Here Are My Favorite Tools...
At first I was hesitant to create this page, since coaches often search for tools as a way of hiding from the real work. But I also know how hard it can be to find the right resources. This list will help you save time searching so that you can focus on what really matters: getting clients and coaching your heart out.
Bench.co* - Bench is an online bookkeeping service that does your bookkeeping for you. Since I'm not very detail oriented, and hate doing my own bookkeeping, this was the first major outsourcing move I made in my business. I haven't looked back since.
If you’re ready to outsource your bookkeeping (and it’s the first thing I recommend every coach outsource) then Bench offers a free trial, so you can “try before you buy.” If you decide to purchase Bench, you’ll get 20% off your first 6 months when you sign up for your trail through my affiliate link.
Stripe - Stripe allows you to take credit cards over the phone and set up one-time or reccuring payments (something that is harder to do with PayPal). It's technically built for third-party developers but you can use it directly for free.
Paypal.me - Most people know how to use Paypal to collect payments, but Paypal.me is a lot easier. All you have to do is enter the amount of money into the end of the URL and then send the link.
LastPass* - A convenient and secure way to manage your logins and other confidential information.
Jarvis standing desk - This desk goes up and down automatically using a control pad of presets. It’s a significant upgrade from the standing desk attachment* that I used to have, which was placed on top of my normal desk. Alternating between sitting and standing is generally considered healthier than sitting all day. I've personally found that it gives me more energy. Having one of these setups allows you to separate the monitor and the keyboard, which is important for good posture. If you want to see the old setup I used when I lived in a studio apartment then read this article.
Stool/chair for standing desk* - Perfect for your standing desk. This allows you to sit or lean so that you don't have to be standing all day. It doesn’t take up much space, which is definitely a bonus.
Bluetooth headset* - For video chat and phone calls. Since I spend so much of my day on calls, I need a headset with a good mic and solid audio quality. I've experimented with Airpods but found them disappointing. This headset is comfortable, connects to both my phone and computer at the same time for easy switching, and sounds great.
Laptop* - 13" MacBook Pro. Love this thing.
Mouse/touchpad* - Makes it easy to use multitouch gestures.
USB port hub* - Allows me to plug in my mic, ethernet, and webcam all at once.
External monitor* - For my standing desk setup. Makes it so I don't have to look down at the laptop screen (which is healthier for your neck) and gives me plenty of room to work with.
Selfie stick* - For filming videos with my iPhone.
Webcam* - Since I use an external monitor, I need an external camera up at eye level for using video chat. The quality on this webcam is pretty incredible, much better than the one built into my MacBook Pro.
Lavalier mic* - For shooting video. You can clip this onto your shirt or jacket and connect it right into your phone to record.
Mailchimp - This is the service I started out with. Very intuitive interface and free for your first 2,000 subscribers.
ConvertKit* - I upgraded to this from Mailchimp once I reached about 1,000 subscribers. ConvertKit makes it easier to segment your lists and deliver personalized emails to your subscribers, which you'll want to start doing as your business grows.
Drip* - This is what I use now in my business. It's one level up from ConvertKit in terms of its ability to create automated email sequences. Drip also offers lead scoring, which is basically a way of figuring out which list members are most engaged. I've tried Ontraport, but it was too difficult to use and not necessary for my business. Drip combines lightweight automation with ease of use and does everything I need.
Evernote* - My second brain. Evernote is a digital filing cabinet for all of your thoughts, clippings, and ideas. It stores everything securely in the cloud and makes it so that you never have to take notes in Word ever again (thank the lord). Thanks to Evernote, I barely even have folders on my hard drive anymore.
Spectacle - Organize the windows on your mac side by side without using a mouse.
Kill News Feed - A plugin for Chrome that disabled your Facebook News Feed when you log in. You can still post things, go into groups, and even create a custom news feed for the people you care about most. But you won't be tempted to go to the home screen and scroll anymore.
Health & Wellness
f.lux - This free app removes blue light from your screen during the evening so that you have less trouble falling asleep.
Sunrise alarm clock - This wakes you up naturally each day by increasing the amount of the light in the room gradually before the alarm goes off. Total game changer. It's also portable and can be used for light therapy in the winter.
