How to Start an Online Coaching Business

Do you enjoy helping people achieve their goals? Then online coaching is ideal for you. It allows you to empower individuals from various backgrounds without the need to be physically present.

While the process seems straightforward, it isn’t always easy. There are lots of considerations that go into planning a coaching program. You’ll need to first have expertise enough to teach and produce results, and the ability to attract clients.

In this article, we’ll share everything you need to know to begin and thrive as an online coach.

Let’s get started!

Who is an Online Coach?

An online coach offers customers virtual assistance and supports through video conferences, chat, or other digital technologies. This eliminates the need for in-person meetings, making it ideal for those with busy schedules.

The online coaching market is expanding and is projected to reach $11.7 billion by 2032. Meaning, there’s lots of space for everyone to thrive. Whether you work full-time or have a flexible schedule, online coaching allows you to work around your current responsibilities.

It also provides a flexible opportunity to share your skills and make a significant difference in people’s lives.

Why Should You Coach Online?

Before you begin your online coaching business, it’s a good idea to ask yourself: “Why do you want to offer online coaching services?

Much more than what you want to do is why you want to do it. People would connect to your reason faster than they would to your services.

So, while there are a million benefits with online coaching services, some of the most important benefits include;

1. It’s an extra source of income

Offering coaching services based on your knowledge and expertise allows you to charge extra regularly. This is mostly achievable because you have obvious results that cannot be denied.

2. It’s easier to manage

Online coaching offers you more control over your schedule, and you can have group coaching classes, ensuring everyone is carried along.

3. Distance is not a limit

Regardless of your location, coaching online allows you to coach clients from around the world. So you’re not just a local coach, but a global coach with clients from all around the world.

4. There’s a high demand

As the creator economy continues to grow, more and more people are monetizing their skills and needing help from others.

Every professional needs a coach, and as Salem King calls himself “the creator’s creator,” it’s important to tap into this market and take advantage of the demand through online coaching.

More so, the coaching industry market size is estimated to be a $20 billion industry. So, if you ever need a conviction, this is it.

5. It’s time-efficient

You can take clients according to your schedule through video conferencing and live a balanced life without feeling burnt out or stressed.

Why You Shouldn’t Start an Online Coaching Business

Online coaching is very beneficial, but it’s not for everyone. Here’s why you shouldn’t start an online coaching business;

  • Do not start an online coaching business if you have nothing to teach. Coaching requires you to use your knowledge to help people reach their goals. So if you don’t know enough to help someone, don’t become a coach.
  • If you can’t teach, you can’t be a coach. Being a coach means that you help people to be better.
  • Running a coaching business demands a significant time commitment. If you can’t give your time, then don’t start.
  • Coaching often involves dealing with client’s issues and challenges. This can be emotionally taxing and requires a high level of empathy and emotional resilience.
  • If you can’t market your services to help you acquire clients, then there’s no need to start an online coaching business.

How to Start an Online Coaching Business

Starting an online coaching business, like any other, needs strategy and time investment.

Follow these steps to launch a successful online coaching business. Before you begin working on it, plan ahead of time and have a clear approach in place.

Let’s divide the process into a few major steps:

1. Identify your coaching niche

One of the secrets to succeeding as an online coach is to identify which niche you want to specialize in.

A niche is a market segment that focuses on a limited number of people. Hence, it influences the type of content you produce and the clients you target.

When choosing a niche, think about your specific knowledge or experiences. What can you continuously teach without fear or preparation? What knowledge comes to you easily? What do you know that people are willing to pay for?

Identifying your niche begins with identifying what it is you are capable of doing effortlessly.

In a conversation with Movirtuals, a virtual assistant coach, she says “I decided to become a virtual assistant coach because that’s a field I’ve worked in for so many years and have produced results. I have made mistakes and I have learned from them; now I just want to help people to do better than me. I do a lot of things, but to make things easier for me, I decided to focus on my skill as a virtual assistant.”

