Coaching, Entrepreneurship

Revenue Models for a Successful Online Coaching Business

By Austin Varley
Revenue models for online coaching business

One of the foundational pieces of successful online coaching businesses is understanding the different revenue models available and creating a great offer line up. If you don’t understand these two elements, you simply can’t scale your coaching business. The goal of this article is to explain the first one (revenue models), so you can build the second one (a great offer line up).

Now, I have been helping coaches, influencers, and industry thought leaders for over 8 years, and during this time I have helped each one of them grow their business by using funnels, paid advertising, content marketing and other marketing strategies. One of the things I’ve learned throughout this time is that having a clear monetization strategy with a good offer mix is what separates successful coaching businesses from those that can’t sustain themselves. 

In this article, I will walk you through the different revenue models I’ve seen work for our clients. This way, you can start creating different products or offers to monetize your audience, so you can keep reaching and helping more people. 

The prices included below are referential, they are the prices that I’ve seen in the market in the past couple of years for these types of offers. I recommend you adapt your prices based on your area of expertise and years of experience.

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Alright, let’s jump into the different revenue models for a coaching business and the different core offers that go along with them.

1. One-On-One Coaching

Modality: One-time or Recurring

Pricing: $100-$30,000

Because coaching is mainly a service business, 1-on-1 coaching is a great place to start. This type of offer is the most flexible, meaning that the price you can charge for it will vary greatly depending on the services you offer during each session. 

If you are a business coach, you will probably charge an hourly consulting fee, with a minimum rate of $100 per hour, tallying up your total number of hours per client at the end of each month. 

If you are in the health and wellness space, you might have different 1-on-1 offers where you help clients with specific processes. For example, at Just Digital, we had a client that offered grocery shopping services for $700. For this service, she would go grocery shopping with individuals and families and teach them how to pick clean and healthy food that adapted to their needs. Separately, she had other clients that paid $100 an hour to speak to her once or twice a month to review their goals and process towards clean eating. 

The range between $100 and $30,000 is large, and it takes some time and experience until you can command a high fee, but we’ve seen clients get there, and it is not impossible. 


2. Group Coaching

Modality: One-time or Recurring

Pricing: $100-$5,000

Group coaching is very similar to 1-on-1 coaching, except that instead of working with individuals, you group people that are all working on similar goals or processes together. This way you can help and impact more people, because let’s face it, your time is limited.

Most coaches follow a simple rule for pricing group coaching sessions, consisting of charging each individual only 30% of what an individual 1-on-1 session would cost. So if you charge $600 for a weekly 1-on-1 session, you could charge $180 for a similar weekly group session. This allows you to scale your work. And if you find 5 people for these weekly sessions, you would be making $900 instead of $600 per week. 

Just keep in mind that for you to deliver great group sessions that feel personalized, you can’t add too many people to the group. Ideally, your groups should have between four and 6 participants. If you want to have larger groups, you are better off offering online courses. 


3. Short Online Course

Modality: One-time

Pricing: $97-$497

Short online courses are a great way for coaches and content creators to share their knowledge and impact even more people. These courses are on the lower side of the price spectrum, allowing you to reach more people and have a bigger impact with your shared knowledge. These types of courses are generally entry-level courses, and can be set up as an hour-long masterclass or even a short course consisting of 3-4 hours spread over different days or videos. 

They are perfect for people who want to get to know you and learn more about you without signing up for a higher-ticket offer. At the same time, they can help you warm up your audience, so they convert to higher-ticket items in the future. 


4. Signature Online Course

Modality: One-time

Pricing: $697-$2,000

Signature courses are a way to share all of your knowledge with the people who really need it. Instead of doing a 1-4 hour course, this type of course should have a lot more material as well as extra assets. These extra assets can include workbooks, quizzes, Q&A sessions, etc. This is what allows you to charge a higher price. 

For example, at Just Digital, we’ve helped coaches in a wide range of industries, from accounting to wellness, to refine their courses and market them. We had a real estate agent once come to us with an idea for a training program for people who wanted to get into real estate. He wanted to launch a short course with a lot of information that would have been difficult to over in 4 hours. Instead, we suggested he work on a longer 30 hour course with extra resources that he could sell for a higher price. We helped him market it, and it has been a success ever since. 

