online coaching

What is online coaching?

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Once upon a time, you had to physically show up at a gym, clinic, office, or similar place to work with clients as a personal trainer, coach, or the like. Although the physical meeting between a client and coach is still used today, a new digital form of coaching has also entered the scene: online coaching.

The “traditional” method is usually just called coaching or personal training. Online coaching is coaching that is done entirely or partially digitally. Online coaching has become increasingly popular in recent years, and both coaches and clients are starting to realize the many benefits of being coached online rather than in person.

As an online coach, you have a lot of benefits and freedom that you wouldn’t be able to have if you were physically present. For example, you can work from wherever you want, and also, you don’t have to limit your potential market to your local area.

If you are a client of an online coach, you will often have the opportunity to achieve the same results, but usually cheaper and with a higher degree of flexibility.

The market for online coaches has undoubtedly become much more significant in recent years, and the number of coaches and potential clients has grown significantly. Whether you are considering becoming an online coach yourself or want to know more about the whole phenomenon, this guide will (hopefully) answer all your questions.

What is an online coach?

First of all, you need to know what an online coach is. Online coach is a broad term covering a coach who offers knowledge and services online. There are many different types of coaches, and you can get guidance and training on the vast majority of topics online.

Being a coach is not a protected title, and you do not need formal education or training to call yourself a coach in anything. However, there are certain branches of coaching where you need to get the necessary training and certification before calling yourself a coach in the field.

Most (all) people expect that a coach has a relatively high level of expertise in their field. Therefore, you should not go straight to becoming an online coach in areas where you don’t have experience and skills.

If you want to be an online coach, there is plenty of opportunities to become one. It’s just a matter of getting yourself some exposure to get some clients and then finding a tool that can help you effectively run your business. An excellent example of this will be Zenfit if you want to be an online coach for diet, nutrition, and training.

What types of online coaches are there?

There are many different types of online coaches. At Zenfit, we are mainly concerned with those who work with training, lifestyle, nutrition, etc. But, again, there are many different types of coaches. To mention a few, you can coach online on topics such as:

  • Training
  • Weight loss
  • Fitness
  • Diet
  • Stress
  • Self-esteem
  • Lifestyle
  • Career
  • Relationships
  • Crises
  • Spiritual guidance
  • Wealth Management
  • Personal Development
  • Quality of Life
  • Children & Youth

This is just a small selection of all the online coaches available. Looking at the market from a global perspective, you can be coached online in just about anything.

How does online coaching work?

Online coaching can work in several different ways. Most online coaches have some form of a package designed to meet different needs. These often vary in length, intensity, number of services, and price.

Some online coaches do not operate with these packages but create a tailor-made program for each client. There is no right or wrong way to do this, as each approach has advantages and disadvantages.

Then, as an online coach, you will have to deliver the service agreed with the client. An example of this could be a course with an online coach in personal training, where you offer things like:

  • Initial conversation
  • Diet plan and guidance
  • Training program
  • Ongoing progress tracking and sparring
  • Personal conversations
  • Support during all working days
  • Video guides to doing exercises
  • New training programs and diet plans when needed

Many also base their business on a hybrid of online and physical, combining the above with personal training sessions, where the trainer is present during the training a few times a week or month.

How to choose the right coach

So how do you choose the right coach? This section is not just advice for those looking for an online coach. All online coaches should also take note of the following and assess whether there are any things about their business or service that they could do even better. Again, these are not just things to look for as a client. It can also be used as a checklist for online coaches.

1. Website

First of all, it is always a good idea to have a website for an online coach. Since a large part of your business is digital, you also need a showcase in the form of a website. Here you should talk about your background, achievements, values, prices, and anything else that might be relevant.

A well-designed website also exudes professionalism, even if your website is in no way expensive or sophisticated.

As a client, it is crucial to choose a suitable online coach, and learning a lot about them through their website will give you a good indication of whether that particular online coach is right for you.

2. Experience

It’s good to choose an online coach with experience in the challenge you want to solve. For example, if it is weight loss you are after, you should also select an online coach who has experience in this area.

3. Values

If you have a particular set of values that you would like to operate within, it is good to find an online coach who shares your views. An example of this could be that you are very holistically oriented and would like to focus on the body and mind being in balance. Then you will have the best experience by choosing an online coach who also works from this philosophy.

4. Reputation

It probably seems obvious, but you should choose an online coach with a good reputation. There are many ways to check this. One obvious way is, of course, to check rating sites like Trustpilot and the like. Another is to talk to current and former clients and hear their experience of the process.

5. Choose carefully

The final advice we’ll offer when choosing an online coach is something as mundane as choosing carefully. You don’t have to take the first and best. Instead, feel free to research the market to see what online coaches can choose from and then make a considered decision based on an educated guess.

Pros and cons of online coaching

Few things in life don’t have pros and cons, and online coaching is no exception. We have already described the many advantages of online coaching, both for the coach and the client.

If we look a little more at the limitations and “disadvantages” of online coaching, there are two things to be aware of.

The first is the lack of physical presence. If you are of the “traditional” school and prefer the physical meeting, or if you have a little trouble with all things digital, then a purely online coach might not be the best choice.

Conversely, if you have no problem with the digital and appreciate the freedom, flexibility, and familiar secrecy, then online coaching may be the perfect choice for you.

The other thing that can potentially be a disadvantage of online coaching is the few coaches who are solely interested in your wallet and hardly your development. But, of course, some unfortunate types are out there, as is the case with all other trades and industries.

Fortunately, these unfortunate types are relatively easy to spot if you spend a little time looking at their reputation. But unfortunately, it will quickly become apparent if it’s just a money-making scheme rather than an actual coaching process.


Not tired of hearing about online coaching yet? Luckily, we have even more for you. Below, we’ve tried to answer some of our most frequently asked questions in a super short format.

What is online coaching?

Online training is a program where you are guided digitally by an online coach. Here you will usually receive a training program, video explanations of how to do the exercises, and ongoing feedback on how your training is going. In short, you often get the same with online training as you do with face-to-face training, only it’s done digitally.

What is a lifestyle coach?

A lifestyle coach is a kind of conversation partner who helps you solve different problems around your lifestyle or life situation. This could help you solve specific problems, change your lifestyle, or guide you to achieve more personal development.

Which coach should I choose?

You should choose the coach training that best equips you to work professionally in the field you want to work in. For example, if you specialize in diet and nutrition, you should take a coach training course in this area, etc.

Who can call themselves a coach?

In theory, anyone can call themselves a coach. Coach is not a protected title, so you do not need to have specific training or certification to call yourself a coach. However, it is good to get some relevant qualifications before calling yourself a coach.

How much does it cost to become a coach?

What a coach cost depends on what industry you’re in. An online training and nutrition coach often costs between DKK 1000-2000 per month. A session with a coach in stress, career, and similar fields often costs 600-1000 kroner per session.

Lasse Stokholm

Lasse Stokholm

Lasse is the CEO & Co-Founder of Zenfit. He used to be an online coach for 8 years while building Zenfit.

Related posts

Contact Zenfit

We typically reply within 1-2 business days.