How to shift your Life Coaching or Business Coaching from a hobby to a thriving business
The 5 mistakes aspiring Life Coaches and Business Coaches often make.
It’s your choice, whether coaching becomes a hobby or a business. But in making that choice, you have to accept there is a world of difference between the two.
Grow More Leaders
Life Coaching and business coaching, when it is a hobby
For some they consciously choose a slow transition from a full-time role to setting up their coaching practice. Their motivates can be: to test the water….slowly build up a client base….get some testimonials….get their professional accreditations.
Others may have made the jump to becoming a full-time Coach, but find that they’re simply not earning enough to make a living. In short, we’re describing those individuals who aren’t doing coaching as a full-time job or making a full-time salary as ‘hobbyists’.
The 5 mistakes aspiring Life and Business Coaches often make, keeping them ‘stuck’.
Aspiring Coaches feel stuck when:
- They don’t have a client base other than friends and family
There is nothing starting off with friends and family as clients. We all have to start somewhere. But this presents it’s own set of challenges, namely:
- There can be a conflict of interest, when you’re coaching someone you know. You can’t often remain impartial or objective
- They may feel they can’t give you honest feedback, so tell you what you want to hear
- You get used to doing coaching for free or as a favour and set the price so low, this sets your benchmark
One helpful strategy might be to ask your friends and family to provide you with testimonials. To offer video references you can then use when you begin to market your challenges. You may also want to ask them to recommend at least 3-5 people in their network, who might find your coaching support to be of help.
2. They don’t know how to differentiate themselves from everyone else
Anyone can set themselves up as a Life Coach or Business Coach. There is no barrier to entry. The headline of one recent article was: ‘There are more Business Coaches than businesses’. Even if this were partially true, it highlights you have to be good to stand out.
If you’re all things to all people: relationship coach, career coach, wellness coach, conflict coach, anger management coach, presentation coach…….you will rarely develop a deep skill set or expertise. It’s this capability that allows you to ask the right questions and guide individuals to a process of self-discovery. So find ONE area you will excel at, that helps you stand-out and differentiate yourself from the rest. Think about how you package your offer and the results you can get for clients, if they’re willing to put in the time and effort.
Unless you charge your worth and become comfortable with this, you’re not doing justice by you. Bottom line, if you don’t value you – why should your clients?
Grow More Leaders
3. They under charge for their services
Too often, aspiring Coaches do it for the passion and their desire to be of service. Money can be a third or low priority. But there is no contradiction in being of service and charging your worth.
Under-charging does you no favours. First, you don’t have a sustainable business when you’re under-charging. Plus it means you are always hustling, chasing for work and come across a ‘desperate’ for the work. When you don’t secure a new client, it can impact your self-worth and your motivation.
Do your market research and know what others in your field are charging. Find creative ways to bundle your offer – so you’re not charging by the hour or per coaching session. Charge for 6-10 coaching sessions (to start with) – if that’s what it’s going to take to get your client’s results. This is also a test of your client’s commitment. If they’re not willing to invest in themselves, that’s telling you something. Think about charging a monthly retainer or subscription fee, as a way of continuing being of service. Consider group coaching sessions, you get to help more people, but without working silly hours.
Don’t see marketing as self-promotion or showing off. It’s about demonstrating the results you can achieve for your clients and backing this up with evidence and human stories.
Grow More Leaders
4. They don’t feel comfortable marketing themselves
Any product, business, brand or professional NEEDS to market themselves. You have to be front of mind when clients have a need. So much of selling is being in the right place at the right time. But you help yourself, when potential clients have established trust with you through your helpful content.
Marketing can take many forms. The best form of marketing is providing your clients with helpful content: videos, tips, practical guides, etc… The name of the game is to build your authority and credibility in your niche.
People also buy from others they like and trust. So find ways of building human connections. Run workshops, taster sessions, webinars, where potential clients can see you, engage with you and feel they want to do business with you.
5. They don’t measure the results or impact they achieve for their clients
What if you didn’t focus on the hours or time you spent with your coaching clients. All you focussed on where the results you can get for them. What if you could ask your clients what this result would be worth – to their career prospects, to their quality of life, their health and their well being. In other words, you focus so much on the benefits, the results and the outcomes, they can see this far outweighs the investment they make in you. Money only becomes an issue when clients can’t see the value they’ll receive.
So make a point of agreeing the outcomes with your clients – before agreeing the price. Ask clients to quantify what benefits they will gain if they achieved the results you agreed. Share with clients your plan, methodology and system for getting them those results. Only then……should you talk about money. Finally, use the video testimonials from your existing clients, to demonstrate the value, the power and the impact of working with you.