May 31

Media Tools for the 21st Century

Media Tools for the 21st Century

By Deborah Johnson

May 31, 2024

brand awareness, Deborah Johnson, media tools, online learning, podcast, resource page, tech tools, video editing

With the term media tools there is an instantaneous association with technology and that can bring its own slew of fears and hesitancy. However, many media tools are created to make our lives easier, especially as entrepreneurs or a small business. Many tools, especially with the advancement of AI and virtual systems, help us save time and energy, especially with rote tasks. Media tools can range from a broad range of software, platforms and technology designed to create, distribute, analyze and manage various forms of media content.

Before getting sucked into the bottomless abyss of media tools available, we will focus on the basics to create and maintain a solid foundation for growth. Here, I will cover some of my favorite media tools for the 21st century as well as some principles for their use and setting up the groundwork for creating systems that work. I usually keep a fairly current list of favorite tools I use on my resource page but do systematically study and implement some of the new tools available. I also cover some of the basic systems I use in my course, A New Way of Doing Business. The tools may change somewhat but the systems are the same.

To cover media tools, I’ll focus on some basic areas including brand awareness, marketing and advertising, learning platforms, customer relationship management and content creation. Included will be the main purpose of each which should help us decide on the best tool for our individual use. This is only a partial list of how media tools can be used but provide a basic groundwork. It can be tempting to try every new gadget and tool that is released, but that is a time-waster and unproductive. Start small and stick to basics first. There is no way to cover all that is available in one episode but covering the basics will create a solid foundation for growth.

Women at Halftime by Deborah Johnson Media Tools for the 21st Century with Deborah Johnson 6-4-2024
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Brand Awareness

There are many types of tools that can help build a brand such as blog articles, podcasts and social media posts. Because there are many options it is best to focus on one or two tools to start. Many in our current society are already posting on social media in some way, shape or form. When starting or continuing to promote a brand, choose the platforms that best suit the product and brand and post consistently. I suggest using a social media scheduler. There are many available, even free to start, such as Buffer or Hubspot. I currently use Vista Social, which is fairly new, but it provided me more options for posting and I was able to obtain a lifetime license after studying its track record and features.

Blog articles and podcasts are other ways to create brand awareness, as long as they are focused on the main mission of a brand. I suggest the same principle that was suggested to me before starting my podcast. Create at least six, eight or more episodes to start so you give yourself a “running start” on creating a branded platform. Then, don’t quit but be consistent. According to Buzzsprout podcast hosting program, approximately 50% of podcasts have less than seven episodes. I delayed the start of my Women at Halftime podcast for a year until I knew I could be consistent. There are many, many platforms available for hosting with good reviews so choose carefully. I use the Libsyn platform for hosting as it’s worked well for me and is reasonable in cost. For podcast production, I currently use audiomass for cutting in B-roll cuts and auphonic for mastering. Those links are also on my resource page.

Learning and Membership Platforms

When the world shut down for a couple years with a pandemic, the number of online options for training and membership expanded exponentially. This may not be an area of consideration yet, but for most small businesses, an educational platform is something that provides training and expansion. A membership platform creates a space for coaching and community and the two media platforms are different, though I have found one that I love that combines both an LMS (Learning Management System) and membership.

There are many, many options and I suggest doing diligence to really study the features and benefits of the programs best suited for use. Some of the platforms provide marketing and this is a plus for many creators, though what I found were my courses were often greatly discounted during promotional pushes on a platform like Udemy, for which I had no control. So I have kept only one free course on that particular platform for promotional purposes.

I have used the WordPress-based software Digital Access Pass (DAP) for a number of years and love the number of features it provides. It’s possible to purchase the program outright but I have continued with a reasonable yearly fee with the support it provides especially because I have a number of online courses. DAP is both an LMS and membership program. I also create all my lead magnets and have my shopping cart through DAP. (see podcast & article) There are so many other options like Kajabi, Thinkific, Teachable and many others. Study them carefully and evaluate the fees involved, especially if creating more than one course. It can get pricey.

Customer Relationship Management

A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system can be as simple as setting up a database on Excel sheets or implementing a platform like Hubspot. There’s a free version which I highly recommend checking out. I have also started using Samdock, which is new but very simple and I bought into a lifetime access, so no yearly fees. It’s all I really need. I have still retained my free account on Hubspot as I have some contacts on it that I don’t want to lose yet.

