As a coach, you constantly develop new strategies and techniques to maintain traction because no clients means no business. While coaching is a noble career, you must have a regular income flow to make ends meet.
Stats suggest the coaching industry is likely worth more than $20 billion, with an estimated 93,000 certified coaches across multiple specialized niches. Although this means tremendous growth with a positive outlook, it also indicates increased competition. To combat this competition, you must have a unique selling point (USP) to attract prospects.
One such differentiating factor is virtual coaching. This helps you break geographic barriers, allowing people from all over the world to seek your services. But how do you launch your virtual career and a full-blown online course? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.
Here’s all you need to know about how to get started with virtual courses, how to structure an online course, and why you should jump into this booming industry.
Reasons to create an online coaching course
Remember the significant billion-dollar figure? It means it’s an excellent time for industry professionals to host coaching training online or move their sessions to virtual settings. And not only will you take advantage of the skyrocketing growth but you’ll also experience the following benefits:
- Become a subject-matter authority: Working online, of course, allows you to take on clients from across the globe and form group courses, filling your virtual classroom with new faces. And as your audience grows exponentially, so does your brand recognition –– the more clients with a positive experience, the greater industry authority you gain. And this authority can sway prospects to work with you, generating more leads for your business.
- Establish better work-life balance: Going virtual reduces your commute and office overhead, saving you time and money. This also helps you make more time for family, put earnings away for a vacation, and set your hours so you can work on hobbies or run errands when most convenient.
- Learn more about your audience fast: Suppose you give an online course with 25 students or coaching clients. Those are 25 people with plenty to teach you about your offering’s success. Send out a survey at the end of the course and gather insights to improve your coaching services.
How to create an online course as a coach
You know how to run a successful coaching session, but creating your first online course can be challenging. And where there’s a challenge, there’s an opportunity to create something great — in this case, a course for other coaches or a group coaching module that helps clients reach a common goal. Here’s how to make an excellent coaching class or course and share your expertise:
- Choose a topic of value to your target audience: If you’re a veteran coach or specialize in a particular niche, you know which subjects resonate best with your audience. For example, if you’re a business coach, you could teach other professionals business coaching hacks or run a course that guides entrepreneurs toward executing their next big idea. Just be sure to choose a finite topic. For example, business coaching is too broad, but incubating a new business idea is an appropriate focus.
- Work backward to determine coursework: Define learning outcomes before deciding on the course content. Then, outline the steps to those learning objectives. This will guide the creation of your course. After you design a general outline, brainstorm topic ideas. Chances are you’ll notice a recurring theme around, like the importance of sprint planning for entrepreneurs, which could translate into a class.
- Choose the course format: The first question to ask yourself is whether you’ll give live classes or share prerecorded content so clients can study at their own pace. This decision determines your timeline. If you decide to give a live course, you’ll meet with students at intervals like every Tuesday and Thursday or once a week. For prerecorded, student-paced classes, you can disperse content over time, lock certain content until an individual completes preceding materials, or hand the entire course over to the student to work through as they please. Whichever model you decide, consider saving content for future use. If you prerecord classes, you’re all set, and if you give live ones, use the screen recording option (with your students’ permission). You can later sell this ready-made content to make passive income.
- Create your content: This step looks slightly different, depending on whether you prerecord courses or impart them live. Either way, you should start with a firm lesson plan, notes, and research as well as prepare to record or give a class with all visuals, presentations, and other multimedia or interactive elements (like quizzes) in hand. For live courses, reserve time for questions and breakout activities in groups.
- Get the right tech for your class: Ensure you have the necessary tech to conduct your course. You may wish to invest in a headset and webcam if you don’t have them already and get a premium subscription to a video conferencing service, such as Zoom or Google Meet, so your webinars don’t have time limits.
- Market your course: Suppose you already have a substantial audience on social media, a website that brings in steady traffic, or a robust email marketing list. You can leverage those platforms to advertise your course successfully. Be sure to have clear signup instructions (including a link to the registration landing page) and payment methods. If you don’t yet have a wide audience to market to, join a teaching site like TakeLessons, Thinkific, Kajabi, Udemy, or Teachable, which help sell online courses and link teachers and students.
Tips for effectively structuring a course online
How you’ll structure your course is essential to its success. Students quickly get lost in new material if it’s disorganized or the teacher leads with high-level topics pupils aren’t prepared to parse. The following tips can help you structure your online coaching course effectively:
- Think small: You’re a subject-matter expert, but your clients aren’t. Material that may seem like a breeze to you may take attendees time to understand and digest. Break your topics into small segments, accompany explanations with visuals to help students understand better, and share exercises. Imagine you’re a nutritional coach teaching meal planning. You can likely put together a nutrition-rich weekly meal plan in minutes. But your students will have to learn about the nutritional content of foods and their effects on the body. So meal planning may be a course, not a class.
- Strike a balance: You must present course material with a comprehensive lecture in each session but don’t overlook practical applications. For example, as a nutritional coach, you could spend the first half of the session introducing the importance of protein and then ask students to spend the latter half researching and presenting protein-rich food options.
- Use quizzes: Test your students’ knowledge through interactive quizzes. These help attendees retain learning. Plus, tests encourage engagement and provide you an avenue to assess each student’s progress. If you notice a student unable to answer questions in the quiz, you can relay feedback to them and chart specific action items to help them succeed.
Manage your online coaching business with Practice
Your vast knowledge deserves a platform and a wealth of learners. Leverage the digital platform to share your learning, and don’t risk losing a potential student for your upcoming online course. Use a customer relationship management (CRM) tool to gather leads.
Practice’s Client Management Software, made with coaches in mind, is perfect for anyone who gives online courses. You can securely store student information, send documents like worksheets, and receive virtual payments –– all in one place.
And that’s not all. Head to The Practice Blog to learn more about how to effectively run your coaching business, build a rapport with your clients, and optimally use social media and the online world to your advantage. Try Practice today.