Have you ever inspired someone to transform their life, or start a new business? Do you enjoy the process of motivating others to succeed in the business environment, and you would like to earn money from that? If so, starting a business coaching venture might be just for you.
The business coaching industry is rapidly growing meaning more and more business associates need coaches to step in for help. With an estimated $14.2 billion market worth in the US alone, the business coaching industry opens the gates to aspiring new coaches to make a good living by helping others.
In this modern, corporate, and overwhelming world many entrepreneurs, managers, leaders, executives, and CEOs need emotional support, and you could be the one to help them out. Yours as a business coach’s job would be to help business people adapt and navigate towards personal and professional goals.
But what if I don’t have enough business knowledge?
The good news is that you can still coach clients, even if they are more successful than you. Business coaching is not about the business advice you can give, but more about engaging, and truly understanding your client.
In this article, we are going to discuss the 7 essential steps you should follow in order to become a professional, well-equipped, and impactful business coach.
So without further ado, let’s get into it:
1. Get Some Business Knowledge Through Books:
If you feel that you lack business expertise, the best thing you can do is to read some business books. While many coaching gurus will encourage you to become certified in business coaching, some books can teach you way more than that.
Today we can access plenty of great books written by the most successful businessmen, entrepreneurs, coaches, and leaders. So why not take the knowledge from the best of the best and apply it to your coaching, instead of starting your own business, or going through hours of expensive coaching certifications?
These business books will expand your business knowledge in all fields, and help to identify your areas of expertise.
Here are some of the must-read business books for all coaches:
- Zero to One by Peter Thiel
- Your Next Five Moves by Patrick Bet David
- How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
- The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
- Ethics 101: What Every Leader Needs To Know by John C. Maxwell
- The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone
- She Thinks Like a Boss by Jemma Roedel
Find out more about business coaching books
These books written by the most successful people in the business world are going to be your infinite sources of knowledge and references. They will help you to understand how various types of businesses work, and key strategies for effective leadership and team management. That being said, these books will also help you to choose your business niche.
In addition to reading business books, it’s also a good idea to get educated by the most successful coaches and read some of their coaching books. Pieces like The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier, or The Prosperous Coach by Steve Chandler and Rich Litvin, will teach you the best strategies for starting and scaling a successful coaching business.
A couple of business books combined with the best coaching books will give you a great foundation for becoming a successful business coach.
2. Choose Your Business Coaching Niche:
Business is a massively broad topic, that involves different niches, methods, and components. Unless you are a businessman like Warren Buffet, you can’t help everyone with every issue. Instead, you could decide on a specific business problem that you would be the best at solving it.
This approach will help you to stand out from the competitors who offer general business coaching services. Clients will be more likely to hire you if you target their specific needs over someone who has not even identified their pain point.
Choosing and sticking to a particular coaching niche will also help you to serve your clients more effectively. That will lead to more positive testimonials, which you could later demonstrate to get more high-paying clients.
To prevent you from getting lost in the pool of business coaching niches available, you can consider to work in the following niches:
- Small Business Coaching
- Solopreneur Business Coaching
- Business Relationships Coaching
- High-Performance Coaching
- Team Management Coaching
- Leadership Coaching
- Executive Coaching
- Productivity Coaching
- Marketing Coaching
- Sales Coaching
- and so on…
After you decide on your area of expertise, try to define the ideal client that you would like to be working with. Should your clients be executives of big corporations or just small business owners? Should they want to achieve small goals, or revolutionize the whole world? Ask yourself – what kind of companies you would like to be working with most, as well as what would you like to avoid.
At the end of the day, it’s the synergy between you and your client that matters, so make sure you are comfortable with that. Moreover, identifying your ideal clients, also known as the target audience, is also a very important aspect of the marketing process of your coaching.
3. Create an Online Platform For Your Coaching Business:
If you want to be a successful business coach, you must have a professional online presence. Unlike some coaches who limit themselves by just being present on social media, you can stand out by having your own platform. There you will establish your personal brand, meet your audience, provide for all of their needs, and most importantly – make the whole coaching process easier.
Establishing a coaching platform nowadays does not have to be difficult, yet the benefits can be tremendous.
Here’s what a good coaching platform allows you to do:
- Create appealing product and landing pages
- Have your branded or personal name in a website domain
- Publish engaging content
- Be innovative and professional in how you present yourself
- Collect email addresses, and send newsletters
- Introduce and sell your coaching services
- Host in-person or group coaching sessions
- Offer free consultations and discount codes
- Sell online courses, memberships, or webinars
- and many more…
Having all these features built into the coaching website may seem to be difficult for many people. However, platforms like Thinkific takes care of all technical work, so you can entirely focus on providing good coaching service.
With the help of numerous pre-designed themes, and a drag-and-drop web-building interface you can have a fully equipped coaching website running in less than an hour. Thinkific gives you ultimate convenience when building and managing your professional site, but that comes with a little cost.
A more affordable alternative could be an open-source content management system like WordPress. However, setting up a domain name, web hosting, eCommerce solutions, email marketing systems, and many other crucial elements will cost come at additional costs, not to mention the technical expertise and time required.
Either way, creating your own professional coaching presence is essential for obtaining and retaining high-quality clients.
4. Create Your Offer:
Crafting and proposing your coaching offer is one of the key components of a successful coaching business. At this point, you should have identified the value you can provide to the specific client who has a specific issue.
Many coaches do a mistake by selling the features of their coaching sessions. Instead, you should try to sell the results, as this will trigger emotion and make the client more curious about the details of your coaching. You want to make it very clear why clients should work with you from the very beginning, and that should include your coaching benefits and unique selling point.
