11: The Best Tools to Grow a Profitable Digital Course or Coaching BusinessJun 07, 2022
Wondering what tools you need to start and grow your business? In this episode we share a list of the essential tools for digital course creators and coaches.
Resources and Links
Register for Challenge Launch Bootcamp and learn how to create and deliver a 4-Day Challenge that boosts your revenue and skyrockets your business. CLICK HERE
Tools mentioned in this episode:
Connect with us:
Follow the Podcast:
Wow. Here we are on episode eleven of the Launch Perspective podcast. So exciting to be in double digits. In fact, just want to say a big thank you before we even start the show today because in our first month of launching the Launch Perspective podcast we released ten episodes and had a thousand plus downloads in our first month. So just wanted to say a big thank you to all of you who are listening, following, leaving ratings and reviews. We so appreciate that. If you haven't left a rating or review yet I encourage you to do so. It just lets people know that you're resonating with the podcast and it will encourage them to check it out as well.
But here we are on episode eleven and as I'm recording this it happens to be the opening of my brand-new launch that is taking place. And it's a bootcamp that we're holding called Challenge Launch Bootcamp. But as I was reflecting on this launch, my eighth launch since I started my business in March of 2020, I can't help but be thankful not just for all the people that I've connected with over these two years, not just for the relationships, and the results, and the way it's impacted our family.
But one of the things I'm also thankful for is that I live in a time where digital tools exist that make my business possible. I mean, think about that for a minute. Anybody who has had an online business for any length of time, you probably remember a day where it was a lot harder to get things done, to create content, to share content, to market your offers, to launch your offers. But here we are in 2022 and wow. The amount of digital tools and software options out there that make our jobs easier and more effective is just so exciting to me. I am definitely a digital tools nerd. I can totally geek out over digital tools as a digital systems coach. It's just one of the things I love helping entrepreneurs with. Figuring out the best tools that will help them grow their business.
And as I share some of the tools today, I do want to just mention truly there is no perfect tool that will work for every single person. I have never been a trainer that says, "Well, the only way you're going to be successful is if you use XYZ tool." The truth is we are all unique, our niche is unique, our passions and purpose are different, our knowledge and skill sets are different and the goals we all have are different. So, if all of those things vary, that also means that your digital toolkit is most likely going to vary from one entrepreneur to the next. So, I just encourage you not to fall into that trap of, oh, I have to buy XYZ tool because this is that magical thing that's going to get me the results I want. Yes, tools help us achieve our goals, but the tools themselves are not the magic. Right. It's how we take action with the tool that is the magic. And if you look at all the entrepreneurs in the world, especially in our online course creation space, coaches, truly there are successful entrepreneurs using every type of digital tool out there.
So, I say this because I want to encourage you. If you get stuck in that indecisiveness and let me tell you what I mean by that. A lot of entrepreneurs take forever to launch their business because they spend so much time deciding, for example, on a certain platform they're going to use. So, course creators for example. There are so many options in platforms that will help you sell and deliver courses and they get tripped up. Because they're like, should I use ClickFunnels? Should I use Kajabi? Should I use Teachable, Thinkific, Podia, Searchie? There’re so many options out there that they're overwhelmed, and they spend all this time listening to whatever guru who says, "Oh, you have to have this tool to be successful." So now they go buy that and they're like, oh, I discovered that tool really isn't going to work for me and then they buy another one.
So, they either spend all their time hopping from platform to platform, or they never make a decision because they're terrified they're going to make the wrong one. Some of the digital tools we use as entrepreneurs are an investment, especially in the beginning when we're not yet earning consistent revenue. You don't want to jump into a tool without doing your due diligence and doing research. But if that tool is going to get you to your goals, then make the decision, take action, go all in to learn that platform, or hire someone who can help you implement that platform and move forward. Remember, motion is what leads to momentum.
