3 Top marketing tools for business owners in 2024

3 Top marketing tools for business owners in 2024

3 Top marketing tools for business owners in 2024

As a business owner, I’m constantly re-evaluating the tools I use to market – especially given I’m a marketing strategist! It’s part of my job to stay in touch with new tools, software and developments, so I can advise clients on the best ones for their needs. Here are my three top marketing tools that have made the cut in 2024!

This page includes affiliate links. If you click and purchase or sign-up, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I recommend only those tools I have tested and like.



Notion is my ‘do everything’ tool – it tracks and records virtually every part of life that’s not on my calendar. Notion does integrate with Google calendar, but that’s not what I use, and I don’t find that an issue.

Notion is a highly customisable online app to organise your life. It has options for multiple databases, task management, project tracking, calendar and bookmarking. It has a free option – that’s the one I use – and paid options that are designed for teams / collaboration. It’s based around pages, which you can nest inside each other to organise and favourite and it has a left-hand sidebar for your most important pages.

At the top of my sidebar is a ‘Today’ page, which contains tasks due today, notes on goals and focuses for the month, with links and toggled drop-down headings that open out into sub-pages when clicked. It keeps everything neat and tucked away – perfect for people who are easily distracted. You can set automatic sorting, such as by priority, or leave it unsorted, which allows you to reorder your tasks by dragging and dropping them. You can include time in your tasks and have it totalled at the bottom of the task list, so there is a built-in check as to whether it’s humanly possible to complete your tasks in one day. I often find there are more than 20 hours of tasks in the day – a clear indicator to move some tasks to another day!

The other main part of my Notion set-up is the Projects section, where you can group collections of pages on a single topic, including images and web links. This is where I keep my marketing planning, travel ideas, home administration, course creation and products. Happily, you can link to pages and databases throughout, so everything you want to be connected, is.

A bonus that makes Notion one of the top marketing tools is the fact that when you use it for all of your life, your business marketing is integrated, so when you have an idea or read a relevant article, you can easily pop a note in your marketing to return to: that’s super efficient!

On the plus side, Notion is free and easy to get started – effectively with a blank page that looks like a Google Doc! On the down side, it’s a blank page with a load of possibilities that take some learning. Happily, there are free and paid templates to do virtually everything, which you can copy into your Notion account in one click.

If you would like to use Notion for your socials, you can buy the social media planner and calendar template I built that’s  available in my Stan Store.  It’s what I use every day to save ideas, write blog posts and plan socials.

Notion social media calendar and planner template by marketing strategist Rebecca Portsmouth. Notion's versatility makes it one of her recommended top marketing tools for business owners.


Stan Store is a digital e-commerce platform, where you can sell downloadable products such as ebooks, courses, memberships, appointments and offer lead magnets to encourage people to sign up for your email list and then emailing those people once they’re on your list.

Stan Store has a LOT of functionality and is incredibly easy to use. Compared to the likes of WooCommerce, which I set up on this website and elsewhere, it’s like night and day and it’s the same story for course creation. It takes a fraction of the time to set up a course on Stan Store than on WordPress, Thinkific, Zenler or Teachable – all platforms where I have created courses. I wrote a separate blog post on setting up my Stan Store, with a review, which you can read here.

Another plus point for Stan Store is its easy integration with social platforms such as Instagram and TikTok. It feels almost like you’re still on the app when buying or signing up for an email list / event, which helps with increasing the number of people buying after having clicked through to your shop.

Stan Store pricing is $29 a month for the Creator level and $99 for Creator Pro. Both have e-commerce functionality, bookings and email sign-ups, with the Pro version also offering email marketing, discount codes, upsells, payment plans, affiliate payments and pixel tracking. Both plans offer a 20% discount for annual plans.

You can try Stan Store for yourself for 14 days for free with this link and see for yourself.

Stan Store - an e-commerce platform where you can host courses, memberships, book 1:1 calls and build an email list. Together, these make it one of my top marketing tools for business owners.

A peek inside my Stan Store dashboard, where I update products and lead magnets. 



