Steps To Start An Online Coaching Business
Attention to all aspiring hobbyists, entrepreneurs, and side hustlers! Have you ever felt a deep passion for coaching people to attain their business aspirations? Do you frequently advise peers about their entrepreneurial pursuits? If yes, it’s high time you transform your passion into a thriving venture by starting a coaching business. This article aims to guide you through the process of converting your passion into a lucrative business that helps others succeed while building your business.
What Is Online Coaching?
Online coaching is a type of coaching that takes place over the internet, rather than in person. Most coaching sessions happen via audio or video conferencing platforms, or even through dedicated messaging platforms. Some coaches even opt to coach individuals through personalized one-to-one sessions through their online coaching platform, whereas others work with groups. Online coaching platforms are a dedicated space to start your online coaching business, and for members to foster natural connections with each other and even through live streaming within an online community.
Who Is An Online Coach?
An online coach is a seasoned professional boasting a wealth of knowledge and expertise in a given niche. They use their expertise to offer valuable guidance and support to clients seeking to grow their personal life, advance in specific skills, or to grow their businesses. With the convenience of an online coach, clients can access the insights and advice of the coach regardless of their physical location so long as both parties have an internet connection.
How To Start A Successful Coaching Business
Embarking on a new career path as an online coach and establishing your online coaching business can seem daunting, but building an online coaching business can be streamlined with the right business plan, proper support, and resources. If you are looking to find out how to start an online coaching business, the following steps will prove helpful in guiding you on your journey toward success.
1. Define Your Field
Initiating the journey toward starting an online coaching business calls for critically examining one’s passion and areas of expertise. Delve deep into your strengths and experiences and determine the niche that you desire to specialize in. Choosing a niche that you are both passionate and knowledgeable about gives you a decisive advantage and allows you to offer invaluable insights to your clients.
2. Constantly Find Ways To Expand Your Knowledge
Once you have an idea about your niche, the next step is diversifying your knowledge base. Immerse yourself in the subject by reading, getting certified, participating in workshops and seminars, and enrolling in courses related to your niche. Online coaches must also be informed about the latest advancements in their field, for it is important to provide your clients with the most practical advice and guidance.
3. Build Your Portfolio To Become An Online Coach
Demonstrating your knowledge and expertise is critical to establishing yourself as a reputable online business coach. Creating a portfolio can include building a website or a platform to display your client testimonials, achievements, and any certificates relevant to your field. Your online portfolio must reflect your value proposition and what distinguishes you from other coaches in the online arena.
4. Get Certified As An Online Coach In Your Niche (Or Don’t)
If you are working on building a coaching business online, you might stumble on the question of whether or not to get certified. Let’s get the facts right first. No governing body needs you to pass a test or earn a specific degree to become an online coach in any area, especially if you are a life coach. But other coaching areas like sports coaching, fitness, nutrition, healthcare consultant, etc., call for specific academic qualifications and certification.
Whatever your niche, earning credentials from a recognized organization, like an authority in your niche, will increase your credibility, which is important when you are just stepping into the industry and don’t have a lot of client testimonials. Most certificate programs for online coaching involve valid experience, training sessions, exams, and more. Depending on the certification level, you must complete anywhere from 100—2500 hours of paid coaching.
5. Set Up Your Online Coaching Business
Now that you have decided on the major aspects of setting up an online coaching business, you need to select a business entity type for your online coaching practice. If you are building an online coaching business on your own, you can choose between the following:
- Sole proprietorship
Running the business with one owner, which is you!
- Limited liability company (LLC)
Registered business with limited liability for all members.
In a sole proprietorship, only the proprietor is responsible for all the business liabilities. Whereas in an LLC, the business itself holds responsibility for the liabilities of the business.
A sole proprietorship runs with minimal initial costs. Whereas, an LLC costs more up-front as you will have to register the business and pay registration and annual maintenance fees based on the rules set by the state.
Compared to a sole proprietorship, LLC is more heavily regulated.
Sole proprietors are taxed as self-employed, whereas LLCs have to abide by the corporate tax structures set by the government.
6. Plan Your Online Coaching Services And Prices
If you are brainstorming about how to start an online coaching business, there are three primary ways that online coaches charge for their services:
- Monthly fees
- Per session, usually hourly
- Per package, like $X for three or six months.
Charging clients based on a custom coaching package is a great option when you are entering the industry. When you understand how many clients will generally sign up, you will be able to predict your income better. By selling subscription packages, you can also attract clients who can pay a premium price, as people who take coaching more seriously will buy your coaching sessions.
Online coaches can charge anywhere between $50 to $1000 based on the type of services they offer. The more the coaching sessions provided in the package, the greater the impact on your client’s lives, and so the higher you can change. When figuring out the right coaching fee to charge, you must consider the following:
- Your niche
- Amount of experience
- Target clients
- Income goals and budget
7. Build Your Online Presence
If online coaching is your business, you need an online presence! Yes, building your online presence is really important when starting an online coaching business. Besides establishing your active presence on social media, you must also build an online coaching website. Here are some of the things your online coaching website must have:
- What you offer your clients, such as live one-to-one sessions, online training, hourly sessions, online courses, workbooks, and more
- Pricing information and packages
- Your qualifications, experience, and expertise
- Social proof that includes testimonials
- Define your personality, including your pictures, about sections, and even a short video of how your clients will benefit from your services
- A contact form that allows people to contact you to book coaching sessions with you
8. Leverage Social Media To Market Your Coaching And Reach More Clients
Social media gives you a great opportunity for referrals and word-of-mouth marketing, and to grow a client base. Create business accounts on popular social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn and keep updating them constantly. Choose the social platforms depending on your niche. For example, if you plan to work mainly with executive clients, LinkedIn will be more suitable than Instagram. Here are some tips to make the most out of social media to grow your online coaching business:
- Build mini-coaching lessons for social media
- Use hashtags in your niche and post relevant content with those tags
- Join relevant groups on social media
- Engage in active conversations in forums and share your expertise
Choosing A Business Model That Suits You
If you are working on how to build an online coaching business and you find it challenging, you aren’t alone. There are many different ways to integrate online coaching into your business; let’s explore some of the popular models that fit your online coaching business:
Completely Remote Model
A fully remote online coaching business model is the easiest to scale, but it can be the hardest to launch. When beginning, you can offer high-quality services to a small number of clients, or highly scalable services to a larger client base. You can consider offering:
- Face-to-face interaction
- Asynchronous communication with clients
- Documentation and administration work
Rather than relying on face-to-face personalized interactions, this model can automate digital content delivery via email sequences or LMS, scalable webinars, and more. A subscription-based program, with a low price and premium-priced, can work great when presented as a maintenance plan.
There is much more to learn when starting a coaching business. Every day, the online coaching world seems to be evolving based on modern technology, and getting more crowded. When establishing an online coaching business, stand out, spread the word, build your niche, and refine your pitch to grow your coaching business successfully. Now that you know how to build a coaching business online, are you ready to launch yours?