Ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of running and growing a coaching business? Every brand needs the right framework to run smoothly so you can concentrate on growing your brand without the daily headaches of running the backend.
I remember when I first started I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what people used to run their businesses: How did they collect email addresses, distribute digital products, manage client bookings and take payments??
As a coach, handling the payments was my biggest headache because I couldn’t figure out the best way to do it (and like anything money related, it’s one of those things where you just can’t go around asking people for their ‘secrets’). When I reached out to the leading coaches and female entrepreneurs in the industry asking “And how exactly do you take the payment?”, the question mostly went unanswered, even if they were happy to answer most of my questions.
I get it that people prefer to hold their cards close to their chest when it comes to sharing the tricks of the trade. But I also remember how painful and time intense it was going through the process trying to figure it out on my own.
I don’t want you to have to go through the same slow process of trial and error. So that’s why I have compiled a list of my top tools that I call my secret weapons.
This list is the result of lots of trialling, testing, working through fellow entrepreneurs’ recommendations and spending (lots of) money on figuring out the BEST tools to help my brand run smoothly.
And I highly recommend each and every one of them.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means I may earn a commission if you purchase anything from here (at no additional cost to you!) but please know that it does not influence my recommendations because I only share what I love and use myself.
To book my 1:1 coaching clients I use:
Acuity Scheduling - Online appointment scheduling software
For only $15 a month you get a fully-automatic operating system that allows clients to book your service while you sleep.
And the best bit, you can take payment right through Acuity so your clients pay before coaching starts (that’s one big headache gone!).
You can set up appointment types and embed them directly in your Squarespace site so clients can book themselves in when convenient. Super easy to use! It takes track of all my client’s past and future appointments, which all get synced with my Google Cal and clients can even reschedule. I was over the moon when I found this software and can highly recommend it! The value you get for the price is bang on. I booked my dream client through Acuity and it now handles all my introductory ‘Clarity Calls’ too.
If you’re a coach, this software is the ONE for scheduling future clients!
To promote my products and services I use:
ConvertKit - The #1 tool for email marketing
ConvertKit is hands down the best email marketing software out there for building your email list. With its help, I grew my list from zero to over 1.3k subscribers, and thanks to ConvertKit’s automation my list is growing on auto-pilot.
Forget MailChimp or anything else (believe me, I started out with Mailchimp and didn’t get very far)! CK is not just easy and intuitive to use, it made me think differently about my email marketing altogether. Because it allows you to segment and tag your subscribers according to their interest. That means when you’ve got a product or service you want to tell your list about, instead of emailing your entire list and avoid people unsubscribe, you’ll only email those that are interested. What I also love about it is their outstanding customer support. When you’re stuck, you can reach out to them and get your question answered in no time. I wrote a blog post about it, which contains a link to a free CK training video I made.
To promote my products and services on Pinterest I use:
BoardBooster - Pinterest scheduler
I decided to give Boardbooster a go after hearing success stories about how other brands use Pinterest, and how it was one of their main sources to attract traffic. Since it’s a search engine and not a social media platform, Pinterest can be quite confusing if you don’t know what you’re doing. After trying the popular choice Tailwind, I tested Hootsuite, then Buffer, but I ended up not sticking around longer than the trial period.
The first time I checked it out, the look of BoardBooster’s website turned me away. It didn't look pretty or professional and therefore I assumed it wasn't good. Boy, was I wrong!
The second I signed up to BoardBooster, I knew it was for me. The way it’s set up just makes sense because when you pin on your boards, BB sets up secret boards and pushes them out when it’s the best time to pin.
BoardBooster has helped me build interest around my brand-relevant group boards (with over 140 contributors and almost 10k pins) and grow my account to 1.7k followers and so far most of my coaching clients have discovered me on Pinterest too.
When you start out, they offer a 100 pin free trial (it’s 1 pence per pin thereafter), which is totally reasonable. And since it’s ‘pay as you pin’, you’re not locked into a monthly plan you might never use either (which I love). I find BoardBooster much better value for money and so much easier to use than Tailwind, Buffer or HootSuite, but it’s definitely a personal choice - test them for yourself until you find what works well for your brand.
To sell my products and services I use:
Teachable - The platform to create and sell your online courses
Teachable makes it easy to create your own online course and upload your materials without having to worry about hosting.
The platform takes care of all the questions like “Where do I upload my materials too?”, “Where do I upload my videos too?” (I have to admit, I did forget about the technical side of delivering an evergreen online course when I created my first online course “BYBOI - Boost Your Brand On Instagram”).
The other massive advantage of a platform like Teachable is that it helps you deal with refunds and non-paying customers (it does, unfortunately, happen that some students don't pay you), in which case Teachable swoops in to handle all communications via email. Luckily, all my issues have been resolved this way, without me having to worry about getting paid - phew!
Another great feature is the analytics, which allows me to see exactly who opened which course module, and which modules are therefore most popular.
If you’re serious about creating your own online course, don’t cut corners and invest in a decent platform like Teachable. You’ll make the whole process as smooth and pain-free as possible.
To deliver my products and services I use:
SendOwl - E-commerce platform to sell and deliver your digital products
I use SendOwl to deliver my eBook to buyers instantly. It works by SendOwl giving me a snippet of code, which I easily add to my website on Squarespace. This allows buyers to check out directly on the page, with zero fuss.
Before SendOwl, for a long time I used DPD, and although it allows you to customize the button (way better than on SendOwl), I find SendOwl better for two main reasons:
1) Its interface is user-friendly, and
2) It’s more popular.
SendOwl is the most popular e-commerce platform out there, which does make a difference because people trust it (so when people are checking out to buy your product and see you’re using SendOwl, chances are they feel more at ease and trust you with their money).
Prices start at $9 per month for up to 10 different products, and if you no longer need your account, you can cancel anytime.
Ready to start your free trial today? (You’re gonna love it!)
Hope you enjoyed a glimpse behind the scenes, and that you found this information helpful!
If you have any further questions about how I use the tools or how they might be good for you, leave a comment here.