Canva is my creation powerhouse. I use it to create social media graphics, edit videos, create presentations, create blog visuals and product graphics, ebooks and PDFs. Such versatility is what makes Canva one of my top marketing tools. With a background as a photographer, I’m very happy in Photoshop, but this is simply a better marketing tool with with built-in templates and photo library.

Canva Pro, designed for one person, is £13 a month, which includes all photos, videos and graphic designs, as well as apps such as a background remover for photos / videos and 1TB of storage. It can also automatically resize graphics such as turning an Instagram carousel into Instagram Stories. It usually needs tweaking, but the heavy lifting is done for you.

There is a free Canva option, which has limited photos / videos / designs / fonts and 5GB of storage. Occasional users can pay as they go if they want a particular asset without signing up for a paid option.

Canva is also available for teams, with pricing at £9 a person, with a three-person minimum.

My only caveat with Canva is to keep yourself organised with its folders and nested folders, especially if you create lots of graphics. You can favourite your most used folders so they appear in the sidebar, which saves you time looking for older files.


Canva - the top marketing tool for designing graphics, creating ebooks and social posts.

A look at the Canva dashboard after its May glow-up. 



All three tools have AI built-in, as we’re coming to expect from online software. Notion includes it for writing content, in a limited way in free accounts. Stan Store’s AI assistant Stanley uses it to answer questions and create content such as ebooks from your TikTok or Instagram accounts. And Canva has gone all-in, with AI text creation available in documents and photo creation using Dall-e, plus multiple apps that are available for extra functionality inside Canva.

So there are my current top three marketing tools that I would recommend to any business owner. All three have a great range of functionality packed into them and are designed to be efficient, saving you time every week / day. That makes it worth the time it takes to learn the new software and move to it.

What is Stan Store, how it works  + my review (updated May 2024)

What is Stan Store, how it works + my review (updated May 2024)

What is Stan Store, how it works + my review (updated May 2024)

Stan Store is the new kid on the block in terms of monetisation for content creators, offering shopping for digital products and courses that integrates seamlessly with platforms like TikTok, Facebook and Instagram. And costing from $29 a month, it’s no wonder you’ll find Stan Stores used by some of the biggest influencers. Here’s a breakdown of what Stan Store is, who might use it and my experience of setting it up.

This page includes affiliate links. If you click and purchase or sign-up, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I recommend only those tools I have tested and like.


Stan Store is an e-commerce shop that allows creators to sell their digital products, host and sell online courses and memberships, sign-up for email lists and book meetings. Creators add Stan Store to their profile link and when visitors click through, the shop looks like part of the platform they’ve just been using, whether that’s Instagram or TikTok. 

Stan Store has a minimal interface, so options to buy, book an appointment or sign-up for an email list are clear. Effectively, it’s the Swiss army knife of monetisation for content creators. Try Stan Store free for 14 days with this link. 


You can try Stan Store with a 14-day trial, after which it costs $29 at Creator level or $99 a month for Creator Pro. (Pricing correct in May 2024). Both options include the mobile-optimised store, calendar bookings, courses, subscriptions and email sign-up. Creator Pro also has email marketing, funnels, discount codes and upsells, payment plans, affiliate commissions and pixel tracking.

So if you want to sell digital products, have people join your email list, book 1:1 meetings or offer courses/memberships, the $29 Creator option is going to do all that for you. You also have the option of saving on the monthly fee by paying $300 for the annual plan. The Creator Plan annual plan is $948 a year.

Click here for a free 14-day trial of Stan Store.



I set up my Stan Store in less than 17 minutes, including:

  • adding my email address + profile photo
  • writing my bio
  • adding social media profiles
  • adding a branding colour
  • setting up Stripe’s payment system; and
  • creating my first product.

I call that nothing short of a miracle, in comparison to having spent DAYS setting up WooCommerce on my WordPress website and the Stripe part of that probably taking an hour or more of multiple steps. Even setting up an Etsy shop took much, much longer and there are fees to pay every time you list a new product. The Stan team has certainly made the experience of setting up a store easier than I thought it was possible to do and I’m impressed.


