Online coaching may not necessarily be a new concept, but we can’t deny that it has become popular over the past few years.

Maybe it’s because the market for online coaches has continued to grow since COVID-19 forced us all indoors, leaving the public with little to no choice but to reflect on our own personal and professional development, or maybe it’s the massive earning potential in it and possibilities when it comes to building a business online selling services or digital products from virtually anywhere. There are lots of benefits to the business model!

Either way, more people are demanding personal coaching services, making coaching one of the most marketable skills online.

Beyond the earning potential, every good coach finds satisfaction in helping people become better in what they do. But how exactly do you kick off the journey to becoming a successful online coach? How do you find the right clients?

We will discuss the answers to these questions and more in this piece.

What is Online Coaching?

Online coaching is what it sounds like: professional coaches connecting and offering coaching services to clients online. As an online coach, you will not need to physically sit down with a client to offer your coaching services. Instead, you’ll communicate with the client via a video call or any other digital medium in order to work together.

As expected, this coaching model has many benefits, but the one that stands out most to many is its flexibility. Online coaching works for virtually everyone since it doesn’t need a physical meet-up to thrive.

So whether you have a full-time job or you’re working from home with a schedule that doesn’t guarantee endless daily availability, you can rest assured you’ll find the right online coaching offer and work schedule to suit your lifestyle.

Thanks to these benefits, online coaching has continued to thrive, and more people are willing to invest in it.

How to Start an Online Coaching Business

Although online coaching sounds simple, it is not always the easiest job to do, especially for inexperienced coaches. You should know how and be prepared to handle the murky waters before starting an online coaching business.

Here’s a step-by-step guide that can help you find your bearing:

1. Draft your business plan

Like every other business, coaching needs planning. Whether you’re starting as a full-time coach or doing it as a side hustle, you still need a plan beforehand. After all, it’s the first step to knowing what you’re working towards.

Start by defining your audience. 

  • Who do you want to reach and help with your services?
  • Why does it have to be them? 
  • Why do you think they’ll want your coaching services?
  • What results do you want to help them achieve?
  • Do they have a budget for services?

Next, research your niche. 

  • What does your competition look like? 
  • What sub-niches could drive more sales?
  • What business model are others using?
  • How well is it working for them?

It’s important to be very thorough in your market research because this information can go a long way to determine and support your progress trajectory. 

2. Create your coaching program

Now that you have a plan in place, it’s time to begin designing a successful coaching program. Start by drafting a framework that outlines all the processes through which you intend to advance your practice. 

This is also the time to determine your coaching style. Remember, your style will depend on your audience and ideal clients. Also, determine how much time you want to allot for each coaching session. We always recommend dividing your coaching schedule into smaller chunks.

This is because people appreciate receiving support and complex information in more digestible bits. So, instead of a single, three-hour session, you can try dividing it into three sixty-minute sessions.

If you become unsure about the efficiency of your framework, refer to your market research. Check what your competitors are doing and how effective their online coaching program is. This way, you can explore other options to add to your business (and what you shouldn’t!).

3. Tie up all loose ends

Things like selecting a business name, opening bank accounts, and setting your prices or rates can seem like something simple to rush through or cut corners on, but they’re not.

Many rookies make mistakes that will impact their businesses for a long time while trying to sort these things out. Take the time to ensure your business entity and business bank accounts are appropriately set up before accepting any payment or engaging in a business transaction.

You’ll then want to get a legitimate, lawyer-created client contract in place, so that you’re ready to sign that first client when the time comes soon!

You can check out Coaches & Company’s lawyer-created and approved contract templates here.

It’s especially important to set the right pricing for your coaching services before starting. Successful coaching business owners often answer the following questions when setting their prices:

  • What’s the value of the service I’m providing?
  • What is the industry standard for similar services?
  • What is likely to be an accessible rate for the type of client I’m seeking to support?
  • Can my target audience afford to pay for these coaching services?
  • Does this rate account for business taxes, business expenses, and paying myself a reasonable salary as the service provider?

4. Choose a platform

We can’t overemphasize the need to find a platform that suits your model. The mere fact that your competitors are using Facebook Messenger to coach their clients doesn’t make it the ideal platform for you.

Again, it boils down to market research. Know your potential audience and what suits them best. Research different tools and reviews by other coaches and service professionals.

If you intend to coach busy professionals who are more dedicated to their work, you’d want to find a coaching platform that allows you to leave notes and key points that they can read later. You can explore options like Zoom, Voxer, Telegram, Google Meets, Paperbell, etc.

You also want to look at the structure of your coaching program. Do you offer one-on-one coaching, or do you prefer group coaching? Whatever the case, find a platform that’s efficient and cost-effective.

5. Start building your brand and marketing strategy

When building your brand, you should aim to stand out. The online coaching market is quite saturated, so you need an ‘in-your-face’ brand personality to thrive and capture the attention of those whom you wish to reach and work with.