Let's go ahead and talk about the things I feel are crucial for an online business owner, especially those creating courses, coaching programs, memberships, digital products, or Done-For-You services. In my opinion, the number one tool all entrepreneurs need is something for creating marketing images and videos. And hands down my favorite tool for this is Canva. If you are not yet using Canva, I would say that is the first tool I would encourage you to start learning and implementing. It has been such a valuable tool for us in our business. I definitely spent time learning how to maximize Canva because it allows me to create images and videos that we use for marketing our programs, for delivering our courses, everything from our social media covers and profile pictures, to Instagram stories and more.
Now below in the show notes, you will find quick links to all of the tools that I'm sharing in this episode. And the Canva link I've included for you is a 30-day free trial to Canva pro. There is a free version of Canva, but this is one subscription you're going to want to invest in. Because with the Canva pro version, you get unlimited folders for easy organization. You get unlimited access to millions of stock photos, and videos, and audio clips without having to pay for each and every one of these services individually. The yearly cost is so inexpensive for the value it gives. So, if I was going to say my number one tool that all entrepreneurs need it's Canva.
Now in addition to be able to create graphics and videos, you will need a platform for selling offers. Selling offers means that you have a way to share a link and someone can purchase something from you. Whether again, that's a course, or a digital product, or a coaching program, you need a checkout option.
Now, as a course creator, for me, I know when I was looking at all the platforms when I launched my business, I had worked with someone who had kind of added platforms along the way. So over five years or so, she had started with one platform and then added a second one, and then a third, a fourth, a fifth. And before we knew it, we were working with five different tools. It was constantly glitchy because things would break and it was very expensive because every time we were working in a tool, we realized it didn't do everything. So, we would then add on another tool.
And this is why when I started my business, I knew I wanted an all-in-one platform that would allow me to do marketing, deliver my courses, my emails, my website, my affiliate program, coupons, all of the things I knew I would need to market and deliver what I was offering. I knew I wanted an all-in-one tool and I had heard about Kajabi in the corporate job that I was working in. I had a chance to work with it, fell in love with it. And so that was the tool I decided to jump in with. And it today has allowed me to sell and deliver all of my programs that we have at banishbusinessclutter.com.
Now, some people do not feel like an all-in-one tool is the way to go. A lot of people say, "Well, go ahead and just start a free website on WordPress or get a website on Squarespace or Wix. And then if you want to add additional options, you can do so." So, maybe you need to add an email service provider. Email service providers like ConvertKit, ActiveCampaign, Mailchimp, Flodesk, MailerLite. There are so many email service provider options out there. And I would say in addition to a checkout, you a hundred percent need a way to build an email list.
So, as you're looking at the various tools, here's what I encourage you to ask yourself. Don't just choose a tool or set of tools based on your budget. I think a lot of entrepreneurs who are just getting started are like, I haven't even sold anything yet and so investing something seems high if your current revenue is zero. Right. But I want you to think future. If you are committed and you are all in to serving your audience and selling an offer, then what will that bring in for you when that is launched? Let's say you have a $1,000 course or coaching program and you need to earn 10K a month. Then you know you need ten clients or ten sales in a month. So, if you have that as a goal, what tools are going to help you reach that 10K a month?
You want a platform that is reliable, has great customer service, great reviews. In fact, I encourage you to ask questions in various Facebook communities, or you can always do some research on Google as well. But reading reviews, finding out what people like and why they like it is always a great idea. Also seeing behind the scenes of a tool can be helpful. It's one of the reasons why I put together my Kajabi training course. This is a course that I sell, but I do offer it free for ten days. And the reason why I do that is because I think that if people want to learn about Kajabi, one thing that's super helpful is seeing behind the scenes of how the platform works, what it would take to get it up and running. They get free access to my training for ten days, so they can have that experience and then decide if Kajabi is right for them.
Now one little perk of investing in a platform like Kajabi is that Kajabi also offers an affiliate program. So, I have partnered with Kajabi, which means that if anyone joins Kajabi with my partner link, I do earn a small commission as a reward for that just like any other affiliate tool out there. So, the cool thing is, is when you choose a tool like Kajabi, you have it, you use it, you love it. You're naturally going to tell other people about it when they're complimenting you on your landing pages and your website. And they're like, how did you do that? Right. So, by sharing Kajabi with others I found that it is a way to reduce your monthly costs. We have now earned enough commission through Kajabi that we're not only getting Kajabi free, but we're earning additional income. So, it's even a stream of revenue for us.
