate huge income through affiliate marketing and all that.. But I’m wondering; can’t I build the blog on Blogger platform?
    What’s really the significant of WordPress to the blogs?

    1. If you are going to build a business. You want to own your own domain name and host your blog with a web host that’s helpful and customer service oriented. Michele is suggesting a WordPress installation, so that the WordPress framework is the foundation. WordPress.com or Blogger are not the self hosting option. Try googling “why self hosted WordPress” to get some more info. Good luck! You are starting an exciting journey!

  3. Interesting read! I’ve been an affiliate marketer for a while, though with a fair turn up. I’ve actually not gotten the expected results. I think I know what to do now to push my business a bit forward. Thanks for the post.

  4. I’m currently using few of these tools and I can say that they are all very effective and helpful in my small virtual business. I’m thinking of using few more tools and sticking on the best ones to use as I expand my services online. This blog is ‘on point’ to my needs, I found a nice to place to learn.

  5. Paypal has been always useful to me in transacting payments. In social media, I prefer the famous sites like Facebook and Twitter because of the number of users that I could reach to promote my business.

  6. I just started my virtual business and it was really challenging for me to get and win loyal customers. I’ll be using some of these tools to get me through and I hope I have nice sales for the next months.

  7. Thanks so much, Michelle for including YCBM in your list :)

  8. I use many of these tools. I remember looking into lifterlms for a client but I’ll have to relook at that one.
    I use GoogleKeep for snipping and adding small to-do lists throughout my workday. At the end of the day, everything is deleted.
    SaraBeth recently posted… What is a Content Refresh? [A Spa Day for Your Blog]My Profile

  9. I’ve been an affiliate marketer for sometime and these list would really help a lot improve my marketing strategies. I’m also going to look into other affiliate programs listed here. Thanks very much for sharing!
    Ashley Nicole recently posted… Portable Standing DeskMy Profile

  10. hello MICHELLE
    wow you have succeed to put everything together and it helps a lot
    to your visitors which is great on this blog anyone can learn so many
    things in one place
    thanks for sharing keep up the good work

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