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[Study] 7 Surprising Things We Learned About Online Coaching

We surveyed coaches around the world about multiple aspects of coaching online. 

The major areas covered were demographics, online coaching sessions, cost of coaching tools, and earnings.

The primary objective of this survey was to examine how different coaches carry out their coaching business. It strived to provide coaches with some clarity on how their fellow coaches build and run their business. 

[Study] 7 Surprising Things We Learned About Online Coaching online coaching

Since the pandemic, the online coaching business is flourishing. There’s a greater need for mental health care and coaches worldwide are delivering through the internet. 

Consequently, this growth has been reflected in the study as hundreds of coaches came together to reveal the details of how they run their coaching business, both online and offline. 

Highlights and Key Statistics of the Study

Before we dive into our survey methods and consequently into the resulting meticulous conclusions – let us briefly lay down the key findings of the survey.

  • A majority of the participating coaches (62%) have an active website promoting their business.
COACHES HAVING A WEBSITE
COACHES HAVING A WEBSITE
  • Regarding the participants’ accreditation certificate, an estimated 29% (the majority) were certified through the International Coaching Federation
COACHES & THEIR CERTIFICATIONS
COACHES & THEIR CERTIFICATIONS
  • Around 38% of the participants have a master’s degree while 36% have a bachelor’s degree to their name.
COACHES & THEIR EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS
COACHES & THEIR EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS
  • A whopping 84% of the participants use Zoom for their online coaching sessions while a mere 3.5% of the participants use a membership site
COACHES & THEIR CHOICE OF PLATFORM
COACHES & THEIR CHOICE OF PLATFORM
  • Only 9% of the participating coaches are not conducting coaching sessions online.
COACHES COACHING ONLINE
COACHES COACHING ONLINE
  • The cost of running a coaching business is the highest in the Oceania region ($272) followed by North America while the minimum is observed in Eastern European countries ($86).
  • On an average, the coaches in Western Europe charge the most ($483 per session) while the minimum is charged by coaches in the Middle East and Africa ($98 per session).

Survey Method

The survey was conducted in the English language. Different methods were adopted to bring in coaches from around the world, some of which include –

  • Sending survey forms to individuals who qualify as a ‘coach’ and are interested in the outcome of the study to expand their own coaching business.
  • Promoting the survey on our website and Facebook page both of which regularly attract coach traffic. 
  • Overall, 250+ completed questionnaires were considered for the purpose of this study.

Key Results

  • Website

As far as websites are concerned, maximum participants (62%) have a website while the remaining (38%) don’t.

Key Takeaway: Having a website certainly seems like a popular choice among coaches. However, some coaches still prefer making offline connections. 

Kellis Landrum, Co-founder of popular social media agency, True North Socials chipped in the debate, raising an excellent argument. “When people want to find out about something, the first thing they do is google it. If you want your coaching business to have some credibility, you must have a website that comes up.”

COACHES HAVING A WEBSITE
COACHES HAVING A WEBSITE
  • Certification

Analysing the participants’ accreditation certification – a maximum of 29% have the International Coaching Federation certification (ICF) followed by 3%, each having the International Association of Coaching (IAC), European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC), Association for Coaching and 3% having The International Authority for Professional Coaching and Mentoring (IAPC&M) while minimum 2.5% each having Certified Coaches Alliance (CCA) and Center for Credentialing & Education (CCE). 

However, the remaining 41% have other accreditation certifications.

“The benefits of coaching certifications are threefold. They give you a structured process for learning, provides credibility to your coaching business and opens doors that’d otherwise remain shut for uncertified coaches.” Remarks Eddie Lester, the CEO of Fitness Mentors.

Key Takeaway:  Obtaining credentials convinces potential clients that you are a qualified and experienced coach who has undergone considerable training and practice to fulfil worldwide coaching standards. So while getting certified is not a mandatory requirement, it helps in building credibility.

COACHES & THEIR CERTIFICATIONS
COACHES & THEIR CERTIFICATIONS

Regarding Online Coaching Sessions 

  • Coaches Going Online

With regards to the conduction of online coaching sessions, a majority of 87% participants are using both audio and video, and 4%  are using only audio while 9.0% coaches are not conducting sessions online.

