High-touch coaching means a personalized and partnership-based approach to coaching. It involves helping clients discover their own solutions while providing guidance, support, and motivation throughout their journey.
High-tech coaching, on the other hand, has rapidly evolved over the years due to the ever-changing nature of technology. When I developed Coach Vantage eight years ago, there were only a few platforms for coaches, but now there are numerous tools available, indicating the widespread adoption and growth of coaching.
Coaching is there to provide:
AI can assist in various aspects of coaching, such as research, planning, ideation, and finding inspiration. It can help create course outlines and content sections. Chatbots and macros can handle website queries, while AI can automatically transcribe and organize meeting notes from video calls.
Evaluation and improvement can also benefit from AI tools like Chat GPT, Jarvis and Fireflies, which can transcribe conversations and capture emotions. AI tools can even generate course titles and content outlines, which can be customized and enhanced by coaches. Despite these capabilities, AI is not an immediate threat to coaches' employment and will not replace them overnight.
How can technology be practically utilized? It already plays a significant role in facilitating a personalized, smooth, and seamless client onboarding process..
Tools like Zoom, Google Meet, and Teams are widely used. COVID has brought lasting changes, such as hybrid working and online interactions becoming the norm.
Many websites use online scheduling tools for booking discovery calls or coaching sessions. This approach is highly beneficial as it captures the commitment of potential clients who resonate with your message and want to work with you.
However, some coaches still rely on contact forms or emails for appointment scheduling, which often involves multiple emails and complications like time zone differences and availability challenges. The preference for contact forms or emails is often driven by a desire for a personal touch and gathering more information before booking.
However, incorporating an intake form can gather necessary information in advance, allowing you to prepare for the call and reducing time-consuming back-and-forth emails. This streamlined approach frees up time for more valuable activities, enhancing efficiency.
Coaches utilize membership sites where clients can access videos, files, assessments, and more. This centralized approach provides a client portal for scheduling appointments and communication with their coach, ensuring secure communication without the need for emails or text messages.
These platforms help clients stay focused, organized, and motivated by providing all necessary resources in one place. Setting goals and tracking progress within the platform further enhances client motivation and engagement.
Collecting information about clients' needs, goals, interests, preferences, and challenges through surveys or questionnaires is an effective method. These tools provide valuable insights, enabling customization of the coaching experience to meet clients' unique needs.
Numerous tools are utilized by coaches. These commonly used tools include Google Drive, Kajabi, Think, Evernote (for note-taking), CRM tools, video conferencing tools, and scheduling tools like Calendly and Acuity.
While these tools serve their purposes well, relying solely on them can lead to gaps in client and workflow management. As a coach, you not only run a small business but also manage a coaching practice. If scheduling tools lack coaching-specific features, managing client information and sharing resources can be challenging.
For example, platforms like Calendly or Acuity create contact records when someone books an appointment. However, they lack coaching-specific features such as note-sharing or resource sharing for clients who become your clients. This may require additional tools or manual transfer of information to address these limitations.
The challenge arises from scattered information across multiple tools, which becomes overwhelming and time-consuming as your business grows, and the number of clients, leads, and discovery calls increases.
You need tools to create coaching programs or courses and acquire clients through landing pages or e-commerce pages on your website.
Invoicing and payment collection can be facilitated through a website or checkout pages like Stripe.
Managing the coaching engagement, including coaching sessions and contacts, is the critical point.
When using multiple tools, information is scattered across different tool sets, lacking a holistic view of your business and clients. This leads to administrative time spent on making the tools work together, which is inefficient. Hiring a virtual assistant (VA) or allocating extra time outside regular working hours may be necessary to manage this.
Using disparate tools without integration can result in program dropouts and negative reviews. The lack of a single source of truth for your business and coaching practice is costly as your tech stack grows. While finding a tool that fulfills 100% of your needs is unlikely, it's important to identify one that aligns with the 80/20 rule, addressing 80% of essential tasks in your coaching practice.
Creating programs in a seamless and user-friendly manner is crucial for easy client enrollment. Your aim is to sell an exceptional experience that delivers tangible value. From the initial interaction, providing a professional experience instills client confidence in your coaching expertise.
Consider publishing a landing page for your program where clients can e-sign a contract. Alternatively, automatically send a contract for e-signature to their email address to minimize friction during signup. Streamline payment collection by enabling online payments and offer the option to complete an intake form. Facilitate the booking of the first program session.
Brand your landing pages with images or videos showcasing the program's value proposition. Embed these landing pages within your website for a seamless client experience. Alternatively, use standalone landing pages for a focused experience. Flexibility is essential in supporting your desired workflows and business processes.
Use standalone scheduling tools like Calendly, Acuity, or a website scheduling tool like Squarespace. Ensure that when someone books a discovery call, their contact record exists in your platform. This allows for seamless management of the coaching engagement.
An integrated scheduling tool is crucial, providing options for self-booking or manual appointment setup. Flexibility is key to accommodate different coaching approaches, whether setting up appointments session by session or scheduling all sessions at once. The tool should support your preferred workflow and provide reminders to minimize client no-shows. It's also important to establish cancellation and rescheduling policies.
It's important to offer a seamless payment process for clients signing up for your program. Coaches have different preferences regarding payment structures, with some requiring payment before each session and others offering upfront or installment payments for packages. Integration with payment platforms like PayPal, Stripe, and DepositFix is crucial.
The core of the coaching engagement involves streamlining communications, managing contact information, and tracking conversations efficiently. Relying solely on an inbox can become messy, so a centralized client portal is crucial.
It automates administrative tasks like appointment reminders, billing, and payments, while providing a comprehensive view of clients' goals, progress, and completed tasks. This centralized location allows for personalized support and guidance throughout the coaching partnership.
The process of goal-setting and accountability is crucial in the coaching journey. Setting due dates and visualizing goals helps clients stay on track, while smart goals ensure timely completion. Communication channels should be in place for clients to express challenges and take ownership of their progress. Sending forms for pre or post-session insights fosters a high-touch interaction beyond coaching sessions. Automating these interactions reassures clients of ongoing support and care.
File and resource sharing should be seamless within the client portal, eliminating the need for back-and-forth emails or external platforms. Including these features in the program creation process and automating them streamlines the experience. Note-taking and sharing capabilities within the platform are also essential for effective collaboration.
High-touch coaching requires a personalized and partnership-based approach to help clients discover their own solutions, providing guidance, support, and motivation throughout their journey. Although high-tech coaching has rapidly evolved over the years due to the ever-changing nature of technology, it cannot replace human interactions in coaching.
Emotional support, trust, contextual understanding, and flexibility require a human touch to guide clients through their coaching journey. While AI can assist in various aspects of coaching, it is not an immediate threat to coaches' employment and will not replace them overnight.
Technology can help coaching businesses deliver a personalized, smooth, and seamless client onboarding process, including video conferencing, online scheduling tools, client portals, and online forms and surveys.
However, the use of multiple tools without integration can lead to scattered information across different tool sets, resulting in administrative time spent on making the tools work together, which is inefficient.
To overcome these challenges, coaching businesses should consider using tools that can help them create coaching programs or courses, acquire clients, and manage coaching engagements.