Episode 20: Hailey Rowe’s LinkedIn Lead Generation Tips: Connecting, Conversations, and ClientsJanuary 23, 2024
Episode 22: From Modest to Mighty: How Lorraine Ball Transformed a 250-Subscriber Email List into 10,000 StrongFebruary 6, 2024
Episode 21: The Tech Stack You Need Know About and Have
Curious about the must-know tech stack essentials for business success?
Join me on this episode as I explore the world of tech stacks. I’ll share my embarrassing yet eye-opening experiences, covering building block vs. growth tech stacks, the importance of avoiding one-size-fits-all software, and optimizing your stack for success. Acquire valuable knowledge to choose the right software and maximize your business growth.
This is my current tech stack – not including social platforms etc.
- ActiveCampaign for email marketing
- WordPress with Elementor pro theme
- PrettyLinks plugin for cloaked links
- Clickfunnels (the classic edition)
- Thrivecart – for products, course deliver and affiliate)
- Canva pro for all my graphics, presentations etc.
- Full Adobe suite for editing my podcast etc.
- Captivate.fm for my podcast
- Asana for project management
- Zoom for video conferencing
- Fathom for note taking on those conferences
- Calendly for scheduling calls
- Google drive for document sharing and storage (I also have dropbox but I prefer GD)
- Airtable for more project management, forms and podcast organization.
- Slack for communication with my team and clients teams.
- Stripe for processing payments over to my bank
- YouTube for videos
- Vimeo for videos
- Better Proposals for sending proposals to my prospective clients.
- Capsho for my podcast
- CastMagic – I have it for my podcast but only because I bought it before investing in Capsho
- Clockify to track my time (when I’m working in my fractional CMO gig)
- Semrush for SEO
- Linktree for links from my social
- Loomly – paid account for creating tutorials
- Podmatch to find great guests for my podcast
Connect with Jennie:
On This Week’s Episode:
Tech Stacks 101: Explore essential software and tools for business success. Learn why a killer tech stack is crucial for your biz.
Oops, I Did It Again: Uncover the story of a major tech stack blunder in my early days. Learn from my expensive misstep!
Building Blocks vs. Growth Gamers: Break down different tech stack configurations, from day-to-day essentials to firepower for big launches.
Say No to One-Size-Fits-All: Discuss the BS of one-size-fits-all software. Discover why tailored tech is the way to go.
Optimize, Optimize, Optimize: Get hot tips for fine-tuning your tech stack, from regular check-ins to spotting red flags.
My Tech Stack Tell-All: Peek into my tech arsenal and discover the tools and platforms that keep my business ticking.
Let’s Chat, Tech Geeks!: Have burning questions about your tech stack? Share your experiences and keep the convo going!
Jennie Wright [00:00:01]:
Hi. This is the Acquire Podcast from the Odd Phonic Podcast Network, and I’m Jenny Wright. This is the podcast that delves deep into the world of list building and online events, and it’s designed to empower entrepreneurs and marketers with the knowledge and strategies to master these essential business growth tactics. We’re gonna talk tech stacks today. What software does it take to run your business successfully and help it grow? And if you’re not techie, you’re still gonna be able to use this episode to help your business, so stay with me. At the time that I’m doing this, I am recently back from a trip to Orlando where I did some speaking, and I had some people actually talk to me in the q and a section about what I use in my business. This is the inspiration for this episode. So let’s talk about tech stocks.
Jennie Wright [00:00:44]:
Tech stocks are a necessity. You have to have 1 in your business. And if you do, it’s gonna help you. And if you don’t, it’s not gonna help you. So in this episode, I’m gonna tell you my embarrassing embarrassing, and very expensive tech stack mistake that I made. I’m also gonna talk to you about the building block tech stack versus the growth tech stack. I’m also gonna talk about tech stack optimization. There actually is a a thing here about optimizing that and making sure you have the right thing in your business.
