Tag Archives: entrepreneurship

26 Oct

3 Things To Decide Before You Create a Website

cover of 3 things decide build a website

After hours of working on my website, paying a lot of money to maintain it, and then paying someone to regularly assist me with it, I have discovered a gap. The “you need to get a website” advice given to me in a coaching program 3 years ago was not the best suggestion as a way to begin building my online business.

And yet so many people do it. In today’s world, with sites like GoDaddy promoting the Danica Patrick type personas, even with vital information embedded in the video (like the importance of branding, the importance of planning, teamwork and diversifying your brand), it still leaves the impression anyone can just whip up a website and have a successful business.

And that is so wrong!

The missing information is in the planning stage, before you put the site up.

And in the budgeting, which should come first!

How I wish someone had told me that.

And the light bulb turns on here.

Decisions to make before the site is created:

What’s your budget like? In this post I talk about creating a business plan.

How are your finances set up?
This post has some good starting information.

What do your business need?
This post has some key questions to ask.

What is the purpose of the website?

What they don’t tell you as a new online business owner is that websites are created for different reasons. Each site serves a specific purpose for each business. Your business will grow depending upon how you create the site itself, what information you put up on the site and how you choose to utilize it as a business tool to grow your business. Some have shopping carts, some are lead generation tools, some work to solely build affiliate links. Others promote a brand.

Will it simply be a way for customers to find you? Do you want to build a customer base? Is it a means to keep customers up to date on your products and services?

Need to build a mailing list? Or build an online presence? Or run advertising campaigns and actively market online? Use it as a lead generation tool? Or as a way to increase sales?

Tip: Do a business plan before you invest money into the site to keep your budget on track and balanced! To learn more about creating a business plan, check out my previous post.

3 Questions to Answer:

1. How Technical are you?

How technical are you? DIY or outsource the back-end projects and maintenance?

 

2. What is your Budget for this?

how much you want to spend on your website? To set it up? On a monthly basis?

Many sites have an annual fee and/or monthly fees for additional things.

How much do you want to do DIY style or outsource?

For resources related to finance and starting a business, look at my previous post.

3. What are you going to Outsource and what are you going to do yourself?

Things business owners outsource related to a website:

Maintenance
Blogging
Invoicing
Social Media management: running regular Instagram posts, Pinterest pin campaigns, FB ads etc.

Answer these questions and then add them into your business plan to start off the right way! A good business plan is also a guide post.

 

Recommended Resources:

Five Skills Every Web Content Manager Needs

5 Must-Have Skills for Running an Online Business

Why Do I Need a Website? Here are 21 Reasons

Essential Business Skills

10 Financial Tools Your Small Business Can’t Live Without

Benefits of Outsourcing

 

09 Aug

12 Must-Reads for Starting an Online Business

12 great must-reads for starting online business

I can safely say I have read a lot of books since I started my online business. Most were not that useful, but there have been a few that stood out.  And they are not just good, they are great.

I’ll go ahead and plug Kindle too for all the readers like me, that read in bulk! Being able to download quantities of books with a simple click of a button, and at a reasonable price is just amazing!

1. Building a Website for Dummies
By David A. Crowder

cover for building a website for dummies

I love this first book because the “Dummies” books are so straightforward. Don’t be embarrassed to buy one! They are easy to read and full of foundational information, needed to start a business. Every time I read one, I think “oh of course, I need to remember that”. Like YouTube.com videos, they seem to have a “Dummies” book for everything now!

Here’s what I found out about author David Crowder in short bio on Barnes & Noble:

“David A. Crowder has authored or coauthored more than 20 books on subjects ranging from computers to historical mysteries, including popular bestsellers such as Building a Web Site For Dummies and CliffsNotes Getting on the Internet”.

                                                                        ~Barnes&Noble.com

2. Internet Marketing Made Easy
By Brian T. Edmondson/Internet Income Coach

cover of Brian Edmonton's book Internet Marketing Made Easy

Brian T Edmondson is one of my favorite authors and consultants. He is also one of my influencers. I’ve bought his trainings, listened to his interviews and have been personally coached by him. Not only is he a really nice guy, he offers great advice and support. His smarts and expertise really shine through. His books are always on my lists! In addition to offering books and coaching, he also offers programs that are clear, effective and strategic for marketing online businesses. For more information about Brian Edmondson check out his website InternetIncomeCoach.com.

