In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of individuals and businesses turning to online coaching as a way to reach a wider audience and provide convenient education and guidance.
This is a great avenue for any type of coaching. Whether you’re a solo entrepreneur, content creator, educator, instructional designer, or small business owner, setting up an online coaching platform can provide a number of benefits, including increased reach and revenue. However, with so many different platforms and tools available, it can be overwhelming to determine the best solution for your online coaching business.
In this article, we will explore the top 9 online coaching platforms and tools for 2023. Whether you’re just starting out in the world of online coaching or looking to upgrade your current platform, this comprehensive guide will provide all the information you need to make an informed decision.
What Should You Look For in an Online Coaching Platform?
When it comes to selecting an online coaching platform, there are a few key features to consider. First and foremost, the ability to create online courses is essential if you want to minimize real-time meetings with clients and sell your services to a wider audience. Grading assessments can also be helpful for tracking your clients’ progress and helping them feel good about your services.
It’s also important to have a reliable messaging system in place to allow clients to communicate with you easily. A video call scheduling tool can also be useful for hosting online meetings and displaying your availability to clients. Additionally, an email platform will make it possible for you to send automated emails to clients about updates to your services or thank them for completing courses.
The best online coaching platform for you will depend on your specific business needs and preferences. Make sure to carefully consider which features are most important for your business model and choose a platform that offers those features.
The Top 5 Platforms for Online Coaching Businesses
Choosing the right platform for your online coaching business is crucial. This is not only your main channel for coaching clients but in most cases, will be how customers discover and find out more about you. They’ll be able to contact you, sign up for your services, and track their progress. In this section, we will explore the top 5 platforms for online coaching businesses in 2023, including their features, pricing, and pros and cons.
At the top of our list of online coaching platforms is WordPress, the world’s most popular content management system. While you may think it’s better to use a dedicated online coaching platform, WordPress offers numerous advantages for online coaches. Having your own website is essential for a professional online coaching business, and with WordPress, you can easily embed your online coaching services directly on your website.
One of the main benefits of WordPress is its cost-effectiveness, as you usually don’t need to pay monthly fees to use the platform. WordPress is free to download, but you will need to pay for the services of a managed hosting service like Pressable or WordPress.com. You can choose to pay an annual or monthly fee, and we recommend the annual fee in most cases as you’ll likely save a little money in the long run compared to making monthly payments. In addition to hosting fees, you’ll need a WordPress theme to serve as the foundation of your website design and a few plugins to extend the functionality of your site. Themes and plugins can be free or paid, and there are plenty of options to choose from.
If you want to create online courses, you’ll need an LMS (Learning Management System) plugin like Sensei LMS. Sensei is the best plugin for all kinds of course creators and includes essential features like Sensei Blocks (interactive multimedia blocks), quizzes course access periods groups and cohorts, content drip scheduling, and a distraction-free learning template.
Sensei also offers features to manage the student experience, such as the ability for students to message you directly, manual or automatic grading of assessments, and the ability to award certificates. To access all of these features, you’ll need Sensei Pro, which also integrates with WooCommerce so that you can sell courses as products. To do this, you’ll need the WooCommerce Payments extension, which is built in partnership with Stripe.
There are many successful sites that use Sensei for their online courses. Here are a few examples:
- WoodwardEnglish.com: This site offers free courses as a lead magnet, and monetizes with ads and a paid YouTube community. It receives over 3 million monthly visitors and has a strong presence on YouTube with over 7 million subscribers.
- EscuelaEmprende.com: This site offers courses for course creators, with over 35k paying subscribers. Its courses cover topics such as WordPress, SEO, and even creating courses.
- LoveKindCure.com: This site offers cohort-based courses, including a $2,000 USD course called “The Antiracist Work.Kin.Cure,” which is a master course on dismantling white supremacy.
Sensei Pro costs $149 annually. Depending on the cost of your managed WordPress host, and the theme you use (you could also opt for a free theme like Course), you can create a very affordable digital coaching website. You may want to use additional plugins that could incur additional expenses, though there are many perfectly functional plugins that are free.
Coming in at number 2 on our list is CoachingLoft, an all-in-one coaching management platform for online coaches. With CoachingLoft, you can build your coaching profile, log coaching sessions, set goals and milestones for clients, and track client progress. The platform also allows you to schedule meetings directly on the site.
One thing to keep in mind with CoachingLoft is that the monthly price increases depending on the number of clients you have, which is not an issue with WordPress, where you can have unlimited clients without incurring extra fees. For example, CoachingLoft’s pricing ranges from $49 per month for up to 5 clients to $99 per month for up to 20 clients. It’s worth noting that you’ll also be competing with hundreds of other professional coaches on the same platform.
