I get asked all the time… “how do I automate my coaching business with Ontraport.” And with good reason.
If you're a coach, you already know this to be true… the more successful you become, the busier you get, and the less time you have to live your life.
Honestly, it can be hard to take a single day off, let alone that month-long vacation in Spain you've been dreaming of.
The saddest part is, we got into business for ourselves so we could break the chains of corporate enslavement, but we can't be free because we're shackled to our business. Blegh… what a party.
Such an unfortunate Catch 22 for those of us in the coaching business, isn't it?
Thankfully, platforms like Ontraport have made it possible to automate the vast majority of your everyday tasks… no, it won't walk your dog, or do your laundry, but I promise you will get a ton of your time back.
It can also make you look like the rockstar coach you are when your clients see your business running like a well-oiled machine!
Here are just a few ways to automate your coaching business with Ontraport...
Automate Your Marketing
This one is kind of obvious, but building your list and following up with a killer marketing campaign probably the fastest way to grow your coaching business.
Ontraport gives you tons of ways to automate your marketing, from lead capture pages and popups, to email, to SMS text messages, to postcards, you name it, Ontraport can handle it.
They'll even track your leads' actions to determine which are most ready to work with you.
Then it's as simple as sending a personalized campaign just for those super hot leads, to get them enrolled in your coaching program.
If you're already 100% full and can't possibly take on another client, the next one is for you…
Automate Your Coaching
Here's the problem. Once you fill up your available coaching spots, you're maxed. Your income has hit a ceiling and you probably don't have much time to yourself.
Ontraport gives you the ability to serve more clients by transforming your existing WordPress site into a fully-functioning membership area where clients can access your coaching 24/7.
I'm going to write an entire post detailing automated coaching systems, but here's how it works in a nutshell…
A new client signs on with you (YAY!). Once their payment is successfully processed (we'll talk about payments in a minute), they are immediately sent a username and password to log into your coaching site.
This password-protected area of your website can contain all of the coaching materials you would normally send via email or print off and provide in a binder, alleviating a ton of administrative onboarding work.
Once inside, they get immediate access to a welcome video that explains your process, sets expectations and invites them to book their first coaching call with you.
Just imagine that – instead of spending an hour going over admin stuff with each person, your new client shows up to their first call knowing exactly what to expect. You save time and can hit the ground running in your first call!
Everything from recorded coaching calls and webinars, instruction videos, interviews, training, and PDF workbooks can be safely stored in this secure area of your site, and is only accessible to your paying clients.
And with Ontraport, you control the flow of information…
- Want your clients to get access to one new lesson per week? Easy.
- Want to set up a weekly coaching call with automated reminders? Done.
Here's an example of one module inside my Ontraport/WordPress membership site:
Don't have a WordPress site? No problem! You can create a brand new site from scratch right inside your Ontraport dashboard. They'll even host it for you. BAM!
Automate Your Payment System
If you've been coaching for a while, you've probably got your clients on some sort of a contract – 3 months, 6 months and 12 months seem to be most common.
Many of the coaches I work with used to accomplish this by sending an invoice every month. That means they have to keep track of everyone's billing schedule, remember to send invoices, write carefully worded emails reminding clients to pay, and have uncomfortable conversions with the ones who don't. Yuck.
Time-consuming, zero percent fun, and totally unnecessary.
Let's just automate it, shall we?
When I have a new client sign on, I send them a link to an Ontraport checkout page where they have the option to pay in full, or pay in monthly installments for the duration of their contract.
This way I don't have to remind anyone to make their payments… they're billed automatically every month. Because why have the money conversation more than once?
Plus, you now have a consistent, reliable income stream that doesn't depend on anyone's memory. Very nice.
Now let's be realistic – sometimes those payments fail. Thankfully, there's an Ontraport solution for that.
Automate Your Collections
Oh Lawd, collecting money from slow-paying clients sucks, doesn't it?
I mean, you love 'em and you always have their best interest at heart, but hey, a coach has to get paid too. I don't know about you, but there's nothing I find more uncomfortable than having to remind clients to pay their invoice. I abhor doing it. And they probably don't enjoy it all that much either.
Thankfully, you can fully automate the collection process… to the point you don't even know your client is past due.
In Ontraport, there's a convenient little feature called Recharge Settings…
Recharge Settings put you in control of the frequency you'll use to retry the card as well as the length of the collection period. Default is to retry the card every 3 days for 90 days.
In the image below you'll see some pretty typical settings… explanation below.
In this image, you can see I've set the card to be retried every 3 days for 20 days.
It wouldn't all fit in the screenshot, but here's the process I use:
- The 1st time a transaction fails my system sends an email to let them know their card has been declined and gives them instructions on how to update their payment information.
- The 2nd time a transaction fails, the system sends another email reminding them their card has been declined and prompts them to update their payment information. It lets them know their membership will be limited if the payment fails again.
- The 3rd time a transaction fails, the system restricts their access to training, notifies me that there's a problem and sends them an email to let them know to contact me directly to sort out payment.
Notice, throughout this process, I am absolutely oblivious that any of this is taking place until the card is declined a 3rd time.
I'm not the least bit interested in dealing failed payments until absolutely necessary and I'll bet you're not either.
This simple, yet elegant system handles that unpleasant bit of nastiness so you don't have to. Yay for automation!
