How to Start a Thriving Coaching Business
I’ve been in the coaching world for the past decade. And during my years in the field, I’ve helped well-known influencers find coaches, and coaches get clients.
However, I decided to make a change in my own business and shift from serving leaders to creating products and strategies for coaching. And at the time of this writing, I have more than 50 individual clients.
In just 3-4 days each week from the hours of 8 am to noon, I coach my clients while still catching an afternoon nap and spending the remainder of my time with family and friends.
Talk about living the dream! I want the same for you.
Sadly, I know a lot of coaches struggle to get regular clients and work themselves to the bone with the ones they have. Several buy a program or two (or many) but never see results. Sometimes it’s because they don’t follow through and for others the program just doesn’t work out how they expected. This leaves a lot of frustrated, broke coaches out there.
I’m going to share a plan I created with to help you get all the clients you need while maintaining the type of lifestyle you desire.
Thriving Instead of Surviving
Imagine how it feels to be financially stable while working far fewer hours than you have been?
To do this, you need a plan to succeed. So let’s make one.
The first thing you need to do is start building and cultivating an email list with ideal clients. If you have a list full of people that fit right into your target market, chances are good they’ll respond favorably to your offers. And although there are other ways to go about getting visibility, this is an effective option to ensure you stay close to potential clients.
Next, zero in on what exactly you want to offer. Personalized, one-on-one coaching is great, but try thinking of other ways to package and deliver your services. If you can come up with something scalable that doesn’t require a lot of time, even better!
After you’ve got your established email list and offer, you need to present your offer to your list. (I used a three-day email campaign strategy that I’ll unveil below.)
Once you’ve got everything in place, it’s time to start driving traffic to gain even more qualified prospects.
Creating and Growing Your List
One of the best ways to entice people to join your list is with a free offer, something small but useful, like a free report or checklist of some kind. People often give their email address in exchange for a freebie.
Make your freebie easy to get and use and provides real value by giving your prospects some sort of positive result.
So what should your freebie be? Think about a topic a lot of people in your target market could use help with. Then whip up a “tips and tricks” document or a quick tutorial on that topic.
If you don’t have a full website, don’t sweat it. A lot of people think they need a huge, beautiful site to be “professional,” but all you need is an opt-in page, a thank-you page and a payment processor.
LeadPages is great for your opt-in and thank-you page, but feel free to shop around to see which platform you might like best. As for the shopping cart, I like 1ShoppingCart and Simplero because of the built-in autoresponder, but you can go with something like PayPal for payments and MailChimp for your autoresponder if you want to keep costs lower as you start out.
After you set up your opt-in page, thank-you page and auto-responder, craft your email follow up sequence. Write and schedule emails to go out on days 1, 2, 4, 6 and 8, and then every week for four weeks following. The sequence builds trust with your new audience because you will deliver valuable content that keeps them engaged.
If you really want to be prepared, I recommend you write a year’s worth of emails, but at the very least you want three months’ worth to ensure your new subscribers hear from you regularly.
Weekly emails alone might be okay for some people, but to really up the ante and establish a good relationship, you might want to throw in something extra.
I do a couple of video training calls each month to share information with my readers. Even something as simple as a Facebook group or YouTube videos will work. As long as you’re giving them something in addition to a weekly email, you’ll notice you get more sales from people who take part in the extra freebies.
After you’ve set up your list-building strategy and develop a relationship with your list, you want to start thinking about your offer.
One of the nice things about being a self-employed coach is the fact that you can deliver your material any way you like.
Here are some of the methods I’ve had the most success with:
Unlimited 15-minute Laser Coaching Calls
- For the 50 clients I work with on a one-on-one basis, all pre-paid for a year (or more) of this service and it allows me to easily manage them all working just 3 or 4 half days.
- There’s a webinar where I teach this method and you can get access to it right here.
