The CoachAccountable Blog

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

Archive for Ruminations

CoachAccountable Turns 8 Today!

Like Version 4, this year’s cake embodies more contemporary tastes by eschewing gradients and rounded corners.

What a lovely year it’s been in CoachAccountable land!

And not just because it marks another year of not having any sort of bug database.  (I’m proud to report that the policy of just fixing whatever’s amiss, within minutes of me learning about it, continues to work swimmingly.)

CA’s 8th year saw a number of strides forward in service of the coaching industry.

The biggest, most widely-affecting change is certainly the release of Version 4, a bright new look for the entire app AND unifying of Basic and Team Edition (i.e. Team Edition is now available to all at the same, lower price of single-coach accounts).  Both aspects have been very well received.

We’ve added a few new integrations with other systems: Zoom, Apple Calendar, and PayPal.  CoachAccountable is now published as a ready-to-go integration on Zapier, opening up integration possibilities even further.

We’ve added more features to really flesh out existing functionality, like Group Whiteboards, Group Action Plans, access for inactive clients, support for multiple currencies, and the usual smattering of other enhancements sprinkled about.

We’ve added a third to our team, Jaclyn, and thus further established our ability to serve an ever growing segment of the coaching industry.  And by adding her charismatic and caring expertise to that of Morgan’s, we’ve been reaching out and having one-on-one sessions with the community like never before.

But perhaps the thing I’m most proud of in year 8 is the Webinar Series, which has really started to take on a significance not originally imagined.

At first, I envisioned a sort of “how to” series: clicking around the app and narrating the ins and outs of how to set things up and get things done.  But in this last year in particular it’s taken on a rather difference character.

The Webinar Series

I still delight in folks wondering after how I do those drawings. Answer: by hand, and with my daughter’s colored pencils. :)

They’ve evolved into lessons where I illustrate and make arguments for ideas to genuinely run a better coaching business and give clients more.  These ideas are powered by what CoachAccountable makes possible, but I spend very little time in-app showing nuts-and-bolts.

Doing that is itself fun, but the real joy is in the difference we’re hearing it make.  During the most recent one, Designing Your Coaching Business Model, one attendee said:

…That graphic?  Wow.  You’ve just made the roadmap clearer…  Thank you: you’ve just move the whole coaching profession forward…

You can find the Webinar Series here.

Looking Ahead

As I have said in this space most other years, we still have a lot up our sleeves to forward CA in service to the community.  And consistent with my penchant for secrecy around future app development, we ain’t sayin’ nothin’ about what that is. :)

BUT, just as you might gather from similar missives marking year 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, you can rest assured it will continued to be powered by the insights and perspectives that we collectively get from all of you.

From me, Morgan and Jaclyn, we thank you all for sharing what would allow you to do your work better, and for letting us be of service to that work.

Onward!

Coaching Gone Viral

As the entire world feels the impact of COVID-19, social distancing becomes more important by the day. During this time many businesses are shutting down or scaling down operations, which makes some coaches wonder: what can I do with my coaching business during this time?

We’re keeping a finger on the pulse of the coaching industry, and here are CoachAccountable’s suggestions for the era of Coronavirus (as well as what we’re doing at this time).

» Continue reading “Coaching Gone Viral”

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

» Continue reading “Join Us: In-Person Coach Meetups in Los Angeles”

Why there is no CoachAccountable app in any app store, and probably never will be

Wondering if there’s a CoachAccountable app, or if we’re gonna make one and get it all up in the app stores?

The answer is no, and here’s why. » Continue reading “Why there is no CoachAccountable app in any app store, and probably never will be”

Six years later, STILL intentionally oblivious to “competitors”

It was back in 2013 when I publicly declared my policy of maintaining oblivion around other coaching platforms, and here in 2019 I’m happy to say that policy still holds.

These six years later folks still ask us how CoachAccountable stacks up against other platforms, and we remain unable to give any substantive answer to the question.

