Know that overwhelming feeling of juggling every aspect of your coaching business?
From marketing and design to tech intricacies and perfecting your offer, the list just goes on. It’s challenging wearing all those hats, especially when you’re a solopreneur.
Thankfully, we don’t have to do it all manually. Automation has become our quiet savior. With each passing year, technology keeps proving to be a game changer, and in 2023, this is more true than ever. Today, accessing powerful software and tools that streamline and enhance our efforts has become more affordable and user-friendly than ever before.
In this post, I’m outlining the top 10 marketing tools you can use to build, grow, and automate your marketing efforts online.
But first, let’s talk about why marketing is so important for your coaching business.
The Importance of Marketing Your Coaching Business
As a coach, you probably have a ton of passion and insights you’re eager to share. I get it. But with today’s online space brimming with voices, how do you make sure yours is heard?
That’s where marketing steps in. Think of it like hosting a party and sending out the invites—it’s your way of telling people, “I’ve got something special going on here. I’d love for you to join me.”
I’m not saying marketing is just about getting noticed. It’s more than that. It’s making a new friend and getting to know them. When you share your stories, experiences, and the nitty-gritty of what you offer, you’re essentially saying, “I see you. I understand. And I’m here to help.”
That’s the magic spot where genuine connections are made.
Marketing also ensures that while you’re out there making a difference, your business is growing and thriving. It’s about pulling in people who resonate with what you offer and ensuring they stick around, becoming part of your ever-growing community.
To sum it up, diving into marketing isn’t just about business. It’s an invitation. A call to connect, to grow, and to create something beautiful together. So, let’s embrace it and see how we can use it and these essential marketing tools to thrive.
Now, let’s talk about the tools I recommend to make things easier for you in your marketing efforts.
Best website builder for coaches
Alright, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of setting up your coaching business online. Imagine your website as your digital home. It’s where people get to know you, learn from you, and ultimately decide if they want to work with you. So, making sure it looks good and functions smoothly is a no-brainer, right?
Now, drumroll, please… When it comes to website builders tailored for coaches, one name has consistently topped our list: Elementor.
Why Elementor, you ask? Let me give you a balanced opinion about the good and bad of this website builder so you can make an informed decision.
Things I love:
- Ease of Use & Power Combo: Elementor isn’t just easy to use; it’s a powerhouse. Its intuitive design lets you add various sections like forms, testimonials, and images without breaking a sweat. So, even if you’re not a tech wizard, you can create a sleek, professional-looking website.
- Free To Start: The reason Elementor has grown so quickly is because they were clever with their marketing strategy and have a free plan for people to get started with. To be honest, it allows you to do a lot without paying. And when you do want to upgrade, it’s only $59 per year. It’s cheaper than Divi annually but Divi does have the one up because they have a lifetime deal which Elementor does not.
- Vast Community & Resources: With its massive user base, you’re never really alone when using Elementor. Need a template? There’s a plethora of options to choose from, catering to every need, from simple website designs to intricate sales funnels.
Things I’m not a fan of:
- Feature Overload: Okay, so Elementor can get a bit enthusiastic about adding new features. While many are handy, it means the plugin gets heavier, which might slow down your website a bit more than other builders. It’s like that friend who always brings too many snacks to a movie night – appreciated but can crowd the table.
- Occasional Glitches: With new additions come occasional hiccups. Sometimes, when Elementor rolls out new features, there can be annoying glitches. Thankfully, they’re usually quick to resolve them, but it’s something to keep in mind.
Overall, I’ve been using Elementor for over 3 years now and I still find it very easy to use and affordable. It allows me to create new pages on my website in minutes especially because I can save sections and pages as templates and then reuse these to create new ones much faster.
For its ease of use, affordability, and vast resources, it’s my top pick for coaches diving into the online space. But like anything, it’s always good to be aware of the full picture! Happy website building!
Best email marketing platform for coaches
Even with all of the new communication platforms out there, guess what hasn’t gone out of fashion? Yup, good ol’ emails. They’re like the vinyl records of the digital age – timeless and deeply personal. Emails let you send your potential clients little nuggets of wisdom, offers, or just a virtual ‘hello in an intimate way.
