As these last few years have shown, remote communication can be a lifesaver.
In the throes of the pandemic, platforms like Zoom and Skype gave us a semblance of sociality while we were in isolation.
And, during this time, many coaches moved their business entirely online.
For most, that meant sticking to their “tried and true” formula – weekly video calls where the athlete demonstrates their improvement and you, as coach, give them new information to implement into their training regimen.
But, while live video interactions can be valuable, they on their own are not a sustainable long-term coaching strategy.
And, at the end of the day, these real-time/remote sessions still amount to “lessons” – the simple exchange of selling your time for money.
You know me. I’ve said it a million times: your business should never depend entirely on selling your time for money.
The world is too digital and connected to be stuck in the “lessons-based” model. And CoachNow is the perfect tool to break free, innovate your coaching offer, and recapture your time and location freedom.
This week, I want to focus on a broad but incredibly important topic: the power of asynchronous communication.
When implemented correctly, we’ve seen coaches save 6-8 hours per week (aka a full workday) by simply reworking their coaching offer to include online written and video communication.
Today, I’ll give a brief overview of how you can do the same. Let’s get to it.
What is Asynchronous Communication?
Asynchronous communication, at its core, is about shortening the feedback loop in the coach-athlete relationship.
Simply put, it just involves you making a couple posts per week in CoachNow and monitoring the comments section for questions.
You see, in the old-school “lessons” model, your athlete does most of their improving when they’re on the playing field with you supervising.
Typically, this involves meeting once a week or so, giving your athlete “homework” before your next session, then moving forward when you see each other again.
In the ConnectedCoaching model, you still reap the benefits of the occasional live interaction, while also integrating periodic “micro touch points” between coaching sessions. In other words, in this model, your athlete doesn’t have to wait until your schedules align to keep moving forward.
The goal is simple and powerful: don’t rely just on the face-to-face coaching feedback loop. Give your athletes the resources they need to achieve their goals on their own time effectively (See our previous post on Video Recaps for a token example).
While this results in a more frequent communication, overall it saves everyone time and accelerates results.
Best Practices for Asynchronous Communication
It’s one thing to merely offer asynchronous communication once you acquire a new client; it’s an entirely different thing to market asynchronous communication as a core component of your coaching strategy.
And how you go about introducing these ideas is incredibly important.
First, don’t fall into a never-ending cycle of notification-checking. Set clear boundaries and expectations around your time e.g. “I only respond to posts between 12 - 2 Tuesdays and Thursdays (For more on this topic, check out this recent blog post).
Second, never give your feedback in the wrong place. Go all-in with one channel (preferably CoachNow!) and train your athletes to only expect communication, feedback and coaching there.
Next, require that the majority of posts be made by the athlete, not you.
And, when you or your athlete creates these posts, be sure they include the context.
This is incredibly easy in CoachNow by implementing filters and tags that separate the posts that require a quick reply and those you can simply ignore (e.g. “feedback”, “swing tips”, “Homework”, etc.). Monitor the updates they’ve tagged “feedback” and capitalize on high-value opportunities for improvement, but don’t spend more than a few minutes per client.
Lastly, and most importantly, set minimum requirements for weekly interaction.
In my experience, many coaches try to set “maximums”. E.g. “I respond to 2 posts per week”, “I won’t create more than 1 post per week”, etc.
But I encourage you to flip the script on your athlete. Make it abundantly clear that this isn’t a “perk” of your offer, but a requirement that you will enforce.
E.g. “As part of your coaching package of $X per month, you’re required to post twice per week minimum when we aren’t together”.
When implemented correctly, these asynchronous micro touch points take no more than 2-3 minutes of your time, are highly motivating for your athletes progress, and will help distinguish you from the competition.
Give it a try!
Including Asynchronous Communication in your Offer
Right about now you are probably thinking:
“If I encourage my athletes/clients to post in the app, wouldn’t that just give them unlimited access to me? The last thing I want is yet ANOTHER app that I have to constantly monitor.”
But I encourage you to steer away from this all-or-nothing line of thinking. Micro touch points, by their nature, take no more than 2-3 minutes of your time to be HIGHLY effective.
Truth is, you can combine live-remote, in person, AND asynchronous CoachNow posting into one, unified high-value offer.
By doing so, you can save time overall by leaning in on asynchronous communication and modifying the rest of your coaching offer around it.
For example, let’s say you’re currently offering 1-hour live sessions 2 times a week with 20 athletes. That’s 30 hours per week of lessons. 2 hours per athlete per week.
That’s also not including all the things you do for your business when you aren’t with your clients. E.g. marketing, recruiting, commuting, lesson planning, scheduling, etc. 20 clients per week plus these responsibilities can easily become a 50-60 hour work week.
That kind of workload will burn you out. Trust me.
Now let’s say you take what I’ve said here, and rework your offer from the ground up with these learnings in mind.
That means dropping at least one of your live sessions per client per week.
Now, in your reworked offer, focus on the benefits of asynchronous communication. Reassure your athletes that you'll be diligent about their continuous improvement on and off the playing field. Feel free to use some of the points we’ve made here, always framing the narrative around helping them get better faster.
Bam. You just saved yourself without lowering your income. Use that saved time to focus on growing your business, developing your niche, or simply taking a much needed break.
Now, in your reworked offer, focus on the benefits of asynchronous communication. Feel free to use some of the points we’ve made here, always framing the narrative around helping them get better faster.
Make it clear that you won’t just coach them – You’ll make them a first-class athlete.
In my 10+ years of helping thousands of businesses in CoachNow (and many years of coaching before that), I’ve seen this strategy work countless times.
I’m confident that it can work for you too.
P.S. Still not a CoachNow+ member? Give us a try with a 14-day trial (no card needed) at this link.