A digital coach is a freelancer who helps companies to exploit the potential of digital channels to be more competitive online.
He is an experienced digital marketing consultant who teaches entrepreneurs, companies, and professionals to align with new digital business models, thanks to his in-depth training and the use of tools and web platforms. The work of the digital coach is an emerging profession in the field of digital marketing and is increasingly in demand in the market.
In this article, you will discover:
- What a digital coach does;
- How it can help you in a digital transformation process;
- All the information on how to become a Digital Coach.
Are you an entrepreneur and have a small or medium-sized enterprise?
Continue reading and you will discover what benefits a digital coach can bring to your company.
Who is and what does the Digital Coach do?
A digital coach is a person with a background in digital marketing, specializing in a specific area:
- He is experienced in handling business issues, both traditional and online;
- Can organize and manage processes for smooth and result-oriented work.
Being a Digital Coach means knowing how to accompany and coach the client in digital transformation processes, up to the point where they are ready to go it alone. There are one-to-one as well as one-to-many coaching formulas, in both cases they are services that can be delivered in-person or online.
The term “coach” originated in the United States and initially referred exclusively to sports. It literally means coach or instructor. Thus, the digital coach first instructs his clients on digital marketing so that they understand what the new business needs are in such a changed environment, and then ensures that they achieve their goals, within the right timeframe.
The digital coach plans the activities to be performed and ensures that the learner-client acquires the appropriate skills and tools for the purpose, according to the principle of learning by doing since the goal of the digital coach is to make the client completely autonomous and able to then manage digital communication by himself.
As in sports, a good coach is one who makes his guidance less and less necessary but is always ready to intervene when necessary, or when status or goals change. Business coaching and digital innovation are concepts that go hand in hand not only in the corporate context but also for less structured activities, such as professional firms, freelancers, or associations.
For each of these cases, the digital coach teaches how to strategically organize all digital operations. The work of the digital coach is different from a consultant because he does not sell a service for its own sake, but a service.
It also differs from a lecturer in that it does not just give theoretical notions, but trains its clients directly by working on specific, non-theoretical projects, leading to concrete results.
In addition, beyond the opinions on digital coaching that can be found in blogs or web magazines, it must be specified that one is not a generalist, but a specialist in a certain area of digital marketing, such as social media – Facebook, to name but one – or specialized in SEO, Inbound, or one of the many disciplines that together constitute digital communication.
To summarize, there are different types of digital coaches:
- SEO Coach;
- Visual, web design video Coach;
- Social media marketing Coach;
- Inbound Marketing Coach;
- Content marketing Coach;
- Web analytics Coach.
What does a Digital Coach do?
So what exactly does the digital coach do? He teaches the internal resources of a company, first the basic concepts of digital communication, and then – thanks also to on-the-job training sessions – make the “students” operational on the notions learned.
It is with this new professional figure that the effort of digitizing a company can be tackled. The digital coach helps companies communicate their potential on web channels with the digital tools he deems most suitable, leading them to be more competitive and visible online.
Moreover, he very often accompanies and guides them in the digitization process, thanks to his specific skills in web strategy and knowledge of digital marketing tools. In the past, it has happened that many companies have invested money in consultancy that later turned out to be ineffective.
This was especially the case when internal resources did not have the digital skills necessary to put into practice the advice received from consultants on online marketing processes. This is why the digital coach plays a key role in business communication.
Today, digital innovation runs at the speed of light, so much so that keeping up with the times sometimes seems impossible, especially for those who do not have sufficient resources to sustain such radical, sometimes even structural, change. For everyone, businesses and professionals alike, however, it is necessary to support and understand the current process known as digital transformation.
Digital coaching is the optimal solution to this problem because it means that a qualified person works together with the company’s human resources, innovating the company from within. The coach who leads toward digital innovation is a digital coach who plants the seed of change, instructing and giving the company all the necessary tools so that it can, on its own, create a vegetable garden from that seed.