But here’s the thing: not all email platforms are created equal. And, since I believe in sharing the good stuff, I’m putting the spotlight on my personal pick: ActiveCampaign.
Things I love:
- Easy To Use: I find the user interface really easy to use but I also know this is not everyone’s experience with the platform. But overall, I find it simple and intuitive to use and I’ve rarely had to Google Activecampaign tutorials for the things I use it for.
- All The Features: Whether you’re designing funnels, tagging particular segments of your audience, or creating automations, ActiveCampaign has everything you need. I use it primarily for evergreen email sequences and campaigns and it does these things perfectly.
- Compatibility: Because ActiveCampaign is one of the more popular platforms on the market it integrates with a ton of other software. Personally, the integration with Thrivecart and Elementor has made the setup and creation of my funnels so easy.
Things I’m not a fan of:
- Pricing: The cost can be a bit of a pinch. With their base plan now at $29 per month, it’s inching towards the pricier side. However, if you’re just looking for basic features and can skip the advanced CRM functionalities, it aligns with what most ESPs are charging.
- Questionable Marketing Practices: Okay, I’ve got to be completely honest here and say I’m not a fan of some of Activecampaign’s marketing strategies. They’ve made it a bit challenging to find the sign-up option for their lite package on the pricing page, which feels a bit underhanded to me.
In summary, email marketing should be an essential part of every coaching business, and the platform you choose can make all the difference. I know many coaches recommend starting with something cheaper and moving to a better system later on, but migrations are a lot of work, and once you’re established and busy, it’s hard to find the time to do these things.
My advice is definitely to pick a platform that has longevity so it can grow with you.
While ActiveCampaign has its cons (not that any of them are perfect), it’s still my absolute favorite email service provider.
Best social media scheduling tools for coaches
Reaching your audience through social media is a great way to find clients as an online coach. In 2023, there are a ton of software options to help you make it easier than ever to automate your content creation and scheduling. After trying quite a few, I’ve ended up sticking with Socialbee and it’s my top pick for today for a number of reasons.
Things I love:
- FB Group Scheduling: A standout feature that I’ve found with Socialbee is its ability to schedule content directly to Facebook groups. Surprisingly, this is a rarity among many social media schedulers.
- Evergreen Content Cycles: The beauty of creating content that remains relevant over time is that it can be repurposed. With SocialBee, you can set up cycles of such evergreen content to allow you to focus on what you do best, helping your clients
- Content Revival: Ever had that great post from a year ago that you wished you could reshare? SocialBee lets you pull back old content, categorize it, and schedule it for a future date. It’s like giving your content a second life.
- Great Support: The hands-on support I’ve received from SocialBee deserves a mention. I had an interactive 1-on-1 call where they walked me through the entire platform, showcasing all its features.
Things I’m not a fan of:
- User Interface: While packed with features, I’ve found the platform’s user interface a bit clunky and less intuitive than I’d like.
- Pricing: At $29 per month, it’s on the steeper side compared to some other schedulers out there. But I think it’s worth having these great features!
Given these insights, if you’re trying to decide which social media scheduler to use for your coaching business, SocialBee is definitely worth checking out. The pros by far outweigh the cons and it’s helped me get on top of my posting schedule.
Best sales funnel for coaches
Getting people to buy your products and services isn’t always as straightforward as we would like it to be.
The journey of our potential buyers from strangers to friends and fans is such an important part of growing any coaching business.
That’s where funnels come into play and help us automate the path.
Out of the numerous tools out there, Thrivecart is my favorite funnel tool and I use it in my own business. Here’s why I love it.
Things I love:
- Affordable Long-Term: The one-time fee approach means significant savings over time.
- User-Friendly: Its intuitive design ensures a quick setup without the overwhelm.
- Bundled Course Platform: A fuss-free way to set up and deliver courses, without additional costs.
