Ultimate Tech Tools for Studio Owners
Ultimate Tech Tools for Studio Owners
Being a self-confessed Tech Nerd, I’ve experimented with a huge range of tech tools in my time.
Some have been absolutely life-changing in my business. Others have been a little “Meh!”
To save you the headache of researching, setting up and trialling every tech tool under the sun, I have compiled a list of the tools you NEED in your life as a studio owner.
Now, I feel it’s really important to state here that not all tech tools will be relevant to you. It really depends on what stage of business your studio is at.
That’s why I have split these tools into different categories to help guide you.
Which stage is your studio business at?
Start Strong (0-3years)
If your business is still in its beginning stages i.e it’s a newborn, in its infancy or is simply being nurtured ready to be birthed into the world, you are in the START STRONG phase.
This is a super exciting stage of business.
Starting a studio with a limited budget and trying to get your money to stretch in one hundred different directions means that we have to be super savvy where you spend that cash.
You need to know that any tech tools you invest in are going to work for your studio business.
You also don’t want to be spending money on expensive, unnecessary tools.
Don’t make the mistake of only using FREE tools at this stage. It will only hold you back and give you extra work to do down the road when your business grows.
Scale Fast (3+ years)
You’ve made it past those first few years where money is tight and you air on the side of caution.
Wahoo! Congratulate yourself that you’ve made it this far! Many don’t make it.
Now is the time to invest some of that hard earned cash into scaling your business.
Taking your studio to the next level requires investment in tools and training. But not wasting cash on “trendy” tools that don’t deliver the goods.
At this stage, don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can do it all on your own! Whether you expand your team or invest more in your knowledge and skills, don’t assume you can stretch to a new level of income on your own.
Having the correct tools and skills on your side will skyrocket you onto the next level. Knowledge is power, my friend!
Systemise your Success (6+ years)
You are a pro studio owner and you have made it to the golden zone! That zone you dreamt of when you first started.
You have a team, classes are filling to capacity and it’s time for you to take a step into LEADERSHIP at your studio.
You’ve scaled your business to a point where your expenses are comfortably covered. Your studio is well and truly PROFITABLE!
Now is the time to take your role as LEADER and transform your LIFE.
How does more time outside of the studio with your loved ones sound?
Systemising the success you have seen in your studio is going to give you more time and greater freedom.
Don’t make the mistake at this stage to just “set and forget” everything in your business. Yes have the automations and systems in place, but also monitor, analyse and optimise.
The Ultimate Tech Tools for Studio Owners
Best For: Start Strong, Scaling Fast & Systemising Your Success
No matter what stage of business you are at you MUST have a WordPress.org website with your own hosting, custom domain and complete 100% control over your website. Website builders such as Wix & Weebly are NO-GO ZONEs along with expensive website designers. To fully automate your studio’s systems and scale your business quickly and effectively, WordPress.org is THE BEST option for you. Jupiter is a WordPress theme that you purchase and add to your website. You then have hundreds of drag and drop templates at your fingertips which means no expensive website designers and no coding experience required. The Jupiter theme costs just a one-off fee of $59!! Once you have purchased the Jupiter theme from Themeforest, you simply install it onto your website, add your own hosting and you’re ready to rock and roll. Check out the templates available here>>
Once you’ve outgrown Wix and decided to go with the greater capabilities of a WordPress.org website, you are going to need your own hosting. I don’t think I could rave more about Bluehost’s service! The most beautiful, user-friendly platform, great customer service, one-click WordPress integration and INCREDIBLY affordable! I use Bluehost for the Studio Virtual Assistant website and couldn’t be happier! If you follow this link you can get hosting for $3.95/month, a free domain name, 1-click WordPress installation and 24/7customer support>>
No matter what stage of business you are at, when you need to purchase a domain name GoDaddy is your best bet. GoDaddy cannot be beaten on customer service. Even if you are not the most tech-savvy studio owner, GoDaddy customer service will be able to get you set up with your domain name and linking it to your website. Find your own domain name here>>
Ever wondered how studio owners get personalised email addresses such as email@example.com? Through G Suite! Not only can you set up your personalised studio business email address, you can use Gmail to access all your emails. G Suite also comes with Google Drive, where you can store and backup all your files. Use Google Docs to create contract templates to send to new members of staff and for your Terms and Conditions for new students. There is a whole host of apps to use within G Suite. When you make full use of all the apps available you can really systemise your studio business! Learn more here>>
Best For: Start Strong
Want to send out beautiful newsletters to your current students? Want to automate your email enquiry nurturing process? MailChimp is the perfect tool for you. Using your studio email address MailChimp will automatically send out for you a series of emails you have created to go to any potential new student. MailChimp will help you seriously free up all that time you currently spend answering all those email enquiries that come in day-to-day. Learn more here>>
Best For: Scaling Fast & Systemising Your Success
When you find that you have outgrown MailChimp and that you need a more sophisticated system to really automate all aspects of your business, GetResponse is for you! I use GetResponse with Studio Virtual Assistant and couldn’t be happier with the product! Not only can I set up automated nurture sequences but I can also create landing pages within GetResponse. There is also an incredible flowchart feature where you can create seriously sophisticated workflows. Imagine if your studio could work on autopilot without you having to be in the trenches of your business on a daily business…..GetResponse is the way to achieve this! And the bonus is that it’ll only cost you $15/month. For a 30-day free trial click here>>
Best For: Start Strong, Scale Fast & Systemise Your Success
