The Internet is a sea of helpful tools, and with so many options, it can feel like you’re drowning. I’ve already compiled my digital toolbox, which gives you all of my recommendations on every kind of tool out there as well as alternatives. But even that can be overwhelming. So, if I were stranded on a desert island, somewhere in that vast sea, I would want these seven tools with me. And don't worry, this might be a desert island, but it's got a good internet connection - and power! 🙂
#1 Ecamm Live
to live stream and record your SOS videos
If I’m deserted on a remote island, I would definitely need to be broadcasting my SOS messages via live video to the world. For that, I couldn’t live without Ecamm Live, a powerful and incredibly easy-to-use live video tool.
With all of my live shows, I often start off with a pre-show slot and a countdown timer. This allows a bit of an informal chit-chat while my live viewers join. When it's time for the main segment, I switch to my opening show video - which is pre-recorded with Ecamm Live and embedded into my live show. When I’m ready for the main segment, I can easily switch over to my next scene: me. And then I can bring in a guest through Ecamm Live’s Call Recorder for Skype. At the click of a button, I can quickly toggle between showing both of us or just one of us, all with different camera angles. Plus, everything is recorded in high definition, so I can easily repurpose it to YouTube and other channels.
Ecamm integrates with pretty much all the live video platforms out there. That includes Facebook, YouTube, Periscope and Twitch. And because it supports RMTP and integrates with Restream or Switchboard Live, you can stream to any platform and even more than one at once!
The only real downside to Ecamm Live is that it’s available only for Mac users at this time. Believe me, PC users, I feel your pain.
A great option for you is OBS Studio; it’s free but is more difficult to use and doesn’t have all of the same features as Ecamm Live. So a more direct PC equivalent would be vMix, which definitely has a learning curve but you can do pretty much anything on it.
There are also a couple of browser-based tools which work on both Macs and PCs. BeLive works with Facebook and Twitch, and StreamYard integrates with Facebook and YouTube, and pretty much any live video platform with RTMP and Restream integration.
When I use Ecamm Live, it’s like I have an entire production team at my disposal, but really, it’s just me producing my show all by myself.
Ecamm Live starts at $12 per month (if paying yearly) and $20 per month for the pro plan (which includes more advanced things like the virtual webcam and automatic cross-posting).
For alternatives, vMix has a free Basic version; paid versions start at $60. BeLive has a free Basic version; paid versions from $15 per month. StreamYard has a free Basic version; paid versions from $25 per month.
#2 Beaver Builder
to add those SOS videos to your website
I’m really hoping that someone will rescue me from this deserted island, so I’m going to add those SOS videos to my WordPress website. The quickest and easiest way to add a page is through Beaver Builder, the original drag-and-drop page builder plugin for WordPress. It's what I use for my website and almost all of my clients' websites.
For any page, you can create columns, add videos, calls to actions, countdown timers, change the background colour — really amazing things. And don’t worry, these customizations will not slow down the page load speed or mess with SEO. In addition to being a plugin, Beaver Builder also has a WordPress theme, which is a great way to build a website. I use the Beaver Builder theme for this website too!
But probably the way that Beaver Builder has helped me the most is because I don’t need to have (and pay for) a separate LeadPages, ClickFunnels, or other landing page tool for my marketing or advertising initiatives. I can do everything within Beaver Builder—and it’s actually hosted on my website, which means that the pages don’t disappear after my campaign ends. Plus, I actually think it’s quicker to build pages using Beaver Builder than those other services.
An annual fee of $99 gets you the plugin for unlimited sites; for $199, you’ll get the plugin and the theme; and for $399, you also get white labelling, which really only matters to agencies.
to broadcast your SOS content onto social media
A webpage with my SOS videos won’t lead to my rescue if I’m not driving traffic to it through social media. To ensure that I’m getting my word out effectively, I wouldn’t use any tool other than Agorapulse, a social media management tool … and so much more.
