Running a successful coaching business means you have a lot of plates to keep spinning.
You’re busy running coaching sessions, onboarding new clients, creating new programs, managing social media…the list is endless!
And even though coaching is a fantastic business model, you’ll burn out if you’re always trading time for money.
But what if you’ve already outsourced what you can and your rates are already as high as possible? Is scaling your coaching business out of the question?
Let’s learn how to save time while also growing your income. In today’s article, I’m teaching you how to automate your coaching business through simple automations with ConvertKit.
Four reasons you should automate your coaching business
There are four reasons why you should automate your coaching business:
- Stop trading time for money: As a one-person show, there’s a good chance you make money when you’re actively coaching students. An automated coaching business lets you step back from work without compromising profits.
- Grow your income without raising your rates: Automating tasks frees up your time to take on more coaching students and grow your income without raising your coaching prices.
- No need to hire help: Whether you’re just starting your coaching business or you're a seasoned coach, you might not want to hire a team just yet. Automations grow your business without hiring for help.
- Set it and forget it: Once you set your automations, they’ll continuously run until you stop them, bringing in new clients and making sales even while you sleep.
An automated coaching business helps you step back from mundane tasks to focus your energy where it counts.
Here are five simple coaching automations you can set up today!
Coaching automation #1: Use forms to vet potential students
Accepting the wrong students into your program is a headache for all parties. They may not find the information valuable–since it’s not tailored towards them–and you’ll feel stressed-out over your unhappy students.
You want to make sure the students you accept into your program are a perfect fit, so they get the most out of your sessions. But vetting each applicant one by one takes time away from other tasks (like your actual coaching sessions).
Luckily, there’s a simple way to create forms that automatically vet potential students for you.
Leadership mindset coach and ConvertKit creator Topsie Vandenbosch understands the value of vetting her students. Before applying for her Scale Without the Spiral Accelerator, she asks potential students to fill out a form full of qualifying questions.
Luckily, automating this process is easy using ConvertKit and Typeform (a popular coaching tool for creating questionnaires and surveys).
Your first step is to sign up for a free Typeform account and create a form with one or more qualifying questions. Give your form a memorable name, like “Registration form”. Include at least one multiple-choice question (which serves as your qualifying question) and use the “Email” question-type for your recipient to leave their email. When your form is complete, don’t forget to hit “Publish”!
(Pro tip: The name is included by default in respondent notification emails sent from Typeform, so don’t name your form anything you wouldn’t want your coaching applicants to see!)
Let’s go through a specific example to help show this in action. Imagine you’re a financial coach who works with students who have a household income of less than $80,000.
On your form, you need to create a multiple-choice question asking potential students for their household income:
In your ConvertKit account, create two tags: “Income < 80K” and “Income > 80K”. ConvertKit will tag respondents with these tags based on their answers.
For tagging to happen automatically, you need to connect your ConvertKit and Typeform accounts by following this step-by-step process. In step 8 of the linked tutorial, choose “Map multiple-choice responses to tags”:
Next, you need to map the multiple-choice answers to your tags:
Now when someone fills out a form, ConvertKit will automatically assign them a tag!
From there, create email sequences for each tag. In the financial coach example, you’d likely want to create an email sequence that fires off to anyone with an income above your threshold, letting them know you aren’t the right coach for them and pitching other suitable products.
For those with income below your threshold—the ideal student in this example—send an email with a scheduling link so they can book a consultation with you.
Time saved: 26 hours a year. If you spend 30 minutes per week going through coaching applications to see who’s a fit, you’ll save an average of 26 hours a year by automating this task.
Coaching automation #2: Collect payment and send receipts
ConvertKit Commerce handles the entire ecommerce process. When a student enrolls in your program, ConvertKit Commerce will collect payment and email them their receipt. And if you sell other digital products, ConvertKit Commerce will deliver the product to your buyers as well.
To set ConvertKit Commerce up with your coaching programs, create a landing page by heading to the “Products” tab in your ConvertKit account.
If it’s your first time creating a product, click the “Create a Product” button.
Next, fill out your product details with the name of your coaching program, the price, and choose between a recurring or one-time fee.
After that, choose what type of product you’re selling. In this example, we’ll select “Something Else”. You can also use ConvertKit Commerce to sell digital products and paid newsletters.
Next, customize your domain. You can either use one of the free ones ConvertKit provides or use your own domain.
Lastly, design your product page, checkout, confirmation, and receipt email.
Once your product is ready, you can share the link to start collecting payment and sending receipts automatically!
Time saved: 52 hours a year. If you spend an hour on invoicing and payments each week, you’ll save an average of 52 hours a year by automating your coaching sales.
Coaching automation #3: Onboard your new students
Another way to automate your coaching business is to automate your onboarding. A proper onboarding system sets the tone for your coaching sessions and helps you:
- Gather information about your students before your session
- Schedule your session
- Send important information your students may need before your first session
- Send your best content to your students
And you can do all of the above without being glued to your email.