Here are some examples of popular coaches and their various niches.

Niching down even further allows you to target your ideal customers directly, increasing your chances of attracting the right people to your sales funnel.

For example, let’s say you want to become a business coach. The “business” niche is vast. As a coach just starting, finding your first customers in such a competitive market can be difficult.

But if you’re more specific with your offer, you have a better chance of being seen by your ideal customers. So instead of saying “business coach” you can say “a business coach that helps single moms start their affiliate marketing.”

2. Improve your coaching skills

Earlier, we mentioned that being a coach means being able to guide people to success. And this applies here because to be a successful coach, you must first learn how to be one.

Coaching skills allow you to connect with clients, understand their needs, and help them achieve their objectives.

Developing these abilities can significantly impact the success of your online coaching business. So, what skills do you need to excel as a coach? Let’s check them out below:

a. Have expertise

To teach, you must know and have results from your knowledge. A popular adage says “Knowledge is power,” and it applies to coaching too.

The majority of the time, your bad coaching skill is because you don’t know something well enough to teach it. But to succeed as an online coach, you must be an expert at something and have a practical understanding of your sector. This way, you can truly understand what your clients go through and better help them.

b. Actively listen

This involves being alert and fully present when customers communicate their thoughts and feelings. Listening abilities allow you to understand your clients better and build a working relationship with them.

c. Empathy

Empathy enables you to be sympathetic and supportive. It also helps to establish a safe and trusting environment for clients to open up.

d. Communication skills

 To be a better coach, you must know how to communicate clearly and effectively. Good communication improves your connection with your clients

e. Accountability

Your primary responsibility as a coach is to hold your clients accountable for their actions and promises, thereby assisting them in staying on track. So you must know how to be an accountability partner to be a successful coach.

3. Create your coaching business plan

The next thing you need to ensure that your coaching business succeeds is to have a business strategy.

What services are you planning to offer? Will you have a variety of offerings? What are your payment terms like? How would you promote your services? How do you measure progress? Who are your ideal clients?

Some of the most common business models for a coaching business include one-on-one coaching, group coaching sessions, coaching membership programs, and combining coaching with self-paced online courses and digital products.

Carry out thorough market research to identify opportunities where you can succeed as a coach and deliver exceptional services.

One of the ways to excel on all fronts is to offer a variety of digital products at varying prices to attract different customer segments.

READ: Meet Abdulrasheed Othman: The Digital Creator Who Left 10 Years of Experience in Oil & Gas For Business Coaching and Consultancy

4. Determine the price of your coaching services

There are no defined standards for pricing online coaching services; it is entirely dependent on your business strategy.

However, an actionable step is to do your research to know what the average price for your niche is. Then add a 10% – 20% increase and use that as a benchmark for your pricing. As you begin, you’ll know if your pricing is too high or too low for your clients.

A rule of thumb in pricing coaching services is to charge customers based on the value you provide to them. For example, you can charge a startup founder $500 for 1:1 coaching to help him launch his product in the market and get his first 100 customers.

But that same price may be too high for an employee who needs coaching for her next career step.

Other forms of coaching like group coaching are typically less expensive and prices vary depending on criteria such as the number of members and the value of meetings.

Another way to approach pricing is to select from a variety of pricing models that best meet your and your client’s demands. A subscription or retainer plan is another price option that works well for ongoing training or clients with long-term goals.

You can also provide program packages in which clients pay for a predetermined number of coaching sessions aimed at reaching targeted objectives and transformations.

Generally, the idea is to price your services high enough that people can see the value in them but at the same time low enough that it is affordable for your clients. You don’t want to go over the bar.

LEARN: How to Price Your Online Course to Make More Sales

5. Create a program blueprint

You know how much you want to charge for your services. But how do you deliver maximum value? The answer lies in creating a coaching blueprint. That is, all the processes your coaching practices will follow to ensure maximum delivery.

