15 min read
I remember the first time I discovered Google Drive.
After years of sending different document versions with collaborators, I finally had access to a tool that allowed me to work with multiple people inside it.
Not only that, I could also access the document on any computer without taking up space on my own computer’s hard drive (which was ridiculously full of photos at the time).
A few days in, and I was totally hooked. I still use Google Drive today!
There’s nothing quite like finding the right tool that makes your job so much easier.
It can take a bit of searching and experimentation, but when you start using it, it can be hard to remember a time when you didn’t have it. It becomes that integrated into your day-to-day routine!
As a coach, you spend so much time already nurturing and onboarding your clients that finding coaching tools to automate and streamline your process is more important than ever.
Instead of doing your own research, we’ve put together a list of coaching tools to help you and your clients create a stronger bond through a professional, delightful client experience.
It doesn’t matter where you are in your coaching journey—whether you are just starting out with your first few clients or you are starting to expand your business. Everyone can benefit from having the right tools in their toolbelt.
Since coaching can be a specialized industry, it’s important to find coaching software that will work for you rather than against you. To ease your clients into the coaching process and enhance their experience, here are a few coaching tools to help you make a great first and lasting impression.
As you grow your coaching business, you’ll find that a lot of your time is spent in your email inbox. Although you may love jumping on calls with your clients, you still have to spend time sending invoices, creating questionnaires, scheduling sessions, and managing your clients along the way.
If you’ve gotten to a point where you feel like you are spending more time working on the admin side of your business than the coaching side, it might be time to invest in a CRM (or client reputation management) tool. This will allow you to automate admin tasks in your business and create a consistent client and onboarding experience so you look like a total pro.
You may have heard of popular CRM tools like Dubsado and Honeybook, but the beautiful thing about Satori is that it was specifically built for coaches. This means that every software feature was uniquely made to help you build a sustainable online coaching business.
Since Satori is for coaches only, you have the opportunity to create a branded experience for your coaching clients while building multiple coaching packages and programs to fit your clients’ needs.
With hundreds of coaches using Satori, it’s no surprise that it has become one of the top CRM tools for automating your online coaching business. Starting at $39/month, Satori might be just what you need to save yourself time and energy as you scale your coaching business.
Here is a brief list of some of Satori’s highly rated features and services:
Not sure if it is the right fit for you? You can try it before you buy it with their 30-day free trial. Take some time to explore all of the features and see if it’s a tool you could see yourself using to manage the day-to-day tasks in your coaching business.
Maybe you aren’t looking for something as robust as Satori is, but you still want to schedule client sessions in an easy way. If you’re tired of playing email ping-pong as you suggest meeting times back and forth, it may be the perfect time to introduce an automated scheduling tool into your business workflow.
Calendly is one of the most popular scheduling tools on the web. Setting up your Calendly account is incredibly easy, and it helps you determine what times and dates you’re available while blocking off times you’re unavailable. You can customize your coaching session time lengths depending on the type of coaching call.
You can also sync your Calendly account with your Google Calendar or iCalendar so you don’t have to worry about double booking yourself.
We also love that you can schedule buffer times in between meetings so you have some wiggle room in between calls to prepare and rest.
With two million Calendly users, it’s safe to say this tool is a home run for small businesses, organizations, and solo entrepreneurs alike. You can test out the tool for free with one event type to see if it works for you before you decide to make an investment. Their lowest paid plans start at $8/month per user, making it a budget-friendly option for many coaches.
When you grow your coaching business to a point where you have multiple team members, You Can Book Me might be worth exploring. They pride themselves on being the best calendar scheduling platform for teams.
Much like Calendly, you can sync your scheduling availability to your event calendars so you don’t double book an appointment or have to reschedule a personal event. It also helps you quickly convert time zones, which can be a great feature for coaches who collaborate with clients in different countries.
