Start a Coaching Business Online: How to create a profitable coaching business in 2023
Figuring out how to start an online coaching business can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be.
Often people fail because they go from course to course trying to find a way to cut corners with coach marketing.
But the truth is there are no shortcuts.
The ones who make it big take the long trodden road to success.
They focus on getting their offers validated and their content right first… the rest will take care of itself.
Start a Coaching Business Online – the Smart Way
Coaches find it hard to sell even the best of packages if they have no reputation or network.
If you’re starting out without a pre-existing network, you’ll probably start by coaching coaches who are getting their certification with you. That’s perfectly fine but make sure you stay clear about your goals. Your main goal at this stage should be to find ‘your people’. It will take some time, months, maybe even a year or so, but start looking right away.
Start by thinking of the kind of problems you want to resolve and work back to the kind of people you want to work with. You’ll need to verify this with real clients (you might find you don’t enjoy working with them as much as you thought and need to change direction). So always be open and know that your goal and first obstacle is to find the people you’re gonna work with for the long term. You may want to think of some coaching niches you can explore.
As an online coach, your first step should be to take a look at your existing network (perhaps from a previous job) you already have and start inviting people to a free discovery or laser coaching session. (If you don’t have a network yet, pick a group of people you would like to work with and find out where they gather online and offline – then join them.) Some of these free calls will turn into new clients (even if sometimes you need to start with lower prices or a special offer because you don’t have a reputation yet).
Get your first handful of clients from your network – you want to only give discounts and freebies to the first 10 people who buy – then revise and fix your prices.
With your first 10 clients, you’re working for testimonials, not money.
Testimonials are worth their weight in gold. And going international without testimonials is going to be really, really hard – if not impossible. Focus on getting them first.
If you feel like you have no network to start with, offer your free services to people you are qualified with, your husband’s family and your kid’s friends’ mums, people in a Facebook group, or people following from your coach’s group program.
Where you do it doesn’t matter.
But you need to get those first clients to work with you.
You’re going to need these first 10 clients to kick-start your online coaching business.
When you start working with them prioritize these 3 things:
– understanding how they view what you offer and what outcomes matter to them most
– listen to the way they describe their struggles before they started working with you. (this is key information to re-design and upgrade the way you convey your coaching packages later)
– get a testimonial from each (even if they don’t turn out to be your ideal client, make sure they give you a testimonial about your character or approach)
This will set you up for success later by helping you get clarity on your ideal client and what they want from you vis-a-vis your offers.
And the testimonials will help you convert more leads into clients.
Start a Coaching Business Online – Use a Blog to Create Your Audience
“The idea is that if you build your audience first, you’ll be able to sell them almost anything. Instead of starting up the traditional way, we think there’s a better way to do it.”
And he was right. By creating content first and building an audience around it, Pulizzi launched CMI’s revenue from $4.3 million to more than $10 million in just two years.
(Quote from Joe Pulizzi in this Forbes interview)
Sharing useful content on your blog is a highly efficient and cost-effective way to build an audience that is genuinely interested in what you’re selling before you even begin to sell it.
What are the biggest perks of a content-first approach to starting an online business? When you use this approach, you can:
Begin building your audience before you’re clear about your offer, while you’re working on getting your first 10 clients from your network, you need to build the platform that will take your business to the next step once this is done. The next step is to build your audience. One of the easiest ways for coaches is to start a blog.
Social media platforms make it really hard for you to build and reach an audience without spending on ads. And even starting a Youtube channel is hard because of the sheer volume of videos uploaded and the price of video editing and filming equipment.
This is why your next step should be to start a blog. You will start to build your authority from day one. Because every person that finds your blog can understand how you work and what your expertise is.
Look at statistics from your blog to understand what people want and give them more of it
Once you have a blog (ideally on your own hosted WordPress site) you want to make sure that you look at your statistics. It may take around 3 months to see enough data to make decisions – but hey you’ll be busy with your first 10 clients and time will fly by. It will be easy to see which of your posts are more popular and what people want to hear about. Make sure you create more of that.
You’ll also want to write about the struggles your clients have before working with you.
This is a common mistake that people make – your blog should talk about the struggles clients have before working with you, not after.
Offer your audience freebies and take their email address in return
You want to make sure that you start growing your email list from day 1.
With the information gathered from your clients about what they struggle with, create a free pdf or video/sound training. Make it available for download on your coaching website.
Ask for their name and email (at least) so that you can start sending personalized emails right away(many coaches forget that these are real people that asked you to stay in touch – you start emailing when you have 1 subscriber!)
Ask your followers directly how they think you can help them and voila! You have a product with an audience ready to buy it.
Once you start building a blog following and an email list, you can start asking directly how they want you to help them. This is the best way to source ideas for content and offers that sell.
Build Your Online Business Around Your Audience
Creating a blog and sharing your expertise will build your audience over time and give you the business advantage of knowing what your audience already wants. When you write blog posts, and provide freebies to grow your email list you are creating a natural ecosystem of people who are interested in what you have to offer.
A clear content plan that is based on keyword research and brings all the elements above together will create a strong source of consistent leads for your coaching business.
If you’d like to talk about how I could help you book coaching clients successfully from your blog or website Book Your Free Discovery Call Here
———————— About the Author: Stephanie Fiteni
Hi, I’m Stephanie, a Marketing Coach and Business Mentor for Coaches and creator of the Profitable Content Marketing Method.
I help coaches generate more leads and clients through their blogs and websites, whilst creating smart systems to repurpose content for social media visibility.
My clients get fully booked with just a handful of marketing hours per week.
I have over 20 years’ experience creating websites, writing blogs that convert and ranking websites on the first page of Google.
I’ve also managed the content team in my own marketing agency for over 10 years, running Facebook and Google ad campaigns,
and organic social media marketing on all the major platforms.
I can teach you how to create content that will convince your website visitors to book your discovery calls every time. Let’s Talk