Welcome to the latest edition of The Entrepreneur’s Tech Stack. I’m your host, Simon Owens. For those who don’t know me, I write a media industry newsletter you should definitely check out.
Today’s featured entrepreneur is Alastair Budge. In 2019, he launched Leonardo English, a media brand that helps people improve their English. It started out as a podcast that now attracts over 250,000 downloads per month, and it’s projected to generate six figures in 2023 through a mixture of memberships, course sales, sponsorships, and affiliate deals.
Alastair walked us through the products that are absolutely essential to his business:
My flagship product (and also marketing channel) is a podcast, so my podcast host sits at the centre of everything. There are plenty of “free” podcast hosts, but I found them to be lacking in functionality. Transistor isn’t cheap (I pay $99/month), but it provides advanced “private” podcast functionality, has an easy to use API, and great customer support, so I’m a happy customer. I’d definitely recommend it.
I use Airtable as a database for my content and paying users. When a new podcast is created, when a payment is made, or anything happens to a paying user, this is linked up to Airtable (via Make – see below). I have two Pro licenses, which come to $48/month. I could probably do without it, but it gives me a clear view of what’s going on with my members, and provides much more functionality than Google Sheets.
I use Webflow to design and host my website (leonardoenglish.com). I’m not a developer, but have enough technical knowledge, so Webflow is the perfect mix of “no code” website builder with enough functionality to create a website that looks and feels professional. The Webflow pricing is famously confusing, and it can get very expensive very quickly if you want to do things like add different user permissions. I pay $20/month for the CMS plan, which seems good value to me.
The main business is a paid membership, which gives access to bonus content and interactive transcripts. To do this I use a tool called Memberstack, which works very nicely with Webflow to show and hide different pieces of content on a webpage. For the functionality it provides, it’s very good value. I pay $99/month, and then 0.9% of all payments (via Stripe).
Make (formerly Integromat)
Make is the glue that links everything together. As a solo-founder and non-developer, I am able to automate almost everything in my business through Make scenarios. For example, I change one thing on my Airtable podcasts database, and Make will upload and schedule the episode on my podcast host, create a Google Docs for the transcript, create a page on my website, and schedule the social posts. It saves me countless hours of work every week.
It’s much better value than Zapier, and the functionality it provides is much more advanced. There is a bit of a learning curve to it, but it is incredibly powerful. It’s also incredibly cheap. I pay $9 a month, and would happily pay 10x that, given the value it provides.
I use Descript to record and edit all of my podcast content. They completely revamped their UI recently, which took a bit of getting used to, but it is a great tool to collaborate with others on. I have two licenses (me and my editor), so it’s $30 a month in total.
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