There are so many advantages to coaching online. Let’s talk about a few of them now
1. First of all, it’s fast and efficient because it requires no travel time. A lot of coaches teach older learners that are not in their teens any longer. These learners often have many time constraints that younger learners simply don’t have. For example, They might have jobs, children or other obligations that stop them from being able to attend regular or pre-planned coaching sessions. In fact, in a fairly recent study conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics, the organization asked students who haven’t completed college yet why they haven’t done so. 3/4 of older learners surveyed in this study cited that their biggest barriers where 1. The fixed hours of institutional learning, 2 Prohibitive attendance requirements 3. Lack of child care options and 4. Unfocused course information.
Although the demographic is slightly different, as this survey was conducted to measure students barriers to their teachers, I think the same results would be shown by clients access to their coaches.
2. Secondly, coaching online allows you to add additional features to ensure you’re clients feel like they have great value for money. You spent a lot of energy acquiring new clients so You don’t want them to leave once they’ve signed up for your service. The content and value contained inside of your members only area could potentially make them a paying customer for life. We’ll talk about this “sticky” factor and the value of a thriving community in a few minutes. But let’s keep moving along here.
3. Third, coaching online allows you to Automate the payment process. This simplifies things for both you and your clients. You don’t need to awkwardly remind your client to pay you before they leave the meeting. The payment process, and even the scheduling process can be totally automated and simply happen in the background which allows you to just focus on coaching and your client to just focus on being coached.
4. Coaching online also allows you to automate and streamline some of your teaching and coaching material. For instance, if you find you give the same advice to all of your new clients, maybe you could just pre-record that advice to you only need to say it once and your clients will still receive the benefit of the information. It’s just a much more efficient way to coach in general. These increases in efficiency not only free your time up, but it also allows you to do the work once and have many people benefit from it. This means that usually your clients can expect a greater value for money since you can spread the cost associated with creating that content across your entire client base, and not just one client. So this usually manifests itself through more affordable options for potential clients, or at least incredibly value for money.
5. And lastly, coaching online is not an “either – or” thing. If you’re currently coaching face to face or through phone calls you can still do that. Online coaching can be a new service you offer in conjunction with your current services. For example, if you’re living in New York, Maybe you continue to do face to face coaching with your new york clients. But let’s say someone finds out about you who’s living in Toronto… so you can coach them using your online coaching platform.
OR maybe you decide that eCoaching is the online way you want to coach. That’s totally doable as well. As we’ve mentioned, you could be living in a beach house in some tropical location and coaching clients from around the world. But in this situation, You don’t have to worry about losing face to face time because you can integrate 1-on-1 private video coaching and embed it right into to your coaching back-end. So your clients still get the benefit for “face time” with you.
Okay, so at this point you’re probably saying “great I’d love to take the beach house and grow my company in this direction and I’d love to be able to offer my clients all of these great features… but… this sounds like a complex system and I’m not a coder or computer expert”.
And you’re right… it is a pretty complex setup. Coaching online will requires a dynamic system with a lot of moving parts. A lot of the features we’re about to recommend aren’t going to be able to run off a cheap $30 / month shared hosting package. For example 1 on 1 video chat requires that Red5 be installed on a self hosted server. Similarly, Screen-sharing software will probably require a self hosted Adobe FMS server. Shared hosting packages don’t let you run those programs on your site because they are resource intensive software platforms and it wouldn’t be fair to the rest of the clients on your sharing hosting plan.
So yes, shared hosting is out of the question. Not only that, but You’re going to need to know how to install, configure and maintain these software programs and hosting platforms. Sounds scary… right? Well it is and it isn’t. It all depends on your approach. So let’s go a little deeper now and figure out how you can do this.
At the end of the day, What you need, is something called a course Management System (commonly known as a CMS), or a Learning Management System (commonly called an LMS). But for your sake, let’s call it a “coaching management system”. Essentially, this is the backend software you build your online coaching platform on.
This will allow you build a private members only area, integrate a social network into your site, give your clients’ unique profiles, private email options, progress management tools, one on one video chat options, group chat options, screen-sharing options, collaborative documents and much more.
However, as we’ve discussed, many of these elements, such as screen sharing, a social community, or private video chat, are dynamic and will require scripts and software installs that will suck a lot of resources out of your server. So you’ll need a host with a lot of processing power. Running a coaching company online requires a totally different and very particular hosting environment compared to running a static website or blog online.
Not only will an online coaching company website be more resource intensive, but it will also require root access to the server because some software will need to be manually installed, and then once installed all of the elements need to be cross compatible… something that very rarely happens “out of the box”. If you’ve ever tried to setup a system on your own you’ll be familiar with the constant compatibility issues and error messages. It can be a very frustrating to say the least.
We’ve heard of cases before where someone got their system up and running only to have it crash after only 20 people logged in. This is hardly scalable and it’s not a position you want to find yourself in.
But again, I mean you’re a coach… not a coder. So where do you go from here?
Well let’s first talk specifically about what’s required and then you can make a decision from there.
If you’re a computer whiz you might be able to set something up on your own, but if you’re not you’re probably going to need a third party assistance and that’s where a company like us at Academy Of Mine can come in. Essentially, we handle a lot of this tech stuff for you.
LISTEN TO THE PODCAST: How To Start An Online Coaching Business
1. How to Start A Coaching Business Online
2. Advantages To Coaching Online
3. Promoting Your Coaching Company With An Affiliate Program
4. Promoting Your Online Coaching Company Using eNewsletters
5. Booking Calendar For Online Coaching Website
6. Website Software For Online Coaching Company
7. Private 1 on 1 Video Chat and Group Chat For Coaching Website
8. Social Networking Software For Online Coaching Company