There are 2 elements that are necessary in a coaching program. You need to have an instructional core element, meaning some way to deliver the lessons. You need to have a communication method in your coaching program (this is what makes coaching . . . coaching, instead of a product.)
The instructional element can be delivered any way that you currently create training. For example if you currently create ebooks or other printed matter to deliver your training, you can use printed material to deliver the coaching lessons, preferably pdfs. Or if you deliver your training programs via audio or video, you can deliver your coaching material using audio or video.
The only difference in the training material itself in a coaching program as opposed to a product is that in a coaching program, the training material will be metered. This means that instead of sending out 10 hours of mp3 recordings on the first day, as you might if you sold a 10 – hour mp3 training course, you will send out one hour of training every 10 days. This forces your client to begin to learn the material over time instead of in one big brain dump, and encourages your client to use the material instead of just learning more knowledge he isn’t going to use. Just the act of listening to one training each 7-10 days instead of listening to it all at once will increase the results your clients will get, as opposed to purchasing a one-time download.
The feedback element, which is the coaching differentiator, can be delivered in a number of different ways; for example, as email communication, instant messenger/chat communication, telephone communication, or video communication. For example, you could offer some level of email interaction or instant messenger/chat communication (like skype). Or you can use telephone calls or telephone conferences; or video communication, either something like facetime for 1-1 coaching, or webinar technology for group coaching.
The feedback element is, at its core, just that: a feedback element, which means that clients can use that time to ask questions about the core material which they are studying from you. They ask questions, and you answer those questions. Or they want feedback on something they are doing. And you provide that feedback.
So in designing your coaching program, you simply choose one instructional delivery element, and one feedback (coaching) element:
Written (ebooks, manuals, pdfs)
And choose one:
It’s that easy.
I like to deliver the feedback element in a similar way that I deliver the lesson material. For example, if the lesson material is printed, the feedback element might be email or instant chat. If the lesson material is recorded (audio) then the feedback method would be telephone.
I also like to limit the feedback method to one of the methods above. Meaning that I don’t like to offer email + skype or skype + telephone, etc.
There are 2 reasons for this:
If you limit the feedback method to (1) method it makes it exponentially easier for you to remain in control of your own time. Just because someone is coaching with you doesn’t mean he has a right to control your time. But if you offer email, skype, and telephone access, you will likely find that if someone cannot quickly reach you with one method, he will try another. But with one method, you are either available, or not. And of course, with telephone or video coaching you will normally have a fixed time when you are available for coaching. For example, if you have a group of clients with group telephone access, your call will be at a fixed time each week, for example, Wednesday at 12 noon ET. That way, all of your coaching occurs between 12 noon and 2 PM ET on Wednesdays, whether you have 10 clients or 100 clients. This allows you to maintain maximum control of your time.
If you limit the feedback method to (1) method, your clients will begin to manage their own time better, knowing that you are only available for feedback during that one time slot each week, rather than knowing they can try to get in touch with you at all hours. This means that your clients will get better results because of the increased effort they are required to put into achieving results in your program.
Here are some examples of coaching program structures you might offer:
Pdf lessons with email access to you
Audio lessons with skype access to you
Audio lessons with telephone conferencing access to you
Video lessons with webinar access to you
Video lessons with telephone access to you
Of course, there are more combinations, since you can use any lesson delivery with any coaching delivery you choose, but these are the most common, and I believe the easiest to manage.
Once you choose a delivery method, your next step is to design your lessons and make the feedback element available.