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:
- Don’t get stuck, be flexible and open to changes as needed.
- 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.
- Keep reading, growing and adapting as needed.
- Decide which tasks you can do yourself and what you can outsource (i.e. online marketing campaign).
- 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!
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!
Entrepreneurship for Coaches: 6 tips to move you towards a successful coaching business
4 Tips for Starting a New Business
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.
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.