Find the Right Marketing Tools in 3 Easy Steps

Great marketing tools increase reach, communication, and ROI. Get simple steps for finding the right marketing tools to grow your business.
Find the Right Marketing Tools in 3 Easy Steps
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Table of contents

Marketing Tools Episode Summary

The best marketing tools help you to reach a wider audience, stay in touch with your customers, connect with prospects, and grow your business.

But with so many marketing tools available, it can be hard to know where to start. Or, maybe you got started and the pieces don't *quite* feel like they're fitting together.

We'll share simple steps for finding the RIGHT marketing tools to meet your goals, our marketing tool recommendations, the ones we use ourselves, and recommend to our clients.

This is a great overview that helps you get started on the right foot.

We also discuss Shopify's commerce reports, and the transformation of how people buy (and how you need to sell).

We're live on YouTube Thursdays at 10 AM US/Pacific. Subscribe to the channel to have your marketing questions answered.

Shopify's Commerce Report

Words of Wisdom

The first step is to get super clear about your own business and what your goals are. How do you want to deliver the services?  Software is created specifically for a certain industry, a certain customer type, different business sizes, and revenue and business models. — Jen
I think the first thing you need to do is establish your email list because as we all know, social media can make changes every day. So as quickly as you can, you need to capture that email address and get them onto your list. Then you can still communicate with them in a way that you have some control over. Shelley

Can't Miss Resource

Find The Right Marketing Tools For Your Small Business
This online self-study course guides you, the business leader, through how to find the right marketing tools for your small business.
Join Epiphany Courses to get access to this essential course.

Transcript: Find the Right Marketing Tools in 3 Steps

[00:00:00] Jen McFarland: The women conquer business show is an educational, how-to, women in business podcast that features stories, marketing news and real-life experiences from fun and friendly hosts Jen McFarland and Shelley Carney. Join us as we dive into the details so you can slay marketing, overwhelmed, streamlined processes, and amplify your impact.

You'll learn strategies and tactics, leadership skills, and practical advice from successful women entrepreneurs. To help you grow, nurture, and sustain your business.

[00:01:10] Shelley Carney: Alright, we did it.

[00:01:16] Jen McFarland: Welcome to the Women Conquer Business show. I'm Jen McFarland joined by Shelley Carney and today we're going to talk about how to find the right marketing tools for your business. But before that, how are you?

[00:01:34] Shelley Carney: I'm doing pretty darn good. I feel good. I’m getting out and about. We had a wonderful panel yesterday and amazing people showed up for it. That was exciting to me.

[00:01:46] Jen McFarland: I don't mean to brag. I was one of those people.

[00:01:49] Shelley Carney: You absolutely were. You were one of the most important people right there, top center. We loved that. So, people, if you haven't seen that panel make sure you go check it out. We talked about marketing. I should say “they” because I wasn't able to be there, but they talked about marketing strategies for 2022. Really important stuff and we'll make sure to put that link in the show notes so that you can go check out all of the great marketing experts and the advice that they offered.

[00:02:16] Jen McFarland: Absolutely and thank you. It was a great panel, lots of dynamic thoughts. A lot of what we're talking about really is where we think digital marketing is going in the future. One of the things that came out recently is Shopify has new commerce report and they've become a real thought leader.

Some people may not even know what Shopify is. It's an e-commerce platform. It's great for small businesses. It's where you can sell things online. It's been around for a long time and it's rising as the, I guess the anti-Amazon, as the other place to sell stuff, especially for independent creators.

I read a recent interview with the founder, and they are going all in on helping small business owners and founders. They put together all kinds of e-commerce reports, the future of commerce, the future of retail, all these different reports based on the data of what's happening.

Shelley knows because she's been streaming on Amazon. Last week we talked about things like shoppable posts, which means people can interact with live posts that you have, or they can shop, while you're talking on Pinterest TV or Amazon and any of these different platforms.

The reason why we talk about all of that stuff is because we have had explosive growth in how people do commerce since COVID. Have you seen it, Shelley, where how we buy things, how we engage with companies, there's been a significant shift in that just since 2020?

