The CoachAccountable Blog

Master CoachAccountable and become the best dang coach you can be. Also, news.

Group Action Projects

Action Projects are great for grouping related Actions together (and gamifying the results). But what about in Groups, where a larger project may be broken down into Actions for various people on the team to complete?

You can now also create Action Projects for a Group. Assign the parts of a project to the people who will actually do those items, and see the entire project move along. Some coaches have let us know this feature has allowed them to drop task sharing software like Asana and Trello.

Here’s how to set up a Group Action Project.

Enable Group Action Projects

By default, Group Action Projects are hidden in order to simplify your experience. To enable them, go to a given Group’s Settings >> Basics and check the box. You’ll then see Action Projects appear on the left sidebar.

How to Enable CoachAccountable Group Action Projects

If you’ve given Group members the ability to view and participate in this Group, they’ll be able to see the Action Project and its progress. If you’ve given them the ability to add Group Actions, they’ll be able to contribute Actions to the project. Check those settings in the Group’s Settings >> Participation (just right of the Basics tab pictured above).

Create a New Group Action Project

Go to Action Projects and click the +Project button (or click the Action Projects (+) button as found in the left side menu) and give it a name. All the Group members will see this name, so make sure it’s descriptive and clear. Once you’ve created the Project, you can click the edit icon in the upper right to change the name or add a description if desired.

To add Actions to the project, click the (+) button in the upper right of the Action Project (it appears when you hover your mouse).

From here, you’ll see a fairly typical Action setup screen. The main difference to note is that you can now choose an assignee, or in other words select the Group member to whom the item will be assigned.

As Group members mark items complete, the progress bar will advance based on the weight you’ve given each Action.

Making Changes

Notice that, from the Action Project tab, you can see who’s been assigned which Action; that person’s picture shows on the left. Hover over the picture to have that person’s name appear.

If an Action should be reassigned to another member, click the edit icon on the right of that Action. Click the assignee’s name in the Assign To section and choose another Group member. Just like with individual Action Projects, you can also change the due date, edit reminders, cancel or delete an item from this screen.

Modify a Group Member's assigned Action in a Project

Should many items be shifted on the timeline? No problem, just click on the edit icon in the upper right of the entire Project. Here’s where you can change multiple due dates or item weights.

Modify details of a Group Action Project

If you’ve got multiple Action Projects going on simultaneously, you can collapse the Actions and just see the progress bar by clicking the arrow in the upper right of that Project.

View all your team's projects

Use Cases

Setting up a Group Action Project can be useful for a few scenarios.

Perhaps you’ve got some members of a departmental team collaborating on the same project with different tasks that contribute to an overall goal. Action Projects allow you (and the team) transparency into whether the project is bottlenecked with one team member.

Or maybe you have a project that gets handed around as it works its way toward completion. A Group Action Project allows for easy reassigning of project items.

Some coaches work with small businesses, such as businesses run by a couple. Group Action Projects help keep both members of the team organized with all the different projects they’re juggling simultaneously.

Thanks to all who contributed by asking for this feature to help make your group coaching relationships run more smoothly. We’re happy to help minimize the number of systems you need for your coaching!


Have you been looking for software to keep your business coaching clients organized? Ready to drop some expensive project management services and put more things into one place? Try out CoachAccountable free for 30 days. 

Delightful Collaboration IX – Smarter At-A-Glance Displays

It’s just occurred to me that it’s been a LONG time since I wrote up a blog post under the “Delightful Collaboration” theme.  It’s not for lack of that sort of thing happening: feature requests stemming for good ideas, insightful perspectives, and specific use cases still come to us at a regular clip and we still act upon them to make CA accordingly better for everyone (recent examples include this and this!).

I figure it would be a shame for anyone to get the impression that we don’t do that sort of thing anymore, so here’s a pair of suggested improvements to CA that came in recently!