Do you want to have a membership site where people pay a membership fee to be a part of? This way you have all your clients in one place and can easily manage them.

Do you want to offer 1:1 coaching classes all the time? For Pasheda, Business Strategist and creator, she describes 1:1 coaching as being very exhausting which led her to create digital products.

So instead of offering 1:1 classes all the time, you may want to consider a group coaching program or creating a membership site. This helps you manage the content you share with your clients and also prevents you from burnout.

Conversely, you may offer 1:1 coaching maybe once or twice as a lead magnet, then direct them to your membership site to join your group coaching program and increase commitment.

Either way, have a blueprint before you onboard your first client. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Clarity comes as you go.

6. Select a platform for your coaching 

Whether you want to offer 1:1 coaching or group coaching, your platform of choice should include everything you need to succeed.

Here are some tools you’ll need;

  • Video conferencing tool: At the very least, you’ll need a platform to host scheduled video conference meetings. Consider a few popular platforms like these Zoom alternatives.
  • Online coaching platform: You’ll need a platform that allows you to offer digital products for coaching purposes, a membership site, free trials, packages, discounts, and other sales-related incentives. Key factors to consider here are price, ease of use, and accessibility.

Selar is an easy-to-use platform that allows you to sell any kind of digital product or service anywhere in the world. You can host your coaching programs and even direct clients to your close-knit community after they make payments. The entire process is automated so you just focus on delivering value.

  • Communication tool: How will you communicate with your audience? Social media can be overwhelming and not targeted at anyone particularly. You may want to consider slack channels, telegram groups, or even WhatsApp communities. Emails are also a good way to convert more people so you’ll need a good, cost-effective email marketing tool.

7. Build your personal brand

To stand out from the crowd, you need a personal brand. It determines a lot of the successes you’ll have as a coach, as a lot of people are drawn to who you are, more than what you sell.

Your goal is to ensure that every time they have to decide whether to take your coaching class or not, your personal brand gives them a reason to.

Start building your personal brand by creating and sharing valuable content online. The best way to be known is to offer a solution to your target audience’s problem. Don’t just be another person with a ring light and camera. Say something different and valuable.

The more quality content you create, the easier it will be to build trust and position yourself as an expert in your subject.

Remember that this is a progressive process that will take time, but when paired with other marketing methods, it will allow you to organically expand your business.

LEARN: Personal Brand 101: How to Build a Personal Brand Online as a Digital Creator

8. Find your first customers

One of the requirements of being an online coach is that you must be ready to always promote your services to attract clients.

The most successful coaches approach marketing from a funnel perspective. There are three major parts of a sales funnel;

  • Top of the funnel: Here your primary focus is brand awareness and audience building. You want people to get to know you and the services you offer. Primary channels for this are social media, speaking engagements, and event appearances.
  • Middle of the funnel: Here you want to go from passive audience to people interested in your products. Lead magnets, emails, and free online events do the trick here.
  • Bottom of the funnel: This is where the sales happen. It’s influenced by a lot of things like consistency, offering, personal brand, and reputation. Your digital products, value in your content, and coaching guidelines help people make a purchase.

LEARN: How to Create an Automated Sales Funnel to Boost Sales of Your Digital Product

A good marketing strategy is to generate leads at every stage of the funnel so you can see which channels are underperforming.

Not enough people asking about your products? you need new social media followers. Collaborate with a bigger creator to fix it. Not enough sales? Offer a discount with extremely valuable services.

Always think about the results you want and work your way backward to identify which strategy works best.

LEARN: How to Get More Coaching Clients Online (Get 10 New Clients in 60 Days)


Online coaching is a great way to monetize your skills and get paid for what you know.

Digital products are a good way to offer more value in your coaching services. Create a digital product and sell it on Selar to help you reach anyone anywhere in the world.

Starting with Selar is free and easy. All you have to do is sign up and upload your products.