Powerful tools of the trade for online entrepreneurs

We only recommend online platforms that we use to manage and grow our own business. There’s no hype or fluff here — just the stuff we’ve found essential to our success.

Over the years, we’ve worked hard testing dozens of online platforms to find the ones that can be real game-changers for your online business. Here are the critical few we believe in so much that we use them ourselves.

Important Disclosure: Please Read Before Proceeding

We’re proud affiliates for some of these tools, meaning if you click a link for a tool and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Our recommendations are based on deep experience with and knowledge of these companies and their products. We recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the commissions we may receive. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you believe they will help you achieve your goals.

Looking for podcasts and articles instead?

Smart Passive Income Podcast with Pat Flynn

Weekly interviews and advice for building your online business the smart way.

Articles and Essays

Enjoy in-depth guides, useful how-tos, revealing success stories, special announcements, and more published exclusively on our blog.

Definitive Guides

Our in-depth guides on essential online business skills are your fast track to learning the ropes of success as an online entrepreneur.


Our business runs on these platforms

Circle

The modern community platform for creators — and the easiest way to set up a premium community experience. That’s why we use it for SPI Pro and the All-Access Pass.

Circle is powerful enough to support some of the largest and most successful online communities — while being easy to use for community builders who are just starting too. Circle is fully white-labeled so it can match and integrate with your brand.

Your members stay looped into your community — increasing engagement, retention, and connection.

Watch our video walkthrough of how you can use Circle to build your community. Already using Circle and need a little help? See our how-to tutorials here.

Listen to an interview with Sid Yadav, Co-Founder and CEO at Circle.

ConvertKit

ConvertKit is the only email marketing platform we use.

ConvertKit is our #1 recommended email marketing platform because it has been built with care to the exact needs of creators building online businesses. Their user experience is very user-friendly. And segmenting our subscribers into focused groups so that we can deliver content specific to their needs has never been easier. We’re all in on ConvertKit.

Watch our walkthrough of ConvertKit and hear why it’s our favorite email service provider. Already using ConvertKit and need a little help? Check out our video tutorials here.

Pat has talked with Nathan on the SPI Podcast several times over the years. Hear Nathan’s advice on bootstrapping a startup and the story behind why he started ConvertKit.

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Fusebox

The official podcast player used by SPI!

Fusebox provides your website visitors with a superior listening experience. From its powerful podcast hosting and analytics to the industry’s most elegant and responsive web players, Fusebox is a must-have tool for starting a podcast.

Get three months free when you join using our affiliate link.

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Aura

The tool to help keep you and your business secure.

Combining financial, identity, network, and device protection, Aura offers antivirus software, VPN, password management, and more in one digital security solution.

 Read why identity theft is a problem and how Aura can help you stay protected.

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RightMessage

RightMessage gives us the ability to communicate with our fans on their terms.

It’s hard to get your messaging right, which harms your ability to motivate others to take a call-to-action. Thankfully, RightMessage is here to save the day. Their platform empowers you to dynamically display content and user experiences on your site tailored to individual audience types, which can dramatically boost your conversion rates.

Listen to an interview with Brennan Dunn, the creator of RightMessage. Pat and Brennan discuss the power of segmentation for personalizing your customer’s journey.

Use the affiliate link to get a 14-day free trial.

Business Platforms

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Aura

The tool to help keep you and your business secure. Combining financial, identity, network, and device protection, Aura offers antivirus software, VPN, password management, and more all in one digital security solution. Read why identity theft is a problem and how Aura can help you stay protected.

Guideline

We are so grateful that Guideline exists because without it we may never have rolled out a 401(k) plan to our team. It integrates beautifully with Gusto, which we use for payroll. And it keeps us compliant, which provides blissful peace of mind. Follow this link for three months off of your employer fees.

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Gusto

Gusto makes running our SPI business a breeze. It starts with payroll, which is critical to get right for a growing business. We also use Gusto for PTO tracking, culture surveys, capturing important documents, and more. Oh, and their concierge team is dynamite.

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Help Scout

There’s no way we could operate our customer care inboxes without Help Scout. We also rely on Help Scout as the home of knowledge base tutorial content for some of our offerings. It’s pure magic in the form of a software system made to delight.

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ZenBusiness

ZenBusiness provides the essential tools and guides entrepreneurs and small business owners need to create a successful business. Officially filing an LLC is a great first step… but that’s only the first step. ZenBusiness provides the ongoing education, support, and tools to quickly and easily set up and run a business on their platform.


Collaboration Technology

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Dropbox

Dropbox is our cloud-based document storage system of choice that easily syncs with all of our team’s computers and provides simple access controls to third-party contributors. We also dabble with Dropbox Paper for elegant document creation.

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HeySummit

Make online events easy so you can spend less time building while using the tools that you already know and love. HeySummit can bring your audience together on your terms — offering integrations with popular web platforms, you can launch your first (or next) event within minutes!

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SavvyCal

SavvyCal makes scheduling easy by allowing your recipient to compare their calendar with yours to find availability. You can connect multiple calendars and offer different meeting types. Our link gets you your first paid month free after your 7-day trial.

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Slack

Slack is our beloved digital HQ for all things SPI. We organize all of our communications in Slack using various channels tailored to unique projects, departments, and hierarchies. It’s made email almost a thing of the past, which is glorious for our productivity.