 

 

3. Content Marketing Secrets: How to Create, Promote, and Optimize Your Content for Growth and Revenue
By Marc Guberti

cover of Content Marketing Secrets book by Guberti

I love books like this one that have a title that reflect exactly what the content is inside. Marc is another one of my favorites and one of my influencers. If you don’t know who he is, Marc is young and wrote 19 books in a very short time period and became very successful. Just the volume of work he turns out is amazing. I find his journey and work inspirational. His books are a big part of my collection and super easy to read. You can sometimes find him online in those summits they offer for online businesses. He’s also fun to follow on social media! You can find out more information about Marc Guberti by visiting his About Me page on his website.

 

 

4. The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage
By Daymond John

cover for power of broke by daymond john

My third favorite influencer in this list is Daymond John. I learned about him on the show “Shark Tank”. Then I found one of the Marie Forleo interviews he did on YouTube.

And started following him on Twitter. Now I read his books and seek out interviews where he is featured. A very wise man and super smart businessman!

 

 

 

5. Small Business Financial Management Kit for Dummies
By Tage C. Tracy

cover of small business management for dummies

I know another “Dummies” book is coming but can you blame me? These books are not only great, they are so needed when you are just getting started. And they are clearly written, often by experts that can really lay out important things. If you want to make sure you are covering all of your bases for building the foundation for your business, this is another good one. I can’t tell you how many people start online businesses and have never created a budget or a business plan. This is a great place to start!

This guy is super interesting because his expertise is way outside of my wheel house! And to prove my theory that “Dummies” books are actually written by experts:

“Tracy has operated a financial consulting service firm during the past twenty (20) years focused on providing executive level accounting, financial, & strategic business planning management support on a project or interim basis”.

~Amazon.com bio

 

6. How to Sell Anything to Anybody
By Joe Girard

cover of how to sell anything to anybody
I can’t offer a collection of readings without listing at least one classic favorite. Anyone in sales knows who Joe Girard is. You can also find YouTube.com videos and his other materials on Amazon.com. He offers the basic mindset needed for selling along with the psychology behind it. If you don’t know him, he made the Guinness Book of World Records for selling 13, 001 cars at a Chevy Dealership! For more info about Joe Girard check out his Biography page on his website.

 

 

7. Schedule Your Dream: 8 Steps to Maximizing Your Time and Mobilizing Your Vision
By Liane R. Grant

Cover of Schedule your Dreams
This next one is a fun discovery I found surfing books on Amazon.com. I think time and project management are under appreciated in the world of entrepreneurship. Books like this can help with identifying needs and help you prioritize.

From Amazon’s description Liane “has a knack for finding the most efficient way to accomplish a task with excellence. Her experience in fulfilling multiple roles has helped her hone her planning and productivity skills into a highly efficient personal time management system. Liane has always loved words, which led her to a B.A. and M.A. in Translation later in life, and she is now doing doctoral research in translation. Liane is an OTTIAQ-certified translator, founder and overseer of The King’s Translators, Secretary of the UPCI French Literature Cooperative, and Curriculum Administrator for Purpose Institute.”

 

8. The Productive Person: A how-to guide filled with productivity hacks & daily schedules for entrepreneurs, students or anyone struggling with work-life boundaries
By Chandler Bolt & James Roper

Cover of the Productive Person
You might recognize Chandler’s name from a series of YouTube commercials he has put out (he’s the good-looking guy standing on the balcony of a cool skyscraper in San Francisco). His words and advice are effective and strategic. He and his partner offer great advice and important tools for new business owners.

 

 

 

9. To-Do List Formula: A Stress-Free Guide to Creating To-Do Lists That Work!
By Damon Zahariades

to-do-list-formula-cover
Much to my surprise, this book has become one of my favorites. Maybe it’s because I am such a fan of “to-do” lists so it’s nice to see someone utilizing that concept from a project management perspective. Maybe someone will write a book on how successful Post-Its make people . . . To learn more about Damon Zahariades other books and how to improve your productivity, explore his Art of Productivity website.