If ensuring that you are constantly posting on Facebook is eating up precious time in your day as a studio owner, the answer is to AUTOMATE it! Post Planner is a super affordable tool I use myself and with clients to schedule their social media content. You create your timetable depending on when and what content you want going out. Then you create a library of your content that is automatically populated into your posting schedule. And like magic, your posts are sent out for you without you having to worry on a daily basis. Post Planner also allows you to search for articles, images and links from other social media pages and websites that are relevant to your business and your audience. That means even if you don’t have your own content going out, you can have high-quality content that is valuable to your target audience going out on a consistent basis. AND it will only cost you $3/month– can’t go wrong really! Learn more here>>
I’m not sure what I would do without Canva in my life and business! With Canva you can create beautiful Facebook graphics, documents, Facebook Ad images, Instagram posts, Blog post images, Certificates, Letterheads, Facebook cover images, Flyers, Logo’s and more. ALL of your studio graphic design needs are met with Canva. If there is ONE THING you invest in today, make it Canva! It will change your business! You can create a free account or a Canva for business account. With Canva for business, you can upload your studio’s logos, colour palette and fonts that you use which makes graphics creation incredibly simple. Learn more here>>
Video is king when it comes to social media and promoting your studio online. Creating those videos, however, can tend to be a bit of a headache. Animoto will save those headaches and wasted hours trying to hash together a half decent video for your studio’s website. With Animoto you can literally drag and drop your way to beautiful videos for your business in a matter of minutes. As a studio owner wearing all the hats in your business, it can be difficult to get all those tasks done quickly and effectively. Animoto is going to seriously free up more of your time to do the other things in your business that need your attention. Find out more here>>
Virtual Assistant Services:
At Studio Virtual Assistant, I do provide services for studio owners. However, my services may not be affordable for all. If you’re looking for a quick one-off job here are a few options:
When you’re just getting started and you’re looking for an affordable logo design, SEO expert or virtual assistant, Fiverr is your absolute best friend! Any “tech-headache” you would like to solve pronto for minimal cost, get onto Fiverr and find someone to take the task off your hands. Through the Fiverr website you can hire a freelancer anywhere in the world to complete your task according to your budget and timeline. There are literally thousands of freelancers on Fiverr who can help you quickly and affordably get stuff done in your business. The only time I wouldn’t recommend using Fiverr is when you want more hands-on, regular team members. Find out more here>>
As mentioned in the email marketing section, if you effectively use all the apps within your G Suite account, you can really create an effective business hub. AND G Suite will only cost you $5/month per user. BARGAIN! Get yourself set up with G Suite here>>
The best thing about Trello is that it is FREE! It’s one of those free tools that you’d be perfectly happy to pay for if you really had to. I use Trello with clients to set-up their entire Studio Business Hub. EVERYTHING can go in here for you and your team. It is a project management tool which you can use to plan projects and track their progress. Projects such as your website design, your social media marketing strategy, your new enrollments, any new trials and outstanding payments. Once you have your hub set-up in Trello, your business will run in a completely revolutionised way! Get yourself on Trello NOW>>
Best For: Scale Fast & Systemise Your Success
If you’re just getting started in your studio business, you probably won’t need this tool just yet. However, if you’re looking to really ramp up your studio to the next level, Slack is going to revolutionise your communications. With clients, I use Slack to set up their internal communications between their team. This saves studio owners and all their staff forever clogging up each others email inboxes. Slack is a messaging app that you can have on your computer and phone where you can send instant messages to your team. You can add links and attachments and multiple team members. It provides a great separation between business communications and personal communications- no more Facebook messenger and Whatsapp group messages! Learn more here>>
Now, I’m no accountant, but as the daughter of an accountant and financial director, I have had incredible guidance in the tools to use for my business. These are also the tools I recommend to clients and use with them.
Best For: Scale Fast & Systemise Your Success
When I first started my studio, I handled all my finances through spreadsheets I painstakingly created myself. When my business grew and scaled quickly, those poor little spreadsheets just no longer cut the mustard. I needed to enter my expenses quickly and easily with minimal hassle. I needed to send payment reminders at the click of a button. I wanted to bulk send invoices in a matter of minutes rather than taking an entire day to process things. Xero seriously saved my butt when it came to Tax time. My trusty accountant (my lovely Dad) also found this a godsend- no more scrappy amateur spreadsheets to try and decipher. From £10/month I really couldn’t resist. For a 30-day free trial click here>>
If you have an absolutely outstanding pre-school dance program and you would like to offer it to other studio owners across the globe, Teachable is the Go-To in online courses! The Teachable platform is super user friendly and easy to set up in a matter of minutes. Once you have your course content created and uploaded to Teachable you can deliver it to your paying customers or offer it for free. The Studio Virtual Assistant free resource library is hosted on Teachable if you would like to see how it looks from a customers perspective. Click here to learn more>>
Audacity was my absolute SAVIOUR as a studio owner. Cutting music and editing tracks together was such a breeze with this tool! The software is free to download to your computer and super simple to navigate. Once you’ve got into the flow of cutting tracks and editing tracks together, this will save you many hours and A LOT of money as you won’t have to rely on others to get your music edited for you! Find it here>>
Now it’s your turn, which Tech Tools can you just NOT LIVE WITHOUT in your studio? Comment below and let me know!