Jul 23, 2020

What Program Delivery Tools Do Coaches Use?

Part II: Operations and Program Delivery

As a comprehensive, integrated business management platform for coaches, awarenow recently surveyed the coaches on our network (as well as a few experts in general) to learn what are their favorite software tools and why. In this Part II, we are looking at operational or program delivery tools coaches use (Part I focused on the marketing tools business coaches use).  

Interestingly, some prominent “big names” do not feature in the below list, while many innovative or under-the-radar tools do make an appearance, and even the well-known brands which do appear are often being used in new ways. (Disclosure: Awarenow integrates the functionality of many of these tools into one streamlined platform, so some of these tools can be thought of as competitors; this does not affect our editorial content).

We’ll be looking at tools in each of these categories:

  • Video Delivery Tools
  • Scheduling Tools
  • Project Management / Task Tracking
  • Visual Content / Graphic Design
  • Ancillary / Specialized Tools
  • All-in-One Systems

Video Delivery Tools 

In today’s environment, delivering interactive content by video is no longer a feature of successful coaching programs; it’s a baseline necessity. Successful business coaches are using both established and newer video tools in innovative ways:

Zoom

“Use the Pro version with recording. When talking with a client, I don't want to be taking notes and looking down when I should be looking them in the eye, or in the camera. So I use recordings and text transcripts and that becomes the basis for our accountability.”

Mary Kelly of ProductiveLeaders.com

“There are a lot of additional security options and features so it's worth getting to know Zoom well. There are less technical difficulties with our users on Zoom as many of them are familiar with it, but even the first time users are still able to connect easily.”

Allison Chaney of www.bootcampdigital.com

“Zoom connects with my scheduling software (Acuity) therefore automatic links are set up without me having to manually schedule. It's also great for screensharing. My clients and I can work on the same files and see what each other is doing on either side.”

Brittany Waters of www.readysetlifecoach.com

“I use Zoom to create organized virtual classrooms. The software’s features include MPEG-4 cloud recording, closed captioning, audio sharing during screen sharing, chat, group messaging, and mobile collaboration with co-annotation, among many other features to help make the most of the lessons.”

Aaron Simmons of www.testprepgenie.com

“I am using Zoom now, but have previously used Skype. What I love about Zoom is that people don't need to have a Microsoft account, as is the case with Skype.”

Sumit Gupta of www.DeployYourself.com

Google Meet

“We use Google meets. Given that all employees have gmail accounts, it’s much easier to send a link to everyone and have them join in by phone or computer.”

Nilaja Croft of Leda Health

“Easy to use, good features and trustworthy. As a coach delivering online sessions the video platform brand is key, as some clients are wary of online scammers. As a coach I can share screen, add captions and mute participants. The other key benefit is duration; I don't have to limit the coaching session times.”

Chris Delaney of www.christopher-delaney.com

“I like that there is the option to record calls. Unlike other tools, Google Meet also makes it easy to share recordings of the call afterward which my clients love. I can easily email a link to the call recording instead of trying to email a large file.”

Bruce Harpham of BruceHarpham.com

Meetfox

“MeetFox allows my clients to book time on my calendar, video chat and pay for our time, all in one place. It's a great no-download required alternative to Zoom and Skype.”

Shannon Maloney of Ripp Marketing

RingCentral

“I need a tool that can help me communicate with individuals in all corners of the world quickly. RingCentral is a cloud-based communication tool that offers high-level security. It is easy to use, as it only requires a link to set up a call or meeting.”

Reuben Yonatan of getvoip.com

AnyMeeting

“We hold free webinars and online training using AnyMeeting. It’s simple to use and increases our reach. It is very well integrated with our email marketing tool SendFox. It provides other useful integrations also.”

Neeraj Arya of pmexperto.com

Scheduling Tools

While coaches recommend a variety of different scheduling tools, the features that they value are fairly consistent: seamless booking process, ability to customize intake forms or payments, integration with others tools, and a professional look and feel.

Calendly

“Any timeslots that I block off in my calendar automatically become unavailable on the booking page on my website. It is also very simple to add to my Wordpress website as a button. You can also add a payment step in the booking process.”

Ellen Tang of ellentangcoaching.com

“I can pre-set meeting types, choose days and times I want to have that type of meeting, and set up questions for the person to answer so I am fully prepared for the conversation. Calendly also allows me to set up multiple contact options so the other person can choose their preference (Zoom or phone, for example). All the information they provided is sent to both me and them so when the appointment comes we can both quickly refresh our memory about the subject of the meeting and any information pertinent to the conversation. I also find it quite handy as a reference for follow up. I can review past meetings in chronological order and all of the details originally provided are there for my quick reference.”

Trista Polo of IWokeUpAwesome.com

“It integrates easily with Zapier and Outlook. I also forward booking links to clients so they can easily set a time and date to meet up.”

Michael Hammelburger of thebottomlinegroup.com

Book Like a Boss

“I left Calendly to go to this platform because it looks more professional, allows for more functionality, and integrates better with a series of other tools. When people click on my scheduling link, it takes them to a landing page so they know they have the right person, and then it automatically schedules the Zoom meeting and sends everyone the Zoom link, plus reminders.”