 

 

10. Emotional Intelligence 2.0
By Travis Bradberry & Jean Greaves

cover of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 book

Since I became certified as a Social and Emotional Intelligence Coach I’ve fallen in love with this subject (go to www.ISEI.com for more information about certification programs). This is a foundational “must-have” if you want to learn about this topic. Anyone can use the tools and skills sets outlined here. Here’s a great YouTube video of a TEDxUCIrvine talk with coauthor Dr Travis Bradberry about The Power of Emotional Intelligence where he shows you how to use this skill.

 

 

11. The $100 Startup
By Chris Guillebeau

Cover of the $100 start up
Chris Guillebeau was another surprising find for me. He is a non-fiction author, blogger and speaker and has traveled all over the world. I’ve read a couple of his books and his writing style is so free and relaxed I found myself reading his books more than once. It almost felt like I was on vacation! Great information for entrepreneurs and those new to starting a business.

 

 

 

12. The E Myth: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About it
By Michael E. Gerber

Cover of E Myth book

I fell in love with Michael Gerber’s work 15 years ago when I was working for a company that was trying to go from a small size to a mid-size organization but was actually going bankrupt. The book totally helped me understand what was happening. The model he uses to describe business growth is so easy to understand and helps make sense of the growth strategies that are needed for any business.

If you have a book or two that you would like to recommend, feel free to write in the comment section below or shoot me an email.Thanks for reading!

09 Feb

Entrepreneurship for Life Coaches, Part 8

desk with a phone, notebook, computer mouse and with laptop computer showing a product page,

This post is one of a series I am offering to coaches that are new to entrepreneurship and are setting up an online business for the first time.

Next step: 10 Ways to Build Your Online Coaching Business

There are a lot of small steps in a variety of areas needed to create a successful online business. Here are just a few additional industry ideas and recommendations.

Please note: You’ll find that part of starting an online business includes time for research and learning, so at the bottom of this article is a list of resources, I highly recommend reading. They are listed in order of the subjects mentioned in this post. Some of them are in “list” format so they are chock full of valuable tips, links, and information. Each of my posts has a list at the end so feel free to go back and look at each reference list when you are searching for information on that subject. It may save you valuable time and energy!

  1. Practice your “elevator speech”. Get really good at pitching your service in 10 seconds.
    • Be sure to have a business card ready too!
  2.  Create multiple products and services to offer to clients.
    • This offers clients multiple buying opportunities
  3.  Try writing an e-book!
  4. Create a membership site: offer something to clients that give them your expertise in a format where they will stay for a period of time.
    • This could include offering a free e-report, or a choice of a series of posts from your site, a consultation with you etc.
  5.  Try a Co-Marketing Partnership. Visit Hubspot’s blog for this post which has info on Com-Marketing.
  6.  Try an affiliate program – a mutual form of advertising. This offers you an additional source of income when you refer someone to someone else’s product or service and gives you visibility.
  7.  Try joining a forum or coaching directory.
    • o They both offer access to interesting people along with a way to learn or add to skills
    • o This can also be a way to network indirectly.

    Contrary to coaching industry suggestions, I recommend doing most of your networking where you’ll find clients, not where other coaches are – like tradeshows for your client base, industry networking events, etc.

  8.  Be a guest on someone’s blog or podcast.
  9. Interview other “thought leaders” for your blog or podcast.
  10.  Yes, the next suggestion is to try creating a Podcast!
  11.  Take advantage of all the e-Learning that is available online. Learn how to market and how to sell. People like Zig Ziglar and Brian Tracy offer sales programs that can teach you how to generate leads and close a sale.

Tip: practice positive self-talk daily!

Your affirmation checklist:

I am coming up with new business strategies every day.

I am creative and innovative!

I have products and services that clients need.

_____________________________________________________________

Note: This is the last post for this series. If you have questions or are looking for additional resources, please leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read these posts!

_____________________________________________________________

Below are some resources I have used to create my business.

Resources

Books:

Coaching and Consulting Made Easy: How to Start, Build and Grow A Profit-Pulling Coaching Business By Turning Your Knowledge Into Money (Marketing Made Easy)
by Brian T. Edmondson

Audible Books by Brian Tracy

Videos:

Message Map: How to Pitch Anything in 15 Seconds/Forbes

Marie Forleo & Tony Robbins: What it takes to have an extraordinary life

Brian Tracy

Products and Services:

Chandler Bolt: Self-Publishing School

Ziglar Sales Program

Sales Training Programs by Brian Tracy

Articles & Blog Posts:

The 30 Second Elevator Speech

33 Ways to Get More Clients

How to Drive Sales With Multi-Product Pins

Top 7 Reasons Why You Should Write an E-book for Your Business

Why I Write and Sell E-books (And Why You Should, Too)

What is a Membership Site?

