Are you someone who enjoys helping and mentoring people? If yes, why don’t you think of starting an online coaching business?
Yes, you read it right, coaching and that too online. Gone are days when coaching meant one-on-one sessions. While in-person coaching was already on a decline over the past few years, the ongoing pandemic further compounded it.
There’s never been a better time to become an online coach before. The use of audio-video platforms by coaches to coach their clients ranged from 74% (Asia) to 82% (Eastern Europe).
If you are considering becoming an online coach but are not sure where to get started, follow this step-by-step guide.
But before that, let’s have a look at who is an online coach and different types of coaching.
Who is an Online Coach?
As a coach, you guide clients towards their desired goals by giving their thoughts a direction through enthusiastic support and workable advice. In online coaching, you do it via audio-video platforms on the Internet.
As an online coach, you can expand your clientele all over the world, thanks to technology. With advancements in technology, especially online tools like Zoom, Skype, Google hangout, GoToMeeting, etc., more and more people are opting to run a home-based business.
Different Types of coaching
You can coach people almost in every walk of life, from managing finances to career counseling to health and fitness. If you have the required experience and the ability to help people overcome issues and achieve their goals in a particular field, you can be a successful coach.
Some of the most common and profitable coaching niches are listed below:
- Life Coaching
- Financial Coaching
- Career Coaching
- Wellness Coaching
- Business Coaching
Based on your interest and expertise, you can select any of the niches mentioned above for your coaching business.
Step 1: Define Your Mission
The first step towards starting an online coaching business is defining your mission. Write down your mission statement, and this will help you refine your business intentions. After creating your mission statement, you will have a clear understanding of where you want to take your coaching business.
When defining your mission, ask yourself the following questions:
- What are your core skills
- Which niche do you want to select for your coaching business
- What is your target monthly income
- How many hours do you want to work
- Where do you want to take your coaching business
Once you have answers to these questions, you will have a clear direction in which you want to steer your coaching business.
Step 2: Know who you want to coach
The next step is establishing your target audience. No matter which business you do, defining your target customer is the key to success. Ask yourself who will be interested in your coaching service.
As stated above, there are different types of coaching. Ask yourself which is your core skill? Which area is your strength? Are you good with life coaching, business advice, managing finances, or something else? Based on your core skill, select the niche.
Having selected the niche, now you are clear about the section of society you want to help. Next, sort your target audience based on basic demographics like gender, age, and income level.
This will help you define your ideal customer. To succeed as a coach, you must know your target market as well as your target client. Taking on a client that wasn’t a good match for your coaching service will result in unhappy, unsatisfied customers.
Try to identify key characteristics that make a person a good prospect for your coaching business.
Step 3: Consider Certification
If you want to hit the ground running, polish your core skill by getting a certification in your chosen coaching field. Becoming an expert is key to having a successful coaching business and a certification helps. While a certificate is not a prerequisite for becoming an online coach, it will help refresh your knowledge and expertise.
Once you get certified, you will be able to:
- Provide better coaching: A certification in your field will give you an updated view of the current trends prevailing in the field. Further, it will help refine your understanding of what your prospective clients will need help with. Thus you will be able to coach your clients in a better way.
- Attract more clients: In addition, certification serves as proof that you’re an expert in that field. While you will still hunt and convince the target audience that you can coach, a certificate will validate your knowledge.
Thus, certification increases your credibility and helps convince your target clients that you could be the right coach for them.
Step 4: Build a coaching website
Online presence makes a difference! In this era of technology, online marketing is the most effective tool to reach prospective clients and customers. Create an engaging website that describes your experience and credentials.
The website will help you describe your expertise and serve as a core part of your service delivery. It will serve as a portal for the coaching content that your clients will need access to.
You can share the schedule of your video conference sessions on the website, making it easier for your clients to remember key dates. It can also serve as a communication channel between you and your clients.
Step 5: Create a differentiated offer
To be a successful coach in your selected field, you must stand out, especially in the initial stages. This is particularly important if you have chosen a fast-growing industry, like life coaching.
Globally, the number of life coaches went up by 33% from 2015 to 2019, according to International Coaching Foundation’s Global Coaching Study 2020.
Wondering how you can stand out?
- By offering attractive programs and packages
- By delivering results that matter to your prospective clients
You can achieve this by developing an offer that is not only affordable but also solves at least five pain points of the people you serve.
For example, setting dull long presentations or webinars for someone in grief recovering from a loss might not suit them.
So, create a differentiated offer keeping in mind who you are serving. Speak to people’s emotions and show them you understand their issues and care for them.
Step 6: Market Your Coaching Service
To attract clients to your coaching business, market your business on multiple marketing channels.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can play an essential role in helping you reach your target audience. Research hashtags your prospects are using and utilize them in your posts and offers.
You can also benefit from pay-per-click ads. Additionally, you can take advantage of email marketing.
Use these marketing channels to describe your experience and credentials accurately and highlight your offers. However, do not brag about your credentials or services.
Step 7: Get help
Last but not least, never hesitate to get help!
No matter how skilled you are in your field, there might come the point where complexities will take hold of your online coaching. This is because you are limited as a human being.
Stay positive and do not hesitate to seek help, thinking, “I am the coach.” Seeking a mentor’s guidance is crucial if you wish to thrive as a coach. Even the greatest of leaders and mentors have mentors, and so should you.
At this stage, your role should shift away from a coach and into a fervent learner.
If you have the expertise and enjoy helping others, online coaching can be a rewarding and satisfying career. I hope this step-by-step guide will help ease your entry into the world of online coaching. Take the outlined steps, and start your online coaching business in no time!
Sai is known as the “Coaches Mentor”. He is a multiple-time #1 bestselling author and regularly writes for Forbes. Over time he has gathered a pretty big following in the personal development space – close to 6 million followers on Facebook, co-owning the 3rd largest business meetup group and managing LinkedIn pages with over 200,000 members consisting of coaches, authors and speakers.