If you’ve ever wanted a behind-the-scenes look into the backend of my business – you’re in luck!
In this podcast episode, I’m sharing the tech tools and team that support Ned & I, and help create the magic you see on the front end.
You usually only see the finished product on the front end, but there’s a whole lot more that you don’t see when it comes to running a 6-figure business.
I’m sharing everything I use in my business, why I use it, and also some other options I know work – because sharing is caring right?!
Welcome behind the scenes of The Social Bolt.
Jump to a topic:
Operating (a.k.a day-to-day) business management tools
These are the tools that help me with the day-to-day running of my small business.
1. Outlook for my business emails.
It’s mostly a personal preference. Google Mail is also a great option here.
2. Google Calendar for my personal calendar.
It’s the best. My motto is – if it’s not in my calendar, it doesn’t exist and I’m not going.
I like to have a visual representation of what my week looks like so everything is time-blocked and colourful. This includes buffers and blocks between calls so I’m not overbooking my calendar which is essential as an introvert.
3. Appointment & call bookings – Acuity Scheduling.
Again a personal preference, lots of my biz friends use Calendly and, as far as I’m aware, they’re pretty similar.
4. Video calls – Zoom.
I have the paid version and I use it pretty much every single day. I also use Zoom to record my guest podcast episodes as you can strip out the audio of the call.
5. Project management – Asana.
I use this mainly for the weekly podcast process and my launch planning so I know I definitely don’t use Asana to its full capacity. It’s helpful because, for a weekly podcast episode and a launch, there are lots of moving parts and it allows me to step it all out and then assign tasks to my team.
When I started my business I used Trello and then changed over to Asana. I also know people who swear by ClickUp – but for me, because I don’t use Asana to its full capacity, I feel like ClickUp might be a step too far for me right now.
6. Business essentials – Google Drive & Google Docs.
I remember learning about these two life-savers back at uni and The Social Bolt wouldn’t function without them. I love them because you can access them from anywhere. They’re live documents that you can work on in real-time with your clients and leave comments and suggestions. I don’t know how anyone can run a business (sanely) without them.
If you still use Word documents and store them on your laptop – what are you doing with your life?
7. Team & client communication apps.
For communications, I use a mix of:
I’m a big big fan of Slack. I use it for my mastermind (over a Facebook Group). I prefer it to Facebook Groups and Voxer because it feels less overwhelming.
3 benefits of Slack:
- You can use a mix of voice and text messages
- You can pin posts and easily find them
- You can use it on desktop or phone
- But, mostly, I love the search function (to go back and look for messages) – it shits all over Voxer for ease of finding things.
8. Finance & Money.
- Xero for bookkeeping
- Thrivecart for online purchasing of my programs and offers. This has been my favourite addition to my tech tool family.
- Stripe & Paypal to receive money
When you go to purchase one of my offers from my website, it’ll take you to Thrivecart where you select either to pay in full or with a payment plan. Then that connects with Stripe / Paypal to take your money.
Content creation tools
9. Website: I use WordPress.
The reason I chose WordPress was definitely not because I knew how to use it or I’m a secret website wizard – but when I started my business, I knew the importance of SEO and believed that WordPress was the superior option. Whether that’s correct or not doesn’t matter – that was my decision. Of course, Squarespace is a great alternative and is marketed as the more user-friendly option, but I personally prefer WordPress.
10. Social media – I (mostly) use Instagram.
I don’t schedule my posts (shock horror, I know) – I write my captions in a Google Doc and copy, paste + publish in Instagram.
11. Graphics – Canva.
Canva is my go-to to create graphics for everything. I use the paid version because it’s so much better. The paid version gives you all the options and add-ons you need to create magical, on-brand designs. This is another tool I learnt about at uni and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since.
12. Email marketing – Convertkit.
We all know how important growing your email list is in a small business, but it doesn’t mean you need the most expensive option.
I started with MailChimp because that was the best free tool when I started my business. I found they started taking away things from the free plan so it longer fit what I needed and I outgrew it – plus there were better paid options out there.
Convertkit works for me and it does everything I need it to do in a pretty straightforward way. ActiveCampaign is probably the best paid email marketing platform for service-based businesses.
MailerLite is a good free option for email marketing.
13. Online course platform: Podia.
I like Podia because it’s simple to use, it has all the things I need, and, the best bit – it’s a fraction of the price of Kajabi. Yes, Kajabi is amazing – but I simply can’t justify the price.
Can I afford Kajabi? Yes. Do I want to pay for it? No.
Kartra is another option, however, it’s also on the pricier side of things.
14. GarageBand for recording solo episodes.
Audacity is an option for non-Apple users.
Zoom for guest episodes.
15. Podcast hosting – Buzzsprout.
Every episode is uploaded into Buzzsprout which pushes it out to Apple Podcasts, Spotify and all the other channels.
16. Audiogram graphics for socials – Headliner.
I’m on the paid version simply because I do weekly episodes and create different audiograms for stories, posts, Reels and Idea Pins on Pinterest.
Wavve is another option for you.
3 questions to help support you to select the right tools for your small business:
1. What do I need this tool to do for me?
What functions are non-negotiable?
2. Does this tool integrate with my other tech tools?
Are there native integrations, or will I need a third party like Zapier to connect them?
3. How much am I willing to spend?
What’s my (realistic) budget?
If you’re not sure where to start and what options are out there – ask your coach, your biz friends, your community, and then use these questions to guide you.
Team members & contractors
To grow your business to 6-figures you need the support of not only some epic tech tools but also some epic, real-life wizards.
My small business support network currently includes:
17. Admin support and Virtual Assistant (VA).
Bec & the VA team at Little Luxe Co are the wizards that help with so many of my behind-the-scenes tasks. They support me with getting podcast episodes out each week, setting up tech for launches, and creating content for Pinterest.
They help with all of the admin tasks that yes, I could do, but also don’t have time to do. Getting support to get the podcast episodes out each week has been such a load off for me.
18. Podcast editing.
I have a wonderful podcast editor called Pablo. He gets to listen to me every single week (lucky him) and do the one task I knew immediately I wanted to outsource when I started the podcast.
19. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) & blogging content.
This year I wanted to focus on improving the SEO of my blogs and getting this podcast content to work even harder for me – so the magical Jessie waves her magic wand over my content to help it go even further.
19. Business Coach.
My ride-or-die Business Coach since Day 1 – Ellie Swift.
Also here since Day 1 is Suse & the Santosha Team, who look after my BAS and keep my books in order. Again this is something I immediately wanted to outsource because it’s not my idea of a good time.
21. Adhoc contractors & support.
Now I also call in subcontractors for copywriting, Facebook ads, and website design to name a few – but they’re on a project basis.
When I started my business there was me, Ned, Ellie & Suse. Other than the bookkeeping, I did everything myself. It wasn’t until mid-2020 that I brought on my first team member – Jessie, as a creative assistant to help me with content and admin.
And then I’ve just added support based on what I most need the support within that moment, or where I’m looking to take a load off my plate.
As Ellie always says to me – “just because you can do everything, Tahryn, doesn’t mean you should.”
If there are any topics you’d love me to share more on – send me a DM over on Instagram and let me know.