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Starting a Successful Online Coaching Business: 7 Best Practices You Must Follow

Group coaching, Guides | April 29th, 2021

Starting a Successful Online Coaching Business: 7 Best Practices You Must Follow

Becoming a coach is one of the most rewarding careers today. Helping people overcome their challenges and seeing them succeed is an amazing feeling, especially when you can also create a lucrative business in one of the fastest-growing industries worldwide.

But while in-person coaching is still the go-to option for most, advances in technology allow creating an online coaching business that’s even more successful and rewarding.

But why should you consider an online coaching business instead of an in-person approach? And how to create a successful business coaching online, even if you don’t have any prior experience?

Let’s answer these and other important questions below.

Benefits of Online Coaching

Benefits of Online Coaching

There’s a reason why so many coaches eventually transition to coaching online. The possibilities for growing and scaling your business are virtually limitless, especially if you understand the best practices of the online coaching business model. 

Let’s explore some of the reasons why taking your coaching online makes so much sense.

Reach More People

Most coaches are in a constant struggle between trying to help more people and trying to provide enough attention to each individual they are working with. But when working in person, scheduling the meetings and traveling to different locations can eat up a lot of the time you have available.

Luckily, none of those issues exist when you have an online coaching business.

Instead of having to meet with each person individually, you can conduct sessions online. Whether it’s one-on-one coaching or groups, you can fit a lot more people into your coaching programs, which is not just great because you help more people but also as a boost to your business.

What’s more, taking your coaching into the digital world also removes all borders and allows you to work with anyone in the world. Instead of being limited to your city or region, you can help someone on the other side of the world, which is a great situation to be in as a coach.

Streamline Processes

Another considerable advantage of coaching online is the ability to incorporate the technology into your work processes. You can pre-record materials, provide additional resources, enhance the coaching experience using media, and automate various functions related to managing the people you coach.

The possibilities are virtually endless. There are even solutions like upcoach that are specially designed to run an entire coaching business in one place and provide the best possible experience to each client you take on.

You can build course programs, create immersive meeting agendas, track client progress, and take care of the whole technical part of running a coaching program, which will allow you to focus on what really matters: helping the people you work with.

Scale with Ease

We’ve already talked about the fact that you can help more people when you coach online. But that doesn’t even cover the sheer magnitude to which you can grow your business.

If you set up a group coaching program or a membership, you could work with hundreds or even thousands of people at once, providing your services at scale while still maintaining the quality of your coaching and ensuring that each person moves forward in their journey.

Without technology, you’d always be working against yourself and the time you have available. But once you go online and start building your content and systems in place, there’s no limit to how much your business could grow.

More Exposure

Billions of people browse the web every single day. Facebook alone has around 2.8 billion users. And for coaches, that means that an online presence can be a potent tool for growing their business.

And if your entire business is based on the web, you can leverage the exposure you get and immediately get people into your funnel, where you can nurture them and match them with the right coaching solutions in their situation.

Opting for a coach online requires a much smaller time commitment from prospective clients than if you would be working in person. And that’s possible without having to sacrifice the quality of the coaching itself.

Because of that, the value proposition of a comprehensive online coaching program is hard to say no to, as long as you get it in front of a person who you can help. Over time, the growing list of online clients will give you a lot of exposure and a reputation that will span across borders.

Creating an Online Coaching Business Model

Starting an online coaching business is great. But it can also be confusing. There are so many different business models you could go with, so which one should you choose in your situation?

Well, the good news is that even though there are many choices, you can usually narrow them down based on what you’re looking for right now and how you want to position your services.

Let’s go through some of the most common models below so that you know exactly how to start a coaching business from scratch.

One-on-One Coaching

One-on-One Coaching

The first option on this list is one-on-one coaching, which is the one that most coaches usually get started with. The great thing about private coaching is that you can give your undivided attention to each client. 

You can also use those individual sessions to refine your coaching, really get to know each client’s problems, and gain unique insights about how you can improve your coaching based on what your clients respond to best.

Group Coaching

Once you get your feet wet with private online coaching, you can start thinking about expanding into groups. Once you have a routine and a framework for helping clients, you can work with multiple people at once while still providing a lot of value and ensuring that the quality doesn’t suffer.

You can start with a relatively small group first and then grow to a virtually unlimited number of clients, as long as you have the right framework and set up accordingly.

There are three main group coaching frameworks you can choose from:

  • Cohort
  • Program
  • Membership

The cohort framework is the smallest, and it’s based on coaching a small group online with fixed start and end dates. You can stay involved with each member while still expanding and working with more clients.

