If adding online coaching to your service offerings has been on your to-do list, this post is for you.
The good news is that it’s probably easier to do than you think. Part of the problem is that there are so many options on how to do it that it can seem confusing and overwhelming.
If you know me, you know that I’m all about keeping things as SIMPLE as possible. There’s absolutely no point in spending thousands of dollars to have a custom membership platform created when there are plenty of other great options that are much easier (and much more cost-effective). Ask yourself “What is the easiest way I can get started, so I can share my gifts and experience to help people” instead of fixating your time, energy and money on the ‘latest greatest’ platform out there.
The first time you launch your program online, it will all be a test to see what works best, what you want to change next time, and get feedback and testimonials for your next launch. Don’t get hung up on thinking everything has to be perfect. When you consider your first (and maybe even second) round a beta group, it takes some of the pressure off, so you can deliver an amazing program without worrying about adding any bells and whistles.
NOTE: I think it’s important to work with clients one-on-one before you launch an online program. You want to test your program with clients, so you can get immediate feedback, get testimonials, and test your systems and approach.
There are just 4 things you want to have in place to take your coaching online:
1. Your program – This can be in the form of recorded PowerPoint presentations and/or face-to-camera video. You can do a combination of both if you want. Decide how long your program will be. You may want to offer a short-term program (30 days) that leads to a longer-term program (90 days). If you don’t already have a program all set and ready to go, check out the Coach with Confidence program which has 12 comprehensive health coaching sessions all done for you (this includes the PowerPoints you would narrate for your sessions). This program can be configured to be used as any length program you’d like (up to 6 months).
NOTE: You can record your PowerPoints using Camtasia (for PC) or ScreenFlow (for Mac) or use a program like Zoom (Zoom has a free version that would be perfect for this type of project, and I use it all the time). You also want to have the proper disclaimers, and agreement in place to protect yourself from liability. If you don’t already have the documents you need, Lisa Fraley is a great resource for this.
2. A platform to host your content – I think this is where most coaches get stuck (understandably so) because there are so many dang choices out there. Keeping in mind that our goal is simplicity, I recommend using a platform like Thinkific. I like Thinkific because it’s simple to set up and it allows you to drip your content (release sessions at a pre-determined date or time frame) rather than members being allowed to access all the content at once. You can upload your content (videos, PDFs, PowerPoints) right into the platform – easy breezy. Teachable is another option, but at this time, Teachable does not have a drip content feature.
NOTE: Having a membership site is completely optional. You can run your program by simply sending your participants a link to the content. If you aren’t going to use a platform like Thinkific, you’ll need to host your videos somewhere (YouTube or Vimeo are good options) and keep the links private, so only your members can access them.
3. Email – You’ll need an email service provider that includes automation. Automation is important to have, so that a welcome email can go out as soon as someone registers. It can also automate your emails if you’d like to set it up as an evergreen program (people can join at any time). I recommend Aweber, GetResponse, or MailerLite for this.
4. Facebook group for support & community – One of the most appealing aspects of an online coaching program is the community of support the members get inside of a private (closed) or secret Facebook group. Great program content is important, but people really want to be a part of the journey with others who are in the same place. This way they can share their struggles and successes along the way. As the group’s leader, you can provide support and have members get to know you. Doing live streams in the group is also a wonderful way to build rapport and trust. For a great post on how to run a Facebook group for your coaching business, check out this blog post.
With online coaching, the sky is the limit. You can deliver one new topic each week, or you can alternate weeks and use the off week to host a group call to answer questions and review the content from the previous week.
If you plan to do group calls, I recommend using Zoom or FreeConferenceCalling.com. These both allow you to record calls and send them out to those that couldn’t join you live or for those that want to listen again.
For more information on online coaching, including pricing and promotion, check out this step-by-step post right HERE.
Okay, so there you have it! Four steps to taking your coaching program online with ease. Remember, it’s always a test to see what works best, and it will continue to evolve over time.
You’ve got this!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase, I may receive compensation. I only recommend products and services that I either use myself or highly recommend, but do your own research to find out what’s best for you.