[00:03:56] Shelley Carney: I know for instance, Toby is on Amazon Prime, and he's on Walmart. You pay once a year for all of your deliveries, and he orders almost everything to come delivered to his home. My kids are on this subscription for certain products that they use all the time, like paper towels and toilet paper and those consumables, they're on a subscription service now.

As they talk about it more and more, we tend to go, oh we should do that too. We should do this too and that makes sense. Then we save time and eventually you save money as well because you're getting the lowest price available for those products. These are some things that people are gravitating towards.

Even people in their eighties are finally saying, okay, how do I buy stuff on Amazon? Because I'm not finding it at the stores anymore. Because of the supply chain issues they're emptying out and they can't find the things they need. So, they're finally saying, help me get on Amazon and buy this thing that I can't find anywhere else.

So yes, it definitely is bringing us all online.

[00:05:05] Jen McFarland: Absolutely. What we have seen, and then when we take it into the small business context, you can't really compete with Amazon in that you're not a huge fortune 500 company. So that's one of the challenges that you have.

Yet, as we have seen in digital marketing, digital transformation, how we buy things, right now has shifted so much. Whether it's how you interact with a local restaurant or, how you get goods and services, how you get your groceries, all of that.

If as a small business owner, you look at that, you can see that it has changed significantly. How you engage with things has changed significantly in the last couple of years. The reason why is there has been 10 years of growth in e-commerce alone since the pandemic started.

When everything was shut down originally everybody was like, okay, now what do I do? There were all these plans, like one day I'm going to, and this was Fortune 500 companies. That's part of why we saw it shift so quick. They had all these plans for things that they were going to do in the future. They're like, oh, the future is today, and they started doing it. So that accelerated initially, but now I think that when we're looking at Shopify’s report, what we can see is it has now come into our space, which is more of the small to medium sized business space. And we're like, okay, what do we do? I will tell you, and I have the report up, we'll put the link to the report in the notes as well.

It means that if you, as a small business owner, aren't putting up your products, if you don't have products available for people to buy online, then you are a little behind the curve and now's the time to definitely do it. Because customer expectations have changed.

So, when you say an 80 year old can go out and feel comfortable to go online and buy stuff then why wouldn't your customers, who are likely not in the 80 plus demographic, why would you not offer the same thing to your customer?

[00:07:26] Shelley Carney: There are ways to take much of your business online, even if you're a personal business where you have to go into somebody's home. Say you're remodeling homes or something where you do a service in their homes, or you have to be in person to do your work. You can still take a lot of your business, your prospecting and your marketing and all of that and put that online so that it frees up your time. It gives those people the ability to find you online, which is where they're looking

[00:07:58] Jen McFarland: Absolutely. In my work as a consultant, I do help people who are like dry cleaners or acupuncturists, people who have a location and people need to come to them. Or like in the case of a landscaper, they go out to the location. I can tell you that if you're thinking I don't really know how I could interact with people online or how it could get people, a lot of it comes down to what is that thing? A lot of times people need to get a quote or they need to schedule something. For me when I go to interact, if I'm going to a new service, I'm lazy. I don't want to call you and schedule an appointment. Let me schedule online. Sometimes it's just as simple as finding a scheduler, providing some sort of framework of a quote, and then you're capturing a name and email address, and then you can follow up with that person.

When we talk about how people buy from you online, the thing that I tell people over and over again is your website is a treasure map. You tell them the treasure for every page. It's not a scavenger hunt. Like Shelley, you do geocaching and finding treasure. Your website absolutely should not be like that experience because people don't have the patience for that. People have 10 or less seconds to engage with you. They're not trying to really figure you out. So, make it easy for people to buy from you. When you look at things like everybody's shifting online, everybody's buying online. What I tell people is the first place to start is asking how do you get people now? If you're an in-person business and then think about, how can I make the online experience the reflection of this in-person experience? That's your gold standard right now, that's why people are coming to you.

Then you work to make that an experiential thing. Because the biggest thing I think in marketing is really the customer.

