If you are an online business owner, chances are you're spending a lot of time in front of the computer. The internet is an amazing thing, as it has the ability to both simultaneously grow your business and wipe out hours of your day.
If you don't have the proper tools in place, you'll spend more time going back and forth trying to make appointments and post content than you will be talking to and connecting with your ideal client.
In my work with new coaches + online entrepreneurs, I'm oftentimes asked what productivity tools I use to keep my business running smoothly. Below is a list of the platforms and services I personally use to run my business.
Back in the day when I had a travel blog, I used Blogger. As I transitioned into Business + Marketing Coaching and wanted a more legitimate looking website, I switched over to Squarespace. You can sign up for a 10-day trial period to peek through templates and to see how you like the platform. This the program I recommend to all of my clients as it's simple, easy to use, their customer service is phenomenal and I can help them when they get stuck.
Squarespace has a variety of templates and very helpful customer service if you need support. I set up my website left-handed when my dominant hand and wrist were shattered and in a sling and I was on HEAVY painkillers. So if I can create a website one-handed and high as a kite, you can set it up sober!!
Everybody will tell you the system they use is the best, so ask around. I use Mailchimp to send out my twice-weekly newsletters as well as my funnels for free gifts and challenges that I host from time to time.
It is free for simple features, however, I pay $10/mo. so I can have an automated funnel go out when somebody signs up for my newsletter, which you can do here. There are other features that are included in the small fee, such as A/B Testing, which tests out different subject lines and send times/dates.
I researched a couple of different online schedulers and decided on Setmore. It has been super simple to use, there's an app on my phone that alerts me when a new appointment has been made, and the interface on my PC is user-friendly. The free version is simple and the paid version allows you to merge it with your Outlook calendar, as well as allow your clients to pay you through the calendar.
I get paid via my Stripe account. There are fees associated with every single payment system, so do your research. The Stripe system is integrated into Squarespace, so this made my decision easier. I wanted to keep all of my payment systems streamlined, so although I started with PayPal, I now have all of my payments go through Stripe.
Google Docs is a great way to take notes, create documents + spreadsheets, and stay in contact with clients and co-workers. You can email the document to the client and simultaneously edit it while you're on a coaching call together. It's great when you're helping clients plan content, write copy for their website, or do other business-related tasks.
Another option people forget about is the Notepad on their iPhone. This is where I keep my Daily To Do List, as well as my Weekly To Do List, my To Do Eventually List, and every other list you can dream up! It's a great way to jot down ideas, dreams, quotes and inspiration while you're on the go!
I could not live without my paper day planner!! Yes, it's redundant. I have a calendar on my iPhone, as well as the calendar in Setmore. It's not tech savvy and I'd be lost if I didn't have something to hold in front of me to see my days and weeks ahead.
I started using these day planners when I was a counselor and had to schedule my day on the hour and it stuck. It works for me and when my clients are struggling to keep track of their time during the day, I recommend they get back to the basics and buy a printed day planner.
You can also copy a week from the calendar and create your Ideal Day/Week Calendar, something I have all of my clients do. How many hours a week do you want to work? How many days will you see clients? What days will you create content? When will you take a nap? Having your Ideal Day/Week helps you stay on task and get shit done.
Apply For Discovery Calls
This is often overlooked by new life coaches. We're so excited to get on the phone and talk to...well...anybody!!
However, once you start to fill up your client roster and your time is limited, having people apply for a Discovery Call is an option that is sometimes overlooked.
Do you think the top coaches gets on the phone with every person who wants to talk to them? No. They want to make sure you're serious about coaching, and their prices, before they spend their time talking to you on the phone.
By creating a form on your website to apply for a Discovery Call, you can weed out the people who may not be ready for or committed to the coaching process. You have them answer several questions beforehand to see if they're a good fit before you actually get them on the phone.
Yes, it will cut down on the amount of Discovery Calls that are booked. However, the calls that you do have, will be closer to a match.
The time you have freed up can be spent creating content, writing newsletters, working on your website, or planning out strategies to connect with your community. Your productivity will skyrocket when you're not on the phone with people who aren't really interested in hiring you anyway.