Operating in the wild west of psychology as an applied positive psychology coach can sometimes feel like you’re forging through the unknown with only your certification in your wagon of supplies.
Yet, if you’re working solo, you’ll quickly discover the need for flexibility and a growth mindset to navigate branding, marketing, content development, accounting, and all the other skills associated with being your own boss as a coach.
Thankfully, digital tools can help relieve some of the burden associated with these responsibilities involved in running your own coaching business, freeing up time to do more of what you do best — helping your clients.
In this post, we’ll walk through 17 of the best online platforms and digital tools to save you time and help you run an effective coaching business.
Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Positive Psychology Exercises for free. These science-based exercises will explore fundamental aspects of positive psychology including strengths, values and self-compassion and will give you the tools to enhance the wellbeing of your clients, students, or employees.
This Article Contains:
Online Coaching Platforms
An online coaching platform can serve a coach as an online marketplace where it also uses dynamic code to assist in daily activities. This platform will support coaches by completing daily tasks that link clients with coaches and simplifying office management needs.
When deciding on a platform, a coach has first to clarify their personal online needs. One coach may need a scheduling assistant, while another may need client linking capabilities. Each coach is going to have a different set of clients to serve, and with that set comes alternative client needs in terms of online link capabilities.
All coaches have the same almighty need in common – to get more clients! While in the spring season of your business, this can be a frustrating and elusive task. Online platforms are created to assist in bringing your expertise to the people who need them.
As an example, here is an outline of the expanded business needs of my new practice:
- passive links to a client base
- online exposure
- retention of business branding
- freedom of business hours
- additional marketing capabilities
- coaching specific testimonials
- online payment integration
Start by taking some time to evaluate what your business needs from an effective coaching platform and gaps or challenges in your current workflow. Once you’ve done that, take a look at the features of the six platforms that follow and consider which may be best suited to meet your needs.
Using Quenza’s simple drag-and-drop builder, coaches can craft a range of digital activities for their clients to complete between in-person coaching sessions. These activities can include intake forms, homework, questionnaires, self-paced learning modules, and more.
In designing these activities, coaches can take full advantage of multimedia, including images, audio, and video, to make their content engaging for clients, who can then complete the activities on their personal devices through the Quenza app. In this sense, the platform functions as an all-in-one suite for building and sharing coaching custom programs with clients.
If you choose, you can combine several activities into a pathway for your clients, which pushes activities to your clients’ devices according to a sequence and schedule of your choosing.
For instance, if your coaching focus was on strengths-based interventions, you might design a psychoeducational pathway that begins with a standardized strengths assessment and follows with a video lesson on the science of strengths.
You might then incorporate a reflection exercise and conclude your pathway with a strengths visualization exercise.
As the coach, you can quickly and easily track your clients’ progress through these sorts of pathways on-the-go using your own smartphone or laptop.
With Quenza’s ever-expanding library of pre-loaded activities, you can also craft pathways using pre-prepared activities based on current positive psychology research, helping to save you even more time.
Finally, Quenza is built from the ground up with security in mind. Both GDPR and HIPAA compliant, Quenza ensures that all interactions between you and your clients are secure thanks to personal PIN codes and 128-bit encryption, guaranteeing peace of mind for both you and your clients.
Whether you’re a solo practitioner or a large coaching organization, Quenza provides a range of price packages to suit any business size and is currently offering a 1-month trial for just $1 to let you try out the platform for yourself with zero risk.
Although Paperbell is a fairly new online software tool, it is making a positive impact on coaching and consulting businesses.
Touted as a super-simple tool, Paperbell helps you manage the business side of coaching, in addition to providing clients with the best coaching experience.
Features include scheduling sessions, processing invoices, following up on late payments and taking care of the many moving parts of your business.
Paperbell allows you to set up multiple packages with different availabilities. You can also create payment plans and manage coupon codes. It has everything you need to start and grow your coaching business.
A definite advantage is enjoying a bird’s-eye view of your coaching business with their dashboard–from viewing your next appointments to client notes to the most recently signed contracts. It ensures you stay on top of everything without having to manage multiple tools.
Paperbell offers a free plan for your first client. After that, pricing starts at a reasonable fee per month for unlimited clients and access to all features, or you can choose the yearly plan with a fair discount.
One of the broadest coaching platforms is Noomii. My practice recently began the process of coach pairing with this platform.
With Noomii, you receive your own profile that includes a summary of your ideal client, a review of your coaching expertise, and your listing in a coaching directory for free.
Recorded interviews with the coach and client pairing are offered at an additional cost, but that cost is guaranteed within the first year with the platform. The service links your expertise with the specific needs of a client. It helps you get clear about the type of coaching you provide and even offers a place for your clients to read and to write reviews. The platform enables integration capabilities with personal websites, as well.
