5 Steps to Become a Digital Coach | Best Practices From Experts

Article by Nelli Gevorgyan / Updated at .01 Apr 2024
15 min read
5 Steps to Become a Digital Coach | Best Practices From Experts

Have you ever thought about how amazing it would be if you could monetize your expertise yet have a great work-life balance by enjoying everything you like? Do you wish you could support and help your clients no matter where you are? Are you getting along well with technology? 

 

If your answer is yes, digital or online coaching might be what you are looking for. Digital coaching, sometimes referred to as virtual coaching,  is a modern approach to coaching where you use online platforms, apps, and tools to connect with clients, deliver personalized guidance, and support them in achieving their goals remotely.

 

In this article, you are about to find out:

  • What is digital coaching?
  • Does digital coaching offer more opportunities than traditional coaching? 
  • How can you become a digital coach? 
  • Tips from Linda Tilson herself on how to be successful as a coach.    

What is digital coaching?

Digital Coaching is an online technology-based form of coaching where you guide clients towards achieving their personal and professional goals, helping them use their full potential. It's a super flexible and convenient way to help people reach their goals, no matter where they are! 

 

Linda Tillson, a career, life, and leadership development coach with 7+ years of experience, has shared her perspective on what digital coaching is all about. 

 

If you are a digital coach, you would coach on how you can use the digital aspects to reduce some of the administrative burden or tasks so that you can focus on what you do best—coaching.” 

Unlike traditional or offline coaching, digital coaching utilizes online platforms, apps, and digital tools to connect with clients remotely. This means you can reach clients regardless of geographical location and offer support at their convenience.

 

Digital coaches can specialize in career and leadership, business, relationships, personal development, life coaching, mental health, and mindfulness coaching, among other areas. 

 

It is worth mentioning that not everything is digital coaching. For example, you can educate your students and clients online through various webinars and live sessions.  However, that does not make you a digital or virtual coach as live sessions are just one component of digital coaching.  Or you can publish pre-recorded courses that are once again not coaching but rather an online course creation.      
 

And what advantages does digital coaching offer? 

How is digital coaching beneficial? 

As we live in the digitalization era, digital coaching itself provides us with many advantages. For one thing, it can lead to your online coaching business expansion.     
 

Other main benefits of digital coaching include:     

More cost-effective than traditional coaching

If you are a traditional coach, you will likely need to rent a place to host the coaching sessions. Besides, there is the cost of transportation. Also, you will spend more time with the coachees due to someone being late, etc.     
 

So, instead of spending all your time and money on that, simply host online coaching sessions from home. This will allow you to host two sessions in a matter of 3 hours rather than one as in traditional coaching.      
 

Another aspect that proves the efficiency of digital coaching over a traditional one is that digital coaching requires low capital investments to start out with. Renting a place? Doubt you will find anything cheaper than $1500 a month. Instead you can pay for a platform subscription to host your business online. The best plans cost less than $100. 


More flexibility 

 

With digital coaching, you have much more independence than you can imagine. 

  • You can offer sessions at different times of the day to accommodate clients in different time zones or with varying schedules. Besides, you can offer shorter or longer sessions as needed. 
  • As long as you have an internet connection, you can work from anywhere, be it the peak of Mount Everest or a local cafe. 
  • The flexibility of digital coaching lies not only in time and location but also in communication channels, such as email, messaging apps, video calls, and virtual meeting platforms.      

Wider client reach 

Let’s suppose you're a coach with a passion for helping people, but your hometown isn't exactly buzzing with potential clients. Going digital changes the game entirely. This way, you are able to reach people who might never have crossed your path otherwise

 

However, it’s not just about the number of clients you get. Digital coaching is also about opening up new possibilities and making coaching accessible to anyone who's ready to take that next step. So, how can you become a digital coach?

5-step guide to becoming a digital coach 

If we are seeing the big picture, becoming a digital coach includes

  •  Investing in your education as a coach. 
  • Entering the market with the certification and theoretical and practical knowledge
  • Coming up with your USP and starting scaling. 

In this section, we are going to go deeper into each step, from choosing your niche,  to launching and marketing your coaching program. 

Choose your niche 

Identifying your niche will help you target your services to a specific audience. Think about what expertise or experiences you bring to the table. There are so many niches out there; each is unique and catching in its own way.
 

