Tag Archives: coaching

Simple scheduling for your coaching business (using Calendly)

Once you coaching business starts to gain some traction you might find scheduling appointments with your clients becomes increasingly difficult. Each of them has ever changing schedules as do you who is now juggling all aspects of your business (clients, marketing, bookkeeping, etc.) along with your personal life. If only you could afford an assistant to handle all of that for you…

Luckily there is web app that will eliminate most, but not all, of the scheduling pain. Calendly works by allowing you to send a web link to your clients so that they can see when you have appointments available and then schedule one that works for them. Calendly also connects to your calendar to make sure that you are never double-booked. A few of the other features that I love are automatic reminders (either via email or text), custom questions you can use to gather information upfront, a minimum scheduling option that allows you to make sure nobody is scheduling last minute appointments, and a billing feature that allows you to collect payment for your coaching services.

Best of all–Calendly is super easy to use. I’m going to walk you through creating an event which is a process that will take you just a couple of minutes.

1. Start by creating a free account on Calendly.

2. Next click on “Event Types” in the menu at the top of the page. Then click on “New Event Type”

3. For your one-on-one coaching sessions you’re going to want to use the “One-on-One” event type. There is also a “Group” event type you can use if you run workshops or webinars (look for a future article on those) that allows multiple people to sign up for the same event.

Calendly - Create new event type

4. Now you’ll fill in the details for your event. For this example I’m going to offer 60-minute coaching sessions via the phone. I’m going to type in the name of event (Phone Session), the location (I’ll call you), and a description of the event.

Create coaching session event

5. On the next screen I’ll start by changing the duration of the event to 60-minutes.
Now comes the critical time of setting the time slots. You’ll see that it default to allowing your clients to schedule with you from 9 am to 5 pm every weekday.

Set event duration in Calendly

 

6. I want to start with a clean slate so I’m going to delete all existing availability windows. I’m going to click on the first time-slot (9 am to 5 pm on Monday). A window will pop-up that might be a bit confusing at first.

Edit availability for scheduling

We’ll get into it a bit more later but right now we want to click on the trash can next to the time slot followed by “Or apply to multiple” at the bottom of the window. Click on the checkboxes for each day of the week and then hit apply.

Recurring scheduling

7. We now have an clean slate to create the time slots we want to offer our clients. I’m going to click on Monday. This brings up a new window. I’m going to add a time windows by clicking on “New Interval”. I’ve got busy mornings on Monday so I’m just going to offer afternoon calls. You’ll see that you can apply these changes to just that particular day or to all Mondays. I’m going to click on “Apply to All Mondays”.

8. Repeat for any other days you are offering appointments. You can schedule on a daily basis or recurring weekly. You can also add multiple intervals to a single day.

Monthly schedule in Calendly

9. Now click on the “Advanced” tab. Here we’re going to change the time-slot option to 60 minutes so that people are only allowed to schedule at the start of every hour. (30-minutes would allow somebody to schedule an hour-long appointment starting in the middle of an hour e.g. 10:30 am to 11:30 am.) I also don’t want any last minute appointments so I’m going to require scheduling at least 24-hours in advance.

Click “Save & Close”.

Advance scheduling options

10. Because these are phone appointments I need to get the phone number my clients wants me to call them from. To do that I click on “Invitee Questions” followed by “Add a New Question”. I’m going to type in “Phone Number” and click on the checkbox next to “Required” while leaving it as a one-line response.

Adding question in Calendly

Click “Apply” followed by “Save & Close”.

11. The last step to creating an event is to set up the reminder email that I want sent to the client the day before they are scheduled. Click on “Notifications and Cancellation Policy”. I’m going to start by turning on email confirmations by clicking on “Switch to Email Confirmations”. Then click on the toggle switch next to “Email Reminders”. You can personalize both the confirmation and the reminder emails if you want to add a personal message or if there is something that you client should do prior to the appointment or something they should bring to the appointment.

Scheduling confirmation and reminders

12. Now that you’re done you just need to click on the toggle switch to turn it on.

13. In order to get the URL that you’re going to send out to your coaching clients you click on “Event Types” in the menu at the top of the screen. Find your event and click on the gear icon. That will bring up a drop down menu where you click on “Copy Link”.

Calendly link

This is the dead simple screen that you clients will see when they click on the link you send them:

Simple client scheduling

You are now ready to scale your coaching business to as many clients as you have time for! Well, at least the scheduling part of the equation. Poke around for more guides that will help you take your business to the next level!

Quick Guide to Building a Website and Audience for Your Coaching Business

First of all I want to say congratulations for taking the daring leap of faith that is entrepreneurship. I’m sure you’ll find it a journey that is incredibly rewarding as well as very frustrating. I know I do.

"The more challenging the goal the more obstacles you are going to cross." - Jeff Hawkins (Palm Computing) Click To Tweet

As you are aware the first step for building up an audience for your coaching business is your website. All of your online marketing efforts will either start there or, more likely, end there as people see your marketing, visit your website, see if it looks professional, and then sign up for a consultation.

Value Proposition:

Before you start work on your website you need to figure out what you’re going to say on your site. That begins with what is called the value proposition.

All marketing is selling somebody on a better version of themselves. This is true for car commercials, purse ads in magazines, and insurance commercials on the radio (saving money makes a richer you). With your marketing for your coaching services you are doing this literally.