I’m a great believer that there’s no perfect tool for everyone, but Agorapulse is getting pretty close. I’ve been amazed at how many different tools it has replaced for me. At one point, I was using Friends+Me, Buffer, Hootsuite, and TweetDeck; now I just use Agorapulse.
Other than being able to schedule all of my posts to almost all social platforms, my favourite, cannot-live-without feature of Agorapulse is Social Inbox. In one mailbox, I can see all social mentions, messages, notifications, comments, etc. Then I can choose to respond, archive or delegate the message to one of my team. Once I've done that, the message is archived and disappears from view - since it has been dealt with! It allows me to get down to inbox zero bliss! It’s helped me no end and saved me so much time!
Even more beneficial is the ability to automate my replies so that I can respond in a very efficient manner. This is using Agorapulse's Inbox Assistant feature.
Here’s an example: A while ago, I was getting loads of these horrible, kinds of spammy mentions on Twitter—particularly direct messages saying, “Thank you for following me,” and that sort of stuff. I see these as less than useful mentions and messages. So I’ve set up an automation rule to effectively filter out those kinds of messages that just don’t warrant a reply from me. It means less clutter and allows me to focus on responding to important messages.
There are so many other cool features which I love and save me time:
- Saved replies - which allow me to reply quickly to frequently asked questions.
- Hashtag groups - allow me to select from groups of previously saved hashtags
- Instagram Story analytics - reports on the engagement from my Instagram Stories (not just the last 24 hours).
to email your SOS videos to everyone
Where is the rescue mission, coming to save me from this deserted island? To make sure that every contact on my mailing list knows I need help, I’ll be using none other than ActiveCampaign.
It’s not just the ability to send emails and get reporting; ActiveCampaign has a plethora of automation features that change the way you interact with your database. For example, if someone subscribes to your newsletter, you can have a series of emails sent to them automatically.
I used MailChimp in the past which was free for my first 2,000 subscribers. But I quickly outgrew it and got frustrated with it not doing what I wanted it to do.
When I was launching my first online course, I wanted to create a site that enabled people to purchase, then log into the website, and then be able to see their course with all of the related videos. Once I integrated ActiveCampaign with Memberium for the membership site portion and LearnDash for the courses, I was off and running. And it plays beautifully with ThriveCart - which is the best shopping cart system I've discovered - this combination offers so much power and flexibility. With my set up, ActiveCampaign sends customers their login information, reminders for each course, and more. It really changed my business.
to help you stay sane on this deserted island
Let’s face it: I’m stranded on an island; I have more important things to think about than remembering my passwords. And so I rely fully on LastPass.
I always say that if you can remember any of your passwords, then you’re not secure.
Passwords need to be really, really complicated—at least 12, 13, or 14 characters of absolute gibberish - and ideally much longer.
But as human beings, we can’t remember those, so we need a password manager. LastPass is one of the most secure and easy-to-use password managers out there.
It works on your computer or your phone, for any of your password-protected tools or websites. And it syncs across the cloud. It can generate your passwords and will auto-fill the username and password on your computer and phone.
Here's an example of a LastPass generated password: CuOgejf@yGRres9#XTNI8*^6*
Pretty complicated, wouldn't you agree?!
Naturally, it would be (close to) the end of the world if anyone were to guess your LastPass password. So the inner geek in me highly recommends the extra security measure of two-step authentication, which is set up via your phone. That way, if any hacker steals your LastPass password, they won’t be able to log in because they would need to have your phone as well. LastPass has their own authenticator app to make this easy, or you could use the Google Authenticator app like me.
Need a little help in generating a password that you can remember? Here’s a fun system:
Start with your favourite food, say, tofu. “iliketofu” is not going to be very secure, so let’s start with the first letter of each word: I L T. Then add your favourite number, say 33. And then a few of your favourite symbols and maybe the first or last four letters of LastPass. In the end, the password would be ILT33#%&*last. Is it the most secure? Probably not, but it’s a system that you can remember for it.
