How to Create Tools and Materials For Use With Your Clients

A wonderful student posed this question in class a few days ago: “How do coaches come up with all the tools for use with their clients?”

After some thought I decided it would be helpful if I walked them through the process of creating the materials. I am sure there are other methods but this is the one I use.

Materials, tools, resources- whatever you call them- are great to give to clients as homework as they require conscious, reflective thought and life analyzing. This is an important step in the life change process.

And of course you are welcome to use tools I created to help your clients (there are tons of them on this site.) And if you are a trainer you can even add your name and contact information to them.

Creating materials, tools and resources is my art. And where do I receive ideas and inspiration from? From the power inside myself, which is inside all of us. This may sound “fluffy” but I assure you it is the truth.

I feel I am blessed with ideas and my best ideas come when my mind is empty and at peace.

When and where do you feel most creative?

On a more practical note, a 10 step resource-creating process is listed below.

1. Look to your own life for inspiration. What lessons have helped you in your life? What is the best advice you have to give? What are some things you’ve learned? (Just give credit to the source and you should be okay to use it.) What tools would you find helpful if you were your client? What are some positive steps you have taken in your life?

2. identify the purpose of the resource. Perhaps it will be easier to understand the process if I walk you through using an example. How about we take your client’s life, and…hmmmm…and stress. Yes that will work.

3. Open up your Word program.

4. Choose a title. Let it state what the tool is about and keep it in plain, simple terms so everyone can understand it.

When Life Gets Me Down: Coping With Stress

5. Decide on some helpful questions. Remember, coaching is all about questions. List some questions would you ask your clients on this topic. What questions would you find helpful if you had a stressful life? How do you cope with stress? Are there any preventative things we could do to minimize the need for coping?

6. Add color and graphics. Your clients pay top dollar to work with you, make sure the tools reflect that. Graphics and bright colors are recommended. Here is also where and why you should invest in a simple logo program. This will allow you to easily use graphics and colors to make your points more clear and your materials more presentable.

So far we have this:

this

7. Okay, now as this is a basic lesson on resources I think this is good so far (and you can stop if you like) but maybe we should add what I call a “common sense chart”.

A “common sense chart” is a chart or graphic that illustrates common sense. With the crazy lives people live today sometimes the simplest things are overlooked and at times they need to be reminded of “common sense”.

1. Use your logo or drawing program to create the graph.
2. Save or export it as a .jpg. (Remember where you save it!)
3. Then return to your Word program document.
4. Select “Insert Picture” and import the graph to your Word program.

Below is a tiny version of my common sense chart.

chart

8. Add the finishing touches to the Word document. This includes using the footer to your business name and contact information. Do not forget your website!

9. “PDF” the document. This is so everyone can access it, no matter what type of computer operating system they have.

There are a few ways to PDF documents:

In the Word program, under “File” you can select “Export” and choose the PDF selection.

Alternately you can go to www.pdf24.org and download the software (this is what I use) and when it is installed, select “Print” and choose the “PDF24″ option. From there just save it. Or you can PDF the document right from their site (easier for beginners.)

If you would like to password protect your tools (so only people with a password can open them) use this software.

My final product? Click below.

Coping With Stress

10. Post online, distribute in seminars or save to email to clients when it would be found useful.

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