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November 30, 2011

Creating Online Health Coaching Programs

Health Coach

Do you have a health coaching program that you want to share with more people?  It is great working with individual clients, but eventually most health coaches decide they want to share their message with a larger audience.

There are several ways to do this, but creating an online health coaching program is definitely a great way to get you a larger audience.  I think the biggest hurdle people come to when considering doing an online program is where to start.

If you are creating a 3 month weight loss program that is going to have 12 modules, waiting until all 12 modules are done will take a long time.  If, however, you simply outline the course and schedule it, inertia will take over and you will find yourself getting it done easier.

My first bit of advice is expect things to go wrong your first time around.  All the technology we have available today is fantastic, but there is a learning curve.  Just know that mistakes will happen.  Learn from them and move on, no need to beat yourself up for not getting it perfect.

Schedule Your Program

I know for myself, I obsessed for months about having the perfect website and having my program completely done before I even considered getting anyone to sign up. The problem for me was that this led to getting stuck. What was the solution? I scheduled my first online program and started telling people about it. The great thing about creating content for an online class is that you can create the content as you teach. Whether you are doing a tele-seminar or webinar class, your classes can be your content.

Decide what format you want to use.  Online webinars are a great way to connect with people online.  Anything you can do on a computer screen you can do on a webinar.  You can teach from a powerpoint, do a video of yourself leading a class, share your computer screen, it really depends on your class material.  Online cooking classes are a great idea, people love seeing exactly what you are doing in the kitchen.

The premier web conferencing solution is GoTo Webinar , but they are fairly pricey.  They do have a free 30 day trial and some discounts available.  A much cheaper solution is GVO Conference, which works a lot better than some of the free options.

Decide How To Deliver Your Content

There are several ways to deliver your content.  The simplest, is to simply deliver your program live via either tele-seminar or webinar and provide attendees with a replay link.  You can simply take payment via PayPal.  This requires very little technical setup and is a great way to start, especially if you are technically challenged.

A more valuable and professional looking option is to set up a membership site or a members area of your website that is password protected and put all of the content in there.  You want to be careful about putting too much video material on your actual web server.  If you only have a couple of people watching your videos it is not a problem, but if lots of people try to watch at the same time there will be bandwidth issues and you can even crash your site.

Fortunately there is a very cheap solution to the video problem.  Simply host your videos on Amazon Simple Storage System, which is an online media storage service.  You can host audio, video, or any other type of file on here and only be charged when people view it.  Until you have lots of files being used, this will only cost you pennies per month.

It is probably best to setup each new program on it’s own URL as a membership site.  This will make managing and marketing multiple programs much simpler.  The good news is once you learn how to do this once you can just duplicate what you have done for your next program.

Marketing Your Program

This is like marketing your coaching services, there is no one way to do it.  One of the best ways to get people to learn about your new program is to hold some live training events.  Preferably these will be given in the same format as your training and will contain some of your best material.  You want to give people a taste of what they can expect if they join your program so make your free trainings high value content.

Set up a landing page specifically for your free training where you will talk about exactly what you are offering and have an email opt-in form.  Not only is this a great way to fill you program, it is also a great way to build your email list.

Facebook is a great place to get publicity for your event.  You can create a Facebook event, place ads, and create some buzz about your upcoming training.

Summary

Online health coaching programs are a perfect way to start moving beyond working with one client at a time.  By sharing your message with a larger audience, not only will you be able to leverage your time and reach more people, you will be able to do it with less work.  After you have done your online health coaching program the first time you will have all the pieces in place to offer it again with much less effort on your part.

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