Sorry for the long hiatus. I don’t know how many of you follow me on social media, but I just got back from a two week trip driving across the country.
So it has been quite the adventure. But today, I’ll save that for another episode, but today I want to talk about, it actually came up on social media. Someone was talking about giving Voxer access as a coaching consultant and what to look out for, and what are the upsides and downsides. So today I want to talk about high touch coaching, especially using apps like Voxer, so let’s dive in.
So many of you know that I run a mastermind, it began in 2017, it’s not 2020 so we’re heading into year 4, and it has about 100 members. And every single member in that group gets Voxer access to me. I originally learned this from Russell Brunson. He had an inner circle and offered Voxer access. And for those of you who don’t know what Voxer is, it’s really just a voice to voice app, people hit a button, they talk for everywhere from 30 seconds to 10 minutes, and you listen and then respond. You can also do text or video as well.
So what are the upsides and the downsides to offering Voxer to clients and/or students? So the upside is pretty obvious, everyone in the mastermind I get to know incredibly well, they have 12 months of access to me. And I would say on average most members will vox me at least once a week, and then you will have a small number of people who really don’t use Voxer very much. And then a small number of people who that use Voxer almost every single day. So the upside is you get to know your client or student extremely well. There is nothing quite like voice to voice, and you can essentially have a 12 month conversation.
So for some of these people, I have been voxing with them now, coming up on 3 years. So my ability to coach and understand where they’re at in their business, give them feedback, understand their personality, is very good at this point. So that’s a relationship that takes time to develop, so that is the most obvious upside.
The second upside for Voxer access is that in a traditional coaching relationship, most of the time it’s 60 minute Zoom calls once a week. And I know for me when I was doing one on one coaching in that regard, it never failed that like 20 minutes after we got off the Zoom call, shit would go sideways in their business. And then they’d have to wait an entire week before they could talk to me again. So it doesn’t really work. Imagine if you were married or a business partner, you could only talk to them in one 60 minute block per week, it’s just a lot of stuff that happens. So the second upside is that you’re in real time with your client or customer.
Now let’s talk about the downsides, and these are all can be mitigated, but you really need to understand the downsides before you just offer Voxer access. Number one is that there is scope creep, right. And what I mean by that is just that people have different ideas about how they can use Voxer access. Maybe it’s 15 minute long Voxers, 3 of them a day. And now you’re listening to 45 minutes of messages, which is actually quite hard to do. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to listen to 45 minutes of a monologue, but it’s hard. So you have that issue.
The second issue is that because it’s voice to voice, sometimes people can ramble, because they don’t really know what their question is, because they don’t have to type it out, it can kind of meander along for a while, and then you get through a 5 minute message, and you realize that it was one question that they could have written and you could have answered in about 10 seconds. So that’s the second thing.
The third thing is that you could be on Voxer all hours of the day and night because the little orange dot appears that shows you that you have a new message, and then you answer it, you clear all your messages, and that really just triggers a response, because it’s a conversation. So it can feel like an unending checklist that never finishes.
So the threat for burnout with Voxer access is very real if you go into it not really understanding how Voxer works, how humans work, and your own bandwidth. So a lot of people will not do Voxer access to themselves because they can’t figure out how to manage it.
So now, saying all of that I’m going to tell you with 100 people having Voxer access to me, I have learned how to use and leverage Voxer without it swallowing me, because if I were going to get burned out, I’m now in year 3, it probably would have happened by now.
So a couple of things, number one, it is your responsibility as the coach, the provider, the consultant, to learn how to manage your own addictive behaviors. So I have no Voxer notifications turned on my phone. It never ever beeps, or dings, or rings. So that is the first thing. So I had to create a system for myself, and my system has adapted over the years. And if you have just a small number of people who have Voxer access to you, your system can be very simple. You decide what time of day you’re going to check it. So morning, afternoon, evening, when you go into Voxer you want to start from the bottom up, because those are the oldest ones, and don’t click on a message until you’re ready to read, listen, and respond. You just leave that orange dot there.
This has worked for me for the first year and a half, two years without any issue. The second thing you want to do, is if you have people who are giving you access to links, documents, things that you have to look at, my recommendation is that you forward those to a VA or an EA or you can just forward them to your own self. And look at things all at once, because it’s very easy to go down a rabbit hole. So when I’m answering all the Voxers that are just off the cuff answering from my brain and expertise, and then I go back and once a week I look at things. So whether they’re document links, you know profit and loss statements, funnels, ads, etc, I will open up all of those. So I forward them to my executive assistant who knows, “This is a link, this is something Julie has to actually look at, so put it on her calendar, put it on her board to look at on Mondays.”
So that helps because some people will give you things to look at. The third thing you can do is encourage people to give you texts. So if something needs to be spoken, that’s fine, but explain to them that text messages are going to get a faster response because you can read quickly, usually there’s less information, and it’s easier to respond. So some people just use it as a texting app knowing that they’re more likely to get a quick response because I can comprehend what’s happening faster.