An excellent way to start is to find your unique selling point (USP). Invest in quality branding and design. If possible, hire an expert to handle these things.

Another important aspect of brand building is to find your voice. Clients naturally want to associate with coaches who show exceptional potential in their field, and there’s no better way to prove this than by having a brand voice. We recommend building a social media presence as a way to build your credibility and connect with potential clients.

Identify your core values and communicate them clearly through social media posts. Use your social media platforms to build a community that you engage with consistently.

One of the ways to sustain your community is by always creating helpful content. Beyond offering free tips that they can implement, you can also engage with the content they post, relate to their pain points, and show them you care.

Refrain from engaging in predatory practices such as private messages involving pressure to purchase from you, get on a sales call, etc.

Your goal should be to authentically engage with those who are drawn to your profile and the content you share, and be open to helping if they request your help or show interest in your services.

8 Online Coaching Business Ideas

With everything you’ve learned about online coaching, we’re sure you’re itching to know how to create a coaching package so you can get started.

Well, it all begins with knowing the right niche to venture into and what kind of coaching business you should choose.

Here are some popular coaching business ideas you can choose from:

1. Health and wellness coaching

This is one of the most popular coaching ideas. It involves providing personalized plans and guidance, including fitness, diet/meal plans, and personal care to improve clients’ physical health and overall well-being. With more people desiring an increased focus on health and self-care practices, there’s no better time to consider this niche than now.

While it’s not required for you to be a licensed healthcare professional or certified as a health coach, it can be incredibly helpful for you and your client to complete a certification.

Certification provides you with the necessary knowledge and skills to create effective and safe plans, ensures you adhere to ethical standards, and enhances your credibility and trust with clients.

2. Financial coaching and budgeting

Here’s an opportunity worth exploring if you have a deep understanding of the financial world and a passion for coaching people towards financial independence.

The concept involves offering online coaching services to help individuals and families improve their savings, manage debts effectively, and plan for a more secure financial future.

In today’s uncertain economic climate, more people are realizing the importance of personal financial management. This growing awareness has created a significant demand for financial coaching services.

By demonstrating your expertise and sensitivity in approaching the sometimes tough topic of finances, you can attract and retain clients seeking guidance in this area.

As a financial coach, your role goes beyond just offering advice on budgeting and saving. You’ll also help clients develop a deeper understanding of their financial habits and attitudes towards money. By addressing underlying beliefs and behaviors, you can empower clients to make positive changes that lead to long-term financial stability.

Furthermore, your expertise in financial planning can help clients navigate complex financial decisions such as investments, retirement planning, and wealth management.

By providing personalized guidance tailored to their unique circumstances, you can help clients achieve their financial goals and secure their financial future.

Financial coaching is a rewarding niche for those with a passion for helping others achieve financial independence and improvement. By offering valuable insights and guidance, you can make a meaningful impact on your clients’ lives and build a successful coaching practice in the process.

3. Online nutrition coaching

If you’re a trained nutritionist or dietician, you’d definitely want to try nutrition coaching online. It involves offering one-on-one or group coaching to help improve clients’ lives and health through proper meal planning and supplement administration.

People are becoming more conscious of their health and consumption, so there’s a booming market in this niche. If you’re an expert in it, there’ll be no shortage of clients.

4. Fitness Coaching

Here’s an option you should try if you have a passion for helping people lose weight, gain muscle mass, and accomplish other fitness goals.

Compared to the others above, this one is quite easy to start. Just complete the right education, training, and certifications, and you’re good to go. More people are paying attention to their personal health, physical looks, and body strength, so it’s a profitable niche to consider.

As a fitness coach, you can design programs tailored to specific types of clients, such as bodybuilders preparing for competition, moms looking to recover post-pregnancy and regain their fitness, college athletes seeking to enhance their performance, seniors looking to maintain mobility and strength, and busy professionals needing efficient workouts.

These specialized programs can cater to the unique needs and goals of each client, ensuring they get the most out of their fitness journey.

5. Career transition coaching

Being a career coach is about more than just helping people navigate career challenges; it’s about empowering individuals to take control of their professional lives and achieve their career goals.

As a career coach, you have the opportunity to offer tailored advice and actionable plans that clients can implement in their current careers to improve their results and advance within their organizations.

One key aspect of being a career coach is helping clients identify their career goals and develop a clear roadmap for achieving them. This may involve assessing their skills, strengths, and interests, as well as identifying any barriers or challenges that may be holding them back.

By understanding their unique circumstances and aspirations, you can help them create a personalized action plan that aligns with their career objectives.

Additionally, as a career coach, you can provide guidance on various aspects of career development, such as resume writing, job search strategies, interviewing skills, and networking.

You can also help clients navigate workplace dynamics, such as dealing with difficult colleagues or negotiating a promotion or salary increase.

Overall, being a career coach is about empowering individuals to take ownership of their careers, make informed decisions, and achieve success on their own terms.