The first is another from Megan of Fidelity National Financial.  She wrote:

I had another idea for a new feature.  Would it be possible to add an option in the “What’s New” tab that would allow you to pull new items not only from a specific date (“show from..”) but also “since our last call”?  Or a drop down list of the calls logged in CA.  That way, coaches don’t have to look up the date of the last call.  They can select a call in the past and easily see what’s been accomplished since the selected call.

Let me know what you think.  Thanks!

I admit, I had to think on this one a bit.  Should the dates suggested by the system here be based on recent session notes?  Or recent scheduled appointments?  What about coaches who are prone to using one and not the other, or vice-versa?  Maybe include both, with filtering out the duplicates?

And how can I add this without cluttering up the UI for everyone with what might be a very niche-desired feature?  (After all, this was the first time I’d heard such a request in 7 years!)

The current system simply recalls your preference of your preferred look back window of X days, but there’s something nice about the precision of seeing what’s new precisely from the last call, which of course will vary from client to client.  Then I figured out an elegant way to tuck that new feature away, and I was sold: this could be a very cool thing to add for everyone.

Here’s the result:

When there is one or more to choose from, click the little appointment icon just right of the “Show since” date picker to reveal options.

I can’t deny I was tickled and stoked by the reply I got for adding this:

This is AMAZING and will make our jobs as coaches SO much easier! We’ll be able to easily narrow down what has been accomplished since the last time we spoke to our clients!  Thank you thank you!

Talk about good deeds being their own reward, and then some!  That I’ve managed to make any coaches’ lives easier is music to my ears (and something I daresay I’ve developed a healthy addiction for).


The second recent suggestion came from Twila Gates, long time CA user and generally a fan.  Twila asked:

Quick question: Is it possible to have a magic tag for “date of next appointment” and “date of last session notes” that I could place in the “profile extra” space in the settings.  It would make it quick and easy to see if each client has a next appointment set and also to know if I have completed all notes.

This one, too, I had to mull on.  A magic tag seemed a bit clunky: it would be such an easy-to-miss thing that one would have to manually add to each client’s Profile Extra.  I could see the next appointment date being universally handy, but date of last session notes felt a little niche in terms of utility and, coupled with the next appointment date, perhaps too much clutter to add to the standard display.

Ultimately I settled on adding just the next appointment date, when present, displayed standard for all clients in the My Clients listing (one out of two ain’t bad!).  To make space and prevent information overload in that listing I removed client physical addresses, figuring that sort of thing it’s nearly as a timely or topical in an at-a-glance listing (and not apt to change often, to say the least!).

And I saw a way to do Twila one better on her suggestion, which was to enable sort by next appointment, thus allowing the soonest-for-next-conversation clients to bubble right up to the top.

Here’s what this looks like:

“So, who am I working with next? Ah right, these guys!” Hover your mouse over the appointment date for more information.

And there you have it!  Delightful collaboration with the CA community remains alive and well, and everyone’s happier for it (myself included).

What I really love about these two requests in particular is that their born of nuanced experience of routinely using the system over time, and doing so with particular habits, patterns, or workflows.  Megan and Twila were both crystal clear on what would make those workflows more convenient, and clued me in to what would otherwise be a blind spot.

So to Megan and Twila, and the countless other coaches who have weighed in on how CA could be better, I say thank you!

Client-Specific Notification Settings

One of the magical things that CoachAccountable enables is for you, as coach, to have a real time window in to how things are going with your clients during the days (or weeks) BETWEEN your regular sessions: when actions are getting done, when a due date has slipped, when an assignment was completed, and so on.

Part of this magic is CA’s ability to send you notifications the moment these things happen, either via email or text.  It’s a very fine-grained level of detail, so much so that with many clients (or just a few highly active ones) it can become overwhelming.  Thus CA naturally allows you to turn on or off the various types of notifications that it can send you (and your clients).

Sometimes, however, it would be nice to have different settings apply to different clients, both for your benefit and theirs.

As coach, you might have tiered clients, wherein some are merely doing your course or participating in your group coaching experience, while others may be working with you directly.  With the ability to tailor these settings per-client, you can opt for more notifications with your 1-on-1 clients, while comparatively muting the activity of the ones on lower tiers.