And I think a lot of times when people start, they're like, well, I just want to stick with free. I'm going to go with WordPress. WordPress is not going to give you an affiliate opportunity. Okay. So that's just something to keep in mind, especially if you love to share tools with other people or you have a niche or an audience who would also be using the tools that you use. Then that's something to consider is partnering with the tools. I've partnered with Canva. I've partnered with Kajabi, with Ecamm, which I'll talk about in a minute. All the tools I use and love, of course I'm going to partner with them because I would be sharing my love of these tools anyway. And the people I'm sharing with, when I introduce these tools to them, they are more than thrilled to join with my partner link. And it's one of the best things I think about being in an affiliate. Because I'm helping them, and they're thrilled to give me credit for giving them that information. I love purchasing products with other people's affiliate links for that same reason. And that is a way to reduce your monthly costs if you are looking at a robust tool. All right.
So, you have your tool for images and video creation. You are going to have a checkout option. And of course, if you choose an all-in-one tool like Kajabi, it includes your checkout, your email. You won't need a separate checkout provider or a separate email provider. Everything will be in that one platform. But if you don't have a tool like Kajabi, then you're definitely going to want to implement something that allows you to have checkout pages and allows you to build your email list. Now, the other tools you're going to add probably as you grow as an entrepreneur or depending on the type of content you need to create.
Some of you may need a tool for live streaming. Facebook Live has been one of the best ways in increasing engagement with my audience. I love showing up in our Facebook groups. Sometimes I'll go live on my Facebook page. Others may go live on other tools like Instagram, LinkedIn. One of the tools I use all the time, not just for live streaming, but also for recording video is Ecamm. Now Ecamm is a Mac-only tool. It is a tool that allows you to work from your Mac desktop. If you do not have a Mac, I encourage you to check out StreamYard. StreamYard is another great tool that you can use actually for Mac or PCs. And that is something that you can use to deliver live and recorded content. So, check those tools out.
Now, how are you going to keep all of your tasks organized? I feel like every entrepreneur needs a good project management tool. And the tool you're going to use is dependent on if you are a solo entrepreneur, maybe you have a team, a growing team, a large team. We have a lot of different tools that we use at Banish Business Clutter. My personal favorite tool is Evernote. If you've been around long enough, you know, I love Evernote. And in fact, I just finished our last episode on the Four Ways to Use Evernote. So, if you haven't listened to that, be sure to check it out. And Evernote is where literally my brain lives. All of the things that I'm thinking about for my business, my brainstorming, my task lists, my research that I do. It's all stored in Evernote.
But one of our favorite project management tools for our team is Basecamp Personal. Now others of you have probably heard of tools like Asana, Slack, Trello, ClickUp. All of those are fabulous project management tools as well. So great things to check out. We just happen to love Basecamp Personal. The Personal is completely free. So, if you go to basecamp.com, you'll see a $99 a month ticket price. But if you go to basecamp.com/personal and sign up for the free account, this is a tool that you can use for no charge. And it has just been so helpful. We have a team of four and we set up all of our projects in there. Everybody gets assigned what they're due when it's due. It's just a really awesome tool that you'll want to check out.
Now, if you listen to episodes six and seven, we talked a bit about how I use Facebook groups to grow my lead list. And there is a tool that I use that has made this possible. And it's called Group Leads. Now, if you're wondering how to get quick links to all of the tools I'm sharing today, you can check out the show notes below or go to our website at banishbusinessclutter.com/tools. On our tools page you'll see the link for Group Leads and Group Leads is a browser extension that allows me to automatically capture the answer to the questions that you set up when someone joins a Facebook group.
