Ahhh 2021, what a freakin year! As we close this rollercoaster of a year out, I thought I'd look back at the positives and share some of the awesomely cool things I've discovered or loved most this year.
I've got lots of great little tips, tricks and brilliant resources - many of them free or practically free and all of them incredibly helpful!
If you're running an online business, creating a course or membership or just love digital marketing, I'm sure you'll find some handy and helpful things in my list of favourite things.
Just a heads up
If you use Google Chrome as your internet browser, you may not realise there is a treasure trove of both paid and mostly free apps that will save you time and are SUPER handy.
I'm sharing some of my favourite extensions with you:
This amazingly handy chrome app is probably my favourite and has saved me many times! Whenever you do a cut and paste, the text you cut (or copy) is added into the app, so even if it was something you copied 10 or even 20 cut and pastes ago, you can still easily access it.
Just click on the icon on your browser, find what you need and copy it again. It stores the last 150 things you've copied! I love how easy it is to access straight from the browser.
This is a hero extension I use often and have used it for a while!
Any time you'd like to get a screenshot of an entire webpage, just click on the little camera icon and this app will scroll down the page, screenshotting the entire thing in one image (sometimes 2 images for particularly long pages)
You can even access all your previous screenshots and download them as a PDF or PNG file. I love this app!
I used to make full-page screenshots by screenshotting each section of the page one by one then sticking it together (yes it was painful). Go Full Page makes it super simple.
This handy Chrome extension works whenever you search on google, showing you additional search terms, suggested keywords etc.
You can even buy credits that will allow for more detailed searching - they are super cheap and you can get just what you need.
The free version is an amazing start to make SEO research quick and easy and give you ideas of long-tail search terms to include in your SEO title and descriptions. Yes you can get fancy (and expensive) SEO software, but I always recommend to start with this.
Have you ever gone on Facebook to answer some questions in your group or respond to someone's DM only to find yourself still scrolling your feed an hour later?
Newsfeed Eradicator has eradicated my random Facebook scrolling habit and I love it! Originally I put it on for a few weeks while I was busy with course creation, but I just never took it off when I was done and honestly, I think I will leave it that way.
I'm like a squirrel perpetually attracted to shiny objects and Newsfeed Eradicator gets rid of one of those shiny objects for me, it's brilliant! Just add the extension and instead of your random feed, you'll get a lovely quote of the day instead.
I seem to have an issue with course collecting - this year might just be my record of course/program buying and my brain is literally exploding with new knowledge!
But sometimes it's the simple things that offer the most incredible value!
All three of these resources are under $10 and if you don't already have them, they come highly recommended!
Liz Wilcox is a copywriter with an amazing value Email Marketing Membership that is just $9 a month! I discovered Liz's membership via multiple people in my world raving about it and when I joined I could 100% understand why they raved! (now I'm one of the ravers)
It's a brilliant example of something super simple, that delivers amazing value and I'll probably be a member of this as long as it stays around!
Every week, Liz sends you an idea for an email newsletter, with prompts and examples to show how you can implement that newsletter in your business.
So if you've ever wondered "what am I going to write about this week?!?!?!?!" Liz will come to the rescue! (and you've got all the past suggestions to refer to as well)
You'll also get access to some other helpful email sequences and email trainings and be able to ask her questions in a monthly Q+A. So GOOD!
I hate Facebook and I hate Facebook ads (spoken like a great digital marketer haha). However, I still run them and always want to learn how to use them better to grow my business - especially in the continually changing FB world!
I think there is no better value resource if you want to learn Facebook Ads AND get amazing strategy advice without breaking the bank, than Laurel Portie's $7 ads membership.
In addition to some super helpful training, you can also join the Facebook group and ask questions and utilise Laurel's amazing knowledge and forward thinking strategies.
Ever wanted to create your own digital currency?
Elizabeth Goddard spells the whole process for creating, setting up and tracking your own digital currency in her amazing $9 course, Credit to Your Business.
Team Unicorn has gone through this course and created Unicoins, which are coming soon.
Look out for a completely automated email promotion for Christmas, where we will be implementing everything in Lizzy's make your own currency course and doing a Unicoin promotion to finish out 2021!
Unicoins are our brand new unicorn currency and at certain times of the year, you'll be able to purchase unicoins (which are essentially discounted digital gift vouchers).
