Digitally She Does It Podcast

EPISODE 79: 3 essential tools for building your online business

February 28, 2024 Karen Davies Season 1 Episode 79
Digitally She Does It Podcast
EPISODE 79: 3 essential tools for building your online business
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, I'm thrilled to share with you my top 3 favourite tools for building a successful online business. I discuss the important role of technology, and the value of focusing on mastering a few key tools in your digital toolbox.

I also share my personal experiences with testing various tools and adapting to changing business needs and how the 3 tools that I share in this episode has revolutionised my business. 

So, grab your headphones and join me as we navigate the world of online business and explore the tools that can take your business to the next level! Listen to the full episode to find out more.

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Karen Davies [00:00:00]:
Hello and welcome to the Digitally. She does it show. This is episode 79 and in today's episode I'm going to be sharing my 3 favourite tools that help me build my online business. So let's jump right in and let's get started.

Welcome to the Digitally She Does It Show. I'm your host Karen and I'm here to lift the lid on what it actually takes to create a successful business. If you are an ambitious creative ready to build a business on your own terms and without compromise, then this podcast is perfect for you. With my award winning approach to marketing, and expert knowledge in creating online courses, this show will leave you feeling inspired, energised, and ready to bring those big dreams to life.

Karen Davies [00:00:48]:
Join me each week for a dose of motivation and marketing know how along with actionable step by step strategies to help you accelerate your businesses grow. So, let's dive in and don't forget to subscribe to all my upcoming episodes which drop every Wednesday. Hello and welcome. Thank you for joining me today. I'm your host, Karen, and I really appreciate you hitting the play button to listen to today's episode. In today's episode, I'm going to be sharing my 3 favorite tools that help me to build my business online. But before I do, I just want to talk to you about the Digital Creators Hub. This is your one stop shop to getting started online.

Karen Davies [00:01:36]:
It is a treasure trove of goodies that's going to help you get started. There are resources that are in there. There's planning tools. There's templates. I've even included links to my favourite tools that have helped me to build my business.

So if you haven't already, get yourself into the digital creators hub. It's absolutely free. There is no cost to it.

Karen Davies [00:02:06]:
Go and sign up at because there's no better time to get started with your digital business than now so go and enjoy these free resources. Okay. So back to today's episode and I'm talking about my 3 favorite tools that have helped me to build my business online because and let's face it. In the online realm, tech is going to be your best friend. You might not like tech, but the truth is that in order to build an online business, you need to have tech because this is what's going to help you achieve your goals. So whether it's managing your website to automating your processes, tech is going to be the backbone of your online business. But it doesn't have to be complicated. It doesn't have to be overwhelming.

Karen Davies [00:03:09]:
And the good news is that you can streamline your your toolkit by just focusing on a few key tools and get to know them well and then once you've done that you can then watch your business soar. So you don't have to go and have 20 odd tools in your business that you're having to learn. A few good tools is going to be enough to help get you started and your business launched. Now I'm not gonna sugarcoat it. There is often a steep learning curve when it comes to learning anything new. So if you are new to tech then it might feel overwhelming because when we start anything new, there's that unknown, and that can sometimes stop us in our tracks. But by learning about the tools that you need it's going to really help you to progress your business. And that is part of the journey that we're on.

Karen Davies [00:04:16]:
We have to embrace the learning process whether it's learning on how to create an online course or learning how to create your first digital product or how to put a programme together or what tech to use. There's always going to be a steep learning curve in stepping into the unknown. But every hurdle that you encounter is going to bring you closer to your goals and that's what we have to remember. Now because we are operating in a really noisy space and the online world is incredibly noisy we have to make sure that whatever technology and tool that we adopt it aligns with the vision that we have. So we have to check-in with ourselves and the vision we have and our purpose to make sure that we're on track and that what we're choosing to use is going to support us on our journey and if it isn't going to support you then there's no point learning it. You have to almost have a very detached approach to the tools that you use in your business. You only spend your time learning tools that are going to make a difference. If they're not going to make a difference then you don't waste your time.

Karen Davies [00:05:37]:
I cannot tell you how many rabbit holes I've been down having to learn new technology because it has promised the world and it hasn't delivered half of what it said. And I sit here today with a wealth of experience in this area and I'm a tech person. I love learning new tools. I love getting all techie and you know learning stuff that's going to improve and streamline things in my business. I love that but there is a lot of stuff out there and it can be really overwhelming knowing what tools to choose and how much time to spend before you then feel like you're wasting your time. So we have to make sure that whatever tool we adopt in our business it aligns with the vision we have. It's going to move us that one step closer and it is going to contribute to the overall efficiency and success of your business. I think when you're investing your time, your energy and sometimes money because there are tools out there that do require an investment, it's really important that it generates tangible results whatever that might be.

