Below are the tools, applications, and websites that I recommend for creating an epic coaching / service provider business.
Many of these are the foundation of my business today, plus I've included some "fun" resources that I use in daily life and think you might enjoy too!
You’ll notice that some of these are affiliate links, which don’t cost you any extra, but help support me. Thank you so much! (More info here)
General Stock Photography Resources:
Click the button for a demo video of stock photos with authentic images of women - not just smiling with salads! (some affiliate links below)SEE DEMO
Diversity, BIPOC, and Authentic Resources:
The options above have diverse images too, but the below are more specific. (some affiliate links below)
Click the button for a demo video of some of these sites.SEE DEMO
Website & Sales Page Builders
I recently switched from Squarespace to Kajabi and I love it! Let me tell you why I switched. I used Squarespace for years when I first started my business because it's simple, affordable, and beautiful. The platform was set up to limit your ability to change things up too much...this protected non-designers from making not so pretty changes to their sites :-)
As of 2022 they're rolling out a new version that gives users the ability to drag things anywhere on their pages that they want. No limits. This is fabulous for designers who want creative freedom, but a nightmare for clients who aren't as design-savvy or tech-savvy.
Squarespace makes this hard and manual to do. Kajabi just lets you upload a zip file and bam! it's on your site.
Kajabi is so easy to use, and if you have trouble making it look the way you want, it's a breeze to insert template pages into.
Kajabi solves all your needs:
- Build your entire website on Kajabi
- Create all your sales pages
- House all your course content
- Host your podcast
- Create a blog
- Do all your email marketing too
- Kajabi does EVERYTHING!
Not only that, but I love the simplicity of the Kajabi design platform, and the fact that it's an all-in-one solution which allowed me to cancel Squarespace, LeadPages, and ConvertKit (plus MemberVault or Teachable to house courses) in lieu of one simple monthly bill from Kajabi.
So for pretty much the exact same cost, my life is simpler. And SIMPLE is one of my core values! Kajabi for life!
Try it out yourself with the affiliate link below and you'll love it just as much as me!
P.S.: Once my Kajabi template shop launches...you can insert GORGEOUS designs into your account with ease so you can market yourself freely, find customers, and rake in those sales!KAJABI
LeadPages is my favorite sales page builder for non-Kajabi users because you can use it for sales pages outside your normal website building account (Ex: if you have Squarespace, or Wix, or Wordpress, or no website at all...you can still use LeadPages to make sales pages for your business.
I love how you can make so many different sales pages in a single account, customize them with ease, and even add timers for more complex needs (no extra timer subscription service required).
Plus no matter where you move your website, all your landing and sales pages are safe and sound in your LeadPages account.
Try it free for 14 days with the affiliate link below!LEADPAGES
Kajabi to the rescue again! I mentioned they cover your email needs in the post above, but just in case you missed that, here you go!
It's wonderful to be able to do all your email marketing without having to connect another software provider to your website platform with complex "zaps" and integrations.
Simple and easy for the win! Try it out with my affiliate link below :DKajabi
ConvertKit is a fantastic standalone email service provider if you need one outside your website platform. Their tagging is amazing and now you can make your email sequences with a cool visual builder tool (which makes my designer heart sing). Yes, there's a ramp-up. And it's not free, but it's worth every penny. Great support too! (affiliate link below)CONVERTKIT
Adobe Photoshop (Creative Cloud):
This is a huge one for me as a designer and I use it EVERY day. Life would be so much duller without PS in my life! People think it's expensive but really it's not. You can get the Adobe Photography Plan which includes both Photoshop, and Lightroom, for only $10/mo (US). That's what I used for years! There's even a free trial, so you can't lose :D (affiliate link below)
If you're looking for a one-time-payment alternative to Photoshop (and Illustrator, and InDesign) check out Affinity Photo, Designer, and Publisher.Photoshop (Adobe Photography Plan)
Not into Photoshop? I get it! Then Canva is likely for you! You can use the free tier to create a ton of beautiful graphics at no cost, and can supplement those with premium photos and icons by paying ala carte. If you upgrade to the Canva PRO plan, you can
- get all the premium stuff (like photos! And cool graphics!) included at no extra cost
- save files with transparent backgrounds (png) which is handy for last minute logos. The free plan only lets you save “flat” (jpg) images
- upload custom fonts to your account - whoa!
- keep all your logos and brand colors neatly tucked into your account for quick usage on all designs, and more!
(affiliate link below)CANVA
Video / Audio Editing
Descript is this awesome new way to edit your audio and video. I used to use Camtasia, but lately I just use Descript (it even does transcription, real-time, while you’re talking). The company describes it as “An all-in one audio/video editor, as easy as a doc!”
You don’t have to mess around with audio or video timelines, you literally edit by deleting the text in the transcript. You can even auto-remove “ums”. And the coolest part? They have this magical thing called “Overdub” that’s ultra-realistic voice cloning.
Like, it records your voice, and then you can edit a word you said in your audio to another word that YOU DIDN’T SAY, and it makes it SOUND LIKE YOU DID! (all caps required for this level of sorcery lol). That overdub function is on the higher paid plan, but all the other goodness is in the cheaper level.
I’m using Descript to record a new Podcast I’m creating! Can’t wait to share that with you :-) (affiliate links below)DESCRIPT
My Favorite Graphic & Font Resources
I’ve been a customer of Creative Market for going on 15 years, and I also sell my own products there in my Sarah Design Creative Market Shop! I started the shop when I was selling mockup files for drinkware sellers, and am branching out to sell all kinds of entrepreneurial resources there as well.
One reason I love to shop on CM over other graphic design marketplaces is that every purchase I make is saved into my “purchases” area so I can go download them anytime. This means I don’t have to store all my thousands of fonts and graphics on my computer - maybe you can relate? ;-)
(affiliate links below) You can visit the Creative Market homepage here or go directly to my shop with the button below.MY CREATIVE MARKET SHOP
Nicky Laatz (Font Designer):
I discovered Nicky Laatz on Creative Market and couldn’t stop binging on her fonts! Some of my favorites are, Blooming Elegant (affiliate) which is a font "trio" so you get 3 fonts at once that all look amazing together. I'm also drooling over her Handlettered Font Box (affiliate), because it is packed with even more stuff like 24 individual fonts, 180 vector illustrations, and 12 pre-made logo templates. It would be a travesty not to own this :D The Bloomishly (affiliate) font looks pretty dreamy too...I may have to snatch that up as well! (affiliate links below - and above!)NICKY LAATZ SHOP
Skillshare is an online learning community where you can explore thousands of classes in design, photography, business, and more. New customers can get started with a free trial to get unlimited access to the entire catalog with a Premium Membership. I’ve taken LOADS of classes there and am loving it! (affiliate links below)
Adi Singh: Make a Professional Skillshare Class (affiliate)
Marjet Wullink: Instagram Branding (affiliate)
Dandan Liu: Thrive Through Uncertainty (affiliate)
Sorelle Amore: YouTube Success (affiliate)
Get 14 days FREE of Skillshare Premium with the affiliate link belowSKILLSHARE