Guest Post: Kathryn Calhoun
Baby Girl Galloway is here! To make my life a bit easier, I’ve reached out to some of the best voices in my sphere of influence and asked them to share their wisdom with you. Each guest author was chosen because I KNOW you’ll learn something from them.
Kathryn also has a great gift for you, “Tech Resource Guide”, that I want you to download here >>> Get “The Resource List”
For Entrepreneurs: The Only 3 Techie Tools
You Need to DIY a Simple, Successful Online Business
When it comes to putting together an online business, the simple truth is that we have a tendency to overcomplicate things…
Some good (?) news though:
It’s almost certainly not your fault.
I mean, if your Facebook feed or email inbox are anything like mine, they’re full-to-bursting with pitches for things that seem like they would be super-duper helpful for your business…
As a result, your online business to-do list ends up looking something like:
- Build/tweak website
- Figure out ideal client
- Get following on social media
Start doing Facebook Lives
- Create online course
- Make Powerpoints
- Put together a webinar
- Figure out what the heck a funnel is
- Learn Facebook Ads
- Record videos
- Find affordable tech person
Oof. It’s a lot.
Worse yet, trying to do all that stuff leaves you spending more than you need to, feeling like a failure, struggling with shiny object syndrome, and spending way, way, way more than is necessary.
If you’re somewhere in that ballpark and/or the above feels overwhelming to you, I have MORE good news:
You don’t need to do ANY OF THE ABOVE in order to have a successful online business.
In fact, you can keep it so simple that you can handle the tech BY YOURSELF without an expensive techie person or virtual assistant…
…Even if you’re not techie.
…Even if you’re really, really, really not techie.
(Helping non-techie people is my jam. My signature members-only community, the Clarity Momentum Success Mastermind, is all about helping tech-challenged solopreneurs create their simple, successful online businesses on a budget without hiring a team. This is literally my whole biz.)
So – if you don’t have to do any of the above, what DO you have to do?
There are really 3 non-negotiables and I am going to share what those are right now:
(TECHIE TOOL #1) You need web hosting.
“Hang on, didn’t you just say I don’t need a website?”
I did – but you DO need web hosting.
Web hosting is simply you renting your little corner of the Internet and it allows you to do things like:
Buy a domain name and get a professional email address (like email@example.com)
Build a website – eventually, one day, when you’re ready
The key piece here is really about having the professionally-branded email address.
One things you simply CANNOT do is build your business using a Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, Aol, or other similar free email address.
First of all, it reflects kind of poorly on you and the brand you’re building.
Second of all – and this is a biggie – most anti-spam laws say you aren’t allowed to send marketing emails from non-commercial email addresses.
Thirdly – also a biggie – most email marketing tools out there, including Mailchimp, ConvertKit, Infusionsoft/Keap & many more, will not allow you to send emails from one of those personal email addresses.
You simply MUST start out with a professionally branded email address that’s something like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Want to know the best domain tool for beginners as well as ALL my techie tool recommendations?
Get my personal resource guide right here:
(TECHIE TOOL #2) You need an opt-in page.
An opt-in page is simply a place where interested people can put in their name and their email address in order to get onto your email list.
One example of an opt-in page is for my resource guide I just mentioned above.
Opt-in pages are simple but incredibly powerful because they make your prospects do 1 of 2 things:
(1) Say YES to getting onto your email list.
(2) Say NO THANKS and leave.
This is about a gajillion times more powerful for you than a website.
With websites, they do all kinds of things. They may:
- Give info about you
- Have pitches for your products
- Have a blog
- Showcase testimonials
- Provide ways to contact you
- etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.
None of this is bad per se, but here’s the thing:
Websites are DISTRACTING.
When you give people too many things to look at/click on/check out…
…They tend to make no decision at all, get distracted, and leave.
By contrast, opt-in pages force a quick decision that inspires people to get onto your email list where instead of HOPING people will somehow find you and reach out, you are gathering them into YOUR universe where YOU get to control the ongoing conversation.
If you want to know my favorite opt-in page builder – grab my tech resource guide to get that and all my other techie recommendations.
(TECHIE TOOL #3) You need an email marketing tool.
Your opt-in page helps you collect people’s email addresses, but you need to actually be able to send emails to said people.
This is where the email marketing tool comes in.
The right email marketing tool can help you:
- Do “set it and forget it” marketing – write the emails once then set them up to go out automatically
- Easily target specific groups, e.g. buyers vs. non-buyers, people interested in Product A vs. people interested in Product B
- Set everything up easily so managing your growing email list doesn’t become nightmarish down the road
Your email marketing tool is an absolute 100% non-negotiable and here is why:
Marketing research tells us that it can take 15 or more touch points with a brand before someone will be ready to buy.
Fifteen touch points!
Now, learning that tidbit can do 1 of 2 things for you:
(1) It can overwhelm you because that feels like a lot.
(2) It can empower you because now you know that if people don’t buy from you right away, it’s highly likely that they simply need more connection with you.
Enter your email marketing tool, which can literally automate those touch points for you by reaching out via email. (This makes your marketing easy.)
And then the beautiful thing is that it doesn’t matter if people are ready to buy from you tomorrow or a year from now…
Because they’re on your email list, you get to stay in touch, continue to nurture them, continue to make offers to them, and then they can simply buy when THEY are ready.
Less pressure for them. Less pressure for you.
Find out my fave email marketing tool and other techie resources in my tech resource guide.
(Hint: The email marketing tool I recommend is hands down the easiest to use and most versatile… AND you can start with them for literally zero dollars. So good. And yeah, it’s not Mailchimp.)
Is this really it? I don’t need any other techie stuff?
The truth is if you are on the tightest startup budget on the planet, you CAN get by with the above and nothing else.
The magic is in growing your own email list, building your own tribe into the fabric of your business so that you are never worried about finding people to make offers to, buy your book, come to your webinar, like your stuff on social media, etc. etc.
If you focus on growing your email list first, then all that other stuff you’ve heard you should be working on will suddenly start to actually WORK for you because you’ll have an actual audience following everything that you’re up to.
Now of course, as your business grows, you may find the need to add in more techie stuff – and that’s okay.
The trick is to start at the beginning and go from there.
Inside my tech resource guide you’ll also find my recommendations for other techie stuff you can do awesomely and inexpensively, often even for free.
These are the exact tools I use in my own business. The list includes:
- DIY graphic design tools – $0
- Free & inexpensive ways to be able to accept payments
- My fave webinar tools, both free & paid
- Tools for putting together your online courses – also $0
- …and a bunch more cool stuff
There’s a lot in there but remember the key things you’ll want to focus on if you’re just getting started or haven’t been getting sales consistently yet:
Grow that email list.
Grow it with:
(1) Web hosting,
(2) An opt-in page, and
(3) An email marketing tool.
All my recommendations are right here in my personal Tech Resource Guide:
For almost 2 decades, Kathryn has been teaching coaches and entrepreneurs how to stop spinning in circles with “the techie stuff.” Her signature community, the Clarity Momentum Success Mastermind for solopreneurs, is devoted to showing you how to DIY a simple, successful online business on a super-shoestring budget, even if you’re not “techie.”
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