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How to become a successful online business coach in 7 easy steps

Build Your Business
How to become a successful online business coach in 7 easy steps
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Read time: 5min

If you’re an entrepreneur ready to capitalize on your expertise, there’s never been a better time to start your online coaching business. It can be a lucrative offer, allows you to share your expertise and offers the ability to really help people grow as professionals.

In this step-by-step guide, we’ll explore how to become a business coach and get the most out of your knowledge.

What is online business coaching?

Online business coaching is a way for entrepreneurial experts to leverage their knowledge in order to help other businesses thrive. Mentors and clients can connect from anywhere in the world because everything is done online.

Whether your business expertise comes from higher education or work experience, your guidance is a marketable service that other business owners are willing to invest in.

As an online business coach, you’ll take on the roles of trainer, analyst, and mentor. Bring the same level of passion to your coaching as you do to your other business ventures, and you’re bound to succeed.

Why become an online business coach?

Statistics on business coaching industry being worth $11.6 billion in 2020 and annual salaries for business coaches between $74k - $160k

Before we get into the steps of how to become a business coach, let’s take a look at a few of the reasons why savvy business professionals might want to start online coaching.

  • Flexibility – The old model of commuting to a physical workplace on a conventional schedule has become outdated. More and more professionals are embracing a new work model that includes working from home or on the road. The flexibility offered by an online career means you have more time and freedom to pursue the things that matter most to you.
  • Profitability – The market for online business coaching is exploding. In 2020, the business coaching industry had a market size of $11.6 billion. According to ZipRecruiter, business coaches’ average annual salaries are around $74k but can reach over $160k with more expertise. Whether you intend to make coaching your full-time job or just a side hustle, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to make money.
  • Fulfillment – Entrepreneurship isn’t just about making money. It’s about identifying needs and solving problems. Business experts from all different backgrounds have chosen coaching as a way to reignite their passion for growing enterprise. When you become a business coach, you’ll be able to find purpose in mentoring passionate entrepreneurs from all walks of life.

7 steps to become an online business coach

Launching a new career is never easy. But with proper guidance and the right tools, today’s entrepreneurs can get their business off the ground much faster than before.

As you start to imagine what your career will look like, consider these steps for how to become a business coach.

1. Find your niche

Different types of business coaching specialties with their main functions

Identify your specialty within the world of online business coaching. Once you have a niche, you can more easily market and grow your brand. Here are a few different types of business coaching that you might focus on.

  • Teams coaching – Build an interactive curriculum for groups of all sizes. By introducing teams to your business strategies, you’ll help them function with more efficiency and cohesion. 
  • Executive coaching – One-on-one coaching can be a lucrative option when you secure clients who are willing to invest in their top executives. Mentor these titans of industry with your expertise in finance, management skills, shareholder relations, and more.
  • Performance coaching – A performance coach helps to optimize someone’s ability to do their job no matter what role they hold within an organization. As a performance coach, you can work to improve individual parts of the whole, boosting a business’s overall output.
  • Leadership coaching – Many business owners have their products and systems mastered, but they lack natural leadership skills. Help develop these entrepreneurs into better leaders by working on communication skills, strategic thinking, and delegation tactics.
  • Brand coaching – Leverage your marketing expertise to help business owners establish their voice and build a marketable brand. From social media campaigns to core content, your expertise will guide brands to a more sustainable future.

2. Get the right qualifications

Once you’ve established what your niche is, it’s time to back it up with the proper qualifications. While there is no one-size-fits-all degree for online business coaches, there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to bolstering your bona fides.

Consider taking courses in your area to gain a certification. Many coaching institutes offer online courses you can complete from the convenience of your home.

If you have a college degree in business management or a related field, you may be able to leverage your credentials with higher-paying clients. Whatever your approach, make sure you put all your qualifications front-and-center to build trust with potential clients.

3. Define your ideal client

Identify the types of business owners that you would like to coach. You might be tempted to define your ideal client as whoever pays the most. And we can’t blame you! But put aside the money for a moment and imagine what businesses you would like to help the most.

