A Behind The Scenes Look At The The Business Tools I use to run my Courses, Membership and Podcast
For a while now I’ve been thinking of sharing all the details of the tools I use to run my business online. I know a number of you have been asking for advice setting up your websites, podcasts and memberships or selling meditations and classes online. I’m here to pull back the curtain and share all my best tips and tools with you!
Let’s start with my website…
It’s so easy to set up a website these days, you don’t need a designer or developer as there are so many pre-designed website themes out there and software you can use to set everything up.
I personally use WordPress and I have Thrive themes plugged into my site to add extra functionality, such as ready designed landing pages, sign up pages and so forth. Thrive Themes is very intuitive and while there are some small parts of it that I would change, for the most part I enjoy using it and find it easy to quickly create web pages.
AND Thrive Themes just launched another tool to make online business life easier, with Thrive Automator.
Thrive Automator is the latest tool from Thrive Themes that links ALL of your WordPress integrations and email marketing tools. For free. I haven’t used this yet as it’s just released but it seems very handy and I will definitely be looking into it!
Membership, Courses and Meditations
I use Kajabi to host all my courses, membership and meditations. I did extensive research before choosing Kajabi and I even used Teachable for a while but as my membership grew the set monthly fee Kajabi offers was a better option for me as it doesn’t change as my membership grows.
Besides offering a secure platform to host courses, Kajabi also has so many other beneficial functionalities. You can create your website inside Kajabi and they even have an email service (I recently moved from Mailchimp to Kajabi as my email service). And I noticed they are now offering a podcast service which I might try out as well.
There is an initial learning phase as you get to know your way around Kajabi but they have some great explainer videos detailing how to get around the site and use all the functions available.
When I started the Fiercely Spiritual Podcast a few years ago I chose to host it on Soundcloud. It’s a very straightforward and inexpensive option and I have no faults with the service. Soundcloud streams to iTunes, Spotify etc. But, as I mentioned, now that Kajabi are also offering a podcast service I’m going to look into this option and I may switch to Kajabi if it has all the same benefits of Soundcloud. Having everything in one place is super handy rather than using lots of different software but the downside is that you become reliant on one service provider and it makes switching in the future harder if a better option becomes available.
I also post podcast videos to my YouTube channel as it makes sense to give my audience the option not to just listen to the audio podcast but to watch the video also if they prefer.
Regarding equipment, I keep it super simple. I use my laptop to record all episodes in Zoom and I use a Rode microphone which plugs into the usb port on my laptop. I didn’t invest in a good mic for the first year or so, I just used the mic on my Apple earphones and that also worked well. The Rode mic does offer better sound quality but not absolutely necessary starting out.
Apart from the mic, I don’t use any other physical equipment, no fancy lights, no backdrop, no sound booth (although I could do with one on some days!). The point is you can start your podcast very easily and inexpensively using only a laptop and some software!
Finally, I use garage band to edit the audio before posting final episodes.
I use iMovie to edit the videos for my courses, membership and podcast. Again, there is a learning curve to get to know the ins and outs of this software and starting out I took much longer to edit videos but now that I have more experience it’s very easy to use. You can also hire video editors if the thoughts of doing it yourself terrifies you!
For most of my design needs – banners, social posts, course graphics etc. I use Canva. I tried Canva pro for a while and it does have more options and functionalities but for my limited use I find the basic free option is perfect for me.
I use Stripe and Paypal as my payment processors for my courses and membership. They integrate with Kajabi and if someone misses a monthly payment there are automations set up inside Kajabi to manage payments and I don’t need to worry about doing everything manually.
I am not currently working with a Virtual assistant although I do need one! I did in the past for a while but they weren’t able to complete some simple tasks and it ended up being more work for me. That said, I do know many other people who have found great VAs online and they are very happy with the work they do.
A VA can be an enormous help, particularly if like me you don’t enjoy the admin side of things. But if you’re starting out I would encourage you to do everything yourself so that you know how it all works before handing work over to someone else. If you don’t know how to do it yourself, how do you know if your assistant is doing the best work?
