Whether you call it the Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, or The Plague, most coaches, consultants, and teachers agree that it’s a giant disruption to their business. If your traditional business model involved traveling to meet clients, or even meeting clients face-to-face at all, or putting on classes or live events, you already know that your business practices have to change - and quickly.
That said, many coaches and wellness practitioners have already come up with creative and workable solutions for their coronavirus challenges.
Be Empathetic and Provide a Plan
In this environment of uncertainty, you can add value by projecting calm and having a plan. John Andrew Williams, President of Coach Training EDU, advises coaches to
“acknowledge what's going on and reassure them with a game plan or outline for what to expect from you and your services. This direct statement of certainty is incredibly helpful in a time of just the opposite.”
At the same time, it is important to be flexible, as it is possible that clients will have issues on their minds that fall outside of your usual areas of focus.
That Plan Will Probably Include Online Coaching or Services
Service providers from executive coaches to fitness instructors to meditation studios to yoga teachers are discovering the power of online coaching platforms. In some cases, adding or expanding digital or video coaching is even easier during the current crisis; for example, awarenow.io is offering free accounts for coaches or wellness practitioners whose face-to-face business has been impacted by the coronavirus.
An online coaching platform allows for secure video conferences or broadcasts, client progress tracking, e-courses, curated resources, and millions of other bells and whistles - in addition to handling all the back-end functions of scheduling, billing, reminders, and keeping all client communication and data in one place.
There are a number of ways to make an online coaching platform work for your practice. Yoga instructor Gianna Lovamer observes that “it takes a bit of getting used to, but most clients are happy to migrate to online delivery and video-based instruction.”
Similarly, small business coach Andrea Travillian specifically recommends group coaching and/or online classes to reduce costs and increase volume.
Do Your Video Right
It’s easy to broadcast from your phone or computer, but a few simple tips will make the most of your video presence. According to business coach Kendra Perry, “a Logitech Livestream camera and a rode wireless mic is all you need for live exercise classes.”
Allison Chaney of Boot Camp Digital reminds coaches and consultants not to neglect the little things: “Power tip – your background should be excellent. Be mindful of what is behind you. Clean up your space and make it professional or purchase a backdrop”
Similarly, Liz Steblay of Professional Independent Consultants of America suggests that online coaches and instructors not rely on WiFi if possible and instead to use a LAN cord plugged directly into your computer, as LAN speeds are much faster.
Don’t Get Derailed. it’s Not ALL about the Coronavirus
Despite the headlines, not every communication needs to be about COVID-19. As sales and marketing coach Fabrice Calando warns: “you don't need to tweak your comms or address it if you have nothing to add.”
If you’re not interacting with someone face-to-face or if nothing is changing for your clients, you probably don’t need to let them know the details about how you’re handling the health crisis.
More broadly, Fabrice advises consultants and practitioners to “continue their marketing efforts. It is (or will be soon) business as usual for most.”
We can only hope that he is right...
Despite the challenges facing coaches, consultants, and wellness practitioners, many have shown creativity in the ways in which they’ve made their services available to their clients via remote sessions, group coaching, and virtual classes. It’s definitely recommended to partner with an online coaching platform to provide professional-looking services and at the same time, simplify and streamline your backend processes. Overall, it’s important to keep a level head, understand that the situation is affecting everyone differently, and listen carefully to client needs - all while maintaining your own spiritual center during this crisis. While the coronavirus will eventually end, the new business models that it catalyzes may not. Be open to new approaches.