The CoachAccountable Blog

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

Happy Birthday CA! Let’s Recap Year Six.

5 years of doing it has me quite proficient at Photoshopping on another candle.

What a year it has been!

Version 3 launched.  That by itself is enough to mark CoachAccountable’s 6th year a powerful one.  I keep hearing of other platforms whose efforts to upgrade or release a new version end up being largely, ahem, a bug-ridden shit show.  No such problem here.

And what a relief to have that done.  Much of the time I was working on V3 my wife and I had a new baby around.  Suffice it to say that building a major revision to a system as complex as CoachAccountable when you have a new baby is challenging.

But that’s all done!  And young James, our second, is now 19 months old: largely done with teething and sleeping beautifully through the night.

With that lovely foundation of well restedness restored, plenty of other good things have happened in CoachAccountable land during this 6th year.

Since Version 3’s launch a lot of the progress on the platform has centered around a theme of letting you guys run the more nuts-and-bolts aspects of your business more smoothly, and by “business” I mean selling your services and getting paid.

We added support for automatic subscription billing.  We made it so that you could accept payments via Square.  Most importantly, we launched Offerings and Offering Bundles which allow you to sell your coaching services right from your own website.

On the more human side of things, the talented and charismatic Morgan joined as CoachAccountable’s Director of Customer Love and Hand Holding.  She and I represented at the Association of Coach Training Organizations’ annual conference whereat I gave a talk on using technology in coaching.

Beyond that sort of outreach, we made some lovely strides in making CoachAccountable itself more approachable for you, your colleagues, and your clients.  A beautifully animated 2 minute video explains the gist of CoachAccountable like never before, we finally made it super clear how everyone can install CA as an app on their smartphone through a groovy simple trick, and we got all our privacy-respecting bits in order for full compliance with the GDPR (spoiler alert: we were never doing anything nasty with anyone’s data to begin with, we just wrote up the paperwork to make it official :).

And we had the usual bevvy of technical improvements to make CA just plain run better for everyone: direct sync with Google calendars, bulk client uploads, a new thing called “Calculated Form Inputs” (which we haven’t even had time to write up yet!), and a steady stream of other enhancements and polish that make their way into CA most every week.

In summary, with all that covert work on Version 3 done and launched, this year has been a delightful and swift march towards a more perfect coaching platform.

It has been (and continues to be!) our joy to grow CoachAccountable into all the lovely things it can be in service of you guys as coaches.  We hope you love these improvements and that they’re serving you well: empowering you to do your best, most difference-making coaching.

AND I’m happy to say here and now that we STILL have plenty up our sleeves.  As always, can’t wait to show you when it’s ready.

Thank you to everyone who’s been along with us for so long (and to those of you who have just joined!).  Together we’re forwarding a most worthy industry, making it more effective and more approachable.

Here’s to the game!
John & Morgan

Have a Bunch of New Clients? Bulk Import Them.

Sometimes coaches request to bulk onboard new clients into CoachAccountable. This can happen with a new account (when a company switches all its coachees over to CoachAccountable), or when a new program starts (suddenly 45 people in the cohort need to be added by Wednesday, help!).

Adding a client the usual way is pretty quick, but going one by one can get tedious when you’ve got more than a handful.  However, if you’re handy with a spreadsheet you can get all of their information in line and import it all with just a few clicks.

How to Bulk Import Clients

1) Bring up the client adder as usual by clicking the +Client button.   In the lower right, click on the “Bulk Import…” button.

CoachAccountable Bulk Upload Clients

2) In the “Bulk Import Clients” pop up you’ll see a button that says “Download Template”.  You’ll probably need to grab that as a starting point so that your client data is in the correct format.  (The template also serves as a guide to the various information you can include for clients as part of the import.)

3) In the template, add rows and enter in client information to your heart’s desire.  Commonly you will already have some sort of spreadsheet of client data that you are working from.  Filling in the template will commonly be a matter of copy-and-pasting over various key columns.

Note: the only required fields are firstName and email.

4) When you’re done save out the file.  Be certain you save it as a .csv file, .xlsx or .numbers files WILL NOT WORK.

5) Choose your .csv file as the one you want to import.

5) Observe the status of your data that’s loaded for import.  If everything looks good, dance victoriously.