6 Quick Tips to Mastering High Ticket Affiliate Programs

How to Find a Life Coach You Love

Coaching Federation Coaching directory

How to Start Your Own Podcast

An Experienced Freelancer’s Guide to Finding Clients

Tradeshows by Industry

What to Sell in 2018: How to Find a Product Niche and Start Selling Online

2017 Income Report: How We Grew Our Online Store And Highlights For The Year

26 Jan

Entrepreneurship for Life Coaches, Part 7

desk with phone, computer, notebooks and reference books

This post is one of a series I am offering to coaches that are new to entrepreneurship and are setting up an online business for the first time.

5 Starting Tools for an Online Business

  • Create a website
  • Create business cards, stationary
  • Decide what advertising materials you need
  • Create a digital marketing strategy
  • Start Networking

First step: Create a Website

There is a lot of information on the internet about this topic. I would decide first if you really need a website. See my post “7 Reasons Why You Need a Website” (insert link here)

Creating your own website is something that can be time and energy intensive so it’s good to decide if you want to take that on or outsource it. You have the option to have someone else create and manage it for you if you can afford that in your budget.

Next step: Create Business Cards and Stationary

There’s a story floating around out there about a famous business owner who wrote personal notes to everyone he met. And yes, over the course of decades it became thousands of notes he wrote. Having an easy way for people to reach you is a good idea, and business cards are cheap and easy to make. Also having some type of notepad with your logo and business name, along with note cards and stationary will bring a look of professionalism to your business. Order a return mail stamp with your business name and address for finesse!

3rd Step: Decide What Advertising Materials are Needed for Immediate Use

Companies like Vistaprint.com and Staples.com offer reasonable prices with templates and print options. Canva.com is also very popular right now and offers a variety of services. It’s easy to hand out business cards, post cards or flyers at business networking events. For industry fairs, you may need a poster board, marketing materials and promotional items to entice potential customers to your table.

Tip: If you get a chance to attend an industry event – fair, convention, speaker series, see if you can be a sponsor and host a table at the event to advertise your services. Create a package of services, create flyers and put them on your table. People like things that are free, so gifts are good. You don’t have to spend a ton of money. They also like to know what you do and what their buying options are. Get the pitch down you are going to use. PayPal has options where customers can purchase from you right on the spot with a swipe of a credit card so plan to have sales and get the equipment to take payments. Also start a mailing list. It’s a way to draw people into you sales funnel. I use raffles and people love to sign-up for those!

Next Step: Create Your Own Digital Marketing Strategy

Digital what?

“At a high level, digital marketing refers to advertising delivered through digital channels such as search engines, websites, social media, email, and mobile apps.”
http://www.jeffbullas.com/day-life-digital-marketer

How will you advertise your product and services? Online advertising? Regular mail? Cold calling? Networking? Word of mouth?

There are lots of ways online to advertise your business: SEO, social media platforms, ads on websites or e-zines, guest blogging for others, interviews, videos, and affiliate marketing, just to name a few.

Any digital campaigns you create will be based on your target market, how big a campaign you want to create and how long you want to run it for. Budget should be a factor because advertising can become costly. Industry experts say it’s much more effective to offer speaking engagements and attend networking to actually capture the client that will make a purchase.

Tip: Regarding Social Media platforms: experts recommend picking a few strategies and trying them out. In other words, don’t try to learn it all or cover all media platforms. And they recommend to not throw a bunch of money at it to start. This is an area than can easily become a money pit. It’s better to pick a 1-2 platforms to start, advertise and connect there with people. This is part of the process that takes time – time to learn and time to implement. See how your competition maneuvers on social media. As your business grows you can always add platforms and automation later.

Last step: Start Networking!

Get out and meet people, join forums, networking groups, join speaker series, anything that will put you in front of potential clients. Networking also gives you a chance to create a mailing list, necessary to building long term client prospects. It is also a way to keep people informed about what you are doing on a regularly basis.