COACHES COACHING ONLINE
COACHES COACHING ONLINE
  • Choice of Platform

The participants’ choice of platform for coaching sessions can be broken down as follows – the majority of the coaches (84%) use Zoom followed by 22% participants using phone calls. 3.5% coaches use membership sites and the remaining 4.5% use other platforms.

Key Takeaway: Zoom is the most popular virtual meeting platform that is preferred by a majority of coaches. It is easy to use and coaches can even leverage it to conduct webinars that can host meetings with upto 100 people. 

COACHES & THEIR CHOICE OF PLATFORM
COACHES & THEIR CHOICE OF PLATFORM
  • CRM Software

The majority of the coaches (53.81%) do not use a CRM. Among the ones who do use one, Mailchimp is the most popular choice.

COACHES & THEIR CRM SOFTWARES
COACHES & THEIR CRM SOFTWARES
  • Call-Scheduling Tools

A majority of the coaches (42%) do not use a call scheduling tool. 

The most popular call-scheduling tool by far is Calendly with more than 1/3rd of the coaches  (35%) using it.

COACHES & USAGE OF CALL-SCHEDULING
COACHES & USAGE OF CALL-SCHEDULING

Coaching Business Statistics

The maximum average monthly cost of using online tools and services for running a coaching business is recorded at $272 in the Oceania region followed by North America at $250 while the minimum is recorded at $86.4 in the Eastern European region.

RegionAverage monthly costs for online tools and services for running a coaching business 
Asia$87.8
Eastern European$86.4
Latin American and the Caribbean$150
Middle East and Africa$101
North America$250
Oceania$272
Western Europe$125

Key Takeaway: A majority of coaches invest in coaching tools and services for running their coaching business efficiently.

These tools can help to build and market coaching programs, distribute client proposals, support online booking and payments, and even send pre-session questionnaires. 

Eastern Europe is the most affordable place to run a coaching business while the Oceania region is the most expensive.

  • Coaching Charges

The coaches in Western Europe are charging, on average, the maximum amount at $483 per session followed by coaches of North America charging $418 while the minimum amount is being charged by the coaches in the Middle East and Africa at $98.4 per session.

RegionAverage charge per session
Asia$143
Eastern European$176
Latin American and the Caribbean$297
Middle East and Africa$98.4
North America$418
Oceania$333
Western Europe$483

Key Takeaway – In Western Europe, there is a huge difference between the cost of running a coaching business and the amount charged by its coaches per session. This represents the fact that coaching as a profession is most profitable in this region. 

  • Coaching Session Duration

The maximum coaching duration on an average from the study is recorded to be 73.8 minutes in Asia followed by 68.4 minutes in Eastern Europe while the minimum length of a coaching session is recorded from the coaches in North America (53.5).

This is particularly significant as the coaches from North America charge higher, implying that their time is considered more valuable.

RegionAverage, how long is each coaching session
Asia73.8
Eastern European68.4
Latin American and the Caribbean66
Middle East and Africa63.7
North America53.5
Oceania65.2
Western Europe67.7
  • Current Clients Found Online

The maximum average percentage of clients (56.4%) were found online by coaches in the Oceania region followed by 41.4% in Western Europe while the minimum average percentage of clients (20.2%) were found online by coaches in Latin America and the Caribbean.

RegionPercentage of current clients found online
Asia29.7%
Eastern Europe26.8%
Latin America and the Caribbean20.2%
The Middle East and Africa32%
North America36.4%
Oceania56.4%
Western Europe41.4%
  • Current Clients Being Coached Online

The maximum average percentage of clients being coached online is recorded to be 71.5% in the North American region, followed by 70.2% in Latin America and the Caribbean while the minimum average percentage of clients being coached online is 53.0% from Eastern Europe.

