Here’s what you need to get started so the world can benefit from your gift and expertise.
All of us are masters of something. Someone asked how to grow their coaching business and I wrote this detailed post so remove distractions, bookmark, and read this post now and you’ll see more profits from your passion.
- Read the infographic here.
1) Choose your field
There’re four big fields – personal development, health, wealth & relationship. And the good news is there is an audience for every skill.
Career or business growth. Weight-loss. Public speaking. And you can charge well in these niches. But the bad news is you can’t scale your business with $5 e-books or consulting here and there.
2) Understand coaching
Coaching helps people learn to excel at a skill or achieve an outcome. It fosters personal growth, infuses courage, and destroys roadblocks.
Bill Campbell, popularly known as the Trillion Dollar coach wasn’t an Ivy league graduate – he was a sales guy and a former college football coach. Yet he mentored leaders like Steve Jobs, Larry Page, and Sheryl Sandberg.
Coaching isn’t about teaching people and then parting ways. It’s about helping them achieve their potential consistently. Therefore you should also understand how people work. As a coach, you’re encouraging growth and you’re gunning for a grand outcome.
3) Understand the change process.
Someone from the travel industry shared how his technology, though important, can’t be marketed in this environment. Surprisingly, then he revealed how a company wanted to hire him. And instantly, we had a bright spot to work with. Earlier, he couldn’t realize it.
Because clients don’t always know the answers, “Hey, I’ve got THIS limiting belief…”
As a coach, you catch these signals like false assumptions, limiting beliefs, and stories they tell themselves which could be blocking their growth.
4) Aim for creating rapport
Closing a sale is a weird process. I used to bid for clients over at Upwork (it’s intensely competitive) and my strategy wasn’t to be the lowest bidder.
My strategy was simple. And with this I used to beat experienced guys.
Here it is: I listened. I took the time to understand their needs. If they felt understood, they would send me long-term business and referrals. And that worked wonderfully for me.
Why is this important for you?
According to the 2009 ICF survey, clients attribute personal rapport even higher than certificates. So spend some time to climb into their skin. Understand what they want and you’ll have a much better success ratio.
5) Give them an amazing experience.
Have you ever been to a car showroom? Before they tell you the prices they’d take you to the test drive. Why? So you can fall in love with it.
Similarly, if prospects love coaching, they would not care about the money. They know they’ll make it back.
But how are you supposed to give that experience? You catch their attention and leave a mark. It works like a barbed spear – it’s easy to penetrate but hard to take out.
And it reminds me the professional athletic teams would never neglect their own coaching and training. Because no serious athlete thinks they can win matches because they tried giving up on the training. In fact, top athlete Micheal Philips had 3 coaches.
Similarly, never underestimate investing and upgrading your business and coaching skills.
6) Reach them first.
According to the ICF survey, 58% of clients hired the first (and only) coach they contacted.
That means you’ve got to reach them first and be unforgettable. If they contact you then you have a higher probability to work with them.
The more you can put out, the better. It’s the principle of reciprocity at work. If your content touches them then they’ll trust you. When I started I had nothing. The process itself was unpredictable. Now I’ve got a Content Bank for over 100 weeks. So start with whatever you have. Your potential clients will look at it and know whether it is for them or not.
Plus, if you’ve got a handle on their emotions and you’re speaking to them emotionally then your content gets the attention and impact.
- Don’t miss 18 best tips on marketing for coaches.
7) Screen every lead
Chances are you’re going to get a lot of people approaching you and checking you out. Although that means you’re heading in the right direction. But you also got to be careful.
Three kinds of clients:
a) Dream clients: they are the kind of people you would love to work with. They do the work and spread your message.
b) Good clients: both of you set reasonable goals.
c) Not-yet-there clients: Ahem…
Let’s say you’re a dating coach and someone has an unreasonable goal, “Help me date Miss Universe.” Would you still want them around you?
Then some people are testing the waters. I used to work with them earlier but I figured they are not very committed. They want results from the very first ad they run. They want to hit a nail once and see if it works. Of course, that doesn’t work.
To push a nail deeper, you’ve got to hit it plenty of times.
If they’re not committed for the long haul – I’d let them go. My product isn’t Coke where I make a profit on every single unit I sell. I change businesses when clients commit for the long term.