To give you an idea of how it works, you'll be able to buy $80 of Unicoins which will give you $100 of credit to spend on Unicorn products and services in 2022, saving 20%.
Buy $350 of unicoins to get $500 credit etc! The more coins you purchase, the bigger the discount.
It's a great promotion to run for things like Black Friday, End of Financial Year or if you want to have a promo without creating anything new. Lizzy's Credit To Your Business course will show you through the full process. I'll report back on how well it works for us after the promo.
I'm a bit of a sucker for stationary and cool new tech and these are some of the things I've got for my office/desk this year that I love and wanted to share.
I LOVE my Rocketbook notebooks and so grateful to Tracie from Indie Copy for introducing me to Rocketbook. This felt like a bit of a splurge, as they aren't cheap, but I'm SO glad I got them.
Rocketbook is a reusable notebook, you can write whatever you'd like on the pages, snap a pic and turn your scribble into text in the app, then wipe clean.
I have a general notebook and the Panda Planner, both of which get used every day and I won't have another year where I end up with dozens of paper notebooks I'm not sure what to do with!
For far too long, I stuck with using a flimsy $9 Officeworks plug-in keyboard. It was surprisingly good quality for the price, however, as someone who spends hours each day typing, I didn't love it, got frustrated with the keys (as the letters wore off easily) and one day I decided ENOUGH!
I was using the $9 keyboard because I can be a bit clumsy and had spilt coffee on not just 1, but 2 fancy expensive keyboards and so decided it wouldn't be worth getting another one.
However, there is a BIG difference between an OK-ish $9 keyboard and masterpiece of keyboard engineering that allows you to type for hours with lovely, smooth keystrokes, your hands gliding over the keys.
I didn't realise how much I'd missed working on a fancy keyboard until the day I started again and I won't be going back to the crap ones! I will however aim to be much less clumsy and keep my drinks away from it!
Click here to check out the Logitech MX Keys Keyboard which is the fancy and lovely keyboard I now delight using every day.
I invested in some extra lights this year, as I've created hundreds of lesson videos and I'm doing multiple weekly coaching calls on zoom/streamyard.
My favourite Neewer LED light with battery, which was great, as it's small but powerful and is lightweight and easy to move. However, on long calls, the battery would often run out and if I had a call right after, wouldn't charge up again in time.
So I splurged for this light + double battery pack (and got an extra light) and am so happy now! I have extra lights and I never run out of battery power.
It's often the little things that make a big difference!
Heads up to the fiesty, independent, "I can do it myself" crowd.
Yes, you probably can do it yourself.
But it's so nice when you don't have to!
One of the best things I did this year was enlisting the help of my copywriting bestie Tracie Patterson from Indie Copy.
As a proud self-sufficient business owner and creative, I like to write my own copy, which is pretty normal. However, I'm aware that whilst my copy is OK/good, it would be much more valuable to my business if it was GREAT!
So I put my pride to the side and got help by getting my copy audited by a professional.
Tracie's review suggestions on my pages make such an amazing difference and I see how powerful getting feedback is, every month when Tracie reviews the pages of my B-You members.
Normally Tracie charges $249 for her copy reviews, but because she is awesome, she is offering a special price of $199 to friends of the Unicorn Advisory if you book in a copy review before the end of the year.
Highly recommended as your sales page and email copy is one of the most important digital assets in your business, so improving it, is likely to make a significant difference to your bottom line!
Reading more books is something I wanted to make a priority this year, as I didn't read anywhere as many books as I wanted in 2019 and 2020. Reading always seemed to be a "I'll do it later" thing when life got busy.
Until I discovered audible!
I feel like I'm a bit late to the audible party and technically audible isn't reading, it's listening, but I love it anyway!
I've been able to enjoy lots of books during walks and commutes and whilst I enjoy turning digital pages on my kindle, I think I like listening to audiobooks more for the pure convenience and ability to multi-task.
Some of my favourites this year were:
Honestly, I thought Mel Robbins would be one of those annoying rah rah motivational speakers, that would make me eye roll, so I had no interest in reading the 5 second rule or anything of hers really. Until I heard her on Lewis Howes podcast and went hmmm, I actually like listening to her - perhaps my initial judgement was too harsh. So got this audiobook and now have her others on my wishlist.
There is a bit of rah rah - of course, she is a motivational speaker - but there is also a lot of realness and relatability that made this a super enjoyable listen.