[00:10:01] Shelley Carney: Yes. Yes, absolutely. It's not only the most important thing, it’s the thing that you’ve got to focus on because it's the one thing that's going to keep bringing people back.

You want to retain, you want to nurture, you want them to keep coming back so that you can develop a relationship with those people and that trust. Then they want to spend money with you. They want to spend time with you. They want to know more about you and your business.

[00:10:28] Jen McFarland: The best marketing consultant in the world, isn't answering the phone. So you can have a lot of flashy marketing, but if the nuts and bolts of your business don't match up then that disconnect could be the big failure in your marketing. If that makes sense. So, it's not just what your website looks like. You've asked them to take action. They took action, and then it just fell off a cliff. It is about what happens next.

Those are some of the basics of what Shopify really goes into, the statistics. If you need proof that people are buying online and you need to see what they're projecting based on hundreds of thousands of transactions, hundreds of thousands of customers, then I really encourage you to look at the report. They go in depth around the future of retail and the future of e-commerce. If you're building an online business and then to your point, Shelley, they're also talking about the shipping challenges that are occurring now and that those may continue into the future. Then how you as a small business owner can navigate that as well.

[00:11:43] Shelley Carney: Did you have a graph that you wanted to share or is that for later?

[00:11:50] Jen McFarland: This is a really big report. They have videos and all kinds of things in here. One of the things that you were talking about Shelley is the cost of these breaks in the supply chain. They go into things like, and it might help you as consumers as well, like the cost of freight. The freight container has gone up exponentially from less than $2 for a container to over $10. If you look at that at scale that's a pretty big jump. It's a great report because it's really encouraging people to really look at the obstacles as opportunities to make yourself a little bit more agile as a business so that you can really facilitate navigating this really uncertain world.

I would say anything that you implement, be prepared to make a shift on that, and that will really help you in the long run. Then you can break into each of these. One of the things that I thought was really interesting because we talked about it last week, is if you look at this little detail on the future of e-commerce, they talk about deepening relationships directly with customers using things like live shopping, which is what we were talking about last week with Pinterest TV, and the Amazon livestream that you and Toby do. Even going into a lot of different ways that you can really engage with people. I think that one of the things that is really important, and I think that you can you'll agree with me too. Shelley is the idea that building a community is really a key to how we need to navigate this world.

[00:13:44] Shelley Carney: We've even seen that on Amazon live. People who have large audiences, a lot of times it's the same people over and over again who show up. The person who's doing the livestream is calling them out by name saying, hello, glad to see you're back again. They have that relationship going and they have a newsletter. They say, sign up for my newsletter and we've got more great information for you there. They develop this multilayered relationship with people that started off with just somebody was scanning through Amazon for something and saw this person talking about that item they were interested in and now suddenly they have a whole relationship and a whole community that they can relate with based on we both liked that one thing that we bought.

[00:14:37] Jen McFarland: Yeah. These things don't have to be hard or complicated. One of the reasons why I took Shelley up on the idea to do a live stream at the same time that we do a podcast is because I think it's a way for people to engage and ask questions. Which by the way, I haven't gotten any questions yet, but maybe they're coming. But it's a way to deepen these relationships, going online, doing live video really talking about things and engaging with people. That's one of the ways that I wanted to deepen my relationships with people.

Not just Shelley, but everybody, and really speak to people. So that's one of the things that I'm really excited about. That's one of the things I really encourage people to do. I think that one of the things that both Shelley and I believe is it doesn't have to be hard.

[00:15:27] Shelley Carney: Everything's a little hard and uncomfortable at first, but you do it a few times and you get more comfortable, and it becomes a lot easier and it just becomes a part of what you normally do, your routine, and then you're ready for the next step.

[00:15:41] Jen McFarland: Yeah, it's just baby steps and getting support and collaborating with people who can help you. I think that's really important too. Find people that you appreciate and trust and do things with them. It's really important to get out there and do that.

[00:15:59] Shelley Carney: It makes life more fun. It makes the journey more worthwhile.

