Coaching

What is Asynchronous Coaching & How to Scale Your Coaching Business

Discover what it means to coach your clients asynchronously and how to use it to scale your coaching business.
Gavin Hammar
September 20, 2022

Did you know that 81% of coaches go out of business in three years or less? Most of them struggle to generate enough recurring revenue to support themselves. And the ones who do manage to gain traction get a bunch of clients, work really hard, and eventually run out of steam.

Why? Because trading time for clients is just not sustainable in the long term.

The more clients you get, the less time you have. 

As a result, coaching businesses are almost impossible to scale. 

But what if you could serve more clients without the need to fill up your calendar with live coaching sessions? And what if you could retain them for longer and turn them into advocates for your business to help you grow?

Well, the good news is that it’s possible.

In this article, I’m going to be showing you how you can serve almost 5-times your coaching clients and scale your business with asynchronous coaching.

Here’s what I’ll be covering:

What is Asynchronous Coaching?

Asynchronous coaching is a form of coaching where the coach or person being coached provides information followed by a time lag before a response. Simply put, asynchronous coaching is any form of coaching that doesn’t happen in real-time (e.g. in-person, on the phone, or during a Zoom call).

It may seem counterintuitive to run a coaching business that doesn’t rely on real-time communication. But, in truth, you and your clients are already using asynchronous communication.

Take a WhatsApp message for example. When you send a WhatsApp message, you exchange information back and forth without expecting an immediate response.

On the other hand, a Zoom call is completely synchronous. Both you and your clients have to be present at the same time for communication to occur. Both your schedules have to be in-sync and you have to set aside the time to meet.

What are some examples of Asynchronous vs Synchronous Coaching?

Synchronous communication happens in real-time between two or more people. You and your client(s) are online at the exact same time. When a message is sent, there’s an expectation of an instant response.

However, when it comes to asynchronous communication, there is an expectation from both the coach and client that there will be a delay between responses. Rather than clients expecting to join you in real-time for a coaching session, they understand that responses to their messages can happen at any time, and therefore there is no need to arrange a live meeting and synchronize calendars. 

To help you understand the differences between asynchronous and synchronous coaching, let's consider some examples. 

Examples of asynchronous coaching:

  • Email
  • Voicemail
  • Text messages
  • Facebook messenger
  • Slack
  • WhatsApp
  • StoryPrompt

Examples of synchronous coaching:

  • In-person meetings
  • Phone calls
  • Video conferencing (Zoom, FaceTime, etc)
  • Real-time Slack or Teams conversations

What are the benefits of Asynchronous Coaching?

Client communication is the lifeblood of your coaching business. We know this. But relying on synchronous communication to serve your clients is just not scalable.

Let’s take a scenario:

Assume you have 4 x 1-hour coaching slots per day. And you serve the same set of clients each week. This means you only have capacity for 20 clients.

The growth of your coaching business is limited by the number of hours you make available each week. Not to mention, the extra hours you need to use in between coaching sessions to promote your service and attract new clients.

That’s where asynchronous coaching can help. It enables you to serve more clients without you or your client’s busy schedule getting in the way.

In essence, asynchronous communication is the secret to scaling your coaching business. Instead of needing to carve out the time to make yourself available to clients (only to have them cancel at the last minute), asynchronous coaching enables you to serve your clients at any time.

6 Reasons why Asynchronous Coaching is beneficial

1. No more canceled client calls

There’s nothing worse than setting aside time in your busy schedule to meet with your client only to have them cancel at the last minute. That was time you could’ve spent marketing your business or serving someone else. With asynchronous coaching, your clients pay you a retainer to make yourself available to them at any time. However, instead of jumping on a call when they need you, they can simply send you a message and you can respond in your own time.

2. Give more thoughtful responses

An asynchronous coaching model allows you to take your time when responding to your client's questions and problems. This enables you to provide even more value to your clients. Compare this to a synchronous scenario, where you have to think on your feet and, at times, not always provide the best response you could have.

3. Less burnout and stress

With asynchronous coaching, you are not having to jump from coaching call to coaching call. Instead, you’re always available and can respond to your clients at a time that suits you. Not only that, but you can send regular prompts to your clients to keep them engaged and to remind them that you’re always available.

4. Clients feel that you’re always available to them

When it comes to synchronous coaching, clients feel like they have to wait for their next scheduled call to raise their issues. However, when you use an asynchronous coaching approach, your clients know that they can contact you at any time, whenever a new challenge crosses their mind. This feeling of consistent availability will lead to a closer relationship between you and your clients.

5. Charge membership fees instead of an hourly rate

Most coaches charge an hourly rate per coaching session or a fee for a set of sessions. However, when you adopt asynchronous coaching, you can charge a membership fee. This means your clients pay you a lower recurring fee for constant access to you. This is the key to scaling your coaching business. Instead of charging for your time, you’re charging for the ongoing value you provide.

6. Keep a record of the value you’ve provided and repurpose

Since asynchronous coaching is not live, you are exchanging messages that can be referred to again later. This means you and your client have a record of your past conversations and you can both refer back to what was said in the past. A bonus is that, at times, the advice you share can benefit others and can be repurposed on social media and other channels to showcase your expertise and help you attract new clients.

How do clients benefit from Asynchronous Coaching?

