As a coach, there’s no way to get around using a virtual meeting platform.
It’s no secret that the business world is moving more online daily. As a result, a lot of work that used to be done in person can now be done remotely with the help of technology.
One area where this is particularly true is coaching. Coaching can be done remotely with great results as long as you have the right tools.
So, how do you choose the best virtual meeting platform for your coaching sessions?
In this article, we’ll dive into what you should be looking for in a virtual meeting platform and what I consider the best option in the market.
What is a virtual meeting platform, and why do you need one for coaching sessions?
A virtual meeting platform is a software application that allows you to hold meetings and events online. There are many different types of virtual meeting platforms, each with its own features.
You need a virtual meeting platform for coaching sessions because it allows you to meet with your clients remotely. This can be very beneficial if you have clients located in different parts of the world or want to save on travel time or costs.
Additionally, a virtual meeting platform allows you to record your sessions, which can be very helpful for you and your clients. For example, recording coaching sessions can let you go back and review what was discussed and give your clients the ability to reference the session later on.
What are the essential features to look for in a virtual meeting platform?
The most important features to look for in a virtual meeting platform will vary depending on your specific needs. However, a few key elements are essential for all coaching sessions.
Easy to use
The last thing you want is for your clients to struggle with the technology during your sessions. So the chat, screen-sharing, and other buttons should be visible and easy to find, and the platform should be intuitive.
Reliability is crucial. You need to be able to count on your virtual meeting platform to work when you need it to. Nothing is worse than technical difficulties during a coaching session. Since coaching sessions are often time-sensitive, it’s crucial to choose a reliable platform that won’t crash in the middle of a session. Look for a platform with good reviews and a stable history.
A waiting room feature can be beneficial. This allows you to control when clients join your session, which can be helpful if you’re running late or need to take a break between sessions. It can also ensure that your clients don’t come online without you noticing and catch you doing something you wouldn’t necessarily want them to see.
A 1-click connection means your clients can join your session with just one click, without downloading any software. This is very convenient and will save your clients a lot of time and potential frustration.
Screen sharing is a must for coaching sessions. Your virtual meeting software should be able to share only the portions of your screens or tabs that you wish so that you don’t transmit sensitive information by mistake to the wrong person.
You’ll surely want to record your sessions so that both you and your clients can go back and reference them later on. Ideally, you should be able to save recordings directly to your computer or a cloud storage service so that you can easily share the recording link.
Working from home has become the new norm, but that doesn’t mean everyone is comfortable sharing their personal space. Therefore, selecting a platform that allows participants to use a virtual background or blur their video if needed is important.
Compatible with booking software
You’ll want to automate as much of your meeting process as possible. For example, your virtual meeting software should fully integrate with standard booking software like Calendly so that you don’t need to create a meeting every single time manually.
Four virtual meeting platforms to consider for your coaching business
Google Meet is a video conferencing software that is free to use for anyone with a Google account, free or paid.
Google Meet is free to use with meetings of up to 1 hour and with up to 100 participants. So, it’s perfect for a 1:1 coaching session. However, accessing advanced features like saving recordings to the Google cloud or noise cancellation will require signing up for a Google Workspace account at $12/user/month.
Connecting to a meeting
To join a Google Meet, participants can either click on a link sent to them by the meeting organizer or visit meet.google.com and enter the code for the meeting. Google Meet works on any device with a webcam, including computers, smartphones, and tablets. However, the participant must download the Google Meet app when accessing a meeting from a smartphone.
- Basic features are free to use for anyone with a Google account.
- It can be accessed from any device with a webcam.
- Integrates with Gmail, Calendar, and other Google tools.
- When using the free version of Google Meet, all participants must sign into their Google accounts, which is an additional step for participants and frustrating if they don’t have a Google account.
- Only one screen can be shared at a time.
- There’s no waiting room for individuals.
Zoom is a popular video conferencing software used by businesses and individuals.
Zoom offers a free plan that allows one-to-one and group meetings for up to 40 minutes. The next tier up, Pro, costs $140/user/year and removes the time limit for all sessions. It also gives users 5 GB of cloud recording storage and automated captions.
Connecting to a meeting
Joining a Zoom meeting is very simple– participants just need to click on the link sent to them by the meeting organizer. They can also join a meeting by entering the meeting ID.
- You can use Zoom to stream live videos to social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Linkedin.
- It’s great for large audiences, so you could use it for running group coaching calls, workshops, or live challenges.
- There is a waiting room so you can easily control who enters your meetings and when.
- You have a personal meeting room link, so you can send that easily to clients and partners when you want to quickly hop onto Zoom without creating a formal meeting in the system.
- The 40-minute limit for free accounts isn’t very generous. But the annual fee to remove this limit is reasonable.
Microsoft Teams is a video conferencing software included with Microsoft Office 365 subscriptions. It’s a popular choice for businesses already using other Microsoft products.
Microsoft Teams is free to use with a Microsoft Office 365 subscription. If you don’t have an Office 365 subscription, you can sign up for the free version of Microsoft Teams, which gives you access to the basic features.
Signing up for one of their paid plans gives you access to features like recordings and more cloud storage.
Connecting to a meeting
To join a Microsoft Teams meeting, participants need to click on the link sent to them by the meeting organizer. They can also join a meeting by entering the meeting ID. However, they
- Can be used on any device, including smartphones.
- If you have clients that work for larger companies, there’s a great chance that they’ll be comfortable using this software.
- Integrates easily with booking software like Calendly.
- Includes tools like a calendar, file storage, and collaboration spaces.
- Unnecessary options for coaches who need just the videoconferencing function.
- Could have connection issues on basic devices without a lot of power.
Whereby is a browser-based meeting platform which requires no downloads or registrations by participants. It also allows you to add video chat directly onto your website by embedding some basic code.
The free version of Whereby is perfect if you need just 1 room URL for one-on-one meetings.
Otherwise, for pro features, including unlimited recording and custom branding, you’re looking at anywhere between $7-$10 per month.
Connecting to a meeting
Participants can easily hop into a call by simply clicking on a link.
- Extremely easy to use and access.
- The branding is customizable in the paid plans.
- Don’t have to download any apps to access it on a mobile phone.
- There is no auto-recording feature.
- It takes a lot of bandwidth which could lead to lagging.
My preferred virtual meeting platform
Zoom is my top pick for the best virtual meeting platform for coaching sessions because it is easy to use, reliable, and has excellent features that will make your coaching sessions run smoothly.
Some of the great features that Zoom offers include screen sharing, video conferencing, and recording capabilities.
- The audio and video are in HD.
- There are tons of collaboration tools.
- You can auto-record your meetings.
- You can integrate easily with Calendly, Zapier, most CRMs, and email automation software.
- You can use slides as your virtual background, add some filters, and manage lighting to make you camera-ready.
There are a lot of great virtual meeting platforms out there, but Zoom is my top pick for coaching sessions. It’s easy to use and has all the necessary features to make your coaching sessions run smoothly. At $140 per year, it’s one of those decisions that you can make with confidence and just move on.