It can be overwhelming when you start to build a business. The key to success is finding and using the most effective tools. To save you some time, and to help you succeed faster, I’ve gathered up my favorite services and products I have used over the years to build my own practice. I would not be where I am today without them.
I hope you find them as helpful as I do!
For your convenience, this post contains some affiliate links, meaning if you click on one of the links and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission. That helps to keep this website up and running- without costing you a penny more. Read all of the disclosure policy here.
StudioPress is my go-to for building my websites. Instead of having to learn lots of coding, all I have to do is focus on which theme gives the look I want for my site. StudioPress uses the Genesis framework.
That means that you install two themes on your site: Genesis as the “parent” theme and whatever child theme has the look and layout you want. Activate the child theme, and then start clicking on the options you want to display on your site. When updates are made, they run through the parent theme, Genesis. That prevents you site from breaking when there are updates. Whew!
StudioPress makes life easy! (Yes, this site is running on the Genesis parent theme and whatever child theme I have activated right now. I change the child themes on my sites to keep up with the latest looks in web design.)
Another fabulous piece about all themes from StudioPress: they come with a guide to tell you exactly how to set it up the way you see it on the demo. (You can demo each and every theme right on their site before you buy, so you can see how each piece looks and what things you can select to do.)
Not only do they have a guide, but there are forums where you can find out how to get in and really customize your theme, should you want to move the menu from the left side to the right side, or add another column. There is also a fabulous customer support team behind the scenes, who quickly replies to questions and problems that you may run into on your them. That alone is worth the cost of purchasing one of their themes! Tech support AND a great looking site? What’s not to love?
Audio Recordings and Podcasts
AudioAcrobat has come in so handy. Not only can I use it to record interviews, but I can also use it to record classes no matter where I am. I can use it while traveling, at a conference, or even when I am sitting on my back porch.
You can set up an iTunes podcast, and after typing in the name of the episode and clicking a few buttons, voila! Your podcast is live.
In addition to housing your recordings here, you can also house videos. That keeps from slowing down your website, and makes it so that you only have to log in one place to find everything.
Because it is secure, and audios can only be accessed by sharing the link, you can record motivational messages to share with clients, like relaxation techniques, messages of encouragement, and step-by-step directions.
Audio Acrobat has a lot of functionality, and comes with lots of great support from their team. They regularly offer webinars and trainings, along with a great library of help right when you need it.
Email Service Provider
AWeber has a lot of bells and whistles, while offering a great price point. You can set up entire courses to be delivered through email, along with keeping in touch with “your list” of customers who have signed up to hear updates and insights straight from you to them.
Like other popular email service providers, there are options to segment and tag your list, so you can send them the information that is best suited for them. (And if this makes no sense to you at the moment, don’t worry about it! You’ll be glad that you signed up for an email service provider that offers these functions down the road.)
And unlike providers who don’t provide a library of templates, sign-up forms, or images to use in your emails, Aweber includes all of that for you. Should you want to get adventurous, you can use their drag and drop creator to design your own email design.
To get you started on what to write and share with those who sign up for your emails, AWeber has created this fabulous free guide to walk you through step-by-step with easy to use templates.
Photos and Graphics
Storyblocks is a complete media company, offering graphics, photos, audios, and videos. (You do have to purchase separate subscriptions for the audio and video components.)
Unlike other stock photo sites that require you to purchase photos individually using credits to select the size of the image you are allowed to download, Storyblocks allows you to pay one annual fee, and then download as many images as you like.
You can adjust the photos and graphics (and you are encouraged to change them to make them your own). They can be used on all kinds of materials, from digital images on websites, to social media, to your own products.
Audio Blocks, part of the Storyblocks family, has all kinds of royalty-free music that you are licensed to use for your projects. From adding in a quick intro to your podcast or class, to background music for your videos or relaxation audios, Audio Blocks makes it easy to find just the right music.
There are sound effects to choose from, lilke slamming doors or crying babies. There are “loops” where the same tune plays over and over, making it easy to edit background music in your videos. There are different lengths, from just a few seconds to over 2 minutes in length. And you can also select by mood, genre, tempo, and instrument.
Videoblocks is the third members of the Storyblocks family. And you guessed it- just the like the other two, you can find various video clips by topic and length inside.
Therapy Practice Software
Counsol is the software I use for my therapy practice. After spending a few weeks researching all of the available options that were around (and creating a rather detailed chart comparing all of their features), I chose Counsol and I haven’t regretted it.
Not only does it send reminders to my clients of their appointments (they can choose if they want phone calls, emails, or text messages), but they can see what openings I have on my schedule, complete the intake forms, and pay on their account all from inside the ultra secure client portal.
This system allows me to conduct HIPAA compliant online sessions with them, without any of us having to set up additional accounts and user names on other complimentary secure software. One thing that really set this system apart for me was the ability to really personalize it for my clients.
I can add informational handouts and audio recordings of me walking them through techniques for them to use in-between sessions (this is another reason why I love Audio Acrobat). I can even categorize them by topic, like depression, anxiety, parenting, relationships, and more, so that they can have access to those items that are pertinent for their treatment plan, without overloading them.
There is also a journal feature (that you can turn on and off), that allows clients to journal between sessions in a private place. They can choose to share certain journal entries with you or not, based on how you have the system set up.
Zamzar has saved me countless times. This free software service allows you to upload a file, and then convert it to another format. This works for images, audios, videos, documents, and more. Take that PDF and make it a JPG within minutes!
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