Mary Kelly of ProductiveLeaders.com

Sagenda

“I use Sagenda for its ability for people to book a call with me through my website. It shows open blocks and when they choose a time slot Sagenda integrates with PayPal or Stripe for them to pay as well.”

Lee Wilson of myexbackcoach.com

Interlink Mail & News

“Interlink Mail & News (fork of Mozilla Thunderbird) for calendar planning and recurring tasks).”

Bruno Pešec of www.pesec.no

Acuity

*When someone schedules on acuity they are added to my email list and are sent automated emails depending on the appointment type and list they are added too.”

Brittany Waters of www.readysetlifecoach.com

Schedule One

“Schedule Once helps you look good. How? You can enter a few questions that people have to answer in order to book a call like name, company name, and company URL. That means it is easy to see a client’s key details right on your calendar.”

Bruce Harpham of BruceHarpham.com

Google Calendar

“I use it, and I train my clients to use it, not just as a way to plan events, but also as a way to manage both “due” dates and “do” dates.”

Nikki Bruno, Executive Director of www.studentcoachingservices.com

Project Management / Task Tracking

Awarenow studies show that the most successful business coaches are the ones who are able to focus more of their time on content creation and marketing. Strong project management systems are crucial. Interestingly, some coaches are also using these tools in client-facing ways as well.

Asana

“This free project management app has allowed me to streamline my workflow and become crystal clear on the targets that my team and I need to hit in order to make our quarterly and annual goals. The ability to integrate Asana with Gmail means that I can send tasks to Asana that link to the email I need to be able to reference.”

Gabby Braddock of www.thevaultstudio973.com

Google Task

“A great place for me to jot down ideas or tasks that I need to remember when compiling my schedule for the following week.”

Jeff Neal of www.thecritterdepot.com

Trello

“I started using it in my day to day task tracking, but I found the integration of the calendar and the ability to easily separate and re-organize tasks makes it ideal for coaching too. Each active client gets a board of their own with columns assigned for current tasks, future goals, and resources I want to discuss with them. This makes it so I can easily share the board and keep track of what we've covered, add new things on the fly, etc.”

Rex Freiberger of www.gadgetreview.com

Visual Content / Graphic Design

Graphic design and visual content creation is just one of the latest functions that formerly required specialized professionals but has now been democratized with powerful tools, at least for everyday projects. 

Canva

“Easy to learn and I can share artwork with my team for feedback. It is a perfect tool for creating social media posts and stories as well as promotional materials.”

Trista Polo of IWokeUpAwesome.com

Remove.bg

“It automatically removes the background on images. I use this for my YouTube thumbnails or other graphics.”

Brittany Waters of www.readysetlifecoach.com

Crello

“Much like Canva, which many use, but it has different paid features. For example, with Canva you need to pay to resize an image, versus Crello you do not.”

Brittany Waters of www.readysetlifecoach.com

Ancillary / Specialized Tools

Each of the tools below were recommended by at least one top coaching expert, with an explanation of how and why it makes them a better coach.

Slack - Group Communications

“Slack only works if everyone checks in on a regular basis. So about once every other day I throw in some kind of fun gift card or free tool or a link to a free ebook. People then feel as though it is advantageous to continue to check in.”

Mary Kelly of Productive Leaders.com

“An awesome platform to create a community for my group coaching clients, and a nice refreshing change from Facebook!”

Gems Collins of www.gemscollins.com

“It's almost like an instant messenger or text within an app. We can customize what time we choose to receive notifications, if we’re away from the app so that others may know, and other features as well.”

Nilaja Croft of Leda Health

Ping - Website Chat Functionality

“Ping allows me to speak to any customer live online, sends emails for me, and creates the best social media campaigns.”

Anteja Acevedo of www.antejacosmetics.com

DISC - Personality Assessment Tools

“This is a personality profiling tool that gives me about 60 pages about the individual that I am coaching. Things like ways to and not to communicate with that person, what motivates them, what ideal environment they will thrive under, how to manage them, what stresses them, their emotional intelligence level, and more. I cannot coach someone that I don't understand. Most people don't really understand themselves, so this tool allows me to hit the ground running when coaching an individual.”

Dave Molenda of www.positivepolarity.com

Harvest - Time Tracking & Billing

“This time tracking tool is one of the best free websites I have seen yet. I am able to track my time on several projects, send invoices, and understand where my time is going. If you do not use Harvest for yourself or your team, you are seriously missing out!”

Gabby Braddock of www.thevaultstudio973.com

All-in-One Systems

Ultimately, many coaches and coaching organizations are finding that the complexity and inefficiency of managing many different systems and integrations reduces their ability to focus on the activities that truly matter. Moreover, the duplication of effort, discontinuities, and inefficiency of working with clients across multiple systems can detract from a professional look-and-feel to present to clients.  All of these reasons and more have led to the growth of awarenow as an all-in-one business management platform for coaches, with an ever-growing feature list and set of integrations.

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