How to Start an Online Coaching Business in 2024 [Ultimate Guide]
Last updated: January 23, 2024
Sharing knowledge and helping people to improve brings a lot of personal satisfaction. It makes us feel good about ourselves. And it can be a great way to earn a living by doing something you enjoy when you build an online coaching business.
Becoming a coach used to be much harder. For one thing, your market was limited to people you could physically meet. Reaching potential clients was time-consuming. But today the internet and video conferencing remove those barriers.
So if there’s something you’re good at or know a lot about, building an online coaching business has never been simpler. Your potential clients can be just about anywhere in the world and they may already be looking for help through search engines and social media.
All you really need to turn your passion into income are easy ways to organize your coaching sessions, sign up new clients, and get paid quickly. You can do all of this with Payhip, a website builder that specializes in digital products like coaching services and more.
Here’s a quick list of topics that we’ll cover:
- Types of Coaching Business
- How to Start An Online Coaching Business
- What Else Do You Need to Build an Online Coaching Business?
- Free Tool: Start Online Coaching Business with Payhip
Types of Coaching Business
There are so many possibilities for online coaching. Everyone has something they want to get better at or an aspect of their life they want to improve. They may well turn to a coach for help. And if they value the outcome they’re also going to value the services of someone who can help them get there. Building a successful online coaching business starts with the right niche, some popular themes include the following:
- Life Coaching to help become more confident, manage anger issues, reduce anxiety or improve personal resilience.
- Financial Coaching to help people invest wisely, manage household finances, control debt, or plan for a comfortable retirement.
- Career Coaching to help people match their career growth to their personal goals.
- You can also be a Health and Wellness Coach to help people eat better, get fitter or generally improve physical or mental wellbeing.
- Business Coaching to help people with a range of issues, including marketing strategy, identifying viable opportunities, building the right team, or just improving their work-life balance.
There are loads of other specialist niches including creative writing, art, and photography where coaching works well. If there are challenges, roadblocks, or learning curves in a niche, then it could make a viable coaching business.
How to Start An Online Coaching Business
1. Determine Your Expertise
When thinking of starting an online coaching business, think of all the areas of expertise you have. What are the things you have successfully done? What do you know so well that you can help others succeed too? Consider how many of your friends and family you’ve helped over the years. Think about whether or not you’ve actually helped them solve their problems, overcome obstacles, and achieve success. A thriving online coaching business boils down to the results you can give people. You’ll only build a successful online business if you’re making the clients you have more success. So think about things you’ve created processes and formulas for that always lead to great results for coaching clients.
2. Start Helping People Through Coaching
The best way to know what type of coaching services to offer is to first get some coaching clients. It’s important to know what types of problems people come to you with. You might start seeing opportunities to create a more comprehensive coaching program after knowing what types of obstacles your coaching clients run into with time. Remember, an online coaching program is only successful if you give people the results they’re after. So network with as many people as possible and do as many coaching sessions as you can. You might offer a discounted rate for your coaching business before you’ve built up a referral system and a good clientele. Just know that with time you can start increasing your rates once you’ve begun perfecting your systems for your online coaching business.
3. Define Your Niche
While most people start with a niche before they start an online coaching business, you might choose to define your niche after you’ve developed a better understanding of what type of things people like to come to you with. Maybe most people go to you as a life coach because you help people solve their relationship problems, so you specialize in relationship coaching or communication. Maybe your coaching sessions for fitness are actually mostly about maintaining a good and proper diet. So you double down on a meal plan option for your online coaching program.
You need to attract clients before you finally realize what the coaching services people really want are. So, if you only develop your niche after helping a few people out, no worries. You can optimize your coaching services for what you help people overcome the most. And finding that out sometimes takes time.
4. Create Your Website
An online coaching business isn’t complete without a website. Fortunately, there’s one website builder that allows people to offer a comprehensive coaching program, book a few clients with ease, and offer multiple business models, such as selling online courses and other digital products. Enter Payhip. You can sell coaching services on Payhip and your clients can pay via your website through third parties like Stripe and PayPal. With Payhip, you can book online meetings for your online coaching business where you set up milestones and goals they want to achieve.
The cool thing about Payhip is that there’s a separate dashboard for coaches and students, so you can optimize the experience of the coaching program just for them. You can design landing pages for your online coaching business’ website to attract clients to your site. Building out a blog on your site will also be helpful down the road, especially if you hope to bring in new coaching sessions through SEO. Your website can include online coaching expectations and an about us page where you share more about your coaching style, online business, and maybe share a few testimonials from previous clients you’ve already built up.
You can even include an intake form on your website so that people can reach out to you and you can choose to approve or reject this new client for your coaching business depending on whether or not they’re a good match for you.
5. Attract Clients
A successful online coaching business will need to be good at attracting clients. If you’ve optimized your coaching programs, and built a successful business that helps clients, all you need to do is keep attracting your target audience. Ideally, you need to have people coming to you, so you can have a reliable stream of people you help out. After all, a successful coaching business is a popular one. Let’s share a few ways you can attract more clients.