The most popular niches include life, career, dating, sales, health, fitness, finance, and leadership.      
 

Here are some questions that will help you identify your niche and become a digital coach:

  • What subjects do you enjoy learning and talking about? 
  • What skills or expertise do you possess?
  • What knowledge and insights have you gained throughout your career and personal life?
  • What challenges are your potential clients facing? 

 

Pro Tip: Trust your intuition when choosing your niche. Pay attention to what excites and energizes you as a coach. 

 

As you grow your digital coaching practice and gain experience, you will need to niche down at some point.  You can’t simply become a jack-of-all-trades, can you? So, focusing on a specific area will help you define who you want to work with. In an interview with our team Linda Tilson mentioned this works the opposite way as well!

 

“When you don't niche down, you run the risk of  losing clients, because they are confused about the specific type of coaching you offer. ” 

 

Linda Tilson

Life and leadership development coach, podcast host at The Men’s Room Show

Get official coaching education

“I already specialize in what I am doing. Do I really need to get that certification?”, you may think. 

 

Of course, so many coaches get by without any formal training. However, pursuing formal training or certification is always a good idea. So, if you have set your mind on becoming a digital coach, coaches with five-plus years of expertise recommend getting educated in terms of skills and certifications. 

 

Andy Nelson, who is an ICF-certified coach himself with 10+ years of expertise and was part of a one-year immersive program, advises the following: 


Lean into it in terms of trying some coaching and also getting official education and training at it. What I feel is that the folks who did lean in in some educational program were able to understand themselves better, which makes us better coaches.”

 

Here are some programs you can consider as a digital coach:

  • The International Coach Federation (ICF) stands as the preeminent and largest organization in terms of professional coaching. It provides a certification program mandating a specific count of coaching hours. 
     
  • Association for Coaching (AC): The Association for Coaching offers a variety of training programs and resources for coaches worldwide. AC provides accreditation for coach training programs and offers membership benefits, including access to webinars, conferences, and networking opportunities.

Choose your platform and tools

The next step on your way to becoming a digital coach is choosing the platform and tools. No digital coaching can take place if you haven’t decided on the digital tools and platform you will be using. 

These could include video conferencing software (e.g., Zoom, Google Meet), messaging apps, online scheduling tools, and all-in-one coaching management software.

 

  • There are multiple platforms available in the digital coaching market. The platform of your choice should:     
     Allow you to build a full-featured website easily 
  • Be all-in-one automation to automate and save your time on routine tasks
  • Allow you to collect payments from one place 
  • Automate your scheduling system so the clients can schedule a call with you based on your availability.
  • Offer lots of useful integrations so that you can manage several tools at once
  • Give you an opportunity for white labeling and establishing your own branding as a digital coach.
  • Be SEO-friendly 
  • Have a live-session functionality 
  • Allow you to add a separate BLOG page on your website to publish articles and drive more organic traffic.       

One of the platforms that offer everything listed above is - UteachStart your free trial to save your time and focus on what’s truly important - your digital coaching program. 

 

In addition to the platform, you will need other tools to store your data, organize your documents, etc. For example, Linda Tilson prefers Google Workspace. Building your own infrastructure of the tools you need to use will make the process much easier. 

 

Check out 5 Best Tools And 7  Platforms For Online Coaching

Market Yourself

Choosing all the tools, having a great program, and employing the best coaching styles and coaching techniques are not enough for you to become a digital coach. Why? Unless your future clients get a real idea of how you position yourself as a coach, they won’t consider using your services. 

 

That is why building an online presence is essential on your way to becoming a digital coach. What can you do to establish an online presence? Here are some best practices from Linda Tilson and digital coaches worldwide:

  • Collaborating with other coaches and doing live streams can provide a huge value to coaches and your potential clients.
  • Doing podcasting. Podcasts have gained traction and popularity nowadays. Why not make them a part of your marketing strategy?
  • Sharing your insights and going live on social media, such as LinkedIn. 

Digital Marketing is your best friend as a Digital Coach. Use social media, emails, google ads, and organic traffic opportunities to raise awareness about you.
 

Your offline presence matters as well. This is why you can create a vast network and rely on it. For example, you can participate in different forums and communities where your clients are. You would never know if you could help those people unless you engage with them. 

Collect Past Client Testimonials

If you already have experience with a certain degree, then collect past clients’ testimonials and display them on your website. 

