4 Tools I Used In My Second Year of Business
We’re in the thick of JAM Marketing Group’s second year anniversary month and to celebrate, I’m sharing with you the behind-the-scenes of my second year in business.
Today, I’m quickly running through the FOUR TOOLS that keep my business running on a daily basis.
Quickly, because I fly out to Austin, TX tomorrow for my annual Kickass Masterminds Retreat and have about a million things to do before then!
And when I say these tools “keep my business running” I do mean it.
It’d be A LOT harder to serve people and make money without these four tools.
And spoiler alert: these four tools I’ve used in my second year of business look different from the tools I used in my first year. Take a peek at that list of tools right here, if you’re curious.
Let’s get to it.
The four tools that have kept my business running in the second year of business:
If you’ve ever booked an appointment with me, you’ve used the brilliance of Acuity Scheduling. It’s a scheduling software that allows my clients, team members, acquaintances, and, well, strangers to book appointments on my calendar without having to discuss a best time to meet.
I set my office hours for different appointment types and they schedule themselves. Total time-saver.
I invest in the Emerging Entrepreneur plan for $10/month (grandfathered rate) for two reasons:
- I have several appointment types available to be booked and the free plan limits how many appointment types you have.
- Every appointment I hold is hosted by Zoom and when you invest in an Acuity Scheduling plan, you can integrate AS with Zoom and have your Zoom link sent to your appointment attendees automatically. Never forget to send the Zoom link again – it does it for you!
Active Campaign is my email provider that allows me to send email campaigns to my subscriber list. I made the switch from MailChimp to Active Campaign early 2017 mostly because I was fascinated by its interface and how Ash Ambirge kept singing its high praises.
The funny thing is, I really didn’t need such a robust system at the time. I was still only serving my two little email lists – one for JAM and one for MIYP.
Fast forward just a few months, though, and Active Campaign literally made MarketingPersonalities.com something I could feasibly offer. I now have over 20 different lists in Active Campaign and therefore, over 20 different automated email sequences and that NEVER could’ve been done with Mailchimp.
I realize most businesses will never have that many lists or automations (yes, it’s as crazy at it sounds) but Active Campaign is still suitable to any business that wants to up-level their email game and serve their subscribers in intuitive, thoughtful ways.
And side note – as an ENFJ, you’d think I’d hate building out over 20 email sequences… but I didn’t. In fact, I loved it and I credit that good experience to Active Campaign’s easy-to-figure-out interface and system. It just works for my brain and I totally dig it.
Podia is the software I use to house my paid digital downloads and courses. I had been using Thinkific for a while, but then met Podia’s Director of Marketing, Len, at the She Did It Her Way Summit in April and converted over to the platform within a few days.
I prefer Podia over the other course platforms for two key reasons:
- It’s suuuper simple to figure out. Sometimes you don’t need all the bells and whistles – you just need to sell your stuff.
- The Podia team has proven over and over again that they are incredibly dedicated to making the platform better and better. Just in the few short months I’ve used Podia, they’ve made big, powerful updates to how much you can customize your Podia Storefront and are working on things like an integration with Active Campaign and better reporting. I have no doubt they’ll deliver beautifully on those efforts.
Try Podia out for free for 14 days right here. I did this same trial and it took me about 48 hours to know it was time to switch!
Boomerang for GMail is a Chrome extension that allows you to not want to die every time you log in to check your email.
But for real. There is one crucial function within Boomerang for GMail that my business cannot run without:
Behold the “Pause Inbox” Button. There’s a “Pause Inbox” function that allows you to pause your inbox, not allowing any new messages to come in. While your inbox is paused, any incoming messages are held in a hidden folder where you can’t see them. Then, once you unpause your inbox, those new messages hit your primary inbox.
The real benefit here is you can PROTECT YOUR SANITY. Seriously. I’ve gotten into a new-ish rhythm of pausing my inbox at all times of the day except once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Two times a day, I unpause, let new messages come in, then pause it again so I can work through the new messages without getting overwhelmed by any new messages coming in.
This also protects my productivity and focus throughout the entire day because when I hop over to GMail to send a quick note to someone, I’m not getting distracted by the 17 new emails that have come in since breakfast.
And the final way the Pause function helps is that it pauses incoming emails on your phone GMail app too. So as long as I pause my inbox before I shut my Macbook down for the day, I can’t open my phone app and check my emails at random time later that night. #BOUNDARIES.
There are a few other functions within Boomerang for GMail that are helpful too, but nothing as amazing as the Pause Inbox Button. That thing saves lives, yo.
And that’s it! Those four tools have allowed my business to run smoothly in its second year of life.
Which of these four tools are you most interested in trying? Comment below to let us know!
** This blog post contains affiliate links. This means that if you choose to click and purchase one of these tools through my link, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Affiliate purchases are always appreciated as they help keep the website lights on, but are not required. Affiliate links below are marked with an asterisk (*) **