More Than the Basics

Using this method, you can do more than simply add the clients into your coaching management system. You can also:

  • Add profile information, such as a note about that client (this’ll show in the “profile extra” area, and is not visible to the client)
  • Add clients to a Group (or two, or three, add Group columns as needed)
  • Put them in a Course (or three, or more, like groups, add as many Course columns as needed) and optionally set a future start date
  • For Team Edition, designate who the primary coach, secondary coach(es), and view-only coach(es) are

Errors

The system is smart enough to know when something’s messed up. For instance, it’ll throw an error if the email address is invalid.

CoachAccountable Bulk Import

No, you can’t write “don’t know” for someone’s email address.

Also, if you add a client who’s already in your account, CoachAccountable will notice and let you know that person won’t be added (this helps avoid paying for clients twice, too).

CoachAccountable Bulk Client Import

It’s nicer than “hey dummy – you’re already coaching this person”

Use Cases

As previously mentioned, you may want to use this function if:

  • You’re new to CoachAccountable and want to add your entire roster at once.
  • You want to transfer a bunch of clients from your CRM (InfusionSoft, Insightly, Hubspot, etc.) along with their relevant details.
  • A new coach joins your organization and brings his/her clients.
  • And more!

Were you dreading the thought of inputting all your clients? Did that keep you from signing up for CoachAccountable? Fret no more and take advantage of our 30-day free trial.

Prospective Clients are Full-Fledged Clients, and that’s a Good Thing

With the advent of our much-anticipated, oft-requested Offerings, you can now sell coaching directly from your own website. Offerings set up a seamless experience for your clients and prospective clients, with options to schedule an Appointment directly into your calendar, be automatically enrolled in a Course (such as an onboarding Course), and/or participate in a Group.

One of the great things about Offerings is that they eliminate the need to have a separate account with ScheduleOnce, Acuity, Calendly, or other such online scheduling systems.  This is because CA Offerings give you the ability to let prospective clients book intro calls with you directly online.

But Offerings allow you to give much more than just a way for those new clients to schedule themselves into your calendar:

  • You can have the system automatically send them a coaching intake form or questionnaire prior to that first call.
  • You can have a few Action items pre-loaded as tasks for your new clients to take on as part of getting started with you.
  • You can share select videos or other resources for clients to review as preparation.

Essentially, this allows you to give new clients more value up front, and a sneak peak of what it will be like to work with you.  They’ll get to experience the results-oriented approach that you offer, and see that you offer real accountability in getting them where they want to go.  They can engage with the REAL system that you’ll have for them, and get a sense that, by working with you, they’re buying way more than a package of conversations.

These are things that set you apart and make their decision to buy from you easier.

Amid all these perks, there’s still a simple fact that clients who sign up for an Offering might well just be kicking the tires with that free intro call.  CoachAccountable pricing is based on the number of clients you have, and so a question we hear a lot is something to the tune of:

Since These Clients Aren’t ‘Real’, Does CoachAccountable Count Them Toward My Subscription Plan?

Short answer: Yes.

Longer answer: Our goal is to have you deliver better programs, to more people, with less work. The more prospective clients you have coming in, the more paying clients you’ll have (assuming you’re able to close a reasonable percentage of earnest prospects!). And, without a doubt, those who can see the actual coaching management portal you’re using are more likely to pay – they’ve gotten a tangible idea of what your coaching will look like, and they know it ain’t just a notebook and a phone call.

Our intent is that the clients you attract via Offerings are every bit as worth adding to your roster as those you add directly.

But what if they’re not?

If any of these “potentials” aren’t viable clients, you can, with just a few clicks, deactivate them at any time. This will preserve their data, so that if in a few months they decide to pursue coaching with you, their transition is seamless.

Prospective Clients and CoachAccountable Pricing

These clients only affect your subscription price IF they happen to bump you over your current plan’s limit.

CoachAccountable pricing table

Team Edition, we didn’t forget about you! Click on the image to see both versions of the pricing.

For example, imagine you’re currently at Level 3, which includes 11-20 clients at a flat $120 per month. You have 13 active clients. Then, you book 6 free intro calls with new clients this month: you’re now at 19 clients. Since you’re still inside the 11-20 client range, you’ll still pay $120 this month.

On the other hand, if 8 new clients book free intro calls with you, you’ll have a total of 21 clients; this bumps you to level 3.5, and you’ll pay $200 this month. UNLESS, of course, one or more of those intro call clients decide not to pursue coaching; just deactivate their accounts before your billing date, and you’ll be automatically back at Level 3 (11-20 clients).

Why Do Potential Clients Count?

