Whether you’re a life coach, business coach, wellness coach, career coach or any other kind of change agent, you need smart affordable online tools and systems to run a successful business. It’s tempting to purchase systems you may use someday, but that can run your monthly costs up high and pull your profits down. So, how do you know which are best for where you are in your coaching business right now?
I like to run a lean business and fully leverage the systems I pay for while also utilizing free or shareware solutions wherever I can. I wanted you to know about the tried and true online tools that I use. Here they are in 3 categories:
- Paid services all coaches need
- Services to grow into
- Free and useful
PAID SERVICE ALL COACHES NEED
Want to build a list of future clients?
Aweber  is still the best. Constant Contact and Mail Chimp are good enough for hobbyists but not flexible enough for a growing business. Aweber is the still the most respected email management system. They have knowledgeable customer service, unlimited autoresponders, easy to use email templates, and a reasonable starting price of $19/mo.
Want your clients to easily schedule sessions with you?
Go for TimeTrade , an online scheduling system that plays well with online calendars like Google calendar and iCal. I’ve tested a half dozen different systems like this and most are pricey, clunky and confusing. TimeTrade is easy to set up and manage and easy for your clients to use. It makes you look and feel professional for only $49/year.
Want to record your coaching sessions and provide mp3s?
I’ve had an account with AudioAcrobat  for 15 years. They have personalized customer service and a simple, smart process that allows you to record calls with clients, conference calls and teleclasses, then store and share mp3s. Recorded sessions are a great perk for clients. I also use AA to store teleclass recordings for my paid programs.
SERVICES TO GROW INTO
Want to produce your own teleseminars and webinars?
Instant Teleseminar  (IT) makes it super easy to attract new clients, make money and serve your clients online. This is an affordable system for creating your own online promotions and group coaching programs. You can even play pre-recorded content to a live audience. And you won’t need technical support to set everything up.
A step up from IT is Evergreen Business Systems  which allows you to pre-create webinars and then run events over and over on auto-pilot.
Want to gather your clients into a private social network?
Ning  is an inexpensive way to create a high quality social network of your own. I’ve used this for Mastermind groups to provide participants with a way to get to know each other, stay in touch, share news, questions and feedback.
Want to sell your own membership programs?
I use Digital Access Pass  to store and deliver my two step-by step blueprints Your Highly Profitable Niche  and Client Winning Websites & Blogs  to enrolled members. It also has an affiliate system. And you can set up discount coupons for promotions.
FREE AND USEFUL
Dropbox  is the greatest invention in the last few years. If you have an assistant, web designer, colleague or others you want to share files with, store them here!
FreeConferencing  Why pay for a bridgeline when you can get this smart one free?
WorkFlowy  keeps you organized and on task.
Survey Monkey  allows you to create simple online surveys.
Vistaprint  provides free and low cost business cards you can design yourself online!
World Clock  helps you figure out international time differences.
Image Resizer  makes it easy to resize any graphic including headshots.
Kuler  gives you great ideas for color palettes for your website or brochures.
Headline analyzer  helps you craft headlines or subject lines that grab attention.
WHAT ELSE? Chime in below  to share your favorite free and paid systems. Tell us why you like them and share the link. Also, if you’re looking for something you don’t see here, leave a question and I’ll get back to you.