5 Benefits of Using Remote Coaching to Run Your Business Online

remote coaching

Are you a life coach who works with clients in person who’s looking to dip their toes in the world of remote coaching?

For coaches and clients alike, remote coaching has completely changed the game. But there are so many digital resources available that it can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve always coached people the old-school way.

Keep reading to discover:

  • What remote coaching is
  • The benefits of remote coaching
  • Tools for remote coaching
  • Tips to make the most out of remote coaching

What Is Remote Coaching?

Remote coaching has been around for a long time. But ever since the pandemic of 2020, remote coaching has emerged as a much more popular approach to traditional face-to-face coaching. 

It’s a virtual form of professional development that uses the internet for coach-client interactions.

Simply put, it’s about providing life coaching services to clients using remote communication tools and technology

Instead of meeting your clients face-to-face, you’ll use tools like video calls, phone chats, or even messaging apps such as Voxer to communicate with them. 

Basically, as long as you’ve got a communication device and an internet connection, you can offer remote coaching sessions to your clients, either synchronous or asynchronous!

Synchronous discussions

In a typical remote life coaching setup, synchronous communication is integral. 

It involves real-time interaction between you and your client through video calls or phone conversations, such as Zoom or Google Meet.

Synchronous discussions closely replicate in-person coaching sessions. But you can make them even more effective by using modern tools, such as:

  • AI transcription and note-taking
  • Digital whiteboards
  • Screen sharing
  • Integrations with your scheduling tool (to never miss a meeting)

The best part about synchronous discussions hosted remotely is that most video conferencing tools allow you to record your coaching sessions. This is an added bonus for clients who may want to refer back to sessions to fully integrate what you’ve helped them with.

Asynchronous conversations

Besides live interactions, asynchronous means of communicating, like email exchanges or chat programs, also hold significant value in a remote coaching context. 

From a coach’s perspective, asynchronous conversations allow you to scale your clientele without working more hours. You can also take your time to think about a response, which allows you to provide a deeper level of support.

But asynchronous coaching also benefits your clients, especially if they’re busy. They can get quick feedback from you without completely abandoning the rest of the things they have to do that day.

Is remote coaching just as effective as in-person?

Even though coaching remotely takes place online, it’s still incredibly effective – as long as you’ve got solid coaching models or processes to support your clients.

The main aim remains the same: guiding your clients toward practical behavioral change and helping them achieve their personal objectives through focused sessions. Unless you need to physically interact with a client to help them meet their objectives, virtual sessions work just as well as face-to-face ones.

Whether remote coaching is effective or not will rather depend on other factors, such as:

  • Your relationship with the client
  • Your ability to understand your client and support them in the way they need
  • Willingness on the client’s part to speak the truth and implement what you work on together
  • Feedback loops between you and your client

All of the above can happen, no matter how you connect with a coaching client.

How flexible is remote coaching? 

The good thing about coaching remotely is its flexibility compared to traditional face-to-face settings. You know how rescheduling in-person sessions can sometimes be a logistical nightmare. 

Well, with remote coaching, as long as both you and the client have reliable internet and suitable devices, rearranging sessions becomes way less complicated. 

You’ll have the freedom to adapt your coaching to fit your schedule, even if you’re traveling somewhere… or even if you have a digital nomad lifestyle!

5 Benefits of Remote Coaching 

Still not sure if you should offer remote coaching to your clients? Let’s explore all the ways in which you (and your clients) can benefit from this approach.

1. Global accessibility 

The clearest benefit of coaching remotely is the capacity to work with clients from anywhere in the world. 

Those old geographical boundaries are no longer an obstacle. This means your potential client pool just got a whole lot bigger!

For instance, I work with clients located in the US, Europe, and Australia, despite living in Canada.

2. Flexibility

In addition to this global reach, virtual appointments offer greater flexibility when it comes to scheduling your sessions. 

Unlike traditional face-to-face meetings, which require your and your client’s simultaneous availability at one location, rearranging sessions becomes more manageable as your schedules can accommodate changes easily.

3. Economic efficiency 

Looking at it from a financial angle, going the online route for your coaching business can be a real money-saver. 

Running things through digital platforms means you’re spending less on overhead costs than the traditional setup.

There’s no need for office rental or travel expenses, which allows you to save costs and offer services at competitive rates while maintaining profitability.

As long as you’ve got somewhere to put down your laptop, you’ve got an “office.”

4. Improved client experience through technology

With in-person coaching sessions, you’ll have to set up your phone or a camera to record coaching sessions. And that’s basically all you can do.

But with remote coaching, you can augment your coaching setup with a wide variety of tools. 

For instance, imagine giving your clients detailed notes about the biggest takeaways from a session! Well, that’s possible with AI plugins like Supernormal.

And if you want to illustrate a concept with a diagram, you don’t have to purchase a physical whiteboard. Instead, you can share your screen and use a digital whiteboard.

The list of tools goes on and on. 

5. Work with shy clients

Some clients may struggle to speak face-to-face or with their cameras on. Let’s say you’re a confidence coach with a client who can’t even bring themselves to meet you at your office – how would you start helping them at first?

With remote coaching, you can start things slow and put your clients at ease. If you have clients who prefer to always keep their cameras off, you can offer that option. Or you can put clients at ease with DM conversations.

4 Challenges of Remote Coaching

So is remote coaching always better than in-person coaching? Not necessarily. Coaching your clients remotely does have some drawbacks, so let’s get into that. 