RegionAverage percentage of current clients coach online
Asia60.4%
Eastern European53%
Latin American and the Caribbean70.2%
Middle East and Africa43%
North America71.5%
Oceania68.2%
Western Europe65%

This statistic reveals that online coaching is thriving in different parts of the world. 

Key Takeaway: As a coach, you need to go digital.
The pandemic has fundamentally shifted the mindset of people across the world. In an online coaching business, you can connect with clients across the globe through video and audio conferencing and other digital tools. It is a great opportunity to coach people from different parts of the world. 

  • Average Clients Coached Every Month

The maximum average of clients being coached online every month is recorded at 9.0 in the Oceania region, followed by 8.88 in the North American region while the minimum average of clients being coached online every month is noted to be 4.0 in Latin America and the Caribbean.

RegionAveragely clients coach every month
Asia6.13
Eastern European5.04
Latin American and the Caribbean4
Middle East and Africa8.76
North America8.88
Oceania9
Western Europe6.34
  • Average New-Paying Clients Per Month

The maximum average of new paying clients every month is 3.53 in Asia followed by 3.21 in the Middle East and African region while the minimum average of new paying clients every month is noted at a mere 1.28 in the Eastern European region.

RegionAveragely new paying clients get every month
Asia3.53
Eastern European1.28
Latin American and the Caribbean2.6
Middle East and Africa3.21
North America2.16
Oceania1.73
Western Europe2.35

Demographic of the Participants

The basic demographic of participants includes world region, gender, age group, marital status, and educational level.

  • Residence

It has been observed that from 288 participants of the study, a maximum of (33%) participants participated from the North America region followed by (26%) from the Western Europe region while a minimum of (3.5%) participants participated from Latin America and the Caribbean region. 

  • Age

The maximum percentage of participants (30%) are in the age group 55-64 years followed by (25%) in the age group 45-54 years while a minimum of (1%) are recorded in the age group of 18-24 years. 

  • Gender

(51.0%) are noted female, followed by (48%) male. 0.5% of the participants cite ‘other’ and (0.5%) prefer not to mention gender. 

  • Education

The maximum percentage of participants (38%) having a master’s degree followed by (36%) having bachelor’s degree with a mere (3%) having a trade school certificate and (1%) having none. 

  • Experience

The maximum percentage of participants (63%) are coaching from 0-5 years followed by (19%) coaching from 6 to 10 years while a minimum of (2.5%) are coaching from the past 21 – 25 years. 

  • Marital Status

Two-thirds of the coaches (66%) are married or have domestic partnerships followed by (17%) that are singles, and the minimum is recorded (1.0%) as separated.

Geographical Division of Responses

  • Certification

In Asia, the percentage of participants with an ICF certificate is recorded to be at 16%, the ones with a Non-ICF certificate is 47%, and those having no certificate at all is 37%. Maximum responses come from North America in which 6% of coaches have ICF certificates, 64% have Non-ICF certificates, and 30% do not have a certificate.

  • Website

In Asia, the percentage of participants having a website is recorded to be at 44% while 56% do not have a website. Maximum responses come from North America in which 66% have a website and 34% don’t.

Key Takeaway: Most coaches have a coaching website. It’s best to have a professional website to promote your coaching services as it provides you with a platform to reach a wider audience. 

  • Gender

The percentage responses of male participants from Asia is recorded to be 68% while 32% of the responses came from Asian women. The maximum responses are recorded from North America in which 41% % of the respondents are male, 56% are female, 1% prefer not to mention their gender and 2% chose ‘other’.

Conclusion

Before we go any further, we would like to thank everyone who has been a part of this survey. Especially to all the respondents for providing us with valuable insights into their professional sphere. 

While it is no secret that coaching is thriving across a wide range of industries, running a coaching business is often challenging and complex. 

Since you have had an overview of this meticulous study that dived into the nuanced world of online life coaching, we’d now like to hear your thoughts on it.

What are your main conclusions from this survey?

Did something surprise you? How, why, and why not?

Or maybe you’d just like to have a chat.

And if you’re curious to see the detailed analysis and statistics that formulated this report, you can request a complete data analysis document by sending us an e-mail at [email protected]

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