Love this book a lot! - I actually preferred reading this to listening, but it was full of great insight and has made me really look hard and my habits and make some good changes.
What I loved most was the analogy of an ice-cube melting in a room. If you turn the temperature of the room up 1 degree at a time, it will take a while for you to see any impact at all on the ice, it will barely melt. But once you've turned it up many degrees, all the groundwork is done and you'll finally see the quick melting action happening in those last few increases. If you hadn't gone through that period of not much happening, the wouldn't have melted quickly however.
It was helpful for someone like me who struggles with impatience and a tendency to give up before "the ice melts" as I'm not seeing action ;)
This was my first audiobook and it was a GOOD one. I'm a fan of Matthew McConaughey (particularly his voice!) so this was a great listen - just like he was sitting around chatting telling stories. Very enjoyable!
As a big grunge music lover and Foo Fighters tragic, I was DELIGHTED when my pre-order for Dave Grohl's new book landed in my audible account on my birthday - it was like a present from the audible gods. I enjoyed every moment of it and have delighted in listening to lots of Foo Fighters songs since.
As a tech and software nerd, I could honestly share 100 things here that I love, so I will keep it to my most favourites and great new discoveries!
Just know for everything on this list, there are at least 3 things that didn't make it haha.
Apart from Kajabi, this would be my most used software. I use it every day from doing little Kajabi instruction videos for clients to recording all my lessons, to sharing something with the Unicorn Team.
I got an email from loom this week letting me know I'd recorded 870 videos in 2021, so I think I've got amazing value from it!
Loom is a screen-recorder and so much more. I've tried lots of other options, free and paid but always come back to loom for ease of use and reliability. I do recommend the Desktop app, rather than the Chrome app for lesson recording as you have more controls and settings.
This was something I tried just to see what it was like after hearing good reviews and it's now getting pretty much daily use. It's an advanced note-taking app, with the ability for everything to be interlinked creating more of a database than just a collection of notes. It's pretty much become my brain dump/daily journal and I love it.
I tried to set it up with fancy formatting following some cool youtube videos, but found keeping it simple is working best for me.
Having somewhere to get ideas out of my head, but not lost is invaluable! This blog post has been slowly forming with ideas in there for the last few weeks. Every time I'd think of something else I wanted to add to the list, I'd just note it down.
I'd say this is the No1 new awesome software of 2021 for me.
I'd be really sad if I wasn't able to use Focusmate anymore!
I actually love it so much, I've created a unicorn group for fellow focus/implementation session lovers to come together for co-working sessions.
Basically, you set a time on the calendar for a focus session - either 25 or 50 minutes. Then you are paired with someone else who also wants to focus (if you're in the unicorn group, it will preferentially pair you with someone else in the group). You have your camera turned on like zoom (I usually turn my microphone off) and then work together for the duration of your session.
The simple act of having someone there in the background I find is enough to keep me diligent and focussed - especially as you say what you'd like to achieve at the start of the session.
This is a website that I've used often through the year, sometimes in group implementation sessions on zoom and sometimes just for myself when I need to keep myself on track!
The Pomodoro method is a way of working where you do blocks of work, with blocks of rest - usually 25 minutes work, followed by 5 minutes rest. Then after 3-4 sessions, you take a longer break.
Pomofocus.io helps you to manage these work/rest breaks and a little alarm rings between each one. It's a great simple and free software I've found really helpful.
I mean, it would be weird if Kajabi wasn't on this list right? (My kids actually asked me if I wanted Kajabi merch for my birthday/Xmas since I go on about it so much hahaha).
Kajabi has brought out some amazing new features this year and continued to improve and get better, so I'm loving it as much (if not more) than ever!
You can run your entire online business through Kajabi - your website, blog, email marketing with generous subscriber limits, courses, memberships, coaching programs, now even your podcast!
It's the cream of the crop when it comes to software to not just host your courses or training programs, but to market and sell them as it covers everything. No more pain in the butt integrations.
I've created loads of great Kajabi training in 2021, you can access a lot of it via our Free Kajabi resource vault (unlock the vault here) and look out for lots of great Kajabi content on YouTube next year!
Sometimes as much as you love the idea of Kajabi, it's just not in the budget. That is where the next best thing comes in. Thrivecart. Originally just a clever checkout tool, Thrivecart now features Learn, which allows you to host simple courses on the platform (for no extra cost!).
