I’m in a business mastermind filled with hundreds of people making millions of dollars per year in their coaching business.
They are smart and savvy and ethical coaches, and I love asking them their feedback on things.
The other day I posted to our Facebook group, and I asked, “What are the top 2021 coaching trends?”.
I compiled some of their answers and added a few of mine. As a coach, it’s important you stay on top of trends like this, so you don’t miss out on revenue or impact.
This list of 2021 coaching trends should not fill you with fear or stress.
Instead, it should help you feel in control because you now know what to expect in this coming year (and the years ahead!)
Trend #1: We will see a greater emphasis on intentionally creating inclusive virtual learning spaces.
More and more, coaches want to create spaces that feel inclusive of everyone.
Speaking for myself, I’ve personally committed to learning how to be a coach and a leader that creates communities that feel safe and welcoming for everyone.
I joined Nina Everflow’s Inclusive Redesign coaching program and have been steadily implementing real changes to my own Get Clients Now program.
This includes learning how to ensure members of non-dominated cultures feel included, welcomed, and respected.
It also includes adding things like transcripts for those who prefer to learn by reading.
Not everyone learns by simply watching a video of you teaching.
In 2021, you will see more coaches work to create better learning spaces that help everyone, not some.
In fact, the coaches who don’t make this a priority will likely struggle to stay relevant.
Trend #2: Those who can create a real community will win.
The word “community” is thrown around a lot, but most coaches & leaders have no idea what to do to create a real sense of actual community.
In a world that is craving connection, more and more, we will be prioritizing our community.
A good community creates a sense of “belonging”; a feeling everyone craves, and not everyone has.
I didn’t even realize how important a good community was until I read Peter Block’s book, “Community.”
In it, he simplifies the sometimes overwhelming process of building a good community.
Our community, Successful Female Entrepreneurs, has flourished after reading his book and has doubled in size in less than a year, thanks to the hard work we’ve put in to really cultivate real community.
Trend #3: We will likely see more and more coaches & bad practices getting called out.
Put frankly, consumers’ toleration for bullshit is low.
Unethical practices will continue to be called out.
As a professional who has been in this online coaching space for almost a decade, I welcome this push.
I am all for this space becoming a better space.
Too often, coaches have taken deliberate advantage of their customers (or, at best, been irresponsible towards them).
I think it’s a good thing that customers are demanding more.
Unethical or shoddy tactics and programs will continue to be ditched in exchange for “heart-centered marketing.”
Let me tell you, if you want staying power as a coach in any industry, your reputation is everything.
The more you bring authenticity and transparency, and honesty into your marketing, the stronger your reputation will become and the more your customers will trust you.
Trend #4: Coaches will start being more transparent about things like their success rate & refund request rate.
This goes right alongside Trend #3: Coaches will need to start sharing things like their success rate and their actual reviews.
Consumers are craving transparency.
They likely have been burned by a shitty coach before, and they are having a harder time trusting coaches, as a general rule.
A fancy sales pitch will only get you so far; you will also need to share your real customer results.
Video testimonials will go a long way, as will using some kind of program rating setup.
Another thing coaches will need to start talking more about is their refund request rate, the percentage of people who request a refund after completing their program.
Refund requests happen to everyone; it’s not shameful or something to be embarrassed about.
The coaches who take the lead and start these conversations will take their place as the emerging leaders of the coaching industry, cementing their place in the market.
Trend #5: Coaches will be creating content on platforms other than FB or IG.
With many ad accounts being shut down, many small businesses (including coaches) will be leaving advertising platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Coaches will be prioritizing building their email list like never before.
They will also be moving their ads to Youtube, Pinterest, and TikTok. In addition, they likely will be looking to create more evergreen content, content that doesn’t go away in 24 hours when the feed refreshes.
My recommendation is to keep advertising and to create content on FB and IG (while you still can) but be sure to also create evergreen content, too.
The way all my business buddies and I think about this is this, “It’s not a matter of ‘if your Facebook and Instagram ads get shut down, and you’re off the platform. It’s a matter of when.’”
So really think over the question, “What would I do if I got fully removed from Facebook and Instagram? How would I attract clients? How would I share my content?”
