There are basically 3 ways that I can think of.
1) Using a noun
For most verbs there are multiple nouns available and which one works best depends on the specific verb and the context. Here's an example with sammeln (to collect)
Die Sammlung, das Sammeln, die Sammelei, das Gesammele
2) Using a side sentence
The subordinating conjunction that expresses this very relation is indem.
This is of course longer than a noun but sometimes it might be preferable. For instance if the agent matters.
Indem er das Dokument unterzeichnet, verkauft er seine Seele.
3) Using a prepositional object
This is the longest and most complicated way but again... sometimes it might be the most appropriate
Dadurch, dass er den Vertrag unterzeichnete, verkaufte er seine Seele.
The hard question is when to use which. I'd say that in newspapers and legal writing the noun-version is the one people prefer, but in prose too much nominalization sounds stiff. But the more common the noun is the more idiomatic it will sound to use that and not indem.
As far as the last version is concerned... this works well for long and complex actions that require a lot of additional information. The Dadurch already establishes a main sentence so we have kind of a base camp from which we then venture out into an onslaught of side sentences that follow.
Dadurch, dass der Präsident, obwohl er mit der Arbeit seines Ministers nicht zufrieden war, verkündet hat, ihn im Amt belassen zu wollen, hat er...
You can't really do that with indem because it will be really hard to follow. There isn't even a main sentence and we have a second level side sentence.
Indem der Präsident, obwohl...,verkündet hat, ihn im Amt zu belasse, hat er...
For the sake of completeness here is the same with only nouns
Durch die Verkündung seitens des an sich mit der Arbeit des Ministers unzufriedenen Präsidenten, an eben jenem Minister festhalten zu wollen, hat er...
And finally the English version (I don't think I got it quite right though)
By announcing his plans to leave the minister with the work of whom he was not satisfied in office, the president...