I was recently asked to speak for students at the La Sierra University School of Business. When discussing possible topics, I threw out the idea of giving the students 50+ digital tools that they should know about if looking to start a business or promote an idea. The response was positive and I then created this list of 25 questions most people ask about digital marketing and 51 resources that I recommended for solving those problems. The presentation slides are below and I’ve included a quick recap. Enjoy!
1. Where do I begin?
The first place most people need to start is with picking a domain name and then checking if those same names are available via social media.
- GoDaddy – $5 to $25 – Domain registration and hosting. Tip: Check RetailMeNot.com for coupon codes.
- NameChk – FREE – Check all social media sites at one time.
2. What if I only have a concept, not a business?
There is no need to wait until you have everything together before you begin building your customers. Using a service like LaunchRock helps you find individuals that are interested in what you are doing and begin building a mailing list for when you actually launch.
- LaunchRock – FREE – Lets you set up a basic landing page that collects emails.
3. How do I build a website?
Building a website can seem overwhelming at first, but in the past five years, several companies have emerged that remove the coding process and make it as easy as “drag-and-drop” to create a great looking website.
- WordPress – FREE – The world’s most popular CMS system. A great place to start.
- Moonfruit – $12 a Month – A do-it-yourself website platform.
- Wix – $20 a Month – Also a create your own website system. Templates are very professional.
4. How do I set up an Ecommece website?
If you’re looking to sell something online or create a digital business, using one of the following platforms is a surefire way to start selling today, while you have the ability to grow down the road.
- Shopify – $30 a month – A perfect option for selling 1-1000 items. Easy to scale and grow.
- Magento – FREE – An open source shopping cart. May require more programming as you grow and customize.
5. How do I design a logo, website, etc?
Unlike traditional businesses, an online business or idea usually starts with a logo and/or website. The best way to get these rolling when you’re on a budget is to utilize templates. Here are some great resources for finding great design templates at a low price.
- GraphicRiver – $5 to $100 – A great selection of logo and design templates.
- ThemeForest – $10 to $100 – A great selection of website, landing page and email templates.
- TemplateMonster – $5 to $75 – A good selection of logo templates.
- 99Designs – $299 to $750 – Have a variety of graphic designers compete to give you the best design. When you pick the winner, they receive your payment.
6. How do I track visitors to my website?
Once you get your site or app completed, the next thing you’ll want to do is set up tracking. This is accomplished through analytics or third party tools.
- Google Analytics – FREE – A popular choice for monitoring your website.
- ClickTale – $99 a month – Allows you to view where individuals clicked and moved on your website.
7. How do I get more traffic to my website?
This is probably the #1 question I get from individuals asking me about digital marketing. While things like social and SEO help you generate organic traffic, the sure fire way to generate targeted traffic to your website is through paid advertising. Here are the top three options for paid traffic.
- Adwords – Owned by Google and the #1 ad platform in the world.
- Bing Adcenter – Owned by Microsoft and used to advertise on Bing and Yahoo.
- Facebook Ads – A newer option, but great for targeted individuals on Facebook.
8. How can I learn more about my competitors?
As you grow your business, you’ll need to know where you stand against your competitors. Check out these tools to get an idea of what your competitors are up to.
- Compete – Estimates monthly unique visitors.
- Alexa – Owned by Amazon.com, ranks all websites in the world.
- Quantcast – Shows you estimates of monthly traffic.
- SpyFu – Provides estimates on how much your competitors are spending.
9. How do I send emails?
Being able to communication with your customers is essential. Here are a few low cost places to send out emails when you are first beginning your business.
- Gmail – FREE. Tip: Use Bit.ly to shorten links, then add a “+” to the end of the URL to view analytics on clicks.
- MailChimp – FREE for first 500 emails. A great email management system that allows you to begin using their service for free when you have under 500 total emails.
10. How do I edit graphics?
Being able to edit graphics is essential for your website, app or social media. Here are two mainstream options for getting your artwork edited.
- Photoshop – $49 a month – The industry tool for graphic design and photo editing.
- Gimp.org – FREE – An open source alternative to photoshop. Has all the features, but can be tricky at times.
11. How can I get feedback?
Getting quick feedback for your ideas, websites or design is helpful to ensure you’re headed in the right direction. Here are some tools to help you gather feedback quickly.
