Article Eliminate the overwhelm and intimidation by learning how to choose the right coaching style for your personality. 0 2014 Life coaching Setting up your coaching business life coaching Lifecoachhub Pty Ltd LifeCoachHub

How to Choose the Right Coaching Style For Starting your Coaching Business

TAGS: coaching, life coaching, business coaching, coach, life coach, self help, personal development Coaching style, setting up your coaching practice, starting a coaching business, starting your own business, beginner, advice, how-to, leader

Deciding which coaching model to choose can be fun and easy.

As you begin your own coaching practice it is easy to become completely overwhelmed. There are so many options to choose from!

You can coach one-on-one or what is called ‘private’, you can coach completely online, or you can coach groups. With so many options it’s hard to pick the right one as you begin your personal journey to coaching success.

As you progress, you will eventually use a combination of all of these coaching options but at the beginning it’s important that you don’t spread yourself too thin. Think of it like a magnifying glass in the sun… You want to focus all of your energy and efforts on one precise point to have the greatest chance of success.

This article will show you how to pick the right coaching modality for your initial efforts. We’ll delve into the specifics of each modality, the pros, the cons, the possibilities, and so much more. By the end you’ll have a solid understanding of the different options available to you and a good idea of where you would like to focus your efforts.

Let’s jump right in!


Below you’ll find a quick comparison of the three different coaching modalities: Private, online, and group coaching. You’ll find the pros, cons, and interesting points of each. The table highlights the main points and later on we’ll discuss each in much greater detail.

  1. Private Coaching: One-on-one coaching with a client using verbal communication by phone or Skype
  2. Online Coaching: One-on-one coaching with a client using typed communication comparable to email
  3. Group Coaching: One-on-many coaching with multiple clients using verbal communication with the group by phone or by webinars

All coaching modalities use the plethora of tools and resources available on Life Coach Hub






  • Intimate relationships
  • Fast results
  • High coaching rates
  • Verbal communication
  • Committed clients
  • Better feedback
  • More fun
  • Fixed time investment
  • Limited # of clients
  • Active income
  • Income ceiling
  • Scheduling convenient sessions


  • Higher # of clients
  • Convenient for all parties
  • Higher revenue potential
  • Freedom & ease
  • More passive
  • Less intimate relationships
  • Lower rates
  • Less involved
  • No verbal communication
  • Slower results
  • Less commitment


  • More engagement
  • Valuable discussion
  • More fun
  • Sharing of ideas
  • Higher # of clients
  • Team atmosphere
  • Mutual support
  • Scheduling convenient calls/sessions
  • Active income
  • Less personal
  • Slower results

This chart gives you a quick snapshot of the differences between the three coaching styles.

Now we’ll delve into these specific points so you can have an even clearer vision of where you wish to take your coaching practice.

Personal coaching allows an intimate connection with your client. Photo by Gianmaria Zanotti



Private coaching, or one-on-one coaching, is the most common form of coaching and probably the type that you are most familiar with. In private coaching you work one-on-one with a client to improve his or her quality of life.

This type of coaching is called ‘private’ because of its intimate nature. You chat with your client on regularly scheduled times and days over the phone, in person, or using an internet tool such as Skype.

Your client will complete their Coaching Plan before their session to allow you to plan, and give you a Follow-Up after. You'll be able to take private notes during each session. All these details will be stored securely in your dashboard, as a kind of living document you can continue to refer to. Your client will have their own document within their Coaching Pad. You'll also be able to assign any other coaching tools based on the content of your sessions, such as journaling, goals, action items and assessments.

Private coaching is a valuable style of coaching and is perhaps most beneficial to your potential clients. The one-on-one individualized focus provides immense value to those that you are working with.


There are a number of things that make private coaching a great choice for your initial coaching efforts.

Private coaching is all about developing a strong relationship with your client.

In a private coaching relationship, your client will place their trust in you, and you will do all that you are capable of doing in order to assist them in their growth and development. This intimate relationship is the major benefit of private coaching and this is what makes it stand out from the other coaching modalities.

Through this relationship your client will become more and more committed to the sessions and their own success. It is natural that clients who sign up for private coaching are initially more serious about coaching in general and more committed to sticking with it for the long haul.

Since you are spending your time directly with a client and focusing your full attention on them, you are able to charge a premium for your services. Your rates will vary drastically depending on your experience but more importantly, your capabilities as a coach; they can range anywhere from $50-$500 per hour. You are a valuable coach and have a lot to offer your client. When you focus on one individual at a time you can have a dramatic effect upon their quality of life.

A one-on-one private coaching relationship also fosters quick progress as you are able to work through challenges verbally and without any distractions. In essence, you are giving yourself completely to your client for the length of your session (typically 30-60 minutes), using your entire stock of knowledge and abilities to do the best you can for their improvement in quality of life.