The program model is the natural next step, allowing you to take in more people and shifting your coaching to more pre-recorded content your clients can go on their own. This is where having a centralized platform becomes really useful, as you can maintain a hands-on approach even when working with more people.

The final progression in your online coaching business is the membership model. It’s the one with the most potential, but it’s also the one that requires the most work to get to. To use it, you need to have a solid reputation that you can leverage to keep people coming back, even if most of the content is pre-recorded.

However, you should still have live sessions and take questions to maintain the coaching element in the membership, even if there are thousands of members.

Build a Successful Online Coaching Business

Anyone can start an online coaching business relatively quickly. But breaking into the market and becoming a prominent figure in your field is a different story. There are thousands of coaches offering services globally, so you need to treat your coaching career as a business if you want to have success.

Luckily, the most important aspects of online coaching can be broken down into actionable steps you can take to maximize your chances of success.

Let’s explore them below.

Establish Your Core Values and USP 

Coaching has a lot to do with ideas and values. People come to coaches not just for their expertise but also for their view on the world and the issues they can help solve.

That’s why the most successful coaches always have a well-defined and distinctive unique value proposition. They also make sure that their values align with those of their clients, as that helps ensure that they can form an actual connection and achieve results together.

Think about what unique experiences and knowledge you can bring to the table and make them the central figure in your marketing and communications.

Create an Online Coaching Roadmap

Create an Online Coaching Roadmap

All coaching relationships are a journey. When you work with a client, you are helping them achieve goals and move their life forward. Therefore it only makes sense that to avoid aimless wandering, you need to have a coaching roadmap that you can use when guiding your clients.

A roadmap in coaching is an integral tool that provides structure and clear steps that your clients will need to take. Although each client is unique, you should establish the common themes and patterns that you can then personalize for each person you take on.

Launch Your Coaching Website

If you want to run a successful online coaching business, you need a website. It will serve as the hub that contains all the information about your business, your goals, your successes, and the way to get coaching from you.

When creating a website, it’s important to look at it as an extension of your brand. Therefore, the style, the voice, and the points you emphasize should align with how you want to be perceived.

You can also use your website to publish relevant content that showcases your expertise and provides insights into your coaching methods.

Leverage Online Marketing

If you’re going to build an online coaching business model, you’ll need a way to get leads. Luckily, online marketing makes it easy to target the ideal people for your program and get in front of them with your offer.

One of the best ways to grow an audience is to create a presence on various social media platforms. Facebook is great because you can create a variety of content, but you may also find Instagram, Twitter, and even LinkedIn useful, depending on your niche.

As mentioned before, content marketing is also very powerful, especially if you combine blogging on your website and guest posting on prominent sites in your niche. 

Introduce Paid Products

Coaching online can be very lucrative, but there’s a limit to how many people you can work with at the same time. Therefore, start thinking about how you could productize your coaching services to increase the number of people you can work with.

For one thing, starting a membership community can be a great way to keep your coaching clients in one place, offering them a community they can share ideas with, as well as exclusive content that will help them move forward.

You can also create video lessons and worksheets that act as a replacement for live sessions. This way, you won’t have to be present in each coaching session and can share your knowledge with thousands of people at once.

Use Online Coaching Platforms

Coaching platforms can be hard to find. Not too long ago, coaches that wanted to operate online had to work with platforms designed for courses. And that made the programs feel stagnant and made it hard to track the clients’ progress.

Luckily, with the introduction of platforms like upcoach, you have everything you could need as a coach. You can create to-do’s, track & develop habits, create program templates, and schedule meetings, all in one place.

Platforms like upcoach enable you to focus all of your time on providing maximum value to your clients, automating or streamlining the technical parts of running an online coaching business while also creating a user-friendly learning environment for the people you work with.

Provide Excellent Customer Service

As a coach, you have to take good care of your reputation. Even a few bad experiences can create a ripple effect, making it much more difficult to attract clients and grow your business. Therefore, you should have a reliable process for handling customer issues and responding to questions.

The good news is that you don’t have to do it yourself. Today, you can use a customer support outsourcing service that can take over the entire process and provide 24/7 support to your clients.

Bottom Line

The technology available today allows almost anyone to start a coaching business online, and that comes with a range of powerful opportunities.

But if you want to attract clients and excel in your field, you need to rely on the best practices that have been proven to work by some of the most successful coaches today. Luckily, these steps can be used by anyone, no matter how much experience you might have.

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I’m CEO of UpCoach and a serial entrepreneur. I’m passionate about helping entrepreneurs and executives to find success and harmony in business and in life.