These clients have full access to real, live CoachAccountable accounts. With your Offering, they’ve done any and all of the following:

  • Used the calendar sync and scheduling system
  • Received automatic Appointment reminders (via text or email)
  • Automatically received pre-session and/or post-session Worksheets
  • Experienced the magic of one or more of your CoachAccountable Courses and content delivery
  • Interacted with one or more of your Groups

And, you’ve just used a powerful and personal marketing tool by showing them the detailed innerworkings of your coaching process.

Best Practices for Maximizing Value

We get it, no one wants to be bumped up $80 in cost just to take on some complimentary intro calls.  Though ultimately that should enable you to close more business to more than offset any marginal CA expense, you do have a few ways to hedge against paying more than you need to:

Know your CoachAccountable billing date. Not sure when it is? Click on your name in the upper right, then go to My Account >> Invoices.

Do any housecleaning the day before. If your billing date is the 15th, do a sweep of your account on the 14th and deactivate any prospective clients who aren’t yet moved forward with coaching.  Takes just a few clicks and you can reactivate them whenever.

Develop a robust Offering. Oftentimes, the more interaction a client has with CoachAccountable, the more likely they are to be a paying client (and one with remarkable results). Utilize your Offering to its fullest; maybe you choose to automatically add clients into a Course that gets them really thinking about your content.  You can design the Course however you like.  It can assign a quick Worksheet or two, drip some relevant articles that you normally share via your blog or CRM (a la InfusionSoft or the like), or show off your personality with a few heartfelt messages.

Free Call Offering - CoachAccountable

Sell More Coaching By Putting Your Best Foot Forward

At the end of the day, Offerings allow you not only to let your would-be clients book with you, but also to show off what sort of experience they’re really going to have working with you.

That they are full-fledged clients within your account is ultimately a good thing.

Take advantage of that fact by really wowing them before you even get on the phone, and you might find them hungry and eager to work with you before you can even say hello on your intro call.


Ready to give the leads in your pipeline the true experience of your coaching? Start your free trial of CoachAccountable today, and set up an Offering in just a couple minutes.

User Spotlight: I Am Virago

I had the opportunity to interview Janice Lichtenwaldt, founder of I Am Virago, about her business and her experience using our coaching software. We talked for an hour and certainly could have continued on, so naturally I’ve edited for length and clarity. Enjoy!


What is Virago?

Virago is a derogatory word for an aggressive, powerful woman, [but] it used to be a title of honor in Rome, and I want to take it back.

Janice Lichtenwaldt I Am Virago with CoachAccountable

My mission is focused on helping women come into their fullness of being. Everybody has a different definition of what is satisfying for them, so the idea behind I am Virago is to explore all of the ways you want to show up in the world, find one that speaks to you, and be unafraid to go after it.

Success for I Am Virago will be [when] women aspire to be Viragos, and little girls are saying, “I want to grow up and be a Virago.”

The Bigger Picture

[I coach] a lot of women in executive and leadership roles who are looking to get past “imposter syndrome”. Women who ask, “how do I maintain my femininity and also display strength?”

I Am Virago Podcast for Inspiring Women JaniceI’m launching a podcast featuring everyday women doing great work and showing the struggle. Showing vulnerability: [life’s] not easy. We all struggle. We have challenges. We all have doubts. It’s important to share that. I’m writing a book about all [these challenges], too. [Editor’s note: this podcast was launched August 1, 2018]

I’m also securing a gorgeous piece of property on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State to build the Virago retreat center. It’s nine acres on a river, a thousand feet of river front, and even a swim hole. [There,] we can have intense focused retreats for women, yoga retreats, reading retreats, songwriting retreats, and corporate retreats. It’s in this beautiful area on a river out in nature, and it’s [a place to] shut out all of the modern annoyances so we can really focus on who you are.

The Origins of I Am Virago

I worked in corporate America up until June 2017. [At that point, my company’s restructuring] made me look at the different experiences that have led me to this particular spot. What I realized is, when you look back, you see a very clear pattern.

[For example,] when I was at Expedia, I helped found the women’s professional group there. When I was at T-Mobile. I helped found the women’s leadership group there. [Similarly,] I was the captain of the leadership track Women in Tech Regatta, [which has taken place in] Vancouver and Seattle and [will be held] in Amsterdam in October; I moderate and curate the panels.

Life Before CoachAccountable

I Am Virago Before CoachAccountable Software

Life before CoachAccountable was a little… crazy.

