The Main 15 Benefits, Risks & Challenges of Online Coaching

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Article by Vera Mirzoyan

Published 18 Oct 2022
11 min read
The Main 15 Benefits, Risks & Challenges of Online Coaching

Everything is challenging in our lives.

I’m sure there is no industry and even a single process that does not have its risk, but there are always benefits as well.

And, all we need to do is clearly identify our objectives, analyze and compare the risks and challenges with the expected benefits, and finally, make a decision whether or not to make it come true.

In this article, we will discuss the points about online coaching. Let’s start!

Today’s technology gives us the opportunity to connect with other people like never before and is made running an online coaching business of feasible option.

When technology is used correctly, it elevates the potential of success for your coaching business.

In recent years, half of the small businesses in the United States have expanded their customer base by creating an online presence.

Top 5 Benefits of Online Coaching

So, what are the exact benefits of coaching online?

Obviously, there are lots and lots of different types of coaching out there. In our reality, you have got the option of having face-to-face coaching where you are sitting in the same room as the learners.

Another way is online coaching when you get in touch with the participants via any means of virtual conferencing or meeting software and various other types of means, such as Skype, Zoom, etc.

So, what are the actual benefits of online coaching?

Well, the two key ones that really come to mind immediately are the impact it has on your time and also the ability it gives you to actually connect with the wider market of potential learners all over the world.

These are probably the most essential points. But, let’s go deeper and take a look at some of the benefits and advantages of creating an online coaching business.

#1 A Global Presence

These days, technologies make it possible to connect with clients anywhere in the world. People can find life coaches far and wide.

They have the opportunity to connect with a coach that will be the perfect fit for them to work with. This is a great benefit for coaches who are specialized in specific niches, offer a coaching degree online, look for online coaching jobs, etc. 

If you are one of the niche-focused coaches, an online coaching business will make it easier for you to reach your ideal clients in the market.

#2 Lead a Tribe

Coaches can lead a tribe. You may have heard about the term tribe as it is much used in business today (Like in the book “Tribes” by Seth Godin).

The tribe refers to the process when like-minded people are connected to each other or an idea, or a leader. As a coach, you can expand your sphere of influence and guide people toward positively changing their lives by leading them within a tribe.

Many online business owners focus on blogs that maintain a connection to clients and customers who regularly follow them. Coaches can use the same strategy to build a loyal client base.

#3 Multiple Ways to Communicate with Clients

Yet, there are still various ways to communicate with your active or prospective clients. Whether you are an experienced business coach or a health and wellness coach, face-to-face coaching sessions are great.

However, they are not so effective when you are not able to meet with learners in person, there are various ways to efficiently coach them by using any of the online communication tools used today.

The means of communication borrowed from the last century is the phone. This is the most obvious way, however, not the most effective one.

Another example is email. This should not be used as an exclusive means of communication. But, with the help of email messages, you create opportunities that encourage potential learners to take time to reflect on their thought processes and goals.

Sometimes it is valuable for a client just to think through what they need to commit to or work with you on and put it in an email and send it out to you.

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Some coaches use email as the major way to communicate, coach, and offer ongoing accountability and support between phone sessions.

Another means is text messaging. It allows spur-of-the-moment communication that can aid a client in remaining accountable for getting things done and feeling the satisfaction of sharing the news of getting those things to completion.

These days it is very common to use texting. So, you should take this into consideration.

And finally, what I need to mention here is the means of communication like video chat, online coaching courses, etc. There are lots of online coaching platforms that offer similar services.

#4 Online Coaching Platform

To reach the potential learners and have a good experience, you will need to have a personal platform with all the required features, desired look, and functionality.

You may even create your online coaching website right now within several minutes. This will be a fully functional platform with a lot of advanced tools and opportunities to make the teaching process as smooth and comfortable, as possible.

Whether you want to offer online coaching certification or there is something else you want to offer for your online coaching services, it will come true here.

When everything becomes possible thanks to great opportunities and tools, make sure not to miss your chance.

#5 Easier Content Delivery

When you have a personal coaching platform, you have a lot of opportunities to easier share your knowledge and experience with those who need it. What else may be a great solution for a good coach rather than a comfortable environment to work in.

Recently, there was a misunderstanding about coaching vs mentoring. Regardless of your choice, you have a chance to rely on the e-learning functionality and opportunities and gain the best of your possible success.

Top 5 Risks of Online Coaching 

Online coaching comes in handy with lots of benefits. That is a fact; however, even though we get lots of upsides, there are certain risks everyone should be aware of. 