Social media is one of the most popular ways to market group coaching, in-person coaching, and virtual coaching. You can share the results of your students (while still shielding their identity), in the fitness coaching niche, for example. Or you can share your expertise on social media via Reels and TikToks, so that people naturally come to you for advice if you’re a life coach, business coach, or a financial coach. Social media marketing takes time, but you can often save money by creating your own content, making it a cost-effective way to drive more clients to your business.
Having a blog will also help you bring in more one on one coaching opportunities for your own business. SEO can be a powerhouse at bringing in new customers. You’ll want to write blog posts about your niche. For instance, if you offer business coaching, your blog will be about business and marketing topics. If you offer relationship coaching, your blog might be about dating, communication, and self-improvement. Sticking to your niche instead of writing about too many topics will be key to becoming the go-to website in your niche.
You can also promote your business online by creating YouTube videos. Ultimately, building a personal brand will be key to promoting your coaching programs. People want an online coach who’s been through the same type of obstacles and overcome them. Plus, when people see your content they’ll know if you’re a good fit for them or not, so you’ll be more likely to attract your target audience.
6. Expand Your Online Coaching Services
An online coaching business isn’t just about the one on one time you spend with your clients. It’s also about creating a coaching program that works. You might expand your services for your online coaching business as you get better at understanding the needs of your clients. For instance, a fitness coach might offer personal training services, diet services, motivation sessions, and maybe weekly fitness classes for their clients.
A business coach might offer one on one coaching, marketing services, sales programs, or other tasks that help businesses grow their online sales.
Think about expanding your online coaching business in different ways. You’ll naturally come up with service ideas as you connect with more clients. So, if you don’t have all the ideas on day one. No worries. You can definitely build a successful online coaching business as you go along and connect with your target audience more frequently.
7. Sell Digital Products
Beyond an online coaching business, you might also offer digital products to your clients. From online courses to ebooks to digital downloads, you can offer a whole suite of digital products to your customers so that they can improve in the area of your expertise. Fortunately, all these services are available on Payhip. So, if you’ve signed up for Payhip to manage your coaching business, you can also sell any type of digital product via the same site.
The types of digital products you sell will depend on what type of online coaching you offer. For instance, a successful online coaching business that specializes in dropshipping might have a digital download one-page business plan, an ebook on marketing, and an online course on how to start a dropshipping business.
A financial coaching business might have digital downloads, such as budget planners and ebooks on how to save and make money.
In most cases your coaching offer will need a structure. Turning the offer into a collection of products is a good idea. Clients will then feel that they are buying something tangible with a clear pathway to whatever it is they want to master. This also gives you a way to earn recurring revenue – by selling your service as an annual 12-module subscription, for example.
What Else Do You Need to Build an Online Coaching Business?
As with any business it helps to be clear about your objectives and your target market. How many clients can you work with? What factors will make them seek help from a coach? Try to build the marketing messages on your sales page around people’s personal goals and how they will feel when they achieve them.
Should you be certified? (In the nicest possible way). Recognized accreditations from professional bodies will make your online coaching business more credible and marketable. Plus, being let’s say a certified life coach will help you ensure that you are trained to give the advice you give, so that you can truly connect with people and change their lives for the better.
Bonus tip: We’ve rounded up a list of the best online coaching platforms so you can make sure that you’re building your coaching business on solid grounds.
Payhip Makes it Easy
The coaching feature in Payhip offers a really simple way to build an online coaching business. There’s everything you need in one place, making it easy to:
- Collect payments
- Schedule meetings
- Set up video calls
- Share upcoming events
- Communicate with clients
Calendly and Zoom are fully integrated and you can easily connect any service you want. You can also control the sign-up process to pre-qualify potential clients and organize one-to-one or group sessions.
From your clients’ perspective they can quickly select a coaching plan from your sales page. They’ll have their own account where they can see their milestones and communicate with you. This keeps all communications and transactions in one place.
The feature is super-easy to set up. You can find step-by-step instructions here.
The coaching feature means you have more simplicity and fewer distractions as you build your online coaching business.
How Do I Start My Own Coaching Company?
Here’s a summary of the step-by-step guide on how to start an online coaching business:
- Determine Your Expertise
- Start Helping People Through Coaching
- Define Your Niche
- Create Your Website
- Attract Clients
- Expand Your Online Coaching Services
- Sell Digital Products
Building a successful online coaching business takes time, but you can truly build a meaningful career as a coach. Every day, you’ll have the opportunity to have a positive impact on someone’s life. Whether you’re helping them get in shape, build a business empire, or organize their finances depends on your skill set. But there really is no limit on what you can coach people in to bring out the best versions of themselves. If you’re thinking about starting an online coaching business, you can sign up for Payhip today.