[My coaching management system before was] very, very high tech: a book. [I also had] an Excel spreadsheet of client names and [corresponding] numbers. Then, when I was taking notes, I would look at my Excel spreadsheet before the call. I would write the [client] number in the book, then write my client notes. The next meeting, I’d have to go in and look up their client number and find last time I talked to them in the [note]book. I wasn’t doing any pre-check-ins or post-follow-up. [I also used] Acuity for scheduling and Square for invoicing. I had all these different systems… it’s so much nicer to have it all in one system.

I Am Virago + CoachAccountable

I Am Virago Using CoachAccountable Software

Enter CoachAccountable! Two thumbs up.

It’s a game changer. [My clients] come to the calls way more prepared. We don’t have that awkward first few minutes going, “OK, what do you want to talk about today?”

Now they come to the call going, “So what I said on my pre-call worksheet….” We’re able to get into the call faster so they get more value out of the time.

The post-[appointment Worksheet] is even more important. Right after the call they’re so excited and they mean it that they’re going to do [the work]. And then life: squirrel!

But [with CoachAccountable], the next day they get a reminder. “What did you learn?” It’s been such a boon to them because [it] helps integrate learning. It’s also a great feedback loop for the coach because sometimes you’re just like, “Did they get anything out of it? Was there any value?” Then, you get these e-mails back and it’s like, “Oh! They actually got quite a bit of that!”

Coaching Client Feedback

The feedback [from my clients] has been extremely positive. They are much more engaged in the coaching relationship, and they sense that they are getting more value. They’re getting a higher touch experience. Where I was having one touch point (a call) with them, I now have three at least: I have the pre [worksheet], the call, and then the post worksheet.

They are given the opportunity to look inside and pull out what is what’s really going on, then write about it. No one ever gets to do that in real life. It’s a gift.

The Bottom Line

It’s going to change your life, [and] change your coaching practice.

Janice and her I Am Virago business partner, Tiberius.


A huge thank you to Janice for sharing about I Am Virago and the experience using CoachAccountable as your coaching management platform!

If you’re like pre-CoachAccountable Janice and using a notebook to manage your coaching practice, why not take us for a spin? It’s free for 30 days (sorry, no puppies included, but we can send you pictures).

Offering Bundles

Offerings enable you to let your prospective clients sign up for and/or purchase your coaching services from your own website.  Just paste a little snippet of HTML in your website and CoachAccountable takes care of the rest: a spiffy little widget appears, allowing visitors to your site to book themselves right there.

Offerings are a great way to let folks book a complimentary session with you, join a coaching group, or purchase a course that you’ve created.  With such versatility in what an Offering can entail, we haven’t been surprised to see so many coaches who have more than one.

Enter Offering Bundles.  Embedding (or linking to) an Offering makes available one single Offering.  Offering Bundles allow you to take a collection of Offerings and make them available in a single widget (or on a single, standalone page).

Setting up a bundle is a snap.  Just give it a name, pick which of your Offerings should be included (I suspect *all of ’em* will be a common setup :) ), sort them however you like, and that’s it.

Add, remove, drag to sort. ‘Nuff said.

Once your bundle is created, you’ll find the same ways of embedding that Offerings have: a <script> or <iframe> tag for a widget, as well as a URL for linking to a fully hosted page.

Like with Offerings, Offering Bundles are branded as your own in both widget and full-screen mode.

Offering Bundles in Action

I COULD put a screenshot of what a bundle looks like to your prospective coaching clients, BUT way more fun, I think, to show you one directly!  Here’s the Support Services bundle that we here at CoachAccountable are proud to make available to our customers:

You can also see how this Offering Bundle looks on its standalone page.

Feel free to play around with it, and, if you’re sincerely interested in one of these services, we of course welcome you to sign yourself up!

Offering Descriptions

With Offerings now lined up in a sort of “menu” format, it’s nice to be able to show your would-be clients (who will be perusing said menu) a little more than just the name of each one.  To that end we added the “Descriptions” part of setting up an Offering:

A blurb to go on the menu, and a description for folks who want to know more.

Whatever blurbs you set for your Offerings appear in the “Choose” step for the Offerings in a Bundle.  If you set a longer description (using the WYSIWYG editor just below), that will be accessible as well from that menu.

And that’s it!  Your online coaching portal is now able to serve as a tidy e-commerce front, making your coaching offerings more readily available to your would-be clients.  Enjoy!