This is also nice to tailor to the tastes of your individual clients.  In the words of one coach:

Is it possible to turn off the email reminders about completing actions for individual clients? I have clients that will be annoyed by this – but others who might like it.

That sort of request is worth accommodating!  Your default settings might represent what you feel is the best practice for someone working with you (things like “yes, an alert should be sent to my client when one of their actions becomes late”), yet you can let your client know that you can turn certain notifications on or off for them as preferred.

All notification settings can be overrode as desired for a given client.  To do so, simply bring up their client manager (by clicking the gear icon as found for a given client in the My Clients listing) and navigate to Settings >> Notifications and you’ll be on your way.

When it comes to these settings, a picture is especially worth a 1000 words:

Use your default settings, or custom tailor them to the individual.

Enjoy!

New Subscription Plan for Team Edition: Starter Mini

Aside from transitioning the paid add-ons (Courses, Groups, and White Labeling) to being core features that are free and included for all, CoachAccountable’s pricing has been remarkably stable (or, more precisely, completely unchanging in the 7+ years!).

The pricing for Team Edition, first released in 2015, has been similarly stable.  I remember fondly the certain mathematical elegance of how I based it on the Basic Account pricing: every plan simply had a zero added to the price, storage, and client capacities.  Each plan was 10x the size of it’s Basic counterpart, leading to the same per-client pricing across the board but at that larger scale.

This has worked pretty well, BUT I realize has left a certain “no man’s land” when it came to smaller coaching teams, especially teams of 2.

Smaller teams coaching well under 20 clients have been left with the tricky choice between maintaining two separate accounts (without benefit of sharing and collaboration) and biting the bullet for the sometimes far more expensive Team Account.

To better serve that gap we’re happy to today to introduce the new Team Edition Starter Mini plan.

With a Team Edition Starter Mini, you can have up to 10 clients (and unlimited coaches or admin) for $100 per month. The same amount of clients (10) with a single coach account will run you $70, which makes a much more palatable transition ($30) for those smaller teams and organizations.

Affordable coaching software for 2 coaches

This also presents an easy solution for coaches that hire (or want to hire!) outside admin personnel to set appointments or run reports. Previously, you’d have to choose between the higher-priced Team Starter plan and sharing your own login information with admin people (which is of course more risky).

If you already have a Team Edition account with 10 active clients or fewer, you’ll be automatically switched to (and billed at!) the new lower price when your next billing date arrives.

And if you already have a CoachAccountable Basic account and you’re ready to take the leap into Team Edition with the new $100/month price, simply click on your name in the upper right >> My Account >> Account Type, and you can migrate with just a few clicks.  (And rest assured: switching back is just as easy! :)

Private Files for Comprehensive Client Records

Coaches have long had the ability to add items into a client’s record that aren’t meant to be seen by the client. Specifically, you’ve been able to add private journal entries, private Session Notes, and private comments, as well as a few key areas to add private information to the client’s profile.

Megan of Fidelity National Financial recently made a compelling case for private files:

Would it be possible to create an option to mark uploaded files as private (like there is for session notes and journal entries)? We would like to upload a PDF to our clients’ dashboards for our records (as to keep everything in the same place), but we would like it to be for our eyes only.

In particular the phrase “to keep everything in the same place” made our ears perk up, as we’re very keen to make CoachAccountable be that magical one-stop-shop for coaches.

Fast forward a few days after that request was made, and private files are now a thing!  Let’s take a look.

Adding Private Files to a Client’s Record

To add a file to a client’s record that’s private you’ll add it like you would any other file (on a client’s Client Page >> Files area, click +File).

