My Daily Toolset: The Apps That Keep My Business RunningJan 20, 2022
Every entrepreneur has their tech stack: the software and apps they rely on every day to help them run their business. In this episode, I go behind the scenes and share the exact software and tools I use to power my coaching business.
Hello, and welcome to the Client Attractor Show. I'm your host, Jacob Ratliff, client attraction coach and author of the brand new book Client Attractor. If you haven't picked up your copy yet, you can grab that at Amazon or Barnes and Noble, or if you want a free copy, you can get that at clientattractorbook.com.
Today, I am going to spend a little bit of time talking about a hot topic among entrepreneurs, which is what is the tech, the software, the apps that makes your business run, whether that's your marketing or your operations? What are those tools you use on a daily basis to make things move a little bit smoother? And so today, I want to pull back the curtain and show you the tech stack that makes my business run. I'm going to share a little bit about what I'm paying for, what I use, how I use it, and how ultimately it helps my business go forward.
Before we dive into that, I think it does bear saying that if you are a brand new coach, consultant, or entrepreneur, whatever it is that you're doing, you don't need to have a tech stack as comprehensive as mine. For most people who are really just getting started, you really just need the basics, and so I'll probably do an episode on that in the future, on what is the minimum viable set of software and apps that you can have to start your business. Because in sharing my tech stack, this is coming from someone who is barely established, who can spend this amount on software every month, without it being a huge burden. And that's because, ultimately, software is not the most important part, it just makes things easier as you go, and that's what I want to emphasize before I launch into telling you all of the many tools that I use in my business and what I use them for.
With that in mind, let's go ahead and get started. The way this is going to work is I'm going to share what the tool is, how much I paid for it, and what specifically I use it for. It's going to be pretty simple. To kick off this list, we have Kajabi. I pay $200 a month for Kajabi, and with that price point, I'm sure you imagine, it actually does quite a lot for me, as one would hope, right? It is $200 a month for the plan that I'm on. I use Kajabi to host my website, to host my online courses and online video training content. I use it for my email marketing, so not just one-off emails, but also email marketing automation. I use it as my primary tool for keeping track of clients’ coaching progress, so setting agenda items, taking notes, really taking advantage of their new coaching feature, which allows me to do that. And it not only hosts my website, but it's also what I use for building funnels, landing pages, opt-in forms, all of those basics that you really need in an online marketing system.
Now, I personally really don't like Kajabi’s checkout system, the way that customers pay and sign up for your programs and offers. I really don't like the way that they have that set up, so I use that in tight integration with ThriveCart, and ThriveCart is a dedicated shopping cart software. I don't really include it in my monthly expenses of software because it is a one time payment; at this moment, at least, it is. I think it was something like $500, one time payment, and that's what I use to take payments through my website, but I don't use Kajabi’s native checkout flow.
Second on the list is Calendly, which I spend $15 a month on. A lot of you are probably familiar with Calendly. It is a simple scheduling software that allows prospects and clients to book directly with you. I have previously used Acuity and ScheduleOnce, and I've used a lot of different scheduling solutions. The reason I use Calendly, and really the only reason that I use specifically Calendly, is that Kajabi has a very tight, wonderful, honestly kind of beautiful integration with Calendly that allows my clients to book coaching sessions with me and integrates right into their coaching product. So for me, that's why Calendly is the option. But if I weren't using Kajabi, I don't know how committed I would be to Calendly, because the way I see it with these scheduling platforms, they're all pretty much the same. Sometimes the feature sets vary, but at the end of the day, they do the same basic thing.
Third on the list is Buffer, which I pay $12 a month for, and it is what I use to manage scheduling posts to Facebook groups, Instagram, and LinkedIn. It's important to note that with Buffer and, with it, really any social media scheduling software, you cannot publish to your personal Facebook profile.
Number four is DocuSign, which is really simple. It is $10 a month, and it is what I use to sign the contracts and agreements with my clients.
Number five is Vimeo, which I use to host videos. Kajabi does allow me to host videos for my online courses and such, but I have a bunch of other trainings and such that I want to be able to have on access easily, so for seven bucks a month, it makes a lot of sense for me to use Vimeo to host those videos.
Number six is monday.com, which is my project management solution of choice, and I pay $30 a month for that. It's very similar to ClickUp or Airtable, and I use that to host my social media content library, this library of all the content I've created for social media. I use it to plan my social media posts. So whereas Buffer is where I actually go to schedule them, to have them post automatically, I have a separate calendar in monday.com that I used to plan ahead, perhaps before even writing the post in question. I also use monday.com for general project management, task management, and I use their forms feature for a lot of different client forms, so my onboarding form for new clients is a really good example of how I use monday.com’s forms feature.
Number seven on the list is Dripify, which I pay about $100 a month for, and that is the primary tool that I use to create and manage my LinkedIn outreach campaigns, so that is an automation tool for LinkedIn.
That goes hand in hand with number eight on the list, which is LinkedIn Sales Navigator, which is a premium version of LinkedIn, that allows me to perform pretty complex searches, so that I can pull lists of LinkedIn profiles who fit the profile of my ideal client. I pay about $100 a month for this, and it is a really, really important part of my LinkedIn strategy, because it is a tool that lets me get directly in front of my ideal clients.
Number nine on the list is Buzzsprout, which is a podcast distribution tool. I pay about $40 a month for that, and it makes sure that my podcast episodes make it onto every podcast directory that exists. It's important to note that Kajabi does have a podcast feature built into it. However, it is not as robust as Buzzsprout in that it doesn't get your podcast out into as many directories, which is why I pay for Buzzsprout instead of relying on Kajabi for the podcast piece of things as well.
Number 10 on the list is Otter.ai, which is a great transcription software that lets me upload my meeting recordings and podcast recordings and spits out an automated transcript of those meetings and podcasts, so that I can always have a written record of what was said. It’s really helpful for me in terms of being able to refer back to a specific part in a meeting, and also to just generate transcripts of my podcast episodes to make them more accessible to people who are hearing impaired.
Finally, number 11 on the list is G Suite, or as it's recently been rebranded, Google Workspace. I pay $18 a month for that, and that covers accounts for my entire team.
That concludes the list of paid software and apps that I use on a daily basis. However, there are some free ones that I really rely heavily on. The first one is Canva, which is really popular; you've probably already heard of it. I do subscribe to the free version, not the paid version. There have been a couple instances where I have just bought a month of the paid version because I needed to do something really specific, but for me, the free version tends to do it for me. Then there's the Facebook Ads Manager, of course, which is a free tool for running ads, which is not a free process. The tool itself, however, is free. Then I use Google Analytics, which is free, which helps me track my website traffic and engagement to really see how many people are actually visiting my website on a daily basis.
When I add up the total of all of the paid tools that I mentioned today, that total comes to $524 a month, which is a lot to spend on software every month. For me it makes sense, because my business is at this point where it really depends on all of these platforms to run smoothly. However for you, that might not be the case, especially if you're really just getting started.
In tomorrow's episode, what I'm going to do is walk through this stack again. But instead of telling you what I do and what I pay for, I'm actually going to give some recommendations for free or more inexpensive solutions that will help you accomplish all of the same things, but without shelling out quite as much money as I do every month. So if that's something that you think is going to be useful for you, make sure to tune in to tomorrow's episode, and I will see you then. This has been the Client Attractor Show with Jacob Ratliff, and have a great day.
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