Five Minute Journal + Productivity Planner - The Five Minute Journal is the simplest way to improve your level of well-being. It has prompts for the morning and evening so that you can record the things you're grateful for, what went well, etc. The Productivity Planner is a simple way to prioritize your daily tasks. Both journals are made by the same company.
Crowdcast* - This is the best platform I've found for hosting engaging webinars. Unlike some of the more corporate solutions, Crowdcast uses great design to make your webinars more interactive for participants.
Books + Courses
Note: If you want to fill your client roster, view my books and courses here.
Goodreads - Here's where I track all of the books that I read. If you click the link, you can see which books I've rated most highly. Consider signing up if you are trying to develop a reading habit and want an easy way to monitor your progress.
Absolute FB Ads* - Facebook Ads get a lot of hype in the online marketing world. And don't get me wrong, they can be an incredibly powerful tool for your coaching business. But if you don't know how to use them effectively you can waste a lot of money and a lot of time. Claire's course breaks the whole process down for you step-by-step and actually makes it fun. I highly recommend investing in this course before you start running Facebook Ads.
Online Trainer Academy* - The focus of the course is to help fitness professionals build an online business and deliver a great customer experience. Even though I’m the guy who helps coaches fill their client roster, I still found the course useful as a way to go back to the basics. It’s very step-by-step and covers some important nuances related to online fitness coaching.
The Tim Ferriss Show - In this show, Tim deconstructs world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, chess, pro sports, etc.), digging deep to find the tools, tactics, and tricks that listeners can use.
How I Built This - Host Guy Raz dives into the stories behind some of the world's best known companies. How I Built This weaves a narrative journey about innovators, entrepreneurs, idealists, and the movements they built.
The Great Debates - This one is just for fun. Without any preparation, or really any thought at all, Steve Hely and Dave King debate the great issues of the day. Moderated by Dan Medina.
Insight Timer - This is my favorite meditation app for one reason: the guided meditations by Tara Brach. Sure, you can also set a timer with start and end bells, but if you're looking for some more structure to your practice then search for Tara Brach in the app.
Calm - Great simple app if you want background noise for your meditations.
Headspace - Has a free 10-day course if you're new to mediation.
design And Photography
Canva - Hands down the easiest way I've found to design social media graphics, newsletter headers, even logos. Eventually you'll want to outsource this to a designer, but of all you need is something visual that looks good, use Canva. It's free and stores everything in the cloud.
Pexels - Best place to find free stock photos for blog posts, webinars, etc.
Unsplash - Another good option for free stock photography.
Weiwei Gerl - For headshots if you are located near Washington, DC.
Amy Bennett - For headshots if you are located near Burlington, VT.
Zoom* - Makes it easy to host and record a group video conference. Just create a meeting, share the link via email, and hit record. The reason I switched from UberConference is because I found that people were more engaged and connected when they could see each other live.
UberConference - Free conference calling. I've used this for previous cohorts of my group coaching programs, but prefer using Zoom because it's easier to keep my group coaching clients focused when using video.
CallRecorder - For recording coaching calls, interviews, and enrollment conversations on Skype.
Website And Landing Pages
Squarespace - My number one resource if you want a website. Just like with email providers, it's easy get lost in the black hole of domains, plugins, and web hosting. Wordpress is fine, but has way too many options to get lost in. Squarespace makes it easy to create and customize a beautiful website so that you can focus on the actual work of your business. I've been with them since day one and haven't outgrown them yet. Each site comes with a free domain name. The template I use and recommend is called Pacific.
Leadpages* - Makes it easy to generate leads and sales. Although you can create landing pages and collect emails with Squarespace, I use the Leadbox feature within Leadpages to do that (it's that little box that pops up when you click a button to download a PDF).
Peek - This free usability testing service allows you to see a video of a real person navigating your site and commenting on the parts that feel unclear.
Kajabi* - The best software out there for creating online courses and membership sites.
Interact* - This is the software I use to create lead quizzes (personality tests that help me collect emails). You simply plug in a title for your quiz, create the questions, and then easily map each answer to one of the possible results. They even have a gallery of stock images you can insert throughout the quiz. Then you can connect it to your email marketing software to collect emails when people want to see their results.
*A star indicates an affiliate link. This means that if you purchase paid versions of the product/service listed, I receive a small amount of compensation. It won't cost you anything extra (in some cases you'll actually get a discount), but it will help support the free work I do here on my website. I only recommend resources I've personally used and believe in.