How to Start an Online Coaching Business6 minute read
Online coaching has been quickly growing in popularity over the last few years and - as a relatively new industry - it offers many opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to bring their business online.
But what exactly is online coaching and how do you get started as a coach?
In today's article, we will walk you through the benefits of online coaching and how to start your own business in a few easy steps.
What is Online Coaching?
The term "online coaching" includes thousand of niches and businesses, but they all have one thing in common: clients pay for consultation, support and advice in an online environment.
As an online coach, you are helping your clients achieve specific results by proving your unique expertise and support. Usually, online coaching happens through one-on-one virtual meetings or calls where clients receive highly personalized guidance based on their current situations.
Online coaching is just one of many different ways to monetize your knowledge online. Other business ideas include online courses, memberships, masterminds, communities and more.
Compared to other eLearning businesses, online coaching offers the most individual approach, as the coach focuses on one client at a time. For this reason, online coaching can be one of the most profitable ways to monetize your knowledge and make money online.
Benefits of Online Coaching
There are many benefits to becoming an online coach, let's see them all below:
- Extremely Flexible Business: as an online coach, you can start your business from anywhere in the world. All you need is a laptop and a good internet connection - and of course - your expertise. You can set your own hours and work at a pace that suits you. This does not mean that it will be easy to get started, however, online coaching offers a lot of flexibility and a great work-life balance.
- High Earning Potential: as you are offering your unique expertise, you can set the price you want for your coaching sessions. Experienced coaches can make more than 6 figures a year with just a handful of clients.
- Low Initial Costs: There is no significant initial investment to get started as an online coach. While you need to invest a lot of time and effort into building your business, your monetary costs are certainly low. All you need is to create a website and content around it and optionally pay for advertising.
- High-Value Offerings: The benefits of online coaching are not only financial: providing advice and helping people achieve their goals can offer tremendous value to your clients and to you. You will also feel extremely fulfilled from your work, as your business is built from your passions.
How to Get Started as an Online Coach
As with any other business, getting started as an online coach requires a good amount of planning and time investment. We broke down this process into a few main steps to follow. Let's see them below:
#1: Find Your Niche
One of the keys to success as an online coach starts by finding your niche and effectively communicating to your ideal customers.
A niche is a specific segment of the market that defines a relatively small group of people. The niche you choose will determine the type of content to produce and the type of clients to target.
What kind of online coach do you want to be? Do you have any specific knowledge or experience?
You don't necessarily have to focus on a niche you have past experience in, however, any professional or personal achievements you may have will help you get started and find your first clients faster.
In online coaching it is also important to niche down: this means that when you find the market you want to target, don't just stop there. Segmenting your audience even further can help you directly target your ideal customer and get a higher chance of attracting them.
For instance, let's say that you decide to become a business coach. The "business" niche is huge! As a new coach with no experience, it is going to be extremely hard to get your first clients in such a competitive market.
But if you say you are a "Business coach that helps single moms start their own online e-commerce business", you are targeting a very specific audience and those people are more likely to choose you because you are addressing them directly.
#2. Define Your Business Model
Now that you have found your ideal target audience, it's time to define your business model.
What services are you going to provide? Are you selling multiple offerings? What is your value ladder?
The business model you choose defines the way your clients find you and ultimately purchase your coaching products.
Many coaches do not just limit themselves to offering coaching sessions, they sell multiple digital products at different price ranges to attract new customers and create a buyer journey that guides them to the highest offering.
This is what we call the value ladder.
Let's see an example of product offerings in a value ladder for a coaching business:
- Free or low-priced digital product: could be an eBook, a video, or any product you offer as a lead magnet for free in exchange for the email addresses of your potential customers.
- Initial offer: could be an online course or a more complete learning tool for customers who are ready to trust you and purchase from you, but not yet ready for your premium offers.
- Main offer (coaching session): your coaching sessions or group coaching program. Customers who arrive here from your value ladder already trust you and are ready to invest in your main offer.
- Premium offer: could be a mastermind or your most exclusive offering at a high price, reserved for your most ideal customers.
The above is just an example of a business model and value ladder for an online coaching business. Learn more about choosing the right business model: Find the Right Business Model to Start Selling Online Courses
#3. Create Your Website
A website is like the storefront of your online business, so needless to say it is a necessity for online coaches.
Aside from a professional site and sales landing pages, you need a place where to sell your coaching offerings. This is where Heights Platform comes in.
Whether you are selling digital products, online courses, memberships or coaching sessions, Heights Platform offers you all the tools you need to create a professional eLearning business.
Heights Platform lets you fully customize the branding, color and style of your website to reflect your business. You can add all the product offerings of your value ladder (sell digital products, create professional online courses and coaching sessions).
Heights offers you full flexibility in choosing the business model, pricing and structure of your online coaching business.Create Your Online Coaching Business Today
#4. Create Content and Build Trust
Once you've created all your product offerings and your website is ready to welcome its first visitors, it is time to promote your online business and start generating trust among your audience.
Selling a coaching session is not like selling a $5 widget on the internet, you need to nurture your relationship with potential customers and make them trust you enough to purchase your expensive coaching products.
So how do you get strangers to trust you 100%?
You can start by creating free content. Start writing blog posts, recording YouTube videos, talking in podcasts or conferences and so on.
The more content you produce - and the more valuable it is - the easier it will be to gain the trust of your clients and help them see you as an expert in your field.
This is not an overnight process and it can take months to see the first results. However, combined with other marketing strategies it can significantly help you create a trusting relationship with your audience and grow your business organically. This brings us to our next step:
#5. Promote Your Online Coaching Business
Other than creating free content, you can start promoting your online coaching business leveraging multiple marketing strategies.
There are many different approaches to marketing an online coaching business. We always advise our creators to build an audience before the launch.
From the moment you choose to start your online coaching business, you should try to spread the word about it and gather a small audience of potential customers.
This way, when the time comes for you to launch your business, you will already have a few people interested in it, and maybe you will get a few initial clients!
Here is our guide of all marketing strategies you can use to promote an online course or coaching business: A Complete Guide on How to Promote Your Online Course and Boost Sales
#6. Get Your First Clients!
If you followed all the steps described above, you should be in a really good position to start getting your first clients.
However, when you are first starting out as an online coach, it might be hard to onboard new customers if you have no audience and no social proof to showcase.
It is usually a good idea to start reaching out to potential clients and offer your services for free or at a lower price first. This can help you test your coaching skills, get a few first clients easily and collect the social proof you need.
For instance, you could reach out to your audience and offer them your services for free in exchange for an honest video review to post on your site!
Social proof is especially important in the online coaching world. Here are a few tips for you to gain reviews easily when you are starting out as a coach or online course creator: 7 Quick Tips to Collect Reviews Easily and Increase Social Proof in Your Online Course
Once you manage to get your first few clients and collect some positive reviews, you can leverage word of mouth to spread the word about your services and reach more customers who are ready to invest in you.
Are you ready to start selling your knowledge online? Make it easy on yourself and start building your online coaching business with Heights Platform.Create Your Online Coaching Business Today