Now when it comes to Voxer access, you also want to make it very clear at the beginning what they should vox you about or for. So in my mastermind I have several coaches that field questions that are better suited to send to them than to me. And the most important thing I can say is as you’re learning how to do this with your customers or clients, or let’s say you’ve given out Voxer access and now you want to bring on another coach, the best thing I can say is that are you’re kind of explaining to people what kind of questions, you can just forward your Voxers to the person it’s supposed to be to, and then just tell them, “Hey I forwarded this to so and so, you really should ask them this question because they’re going to be able to answer it better.
So you can kind of train people to say like, “This is the person you want to go to for this and that.” So the forward feature on Voxer makes it very easy. A lot of people want to know, how much time does it take to answer Voxers, and that really depends on how your customers or clients are using Voxer.
So I have the entire range from quick questions all the way to 5, 6 minute Voxers that are kind of brainstorm-esque. So it can me anywhere from an hour, up to 4 hours a day to answer Voxers with 100 people. So you can go ahead and do the math. With 50 people it’s about 2 hours, anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours. With 25 people it would probably be just a few minutes to an hour. I have a pretty high touch relationship with my clients, so I encourage them to vox me, I encourage them to share what’s going on in their world. So if you are wanting to be more boundaried about it, you can make it very clear what kind of questions.
And you don’t have to give unlimited Voxer access, you can give, you know, you can basically what you want to do is explain what you’re going to do. It never works as well if you say, “You can send me 10 Voxers a week.” Or “you can vox me once a week.” It’s more “You check your Voxers when…” So my rule of thumb is that I check my Voxers every single business day. I do not check on weekends unless I you know, want to. But I’m not required to. I don’t check my Voxers on holidays. And then during the year, if I take a vacation, I’ll let people know, “Hey, I’m going on a Disney Vacation. I’ll be off the grid for 5 or 6 days.”
So otherwise I’m answering Monday through Friday. As the group has gotten bigger, as I’ve gotten better, I have modified my system a bit, just because the number of people that I support. And what I have started doing, especially because some of my Voxers are not quick answers, they’re big decisions, they’re hard decisions, there’s no wrong answers, so some of those take time for me to think about.
So what I’ve started doing is, listening and quickly taking shorthand notes on all the Voxers, I use just Trello, I take all the notes and in my brain, I’m just in listening mode taking notes. And then I kind of have an idea of what’s behind the message. I mean, you never quite know when you see a 5 minute message if it’s an update or if it’s a big problem, so this kind of gives me a sense of like, “Okay, what’s going on.” And then later on, I go back and I read the notes, and then I respond. This has worked really well for me for longer messages, because it’s really hard for me to retain, you know, 2, 3, 4 questions in a 5 minute message that happened in the first 30 seconds. I’m always answering the last one and then I’m forgetting.
The other thing is that when you’re listening to messages the orange dot disappears and now you can’t quite remember who you responded to. So with this system I’m actually listening, taking shorthand notes, so that I have those notes to refer back to, which is really helpful, and then answering later. And then, that way my primary mode of learning, which is reading, allows me to read and absorb much more quickly, and it allows me to process, and be able to answer better and more clearly, and more comprehensively.
So once you get up there in numbers, that may be beneficial. You can also have a transcriber, or a note taker do that for you. Where you run through your Voxers, answer the short visually reading Voxers, and you know, any that are longer, 2 minutes or higher, you have short hand notes taken on them, and then you go through them. That might help. It’s also nice because it kind of keeps a trail, so that you have remembrance of what you’re talking about. Because sometimes it can get a little bit like, “Wait, what were we talking about?”
So I am a big proponent of Voxer access if you’re looking to really expand your coaching ability and get to know your customers and clients. I am a big not advocate of Voxer if you’re doing as part of a value stack to make it seem more valuable. Because you will burnout and you will not like it. I know people who have offered Voxer access and had, you know, 10 people have access to them and then feel like, “Oh my gosh, I regret this.” And you know, one of the key features here is I do all my own sales calls for my mastermind, so I don’t have a sales person selling people into my program, who then I have to work with for 12 months. Because I just would rather know who I’m going to be connecting with for 12 months.
So just keep in mind all of those things when offering Voxer access, and you know if you have a customer base that’s a beginner, or you know that there’s going to be a lot of questions, one of the things that really helps mitigate that is content. So I have a ton of content that I can direct my clients to so I don’t have to keep repeating myself over and over again. And I actually have in my Apple notes, I have several responses of like, “Hey, I think this is the best piece of content for you to look at. Do this first, do that second.” Because a lot of people have the same question, so if they’re asking me, “How do I do the thousand dollar Facebook ad strategy?” I can go into my Apple notes, find the response that I have that was about the thousand dollar Facebook ad strategy, copy it, and paste it in Voxer. You could also easily do that on your desktop, there’s all kinds of shorthand, for the Mac I think it’s Alfred. You can create shorthand responses, you can answer Voxers right on desktops, you get a lot of the same questions, you can just direct them to the content that they need.
So I hope that’s helpful, I hope that gives you sort of an overview of how to use Voxer, why it’s good, things to look out for when you’re serving coaches, I mean when you’re serving clients as a coach. Appreciate you all, talk to you soon.