This will help you in building trust. If you do not have any reviews or feedback to display because you are a complete beginner, then display your certifications and degrees as validation and proof of expertise.

What qualifications and skills a digital coach needs

Let’s take a look at the skills that you need to have as a digital coach. 

Skill 1: Active Listening

A great coach must be able to listen and hold a coaching presence. By listening, you will be able to find out and be aware of the exact nature of the client’s problem. Without this awareness, you won’t be able to guide and help them. Basically, listening will allow you to see the core of the issue and start resolving and working with the client in depth. 

 

Listening, though, is not as easy as it sounds, so here are some tips that will help you to become a better listener as a digital coach:     

  • Take Notes 
  • Practice active curiosity 
  • Until the client is finished talking, do not think or jump to conclusions
  • Practice, practice, practice 

Skill 2: Asking Effective Questions

Questioning is an art; any detective would tell so as well. In coaching, Effective Questioning is as vital as Active Listening. 

 

How to ask Powerful Questions?

  • Ask your clients open-ended questions.
  • Avoid leading Questions and questions that can be answered as yes or no
  • Ask questions that have a meaning behind them and will make people think about it   

Check 57 best questions to ask during your coaching session. 

Skill 3: Technology 

As a digital coach, to avoid issues and host successful sessions, you must be well aware of the technology you use.      
 

Besides, you have to know what kind of software you use and how it works. Also, in case of an emergency, what is your plan B? Of course, it is very uncommon to face issues with software that has been continuously tested to find and fix bugs. However, it is good to have a plan B to ensure a high-quality experience for the client. Consider doing internal and external penetration testing to detect and solve vulnerabilities that might be exploited.

Skill 4: Emotional Intelligence

If you want to be a successful digital coach, then anger issues and toxicity are not going to help. Instead, we need to help people get rid of those qualities. Basically, you need to have high emotional Intelligence that includes elements such as self-awareness, self-control, empathy, motivation, and social skills.      
 

PRO TIP: Whether you are a beginner or someone with experience, specific internationally accredited coaching certifications will help you position yourself as someone with more reliable expertise. So, take some courses and display the certificates you have gained on your website.      
 

Besides, make sure to invest in your continuous learning because there are always new, more efficient methodologies than previous ones, and you have to stay up-to-date. 

Five tips for digital coaches from Linda Tilson

In this competitive market, if you want to find clients, you have to offer quality, as no one wants to waste their time. Here are some tips to help you stay on top of your niche and avoid any pitfalls or mistakes.

  1. Explore the ways other digital coaches work. The best way to be good at something is by learning from the experts in the industry. Becoming the digital coach that you envision yourself as is no exception. 
  2. Make the digital coaching program your own. This is how you are going to stand out among the crowd. 
  3. Pick your specific niche. Create your client profiles and clearly state who you want to work with and who may need your services. 
  4. Get rid of the script. Preparing a script helps us create that perfect image everybody wants to achieve. The thing is, your clients are not there to see just how perfect you are. It works quite the other way around. They want to see the genuine you, and they want to find something they can relate to. 
  5. Believe in yourself. We create our own realities and can succeed in them if we only believe that we already are. Start by educating yourself as a coach. This will give you additional background and greatly improve your self-esteem as an expert. And continue by practicing and being committed to what you do. 

Self-confident digital coach plans her growth

Ready to become a digital coach?

It is your time to start! As a coach, you have to transform the lives of others, so start by transforming yours. Get done with the dull office jobs and enter the exciting digital coaching market. 

 

Take courses, get certified, invest in yourself and your growth, and help others grow and reach self-fulfillment. Maybe coaching is what you are meant to do! If you like that profession so much, imagine how many lives you can transfer if you are well aware of the techniques!      
 

Uteach will help you to get started. With Uteach, you can create a full-featured website in less than a few minutes. It allows you to:

 

  • Use website builder tools to build a website in a visual drag & drop editor with no coding skills required 
  • Host end-to-end live sessions & enjoy various integrations
  • Automate routine tasks, including calendars and emails
  • Open a blog and drive organic traffic       

Uteach comes with other useful features that will help you expand your digital coaching business in a short period of time. Claim your free demo now, and let our expert walk you through all of the steps of setting up your coaching presence with the platform. 

 

Start for FREE

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