Cool Tools To Grow Your Online Coaching Business
There's no doubt that your skills as a coach are the key element to building a world-class reputation and a successful online coaching business, but there's something you need to keep in mind...
You could be the most effective coach in the world, but if your business is disorganized, if your invoices are in disarray, and you can't find the notes from your last client call in the mountain of papers on your desk...
You could end up running your business into the ground.
The good news is there are a TON of foundational tools and systems you can use to run your business smoothly and efficiently.
Even better news? Most of these tools are:
Free or incredibly affordable
This means you don't have to invest a large amount of your hard-earned income to get your hands on the right tools and you definitely don't have to be a tech whiz to work with them.
So let's look at some of the critical foundational tools that will save you time, money and energy so you can focus on doing what you love to do the most -- coach!
You need an email list of subscribers and you need a tool to collect, organize and connect with the people who want to hear from you. Mailchimp is one of the most reliable email service providers out there. It's absolutely free for up to 2000 email subscribers and there are also robust paid versions. This platform does more than collect email addresses that help you connect with your subscribers, it also lets you analyse what's working and what's not, in each of your emails. For instance, you can easily access important data like how many people are opening your emails, reading and clicking on links.
Voxer is basically a real-time communication app with a push-to-talk button. In other words, it's like a fun digital walkie-talkie. Lots of coaches count Voxer as their #1 tool for on-the-go coaching. This app is highly versatile and comes with a long list of features including large group chats for up to 500 people, text, photos and video sharing, live and recorded voice messaging and a whole lot more. There's a free version and paid versions that offer message recalling options, premium Customer Support, and Dropbox integration.
Speaking of Dropbox... this is an amazing tool that offers massive sharing, file transfer and storage capabilities (storage space starts at 5 Terabytes!) This tool also lets you give file download options to anyone, anywhere in the world and it's a secure, reliable way to share your PDF, audio or video files with one on one clients or with students in your group coaching courses and programs. There are 3 different paid versions to choose from depending on your needs.
This is an incredibly useful online "notebook" where you can store notes, ideas and even record audio messages. You can sync your notes across devices which means you can access Evernote on your tablet, phone or laptop. It also comes with a built-in "web clipper" that lets you pull articles and other web-based content from the internet for reference. There's a free version which allows limited storage space and paid versions with a lot more storage plus other extras like the ability to collaborate with team members inside Evernote.
You might have heard of PayPal as a safe online payment service, but have you heard of PayPal.Me? This is essentially PayPal "light" where you just need to create a free PayPal account and then create a custom link that also works as a direct payment link. Then all you have to do is insert the amount that your client needs to pay and send them the link... it works like magic!
Calendly is a life-saver for most coaches. It's a powerful 24-hour scheduling tool that allows clients to book their coaching calls with you. No more chasing clients, check-ins and confusion around time zones! All you need to do is mark the coaching slots you'd like to have available each day on Calendly -- for instance 9 am to 2 pm. Then you can share your Calendly link on your website or send it directly to your client who will book their call based on a suitable time that's available (times are shown based on location so there's no danger of a mixup). There's a great free version you can try and also paid versions if you would like extras like integration with your chosen meeting platform.
Zoom is a meeting and video webinar platform, conference room, chat and phone system rolled into the. It's a great tool for "face-to-face" coaching calls with clients and it can also support group chats. This extraordinarily versatile platform even gives you a recording option which means you can record your coaching calls and send them along to your clients just in case they want to go over something that you shared in the call. The best part? You can get a lot of these features absolutely free or you can choose paid versions that offer even more features such as a custom meeting ID and branded email meeting invites.
This is a user-friendly project management tool that lets you share and manage all of your projects with team members. Individual and team tasks and timelines are clearly categorized and quick to track, within each project. Asana also has a chat function that lets you connect and collaborate with others in real time. This tool is also perfect if it's just for you and you want a reliable and easy-to-use space to organize all your projects. There are free and paid versions available.
This chapter is all about user-friendly, cool tools that can help you organize and grow your online coaching business with ease.
Your task in this section is to look at where you are in your coaching business right now and decide on the tools that you need over the next 3 to 6 months. The key here is to only sign up or invest in tools that fall into the "need-to-have" category for your business and not something that's a "nice-to-have." Don't forget to consider your budget as you make your choices.
Keep in mind that it's a good rule of thumb to pick paid versions of these tools only if you absolutely need the extra bells and whistles. When you're just starting your business, it usually makes more sense to begin with the free option. Plus, going for free gives you time and space to experiment, explore so you can decide if you're comfortable using the tool in your day-to-day operations.
Here's a checklist that lists all the tools in this chapter for easy reference and quick, decision making. Pick yes or no for the Need-to-Have and Nice-to-Have columns and write "free: or "paid" in the last column, based on your budget and what you need in your business.
Watch this video for more useful online tools for coaches:
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