You’ll now see a Visibility menu allowing you to indicate the file’s visibility setting:

Generally visible, Visible only to team, Just me and the client, Private

 

File Visibility Options

As a single coach, you’ll see these self-explanatory options:

  • Share with client
  • Private, for my eyes only

And in Team Edition accounts, you’ll see:

  • Generally visible (meant to be seen by the client and other members of the coaching team)
  • Visible only to team coaches (just meant to be internal to the coaching team)
  • Just me and the client (suitable to share with the client but still to be kept confidential from any other team coaches, EVEN those coaches who are also working with the client and have access to the records)
  • Private, for my eyes only (just for the uploader’s reference, and not meant to be seen even by other coaches on the team)

One note about “Generally visible”, it might evoke the concern that the file isn’t private at all.  But that’s not the case: you can rest assured the file will only ever be accessible to users who are explicitly allowed to view that client’s record!

Here’s what the files look like as shared with the various visibility settings:

Private coaching files

The sash found in the upper-left corner of a given item reveals the visibility setting.  No sash means generally visible.

A warm thank you to Megan and her team for providing the impetus to create the new file privacy options. We value our customers’ suggestions, and you’re the ones who help us keep making the app better and better.


Keep all your client files in one easy-to-manage, easy-to-access spot with CoachAccountable. Sign up for your 30-day free trial today. 

Automatically Set Up Zoom Meetings for your Appointments

Zoom is a popular platform for conducting coaching sessions, and for good reason!  If you’re not meeting in person, it’s more or less the next best thing: face-to-face video calls that are easy to set up and easy to join, for you and your clients.

CoachAccountable now allows you to connect your Zoom account, which means the system can automatically set up Zoom Meetings for your appointments.

Here’s the gist in one minute:

Let’s see how it works!

Connecting CoachAccountable to Zoom

You’ll find the place to connect to your Zoom account under Settings >> Appointment Config >> Zoom Meetings.

The in-app verbiage makes it pretty clear what’s going on and what to do next:

Use Zoom? Already logged in?  If so, you’re literally 2 clicks away from connecting your account.

Clicking the big “Let’s go do that!” button brings you over to Zoom.  If you’re not logged in already, you’ll be prompted to do so (or have the chance to sign up for a new Zoom account).

Once logged in, you’ll see the following prompt asking for your authorization to allow CoachAccountable to connect:

Zoom authorization

All CA needs, permission-wise, is the ability to read and write to your Meetings.

Assuming you click “Authorize”, you’ll be whisked back to CoachAccountable and presented with the opportunity to set your preferences for Zoom meeting.

Set Zoom Meeting Preferences

This selection essentially amounts to letting CA know which of your Appointment Types should typically entail a Zoom Meeting:

Here we answer the (hopefully) simple question: which types of appointment do you generally conduct via Zoom?

The “Always” and “Never” tell CA that a Zoom meeting (or lack thereof!) should be taken as a foregone conclusion for all appointments of that type.  Choosing the “Usually” or “Usually not” option means CA will present you with a checkbox option that you can check or not check (in order to set up or not set up a Zoom meeting) when scheduling an appointment.

The two other settings, “Enable clients to join before me” and “Start meeting with video enabled”, mirror the usual Zoom Meeting settings.

(Note also that here, at the bottom, is where you can disconnect CA from your Zoom account, should you ever wish to.)

Here’s what scheduling an appointment looks like for an Appointment Type whose Zoom meeting preference is set to “Always”:

Scheduling appiontment with a Zoom meeting.

Note how it says “A Zoom meeting will be scheduled for this appointment.”, the “Always” setting in action.

When your clients schedule with you, they’ll never see controls related to Zoom.  Instead, the system will automatically create those meetings for Appointment Types that are set to either “Always” or “Usually” have Zoom Meetings.

Once an Appointment is scheduled with a Zoom Meeting, you’ll be able to see it’s been added to your Meetings over in your Zoom account:

Looks about right! Though in general you’ll not need to keep up with things scheduled over here, since it’ll be in CA.  Also, beware that Delete button: if you delete it there, CA won’t know about it.

Zoom Meetings for Already-Scheduled Appointments

Add a Zoom Meeting

If you didn’t do so when originally scheduled, you can add a Zoom Meeting to already-scheduled Appointments.  Just click to modify an Appointment and, so long as it’s of a type that is set to usually or always have a Zoom Meeting, you’ll find a button by which to do so:

Quickly add Zoom Meetings to your already-scheduled appointments.

