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Top 5 7-Figure Online Coaching Business Models

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When it comes to online training and online coaching there are more than enough business models to keep your head spinning.

I want to take a moment and share 5 business models with you that have the potential to create a 7-Figure business. But, more importantly I want to illustrate how most coaches are actually over-complicating things by focusing on the business model (the “how”).

Business is very similar to Nutrition.

Just the same as there is no right or wrong “diet” for your client…

There is no right or wrong business model to grow your business.

Business is a forever changing game. I can’t even recall how many times I have pivoted or changed my business model over the years. It’s all about testing, learning, and evolving.

The only caveat to that is that you may be too early on to successfully execute a specific model. Rest assured, I’m here to help. Click here if you want to apply for a free strategy call with me. I can tell you within a couple minutes if the timing is right.

Now, let’s dive in.

1:1 Coaching

1:1 coaching is where I recommend everyone start…

Far too many coaches skip this vital step in their business in the allure of that laptop lifestyle

1:1 is exactly as it sounds. You, working directly with 1 client. This can be done in-person, through email, over the phone or video calls. 1:1 coaching provides you one of the best platforms to not only get great results for your clients but to learn. Learning and refining your skillset is quite often forgotten about but it’s a crucial stepping stone to each and every other business model.

There is no set “model” for 1:1 coaching, and no set cost either. I’ve seen everything from free all the way to $1000.00 USD/Month for Nutrition coaching alone.

My personal recommendation is that you focus on 1:1 coaching when you start. Even if you’re an experienced personal trainer, or in-person coach, it’s still a good idea to start your online coaching business with 1:1 coaching. Every now and then I see coaches that are experienced in-person, transition into online, and skip this step. Online coaching and running an online business is much different ex: your backend processes, effective communication with your clients and your client acquisition strategies, to name a few.

1:1 coaching can evolve based on your business, clients, demographic, and level of experience. It not only can, but it should evolve. You may start off servicing everyone when you just get going and eventually end up charging a premium and only handling a select roster as your business evolves. We’ll say “charging a premium” instead of the butchered word “high ticket”.

Building a team

Building and expanding into a team is a very natural progression for many. Especially those that come from a background of in-person training or coaching.

For sake of an example… Once your schedule is at capacity, you may hire additional coaches to begin to assist with the client load. Fairly simple in nature.

There are definite pros and cons when it comes to this model. The most obvious pro being increased revenue, and the most unassuming con being added stress.

Let’s unpack this a little.

Don’t make the mistake of building a team for the sole purpose of making more money. If that is the sole reason you’re exploring this model, I highly, highly recommend against it. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with building a team. But, please don’t do it because you want more money! Build a team because you want to expand your reach, teach and groom the next generation of coaches, and create a movement.

Building a team provides additional revenue, but it also provides additional stressors as the new “boss”. You now have “overhead”, something you never had when you were solo. You have additional mouths to feed, you’re required to provide them with clients, you’re required to train them, manage them, and ensure their clients are happy as well.

You’re role slowly begins to shift from “coach” (of clients) to manager and leader. This can be an amazing transition if this is what your passionate about. Or, it can be extremely stressful if it’s not.

Challenges

Running challenges can become a great model as well. I wrote a detailed article on How To Run A Free Of Paid Fitness Challenge.

Challenges can provide a big pool of leads to ascend into 1:1 coaching. They can provide a good injection of revenue, and they can also be run by your team if you go down the route of building a team.

I personally have found that challenges can serve another purpose as well. As a testing ground. They have allowed me to quickly test ideas and garner market feedback, which is invaluable.

I have close friends that have done 6-Figure challenge launches just to illustrate an example of the power of challenges. Personally, I have used challenges within my business to educate large amounts of leads and upsell into 1:1 coaching or programs on the backend.

Challenges are very flexible in my personal application. Their only limitation is your imagination.

Programs & courses

Developing programs and digital courses is very alluring.

Touching on the pros and cons, this model provides an alluring pro of reduced time. They are often very streamlined and sometimes 100% hands-off for the coach. While on the flip side of scalability, is a requirement to be able to sell and generate leads!

This truly comes down to where you’re at in your coaching and business journey. Execute this too early and it may not work. These have the potential to involve many moving parts from the course material, which needs to get results every time. To being able to sell it, possibly having landing pages, sales funnels, and even running paid advertising. Every component has the potential to make or break your profit margin.

You may have a goal to create a program or course, or this may happen naturally along your path as it did for me. My recommendation is to create them once you have a proven process. Sales can be learned, but if your course doesn’t get results… You’re not going to be working on the beach, unless you’re the staff cleaning it…

Membership sites

What sounds better than having a whole whack of people paying you a little bit every month… Without having to do anything?! Sounds awesome right.

Even having 100 people paying you $97.00/Month to get access to your exclusive material can make you $9,700/Month. Without much, if any additional work.

If we’re speaking about creating a value ladder there is benefits to having some sort of continuity based product on the backend. What that is, can vary.

There is nothing wrong with membership sites. There are plenty out there. Even Netflix is essentially a membership that has millions of users paying them $10/Month. But, they wouldn’t have been successful if they launched with 5 movies, and ones that sucked.

In order to have a membership that is worth the investment, you require a fair bit of quality content. This will require an in-depth understanding of the niche you’re serving as well as content that will serve them and their respective goals and desired outcomes. O yeah! And having that material made, too.

This purely comes from time and experience. If you’re looking to venture into something membership-based in the future just understand that you will need a whole whack of content to stack on the value, and a solid way to funnel people into it. There are so many ways you can do this, but I just want you to make sure that you’re at the right stage for it. If you are, then this could be massively beneficial.

Where should you start?

I don’t know where you are in your journey… But, most should start with 1:1 coaching. There’s a process that is baked into success and when we skip steps and try to do things before we’ve had enough time to marinade, it may just not turn out the way we hoped.

Be patient.

Keep results as your north star and don’t let the pursuit of money drive your decisions.

If you do those… You will naturally find your way into the right model, or just need very small direction to find your success. I find this to be the best way. Don’t force it, let it happen naturally.

Other ideas

This is by no means an all-inclusive list of business models, others include:

  • Group coaching
  • Putting on events
  • Speaking
  • Products (physical or digital)
  • And many, many more

Final notes

When you are looking at all of the business models, they are not mutually exclusive. Your business may have one, or all of these in place at any given time.

Once you’ve achieved mastery in your craft…

You’re product suite might look like this:

  • Premium 1:1 coaching (5 spots)
  • 8-Week program/course (automated)
  • A couple e-books you’ve written
  • Possibly some additional coaches to handle clients
  • Membership site

Or maybe…

You don’t want all the added stress of managing all those moving parts. And, you just stick with premium 1:1 coaching and maintain a small roster of people you love working with and design the life of your dreams.

There’s no right or wrong answer.

Your business should ultimately support the life you want to life and the legacy you want to leave.

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