Jennie Wright [00:01:12]:
And I also wanna talk about the fact that I absolutely hate 1 size fits all software. I think it’s a load of BS, and they don’t hit the mark almost ever. And I also really wanna show what my current tech stack is and what I’m looking at in 2024 as I grow personally and see sort of what I’m looking at for the future. So Let’s start off talking about the fact that chances are you absolutely already know what a tech stack is. You already have 1. The word tech stack is actually borrowed from, web design, like web dev, and we’ve sort of used it now in our own businesses for the online space. And having the right tech stack is super important. It’s the sticking point for me that before I even say yes to working with a client, I need to know what their tech stack is because if I want them to be able to get to the goals they tell me they have, they have to have the right software, and technology in place to make it happen.
Jennie Wright [00:02:05]:
I’ve had to have clients move from their current tech stack to a new one just based on what their plans are and what they tell me they actually wanna do. You literally can’t run a success a successful summit on crappy platforms. You can’t sign up hundreds of students on crappy course software, and you really can’t run a successful email campaign when your email marketing doesn’t talk to your other tech components. And so the importance of having the right tech stack for what you do and where you are in your business is massive, and I really can’t emphasize this enough. Your tech stack can either help you or hinder you. It can make a launch go super smooth, or it can tank your efforts in every direction. These also change over time. This makes sense depending on where you are in your business, your, your budget.
Jennie Wright [00:02:51]:
Your tech stack is going to change and evolve as you do. And, also, I wanna say that holding on to a component in your tech stack that isn’t working for you, but you’re super comfortable with is also holding you back. So if that’s happening for you and you just need me to acknowledge so you can see it and then change it, then take that for what’s worth. Alright. So I’m gonna tell you my my embarrassing story with my tech stack. I have, 2 really embarrassing stories in my business, and one of them is that this the story I’m about to tell you. And the other one’s how I lost, like, $75100 on a coaching program I had no business being part of. That’s a story for another day.
Jennie Wright [00:03:27]:
So this is first this is like in the 1st 6 to 12 months of my business. I’m I’m kinda running things very, very lean, and I almost got taken for a ride by one of the biggest tech stacks out there. So you all know Infusionsoft. And, again, this is like no shade to Infusionsoft. Soft, this is just about me making a bad decision. So Infusionsoft is now called Keep. And in the 1st 6 months of my business, I Saw an ad from them. I can’t even remember where I saw the ad, and I was intrigued.
Jennie Wright [00:03:53]:
It seemed like a really cool software. So I went ahead and downloaded their lead magnet. And in In the lead magnet, you actually had to put your name, your email, and your phone number, and, so I did. 24 hours later, I was on the phone, because they were starting to call me nonstop. I was receiving a phone call, like, twice a day. So in 24 hours, you know, within that time span, I was on the phone with a rep, and he told me all about what, amazing stuff Infusionsoft could do and how it was gonna help me, and it was gonna be my one stop shop. And it was gonna make a boatload of money. And before I knew it, this thing was gonna be the best thing ever.
Jennie Wright [00:04:26]:
So I feel really stupid talking about this, but I actually said yes. Sign me up. It was $500 a month, but it also had a nonrefundable one. I think it was 1100 startup cost. So $500 a month, $1100 startup cost. And mind you, this is before I was making consistent income. My rent at the time was about $1200. So that was you know, the cost of Infusionsoft was gonna be about 41% of what I was actually paying in Jennie, and I was maybe making about $25100 a month at the time.
Jennie Wright [00:04:56]:
This was, like, 20% of my total income. And I wasn’t factoring in the nonrefundable startup cost, and I actually wasn’t backing out the fact that I had $1200 in rent. The numbers really didn’t add up. So When I stopped and looked at the numbers I woke up, I was like, what the heck am I doing? I snapped back into reality, and I canceled the contract. Now I had to pay $500 for being an idiot, and, you know, my partner wasn’t that impressed with me. This whole scenario was not a good one. I’m sad to say this isn’t the 1st time or the last time I made a mistake like this in my business. Like I said, I’ve got 2 really big stories, but a bunch of little ones.
