How to Make a Mobile Coaching or Mentoring App
Content:
  • 1. 👍 Top 4 Reasons to Develop a Mobile Coaching App
  • 2. ⚙️ Features to Develop a Coaching Application
  • 3. 🎓 Our Expertise in Coaching App Development
  • 4. 🛠 Tech Stack
  • 5. 💡 Takeaways
  • As a coach, you probably understand the benefits of creating own mobile application. These apps are conquering industry by industry, from hotel booking and car sharing to food delivery and construction.

    The coaching industry doesn’t stand aside, too:

    • 94% of millennials devote time to personal improvement and are ready to spend about $300 a month on self-improvement (source: BrandMinds);
    • Millennials spend twice as much money as Baby Boomers on digital self-improvement such as coaching and well-being applications (source: MarketWatch).
    • The coaching apps are good for both consumers and gurus. They allow reaching a wider audience more profitably and cost-effectively (source: MarketResearch).
    • In 2018, Apple even identified self-care as the app trend of the year (source: Apple).

    Moreover, sometimes apps may play a crucial role in coaching businesses. For example, they had proved highly effective during 2019-2020 coronavirus lockdowns.

    As millions of people were to stay at their homes for weeks, they started to look for ways to fill lots of suddenly free hours. Online education and mentoring apps turned out to be a great solution.

    However, most of the coaches and mentors are now only considering the opportunity to create an application for their own business. That’s why developing one for your coaching business may give you a strategic advantage over your competitors.

    coaching-app-gif
    Coaching apps are getting more and more popular these days! (image by Ronnie🎖)

    Here are a few other reasons to develop a coaching application, let’s check them!



    👍 Top 4 Reasons to Develop a Mobile Coaching App

    Many coaches underestimate the potential of mobile technologies. Yet, having a branded coaching mobile app often leads to better customer experience and more sales.

    So here are 3 good reasons why developing a coach application for your business is a good idea!

    # 1: Your audience is there! 🤳

    One of the key rules of any business says:

    Be where your customers are.

    And the stats show that your customers are on their mobile phones!

    According to the Pew Research Center, 96% of Americans own a mobile phone. What’s more interesting is that the results are high (90%+) in all age categories.

    % of U.S. adults who own the following devices
    👩‍🦱 Age group 🤳 Any cellphone 📱 Smartphone
    🧑 18-29 99% 96%
    👱‍♀️ 30-49 99% 92%
    👨‍🦳 50-64 95% 79%
    🧓 65+ 91% 53%

    It’s almost the same for the EU where 93% of households have a mobile phone.

    Yet, it’s not only about how many mobile phone users are among your audience but also how exactly they use their devices (source: Leftronic):

    • An average user has about 63 interactions on his mobile device a day.
    • Users spend about 90% of their mobile time on applications.
    • An average person spends almost 3 hours a day on mobile devices.

    So getting your audience involved through the mobile apps is a winning strategy no matter whether you want to interact with them during your live sessions or sell your courses online.



    # 2: Increase engagement during your coaching sessions 📈

    Сare about your involvement and engagement rates as well as the overall experience of your customers? A mobile app can improve both!

    For instance, mobile applications have 100-300% higher conversion and engagement rates compared to desktop or mobile-optimized websites.

    coaching-apps-engagement
    A mobile app is a powerful tool to interact with your audience (image by Jignesh Mistry)

    Moreover, apps are much more powerful retargeting tools than websites. You can send personalized push notifications and offers based on user behavior and interests to keep them engaged.

    It also works great for offline events and sessions that you can hold in offices, at conferences, etc. With the help of a coaching application, it’s possible to demonstrate videos, share files, carry out surveys and improve the overall experience of your audience.



    # 3: Get a powerful learning tool 🎓

    Mobile apps aren’t only about sales but are also about making your coaching and mentoring business even better and more data-driven.

    So what can you learn about your customers after launching the app?

    • what courses are the most purchased and popular;
    • when (on what days and at what time) users usually listen to your courses — so you can target them with push notifications even more effectively;
    • on what lessons they spend the most time and, on the contrary, which ones they abandon.

    These and other insights will help you to build a powerful sales strategy and improve the overall customer experience on all levels.

