Virtual coaching is one of the fastest-growing areas for development professionals to be in, as remote and global work become increasingly the norm.
For clients, that means a wealth of accessible, affordable, and most of all convenient solutions to choose from – but for practitioners, it means a much more competitive marketplace. In this article, we’ll share our top insights to help you become the best possible virtual coach for your clients, and give you a step-by-step guide to helping others achieve their goals online.
Before you get started, why not try out Quenza as your own virtual coach platform, with our 30-day, $1 trial? Our tools will help you craft and share your unique coaching solutions, so that you can make your coaching business virtual today.
Becoming The Best Possible Virtual Coach
For those new to the industry, virtual life coaching is quite simply a new, more accessible way to help others achieve their long-term goals online.
Just like in-person coaching, it requires strong communication skills and a solid, working knowledge of how to drive sustainable behavior change. And as with face-to-face coaching, it’s about setting goals, challenging perspectives, and helping your clients explore the possibilities that will help them realize their potential.
But if you’ve been coaching for years the traditional way, adapting to a virtual coaching format also requires a little extra.
While your current solutions will almost always remain relevant as they are, fulfilling your potential as a virtual coach means knowing how to use digital tools to amplify their impact.
3 Virtual Coaching Best Practices To Keep In Mind
Let’s take a closer look at what that means by considering three tips and strategies first-time remote coaches should consider.
Building rapport online is not impossible by any means, but can take some getting used to. It’s why virtual coaching often involves a more considered, deliberate approach to building client engagement.
1. Have a Client Engagement Strategy
One of the key differences between conventional and online or mobile coaching is that without the familiar face-to-face contact, many professionals find it hard to build a strong rapport with their clients.
It is not impossible by any means, but it can take some getting used to – which is why virtual coaching often involves a more considered, deliberate approach to building client engagement.
Applied, this might mean:
- Creating personalized homework and lessons, to help your clients transfer their skills in everyday contexts
- Customizing your course content or structure, to suit your clients’ particular needs, competencies, and preferences
- Actively seeking out feedback on how you’re doing as a coach, or how your materials are being received, and
- Checking in frequently between virtual sessions, to provide guidance and support.
You may also want to consider actively marketing your services online, which is where digital CRM tools can be very handy.
2. Streamline Your Coaching Programs
Like in-person practice, online life coaching means crafting a personalized solution that aligns with your clients’ bigger goals, as well as their capabilities.
The ability to upload your most commonly-used solutions is one of the unique advantages of digital practice – because, with the right coaching app, a few simple tweaks are all it takes for you to tailor existing material to each client’s aspirations.
A little further on, we’ll show you how to do this. For now, it’s worth knowing that there are virtual coaching tools to help you:
- Create custom life coaching templates
- Individualize them, and
- Even schedule them for automated delivery according to a schedule of your choosing.
3. Differentiate Your Services
A unique value proposition goes a long way in helping you stand out in today’s crowded virtual coaching marketplace – and that’s especially true when it comes to life coaching.
You may provide services from your own professional practice in real life, but it’s essential to make that clear when you’re practicing online.
As well as offering a relevant, valuable service that solves your clients’ pain points, you’ll want to consider:
- Designing a corporate logo
- Branding your content, and even
- Tailoring your correspondence with a personal touch, e.g. client names or professional titles.
Choosing The Best Virtual Coaching Platform
With these best practices in mind, choosing the right online coaching tools for your business will be much easier. From here, your search will become a matter of finding the virtual coach app with all your required features.
You’ll also want to consider what the best virtual coaching platform will look like for you in practical terms, for example:
- How much you’re willing to pay for your software, and how – e.g. software with an ongoing subscription vs. fees per client (which can increase as your practice expands)
- The ease with which you can use a virtual coaching platform in real terms, e.g. whether it has user-friendly tools or a steep learning curve
- How your clients will interact with your solutions, e.g. mobile app vs. web-only interfaces
- The flexibility you need when designing programs, which can be especially important if you have a differentiated offer, and
- How securely your client data will be transmitted and stored, including their personal details and responses to your coaching materials.
