Life Coaching: In Person Or Electronically?
There are a lot of executive life coaches that may have some hang-ups about whether or not they should conduct their coaching in person or over the phone/through email. There are plenty of benefits to working both ways and it really depends on the person and the type of coaching you’re doing as well as the sort of client. This can also depend on where you live, what kind of resources you have available (things like an office, phone system, technology, etc) as well as what your personal life looks like. There are many variables and different factors that have to be considered when deciding and it’s important that you figure it out in advance so that you can have a set policy to guide your clients by prior to signing anyone on.
Email and Phone
When you first begin you may want to do all your coaching electronically through email and over the phone. This is pretty common with most new life coaches simply because most of them have spent a long time going into an office and they’re happy to be able to work from home. It may also be a matter of convenience as it allows them to have more flexibility during the day and tend to other matters (like children) that may not wait until a certain time.
For some coaches this is a little more comfortable for them while they first get a feel for their coaching and it can be less intimidating to coach someone over the phone than it can be to do it face to face - at least at the beginning. While this is something that can develop into a bit of a crutch - one that may cost you money in the long run if you aren’t willing to step outside those boundaries - it isn’t such a bad thing in the beginning when you’re still getting your footing as a coach.
Electronic Life Coaching Benefits
Working electronically can also have a lot of other benefits. For one it saves you the trouble of having to have a meeting place that is professional enough for your clients. If you’re working over the phone there’s no way for your clients to tell if you’re in your pajamas or not and it doesn’t really matter to them as long as you maintain the same level of professionalism regardless of what you’re wearing. Plus it allows you to save costs on gas and overhead as you aren’t paying for an office, driving to it, or for things like a secretary or a phone system or even electricity. Not to mention things like furnishing it and so forth.
All of these things can be very expensive and can make it quite difficult for a budding coach to get their feet off the ground with little to no income. So by working electronically you can save quite a bit of money especially in the beginning and if things go well you can always transfer to doing some coaching in person if you want to.
When you conduct your coaching over phone and email you also save a lot in the way of time and money with day to day tasks. You aren’t driving to meet clients constantly, you won’t be spending as much on gas, you can schedule your client sessions whenever you need to, and you won’t have to buy an expensive wardrobe to impress those that you’re coaching. Plus you can automate things like payments and scheduling so that you can save even more time that way. Pretty handy when it comes down to it.
Meet More People
Coaching electronically also allows you to open yourself up to a much wider range of people. It doesn’t matter where your clients are located so long as they speak your language and have a working telephone. That means it can be a lot easier to find clients that work for you and your business and that you’ll have to spend less time and money marketing to them which saves you a lot of effort and expense because you’ll be doing it all virally. There are plenty of other reasons as well to work from home - simply things like comfort, convenience, flexibility, and so forth.
However, there are just as many good reasons for working in person as well. A lot of people really enjoy meeting with people and dread sitting in a single room all day long just talking on the phone. Some people also coach a lot better in person when they can see their client and read their gestures and get a good feel for what’s going on with them. For that reason alone it may be better to work in person if you’re that way. If you’re just a people person in general or if you don’t have the resources to have an office in your home it may be better work in person as well.
This is also a good idea for someone that isn’t very technologically adept and may struggle with computers or phone systems. If you fall into that category you’ll look much more professional meeting in person than having lots of technical issues while trying to coach someone on the phone. Plus if you find that some of your clients prefer meeting in person you may want to accommodate their needs. The nice bonus with that is that when you meet with someone in person you can typically charge a higher rate than if you were to just meet with them over the phone. This can mean a lot of extra income if you have a regular set of clients that wants to meet on a consistent basis.
Overall there are goods and bads to both sides of the issue and it really is more about the kind of coach you are, the kind of client you happen to be working with and what will work the very best for them in their situation. As long as you do what works best for you and weight the options you shouldn’t have any problems choosing which way to conduct your coaching.