This may seem a flippant (if not outright ignorant!) position, but this 2-minute video riff explains:

As I say in the video, there are a lot other people doing great work in the space, each working to forward the institution of coaching through platforms that might operate in ways comparable to CoachAccountable.  We hear now and then someone’s comparing us to CoachLogix, or that they’re looking for an alternative to FinishAgent, or someone will ask “Hey have you heard of Coachmetrix… or Coaching Lobby… or…”.  We used to hear some folks preferred Satori (though much less since we released Offerings).

These are all just glancing understandings of the competitive landscape, and that’s good enough.  We remain content to stay out of any features arms race, and are happy instead to continue taking our lead from our customers when it comes to insight and direction on how to better CoachAccountable.

We get hints often enough that we’re on the right track.  People seem to like us enough on Capterra and just this morning ago I got an email that mentioned “Upon first glance your software seems to be the most comprehensive for coaching that I have seen”.

But ultimately it’s up to you to explore and come to your own conclusion: the choice of platform that powers your coaching practice is important enough to get right.

Be it with CoachAccountable or something else, we hope you find what will best serve your coaching!

On Being a Relevant Coach

Last week we had the pleasure of being an exhibitor at the 3rd annual St. Thomas Executive Coaching in Organizations Conference.

DeAnne Aussem gave a great opening keynote.  Among many gems covered was the topic of relevance as a coach: how well you and your coaching offering stack up as being worthwhile.

CoachAccountable vendor at St. Thomas Coaching Conference

For me in the audience it was a wonderful window into a challenge area that coaches face, and as she presented a 3-part framework for boosting relevance I was struck by how well CoachAccountable was already poised to help coaches to be more relevant.

If you’re already using CoachAccountable (or even just considering it), it’s worth being familiar with all the ways it can serve you.  Making you more relevant is no exception.  So with that in mind, let’s look at that framework and consider how CA can fit in to each part:

» Continue reading “On Being a Relevant Coach”

On Asking Clients to Use CoachAccountable

I got a great question in my inbox yesterday:

I’ll share my reticence to fully jump in/buy/etc and maybe you (or a member of your team) can help me work through my concern.  I respect your opinion and insight and appreciate any feedback.
I’m concerned about the need for my clients to go to a website to hear from me, check notes, look at status, etc.

It’s a new habit I’m asking them to form and in the economy of personal change it’s not where I want to spend my “money” with them.

Does that make sense?  I don’t feel good asking them to do too many new things at once and, because my clients are so busy, I’m concerned this is extra work for them.

Have you thought about this particular objection and have some feedback?

— Matthew

I might’ve just answered right back, but this is a worthy concern that’s really at the heart of what it is to fully embrace any new system and make it a part one’s process.  So I’ll answer it here, for the benefit of Matthew and everyone else.

» Continue reading “On Asking Clients to Use CoachAccountable”

For Three Hours Each Week, Morgan’s the Boss

Working at CoachAccountable is pretty great. We are truly a high-performing team (we both separately get a chuckle when people are surprised there are just two of us), and our mutual coaching background allows us to coach each other, deal with the rare breakdown in a matter of minutes, and make sure we’re both constantly present to our big goal (elevating the coaching industry).

Know what else is cool? We get to do whatever we want. Meaning we get to flip the script on software companies, startups, working remotely, and pretty much whatever else we want. We get to do things like not having a bug log (no need, no accumulation), avoiding a feature request list (we’re in touch daily with the din of what people are asking for), and creating “Morgan’s the Boss” (MtB).

What’s Morgan’s the Boss, you ask?  That’s our weekly ritual, Thursday mornings for a block of 3 hours, when we invert the power structure of CoachAccountable.  Morgan gets to tell John what he should do, rather than the other way around.  It’s Morgan’s chance to call the shots and prioritize what she sees to prioritize, and John’s at her disposal to execute on those ideas.

Here’s how MtB time occurs for each of us.

» Continue reading “For Three Hours Each Week, Morgan’s the Boss”