Tip: Go where your customers are, not where other coaches hang out.

Your affirmation checklist:

I have products and services that clients need and want.

I have a great marketing strategy!

Lots of clients are coming my way!


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 a 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!



Resources

Books:

Building a Website for Dummies by David A. Crowder.

Digital Business and E-Commerce Management, 6th Ed. Strategy Implementation & Practice by Dave Chaffey.

Million Dollar Coach: The 9 Strategies That Drive a 7-figure Coaching Business by Taki Moore

Content Marketing Secrets: How to Create, Promote, and Optimize Your Content for Growth and Revenue by Marc Guberti

Blog Posts:

26 Tips for getting started with social media marketing

15 step guidelines to create your perfect digital marketing strategy

How to create a social media marketing content plan in 7 steps:

Choose a website builder: 17 top tools

13 Jan

The Importance of Conducting Good Market Research When Starting a Business

desk with documents, a computer and an agenda- there are two hands pointing to a diagram on document in center of frame

What is market research?

“Market research (also in some contexts known as “industrial research”) is any organized effort to gather information about target markets or customers.”
From Wikipedia

“The purpose of market research is to examine the market associated with a particular good or service to determine how the audience will receive it”.
From Investopedia

How to conduct the research:

  1. Decide which market segment you need to collect data from.
  2. Figure out which way the data will be collected.
    • Common ways include: surveys, interviews, focus groups or questionnaires.
    • Other ways include case studies or oral history, records.
  3. Gather information. Figure out a way to collect data for analysis.
  4. Evaluate data.
  5. Decide if findings warrant creation of new product/services or changes to existing ones.

4 reasons online businesses fail:

  1. Poor planning – including not clear on how to get the product to market.
  2. Not understanding trends in the industry.
  3. Lack of product testing – is this something a customer will buy?
  4. Lack of market testing – is this something the market needs?

Things to look for:

  • • Demographics: Who is your target market?
    • o Where do they live?
    • o What social media platforms do they use? When?
    • o How old are they?
    • o What are specific traits or qualities of that population?
  • • Level of need for customer: low, medium or high?
    • o How do you know?
    • o What does this type of consumer usually buy?
  • • Market competition – who else is out there? Why are they successful?
    • o Look at their products and compare.
    • o Look at their online presence and online marketing strategies.
    • o Is it a strategy that you can duplicate or do you have another way to access potential customers?
  • • What is the customer’s perception of your product?
    • o Is your brand unique enough? Identifiable?
    • o Why should they buy your product or service?
  • • Is the concept feasible in a larger scale?
    • o Look at the details including production, cost, shipping, advertising and necessary expenses to expand.
  • • What product in this niche has the highest revenue potential?
    • o Talk to customers and find out why they like that product.
    • o What specifically about that product or service do they like? Why?
  • • What is your competitive advantage as a reseller?
    • o What do you have that your competition does not?
    • o How can you use that feature to enhance your brand?

A smart business owner will do the research first to evaluate the viability of the product before taking it to market. Start yourself on the right foot and see what customers are buying. This will also help you design the most attractive product that your customer is likely to buy.


References

Test Your Business Idea from Monster.com.

Market Research – Definition from Investopedia

3 Effective Methods of Data Collection for Market Research from BigData-MadeSimple.com

Data Collection Techniques on Cyfar.org.
https://cyfar.org/data-collection-techniques

When to Use Different Types of Market Research from SurveyGizmo.com.

Data Analysis in Market Research from djsresearch.co.uk.
http://www.djsresearch.co.uk/glossary/item/Data-Analysis-in-Market-Research

How is Market Research Used to Analyze Demand? from SmallBusiness.chron.com.
http://smallbusiness.chron.com/market-research-used-analyze-demand-1506.html

8 Cool Marketing Analysis Tools for Data Junkies from WordStream.com.

15 Dec

4 Tips for Starting a New Online Business

woman sitting at wooden counter with open computers

A lot of energy can go into starting a new business. It does take patience, hard work and determination. It’s good to start with thinking it through before you start throwing money at it.

