Business coaching is growing, and so is the use of coaching platforms. Small wonder. As a workplace coach, you are often competing with all the other coaches in your specialty area because of those very same platforms. So, no matter what your experience level, you need to put your best foot forward with a coaching platform that is as professional as you are.
Coaching and Platforms – Why Now?
Coaching is more in demand than ever. In 2022, the US market for business coaching was worth $15 billion, compared to about $11 billion in 2015. Consequently, what has also increased is the use of digital platforms for every aspect of workplace coaching. This has happened for several reasons:
- The pandemic forced basically every coach, and coachee for that matter, to go online – resulting in the mutual discovery of its convenience.
- Practically every workplace function is digitized, and digital learning platforms have been around for decades. Advanced technology is making them even more effective and appealing.
- The rapid change in workplace skills means that organizations are constantly looking for trainers in new fields. Online platforms allow them to search through a global network.
White Label and Marketplace Platforms
There are essentially two kinds of coaching platforms: white label and marketplace. A white-label solution gives you the infrastructure and GUI for making a website (similar to Wix.com). But it’s up to the professional to bring in clients.
In comparison, a marketplace enables coaches to promote themselves at a known site for customers to shop for such services. Marketplaces often have limited functionality, so it’s common to use both a white-label solution for the actual coaching and a marketplace to attract customers.
5 Things to Look for in a Coaching Platform
A coaching platform isn’t just a substitute for in-person interaction. It is also a way to market your services, manage your business, and create experiences. With all that in mind, here are the most important features for any business coaching platform.
1. Marketing and Sales Functions
Coaches want to focus on business, not on balancing the books. A good platform will have automated sales features and allow seamless payment transactions. It should be easy for a client to pick a plan with a click and pay through various settlement options.
Being adjustable to different currencies is another requirement. You should be able to change pricing plans so that you can offer discounts and trials. Ideally, any returns provided to customers should be executable through the platform as well.
A good platform enables coaches to deliver both instruction and material in numerous ways. Here are just some of the options that might be valuable:
- A mechanism for creating and displaying courses in the form of pre-recorded video, along with access to documents and quality visual appeal
- Group coaching capabilities, particularly functions for managing groups and displaying media during a session
- Community-based features that permit your clients to professionally network, advise, and support each other
- Surveys, polls, and other methods for collecting data and feedback from clients; the data should be transferable to some kind of processing software for analysis and storage
You should also look for a platform with a messaging system that notifies you if there are any technical issues with supplying media or any other type of glitch. Of course, this should be backed up by the platform vendor with easily-available customer service.
It should be intuitive for clients to sign up for your services, and for you to understand what’s happening with your customers. A good solution for this is a dashboard system that gives you client-related information at a glance.
Connecting to other online and offline services and functions is necessary to stay efficient. For example, these integrations cover all sorts of activities related to running a coaching business:
- Calendar software, messaging, and payment solutions
- Content management systems (like WordPress)
- Video conferencing services like Zoom and Google Meet
- A method to enable virtual signatures on contracts
The goal here is to allow coaches to minimize distractions and avoid learning how to use more programs than necessary.
5. Data Protection and IT Security
Now that there are regulations like GDPR and CCPA, let’s not forget that any type of coaching business might deal with sensitive material in addition to payment and personal data. Somebody hacking into a one-on-one session or your database can access confidential information, making you liable for a lawsuit. So it’s a good idea to sign up with a platform provider that uses different types of access and data security.
Or, Just Skip the Line and Go for GrowthSpace
Getting a platform up and running is only the beginning of the challenges for coaches in the online world. They also need to maintain the platform, promote whatever services are popular at the moment, and get noticed among hundreds of others.But GrowthSpace offers an alternative. As the leading talent development platform for large businesses, GrowthSpace already has a global reach and clientele. GrowthSpace eliminates the guessing game about the most popular subjects; customer course requests make it easy to know what’s in demand. And finally, GrowthSpace provides all of the technology – coaches just need to supply their abilities.