When modifying an already-scheduled appointment, you can see the corresponding Zoom Meeting that has been scheduled:

Modify Zoom appointment

If you have a change of heart, you can remove the Zoom Meeting with a click.

Note the “Location” field has been set to the exact URL by which you and your clients will be able to access the Meeting.

Where to Access the Zoom Meeting Link

Having the Zoom URL as the location for an appointment means it will be easy to find (and thus the meeting easy to join) for both parties.  It can be found in:

Notifications – That exact meeting’s URL will be present in the Appointment notifications and reminders you and your client get.

Client AND Coach Calendars – You’ll also see the URL automatically as part of the event in any calendars that you or your client have synced with.  That means the meeting will be super easy to join for both parties.

In-App – Appointments that have Zoom Meetings set will also show the “join now” link in-app; just click on the calendar icon or name of the appointment as found in the upcoming appointments listing:

In-app link for Zoom meetings

One click from within CA to join… nice!

Deleting Zoom Meetings

You might have CA schedule one for you but later decide you don’t need it.  You COULD delete it from within Zoom, but don’t.  If you delete it there, CA won’t know about it and with blithely go on showing the “join now” link to you and your clients.

But more to the point, there’s no need (after all, the whole point of this integration is to have things all in one place!).  You can delete a Zoom meeting from within CA; just go to modify an appointment that has the meeting set and click the “remove this…” button.

And that’s it!  Just connect your Zoom account, choose which appointment types should have Zoom meetings, and set those meetings automatically when scheduling your appointments as usual.  The “join now” links will be readily presented to you and your clients.

Zoom meetings are a best-in-class way to conduct your remote coaching sessions.  By integrating them in with everything else that CA appointments provide, you’ve got an even more powerful system for scheduling with your clients with the least work possible.  Enjoy!


Ready to supercharge your appointments with automated pre- and post-session Worksheets, client scheduling with reminders, Google & Outlook calendar sync, and now integrated Zoom meetings? Sign up for CoachAccountable. It’s free for 30 days – click here to begin. 

CoachAccountable Turns 7

The source file for this image is the first PhotoShop document that I could ever count as a 6+ year work in progress.

What a year!

What a delightful year.  When I reflect on the last 12 months of playing the CoachAccountable game, what’s most strongly there for me is a sense of calm effectiveness.

Morgan and I have forged a really strong stride of GETTING. THINGS. DONE.  Morgan’s expert handling of customer love and support, coupled with the elevated focus on heads-down work that I’ve taken on (it’s a little harder–though not too hard–these days to get access to me these days, sorry!) has led a lot of meaningful and creative output this year.  Fun things like:

  • The monthly Webinar series, with which we’re teaching powerful distinctions around how to be a better coach (with the aid of CoachAccountable, of course) that you won’t find anywhere else.  The growing repository of webinar recordings (available in-app) is proving a valuable resource for many.
  • Video riffs: me on camera riffing about a few topics around and behind the scenes of CoachAccountable, of interest to CA users old and new.
  • Interviews: we produced a few in depth interviews exploring ways CA elevates coaching work (and other topics), including Greg Bennett (“I close deals thanks to this thing”) and Joe Arioto (“I wish I had this a decade ago”).
  • Being an exhibitor at the St. Thomas Executive Coaching conference and a sponsor of the ACTO conference.
  • Some exercises in copy writing our marketing website pages that seem by and large responsible for nearly doubling our signups (seriously).
  • We’ve amassed a lot of love in the reviews posted about CA (big thanks to those who have so generously shared about their experiences with us and CA over there).

Plenty of new goodies to the app itself, as well.  Many expanded CA’s capacity to help you run a better business, but still also plenty of other features that make the coaching itself better (and give your clients more):

  • Engagements, CA’s system for managing coaching packages that entail appointment allocations and/or recurring billing.
  • Client Agreements, CA’s way to let you issue and manage formal agreements (legal and otherwise) with your clients (including collecting signatures, allowing you to drop services like DocuSign).
  • Full-fledged sync with Microsoft Outlook calendars.
  • New reports: Coach Touchpoints and ICF-style logging of coaching hours.
  • Group Whiteboards, Group Action Projects, Group Files area, and Group member profiles.