[00:16:06] Jen McFarland: So that is our breaking news that went on for a long time. Sorry about that. But this is a really shifting market. Things are changing all the time and it's probably something we'll talk about a lot.

Do you have any breaking news?

[00:16:22] Shelley Carney: I do not. Other than I'm going to just tack on a little bit to that. If you're in a small business and you're like, I can't keep up with the big guys. I can't keep up with, for instance, Amazon. We have discovered, and we've been talking about this a lot this week, that Amazon is like a small house that wanted to become a castle.

It's the Winchester house. It's got a lot of added on things where you can easily get lost. Jen was talking about how it becomes a scavenger hunt. You can't find what you're looking for. I remember seeing this information somewhere, but now how did I get there? Toby and I have had to grab links and put them all into a document. This link goes to this page. Because we would find it once and wouldn't be able to find it again. It's a mishmash.

As a small business owner, you can stay on top of that. You can streamline your website to make it user-friendly and you can outline the steps that take people through that journey and keep it very simple. That's going to help your customers not feel overwhelmed and confused. A confused person never buys anything. So, you can keep up. The big companies do have a disadvantage that you can take advantage of.

[00:17:39] Jen McFarland: Absolutely. I was the one who called it a Winchester house. I'm glad that you liked that. There was this lady in San Jose and she just kept adding and adding onto her house. There were doors that led nowhere.

When I worked in tech and building applications, we had one application that we all thought was just Winchester house. You couldn't get in and out of things easily. It was really hard for the people who worked in customer service. With Amazon, you can't navigate that easily. So, you might not be able to beat Amazon in terms of traffic, in terms of reach, or any of those things, but you can beat them in terms of customer experience.

I think that is really what to focus on. Just, don't try to compete with keywords that they use because that's not good. That's not going to fly either. But you can make it really easy and that's how you get that groundswell of support and people who keep coming back. The small business owners, that's really what we're looking for.

[00:18:49] Shelley Carney: Let's move into the training and advice because the whole reason I do this show is to get Jen to give me training and I'm ready for it today. We're talking about marketing automation, which is one of Jen’s -- It's her forte. It is the thing that she is known for and the thing that I love about her. Because she's just this wealth of information when it comes to marketing automation. So, let's get into that.

[00:19:23] Jen McFarland: Today I really wanted to talk about the three basic steps, the most important things that you need to do to find the right marketing tools for your business.

What happens a lot is where things aren't working right. Or it's not doing what I want it to, and then it's taking way too much time. What do we do? I think a lot of people go out on the internet and they try to resolve it. Is that what you think Shelley?

[00:19:54] Shelley Carney: I think we try to piecemeal things. Oh, let me try that free app. Or we do a lot of trying and we're not finding the exact right fit.

[00:20:04] Jen McFarland: The other thing that people do oftentimes is they go out on social media and they ask the hive mind, what do you use? They get a lot of tips or hot advice from their friends to which I say misery loves company. Just because they use it does not mean that they like it. It does not mean that it's meeting their needs.

You do find a lot of people like me who are trying to sell you something. Now I don't go in there and do that. I really try to guide people through this process. But a lot of people go out online to post, tell me what marketing tools I need. What are you using for email marketing? I see that a lot, and you get a hundred things. That's not helpful to you as a business owner when that happens.

There are a lot of things that are external that I think we all do when we're trying to find the right marketing tools to run our business. What I'm going to say as someone who worked as a business analyst for 10 years and what a business analyst does is it's like we do business processes. I did this at scale at an enterprise level and basically where things aren't working right, make it better. I was that tech translator, where people say this is broken and then I'd go back to the developer and tell them they're saying that this is broken and we need to fix it. And they're like they should just hit this button. And I'm like they're not going to hit that button so let's make it better.

So, the background in this is understanding business problems and knowing that things can be resolved. I can tell you from all of my years of experience that when we talk about things at big business levels, they're not necessarily going out and asking the Facebook crowd how to find the best program. That's just not happening. We may call other business entities or other jurisdictions if it's a governmental thing. What organizations that are successful are doing is they're looking inward at what's not working and they're getting super clear.

