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Coaching has become astronomically popular over the past few years. For many coaches, it’s a strong consultation business that allows them to work across various organizations and small businesses in the hope of helping them achieve goals and overcome any obstacles in their way. Other coaches see it as a flexible way of generating income that is sustainable for the long term. As we all know, slow and steady wins — and it’s no different for coaching services.
Solidifying your revenue streams and understanding the best revenue model for your online coaching service is vital to your success. You need a revenue model that is adaptable, scalable and not too labor-intensive.
I’ll discuss just what I find is the best revenue model to go with and why it works. Let’s take a deeper look at the ways to generate income as an online coach:
1. One-on-one coaching
This is where most coaches begin their careers — because it’s a straightforward way of generating revenue while keeping expenses at a minimum. It’s also a good way to build client relationships that are more close-knit than relationships you could build in a group coaching session. Most coaches practicing one-on-one coaching are perfectly happy to have a weekly schedule with 25 or more clients coming back for weekly or bi-weekly appointments.
2. Group coaching
Another way in which coaches generate revenue is by offering group coaching sessions. Looking at it from a number’s game, group coaching means more people during the same period, which means more revenue per hour.
Let’s say you charge clients $150 per hour. You could earn $1500 in one hour if you had ten clients in that session instead of one client at $150 per hour using the one-on-one coaching method.
Group coaching is generally experimented with once a coaching business is more established in the industry. An advantage to group coaching, like individual coaching, is that you can operate it on a subscription-based model. This means that clients will pay you per week or month for the duration of their coaching experience with you. It’s regular recurring revenue that most coaches opt-in for.
3. Online courses
This is one of the most dominant and practical ways to monetize your coaching skills. Simply put, online course packages are where coaches can create a series of audio, video and text content pieces and sew them together to become an online course. These courses are generally more extensive, more in-depth learning programs that are designed sequentially.
How course packages are charged is different from one-on-one and group coaching. In this case, coaches would charge a one-off fee per online course. These can be flat or tiered fees. For example, if your online course has a beginner, intermediate and expert level, it would be prudent to charge a tiered fee. As an example, clients pay $400 for the beginner course, then $750 for the intermediate course and $1000 for the expert course.
4. Consulting services
Many coaches attract companies by offering a consultation role to them. Typically, this works the same way a business would hire a strategic or management consultant. The idea is for coaches to be able to train and mentor team members for X amount of days or hours in a month.
Coaches have a set number of hours dedicated to that client. It’s a good way of managing time and collecting revenue upfront. But companies may not always want coaching services, so if you choose this route, you’ll need to be sure you have a steady flow of businesses signing up for your services across various months.
5. Live events — virtual or in-person
Live events are traditionally live in-person conferences, shows or retreats. Post-pandemic, they have become increasingly popular over the internet.
In-person coaching is also still valuable because people feel more comfortable sharing thoughts and experiences this way, and coaches can gain much information from this. It may not always be directly proportional, but live in-person events cost a significant amount. Think of venues, booking systems, catering, recording equipment, lighting, etc. This is where a coach’s volume would be lower, but their profit margins would be much higher.
On the other hand, virtual live events also bring a lot to the table. As a coach, you can still (like in-person) analyze a person’s body language, tonality and general mood. Virtual events are cheaper than in-person ones, but if you can get a decent number of attendees, you’ll be reaping the rewards with little effort.
6. Hybrid model
This is one of the newest and most favored categories of revenue generation — the hybrid model. This is where many of our coaches operate their businesses, and we see the value they acquire from it.
The hybrid model is where you can charge $50 for a session or $5,000 for a fully-fledged coaching program. You may think this price range isn’t attainable, but if you choose to sell a selection of coaching services, it just may be.
The idea is to sell off-the-shelf courses online, run individual and group coaching sessions, and add some live events to your calendar. Now, you can give people a ready-made solution and a very hands-on and practical coaching experience. This broadens your revenue range and gives clients the opportunity to choose which style of coaching they prefer.
I would select the hybrid model as the best revenue model for online coaches today. It brings agility, scalability and longevity to the business intelligently. I feel the best way to uphold and manage a hybrid revenue model is by investing in a quality coaching platform that handles all the operational tasks of the business.
Online coaching is a vital piece of the pie, and its revenue models don’t disappoint. Whether you have one or multiple coaching revenue streams is entirely up to you. What I urge you to do is just two things: One, ensure that anything you implement is scalable and adaptable. And two, that you select the finest online coaching software to help you manage your operations, content, marketing and customer base.