Jennie Wright [00:05:29]:
And I feel like a lot of us have these stories where we sign up for a service or a product that we thought was gonna be so incredible, and it was gonna change everything for us, and it didn’t do what we wanted. So this is why I’m so, like, adamant about tech stacks, and I wised up after that event. I really did. I started looking at tech stocks differently. I started looking at software differently. I went lean and mean all the way. And so My 1st tech stack is basic, like how a lot of us started, and a lot of it was free. And I worked on the different things at the time until, you know, I I started to outgrow it.
Jennie Wright [00:06:02]:
And I did make a mistake here where I was already outgrowing my tech stack at a at a pretty reasonable and I wasn’t choosing the right technology to take it over. And I’m gonna tell you a little bit more about that The. But let me tell you what my 1st tech stack was. So it was, and that was for calendar scheduling. I had a constant contact for email marketing and newsletters. I was using PayPal for taking payments and a product called Instapage for my page builder. I also used instant teleseminar for summits and hosting a call because this is way before Zoom, and things like that, and I use Skype. Skype was what I did most of my client calls on.
Jennie Wright [00:06:37]:
That’s it. So I had 6 things in my total tech stack and 2 of them were free. Not all of them were great. I think Instantel seminar was actually, like, super cool at the time. Instapage actually worked really, really well. It was the 1st page builder I ever used. It taught me how to build high converting pages. Kinda liked it, actually.
Jennie Wright [00:06:55]:
Constant Contact did not like it. And I actually at the time that I was using it, they had a whole bunch of red flags coming up where their emails were not getting delivered due to some sort of server issue. I’m not exactly sure what that was, but that’s actually when I made the jump. I actually jumped over to Aweber. My tech stack looks super different now, and and I’ll tell you a little bit about it later, but, I mean, you have to start somewhere. Right? So you can go to the show notes and take a look for more detail about what I’m gonna tell you about my tech stack, what it is now. For the purpose of this, this is where I started. There is a difference between your basic, on everyday tech stack and what you need to grow.
Jennie Wright [00:07:33]:
So I’m gonna call the basic everyday The building block, and this is the stuff that you have currently in your business or that you need in your business, and it’s your everyday tech stack. And your growth tech stack is what you need at the times of launches, of giveaways, of bundles, of things that you’re doing that are actually meant to grow your business, and you may not keep those things forever. You’re using them for a time period. And when that time period is over, you may or may not actually let some of those things go. You might keep a few. So it builds like, a business building, tech stack is Just what I’m saying. It’s the building blocks. And you need to have something for a calendar or scheduling.
Jennie Wright [00:08:12]:
You need a website. You need payment gateway. You need a course delivery program or platform if you are a coach or a, course creator. You need some sort of video calling platform or webinar platform. You need email marketing, graphics creation, storage service for files and sharing files, and something to project manage with unless you are a pen and paper person, and then you don’t need that. So all of these technologies need to be able to talk to each other as Wiehler, and that might mean you add on something else, which is like a if this The that software, like Zapier or something, but you may or may not need it at this point. I think most people do, but it’s just it just depends on whether or not your software actually talks to each other. And you can run a highly successful business on this tech stack or even less than this tech stack or even more.
Jennie Wright [00:09:01]:
And like I said, you can always revert back to this style of tech stack when you’re not in some sort of a launch or growth period. This is sort of the basics, and I want you to kinda think of that when I now about this growth tech stack. This is the tech stack that allows you to really add, more students, more customers, more clients, more volume, like, all the things, more of something to help you when you’re in a growth phase. And so that’s when that’s kinda happening. And it’s not efficient to be paying for a growth stack when you’re not in a growth period. So if you’re not in a launch, if you’re not doing a summit, if you’re not doing a big, you know, roll out of a course or a program. You end up paying for technologies that you may or may not need at that point. And so at that point, you’re going to like, when the when the event is over, you are gonna dial back a bit, but you might keep 1 or 2, like I said.
Jennie Wright [00:09:46]:
Why am I talking about these 2 different things? Because I really want you to avoid the new sexy or the new shiny anything that comes out. Here’s another story, by the way. Alright. So years ago, I was on the market for my 1st car, and I was in my twenties. I had like a, you know, credit rating I was willing to play with, and, I loved to drive fast cars. So I was tired of my beaten up old, secondhand Ford Tempo, and I really wanted something new. So Pontiac was releasing their brand new fully redesigned Grand Am I went for it, I bought it, it was the 1st production car sorry The 1st production year for this car And lo and behold, being gung ho, I ended up with a lemon. This car’s tranny had issues.
