Digital Intercultural Coaching – Hype or Hip?


A digital intercultural coaching practice is a great idea if you want to become a digital nomad as a grown-up. In 2017, I offered a barcamp session at the SIETAR conference (rather spontaneously). I later wrote an article for the SEU Journal titled, “Digitalizing Your Intercultural Coaching Practice – Ten Steps to a Digital, Global Coaching Practice.” The article is so old that I can’t find it online anymore. Who would have thought that I would be a trendsetter (again)? It scares me how I sometimes foresee an idea like coaching an expat via a smartphone, and ten years later, this has become a reality in my world. I remember that, at the time, the participants were a bit skeptical. I had other reasons to move forward with digitalizing everything. I wanted to decrease my cost base and move out of my costly Zurich practice room. (Which, luckily, I accomplished about a year later…and way before the global pandemic.)

A Digital Intercultural Coaching Practice

Every year, I revisit the status of this article and update it for trends, and I have decided that this article will be the basis for my next workbook. The current working title is “The Global Coach Journal”. I plan to explain all the steps for becoming a global coach with intercultural understanding and working with expats, migrants, and TCK. In short, I will summarize my business journey for others to follow. As with all my workbooks, this will accompany a new program I have been making for a while. If you want to discuss this with me, you can reach out via or book a meeting on Calendly. My current policy is that I offer one free call of 20 minutes. Every follow-up conversation will be chargeable. You can also request a free account on the RockMeApp, as I offer special rates to existing clients.

Status Update 2024

I have made further progress and hope to answer your questions on delivering digital, intercultural coaching. What it means for your business model as a coach, trainer, or consultant—many lessons learned also work for consulting. You probably don’t know this, but I used to spend much of my week working as a Global Mobility Project Manager inside companies. In 2024, I mainly work from home.

During the Pandemic, I converted our living room into a spaceship that could easily compete with the Millennium Falcon. We divided the space into three sections: Eat, Work, and Play.

Most executive and business coaches prefer to work face-to-face with their clients. This is usually possible because classical coaching happens within the same city. Like with a therapist, a client builds a relationship with a coach over a relatively short period to follow specific goals. However, many coaches are passed on between clients based on good old word of mouth. It’s not a topic you openly write a review about on LinkedIn. Hence, asking my clients to write an honest review is hard. I feel it breaches our confidentiality agreement. 

Digital Intercultural Coaching is still new in the Swiss market. I’ve been running a coaching practice since 2010. My clients are all international, and they are all busy with their global lives.

In the early days of my business, I used to travel to a client in Basel for two hours for a 1.5-hour coaching session. I sometimes coached up to 15 clients in one week. That was the maximum I could manage with a good distribution of hours, without exhausting myself entirely, and with good quality for the clients. Despite having a 60-hour workweek, my income dropped to one-third of what I had made as a Global Mobility Leader earlier. Nowadays, I coach up to 25 clients in one week, which does not drain me. I still find time for new creative endeavors.

I just read in this Global Digital Coach Guide that less than 28% of coaches can make a living from coaching. Now, you have to be careful about such data, as the term “coaching” is used in such a widespread JOB LABEL that it is like saying your last name is “Mueller” in German or that you are a project manager. 

However, becoming a successful “Executive Coach” (where you coach global leaders and international mobile executives) is probably best done alongside a part-time lecturing role or another way to earn a living. You can combine it with “Executive Search,” Leadership Development Consulting, Organizational Change Consulting, Outplacement, Intercultural Awareness, or Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Training. Just know that if you are struggling financially, you are not alone.

If you want to build a coaching model with the potential to scale, you need to adopt digital practices to serve more clients in a shorter time frame. I had already experimented with Skype coaching and other online methods, and I figured out that many of my coaching methods would work online, too. We just needed to adapt to the technology.

The 10-Step Plan for a Digital Intercultural Coaching Practice

Step 1: Understand Your Ideal Client

You are not in business for yourself. If you don’t work with a client, as in a person who is willing to pay for your services, you probably have a hobby. Before you think about your positioning in the market, you should know what your ideal client looks like and how she or he lives and works. It’s a good idea to write a story about your ideal client.

Key Factors to Consider When Defining Your Ideal Client as an Expat Coach

Step 2: Have a Profile on LinkedIn

It would be best if you had an authentic online presence. Even if you work as a freelancer, you need to be able to show your qualifications and approach online; you need to connect with clients and potential colleagues online. At a minimum, you should have a good and solid LinkedIn profile. We have several articles on how to improve this, and LinkedIn also has courses on it. 

Top Ten Tips for a Killer LinkedIn Profile


The Social Media Newbie Series – Part 1 LinkedIn

Top Ten Tips for a Killer LinkedIn Profile

Step 3: Develop a Mobile-Friendly Website

If your website dates back to 1990 and is not mobile-friendly, you should invest in making it mobile-friendly. You can easily have a WordPress or Google site without investing much money.