Lastly, some leads will have trust issues, they didn’t like your shirt, your name, or the color of your eye… when they’ve issues you don’t want to waste your time.
8) Create an MVP (minimal viable product)
Coaching is all about action. This is the reason why people come to you (and not go to therapists or consultants). And the best action plans are the ones created by the clients themselves (surprised?).
There’s another side of the story.
Do you know there’re 20% of the things which give you 80% of the results?
It’s a myth that you need 10,000 hours to master a skill. The first 20 hours can give you a respectable mastery too.
But how do you know what those 20% things are which when practiced for 20 hours can change your client’s life?
For that, you must have an outline or an MVP. For example, to lose weight there’re 2 critical things – nutrition and exercise. Devil is in the details. And that’s where your coaching skills come into the picture.
Here’s an outline for my coaching clients:
- Select one tight space
- Climb into their skin
- Create a basic product (which accomplishes an outcome)
- Refine your expert website
- Tap into your network
- Become a content factory
- Get a coach so you arrive from a higher level
Each step of the process is critical.
9) Make sure you’re taking care of yourself
Airline pilots have mandatory 10-hour rest periods before they fly. If you give a free hand then some clients will take up most of your bandwidth at the cost of other clients and your lifestyle.
Some clients need motivation, while others motivate you. In all this, if you’re not taking care of yourself then it can end up as being just another job – sucking your soul. And it’ll take a toll on how you work on your business.
10) The number one mistake: being too available
Do you give away too many FREE coaching sessions?
In our society, people don’t value free things. When we pay money, we consider it valuable. I was talking to my gym trainer and he said people who approach him for free advice want the easiest results. And clients who pay money to hire a trainer are not afraid of the work hard.
You’ve to keep a fine balance. If you’ve just started then it’s a nice way to build expertise. But if you take it so far that it impacts your productivity, then you should do less of it.
11) Ask for the money
“Where should I send the invoice?” This has worked pretty well for me. Before you travel, you must book an airplane seat. Before you start working you must have the money.
By the time this question arrives, prospects know that they want to do business with me. Rapport always comes first.
If the client isn’t ready, then turn them down. I had an eager life coach wanting to pay me but I had to turn down her request politely because I felt she was not ready for marketing. She was skipping the first 3 steps of my outline and wanted me to work on her website to project her as a top life coach.
It doesn’t work like that.
12) Pricing strategy
Should I charge high and be accused of robbing good people of money? Or should I charge lower than the price of a coffee and look cheap?
This is an interesting question because the answer depends on a few factors. For my first job I was paid $7 and a testimonial which I used to gain a $100 job and then it snowballed into $1,000 and $10,000 clients.
Don’t assume that undercharging will bring more clients. It doesn’t. It might bring you clients. But what quality of clients… that’s debatable.
I recommend you’ll be good with charging what you’re worth. Once you experience that freedom, you’ll be able to take your clients through the same freedom.
Ultimately, how much should you charge? It depends on your confidence. If you’ve got the belief then charge high, otherwise take baby steps.
PRO TIP: If you have got a coach or mentor yourself then chances are you’ll have natural confidence to gun for more.
13) Your first coaching session
Be quick to book it.
Chances are by this time you’ll have an idea of what’s working and what’s not working for them. Plus, you’ll have a lot of ideas yourself. Resist the temptation to give advice.
Let THEM set the agenda. You help them shape the path.
For a smooth experience for my clients, I’ve created a worksheet that pushes us to brainstorm and complete the whole process as we move along.
If you want that worksheet you can contact me and I’ll gladly email you.
Lastly, content is money in the bank.
Do you know about the ‘three-foot jellyfish’ called the Big Red? This prehistoric creature survived dinosaurs and has existed for over 250 million years.
Scientists recently discovered it in the pacific ocean. What took them so long to discover it? It was hiding way too deep.
Similarly, understand that you’ll NOT be discovered – no matter how gifted and talented you are. If you’re hiding deep into the ocean of millions of online coaches. Your god-gifted talents will probably bury with you. So you must have a pro-active content strategy for your business. Because it gives you the freedom and the impact you want.
Whether you’ve 0 clients or 100 – start today and put a content strategy in place and stick with it. Want to apply for my coaching? Go here before it gets full.