7 Online Marketing Tools To Use as a Busy Mama (Plus One To Avoid)

While shiny object syndrome can hit at any time, it’s a lot more challenging around the holiday season – when everything glitters and retailers try to make their revenue goals. That’s why I’m taking the time today to chat about online marketing tools for busy mamas growing an online business AND I’m even telling you about one NOT to use.

If you have plans to invest any money in your business during this upcoming season – you won’t want to miss this episode! Let’s get started.

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7 Online Marketing Tools For Busy Mamas + One You Don’t Need

Well, hey there and welcome to another episode of the podcast! I’m Sarah and I’m so glad you are here chatting with me today. Well, actually, I’m chatting and you are listening, but I like to think of us as if we were taking a walk together and getting our steps in as we have this discussion. Or, maybe working on a puzzle around the table with a festive beverage. Either way, I hope this is exactly what you need today.

This last week my inbox was crammed full of all kinds of offers – for products, services, software platforms – you name it. And if you know anything about me, you know I’m a bit of a sucker for the newest and best in software applications and productivity tools, which can be fun, but always comes at a cost, whether that’s finding out that it wasn’t as great as I thought it was going to be. Or even just the time it can take to get it set up when I really should be focused on something else. You get the picture, right?

But all of those invites to purchase the shiny new thing got me thinking about how much harder it can be this time of year to say no. We don’t want to miss out on that great deal only to find out in March that we need it and could have had it half price during the end of the year sale. Ugh – the worst feeling ever.

…and yet, there’s a lot of buyers remorse during this timeframe as well. Maxed out credit cards that have to be dealt with in January. Programs that go unused throughout the next 12 months. Products that take up space and collect dust.

And that’s why I want to spend some time today chatting about the things you NEED to market your online business as well as a few things YOU DON’T need.

But first, I want you to grab a piece of paper and a pen and write down these three questions. Got it?


These are the three questions I want you to ask yourself EVERY time you think about purchasing something for your business or you could even use this for personal purchases, over the upcoming season. Because, even if something comes highly recommended, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s for you.

  • Question 1: Is this a product, service, or tool that will help me achieve my biggest goals over the next 12 months?
  • Question 2: Is this a product, service, or tool that will grow with my business – or am I thinking of it as a quick fix?
  • Question 3: Do I actually NEED this product, service, or tool + can I AFFORD it?

It might be tempting to grab something that’s a great price, but if it’s not a good fit – for you, your team if you have one, or your business in general OR if it’s not necessary AT THIS TIME, then don’t invest. Because, more often than not – you’ll waste time and resources better allocated to something else. And there’s always something else.

Knowing that, I want to jump into a few online marketing tools you need as a busy mama AND a couple that you should avoid. Of course, I am not you. I don’t run your business. And that’s exactly why I’m asking you to consider these using the questions we just discussed.

Tool #1: Business Website – BRUMLEY MARKETING

The first tool that I use in my business that is a MUST HAVE for business owners – especially if you plan to grow outside of just the people you come into contact with on a daily basis – is a website.

You need one and it’s the most important tool you can add to an existing business marketing plan.

A website is your home on the internet. It’s a place you own and that you alone control. And…the best part is that the longer you have a website in place, the more traffic you get from search engines like Google. That means you can spend more time on the things that matter at home and in business and less time out there trying to get leads so you can pay the bills.

If you want some clarity around whether having a website a good investment for your business, check out my episode about this topic.

Also, if you need help getting a website up and running ahead of the New Year’s rush, you can schedule your website design at brumleymarketing.com/schedule.

Tool #2: Email Marketing Software – CONVERTKIT

The second tool every business owner needs is an email marketing platform. And my recommendation for this is ConvertKit. Not only will it grow with your business, but they have excellent customer service should you need it for any reason.

And you know how I feel about excellent customer service.

I think this is especially important to think about as we are getting ready to enter the holiday season. Remember when I said that I had an inbox full of offers? Well, if you don’t have an email list, then you don’t have anyone to send your offers to when you have something amazing to offer.

If you want to know more about how to apply email marketing to your own business – and whether it’s the right choice for you in this season, check out episode #.

And, if you know it’s time to add this tool to your business toolbox, then you can grab a free 14-day trial by using my link sarahbrumley.com/convertkit.

Tool #3: Accounting Software – WAVE

The third tool that you should have is something or someone managing your accounting. This could be an accountant or bookkeeper you pay to categorize your monthly transactions and possibly do your taxes, too. OR, if you are someone like me that prefers to take on the task by yourself, then you need some sort of software to do just that.

This is non negotiable. You HAVE to have some sort of breakdown of expenses and income so that you can successfully complete your taxes. Yes, sole proprietors – this is for you as well.

If you aren’t ready to commit to a bookkeeper or an accountant, I highly recommend jumping in with WAVE. It’s a FREE platform geared toward small business owners that allows you to have all of the bookkeeping abilities as well as send invoices and process payments directly through the platform.

Plus, I can link the program directly with my business bank account and make sure I’m not missing any transactions.

For me, that’s a win win not to have to jump in between other payment processors in order to make sure income and expenses are categorized correctly.

So, if you aren’t ready to hire that bookkeeper or accountant, then Wave might just be the app for you. You can find it at waveapps.com.

Need Help with Strategy?