The benefits of asynchronous coaching to you as a coach are very clear. And at first, it may seem that your clients will benefit more from real-time coaching. However, an asynchronous approach is in fact far more beneficial to your client. Here are 4 reasons why:

1. Clients can ask for help as soon as an issue arises

Instead of waiting for the next scheduled coaching session, your clients can send you a message as soon something is on their minds. This way, the perceived value of the services you provide are far higher. 

2. It costs clients less to have constant access to you

With asynchronous coaching, your clients pay a subscription fee or a retainer to have constant access to you. Since this no longer requires regular meetings, the costs are far lower and therefore, the point of friction for the client is removed.  

3. The responses they get are more helpful

Since your responses are no longer in real-time, clients can expect a more considered piece of advice from you as their coach. This is far more powerful and well-thought-out than a response you might provide in the middle of a live conversation. 

4. They can refer back to previous conversations

A powerful side-effect of asynchronous coaching is that all responses you provide are available for your clients to refer back to in the future. As a coach, you no longer have to repeat yourself and can easily refer back to other pieces of advice you’ve given to them in the past. 

How to use Asynchronous Coaching in your business

Asynchronous coaching can be useful for both 1-on-1 and group coaching. But how do you maintain the face-to-face relationship that your clients have come to expect from Zoom or in-person meetings?

The solution is online community platforms. And in particular, a community platform that supports face-to-face asynchronous video.

What is asynchronous video communication?

Unlike real-time video communication like Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime, asynchronous video allows you to share a video and then have viewers respond via video in their own time.

This saves you time by shortening or reducing the amount of time you spend in meetings, emails, and over text while maintaining the human-to-human connection.

How to use asynchronous video in your coaching business?

As you can imagine, asynchronous video can transform your coaching business. Not only can it help you serve more clients face-to-face without taking up their time, but it allows you to scale and charge clients a membership fee, rather than an hourly rate. Here are 6 ways you can use asynchronous video to scale your coaching business:

1. Welcome new clients using interactive video

Video is the most engaging form of content we have at our disposal today. If you’re not using it on your website or as part of your intake forms, you’re missing a trick.

With a tool like StoryPrompt, you can record a welcome video introducing your coaching services to new clients, and allow them to respond via video themselves or to click an embedded link in your video and redirect them to your intake form.

There’s no better way to onboard new clients to get them truly excited to work with you!

2. Create a community space and invite your clients to join

In order to facilitate both group and 1-on-1 coaching, you need to create an online community space and invite your clients to join. This is a gathering place for your clients.

Not only does it act as a coaching platform for you to reach your clients asynchronously, but it helps you deliver even more value to your clients be enabling them to support each other.

3. Set up discussion topics or channels

Now that you have a space set up, you need to add discussion topics. A discussion topic helps your clients know where they can go to post their thoughts or to ask a question for you or other community members to respond to.

Some examples of discussion topics might include: Introductions, Big Wins, Tips & Tricks, Challenges etc.

4. Use DM’s for 1-on-1 coaching

When you clients have joined the online space you’ve created, you’ll have the ability to message them privately. This is where you can coach them privately and asynchronously over video.

5. Structure discussions around a conversation thread

It’s important to help other clients follow the conversation topics so that they know where to go to find value. That’s why we recommend using threads to keep a particular discussion organized. This is common on platforms like Twitter, Slack, and even email, but it can be achieved using video too when selecting a video-first community platform.

6. Collect video testimonials to attract more clients

Now that you have your clients in your online community and they’re benefitting from your coaching service, you can easily collect video testimonials to help you attract even more clients. In fact, when using an online community platform that supports asynchronous video conversations, you can often capture the user generated content (UGC) directly from organic conversations.

Community platforms for Asynchronous Coaching

As mentioned above, there are plenty of online community platforms available that can facilitate asynchronous coaching. However, the only one that offers 2-way asynchronous video coaching is StoryPrompt. 

StoryPrompt is the face-to-face community platform designed for coaches and consultants. It helps you send and receive video messages without the need to schedule live coaching calls. 

Here are just a few of the features it offers:

  • Spaces: Create a place for clients to connect with each other and yourself to build authentic relationships through asynchronous video.  
  • Campfires: Gather your coaching clients around specific topics or discussions and enable them to help each other. 
  • Recaps: Catching up on video discussions can be time consuming, but with recaps, clients can read the transcripts of your coaching sessions or other members’ videos. 
  • Threads: Discussion threads help keep video discussions organized, making it easy for clients to quickly seek out value in your coaching platform. 
  • Direct Messages: Host 1-on-1 coaching sessions with clients over asynchronous video. Your clients send you a challenge and you can send a thoughtful response back over video in your own time. 
  • Testimonials: Collect user-generated video content and testimonials from the people you serve to help boost your marketing campaigns so you can attract more clients.

Conclusion

You started your coaching business to help serve others. And every day, you get the privilege of helping someone else overcome obstacles to better their lives. But with just 24 hours in a day, you are limited by just how many people you are able to help. 

With asynchronous coaching, the limit is completely removed. It allows you to turn a business that was completely dependent on synchronizing calendars into one that’s much simpler and can be built to scale. 

In this article, we showed you how online community tools that support asynchronous video can be used to bring the people you serve together in new, more powerful ways, without losing the face-to-face attention they’ve come to expect. 

Want to discover how you can scale your coaching business using asynchronous video? Learn more about StoryPrompt’s online community platform for coaches

Gavin Hammar

Founder & former CEO @Sendible (acquired in 2021). Now building Storyprompt to help small businesses accelerate sales by amplifying the stories that earn their buyers' trust.

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