There are training and a coaching circle available too. This service enables coaches to keep their skills sharp and serve other coaches in collecting hours for various certifications. It also gives coaches their own coach in whatever area they deem worthy of growth.
LifeCoachOffice.com is a platform that offers office freedom to coaches.
By providing a one-stop-shop to stay organized, a coach can have more of the business management capabilities that can give new businesses a bit of a struggle. There are discounts for new coaches.
This platform provides a dynamic place for life and business coaches to keep their clients efficiently served. With one-stop invoices, mass emailing, and online scheduling, a coach can streamline their approach to organizing their business. The site even offers group packages for a business that has multiple coaches.
Nudgecoach.com is a powerful tool for health coaches. The platform allows coaches to interact with clients and follows all HIPAA compliance, as needed.
This mobile capability for health coaching clients improves engagement. A more personalized and interactive focus gives coaches the ability to serve their clients in one dynamic place.
Yourearthangel.com is a platform offering coaches organization and marketing in bringing in new clients.
The registration is free, which is great for coaches just starting out and needing to complete their billable hours. Coaches are listed in a directory. Clients are assigned to coaches by the platform. Therefore coaches are considered subcontractors, and 1099 tax implications are attached.
Online Coaching Programs
With so many online coaching programs offered, it is hard to narrow down which one serves coaches the best.
Again, personal need is a significant area of consideration when searching for a coaching program. Thinking about who you want to serve as a client is vital in determining which program is the best fit. Becoming credentialed is not a requirement to hang out a shingle as a coach, though it is highly recommended and valued in the field.
ICF is the gold standard for coaching credentials. Becoming credentialed under the ICF umbrella can happen in a variety of ways. A program can apply to offer training under ICF credentialing requirements, which is how The Flourishing Center created its Applied Positive Psychology Coaching program, where I received training from an MCC level coach.
Many online programs offer ICF credentials. It is a long process to receive accreditation under the ICF, which sets it apart. Ethics, process, and coaching competencies are specific and outlined in standards-based requirements. When deciding what kind of coach you want to be, consider how you’ll be trained and by whom the training will be delivered.
Here are two top-rated ICF credentialed online programs:
A very powerful and highly effective online training program for positive psychology coaching is offered at The Flourishing Center. After receiving intensive training in positive psychology through its CAPP program, an additional certification in Applied Positive Psychology Coaching is available. The APPC Program is a 125-hour program completed online.
Through weekly meetings, lectures, and one-on-one mentoring sessions with Master Coach Emiliya Zhivotovskaya, coaches learn how to weave positive psychology into their practice.
The program is currently under review for credentialing under the ICF as an Accredited Coaching Training Program (ACTP) and is already an Approved Coaching Specific Training Hours (ACSTH) program. What makes this program unique is the position in which graduate coaches get to stand with positive psychology. These well-trained coaches are able to provide scientifically proven approaches to improved wellbeing and life satisfaction efficiently.
Coach Training World delivers training from a whole-person coaching stand. It is an ACTP training under the ICF, which again is a long process to receive for a training course. The site also offers a coach incubator, which is helpful when intending to pursue coaching as a business endeavor.
For Life Coaches and Health Coaches:
Not all training is built the same. Some coaches serve in professional settings. Others work from the comfort of their own homes and utilize their training in serving their ideal clients in a variety of ways. These online coaching programs offer a variety of training options.
- Fowler International Academy of Professional Coaching
- iNLP Center
- World Coach Institute
- Life Coach Training
For Executive Coaches:
These are the most abundantly available programs. Businesses are increasingly investing in employee development, and executive coaching is a large part of that investment. Managers and executives with improved leadership knowledge and abilities can improve their workplace productivity and the environment.
Universities across the globe offer Executive Coaching courses, and it is a great place to start when seeking the right fit for an online program. Here are a couple of other academies as well.
Online programs work well for continuing coaches to sharpen their coach’s toolbox as well. Continued growth in practicing and applying what you’ve learned is always recommended. Adding hours and receiving higher-level credentials adds value to the coaching profession and your personal coaching resume.
Online Coaching Software
Scheduling clients can become a time-consuming task when your practice gets moving quickly. It is one of the most popular areas of software integration for coaches. Some sites even offer free software, which is incredibly helpful when getting your business off the ground.
The most popular software for coaches is Acuity Scheduling. The software allows you to embed the scheduler into your website and offers paid users a variety of advanced features with monthly fees. It integrates coaching tools that many coaches use, as well.
