Ready to take your coaching practice to the next level? Choosing the right coaching platform can mean the difference between barely paying the bills and being a recognized authority working with amazing clients.
To help, we reviewed just about every coaching platform on the market. Here are the top five that stood out to us, as well as what you should be looking for in a coaching platform.
What is an online coaching platform?
An online coaching platform is a software that hosts your coaching and training materials, facilitates the coaching relationship, and is easily accessed by you and your clients online.
These platforms come in a variety of flavors.
Some cater to specific types of coaches — like health coaches or relationship coaches — while others are more generic in nature, providing the functionality any online coach needs.
Additional platforms are designed primarily for the customer experience. Others are designed on the whole for you, giving you tools to market and sell your coaching.
As you explore your options, focus on two things:
- The functionality you gain with the platform
- The platform’s ability to integrate with your business tech stack
The essential tech stack
Online coaching is tough to manage if you don’t have the right systems and tools. Serving multiple clients — all of them at different stages in your program — with tools that don’t play nicely together is a recipe for overwhelm!
Let’s review the functionality you’re going to need in your tech stack.
Coaching is part teaching (or mentoring), part project management, and part customer service. It’s also a business that you need to market and scale. To cover all these functions, you need a wide range of tools:
- Learning management - to deliver lessons and track client progress
- Customer relationship management - to store information on clients
- Project management - to manage your workflow
- Email marketing - to send important information to clients
- Calendaring - to schedule meetings
- Video conferencing - to host coaching calls
- Payment processing - to collect the fee for your services
Most online coaching platforms have one or a few of these features. Ideally, you want a platform that takes care of most of these needs so you can build a streamlined tech stack that works for you.
Watch our video with what to consider when choosing an online coaching platform:
With that in mind, let’s look at the top platforms and the functionality they provide.
5 best online coaching platforms for knowledge entrepreneurs
Choosing the software that will run your business can feel a bit like a game of spinning the bottle. To help you avoid a dud, we’ve explored your options and dug into their features. Here are the best platforms for coaches.
Since its launch in 2010, Kajabi has empowered over 50,000 knowledge entrepreneurs in 120 countries to serve 60 million students and make over $3.9 billion in sales. Long respected for its course builder, it’s now recognized as a leading coaching platform as well, providing a premier experience for both coaches and their clients.
Coaching is just one tool in Kajabi’s business suite, all of them designed specifically for knowledge entrepreneurs, or those who seek to monetize their knowledge through digital products. Once you choose your Kajabi package — Basic, Growth, or Pro — you get access to all the tools you need to start and grow your business.
That means you can produce a variety of products for multiple streams of income. Start with coaching and then expand into online courses, communities, and memberships. With Kajabi, the world is your oyster, because you’ll have the marketing tools you need to sell anything you want to create.
Kajabi Coaching includes key features you need to succeed as a coach:
- Recorded Sessions — Easily record your online coaching sessions. Once you finish the recording, the session will be automatically emailed to you.
- Built-In Scheduler — Input a date picker right into your web page or coaching program with this native calendar.
- Enhanced Client Experience — Clients can upload video and private notes, plus collaborate with you on your coaching notes and agenda.
- Simple Content Repurposing — Your recorded coaching sessions can be repurposed as course material, or used in blog and social media posts to grow your audience.
Coaching on Kajabi simplifies your life by providing you with a truly all-in-one software system. With built-in live video, recording, calendar, and client collaboration tools, Kajabi eliminates the need for multiple systems, removing the tech issues and costs associated with a larger tech stack.
No more duct taping your tools together. With Kajabi, everything just works, so you enjoy a sense of control and look like a seasoned pro, even if you’re just getting started.
Note: As you’ll see in a minute, one of the things that sets Kajabi apart is its complete suite of business-building tools. Most other options don’t include a website, email marketing software, and digital marketing tools. You’ll need to buy those services separately, adding to your costs and adding complexity to your software stack.
Founded in 2012, CoachAccountable helps coaches create a better offer, get better results with their clients, and focus on doing more of what they love. As stated on their website, the goal is “to keep your clients on track without having to babysit them.”
With CoachAccountable, you can sell coaching sessions from your website, social media channels, or email newsletter. Plus, it includes appointment scheduling, intake forms, and payments.
CoachAccountable gives you a dashboard for managing each client’s engagement. There, you can track their progress, the days left in their coaching package, invoices paid, and email notifications.
For a more in-depth look at CoachAccountable, read our Kajabi vs. CoachAccountable review here.
Satori promises to help you “design and deliver your signature coaching program.” It was originally designed for yoga teachers but can be used to manage any type of coaching business.
