How To Leverage WordPress as a Coaching Program Tool

Published on July 31, 2013

Coaches: are you looking for a reliable service for which to set-up, deliver and host your group coaching program?

There are a number of services out there developed specifically for Coaches (like JigSaw Box) that provide the space, customization and tools you need to deliver a quality coaching program.

One of the pitfalls, though, in choosing a service to host your Coaching Program that runs separately from your website and your brand, is that you ultimately lead potential clients away. It can make it more difficult for you to sell your other products and services if the store pages on your site are not even being seen.

wp-blue-640x960Further, if you want to add social media, forums, chats or other engagement opportunities, you have to lead your clients to potentially several different places on the web for which to engage. By spreading out across multiple sites and platforms you risk losing your clients' attention. Or worse, losing them altogether.

If you're already using WordPress to host your website or blog (or both) then you're already on the way to setting up and hosting your group coaching program by adding plug-ins specifically designed to turn WordPress into a Membership Management System.

To set up a Membership Program in WordPress, you will need:

1) A self-hosted WordPress installation. (installed on your web server)

2) A premium WordPress Template.  I love Optimizepress* or Premise.

3) A Brandable Domain Name   You can use a brand new domain for your coaching program, a sub-domain, or if you already have a WordPress website, you can use your main domain and installation to host the membership plug-in as well. In fact, that is the easiest way to set up your program, by utilizing the content already published on your WordPress website or blog.

4) A Membership Plugin   You need to choose and purchase a plugin and have it installed (usually by FTP) to your WordPress installation. The two that I have used with my own coaching clients and recommend are:  and Digital Access Pass and Wishlist Member.

DAP combined with Optimizepress is my #1 recommendation for setting up membership or group coaching portals.

If you use Infusionsoft, then you may want to look at iMember360 or CustomerHub. I haven't used these tools yet myself, but from everything I've seen, either look to be viable considerations for anyone already using Infusionsoft.

5) A Payment Processor   You need a payment processing method to automatically sell subscriptions and add members to the program. Whether you use Infusionsoft, Premium Web Cart, a shopping cart like 1ShoppingCart, or prefer using Paypal by itself, you can set up integration with the Membership plug-in to automate the payment process. Make sure to check with the plug-in to ensure your payment processor is listed as a supported option.

6) Sufficient Web Hosting  If you're using a "basic" or "starter" shared webhosting package, chances are you will run into complications with setting up and running your program.  Most tools will list compatible hosts and provide you with specific technical requirements from your host.  If you aren't on a robust plan (consider VPS servers at minimum), you will encounter issues right from the start.

Once you've decided to use WordPress to host and deliver your group coaching program, you will need to make some decisions on how you want to set it up (which plugin to use, how many levels, delivery timeline, what and types of content to include, forums or other features and engagement pieces, etc. Your Online Business Manager or Virtual Assistant will play a big role in the development and execution of your program.

What are you using to host and deliver your group coaching programs?  What features are most important to you?

Please note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. I only promote those products that I whole heartedly support and stand behind 100%.

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