How to Create a Successful Coaching Membership Website
Today the coaching business model is one of the most popular ways to share expertise profitably. Life coaching is one of the fastest-growing industries in the U.S. There were 23,201 registered life coaching businesses in 2022, and 1.7 million active coaches on Linkedin. If you have a coaching business in 2024, taking it online with a membership website will help you expand your reach globally, and give you the potential to scale your business quickly.
What is a coaching membership website?
A coaching membership website is a membership website specifically designed to sell coaching services and products, usually by recurring subscription. It’s a dynamic online ecosystem where individuals can access resources, connect with experts, and become part of a supportive community. All these services are offered within the framework of a subscription-based model, promoting ongoing learning and personal growth.
What kind of content is in a coaching membership website?
Key elements of a coaching membership model often include:
These websites typically offer a structured curriculum or content library, often in the form of videos, webinars, written materials, or a combination of these. The content is designed to help members acquire knowledge and skills progressively. The content can be in the form of categorized topics or set up as a course.
Access to Coaches or Experts
Members have the opportunity to engage with coaches, mentors, or experts through live Q&A sessions, forums, discussion boards, or one-on-one coaching sessions. This interaction is crucial for addressing individual questions and providing personalized guidance.
Community and Networking
Many coaching membership websites foster a sense of community by enabling members to connect, share experiences, and collaborate. This community aspect often includes forums, social media groups, or private chat platforms.
To maintain member engagement, these platforms often provide regular updates and fresh content. This could include new courses, live events, or exclusive resources.
Who is a coaching membership website for?
The subscription model for coaching – whether business coaching, fitness, nutrition, sports, gardening, the environment — the list goes on forever! – is a win-win for both coaches and members.
Coaches have the benefit of being able to share their expertise with a potential worldwide audience, without traveling, ticket sales or physical locations. Members can access the coach’s material in the comfort of their home, or anywhere, any time. Access to the coaches themselves is not diminished as virtual meetings can be setup and scheduled on the website.
How to Get Started on Your Coaching Membership Website
1. Determine Your Niche
Here is a very small sampling of possible niches that work extremely well as membership websites for coaches. As a general rule, your niche should encompass topics you are passionate about, and that there is a demand for.
- Entrepreneurs and Business Professionals: Business owners, executives, and professionals can benefit from coaching websites that offer insights into leadership, management, marketing, and other business-related topics. These platforms can provide strategies to improve business performance and achieve professional goals.
- Students and Graduates: Students seeking academic support, career advice, or soft skills development can find value in coaching websites. These platforms can offer guidance on study habits, exam preparation, job searching, and networking.
- Fitness and Health Enthusiasts: Individuals looking to improve their physical health, fitness, or overall well-being can benefit from coaching websites that offer workout routines, nutritional advice, and mental health support. These platforms can provide personalized guidance to meet fitness goals.
- Personal Development Seekers: Many coaching websites focus on personal growth, offering resources on mindfulness, self-confidence, goal setting, time management, and more. These platforms can help individuals become the best versions of themselves.
- Creatives and Artists: Aspiring and established artists, writers, musicians, and other creatives can find coaching websites that offer insights into their respective fields, including creative techniques, marketing, and career development.
- Lifestyle and Wellness Enthusiasts: Individuals interested in improving their lifestyles, from travel to cooking to parenting, can access coaching websites that provide advice and tips on various aspects of life.
- Language Learners: Language learners looking to acquire new languages or improve their communication skills can benefit from language coaching websites. These platforms often offer structured lessons, pronunciation practice, and cultural insights.
- Tech Enthusiasts: With the rapid evolution of technology, coaching websites offering coding, app development, and other tech-related skills can be highly beneficial to those interested in tech careers or hobbies.
- Hobbyists and Enthusiasts: Coaching websites can cater to hobbyists interested in specific activities like gardening, photography, or DIY projects, providing expert guidance and tips.
- Wellness and Mental Health: Those looking for emotional and mental well-being can find support through coaching websites that focus on stress management, mental health, and coping strategies.
- Specialized Skill Seekers: Individuals looking to acquire specialized skills, such as public speaking, negotiation, or conflict resolution, can turn to coaching websites for targeted training.
2. Determine Your Content Delivery Method
How will you help people? If you’re already coaching offline, start there and think of how you could translate that into an online version. For example, If you have group meetings through meetup or special coaching events, you can save money and reach a much larger audience by offering group calls and live online events or webinars.
Here are some different ways you can deliver your expertise:
- Courses: Membership content organized into a course format with modules or lessons. The material can be made available all at once, or progressively. Courses are extremely popular, and vary widely in price, depending on the depth of information provided.
- Webinars: A webinar is an effective way to introduction to your service, give attendees valuable information they can act on, and promote your primary offer. It can be delivered live or recorded. For example, a webinar on how to lose 10 pounds in 20 days will provide the basics of weight loss and some actionable tips that your participants can use to get started on the journey. But it will also do this within the framework of what you have to offer, such as a 6-week program with your guidance. It can end with a specific offer, or a general call to action for more information.
