Coaching business isn’t something new in the western world. Even in some parts of Africa, and a bit of Tanzania. Growing a successful coaching business takes guts. You need to invest your energy, time and intellect. It takes more than being a public speaker.
I am sure you have heard of successful coaches like Robin Sharma, Les Brown, Zig Ziglar or Brian Tracy. They did not make it overnight. You need to treat coaching as your business and stop doing it like something you can do in your spare time.
You need to have an entrepreneur mindset. Below are the essential steps you need to follow if you want to start a successful coaching business.
Start with self-development: it’s obvious you cannot develop others if you have achieved no personal development in your life. By personal development, I mean a lot of things. Not financial success! The question that most coaches in early stages ask themselves is can I speak in front of an audience or even a person? Of course, you need skills to do this.
In my secondary school, even college years, I was very good at speaking in front of others. I am not an extrovert though! But this is something that I feel from within. I can do better in front of people and cameras and my dream is to become the finest speaker I could ever be.
But what if I couldn’t have this skill before? Easy! I am not saying I’m a guru but what I am about to say would help you also. You can join the available professional coaching associations and get educated on the standards of coaching from experienced coaches. Another way is to get a mentor who will provide you with lessons to sharpen your skills. In addition, you can join coaching groups where you meet other coaches, learn their tactics, update yourself with new ideas, and get the confidence.
Note: as a coach, you need to update yourself with new ideas every day. You can do this by reading self-help books, articles, attending seminars, training, listening to podcasts, webinars, etc. The quality of your service depends on the quality of ideas you feed yourself.
Choosing your business name; this is the brand name, people do not expect it to change in the near future. Otherwise, they will have doubts about you. While others use their names in their businesses, some prefer their nicknames or a brand name. Using your name is fine, people get to know and feel they interact with you in person. In choosing a brand name, be sure to choose a name that won’t limit you. Of course, I will talk about choosing a niche too! All in all your business name must introduce “what you do” to your potential clients.
Choose a solid niche; a niche is a specific area of life you want to coach people. Experience shows, coaches with specific niches tend to succeed more in their coaching career than someone who just tries to do a mixture of things. With a specified niche, you represent yourself as an authority or an expert in that area. Clients will take you seriously and build a long-term working relationship with you. In addition, the more you coach people on a certain subject over a long period of time, the more expertise you gain. You’ll become competent and beat other coaches in that area.
What if you cannot choose a niche at this time? You can just start as a general coach and later narrow when you find a niche that interests you. There are multiple of niches you can offer coaching; leadership, religion, health, relationships and marriage, lifestyle, self-development, etc. I’m personally interested in self-development!
Build relationships with experts; trying to make it on your own would turn difficult. In meetings, conferences, seminars or training that you attend, I always insist you should carry business cards with you. Introduce yourself to strangers and tell them what you do. Next time they will invite you to coach their teams and talk at their events. You can also try pitching companies, organizations, business firms, etc. and see if they’d need your service at the moment. Another way, if you are just starting out, you can work under an expert coach and whenever he goes in a coaching session, you attend and have like 15 minutes to say something. This will toughen your creative muscles.
That’s part of offline networking. You also have online networking, which is of a great deal. I’d recommend you turn your social media accounts into digital CVs. Let them define to other what you do immediately after they have stepped into them. That way, clients will easily contact you and results chase you.
Build an online presence: tell me a single successfully coach who hasn’t built an online empire and I will bring you a hundred. You may be tempted to use your social media pages for your coaching activities. Do not commit this common mistake that most newbie coaches do. I know, it’s because these are free platforms. What about starting your own coaching business website and let people chase you from there? Exciting, isn’t it? This will act like your online office, where customers reach you through contact forms. I bet you will enjoy being on something of your own. Social media has a lot of distractions. Having a website or a blog will help you filter this and bring you, serious people.
Again, you might be tempted to start your coaching career on a free website or blog. I have seen a number of people doing this. I don’t advise you do the same. Nobody will take you seriously. It’s better you kick-start your business in a self-hosted blog or website. With the Start Your Own Blog Challenge I will help start your journey in something professional. You’ll never regret.
Have you always wanted to start your coaching business but you feel something holding you back? Share with me your fears in the comments. You’d help more people fulfill their dreams with the right mentorship from you.