Many creators use Etsy to sell their digital products. As a creative marketplace, Etsy works well to sell digital and physical products, but there’s a major drawback: the moment you send someone to your Etsy store, you’re immediately taking them to your competitors. You’re giving a potential buyer access to similar products from others, which is not good for your sales. And Etsy will do everything in its power to make a sale, including showing similar products to yours. 

Cost wise, Etsy charges a listing fee of 20c every time you create a new product or renew a product listing and many stores also pay a premium for Google ads. 

While Etsy does have its own traffic, it’s competitive to rank for popular products and requires substantial work on your product title, description and visuals so it’s found in Etsy’s search. Stan Store is designed for traffic that you’ve built on your social channels.

The only time I can see Etsy being the better choice over Stan Store for digital products, would be if you were offering a large number of products, which might overwhelm the minimally-designed Stan Store. In this case, if you have significant traffic from one or more social platforms, you might want to move away from Etsy to your own store on something like Shopify or WooCommerce. The last thing you want to do is send your hard-earned potential shoppers to competitors!


I have a WooCommerce e-commerce store built on my WordPress website and chose to add a Stan Store to use with Instagram and TikTok because of how well it integrates with them. It feels like I’m staying on the original app when I visit the store. In contrast, clicking the link to my website’s WooCommerce product opens up in another window and involves more clicks to get to the checkout than Stan Store. It’s just clunkier and less likely to convert click-throughs into sales because of the extra steps.


Anyone who monetises their social platforms with digital products, 1:1 appointments or runs courses or memberships would be a good fit for Stan Store. It could also work well for someone with a large following who wants email sign-ups, as the integration with social platforms is so seamless, it is likely to give a better sign-up rate over other options such as a regular website form. You can also use it for external links such as your website if you want.


Your Stan Store can host courses with multiple modules, text, videos and downloads such as workbooks and checklist PDFs. Each course has its own landing page with an image, course description, reviews and price, to help convert browsers into buyers. The intuitive interface makes creating learning modules straightforward and quick.

I’ve built courses on a number of platforms including WordPress (using LifterLMS), Zenler, Teachable and Thinkific, and Stan Store is BY FAR the easiest platform I’ve used. It’s the only one where I didn’t need to walk away from the laptop to get a break from the tech. 


Linktree has one job: it’s a place for links that take the visitor away to other platforms. Stan Store, on the other hand, is a whole e-commerce package that keeps the visitor feeling as if they are still on the platform they came from. The functionality of the two is therefore very different, as is the experience of any visitors.


To answer this question, we need to look at what a website is. Websites used to be the only option for finding out everything about a business or a person. Now that we have such active social platforms, sharing what a person or business offers, the combination of that with a Stan Store with its products, appointments and email sign-ups can replace a traditional website.

Another point in favour of social platforms combined with a Stan Store over a traditional website is the rise of platform search or SEO (search engine optimisation). Many people are using social platforms to search for things they may have once used Google for. It makes sense to search for a new London brunch spot or the best aesthetic matcha glasses on Instagram or TikTok over Google results: the results come from accounts that have people behind them we can see, hear and connect with. And with this kind of shift, we want to make the most of our content that may appear in social searches and monetise it.

Stan Store is the simplest, most integrated option for all the technical back-end of online sales. Rather than needing an appointment scheduler, an e-commerce store, a course or membership host and an email sign-up form, it’s all combined in one. Yay for someone dealing with all the technical headaches so easily! Also, with that taken care of, it’s easy to think about creating a mini-course or a PDF product when you can have it online in a few minutes. It allows creators to take action on inspiration in the moment, which can only be a good thing.



You start by creating your Stan Store. This took  about 17 minutes including creating my first product – a 1:1 Strategy session complete with options to book particular days in my calendar. It starts by asking about your business or niche.

How to set up your StanStore in a few easy steps.

Once you have that and you have verified your email address, you can create as many or as few products as you wish. When you click ‘Add a product’, you’ll see these options:

StanStore: How to create a product

The back end of your Stan Store allows you to see the number of daily click-throughs to your store, the store itself, so you can easily add new products and see immediately how they look in your store, all using a drag and drop builder. It has a separate page for income, listing product sales and email sign-ups, appointments and, if you’re on the Creator Pro level, email flows.