- Events: You can sell tickets to live events, or take payments for online meetings. Summits are a popular form of online event, and particularly suited to coaches. As a coach, you can organize a summit, in other words, a line-up of speakers on various topics related to your niche. Let’s say you’re in the nutrition niche. You could invite speakers to make presentations on similar topics such as weight loss, exercise, yoga, and the benefits of certain types of diets. You may not want to include direct competitors, but a summit can boost your credibility in your niche, and can be launched as part of your coaching membership website.
3. Membership Tiers
Offering different membership tiers or levels allows you to determine what you are going to offer and how much you will charge.
You may want to keep your membership site simple, and just offer one coaching program. But chances are, as a coach, you will have different levels of products and services and different price points.
For example, you may decide to have 2 membership tiers, one Basic and one more advanced. The Basic program might contain access to how-to’s, recorded videos, and a community forum. The more advanced group might get all of those things plus live coaching calls twice a month or even one-to-one coaching.
Always a touchy subject, pricing, and packaging of services can be a minefield if you don’t make a choice and stick to it. Decide how you’re going to package and price your services and don’t waver or make exceptions if you can avoid them. If there is a cut-off date for sign-ups, stick to it as that is only fair to the people who signed up early. If you just want to charge at an hourly rate per week or month, that’s okay too.
There are many different ways to set up your pricing model. Examples are a monthly or annual fee for access to content; a one-time fee for a course or non-recurring subscription; tiered membership levels allowing different access at different price points.
A membership tier example might be a set-up with 3 membership levels – bronze, silver, and gold. At the bronze level, members get access to a forum and blog posts. At the silver level, members receive bronze benefits plus access to group coaching sessions. At the gold level, additional benefits and bonuses are added such as invitations to live events and one-on-one calls.
4. Choose a Platform
There are plenty of options available in terms of software that you can use to present your coaching business online. WordPress is probably one of the most popular, and for good reason. It’s extremely popular across all niches, so why not coaching? There is a caveat, though. With WordPress, you will need to be comfortable with the many options available for plugins and themes, so you can make sure you offer the functionality needed for the user experience you have in mind.
You also have to maintain the software in the backend of a WordPress site. The other alternative is an all-in-one platform that doesn’t require any maintenance and has all or most of the functions you’ll need built in. What’s the difference between the different all in one platforms? There are many, including accommodation for membership levels, payment processing, and integration with email marketing programs, analytics, and social media accounts.
The other big difference is price. Generally, the more features that are built-in, the higher the price point. That’s where it becomes a matter of what you are comfortable with. If you’re the type of person who isn’t afraid to go all out on a platform with all the bells and whistles, then that’s just fine.
But if you’re a new or emerging coach on a budget, you might ask yourself why you would pay hundreds of dollars per month for features you may not be ready to use. In that case, a more mid-priced platform that doesn’t have absolutely everything included might suit you better. Here’s a break down of ‘must-have’ features and some of the more ‘nice to have’ features.
- Multiple Subscription Levels
- Mobile responsive
- Email marketing integration
- Course Setup
- Community Forum
- Automated emails
- Member database
- Member accounts
- Reporting and analytics
- Reliable customer support
- Unlimited video upload
- Built-in marketing funnels
- Built-in webinar platform
- Affiliate programs
- Events ticketing and promotion
The truth is that the majority of the nice to have features can be integrated easily from third-party sources with little more than a snippet of text code added to your website. For example, videos can be embedded easily into the SubHub platform from any video hosting service.
The result is a less cumbersome system that is free from lag or buffering. This allows your members to have a smooth experience from log-in to log-out. Audio files can also be easily embedded, as can live streams, chatbots and more.
5. Metrics and Feedback
Metrics is more than just numbers. Yes, you want to know how many visitors your site gets per month, how many sign-ups you have every month, which members are logging in when, upcoming renewals and so on. But more importantly, you need to keep your finger on the pulse of how your users feel about your business.
The absolute best way to accomplish this is to ask them. You can ask for feedback in emails or on your site’s community forum. SubHub websites have the option of allowing comments on posts and articles. If you are offering group calls as part of your coaching service, this is a great time to get some feedback on the website, the service, and your offerings. You might find that the majority of your clients are too advanced for your basic membership tier. That’s great information that you can use to tailor a new offering that better meets your customers’ needs.
Your coaching membership site is an ongoing product that can bend and move with your clients’ needs. That is the beauty of it. It’s not a static website, but a way to both offer to and interact with your customers, so you can help your clients grow while you grow your coaching business at the same time.
Ready to start your online coaching business? Open a free SubHub platform trial and take it for a test drive. We offer 5-star support every weekday, so let us know if you have any questions.
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