    But what features should you implement in your mentoring application to make this all magic work? Check the list below!



    # 4: Be Online — Connect with Anyone, Anywhere

    Mobile apps allow you to interact with your customers wherever they are. Moreover, the format of such interactions can be any. Pre-recorded video courses, group and one-on-one video call sessions, online lessons that include chatting, document sharing and wide feedback possibilities — mobile coaching apps can perfectly adjust to your needs.

    online-coaching
    Mobile apps can become a great boost to your online coaching strategy (image by Abroyat Designs)

    The second obvious benefit of online coaching via apps is that you can work with people who are geographically distributed.

    If you sell pre-recorded lessons, people can access them any time it’s convenient for them. So you don’t lose potential clients out of those who can’t visit you live offline event or webinar because they live far or have other plans for that exact time.

    It also works well for live sessions. Mobile apps enable your live online events for listeners from different parts of the country or even from different countries at once!



    ⚙️ Features to Develop a Coaching Application

    Сoaching apps are different. One may need an interactive application to be used by the audience during live sessions while another aims to build a fully-functional mobile platform to sell courses online.

    mentoring-application
    Let's take a loot at the most important features (image by Go 7)

    It means that the list of features may vary depending on the type of application you’re developing. So as to cover all the essential features for both kinds of mentoring applications, we divided them into 3 types:

    • Common Features — features that may be relevant to both types of coaching applications.
    • Online Coaching Features — features for an app in which users can access your courses online.
    • Live Session Features — features for an app to supplement you during live events and sessions.

    Let’s take a closer look!



    # 1: Sign Up & Profiles 👥

    Type: Common Feature

    The Sign Up feature can be often found in coaching applications and we also recommend adding it. Why?

    • To connect the user and his personal data. By having a personal profile, users are able to access their in-app purchases, conversations, files, etc. So they won’t lose it even if they change a device or delete the app.
    • To personalize user’s experience. Since you can link data (including behavior patterns) to a specific user, you can provide him with personalized offers, emails and push notifications.

    However, you don’t always need an advanced profile functionality. For example, uploading a profile photo may be only needed if you’re going to use the app during live group sessions so users can distinguish each other.

    We also recommend implementing the Social Login feature so users can create a profile with a single tap by reusing the data from their social media accounts.



    # 2: Dashboard | Home Screen 📱

    Type: Common Feature

    The Dashboard (or the Home/Main Screen) is the screen that users see every time they open the app. Here they can find and access the most important information and files.

    For example, for online coaching apps, this may be a list of ongoing courses with the option to continue them at the last stop. If you’re developing a coaching app for live sessions, you may put on the screen an event schedule or files that will be needed during this event or that supplement a previous event.

    home-screen-coach
    Example of the Home Screen in a coaching app with online sessions (image by Mikkel Victor)

    If you need to develop a coaching app for long-term events or courses, the screen may look like a social media feed. There you can post schedules, updates, and session-related files.

    However, sometimes you may not even need this screen. For example, it may be not reasonable if you’re focused on 1-session live events or online sessions only.

    💡 Stormotion’s expertise
    We’ve managed not to add the Dashboard Screen without any loss in the UX. The client’s app concept is quite similar to an online coaching app where users can purchase separate courses and listen to them right in the app. To access purchased content users don’t need the Main Screen — they can easily do it via the “My Courses” button that’s located on the screen with all other available courses.



    # 3: File Uploading 📤

    Type: Common Feature

    Coaching often involves uploading and sharing different files by both a mentor and a listener. The most common use cases for this feature are:

    • to upload files to the group chat that is used during a live event/session;
    • to send files to a specific user (in case you practice 1-on-1 coaching);
    • let users upload files and share them with a coach.

    The feature is usually a must-have for coaching applications that are used during live sessions. They often include sharing text files, images, videos and audios, so keep this feature in mind if it’s your case. Sometimes it may be also necessary to implement the possibility to record video or audio right in the app.

    💡 Stormotion’s expertise
    The feature is often useful for online coaching apps as well. For example, we’ve implemented this feature for one of our customers that has a coaching application with online courses to build confidence and deepen empathy. After listening to motivational audio, users have to record themselves describing their feelings or complete specific tasks.