Plus the usual bevvy of other tweaks, enhancements, little additions, and bits of polish as we continue our usual march towards a more perfect CoachAccountable (and my usual thanks go out to the many CA users to continue to share their insight and perspectives to inform that march!).

It’s all been (and continues to be) a lot of fun as we fire creatively on most or all cylinders.  On top of that, it’s been very calm as we’ve gone along doing so much, even amid doubled sign ups.

I know I say this every year (but in my defense it always turns out to be true, per subsequent year-in-reviews like this), but there’s still plenty more up our sleeves as we continue to build the best darn coaching platform we can.

Thank you to all who have joined us on the journey.  That you’ve done the work to find your way around CA and wield it in your work means the world to me.  Onward we go!

Cheers,

Interview with Joe Arioto of MetaGrowth Ventures

Joe Arioto of MetaGrowth Ventures has done 16,000 coaching hours and has at times coached 90+ individuals on a rolling basis.

Early on as a user of CoachAccountable he reached out to let me know he was pleased with the system, and wish he’d had it a decade ago.

Given that, you can imagine I was quite keen to talk more, figuring Joe’s insights and perspective from such a seasoned career would be worth sharing.  He did not disappoint!

Some of the topics we covered:

  • Challenges with coaching 90+ individuals (1:52)
  • On charging a higher fee (15:15)
  • Goal Setting and Planning (22:18)
  • Why accountability & tracking is important (29:02)
  • What makes a compelling coaching offer(34:20)
  • Better client rapport with personality profiling (46:10)
  • The difference CoachAccountable makes (52:42)

Thanks Joe for meeting with me in the studio and sharing your expertise!

Join Us: In-Person Coach Meetups in Los Angeles

Every week we hear a few requests for some sort of users group, some opportunity to connect with other coaches.

While our monthly webinar series has proven a successful time for education and group contribution, there’s still more room for community.

So we’re trying something new: an in-person coaches meetup in Los Angeles, California.

Los Angeles Coaches and Mentors Meetup

Why Announce Our Meetup to Everyone?

We realize an in-person Meetup will only be feasible for a small segment of our global community of users.  Nevertheless, there are some good reasons to share this more broadly:

  • Putting this out here gives us the chance to suss out interest from coaches in other places: “Hey, can’t make the LA meetup, but can you do one in my city?” (if you’re thinking this to yourself right now, let us know!).
  • We’ve heard from coaches worldwide who periodically visit Los Angeles or have long layovers in LA.
  • This meetup isn’t just for CoachAccountable customers. All coaches are welcome, and we know many of you have wide networks of coach friends who might be in the greater Los Angeles area.  I was shocked to find that there wasn’t already a coaches and mentors group happening in LA (given how many coaches live here), so we’re happy to be organizing what may be the first one.

This is a Test

Arguably, an in-person meetup for an essentially virtual company is an odd fit.  Yet there’s something so powerful, so enlivening about making connections in person, especially when virtual is so thoroughly the norm.  Plus it’s fun. :)

So we’re going to give it a real try, and just see how this goes.  We want to see what kind of interest there genuinely is in an in-person meetup.  We’ll host an event monthly, and do it for six months.  By that time, we expect to have a good read on whether this is worth continuing with.

Ultimately, what we’re up to as a company is making the entirety of coaching better, for both clients and coaches.  To that end, an in-person meetup is worth doing.

Here’s a blurb from our meetup page itself:

If you’re like most coaches (everyone from brand-new to seasoned pro), you crave community. You feed off the enthusiasm of other people causing breakthroughs.

And if you’re like most coaches, you want to know what’s working and what’s not working out there. How are other coaches running their businesses? Strategies for working remotely? Hosting live workshops? Squarespace or WordPress?