Jennie Wright [00:10:24]:
I had battery issues. The air conditioning broke. It had to be replaced. That was in the 1st 6 months. My power windows broke. The motors needed replacing on to the front ones. It had multiple recalls, and eventually, after only a couple years, I actually had to get rid of it because the altimeter was defective, and Pontiac actually refused to fix it. I I wrote them letters.
Jennie Wright [00:10:46]:
I complained. Didn’t matter what I did. They weren’t gonna do it. So I actually got rid of that car. And it reminds me of when you go for, like, a new tech platform that’s just launching. You’re paying for that platform, you’re giving them your money. It could be like 99 a month, could be $200 a month so so that you can pay for their developers to improve over time. These new shiny things that come out usually don’t have all the bells and whistles, but they promise them.
Jennie Wright [00:11:11]:
They’re like, Yeah. In 6 months, we’ll add The. In 12 months, we’ll add this. Right? And you’re basically paying for the components with a promise. Basically, they’re promising you a future and stuff always breaks. Right? A lot. So you have to look at this, like, brand new software or these shiny things. I’m a I’m a sucker for looking at some like The AppSumo stuff myself, and you really gotta look at these things and wonder whether or not they’re worth it.
Jennie Wright [00:11:37]:
So When you’re looking at adding something to your tech stack, especially in a growth tech stack, make sure it’s not something just for the sake of, You know, adding something shiny, something new that’s untested, unproven, and potentially can break on you when you’re in the middle of a launch. That is the worst thing ever. You do not wanna add something that’s untested during a growth period. Lo and behold, it will always something bad will always happen and you’ll get to just Totally gets screwed over. So your growth stack, which we know is obviously gonna be a little bit different, you might be adding things like new webinar software or Evergreen webinar software. You might be adding some paid plug ins to your site to add some functionality. You could be looking at new affiliate software programs. You could be looking at a countdown software if you’re running like a countdown funnel for a timed launch.
Jennie Wright [00:12:26]:
You could be looking at paid payment gateways to add or credit card opportunities to what it is that people are gonna pay for. You might be adding editing or recording platforms. You may be investing in doing a podcast for a growth period. So you’re looking at podcast platforms and softwares and so on. Right? So after you’ve had this, like, growth period or launch, There’s some of those that you might keep. You might decide to keep the podcast. You might, you know, decide to keep the countdown software, or you wanna keep the affiliate software. That’s all good.
Jennie Wright [00:12:54]:
So you’re going to keep those things, and those are gonna now push into your basic tech stack. That’s gonna be part of your building block, and you’re gonna keep them going forward. Everything else that you don’t need, you need to pause or cancel so you’re not paying for these additional things each month that you just don’t need. A lot of people forget this step. They forget that they’re paying 14.99 a month for x or whatever. And then couple months down the line, then I go, crap. I’ve wasted 3, 4, $500 on stuff I actually don’t need. Your growth stack job is to get you successfully to the next level.
Jennie Wright [00:13:25]:
Help with the launch, add to the betterment of your hopeful income, and that’s it. After that, dial back. The other thing I want you to do is I want you to to optimize on a regular basis. Now optimization with your tech stack sounds simple, but there’s a couple things I want you to think about because I want you to reassess on a regular basis. So tip number 1 is to take a look at it on probably a quarterly basis. Essentially, I want you to take a look at it. I want you to make sure your Wright stack is still working for you, that it has all the right things, and there’s nothing in there that you don’t need. Also, you need to look at red flags, and I’m gonna talk about that in a second because I’ve always found that there is software that we tend to bring into our tech stack, and then we allow red flags to happen, but we don’t get rid of it.