Step 4: Work from Home (with Boundaries)

One advantage of a digital coaching practice is that it becomes location-independent. If you now think that you can work from coffee shops and the beach, I would say that yes, in principle, that is possible. You will still want to take calls from clients, but you might be able to have those during specific hours of the day when you are in a disturbance-free area.

If you can work from home without feeling distracted, this is your chance to move to the mountain hut you dreamed about. However, in my experience, you can get lonely quite quickly. I prefer to work in Zurich to engage in offline networking and still offer physical meetings with my clients when they are close to my office.

To hold Zoom calls, you will need a reliable Internet connection. We finally invested in fibre about two years ago, after a few days of downtime because of a tech issue at my provider.

It’s worthwhile to invest in good headsets and a comfortable office chair.



Step 5: Work with an Email Marketing Provider

It took me a long time to figure out the best tools and media for sharing my messages with my clients and readers. I read a lot of blogs and reports, and I curate content and events for my readers. Instead of digging through the social media circus, they read interesting posts or watch relevant videos. I always enjoyed sharing interesting content, and now I use this skill professionally. 

It’s important to understand that you must build an email list for your clients and prospects despite social media marketing. I recommend a two-list approach. One list is for everyone who is vaguely interested in what you do. This is where you let people join when they sign up for free on your website. In my view, you must have such a sign-up option. In WordPress, you could start with Magic Action Box, for example.

You should also have a list of paying clients. This list is essential for your targeted marketing campaigns. It’s also possible to “segment” lists if you have several programs to advertise. Our readers are usually Expats and Expat Partners. If you aspire to be a digital nomad with a coaching, training, or consulting business and enjoy this post, please sign up here for more.


Step 6: Invest in tech and your user platform

We developed our web application, RockMeApp, to run sessions without paper and in parallel to an online session. Clients can enter their coaching targets, and I can follow up on their weekly progress. Some platforms offer similar options, but you can not influence their layout and design. If you are starting you might want to work as a sub-provider first and invest in your own technology later, when you better understand what is out there. You can use an electronic calendar such as Calendly.

Step 7: Focus on Selected Social Media Channels

I could spend all day on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Youtube. So, I have hired a DIGITAL MEDIA MANAGER to help me. The main reason is that I want to focus on writing content and creating rather than sharing and discussing. With good organization, you can spend less than two hours daily on social media.

I advise you to focus on the channel that most speaks to your ideal client. I assume that most of my clients hang out on LinkedIn, and this platform also serves to connect clients and contacts. Also, I often find inspiring articles there by following the hashtags I work with. You can now use ChatGPT to help with content production and other AI to help your writing.

The Social Media Newbie – Part 5 – YouTube

Step 8: Organize with a Shared Cloud Drive and Master Sheets

One of the challenges of today is that we all share everything. It is more difficult to find what you need, especially if the documents are not tagged correctly. I use a system where I try to sort all my work according to event date because I have a lot of events. I also use names and tags on my documents.

As a shared drive, I work with Google Drive because it allows me to share work with my global, virtual team without sending emails back and forth. It also works with corporate clients if they use Google Drive. To keep overviews of projects and tasks, I developed straightforward master sheets in Google Sheets. I like to use sheets as I can post a link (URL) to the relevant document or website there.

We are also using SLACK so that our team can message each other and keep track of progress. However, for me (probably because I am Gen X), a simple spreadsheet is a lot easier to work with.

Step 9: Clarify your Purpose of Digital Intercultural Coaching

One of my principal enjoyments in having my own company, in addition to working with incredible expats, expat spouses, and global mobility managers, is that I have the time and capacity to write and edit. I have been pretty good at maintaining a weekly blog called the “Global People Club Sandwich.” I regularly get requests for guest posts, and together with collaborators, my company has published two workbooks in different formats and editions. My third workbook, “The Global Rockstar Workbook,” was published in 2023. I am currently working on the fourth workbook. 

Angela Weinberger – Leadership Coach, Global Mobility Lecturer and Author

Changing Lives: Finding Your Purpose as an Expat Coach

Step 10: Use Paper as a Strategy

As mentioned, my final step to complete digitalization will be to reduce all the paper in the office. To do that, I do not allow myself to print a large quantity of paper in the office. To be more environmentally conscious, I try to have flyers, seminar presentations, and folders printed by professional printing companies. One issue is that I seem to need paper to remember information better. So now I use paper, for example, to write “morning pages” or “have-done lists.” I also use paper to write my coaching notes. To avoid printing, I defaulted my printer to “print to .pdf” and worked on a big screen in my home office for editing. I have noticed that if I cannot read a document online, it might be because it was formatted for print. In that case, it helps to return to the source and check if the same article has an online version.


Thinking about Starting a Business as an Expat Coach?

Entrepreneur of the Month – Meet Angie Weinberger | An Expat Coach in Switzerland & a citizen of the world



2 thoughts on “Digital Intercultural Coaching – Hype or Hip?

  1. Pingback: What is an Expat (or Intercultural) Coach?

  2. Pingback: Note from a Nerd on the Why of Expat (Intercultural) Coaching

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