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Online Coaching 101: A Complete Introduction

This is a complete introduction to online coaching.

In this article, you’ll discover:

  • What online coaching is.
  • The benefits of online coaching.
  • How to become an online coach.
  • How to hire an online coach.

Let’s dive right in!

What is Online Coaching?

According to the International Coaching Federation (ICF), coaching means:

“Partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”

In online coaching, this process takes place over the internet via, for example, video calls, e-mails, or chats.

How Online Coaching Works

An online coaching process can take many different forms.

To give you an example, here at, our coaching philosophy is focused on momentum.

In our Momentum Method, our coaches guide their clients through four phases:

  1. Goal Discovery — The coach starts with an assessment to uncover the client’s goal, expectations, and preferences.
  2. Habituation — Using the initial assessment, the coach and the client establish a regular practice to support their long-term goal.
  3. Growth — When the client consistently makes progress, the coach helps fine-tune the goal and improve the client’s performance.
  4. Graduation — Once the client has achieved the goal, the coach either ends the relationship or initiates a new momentum cycle.

If you want, you can learn more about our Momentum Method here.

The Benefits of Online Coaching

The success rate of coaching, whether it’s in-person or online, is very high.

According to a global coaching study by the ICF, an overwhelming majority of clients report improvements in their health, relationships, and work.

Unsurprisingly, the considerable benefits of coaching make it a great investment opportunity for employers.

A survey of 100 executives, for instance, showed that executive coaching had a conservatively estimated ROI of nearly 570%.

Compared to traditional in-person meetings, online coaching has significant advantages like:

  • Affordability — It’s incredibly cost-effective for the coach and generally cheaper for the client.
  • Accessibility — The client can reach the coach from anywhere as long as there’s an internet connection.
  • Accountability — Online coaches generally check in with clients more frequently, which helps them maintain their motivation better.
  • Flexibility — When the coaching sessions take place online, it’s much easier to find times that fit into both parties’ schedules.
  • Optionality — Coaches and clients aren’t restricted to their location, but can find each other all over the world.

So, it’s no surprise that online coaching is becoming increasingly popular.

What Does Online Coaching Cost?

The coaching industry generally keeps its prices hidden for no apparent reason.

It’s unfortunate because it only makes it harder for coaches and clients to work together.

So, in the interest of transparency, here’s what we know about how online coaches tend to price their services.

  • Online business coaches charge from $150 to $2,000 per session, depending on their expertise and experience.
  • Online life coaches charge about $100 to $500 per session, depending on their niche and specialties.
  • Online behavioral coaches charge about $60 to $150 per month for short daily interactions focused on habit building.

There’s some wiggle room here as coaching rates can be affected by location, demand, negotiation, and so on.

Online Coaching Certification Programs

Coaching is an unregulated market, which means anyone can claim to be a professional coach.

There is no mandatory certification process coaches have to go through before they can accept clients legally.

Still, many coaches choose to get certified because they want to learn essential coaching skills.

In some industries, it also increases the authority of the coach and thereby their chances of getting clients.

And just like a coach can work over the internet, they can also get their coaching training online.

If you want to learn more about web-based training available to coaches, check out our article on how to get your coaching certification online.

How to Become an Online Coach

There’s never been a better time to become an online coach.

According to the latest global coaching study by the ICF, the estimated total revenue worldwide from coaching exceeds 2 billion dollars.

That’s an increase of 19% since 2011, and industry researchers expect the growth to continue.

There is a lot of demand for coaches, and as a result, a lot of people are joining the coaching profession.

So, to become a successful online coach, you have to:

  • Find a profitable coaching niche to serve.
  • Position yourself so your coaching stands out.
  • Ensure a steady stream of suitable clients.

If you’re interested, we cover everything you need to know in our ultimate guide on how to become a coach in 2020.

How to Hire an Online Coach

Most online coaches offer some sort of free discovery call or trial period.

Use this as an opportunity to figure out as much as possible about your potential coach.

Whenever you connect with an online coach for the first time, evaluate their approach.

  • Does the coach assess your current situation, ask about your goals, and address your expectations for the coaching?
  • Is the coach asking thought-provoking questions that change your perspective and creates new solutions?
  • Can the coach clearly express their coaching philosophy and the process they’ll use to help you achieve your goal?

If the answer to those questions is yes, you’ve probably found a good coach.

Feel free to check out our coaching showcase to find a suitable online coach today.