The CoachAccountable Blog

What's new with the CA platform, tutorials on using it, and customer spotlights.

Archive for October, 2013

Delightful Dissent Re. Pricing Plans

After explaining in detail the reasoning behind why I charge $50/month for white-labeling, I was delighted to receive a comment containing most thorough dissent from Michael Leahy, one of the newer customers of CoachAccountable, and one of my favorite for his high level of engagement and input.

I believe it’s the first real criticism ever to be expressed in the comments of this humble blog, and while the always-positive environment of the community’s feedback is a delightful boon to my morale, it does pose within it the chance of this devolving into a sort of rosy echo chamber.  By contrast, Michael’s strong opposition brings forth the chance for a lively exchange and exploration of ideas (if you haven’t read it yet, go check it out first before continuing), and affords me the chance to get off my laurels and work through a thoughtful response.

This is good stuff, so I’ve opted to move this more center stage into a post of its own rather than have it languish in the comments section.

» Continue reading “Delightful Dissent Re. Pricing Plans”

Why White Labeling Costs $50 Extra

This is the thing about CoachAccountable for which I definitely take the most heat, that the right to white-label and style it as your own adds fifty bucks to the monthly subscription price.

I can appreciate that $50/month for this can be hard to swallow, and yes, I am aware that the Coaches Console offers this for free.

So why would I do this?

No, it’s not a ploy to get more CoachAccountable brand exposure out to potential customers, I’m going to go out on a limb here to surmise that the overlap between people being coached and people who might become customers is vanishingly small.

Here are the real reasons.

First it represents a sort of price segmentation that ultimately leads to lower pricing for coaches who can do without.  CoachAccountable remains a completely self-funded start up.  This is lovely, for as such I can focus on deliberately and methodically crafting a great product without investors breathing down my neck looking anxiously for their return on investment. But it means I still need this to be profitable enough for me to make a living off of it.

So charging larger outfits a little more for a premium add-on helps me grow the platform in this still-early phase of CoachAccountable’s existence.

Consider the grid below.   Larger, more established coaching practices generally fall in the lower-right quadrant.  They pay a little more for the premium add-on and it’s win-win.  The push back I get about the surcharge generally comes from the upper-right quadrant.   I totally understand the sentiment.  In those cases I actually encourage coaches with smaller client rosters (i.e. the situation in which the $50 flat fee amounts to a high per-client price hike) to consider that white labeling isn’t all that important, and that clients generally don’t think any less of the coaching experience when it comes with the CoachAccountable branding.

Price Sensitivity to a $50 surcharge High No worries, don’t need it. Potentially mistaking superficial aesthetics as genuinely important to providing real coaching value.
Low Can take it or leave it, no biggie either way. Generally a nice win.
Low High
Perceived Importance of having White Labeling

Indeed, the results one gets being coached are going to be the same whether it’s the CoachAccountable logo at the top of the screen or some other.

The second reason is to hold myself tightly to the cause of making a substantially value-adding piece of software.  If matching or beating someone else’s price is my way of earning the business of a paying customer, it means I can get away with a shoddier product.  So for now, as with the other premium add-ons (and even the core system), I’d rather be on the hook to make while labeling great and truly worth the cost.  If it turns out it’s not worth the money, no worries.  Rather than bargaining down, let me go back to the drawing board and make it better (and gracefully accept going out of business if I fail).

Finally, the premium surcharge for white labeling enables me to give due credit of earnest usage to those willing to pay the $50/month.  I still regularly take suggestions and feedback direct from my customers, from the $20/month Starter plan on up.  While I continue to evolve this platform, the whole pricing structure of CoachAccountable assures me that I’m taking my input from people who are vested enough to invest a few bucks a month into their system, ones who expect so much more than some cheap CRM with the word “coaching” on it.

So that’s why white labeling costs $50 extra per month, and similar reasoning applies to Courses and recently released Groups.  It’s not a popular choice, but a very deliberately strategic one.  To those who mind, I apologize and hope you’ll bear with me.

For those who don’t, I thank you for your enabling role in CoachAccountable’s growth.

Delightful Collaboration IV – A Spiffy, White-Labeled Login Screen

Sometimes a simple misunderstanding reveals a good idea I never thought of.

In this instance of Delightful Collaboration that good idea came from David Green of LeadershipMARC, who forwarded me a URL for a page on CoachAccountable and wondered how to have that page be without the name of one of his clients:

This screen was intended to be where a client first registers herself, and since that was already done a place to login shows instead.

The name is a fake but the branding is real.

I explained the misunderstanding, that this link was meant only to be the special page for his client to register her account (and that since that registration was already done, that’s why a login shows instead).  He countered with a most sensible expressed desire:

But I am looking for a landing page like that off of my website.
It’s a very good look.
Please tell me it’s possible.

Prior to this moment that screen, in all its customized, white-labeled glory, was only meant to be a one-off experience for clients.  But indeed it is a snappy login page, and a useful alternative to embedding a small login widget on one’s own site.  Immediately I agreed that it should be available to serve as coach’s own login page for their system, and took about 15 minutes to cook up a client-neutral variation:

Fit for any client of a given coach to login, branded to match his or her white-label settings.

Fit for any client of a given coach to login, branded to match his or her white-label settings.

Then I sent this reply:

David, I gotta hand it to you:

That’s a REALLY good idea.  So I’ve cooked up just that for you.  If you go to My CA >> My System >> White-Label Branding you’ll find a new piece there, “Customized Login Page”.  There you’ll find a magic link that is suitable for linking to as a branded, general purpose login for your clients.

Thanks for making the request, I imagine many other coaches will enjoy it as well!

I hope that they will!

Introducing CoachAccountable Groups

Today I am delighted to announce a new major piece of the CoachAccountable platform: Groups.

Groups is CoachAccountable’s answer to supporting group coaching, designed to promote communication among group members, joint accountability, and a very real experience of  shared accomplishment and community support.

Let me show you around.

» Continue reading “Introducing CoachAccountable Groups”