Resources

Useful links & handy resources

Working From Roam
A Tools & Resources Guide

Accessing the right tools and leveraging the very best technology will advance your Working From Roam transition no matter what stage you’re at.

My mission is to help you fast track your journey by setting yourself up with the very best ideas, technology and hardware.

Most of it is very affordable assuming you’re monetizing your efforts.

I’m not going to give you 500 different things here, just the tools and resources I use myself or I know about and can recommend.

Many software applications have a free product level which is a great way to get familiar with it and understand it’s power and limitations.

Obviously, until you’re ready to launch, you don’t need to start paying monthly subscriptions for services you’re not using.

But researching the best tools and resources is wise because we the time comes to launch, you won’t be wasting time trying to decide what is best.

 

My thoughts on marketing

Wired magazine co-founding editor Kevin Kelly once said “if you have 1000 true fans, you don’t need a marketing budget.”

Creating a fan base (or a tribe) is your short cut to Working From Roam.

If you have a bunch of people who love your stuff and recognize you as the authority in your niche or space, they will crawl naked over broken glass to get your stuff.

Creating and building your tribe is essential to your success and the best way to do that is by providing very good material for free.

I call this give-to-get marketing and it’s been proven over time to be the most successful form of marketing there is.

Gary Vaynerchuk says the best marketers are really good at competing for attention. And that’s exactly what we do.

If we’re better at attracting eyeballs and the heart and minds that follow, we can quickly build a tribe of followers that not only want what we offer, they will champion our cause to others in their sphere.

So how do you compete for attention?

How do you rise up above the sea of white noise to connect with the people that will become members of your tribe?

You do it by putting yourself out there, writing a book, starring in your own videos, writing a great regular blog, creating awesome content and offering it for free, leveraging your success on social media, having a website that doesn’t suck and works just as well on every different mobile or tablet, creating awesome lead magnets, building a great sales funnel and sharing your victories and your defeats.

One of the best ways to build your tribe is to help people get where they want to go. Give them a taste of the success they can enjoy following your ideas.

It’s taken me quite a few years to get to the level I’m at right now and this Tools & Resources Guide includes many of the things I’ve discovered on that journey.

I’ve wasted thousands of dollars and played a lead role in some spectacular failures but each time I’ve learned. This isn’t rocket science but I know I’m not going to experience a successful lift-off every time. Failure is just success in bad jeans.

When best selling author and podcaster Tim Ferris first got started with his supplements business, he marketed it as a brain and thinking enhancer. Essentially something that would make you smarter. He called it Brain Quicken.

But it didn’t do so well.

I’m not sure what Tim’s definition of ‘sluggish sales’ actually is but he knew he could do better.

So he did some research and noticed Brain Quicken users raving about the physical results they experienced after using his ‘smart’ pills.

They were running faster, jumping higher and generally reporting enhanced results so he changed gears, retained the same formula and started targeting athletes marketing the supplement as Body Quick. It was a huge hit and made him a lot of money.

One of my early episodes at the Working From Roam Podcast is with a guy called Luke Barber.

Luke worked hard to carve a niche in the speech therapy space but experienced only mediocre success.

But he didn’t give up and built an app that continues to do very well.

When you listen to Luke’s story, you can feel his frustration but at the some time experience his tenacity and ability to pick himself up and try again.

This is a common trait among successful roamers.

There’s every chance your first idea won’t be your Working From, Roam breakthrough but it may well lead you to the one that is.

I’m here to encourage and support you on your journey. I know the road can be challenging, but it is worth it. Trust me.

 

Tools and Resources

This is a collection of the software hardware and ideas that have helped me on my journey and I’m sure they’ll do the same for you.

The concepts I’ve included did not become successful overnight or because they have a cool name. They had to create something that provides a great and essential service to entrepreneurs just like you.

 

Travel

TripAdvisor.com
You probably already know about this useful tool but these days, I don’t book anything until I’ve checked it out on Trip Advisor. You’ll get the good, the bad and the really ugly news on hotels and restaurants everywhere. I agree that some of the negative reviews are over the top and may be unwarranted but it’s very easy to see a pattern emerging as you scroll down the comments.

Kayak.com
A great app for finding the best flights and flight deals. It will also let you search hotels. But it’s also worth checking the individual airlines as well as Kayak.com doesn’t always include all deals. For example, right now I have an alert set for a flight from Toronto to Sydney in May but the cheap Qantas deals are not coming up in the alert.

Tripit.com
This little mobile app is brilliant for travelling. You can automatically enter travel info simply by forwarding confirmation emails to plans@tripit.com You’ll also get handy flight changes and delay notifications straight to your mobile device.

 

Software, online apps and platforms

Infusionsoft
This is the software CRM (Customer Relationship Management System) used by the heavy hitters right now in the Internet Marketing world but a word of warning, it’s a beast and probable not for rookies because you won;t need all it’s bells and whistles when you’re getting started.

If you’re starting out, it’s overkill. Go with Mailchimp or ConvertKit

Mailchimp
Simple, to use, affordable and fun. No, it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that Infusionsoft has but you may not need them anyway.

ConvertKit.com
A rising star in the CRM space and definitely worth checking out. No, I don’t use it myself but I continue to hear great things.

Stripe
A payment processing platform that works with Mailchimp and many others

PayPal
Probably the number 1 payment gateway and processing platform on the market. Reasonable costs but slow to pay.

Dropbox.com
Most roamers will already have a Dropbox account. It’s super useful for sending big files or storing documents and images.

