Coaching Via Established Digital Coaching Platforms – Could it be the right fit for you?

Online coaching has really boomed in recent years which has allowed many certified coaches to take advantage of the potential new clients they can attain through the use on digital platforms that connect clients with coaches. We invited WCA Graduate and Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach Anneliese Braendle from Spark Courage to share her insights into aligning as a coach with one of these global coaching platforms BetterUp.

Having graduated from Wellness Coaching Australia I knew two things:
I wanted to run my own business with the flexibility that being your own boss brings, and I wanted variety. While I love the niche I am in with my business, Spark Courage, I wanted an opportunity to coach people from all over the world, with different backgrounds on different health and wellness topics. I also wanted to be able to work from anywhere at any time so my dream of another around the world trip can eventually become a reality.
Cue – digital coaching. I came across BetterUp as a platform for Health Coaches via a fellow NBCHWC. The decision to sit the board exam was an easy one for me – I love learning, and I knew I wanted to work internationally and in the current world of online coaching it is a sought after credential, as most established digital platforms are based in the USA.

There are a variety of remote coaching platforms out there. They all operate similarly yet are focused on different coaching topics and have different recruitment approaches. To name a few, you have BetterUp, Noom, Wellory, Ginger, Bravely, Lyra Health, Myndup, Vida, Chief, Growth Space and many more. This article will focus on BetterUp as an example, as it aligns most closely with the Scope of Ethics HCANZA and NBHWC identify with.
The great concept about digital coaching platforms? You decide when, and where you work. Once you’ve been accepted as a new coach and have finished your onboarding training, you set up your biography, and set your availability in your calendar. Some platforms require a minimum availability of 10+ hours a week.

Client acquisition is done by their sales team. BetterUp sells their programs to companies and corporations, who offer it as a benefit to their employees. Once an employee (your future client) decides to take up the benefit, they log onto BetterUp, complete some assessments, and get matched with what the BetterUp AI thinks would be a good fit in coaches. The client then chooses the coach that they feel will work best for them, as well as has availability that aligns with the client and books in with said coach.

The platform itself has great functionalities both on desktop and mobile app for the coach and client alike. From a coach perspective, you don’t just have a straightforward scheduling tool that syncs with your own calendar, you also get alerts to any new bookings made and reminders for each session. By clicking on your member can see a range of options. From direct messaging, to using the inbuild video function for sessions, a structured notes section, to full overviews of the type of program they are on, how many sessions they are given by their employer, and anything else their employer wants you to know, to a huge resource library. The library is great if you want to learn more about certain topics, but also has a range of articles and exercises you can assign to your clients – this will show up in their curriculum, where they can add their own goals and activities, as well as complete those you decide upon together. At the end of each session, the BetterUP AI suggests articles or learning opportunities to share with your client, based on your session notes. It really can’t be made easier for us coaches, as we can focus 100% on coaching.

If you’re considering coaching via any of the above-mentioned platforms, ensure you are aware of a few legalities: Will you be a contractor or employee? Do you have the right liability and indemnity insurances to coach for that specific demographic, or location? Many “worldwide” insurances here in Australia and New Zealand exclude the USA, but it can often be added on for an extra charge or amended to “digital caching to US clients included” – best to check with your insurance provider for options. Depending on the type of employment, you may also need to consider work visas and tax implications. In the case of BetterUp, you will be contracting as a freelancer, and will require an Australian ABN.
The recruitment process for BetterUp is straight forward – and completely digital with no human contact until you are through to the last round, which is a Mock Coaching Session with one of their current coaches. Core Coaches usually focus on leadership and executive coaching, Care Coaches on Health and Wellness Coaching, with a focus on mental resilience, and Specialist Coaches are recruited for the areas of Nutrition, Sleep, Grief, Working Parents, Well-being Habits and more. To qualify to apply, you need to be a member of a recognized coaching association, such as ICF or similar, and for the Care Coach role have a valid NBHWC credential.

Entry level salaries are based on your credential and previous coaching experience. Remuneration is reviewed at certain times a year, and increases based on any added recognised certifications as well as your performance as a coach. Performance is measured through Post Session Member Feedback and Member Engagement. The higher your rebooking rate of clients and their rating of the experience with you in your sessions, the better for your metrics. Another perk – if contracting to BetterUp, you don’t even need to create your own invoices – once you’re set up in the payment system, each month the system creates an invoice based on the number of sessions you delivered, and it gets paid to your nominated bank account.
All in all, if you’re looking to work remotely, without the hassle of sales and marketing, accounting, or anything else that comes with running your own business, coaching for a digital platform might be the right choice for you.

The only consideration is whether you wish to work as a care coach – in which case you will need to go on and sit the NBHWC certification exam, noting that WCA is the only Australian training school who provides eligibility to sit this exam. You may be able to qualify for one of the specialisation roles without this credential if you have appropriate qualifications and experience, and BetterUp makes it very clear as to what qualifications they accept at the start of the recruitment process.

About Anneliese
Anneliese is a national board-certified Health and Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC), HCANZA professional member and has a Master’s degree in Business and Change Management.
As an outdoor sports lover (skydiving, snowboarding & mountainbiking), who loves travelling, she loves working remotely. She does so via her own business Spark Courage (where she focuses on injured athletes and chronic pain patients) as well as contracting to BetterUp as a Care Coach as that enables her to work anywhere at any time whether at home or on the road. When she’s at home in Sydney, she also works on location in two integrative health clinics. As someone who loves change, she loves the variety these different coaching approaches offer and helping her clients to achieve their version of optimal health and wellbeing.