Kajabi — Podcasts and Coaching

In the previous chapter, we met Kajabi’s core product types, those you can create via the built-in blueprints like “Online Course” and “Membership”.

However, we’re not finished with products just yet. Two recent additions to the Kajabi product line-up are Podcasts and Coaching, and these earn their own chapter for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, due to their nature, I feel it’s a stretch to treat them as regular products (even though both are located under the “Products” tab). And secondly, I believe they are distinct enough to deserve more than a passing mention.

So let’s jump in, starting with Podcasts.

Podcasts

You’d have to have been living on another planet to miss the rise in popularity of podcasts over the last decade or so.

And with a recent update, Kajabi now allows its users to become podcast publishers.

That makes sense because podcasting is a great way for entrepreneurs and other business owners to raise awareness of their brand and its products and services.

Why Host Your Podcast on Kajabi?

These days you have many podcasting platforms to choose from, both free and paid.

So if you already have a podcast, or plan to launch one, why might you opt for Kajabi?

Well, you can boil it down to three basic reasons:

  1. Cost – if Kajabi’s other features have already tempted you onto the platform you’re effectively getting a solid podcasting solution for free; while it’s not as fully featured as some paid solutions, it also lacks the hosting limits often imposed by free options.
  2. Simplicity – Kajabi is great at giving you the 80% of features you need without the 20% that can make things too complicated; the Podcast product gives you what you need to host a professional podcast without getting bogged down in technical detail.
  3. Monetization – since Podcasts are products within Kajabi, you can charge for them like any other product, which gives you the option of monetising your audio content and opening up a new revenue stream for your business.

Sounds interesting? Let’s dig into it some more.

Creating a Podcast

Setting up a new podcast in Kajabi is fairly straightforward. Here are the most important settings you’ll need to configure:

  • Public or Private – will your podcast be publicly available (and therefore free) or will you make it private and put it behind a paywall?
  • Title – what title will you display on the podcast’s product page and in any directories it appears in?
  • Description – how will you describe the podcast and tempt people to subscribe?
  • Thumbnail – what’s the cover image (or artwork) you’ll use to give your podcast a distinctive brand?
  • Category – which podcasting categories (up to three) will you use to classify your podcast?

Remember to think carefully about your podcast’s title, description and thumbnail since these will help “sell” your podcast format to new listeners.

Note: When you create a new podcast within Kajabi it counts against your account’s product quota (worth knowing since cheaper plans have a more limited quota.)

Creating Your Episodes

A podcast is nothing without its episodes. Here are the options you’ll need to provide when creating a new episode:

  • Title – the title for this specific episode of your podcast;
  • Type – the type (episode, bonus or feature);
  • Audio – the audio file (MP3 format) for the episode itself;
  • Show notes – a description of the episode that’ll encourage people to listen;
  • Explicit – whether or not the episode contains explicit content

Once created you can upload an optional transcript and then schedule the episode to be published and distributed.

Note: Podcast episodes can also be split into separate “seasons”, which gives you the option to organise them by season on your podcast’s product page.

Podcast Product Page

Every podcast within Kajabi, whether public or private, has its own product page, which is effectively the home page for the podcast on your site.

This is where you’ll send people whenever you tell them: “Hey, you should go and check out my podcast!”

The product page shows the podcast thumbnail together with its title, description and RSS link, and underneath is the list of episodes.

Visitors can listen to episodes directly from the page or grab the RSS link and paste it into their favourite podcast app.

Note: You have very little control over the design and layout of this product page. You can specify a primary colour and a secondary “accent” colour but that’s all.

Importing

If you already have a podcast and want to move it over to Kajabi, you can use the “Import a Podcast” feature.

The process is fairly simple and starts with you entering the current RSS feed URL for your podcast and clicking Import.

Kajabi will pull some basic information across from the URL and show you the artwork, episodes and a few other details, just so you can confirm it’s the right one.

Clicking “Import Podcast” will then transfer the rest of the data (including your episode audios) and recreate your podcast in your Kajabi account.

Distribution

One of the useful things that podcasting platforms can handle for you is making sure that new episodes are available on all the major podcasting directories.

