On this page, I’ve listed tools I actively use or have considered using. I participate in affiliate programs where available, viewing them as a bonus for my tool use. However, affiliate sales aren’t central to my business; they’re just a convenient way to endorse products I trust. My main goal is to educate about and recommend these tools, simplifying choices for others.
My philosophy. The way I choose.
As a coach dedicated to fostering growth and connections, I’ve carefully curated a suite of tools that not only streamline my business but also resonate with my philosophy of building meaningful relationships with my work as well as with my communities. When choosing tools, I make the attempt to focus in this way:
- What will the experience, or story, be like for my community?
- What business goal (or other alignment) does this help me achieve?
- Why is the tool necessary (and why is it necessary now)?
- Does the tool “play well with others” (aka integrations)?
- Can I easily learn the most valuable 20% (this includes access to support)?
- Is the reward worth the expense?
- Do I like the experience using it?
Each tool I recommend is one I personally use and believe in. Most are backed by robust communities and I’m drawn to tools that support a vision that aligns with my own.
Embracing Community and Culture
I’ve been using ConvertKit for a few years now. Mighty Networks is not something that I am using directly, but I was drawn to their culture and felt that the platform aligned with what I wanted to do with developing the Immersion 2023 community of coaches.
Recently, ConvertKit and Mighty Networks announced a focused integration with one another. I was thrilled with that because there is a really nice harmony between ConverKit’s focus on community using email and Mighty Networks focus on community through private social networks and online courses.
It was also validating that I chose two companies that not only aligned with my goals, but also with each other’s.
Modularity and Flexibility
In general, I prefer systems that offer flexibility. When I first started looking into developing online courses it seemed like there were a lot of options for platforms. You have the large platforms like Udemy and Thinkific and Teachable.
But I wanted something where I had more control and flexibility. Mostly, I didn’t want to be locked into a platform. At first I started exploring hosting this myself on WordPress, but I found myself paying for a service that I was actively avoiding. I didn’t want to spend my time dealing with the managing a system like that.
At the same time, Mighty Networks was starting to release their online learning platform. So was ClarityFlow (which I was using for asynchronous communication with clients, now being used for our UMCQ micro-community). While putting together my tech stack, I had been drawn to Thrivecart as a sales platform. I had already done some training in online sales with SamCart’s CreatorU, but I really liked Thrivecart for easy and effective checkout (it’s what I use for the UMCQ), competing against SamCart, and they had a “pay once”, lifetime price tag that I found very appealing.
Thrivecart also had a course platform, called Thrivecart’s Learn+. It was a little more basic than other tools (at the time), but it had everything that I wanted, specifically freedom over my content. My goal was to be able to use the Descript player for my courses so that I could easily publish updates to any course module I developed directly from the editor. And since Learn+ doesn’t have a native video player, this allowed me to use Descript’s player and host there. It’s a perfect win!
I’ll explain all that in more detail in another post. Suffice to say, this approach ensures that I can adapt my strategies and evolve my offering without being confined by any single tool.
Creating an Optimized Workflow
My approach hinges on the ‘Flywheel’ concept, where initial efforts in integrating diverse tools pay off exponentially over time. This integration, admittedly a significant challenge in building my tech stack, is important to me. While solutions like Zapier simplify some aspects, my goal has always been to find the most straightforward and dependable methods for transferring data and functions across platforms.
This initial investment is designed to bring increasing benefits, ultimately enabling me to hand over certain tasks to a team, making the entire process even more efficient.
Sustainable Financial Decisions
In financial management, I tend to explore essential tools as key investments. For instance, opting for Thrivecart’s lifetime purchase, a one-time payment over recurring subscriptions, such as SamCart, supports my focus on long-term value over short-term costs.
Similarly, choosing a video host like Wistia aligns well with my marketing strategies and allow me to experiment for free on the lowest tier plan. Wistia is the video player I embed on my sales pages.
Adaptability to My Business Model
The tools I’ve carefully chosen support the multifaceted nature of my business — encompassing everything from online courses and personal coaching to email marketing and future podcasting.
This integrated tech stack ensures smooth engagement across different channels, allowing me to adjust to the changing demands of my business and clientele.
In essence, the tools I utilize and endorse go beyond just software choices; they are a kind of partner in my journey of growth, community engagement, and business development. Their selection is based on their capacity to grow with my business, with my values, and with the ability to enhance the work I am passionate about.