A good example of this is when I hired someone to run Facebook ads for me, I quickly realised that I knew more about FB ads than they did and my ads were running more efficiently than the ones they set up for me. In the end I went back to running the ads myself.
Speaking of Facebook ads, I know this can be a point of contention. I know so many people who refuse to run ads on Facebook as they don’t believe in handing over money to the social media giant. Others simply find it too difficult to navigate the ads manager. It is a minefield and I have spent a long time learning from coaches about best practices. If you are considering using ads, there are many benefits to paid advertising and Facebook isn’t the only option, there are google ads, YouTube, TikTok… the list goes on.
I continue to use FB ads as it works for my business and I am familiar with the set up but I may consider other options in the future.
Speaking of social media, I have spent much time in the past posting daily, creating videos and posts to educate my audience and grow my following. The problem was that it was a constant content creation treadmill and I didn’t always enjoy it.
Today, I post less frequently and only when I really want to when I have something interesting or beneficial to share. I find this way is much more enjoyable, less stressful and more authentic. This is what works for me.
If you love creating reels and posts for your audience and you want to post everyday, great! Do what works for you. Always go with what brings you most joy. And that goes for all aspects of your business!
I realise I haven’t mentioned the Angels that I work with “behind the scenes” and it would be remiss not to mention them as they are as much a part of my business as everything else I’ve talked about so far (if not moreso).
Some of the Angels I call on to help out behind the scenes are:
- Archangel Michael – whenever I am about to start a podcast episode or a live class, I ask AA Michael to open up my communication centres and help me to communicate whatever message needs to be heard.
- Shekinah – I always ask the Holy Spirit Shekinah to bless and optimise the classes, meditations and courses I create, both for myself and for everyone who experiences them at any time.
- Archangel Gabriel – Inside Fiercely Spiritual Family I host monthly classes around the Full Moon and New Moon and of course I call on AA Gabriel, Guardian of the Moon to assist. Gabriel also helps us to realise our dreams and aspirations.
- Zodiac Guardian Angels – depending on the astrological season and the sign the moon falls in I work with the relevant Zodiac guardian angels for various purposes.
- Metatron – I ask Metatron to protect my energy (along with AA Michael) before and after live classes so I can keep my energy field healthy, strong and protected.
- Archangel Zadkiel – I work with AA Zadkiel, the Angel of Abundance to help create financial abundance in my business and I feel so blessed to be able to prosper and thrive doing the work I love.
These are just a few of the many Angels I work with in my business. I share how to work with the Angels and the many Angels available to us and their roles inside my membership Fiercely Spiritual Family.
Other Spiritual Tools
While I do use other spiritual tools such as crystals, sage, Angel cards, pendulums etc. I find that more and more I rely only on the Angels without using any extra physical tools. I love Angel cards and always have fun with them but they aren’t essential. The Angels are so efficient and effective in their work I don’t find the need for anything else, but occasionally I’ll use other tools just for fun!
Overall this is just a short overview of the tools I use and how I run my business online. Each topic mentioned could be a course in it’s own right and there are many courses out there teaching how to be an online course creator, some better than others (I’ve taken many of them).
The key is to remember if you’re starting out that you don’t need to do it all at once. Just take one small aspect and focus on that till you get it right… maybe that’s creating your first website or podcast. Then move onto the next thing and focus on that – baby steps! Most of all if you’re drawn to teaching or sharing your meditations or helping others, know that you can do it and keep going.
You’ve got this!
P.S. I didn’t mention about my books and publishing as that’s a whole other topic, but if you’d like to find out what tools I use for writing, editing, publishing, marketing etc. let me know in the comments below!
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Thank You for Being Here…
I’m Sandra Rea, an author, healer & spiritual teacher.
I help empaths get crystal clear guidance from the Angels each day so they can stop doubting their direction and start trusting they are guided and taken care of.
I’m the host of the Fiercely Spiritual Podcast and Founder of the Fiercely Spiritual Family.
If you’re an empath and you’d like to connect with your Angels, click here to sign up for this free training on how to get clear Angel guidance each day.