The layout is clean and easy to read and gives you all the numbers you could need to optimise your products and sales.



Theoretically, you can sell an unlimited number of products in a Stan Store, however, any more than six can cause sales to drop. This is because a large number of choices can cause people to not buy at all, rather than make a choice, as this study with jam sales found.

If you have many products you would like to sell, here are three options you can test to find out what works best for your store and audience: 
– Offer them all
– List only your best-sellers
– List up to six and test which ones bring in the most revenue / sales. 


Yes, you can have as many Stan Stores as you like, as long as you create each one with its own email address.  Multiple Stan Stores would work well if you run more than one business or have very different audiences. 


You can use Stan Store’s email sign-up in two ways. The first, is to use email flows that are available on the Creator Pro level. The other way is to integrate the sign-up with either built-in provider MailChimp or integrating it with other email providers with Zapier. I integrated the sign-up with my email provider Active Campaign, which I did with one click from a host of options inside Stan Store. So now, anyone signing up for my lead magnet inside Stan Store is automatically added to the right list inside Active Campaign and tagged, so I know where they came from.


In my opinion, if you have at least one low-priced ticket to sell and are active on at least one platform from Instagram, TikTok or Facebook, then yes. It’s so easy to use, your sales conversion rate is likely to be better than any other platform. It uses Stripe for its card transactions, a trusted name and there is no commission, which I don’t see being offered by any other shopping platform.

It could also be worth it alone if you want to make money from your email list. The email sign-up is so easy to use, that the monthly fee might be worth it for the increase in conversion rates over a regular website sign-up form. Certainly, it’s worth testing for at least the 14 days of the free trial to see if there is an improvement over your current sign-up rate.

To try Stan Store for free, click here for a 14-day trial.

Click here for a free 14-day trial of Stan Store.

What to sell on Stan Store when you’re getting started

What to sell on Stan Store when you’re getting started

What to sell on Stan Store when you’re getting started

If you’re wondering what to sell on Stan Store when you’re getting started, here are the simple steps to creating your first product. 

This page includes affiliate links. If you click and purchase or sign-up, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I recommend only those tools I have tested and like.



Stan Store itself recommends a range of about five offerings from a free download to high ticket offers, as this is what many of the highest earning Stan Stores include. It suggests a selection of products such as:

  • A free lead magnet that visitors can download in return for giving you their email address. This might be something like a PDF checklist, a meditation audio, a video training or masterclass or a weekly plan for meal prep.
  • A low priced digital product such as an ebook, guide or template.
  • A mid-priced product or service such as a mini-course, ask me anything or guide.
  • A higher priced product or service such as 1:1 calls or coaching.
  • Optional: Affiliate links, where you receive a fee if someone buys through your link.

Stan Store recommends offering up to five items in your store, to avoid visitors being overwhelmed or confused, when they’re less likely to buy anything.

This is sound advice, giving visitors a range of options to suit different budgets and preferences: some people like DIY options and others want 1:1 support.

But creating this range of products and services takes time, so here’s how to get started.


There are two main ways of deciding what to create as your first Stan Store product. The first applies if you have an audience on a social platform such as TikTok or Instagram. Ask them what they want and think about the questions that most appear in your DMs and comments. What does your audience struggle with? Perhaps it’s something you find easy or you’ve developed a method for handling it: create a product or service to help them solve their problem.

If you don’t have an audience, then you can think about aspects of your life that you have figured out that could benefit others. This could be anything from your laundry routine (you’d be amazed at how many people lack this life skill) to meal prepping, a study schedule or a selection of the best free marketing courses to learn how to be a social media manager.

For those whose talents are creative, rather than problem solving, you can:

  • Sell digital copies of your finished work
  • Teach skills such as colour mixing, drawing succulents or using video editing software.
  • Encourage others to be creative themselves, such as providing daily sketchbook prompts or running a month-long challenge.

Whether you have an audience or are working with what you’ve uncovered, the trick is ALWAYS to ask people what they want rather than what you think they want. So many times, what they want is simpler than you could have imagined!

Click here for a free 14-day trial of Stan Store.