- One of my absolute best sellers, this one covers my expenses as I travel to the client and spend three days intensively working with them on their marketing funnel. Their report, opt-in and thank-you pages, autoresponders and email copy are all written and then we establish exactly what their offer is. Then it’s on to email campaigns and drawing traffic.
- It’s basically a “done-with-you” version of what I’m explaining here, and my clients adore this.
- When I was able to reduce the cost by $2,000 to do it virtually, a lot of clients jumped at the chance. Though I have to admit—it’s not as powerful as the in-person weekends.
- If you can come up with some great info products, you can draw revenue from your efforts again and again. The margin on these types of offers is so high that you can even afford to pay affiliates.
- If you come up with a product to generate sales to a live version of what you’re teaching, you can record the training and then sell THAT as a product as well.
- Masterminds are a great way to get the most of your time, and members love it.
- Right now I have a mastermind of 10 people who provide a steady monthly income for the six months they’re enrolled. I host and moderate meetings and the members end up doing a lot of the leg work by engaging with and supporting each other. We meet every other week via video conference (I use Zoom) and we have a private Facebook group where everyone is able to connect immediately.
Selling to Your List
After you decide what you’re offering, you’re ready to create an email campaign.
Before we go too deep, though, I can’t stress enough the importance of having a good relationship with your list. They need to trust and like you and feel you’ve been giving them value in your correspondence up to this point.
You might want to segment your list so that any sales sequence is NOT being sent to people who have been subscribers for less than a month.
Make a list of people you’ve had personal communication with (checking your “Sent” folder is very helpful, here) and reach out to them with info about your program.
For everyone else who’s been on the list for at least 30 days, start sending them your sales sequence. In my opinion, a three-day email campaign works great. I like to send the initial email on a Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.
In the first email on the first day, announce your offer. On the second day in the second email, offer proof via testimonials or case studies that people are interested and buying. And on the third day, build some scarcity by letting them know your offer is over at the end of the day.
It helps to send some warm-up emails beforehand. Prep people by sharing some valuable content prior to this sequence.
If you’ve got a really compelling offer at a great price, you can simply point people directly to a checkout page. If not, it might take a little finesse to win people over, and you might even consider getting on the phone if need be. A generally safe call- to-action is something as simple as “reply to this email.”
After your funnel is established, you'll want to get people moving through it.
My three favorite methods to get your message in front of people are:
Partnering with someone who has a substantial audience and is willing to promote you and your offer. Not only is this leveraging at its finest, but it generates a lot of warm leads. I’ve had people endorse me on their 10k list for bartering, but giving them a commission incentive works well, too.
This method works great if you have a good idea of the demographics and who your target market follows. I’ll promote my free report to fans of influencers in my niche with great results.
Be sure you’re tracking your metrics/statistics, though, so you can see what works and what doesn’t and adjust accordingly. I also like to bid based on conversion so I get the most leads for as little money as possible.
Podcasts– If you don’t have any JV partners and can’t spend money on ads, then podcast interviews might be the ticket. (Radio and TV would work, too, but are more difficult to arrange.)
Target podcasts with big followings full of your ideal clients, and then pitch an interesting topic you can easily cover. As long as you go about it professionally, you have a good chance of getting exposure and a chance to offer your freebie so you can add to your list.
What I’ve just shared with you is a lot of what I give my $7,000 VIP Weekend clients. These strategies have been tried and tested, and they work.
If you’re looking to live the dream life of a successful coach, please refer back to the info in this article regularly to help get your business up and running with results that let you work less and make more.
Register for my free webinar where I share how I got more than 50 pre-paying clients without a single strategy session. Maybe this model is just what you’re looking for, and will be the key to your success!
- Get More Coaching Clients Now with This Simple Strategy - July 5, 2017
- How to Start a Thriving Coaching Business - April 9, 2017
"Marketing is about putting the RIGHT OFFER in front of the RIGHT PEOPLE at the RIGHT TIME" - Rob Goyette