Get Great Testimonials
Testimonials are important when you're doing business online. Unfortunately getting someone to write you a glowing review can be like pulling teeth… not because they don't love your service, but because they're busy and they forget to do it!
And if we're being completely honest, we forget about it too… until we need a testimonial for something. Then we have to go chasing them down.
There is a better way.
When my clients are nearing the end of their coaching agreement, they are added to the “Testimonial Builder” campaign.
This isn't your typical “can you please give me a testimonial” email… it's several carefully crafted messages, designed to get a well-written, well-thought-out testimonial, perfect for your next sales page.
Instead of hoping they can read your mind, let's create a personalized experience that helps them celebrate their success, and prompts them to give you the information you need for your testimonials… here's an example Testimonial Builder page:
The added benefit of using Ontraport – personalization! With Ontraport's Personalized URLS (PURLS) you can give your clients a unique link that displays their information, adding the personal touch your clients have come to expect.
Their answers are stored safely inside your Ontraport account where you can easily access them whenever you need them.
Once they've filled out the form they'll be removed from the Testimonial Builder campaign, so you don't keep bugging them.
Want to get really fancy? Send them a personalized postcard to say thanks… yep, that's automated too.
You look like the amazing, thoughtful, rockstar coach you are and you didn't even lift a finger!
To be honest, with all this love in the air, they're probably not gonna want to let you know… here's to another glorious six-month contract 🙂
The List Goes On…
This is but a short list of the MANY ways you can automate your coaching business with Ontraport. Most of the coaches I work with are surprised when they're able to free 10 to 20 hours of their time within weeks of upgrading their business to Ontraport. All while maintaining their excellent level of service and serving more clients. Pretty good right?
Ready to Automate Your Coaching Business?
If you're ready to automate your coaching business and are considering the leap to Ontraport, let's talk!
As an Ontraport Certified Consultant I can help guide you to the right package for your business and show you how to set up all this automation (and more) using my exclusive Coaching Automation templates.
Click Here to Book Your Free Consultation
Was this tutorial helpful? Still have questions? Let me know in the comments!
3 thoughts on “How to Automate Your Coaching Business with Ontraport”
Thanks for the great post.
We made the decision a few years ago to convert our F2F coaching and development business to an online business to serve a global market. It’s been quite a journey and a vertical learning curve, trying to understand all the various components required behind the scenes to create a seamless customer experience online… and we’re still trying to tie up loose ends before we can get it going.
We’re subscribed to Ontraport, our marketing website is up, and now we need to add a member area where we can serve up our content to clients. This has proven one of the toughest challenge because I’m not really sure what I’m looking for in terms of plugins for our wordpress site. Do we need an LMS like Sensei or Learndash, or other membership plugins that enable us to serve protected content up dynamically (i.e. to one person like a coaching client, or to a group of people attending a group coaching program).
I’ve read so many articles about setting up membership sites, but none of them focus on the actual membership plugins themselves. They talk about Ontraport, Infusionsoft etc, but not how to set up the member area itself the the likes of OP integrates with (i.e. what wordpress plugins are available and which are the best to use)
Please could you let me know which member area plugin you used in this example, and suggest other top shelf plugins that enable coaches to host and deliver protected content via their wordpress website?
Hi Gary, thanks so much for stopping by!
Regarding your question about whether you need a learning management system (LMS) like Learndash or Sensei, the answer is it really depends on the type of experience you want your students to have.
If what you’re offering is a course or a certification program, then you probably want something that has a way to mark lessons completed, and has quiz functionality, then yes, you probably need an LMS.
If what you’re offering is more of an open membership site experience (one where members login and get access to information, training etc but don’t necessarily have to take it in order or do quizzes to prove their knowledge, then you probably don’t need one.
In this demo, I was using AccessAlly:
In my current membership site (and what I’m using as best practice on client sites) is a combination of WordPress (of course), Ontraport, BeaverBuilder (Theme and Pro Plugin which is an awesome visual builder that allows you to create great looking drag-and-drop membership sites). I’ve pretty much abandoned the LMS plugins, and instead host my courses on Thinkific.
Please let me know if you need more guidance as you move forward with your project… I’m happy to help and give some advice, so book a call if you need it 🙂
Click here to schedule
Dawn Marrs Ortiz recently posted…Why You Should Train Your Virtual Assistant to Manage Your Ontraport Account
Very helpful response. Thank you Dawn.
Our aim is to achieve high levels of engagement and encourage clients to work through all the content and exercises, which is the only way they’ll see real and measurable improvements in the growth and profitability of their businesses.
Considering the options mentioned, the more structured content delivery mechanics offered by an LMS, together with their gamification elements, appear to be more suited to our objective of minimizing course abandonment and maximizing chances of completion.
AccessAlly appears to be feature rich and it has great reviews, plus it plays nicely with Ontraport.
The last piece of the puzzle I’m still grappling with, is what Forum plugin to use for our Q&A membership service. Hosted Forum platforms tend to pricey for what you get and the database sits on the providers server, which isn’t ideal.
So far CreativeMinds plugin is coming out on top in terms of functionality and keeping the database on our own server, but I haven’t tested it yet.
Do you have any recommendations on Forum plugins that are robust, intuitively structured and easy on the eye?
Once we’ve got our back-end framework finalized, I’ll schedule a call with you.