- Inbuilt Affiliate Program: Available in the premium plan, this feature eliminates the need for external affiliate management tools.
Things I’m not a fan of:
- Page Builder Limitations: While Thrivecart excels in many areas, its page builder could be more robust. Designing aesthetically pleasing pages requires a bit more effort.
- Unethical Marketing Practices: It’s quite important to me that the companies I invest in have the same values as I do so it frustrates me that Thrivecart has been using the “we’re moving onto a monthly subscription soon” outright lie to get people to sign up to their platform for as long as I can remember.
With so many overpriced software solutions on the market charging over $100 PER MONTH, I so appreciate Thrivecart’s commitment to staying affordable. They could have easily moved to a monthly subscription a long time ago but they haven’t (even though they keep saying they are going to).
When you’re just starting as a new coach a big monthly $$$ commitment can really hold you back from investing in the things you really need which is why I’m a big fan of Thrivecart to get you started and recommend it to anyone who needs a checkout and the ability to add order bumps and upsells to their products.
Best lead generation tool for coaches
You know how every person we meet on this online business journey isn’t just another name on a list, but a person with real needs, aspirations, and lived experiences of their own? That’s how I choose to see my “leads” (not even a big fan of the word tbh). They aren’t just numbers; they’re real people looking for a change, and maybe we’re the ones to help them find it.
And because we want to help as many people as possible
Now, let’s talk tools. I bet when I say “Elementor,” you think “website builder,” right? But let me tell you, it’s been my secret weapon for lead gen too. Here’s how…
Pop-Ups: Elementor lets me easily create pop-ups that feel like a natural part of the website.
Landing Pages: You can use Elementor to build your website pages but you can just as easily use to create most of the funnel pages you need. I use it for my lead magnet opt-in pages and works beautifully.
Forms: Using the Elementor paid plan you can easily add forms to your pages to capture people’s details in exchange for a lead magnet or invitation to an event (think webinars or 5-day challenges). If you’re not ready to sign up for the paid version you can easily embed a form from your email service provider using an html block.
The best part is that Elementor integrates seamlessly with Actiecampaign so everyone who signs up for my lead magnet gets automatically added to my email list and will start receiving emails from me. I don’t need to use third-party software like Zapier to connect the two which cuts down on cost and tech frustrations.
If you’re looking to start building your email list but you’re not ready to sign up for complicated funnel-building software you can get started right now with Elementor. When you’re ready to start building out more complicated funnels like SLOs you can upgrade to something like Thrivecart that allows you to add upsells and downsells to your checkout.
Best website & landing page analytics tools for coaches
In my line of work as a marketing coach and conversion copywriter, I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a grasp on the data behind your website and landing pages. It’s the backbone of refining your strategies and ultimately driving up those sales numbers.
I’ve tried Google Analytics, and while it’s solid for tracking views on my website and specific pages, I’ve got to admit, it’s not the most user-friendly out there. Delving deeper into its features? That’s a bit beyond me.
Enter Mouseflow. This tool has been a game-changer for me. With Mouseflow, I can see not just who’s viewing my pages but also how they engage with them. Knowing how far down a page they scroll is invaluable; it’s actionable intel on what parts of a page need some extra love and attention.
But here’s where the real magic happens: heatmaps. Installing these on your sales pages? Total revelation. With heatmaps, you can pinpoint exactly where visitors lose interest and drop off. Whether it’s the headline or a section further down, you’ll have the insights to fine-tune and optimize.
Mouseflow offers a pretty robust free plan, allowing you to gather up to 500 recordings of user behavior. That’s a treasure trove of insights without even spending a dime.
In conclusion, if you’re serious about understanding the nitty-gritty of your website and landing page’s performance, and if you want tangible data that you can act upon, Mouseflow is a tool you’ll want in your arsenal.
Best project management tools for coaches
When you’re knee-deep in the coaching business, especially if you’re leaning heavily into 1:1 packages, it’s essential to have your onboarding set up and automated. No coach wants to sift through endless emails, scramble to locate lost files, or feel that nagging doubt of possibly forgetting an appointment.