Key Benefit: The strength of the relationship you will cultivate with your client.

This results in:

  • More trust
  • More commitment
  • Deeper friendship
  • More fun
  • Faster growth
  • More referrals and recommendations

However, just like with any choice, there are two sides to the coin. Let’s discuss some of the cons.


Though there aren’t many negatives about private coaching there are a few that are worth being aware of.

First and foremost, you only have a limited amount of time in your day; therefore, you only have a limited amount of time to coach your clientele one-on one. When you factor in sleep, you only have 16 hours left in your day and you can’t spend all of that time coaching no matter how badly you want to.

This seriously limits the amount of people you are able to help. The upside though is that you build a much stronger relationship through your personal interaction as I discussed above. You can then focus on having a great impact on each client and allow the ripple effect to take place. The ripple effect occurs when your clients experience so much growth that they naturally help those around them.

Secondly, you are earning income actively. This means that you must work and put in the time in order to earn your living. With private coaching you are trading your time for money. This is the typical model of income generation but there are other options available to you. You could earn income passively through different coaching delivery methods but not with private coaching. This means that you will have to consistently work to consistently earn money. Not a bad thing unless you like the idea of earning a passive income.


From the above pros and cons, you can see that there are great reasons to focus on private coaching and also some reasons to focus on another coaching style. Ultimately, your decision all comes down to your particular personality and preferences.

Private coaching allows you to develop an intimate relationship with a serious client that is willing to shell out the big bucks for your valuable service. On the flip side however, you are also limited in how many people you can help at one time and you must always be working in order to generate revenue.

Private coaching is a great option to begin with and that is what many new professionals are doing.

Let’s take a look at another style now and see if it may be a better fit for what you have in mind.

Online coaching plugs you in to your client at times that fit your schedule.Photo by photosteve101


Online coaching is a little different from private coaching but not by much. In online coaching you are still working one-on-one with a client but you are not communicating verbally. This means that all communication is done online through messages and plain text. You won’t have regular sessions with your client where you have verbal conversation about their current situation but rather an ongoing communication with your client completely online.

Your client will submit progress reports to you on regular dates that you both select and from there you will comment on their progress and use a variety of tools to help accelerate their growth.

Just like private coaching, there are numerous pros and cons to online coaching. Let’s take a look.


The biggest advantage to providing online coaching is the freedom that it allows both you and your client. Instead of having regular sessions where you must both have an opening in your schedule, you can each access the coaching material at any convenient time. This allows you to work when you want and where you want as you no longer have to account for time zone differences and hectic schedules.

With online coaching you don’t have traditional sessions with your client as you do in private coaching. Here you have your client submit progress reports and other coaching tools (such as journals, goals, action items, and assessments) instead of having an individual session and you then comment on their progress. This enables you to take on many more clients than you could with private coaching and thus have a greater impact on the world around you.

Online coaching is much more passive than private coachinsg. Using the resources that your Life Coach Hub dashboard offers you, you can put in the time up front to create value and manage the intervals at which it is sent to your client. You can then sit back once your client signs up and simply comment upon what they submit. You'll then have more freedom within your own life to pursue your other interests or hobbies.

This is a beautiful leveraging of technology that allows you to help more people, earn more money, and free up your personal life.

Key Benefit: You obtain freedom within your work life.

This results in:

  • This results in:
  • Less stress
  • More enjoyment
  • Productivity
  • Happiness
  • Peak performance

Just as with private coaching, there are some negative aspects that you should be aware of.


There aren’t many cons regarding online coaching but there are a couple worth mentioning.

Firstly, it’s going to be much more difficult to build a deep relationship with your client. In private coaching you have the benefit of actually speaking with your client and that goes a long way towards building a trusting relationship. With online coaching however, you don’t have the benefit of such interaction. The only interaction you have is through messages and plain ‘ol text. Now it’s not impossible to establish a strong relationship but it will take some work to do so.

Secondly, your rates are going to be much lower than if you choose private coaching. Since the interaction is much more limited within online coaching, you can’t justify charging the premium rates you would charge in private coaching. This may be a huge benefit to your client if they are tight on money so this could also be stated as a pro of online coaching. Just understand up front that you will charge much less for your online coaching than you would for your private coaching.

Lastly, the results that your client will achieve will typically come about more slowly than they would in private coaching. It takes longer to communicate through text and work through real challenges than it does verbally. You can account for this issue however and ensure your success by learning to communicate effectively and precisely through your messages. You can also use all the coaching tools at your disposal so you can have your value delivered in more effective ways.

All in all, the negative aspects of online coaching can be accounted for up front. This pre-planning will eliminate the obvious roadblocks to your running a successful coaching practice.


Online coaching is a great opportunity for you to leverage technology to deliver your services so you can enjoy more freedom of time and money in your life. This option is less of a burden on you and your client’s schedules allowing for more relaxed interaction and an optimal pace of growth.