Before we jump into this episode, I wanted to let you know that I have just a few more openings for Mama Business Strategy Sessions this month. Here’s the deal: in order to have a successful business, you have to have paying clients and customers. That means, knowing who your ideal client is and how to reach them, understanding why your client should choose you over the competition, and designing marketing systems that work to generate leads – over and over again – without sacrificing your family. That’s exactly what a one-hour Mama Business Strategy is designed to help you do. After the session, you’ll be able to make your first sale (or 10th) without feeling salesy, sleazy, or annoying everyone you know on social media. Overcome decision paralysis when it comes to the practical and technical side of running your business. And sleep well at night knowing you don’t have to do “all the things” in order to be successful. Plus, you’ll know the next right action step to take to jumpstart the next phase of your business life. Sound like something you need? Schedule your session today at sarahbrumley.com/strategy.

Tool #4: Client Scheduling – ACUITY

The fourth tool I use in my business – and highly recommend – is a scheduling app. Whether you are working with clients, coaching or even just trying to set up calls with service or product providers, it’s as easy as connecting the calendar you already use and then allowing people to pick from your available times.

So much better than going back and forth via email or text trying to coordinate what time might work best for you both.

Personally, I use Acuity Scheduling for this due to simplicity of use and you can find it at acuityscheduling.com.

Tool #5: Design Software – CANVA

Every online business has graphic design needs. It could come in the form of logos, documents, social media graphics, brochures, and so many other things. And while you can hire someone to take care of all of that for you, the cost might be an issue.

Enter CANVA. It’s simple to use so you can create your own designs or use their already designed templates for everything possible.

I have a few custom graphic designed elements from the professionals, but for the most part, my brand graphics come together in CANVA.

Check it out today for FREE at ___.

Tool #6: Project Management – MONDAY.COM

No matter what stage of business you are in, you need a project management system in place. This is especially important if you are planning to scale your business and bring on employees or even contractors in the future.

Sure, you can use Google Sheets and other free options, but after awhile, it gets hard to track projects from start to finish – especially if multiple people are involved.

Enter Monday.com. It’s one of my favorite options for Project Management – and I actually did a full YouTube demonstration of how I use the platform so I’ll link to that in the show notes.

Whatever you do – take the time to truly investigate any project management platform you choose to use to make sure it’s something that will grow with you and your business as you move forward. Because, if it won’t – you’ll spend tons of time and money recreating the wheel in a different platform. No one wants that.

Use my link to get a free trial by heading to sarahbrumley.com/monday.

Tool #7: Podcast Hosting – CAPTIVATE.FM

Okay, the final tool I’m recommending today – that I use and absolutely LOVE is a podcast hosting tool called Captivate.fm. Of all of the podcasting hosting platforms out there – and I’ve used a few – Captivate comes with excellent customer service, as well as a wealth of training resources to help you get started in podcasting and continue to grow an existing one.

And…if you are thinking that podcasting might be a good option for you, you can grab a 7-day free trial as well by going to sarahbrumley.com/captivate.

OR if you aren’t sure if it’ll be a great fit with your marketing plan for your business, think about snagging one of my Mama Business Strategy Calls and let’s work together to decide whether it’s the right choice for you.

You Don’t Need: Social Media Scheduling Apps

Okay, so I’ve told you about 7 tools that I use in my own business and highly recommend every Mama Business Owner has in her toolbox, But I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t tell you about one tool I cut out of my business early on. And that’s social media scheduling apps.

Especially as we head into the season of “great deals to be had” there will be a lot of specials on these programs and I have to say that they are just not necessary when it comes to your social media game – if you have one.

In fact, I’ll do a full episode on this topic in the next couple of weeks, but if you are planning to use social media – then you need to use the platform in order to gain real traction. You can use schedulers on the respective platforms, but when you start to use off-platform schedulers, the algorithm actually notices that and doesn’t give your post or video the attention it deserves. Which means you have to work even harder to get noticed.

I don’t know about you – but I don’t want to work harder to get the same result.

So, from one mama business owner to another – don’t get suckered into the social media scheduling tools.

AM I? Now, I do use a scheduling app for Pinterest. But, I’m going to jump into that with a lot more detail next week – so stay tuned.

Take Action: Online Marketing Tools For Busy Mamas

Quick recap of the tools:

  • Business Website – Brumley Marketing
  • Email Marketing Platform – ConvertKit
  • Bookkeeping Platform – Waveapps
  • Client Scheduling – Acuity Scheduling
  • Design Software – Canva
  • Project Management Platform – Monday.com
  • Podcast Hosting – Captivate.fm

And that brings us to the action part of this episode. I’m a huge proponent of taking action, because action is where the dreams turn into the reality. And that’s why every Mama Business episode comes with action steps you can take immediately to up level your mama life and business. Ideally you’ll take action on all of the things we’ve discussed today, but if you only have time for one, it’s this:

ACTION: At the beginning of this episode I shared three questions to ask yourself before embracing a new online marketing tool as a busy mama. I’d like you to write those down and put them in a place that you can find them if you are faced with the dilemma of “to purchase or not to purchase” during this season and beyond.

  • Question 1: Is this a product, service, or tool that will help me achieve my biggest goals over the next 12 months?
  • Question 2: Is this a product, service, or tool that will grow with my business – or am I thinking of it as a quick fix?
  • Question 3: Do I actually NEED this product, service, or tool + can I AFFORD it?

Did you write them down? Perfect.

I know from personal experience that I am more likely to accomplish what I set out to do if I am accountable to someone. So take a picture of your three questions and send it to me in a DM on Instagram – I’m at sarahlbrumley – so that I can cheer you on throughout the process. Because, mama, I am cheering you on.

And until then – have a great week and I’ll chat with you next time.

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