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The Tech Stack That Allows Me To Live A Semi-Retired Lifestyle | #130

Tags: SWW 130, semi-retired lifestyle, tech stack

I get a lot of messages from my email, podcast, and social media friends…

Asking me what software I use to run my business.

They’ll notice I use a particular tool…

And naturally become curious about what else I use.

That’s why, in this episode of Sold With Webinars…

I’m going to end the mystery once and for all.

And reveal my entire tech stack for living a semi-retired lifestyle.

It’s important to note that the tech stack you use really doesn’t matter.

And you won’t be married to a particular tool or software forever.

As your business grows your needs will change.

And that means the tools you use will vary.

You’ll Discover

  • The 2 CRM / marketing automation platforms I use [01:00]

  • The BIG Cons of both of these platforms and I why I still use both [03:10]

  • The email service provider I use and why I switched from my previous ESP [06:30]

  • The 2 tools I use to manage my team [08:07]

  • The 5 apps I use to produce, publish, and manage my content [09:01]

…And much more

Helpful Resources

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Episode Transcript

Hey, what’s going on? It’s Joel Erway. Welcome to another very special episode of sold with webinars. Today, I’m going to take you inside of my company and do something a little bit different. I get all the time, questions from people primarily on my marketing systems, but I get questions from my audience, my listeners, my email subscribers that say, Joel, I see that you’re using such and such a software.

What else are you using? Or can you tell me more about that? So today I thought I’d do a podcast and record a behind the scenes look as to my complete tech stack that I use to live a semi-retired lifestyle and run my business. Are you ready? Let’s jump right into it. So first and foremost, let’s talk about my CRM, my platform that I use for email marketing, landing pages, funnels, membership sites.

I have gone over the five years or so that I’ve been in this digital marketing space. I’ve worked with two prime, I’ve worked with a bunch of platforms to host my courses and to build funnels. And the two that I’ve worked with are ClickFunnels and Kartra, I’ve also worked with Kajabi, and I’ve used teachable, but the one that I’m on right now is Kartra.

Now many people might find this as a surprise. If you have followed me through the days of where I was on ClickFunnels, but we actually use both ClickFunnels and Kartra. My own stuff is hosted exclusively on Kartra right now. And the reason being is I wanted a platform that could do all in one. I really didn’t like piecing things together.

I didn’t like having a separate email marketing system. I didn’t like having a separate payment processor. I didn’t like having a separate landing page builder. And while I think it was maybe wishful thinking on my part, I mean, Kartra came out as this self dubbed all in one platform and while there are cons with Kartra.

I do like what they do and I’m a happy user, but I have some gripes with it. Right. I use ClickFunnels for a very long time. In fact, if you work with our agency, we are going to be build are, you know, if you’re right working with our agency and we’re building a mini webinar funnel, it will be built on Clickfunnels.

Okay. So I still do like Clickfunnels. So there’s really, it’s not that I like one better than the other. It’s just the fact that I wanted to host everything and tie in email marketing and email automation and tagging and payments with my platform and Kartra just did that much better than ClickFunnels.

Now, if it’s just a lead generation system, I would prefer ClickFunnels over Kartra. The things that I don’t like about Kartra are the landing page builder. The page builders are archaic. It just takes forever on my computer to make it work and that is my biggest gripe with it. The user experience, the user interface is not the greatest and it takes a long time to get pages built, in my opinion.

The second thing that I don’t like about Kartra is that the page speed and the load times are pretty abysmal. And if you run a lot of paid traffic, this can cost you a lot of money. It’s something that we’re looking into right now, but it is such a pain for me to migrate my entire business off of one platform.

The pain of disconnect for me is very high. So we’ve done some page speed test with Kartra and they don’t do well, at all. With that being said, I mean, it’s still functioning fine. We’re still making money with Kartra. But as we spend more and more money on paid traffic, we are going to have to possibly reconsider this or possibly look at some other options to host our, maybe our landing pages with another provider.

And our core content can be on Kartra. I’m trying to avoid that at all costs cause I like keeping everything just all in one, but as things are, as you tend to find with all in one platform, is that you’re just never, it just seems like they are not the best solutions out there. The reason why I switched away from ClickFunnels and into Kartra as I mentioned before, I wanted that all in one system, but I found that they had some security issues with hosting my membership site.
I found a lot of people were hacking into my membership sites. A lot of people were getting backdoor access that weren’t paying for my membership programs. And that was a huge deal breaker for me.

And we couldn’t really figure out how to solve that issue. Not only that, but integrating their Actionetics platform into our funnels just was never working as it was designed. And I think since I left, I think Clickfunnels has gone and they’ve talked about how they’re focusing more on their core competencies which is great.

