As you probably know, there are many changes going on in the world of working with people. From a change of working hours to a change of location, the world is becoming more and more connected. In this article, I will outline some of the ways that I have been working with people online in order to help them adjust to the changes and keep up with their work.

Sometimes it feels like the world is moving faster than you can keep up. Whether it’s your career, your relationships, or your goals, you’re looking for a way to get ahead and stay ahead. There’s a growing trend in the software development industry that allows you to work remotely, more or less maintain the same pace of work, and travel when and where you want. While it’s true that this option could be the key to making a career change when you can’t make the move to a new location, it’s not without its challenges.

Transitioning from in-person coaching to online coaching is a great way to keep you on track with your goals, especially if you’re an entrepreneur who lives outside of the city you coach from. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

No one has ever gone through anything like this before.

We don’t even need to call THIS because it’s so general.

It’s obvious to everyone.

Of course, we want to inform the coaches… “We’re here to assist you.”

But, to be honest, that expression went out of style about two days ago.

And you’re probably fed up with it.

So, what kind of sound advise can we give?

We’re not entirely certain. The truth is, we’re still finding it out ourselves.

And there’s no way we could write a simple 5-step “how to” piece for THIS. (We made an attempt.)

As a result, we won’t claim to have “the answer.” 

Or any other responses.

Instead, we’ll give you exactly what this story’s COMPLETELY UNAPPEALING headline promises: a few ideas.

That is all there is to it.

Oh, and please accept our heartfelt apologies if we make a blunder.

P.S. We despise THIS as well.

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Everybody is canceling… The gym is now closed… We’re currently in a state of self-isolation.

Of course, this is about you.

But it’s also about each and every one of your customers. 

Some people can’t seem to wrap their heads around what’s going on in the world and are absolutely paralyzed.

Others have recently lost their only source of income and are unsure how they will buy food, let alone pay you.

Others, on the other hand, are receiving their paychecks as usual but have been ordered to work from home. Now they’re doing their hardest to juggle their new work-at-home lifestyle while surrounded by children, dogs, and filthy dishes.

To put it another way…

Unless you ask, it’s difficult to know exactly what clients want or need.

So get in touch.

Also, remember to be human.

Don’t overthink things, urges Jonathan Goodman, creator of the Online Trainer Academy. Instead, he recommends sending this “nine-word email” (including the subject line).

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SUBJECT: Hello there

BODY: What do you require from me at this time?

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“All you have to do is be there for them and show up for them,” Goodman says.

He feels that some people will tell you exactly what they require.

Perhaps they’ll seek assistance with their eating habits. Workouts at home are another option.

It’s possible that all they want is for you to grant them permission to perform the bare minimum for the time being.

Every response is significant.

This is due to the fact that it allows you to develop a relationship. This could include or exclude a business relationship, but it is important regardless.

Relationships are always important.

If a nine-word email isn’t working for you…

…think how you may help in your own unique way.

Transparency is the default setting for Jonathan Pope, a Level 2 Master Coach and co-founder of Ethos Colorado. Pope’s gym, which has 200 members and three employees, had to close.

“We informed everyone that the April membership cost is optional. We did, however, mention that we have staff to support. So, if they can afford it, please think about it. Please don’t pay it if they can’t afford it,” Pope advises.

“The feedback has been overwhelmingly good. The majority of consumers choose to remain paying full price for their membership.”

But it’s not just a one-way street. 

When the gym reopens, Pope said, people who are facing wage cutbacks or losing their jobs will be able to train for free for as long as they need.

That’s what it’s like to have a “we’re all in this together” mindset.

That is, of course, another COVID-19 cliché. However, it becomes more potent when your actions back it up.

If you’re a one-on-one trainer for clients…

…you might as well tell clients how much you enjoy working with them. And offer to assist you in the future.

You could say anything along the lines of:

“I got into training because I enjoy assisting others in achieving their objectives. I understand that things are unpredictable at the moment, but my commitment to you has not altered. If you’re still interested in training, I’d be happy to help you out remotely.

And I completely understand if you aren’t interested in training right now. These are unquestionably turbulent times. But know that if you need me, I’ll be there.

Please don’t hesitate to let me know if there are any other ways I can assist you.”

It may also be beneficial to show them that you “get it,” even if they aren’t sure what they require.

“I’ve committed to helping you as a coach, and I want to do it in the most efficient way possible. Do you have any suggestions for how that might appear right now? It’s quite fine if you don’t. I’ll get back to you with some suggestions.”

Allow your clients’ responses to guide you as you decide what services to offer, how much to charge, and how to deliver them.

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If you’re considering making the switch to online coaching…

…you can be worried and frustrated about changing the way you work.

That’s quite typical. Especially if you are compelled to do so.

We spoke with dozens of experienced coaches about making the transition from in-person to online coaching while researching this piece.

Everyone basically said the same thing:

Don’t stress about coming up with the ideal solution right now. 

That is something you can always do later.

Carolina Belmares, the creator of Sweatglow Fitness, presented a simple concept based on her experiences:

“You can coach online if you know how to write an email.”

“Software, platforms, and social media are all available. You can utilize tools and apps,” she explains. “However, if making decisions about which path to choose paralyzes you, this is your permission to let it all go.”

“Because communication is all you need for effective, meaningful coaching.” 

