The entry of many new e-learning solutions into the marketplace today, plus the effects of the many different ways you can coach your clients online, mean that it can be really confusing. I totally understand. That’s why I’m writing about the various online coaching business models you can use to make your business idea a reality.
If you have passed through a formal coaching training, you’ll find that one-on-one coaching is in the first part of your programme. One-on-one coaching involves creating exclusive online training for clients you’re working with, plus a supplemental online curriculum for use between meetings and calls with you. Each client receives highly customized mentorship and game-changing results. This explains why most certified coaches start off their practice with one-on-one coaching. That’s also why private coaching is typically seen as the high-end service a coach offers.
But the thing is, the one-on-one model is difficult to scale. That’s because it is limited by your time and the number of clients in your pipeline – or that you can take. This means that if you are not booked up – and actually coaching clients – you won’t really be making money from it.
Group coaching involves coaching or consulting in a group setting. You can work with many clients at the same time to achieve more leverage in your business. The group is just as important as you; it relies on you for your expertise but also feeds off the strengths and participation of group members to create a beautiful dynamic between members. This method often involves prepared online training content plus staggered live sessions between. So your audience can follow at their own pace.
Group coaching can be conducted in a couple of ways to meet the needs of your audience:
One is long-term coaching. This comes in a series of sessions done in a group forum. Another is intensive coaching, this is usually a one-to-two-day workshop where a number of people participate. The third way is a short one-off workshop. This is usually driven by what your target market wants. They may want you to hold a one-hour online session to address a trend in their line of business and how to respond to it.
Group coaching is more scalable because you are helping multiple people at once. So if you are using a one-on-one model and want to take your business to the next level, I’d recommend you design group coaching modules.
Online Coaching courses
This uses the online course format to productize your coaching programme. It is one of the most popular categories of online courses running today. By this model, you can turn your offline skills and expertise into an online course so you can keep selling to people year after year. Here’s the best part: once you’ve created your digital asset, this model will help you to achieve an incredible scale.
When people subscribe to membership sites, they get access to past and future online training programmes, as well as live coaching from experts. A key motivating factor is that members also have access to all the other members in the programme. A membership site is similar to a standalone online course, but with a couple of differences. Membership sites are priced at a monthly recurring subscription with no definitive end date. Members are incentivized with fresh content and updates on a regular basis, plus community-building activities. This is to encourage them to remain for lifelong learning and continuous improvements.
Another thing is, membership sites do protect you from the fluctuating time cycles that come with standalone online course contracts or launches because its recurring income, through monthly membership subscription, does create a base for stability. That is a game-changer for many coaching businesses.
Lastly, now that you understand how the different models can help you start your coaching business online, you can now determine the model that suits your clients’ purpose. Typically, the model that resonates with you will depend on your personality, the amount of work you want to put in weekly, or how much person-to-person interaction you want to have, among others.