How can I sell online coaching
Online coaching: How to become an online coach in 4 steps and turn your expertise into money
Coaching is the oldest trade in the world. As early as the Stone Age, an experienced mammoth hunter was able to exchange his expertise for food and raw materials. It's hard to prove, but it's obvious. After all, it is human nature to help and learn from one another. However, a lot has happened technologically since the Stone Age and today many consultants offer their services as online coaching. In Germany there is one coach for every 10,000 inhabitants, and more and more coaches offer Online coaching at. Many coaches go beyond individual coaching and also offer their own online courses.
Nowadays there is coaching software such as MeetFox, which takes over the entire process from scheduling to payment processing to video calls. This has lowered the entry barrier and many experts use online coaching as a profitable additional business. In addition, online coaching is also practical from the customer's point of view. The customer can get advice from home and is no longer limited to what the local coaches offer. In the article I will describe how you can build an online coaching business in four steps.
Table of Contents
Do we need more coaches?
Become an online coach in four steps
Step 1: Find out your own expertise
Step 2: Define the offer
Step 3: Offer coaching online
Step 4: Marketing the online coaching
Do we need more coaches?
In today's knowledge society, specialist knowledge is becoming more and more important, so that lone fighters are increasingly falling by the wayside. Online marketing is a good example. I am an expert in content marketing, but I have no idea about paid ads. That's why I would look for a paid ads expert for a product launch who would support me in creating an effective advertising campaign. That makes more sense to me than spending months familiarizing myself with the topic and throwing my advertising budget out of the window. I could of course completely outsource the paid ads to an agency, but then I would not understand the process and would completely hand over control. In this regard, coaching is a good compromise that allows you to stay in control and at the same time buy in external expertise.
Many people do not even know that they are an expert in a field and that they could offer online coaching. The knowledge that you take for granted can be of great help to other people. The unique selling point can also lie in a unique combination of skills and industry knowledge.
Become an online coach in four steps
If you want to become an online coach, you should first ask yourself four questions:
- What expertise can I sell as a coach?
- What is my specific offer?
- How can I technically implement my online coaching?
- How can I market my coaching online?
The article aims to help you answer these questions. If you have found a good answer to the four questions, you will be able to start an online coaching business.
Step 1: Find out your own expertise
If you want to earn money as an expert, then you should know exactly how you can use your knowledge and experience to help other people with a specific problem. The more specific, the better. The four largest fields of coaching are business, fitness, therapy and life coaching. Coaching is about imparting knowledge and therefore, in principle, every coaching can also be offered as online coaching. Of course, giving business tips on a video call is easier than supervising a training session, but even that isn't impossible. The four subject areas are described in more detail below.
Online business coach
Business coaches are available for all industries and company areas. The spectrum ranges from highly paid executive coaches for CEOs like Mark Zuckerberg to local sales coaches for sales. If there is a job in a company, then there is guaranteed to be a business coach. In addition, there are job coaches who help with career planning. If you are looking for a job that matches your qualifications and should meet certain criteria (e.g. remote), then a professional job coach can help you with the search. The two largest German-speaking platforms for business coaches are Coachhub and the Coach Database.
Online fitness coach
With the Freeletics app at the latest, online fitness coaching has also arrived in the mainstream. The sight of people exercising with smartphones has long been the norm in German parks. Strictly speaking, this is just the logical further development of the fitness workouts on TV and on YouTube (keyword: Pamela Reif). Freeletics is an AI-based coach, but of course there are also personal trainers who develop individual workouts and training plans. Personal training is not just about imparting knowledge, but also about the motivational factor. The largest platform for personal trainers is personal fitness.
In German-speaking countries, psychotherapy may not be offered online at the moment, as the effectiveness of online therapy has not yet been sufficiently proven. In addition, online communication makes it difficult to establish the necessary relationship of trust between therapist and patient. For this reason, only advice and coaching can be offered online in German-speaking countries. A clear demarcation between therapy and counseling is difficult, however, as the two areas overlap. The largest platform for online psychological counseling is Mentavio.
The example of online therapy shows that the ethical and legal dimensions of online coaching should not be neglected.
Online life coach
The term life coach is vague and can mean anything. However, it is often about external support in a phase of upheaval in life (e.g. change of job, divorce, etc.). Life coaching often overlaps with the other subject areas. One example is life coaching for founders. The largest platform for life coaches is Lifecoachery.
