If you’re just starting out as a coach—whether a soccer coach, life coach, cycling coach, running coach, chess coach, any kind of client-based business—you may be struggling to find the best ways to onboard and sign clients up without spending cash upfront. While more established coaches might prefer pricey software and subscription-based services that streamline the coaching process, it’s absolutely possible to get started without outlaying cash. Here are a few of our favorite services and apps that offer free options for new (and longtime!) coaches:
The Google Suite
It may seem obvious, but it’s worth pointing out the power of even a free Gmail account for your coaching business. Even within a free Gmail account, make intake forms for new clients in Forms, you’re able to communicate with clients via email, create outlines of plans for their progress in Docs or Sheets, and you’re able to schedule and host one-on-one meetings within Google Calendar and Google Meet. Starting here creating a business-specific email account like coach[yourname]@gmail.com is a great first step.
Google Forms + the Payable Add-On
Once you’re established in Google with your coach-oriented Gmail, you can not only use that Google Form to get info from your clients about their coaching needs and questions they have, you can also use it to set up payments from clients. Using the Payable Add-On, you can add a checkout and collect cash for phone or video consults, ongoing monthly coaching, or any other payment type you prefer. You can even add bonuses, like a book or video course that you offer in addition to your coaching services. In just a few minutes, you can have a landing page and checkout created for new clients, without needing to pay for pricey web hosting. (Find out how to set up your Form here.)
Using Canva to design logos, business cards, and any other print or digital materials you need instantly helps you create a professional vibe for your business, thanks to thousands of free templates to get you started instantly. It makes creating everything from flyers to infographics shockingly easy, and you can upload your own photos to bring personality to your project. You can also print directly from Canva, and the prices are incredibly reasonable for things like business cards and postcards, without sacrificing quality. For more free stock photos, try Unsplash!
Notion or Evernote
Both Notion and Evernote are great spots to keep track of client files. Both offer free and paid versions, but the free versions of both are more than enough to get you started. Notion has a steep learning curve, but allows you to do more with databases, tables, task lists and kan ban boards, so if you like the idea of creating a customized workspace (with the option to make part of it public and essentially creating your own wikipedia-style website within the platform), Notion is a great option to try. If you just need a place to keep client files—notes on each client, next steps, other business info—then Evernote, with its notes that can be organized into different notebooks, is a great spot to start, and is definitely the easier of the two to use instantly. It’s less personalized, but it keeps things simple!