Which Tools Made Me Part Man, Part Machine

Which Tools Made Me Part Man, Part Machine

Transcribed using Speechpad

Hello everyone. This is Matthew Hunt from Small Business Online Coach.  Adam Steele asked me to write a post for you on how to scale a business because
he knows that I’m big on scaling and creating systems. I decided that I would make this quick video because I thought it would make more of a point on how to quickly scale things.

It takes a long time to write a blog post. So I’m not going to write one. I’m just going to make a video about it and then get it transcribed. My whole point about this is that if you want to scale a business, you need to invest in tools and in affordable labour, and leverage software and tools and affordable labor to build and grow a business.

So what I’m going to do is I’m going to do in this video is give you a sneak peek at my email. I happen to use Gmail. I think Gmail is the best email client available out there. Some people may disagree. But it’s my preferred choice. The also share the tools and plug-ins that I use with gmail to make my life easier.  I will also share some of my favourite outsourcing places that I use to be able to scale and grow my business. Hopefully, this will give you some ideas to grow and scale your business.

Let’s start with Gmail. I live out of Gmail.  This is my Gmail. You can see I have a gazillion emails here. I’ve got 20 drafts and 4,000 spam.

But what I want you to take a look at here are some really cool plug-ins that are available out there. A few of them that I use, a cool one is called Rapportive. Basically, what it does is if I want to compose an email, let’s put in Adam Steele as an example. Here’s Adam Steele, and I pop this in and it’s going to bring up all his social. So this is a fast way for me to get in touch with him. Or if I get a hold of someone’s email and I can’t get a hold of them, I can try their social. Or maybe I want to find their social links, you get the point.  It’s a handy little tool. I can also see if I’m connected with them socially. If not, then I will want to get connected to them. So great tool.

Another fantastic tool that I use all the time is called Teambox. Teambox is a great way to manage your team and projects and things that are going on. My team actually uses it more than I do. It’s very cost effective. I think I pay something like $75 a month. You can manage all of your projects in here. So it’s a great product.

The cool thing about Teambox is that it has a plug-in for Chrome, so when I’m in Gmail here I can create a new tasks and send it out to my team right from my email. Or I can easily view my team’s activity logs in my gmail.  This is a very cool product.  For us, Teambox is an essential tool.

Another really great tool that I use is I use a product called Boomerang. It’s not a very expensive product.  I think there’s a free plan. There is. There it is. I think I do the like the $5 a month plan. I don’t do the $15 a month. Sorry. I do the $15 a month plan, but still very affordable.

It works kind of like a little mini CRM. I can create an email. Here again I can put Adam. Let’s put this to Adam again since he’s the guy who bugged me about this blog post. What I can do is I can select Send Later, and I can send it at different times. Sometimes I’m not working at the hours that are not appropriate to send messages. So let’s say you happen to be working at 3:00 am in the morning, which sometimes happens to me. That’s just sometimes when I like to work. I’m a bit of a night owl. But I don’t want to be sending emails to my clients at 3:00 am in the morning. It’s going to look a little weird.

So I can schedule it and say, hey boomerang, send this email tomorrow morning or tomorrow afternoon. Or what’s even cooler is you can schedule recurring email messages. I do a lot of recurring email messages with my clients to keep up with them. I send them an email once a month just basically to say, ”Hey how’s it going?” or “How are you doing, dude?” Or I use it to remind my team to do things. If I know every month reporting happens at a certain time, I just send out a gentle reminder saying, “Listen, make sure you get those reports sent out or you get this done or you get that ‘t’ crossed and that ‘i’ dotted.” So it’s a really useful tool that can save you a ton of time.

Boomerang can be used for sales too. So if I’m following up with someone on a sales call, I can Boomerang this message back to me at a later date. Basically, I click this message, and if I don’t hear back from the prospect in two days or one week, the email will then come back to me and remind me to follow up with this person.