Offerings – Sell Your Coaching from your Website

If there’s one thing that’s been made crystal clear to me over 6 years of providing an online coaching platform, it’s that people generally seek (and indeed, crave) having a single system that does EVERYTHING.

“An all-in-one solution” is a bit of a cliche, often an unattainable ideal.  But I don’t fault folks for wanting it, especially in a piece of software they use to run their coaching business.

Introducing CoachAccountable Offerings, a big step towards CA being that all-in-one unicorn for coaches.

Offerings started as the answer to a question we commonly get:

CoachAccountable’s scheduling system is great for my existing clients, but how can prospective clients use it to book with me?

Sure enough, CA’s appointment scheduling was only accessible to clients already set up within CoachAccountable.  To let prospective clients book themselves into, say, a complimentary intro coaching session from your website, one needed to use a similar scheduling system, like Acuity, ScheduleOnce, or vCita.

That approach did the job okay: the more basic nuts and bolts of scheduling new clients could be handled by the other platform, setting those new clients up in CA took little time and, once they were established, their appointments too could benefit from being more tightly integrated with the coaching itself within CA.

Nonetheless, I appreciate the desire to avoid having to set up and run (and pay for!) two separate scheduling systems.

Enter CoachAccountable Offerings

Here’s Offerings in a nutshell:

You, as a coach, have things that you offer up to the world.  Offerings allows you to let people sign up and/or pay for those things from your own website.

Pretty simple!  And pretty powerful.  To the many coaches out there who have expressed interest in allowing prospective clients book themselves, CA Offerings have that handled.  It can be a complimentary session or one that you charge money for.

But CA Offerings aren’t just about letting people book with you!  A given Offering that you set up within CoachAccountable can have any (or all!) of these three components:

1. Appointment scheduling (as mentioned) — A new client can be given the opportunity to pick a time for it from your schedule, nicely synced up with your calendar to prevent double-booking.

2. Group Membership — A new client can be placed in to one or more of your Groups within CoachAccountable, meaning your Offering can also be the stuff of selling membership into a group coaching experience.

3. Course Participation — A new client can be placed into one or more of your Courses within CoachAccountable, meaning your Offering can also be the stuff of selling coaching courses that are delivered automatically.

The fact that you can choose to charge money up front for any or all of these services makes CA Offerings not just a scheduling system for attracting new customers, but also essentially a simple e-commerce system for selling your coaching programs.

That you can offer both Courses and Groups as part of an Offering means this system gives you a way to create alternate income streams based on your coaching programs in addition to just your one-on-one work with clients, and this provides a nice, automated funnel for new customers who may choose later to upgrade into your more premium, one-on-one services.

I confess, my marketer brain is getting a little excited about all this, leading me to use a liberal amount of bolding of key phrases, but this is cool stuff, because it opens up powerful ways for coaching businesses of all sizes to make their programs more accessible and easier to buy.

This is the stuff of making coaching more mainstream, and I LOVE IT.

I hope you do too.


Right then, let’s take a look at how this works!

You’ll find the place to set up your Offerings in the Settings menu:

When you click the +Offering button you’ll be presented with a form that’s broken into several sections (that may make this seem like a cumbersome affair, but don’t worry: each section is super simple!).

The first section covers the Basics: the name of the offering, the information that should be collected from new sign-ups, and who should be notified.

Tip: Unless you’ve got good reason to do otherwise, I recommend keeping the amount of info you have the system collect to a minimum.  No need to make the process daunting or cumbersome!

If you’re on Team Edition you’ll also be able to choose which coach new sign-ups should be assigned to, at least initially.  In larger organizations, it works nicely to set this to the administrative figure who is responsible for ultimately pairing a new client with the most fitting coach.  This pairing can be based on, for example, an intake form the new client might fill out.  (Incidentally, having a Course that contains that intake form as part of this Offering is a lovely way to automatically set that sort of data collection in motion!)

The 3 Components sections are simply your way of picking which ones apply:

  • Which type of Appointment, if any, are they scheduling scheduling themselves into.
  • Which Courses, if any, should be automatically started up for a new signup.
  • Which Groups, if any, should the person signing up be automatically entered into.

Here, for example, is what it looks like to choose Courses to be part of an Offering:

Enrollment into a Course is part of the deal? Great, pick which ones!

