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A podcast where you join me (Colie) as I chat about what it takes to grow a sustainable + profitable business.
CRM Guru, Family Filmmaker, and Host of the Business-First Creatives podcast. I help creative service providers grow and streamline their businesses using Dubsado.
So y’all… I use a lot of software in my business.
Back in April I posted a graphic on Instagram outlining my tech stack and totally left out Quickbooks and added a few new items to produce my podcast. But today I want to break this down for all of you…
Dubsado, Kartra, Pic-Time, Showit and technically if we want to think about the order in which my potential clients experience each of these, Showit should be first 😂
Showit is my amazing website platform. Anything you can dream to do on a website, you can do it in Showit. You are not restricted to placing elements in any particular place and you have complete control to create a version that is 100% mobile-friendly for each and every page.
Dubsado is my main client software that I use to book and manage my photography session as well as my 1:1 VIP Days. From the moment they inquire until the service is complete, all emails are sent from Dubsado as well as forms used to gather information I need from the clients. It also invoices and collects the $$$
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Kartra is my course-hosting platform, but also SO MUCH MORE. I run my email marketing/newsletters from Kartra and host my freebies in addition to collecting payment from course students and providing them with their actual course materials. It has many other features like a scheduler and forms/quizzes that could be used to eliminate some of my other tech. I have been thinking of moving away from this platform, for a number of reasons, but it would be time-intensive. I have Learn+ from Thrivecart where I could host my course and freebies completely free.
Pic-Time is my online gallery software so that I can sell images + products to my photography clients when the session is complete. What sets Pic-Time apart from the other options are the automated marketing apps you can use to eliminate manually setting up promotions and products in the store.
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I *could* eliminate some other items in my tech stack, but those four have a permanent place in my business! Okay, let’s chat about the others!
Right now it is helping me get a 50,000 foot view of my business, financially even better than Quickbooks, as it shows me sales per product, forecasts my future revenue from payment plans, and helps me track conversion rates for leads that inquire but ultimately don’t buy.
I have setup two different hubs to manage my support ticketing systems for Blueprint students and a separate one for my VIP Day clients. I have setup feedback forms after each module in my course, which has allowed me to get more data and potential testimonials from students.
Last, I am managing my content creation and planning for BOTH the podcast and Instagram in an Airtable hub. Airtable is *this* close to making it above the fold to one of my can’t live without pieces of tech. Check back in Q3!
Click-Up is also brand new to my tech stack for 2022, but it replaced Asana, which I marginally used last year but could never quite get into. I use Click-Up to create all kinds of checklists in my business for myself as well as study plans for my students to complete the Blueprint in less than 10 days or 1 month, their choice. This software also has a lot of potential to help me organize myself a bit better, create CEO weekly tasks, AND hand-off tasks to a virtual assistant in the future. Yes, Colie is finally going to hire someone this year!
Zapier has been in my tech stack for a few years now, but with my recent expansion into Airtable, it now has a seat at the grown-up table. Previously I was only using it to email/text me about new leads and clients in Dubsado so that no one slipped through the cracks, but now I have Zaps into Airtable for all new leads and clients so I can get a financial picture of my business. So I can look at the average amount of time it takes someone to become a customer after joining my email list. Data is powerful y’all and Zapier is the Lyft ride from my other software into Airtable so I can SEE the data.
Zoom got really popular during the pandemic for everyone, but specifically in my business I use it to host calls for my VIP Day clients as well as weekly Q&A calls for my Blueprint students.
Vimeo has actually been in my tech stack longer than any other software listed in this post, because I use it to host and sometimes deliver client films. I’ve been doing fusion slideshows or client films for almost the entire 10 years I’ve been a professional photographer, and only recently did I upgrade to a Pro account! Vimeo is really stepping up its platform though, because now that it offers in-app video editing/trimming and screen capturing capabilities, I can eliminate the next piece of software when it comes up for renewal.
Loom is a screen-capture software that I use to make course videos and 1:1 tutorials for my VIP Day clients. The cost is negligible, but this can be replaced with Vimeo when my subscription is up for renewal!
Adobe Creative is a MUST-HAVE for any photographer/filmmaker and there are several items I use in this suite on a daily basis for my photography clients.
Lightroom, Photoshop, and Bridge for my images
Premiere Pro, Audition, and Media Encoder for my films
Illustrator to edit my brand elements
Canva has replaced Adobe Creative for making all presentations, graphics, etc… because of its simplicity and ease of use.
Quickbooks is my go-to financial software and initially I completely forgot to include it here because my bookkeepers manage it for me.
This is a lot of tech, and while some of it is still overlapping, I happy completely happy to pay for it all at this moment. So Colie… what does all of this cost you?
Dubsado $0/year (I have a forever plan but I would pay $400/year otherwise 😂)
Yup… that’s almost $3k in software
Now some of those softwares have free options. I only upgraded to paid plans for convenience and to manage MORE automations.
If reducing the COST of your subscriptions is the goal, make sure you actually need a paid plan for each software you use. By the end of 2022 I may eliminate Loom, Zoom, and Kartra from my tech stack for a savings of almost $1300 a year.
Questions? Hit me up on Instagram!
NOTE- some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means if you purchase something using my link I may receive a small compensation. I use ALL this shit in my business so I hope it is clear I do not recommend it for the affiliate paycheck 😂