Once you know what you want to share with the world or what problem you want to solve, the next thing to decide is what format your product or service will take.

For some, the format will be clear. A poet who wants to make money from selling their poetry might set up a membership, where subscribers receive a certain number of poems each month. Equally, they could choose to encourage others writing poetry, offering constructive poetry feedback on a 1:1 basis or monthly membership.

For those solving a problem with a series of steps, like building a strong study routine, you could offer:

  • 1:1 coaching
  • A Notion template built around your study approach
  • A mini-course / video masterclass
  • Regular accountability video calls where you study together
  • A PDF workbook that takes students through the steps

When you look at this list, does one leap out at you as being the thing you would most like to offer? Do that! Some people will love the idea of being a virtual shepherd for online study or 1:1 calls, while others prefer to avoid direct contact. Staying true to what feels best to you will help keep your digital product business sustainable.

If you like the idea of more than one product on this list, you can create multiple ways of solving the same problem: different products or services will appeal to different people, even if they have the same problem to solve. Just start with one product or service and get feedback from buyers on that before moving onto a second.

Over time, you can build out a range of products – sometimes known as a product suite – or stick with one or two options that work for you and your life. That’s the joy of being your own boss – you can listen to advice from others and then have the freedom to choose and experiment, improving your products over time or removing them from your Stan Store.

How to add digital products to Stan Store

How to add digital products to Stan Store

How to add digital products to Stan Store

Digital products are one of the simplest ways to make money from a social media audience. Below is a complete guide to how to add yours to creator tool Stan Store.
This page includes affiliate links. If you click and purchase or sign-up, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I recommend only those tools I have tested and like.



You can create your digital product such as an ebook, template or workbook in many ways. One of the easiest to use is online design software Canva, which is free for most uses, including creating PDFs. Just be careful about using premium photos, designs and fonts, if you want to create your digital product completely without cost. It has templates for ebooks, workbooks and planners.

You can also create audio and video files, spreadsheets or Notion templates, which you share as a URL. Stan Store has a separate process for creating courses. Try Stan Store free for 14 days with this link. 


Here are some ideas for digital products you can sell in your Stan Store:

  • Notion templates
  • Printable planners
  • A masterclass, where you teach one specific process
  • Design templates (eg for Canva)
  • Website themes and plugins
  • Procreate brushes
  • Recipe books and meal plans
  • Ebooks
  • Spreadsheets
  • Trello boards
  • Your music

Click here for a free 14-day trial of Stan Store.



Once you have your PDF, spreadsheet, MP4 or other file, go to ‘My Store’ in your Stan Store account and click the ‘Add Product’ button at the bottom of the page. Click ‘Digital Product’.

You then choose whether your product will appear as a button or callout, containing more product details in your Stan Store, add a square image of your product, which is suggested at being 400 x 400 pixels. Add a title – the name of your product – a sub-title and button text, which defaults to ‘Download now’.

Once these are added, click the next button to add checkout page details. Here’s you’ll add a 1920 x 1080 pixel horizontal image, a description, the price and upload your digital product or URL for a product like a Notion template.

If you’re on the Creator Pro membership, you can also add a payment plan or discount codes.

Once those are complete, hit the ‘Publish’ button and your product is live. The only thing left to do is share it with your audience!

How to build an email list without a website

How to build an email list without a website

How to build an email list without a website

When you’re just starting your business, you’re often told to build an email list using a website sign-up form and a ‘freebie’. But what do you do if you don’t have a website? Here’s how to build an email list without a website, even if you aren’t great with tech.

This page includes affiliate links. If you click and purchase or sign-up, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I recommend only those tools I have tested and like.


With social platforms changing their algorithms 24/7 and Google updates cutting website traffic for many, it’s never been more important to have an email list that you control.

I subscribe to a number of email newsletters that talk about SEO and website traffic, as part of keeping up to date with the marketing landscape. And all, in the last six months, have spoken of large drops in their website traffic, with expectations that these will continue as Google continues its mission to keep as many searches as possible on its own platform.