The term life coach is not protected and accordingly the quality of the coaches varies greatly. To be fair, it has to be said that this also applies to the terms business coach and fitness coach. There are black sheep with dubious offers in all areas. Arne Preuss from the LSWW Community has written a critical article about the dark side of the coaching industry, which gets to the heart of the problem very well.
What makes an online coach?
Coaches not only need specialist knowledge, they also have to have social skills so that the coaching works. That is why a friendly demeanor, openness and patience are at least as important as professional competence. In addition, every coach should acquire the didactic basics so that he is able to convey his knowledge effectively. There are two options for doing this. You can acquire the necessary knowledge in self-study or you can complete a course for coaches. The status of official certificates depends on the industry and the target group. Last but not least, you should enjoy coaching other people.
Communication in online coaching is made more difficult by the fact that the coach and the customer are spatially separated from each other. Video calls come very close to a personal conversation, but it's not the same. Information is lost in online communication, which is why it is particularly important to communicate clearly and extensively. Due to the spatial distance, it also takes a little longer to build trust, which can be problematic during coaching. Because of these special features, there are special courses for online coaching.
The first step is the most difficult, which is why I wrote the most about it. If you are sure what your expertise is, you can think about how you specifically formulate your offer.
Step 2: Define the coaching offer
The customer is only interested in solving a specific problem and nothing else. You can't expect him to take the time to think about how you can help him. That is one hundred percent your job. “Online Marketing Coaching” is meaningless at first and therefore nobody feels addressed by this offer. A two-day affiliate marketing coaching for fitness models is better. And even better is a two-day affiliate marketing coaching for fitness models in which you develop a concept for an affiliate shop together. With the last offer, a fitness model can decide very quickly whether or not to book the coaching. The more specific the value proposition, the better.
For the definition of the offer I would actually have to write an extra article, but luckily Melanie Retzlaff from Business with Structure has already written a detailed article on the subject with us. In the article she describes how she managed to restructure her unprofitable advertising agency into a scalable coaching company. The article is a real gold mine for all budding coaches as well as for old hands.
Step 3: Offer coaching online
The technical implementation is the easiest step in online coaching. As a coach, you need your own website on which interested parties can find out more about you and your coaching offer. Many coaches use their own name as the domain name for their website. You can of course also offer your coaching offer on coaching platforms such as the coach database.
When choosing the content management system for your coaching website, you have two options. If you're looking for a simple solution that looks professional, a website builder like Wix is your best option. The creation of the website is quick and easy with Wix and there are numerous design templates for coaches in different industries.
However, if you want to focus on content marketing and a company blog, then a more comprehensive content management system like Chimpify or WordPress is very likely a better option.
Create a coaching sales page
The two most important pages of a coaching website are the About Me page and the sales page. When creating a sales page for your online offer, you will quickly notice that it is not that easy to create a convincing offer. The sales page should make it clear which problem you can solve for whom and why you are the right person for the job.
11 tips for creating a sales page:
Tip 1: Formulate your sales text according to the AIDA model (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action). The model has proven itself in marketing and is easy to implement.
Tip 2: Describe exactly the problem.
Tip 3: Describe exactly the target group.
Tip 4: Describe exactly what the coaching is about (Facebook Paid Ads> Online Marketing).
Tip 5: Describe your unique selling point.
Tip 6: Use at least one testimonial to increase your credibility.
Tip 7: Be specific with the offer (process, price, scope, time).
Tip 8: Create a video in which you present your offer. Coaching is very personal and a personal video builds trust. In addition, potential customers can better assess whether a collaboration makes sense.
Tip 9: End the sales text with a clear call-to-action.
Tip 10: Offer a free initial consultation to reduce the entry barrier.
Tip 11: Qualify the potential customers with a questionnaire before the first interview.
If you want to know how the whole thing looks in practice, then you can take a look at the sales page for my content marketing advice. Working as a copywriter is my core business and consulting is just my additional business, which I can flexibly ramp up and down depending on my workload.
The analysis of existing sales pages is useful to get an overview of what is possible, but in the end the sales page should fit your coaching business and your target group. For example, there are a lot of established coaches for whom a free initial interview makes no sense. When creating the first sales page, it is important not to be too self-critical. It is quite normal that the first version of the sales page is not yet perfect, as the coaching offer is still developing and becoming clearer in practice.
Done is better than perfect.