    You may even add a separate Docs screen. It’ll allow users to easily access files at any time with no need to look for them in other sections of the application. For example, the way it’s implemented in the Blossom App.



    # 4: Audio/Video Player

    Type: Common Feature

    Most of the coaching and mentoring apps commonly offer their users to watch videos or listen to audio tracks, so perhaps will you. That’s when the in-app player is needed.

    tony-robbins-app
    Integrate a convenient audio/video player in your coaching application (shots from Tony Robbin's Breakthrough app)

    What are some cool features your users will probably like?

    • Rewind and fast forward 10 seconds.
    • Continue watching from the moment you stopped last time.
    • Change playback speed (1.25x; 1.5x; 1.75x; 2x).



    # 5: Feedback 📩

    Type: Common Feature

    Feedback is another feature that can be quite useful for both online coaching and live sessions applications. Here’s how.

    On the one hand, it’s a powerful learning tool. User feedback is the most trustworthy source of info on things that people like or don’t like about your course or coaching.

    On the other hand, the screen may encourage users to reflect and think over their experience gained in your app. Self-reflection may help them achieve even better results and leave more satisfied.



    # 6: Titles Screen 🗂

    Type: Online Coaching Feature

    If users are supposed to access your online courses via the app, the Titles Screen is a must-have in this case. On this screen, users can see all available courses and open them to get more info, continue learning or buy them.

    Also, you can add a separate field with already purchased courses on top of the screen so they don’t get mixed up with others.

    titles
    Titles Screen example (image by Olena Vashchuk)

    Moreover, you may want to implement categories, searching or filtering functionality if the number of courses is too high. It will increase the chances that users find and buy what they were looking for.

    From the Titles Screen, users should be able to open a specific course to get more info about it.



    # 7: Course Screen 📄

    Type: Online Coaching Feature

    This screen provides more info about the chosen course. It helps users make more considered decisions and gives you an extra opportunity to describe the benefits of taking this course.

    What info can be placed here?

    • General description.
    • Type of the content (text, audio, video or mixed).
    • Duration (general duration in hours or/and the number of lessons).
    • The button to purchase the course.
    • Some free content (e.g. the first lesson) to warm up the interest.
    course-screen
    That's how a Course Screen can look like (image by moye_dsgn)

    Also, in many coaching apps users can watch or listen to the lessons of the specific course right from this screen. Yet, sometimes you may want to implement a separate Lesson Screen.



    # 8: Lesson Screen 👨‍🏫

    Type: Online Coaching Feature

    Despite we don’t recommend to complicate the app’s structure with extra screens, this one may be necessary in some cases.

    For example, if you provide users with different types of content within a single lesson. Let’s say you demonstrate them a video, offer to download or access a checklist and ask to record and send video back.

    We also recommend adding a “Next lesson” button. It will allow users to quickly and easily start the next lesson after finishing the current one.

    Finally, it may be also reasonable to implement the offline mode for your application. In other words, you should provide users with a possibility to download videos or audio tracks beforehand so users can access them later, even without an Internet connection.



    # 9: In-app Purchases 💰

    Type: Common Feature

    A good Payment Gateway is all you need to handle in-app transactions, whether it’s a purchase of a course or paid subscription. But how do you define good?

    1. It’s consistent with all your products: a website and iOS and Android apps.
    2. All the most popular payment options are available. This includes credit card payments, Google & Apple Pay, PayPal, etc.
    3. Works fast. No delays.
    4. It’s easy to integrate in your application.
    5. High security: users’ personal data is protected.

    These 5 points are your checklist to a good Payment Gateway.

    coaching-payment
    Payment Gateway example (image by Afshin T2Y)



    # 10: Chat 💬

    Type: Live Session Feature

    If your app involves direct user conversation, then you may need to implement the Chat feature. In which cases does it seem appropriate?

    • If you hold 1-on-1 consultations with your customers. For even better experience you may implement a Video Call feature as well.
    • If you hold live group sessions (either online, offline or both) and need their participants to communicate with each other and with you.

    As you can see, the relevance of this feature depends on the concept of your coaching business.