Satori lets you create:
- Signature coaching packages - Multi-session packages with agreements, intake forms, check-ins, and progress tracking.
- Personalized proposals - coaching packages tailored to individual clients and email personalized agreement proposals in just a few clicks.
- Group sessions - workshops, classes, or coaching groups and reach a wider audience of potential clients.
It has an administrative backend that automates many repetitive tasks, including one-touch client enrollment, automatic follow-up, and recurring billing. It also helps you keep clients accountable with custom coaching questionnaires and session agendas.
Beyond its administrative tasks, however, Satori is missing some notable features. You can't create online courses or other digital products. That could severely limit your growth potential as your coaching business plateaus – because there are only so many clients you can take on when you’re a solo coach.
Bottom line: Satori can help you create a zen coaching experience, but you’ll need to build and manage a tech stack to market your business. From our experience, that’s about as zen as a bee in the yoga studio.
Founded in 2014, Coaching.com is a digital platform designed specifically for coaching practices — from independent coaches to enterprise coaching organizations. Its goal is to create efficiencies in how coaching is purchased and managed.
For individual coaches, the platform can help you manage your workflow, track client progress, and find new clients. But Coaching.com also gives large coaching companies, such as Hudson Institute of Coaching and DDI, the infrastructure they need to manage a large stable of coaches.
That may explain the platform’s complex interface. As one user reported, “If you do not put effort into learning their functionality and operation, it could be cumbersome to work with this system.”
It gives you a dashboard for a bird’s eye view of your business, including scheduled sessions, assignments, to-do items, and billable activity. It also has a client portal with different levels of access. This lets clients schedule sessions, download resources, update goals, join video sessions, chat, and respond to forms.
For more details, read our Kajabi vs. Coaching.com review.
Mighty Networks takes a unique approach to coaching. While other coaching platforms focus on features you need to manage your practice, Mighty Networks focuses on a community-first approach.
To use this platform, you’ll create a network, set different access levels, and then let your members create posts and message fellow members. It’s like a private Facebook group, without the distractions.
Mighty Networks has a native course builder that you can use to deliver training to your coaching customers. For group coaching, it offers live streaming, live events and meetings, native video uploads, and group chat events.
The platform does give you advanced features for measuring client progress, including quizzes and self-assessments. This empowers your clients to take what they've learned from their coaching sessions and build upon it.
What to look for in an online coaching platform
If you're choosing an online coaching platform, you'll need to look beyond the feature list and price to determine how well it syncs with your coaching style and business plans.
Many so-called coaching platforms are little more than a scheduling tool or marketplace. And sure, these are vital functions, but they don’t qualify as an end-to-end coaching tool.
What features should you expect? Here are seven must-haves for coaches who are serious about growing their business:
Client management and progress tracking
Any coaching platform you choose should make it easy for you to manage your clients, from receiving payments to scheduling appointments and tracking progress as they complete their journey with you.
You're busy, and the last thing you need is to be locked into a system that forces you to spend more time managing the system than helping your clients succeed. That's why everything should be drag-and-drop simple. Whether you're uploading a video, building a marketing funnel, or sending an email, it should take just a few clicks to make it happen.
Content hosting and delivery
It needs to be super simple for you to record, host, and deliver your training. Most importantly, it needs to be one-click easy for your clients to access everything.
Look for a coaching platform that gives you built-in recording features, video hosting, membership features, and a built-in course builder.
Not only should it be easy to organize and design your program, but you should be able to lay out your training in a way that makes sense for you and your clients.
You already know that everyone learns and progresses at different rates, and there's no "right way" that works for every client all the time. Good course creation takes this into account and gives you the freedom and flexibility to craft your coaching program in the way that makes the most sense based on your experience and expertise.
Clients want to feel like they're in control of their progress. A good coaching platform should offer self-graded quizzes and other assessments. It should also make it easy for you to create actionable plans for each session, so you and your clients always know where you are in the coaching journey.
No business succeeds without marketing. That’s why the best online coaching platform will give you a full suite of marketing and sales tools including:
- Website builder
- Landing page builder
- Funnel builder
- Email marketing software
Otherwise, you’ll spend your days managing your tech stack instead of focusing on your clients.
Last, but certainly not least, any coaching platform you choose needs to include training and support to accelerate your success. Don’t settle for a program that doesn’t give you a dedicated knowledge base, walkthrough videos, and customer support.
Why Kajabi is the best online coaching platform for all types of coaches
As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when choosing the best online coaching platform for your business. Not only do you need the tools to streamline your coaching practice, you also need tools to market and sell your services.
We’ve reviewed five of the top coaching platforms that could serve you well, but only one gives you an end-to-end solution for coaches.
Start your free 14-day trial of Kajabi today!