Naturally, you should not email yourself the password. And above all, make sure your email password is different than everything else. If a hacker gets access to your email, they get access to everything, because they can just reset any of your passwords, which are sent to your email, and that’s the end.
There is a powerful free version for personal individual users and the premium version is $36 per year. The family account is $48 and business accounts are from $48 per user per year.
to help you transcribe & get captions for your videos on this deserted island
Video is powerful, but 85% of people watch Facebook video without sound. That's why adding captions to your videos is so important. If you can grab your viewers attention at the start with captions, you might convince them to put the sound up and watch the rest.
And, Live video is powerful, but why just leave it there? Why not repurpose your live video content into a blog?
I'm all on my own on my desert island, and so don't have an army of transcribers here. But with a service called Rev, I do. I've been using Rev for years and it's saved me so much time.
Rev is an audio or video to text transcription service that uses real human beings to do the work. Over the years I've transcribed meetings, live videos (after they've broadcasted) and more.
They only charge $1 per minute and transcribe audio or video into text in a variety of formats. For example, they can give you an srt file which you can add to your Facebook or YouTube videos to get really accurate closed captions. To save money, you could get the first 3 or 4 minutes of your live videos transcribed. That way, you'll only pay $3 or $4 and hopefully encourage your replay viewers to turn the sound up. But if you can, get the whole thing transcribed - it's pretty cost effective at $1 per minute!
Or you could get a full transcription to create full show notes, or repurpose into a blog post!
#7 Wave Video
to help you create stunning videos for social media on this deserted island
By 2020, according to CISCO, Online Videos will account for more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic.
People love to consume video content, and this is growing every year. According to Buzzsumo, on Facebook, Video posts get at least 59% more engagement than other post types. And compared to photos, video outperformed photos by 73%.
While the bandwidth on my desert island really isn't that great, creating engaging SOS video content is going to be vital if I want to be rescued. Live videos are perfect if you want to level up your impact and authority. But pre-recorded video on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube are vital too.
On my desert island, I'll be using the online video tool, Wave Video a lot! I've just fallen in love with it. There are so many things I adore about Wave.Video - the way it's so easy to use and integrates with a huge library of stock videos and audio files. There are loads of high-quality free videos to choose from as well as premium ones too.
As well as adding videos from the library, you can upload your own video clips too. Then you can trim the clips, and add more to your masterpiece. Then it's a case of adding text with your brand's colours and fonts, calls to actions, graphics, stickers, watermarks and more. And you can add music and sound effects too.
Wave Video is nowhere near as powerful as a professional video editor like Adobe Premiere Pro. But for many situations, Adobe Premiere Pro is just overkill. Wave Video makes creating video quick and easy and has saved me so much time. I love the way you can add videos from the library as well as music, audio, graphics and more.
And once you're done, you can export to a plethora of different formats including YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram (square), Instagram Story (portrait format) and more. Wave Video crops the video and resizes the text perfectly for each format.
I'm launching a new live show and podcast soon - that's if I manage to get off this desert island! It's called the Confident Live Marketing Show. And I used Wave Video to create the opening video to the show. It was a lot of fun to create. My friends at Music Radio Creative produced the audio and the video and title were all created using Wave Video. And it took me less than 20 minutes!
Confident Live Marketing Podcast Intro Created using Wave Video
There is a great free version which allows you to create 15-second videos to export to YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. If you need to download your videos and extend to 1 minute, you'll need a creator plan which costs $99 per year. Pro plans cost $198 per year and allow you to create videos in full HD and give you branding features.
Wow, it really is The End!
I do hope I get rescued soon. But for now, I'm just so grateful for these 7 amazing tools.
Now what I want to know is, what are your DITs? These are your Desert Island Tools, the seven items you find so helpful that you cannot live without them. Let me know in the comments!