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In my line of work as CEO of a learning platform company, I meet a variety of business coaches and commit to them. And as an entrepreneur myself, like many coaches, I recognize the many qualities they need to succeed: good communication skills, emotional intelligence, the ability to give (and receive) feedback effectively, and a nose to sniff what you need. the market, and pairing. than with his own experience, to name a few.
Of course, flexibility and adaptability are also key. Like many other companies, the coaching industry has been shaken by changes in the last two and a half years. Nearly 4 in 10 coaches have made changes to their service offering in response to the pandemic, according to the International Coaching Federation.
An important change has been to move many in-person training sessions to a virtual format, which, in addition to addressing safety priorities, can allow coaches to scale their business.
Another service change that can drive business growth is to offer pre-packaged, “on-demand” e-learning courses as a way for coaches to reach out and share their experience with more people. These courses can serve to whet the appetite of students and entice them to book live coaching sessions or they can form an autonomous and profitable business, for themselves.
Are you a coach who is thinking of immersing yourself in the e-learning business? Here are four tips I would recommend.
Related: If you haven’t hired a business coach, you’re repressing yourself
1. Get to know your audience
What types of people do you provide training to? What are your needs? Then think about how this can be translated into online courses, as many people are now looking for online solutions to business and professional development problems.
You can get some of the above information by surveying current customers, but don’t stay here. Get in touch with people from all markets and outside your focus area, including other coaches, both to inspire you with content and potential clients.
For example, depending on your area of expertise, you have decided to offer online wellness courses. In addition to targeting your regular clients (such as HR professionals), you can also consider marketing e-learning courses for coaches. Coach training, about the information they need, as well as about ways to deliver that information effectively, is an important and sought-after niche.
We also see that self-development and professional development courses are very popular now: leadership training, executive training, vocational training, and so on. Are there relevant opportunities for you to provide content to your audience in these areas?
2. Choose your course ideas
Maybe you have an idea for a course, but will it be sold? This is where market research comes into play. Combine your experience with market opportunities and don’t be afraid to go against the flow.
For example, suppose you target technology workers with e-learning courses. Many content creators today talk and offer information on how to increase productivity. It’s a crowded market! In contrast, in the face of widespread exhaustion in the technology industry, perhaps a wellness course for technology workers could be a better approach, if applied to your areas of expertise.
Again, be sure to assign your course ideas and marketing plans to a specific audience and their unique needs.
Related: 4 Ways to Take Advantage of a Business Coach
3. Find the right technology to scale your business
So you have a great course content that addresses a market gap. You know who will really help this content. But without the right platform or technology to offer it, it’s hard to get your e-learning courses up and running. What will you use?
Web conferencing is well suited for live sessions and interactive activities. You can also make session replays available.
For stronger e-learning, with interactive and social elements, you’ll want to look at learning platforms. Think of those that include at least:
- A course creation system (as well as the possibility of importing other courses).
- Features of e-commerceso that potential customers can browse your course catalog and buy what they need.
- The ability to create subscription-based communities – allow customers to subscribe to receive access to premium content, learning itineraries and groups of experts and peers. For example, the nonprofit Women in Data uses its learning platform to offer free professional support, as well as to set up membership subscription plans with more advanced services and networking opportunities.
The additional features of the enjoyable platform allow for this creation of communities where groups of students can participate in forums and gather and exchange ideas. In addition, the ability to use gamification or use elements of the game to motivate students can also make learning more fun, increasing interest, participation, and ‘fog’.
And finally, automation will be important as you grow your e-learning business. With automation, once you create a course, you can basically let your platform take it from there: providing preloaded reminders to participants, issuing custom certificates once completed, and so on. As your business grows, doing these activities manually would consume valuable time.
Related: 10 reasons why you need a business coach
4. Consider building an academy
If your online courses have taken off and you find that they are becoming a profitable and popular core business, you may want to take the next step and create an e-learning academy. This usually involves hiring more experienced experienced instructors to create additional courses.
Many academies offer subscription plans; for example, for $ 10 a month, customers have unlimited access to the courses, e-books, podcasts, and communities on your closed site. You can also consider partnering with larger companies that you target, which can purchase individual courses or bulk subscriptions.
You might even consider offering e-learning content and coaching services as a package, such as: “Buy two courses online and have access to a free business coaching session from one of our instructors.”
Taking advantage of opportunities
The move to digital offers great opportunities for coaches to expand their audience. With many companies continuing to support the virtual and hybrid workforce, and many employees preferring to work this way, the opportunity to reach these online audiences does not go away.
Many coaches have (and have innately) developed skills that make them suitable for creating and delivering high-impact e-learning courses. For those who are considering engaging in e-learning, I encourage you to follow it. By taking a crawl-walk-run approach and incorporating the above tips, you will find opportunities to grow your business and your impact.