Here are a few things to think about before starting your online business:

1. Get clear on your idea: What is it you want to offer people? Is it a product or service? How passionate are you about this idea? How do you visualize things playing out? Some say this is one of the most important and critical steps in the process of becoming an entrepreneur.  

Clarity of vision. How can you gain more clarity around this idea? Check this Tony Robbins video on The Magic Of Visualization (Law of Attraction)

2. Identify your client: Who are they? What product or service can they benefit from? Is there a need? Are you setting up your business around the needs of your client or your own desires? Which will work best in the market place?

Here’s one guide you can utilize: How to Identify Profitable Clients: A Step-by-Step Guide on TutsPlus.com.Talking to prospective clients is a great way to find out what they are looking for.

Surveymonkey.com is one great tool you can use to gather information about your prospective clients and their real needs.

3. Do adequate market research: Research shows that inadequate market research is one of the main reasons why 40-49% of all new online businesses fail within the first 4 years. Find out what is happening with customers and within the market place before you invest a lot of time, money and energy into a business idea. Find out who your competition is and take a look at what the competition is doing. How they are getting access to customers? Check out what customers are buying and develop a strategy is to get access to your ideal customer.

4. Support yourself in this process. Sometimes starting a business can be like running a marathon. Things don’t always go the way you plan. Funding or income changes, timelines change, life happens. Patience and resilience will go a long way. If you don’t have it, who will? If things aren’t going the way you thought, maybe updating your business plan or hiring an expert in one area might help you move a few steps forward. Allow time to foster creativity to strategize alternative solutions.And don’t give up!

Here’s an article from one of the experts on this topic, Dr. Wayne Dyer:
How to Create Life Balance Between Dreams and Habits.


Resources:

Articles and Blog Posts
The Reason Vision Boards Work and How to Make One by Elizabeth Rider on HuffingtonPost.com.

Best Ways to Identify Your Ideal Clients by J. Glenn Ebersole, Jr. on EvanCarmichael.com.

10 Steps to Start Your Business on SBA.gov.

The Top 5 Mistakes People When Starting a Business by Robert Tuchman on Entrepreneur.com.

06 Nov

Entrepreneurship for Life Coaches, Part 3

Picture1

This post is part #3 of a series I am offering to coaches that are new to entrepreneurship and are setting up an online business for the first time.

Next Step – Decide what you need

Apparently clients don’t magically appear in front of you. I tried that approach and it doesn’t work. You have to start somewhere. The coaching industry is a booming business so we can deduce that the clients are out there and the potential is there to make income. You just have to go find them because right now they don’t even know you exist. I know, it’s a shocking thought isn’t it? You and I both know how amazing you are and what a great coach you are, they just don’t know it yet. But they will.

Take a look back at the answers you wrote to the questions in Post #1.

Note: If you really don’t know how or where to start, you can always consult with someone. There are experts out there that specialize in certain industries, like building websites or creating online marketing programs. They will give you their perspective and recommendations, usually at a price. It can be good to gain someone else’s wisdom and experience, but it may cost a pretty penny and not be the best recommendations for your business.

Tip: Exercise caution when outsourcing.

You’ll have to start making some choices. There are no wrong answers or ideas; it’s more a matter of deciding where you want to put your energy and your business resources right now. Remember, this is a creative process and things will always be changing. Change is ok!

This is just the beginning. If the strategy you try doesn’t work or doesn’t feel right to you, try another one. It’s your business and you can do what ever you want!

Tip: Don’t give up! In the world of entrepreneurship, failing is just as important as succeeding!

Things to consider before you write a business plan:

#1: Decide whom you will offer your services to. If you’re like me and want to offer your coaching services to a variety of people, you can do that.

One option is to create different websites and offer services to different populations. It’s doable and can be a lot of work.  There are experts on the Internet that know how to do that and offer their services (see the reference list at the end of this post for a few).

If you really want to do life coaching, I recommend you stay focused on that and start with one niche within the coaching industry. This group will be your primary niche. By focusing on one niche you can stay on track with your business goals and not get bogged down doing other things, like creating and managing multiple websites. You can always add other things later as you expand your business, especially if you find winning marketing strategies!

#2: Find out what their need is. What is it they are looking for? Are they small business owners that have a high turn over? Dentists that need help with stress management? Perhaps they are stay-at-home moms that want to loose weight?