With that in mind let’s first look at your value proposition. Here is one formula (from Steve Blank at Stanford) about coming up with your value proposition:

“We help X do Y by doing Z”

X = your audience

In this case the X is your audience. Who are they specifically? You need to have a very clear idea about this for two reasons:

  1. It is easier to tailor your message when you can picture your audience. (Check out this article for more information about customer development.)
  2. Your first instinct is to not limit your possible customer base but that is exactly what you should do. You can pick out a niche (a smaller segment of your overall audience) and own it with very targeted messaging. Once you conquer that niche (be the big fish in a small pond) you can expand. Or, said differently, if you try to sell to everyone you’ll end up selling to no one. Instead start by selling to exactly one person (a niche of your niche).

Y = the better version of themselves

Be specific about what this is. “Achieve your goals” or “find success” are very vague and mean different things to different people. “Smile more”, “sleep better”, and “secure a promotion” are bit more specific goals that somebody might have. (I haven’t done coaching but I imagine the more specific the goal your client has the more actionable the advice you give can be. And the more actionable the advice the more likely they are to follow it and achieve a positive outcome.)

Z = that action required to achieve Y

Your coaching services but what specifically does that entail? Weekly or monthly meetings? In person? Over the phone? Is it an x-step process?

“Renew the adventure in your life with one small step a day.”

A way that I came up with to reach a value proposition is using the “Five Whys?“.

This website visitor wants to hire a coach.

Why?

To gain confidence.

Why?

They feel overlooked and/or taken advantage of.

Why?

Nobody asks them for their input at work.

Why?

They are not viewed as an authority/leader.

Why?

They keep to themselves and do not attract attention.

So, in this example (and it is just an example) they think they want to gain confidence but they really want more attention, recognition, etc.

“The path to wins, recognition, and accolades starts with one step.” (signing up for a free consultation)

tldr: be specific about your service and the outcome right at the top of your page.

"Resilience is something you do. Get up and go forward every day with hope and optimism." - Jackie Speier (U.S. Congress) Click To Tweet

Images:

Back to selling somebody a better version of themselves I would recommend that your site use images with bright colors. Show them the person they want to become. Specifically for the first image I would use an image of an attractive female smiling (research shows both men and women are more likely to click a button on a landing page that features an attractive woman).

You can use Unsplash to find images to use on your site. I like this one if it were to be inverted (so she is facing left to right):

Photo by Fernando Brasil on Unsplash

This one also seems appropriate for coaching and could be used further down the page:

Photo by Catherine McMahon on Unsplash

Testimonials are great (they form what is called social proof) but they are even more effective with the picture of the person. Your testimonials should be on the front page of your site and, if you can, put smiling pictures next to each one.

"Expect the unexpected and whenever possible be the unexpected." - Jack Dorsey (Square/Twitter) Click To Tweet

Copy:

As much as you possibly can you want to write your copy about the visitor rather than you. A good exercise it to replace “I” and “we” in your copy with “you”.

Secondly, be confident. Phrases like “I think” and “I believe” weaken your message.

Finally, tell me about what the process will entail for me as a client. What happens day one? Is there a plan tailored to my goals and time frame?

Traffic and trust:

Most entrepreneurs learn fairly quickly that putting up a website by itself does not actually result in any customers. This is particularly true for service businesses as opposed to ecommerce businesses. You likely will get some business from people you know and referrals but you will not initially get any from strangers on the Internet.

But you can change that!

You can build trust with your audience by developing a relationship with them and building your brand. Typically on the Internet that is done with social media, blog posts, email, videos, podcasts, etc. Focus on one or two of those.

Basically you need to put in a lot of hours and give everything away for free at first. The people that connect with you the best will be the ones that become your customers.

Email

I strongly suggest email being one of your ways of building an audience, and a relationship with them, because it is a direct line to your audience that you own. You’re going to need to start with an email marketing platform. I really like Drip but there are others out there (Mailchimp probably being the most popular).

Sign up for Drip and create a five-day educational email course where you go in depth about a single sliver of what you cover in your coaching. Five lessons on meditation might be something that would be popular. Five lessons on workplace communications, going back to work after having a baby, marital nitpicking, etc. There are lots of problems that people would love to learn to handle better. Write up five emails about a topic and then on the last email mention that if they would like to explore further they can reply to the email and set up an appointment.

Put an opt-in form for this email course on your homepage.

Another way to get people to signup for your email list is by giving away an ebook. They don’t have to be long but, like with an email course, you are demonstrating what you are an authority and why somebody can trust you. (This is my guide to creating an ebook.)

Podcasting

I might recommend podcasting as your second avenue for building an audience as it is really hard to standout in the blogosphere these days and it is less work than video. Possible formats for a podcast:

  • Q&A (either with a “caller” or where people write in with questions and you answer)
  • Interviews
  • Book reviews
  • Discussions on books, academic papers, etc.

Stick to one format for your podcast (you can launch more if you want) as I hear it is good to get into a rhythm for them and it allows you to be creative inside constraints.

"Creativity loves constraint." - Marissa Mayer (Google) Click To Tweet

Instagram

Instagram could be a powerful platform for reaching your ideal client and seems to be a place where inspiration (and self-help?) thrives.

Analytics:

Eventually you are going to want to track the number of people who visit your site and how they find you so install Google Analytics.

Motivation:

Some days I struggle to find the motivation to work on my business and do my ONE Thing. One thing I posted on my business dashboard is a question, “Why are you trying to help and how can you best help them?”

Passion and Perseverance

If you needed any further entrepreneurial inspiration check out my book, Passion and Perseverance, which is a collection of advice from entrepreneurs much smarter and more successful than myself.

"Your best day is always in front of you." - Mark Forchette (OptiMedica) Click To Tweet
    • Engage: A Step-By-Step Guide to Growing Your Business With Email Marketing
    • The Engage Guide to Email Marketing

      Get a free chapter from my step-by-step guide to growing your business by leveraging the power of email marketing automation.