Start working on your contingency plan now so that when (not if) you get taken off the Zuck’s platforms, you will be ready.
Trend #6: Niching down will be critical for new coaches.
If you’re a new coach, this one of for you (and it’s important).
The general “business coaches” or “life coaches” or “success coaches” or “money mindset coaches” have been doing this for decades.
They’ve solidified their place in the market, and it will be very, very hard to compete with them.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t be successful; you can!
You can hit them where they are weak; they haven’t niched, really.
They are too general.
If you niche down, you will attract more (and better) customers.
So, instead of being a “business coach,” teach “how to get clients with Instagram.”
Instead of being a “life coach,” teach people how to improve a specific area of their life, “how to quit your job” or “how to find a significant other” or “how to have more confidence.”
Instead of being a general “money mindset coach,” teach “how to overcome the limiting beliefs that are keeping you from closing sales.”
If you don’t niche down, you will be competing against people who have spent decades in your industry.
People hire specialists these days and, as a new coach, you will see much more traction far more quickly if you niche down.
Trend #7: There will be an overhauling of the way coaches teach, with a focus on gamification and engagement.
If you want to see how coaching programs will be handled in the future, you should check out my friend, Marisa Murgatroyd.
She teaches that more and more coaches will be using powerful psychological triggers in their courses & programs.
By creating highly-engaging programs on highly-engaging platforms, coaches will engage more students, reduce dropouts & refunds, create 10-30X more repeat buyers. In 2021, we will be building our first membership program on her platform, Xperiencify, because we believe it is the future of coaching programs.
I highly recommend you check her out because she does a much better job explaining why this is so important and why this is the future of coaching.
Check out Marisa’s website here.
Trend #8: VIP Hours/Days will be in high demand.
People like intimacy, plain and simple.
Instant gratification is also a huge pleasure point in 2021, of course.
This means that customers will be willing to pay more to get a “crash course”, if it were, on what they need to know.
Even looking at my own buying history, I’ve paid quite a bit of money to experts for an hour of their time.
For example, I recently hired an email strategist to take a look at my automations, my email list, and my ActiveCampaign setup.
I paid him $600 for an hour of his time but the value that we got from that one hour will more than 100x our return.
That’s right, we will probably add an additional $600,000 in 2021 just by implementing his suggestions.
Customers likely will not stop buying 3, 6, or 12-month coaching packages but you should consider that they might also buy an hour of your time for several hundred dollars.
Adding an offering like this is a great way to bring in additional income and serve a category of customers you might have been missing up to this date.
Trend #9: Coaches will be expected to take a stand and speak up.
If you have a platform, you have a responsibility to do good with that.
This is really something I’ve had to learn how to grow into as my audience has grown beyond rapidly.
I’ve learned that having a large platform means that your people will look to you for leadership.
As a young woman under thirty, it’s been challenging because I am still sorting out my own belief system.
However, as a coach with an audience, you will be asked to speak up and take a stand.
I’ve learned that it probably will be imperfect (and that’s okay!).
Even if you say the wrong things, that’s still so much than not speaking up at all, especially on many social justice issues.
Leave your ego at the door and be ready to get uncomfortable.
In 2021 (and beyond), coaches who shirk their responsibility and don’t speak up will be left behind.
Trend #10: We will see more content creation than ever before.
In 2021, there are more coaches than ever before.
This means every industry is more saturated than it’s ever been.
So, how do you stand out?
Everyone is going to need to get more creative and work smarter.
One of the ways you can do this in 2021 is by creating helpful content; the more the better.
Most people aren’t willing to pump out a quality 1500 word blog post daily…but that’s why I’m dominating the coaching space for female entrepreneurs.
I am solving my customer’s problems right and left and giving an insane amount of value compared to what I ask for in exchange.
The coaches who can commit to creating high-quality content in large quantities will never, ever worry about getting clients.
Worrying about paying your bills will be a thing of the past because you will have your dream clients knocking on your door and asking to be coached by you.
No more chasing, just content creating.
It’s the way I’ve been doing things for nearly a decade and it works for my clients, too! Create more great content in 2021!
I hope you found this list of 2021 coaching trends helpful!
Remember, as a coach, the more you grow, the more you help change the world.
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