Kate Solovieva, a PN Master Coach, holds a similar viewpoint.

She claims that, in the end, there are only three things you need to do to make a career as a coach, whether in person or online.

  1. Client communication is essential.
  2. Clients should be given access to material.
  3. Collect money from customers

That’s a rather straightforward list, and she recommends that you keep your techniques similarly straightforward. What will work best for you, ask your client?

Let’s pretend you’re starting a remote coaching business.

Yes, you can make video calls using Zoom or Facetime.

You may also use Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, a traditional phone call, or, get this, snail mail to connect. That may appear absurd, but it works for some clients.

“It’s being used as a real answer for trainers who see elderly people in their homes but need to move to the internet,” Solovieva says. “Because such people aren’t always tech-savvy, some instructors send postcards to them once a week.”

Taking money is the same way. Although there are options such as Stripe, Paypal, and Venmo, some people still prefer to write checks. Cash in an envelope is also acceptable.

What matters is the assistance you provide. Not in the manner in which you present it.

Remember…

What makes you a great gym coach will also make you a great online coach.

“You might envision yourself as a trainer who worked at a gym until recently,” says Brad Overstreet, a PN Level 2 certified coach whose gym abruptly closed a few years ago, forcing him to take his customers online.

“But what about your customers?” You’re capable of so much more. You’re a therapist, a counselor, a confidante, and a haven.”

People don’t hire you for your extensive understanding of nutrition or good squat technique, or for your access to high-end gym equipment, whether they recognize it or not.

Because you’re you, they hire you for the human-to-human help that only you can provide.

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There’s no way around it, even if you start small…

… starting an internet business involves some trial and error, perseverance, and expansion.

You’re going to make errors, and you’re going to learn from them.

You performed the same thing with in-person coaching. 

And, in the short term, there may be no topic that causes more worry than pricing.

You may not need to make any pricing changes right now if you’ve already sold session bundles or work with clients whose finances are stable.

In some circumstances, though, you may need to reconsider.

Recognize that if you regularly work with clients in a cutting-edge facility, they are accustomed to a specific level of service.

According to Adam Feit, PhD(c), a PN Master Coach, “discounting your prices would make sense in this case.”

You could say anything along the lines of:

“I’m doing the best I can with online tutoring, but I appreciate that this may not be your cup of tea. I’d want to thank you for that and offer you a discount on my coaching as a tiny expression of my gratitude.”

It’s possible that your client will decline your offer. Consider how you’d feel if you were the one on the receiving end of that approach. It’s thoughtful and professional, and it tells the client, “I enjoy working with you.”

Another alternative, according to Belmares, is to allow your customers to set their own tariff. You may have three payment tiers to make things easier for the client.

You may offer it to them as follows:

“Given the current scenario, would you prefer to spend in the $20 to $50 range, $51 to $100 range, or $100+ range? Whatever you provide helps me keep providing services to people who are in desperate need, so thank you for your choice, whatever it is.”

Another thing to consider is that, in certain cases, you may be able to coach more customers in less time online than you could in person. If that’s the case, you might be able to charge less for your services.

Alternatively, Dominic Matteo, a PN Master Coach, suggests that if you have the capability, you may consider offering something extra—like another session or month of coaching—for clients who pay full price.

“Why not make them feel important and gain a lifelong customer?”

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Online coaching does not imply that you are out of touch with your clients.

Jeremey Fernandes was training people in a gym about 5 years ago.

After that, a few clients relocated and were no longer able to train in person.

So Fernandes devised self-help programs for them, promising to return a few weeks later.

That’s when he learned an essential lesson (which shouldn’t surprise anyone).

He claims that “most individuals would do it for a week or two and then fall off.”

He could tell when a software wasn’t operating in person, of course. “How did that rep feel?” he could inquire as someone was doing a workout.

But now that he couldn’t see his clients, he had no idea how they were doing—or if they were even following the program.

That encounter taught him to…

Regularly check in. What is manageable will be determined by the number of clients you have. If you only have a few clients, you may be able to check in as frequently as once a day.

It becomes more challenging when there are 20-40 individuals present. Once a week is the goal for Fernandes.

Obtain feedback. You might wonder:

  • What was the total number of training sessions you completed?
  • How were your sessions?
  • For each exercise, how many reps and sets did you complete? What was the weight of the cargo?
  • Did you have any apprehensions?
  • Did you notice a difference in your strength? Could you, for example, go deeper in a squat? Or do you want to raise more forcefully?
  • How did you feel throughout the week?

Coaches are very helpful because of this human component. 

Clients will be more engaged and feel supported if you check in frequently.

This, in turn, aids their success. Those check-ins may become even more important as clients adapt to ever-changing conditions. (As well as valuable.)

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We have one more suggestion to make.

And it’s this: Put your attention on your relationships.

Dan Sullivan, the founder of The Strategic Coach, offers this piece of wisdom. You’ll see that it corresponds to a frequent subject in this article.

What we appreciate best about it is that it empowers coaches to do what they do best.

We think that if you cultivate positive relationships, you will reap the benefits. It doesn’t matter if it’s in your professional or personal life.

Sometimes, in ways you couldn’t have predicted.

 

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This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • life coach jobs
  • coaching
  • health and wellness coach
  • what is a personal coach
  • should i be a coach
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