The CoachAccountable Blog

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

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. :)

13 Comments »

  1. Twila said,

    July 12, 2018 @ 1:11 pm

    John…

    You blow me away! Your dedication to innovation and excellence are beyond anything I have experienced in working with any developer or other service.

    Thank you so much for making it easier to do most anything.

    One question… will potentials impact monthly cost – in other words will they be set up as actual clients that increase the numbers and therefore cost?

    Warmest,
    Twila

  2. John said,

    July 12, 2018 @ 1:37 pm

    Hi Twila,

    Thanks for the kudos! My pleasure to remain so highly rated in your estimation… from you, who have been with me on this CoachAccountable journey for well over 5 years, it is a real honor!

    To your question: yes, clients who sign themselves up via an Offering are indeed active clients that count towards your subscription plan. These clients would only affect your subscription price if they happen to bump you over your current plan’s limit.

    If these “potentials” truly turn out to not be viable clients you can, as with others, deactivate (or delete) them whenever. Just deactivate any non-viables prior to your next billing date and they’ll in all cases have no effect.

    That said, the hope is that clients you attract via Offerings will, in general, be every bit as worth adding to your roster as those you would add directly. :)

  3. Laura Watson said,

    July 12, 2018 @ 2:06 pm

    John, you rock!

    I have loved your system since the day I started using it and it just keeps getting better! I really appreciate how well you understand coach’s needs and then go about providing tools to meet those needs. Thanks for being awesome!

    Laura Watson

  4. Craig kennedy said,

    July 12, 2018 @ 4:05 pm

    This is so awesome!!!
    Thanks John!

  5. Damon Stoddard said,

    July 12, 2018 @ 4:15 pm

    Wow. Simply incredible. Looking forward to setting it up!

  6. NRK said,

    July 12, 2018 @ 4:21 pm

    Hey John,

    How does this work with recurring services?

    EG, a client that’s paying $500 per month, is there a setting to have a monthly charge go out to them every 30 days/month for a set number of months (or until they cancel)?

    Thanks

  7. Paul Winkler said,

    July 12, 2018 @ 4:55 pm

    John,
    Another well thought out enhancement to CoachAccountable! Congratulations and thank you!

    -pax – Paul

  8. Tifani said,

    July 12, 2018 @ 5:23 pm

    Ohhh my goodness, this update is EVERYTHING to me! I’ve almost been in tears looking for a system with this feature. Thank you soooo much!

  9. John said,

    July 12, 2018 @ 5:57 pm

    Hi Nick,

    Good question! I may well weave subscription-like functionality into Offerings in the future (I count your asking as a vote in favor!) but for now that sort of recurring billing is something that can be setup for an incoming client as a separate task (takes about 2 minutes).

    This is done by creating a series of scheduled invoices (easy to do in one fell swoop) for a given client. Those invoices are sent out on schedule, and billed automatically when the client has a credit card on file. This article gives the full lowdown:
    https://blog.coachaccountable.com/2018/03/automatic-subscription-billing/

    Cheers!
    John

  10. Damon Stoddard said,

    July 12, 2018 @ 6:13 pm

    OK. I just set up my first offering for a free intake call.

    You NAILED THIS! Not only is the functionality awesome, the branding and the super simple and clean design are incredible. Essentially you’ve given me the ability to create a landing page AFTER they schedule the initial appointment (free). I will add testimonials, etc., etc. right there to get them super stoked about the initial call!

    Nice job, couldn’t be happier. This completely eliminates 3 different systems I’ve stitched together.

    Nice work!!!

    Damon

  11. Janice Lichtenwaldt said,

    July 15, 2018 @ 1:24 pm

    Hello John!
    This is exactly what I was waiting for. With the recent addition of Square payments and now this, well, I’m beyond thrilled. Thank you!

    Question – When I scheduled the session with Morgan I did receive a confirmation email but it wasn’t a calendar invite. Is there a way to make the confirmation show up as a calendar invite that can be easily added to one’s personal calendar? (or, did I miss something when I signed up … which is completely possible). :)

    Janice

  12. John said,

    July 16, 2018 @ 4:36 pm

    Hi Janice,

    You’re welcome! Regarding a calendar invite in the confirmation email for appointments scheduled via Offering, I’m torn.

    I can certainly have CA send such appointment invite attachments in that email: as a feature I experimented with earlier, the code is there for doing exactly that.

    BUT I found that approach distinctly lacking, or at leave very much lacking compared to the more direct approach of syncing with calendars, either by way of calendar data feed or direct sync with a Google calendar.

    The best approach might be to have the system prompt new clients, right after they register their account with you, to do that sync as an optional “Getting Started” steps. Hmmm… you’ve got me thinking here!

  13. Glenn ost said,

    August 24, 2018 @ 3:58 am

    Hi John,

    Wauuuuuwwwww… I love you dedication to Constantly And Neverending Improving CA.

    In regards to paying in 1 go or monthly I had the same question as Nick.

    Would be great if we had the option to offer a Upfront price and a monthly payment plan right in The offering :)
    Do you count my asking as a vote in favor? :))

    In regards to the “Info to Collect” of the offering, I miss the option SkypeID as this my main way of connect internationally.

    Keep up the great work!

    Kudos to you

    Glenn

Leave a Comment