How to Start an Online Coaching Website With MemberPress

Online coaching has become incredibly popular within the last few years. As more people turn to remote work and learning, this industry has grown into a fantastic way to earn additional income from home. Moreover, offering online mentoring can help position you as an authority in your field.

If you want to offer online coaching, the best approach is usually to do so through your own website. With MemberPress, you can enable trainees to subscribe to your content, create coursework for them, and track their progress.

In this article, we'll talk about the difference between online coaching and courses. Then we'll show you how to sell your services using MemberPress in just three steps. Let's get started!

The Difference Between Online Courses and Coaching

First off, it's important that we go over the difference between selling online courses and coaching. With virtual classes, there's often little to no direct interaction with your students. You create the lessons, upload digital materials, and students go through them at their leisure:

Examples of online courses.

In some cases instructors may grade assignments or hold synchronous sessions over video chat, but these are by no means requirements for a successful online course.

Although that approach works for some people, others prefer a more personal touch. When it comes to coaching, students usually expect access to digital materials and resources, but also that they'll receive personalized direction and feedback from you.

There are a lot of ways you can connect with students online. You can schedule one-on-one calls, ask students to join private chats using platforms such as Slack or Telegram, and more.

In a nutshell, online coaching often requires a more significant time commitment on your end. The upside is that since you're selling a more personalized service, you can often charge more than you would for self-guided courses.

The promise of coaching is that students will have access to you if they have any questions and that you'll be available to them as a mentor. Using MemberPress, you can create a WordPress website that enables you to offer such services.

Example MemberPress Coaching Site: MBSC Nutrition

Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning (MBSC) is a nationally recognized brick and mortar gym serving elite and professional athletes, as well as the general population. Men's Health Magazine has voted it #1 Gym in America, and Women's Health Magazine has called it one of the best gyms in the country.

MBSC Nutrition is MBSC's online nutrition coaching program that falls under three banners: Lifestyle, Sports, and Personal Coaching.

The company uses MemberPress to operate this online coaching program, which includes premium access to webinars, coaching sessions, and a VIP community among other benefits.

How to Sell Online Coaching With MemberPress (In 3 Steps)

Before you get started, you'll need a live WordPress site. If you don't already have one, don't fret! WordPress is super easy to work with. Check out this article on how to get started with WordPress for helpful guidance.

You'll also want to choose a theme for your online coaching membership site. One of the greatest things about WordPress is that there are so many great themes for virtually every kind of business in existence. Check out this article to get started: 15 Best Coaching WordPress Themes.

For this tutorial, we'll be using MemberPress and our Courses add-on. These tools enable you to use your membership site to create and publish full-blown classes that students can take part in.

However, since we're talking about providing coaching services, let's start by discussing subscriptions. If you want to follow along with the tutorial, go ahead and install and activate MemberPress before proceeding to the steps below.

Step 1: Create Coaching Packages Using MemberPress

MemberPress enables you to design membership subscriptions that provide users with access to protected content. When you combine that with the Courses add-on, you get a fully functioning Learning Management System (LMS) built on top of WordPress.

Before you get to work, you'll want to think about how to price your coaching packages. This will depend on how many sessions you want to offer to students and any additional courses or materials they'll have access to.

For example, you might want to offer subscriptions that provide students with access to your courses and a specific number of one-on-one coaching sessions per month:

Offering subscription-based coaching plans using MemberPress.

If you're not interested in a subscription model, you can offer individual coaching sessions for one-time payments instead:

Offering one-off coaching sessions using MemberPress.

MemberPress enables you to design any type of membership plan and to process user payments. To create a membership plan, go to MemberPress > Memberships > Add New in your WordPress dashboard.

Then, scroll down to the Membership Options section. Here, you can create and customize the registration form for the membership you want to offer:

Configuring membership options with MemberPress.

Then, go through the rest of the membership options tabs and customize the required settings accordingly:

  • Permissions: Define who can access your coaching services.
  • Price Box: Design pricing displays like those shown in the examples above.
  • Advanced: Create a custom access URL, set membership pricing terms, and more.

How many plans or packages you want to offer is up to you. You'll need to create separate memberships for each one.

Step 2: Coordinate Coaching Sessions With Students

Since coaching comes in many forms, you have the freedom to decide how you want to offer mentorship sessions to your students. Some of the most popular options include:

  • Online chatrooms. Using platforms such as Slack, you can set up private groups for mentees and talk to students one-on-one to answer their questions.
  • Member-only forums. Forums are a solid alternative to chat if you want to provide asynchronous coaching sessions. Plus, in a forum, you can have multiple coaches answering questions and moderating discussions.
  • Video calls. Video or voice calls are perhaps the most engaging channels for online coaching sessions. The downside to either approach is that you'll have to carve out enough time for one-on-one calls.

MemberPress enables you to “gate”, or protect, your content from non-paying visitors. So, you can place access to your chosen communication solution within a protected page only available to subscribers and members.

As your number of students grows, coordinating coaching sessions will start to take up a lot of your time, so maximizing your efficiency is key. Plugins like Simply Schedule Appointments can be a huge time saver in this arena.

With MemberPress, you can easily provide access to private forums or tell users how to join a members-only chatroom. Once students are “in”, you'll be able to engage with them much more efficiently.

Step 3: Publish Complementary Coaching Materials on Your Website

Since you're using MemberPress Courses, you can publish comprehensive courses to complement your coaching services that include multiple lessons and any materials you want to share:

The Signals Guru online Forex Trading course
The Signals Guru uses MemberPress Courses to handle its Forex Trading online coaching classes

Whether you want to offer coaching as an add-on to standard online classes or make it the focus of your membership plans is up to you. In any case, the Courses add-on gives you full flexibility to create lessons and restrict them to paid members only.

To use the Courses add-on, you'll need to activate it separately. In your WordPress dashboard, navigate to MemberPress > Courses and click on the Install & Activate MemberPress Courses Add-on button:

Activating the MemberPress Courses add-on.

You can then go over our full guide on how to create your course curriculum and publish your first lessons.

Conclusion

If you're an expert in your field, online coaching can be a fantastic source of revenue. Creating a membership site makes it easy to sign mentees up for sessions, process payments, and share key materials with students.

Using MemberPress and its Courses add-on, you can offer online coaching via your own website in three steps:

  1. Create coaching packages using MemberPress.
  2. Coordinate coaching sessions with students.
  3. Publish complementary coaching materials on your website.

Do you have any questions about how to sell online coaching using MemberPress? Let's talk about them in the comments section below!

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Categories: Courses How To Video
About John Hughes

John is a blogging addict, WordPress fanatic, and staff writer.

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