So, the first step for how to really make this work, is you get super clear about your business. That's the first thing that you really need to do, because if you're super clear on your business goals then you don't have to go into this awful truth, which is really the software is not going to save you or your business. It's not going to save you time. It’s not going to save your marketing.

I hate to say that, but it's actually the truth. Software isn't going to make it better. Marketing tools alone don't make it better. Marketing tools are like a support system underneath your goals that really help you towards your goals. I think it's really depressing and sad and I think a lot of people don't want to hear that.

You really have to understand your industry and your ideal customers. You have to know where they are, where they hang out. Then start to really dive into a lot of what's going on in terms of what the problem is and how you solve it.

It may not sound super sexy and you're like what does this have to do with marketing tools? If you don't know what your products and services are, and you don't know what it is that you're selling, who the people are, and even where you want your revenue to come from, the tools aren't going to suddenly materialize out of nowhere. Because all of the marketing tools are built for different industries. They are built for different purposes. For example something that is really popular right now is a company called Dubsado. It's a marketing tool that is supposed to streamline the backend of your business.

Now what a lot of people don't know is that most of the people who sing its praises are affiliate marketers, so they get paid. There's nothing wrong with that, but that software was originally designed for photographers and creatives. What happens then is if you aren't a photographer or a creative, you're going to find some things that are a little arduous or not as user-friendly because it wasn't built for you or your business.

So you have to be really clear about yourself, understand your industry, understand that some tools are just created for that. Know what it is that you want to do and where you want your revenue to come from. We're talking a lot about things coming from online, and if you want to have revenue coming from online, then you need to have tools that facilitate that.

[00:25:13] Jen McFarland: So the first step is to get super clear about your own business and what your goals are, how do you want to deliver the services? Then also look at your past and forecasted growth. How much are you going to grow and what are your three to five-year business goals?

Because all of that really feeds into the types of tools that somebody like me could recommend. Again, software is created specifically for a certain industry, a certain customer type, different business sizes and revenue and business models. There's no reason for someone to pay for HubSpot, unless they are a medium-sized business approaching a large enterprise business. If that's not in your goals, then HubSpot is likely overpriced. For what it is it's a great marketing tool and it can really stretch your budget. But it makes it really hard to integrate with things because it's based on using the enterprise version of a lot of different programs and systems.

[00:26:21] Shelley Carney: Let me ask you this. Let's imagine that most of our audience is going to be people over 45 and maybe they're a small business owner. They're either a solopreneur or they just have a few people that they hire out for certain jobs. But mostly they're a small business owner. They own their own business. It's a service-based business. They sell their services; they help other people to do certain things. On that premise, what is the first automation that small business owner, that entrepreneurs should focus on and implement? And why would that be their first thing?

[00:27:04] Jen McFarland: Their first thing. The reason that we look at things like goals, The three simple steps, our goals, budget, and business needs. So, it's important to make sure that you're clear about your business goals, but then you have to also look at your budget. Because those two things really dictate what the first automation really is.

I have colleagues who say the same thing, People talk about sales funnels all the time. You have a sales funnel now. It is people come to you, they get to know you, and then they buy from you. That's a sales funnel basically and your first one is how you get people in person.

The first thing that you can really automate is how you take that process online. One of the things that every website needs to have is a way for people to opt in. So even just having a little subscribe to my newsletter in the footer of your website, that goes a long way, and that can be your very first automation. You find your email marketing platform by looking at things like pricing, business goals, things like that. Because even the email marketing software is a lot different. However, I will say that for most small businesses, most of the people listening or watching it would be MailChimp is a really solid choice, Active Campaign, really solid choice.

You want to find something that integrates with all of the tools that you're using and use something that is big and established. A lot of people want to use things like Flodesk or they want to use MailerLite. These are good products, but they're not as well established.

Especially for people who are maybe not super tech savvy, you want to find something that's just going to work with everything, so you don't have to build all that infrastructure. I think the first thing is make it easy for people to schedule with you, make it easy for people to subscribe to your email list.

Those are your first automations, and then you can start to get a little more dynamic after that. What do you think?