Jennie Wright [00:14:11]:
We just kinda put up with it, hoping that it’ll either get better or it’s good enough for now where it’s too much of a pain in the butt to change. Right? As an example, I actually found, this page builder that my clients were always using was very tedious. And there was, like, I don’t know, 12 steps just to get The little thing done. I think it was actually to create a page that had a product that had the attachment of an affiliate that then, you know, had an automation. I think I actually counted on paper. There was, like, 12 for 15 different steps that I had to go through to make these things happen in this particular page builder. Very popular one, by the way. And then this Different page builder that I knew of, I could get the same thing done with like half the steps and the better result.
Jennie Wright [00:14:53]:
Like, it wasn’t as painful to actually go through the process. So I actually showed my client, hey. Look. What you’ve been using because, you know, some big name told you it was awesome, and you jumped on the awesome bandwagon, and you’re used to it. You’re used to those 15 steps is actually not that great And if you want something better, this is what it looks like. And I showed them the whole process. I think I even did like a loom and show The, and they ended up moving over all their stuff. And funny enough, it saved them a ton of time.
Jennie Wright [00:15:21]:
Their VA became much more productive because they didn’t have 15 steps to go through. They only had, like, 6. And so that’s imp you know, that’s optimization of your tech stack. You have to look at your tech stack and think, Is it always improving, or is it stagnant? So you wanna have a platform or platforms that are constantly being improved, have helpful new features, features you’ll actually use and not something that you’re not gonna use, as well as new stuff that’s coming that just kinda make sense. Sometimes you’ll see a platform roll out new developments and you’re like, I can’t really use that, but now I have to pay for it. Or You might have a platform where you were grandfathered in at The price, but if you want that extra little feature that’s really gonna make the difference, now you’re in a totally different package, and and that makes no sense because it’s like a really, really big price jump. That happens a lot. And then you also have the platforms that, roll things out that just just don’t fit.
Jennie Wright [00:16:19]:
You know? You don’t need The extra piece. So this is where you kinda have to look at things and think, okay. I need to know what is out The, and I’m going to talk about that in a little bit but you need to know what’s happening so you can keep an eye on things, don’t sort sort of pull the wool over your own eyes or your team’s eyes, just like this is good enough for now. And I actually remember Aweber. Aweber is an email marketing software, and at one point, I was using them and they rolled out a new feature. I was really excited about this feature because it was gonna help me do a lot of automations. It was really, really great. But when it came out, first of all, it came out like 9 months later than they said it would.
Jennie Wright [00:16:56]:
2, when it came out, it was Super buggy. And 3, it didn’t do exactly what they said it would. So I don’t know what happened on their dev side, but it wasn’t exactly what they said. Now I still love Aweber for, you know, some of my clients still use it. But to me, that was a red flag. I still love the platform overall, but when I started seeing this kind of stuff happening, I was like, okay. I need to know what’s out there in case I wanna move, and and I ended up moving. I ended up actually taking my entire list and all my automations and going to ActiveCampaign.
Jennie Wright [00:17:26]:
So but when you start seeing features added and things removed that you’re just not happy with, you need to start thinking of your exit strategy. Another, you know, another tip is always looking at alternate platforms. So if the one that you’re using just kind of stops working for you or has more of the red flags like I was talking about. You have to have an idea where to go. This alternate sort of planning is Really I mean, you can look at it like almost like an ascension plan. It’s either you’re growing out of the tech or the tech isn’t working for you anymore and you need to move it along. Right? So I know of a client who, was actually blacklisted on their email marketing platform because they were part of an MLM. And they were sending out stuff for this MLM and they actually grew a list and they imported a list, and the email marketing provider blacklisted them because they they didn’t want to work with MLMs.
Jennie Wright [00:18:16]:
This is a long time ago. So that person’s like, crap. Where do I take my entire list and and what do I do? So, You know, like I said earlier, I use ActiveCampaign, and if tomorrow I had to move, I know I would probably move to ConvertKit. And that’s actually what that client did. They actually moved from, I think it was Mailchimp to, like, ConvertKit. So I’ve I’ve done my research on the platform, my own little Ascension plan, and I’ve tested at a free Wright, and I recommend that you do this. So always have an idea as to where you can go. And if this is not sort of your your cup of tea, you’re not technical, you’re not actually sure, take a look at creating what I call a feedback loop with your team because your team knows what’s what.