At number 3 on our list is Paperbell, another dedicated online coaching platform with a range of useful features. With Paperbell, you can create automatic landing pages for your business, schedule meetings using integrated calendars, and view an overview of your clients in your dashboard. It eliminates the need for invoicing since you send your clients a link to purchase your packages where they can pay directly. The platform also allows you to include contracts for your clients to sign.
One downside of Paperbell is that it can be expensive, with annual or monthly pricing options. The platform’s pricing ranges from $29 per month for the Basic plan to $99 per month for the Premium plan.
4. Nudge Coach
Nudge Coach is coaching software that allows you to create a customized mobile app for your online coaching business. With Nudge Coach, you can create a comprehensive coaching program complete with training material, track client progress, and communicate with clients.
One potential downside of Nudge Coach is that it can take longer to set up than a WordPress site. However, if you’re looking for a platform that offers a fully customized coaching app for your online coaching business, Nudge Coach may be the right choice for you. The platform’s pricing ranges from $49 per month for the Basic plan to $299 per month for the Enterprise plan. Overall, Nudge Coach is a unique and powerful platform for online coaches who are looking to create a comprehensive program for their clients.
Rounding out our list at number 5 is Kajabi, a popular platform for course creators. By becoming a Kajabi member, you can create a website that includes Kajabi’s tools for creating an engaging eLearning experience. While Kajabi is a recognized platform for online coaches, we ultimately recommend WordPress over Kajabi. WordPress is much more flexible and has many more available plugins and integrations.
Kajabi’s pricing ranges from $119 per month for the Basic plan to $399 per month for the Pro plan. While Kajabi is a solid choice for course creators, those looking to set up an online coaching business may want to consider other options like WordPress and Sensei LMS. Overall, Kajabi is a powerful platform for course creators, but may not be the best fit for all online coaches.
The Top 4 Tools for Online Coaches
All of these coaching tools we’re about to discuss are user-friendly, flexible, and can be easily integrated with WordPress, making them essential for any online coach looking to succeed in the industry. By using these tools, online coaches can focus on delivering a great coaching experience for their clients and growing their businesses.
Mailchimp is a powerful email marketing tool that allows online coaches to automate their communication with clients. Whether it’s updating clients on the latest course materials or providing progress reports, Mailchimp makes it easy to send personalized emails to your entire client list.
Using a tool like Mailchimp can be massively useful if you sell online coaching courses via Sensei and want to reach out to your students. You can, for example, download a report with the students’ email addresses and send out an email campaign to students who haven’t logged in for a while. Alternatively, you may want to send a welcome email to your new clients and give them a brief overview of the results they can expect from working with you.
If you offer real-time meetings in addition to online courses, it’s important that your clients can see your availability and schedule sessions directly. That’s where Calendly comes in. With Calendly, you can easily schedule and manage meetings with your clients. The platform is user-friendly and can be easily integrated with WordPress.
Embed the Calendly widget on your website, and your clients can book meetings with you at their convenience. Calendly is a great tool for online coaches who want to streamline their scheduling process and make it easy for clients to book appointments.
Once you’ve scheduled meetings with your clients, you need a reliable platform to actually meet them. Zoom is the gold standard for online coaches, but you could also consider alternatives like Google Meet.
With Zoom, you can set up webinars, video conferencing, or group coaching. To make things even easier, you can use a plugin to embed Zoom directly on your WordPress site. This way, your clients can join meetings with a simple click, and you can focus on delivering a great coaching experience. Zoom is a must-have tool for online coaches who want to connect with their clients in real time.
gauge their satisfaction with your services. One way to do this is by using Typeform.
Typeform lets you create surveys that are tailored to your business and get valuable insights from your clients. You can then use this information to adapt your coaching and deliver an even better experience for your clients. Typeform is easy to use and can be easily embedded on your WordPress site, making it a valuable tool for any online coach.
Become an Online Coach with WordPress!
If you’re considering setting up an online coaching business, we highly recommend using WordPress as your platform.
With WordPress, you have the flexibility and customization options to create a professional website that suits your business needs. Additionally, we believe that selling online courses is an effective way for online coaches to reach a wider audience and scale their business.
For this reason, we recommend using Sensei LMS as the best plugin for creating online courses on WordPress. With Sensei, you have access to a range of features that make it easy to create engaging courses, as well as the ability to sell your courses through WooCommerce.
If you’re looking to get started with online coaching, we encourage you to give Sensei Pro a try and see the benefits for yourself.