*This post may contain affiliate links.
When I first started my coaching business, I was coming out of the world of consulting, where I mostly just got clients from word of mouth.
The coaching industry, being relatively new itself, was a whole world of brand new for me to learn. Moving into online coaching meant I had to get up to speed and fast with all the cool, new ways to run an online business.
Like most of us, I sort of fumbled around. I tried a LOT of different products and services while building my business that, quite frankly, were a total bust and cost me money (sometimes a lot of it) for not a lot of return.
So, in the interest of paying it forward and saving YOU time, I wanted to share some of the tools I’ve found and use ALL THE TIME to keep my business running smoothly.
3 Best Business Tools for Online Coaching
I’ve tried a few scheduling tools, but Acuity is my favorite scheduling tool for two reasons: 1) ease of use and 2) extra features.
What I Love About Acuity Scheduling
I like the ability to be able to manually schedule clients, block off parts of my calendar, and also create multiple scheduling pages that are based, for example, on what program my clients have purchased — and then they can schedule themselves.
Plus, there are some really great added functionalities that you can use depending on how you plan to run your business. For example, Acuity offers the ability to take client payments right there in the scheduling process. They also allow you to set up client intake questionnaires, offer gift certificates, and so many more features than I can’t mention here.
Back in the day, I didn’t know what I needed and having a tool that offered so many necessary functions in one place (for one, pretty low price monthly) made a LOT of sense. In fact, with the lowest paid Acuity account level (“Emerging” for $15), you can literally start your business TODAY with just this one tool, because you have the ability to have clients complete an intake questionnaire, schedule their sessions, and pay all in one smooth process.
Gosh, I love Moonclerk. Like, pink puffy heart LOVE it.
So, whereas I love Acuity for having so many options in what you might expect to be a simple tool, Moonclerk has one very specific use that it does exceptionally well.
Moonclerk allows you to easily accept both single and recurring transactions by creating a simple check-out process for your clients and customers.
You might wonder why I use Moonclerk when Acuity has the option to accept payments. In my case, I need a more nuanced payment options than simply selling coaching sessions, and I don’t necessarily need scheduling to happen in the checkout process. I offer a variety of services and digital products, and Moonclerk is my tool of choice for that.
What I Love About Moonclerk
Even before you have a big, fancy website or landing pages, you can be taking payments from clients and customers with Moonclerk and you can offer single or recurring payment options. If you happen to be a coach or course creator like I am, being able to offer payment plans to your clients is a huge win for them because they can spread the payments out over time. Plus, it creates dependability for you.
Moonclerk makes offering this so easy. You can customize the checkout process with your logo, so it looks clean, simple, unfussy, and professional.
Finally, when you are first starting out and not making much money, Moonclerk is a no-brainer, because the monthly cost for their service is based on your monthly sales volume. It only costs $15 to start.
Note: You do need to pair Moonclerk with Stripe, a credit card processor. But, it’s a simple integration and Stripe only charges you a percentage of the sale. To take credit cards online, you’ll need this no matter what and Stripe is well-known and highly regarded.
When we moved our site over to WordPress, we did it because it offers the most flexible way to design our website, the ability to monetize, etc. However, we weren’t looking to hire someone to design and maintain our site all the time.
As a fast-paced coaching business, we needed something that made it easy and quick to create pages on our site – not just the usual ones like the About page or the Contact page. We needed the ability to create sales pages, opt-in pages, lead boxes, and pop-ups with both a high degree of flexibility in design AND ease of use – because, hello, we aren’t developers or designers.
Before Thrive Architect, we tried several different page builders and funnel builders that were expensive, clunky, or just plain ugly.
I was extremely frustrated with our website the day I discovered Thrive Architect, and it felt like I’d struck gold.
Why I Love Thrive Products
Thrive Architect is a visual page builder that allows you drag and drop design options, includes beautiful, easy-to-customize templates, and pre-designed lead generation elements that allow you to convert your traffic into leads and customers.
I’ve NEVER seen a product that offers so many different options all in one place. The page builder itself was a godsend to me, but the membership option gave us access to an entire additional suite of business tools, many of which I’d been considering buying as plugins anyway.
For example, I’ve long wanted to offer a quiz opt-in for new potential leads. I’ve seen these be wildly successful for my own clients, but I’ve never pulled the trigger because it was just another thing to buy. Plus, then I’d have to install it and learn it. Extra work, extra time, extra money – no thanks. But with the Thrive membership, it was just another included option.
Another thing I’ve wanted to offer was an evergreen webinar to support a funnel that would bring in clients to some of my best courses on a revolving basis. I mean, that’s the dream! But, to do that, you need funnels. There are lots of products out there that help you build funnels and fantastic sales pages, but doing so would mean more money and even more piecemeal solutions that we’d have to paperclip together on the backend.
Thrive to the rescue! Thrive Ultimatum comes with the membership and does all of these things, integrating easily with basically ALL the popular email marketing services (Convertkit is my favorite) – plus, it allows you the same drag-and-drop customization of the page builder. That’s huge, given how ugly and clunky a lot of the options out there are for you to buy.
I could go on, but there are literally SO MANY options with Thrive, it would take all day.
Like I said, I was super stressed out the day I found Thrive, and when I saw it, I thought for sure, it would cost a fortune (and at that point, I think I would have paid it), But, for some reason that I still don’t understand (lol), it’s insanely affordable. Really! It’s a kazillion times more affordable than products we’d purchased in the past to do only a small portion of what Thrive does. For $228, you get an entire year’s access to ALL of the Thrive products. Plus, they have absolutely BOMB customer service and a seriously comprehensive help area called Thrive University.
If you use WordPress and want maximum flexibility of design and all the other bells and whistles you need to build a business online, THIS IS THE ONE, hands down.
So, these are my three favorite sanity-saving business tools that I’d recommend you checkout when you’re starting your online coaching business. I definitely wish I’d known about these a few years ago.
And, just a heads up, many business tools (like Acuity) have free trials, so be sure to check out their offers and how you can get the best bang for your buck!
*This post may contain affiliate links.