You: You are thinking about becoming a virtual life coach, or an online life coach.
And you are asking yourself: “Are there online life coaching jobs?” Or
“How do I become an online coach?”
Or even: I’m ALL IN ON THIS ONLINE LIFE COACH THING. TELL ME HOW TO DO IT.”
Me and Team Pony: Awesome!
Let us help you!
So to start – we are defining “Online Life Coach” and “Virtual Coach” as someone who wants to run your coaching business entirely from your couch or comfy home office.
This means no in-person meetings or sessions. Whether you are doing 1:1 coaching or group programs, it’s all happening remote!
So, let’s talk steps!
Step 1: Give yourself permission to coach entirely online
I think the pandemic has taught all of us that it’s possible to do *almost* anything online. And many MANY coaches have used phone calls or skype (before the days of Zoom!) to coach clients for years.
So if this was worrying you, please relax. It’s okay!
Your clients will be great!
And you’ll get to enjoy the lovely life of never wearing pants or working from a beach.
Step 2: Decide how you want to coach virtually
So, if you are doing 1:1 coaching you have a couple of options.
Option 1: You can coach over the phone *gasp* – I know! It’s still possible.
Option 2: Or you can coach via Zoom or video chat – whatever works for you.
The key thing to keep in mind is the question: Are you a better coach if you can see your client, or if you can just hear them?
There’s NO wrong answer here – this is truly about you and your ability to coach.
Years ago, when I coached privately over at The Revolutionary Club, I coached primarily over the phone. I did this because I liked to both walk around and lay down when coaching – I was a better coach when I could do that – so video chat wasn’t a great option for me.
You might be the reverse, and that’s okay! Just identify what works for you.
If you want to coach over the phone and easily record it, you can use an old-school tool like freeconferencecall.com.
If you want to record video, Zoom is obviously a great option.
And, you don’t have to record anything – it’s up to you if you think having the recording will serve your client.
If you are doing group coaching, you should *probably* get on video sometimes because it’s the 21st century. 🙂
But actually – you have three options:
- Interactive group calls (these will be best on video)
- Semi-interactive FB lives in a client group (where people can chat to you)
- Choosing a program where all of the feedback happens in writing in the forum comments or FB group.
If you choose option 1, then Zoom is a great choice for easy-to-manage video. This is likely to be more pure coaching as you can pull people onscreen and do hotseats with different people and have real live conversations *gasp.*
If you choose FB lives you’ll likely be a little more limited in terms of interaction – though technology is updating all of the time.
However, right now *usually* folks can’t come onscreen with you if they come into your webinar via the FB app, so you might be taking questions from the FB chat thread and answering them and interacting that way. This is obviously not a pure form of coaching, but it will allow you to teach and offer insight.
Option 3 is the most virtual of virtual coaching, as you are purely using a comment forum on your teaching platform or simply using a FB group as a gathering place for people to work through your offer and get feedback or ask questions. In this scenario you aren’t doing anything verbally, it’s all asnychronous and in writing. Which is great for you – you can choose to get online at any time, and great for your students, because same.
And here’s some important counterpoint: The more clients can interact with you, the more likely the are to engage, so if you are interested in pure coaching then you’ll want to do live group video. But, if you are doing more of a training/teaching hybrid, one of the other models might work for you
One last note: Audio isn’t dead entirely clearly – see apps like Clubhouse for instance, but the group experience, if you are offering live feedback in the moment – is *usually* better if people can see you and see who else is speaking. Mostly go with what works for you!
Step 3: Create and set up your offer
If you are a private coach, you are already in good shape as you’ve picked your coaching format and I assume already have your niche and approach nailed down. Bravo!
If you want to do group coaching or an online course, you may need to create a curriculum that either you deliver live re the methods we talked about in the last step, or via an online student portal in a prerecorded video or audio format.
You have several options to do this, going from easy to more difficult:
- Start a Facebook group and create teaching units in that group – upload your prerecorded video there, or store your FB lives in those units.
