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As a business owner you often have to wear many hats – and that can be challenging.  If you’re a coach, having the best software or online coaching platform can save you time and money and create an excellent user-experience for your client.  

While you can use several different pieces of software – like a scheduling tool, a payment platform, Dropbox etc., but I’m focusing on having an all in one - coaching platform systems and strategies

But with so many options, how do you choose?

In this 2 part series, I’ll be talking about

  1. How to choose a platform
  2. Reviews of the different tools available

So let’s dive right in.

Criteria for Choosing a Coaching Platform

Overall, most tools provide:

  • Scheduling tool 
  • Payment tool
  • Way to communicate with clients
  • A client portal (share notes, etc.)
  • Client progress tracker
  • Some have mobile apps
  • Customer Relationship Manager (CRM)

All in one solutions make it so easy for coaches to go into their tool – and see what they have scheduled for the week, which clients may need a little help and see if everyone is up to date on payments.  Some software is geared more towards lifecoach, health coach, etc.

Here are some of the criteria to consider when reviewing the tools:

1. Scheduling

Perhaps you have a scheduling program that you already use and love it.  But perhaps you do want to have all your tools centralized.  I would look at the all the functions available for scheduling – including choosing one appointment day/time or multiple appointments.  Does it send notifications or reminders?

2. Payment or Invoicing

Some people have separate invoicing software that they like.  But others need to have a way to seamlessly accept payment one time or on a recurring basis.  Many of the all in one solutions have a payment or invoicing component.

3. Client Portal

Do you need to be able to give your clients notes from the session?  Give them homework?  Or even provide a recording of your session? Some platforms even have “in app” session notes.  Having one place that your client can access everything can be really helpful.

4. Automations

Do you want to have automated reminders sent to your clients?  Or notifications if they are missing their goals?  Or a notification if new resources are added to the client portal?  Make sure that your coaching platform allows these types of notifications.

5. Integrations

For me this is always a big consideration.  Perhaps you love your scheduling tool already – and want people to use that and then use this for all the client management after they’ve scheduled.  Or perhaps you want people to be tagged in your email marketing service.  Or perhaps you have a certain payment processor that you prefer.  Whatever the case, you’ll want to make sure that the new coaching software allows you to integrate with your favorite tools.

6. Mobile App

Always on the go?  Or your clients are always on the go… A mobile app may just be what you need.  Not all coaching platforms offer this – so it can be a deal breaker if you need one.

7. Security

You want to make sure that the information in the platform is secure.  Also, depending on the type of coach, you may have special requirements about HIPAA etc.  Or if you have European clients (or are a European coach) that you comply with GDPR requirements.  Make sure that the coaching platform of choice has that ability.

8. Price

Different platforms have a variety of ways of charging.  Some charge by the client, some charge a monthly fee regardless of the number of clients.  Depending on your business, you will need to decide what’s the most cost effective platform for your model.

9. Reporting

If you’re using an all in one platform, you’re going to want to understand information about your business.  From payments, total collected, when client contracts end, etc.  It will be important to ensure that the platform will provide all the information that you need to keep track of your business.

10. Ease of Use

Everyone thinks and works differently.  If you can I recommend that you do a free trial (when offered).  You will want to see if it’s easy for you to use, something that you WILL use.  Also, try it from the client side as well.  Remember – this platform will represent your business.

Coaching Platform Criteria

coaching platform - handing writing on paper

These are all the factors you should consider when looking at different coaching platforms.  In Part II – I’ll cover some of the most popular coaching platforms so you can understand the differences.