When you are aware of the potential risks, it is easier to come up with a “Plan B” and know how to act or what are the possible next steps. 

Risk 1 - Accountability 

Clients are often not held accountable for their progress.

This is especially valid when you are not in the role of a personal coach but work as an executive coach with teams. In that scenario, it is possible that a member or a few team members o the team are not even interested but rather are forced to participate in the sessions. 

Why? Because when someone pays you money for life coaching, they realize that it is just you and them, and they are responsible for their progress, plus it is their own choice. Meanwhile, when businesses decide to assign coaches to the teams, teams are often left out of the decision.    
 

To avoid the risk of being held accountable for everything, speak beforehand that team members should also be responsible and meet expectations you as a coach has for them, as well as participate in activities, discussions, etc. 

Risk 2 - the Role of the Coach

It is vital to ensure that your clients know your role as a coach. In most cases and niches, the coach’s role is a guide and assess, not to say what to do, but rather to help the client find the answers they are seeking to improve Emotional Intelligence and self-awareness. 

Ensure that your client has realistic expectations from you and can differentiate between the coach, mentor, and consultant. 

Avoiding this risk is quite easy; when talking to the client before they even make a purchase, just get clear on how you are going to work together and what they can expect. 

Risk 3 - Follow Ups 

If you underestimate the power of follow-ups, then do not be surprised if the effectiveness and progress will be slower than expected. 

It is crucial to keep in touch with your clients even outside of the sessions, answer their questions, etc. 

Risk 4 - Misunderstandings in Goal Setting 

If you are hired for an organization, you work not only with an individual or the team but also with the HR team. So, ensure that goals are clear and that you, the team, and HR expect the same outcomes. Otherwise, you may face serious consequences that can affect your coaching reputation. 

If you work with an individual, then simply work through goal setting during the first session. Get to know the client better, understand what they expect, clarify any misunderstandings, and set goals moving forward with the SMART goal-setting technique. 

Risk 5 - Bad Reviews 

Bad reviews are unavoidable. You can minimize your chances of getting a bad review. First, set clear expectations for the client so they won’t be disappointed. Secondly, be a good coach who meets their promises. Thirdly, if you get a bad review, consider the criticism and improve. 

So, coaching is meant to guide and develop, meaning that before you start your work with an organization or the client, make sure to talk about each potential risk and action in the possible risky situations. Ensure that clients realize that they are responsible and accountable as well.

 

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Top 5 Challenges of Online Coaching 

Besides multiple risks, there are also certain challenges that you, as a coach, must be able to overcome. The first step is the realization and awareness of those. So, here are the main challenges that most coaches face. 

Challenge 1 - Technical Issues 

This is not just related to online coaching; even course creators or those who do live webinars may struggle with this issue. Luckily for us, all technical issues are usually easily resolvable, e.g., if the browser or platform does not work, “refreshing” is often enough. 

However, if you have lost an internet connection, you should have enough mobile data to connect to the session or at least let your coachees know that the session must be rescheduled. 

Challenge 2 - Finding Clients 

If you are new to the industry finding clients can be quite challenging. But that does not mean that you have to give up. 

First Pro Tip is to use previous clients’ testimonials, or if you haven’t had any, then showcase your coaching certification on your website to build up trust. 

Utilize both Organic and Paid marketing to improve your brand’s visibility. For instance, you can have an SEO-optimized blog and regularly post on social media to build an audience in the long term and convert readers to leads. Also, you can utilize social media and google advertisements to push landing pages aimed at generating leads to further turn into real-time customers. 

Challenge 3 - Keeping up with the Market Trends 

In today’s dynamic market, when market trends are constantly changing, it is vital to be able to keep up with the updates. Many coaches fail to do so and think it is quite hard; well, it is not that hard. However, it requires some 20-30 minutes a day from you. 

Join groups on social media where other established coaches are “hanging out,” learn from industry experts and keep an open mind. In such groups, they often share useful tips and tricks that can help you; besides, such groups greatly contribute to networking. 

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Challenge 4 - Lack of Interaction 

In-person learning, many may claim, feels different and interacts more. However, in this era of digitalization, there are many ways to keep learners and clients more engaged online. E.g., you can still do the same assessments with them as you would in an offline experience, simply through screen sharing, gamification, etc. 

Challenge 5 - Time Management 

Another challenge of online coaching is time management. However, this is a skill we all must learn and have nowadays. 

There are lots of automation and tools that will help you keep track of students’ progress, manage schedules and appointments with new clients, and meet your deadlines. 

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