TikTok and Instagram – two of the most active platforms currently – announced major changes in the first two months of 2024. TikTok now wants longer, horizontal, high quality videos. Presumably this is so it can run ads in the spaces above and below the main video, for monetisation. Instagram appears to be prioritising photos in the form of carousels, as it tests them in the Reels feed, following the success of carousels on TikTok.

As a business owner, you can’t afford to leave all your marketing and sales in the hands of social platforms or Google, where one tweak or failing to move with the times could decimate your leads and sales.

You need an email list of people who are interested in you and what you have to say, who you can continue to speak to, even if Google and the socials hate you.

Click here for a free 14-day trial of Stan Store.



An email list is a collection of email addresses and other personal details from people who have given you permission to email them. The list is kept inside an email marketing tool such as MailChimp, MailerLite or Stan Store.


You build an email list using a sign-up form, usually with an incentive in return, such as a discount voucher or a valuable download like a workbook, spreadsheet or template that your ideal clients would want. Potential clients or buyers add their email address and often their name to a sign-up form, so that they can receive the voucher or other download.

Traditional marketers will suggest adding this sign-up form to your website, but what happens if you don’t have a website or when you do have one, but most potential clients or buyers contact you on your social platforms?

This is when Stan Store comes into its own. Stan Store is a multi-functional platform that allows you to collect emails in your own link in bio. From there, you can send emails in the form of ‘blasts’/newsletters or follow-up emails if you’re on its Creator Pro level. On the Creator level, you can use Zapier or built-in integrations to send the email details to your email marketing tool, to use it for sending emails. If you would like to try out Stan Store for free for 14 days, here’s the Stan Store LINK.


This is the subject for MANY blog posts, but to start, make sure you deliver the freebie or voucher in your first email, so they have what you promised. After that you might introduce yourself and how you can help them, as well as what to expect from you. Are you going to email them every day with insane value (some people do!) or do you email every ‘so often’, when you have something to say?

Whatever your style, once you have your list of people, treat them like your most valued guests. They’ve committed to you by sharing personal details including their email address and it’s over to you to send the very best insights and help to them.

Click here for a free 14-day trial of Stan Store.

Stan Store email automations: how to unlock income on repeat

Stan Store email automations: how to unlock income on repeat

Stan Store email automations: how to unlock income on repeat

Email automations are a big deal. Established e-commerce businesses know they can make more money when they can stay in touch via email: why else would there be pop-ups offering ‘10% off’ in return for your email every time you visit an online store! This is why Stan Store has email automation in its top tier Creator Pro.

Let’s start with the Stan Store basics: at its core, Stan Store is an online sales platform you can use to monetise your social audience. It enables you to sell digital downloads, host online courses, book calendar meetings and deliver a free download (often known as a freebie or lead magnet). This comprehensive set of functionality is available on both Stan Store levels: Creator or Creator Pro.

Creator Pro also includes options for email automations, payment plans, upsells, order bumps and sales funnels – advanced options for making more income, once you have your digital online business established.

This page includes affiliate links. If you click and purchase or sign-up, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I recommend only those tools I have tested and like.


An email automation involves one or more emails being sent when triggered by an action from someone on your email list. Stan Store email automations are triggered with a purchase. Luckily, Stan Store has a built-in series of five draft emails to send to buyers over three days to prompt an upsell – buying an additional product or ‘next step’ using a discount code.

Upsells like this are based on studies that show that existing customers are more likely to buy from you again and that customer retention rates are key.

Although most of the studies quoted date from 20 to 30 years ago, more recent data from Hubspot shows that marketing costs to acquire customers are increasing.

Stan Store email automation diagram or email flow for increased income.
While many using Stan Store today for e-commerce may be gaining their customers through organic content from platforms like TikTok and Instagram, so sales are often dependent on content and time spent creating and improving it rather than advertising costs, the fact remains: email automations help you sell more for little increased effort.

Stan Store calls its email automations that follow purchases a ‘flow’. It also offers email broadcasts: emails that go out to your list at a time you choose. This might be something like a weekly email you send your list.

If you are already making online sales but not yet using email, I’d suggest moving up to the Stan Store Creator Pro to take the next step.

Click here for a free 14-day trial of Stan Store.