Marketing Platforms

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Bonjoro

Bonjoro is a game-changing tool that lets you send personal videos to new leads and customers. Whether you’re in sales, marketing, or customer service, Bonjoro helps you get more engagement. Plus, it seamlessly integrates with CRMs and tools like Slack and ConvertKit. We’ve been so impressed by how much engagement we’ve seen with Bonjoro!

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ConvertKit

ConvertKit is the only email marketing platform we use, and will ever use. ConvertKit is our #1 recommended email marketing platform because it has been built with care to the exact needs of creators building online businesses. Their user experience is very user-friendly. And segmenting our subscribers into focused groups so that we can deliver content specific to their needs has never been easier. We’re all in on ConvertKit.

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Copy.ai

Write better copy and get past your writer’s block! CopyAI offers automated creativity tools to generate marketing copy in seconds. Built on top of the world’s most advanced AI language model, CopyAI is helping thousands of people turbo-charge their creativity.

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RightMessage

RightMessage gives us the ability to communicate with our fans on their terms.

It’s hard to get your messaging right, which harms your ability to motivate others to take a call-to-action. Thankfully, RightMessage is here to save the day. Their platform empowers you to dynamically display content and user experiences on your site tailored to individual audience types, which can dramatically boost your conversion rates.

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VideoAsk by Typeform

Interact face-to-face with your audience and make gathering feedback and testimonials a breeze. From conditional logic jumps, to contact forms, or closed caption and transcription support, VideoAsk enhances conversations with your audience.


Podcasting Tools

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Descript

Descript offers simple and powerful collaborative tools to edit your audio and video just like a text document! Remove the tedious work that often stands between an idea and its expression and focus on developing your craft instead of getting side-tracked with platform fatigue.

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Fusebox

The official podcast player used by SPI! Fusebox provides your website visitors with a superior listening experience. From its powerful podcast hosting and analytics to the industry’s most elegant and responsive web players, Fusebox is a must-have tool for starting a podcast. Get three months free when you join using our affiliate link.

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Podcast Hawk

Take the work out of getting booked and experience a smarter way to get exposure. Podcast Hawk is the smartest way to get booked, using time-saving and cost-effective software. Guest appearances on podcasts are a great way to promote your brand and grow your business, but you don’t have to do it alone.


Project Management Apps

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CoSchedule

If you’re looking for a content-specific project management solution, then look no further than CoSchedule. It integrates seamlessly with your WordPress blog, allows you to create standardized editorial workflows, and centralizes all content creation tasks.

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Monday.com

Monday.com is our new go-to work management platform. It’s drag-and-drop simple. There are oodles of pre-made templates for a variety of use cases and it’s highly collaborative and visual by design. We use it for darn near everything we do.


Sales Platforms

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Eventbrite

If you run your own events, then do yourself a favor and sell your tickets through Eventbrite. We’ve tried to adapt other platforms for ticket sales and it never really works. We always come back to Eventbrite, which powers such events as FlynnCon.

Karat

Monday.com is our new go-to work management platform. It’s drag-and-drop simple. There are oodles of pre-made templates for a variety of use cases. And it’s highly collaborative and visual by design. We use it for darn near everything we do.

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Rewardful

Monday.com is our new go-to work management platform. It’s drag-and-drop simple. There are oodles of pre-made templates for a variety of use cases. And it’s highly collaborative and visual by design. We use it for darn near everything we do.

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Stripe

Stripe is the gold standard for payment processors. Pat uses it to process payments for his private mastermind and workshops. Most SaaS companies today use it for their recurring payments, and we use it to process community membership payments.

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Teachable

Offering online courses to our audience revolutionized our business. That was possible thanks to Teachable, a market leader in the booming online courses industry. They make it so darn simple to configure content, manage settings, and sell to students. No coding is required!


Video Production Tools

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Frame.io

Frame.io is a key component of Pat’s workflow for producing, reviewing, and collaborating on videos. The user experience is off the hook. And upload times are blazing fast. And it’s all highly secure too. If you’re a video pro like Pat, definitely check out Frame.io.

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Loom

Loom is a welcome breath of fresh air in the world of video recording tools. There’s a free plan option that’s not lacking in features. And videos are saved automatically to the cloud. We use Loom anytime we need to create an important explanatory video.

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SwitchPod

This minimal, versatile, handheld tripod was specifically designed by Pat Flynn and Caleb Wojcik with video creators in mind. It’s quick to set up and comfortable to hold.

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Wistia

Wistia hosts all of our core educational and marketing videos, including our online course videos and promotional videos. We’ve been using it for years and have no intention of switching to a different option. We believe in Wistia and are all in on them.


Website & Form Builders

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Circle

The modern community platform for creators — and the easiest way to set up a premium community experience. That’s why we use it for our communities.

Circle is powerful enough to support some of the largest and most successful online communities — while being easy to use for community builders who are just starting.

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Flywheel

Offering thoughtfully built tools to manage your clients and websites while growing your business. Flywheel handles all of the technical bits and bobs of running a website built on WordPress — including nightly backups, blazing-fast speed, 24/7 support, and a free SSL certificate.


Ready to find join your people and level up?

Like you, we’re online entrepreneurs who crave connection, direction, and support from people like us.