Even if you’re not in the business of offering “Coaching Courses” per se, this is still very useful to make part of an Offering: you can design a simple, perhaps even one day, Course that sets up key things that are generally suitable for all your new clients.  This can include things like:

  • Intake forms
  • Onboarding documents
  • Welcoming materials (like a message or a video)
  • Key “getting started” assignments and action items

Basically, this is the stuff of employing a Starter Kit Course to do basic setup of new clients automatically.

You might also find it useful to have a basic (and relatively informal!) course that spans a month or so, wherein again you can schedule out some of those basic bits of the “being coached by you experience” that are generally common to all your clients.  This is the stuff of leveraging a tasteful bit of automation; do so to free yourself up for giving more of the one-on-one love and attention that makes your coaching powerful.

After Components you can configure a price for your Offering:

“$200? But I thought we were working on the Complimentary Intro Session offering!”  True–just making these screenshots more interesting. :)

Super simple: make it complimentary or put a price to it.  If you set a price, you can opt to have the system automatically email an invoice (marked as paid!) to serve as a receipt of their purchase.  This can be in addition to, or in lieu of, a Confirmation Email.

Prices are in whichever currency your account is set for.  Be sure you’ve got that setup right before you configure any of this online selling stuff.

Speaking of configuring for online selling, you’ll need to link your CoachAccountable account with either your Stripe or Square account in order to charge for your CA Offerings.

Both are super simple to link, even if you don’t yet have an account with either.  I can’t speak to Square, but I can say from personal experience that you can get up and running with a new Stripe account within about 20 minutes and CA will take you right to where you need to go in order to do so (when you go to Settings >> System >> Client Invoicing Config).

The last two sections are the stuff of you setting up some nice welcoming content: a message to display directly to your new client upon completing signup, and (optionally) a confirmation email to be sent out immediately.

A few magic tags let you personalize this a bit.

This default content is nice but it’s almost certainly a worthwhile use of your time to customize this and make it really sing for your Offering: this is your chance to properly welcome them into the experience of being coached by you!

Including the [registerButton] magic tag is a nice touch here: this turns into a button that allows a newly signed-up client to register their account and access the system right away.  If you let them do that, it’s a good idea to have some form of Starter Kit Course be part of the Offering, so that the stage is properly set when they first get in.

And that’s setting up an Offering!  Though I suspect having just one [that you make available on your website] will be a very common case, you can create as many as you like.

The Offering is Created, Now What?

When the Offering is created, close out the editor window and you’ll see it in the listing of your Offerings:

Oooh, embed code! Yeah, let’s get that.

The real magic of Offerings is, of course, being able to embed them into your website, so as to make them available to your prospective clients.

Find the Offering you wish to embed in your listing of Offerings and click “Embed code…” to get everything you need:

Widget hosted within your site, or perhaps you just want to link to the Offering’s dedicated page?

Note that when it comes to embedding your Offering, you’ve got a couple of options.  You can put a snippet of JavaScript in the HTML of one of your website’s page in order to put a widget there, and if you prefer (for whatever technical reason) you can get an iframe snippet to accomplish basically the same thing.

You can also simply directly link to a dedicated page at which your Offering is hosted.  Instead of stuffing a widget somewhere on your website, you can make, for example, a big button (or any other form of clickable link) that says “Book with me online now!”, that links to the provided URL.

Offerings in Action

What does it look like to someone going to sign up for (or purchase) your Offering?  Instead of just screenshots how about we just show you directly by embedding one right here!  If a picture is worth a thousand words, a live demo might well be worth 10 thousand. :)

We at CoachAccountable have an Offering that we’re proud to make available to our customers (and even folks who are just trying out the system), and that is a personal session with Morgan, our Director of Customer Love and Hand Holding.

CoachAccountable does an awful lot (ahem, more now with the introduction of Offerings!), and so it’s quite typically useful to have a one-on-one screen share to be shown around the system, especially because Morgan can guide you to parts of the system that are specifically relevant to your style of coaching, and point out specifically those things you’re looking for in a coaching platform (this is dear to me personally, because it breaks my heart every time I get wind of someone saying “It’s too bad that CoachAccountable doesn’t do X” when IT TOTALLY DOES X.).

If you’d like to take us up on this offering, well, you can book that right here and now!

If you’d like to see this Offering on its dedicated, full-screen page, you’ll find it here.

URLs that directly link to your Offerings are super cool, because they are naturally far more portable (and easy to share) than an embedded widget.

Fun fact for current users of CoachAccountable: if the email address you provide in signing up for the above Offering lines up with the one you already have on file, you’ll be able to link your new Client account with your existing Coach account, i.e. be able to log into both with the same username and password.