*The trick is not offer a service, but rather a solution to their problem. Your future customers may not know what they are looking for but are more likely to respond if they see an answer to a question they have. They need to be able to relate to you. What you’re offering has to resonate with them.

In order for a small business to be successful, it must solve a problem, fulfill a need or offer something the market wants.”

~ From TheBalance.com

Tip: Research the market, specifically the market within your niche.

#3: Find a way to get access to those prospects.  Some ways to do this include: networking, speaking engagements, mailings, or advertising on social media. If there are conferences, social groups or forums where prospects are likely to be found, those are other ways to introduce yourself.

Some professionals have a such a great network they don’t really need their website. For this type of coach, it’s more of an after thought. Some coaches, like me, have to find and create the opportunities for find prospective clients. Industry experts recommend setting up multiple avenues to get referrals from. In other words, different opportunities for clients to find you. The Internet can be a resource. In this way, a website is really important. I spend a lot of time on my website and it’s been totally worth it. If you’re planning on speaking engagements and sending out post cards through the mail, you’re money might be better spent on those things rather than having a snazzy looking website, or paying a 3rd party a monthly fee for some online advertisement that people probably won’t see.

#4: Decide if you need a website: most people need an online presence for their business, but not everybody does. You can create a website inexpensively just to get it up and running or you can set it up as a platform to advertise your services and other products you will be offering. Something to keep in mind:  once you create the website, you will have an opportunity to expand your business by offering other things, like books, trainings and programs. It can become a valuable resource for you.

#5 Think about how many clients you would like have (daily/weekly) and how many hours you would like to coach each week or month.

#6 Decide if you are open to the idea of other sources of income. This could include a “day job” or other ways to make money online.

5 Tips to help get you through this process:

  1.  Don’t get stuck, be flexible and open to changes as needed.
  1. When you feel stuck in this process, take a break. When you come back around, try a visualization exercise. Picture your business, what you want to offer and see how you will do that.
  1. Keep reading, growing and adapting as needed.
  1. Decide which tasks you can do yourself and what you can outsource (i.e. online marketing campaign).
  1. Consider other ways to bring in revenue, like: freelance writing, blogging professionally, writing a book, creating webinars, starting a podcast, or offering workshops and training.

Tip: practice positive self-talk daily!

Your affirmation checklist:

I am an awesome and creative entrepreneur!

I can do this! I am flexible, determined and will see this through!

I am creating a successful business!

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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 help 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!


Related posts

Entrepreneurship for Coaches: 6 tips to move you towards a successful coaching business

4 Tips for Starting a New Business

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Resources

Books:

101 Coaching Niches: Detailed explanations of what real coaches do within top niche markets by Glenn Livingston, PhD.

Start your own coaching business: your step-by-step guide to success (start up series) by Entrepreneur Press.

Blog Posts:

How to start a business online from Entrepreneur.com

How to start a small business in 10 steps from TheBalance.com

How to start a successful life coaching business from CoachingTrainingWorld.com

Does your small business REALLY need a website from SOSWebDesign.com.

The ultimate guide to finding your profitable niche from NicheHacks.com.

 

06 Oct

Entrepreneurship for Life Coaches, Part 1

entrepreneurship-part1

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,

Congratulations!

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.

Questions:

  1. What kind of products and services would you like to sell?
  2. What is your ideal business dream? Is it having coaching clients? Writing a book? Selling other services online? What are they?
  3. Why?
  4. 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.
  5. 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?
  6. 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.
  7. 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?
  8. 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?
  9. How would you like to advertise your business? Mailings, email blasts? Public speaking? Networking?
  10. What would be your dream business name?
  11. 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”?
  12. 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?
  13. How much money would you like to make? Daily? Monthly? Annually?
  14. What will be different in your life after your business is up and running?
  15. What will customers be saying about you? What would you like them to say? Why?
  16. 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!


Resources

Books:

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,

22 Apr

Entrepreneurship for Coaches: 6 tips to move you towards a successful coaching business

Tips for Your Coaching Business

For those of us who have never had our own business, let alone an online business, the learning curve can be steep. There is a lot that goes into starting a business and for many of us in the coaching business; it starts as an online business. Here are a few tips to help you along the way: 

1.Set the intention and visualize what you want.