That means each time you publish a new episode, the relevant information is sent to those directories automatically, without you lifting a finger. This is important because directories are one of the main ways new people can discover your work.

There are dozens of directories out there, and as you’d imagine some are more popular than others.

Kajabi limits itself to three of the biggest directories – Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify. These alone should give you good coverage since they are the dominant players and smaller directories pull data from them anyway.

First though, you’ll need to create accounts on those three services and then complete some configuration on both sides.

Analytics

Each podcast hosted on Kajabi has a separate page displaying various statistics to help you understand its performance.

At the top of the page, a chart shows total downloads by day, week, month or year. You can also narrow the view to a specific period like “Last 7 Days” or “Last 30 Days”.

In addition, you can find data for:

  • Top 10 episodes (by number of downloads);
  • Apps, Devices, Operating Systems – what podcast apps, electronic devices and operating systems your listeners are using;
  • Top Countries – the countries where most downloads are coming from.

Finally, links to the major podcast providers make it easy to log in and get stats from those too.

Limitations

Podcasting is a nice feature but its addition effectively pitches Kajabi against more established podcasting platforms. So where are the inevitable gaps?

Inflexible Podcast URL

Podcasts hosted on Kajabi are given a URL that follows this format:

https://yourdomain.com/podcasts/podcastname

The podcastname part is generated from the title, so “My Awesome Podcast” becomes “my-awesome-podcast”.

This approach should be fine for most people, but if you want your podcast to have its own domain, or do something different with the URL, you’re stuck.

No Integration with Websites or Landing Pages

In the future, I’m sure Kajabi will expand its selection of page builder sections to make it easy to add podcast-related content to your website and landing pages.

It would be great, for instance, to automatically include the latest episode of your podcast on your website’s home page.

Unfortunately, this isn’t possible at the moment so you’ll need to be content with including a more generic link to your main podcast page.

“Private” Podcast Episodes are Not Truly Private

So that subscribers to a paid podcast can listen via their favourite podcast app (instead of logging into Kajabi) they’re given a “secret” URL to use.

However, anyone who has that link can do the same thing, meaning that paying subscribers could share the link with their (non-paying) friends.

Probably not a big deal in practice, but worth knowing.

Coaching

Kajabi is popular with coaches who sell digital products like courses and memberships in addition to their regular coaching services.

However, for coaches who are a little earlier in their journeys and want to sell products at some point but aren’t there yet, it’s not an obvious choice.

Since coaches are one of Kajabi’s main target groups it makes perfect sense for the company to try to make the platform more coach-friendly.

Enter the Coaching product.

What Does Kajabi’s Coaching Product Offer?

Essentially the Coaching product lets you offer your coaching services, both individual sessions and multi-session packages, as Kajabi products.

In addition to making it easy to sell your coaching services online, the platform also provides support for scheduling and managing your individual sessions.

Example

Let’s say you offer a $1,000 coaching package that includes 12 weekly sessions. You run the sessions over Zoom, usually covering the same specific topics in each session and providing a few helpful resources for your clients to refer to.

Using Kajabi’s Coaching feature you could define a 12-session package as a coaching product, create a simple offer with a $1,000 price tag and make it available to buy via a sales page.

After purchase, clients are set up with an account on your Kajabi site and can log in to access everything they need.

Benefits for Clients

The benefits for clients of using this approach include:

  • Easy to sign up – packaging coaching as a digital product makes it easy for clients to understand what’s included and makes payment convenient.
  • Manage sessions online – a simple dashboard shows clients the sessions they’ve paid for and which have been completed or still need scheduling.
  • Everything in one place – all of the information and resources clients need to get the most out of each session is available via their Kajabi account.

Naturally, there are benefits for the coach too.

Benefits for Coaches

The benefits for you as a coach of using this approach include:

  • Boost your credibility – providing clients with a modern and functional “portal” for managing their coaching relationship with you makes you look more professional.
  • Streamline your processes – you can minimise the manual “admin” required to sign up and onboard new clients, and schedule and manage their sessions.
  • Upsell other products – once clients are using your Kajabi site, you can make them aware of other products and services that you offer and upsell them.

