Using online coaching databases and platforms to reach more clients.

Updated: Apr 24

A great way for coaches to attract clients could be becoming part of coaching platforms.

There is a wide variety. From online databases that mostly function as a search engine for coaches (often more quantity driven) till complete digital personalized coaching platforms and solutions. Which ones are there. what are the advantages and disadvantages, how do they work and what are some experiences of coaches?


1. Digital coaching platforms offering personalized one-to-one coaching focused on companies that take personal development seriously.

Biggest advantages: the platform does the sales and marketing. Besides that the platforms are mostly focus on B2B (business to business) so it provides a gateway to larger corporations, that often do not work with individual coaches. What I personally like about it most is that it connects you with potential clients from all over the world. Many coaches I know have coaches in different countries and/or continents thanks to this development. Biggest disadvantage: probably your hourly rate. A platform makes money by selling your services at a higher rate than they pay you. This means most coaches can charge (a lot) more when they work directly for clients or companies. That being said you of course can save time and money spend on marketing and acquisition. Someone platforms also offer trainings and a community so value in other forms.

Some examples:

BetterUp (https://www.betterup.com) What: Coaching platform focused on companies to support their employees with personalized development through one-to-one coaching. According to the website they only work with ICT certified experts and licensed therapists with a minimum of 1,0000 supervised hours. And they say they have a strict selection process. Experiences coaches These vary a lot actually! Overall I hear good things but also some critique. Some find the hiring process good and professional while others feel it takes to much time. “I work for them now. It’s been about a year. I currently have about 12 clients. I love their mission which includes bringing access to coaching to additional members of the workforce. I am one of many coaches (I think) who struggled to market coaching at market rate to anyone in my world. This company allows me to use my coaching skill and share it with the world.” “ I can make more privately. Still, it's been a source of income with no resources spent on sales and marketing. They're very supportive of their coaches, with great opportunities for professional development. Overall, I'm pleased “ CoachHub. (https://coachhub.io/) What? Just like BetterUp CoachHub is a digital coaching provider, offering people development to companies globally. They build their own platform on which, based on continuous assessments and feedback employees can monitor their growth and track how close they are to reaching set goals. They have quite a strict selection process for coaches.

‘I'm on their platform and so far got two clients through them. I believe they prefer bi-lingual coaches since most of their clients are based in Europe.’ “I've been on their coach list for more than 6 months. Had lots of admin and compliance work to complete but as yet no clients.” Sharpist (https://www.sharpist.com/) Just like CoachHub and BetterUp focus on offering coaching / personal development solutions to employees/companies. And Just like CoachHub and BetterUp they only work with certified coaches. Thrive partners (https://www.thrivepartners.co.uk/) On-demand coaching is their focus. I like their mission: to give more people access to high-quality conversations, which generate insight for individuals, organisations and society. They offer a less traditional and more flexible coaching solution.


2. Coach databases. These are you could say search engines for people looking for a coach.

https://www.noomii.com/

Noomii is probably the largest online directory of coaches (life, business, career, executive.

Every coach can register on Noomii. there are no specific requirements. They focus mainly on individuals, not companies. I think platforms like Noomii can be a great way when you start out as a coach and do not have a lot of personal referrals or clients in some other way yet. It could be a good way to get the ripple effect going.

For the long run I would say less interesting because they take quite a big fee. I know many coaches who tried Noomii. Honestly I know only few coaches who got regular clients. That was a while ago, I think nowadays there are just two many coaches on the platform, the platform looks outdated and it seems there is no selection process at all. They do spend a lot of money on marketing and SEO. But it seems only a small % of coaches on the platform benefits from that. I think their basic fee is high and the referral fee of 30% also very high. Honestly, if you are going to spend 400USD to get clients I think there are way better ways to invest. But you can always try it because they have a money back guarantee rule.


Costs:

1. 397 USD per year for the basic service. You are listed in the directory of coaches. If a client contacts and hires you through this service, you pay no additional fees beyond your annual subscription.

2. Referral Program. In this service, potential clients fill out a brief formtelling Noomii what they would like to achieve through coaching, along with some personal details. With this information, Noomii finds and personally recommends a small number of coaches (often just one) who we believe are the best fit for the client. The referral fee is 30% of the coaching fees you charge the client.


Coach:

"I use noomii and it has helped put me higher up on search but still have yet to have a paying client come from it. I think I've been a member since the beginning of this year."

https://www.thumbtack.com/ (only US)

Not specifically a coaching platform but I have heard coaches getting clients from it.


Coach: ‘Pros: join for free. Get to create a great page to showcase your talents. Tools to post to social media. Lots of clients looking for your expertise. Cons: nominal fee when submitting bid to potential client. However, if your quote IS NOT reviewed on 48 hours you receive a credit back to your account. Bid stops at 5 so you have to be quick with replies. It takes several tries before landing your first client. But, depending what you charge you make that money back.’

3. Companies that offer global (digital) coaching solutions to companies. They don’t have there application process/ requirements for coaches on the website but could be interesting to look into:

www.coachingrightnow.com: Focus on middle managers.

www.omadahealth.com: Digital care program focused on health

www.souncingboard.com: A tech-enabled, leadership coaching platform for businesses.

www.skylineg.com: Focused on companies and very focused on measuring and data driven.

https://www.joinmodernhealth.com: A mental health platform that provides access to a full spectrum of resources, ranging from digital courses and meditations to a network of certified coaches and licensed therapists