And how I think they’re focusing on their funnel design. I do like their funnel flow. I loved that. And I liked their page builder, it was so fast, so easy. And I got really comfortable with Clickfunnels, but overall I’m hosting courses on these platforms and I really wanted an all in one platform that made it easy to support my customers and also protected my content.

And it was a big problem for us to protect our content on that platform, which is ultimately the reason why I left. Now, as I said before, if it’s just a lead generation funnel, I would much prefer ClickFunnels over anything else that I’ve used. I still like them for their page builders. It’s very quick.

It’s very fast. And I like them for low end funnels. But I mean, if you have a premium course that you’re hosting, I’d be very cautious with their security features. And so, those are kind of my comparisons between Kartra and ClickFunnels in my experience for your funnel builders and your landing page hosting accounts.

Alright, so, let’s talk about email service providers. So right now I’m using Kartra for email service provider. Because number one, it integrates with all my products. I can very easily segment my lists, which is a huge, huge value for me. I use ConvertKit in the past. I’ve used ActiveCampaign in the past and I really didn’t like having to pass data back and forth from my shopping cart to a separate email autoresponder.

I always found that was a little bit difficult to get that tagging to pass through and getting the right contacts applied to the right tags. You know, that’s just my personal preference. I mean, obviously ActiveCampaign and Infusionsoft, I’ve used Infusionsoft before as well.

You know, obviously they do get it to work, so people do get it to work and they get it to work at scale. It was just difficult for me to get it as scale. And that’s why I wanted that all in one platform, which is why I ultimately went to Kartra. I’ve used ConvertKit, which I liked for just general email management, email marketing. I’ve used active campaign, briefly in the past.

And that was fine. That gives you a lot more automation features. I’ve used Infusionsoft in the past, and that was a ginormous pain in the butt. And I think that it’s being phased out for most internet marketers out there. I mean, it’s being used by other markets, but us internet marketers, we like automation, we like segmentation and fancy things.

And I think they’ve taken a pretty big brand hit in our industry over the past few years. So for email marketing and automation, that’s what I’m using. Let’s talk now about communication. So we use Slack internally for our team to communicate. I do like Slack it’s free and I can get the paid program, the paid version, if I wanted to.

I don’t think I need it right now. If I wanted to get my previous archive to conversations, we have talked about possibly upgrading it in the future, but right now we are not doing that. We use Asana for project management. I’ve used Basecamp and Asana, to be honest, my team uses Asana. I don’t really go into project management software because it makes my head hurt.

So our team prefers Asana over Basecamp. And so that’s what we are building our business around. So we are using Asana for project management software. All of our tracking in our metrics, we use Google sheets. So I have someone on my team update our funnel metrics and all of our tracking through Google sheets on a daily basis.

For video hosting, we use Wistia. I have considered testing Vidalytics. I actually know the owner of Vidalytics, and I think that their software is fantastic. So I like to have analytics on my video marketing. I use Vimeo to host my course content and I use Wistia for any webinars that we are hosting, automated webinars, where I like the drop off rates and the engagement rates, et cetera, et cetera.

So more detailed analytics for my marketing platforms. And so that is what we use for video hosting. In terms of hosting our meetings, we use zoom for recording podcasts. Like right now I’m recording this podcast via zoom and we can use the video to repurpose it and slice and dice the video that my team goes and they do all sorts of video editing and audio editing to make this sound great.

And yeah. So for podcasting software, we use zoom. I’m not sure if that’s the best one. I know that there are other alternatives out there like Zencaster and I was on a podcast the other day and they were using a different software that I’ve never used before, but for me, zoom works great for what we’re trying to accomplish.

For internal storage, we are using Google drive and we are using G suite for basically everything for basic applications, Google drive, Google sheets, Google docs, Gmail. So our team is entirely set up on, on Gmail, through G suite. And those are the primary tools that we use to live a semi retired lifestyle.

To be honest, I work about four hours a day, four days a week. And, it’s working very, very well. So everything for the business of the funnel side is pretty much set up on Kartra all my courses and platforms are set up in Kartra. We do utilize Facebook groups as well. So Facebook is actually a software that we use.

It’s kind of weird to say that. It’s a social media platform, but we use it a lot probably on it, more than any other piece of software that we use. But yeah, we host our communities through Facebook and this was just an inside look as to what we do to run our business on a day to day basis.

So, have any questions, any concerns, feel free to drop me an email at joel@thewebinaragency.com. And if you could, leave me a positive, or I’m sorry, leave me an honest review of what you think about these episodes. And if you like more of this than I will continue to do more of these types of episodes.

So look forward to hearing from you and we’ll see you on the next episode. Take care.

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