Thrivecart is already awesome because it's a one-off cost (not locked in to paying every single month like some of its competitors).
The best benefit is, even if you decide to move up to Kajabi later, you can still use Thrivecart for optimised checkouts, advanced affiliate program and more. I purchased Thrivecart 4 years ago and still use it now (and have used it for multiple businesses).
If you've not yet tried Descript, you are in for a TREAT! This actually easy to use video editor has changed my entire course creation process and made it so easy! I raved about it so much that I actually created an entire workshop called Get Your Lessons Done, taking you through my lesson creation process.
The thing I love the most about Descript is that you edit the video via the transcript - just like you'd edit a word document. So no need to worry about complicated video editors, just load up your video, get the transcript (which is handy as well!) and then make any edits on the transcript. You can edit via the video editor as well, but the simplicity makes it happen, hence why it is my favourite easy video editor.
Being a software junkie and tech nerd, I adore AppSumo and have managed to get some amazing deals this year!
If you've not heard of AppSumo, basically it is a platform that allows new or recently launched software to get new customers, by offering lifetime licenses.
New software needs cash flow and AppSumo customers love bargains and trying out new things, so it's a perfect match!
Some of the software I'll use and maybe not find so helpful (almost everything is backed by a 60-day refund so if you don't like it, no problem) but others I will use forever and love it every time, as I never have to pay monthly again!
Some of my favourite discoveries this year include:
Group Collector - an easy way to store the answers to the questions you ask when someone joins your group (ie enter your email address to get a freebie), as the answers disappear as soon as you grant access.
TruConversion allows you to track the activity on your website, creating heatmaps of where people click and helping you learn more about your sales pages and what people do on the page. You can even watch videos of what individual visitors do on the page - where they click - and where they don't which gives helpful information like which FAQ question gets clicked on the most.
Rize is a productivity tracker for your computer, which gives you detailed (and sometimes scary) insight into what you actually do each day. How much of your work is actually productive and how many hours you're spending on social or emails
Soundraw is the AppSumo purchase I look forward to playing with next, I picked this up in the Black Friday sale.
It's an AI music composer, which you can use to create your own royalty-free music exactly how you like!
No more using the same royalty-free tracks you here everywhere and no need to worry about issues with YouTube not liking your music.
All of these were under $100 for lifetime licenses, which is pretty amazing! The offers on AppSumo rotate regularly, so check back often to see what they have available.
If you're not yet an AppSumo member, you can get $10 off your first purchase by clicking here.
2021 sure was a year for creating digital assets here at the Unicorn Advisory! From workshops and mini-courses, to an in-depth guide to creating an online course AND my comprehensive signature program B-You. I created over 300 online course lessons this year.
Get Your Lessons Done
Hate editing videos? The Get Your Lessons Done workshop lets you say goodbye to tech frustration of video editing. This workshop teaches you the 4 step process to easily edit your course lesson videos using the ACTUALLY simple to use software Descript.
Love Your Price
Love your price is a workshop designed to teach you my five proven strategies for setting the perfect price for your online course or digital product in this pricing workshop. Includes tips and tricks on sales psychology and conversion rate optimisation so you can sell with confidence!
30 Days to $1k
The 30 Days to $1K Challenge teaches you how to make your first $1000 in just 30 days. If creating an online course is on your wish-list, this is just what you need! Complete with daily training, support and templates covering everything you need to know, to bring in passive income within 30 days.
Cash In With Kajabi
The Cash In With Kajabi challenge is a challenge where I show you how to create a 5 day challenge! AKA the challenge challenge. You get a week of training and a step by step blueprint, so you can confidently create and run your own challenge using Kajabi to help grow your list and sell more products!
B-You is our signature hybrid coaching + membership + course. B-You was built to help you to start, grow and scale your online business though the power of digital products. The course is designed in a way that allows you to learn multiple ways of accomplishing something so that you can do it your way! B-You is all about creating the business of YOU and comes with 12 months of coaching and support. B-You will open again for enrollment early in 2022.
PHEW! That was a big list, but hopefully you've discovered some cool new things. Please do let me know what you love most from my list of favourite things or if you've discovered any new cool things.
Cheers to an amazing 2022 ahead, from Sue and the entire Unicorn Advisory team 🦄
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