This is kinda cool, what about Offerings for my existing clients?

You can embed (and link to) the Offerings you create wherever and from wherever you like, and thus while they’re not built to show up anywhere within the CoachAccountable app itself (yet… we’ll be listening for if that is wanted!) you can let your existing clients know that they can essentially “self serve” to sign up/pay for your other Offerings as essentially “add ons” to their coaching package with you.

If your client signs up with the same email they have on file with you, their doing so will have the effect of simply adding to that existing client account, whether it be scheduling an Appointment, taking a Course, or joining a Group.  Fun stuff!

A Big Piece of the Picture

All told I am delighted to finally have Offerings available for all CoachAccountable users, current and future.  Their presence means CoachAccountable is able to support the COMPLETE life cycle of a coaching client: from helping to attract a prospective one and getting them in the door, to supporting their work and progress during the engagement, and finally to leaving them with a great souvenir when it’s over.

May Offerings serve the business side of your coaching practice beautifully.

If you don’t already have a spiffy, all-encompassing coaching platform such as this helping YOUR coaching business, we highly recommend getting one. :)

New Privacy Setting: Just me and the Client

In a coaching relationship, some things are appropriate for sharing with clients and some things are meant to be for internal reference only.  As such it’s vital for any online coaching portal to smartly manage who can see what, so as to both respect confidentiality AND accommodate collaboration.

CoachAccountable has long supported privacy settings on a per-item basis, allowing, for example, some Session Notes to be shared with/freely accessible by the client and others to be private, for the coach’s eyes only.  “Private” and “Shared with client” are handy options to have when making an entry in a client record.

Coaches in Team Edition accounts actually have 3 options for the privacy setting:

  1. Private, for my eyes only.  Items that are just for the author’s reference, and not meant to be seen even by other coaches on the team.
  2. Visible only to team coaches.  Items that are just meant to be internal to the coaching team.
  3. Shared with client.  Items that are meant to be seen by the client in addition to members of the coaching team.

For quite some time these settings have been quite sufficient for the CoachAccountable community.  But a few weeks ago, CoachAccountable client Martin Hoyle shared some insightful perspective that I’d never considered before:

…if I share a session note with a client it can be seen by another team coach. Can I suggest you make that more explicit?

As a coach I’m not comfortable with this, as I believe that all conversations between me and my client (especially session notes) are confidential – even with regard to other coaches working with the same client. It doesn’t seem that there is an easy way to preserve this privacy within the system as it stands.

I’d always assumed that coaching teams within a given organization were more or less a fully united front, in that anything suitable for sharing with the client would as well be suitable to be seen by other coaches assigned to work with that client (not necessarily ALL coaches within the organization, of course, just those specifically paired with him or her).

Yet this bit of feedback made clear that that wasn’t always the case.  Thus I agreed that the system needed a 4th privacy setting: Just me and the client, for items that are 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 their records.

So thus here we have sprinkled out through the system, wherever item privacy settings are relevant, a 4th option:

My thanks to Morgan for the grammar check: the first draft of this option was the less catchy and grammarically-inferior “Just client and I”.

It is my hope that this little addition will make easier and more clear the task of balancing confidentiality with collaboration.  My thanks to Martin, and as always to the whole community of CA users whose input continues to make the platform better than I ever could with my limited perspective alone!

Now Accept Client Payments Via Square

Until now, you’ve been able to accept coaching client payments via PayPal, Stripe, and Authorize.net. Today we’re pleased to announce that your clients can now also pay via Square!

As in the case with Stripe and Authorize.net, clients can pay your invoices directly inside the online coaching platform, rather than going to an external site.

Setup from within the CoachAccountable system is easy. Just navigate to Settings >> System >> Client Invoicing Config.

Here, select Square as your online payment processor.

Online coaching platform now accepts Square payments

Look at that big beautiful Square!

If you’re not logged in to Square, you’ll be directed to the Square login page.

CoachAccountable and Square coaching client payments

This one should look pretty familiar!

If you are logged in, you’ll skip right over that one and see this next. Square will make sure you want CoachAccountable to have some permissions.

Please say yes – don’t make us get down on one knee!

And voila! The connection with CoachAccountable is complete.

CoachAccountable online coaching platform accepting Square payments

CELEBRATE!! You WIN! Go get that money!

Now your money is going right into your Square account.