By offering personalized guidance and support, you can help your clients overcome obstacles, maximize their potential, and ultimately, find fulfillment and success in their professional lives.

6. Parenting and family coaching 

As a parenting or family coach, your primary objective is to collaborate with parents to recognize their strengths and assist them in utilizing these strengths to accomplish their objectives.

Your role involves guiding parents through their parenting journey, suggesting new strategies, promoting empathic listening, and proposing innovative approaches to achieve their goals.

One of your key responsibilities is to help parents identify their strengths and understand how these strengths can be leveraged to address challenges and enhance their parenting skills.

By focusing on their strengths, parents can build confidence in their abilities and develop effective strategies to handle various parenting situations.

In addition to identifying strengths, you will also guide parents in setting clear and achievable goals for themselves and their families. These goals may include improving communication within the family, implementing consistent discipline strategies, or fostering stronger parent-child relationships.

As a parenting or family coach, you will also provide ongoing support and encouragement to parents as they work towards their goals. This may involve regular check-ins, progress assessments, and adjustments to the coaching plan as needed.

Overall, this niche is ideal for family psychologists and therapists who have a deep understanding of different family dynamics and are passionate about helping parents navigate the challenges of raising children.

By providing guidance, support, and practical strategies, you can empower parents to become more confident and effective in their parenting roles, ultimately leading to happier and healthier family relationships.

Even if you’re not a family psychologist or therapist, pursuing a coaching certification program can equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in this role. Such programs provide valuable insights into effective coaching techniques, communication strategies, and relationship dynamics, enabling you to support parents in navigating the complexities of family life.

7. Relationship and dating coaching

In today’s fast-paced world, modern relationships have evolved into complex entities, requiring more than just traditional approaches to thrive. As a result, there’s a growing demand for relationship coaching as people seek better ways to navigate these intricacies and make their relationships work.

This emerging niche offers a unique opportunity for coaches to specialize in helping individuals build and maintain healthy, fulfilling relationships.

As a relationship coach, your focus will be on guiding clients to develop the essential skills and insights needed to foster strong, lasting connections. This includes building effective communication strategies, understanding and managing emotions, resolving conflicts constructively, and nurturing intimacy and trust.

Therapists, with their deep understanding of human behavior and relationship dynamics, are particularly well-suited for this role, although not a requirement for becoming a relationship coach.

By channeling your coaching services towards building healthy relationships, you can help clients cultivate deeper connections with their partners, navigate challenges more effectively, and create a more fulfilling romantic life.

Additionally, you can empower them to break unhealthy patterns, set and maintain boundaries, and cultivate self-awareness and empathy, all of which are crucial for building successful relationships.

Overall, the field of relationship coaching offers a rewarding and impactful opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives by helping them create and sustain meaningful connections with others.

8. Life Coaching

As a life coach, your role is multifaceted, encompassing both personal and career guidance for your clients. Your primary objective is to counsel and encourage individuals as they navigate through various challenges, providing them with the support and tools they need to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals.

One of the key aspects of your role is helping clients build a vision for their future.

This involves assisting them in clarifying their goals, identifying their values and priorities, and creating a roadmap for achieving their aspirations. By guiding them through this process, you empower them to take control of their lives and make meaningful changes.

Additionally, as a life coach, you help clients develop the right mindset and personality traits to live out their vision.

This may involve working on self-confidence, resilience, and effective communication skills, among others. By helping clients cultivate these qualities, you enable them to navigate challenges more effectively and live more fulfilling lives.

Today we find there is a growing emphasis on work-life balance and self-improvement. More people are seeking support and guidance to help them achieve greater fulfillment and success in all areas of their lives.

This has contributed to the increasing demand for life coaching services, making it a profitable niche for those in the field.

Overall, as a life coach, you play a crucial role in helping individuals unlock their full potential, overcome obstacles, and create the life they desire. Your guidance and support can have a transformative impact on your clients’ lives, making your role both rewarding and impactful.

Wrapping Up

There you have it: everything you should know about the online coaching business as you get started. There’s so much to benefit from choosing this career path.

Whether you prefer one-on-one or group coaching, you need adequate planning and intentionality. It begins with knowing what you want to achieve and finding the right target audience for it, and this article provides the right foundation.

Check out our ready-to-use, lawyer-approved, plug-and-play legal contract templates, so you can upgrade your client contract while staying Protected & Profitable™✨

Not sure where to begin? We’ve got you. Grab our FREE Legally Launch Guide to get the legal lowdown on everything in entrepreneurship, without the confusing mumbo jumbo. We’re serving it up straight and to the point. (Heads up: It’ll forever transform the way you view your client relationships!) Grab your copy now!

*The information presented in this blog post is for educational & informational purposes only. This should not be a substitute for customized legal advice from a licensed professional in a private setting. If you need legal advice, please consult with an attorney. This is not a law firm.

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