You can customize reminders and follow-ups for prospective and current clients through email or even through SMS text messaging. With custom visual branding options, it’s safe to say this tool can help you personalize just about every aspect of calendar scheduling.
After trying their free 14-day trial, you can make the decision to invest or not after experimenting with the tool. Instead of having to pay per user like Calendly, you only pay one price of $10/month per team calendar with access to all of their resources.
They also have a highly rated customer service team that is available to answer questions at any time.
Acuity Scheduling has become one of the top scheduling platforms among creative entrepreneurs. Along with being able to book coaching sessions, you can also collect payments through PayPal, Stripe, or Square right in their tool. It also integrates with popular accounting tools like Freshbooks, Quickbooks, and Xero for easy and automatic updates.
Acuity isn’t a full-blown CRM, but it does more than your traditional calendar scheduling tool. Because of this, it can be a great fit for coaches who want a more robust scheduling and automated payment processing tool but don’t have the budget or need for a CRM.
You can keep track of your revenue growth within Acuity and customize your forms so they provide a seamless user experience when embedded on your website. If you want to include discounts on your packages, sell gift cards, or collect ongoing membership payments, you can also do this through Acuity.
Starting at $15/month for one calendar, coaches can automate their scheduling and payments all within Acuity. You can start with a 14-day trial here.
If you primarily use Gmail to communicate with your clients, Assistant.to might be just what you’ve been looking for. Rather than having to pay for a separate software to schedule your meetings, you can book coaching sessions by installing Assistant.to to your Gmail account and start using it within seconds.
By using this tool, you can send custom scheduling options to your clients with a few clicks of a button. While this is better than emailing back and forth about scheduling a meeting, it won’t automate the process for you. You still have to go into your Gmail app and choose all of the times you’re available for each client.
If this is too much of a trade-off, you’d be better off looking into other calendar and scheduling systems. If you don’t mind not having the ability to automate this process and want all of your communication to stay in Gmail, Assistant.to could be a good match.
We’ve talked at length about calendar scheduling options, but there are plenty of other coaching tools that you will want to have in your arsenal.
One of the most common problems coaches have is determining how they want to communicate with their clients after a coaching session.
Since many coaches offer monthly or ongoing coaching packages, there is bound to be some back and forth communication between your coaching sessions. What tools should you use to take these conversations outside of your overwhelmingly full inbox?
You could start by introducing Voxer into your coaching practice. Naming itself “the walkie-talkie app for team communication”, Voxer allows you to send private voice messages to team members and clients through their app.
Instead of having to leave a voicemail on someone’s phone, you can send a voice recording straight to their Voxer account so they can listen and replay it as many times as they’d like. You can also keep all of your conversations with clients in one central place within the app which works on Android and iPhone devices alike.
Some of your coaching clients may have an easier time talking through a voice recording than trying to compose an email. To save you and your clients time, check out Voxer for free and see if it can work for you.
If sending audio messages to your coaching clients seems cool, just wait until you test out Loom. It is a free video recording software that allows you to send cloud-based recordings to your coaching clients in between sessions.
You can choose to share your desktop with their screen-sharing capabilities, or you can simply record yourself speaking through your device’s camera. If you want to share your screen while showing a video of yourself, you can do that too!
One of the things we love most about Loom is that after your record your video, it is hosted online and stored in the cloud so it doesn’t take extra storage in your device or computer.
If you are planning to create multiple videos per client that are longer than fifteen minutes, this tool can save you from slowing down your computer or having to invest in several external hard drives. The best part is that Loom is free to use when you sign up here.
If video recordings sound interesting but you’re trying to figure out how you’ll meet with coaching clients during a live session, you may want to explore Zoom. It has become a crowd favorite among many coaches, and for good reason.
Skype and Google Hangouts have similar video conferencing capabilities, but Zoom has won people over because of its ease of use and how simple it is to schedule meetings. It’s even better for coaches who want to hold group coaching programs and are interested in having every member jump on the live call at the same time.