    # 11: Push Notifications 🔔

    Type: Online Coaching Feature

    We usually recommend implementing the Push Notifications feature to increase sales, retarget customers and establish personalized connections with users. Here are a few ideas of why you should implement them during your coaching app development:

    • To remind customers to return to a course or continue listening/watching an abandoned track.
    • To inform users about new courses, price changes, special offers, changes in schedule (for live sessions), etc.
    • To improve the customer experience by sending personalized messages.

    Push Notifications are a great advantage of mobile apps over websites. They allow you to communicate with your audience even when they aren’t using your application!

    Before we move on, let’s briefly sum up the optimal set of features for different types of coaching applications:

    📱 Online Coaching App 👨‍🏫 Live Sessions App
    Sign Up & Profiles Sign Up & Profiles
    Upload files Upload files
    Main Screen Main Screen
    Feedback Feedback
    Audio/Video Player Audio/Video Player
    Titles Screen Chat | Video Calls
    Course Screen In-app Purchases
    Lesson Screen Push Notifications
    In-App Purchases
    Push Notifications



    🎓 Our Expertise in Coaching App Development

    Hiring a Tech Partner that has already tackled similar challenges is often a good idea from different perspectives:

    • They aren’t completely new to the industry. Thus, they probably know something about its trends, users’ expectations, etc. So you are likely to be on the same page from the very beginning.
    • They can share a relevant Tech Stack — a set of tools to implement specific features or just make the development easier, faster and cheaper in general.

    Our team also was a Tech Partner on a few coaching projects. Here’s what we’ve achieved.



    Numina: a Coaching App for Online and Live Sessions

    The Numina app is focused on providing transformational leadership development experiences. It’s done through a set of immersive one-on-one sessions, divided into 4 categories.

    During these sessions, users can watch and listen to pre-recorded lessons from coaches. Moreover, the app encourages two-way interactions. Thus, some lessons require users to write down or record their thoughts and feelings on a discussed topic.

    numina
    Screens from the Numina app

    Moreover, the Numina Team also uses the app to improve the customer experience during one-on-one and group live sessions and events. Between meetings, team members can work with the app to achieve even better results in leadership development.

    They were a delight to work with. And they delivered the product we wanted. — David Lesser, CEO at Numina



    Be Amazing: an Eye-Catching Online Coaching App

    Be Amazing by Ailsa Frank is a great example of an online coaching application we’ve worked on.

    be-amazing
    Screens from the Be Amazing app

    The app offers online courses on topics ranging from confidence and motivation to wellbeing and fighting phobias. After buying a course, users can listen to audio tracks so as to achieve the desired results.

    So what technical tools may help your tech team to build a coaching app like this? Check out the list below!



    🛠 Tech Stack

    These are some tools used by our team on other projects or proven by other developers. Share them with your Tech Team so they use them when developing your coaching application:

    • If you need to create a coaching or mentoring application with in-app payments, we recommend using Braintree or Stripe SDKs.
    • To implement Push Notifications you can use services of such providers as OneSignal, Urban Airship, Amazon SNS or Firebase Cloud Messaging.
    • Facebook Mobile SDKs are helpful in many ways. For example, you can use them to implement monetization, social login, analytics, customer support via Messenger, etc.
    • When working on a similar coaching project, we used GraphQL — an interaction protocol between FrontEnd and BackEnd — and related tools as Apollo Client, Prisma and Nexus.



    💡 Takeaways

    As you could see, a good mobile app can boost your coaching business quite well. On the one hand, it can greatly improve the customer experience and the overall quality of your online courses or live sessions. On the other, it’s a powerful marketing, retargeting and learning tool that can noticeably raise sales and increase awareness.

    Depending on the type of your business, it may be either a mobile platform to sell your courses online, a modern app to supplement you during live events and sessions or both.

    The way to create a mobile coaching application can be easily described in 3 simple steps:

    Define an app of what type you’d like to develop.
    Find a reliable Tech Partner, agree on features.
    Develop the Product and start getting your benefits.

    Look for a consultation from an Experienced Team? Or want to partner with an Agency that tackled similar Challenges? Drop us a message and we’ll do our best to get your users satisfied!

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