If you want to deep-dive into pricing strategies for online courses, you can take a look at this article by Thinkific.


5. Annual Event

Modality: One-time

Pricing: $1000-$10,000

An annual event is a phenomenal way to generate revenue once you are commanding a large community that is very engaged with your material. Your event can be anything from a one-day conference to a multiple day retreat. 

The best thing about annual events is that they serve multiple purposes. First, they are a way to get additional revenue that you don’t get from your recurring services. Then, they also help you build a community that is engaged, so it is not only about you, but also about the different members that are part of your group. Finally, an annual event is a perfect way to share and sell one of your recurring services, such as group coaching sessions or even your signature course. 


6. Monthly Membership & Community

Modality: Recurring

Pricing: $97-$497

When you are constantly creating content to serve your audience, there is a high chance that some of those people would be willing to pay money to get additional and exclusive content. This is how you create monthly memberships and access to exclusive communities. 

These types of memberships generally give its members access to different perks and benefits, like access to live trainings, Q&A calls, and online chats on platforms like discord or slack. 

We have one client who has approximately 300 members paying them $497 for access to their online community, Q&A calls, and support on an ongoing basis. If you do the math, 300x$497, that’s a nice chunk of change.


7. Mastermind groups

Modality: Recurring

Pricing: $2,000-$50,000+

Masterminds are another way to help your audience to accomplish their goals and change their lives. This type of services normally consists of small, peer-to-peer mentoring groups where everyone helps each other accomplish a goal. 

Mastermind groups typically meet in person at a certain cadence, and usually hold monthly calls. Depending on the niche you are in, you will be able to charge different prices for organizing these, and they pretty much work as an exclusive coach that provides value depending on the members that make the group. 

I worked with a client who hosts mastermind coaching programs priced at $10,000 a year. This client is excellent at building groups of highly motivated people working on business solutions for their industry together. For the $10,000 fee, they organize quarterly meetings, monthly calls, and training sessions for each mastermind group. 

How did we help this client sell these $10,000 programs? Well, every we help them organize an annual in-person event for about 1,000 people. Throughout the event, we help them advertise the mastermind program. And at the end of the event, after they have delivered a ton of value for its participants, generally at least 10% of participants are ready to join a mastermind group. All you need to do is deliver a great amount of value and quality services to your clients at every level, and they will want more. 


Other ways to monetize your knowledge

The 7 offers I mentioned above are some of the best ways coaches can create sustainable businesses. However, those are not the only ways to monetize an audience. Now, I want to share a couple other ideas that you can use to create revenue to run your coaching business:

  1. Sponsorships – If you have a podcast, YouTube channel or something similar, you can sell sponsored content to other brands that might want to reach your audience. In fact, if you organize an event as mentioned above, you can also sell sponsorship programs for the event. 
  2. Affiliate programs – With a large enough audience, you can sign up for an affiliate program—Amazon has one that is easy to sing up for. In this case, you promote other brands’ products to your audience and get a commission for every sale. 
  3. Social media monetization – Depending on the social media channels you use, you can apply to different programs to monetize them. Sometimes this means running ads on your channels, and in other cases the social media platforms have incentive programs for content creators. These programs don’t usually pay large sums, but these monetization tactics can add up. 
  4. Easy-access communities and gated content – Platforms like Patreon, Substack and even YouTube allow you to create membership-based access to gated content. Meaning people in your audience can pay directly on these platforms to get all of your content instead of just the free content you produce. 

The reason I didn’t include these four monetization methods to the main list is because in this case you do not fully own the audience. If you use sponsorship or affiliate links, then you are helping other companies build their following and grow their revenue instead of working on publicizing your own brand. And in the case of social media, if the platform you use changes the way the platform or algorithms work, you could see a big drop in your revenue from those platforms. 

At the end of the day, if you want to build a sustainable coaching business, you will most likely have to combine different methods. Start with one or two and then grow from there. And if you ever need help growing your coaching business, feel free to contact our team. We’re happy to help you at any time. 

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