Karen Davies [00:06:54]:
Whether it's a tool, a strategy, or a process, each one should be chosen with the expectation of it delivering a specific and measurable outcome. So before you commit to any tool I think it's really essential to just make sure that you understand the problem that you're aiming to solve and that you're understanding the specific challenges that you're addressing because that tool that you're going to be choosing is going to need to guide you to a solution that is ultimately going to need to meet your needs. And if it doesn't then it's just going to be a waste of time. Now there's no doubt about it. When you find the right tools in your business, it can be an absolute game changer because it can help you to automate repetitive tasks so you've got as the efficiency there and time saving is so important. We are all time poor. I don't know about you guys but I feel like a week just goes in an instance. Before I know it, I'm back on Friday and I'm thinking where has this week gone? And it doesn't matter how streamlined I am with in terms of the work and the tasks that I'm doing, I just feel like time just passes really quickly and I think the the busier you are so if you're spinning lots of different plates and you've got your business, your family, your kids, your house, you know, all of those those hats that you're wearing, time just goes in a flash.

Karen Davies [00:08:39]:
So if you can save time with a tool that you're using, then that's going to improve the overall efficiency of how your business is going to run. You also want to be thinking about scalability as well. So as your business grows, you want to be using tools that can scale with you so that you're ensuring that your operations remain smooth and efficient as you take on more clients and more customers. So you don't really want to be investing in tools that are limited. You want to be able to almost adopt a tool at an early stage that you can then grow with. You also want to make sure that the tools that you're using are cost effective. Now there are tools out there on the market that do require an initial investment but in the long run they need to be saving you money by streamlining what you're doing in your business and freeing up your time so ultimately you can make more money. So you need to make sure that whatever tool you're investing in, you're going to get a return on that investment at some point.

Karen Davies [00:09:53]:
Now if you can leverage your tools in your business in the right way, that's what's gonna help you to not only work smarter, not only work harder because they're gonna be doing the hard lifting for you but they're gonna help you to achieve your goals more effectively. Now, I have my own collection of tools that I use and over the years that I've been running my business I have tried and tested a lot of tools out there. I've looked at different CRM systems. I've looked at different project management tools. I've I've changed between tools, so I've changed between the platforms that I now run my courses and my products on because my my needs have changed. My needs have adapted over the years and my the the the requirements that I now have have changed and so the tools that I now have in my business are are there because they are what I need right now, and they're also tools that I can equally grow with as I scale my business. So the tools that we choose to spend our time in, you know, learning is really important and also when we are in the online space, we want to make sure that we can automate. So to a certain extent, you need to be looking at tools that are gonna give you that level of automation so that at the right time, you can start getting your time back because after all that is why we are building digital businesses.

Karen Davies [00:11:33]:
So with that in mind I want to share with you the 3 tools that I have in my business that I genuinely can't live without because they have made such a difference. Now the first tool is a project management tool and this has to be my overall favourite tool and it's called Notion. Now I've been using Notion for the past couple of years and I think with this tool it really is a game changer and I don't use that word lightly. The one thing I like to have in my business is I like everything organised and streamlined. I'm very processed in the way I work so I have this creativity but it has to go through a process. And what Notion does, it allows me to have everything in one place. I can't bear having lots of different files. I used to have the word documents, the Excel spreadsheets, the PowerPoint presentations, all of those documents sitting in my cloud in all different folders.

Karen Davies [00:12:46]:
And it used to drive me nuts because I would think that I was really organised and then I would go to look for something and I could I would struggle to find it. So what Notion enables me to do is have everything that I create in one place so that I know where everything is. I can get I can get hold of it really quickly. I use it as my business brain essentially and I have a dashboard and the cool thing about Notion is that the pages are nested in each other. So it's a bit like a website where you have maybe your initial home page, which would be your dashboard. And then from there you can create pages. And then within those pages you can have things like tables and checklists and Word documents and things like that. So it takes the principles of an Excel spreadsheet and a Word document and a PowerPoint, but it means you can have them all kind of within the same platform.

Karen Davies [00:13:47]:
So what I do is I have a dashboard with all my different links, so all my different areas, and then I have pages that they sort of come off of that. What it enables me to do is have different areas that I can then work in that that helps me to streamline what it is I'm doing. So for example, I have an area that is dedicated to my marketing and within my marketing I have a podcast area, a social media area, I have an area for the other things I do as well. And then within those specific categories, I have all my content written. And then what I do is when I create visuals I then upload them so my visuals are always with my copy. Now that's great because when I then bring my VA in, she's able to go and get access to everything I've created and then she then takes it to the next level and schedules the content and does whatever she needs to do. But essentially what it enables me to do is just have one place where I'm working on stuff. And I think for me that outweighs every other project management tool that I have used.