–> Come to our monthly Los Angeles coaches gathering. <–

No matter your area of focus (life coaching, business coaching, finance coaching, leadership coaching, relationship coaching, mentoring, and so on), come to learn (and share) best practices.

“But I’m afraid someone will steal my worksheet idea!” Guess what? People aren’t signing up for your worksheets and materials. They’re signing up to work with YOU. Nobody else can coach in the exact same way you can. And, let’s not forget why we started coaching: to make a difference. The more coaches, and the more people getting coached, the better off the world is. Share only what you’re comfortable sharing.

So Far So Good

Our first meetup occurred in early August. Attendance was light compared to the 16 who’d RSVPed, but we had a great mix: a fitness coach, an executive coach, and a sales coach, all at different points in their careers. We bonded over shared stories of how we entered the coaching world and what we’d each gotten in our own lives from coaching, and shared tips on keeping clients longer (the loose topic of the meetup).

The attendees each sent passionate messages afterward and added suggestions for future incarnations, all of which have been implemented.  It feels like we’re on the right track!

Los Angeles Coach Happy Hour

The scene of our August coaches meetup – the magic 8ball said “good idea”

Find Our Los Angeles Coaches Meetup

In the LA area and want to get out and connect with some peers?  Join our meetup group.

Our next event is Thursday, September 12 from 6-8PM Pacific Time. The topic is “Mastering Client Referrals.”


Can’t make the coaches gathering but want to see what we’re all about? Start your free CoachAccountable trial now.

Client Agreements

Common to many coaching relationships is the need to lay out specific terms, agreements, or contracts between coach and client.  Even though periphery to the real work that gets done in coaching, these agreements are often essential in laying down a foundation of trust, workability, and clear expectations.

Such agreements typically include:

  • Payment terms
  • Cancellation & refund policies
  • Confidentiality provisions
  • What is expected of the client
  • What can be expected of the coach
  • Terms of engagement
  • Disclaimers, dispute resolution, and other topics of legal significance

A clear understanding about all of these protects the interests of both parties, and a clear record of what exactly was agreed to (and when!) is handy in the event of a dispute.

agreement iconTo make managing the coach agreements that your clients enter into (as part of working with you) easy and effective, we are proud to present CoachAccountable Client Agreements.

Here are the broad strokes of what these provide:

Signatures, check boxes and more.  When a simple “I agree to the above” check box won’t cut it, you can add various inputs to your agreements for your clients to fill in.  Think places to type their initials or full name, check boxes to acknowledge agreement to essential terms one by one, and even signature pads that require clients to physically sign with their mouse, stylus or finger.

Multiple, customizable templates to suit your various client types and engagements.  Create one or more agreement templates with dynamic tags like [clientFirstName] and [dateOf], each one tailored to the various types of clients and programs you offer.  For instance, your group coaching clients might have different rates and terms than your one-on-one coaching clients, which are different still from your in-person weekend mastermind clients.

Issue with ease.  Issue agreements for new or established clients with a few clicks.  CoachAccountable handles the rest by presenting the agreement to your client to complete (at registration for new clients, and upon next interaction for those already established).

Clear and readily-accessible records for both parties.  Coach and client can both see the clear (and time-stamped) record of what was agreed to and when.

Integrity and immutability.  The existence of an agreed-to Client Agreement is strong evidence that a client ACTUALLY did agree to it.  Coach can’t stuff a client account with Agreements that weren’t agreed to, and coach can’t alter agreements that were agreed to earlier.  Only client logged in as himself can agree to a Client Agreement, and the IP address from which they made the agreement is recorded.

Effective replacement for document signing services. With a robust and flexible system for issuing and securing agreements for your contractual needs with clients, these allow you to retire services like HelloSign or Docusign; CoachAccountable is one step closer to being the only system you need to run your whole coaching business.

Let’s see them in action!

Creating Client Agreement Templates

The first step is to create one or more Client Agreement Templates.  You’ll find the place to do this in Settings >> Agreements.

Click +Agreement Template to create a new one.

Composing an Agreement Template entails using the typical WYSIWYG editor.