That’s where a dedicated project management tool is really going to make a huge difference in your business.
You’ll be able to smoothly send over contracts, effortlessly schedule weekly catch-ups, and neatly lay out feedback and assignments.
It doesn’t just lighten YOUR load – it also ensures that your client doesn’t feel overwhelmed either.
While there are a bunch of tools out there, I recommend Satori App because I’ve used it before and found it simple, cleanly laid out, and affordable.
Just starting out and need to make money as quickly as possible with as little expense as possible? Here are the only tools you need to start making money?
Best video conferencing tool for coaches
If you’re a coach, odds are you’re clocking in significant hours on 1:1 video calls with potential and current clients. The tool you use? It’s not just about good video; it’s about making the whole process smooth for both you and your clients.
With a plethora of video conferencing options available, the key isn’t just video quality. It’s also about how seamlessly it gels with your other tools—especially your calendar. Trust me, manually sending out meeting links for every client call? That’s a no-go.
For 1:1 sessions, Google Meet is a great option, and the best part? It’s free! Given how quickly software expenses can pile up, this is a refreshing change.
- Free to use: This is huge when you’re racking up costs on everything from the emails you send out to scheduling your social media posts. One less cost to worry about.
- Google Drive Integration: Your meeting recordings and transcriptions are automatically saved to your Google Drive account. I absolutely love this!
- Widely used: Google Meet integrates seamlessly with most calendar software already so you don’t need to worry about using a third-party integration tool like Zapier to connect them.
- Video quality: The video quality is not quite up to the same standard as Zoom yet but I’ve definitely seen an improvement since the last time I used it so it seems they’re working on this.
- Streaming capabilities: As far as I know you can’t stream into your FB group with Google Meet like you can with Zoom. But I’m going to be experimenting with the free version of Streamyard for this instead.
To sum it up, Google Meet is a great free alternative to Zoom that works just as well and integrates with most software making it easy to move over and cut costs.
Best scheduling app for coaches
If you’re not ready to sign up for a project management software like Satori and you really need to just get started on your 1:1 coaching business journey with as little cost as possible then the only thing you need is to start taking discovery calls and making sales and a good scheduling app will allow you to do both of those things.
When I first started my business as a service provider all I had was a website and Acuity.
Acuity allows you to create multiple appointment types, recurring appointments and take payments for your sessions.
It also sends out reminder emails and even text messages (on the higher tier payment plan) because you really don’t want people to miss your scheduled calls.
I tested out a few different options when I first started out and i found Acuity the easiest to use and the most intuitive to set up.
So for as little as $16 per month, you could start booking clients and making an income from your coaching business.
Best payment gateway for coaches
When it comes to payment gateways that actually integrate with other tools, Stripe has a monopoly on the market.
I’m not a big fan of them because I think their fees are too high and they’re taking advantage of the fact that they have little competition at the moment BUT Stripe works with everything and once you start automating your client processes you don’t want to be sending out manual links for people to pay you. It’s a pain!
Now you might think to yourself, well Cheryl, I don’t mind doing a little bit of extra legwork to save myself some bucks! But the problem is, it’s not only painful for you it’s also painful for your clients. And you want to make paying you as easy as humanly possible.
From your client’s point of view, getting a link to schedule an appointment and pay you all in one go is super easy (like Acuity allows them to do when you integrate with Stripe).
Ok, that’s it, my friends! I’ve shared the best tools to get you from A to Z in your business journey.
Having the right tools in your coaching backpack is going to help you so much – not just for your growth, but for providing great experiences to your clients so they come back again and again.
From video conferencing platforms to lead generation tools, we’ve explored the top 10 tools every coach will need as they move through the phases of getting their first clients, automating, and then scaling.
Remember, it’s not about having the MOST tools, but the RIGHT ones that work for your budget and the current needs of your business.
These tools won’t just allow you to market yourself more effectively but they’ll allow you to have more free time which can only mean having the space and freedom to bring more energy back to making a difference in your client’s lives.