Ingri Pauline, a fitness and nutrition coach, uses ConvertKit automations to send clients questionnaires, feedback forms, videos, workouts, and her best articles:
Developing an onboarding system has improved my service tremendously! By far the highest ROI action I have taken in my whole business. I do not have to worry about sending everything out. I just check the data, feedback, and videos of my clients and prep for our check-in call.
Let’s learn how to automate the main tasks of your onboarding process.
ConvertKit integrates with many ecommerce platforms, so first, make sure you’ve integrated ConvertKit with the platform you use to sell your coaching packages.
Then, set up an email sequence with the emails you’d usually send to new students.
Next, we’ll configure the necessary automations. Click “New Automation” > “Create Automation” to set up a new automation, then add an automation trigger for your coaching program purchase by clicking “Purchase” and selecting your coaching package. (If you’re not using ConvertKit Commerce, tag those who buy from you and select “Is added to tag” instead of “Purchase”).
Next, click the “+” sign below the newly created trigger block, click on to “Action” > “Email Sequence”, and choose your onboarding email sequence.
Now, whenever a new student signs up, they’ll automatically receive your onboarding emails.
In your onboarding email sequence, you can send over:
- Information packets
- A questionnaire for your new students to fill out
- A link to schedule a session (to take it one step further, tag people who book a session and send a follow-up email to those who don’t).
And any other information you would typically send to new students.
Time saved: 52 hours a year. If you spend an average of one hour onboarding each student at one new student per week, you’ll save 52 hours over the year by automating this task.
Coaching automation #4: Sell digital items to promote your big-ticket coaching packages
- Not everyone will be ready to sign up for your private coaching sessions but they may be interested in buying other products from you.
- Returning customers tend to spend more money with a business over time, and are more likely to enroll in new programs when you launch them.
AnnMarie Espina, an ADHD coach for entrepreneurs, set up an email series in ConvertKit for a newly launched program. She notes that:
The part that was the most important for me was the automation I used to remind my past customers that I was launching a new program. I didn’t even ask them to work with me. They just saw the emails and signed up!
Through this automation, 40% of her past customers enrolled in her brand new program, giving AnnMarie an instant lift in revenue.
Here’s how to set up this automation. First, you need to have a digital product to sell. We have a list of over 60+ digital product ideas you can use for inspiration to create your first digital product.
Once your product is up for sale, you want to tag everyone who purchases it. Now you have a segment of subscribers who have purchased your items who are more likely to buy your coaching packages in the future.
To promote your coaching packages to this segment, head to your ConvertKit dashboard and click on “Automations” > “New Automation” > “Create Automation”.
Make sure “Is added to a tag” is selected, and then select the tag you assigned to your digital product buyers. Click “Add Event”.
Next, click on the “+” sign and add a delay. During the delay, these subscribers will get your newsletter so you can warm them up and increase the chance they’ll convert on your bigger coaching packages.
After choosing your delay, click the “+” sign again and select “Action” > “Email sequence”.
In the above sequence, the coaching package email sequence sends 60 days after someone purchases a product. During this time, you can turn them from a cold lead to a warm lead, increasing the chances they’ll convert on your bigger offerings!
You can experiment with different delay times to see which results in the highest amount of conversions. This automation helps you sell your coaching program and keeps your calendar filling with new coaching students automatically!
Time saved: 52 hours a year. Let’s assume you’re currently spending four hours per week on marketing your offerings. If your digital products bring in more coaching students and you can cut down to three hours of marketing per week, you’ll save 52 hours in a year.
Coaching automation #5: Gather testimonials
Testimonials help nudge prospective students further down the funnel and increase sales. In fact, 78% of Americans agree that online reviews help them make purchases.
But with so many tasks on your plate, it’s easy to forget to ask for testimonials. Automate this step, so you don’t forget it.
To set up this automation, create a tag for anyone who finishes your coaching program. After creating a tag, make an email sequence with your testimonial request.
Once you’ve created a tag, click on “Automations” > “New Automation” > “Create Automation” > “Is added to a tag”. Choose the tag for students who complete your program and click “Add Event”.
Click the “+” sign and add a delay. You want to make sure your email sends shortly after your last coaching session, so don’t make the delay too long.
After adding in a delay, click the “+” again and select “Email Sequence” and choose the email sequence with the testimonial request.
Your finished automation will look something like this:
To make sure this automation runs, manually tag students once you finish their session. You can manually tag a subscriber by clicking “Subscribers” in your ConvertKit dashboard and searching for your student by name or email.
Once you’ve found your student, click on their name. In the left-hand panel, click on the “+” sign under “Tags” and add a tag.
Time saved: 25 hours per year. Assuming you work with 5 cohorts of 10 clients per year, and it takes you about 30min to write each email requesting a testimonial, you’ll save upwards of 25 hours each year by automating your testimonial requests. Nice!
Automate your coaching business and start earning more today
Knowing how to automate your coaching business is the fastest way to scale without burning out. Just with our five essential automations we shared(along with our time-saving guesstimates), you can save more than 200 hours each year—time you can put straight back into growing your business and profits even further!
ConvertKit's powerful automations make it easy to scale your coaching business without scaling your time. Try it out for free today!