So, we have two free Facebook communities along with other paid groups based on programs that people have purchased. But I have been using this tool since my very first launch. I don't know how I would live without it. You're allowed to ask up to three questions in Facebook groups when someone requests to join. And one of the questions is always what is your email address so I can send you my free XYZ? And it's typically a free tutorial, a free guide, information about our free challenge, our bootcamp. But I always ask for their email in exchange for a valuable piece of content. And in parentheses, I typically put required because I want people to understand that they're going to be getting great content from me inside this Facebook group and all I ask is for their email address in return. They of course can unsubscribe at any time. But what I love about Group Leads is Group Leads creates an automated way to capture the answers to these three questions and it connects it to your email service provider.
So, since I use Kajabi, I have it connected, but this automates the entire process. So, someone joins my group. It puts their answers to the three questions on a Google spreadsheet. Zapier takes that information and puts it into Kajabi. And automatically that person receives a welcome email from me, along with whatever free resource I promised to send. This tool has helped us generate hundreds of leads because of the way we engage with people inside our groups, which gets people excited about joining. So, Group Leads is a must have if you have Facebook communities and you want a way to quickly capture leads and add them to your email list.
Now, one of my favorite tools that we've started using most recently is called Jasper. Jasper AI is a copywriting tool that uses the power of artificial intelligence to produce copy that converts. And let me tell you if you're like me and you struggle with writing copy, meaning writing your emails, writing your sales pages, writing all of the words that gets people super excited about checking out your content and buying your offers. I find that is difficult to do on my own. I have hired many wonderful copywriters over the last two years to help with certain projects. Obviously, this doesn't replace a copywriter that's personal to you, but often I just need some inspiration. I need some fresh ideas. I need a video headline or Facebook ad copy or description for Pinterest. And when your brain is stuck, it's very hard to write copy, and you find yourself writing the same things again and again. And this is what I love about Jasper. You're going to want to check this tool out because for $29 a month, you get 10,000 or so words. And all you do is put in a description, hit a button, and it kicks out the most amazing copywriting headings, titles, descriptions and more. You're going to want to check that out.
The last tool I'm going to share with today is actually the tool that we're using to produce our podcast. If you are thinking about launching a podcast, I will tell you that Buzzsprout has made podcasting so easy. Now I do have a podcast manager. It's my wonderful husband. He definitely gets all the credit for researching this tool. Figuring out which tool to use. There are obviously many options to choose from, but if you are looking for a great podcasting platform, I do encourage you to check out Buzzsprout. It has made this process so easy and seamless. Very easy to get started, and they offer great tips and tutorials in their newsletters and in their Facebook group. All right.
So that is just a wrap of some of my favorite tools, the tools I use in my digital toolbox. But I hope what I shared today has given you some inspiration and ideas. Remember one, you're going to do your research, but then you're going to decide, and you're going to jump in. Anytime you're learning a new tool, you do have a choice. You can either take the time to learn all the ins and outs of that tool so you can make the most of it, or you can pay someone to use that tool for you. So, if you're thinking, you know, I'd love to use a tool like Canva, but I don't want to be the one that creates it. Well, there're lots of options out there of Canva designers, Canva VAs. Same thing with any of the tools that I have mentioned.
So remember, don't be overwhelmed if you feel like technology and digital tools aren't your thing. The key for you is choosing a tool that's going to help you get to your goals and then either learning it or paying someone else to help you implement it. We don't want any tools sitting on our shelf, collecting dust and spending money where we don't need to. So, take action by either hiring an expert or take action by learning that tool and jumping in.
I hope this episode has been helpful. If you'd like to learn more about any of the tools that we've shared, please be sure to check out banishbusinessclutter.com/tools. Some of the links on that page are our affiliate link and we so appreciate your support. You'll also want to click on our links as some of them offer special promotions, bonuses, or trials if you join with our link.
Want to learn more about a specific tool? Reach out to us at launchperspective.com and let us know your most burning questions so we can answer them on the show.
See you next time.
Want to be updated when new episodes are released?
Simply enter your email below!
We keep emails safe and spam free.