Zoom is also known for having great picture and sound quality with a more reliable connection to the internet. All you need to do to get started is to sign up for an account and download the software.
We mentioned contracts when we talked about CRM tools above, but what happens if you don’t have a CRM? Can you still create and sent contracts with ease? HelloSign says yes!
With HelloSign, you can upload a proposal or contract that needs a signature to make the partnership official. You and your clients can easily sign contracts so you can start your coaching engagement even quicker.
This kind of tool is important because we recommend completing a contract agreement for every client you work with. Yes, even if it is a family member or one of your best friends!
Having a contract means that you have a legally binding agreement that outlines what services you will provide and expectations that need to be met by you and your client.
If you only send around three contracts a month, you can use HelloSign for free. Since most of us have more contracts than that each month as we grow our coaching businesses, you may want to upgrade to the $13/month plan if you really love this tool.
During coaching sessions, you may want to jot down notes. You could write down your thoughts on a journal or notebook, but then you’ll have to transfer them to your computer to share them with your client.
Instead, you can create an Evernote account that can be accessed on any device.
Evernote allows you to create a full-blown note organization system. If you are managing multiple clients at a time, their notes can be accessed in one central place. This makes it easy for you to find and share them with your clients.
It’s been named “the best note-taking app”, and we happen to agree! You can create to-do lists for your clients, share your thoughts and ideas, and collaborate inside the documents for a streamlined process in between sessions.
Keep in mind that while it is free to get started with Evernote, you will have to upgrade if you want more storage and features. But with plans starting at $7.99/month per user, you’ll be able to take notes and organize your documents without breaking the bank.
This might be a tool you are already using, but we wanted to make sure we mentioned it in our list. Google Drive allows you to not only keep notes stored in the cloud like Evernote, but you can also create slideshows, spreadsheets, and other types of collaborative documents.
You may also want to store photo galleries, videos, and other file types. Google Drive makes this simple by storing everything in one place. With a free Google account, you have instant access to Google Drive from any device.
If you need a central place to store all of your questionnaires, client notes, contracts, invoices, and other documents, Google Drive could be what you’re looking for.
What if you want to communicate with your coaching clients over text, but you don’t want the SMS messaging fees that come along with it? Whatsapp is a simple and secure way to message and call people in your network by using your internet connection.
If you want to communicate through text with clients who are overseas, Whatsapp is the perfect way to keep all of your communication in one place without expensive data charges. You can utilize the app on your phone or desktop.
Some coaches prefer not to communicate with clients using their personal number through Whatsapp, but others find it easier to incorporate into their internal process than emailing. It’s all about what works best for you.
If you want to test it out, you can download the app for free on any iPhone, Android, PC, or Mac.
We updated this post in 2020 with lucky #13, a new player in the scene called Paperbell.
If Satori appeals to you but you’d like to check out other options, Paperbell is an interesting contender. Their focus is on integrating payment and scheduling into one smooth process so that your clients are only shown scheduling options after they pay. This eliminates the need for invoicing or trying to figure out who has paid and who hasn’t.
Paperbell hosts and processes payment for your coaching packages. They offer a wide variety of types of packages including sessions-per-month subscriptions, one-off sessions, and free sessions. Unlike Satori, you can connect a Stripe or PayPal account (Satori is PayPal only).
If you’ve been looking for an all-in-one coaching tool that handles scheduling, payment, keeping track of how many sessions are left, and client management, Paperbell is a solid option.
Now that you’ve read through a dozen options, what coaching tools feel like your best fit?
If you still aren’t sure, no problem! That means it’s time to experiment with a few to see which one you might want to use within your coaching business.
We challenge you to choose at least one coaching tool from this list to test this week. Pick a few features that caught your eye and see how you like them once you are inside the tool. You never know until you try it for yourself!
Many of these tools have a free, no-obligation trial so there’s no risk in giving these tools a shot. You may find your new favorite coaching software!