Once upon a time, I found myself stuck on a hamster wheel. And, you guys, it was exhausting.
You know I LOVE working with my clients… but back in the day every time someone new signed up to work with me, I found myself running on a never-ending treadmill to get our work together going.
Without fail, I found myself reinventing the wheel depending on the ways the client liked to communicate, get their work done, and get the feedback they needed on their progress. I’d bend to meet their needs and preferences entirely OR work the way I knew others in my industry did things even if I wasn’t feeling it because I thought that’s the way I had to do it.
Can you relate?
These days I realize just how insanely time-consuming and stressful doing things this way was. Worst of all, it meant I’d often spend time providing clients support in ways that didn’t make my heart sing.
For example, I always felt like I had to provide client support over email — even though I’m not a huge email fan. Despite the fact I love writing to you guys, inbox is just not my zone of genius, and it’s not where I want to spend my entire day (I mean, does anyone?!). Truthfully, the words ‘unlimited email support’ makes me want to break out in hives.
Eventually, after months of running myself ragged trying to keep up with email questions from my clients, struggling through Word docs sent back and forth, being unhappily chained to my desk and wracking up fiendishly high phone bills… I had to stop.
I realized: I needed to stop tailoring every experience to the whims of each client, and instead recognise my own strengths and weaknesses, and commit to rocking client work in a way that aligned to them.
My needs were just as important as my clients because let’s be real: if I was feeling pissed off over my inbox, chances are I wasn’t serving my clients at the level they deserved.
I didn’t just need better ideas. I needed tools — specifically, tools that aligned with the way I preferred to work, so I could provide my clients with infinitely better support, insight, and feedback.
And, luckily, over time I found them.
Now, I want to share them with you.
Introducing: 7 Tools To Help You Streamline The Way You Work With Coaching Clients:
Tool 1: Voxer
This is a big part of how I solved my little “too much time in my inbox” problem. Voxer is an app that lets me check in with my clients in real time, anytime, without needing to share personal contact details.
I use this for weekly check-ins and to provide urgent support for my clients when they need it. I just press record, and bingo – I’ve got a full voice note that I can send straight to my client.
Plus, I LOVE LOVE LOVE hearing my client’s voice and having them able to hear mine. It feels a bit more personal than just a regular ol’ email.
Tool 2: Google Docs
Can I just say: I don’t think I could live without Google Docs at this stage.
If you’re not familiar, they’re basically “live” word documents that you can edit as a team. Google Docs makes it easy to co-author documents and share them with multiple people. I also love how easy it is to review info my clients submit, share feedback, and suggest changes. You can comment, track your edits, or make any changes directly to the page. It’s so easy and intuitive!
Tool 3: Dropbox
Let’s hear it for cloud-based storage! Less info on our laptops, and more info accessible from anywhere online. Ahh.
As part of my standard onboarding sequence these days, I set up a dedicated series of Dropbox folders, pre-loaded with folders, quick start guides, and templates for new clients.
This makes onboarding clients a breeze because it’s just one link to send, then done!
By the way, if you don’t yet have a killer client onboarding system in your business take a peek at my Ultimate 10-Point Client Onboarding Checklist. It’s got the full rundown of everything you need to take on new clients seamlessly, so they instantly fall in love with working with you. Boom! Click here now to grab it for free!
Tool 4: Access Ally
Access Ally is the tool I use to host a password protected private membership area where I share exclusive premium content with clients. It keeps my content for my highest-level people safe and sound, while also giving them seamless access whenever they need it. ( BTW I’ll be sharing some more behind the scenes info on this with you soon in a future post. Keep your eyes peeled for that one!)
Tool 5: Vimeo
Anytime I make a custom video for a private client I host it on a hidden page in Vimeo.
But you might be wondering: “Hang on! Why do you use Vimeo instead of your website to host your vids?”
And the answer is: because hosting so many videos on secret pages on my site can slow loading time to a massive degree. I can’t stand slow page loads, so hosting all my vids neatly on Vimeo is the perfect compromise.
Tool 6: Skype
An oldie but goodie.
These days – no matter where in the world my client is – I always host coaching sessions on Skype. It’s free, it’s fast, and it does the job with video or audio (depending on your preference). And while I’ve been using this tool for a long, long time, it’s always amazing that I can reach anyone, anywhere in the world. What a time to be alive, man!
Tool 7: eCamm
I love recording coaching sessions; both for my own review, and for clients to revisit the replay at any time. Some entrepreneurs kiss a lot of frogs when it comes to finding their perfect video sesh recording software, but for me, eCamm was the clear winner.
It may only be available for Mac users (I’m an Apple nerd forever), so if you’re a PC lover and like the idea of recording your coaching sessions for clients, check out Apowersoft.
These are my favourite tools – but there are hundreds of other options out there that are equally awesome, and equally powerful.
I really want to emphasise that THE MOST IMPORTANT thing is to recognise your strengths and go with the systems and tools that are going to help you stay in your zone of brilliance the most often. Don’t use any tool just because I do.
I’m curious: do you have any favourites you didn’t see listed here?
Any game-changing tools or apps you’re obsessed with?
Let me know in the comments. It’s always awesome getting insights from you!
Psst: Still thinking you could elevate your onboarding process? Want to step your game up and streamline systems in 2017? Grab my ultimate onboarding checklist now!