Notice on the right there are several magic tags available for automatic customization.  These include [clientFirstName] and [clientLastName] (to customize to a given client), and [dateOf], which will set itself to whatever date your client executes the agreement.

If you’re on Team Edition you’ll also see [coachFirstName] and [coachLastName], allowing you to insert the name of whomever is the client’s primary coach.

Finally, in pre-loaded Agreement Templates you may notice [businessName] present as a magic tag.  This pulls from the name you’ve supplied in Branding (Settings >> System >> Branding >> System Names >> Name of my business).

To make a more interactive (and even more legally robust) Agreement you’ll want to include one or more form inputs, using the “Insert Form Input” button of the WYSIWYG toolbar (5th in from the right).  Form inputs are the check boxes, text inputs, and signature areas mentioned above.  Having a signature area at the bottom of your agreement preceded by something like “I, [clientFirstName] [clientLastName] hereby agree to the above as of [dateOf]:” is a nice way to wrap up.

Check box AND a signature area… thorough! And the “Dated” line fills itself in automatically.

 

Issuing Agreements

Once you create one or more Agreement Templates, they’re ready to issue to your clients, new and old.

For new clients, you’ll see Agreements as part of the dialogue for adding a new client. Like with established clients, you’ll be able to choose from your Agreement Templates and customize as desired.

New coaching client terms and conditions

If the Agreements portion is missing for you, it’s because you don’t have any Agreement Templates!

The Agreement you issue to a new client will be presented as part of their account registration (i.e. when they choose their username and password).  If you issue multiple Agreements (see the “For existing clients” section below for how), the first one you issued will be presented as part of the registration process and subsequent ones will be presented right after.  That said, multiple agreements for a new client just getting started might be a bit overwhelming… so even though you can do it, we don’t recommend it!

For existing clients, go to the client’s Settings (gear icon found in the lower right for a given client in the “My Clients” listing) and you’ll see a section called “Agreements”.

Click “Issue New”, and you’re presented with a dropdown menu of your Agreement Templates. Clicking the customize button allows you to add or change anything that’s specific to this one person.

Issue new coaching client agreement

Issue it, and the client will be presented with that Agreement the next time they access the system.  They’ll not be able to do anything else in the system until they complete the Agreement.

If you’d like to change something in an already issued Agreement, you can do so up until the client has completed it by deleting and re-assigning a new version.  For an unimpeachable record, no changes may be made after it’s been completed (though you can delete and re-issue if needed).

Once the Agreement is completed, you’ll see the date and time the client acknowledged your coaching terms and conditions, as well as the IP address.

If a client switches subscriptions, moves to a different type of coaching, restarts coaching after a hiatus, or for any other update to your coaching terms and conditions, you can issue an additional Agreement reflecting whatever new arrangement is in effect.  They’ll be added to the record of past Agreements.

Reviewing Past Agreements

You and the client are both able to see all previous Agreements, including when they were accepted by the client. As coach, access this record via a given client’s Settings >> Agreements.  Your client will find the record of their agreements with you by clicking on their name in the upper right >> My Account >> My Agreement(s).

Oh dear, Mikayla only signed her first name… do we need a do-over?

Agreements in Offerings

When someone signs up for one of your Offerings, they become a new client in your account.  When configuring your Offering you can designate one of your Agreement Templates to be the one that applies to those clients (i.e. they’ll be presented with that Agreement when they register their account, and will be required to complete it before entering the system).


And there you have it!  Client agreements, contracts, terms and legalese are often a pretty dry, boring, and perhaps even unpleasant part of running a coaching business, but with CoachAccountable Agreements you can get those terms right once and then have them handled for all clients with negligible effort.

Bonus: Looking for some inspiration on what your Client Agreements should look like?  Click here to install 5 samples we’ve provided.  Pick the best one for you, tailor it to suit your business and you’ve got another thing handled!


Ready to drop HelloSign or Docusign and do all your coaching client management through CoachAccountable?  Try us out free for 30 days and let us know what you think of the new Client Agreements.