What Does This Payment Integration Cost?

It’s free on our end! CoachAccountable doesn’t take any cut of your payments. The only fees are what Square charges you.

Conveniently Save Card Information

As in the Stripe and Authorize.net payment process, your clients can have the system store their credit card information for future use. That makes those automatically recurring invoices a snap and takes them off your mind!

But is it secure? Yep – CA is just a pass-through. Just like coach subscription information, we never keep card details (other than what’s needed to identify the card for the client, such as the last 4 digits and expiration), but instead use a unique token. Square adds yet another PCI-compliant way of taking your customers’ payments through our online coaching tool.


Were you hoping for Square integration in order to sign up for your free 30-day trial of CoachAccountable’s coaching tool? Hop on board today!

New Explainer Video

At 5 and a half years, the old explainer video had a good run, and it did the job of explaining the gist of CoachAccountable well.  But it was a relic of my early days animation chops (not that they’ve come terribly far!), a shoestring budget, and indeed a much less sophisticated CoachAccountable (which HAS since come terribly far :).

So there was MUCH room for improvement.

I think we succeeded!  Thanks the artistic direction of Rob Fieldhouse of Playground Creative and the beautiful animations of Anastasiya Bulavkina I’m proud of this 2 minute and 45 second video that introduces this platform I’ve been building and evolving for so long.

Fun fact: it’s once again yours truly doing the narration.  We did an hour long studio recording with professional voice talent, and though her voice was great and the take essentially perfect, it just didn’t feel quite right.  Between polished professionalism and gritty authenticity I opted emphatically for the latter.  I just think that the enthusiasm spoken by a fellow coach who’s actually excited about the topic at hand resonated much more than someone who, ultimately, was just reading a script.

I think you’ll find it comes through.  Enjoy!

Speaking at the ACTO Conference

For some time now I’ve thought to myself it might be cool to be invited to speak at a conference, to share about what I’ve learned over the years in my quest to make coaching better by way of technology.

In late April Halli MacNab, incoming president of ACTO, the Association of Coach Training Organizations, reached out with a simple inquiry:

We had a presenter drop out – and are wondering if you are interested in a conversation about presenting at the conference – about the benefits of merging coaching with technology?

“Why yes, that sounds like fun!”  In our first conversation I was happy to report that that very subject was something I felt quite comfortable with and qualified to speak on.

I imagined I had to prep something like 20 or 40 minutes for my talk.  Turns out I had a 90 minute session to fill!  Right-o, then.  I got to work on crafting a suitable presentation (goodness knows at over 6 years into this endeavor I have sufficient things to talk about).

There’s something great about having to put together a work like this.  Like having guests over to your place (which prompts you to tidy up so as to make it suitable to receive those guests), crafting this talk forced me to organize a swirl of insights and ideas into a coherent narrative.  Just as those guests leave your home in a much nicer, more organized state, putting this talk together revealed some unexpected ideas that bring the whole of what CoachAccountable is all about into much clearer focus.

Two assertions that underpin pretty much the whole operation revealed themselves:

  1. Technology has the power to make people better at being coached.
  2. Technology has the power to make coaching more demonstrably results-based.

Assertion 1 is the stuff of having structures that help clients to actually apply the coaching to their lives, rather than leaving it to chance that the coaching will simply fade as just a bunch of really good ideas.  Assertion 2 is the stuff of making coaching more readily understood and its value more clearly evident, to win over the skeptics, prove the worthiness, and quell concerns that coaching is just a bunch of woo woo fluff.  Together they are the stuff of coaching being able to resonate with, and make a difference for, a much broader band of humanity.

I should mention at this point that Halli challenged me to make this talk essentially have nothing to do with CoachAccountable.  She wisely explained that nobody wants to attend a 90 minute commercial from a vendor, not even a well veiled one.  So this talk, rather than be a more straightforward exposé on CoachAccountable itself (“Hey, here’s the system I made, and here’s why it’s cool!”), was a deep dive into the underlying principles of HOW technology can be used to make coaching meaningfully better, and WHY it works to do so.  All of the abstract concepts, none of the concrete implementation.

If you’re curious, check out the slides.  They’re sparse on words but give a good sense of the ideas.

All told it was a delightful experience and a real treat to get acquainted with such a fine community of leaders in the coaching world.  My thanks once again to Halli and ACTO for inviting me to speak!

I’m hunched over the table to get more in frame, because super tall. Oh yeah, we had a table! That was fun.