Research shows that the time a person takes to develop the idea and put into print is a bigger determining factor of success than the blog post itself. The clearer the image, the better chance you have of it manifesting it, just like writing a good blog post. Do you want to have your own business? When you close your eyes, what do you picture? Picture all the details, and then write them down. Write down ALL the details, don’t hold back. (I use meditation to move me energetically into a visualizing space. It relaxes me and allows for a natural creative flow).

This is the foundation of the business you are building, so this is a good exercise to do regularly. I find my goals and dreams shift and change regularly based on a variety of factors. As human beings, we are in a constant state of change, as is the world around us.

Creativity and flexibility are your partners here!

2. Connect with your passion!

Keep your eye on the prize. Make sure you know what that is. People often focus on the nuts and bolts, the tangible things around them. But it’s important to look a little deeper. When you stop and think about what you really want, is that the path you are heading down?

Focus directly on what you want. What about this work ignites your passion? It’s important to keep a pulse on this, especially if the hours get long or you have to do other work to supplement your income.

3. Take time to think. No really. And do it often.

One way to connect with your passion and grow your business is to take time for yourself in this way. It sounds funny, but successful entrepreneurs commit time every day to thinking. This includes generating ideas, answering questions, strategizing and getting organized.

Franklin Covey had huge success with their planner series. An important step they suggest is to take time each day get organized. They recommend doing this first thing in the morning to start your day off right. And it doesn’t end there. They also recommend reflecting and setting goals, writing your dreams out and supporting your visions. Educating yourself, learning and improving skill sets, along with giving your mind time to think are all necessary skills for personal growth and professional development.

4. Write down your goals: including a business plans, financial goals, and types of clients, specialty/niche you want to work in.

They say writing the important ideas down, your thoughts and dreams help to move them from the conscious mind into the unconscious mind. This creates the energy for it to manifest. (Hey, it can’t hurt right?) It’s another way to dedicate energy towards your dream business.

Suggestion: Write feely, give yourself permission to write in an unedited format. Save the judgment and editing for another project. The important part are the details. Get it out there! The universe wants to know what you want!

5. Develop a support network

Find a few people that believe in what you do and support you in a positive way. If you can’t find anyone in your immediate network, expand your search or go to a Tony Robbins seminar!

(I say that tongue-in-cheek, but honestly, everyone that I’ve talked to rave about his workshops !)

What the experts say is to surround yourself with successful people. And he is definitely one of them!

 Try joining a group on Facebook/Twitter or LinkedIn.

Look for networking opportunities like BNI events. Action steps, whether they succeed or fail are one more step towards creating your dream.

Find networking opportunities within your niche or join industry related groups.

Tell people about what you do! They say you have to ask for the sale. This begins with a conversation. You have the power to start that!

6. Develop multiple sources of income 

I know the dream is often to just start coaching and move into a full-time practice. That may be possible for some, but it’s not for everyone. The online industry recommends giving yourself multiple sources of income until your business becomes profitable.

(When people quote how many month or years starting a business will take that can create a limiting mind set or a lowering of expectations. Often times when a number is stated, that automatically becomes the bar. It can feel deflating if you are nowhere near that mark. Good news: The time line for getting your business up and running is what you create! You are on a path that is yours and only yours).

You know what? As soon as you think of the idea and start moving towards it, you’ve already started your business!

It is already there, waiting to grow.

Profit will look different for various industries and specialties. Give yourself cushion with your income sources so you don’t have to give up your dream. Profit can mean financial success to some but to others living their dream is more profitable for their soul.

Some coaches work as trainers or consultants and use coaching to supplement their other business. Some write blogs or books, some go to work for businesses that offer coaching services; some work one job part-time while they are building their coaching practice.

Do what works for you but don’t give up your dream!

There are lots of ways to build your business.

Remember, creativity and flexibility are your allies! 


Resources:

Websites:

Blogspot.com

Problogger.com

SocailMediaExaminer.com

Forbes.com

Blog Posts:

Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Oprah all use the 5 hour Rule on Inc.com

Books:

Work with Passion, How to do What You Love for a Living by Nancy Anderson

Living in the Light Workbook by Shakti Gawain

The Four Fold Way, Walking the Paths of the Warrior, Teacher, Healer and Visionary by Angeles Arrien

 

Copyright 2019 Etain Services.