How to Become a Digital Coach
To date, there is no university that can educate on this discipline. However, there are Program in Digital Marketing, i.e. professional training courses for these digital coaches, providing them with technical knowledge in digital marketing and allowing them to gain real work experience in the field.
The principle of learning by doing in this profession is fundamental, indeed distinctive, which is why a period of shadowing for new digital coaches with senior digital professionals is an essential factor in their training.
In the Digital Coach school there is a training course, the Digital Coaching Certification, based on US standards, created specifically for those who want to pursue this career. At the end of the course, a certificate is issued, recognized, and unique.
The training course focuses on three fundamental aspects:
- Continuous updating on digital methodologies and tools;
- Orientation towards concrete and measurable results;
- Integrated use of digital marketing tools and channels.
It consists of no less than 29 courses, divided into:
- 10 modules Web marketing area;
- 5 modules E-Commerce, web marketing advanced;
- 14 Social Media area;
- 3 work experiences with tutors compulsory;
- Training as an operational Digital Coach.
The teaching staff is made up of over 30 established professionals in the field of digital marketing and the teaching offering is one of the most comprehensive on the market and beyond.
What are you waiting for? Start studying now to obtain the Digital Coaching Certification!
Working remotely as a digital coach can offer a number of benefits, such as greater flexibility, freedom, and work-life balance. In this regard, digital nomadism is a growing trend among digital coaches. If you want to learn more about this lifestyle, don’t miss the article “how to become a digital nomad,” a valuable step-by-step guide.
How much does a Digital Coach earn?
The work of the Digital Coach is demanding but also well paid: the hourly wage ranges from $50 to $400 per hour. I keep a wide range because there are so many variables. In fact, saying exactly how much a digital coach earns is not easy, because it depends so much on how each person manages this freelance profession, and of course also on the level of seniority.
It must certainly be said that lifestyle coaching is quite flexible and the benefits are manifold:
- The digital coach’s fee is hourly: he can manage time according to the clients he has or the income he wants to achieve;
- He works remotely, so he can be wherever he wants (at home, in the office, or on the road);
- He works with companies and freelancers operating in different markets, so he always gets to know new professional realities;
- His work is result-oriented, both operational and educational;
- He can be called back by customers he has already worked with, when another need arises, or problem to be solved.
A common prerogative of all liberal professions, with flexibility and freedom to manage one’s own time, is the ability to be a project manager of oneself first and foremost. Ensuring the right attention to each project requires a high degree of self-discipline and constancy in work and study.
A digital coach can never stop, must constantly have his or her finger on the pulse of the situation, always be up-to-date on events concerning digital transformation: this is how the digital coach becomes a useful resource for the company.
Become a digital freelancer!
Why the digital coach is useful to the company
Although professionals are experts in all areas of digital marketing, a digital coach, as mentioned above, always specializes in a specific segment. Identifying which digital coach is useful for the company in which you work requires an upstream digital strategy, so as to identify which professional to turn to.
If, for instance, a business needs to improve its organic search engine positioning, it should contact a SEO coach. Similarly, if it needs to correctly measure traffic and user actions on its site, it should contact a Web analytics coach.
And again, if a business feels the need to strengthen its social media presence, it should seek the help of a social media marketing coach or a Facebook coach if it wants to target that specific social network.
Therefore, one digital coach may not be enough to lead your company into the era of digital transformation. On the other hand, training a team of digital professionals in-house requires significant time and resources.
Well, there are usually two alternatives to the in-house digital team:
- Outsource the operation of digital marketing channels by hiring a digital agency or web agency. This amounts to a fixed monthly cost that weighs heavily on the company’s budget, a team that does not work 100 percent for the company because it follows multiple projects.
- Engaging an external consultant to work on the company’s project. In this case, the consultancy would only be related to the projects, not to the digitization of the company’s modus operandi.
Calling in a freelancer, or a digital marketing consultant, would only cover a few projects, plus the effect of his work would wear off within a few months. Calling in a digital coach, on the other hand, would also mean training your internal resources so that they can respond directly to the company’s digital needs in the future. It would, in short, be an investment that continues to pay off in the future.
