My Go-To Tech Stack For Service Providers (Black Friday Edition)

November 22, 2022

Friends, this time of year there are so many sales and promotions running that vie for our attention. As online business owners, whether it’s Black Friday or Cyber Monday, or just any other day of the year, you might be looking for a tech stack of products, apps, and solutions that will help you not only run your business more smoothly, but also help you serve your clients at a higher level!

So today I’m peeling back the curtain on my go-to apps, tools, and products that I invest in to run my design business with intention. If you are working with clients and you’re wanting to think about some thoughtful ways to upgrade your client experience, or your office setup and more, then this post is for you!

My Go-To Tech Stack For Service Providers (Black Friday Edition)

It’s worth noting that this time of year there are lots of promotions running. Some of the brands and the tools that I recommend will have Black Friday or Cyber Monday promotions, so depending on when you’re seeing this, there may or may not be additional savings available for you! Regardless, this is the tech stack of tools and products that I invest in at full price and I absolutely stand behind them!

I also want mention that some of these links are affiliate links or referral links, and I may earn a small commission on any purchases you make through these links. I truly appreciate your support!

Upgrade Your Client Experience

So first up, we’re talking about how to elevate your client experience using a tech stack of simple tools, products, and apps that can make running your business an absolute breeze!

These are products that I use every single day in my design business and I cannot stress enough how crucial it is to find CRMs and apps and tools that do work for you and help you run your business more smoothly. That being said, I’ve tried a lot of different products in the 10 years that I’ve been running my business and these are a handful of brands that I keep coming back to time and time again.

HoneyBook

If you’ve been around here for a minute, you know that I am a die-hard HoneyBook fan! From handling payments and sending invoices to setting up client projects, HoneyNook does it all! This is my CRM and all-in-one MVP.

Everything that I need to do to run my business and serve my design clients at a high level I can manage in HoneyBook. And the best part, you can try HoneyBook for as little as $1/month if you use this link.

The Contract Shop

Whether you’re just getting started in your service based business or you’ve been around for years, I cannot stress enough the power and the potency of having a solid contract in place that outlines expectations between you and your client, regardless of your industry.

Whether you’re a fellow designer or you’re a photographer, a wedding planner or a coach, having a strong client agreement in place can help you outline payment plans, outline expectations, outline due dates, and address any, boring but necessary, details that will make sure that your business is legally protected.

The Contract Shop is a fantastic resource of done-for-you attorney prepared templates that you can quickly update and add to your client experience, your website, or wherever you need to share that information with your new and incoming clients. And they’re having a huge sale! The sale will offer customers up to 40% off between 12:01am ET on Friday, November 25th, 2022 through 11:59pm ET on Monday, November 28th, 2022.

A couple contracts that I recommend are:

  • the GDPR compliant Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions bundle for websites
  • for my fellow designers, their Graphic & Web Designer bundle is a powerhouse and really covers everything you’re going to need to run your business and work with design clients

ConvertKit

If you are looking to grow your own audience using email marketing, ConvertKit is definitely worth looking into! I’ve been using it for years and it has this massive amount of robust features that allows me to look at all the data I’ll ever need to know about how people are engaging with my content, where I’m getting people opting in, what my click through rates are, and more! And they’re currently running a promotion where you can save 30% off their most popular plan! Get the Creator Plan for just $199/yr which is a great deal.

Interact

Speaking of growing your email list, TryInteract is my go-to tool for lead generation using engaging quizzes.

We’ve seen them taking the online space by storm! Having a custom quiz that you can use to get people to opt into your mailing list and show them helpful value packed level of information that answers a question, peaks their interests, or gets them more engaged with your brand is such an advantageous way to switch things up from the more traditional templates, checklists, or guides that we see folks offering.

Use the code 22HOLIDAY before Cyber Monday (November 28th) to get 40% off your first year on any Interact annual plan. Try their Lite annual subscription for less than $20/month and watch your email list grow with qualified leads!

I actually have a tutorial, if you use Showit, on the blog that walks you through how to set up your first Interact quiz!

Referral Marketing + Affiliate Programs

If you’re anything like me, you’re tired of relying on platforms like Instagram or TikTok to generate leads for your business. In my opinion, people-led marketing and word of mouth referrals are a more sustainable (and relational!) way to book new clients. But if you’re wondering how exactly to get started with creating a referral program for your service-based business, or you’re curious about creating an affiliate program for one of your offers, my pal Zoe Linda is the pro you’re looking for.

During the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend, they’re offering up to 50% off their products! If you’re short on time, here are a few of my quick picks:

  1. Have an evergreen affiliate program that needs a refresh? Get Revamp Your Referrals for only $100 USD.
  2. Planning an affiliate launch for 2023? Get Launch With Affiliates for $25 USD today!
  3. Want to set up your affiliate program in ThriveCart? Zoe’s Ultimate Guide To Your ThriveCart Affiliate Program is only $25 USD!