Having looked at the benefits on both sides, let’s talk about the features Kajabi provides within the product.

Session Templates

Whether you offer one-off sessions or complete coaching packages the concept of a session is central.

When you create a new coaching product you can structure each session within it according to your specific needs.

The options are as follows:

  1. Title – this is the title that clients see inside the product; it could be as simple as “Session 1” or something more descriptive like “Setting Your Goals”.
  2. Agenda – this is a simple checklist of agenda items that clients can see in advance so they know what you intend to cover in the session.
  3. Resources – this is a collection of relevant resources (images, audio, video or PDFs) that clients can refer to before, during or after the session.

Note: As you’ll see shortly, the structure you define when creating a product is just a template for the client sessions – you can edit it for individual clients.

Once a coaching product is live and clients are enrolled, both coach and client have a few additional options for each session:

  • The coach can make changes to the title, agenda and resources for any session to tailor it to the needs of individual clients.
  • The coach can mark any of the agenda items as complete and those updates are visible to the client.
  • The coach and the client can both add private notes for each session to refer to later as necessary.

Scheduling Options

Once signed up, clients can schedule future sessions within their coaching dashboard, which is one of the big advantages of using Kajabi to manage your coaching offers.

However, Kajabi doesn’t handle the nuts and bolts of the scheduling itself. Instead, it defers that responsibility to a dedicated scheduling tool like Calendly or Acuity Scheduling.

(Of course, this means that you may need another paid software subscription besides Kajabi.)

In practice, the “seamlessness” of the client experience depends on the option that you choose and how you integrate it with Kajabi.

The three available options are:

  • Connection – this is where the scheduling tool is directly connected to Kajabi so that the two platforms can “talk” to each other behind the scenes.
  • External link – this is where clients are directed to a fixed external page to schedule their session outside of Kajabi.
  • Manual – this is where the booking is carried out manually, for example by the coach emailing or phoning the client to arrange a convenient date and time.

Connection is the slickest option because the scheduled time and date of a newly booked session are immediately reflected inside the Kajabi interface. With the other options, the client only sees the date and time of their session once the coach has updated it within Kajabi.

Upsells

In the previous chapter, you learnt about the concept of an “upsell” – an extra offer designed to increase the value of a customer’s order.

A similar concept within the Coaching product allows you to use an existing coaching-based offer as an upsell for any new coaching product you create.

This could be useful for, for example, creating a free one-off “taster” session for potential clients and then adding a paid multi-session package as an upsell.

Once the scheduled session has been completed, a call-to-action button appears at the top of the page inviting them to check out the upsell offer.

Limitations

Coaching is an exciting product option within Kajabi, but it’s a relatively new addition and so you’d expect it to have some shortcomings. Let’s see what they are.

Limited Design Options

Unlike Kajabi’s core products, which offer multiple design themes and options, the Coaching product offers little control over the design and layout.

As with Podcasts, you can specify a primary colour and an accent colour but otherwise you’ll need to be content with the default design.

Limited Integration Options

Currently, the only scheduling tool that Kajabi connects with directly is Calendly.

Calendly is a popular tool, but some people will already be using another option, like Acuity Scheduling.

You can use other tools via an external link but the client experience isn’t as smooth.

Limited Upsell Options

Currently, you can only upsell clients to offers that have a coaching component, which seems unnecessarily restrictive.

I can see a scenario where you’d like to offer a standalone product like an online course as a coaching upsell, but that’s not possible at the moment.

No Automations

Unlike products based on Kajabi’s core blueprints (e.g., Online Course) the Coaching product does not currently support automations.

So while it might be nice, for example, to automatically email your clients a feedback survey once they’ve completed the final session in a coaching package, that’s not possible right now.

No Easy Way to Share Document Links

When working with coaching clients it can be useful to collaborate via shared documents stored in the cloud.

However, Kajabi doesn’t offer a simple way to share custom links, for instance to a Google Doc, with specific clients.

Of course, nothing prevents you from doing that outside of Kajabi, but being able to do it within the Coaching product would be slicker.