Best Virtual Coaching App & Software To Consider
Using the list above as a guide, and if you’re sharing a differentiated offer to stand out, the ideal virtual coaching app should be:
- Priced for scalability – with a flat subscription rate, your software won’t cost more as your client list grows
- Easy to use – with efficient tools that reduce your administrative burden
- Versatile – giving your clients the freedom to work through your content on any connected device
- Customizable – allowing you to share your unique solutions and own your niche, e.g. virtual life coaching, health coaching, or business coaching, and
- Secure – ideally, you’ll be looking for a HIPAA-compliant virtual coaching platform that encrypts and securely stores all your clients’ private information.
Quenza is one example of an all-in-one software solution for online coaches, and to show you how it works, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide below.
How To Use Quenza’s Digital Tools For Virtual Coaching
If you’ve already gone through our ‘How To’ and best practices above, here’s how you can use Quenza as a virtual coaching app for each and every stage of a client’s development journey.
Create Your Own Activities
When you make your coaching activities available online, you’re making it much easier for your coachees to interact with the material at a time that suits them best. Whether they feel they learn more in the evening, during a boring commute, or between daily errands, they’ll be more likely to go through your courses when they’re able to pick and choose the right moment.
Quenza’s Activity Builder is a quick and powerful way to design personalized exercises, quizzes, lessons, and other activities that you can then share with clients on their mobile devices – which instantly makes them much more accessible.
It’s as simple as opening your Activity Builder, titling your new Activity, then dragging and dropping different elements into your Builder to craft everything from visualization interventions and psychoeducation to mindfulness meditations, goal-setting lessons, and psychological assessments:
Your Activity Builder includes everything from check boxes and drop-down menus to short answer fields, text boxes, and Likert Scales, allowing you to design fully bespoke solutions that are based on your client’s unique goals.
For a list of great templates and exercises to create, check out our article on Using Digital Tools For Psychoeducation Therapy Interventions.
Quenza also works beautifully as a motivation app, by sending in-app reminders and updates to your clients when you share an Activity:
As shown, reminders work brilliantly both for course content and for virtual coaching management – this client’s virtual coach is being prompted to finish their intake form and start their first online lesson.
Build Better Coaching Journeys
If you’re offering virtual coaching packages and programs, Quenza’s Pathway tools help you speed up your program design.
You can do this by organizing your unique content into curricula or sequences, as shown:
To create personal coaching Pathways, simply select the Activities you’ve already saved in your Library as different steps.
From the same screen, you can also edit your Activities and decide when you’d like each step to be automatically shared with your clients in their virtual coaching app.
Stay On Top of Client Progress
Once your coachees have received your exercises, lessons, or assessments, they’ll be able to access and complete them at any time through their free Client Portal.
At your end, all client tracking data is privately captured in Quenza’s HIPAA-compliant Dashboard, where you can view the status of each exercise as well as your clients’ responses:
Real-time results can be a particularly useful way to stay on top of your clients’ progress if you’re using mood tracking tools as part of a virtual life coaching program.
Give Timely, Relevant Feedback
Whenever a client has questions, Quenza Chat is a secure, private way to share your coaching feedback in real-time – simply head to the Chat tool to start a dialogue through the web or mobile app:
In the pictured Quenza Chat, you can opt to receive notifications from specific clients, or switch all your notifications on and off if you’d like some downtime.
In practice, virtual life coaching is only partly about the work that goes on during your sessions. For sustained, positive behavior change, clients need to apply their skills in real-world scenarios and overcome the very real challenges that arise.
With the right digital tools, you can build this, and our other best practice approaches, into your solutions. While going virtual might seem tricky at first, you’ll soon realize that with a few simple techniques, you can open up a whole new world of coaching opportunities – both for you and for those you support.
We hope you enjoyed our tips. To transform your knowledge into better client results, don’t forget to start your $1 month of Quenza’s virtual life coaching tools.
Quenza is designed by professional online coaches to help you optimize your coaching impact, and will give you everything you need to better help your clients make positive, lasting changes to enhance their goal achievement.