When we think of coaching, we think of working face to face with our clients or athletes. Fundamentally, this is where we apply our knowledge and build our expertise.
However, we live in an online world and both coaches and athletes can benefit greatly from capitalising on the accessibility of tech and the ease of communication anywhere in the world.
Here is my 5-Step Process to creating a successful online coaching business:
- STEP-1: KNOW WHAT YOU DO
- STEP-2: KNOW WHO YOU TRAIN
- STEP-3: SELECT YOUR TECH
- STEP-4: CREATE YOUR CONTENT
- STEP-5: GO BEYOND COACHING
STEP 1: KNOW WHAT YOU DO
Ask yourself these 2 questions and be brutally honest:
- What are you passionate about?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Your passions and strengths will start identifying your niche. You have to bet on your strengths and capitalize on what you are good at, people buy into passionate people with expertise.
Passionately demonstrate your expertise – don’t worry about the people who are not interested in what you do, cater for the people that are, even if it is a micro-niche of people.
Ask yourself these two questions:
- What is your niche?
- What is your unique selling proposition (USP)?
These two questions lead us onto the next step – know who you train.
STEP-2: KNOW WHO YOUR TRAIN
Do NOT try and be a jack of all trades, know what your strengths are and sell them hard!
Ask yourself these 2 questions:
- Who is your perfect client?
- Who are the clients that will make up the bulk of your list?
You have to create client avatars, describe everything about the 2 clients identified above – how old are they, what are their interests, what do they want to achieve, what do they want in a coach, where do they hang out online?
Once you know who your ideal clients are, target them specifically – don’t try to please everyone as you will WOW no one!
Remember, once you have the client, client retention is far easier than client acquisition.
Aim to create a micro-niche within your niche. The bulk of your client list may be a little more varied, but you can make a name for yourself by becoming the go to expert for a specific thing i.e. Specialising in S&C for football is a niche, specialising in S&C for goalkeepers is a micro-niche.
Stick to what you do well and do it really, really well!
STEP-3: SELECT YOUR TECH
There is an abundance of online resources and if you want to be effective as an online coach, you need to utilise them.
You need to:
- Get your branding done – get it done well!
- Get your website – homepage / about us / services / articles & blog / FAQs / contact us.
- Pick what social media platforms you will be working on – Facebook / Instagram / YouTube Channel.
- Pick what coaching software and apps you will be using – TrueCoach / MyFitnessPal / Strava.
- Pick the tech you want your clients to use – GPS watches / heart rate monitors.
- Pick the online video conferencing software you will use – Zoom / Google Hangouts.
- Pick the email software you will use – PayPal / Stripe.
Not all software has to be used – take on what you can effectively manage.
Note: Payment software will take commissions and you will get charges for credit card payments. However, if you want to come across as professional, you need to use payment software people trust and accept credit card payments.
STEP-4: CREATE YOUR CONTENT
Be prepared to work incredibly hard. There is an exceptional amount of work to be done to get your online coaching business off the ground – spend the time laying a solid foundation to build upon.
You want to create:
- Onboarding documents such as brochures and questionnaires that explain your service and gather the necessary client information (client consultation and risk stratification).
- A variety of program templates.
- An exercise demonstration video library.
- Engaging content for social media.
- Engaging content for you articles/blog page on your website.
All of this has to be on brand and professional!
You want to get yourself online and proliferate your content. Post regularly on social media, engage with people in the relevant forums, write guest articles or blogs for reputable sites, network with other professionals, create a YouTube channel, or start a podcast.
However, you also want to stick to what you do well and channel your energy into the areas that will have the greatest return – if you are good at writing, concentrating on writing awesome articles, if you are great on the mic and enjoy interviewing people, start a podcast.
STEP-5: GO BEYOND COACHING
There are endless benefits to online coaching. However, lets face it, you are missing out on one huge factor, the face to face coaching. Therefore, we have to go beyond the traditional concepts of coaching.
When we are coaching face to face, we are constantly getting both verbal and nonverbal feedback. Therefore, with online coaching, we need to replicate this level of interaction.
You need to:
- Create bespoke programming and track it in incredible detail – more benchmarks / regular check ins.
- Be extremely responsive and ensure your responses are concise but comprehensive – don’t just reply yes or no.
- Increase the empathy levels of your coaching. Although you will use video chats, it can be hard to demonstrate empathy online. Therefore, conscious effort must be towards showing you are genuinely invested in the development of your client.
- Be brutally honest. The client is not looking for a cheerleader. Yes, they need motivation, but they want results and results require honest coaching.
- Connect with your client on a personal but professional level – follow their social media profiles, engage with them, post about their success.
- Create your SOP’s (standard operating procedures). How do you run the online coaching – perfect your craft working with family and friends.
A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR
Hey, I hope you enjoyed the article and found the information useful.
If you have any questions in regards to becoming a coach, don’t hesitate to drop me an email.