Karen Davies [00:14:58]:
And I like its versatility as well. I like the fact that I can create roadmaps and I can create databases and tables and lists and and kanban boards and things like that. So I think Notion is really an accumulation of ClickUp, Trello, Monday. It's kind of almost brought all of those elements together that you'll find in all these different project management platforms and it's brought it all together under one platform. But you're able to build almost like a site for your business where it houses all of that important stuff. So I have an area for my operations, I have an area for my finance, I have an area for my marketing, I have an area specifically for my digital products and my launch maps and things like that. And I know exactly where everything is. And every stage, I can collaborate with my VA and bring her on board.

Karen Davies [00:15:58]:
So its versatility, its flexibility is absolutely brilliant. Now, the best thing about this platform is that it's free. There is a paid option, but to be honest you can more or less get away with a free option because it offers a lot for the you know, for nothing essentially. I think it it's far better than Trello. There's more that you can do with it, and I think it's a platform that can grow with you as you grow your business as well which is really important. So I love Notion. It is by far my favourite platform. It is a game changer when it comes to spending time in the planning stages of your digital product offers.

Karen Davies [00:16:47]:
And and also you can create launch maps and all of that good stuff as well. It's absolutely brilliant. So if you're looking for a project management tool, then definitely check out Notion because, as I said, it's by far my favourite tool. The next tool that I want to talk about is a tool that I have used previously and I have now invested in it for the long haul and that is a platform called MemberVault. Now a while back I did a whole episode on Kajabi because when it comes to creating online courses and products, I have been a Kajabi user for probably the past 3 years or so. But alongside that, I used a platform called Membervile because I sell digital products. And what I love about MemberVault is that I feel as though I have a lot more creative freedom with it, but also it's designed as a marketplace. So if somebody goes to view one of your digital products, they will instantly see what else you have to offer and I think that kind of gives it a bit of an edge.

Karen Davies [00:18:02]:
You can do it with Kajabi but I really like the way MemberVault does it. It's very, it's a very powerful platform and it's not as expensive as Kajabi at all. They have some really affordable tiers that you can sign up to and they're very generous as well in terms of how many digital products you can host on on the tier. I think the cheapest tier at I think it's $45 which is about, I don't know, £40 just under, you could have 14 digital products and that could be programmes, online courses, digital products, whatever you have got, you can house them within MemberVault. Now what's great about, MemberVault is that you can personalise your customer journey as well and you can connect it to your email marketing systems or your, your your digital funnel systems, whatever you have. And it's got lots of built in marketing tools as well. So kenjabi is often positioned as the number one platform because it it it all markets itself as the one stop shop, But I think MemberVault has a lot going for it and what I really like about MemberVault is that it's constantly improving what it's offering to its members and there's a really strong community built around it. It's a really powerful platform that ultimately streamlines the process of packaging and selling your digital offers online and it doesn't break the bank.

Karen Davies [00:19:42]:
It acts as a centralised content hub and gives you lots of different things that's gonna help to elevate your efforts. And I think for that, I think it's absolutely brilliant. And like I say I like the fact that I have a lot of design control. Design is really important in my business so it's really important that whatever platform I choose to use, I get to infuse that in the platforms that I'm using. And with MemberVault, as I said, I really enjoy using it. I think it's really easy to use, and it's well worth checking out. So if you are in the process of creating an online course, an online membership, an online programme, or any digital products, then go and check out MemberVault. Okay.

Karen Davies [00:20:33]:
So my 3rd and final tool that I wanna talk about is Flodesk. Now I'm relatively new to Flodesk. I have been aware of Flodesk for a number of years, but I've been with Punjabi. So I haven't used Flodesk up until very recently. What Flodesk is, it's an email marketing tool. So it's the thing that you would use to nurture your audience as you bring them into your community and as you build your email list. Now I have used many different email marketing tools in the past. I've used MailerLite and Mailchimp and various other tools that are out there on the market.

Karen Davies [00:21:20]:
And what I have found is that they can be very challenging to use. I've also spent the past few years using the email marketing tool that is within Kajabi but I've never really enjoyed using it. I've never felt as though it's got a good user experience. I think it's important that if you're gonna adopt a tool in your business, you like using the tool. It has a good interface. It it provides a good experience. You enjoy using it. And with some of these email marketing tools, I haven't overly enjoyed using them because for whatever reason, they've never felt fluid or they've they've just felt quite hard work.