Online meeting tool
In addition to your own website, you need a meeting tool for online coaching to handle the consultation (appointment calendar, payment processing and video telephony). I use MeetFox for this. Meetfox is the only provider that brings the entire consultation process together in one overall solution. Instead, you can alternatively connect an appointment planner to a video service (e.g. Calendly + Zoom).
MeetFox: the online coaching tool
MeetFox is a start-up from Vienna that started in 2017 under the name Coachfox as an online marketplace for business coaches. The online marketplace still exists, but the start-up pivoted towards software solutions for coaches. The founding team had noticed at Coachfox that there was no good overall solution for handling online meetings and wanted to change this. The result is MeetFox, which was specially developed for coaches.
MeetFox in practice
There are two ways to use MeetFox. You can integrate the appointment calendar on your website (button, calendar, pop-up) and you can link the appointment calendar externally (e.g. email signature, coach database, LinkedIn, etc.). I use both options to increase my reach.
Pro tip: Create a professional email signature in which you advertise your online coaching with a call-to-action. There is a free e-mail signature generator from HubSpot with which you can create a clear e-mail signature for your online coaching business in a few minutes.
The MeetFox advantages
+ A total solution for the entire process
+ Modern design
+ Easy to use
+ Virtual meeting rooms for spontaneous meetings
+ Video call in the browser (no download required)
+ Private link for external platforms
+ German-speaking support
The MeetFox disadvantages
- Limited payment options for customers. So far, only Stripe is offered, but PayPal has already been announced in the roadmap
- No package options, but it has already been announced in the roadmap
- Only one integration (Zapier)
- Group meetings cost an additional fee
The cost of MeetFox
MeetFox can be tested free of charge for 15 days and does not require a credit card. There is a basic plan and a professional plan. The Basic Plan costs $ 11 and only includes making the appointment and video calling. The Professional Plan costs $ 29 and also includes payment processing. For most coaches, only the Professional Plan will be considered, as they rely on payment processing. The $ 29 should be back in quickly with the additional income from the coaching.
MeetFox convinces with simplicity
MeetFox's greatest strength is its simplicity. The entire coaching process is mapped with a tool that is well thought out and looks professional. This means that every coach can create their own online coaching offer within an hour. At this point, I'm just missing more payment options, but the integration of PayPal has already been announced. The lack of integration with external software like Salesforce doesn't bother me, because MeetFox already covers the entire meeting process.
Step 4: Marketing the online coaching
The hardest step in online coaching is marketing. The term coach is not protected and accordingly the competition is very high. That's why you need a clear positioning in order to set yourself apart. As a coach, you not only sell your knowledge, but to a certain extent you are also the product yourself. Therefore it is important to consciously build up the personal brand. Christian has already written an article on brand building for startups that can be easily transferred to personal brands.
At the beginning, marketing via an external coaching platform such as the coach database is practical in order to be found. However, external platforms have the disadvantage that the options for displaying your own offer are only limited and you are dependent on the platform. Therefore, you should primarily sell the online coaching via your own website and establish a direct connection with your customers there.
Choosing the primary marketing channel for the website depends on your target audience and strengths. As a copywriter, I primarily rely on my blog, but a YouTube channel or Instagram can make more sense for you. Christian has already gained a lot of experience with blogging, Instagram and YouTube and has written about them.
As an alternative to content marketing, you can also use paid ads.Ads have the advantage that there is no lead time and you can reach your target group immediately. At the same time, however, there is the risk that you will waste your entire advertising budget on ads that do not bring anything. Therefore, you should start with a small daily budget and always keep a close eye on the ROI. Google Ads and Facebook Video Ads are widespread in the coaching industry, but recently I've been seeing more and more coaching ads on LinkedIn.
If you have succeeded in bringing potential customers to your website, then you also have to convince them of your offer. You can achieve this primarily through top positioning, an authentic personal brand and a convincing sales page. When you have optimized these three areas, you can create a sales funnel that you can use to convert prospects into customers.
Before you start an online coaching business, you should think about your expertise, your offer, the technical implementation and the marketing. The coaching market is very competitive, but with a top positioning, an authentic personal brand and a convincing sales page you are very well positioned.
Online coaching is a great way for experts to monetize their knowledge without much effort. Either full-time or as an additional business. The easiest way to do this is with MeetFox, which takes over the entire process of the meeting (scheduling + payment processing + video call) so that you can concentrate fully on the consultation. Meetfox convinces with simple operation and a low price.
Here you can try MeetFox for free to start an online coaching business today.
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