[00:29:24] Shelley Carney: I agree. I think the first thing you need to do is establish your email list because as we all know, social media can make changes every day. Anybody you connected with before, you may not be able to connect with again, because they may change what platform they use or not show up to that social media site anymore, for whatever reason. So as quickly as you can, you need to capture that email address and get them onto your list. Then you can still communicate with them in a way that you have some control over. So I think, yes, definitely, number one is employing an email list provider, such as MailChimp.

I started off with MailChimp. We currently use Get Response. But you want to find something that works well for you and that easily fits into your budget, that you're not going to be struggling to pay for and is going to grow with you. MailChimp will do that.

[00:30:23] Jen McFarland: MailChimp will, and Get Response is great too. It just depends on if it works with everything else and for you. If it does, that means it's a good choice. People get all wrapped up in all of that, but if it works for you, then it's a good choice. That's the same thing with Flodesk and MailerLite. If it works for you, it's a good choice. I'm not trying to dissuade you from it unless you have a problem that needs to be solved and that's what this is. Anytime you can get enterprise grade products that are also built for small business, that's a good thing.

That's one of the things about MailChimp and Active Campaign. Some of these tools are well-established and they've been around. The thing that you mentioned that I think is really important is when you talk about a budget, I think it's important that you not just look at it from a per tool level. I think every business, no matter how big or small you are, you need to have some sort of marketing budget. Even if that budget is zero, at least you've established it, and that's so important. The reason MailChimp comes up is because it's free for up to 2000 subscribers. Anymore with MailChimp, the $10 a month option is where a lot of business owners need to go. But you can do it for free if you don't have a marketing budget. People say I'm too small. I don't need a marketing budget.

How many hours are you spending on social media and how much do you charge per hour if you were actually helping clients? Yeah. You're spending money right now, even if it's only “your time.” You're spending money right now and you have a marketing budget. What I tend to do with clients a lot is we go through credit card statements, PayPal accounts, and we try to evaluate where all this money is going and save people money. I encourage you to go through your statements yourself, quarterly, periodically, so that you can save yourself some money. Have that honest talk with yourself about what it is you're not using any more.

[00:32:37] Shelley Carney: You’ve got to figure out what's the important thing about it. For instance, we are with Streamyard because it offers a certain set of features that we need, and we've grown used to. Teams is one of them. You can't find teams on pretty much any other streaming software, but they have it on Streamyard and we've grown used to it very quickly. Now we won't give it up. So, until somebody else comes out with that same feature we're not going to switch. When you grow to depend upon a particular feature of a product, then every time you look anywhere else, you ask do you have this feature? Because I need that.

[00:33:19] Jen McFarland: When you find the things that work, when you come up with the system, then it's really important to not get distracted. Honestly, confession time, as somebody who loves software, this is my downfall. It's avoiding that FOMO of that's probably better. Because every time you change it has a ripple effect throughout your business.

Part of it is finding the right marketing tools, especially for people like my customers who tend to not enjoy technology. The bulk of people out there understand that the reason you go with an enterprise grade product that has a small business option is because of stability and they will continue to add features. It's not a company that's just going to go away. Streamyard is one of those companies that I don't think is going to go away. They continue to grow, they continue to improve, and they continue to add functionality.

That's actually the third thing. We have to establish our business goals. We have to know who we're serving, and what are the industry best practices. We need to have a marketing budget, even if it's zero. We have to know what that marketing budget is. Then the third thing is really identifying your business needs. This is another step that people tend to really overlook.

I think it's overwhelming for people sometimes because they're like, I don't know the techie words for what it is that I need. The key is the good software companies, the good marketing tools, the good salespeople or marketing consultants, they don't need to hear you use tech speak to help them.

[00:35:17] Shelley Carney: A lot of times, all they need to know is who are you serving? What kind of work are you doing? They have enough knowledge of each of those industries, depending on what industry you're in, that they can say, are you experiencing this? Then they can go deeper into those questions and really help you define what it is you need. I know Jen does that and it's basically asking the right questions and listening to those answers and then consolidating all that information into a solution.