Or I might just want to bring it forward because maybe I don’t want to deal with this email until a week late, but want it out of my inbox.  It helps save on mental bandwidth.  It clears my inbox so it’s not so cluttered.  Very, very good tool.

Let’s go over and take a look at some other tools and services I use to be able to scale my business, because this is what this is all about. It’s also about why I can do more than most people do is because I leverage these tools. Also video like this. I’m using a great tool right now. It’s called Snagit. It’s from TechSmith. They have a few products.

That’s how I’m creating this video. I like to create these videos. I send them to my clients instead of writing an email. I send them to my outsourcers and to my team to do work for me, or my designers to show them what I want. It’s really super effective. I don’t believe that you can be running a business today without using a product like Snagit.

I don’t know what it costs, $100 or something. Whatever it is, you should get it. They have a more robust product as well called camtasia, which I have too, if you want to do editing of your screen capture videos. But very rarely need to. Do yourself a favour and invest in a video screen capture software.

Some other tools that you definitely want to invest in if we come over here and take a look at my bookmarks you can see here I’ve got bookmarks. I’ve got domaining tools. We’re not going to talk about that today. SEO tools, I’ve got everything that we use that you need. If you’re a internet marketer, you definitely need to invest in these tools.

This is a very cool tool here called Speechpad. I use this one all the time too. So I’m actually going to send this video. I’m going to upload it to YouTube and then send it to Speechpad, and they’re going to transcribe it for me. How cool is that? When you log in, it’s really not that expensive. If you need to get it rush, it’s a little bit more expensive than normal. But if it’s not a rush, than it’s not that bad. It’s pretty easy to get that content there.

Some of the places that we use on a regular basis, one is oDesk. I definitely use oDesk. You can see that I have it open right now. I’ve got four jobs posting right now, looking for three or four manual link builders, keyword researcher, and another web designer. I’m always hiring and growing that way. It’s a great tool for that.

Some other places that you can hire too are Elance. There is Freelancer. I don’t use 99designs personally. It’s not my favourite site to use, but if you’re like a one-off and you need a design, it’s kind of a cool place to hang out. I’ve tested it out a bunch of times. I actually just have in- house designers, and I find that it’s cheaper and easier to deal with it that way. Freelancer¸ Elance, good product.

Now if you need some crowdsourcing or some small stuff that needs to be done, sometimes you can use sites like – and I’m going to get some flack for mentioning this one from some people - Fiverr, it can be used. There’s some decent stuff on there sometimes, especially when it comes to video creation. or going over and getting some small tasks done. Mechanical Turk and sites like MicroWorkers, this is a great site too. There’s a ton of little stuff like this that you can use to be able to get stuff done.

These are some of the key take aways are: go out and get Teambox, use Rapportive, use Boomerang. Use some of these places I talked about outsourcing, and you’ll be amazed at how much you can scale yourself and how much stuff that you can actually get done by leveraging these tools.

That’s my two cents. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it. If you have any questions about that, talk to Adam. Don’t bug me. I’m too busy working. ;)

This is Matthew Hunt from Small Business Online Coach. I hope you’ve enjoyed this video. Bye for now.

About Matthew Hunt

Matthew Hunt is an internet junkie who helps small businesses dominate their local marketing online via local search marketing & Google Places optimization.

  • http://www.torontodj.biz/ Dat To

    Awesome vid! those rapportive and boomerang gmail plugins look great! probably take a while to get used to since changing one’s habits is a hurdle after you get the right tools.

  • http://www.alexfusman.com/ Alex

    Good stuff. Even though I know of these tools, and use some of them, your video really demonstrates how much more quickly you can get things done. It would have taken way more than 10 minutes to type up this blog post, but with the video it’s so much more efficient.

    A great tip in here is to use videos when doing explanations for clients. I do a lot of client work, and it’s extremely frustrating to have these long email threads in which I’m explaining something and they just don’t get it. We end up sending screenshots but those are clunky. A video makes much more sense.