Basecamp.com
I love Basecamp and have used it for years. It’s a great way to collaborate on projects and get stuff done. I prefer it to Dropbox but you’ll pay. It’s so good to be able to find files, images and documents without trawling your email inbox for hours.

Lastpass.com
Avoid the nightmare of storing and remembering passwords with Lastpass. I have used it forever and it’s very convenient and secure.

Fiverr.com
It’s cool to save money and it’s a great idea when you’re starting out, but keep in mind that you usually get what you pay for. If you’re looking for a logo or a website or just about anything you might need to launch you WFR business, you can probably find it at Fiverr.com   I’ve got some great work done very cheap and paid more for garbage. Enter with caution.

99Designs.com
I subscribe to a theory that the really good designers who will make my logos, book cover art, websites and podcast art look freaking awesome don’t hang out on sites like 99designs.com, however, you can get some great things done very cheaply. Again keep in mind that you usually get what you pay for. You also need to be mindful that your website is often the very first place people will ‘meet’ you and check you out. There is no second chance at a first impression and while you might save some money on a budget site, you’ll soon lose business if it looks like crap.

Skype
Still the benchmark in VOIP communication. If you’re coaching, consulting or just connecting, it’s an essential.

Zoom
This new conferencing platform is winning fans very quickly. I’m yet to use it but it’s probably only a matter of time. Besides, when a Skype call crashes, it’s good to have a back up plan.

Elance.com
A great site to find niche experts in many creative fields but MAKE SURE you check them out thoroughly BEFORE you agree to payment. I once hired this guy from Elance to help me with Infusionsoft (the CRM) We paid him a ton of money to set up funnels and things which he totally messed up and we had to do it all over. A costly lesson so you’ve been warned.

AudioJungle.com
A great site for getting jingles and audio tracks for almost any occaision. I bought the theme music from my podcast from them. AudioJungle is under the Envato company umbrella. Envato is a brilliant digital market place that offers an amzing selection of options for roamers. Check out their WordPress library of themes at ThemeForest.com

WPCurve.com
My buddy Dan Norris who co-founded WPCurve is a WFR warrior. Frustrated with getting help to set up his WordPress websites, he started a company that specializes in helping entrepreneurs manage their WP websites. Also, do yourself a favour and read his amazing book ‘Content Machine’ It’s a brilliant and inspiring read with some many ideas that will really change the way you look at business in the new economy.

ScheduleOnce.com
This seems to be the weapon of choice for scheduling appointments. It’s easy to set up and reliable. You simply configure it show your availability at certain times, nominate the length of the appointment and email your link to the party you want to hook up with. No more emailing back and forth to find the best meeting time.
Hardware

Macbook Air
One day while I was killing time at the Qantas business lounge at LA airport, I noticed a clear difference in hardware preferences. The crusty old farts were picking with 2 fingers on PC laptops, while the younger and very much cooler crowd were all Mac people. I decided to leave my massive 17 inch Toshiba PC laptop in my briefcase on wheels and made the decision them and there to upgrade to a Macbook Air on my return to Toronto.

Next day I’m in the Apple Store and was blown away. I have been mac ever since.

I think great technology companies become great because they make life easier. Steve Jobs obsessed about design and function way more than we realise. His legacy is the weapon of choice for most Roamers I know.

Apple’s innovation has made my WFR life possible and enhances opportunities for me every day. I love the user experience and the work it lets me churn out. I design on my Mac with Adobe Illustrator and record podcasts. Nothing it can’t do!

 

Podcasting

I love podcasting so much. It seems the more I give away on my podcasts in the form of great content, the more I get back. I messed around for many months researching the best equipment and became so confused listening to the advice of so called experts telling me what I should buy that I was paralyzed by indecision which actually delayed my launch many months. Big mistake!

In the end, I went to my favorite guitar shop and asked the owner for his best recording nerd. He says his best nerd would have my answer in a heartbeat but he is kept well away from customers in the back room (apparently he scares them)

At this point I didn’t care if Charles Manson walked out of the back room. I was just desperate for the right bloody advice so I could buy the right stuff and get going.

As it turned out, back room Billy was a guru. He didn’t give me choices he said get this, this, this and this and I did and we all recorded happily ever after.

I’m a simple guy. I like ice cold beer, pizza and long walks with my babe and my dog. I’m not an engineer and not interested in experimenting and testing the nuances of frequency modulation blah blah blah. I just want S***Hot audio quality to impress the heck out of my listeners.

Here’s what back room Billy sold me. Ten minutes and $700 later I was in my car and speeding home to test my new gear.

I booted up my Mac, open Garageband and in minutes was recording. I was a happy boy!

Microphone. Shure SM7B. A great mic is important. The SM7B is a favourite with radio hosts globally and if it’s good enough for them, it’s perfect for me. Get a pop cover too

Microphone Boom. I got a Rhode Boom for about $100

Booster. Grab a Cloud Microphones Cloudlifter CL-1 Mic Activator and inject new life and vitality into your dynamic microphones.

USB Recording Audio Interface Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2 In/2 Out. So my mic plugs into my Cloudlifter Booster which plugs into the Focusrite which plugs into my Mac. I asked back room Billy why he wasn’t selling me a complex looking and expensive console. He told first, I wouldn’t know how to drive it (valid point) and second, the Focusrite was better.

I asked Joel Sharpton, my producer for his thoughts and he gave me this excellent guide.

Check out my interview with Joel on the Power of Podcasting here

 

Books I LOVE

Content Machine by Dan Norris
Ogilvy On Advertsing. David Ogilvy
On Writing. Stephen King

Got a Working From Roam tool, resource or idea? Email me a short summary including price and I’ll add it to this list and credit your contribution.