- Sign up for an all-in-one robust platform like Kajabi or Teachable, where you store your teaching content in one password protected place. Some of these platforms can also take payment and do MANY other helpful things! They are great if you don’t mind paying a monthly fee and having an all-in-one solution.
- Build your own teaching portal on WordPress, using a plugin like WishListMember to keep it locked up for your students. If you are curious – our Build a REAL Business course is set up this way. It’s usually the most difficult, but also the most flexible in terms of design and capability.
If you are doing Option 2 or 3 and using prerecorded training and you want a place to host the video, check out Vimeo. Facebook of course will record and host your Lives if you go that route!
Step 4: Create a webpage for your coaching program or offer, as well as a system for purchase.
It’s time to create a place for people to learn about your coaching, even when you are asleep. So, it’s time to create a simple website or sales page that describes your coaching offer or program.
You can use a simple site-building tool like Wix.com to do this, you can go whole-hog with a WordPress.org site, or you can build a simple Leadpage or Ontrapage if you aren’t fully online yet. And, some of the all-in-one sites I mentioned above will also be able to help you create a sales page.
On this page you’ll want to include several things:
Thing one: What is the big transformation or solution you provide? Make sure this is front and center on the page.
Thing 2: How does the offer work? If you are doing 1:1 coaching, how many sessions are included and what’s the high-level structure? If you are doing group or online coaching, what’s the program curriculum? What – if any – support are you going to offer? Email, Voxxer, a Facebook group, or something else?
Thing 3: Remind people of the big benefit of the coaching to them. You’ll be surprised how fast they can forget. So fast!
Thing 4: A “sign up here to chat” button if you are doing 1:1 coaching so they can schedule a call with you (or you can embed your calendar), or list the price and purchase button if you are doing group coaching.
Thing 5: Testimonials or other credibility if you have it. Ideally you’ll have some testimonials from people who are struggling with the same thing your perspective clients were struggling with and now doing great thanks to your magical coaching. Other credibility can be “as seen on” media mentions, links to blogs or other articles showing you know your stuff, or your related education and certifications.
Obviously this is super high-level, but you get the idea!
Step 5: Set up payment and email
Given that you are coaching online now is not the time to take checks (I’m old, checks are still a thing in my life).
So, you’ll want an easy way for people to pay you online.
Depending on what you are comfortable with, and how your business and website is set up, you can have people:
- Venmo you the cash
- Use a Paypal button at checkout as a way to pay
- Use their credit card by integrating Stripe or another payment processor on your site
- Or you can use a management tool like Paperbell which does scheduling, client notes and payment.
And while you can do everything initially on the “Iamanawesomecoach@gmail.com” email address, eventually you will want a CRM to help you manage email and make sure you aren’t breaking the law by mass emailing people who did not opt into your list. Don’t do this!
Good news – you don’t have to! You can use a Customer Relationship Management tool (which at its most simple is basically a tool to manage and email groups of people) to help you avoid trouble and manage your online community.
There are new CRM’s popping up every day, but a good place to start your research as a newer coach is with these three: Convertkit.com, Mailchimp.com, and Mailerlite.com. All three change their plans up periodically, but they all often have free or inexpensive small plans for newbies that won’t break your bank.
Step 6: Market your offer using all of the awesome online platforms available!
Marketing is a LOT – it’s a huge thing. But it can be done entirely from your couch if you don’t want to be out physically in the world, and so to market your shiny new online coaching business you are going to want to learn how to market online.
(Don’t worry, I’m not about to tell you to hire a big social media manager or anything. NO).
But before you rush off, please know this: you can make a LOT of mistakes when you market. There are 5 big mistakes most new virtual coaches make, and I don’t want you doing that.
So, to help you market your business so you find paying clients I’ve put together this amazing on-demand marketing masterclass. It’s free, fun, and chock-full of help for your business.