Jennie Wright [00:18:57]:
They use your tech stack every single day, day in, day out. They create, all The stuff for you, and they actually have better insights on it than potentially you they do, and they also know what’s out there. So ask their input. Ask them to identify the the pain points or the opportunities for improvement that you may not see because you’re just not the one that’s in the trenches all day. So you really need to, you know, kind of include them in this. And then My last thing before I talk about my tech stack is this one size fits all BS, and I’m gonna make this quick. It’s BS. A one stop shop style platform Ticks me off like nothing else.
Jennie Wright [00:19:32]:
It is the bane of my existence. In 12 years of business, I have yet to see 1 platform that Does this, like, 1 all in platform that does this 100% well in all the areas that it touts on The website. In my opinion, all in The is a master Of none, I will not touch it. If you have it, that’s great. If it works for you, awesome. But to me, it always lets me down in one spot. So they’re die hards in The space Jason they’re like I know they’re like balling their fists at me right Wright, and that’s okay. I get it, and you’re totally worthy of doing that.
Jennie Wright [00:20:04]:
I love some of the features in in some of these all in ones, and I’ve used pretty much everyone out there. But I’m constantly trying new softwares and platforms, and I’m telling you that every single one has fallen short for me. So, either their email marketing provider isn’t working the way that It should or their page builder is crappy or their affiliate system is complicated or their product development is crappy. Something is not at the right level, and so if you prefer and, you know, this is this is your style, you like everything in The place, go for it. But I’m telling you The, In my opinion, as somebody who builds a lot of tech all the time, that this there’s always something that falls short. And the last thing I’m gonna say about this is you when you look at your tech stack and your software, don’t look at making it so that you pay the highest price thinking that it’s gonna give you all the bells and whistles because you may not need it. Right? So there’s an all in one out The, but if you pay the highest price, you get email marketing, affiliate, page building, product development, website, and so on and so forth. Blogging even, I think.
Jennie Wright [00:21:10]:
And you don’t need all of that at certain levels. Right? Because you may not have your email marketing in one of these all in ones or you just may not be using affiliate software. So if they have a package that You can lower down to pay less, then do that because you don’t need to be paying the high bucks thinking, oh, in 6 months, I might do an affiliate. Like, save the money kind of thing. Right? So do that. And I’m gonna wrap this episode up talking about my own tech stack, and I actually wrote it down. I’m not gonna go through every single one of them because technically, there are 26 things on my tech stack, and that is not including basics like social media and so on. So my quick tech stack here, go to the show notes for the rest, is I use ActiveCampaign for my email marketing, ClickFunnels, the classic edition for my page building.
Jennie Wright [00:21:55]:
I use ThriveCart for products and course delivery and affiliate, Canva Pro for the graphics. I use the full Adobe suite for, a lot of things, including my podcast, Captivate for my podcast, Asana for project management, Zoom and a bunch of other stuff, obviously, for video conferencing, Calendly for scheduling all my calls, Slack is how I talk to people, and Stripe is how I process my payments. One last thing, I use Better Proposals for sending proposals to my active clients. I think that is, like, well worth the price because it helps me close clients. So that’s just just like a quick smattering of what my tech stack is because A lot of people ask me, so you can go and check those out, but go check them out on the show notes. There are affiliate links there, but you can check them out. So I hope this kinda makes you look at your own tech stack and make you think about what you might have, what you’re missing, what you need to review, and what to get rid of that’s no longer serving you, and make some really good decisions for this year that are gonna help you stay in growth mode as much as possible. And if you have any questions about what you should have in your tech stack or what it should look like, take a look at the show notes again, and you can get sort of a better sense as to what I have.
Jennie Wright [00:23:06]:
And feel free to drop me a question. Send me a DM, and talk to me about what you have on your tech stack, and I’ll happily help you. Alright. I hope you found this helpful. And as always, the Acquire podcast is produced and edited by Jason Wheeler. And if you found today’s episode to be valuable, please don’t forget to subscribe, and please leave a review wherever you listen to podcasts. The Acquire podcast is again brought to you by the The Phonic Podcast Network. Thanks so much for listening.