This is an area to do more homework as some CRMs are quite involved and it may take more time to keep them up and learn how to use all the bells and whistles than what is really needed. Look for simplicity and a program that will help keep contacts and leads organized. Most should also connect with email and send prompt reminders for contacting and updating contacts to leads to customers.

Content Creation

This is an area exploding with media tools because of the launch of Chat GPT and all the AI tools that most every platform is implementing, including Google, Microsoft and others. I regularly use the free version of Chat GPT for giving me different versions of paragraphs in articles, ideas for memes and more. I have learned to always check sources for information that is provided as sometimes it is less than completely accurate. But it’s a great prompt for ideas and is a writers friend.

I have found some other tools on AppSumo, such as to give SEO information for my products. However, with some of these additional tools, I purchased them as they were on a promotional deal, but don’t use them real often. I have to listen to my own advice to not depend on too many tools that suck up a lot of time to learn and implement. Stick with the basics, especially at first or you’ll find your time eaten up, fast.

If you’re not using Canva, this is a great program to implement and learn right away. There’s a free version, but I find the small yearly fee well-worth the investment. I also look for other programs that will provide photos and videos without copyright restrictions, but also use many of my own photos and videos. This creates a unique look for my brand and it’s fun. I’ve also produced some memes using the AI tool dall-e, especially on Canva. However, you have to have time to experiment with the AI tools! BONUS Podcast with Aalia Lanius on Creating Impact with Media:  

Women at Halftime by Deborah Johnson Creating Impact with Media with Aalia Lanius 5-31-2024
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Video and Editing

I am adding a small section here on video and editing as it is so important for our use today. Most people use video already on their phones, which has grown exponentially in quality. With 3.7 million new videos uploaded to YouTube every day with 271,330 hours of new content, cutting through the noise of messaging can be overwhelming.

However, using video serves as a great branding tool and production can be as simple or involved as there is budget. What is most popular and important is feeling a personal connection with a product or a person. This is not always easy, especially for a person looking into a camera. I use a couple different cameras for my podcasts, depending on the laptop I use to record. The challenge lies with using either an HDMI or USB connection and I’ve had to do a lot of experimenting and research to find what works best. I have included the cameras I use on my resource page so I hope this helps with your process. There are not a whole lot of short cuts. You just have to do it. With technology, I have found that sometimes I don’t know why something all of a sudden works. I just take good notes and make sure I can replicate the setup.


There is so much more I could cover about media tools but every person and platform will have different needs and wants in using those tools. Start small and basic. Learn enough to be able to hire out anything you feel can be done by an outside team. They will probably be better than you if that is their focus, but you have to be able to manage them. I hope this has helped you and not overwhelmed you. I provide a number of online courses and the one with the mentorship guidance where you get the most access from me is Hero Mountain Summit, which I open up twice a year to individuals. It is focused on your goals and your life. Make the choices that work best for your situation, whether an online program or a new media tool!

Extra Articles 

DAP Software Plugin with Veena Prashanth

Conquering Your Fear of Technology

Additional Resources

Deborah’s Resource Page

Courses to help move you forward: In career: A New Way of Doing Business; In life & career: Hero Mountain Summit

Start small and basic. Learn enough to be able to hire out anything you feel can be done by an outside team.

deborah johnson

Thought Leader, Keynote Speaker, Author

If you are interested in growing and learning, check out our online courses here: Online Learning

1,645 words

Deborah Johnson

About the author

DEBORAH JOHNSON, M.A., creator of Hero Mountain® and former president of Los Angeles National Speakers Association, is an international award-winning music artist, author, speaker and National Media Commentator. She also hosts the popular podcast "Women at Halftime." Deborah provides tools to create your ideal lifestyle and work at mid-career or during the halftime of life, getting unstuck. You can live your second half fulfilled, focused and free! Up for multiple GRAMMY Awards and spending over 20 years in the entertainment industry, she's an expert on how to constantly reinvent yourself in a gig-economy. She is also the recipient of the Women's Economic Forum Exceptional Women of Excellence Award. Deborah is the author of multiple books, over twenty albums and musicals and speaks and performs in both live and virtual events.

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