- FiveSecondTest – FREE – Upload images and get quick feedback on specific questions from their growing community of experts.
- Google Consumer Surveys – $.50 per response – Leverage Googles content network to gather feedback from targeted individuals.
12. How do I edit videos?
Knowing how to create or edit videos can help you tell your story and gain essential customers. These are two of the fastest ways to get quality videos created quickly.
- iLife – FREE – Come with any Apple computer, iLife makes it easy to edit and share videos.
- WeVideo – $5 a month – A cloud based video editing program allows you and your friends to edit the same video at the same time, reducing time and allowing for collaboration.
13. How do I improve my landing pages?
Having targeted landing pages will ensure you can increase your conversions from your marketing efforts. Using a dedicated landing page service will help you AB test, track conversions and fine tune your campaigns.
- Unbounce – $99 a month – Allows you to create, edit and test a variety of landing page ideas to ensure your conversions are optimal.
14. How can I find and connect with the right person.
Connecting with the right people is essential to increasing sales and growing your business. Often, being able to connect with one right person is better than contacting hundreds that are not correct. Here are two options for getting in touch with the right person from the beginning.
- LinkedIn – FREE – The largest social networking site for professionals. Join industry specific groups and reach out to targeted individuals.
- SalesForce – $5 to $65 a month – The largest CRM for sales professional on the planet. Tons of great tools and resources for sales professionals to track and manage their contacts and sales pipeline.
15. How can I manage Twitter?
Managing social media can often get overwhelming. Being able to keep things simple is important and there are tools that can help with this.
- HootSuite – FREE – A great system for managing social media content on Twitter and Facebook.
16. How can i increase my Facebook fans?
One of the best proven methods to increase Facebook fans is to offer promotions.
- WildFireApp – $50+ a month – A great platform for running a variety of contests and promotions on Facebook.
17. How do I improve my SEO?
Search Engine Optimization is essential because if done correct, ensures you will receive free organic traffic targeted specifically for your product or service.
- Google Trends – Free – This tool lets you plug into Googles data to research which keywords have the most traffic and are the most likely to help you improve your business.
- SEOMoz – $99 a month – An advanced tool that monitors and tracks your SEO automatically, thus ensuring you’re always ahead of the game.
18. How do I manage all my projects?
Getting things done faster than your competitors is essential to remain competitive. This is done by managing your projects better than others. Here are two tools that allow you to ensure your team is all headed in the right direction.
- Trello – FREE – A free project management tool. Comes with iPhone app.
- Basecamp – $20 a month – The leader in online project management.
19. How do I make a presentation?
Making great presentations is a surefire way to get more business.
- Prezi – FREE – A wonderful tool that creates mesmerizing presentations online.
20. How do I make an iphone app?
Looking to move your website and content onto a dedicated mobile app? Check out these resources.
- AppMakr – $169 – Uses your current content to create a basic iPhone app.
- PhoneGap – FREE – An open source platform that creates apps on iOS or Android.
21. How do I send a press release?
It’s important to get your information out to the world. Sending a press release is the fastest way to let others know about what you’re doing.
- PRNewswire – $599 per Release – The largest of all release sites, but also the most expensive.
- PRWeb – $199 per Release – Focused more on the web, this service often compares with PRNewswire at a fraction of the price.
22. How do I set up an email account at my domain?
- cPanel – FREE – Most websites that are set up with normal web hosting will come with cPanel. Take a few minutes and watch tutorials on YouTube for how to manage email accounts.
23. How do I learn to write code?
- Right click, view page source – This is the easiest way to start learning what is going on under the hood of most websites. Even if it looks foreign to you, this is where you can find what tools your competitors are using.
- Code Academy – FREE – A great resource for learning the basics of coding.
24. How can I keep learning when you’re gone?
- YouTube – FREE – Search for any topic you need help with, chances are there is already a tutorial created for how to complete it.
- Lynda – $25 a month – A great learning resource for any type of software.
- Grovo – $9 a month – A great learning resource for all things digital marketing related.
25. How can I set up text message campaigns?
- ClubTexting – $29 a month – Need help setting up a text message campaign? These guys already have a dedicated short code set up and can give you access to specific words so that you can run campaigns like “Text WIN to 43543”. This helps you collect and interact directly with mobile users.