When I began offering coaching to business startups and corporate executives, many of them would request in-person sessions. Of course, I accommodated that as much as I could, but coaching in-person can be time consuming with travel time involved, and consequently more costly as you have to flow through that time cost to the client. Enter a global health pandemic and everything is now online – and voila, online business coaching and online leadership coaching has become the usual format for the delivery of coaching services.

How does online business coaching work?

As one of my clients said, I’ve been using Zoom since before Zoom was cool! Remember all those video conferencing gafs with people showing up half-dressed and with young children walking into Zoom calls unannounced? Now there are many more online portals and video-conferencing services such as Google Meet (free!) Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and many other paid platforms (such as Slack, Circle and WebX) offer video-conferencing for ease of collaboration.

You simply decide what time and day you’ll be meeting and in the “location” line of your meeting invite, you’ll now usually see a weblink. And presto! You’re meeting your coach or your client from the comfort of your home or office.

Business coaching and mentoring

What are the advantages of online business coaching?

I have come to love meeting with my clients in this way. We can choose to work with the camera on or off, can collaborate with documentation, and can use the powerful tools of body language, expression and visual aids to support the coaching conversation. Not to mention it’s time efficient for both the client and the coach and usually more financially accessible for the client.

Another huge advantage is the opportunity to conduct group or community-based coaching sessions in this way. Now, with just a timezone to consider, we can form cohorts of coaching communities with people of like goals to learn from each other or the expert in the room. No longer do we have to rent space or pay for a bricks and mortar office. It can all be done remotely.

Business Coaching program onlineIs online coaching as effective as face-to-face coaching?

In a word – absolutely. And it’s a personal preference.

One of my coaches sees her clients online but with the camera off. Her preference is to focus on the intonation of her clients’ voice and feels it gives her and her clients a sense of comfort.

Conversely, coaching with the camera on provides the coach and the client opportunity to interact more fully. Of course, the distraction of additional visuals can be a hindrance, but it’s really a personal preference.

It can absolutely be as effective as face-to-face coaching. In fact, I was meeting with a colleague just yesterday, and she felt online retreats and group programs were just as effectively delivered remotely as in-person. And when you add in the extra cost of flying to meet a business coaching community, the benefits aren’t great enough to make the travel costs worth it.

How can hiring an online business coach benefit my business?

I personally have not been without a business coach since I started offering coaching services myself. (Be wary of the coach who doesn’t have a coach of their own!)

Here are some of the benefits I have personally experienced through online and group coaching programs and what I offer inside of my own online business coaching community:

  • Clarity – of thought and message
  • Communication – skills to share them with the world
  • Confidence – to make it happen
  • Connection – with yourself and others
  • Community – to champion, support and encourage

Not to mention the knowledge-sharing and realization that YOU’RE NOT ALONE! That is huge as you grow your business or work to that next level of success in what can be a lonely, disconnected world.

How do you choose the right online business coach?

This is a very competitive market and it’s important to know that “what got you here, won’t get you there.” The same person or program that had you design and start your business, may not be the right fit for scaling and growing your business.

You’ll also find as you move through different stages of your business journey that you’ll need different skills and mindset tools to help elevate your mindset, yourself and your business to that next level of success.

All that to say, I recommend you choose a coach and/or a business coaching community that:

  • you feel at home in
  • you can learn from, and
  • will challenge and champion you to get to that next level of success.

And if you need a place to start looking – check out the Aligned Business Collective – the online business coaching community I created and lead to help the early and more advance service-based entrepreneur get to that next level of success. Follow along to learn all about our latest offering coming this October – Elevate! Your Business with Mindset and Marketing. You won’t want to miss this!

To your success,

Susan Elford

Susan Elford is a Leadership Coach and Business Mentor who especially loves to work with women who want it all: a fulfilling career or business while living a full and satisfying life. Through powerful career coaching and business mentorship to get their career or business to the next level, Susan helps her clients get real about their strengths and celebrate and promote them so they get more of what they want: success at work; success in business & success in life.


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