Loom

If you are communicating with clients in any way, shape, or form, and you want to cut down on the number of meetings you’re having or the number of emails you’re sending, recording a quick video using the screen share feature in Loom is worth exploring!

I use Loom presentations to share brand presentations and mockups with my custom branding clients. I also use Loom to present proposals to potential clients to walk them through what their investment options look like, how we can work together, and what each package includes.

Social Squares

I highly recommend checking Social Squares out if you need a resource for elevated, intentionally curated social media images or images that you can utilize on your website or videos.

They’ve just expanded to offer video plans and so far everything I’ve seen is gorgeous! And, if you need any help or support in getting those images scheduled into any one of the social media platforms you use, Planoly is my pick.

Upgrade Your Desk Setup

If you’re looking to not only elevate your client experience through some thoughtful tech stack tools, but you’re also looking to maybe spruce things up in your home office, here are a few of my top recommendations for your desk!

Set Up The Blue Yeti Microphone

Whether you are hopping on Zoom calls with a client or you are recording any kind of audio for podcasting, YouTube channels, or anything in between, having a quality microphone makes such a difference in the clarity of your audio and the experience that people have tuning in!

I’ve used the Blue Yeti microphone for years to record the Brand Strategy Podcast, and I believe that it is a great, more affordable, entry level mic. The best part? There’s no complicated setup involved. You literally just plug it into your computer and make sure that you set up your settings in a way that you are happy with and then you can just start recording!

Upgrading Your Webcam

This is another easy swap to make. If you are still using your built-in webcam that’s the default for your computer, and that’s working for you, great! But, if you are like me and you do a lot of video calls or if you’re recording any kind of video, but you’re not quite ready to invest in a professional lighting or camera setup, then a webcam like this one is worth checking out!

Apple Products

I also have made the decision to upgrade my tried-and-true paper planners and notebooks for this beautiful iPad that I can take with me wherever I go to make the process even easier!

I’ve also snagged an Apple pencil to easily take notes and also work on sketches for my custom branding clients right there on my tablet!

A simple update that I’ve made to the ergonomics of my workspace this year was swapping out my magic mouse for an Apple Magic Trackpad.

I’m a big Apple user and for as much as I love the aesthetics of their products, the mouse for me was not the most body friendly. So I’ve started testing out the track pad and that has been a switch that has been much more supportive for my hands, my wrists, and my forearms. If that seems like something that potentially would support you as well, then definitely check it out!

Upgrade Your Mental Wellbeing

Regardless of what tools and apps you use to run your business or the products that you have in your physical workspace, your mind is your business’s biggest asset!

And if you’ve been a follower for any length of time, then you know that I’m constantly investing in my own wellbeing, in my skills and in my knowledge through different courses, memberships, and even books.

A few books that I find myself coming back to or that I’ve really enjoyed reading this year are:

  1. The Artist’s Way. This is the perfect step by step program to follow at your own pace to fall back in love with your creativity and to tap back into a part of yourself that may not feel incredibly supported in a predominantly hustle-based culture.
  2. We Should All Be Millionaires. This is a book that I absolutely love and want to recommend to every single business woman that I know!
  3. Rest is Resistance. This is a book that I am excited to dive into. I’ve been such a big fan of the Nap Ministry on Instagram and seeing that the visionary behind that account has created this book has gotten me all kinds of excited to dive on in!

My Go-To Tech Stack For Service Providers To Efficiently + Intentionally Run Your Service-Based Business

Well, friend, there you have it. These are a few of my go-to picks to run your service-based business with intention to serve your clients well and ultimately to help you have more fun in your business! When you have products and tools that are serving you well and that are making it easier for you to consistently book your clients, and to deliver on the experience you’re offering and to pour back into yourself and make your life a little easier, everything just feels better.

Let me know if this was helpful and if you have any other recommendations for your tech stack, your desk space, or anything else that you want see from me, just let me know in the comments below and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

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My name is Bonnie – I’m a brand designer, strategist, and writer which all adds up to one eclectic conglomeration of qualities that enables me to serve you well! Past clients have dubbed me "the Joanna Gaines of brand design," and I've had more than a few call me a dream maker, a game changer, and a design wizard (my Harry Potter-loving heart didn't hate that one, let me tell you!). At the end of the day, I'm a big-hearted creative who will get teary-eyed as you share the heart behind your business; who will lose sleep over the perfect font pairings and color selections to bring your brand to life visually; and who will work tirelessly to empower, encourage, and equip you to share your work with the world intentionally. 

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