Free scheduling software to consider is 10to8, which allows for your website to enable clients to book time and receive SMS reminders. This software can also be embedded into your business website. My practice has recently started using this software. It is user-friendly and keeps the cost down for business expenses while saving time to work on projects other than back and forth scheduling with clients.
Schedulista is another online scheduling software. This site offers features in different languages, which is helpful when coaching internationally. There are various packages for different business sizes.
Fons is low-priced, easy to integrate software for coaches. Online booking, payment, scheduling, and client information are all included in a low monthly price. It is optimized for desktop and mobile, which is helpful in today’s marketplace.
Currently, I’m in the process of discovering the most cost-effective payment integration for my practice’s website. PayPal and Venmo have been an easy start for the small business, but making it even easier for clients to pay and get right to coaching seamlessly is an area of growth. Stripe is the current area of exploration to enable credit card payments.
With anything, there are fees involved. Keeping operating costs low and protecting clients’ valuable information is vital to any small business.
Online Coaching Tools
Starting with a good chair, desk, and computer may seem like silly coaching tools to suggest, but their value can’t be stressed enough. Starting out on your couch is not setting yourself up for success as a legitimate and professional coach. These three things lead to setting up your website, which is a landing place for the world to find you.
Once you’ve got a suitable workspace, you’ll want to consider the focus of your coaching practice and begin accumulating psychoeducational materials that support this focus.
In your efforts to build up this bank of materials, be sure to take a good look at Quenza’s Expansion Library of digital activities if you choose to take advantage of the platform’s 1-month trial.
Quenza’s library of expansions is continually growing with science-backed activities to suit a range of coaching focuses. Among these are widely used questionnaires, lessons, reflection exercises, meditations, and much more.
Using the platform, you can seamlessly integrate these activities into your existing coaching practice and easily share them to your clients’ Quenza accounts to complete at a time and via a device that is convenient for them.
For coaches just starting out, another great place to develop specific coaching tools is Life Coach Hub. This site offers additional training and resources for coaches that might not have been received in coach training. It attaches onboarding processes with contracts and more.
For online coaching tools that serve clients, I found helpful hints right here on this blog. This toolkit can help any coach needing interventions to use with their clients. How clients hold themselves accountable varies. Coaches offering these types of tools allow space for further self-discovery, either in session or post-session for clients.
The Coaching Tools Company offers some free tools for coaches. The site provides exercises, templates, and even coaching question suggestions. It’s an accessible resource for any coach needing inspiration or suggestions on building the paperwork they might need to serve their clients. In this respect, Quenza’s Expansion Library merits another mention, as it is full of research-based scales and pre-designed assessments that can quickly and easily be integrated into a coaching program.
Next is your branding and digital presence.
For my practice, I used LogoWorks to create branding and online presence. It was a seamless process. The capabilities to build and integrate all aspects needed in technology have made the website and blog easy to use and shift as needed. Technology isn’t everyone’s strongest skill, and this business made the process painless.
Another tool that my practice uses to serve clients is Zoom. This is a reliable cloud platform for video conferencing and webinars. You can record 1-on-1 sessions for mentor coaching hours if required. For a small fee, you can have access to unlimited meeting rooms as well, which is helpful for monthly webinar capabilities.
Zoom makes things easy because a client doesn’t have to have an account to use the links. Sessions can be scheduled and shared via calendar integrations or copied and emailed. Each link offers both computer and phone capabilities.
Skype is another tool that can be used for virtual coaching — having both tools available helps when one client is unfamiliar or uncertain about technological usage. It does require both users to have an account. Video conferences give coaches a more connective experience in sessions, as you can actively listen and intuit when you can view the person in real-time.
There is also an abundance of coaching mobile apps on the market that can help upgrade your practice, all from your smartphone. See more: 19 Helpful Coaching Apps and Software to Upgrade Your Practice.
A Take-Home Message
Being a professional coach takes more than initial coach training. Building a coaching business, as other coaches and I have done, takes a growth mindset. Some attempts and tools are going to work. Being able to learn from the things that don’t work are the best lessons a new coach can learn.
Having multiple funnels for income as a coach is an important way to grow your business as well. Offering workshops, blogging, consulting in businesses, and creating alternative ways to serve others, is a meaningful way to build opportunities for coaching. There’s a lot of competition out there and creating your unique style of doing business as a professional coach is how you will increase your income and your impact in the world.
Starting a business is like starting a journey west filled with hope and optimism. As you head into the unknown journey of beginning a professional coaching role, make sure that you fill your wagon with as many tools as possible. The more you know about what to expect to encounter, the easier your journey will be.
Thanks for reading.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our three Positive Psychology Exercises for free.