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29 Aug, 2008

Techno Tools for Coaches

Posted by: The Coaching Academy In: Executive Coaching Articles

It’s hard to imagine coaching before the web! Yes… coaching existed before web-based services, but it is unlikely that the profession would have grown so quickly without Internet tools. Most coaches are aware of the benefits of having a website, if only to create an electronic brochure of their services. But well informed coaches are learning how to use Internet tools to promote their services, keep in touch with clients and prospects, and to actually do coaching. This list is just a beginning!

Blog
An electronic web-log or journal often used by coaches to showcase brief articles and promotional material. Example of blog-hosting web sites: Blogger, Typepad, WordPress and Xanga.

Blog Carnival
A collection of blog articles submitted by a variety of authors and compiled by an editor in an ezine type format. Look at BlogCarnival.com

Ezine
An ezine is a periodic publication distributed by email or posted on a website. Ezines are typically tightly focused on a subject area but can contain blog postings, articles, announcements, advertisements, etc. Ezines are generally sent to subscribers through an autoresponder.

E-book
An e-book is a short book or collection of articles in a PDF format and provided to clients or prospects for free or for purchase. Links to e-books can be found on web sites and/or promoted in blogs, ezines, etc.

Autoresponder
This web-based system forwards blogs or ezines to an owner’s list of subscribers. Autoresponders are useful as they set up opt-in subscription screens to collect new subscriber info. Autoresponders are often used as e-mail marketing tools, to immediately provide information to their prospective customers and then follow-up with them at pre-set time intervals. Examples of autoresponders include Aweber, Feedblitz, and Getresponse

RSS feed
Stands for Really Simple Syndication. RSS makes it possible for people to keep up with their favourite web sites in an automated manner rather than checking them manually. Blog posts can be sent to a subscribers e-mail box when a blog is updated. Most blog providers and autoresponders offer RSS feed to subscribers.

Contact management system
IContact and ConstantContact are two popular examples of autoresponder sites that also provide contact management. A contact management system will track what you send to who when, allow you to program campaigns, and provide opt-in subscription services. Send Out Cards is a unique contact management system that gives you the ability to send cards, postcards and giftcards via snail mail.

Social Networking sites
Coaches have begun using social networking sites such as Myspace, Facebook and others to build their subscriber lists and promote their services

Teleconference
Coaches are making use of free conference calling services (i.e. FreeConferenceCall, Instantconference, Freeconference) to host teleconferences. One-session conferences are often used to promote new products or services. Multiple session teleconferences allow coaches to conduct trainings in a virtual environment and establish their expertise.

Webinar
A web-based seminar that accomplishes what a teleconference does with the added benefit of visual aids (i.e. PowerPoint presentations or video). (Xiosoft.com/instantteleseminar, WebEx, GoToWebinar) Many teleconference companies also offer webinar products.

Podcasting
An automated system that makes multimedia computer files (video, music, etc.) available through RSS or other feed mechanisms. Podcasts allow coaches to distribute something like a radio show, training materials, and other multimedia presentations. A blogcast is a blog combined with media files made available for download.

VoIP
Voice over Internet Protocol is the term used for using the Internet to provide telephone service. Vonage, AT&T, and other vendors promote this tool as a way to save cost on long distance and international calls. Skype is not exactly VoIP, but essentially accomplishes the same thing (OK… I admit it… I don’t really understand how Skype works!!)

As I said… this is just a start of a growing list described in non-techno language.
By Executive Coach Lisa Van Allen.

Lisa Van Allen, MS, PhD is a personal and executive coach with a background in clinical psychology and healthcare administration. In her forthcoming book, POWER-Filled Living, Lisa provides a process for finding and fulfilling life’s purpose. Excerpts of her book, POWER-Filled living can be found at www.vanallencoaching.com

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