Karen Davies [00:22:07]:
Now with Flodesk I what attracted me to this particular platform was it's very design led. And I do think that when you're engaging with your community and with your audience you wanna present your brand in the right way. And so anything that has a design feel to it is is going to pique my interest. So having used it for a period of time, I have to say that it is by far the best emailing tool that I have used. It's very intuitive and when you go in and you upload all all your, your your subscribers it kinda guides you through to the next step. And what I really like about it is that you can colour code people. So what you want to be doing when it comes to email marketing is you want to be tagging your audience. You want to know at what stage did they come into your list.

Karen Davies [00:23:04]:
So if you are running webinars, you want to be tagging them to tell you that they attended your webinar so that if you then send any future correspondence, you know how they came into your list so you that you can communicate with them in the right way. Or if you've delivered a workshop and they've come in that way or maybe they've signed up to a free lead magnet, you want to be tagging them so you have this data available so that you can start to look at how your subscribers are interacting with the emails that you're sending out. So with Flodesk what I think is a game changer, what is different to others, is they allow you to do this really easily. So yes it all looks really pretty and everything but but actually it makes it a lot easier to be able to manage your audience and to have this insight into what they're interested in almost because that is as long as you obviously set your list up in the right way you're able to kind of get that information. The other thing I really like about it is that it's really really easy to put things into your website and to integrate them into like like say to embed forms and to set up sales pages and landing pages and all of that stuff as well. I was able to do it in literally less than 5 minutes. I created a landing page with a sign up. I've not been able to do it that quickly in other platforms and and I got to know platforms like Kajabi and MailerLite and that quite well.

Karen Davies [00:24:44]:
So I I think it's actually a really good platform. So far I am really enjoying using it. Now the other good thing about it is that where other email platforms charge you by the amount of subscribers you have, with Flodesk they charge you one flat fee. So it doesn't matter how much you grow you're only gonna pay that one fee. And I think it's something like $38 which I think is about £30 which actually when you compare it to the other platforms out there is pretty affordable and you can have 1,000 on your email list and not get charged any more. I think with some of these other platforms it's on a tiered approach so the moment you get to a 1,000 subscribers you're you then jump in price, which is which, you know, you wanna get to a1000 but at the same time you don't wanna pay more. So I think for that I think Flodesk does work really well. And then the other thing that I really like about it that I am definitely seeing the benefit from is the automated workflows because Flodesk's automation features make it really easy to set up email sequences and automations that ultimately deliver targeted messages to your audience at the right time and it's really easy to do this.

Karen Davies [00:26:05]:
Listen we're all time poor so whatever tools we adopt in our businesses we want to make sure that they're saving us time. Yes. It's there is a cost investment there, but ultimately you don't wanna be spending hours and hours and hours trying to figure things out. You want to basically hit the ground running, be able to do the thing that you want to do quickly, easily and at the right time. And I have to say that Flodesk has really impressed me with that because I've been able to really do what I need to do with it very quickly, very easily and I'm actually now really taking notice of my metrics because the way it's presented as well, I personally think looks so much better and it's just an overall better experience. So if you are in the world of email marketing and you are growing your email list, which we should all be doing because that's how we get to build our audiences and engage and communicate with them, then definitely check out Flodesk because this is one process that you absolutely want to be able to simplify and it's a great way to also get your offers out there but to also build relationships with your audience as well. So there you have it they're my 3 favourite tools. I've got Notion for project management.

Karen Davies [00:27:34]:
I've got MemberVault for selling my digital products. And then I've got Flodesk that helps me to engage and nurture my audience. And like I say, all 3 of them save me a huge amount of time in my business and I just really like using them. So if you are looking for tools I will put these links in the show notes. Go and check them out. But just remember that investing in the right tools is ultimately going to be an investment in your business's future. So it's worth taking the time to research and then taking the time to choose so that when you've made your decision you know that they are going to support you and they're going to ultimately give you the results that you're looking to get. I have also added links to these tools in the digital Creators Hub alongside other tools that have also saved me a lot of time and make life easier.

Karen Davies [00:28:39]:
So, like I say, sign up to the Digital Creators Hub. It's completely free, and go and grab those resources, grab those templates, and go and check out those tools because I promise you your business is going to thank you for it.

Thank you so much for taking the time to listen to today's episode. I hope you found this episode of value and of course please feel free to share it with others who you may think will also benefit from listening to this episode.

If you are feeling inspired and would like to know more about creating an online business and getting started online then go and check out the Digital Creators Hub by visiting my website forward slash hub. I will be back next week with another episode but until then have a great week. I hope you enjoyed this episode of the digitally she does it show. Don't forget to check out the show notes for all the links and resources mentioned in today's episode.

Karen Davies [00:29:42]:
New episodes drop every week on a Wednesday. So, why not rate and subscribe so you never miss an episode. Thank you for tuning in today, and I will see you next time.