1. Nurturing trust virtually

In life coaching, trust forms an essential part of the coach-client relationship. In-person sessions allow you to use nonverbal cues like body language and tone variation effectively to establish rapport and nurture trust. 

However, these cues might not translate as smoothly in virtual interactions.

To conquer this challenge, you need to create an environment that supports clients in reaching their goals by setting up clear communication channels right at the outset. This could mean using real-time online chat or reinforcing positive messages outside scheduled session times.

2. Tackling technical issues

Slow internet connections. Crashing Zoom calls. Lag. If you’ve ever done remote coaching (or been coached remotely), you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Unfortunately, even tech pros will run into these issues from time to time. That’s just how it goes with technology. 

And when this happens, it can cause a ton of frustration for everyone involved.

3. Juggling time zones

Yes, it’s awesome to be able to connect with coaching clients from all over the world. But it also means you’ll have to manage time zone differences.

Remember how I mentioned I work with people in Australia while living in Canada? This gives us very little overlap, during which we both have time to meet. 

This can also lead to scheduling conflicts if you don’t communicate time zone differences clearly with a client. 

4. Isolation

As a coach, you never work alone. Whether you offer one-on-one coaching or group programs, you’ll always have new clients to meet.

With that being said, working remotely can feel extremely isolating. Even though you’re speaking to people on camera, it doesn’t feel quite the same way as meeting with people in person.

Of course, there are measures you can put in place to avoid isolation, such as finding coworking spaces and making time to meet with in-person family and friends. But it’s something to be wary of if you have a high need for socialization. 

3 Must-Have Tools for Effective Remote Coaching

If you do decide that remote coaching is the way to go, there are tools you can use to make the experience smoother for yourself and your clients. Here’s what to look for before making the switch.

1. Video conferencing software

A cornerstone tool for online coaching is video conferencing software such as Zoom, Teams, or Google Meet

Technically speaking, you can host synchronous coaching sessions on the phone. But it can help strengthen your rapport with your clients when you can see each other on camera.

2. Scheduling tools

Remember those scheduling and time zone issues I mentioned earlier? Scheduling tools make sure those almost never happen.

For instance, Paperbell allows your clients to self-book their coaching sessions straight into their calendar. And because it syncs with your own calendar, you don’t have to worry about someone accidentally booking you when you’ve already got another meeting scheduled!

remote coaching

Tools like Paperbell also convert time zone differences so you never embarrassingly show up at 3 pm Eastern when your client meant Pacific time.

Oh, and did I mention you can also customize your availability for each type of session? For example, you can make yourself unavailable for discovery sessions each Monday and keep those days for VIP Voxer Coaching exclusively.

3. Digital payment platforms

When it comes to handling payments from clients all around the world, you need something secure and reliable. 

That’s where these trusty digital payment platforms, such as PayPal or Stripe, step in. They enable hassle-free money transfers so you and your clients can focus on the coaching adventure without any payment worries.

Even better if you can find a scheduling tool that integrates directly with PayPal and Stripe (hint: Paperbell does this).

3 Tips for Successful Remote Coaching

remote coaching

Now that you’re equipped with awesome tools to coach your clients remotely, here are a few more tips to help your clients succeed while you grow your coaching business online!

1. Avoid tech bloat

Take it from someone addicted to trying new software – tech bloat with remote coaching businesses is a real problem.

Tech bloat basically means you’ve got too many tools in your tech stack at a point where it’s impacting your ability to:

  • Support your clients
  • Keep profit margins healthy
  • Stay organized
  • Maintain everything 

So before you jump on every fancy tool available, ask yourself if you really need it to achieve your business goals or support your clients. 

I suggest choosing a simpler tool over a more complicated one if the simpler tool will suffice. For example, you do not need to invest in a fancy CRM like Salesforce unless you’ve got a team of a dozen coaches and a sales team working for you!

2. Have a backup plan

Remember how I mentioned technical issues are unavoidable? Well, you can prepare in case this happens.

For instance, if the primary video tool fails, ensure another one is installed on your device, allowing a quick switch without major interruptions. And let your clients know about the backup plan so they know what to do instead of waiting around like sitting ducks.

You should also keep client contact information handy so switching quickly between platforms becomes easy when needed.

3. Don’t be afraid to test what works best

It’s easy to translate what you know about in-person coaching and copy your approach with remote coaching. But don’t be afraid to try new approaches to see what works better for you and your clients.

For example, you may discover the type of client you work with get better results with Voxer coaching compared to Zoom sessions. Or you may find a specific Zoom plugin that makes coaching sessions even more effective than before.

Don’t limit yourself to what you’ve just read here – test things for yourself and see. Innovate!

Try Remote Coaching For A Business Without Borders

As the world gets more connected, remote coaching opens doors for more people to get the support they need. 

It has broken through geographical boundaries and enabled life coaches to reach clients globally. 

However, it’s easy to get carried away when building a remote coaching business. There are so many digital tools available, and the more you use, the more complicated it gets to keep everything under control.

Want to keep your coaching business simple yet running as effectively as it can? Grab your free account of Paperbell and you’ll see how easy it can be to run a remote coaching business your way!

remote coaching
By Charlene Boutin
Charlene is an email marketing and content strategy coach for small business owners and freelancers. Over the past 5 years, she has helped and coached 50+ small business owners to increase their traffic with blog content and grow their email subscribers.
August 25, 2023

Are You Undercharging?

Find Out In This Free Report

Ever wondered exactly what other coaches are offering, and ​for how much? Find out if you’re charging too much or too ​little by benchmarking your own rates with this free report.

Subscribe to our updates for instant access: