When you take your coaching business online, you open up the possibility of who you can reach. But you also open up the possibilities of how you can get your clients closer to their own goals, whether it’s via live one-on-one sessions, resources, or online courses.
And that brings us to our topic for the day.
With an online course component, coaches of all varieties can bring some new blood into their work and get the most out of their content. But the best platforms for coaches will offer more than just the tools to build and offer online courses.
Ahead, we’re exploring what an online course platform for coaches looks like and counting down the five best options on the market today. Let’s get started.
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In this article...
What is a coach course platform?
An online course platform for coaches is a teaching platform that enables coaches of all kinds to do two major things.
First, an ideal coach course platform will enable coaches to offer their services, whether it’s one-on-one and one-to-many live sessions or providing resources for clients. Secondly, a coach course platform will (you guessed it!) provide an easy way to build, offer, and sell online courses to help clients get closer to their goals.
With that, let’s dive a little deeper into the features of the best online course platforms for coaches.
What features should online course platforms for coaches have?
You’re probably thinking that coach course platforms should have a robust set of course-forward tools. But that’s not all you’ll want to look for.
Beyond a robust course feature—one that allows you to create and offer multiple lessons, either dripped out or all at once, with videos, slides, and more—there are three main features to keep in mind. We’re exploring them below.
A variety of content
With the right coach course platform under your belt, you’ll be able to deliver a variety of content. Look for an option that allows you to create rich media articles, polls, questions, live events, and more.
A dedicated space for community
Sure, you could run self-paced courses on your coach course platform. But your clients will get a lot more out of your courses if they can navigate them together. Plus, a dedicated community space means that your clients can get in touch with each other when you’re not available and share their own experiences.
The ability to charge
You’ll also want to be able to charge for the awesome content you’re creating and the awesome experience you’re building. That means if you want to charge for access to your overall online coaching group, you can. If you want to charge for course access, you can do that too. And if you want to charge for both, you should be able to! TLDR: The best online course platforms for coaches will let you charge for just about anything.
Plenty of room to grow
Lastly, the best coach course platforms will give you plenty of room to grow. If you think there’s even a possibility that you’ll want to expand down the line, you’ll want to choose a platform that will allow you to do just that (bonus points if you can do it natively).
Maybe at some point, you’ll want to add and charge for a membership component. Perhaps you’ll want to take a handful of your clients and invite them into a mastermind group. Ideally, the online course platform for coaches that you choose will give you the option to expand without adding a million integrations to make it happen.
Mobile app access
Finally, the best online course platforms for coaches will have a dedicated app that your clients can use. When your digital business—whether it’s a membership, course, or community—is available via the web, iOS, and Android, you’re more present in your client’s minds. And they’re more likely to keep coming back when you make it as easy as possible for them to do so.
Now that we understand what a coach course platform looks like, and what features create the best experience, let’s take a look at the best online course platforms for coaches.
The 5 Best online course platforms for coaches
1. Mighty Networks
The best all-in-one online course platform for coaches
Mighty Networks is a powerful, all-in-one cultural software platform that brings together content, courses, community, and commerce. Mighty offers flexible Spaces that mix features like forums, courses with pre-recorded or live teaching, live events, live streaming, custom course communities, messaging all members, a ton of content options, plus Q&As.
Mighty Networks is an all-in-one online course platform for coaches. Not only does the software offer a robust course feature, but you’ll also get a well-rounded, dedicated community space with an activity feed; the tech to run live events (including inside of your courses, perfect for lectures and group sessions); and options for flexible monetization, including charging for group access, community access, and subscriptions.
Pros of Mighty Networks
A variety of ways to deliver content. Mighty Networks is a great choice as far as online course platforms for coaches. But courses won’t be the only way you can deliver your content. You can also create and build out content via Topics, posts, polls, questions, native livestreams, events, and more.
Dedicated space for community. Community plays an important role in any online course platform. And with a Mighty Network, you’ll be able to build a beautifully designed community space, with your own branding, instantly available via the web, iOS, and Android apps.
The experience is very community first: Both you and members can contribute to an activity feed; create rich media articles under a variety of Topics; build out Groups where smaller sections of your overall membership can focus on a specific area of interest; plus you, the Host can message every single one of your members at once, and they’re able to DM each other on their own, too.
Lots of different ways to charge. With a Mighty Network, not only do you get the ability to charge, but you get to do it in a way that suits you and your business best. You can charge for access to courses, groups, or your overall community space; charge a monthly or annual subscription or one-time fee; and more.
Plenty of room to grow. Because a Mighty Network allows you to deliver a variety of content in a variety of ways, you’ll get plenty of room to grow in the future. So even if you’re starting out with just one-on-ones with your clients, you’ll have plenty of space to scale to memberships, subscriptions, mastermind groups, and more in the future.
Mobile app access. Lastly, a Mighty Network lets you offer access to your course via the web, iOS, and Android. That’s a biggie: It means that your members can access your course content from the comfort of wherever they are.
Cons of Mighty Networks
It's not a Facebook Group, so your people may not want to follow you to another platform beyond where they spend a lot of their time already (even if they already followed you off Facebook to an online course platform).
The bottom line: Mighty Networks is a robust coach course platform. Not only does the platform enable you to build and offer beautiful courses, but you can also deliver a dedicated community space and expand to memberships and more in the future. In other words, it’s the perfect option for right now and the future.
The most complex course-marketing engine
Kajabi is a well-known online course platform that focuses heavily on the marketing side of things. As such, the platform has some serious tools that, alongside its online course builder, allow creators, entrepreneurs, and more to easily build, deliver, and market online courses. In other words, it’s a viable option as an online course platform for coaches.
Pros of Kajabi
Lots of options for customization. If you’re planning on using Kajabi as an online course platform for coaches, you’ll be able to design and customize your landing and sales pages. You’ll also have the opportunity to deliver your content via email drip campaigns.
Robust monetization. Kajabi focuses a lot on the marketing side of selling a course. It makes sense, then, that the platform has some robust monetization features. If you use Kajabi as an online course platform for coaching, you’ll be able to sell courses at a one-time, monthly, or annual fee; create and deliver coupons; and build out recurring payments for subscriptions or memberships.
But all that comes at a price. And by that, we mean that Kajabi is expensive. Its lowest tier plan starts at $150 per month and is pretty limited in scope. Only when you commit to paying $200 per month does Kajabi offer access to unlimited landing pages, marketing emails, and Kajabi’s resource center, Kajabi University.
Access to a mobile app. Kajabi recently released a mobile app that is available on both iOS and Android. This is a win: Course members and clients alike will be able to stay up to date with your content from wherever they are, whenever they want.
Cons of Kajabi
An oversimplified community feature. Recently, Kajabi added a “Community feature” that allows course members to communicate and connect from a creator’s Kajabi site. Within the community feature—which is available to add as a separate “product”—members can create posts under different topics and send direct messages to each other. It’s not the most robust community feature at the moment—it’s more like a fancy discussion board—but it’s something. That being said, our bet is that it will continue to evolve and grow in the near future.
Not much room to grow. Kajabi is, first and foremost, an online course platform. And it does online courses very well. While its recent expansions—including its community product—are absolutely a step in the right direction, you’ll probably end up adding a second platform for a more robust membership or community experience. (P.S.—Kajabi pairs very, very well with Mighty Networks if this is the route you want to take!)
The bottom line: Kajabi is a very solid platform, and would make a good coach course platform for many. But if you’re looking for a piece of software with a robust community feature or room to grow, you’ll either need to add another platform or go with a more all-in-one solution.
The best online course platform for coaches for a DIY course
Coaching.com isn’t an online course platform for coaches, per se. But it is a decent option for coaches who are looking for software to help them automate practices—and it’s certainly possible to build out a kind of DIY course for clients on the platform. Just prepare to get your hands a little dirty.
Pros of Coaching.com
A thoughtful approach to invoicing and payments. Coaching.com has a variety of options when it comes to monetization. You can set billing metrics; automate invoice creation and delivery; create and send invoices with the click of a button; and collect payments using Coaching.com’s Stripe integration.
Mobile app access. Coaching.com also offers a mobile app that’s available on iOS and Android.
Cons of Coaching.com
Delivering content? Not a priority. As a scheduling platform, Coaching.com offers a ton of helpful options for coaches. But if you’re looking for a solution with features beyond that, you won’t find them here. Coaching.com does offer a dashboard to help you keep track of your clients; a dedicated client portal where you can schedule sessions, join video sessions (aka, your DIY course!), use a chat function, and respond to forms; and a feature that lets you easily share documents with clients. But in terms of delivering content like resources, or utilizing a feature like an activity feed, there’s just nothing to work with.
No dedicated community space. With Coaching.com, you’re definitely not going to get any sort of community space. And that’s a missed opportunity: Courses that offer course members an opportunity to connect and collaborate with each other are by far more effective. Course members get a lot more out of your content when they can work through it together. And that means they’ll be way more satisfied with what you’re offering, upping the chances of them coming back to you and relying on you as an expert in your field. In the end, the best online course platforms for coaches will have some sort of community space where your members can grow, together.
Limited room to grow. Because of the two above points, Coaching.com doesn’t offer much in the way of room to grow. If, in the future, you want to add on memberships or mastermind groups, you’ll have to integrate a second or third platform.
The bottom line: As far as online course platforms for coaches go, Coaching.com is better suited for the coach looking to automate scheduling and invoicing. For a more robust option, you’ll want to look at a platform that better delivers course content.
The best integration-heavy online course platform for coaches
Teachable is an online course platform that enables users to build video-based courses—a perfect option for coaches. That means with Teachable, you’ll be able to build and offer lectures, presentations, live coaching sessions, and more. For anything more, though, you’ll have to rely on integrations over native features.
Pros of Teachable
Good options for customization and content. Teachable offers its users access to its “power editor,” which helps creators and coaches alike to build video lectures and offer live coaching.
Ability to charge. Teachable offers its users options for a variety of subscription models, memberships, and content bundles. So not only can you charge, but you can do so in a way that best fits your model.
Cons of Teachable
No community space. Unfortunately, Teachable doesn’t have a decent option for a community space. To get something like this, you’ll have to add an additional platform, like Circle or Mighty Networks.
Limited room to scale. Teachable does courses very well. But beyond that, there are just not many options in terms of expanding or growing your business. That means no memberships or subscriptions, no mastermind groups, nada. On the other hand, if you’re into loads and loads of integrations, Teachable easily allows you to add those in.
Limited mobile app access. While Teachable does offer a mobile app, it’s only on iOS. That’s missing a good chunk of potential clients and course members.
The bottom line: Teachable is a decent option for a coach course platform. It has some helpful coaching-oriented tools. But ultimately, it doesn’t have much in the way of expansion, meaning you’ll end up partnering with additional platforms and integrations to get everything just right.
5. Thinkific: The best content-creation heavy online course platform for coaches
Thinkific is an online course platform with super, super robust content creation tools. The platform relies heavily on third-party integrations, but if you’re more into creating tons of content, and less into building a sustainable community, it may be a good look.
Pros of Thinkific
Good course creation tools. In terms of content, Thinkific has great course-forward features, including quiz creation options, feedback surveys, and the ability to create and publish rich media articles.
A basic community space. Thinkific also has a few options for creating a community alongside your course. You can create your own Thinkific Community outside of your course content where you and your clients can foster conversations with written posts and comments. It’s pretty barebones, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Decent options for monetization. Thinkific is pretty robust in this right: The platform accepts over 100 currencies, doesn’t charge translation fees, and allows you to charge subscription fees and offer paid memberships, as well as utilize coupons and discounts.
Cons of Thinkific
No mobile app. Thinkific doesn’t offer any mobile app at all, neither on iOS or Android.
Limited room to grow. While Thinkific does offer memberships and subscriptions for online courses, that’s all it really offers: online courses. That means no room for paid mastermind groups or paid community access.
The bottom line: Thinkific could absolutely work as an online course platform for coaches. But it might not be the best option, especially since it lacks a mobile app and room to scale and grow.
We’ve looked at five distinct online course platforms for coaches. And although each of them offers something unique, there’s one that stands out above the others: Mighty Networks.
With a Mighty Network, you’re getting more than a robust, well-designed community space. You’re also getting the tools to build and create courses, paid groups, memberships, and live events, all under your brand and instantly available on the web, iOS, and Android. It’s the perfect fit for creators, entrepreneurs, and coaches alike.