tools I love
Email: If you’re just starting out, Mailchimp is a great basic email service provider. It’s totally free up to 2,000 subscribers, plays nice with other programs, and is a solid beginner platform. For something more advanced, with smoother systems and way more bells and whistles, I currently use and love ConvertKit.
Graphics: Wondering how everyone online has snazzy graphics? Many of us non-Photoshop pros are faking it with our checklists, freebies, workbooks, and social media graphics by using Canva. The free version will most likely give you everything you need (and more!).
Websites: The determining factor here (in my opinion) is how comfortable you are (or aren’t) with technology. Are you terrified? Check out Squarespace. Do you feel comfortable enough and confident you can google your way to success? Snag a domain then get your hosting from Siteground and install WordPress.
If you went for the Siteground and WordPress option, don’t use a free theme and don’t pay for a theme that is highly restrictive (I made that mistake when I first started!) I highly recommend Divi from Elegant Themes. The builder makes things really easy (no coding needed!) and you can customize a lot. P.S. you’re on a Divi site right now.
Scheduling. If you’re in a business where you have to set up calls or meetings with clients, you absolutely need a scheduling service. When you first start out, a free and easy one is Calendly. It syncs with your other calendars and works very well. I started there, but now use Acuity, which also allows me to take payment, keeps track of how many sessions my clients have left in their packages, and more.
Organization: psst. Do you have your systems documented? Do you have a plan for onboarding new clients, when and what to blog about, etc? If not… you need to outline all your systems. A great place to store all the steps is a system called Trello. It’s free!
Contracts. Ahem. Please use contracts in your business. Put on your CEO hat, own that business owner title, and step into this role. I adore HelloSign for having my clients sign contracts, and they let you send 3 for free each month.
Team Management: Do you have a team? If not, you can skip this – but if you do, Slack is a fantastic place to communicate with them!
Cloud Storage: Every single thing for my business is stored in one place: Dropbox. I love how it connects with my desktop and acts like another folder on my computer but actually stores in the cloud. I can also share files from there – I do that with some of my freebies, and I also have a folder there for my clients and mastermind crew.
More Cloud Storage: Another great option, especially if you don’t have a basic word processor and spreadsheet program on your computer is Google Drive. In addition to my Mac, I have an awesome little Chromebook I use for working when I’m out and about and Google Drive on there is a total lifesaver.
Video Messaging. The Marco Polo app is not only so much fun but a really fantastic app for coaches and consultants for 2 reasons: first, it’s a more fun and simpler alternative to texting (there isn’t even a text option) that gives you the illusion of face to face back and forth but you can respond on your own time and second, it is great practice for warming up to seeing yourself on video! I use this app for a few of my 1:1 clients and I absolutely love it!
Voice Messaging. In a similar vein is Voxer. This is a voice messaging app – that also has capability for text messaging. Many coaches use this one to check in with clients between sessions. It is almost like a walkie-talkie, but for your phone. I use this one to stay in touch with my close friend in Australia and it has been great for us!
Video Conference. For both client sessions and webinars, I am loving Zoom. The free option has a lot of capabilities and will get you far – I only just recently upgraded to be able to do group calls for my mastermind group.