[00:35:47] Jen McFarland: That's really my bread-and-butter product. It's like an alchemy of questions, what it is people need. Then as much as I have knowledge around a lot of things that does require research to try and get there. But the thing that people overlook in addition to clearly defining the business needs is what's working and what's not working. You have to look at both because you don't want to fix something that's broken and then break something that was working great. It has to balance out. One of the ways that we as business owners can really save ourselves a lot of headache and heartache and hassle is take the time, even if you think you don't have it, to really communicate with a software company before you make a commitment. Take advantage of the free trial, ask a lot of questions upfront, even if somebody has recommended it to you, or maybe especially if somebody recommended it to you. Take the time before you invest everything into it or migrate all your data or update all of your systems and how everything talks to each other. Ask a lot of questions, test out the software. Is it easy for you to use? Is it easy for you to pass off to somebody else? Is it used enough that you could hire a VA who already has that skillset, or a marketing person? Take that time to get to know the product or have your staff get to know the product and you can save yourself thousands of hours and many sad tears.

[00:37:23] Shelley Carney: What is the best way to determine if something is working for you and is the right tool?

[00:37:31] Jen McFarland: There are certain things that we approach in our business that make us happy and there are certain things that we approach with a sense of dread. Any place that you're doing double entry, any place that you approach it with a sense of dread, or you look at and you're like, I'll fix that next time, or you think it could be easier, chances are, those are the places that are breakpoints in your workflow. What I tell clients is to keep a notepad next to your desk for all the times that you feel like there has to be an easier way to do this and start to take some notes on those areas.

Then we can talk about that and how to make that a little bit better. But again, it doesn't have to be anything technical. It can just be like, client onboarding. I work with a lot of service providers. So if people are coaches or consultants, and they're like there has to be an easier way I have to go into three programs to send out emails and get clients on board. It really is about paying attention to what's out there, what manual actions that you're having to take and how you could automate it in a way that doesn't make your business lose its human connection.

[00:38:56] Shelley Carney: Sometimes it takes somebody who is not inside the business to be able to put eyes on something and say Here's what I'm seeing in your business. You have this activity and then you have this activity and then you have this activity is, how are each one of these working for you? Where is the bottleneck? Where are you having issues? Then they can really hone in on what's not working in and how do we fix that?

[00:39:23] Jen McFarland: Absolutely. And that's one of the great things about working with people. People don't realize most of your dreams can come true when it comes to making your life easier with marketing tools.

We can make your life easier. We can make your dreams come true, but it comes down to how important is it and how much money do you have? Because anything is possible. It's just about the budget and is it just a bell and whistle, or is this an actual core function that you have to somehow overcome and make easier for yourself?

That's why it's so important as a business owner, to stand tall and firm in what your goals are. What is it that you need and how much money do you have? Because the truth is working with people like me, we can make everything talk to each other and automate a lot of stuff, but you don't just automate for automation’s sake. You do it for a purpose, and usually that's to get more clients to make your back office operations easier to help save yourself a lot of time and increase your productivity.

[00:40:43] Shelley Carney: Always important saving time, increasing productivity, freeing you up for the things that you love. Maybe that’s working with clients and helping them to have success. The more time you can free up from the drudgery of the things you do not like, and you can automate them, the more time you have for the things you do like.

Thank you, Jen, for that. If you people in the audience have any questions or you want to dive deeper into finding out more about automation software and what would be the right thing for your business, do reach out. You can go to womenconquerbiz.com and reach out to Jen there. She is an expert at this. So that would be ideal. You can leave us a comment on the show, wherever you find it, and we will get back to you and help you to answer those questions and maybe even do a future show on whatever it is that you want to know more about.

[00:41:41] Jen McFarland: Absolutely, and in the show notes, there's a really easy way to send us your comments and questions. You can actually record it and send it to us. It's like an audio recording. I do have a freebie for this to help you guide yourself through finding the right marketing software for your business. I need to get a link for that so it will be in the show notes. I don't have it off the top of my head to give it to you right now, but it's a really easy way to step through some of this stuff and come up with a strategy that works for you and your business. And it gets you out of crowdsourcing for solutions.