The digital coach who is useful to the company is the one who, in addition to having profound digital knowledge, also has strong empathic skills on which he has trained through the on-the-job training included in his training course: his approach leads to a system between the knowledge of employees, who have great expertise in the sector in which the company operates, and his own knowledge in digital communication.
Download the free e-book written by experienced digital coaches!
How does online coaching work?
Online coaching is one of the most popular modes of counseling. Entrepreneurs know how difficult it is to fit a demanding consultancy such as that which a digital coach can offer into the agenda, not least because several people within the company will be involved.
With online consulting, the digital coach can help you improve your business processes by transferring his expertise to digital marketing strategies, with greater flexibility and in compliance with the agenda of your employees.
Moreover, in the post-pandemic period, many of them will be alternately smart working or in the company. Online coaching can bypass any problems associated with alternating between working in the office or from home. In online mode, the coach can offer digital marketing coaching with one-to-one or one-to-many sessions on platforms such as Skype, Hangout, or Zoom.
Always bear in mind that the peculiarity of a digital coach is both to achieve concrete results from an operational point of view, responding to the specific needs of your business, but also to train your employees, who will have to be aware (and happy) how much this type of consultancy falls directly on them, implements their skills and involves them.
Together you will plan a workflow and a set of tasks to be carried out during the online sessions and to be fulfilled in order to achieve the project objectives within the set timeframe.
Do you want to find out if you are cut out for one of the most in-demand professions on the job market? Take the test!
Tools for the Digital Coach
A digital trainer (another way of defining a digital coach) can have many specializations, each of which brings with it a specific package of tools. In common, all digital trainers have tools such as Trello, a project management tool that enables task planning and prioritization.
In particular, the operational flow of each customer is managed through the creation of noticeboards, so that the status of the work is always shared with all project stakeholders, in real-time. Of course, in the digital trainer’s toolbox are the programs that allow video streaming connections, indispensable if one works remotely.
In this macro-area, I would recommend, in addition to the already mentioned Skype, Hangouts, and Zoom, three tools in particular:
- Go to the meeting;
- Google Meet;
In addition, the digital coach has a good knowledge of tools for multimedia presentations. Usually, the choice falls on three tools, one free and two freemium, which facilitate the acquisition of key concepts during the digital trainer’s speech.
The free one is Google Presentations, which is part of the Google Drive suite, while the most used paid software is Beautiful.ai and the very useful Canva. Finally, the Feedly app combined with Pocket is a valuable means of staying constantly up-to-date in a niche market where “staying on the ball” is required.
The former app selects the most interesting articles from the websites we have chosen in the set-up phase, while Pocket allows the articles to be saved in such a way that they can be read or listened to, via voice synthesis, at a later date.
For a digital coach, this can be useful in preparing the material to be discussed in depth during the coaching session.
Conclusions and free coaching
In the age of digital innovation, we are all aware that in order to be competitive, we have to take the right steps. We are no longer talking about a trend but rather about a requirement, an adjustment that companies and professionals must make at short notice.
There is no room for improvisation or beginner’s luck. Hiring a digital coach is the most sensible thing you can do. You will thus save time, understand from the outset what your real goals are, the ones that are really right for your reality, and avoid making missteps, perhaps emulating situations similar to yours, or that may seem so to you.
Digital transformation has been given a great boost by the pandemic, and what initially seemed to us a mutation necessary for short-term survival, we now all see as an inescapable future.
Whether you are a freelancer looking for a job in line with today’s business models, an entrepreneur who wants to innovate your business, or an employee who has the desire to participate proactively in the great change that lies ahead, now is the time to take action.
So, now I hope it is clear to you who a digital coach is and what he does, and how he can be useful to companies! The world of digital communication is vast, and it is constantly being updated, which is why I want to give you a free coaching session that can certainly help you to find your way through the infinite possibilities of digital strategy.
Request a free session with one of our Digital Coaches!