Business Tips for Guides
The following is a list of resources for a newly certified guide who needs to get started promoting their practice. These are products and services that I currently use or used myself, and I would never recommend anything I haven’t tried and found to be awesome!
Please note some of these links are affiliate links so if you sign up or buy, I may make a commission, at no extra cost to you. Keep in mind that I only share about companies that I truly believe in. To learn more, read our Disclosure Policy.
If you don’t already have a website, you will need one. There are many ways to create a website or hire someone to do create it and maintain it for you. Each way to create a website has its own pros and cons, so do your research before you commit. Tooltester has a great drop-down menu of website builder reviews.
On a personal level, I chose to build my website myself with WordPress for the flexibility, so that I could own it instead of a third party, and have more control over SEO (Search Engine Optimization) when people search.
Need help getting started? I create and design websites, like the one you’re viewing now. I can help you with advice and how to get started on your own, or design a website that fits your needs. From website design, to ticketing and waivers, I can help! Just email me here and we can start chatting!
Branding. Your new business needs it. It doesn’t have to be difficult, but there’s more to be done after deciding what your business name is going to be. You need consistent design and branding to promote a cohesive and professional look in your business. Think logo, color palette, set fonts, etc, which should be used in email, messaging, social media, paper materials, and of course, your website.
Creative Market is a design marketplace where you can purchase fonts, graphics, templates, photos, website themes – you name it, they probably have it! Every week CM puts out 6 free goodies you can download! For inspiration, check out my forest therapy collection. I’ve saved from gorgeous artists on CM.
How are you going to get people to sign up for your walks? You’ll need a good marketing strategy. Start off by getting an email service provider. Tip: you’ll need to get an email with yourbusiness.com and not firstname.lastname@example.org. I use Google Workspace and then integrate it in with my web host and email marketing provider.
Email – Flodesk
I I use Flodesk for my email marketing needs. I love the beautiful look of the emails and it is super easy to learn via click and drag email builder. Customs fonts and image collages are just a few features of these gorgeous emails for newsletters and opt-ins. You can grab 50% off your subscription for the first year with my affiliate link here or click the image above.
Social Media – Later
Later is the all-in-one social marketing platform for the top social networks. Plan, analyze, and publish your content in a few clicks – so you can save time and grow your business. There is a free plan to try it out! Click on image or link to get 10 more posts a month free through my affiliate link.
I love using Google Workspace for my business needs. In addition to having a professional email, I love how everything is managed in one area – my docs, my SEO, my voice phone, etc.
What is Google Workspace?
Google Workspace is a cloud-based productivity suite that helps teams communicate, collaborate and get things done from anywhere and on any device. It’s simple to set up, use and manage, so your business can focus on what really matters.
Here are some highlights:
Business email for your domain Look professional and communicate as email@example.com. Gmail’s simple features help you build your brand while getting more done.
Access from any location or device
Check emails, share files, edit documents, hold video meetings and more, whether you’re at work, at home or on the move. You can pick up where you left off from a computer, tablet or phone.
Enterprise-level management tools
Robust admin settings give you total command over users, devices, security and more.
Sign up using my link https://referworkspace.app.goo.gl/3bpj and get a free 14-day trial, and message me to get an exclusive discount when you try Google Workspace for your business.
Social Media – Tailwind
Tailwind is another great social media planning and batch posting tool. While I mainly use this one for Pinterest, it also supports Facebook and Instagram. How nice is it to post to all of your social media accounts in one click?! Click the image or here for your first month free if you upgrade from a free account to a paid account.
When starting a business you need to make sure that you are protected. The resources below cover everything from liability insurance to legal documents are that crucial to protecting yourself.
You will need liability insurance for you, your business, and any people you hire. Sometimes the place where you will be guiding, say a city entity or nature preserve, will request not just a copy of your liability policy, but that they be added to the policy. Alternative Balance does all of this, and is a very affordable option for forest therapy guides.
An important tip: If you purchase a policy with AB, and not guiding full time, select the “Per Diem (avg. 10 hrs. or less a week for all services combined). You also need to select the Sports Coaching & Recreational Fitness premium policy as well. You can add “additional insureds” to your policy for just $10 any time.
It’s hard to find a low cost solution to booking your walk events. After a lot of searching I discovered TicketSpice. TicketSpice pricing is $0.99 per ticket, their average credit card fees are 2.99% and there is
no contracts, no setup fees, and no cancelation fees. Compare that to EventBrite which is $1.59 + 3.5%, with no limit in maximum fee per ticket.
I love Wave! It is a great software/app that you can do your business bookkeeping AND send out invoices – FOR FREE. Need to send an invoice to a partner? FREE and customizable. Need to connect your money accounts and get your accounting in order? FREE. I also make skincare and artesian products in bulk orders, and this helps me provide my customers with payment solutions.
If you don’t already have a website, you will need one. There are many ways to create a website or hire someone to do create it and maintain it for you.
Online Business & Marketing
I love Tracie Fobes. I found her on Facebook a few years ago, joined her FB groups for blogging and website advice and was able to move forward in my business.
In addition to providing super fast answers to questions from website help to business, she has a wonderful selection of courses that range from being profitable in blogging, using Pinterest for your business, and a ton of awesome printables for email newsletters, opt-ins, and affiliate marketing. Her website also has a ton of free resources from website design to marketing.
One of my favorite podcasts is Online Marketing Made Easy by Amy Porterfield. Amy shares all kids of advice from being an entrepreneur, email list building , creating courses, content planning, to beating imposter syndrome. She has some great freebies and courses on her site.
Entrepreneurship and Building a Business
I discovered Marie while listening to Amy Porterfield, and was instantly drawn to Marie’s sense of humor and entrepreneurial savvy. She’s an entrepreneur, writer, philanthropist, and you will be drawn in by her energy and passion for helping people succeed.
Marie hosts a podcast and a fun, informative show on YouTube called MarieTV in addition to offering fantastic business courses and free content. Her Ny times Bestseller ‘Everything is Figureoutable’ really inspired me to go ahead and start my own business. In fact, she inspired me so much that I took her course ‘B School’ while at the same time as the ANFT course, and it was FANTASTIC!
Need help getting organized? I created a business planner just for forest therapy guides! This printable planner has tons of useful resources that will help you define and organize your business. From startup to walks/event planning to daily and weekly planning, this planner comes in at over 80 pages and can be used year after year! You’ll find this in my Shop. (Note: watermarks and gray blocks are removed when purchased).