This post is the first of a series I am offering to coaches that are new to entrepreneurship and are setting up an online business for the first time.
So you did the training and got a Certificate in Life Coaching,
So NOW what?
Here come the questions: how are you going to get paying clients? Do you really need a website? And how do you start an online business?
The answers to those questions will be different for each person, but for the majority of us that that are certified coaches and want a home based business, the answer is a resounding YES! You need an online business, which includes a website and marketing strategy. Combined, these tools become one way to help clients find you! They also can become tools to help grow and expand your business.
What you are creating is a business that will be part of what they are calling the “digital economy”. That’s basically anything bought or sold over the Internet. And the digital economy is growing and not going away anytime soon, so it’s a smart business choice. The trick is to make it work.
I wrote this because I kept noticing (as did my colleagues) that there was a lot more to becoming a successful coach than just getting certified. What I have found is that there is a difference between learning how to set-up an online business, setting up a website and streamlining that online business to attract clients and generate revenue. This series of posts is about helping you get started with your online business. It’s not a formula for instant success or guaranteed income, or a quick way to make money. If I can shorten the learning curve for you and help you gain knowledge and clarity in the process, great! The suggestions here are steps I have used that have helped me launch my business.
I would say, like many say, this process takes time. For me, it took a solid 2 years to generate clients and income from my online coaching business. 2-3 years seems to be an industry average for starting an online business and getting paid clients, but that is not necessarily true for everyone. I chose initially to work on developing my business, do trainings and write instead of trying to find clients, which made it take longer. Plus I’m not a huge networking person so that was also easy to put off. I built things like my blog and programs before I really started looking for clients. Now I do them together. I’m happy with my coaching services, my writing, my business and my professional development.
TIP: Do what works for you.
There’s a lot that goes into building a successful online business. Ultimately the success of your online business will depend on a variety of factors including: how much time and energy you dedicate to it, your product/services, the industry you’re specializing in, the market need, your client base, your determination, marketing plan and, advertising strategies. It’s a lot, and you can do it!
Take a deep breath and let’s get started!
Derek Doepker is a successful coach and writer. His advice is to start small. Start with one thing and focus on that. Take one step and that will lead you to the next.
Here’s your first step: Honing in on your Vision
Visualize your Dream Business
Although we naturally move into action, especially when starting a business, the beginning step is actually in the vision you have. You have an intention somewhere inside of you. There is some part of you that has already manifested this dream (that might be why you are reading this right now).
Let’s see if we can get a clearer image of what your vision is. The clearer the image, the easier it is to manifest.
Be as specific as possible and add details.
TIP: Successful entrepreneurs allow time to think about their business. And they think often. Give yourself time and the freedom to think about this.
Below are some questions to think and/or write about. To do this, it’s probably easier if you find a space where you can work (preferably uninterrupted for a period of time). It’s ok to work on these questions and then come back to them. The creative process is not always a one-shot kind of deal. I encourage you to revisit them as you have more thoughts and ideas come up.
Trust the process of thinking, visualizing and writing. Some people prefer to write out exercises like this on a white board. I recommend a notebook or journal because you can keep it with you as you add things.
TIP: Allow your creative energy to flow!
Don’t judge or question, just write.
- What kind of products and services would you like to sell?
- What is your ideal business dream? Is it having coaching clients? Writing a book? Selling other services online? What are they?
- What would your business look like? Literally -physical space (home or in an office), location, type of clients, and the number of products you would sell, etc.
- What would a dream day look like? You wake up in the morning and? How many hours would you work? In-home or outside the home?
- How is that different from what you are doing now? I know it’s probably obvious to you but write it out anyways. We’re looking for details.
- Who is your target audience? Sports players? Business people? Write out whom they are, what they are looking for and why they would need to be coached by you. What is that thing that makes it so they hire you over someone else?
- How would you market to them? What is the best way to reach them? (For example, research shows that young moms use Snap Chat more and older moms use Facebook). What does your ideal target audience use for media resources? Social media? Where are they? Local? National? International?
- How would you like to advertise your business? Mailings, email blasts? Public speaking? Networking?
- What would be your dream business name?
- If you were going to set this business up today, what would be the time frame you’d like to use? When would it be ready to “go live”?
- What will you do for income while you are setting up your dream business? ? Can you moonlight or freelance while you are getting things started?
- How much money would you like to make? Daily? Monthly? Annually?
- What will be different in your life after your business is up and running?
- What will customers be saying about you? What would you like them to say? Why?
- Say the phrase “Hi, I’m xxx and I offer xxx” fill in the blanks.
Now, go back and read everything you’ve written.
Pat yourself on the back too because you just did the first draft of your business plan! There’s more to add to the plan itself (which will come up in another blog shortly), but for the basics, that’s a good start!
See that wasn’t so bad . . .
Tip: use positive self-talk daily!
Your Affirmation Checklist:
I just wrote out the first draft of my business plan!
I am taking steps to create my dream business!
I am patient. My business will grow and be successful!
My business will be a success!
Below is a list of resources I’ve used to help create my business.
Recommendation: If you find, after reading this, that you are stuck or just frustrated with your idea, or don’t’ know how to get started, you might want to think about hiring a Life Coach. I know, it’s yet another thing that costs money, but I’ll share something with you – surprisingly I have found it to be the one thing that has been invaluable in building the foundation and success of my business. My personal coaching is what has made my business successful. As a coach I have worked with many coaches to either them turn their idea into a viable business or help them launch their business. I can offer you a working relationship where you gain insight, accountability and can develop your own strategies to build your business. Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself, even for a short time. You are your business!
Work with Passion: How to do What You Love for a Living by Nancy Anderson
Supercoach: 10 secrets to transform anyone’s life by Michael Neil
The Healthy Habit Revolution: Create better habits in 5 minutes a day by Derek Doepker
Articles and Posts:
Visualization Techniques to affirm your desired outcome: a step-by-step guide on JackCanfield.com.
How to start a successful life coaching business on CoachTrainingWorld.com.
Entrepreneurship defined: What it means to be an entrepreneur on BusinessNewsDaily.com,