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How much time do you need to start online coaching? (Three mistakes you’re making)

Our first client

We brought the time that we spent online coaching down from two hours a day, coaching ten clients between us, to half an hour a day coaching fifty clients.

And they were happier, paid more, and got better results.

Today, we’re going to let you in on the car crash that was our first ever client, the three mistakes we made when we started online coaching, and how you can save all of the headache and hassle while still getting better results for your clients.

Yusef: “I had a text exchange with our first ever client, who mentioned that they were an avid reader of our articles and that they’d like to begin our guided hypertrophy block with our assistance.

“I explained the commitment and cost involved to the client, and was excited to tell Johnny. Although we didn’t have technically have an established framework in place, we endeavoured to deliver the best possible service… And this brings us to online coaching mistake #1.”

Online Coaching Mistake #1

We opened Microsoft Word, stuck our logo on it and thought, “Let’s give this guy the cutting edge of hypertrophy science!”

We started to make graphs, plotting out bar speed and the optimal performance point and hormone curves… and it went down like a lead balloon.

The mistake was in thinking that the client needs or wants all this information; the client has hired you because they don’t care.

Don’t make coaching about you; it’s about them.

They hired you as a coach to outsource the decision-making – so take on that role and do the processing behind the scenes for them.

This brings us on nicely to Online Coach Mistake #2.

Online Coaching Mistake #2

Each time a new client signed up, we would open up a fresh, blank, Microsoft Word document and we would fill it with the best stuff that we could think of on the day.

What was the mistake here? Duplication of work.

Rather than making a single, evolving document that we could tweak and improve each time, we started from scratch with each new client. We created far more work for ourselves this way, rather than having an established process we could build on and adapt based on the needs of our clients.

Online Coaching Mistake #3

Mistake #3 boils down to giving the client unlimited access. We allowed the clients to contact us over anything at any time.

We opened up a Facebook thread, as well as an email thread, for our client to contact us anytime he needed anything. This opened us up to being contacted any time of the day, on multiple platforms.

Unlimited access is not good for you, and it’s not good for the client. They don’t have a systematic way of getting in touch with you, and if you’re in the middle of something when they reach out to you, you might not be in a position to give the best answer.

You don’t need to sign yourself up for unlimited contact with a client. They probably don’t need or want this from you either – they just want to see results.

More isn’t always better.

A good programme will be set up in a way that allows the client to get on with it, so that they don’t need constant attention. They just need to be clear on what action to take next, and how to get in touch with you if there is a problem.

These problems might not sound like much when you have a small handful of clients, but once you start to gain clients, Parkinson’s Law kicks in.

Parkinson’s Law

Work expands to fill the time you’ve allocated to it, so when you have one client you might not think there’s any need to put a system in place. But throw another 30 clients into the mix, and if you don’t have a good system for handling them, the cracks in the process start to show. And by that point, you’re too far along. If you’re not set up properly, clients get a bad service, because you’re trying to serve them across all these different channels, and there’s no structure to the way you’re dealing with them.

Without a clear check-in process and a dedicated platform on which to do it, you end up with confused client that isn’t getting predictable results, and an overworked, tired coach. Fixing those things alone has improved the reliability of the results that we get for clients, it’s reduced the time that we’re having to spend coaching people and it’s allowed us to expand our capacity.

So what’s the lesson with this? Before a client hires you, you need to be 100% clear on what the problem is that you’re solving.

Identify the desire, and reverse-engineer that process. That becomes your programme.

Identifying what your client wants and where they want to be is so much better than blindly building something and hoping it sticks. Having a clear product also really helps it to sell, because your client knows that you can fix their problem.

The final thing – and I can’t stress this enough – is:

Don’t use WhatsApp.

The three key pillars of coaching

Build your process around the three key pillars of coaching; knowledge, accountability, and objectivity.

Following these processes and fixing these mistakes allowed us to increase our capacity for one-on-one coaching. But even doing that, there is still a hard limit to how many people that you can coach. You’ve only got so many hours in the day. Once you hit that limit, every time you take on a new client, you’re exchanging sleep or time with family, and your revenue plateaus. Really, it was only when we discovered the new model of online coaching that we were able to take our revenue from £2,000 a month at the hard limit up to £10,000 a month, with less stress and the ability to help more people.

We cover the exact process for this in the video below:

You can also visit this link if you’d like to access more training which takes you behind the scenes of our online personal training business.