[00:42:26] Shelley Carney: Yes, because that's not always going to be helpful. If somebody in a completely different industry uses something and it works for them it doesn't mean it's going to work for you. Think about that and get the customized answer and solution that's right for you instead.

So do we want to move into tweak of the week?

[00:42:47] Jen McFarland: Sure, what have you got?

[00:42:49] Shelley Carney: I don't really have anything specific for tweak of the week. I have a thing that leans into the next part, which is the inspirational. Do you have a software or technical tweak before moving to that?

[00:43:08] Jen McFarland: I'm really interested in software right now called Paperbell.

[00:43:15] Jen McFarland: It's a woman-founded company that is business coach software. I work with a lot of coaches and consultants. It's not just for business coaches, it's business coaches, life coaches. All different kinds of, Shelley, you're a life coach too, right?

I work with a lot of people in that field, and I'm really intrigued by the software because it's like a one stop shop for everything. Imagine that you don't have to go into your Acuity and you don't have to go into your Stripe and all over the place. It’s a hub for all of the things that you need to do. You can get group programs, landing pages, digital downloads, all kinds of things in this one hub. And then also have things like your clients and your client notes in there. I'm interested in that just because it seems like it could be pretty cool. I don't know. So I'm learning about that.

[00:44:16] Shelley Carney: I've heard of it. So, it has been around for a little while. Long enough for me to hear of it.

[00:44:21] Jen McFarland: Like a year, I think maybe.

[00:44:26] Shelley Carney: My tweak is, like I said, moving into the inspirational end of things. It's more of a thought tweak, things you can think about and align yourself for the next week.

That is concerning the law of reciprocity. The law of reciprocity is one of those universal laws that we know it's there, but we don't think too much about it. It’s not as prevalent in our lives as gravity, you drop something and it falls, but it does exist. It is there. When we can focus on it and have an awareness of it, we can employ that reciprocity. In other words, what we want to ask ourselves is what can I give? How can I give what I am good at? What would be helpful to others in my world? Just like when I asked Jen, can I help you get your podcast going again?

Because I enjoy her podcast. I want that information. I love it. So, I pull it out of her. I'm like, so what can I give? I can give you the production half of that. I can give you the motivation. I can give you the support and the friendship that it takes to be here every week to make it a priority and get it done.

What she brings to me in return is so much more because all I had to do was offer what I could do, what was easy for me, what I enjoy, and then she can respond with that reciprocity. So, think about who in your life can you reach out to and offer something that's easy and fun for you to do. You can offer friendship. You can offer support. You can offer advice. You can offer what is it that you're really good at, that you love to do. You can offer that to somebody in your world and open yourself up to that law of reciprocity. It's going to come back to you, trust in that. It is going to come back to you, so cast your bread upon the water, and it will return. What you sow, you reap. All of these adages tell you this is a real thing because people have talked about it for centuries. Participate in that by offering value.

[00:46:45] Jen McFarland: So true and thank you. That's a good way to end. I hope that this has been useful for everybody and thank you for being here. Thank you for being here, Shelley.

And yeah, just keep being you everybody and give and it'll come back.

[00:47:05] Shelley Carney: Oh, nice. That's right. And thank you all for watching today. We hope that you will like, subscribe, follow, and reach out to us and let us know what you're thinking so that we can have a conversation. We'll see you again next week.

Thank you for joining the Women Conquer Business podcast hosted by Shelley Carney and Jen McFarland. Please subscribe and leave a comment or question regarding your most challenging content creation or business problem.

Then share this podcast with family and friends so they can find the support they need to expand their brand and share their message with the world. Check the show notes for links to valuable resources and come back again next week.

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Jen McFarland

Obsessed with creating solutions that help businesses make exceptional decisions faster. Marketing pro. Leadership nerd. Project innovator. CoFounder, Epiphany Courses. Women Conquer Business Founder.

Shelley Carney

Livestream host, coach, and author. Podcaster and blogger for Messages and Methods and Women Conquer Business.


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