Once again I want to reiterate that your choice of primary coaching modality relies heavily upon you as an individual and what you would prefer in your own coaching business. There is no right or wrong choice as every method is an effective method that will inspire much growth.

We’ve covered both private and online coaching and now it’s about time we covered group coaching.

Group coaching connects people from all over to help them grow. Photo by linh.ngan


Group coaching is the odd one out of the three primary coaching modalities. Group coaching throws in the added dynamic of assisting multiple people at the same time. It is an awesome way to multiply your influence and ignite valuable discussions between the members of your group.


Group coaching is truly a special way of offering your coaching services.

Personally, I have a ton of background experience with team sports and this dynamic plays nicely into group coaching. It’s magnificent to see a group of individuals so invested in each other’s success and development. It gives you that warm fuzzy feeling to witness the natural goodness that is at the core of our being.

The online environment of your group members' coaching dashbord allows them to interact 24/7 and really cultivates the appropriate environment for growth. It is extremely valuable to have so many minds converging for the singular purpose of growth. You will be amazed at the ideas and solutions that result from such discussions. This is my favorite aspect of coaching a group of people.

You also get to practice your skills as a leader. Since you are interacting with a group of people it’s important that you learn how to guide the conversations in the correct direction. This is valuable in and of itself not to mention the beauty of helping those around you!

Group coaching is a really wonderful way to deliver your services. If you like interacting with multiple people at one time and leading a group towards new discoveries and solutions, this may be the modality for you.

Key Benefit: The team atmosphere

This results in:

  • More fun
  • Experience as a leader
  • A plethora of valuable ideas and solutions
  • Mutual support
  • A great overall experience
  • Multiplied effectiveness and reach

Just like the other options there are some potential draw backs to group coaching and that’s what we’ll discover next.


There are only a couple of potentially negative side effects of serving a group of clients at one time.

First, you won’t be able to give your undivided attention to one person. Your attention will be spread among your entire group which therefore limits the personalization of coaching you could achieve with either private or online coaching. This is a potential benefit as well because group coaching tends to attract those that are intelligent enough to take the concepts you provide and fill in the specifics in their own life. This makes the coaching process easier but there are still those times when somebody just needs the extra individual attention and that is limited with group coaching.

Secondly, you won’t be able to charge as much per person as you would were you to offer your services via private or online coaching. Since your attention is spread it is usually understood by all parties that the cost will be less. You can however make up for this rather easily by attracting a decent number of members to your coaching group. You have the potential to earn much more per hour if you have multiple people in your group.

Thirdly, it can be quite difficult to schedule group calls or webinars that fit nicely into everybody’s schedule. Often, you won’t have all of your members present and this is okay. The nice thing about your coaching dashboard is that you can select multiple options for the group call and you can see which time slot works the best – Super valuable tool to have when you are trying to coordinate and lead of group of individuals. You can make up for this slight drawback by recording your calls or webinars and then making them available to your group members so they don’t miss out on any of the important information.


Group coaching can be an exciting way to deliver your coaching services. The group dynamics serve to mix things up and keep the discussions lively and interesting. You’ll get to witness and participate in a sort of master mind group where everybody is deeply interested in every other member’s success.

There are only minor inconveniences to group coaching and those can be avoided by some thinking and pre-planning.

All-in-all group coaching is one of the best ways to offer your services. You’ll multiply your influence and extend the impact you are able to have on the world around you – Some major benefits if you ask me!

All the pieces will come together easily once you get started. Photo by kenteegardin


When it comes to deciding how to deliver your coaching services, it can be a little overwhelming at times.

You have three primary options:

  1. Private Coaching
  2. Online Coaching
  3. Group Coaching

Your choice should depend entirely on your particular personality and preferences.

For example: If you love the relationship aspect of coaching then you should decide on private coaching. If you love your freedom then you should decide on online coaching. If you love working in a team and being a leader then you should decide on group coaching.

The above are simple examples but they show you how to make your decision. Look within yourself and ask yourself what you would really enjoy. Ultimately, your effectiveness as a coach comes down to how much you enjoy what you are doing. This liveliness infects all of your interactions and your clients can really tell when you are in love with what you are doing.

If you still can’t decide, just pick one. There’s no law that says you have to get it right on the first try! Pick a modality that you think would be a great fit for you and try it out for a while. As you gain some experience you’ll come to your own conclusions, extend into other modalities. The more options you can provide your clients, the more people you'll be serving. The important thing is that you just get started. The details will always fill in as you go.

Don’t take this choice too seriously. Have fun with the possibilities of each option and just go with your gut instinct. Correct course as you go along and your coaching practice will blossom and flourish in such astounding ways. It’s a beautiful thing.


How are you choosing to coach and use Life Coach Hub? What's your experience so far?

Photo Credit : hang_in_there


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