4 Tips for Offering and Mastering Online Coaching

Cash-in by supplementing your online courses with one-on-one coaching.

When your students choose your class for their learning opportunity, it’s because you offer something as an instructor that captures their interest. In other words, you are the biggest marketing draw of your class – the way you organize and present information, the way you help students understand and memorize, and the way you ultimately drive their success.

Coaching is a natural growth of that core student-teacher connection, enabling your students to capture even more of the education spark that drew them in.

If you are considering adding coaching to your educational repertoire – and you should, it’s both lucrative and rewarding – you’ll need tools to help it “stick.”

Coaching tools are a very specific sub-set of educational tools for online courses: they’re far more geared to one-on-one or smaller group learning opportunities.

Unlike class-specific tools, educators have more control over what is shown to specific pupils and are better able to tailor specific lessons to those needs. If an online class is a fishing net, a coaching session is a butterfly net – finer, easier to maneuver, and better able to capture a specific target.

Tip #1: Use a material delivery method with accountability.

A simple exchange of coaching materials (worksheets, reading material, charts, and so on) is only part of the success equation. Just as coaching is a more intimate endeavor than a class, the materials used need to be versatile and not static. Coaching should plant a seed, and that means you’ll need to build in a way to see if that seed is taking root and growing.

Any worksheets or interactive components like calendars, journals, and goal setting needs to be fully transparent – e.g. visible to both you and your student at all stages of completion. This effort builds in accountability and helps overcome excuses and last-minute rushes that would compromise the ideological core of coaching.

  • Two-way visibility with real-time updating
  • Particularly useful with ongoing workbooks, journals, calendars, etc.

Tip #2: Find a way to interact in a timely fashion with specific students.

While telephone calls are excellent for keeping in touch and making plans, they’re outdated when it comes to conveying meaning and context. Get a video conferencing option that gives you the ability to discuss theories and check-ins with both single students or small groups at the same time.

The visual signals of confusion (narrowed eyes, furrowed brows, exasperated expressions) won’t carry through email or text-based chat.

As a coach, it’s your duty to not only deliver pertinent material, but to proactively recognize and tackle challenges: visual-friendly communication will help you immensely on that path.

  • Should be device-neutral (Android, Apple, etc.) and ideally cloud or site-based
  • Incorporates two-way communication to teach with students, not at them

Tip #3: Offer one-off functionality for supportive coaching.

While regularly scheduled coaching is a popular approach, don’t underestimate the marketing viability of one-off sessions for extra help. When a student is struggling in your field of expertise then they need your help, and they need it on demand.

Proactively setting up the functionality for one-off sessions gives them easy, convenient access to your biggest educational sales asset: your personalized attention. Tools like LearnDash Private Sessions make your expertise a purchase-ready commodity from within your online course, and one that looks very appealing to a frustrated student feeling lost in their materials.

Whether you offer this option on an as-needed basis or consciously market your sessions as a supplemental educational tool, it’s a straightforward way to package your educational experience.

  • Offers versatility for lucrative educational marketing
  • Transforms your educational expertise and skills into an accessible commodity

Tip #4: Get onto the same (web) page.

While some educational coaching niches, such as fitness or nutrition, deal mainly with offline concepts, they still incorporate online materials. With the potentially issue of copyrighted images, text, charts, and graphs online, handouts and downloadable files aren’t always a legal option.

Screen-sharing apps or built-in class functionality will help your students follow along without losing focus, keeping their attention on your lesson rather than their email, another browser tab, and so on. Additionally, if one of your reference sites changes a URL or suddenly redirects to a paywall, you’ll still be able to share that valuable information with your target student(s) without needing to constantly update course materials.

  • Keeps coaching students’ focus on the important information at hand
  • Prevents dead-end URLs, paywalls, and site changes from disrupting your session

Take your time, prepare, and consult with confidence.

Your coaching students look to you for answers and guidance, don’t fumble with that faith by failing to adequately prepare your coaching sessions.

With the right tools lined up and ready to go, you’ll project the confidence they need to tackle the subject matter with enthusiasm and dedication. Before your next coaching session, bookmark, assess, download, and log in to your tools of choice and you’ll be able to hit the ground running.

Author

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Twitter | LinkedIn

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