A popular question we’ve received about our professional coach marketplace is this—what makes a marketplace different than a directory? It’s a great question because there are dozens of coach directories, so why does the world need a coach marketplace? Isn’t it crowded enough?
A coach directory is generally a catalog of coaches organized around a common theme that provides information to the shopper. For example, there are directories of ICF certified coaches, Gallup certified strengths coaches, Christian coaches, and coaches around Boston. Think of a directory like the Sears catalog—you scroll through the pages until you find the information you’re looking for.
A coach marketplace is more difficult to define because it’s so new. Generally, a coach marketplace is an online destination that allows the shopper to search for, compare among, interact with, and purchase from a wide variety of coaches. A professional coach marketplace has an approval process that features only professionally qualified coaches.
Here are six ways a coach marketplace is different than a coach directory.
Choose from a wide variety of professional coaches
On the marketplace, shoppers have access to a wide variety of coaches from anywhere in the world. They can find a health coach from Germany, a leadership coach from Georgia or a strengths coach from Papua New Guinea. Since most coaching happens remotely these days, location isn’t the obstacle it once was.
Compare coaches across different criteria
On the marketplace, shoppers can compare coaches across different criteria like type of coach (relationship, leadership), coach certification (ICF, Gallup), price range ($20-$50 for example), language, coaching method (phone, video or in-person), and gender. Shoppers can decide which factors are most important to them in finding a coach.
Manage payments, gift cards, and coupons
The marketplace manages payments safely and securely between shoppers and coaches. Shoppers can pay and coaches can get paid through the marketplace rather than needing their own payment gateway. In addition, marketplaces offer gift cards and coupon codes, which can be used for coaches on the marketplace.
Post multiple coach services
Coaches can post multiple coach services according to what they offer. For example, a coach who offers pre-marital coaching can also offer pre-marital workshops. A coach who is certified in the RightPath assessment may also be certified in the Enneagram assessment. There’s no limit to the number of listings a coach can post.
Use calendar and messaging tools
On the marketplace, coaches select when they’re available to coach, and shoppers book a session based on the coach’s calendar. Shoppers can also message any coach on the marketplace to find out more information or schedule an inquiry call before they buy. It’s like free samples at the grocery store.
Streamline business operations
With all these marketplace options, some coaches decide that the marketplace is all they need rather than launching their own website. Or they add the marketplace to their marketing mix. In addition, coaches can also display user ratings, share listings on social media, and feature their services on the marketplace homepage.
With so many coach directories, does the world need a coach marketplace? We think so. To learn how you can create free coach listings on the upcoming Munyay Marketplace, start here.