To define your ideal client, answer the following questions:

  • Is there an industry you’ve always had an interest in?
  • What are your greatest strengths, and what kind of businesses could benefit from them?
  • Do you enjoy working for bigger corporations, or do you prefer small businesses and sole proprietors?
  • What level of entrepreneurs do you see yourself mentoring? Beginners? Or established businesspeople?
  • What would bring you the most joy from your coaching agreements?

These are crucial questions to ask when you decide to become a business coach, as well as along the way to keep your work focused and on brand.

4. Create a professional website

Now the fun part! What was once an arduous task of coding and debugging is now as easy as a few clicks and drags. We’re of course talking about creating your professional website.

With Kajabi’s website builder, you’ll be able to create a fully integrated website for your coaching business. From services and payments to blogs and videos, you’ll be able to curate an attractive interface that your clients can easily navigate. You won’t have to invest in expensive designers or deal with unreliable plug-ins.

As an online business coach, you need a website that runs smoothly on the front and back ends, and Kajabi delivers just that.

5. Make content that increases your credibility

Marketing your qualifications is one way to increase credibility, but the content you produce can be an even more important tool.

One of the most effective ways to increase your credibility is to start a blog. By publishing consistent, engaging content on your blog, you can build trust with your readers and show off your expertise.

Infographics are a phenomenal use of visual content. Create your own or cite infographics from industry leaders and peer-reviewed studies.

In addition, video content will give your audience an even more engaging option than text and graphics. Be sure to include some short, eye-catching videos on the core pages of your website. The goal of these videos should be to leave your audience wanting more.

6. Build your coaching program

You could offer one-off coaching sessions, or try to find clients who want an indefinite coaching arrangement. But chances are, you'll want to chart out some fixed length coaching programs that your clients can take.

You'll want to consider how many sessions your client will need to achieve certain desired outcomes. Think about the challenges your target and likely clients will have and how long you think you'll need to guide them toward a solution. What can you achieve in three sessions? What can you achieve in ten sessions?

Showcasing a defined timeline can help your prospective business coaching clients feel confident in the transformation you can provide within the timeframe and cost required. That can encourage people to sign up.

Check out our coaching program template to help you build out your coaching program.

7. Market your coaching skills

So far you’ve got a great website, great content, and a killer online course. Now it’s time to get the word out!

Marketing yourself is the true secret of how to become a business coach. Take an all-of-the-above approach to marketing whenever possible. This means you engage in social media campaigns, email promotions, as well as word of mouth.

In addition, search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) are effective strategies for getting the most eyeballs onto your content. Use tracking systems for each of these strategies to see what campaigns are working and what campaigns might need some adjustment.

Attend networking events

Just because you’re an online business coach now doesn’t mean you won’t have to show your face in public. According to a study by MMBC, 96% of small business owners report that in-person meetings yield a return-on-investment.

Networking events and conferences are essential to building your business and finding your ideal clients. Research events ahead of time, and choose conferences based on where you think your ideal clients will be attending.

At the end of the day, a career in coaching is about connecting with other entrepreneurs. And there’s no better place to do that than a room full of business professionals (or a Zoom room).

Become a business coach with Kajabi

By understanding the steps of how to become a business coach, you’ve already put your new career in motion. Now it’s time to take action!

If you're serious about starting a business, you'll need a legal framework. Reach out to a trusted lawyer and research about forming a company like an LLC in your state. Then, sign up for the software you'll use to power your online coaching business.

With Kajabi, it's easy to set up an online coaching business. But guess what? We offer more than just a coaching platform. Create online courses, establish membership sites, host a podcast, and sell other digital products. Plus, you'll get marketing tools like a website, CRM, email marketing, landing page templates, and helpful analytics to help you spread the word about your products and earn more revenue.

Fully explore what Kajabi has to offer and start building your business during a free trial. Start your free 14-day trial of Kajabi today!

Still researching? Check out Kajabi’s free downloadable ebook guides on launching and growing a knowledge commerce online business!

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