  • http://www.SmallBusinessOnlineCoach.com Matthew Hunt

    Alex, exactly. It took 12 mins to make this video. 2 mins to upload to youtube. 1 min to add it to speechpad and 5 mins to post it. If were to write this it’d be at least an 1 hour.

    Using videos to explain work clients is the only way to do it. It’s hard to explain this stuff without them seeing it. They love the videos. A lot of our clients tell us all the time they use us or stay with us just because of the video responses.

    I use snagit everyday 5-10 times a day.

    Also we use this strategy for clients who say they don’t have to time to blog. We get them to get an app on their phone and ask them to answer questions we have and say answer them when you are driving or something, then we get them transcribed and turned into blog posts.

    • http://www.alexfusman.com/ Alex

      That is a great idea. “We don’t have time/resources to blog” is a very common response among clients. I will try this out.

      By the way, regarding the video responses you create for clients, do you upload them to YT or just send them the video files directly (i.e. how do you keep them private for just that client)?

      • http://www.SmallBusinessOnlineCoach.com Matthew Hunt

        I use Dropbox and use the share function or I post them on YouTube with a unlisted status. Usually just us dropbox. I used to use screencast to share them b/c you can upload to your screencast storage with camtasia from their products, but I found dropbox to be cheaper and faster way to share. Then I just use the dropbox share a url function.

    • Kevin Espiritu

      Matt,

      Got SnagIt today (had Camtasia, but SnagIt program is a little quicker to use). Awesome. I actually find my writing and speaking voices to be different, but it takes me a LONG time to write and even if my speaking is slightly worse, it’s still going to be better for me to record videos.

      On the same note, client communication can get a LOT better by screencasting instructions to them to avoid 5x response email chains.

      Re: getting clients to blog is GENIUS. Going to use and report that back :)

      • http://www.SmallBusinessOnlineCoach.com Matthew Hunt

        awesome Kevin! you’ll love it, saves so much time.

  • http://www.nerdsdoitbetter.com Adam Lundquist

    Nice post, I like watching videos better than I like reading for sure. i am a huge fan of Rapportive

  • http://www.higherclick.com Gael

    Agree with most of them except Teambox. I’ve used it for 1.5 year and I can say for sure the new version of Basecamp is just better for the same price.

    • Kevin Espiritu

      I’m finding that I use Trello more than Basecamp these days, but they definitely are different apps with different use cases. Can’t speak for TeamBox though, haven’t used it yet – and probably won’t now! :)

      • http://www.SmallBusinessOnlineCoach.com Matthew Hunt

        I never could get into basecamp, but have heard so many good things about it. Looked at like a 1000 times. I used Trello for a bit and really liked it, but I showed my team a bunch of tools, Trello… Teambox, etc and I actually let them pick the one they liked best. They chose Teambox, so that is what we are running with. Sometimes, you just need to commit and roll with it. No tool is perfect and so many really neat ones in this space too. I personally find they are only as good as you make them usually. We don’t use TeamBox to communicate with clients, but for only internal uses. I think if you were to use with clients it’d be a bit of a nightmare. I even tried support ticket systems too, but find that good old email works best. Then use some wicked plugins with something like gmail and you’re good to go. ;)

    • http://www.SmallBusinessOnlineCoach.com Matthew Hunt

      might have to re-visit the new version of basecamp then. what specifically makes it better Gael…? Love to hear your thoughts on that.

  • http://www.vroomvroomvroom.com.au Richard Eastes

    Lol. What a co-incidence. I was thinking, this is a great article. Then I looked at who it was published by and realised I hired Matthew last week Looking forward to working with you Matthew.

    • http://www.SmallBusinessOnlineCoach.com Matthew Hunt

      thanks Richard. Looking forward to working with you too!

  • http://www.expand2web.com/blog/ Don Campbell

    Great article Matthew – I really enjoyed this!

    • http://www.SmallBusinessOnlineCoach.com Matthew Hunt

      Thanks Don!

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