To create an attractive offer, you already need to be familiar with your ideal client’s problems and offer a results-based solution that will immediately catch their attention. For example, if your ideal client is a newcomer manager, your coaching offer could promise him to eliminate the fears and self-limiting beliefs to inspire and lead the team effectively.
After you define your base offer, you can get into its details and features. For that. you can consider the following questions:
- How much time it will take for a client to see results?
- How much time I can allocate for coaching sessions?
- What are the different ways I could provide value?
- How many coaching sessions can I fit into a day?
- Which coaching format is the most effective for me and my students?
With the help of these questions, you may determine the type of service your ideal client would need as well as your own capacity to fulfill their needs.
Instead of offering just one coaching service, introduce a few coaching packages where you give some flexibility while deliberately upselling your services, During this phase, you can get creative while you consider how to present your value in an engaging, attractive, and lucrative manner.
For example, it could be:
- Business Starter: 4×45 minute one-on-one coaching sessions = $336
- Business Advanced: 6×45 minute one-on-one coaching sessions + weekly webinars = $412
- Business Expert: 8×45 minute one-on-one coaching sessions + webinars + course = $499
Feel free to incorporate various session lengths, frequencies, courses, assessments, tests, or accesses to private communities to complement your service and diversify your value. Aim to add as much value as possible in order to maximize your client’s spending.
5. Price Your Services Accordingly:
This is a tricky one.
When it comes to pricing your services there’s no right or wrong way to do so. Ideally, you want to obtain fewer but high-paying clients instead of a lot of low-paying ones. This approach would allow you to free up your time, provide more efficient coaching, and most importantly – generate more revenue.
However, it can be difficult to charge clients high if you are a beginner in the field with no reputation or testimonials to showcase. Therefore, if you are a starting coach, it’s better to start humble and increase your prices as you grow. In this beginning phase, the goal is to get and serve your first clients as quickly as possible, so you could better identify the real worth of your service.
But still, how do you price your services?
You certainly don’t want to do charity work and undervalue your services as this may actually be unattractive to your clients. To find the midpoint for the price, you can have a look at how your competitors are pricing their services, and align your pricing to theirs. You can also consider your ideal client’s business revenue or salary, and make sure your pricing is more or less relevant to that.
A very great strategy that actually allows you to earn more is to offer free coaching sessions. Instead of charging a low price for your coaching, charge more while providing free value upfront. If the client really enjoys working with you, he will be willing to spend more.
6. Come up with a Marketing Strategy:
As we covered, having a few high-paying clients could be an ideal outcome of your coaching business, but unfortunately, that’s not how you start. In the beginning, you will need to get a higher amount of clients that pay less before you build your reputation. So, an effective marketing strategy is needed to get your first, and upcoming clients who will get your coaching business moving.
Probably every successful coach will agree that blogging is the core marketing strategy of any kind of coaching. Blogging is the most sustainable way to build your personal brand and create an automated stream of high-paying clients. Instead of going out and proposing your service to others, focus on creating engaging content in order for clients to discover you and get in touch.
You can start by publishing helpful articles on your website blog, or creating engaging videos on YouTube – ideally implementing both of these strategies at once. Find the underserved topics in the business niche, to which your coaching service has the solutions.
Create a lot of helpful content, and wait for people to discover it via search engines. Let your blogging content be the bridge between the problem that your ideal clients face and the solution that your coaching offers. Your main goal here is to get as many targeted visitors as possible to see the offer on your website. The more people you will get to see it, the higher you can attempt to charge them for your service.
The all-in-one website-building platforms, like Thinkfic, enable you to write, optimize, and publish articles that can be discovered using search engines, like Google. While it may take time to start getting organic visitors, blogging should be your core marketing strategy that drives your business to long-term success.
Keeping in mind that blogging takes time to establish, you can also market your services on social media platforms. Think about where your ideal business client spends the most time. Chances are that your clients are widely using LinkedIn for business purposes. Create a professional profile with a link to your website, and outreach to them, via inbox or email. Compose and send a letter that convinces potential clients that your coaching can be valuable for their businesses.
Apart from blogging and LinkedIn outreach, you may also want to consider marketing your services via:
- Email marketing
- Guest blogging
- Online communities
- Paid advertising
In the beginning, you don’t want to get overwhelmed while trying to be active in all possible marketing realms. For example, you could focus your effort on blogging while at the same time doing LinkedIn outreach, and occasionally running some ads. This focused strategy would be way more effective, than trying to be active everywhere at once.
7. Provide A Good Coaching Service
Despite the modern ways of spreading your message, mouth-to-mouth marketing remains the most effective way of promotion. If you truly provide a good service, people will be more likely not only to come back but also to spread the good word about you.
Imagine if you land a high-paying client and he shares the amazing experience he had with you with 100 other fellow associates in his network. Chances are you would never run out of high-paying clients. In order for your coaching business to be successful, you should always strive to provide a good service.
Let’s discuss the ways how you can truly provide a good coaching service by asking questions, implementing coaching exercises, and offering some coaching products.
Asking the Questions:
The right questions asked in the right way at the right time can do wonders in the coaching process. Many coaches do a mistake by focusing on the information they could provide to the clients, but they forget the vital part, which is asking questions.
By simply being curious and asking open-ended questions we have the power to resolve internal conflicts, destroy limiting beliefs, instill clarity, and empower individuals.
Remember, just as every individual, every business is unique. Therefore, the client has all the answers and solutions to his particular business issues, and with the help of powerful questions we can bring it all up. Most of the time asking the right questions is all it takes, and we the coaches should master this art.
Here are some business-related questions you could ask your clients:
- What was your first business idea, and how do you approach it now?
- What were your biggest successes and failures in business? What did you learn from them?
- What value does your business create?
- What problem does your business solve?
- How your business career is in line with your purpose and values?
- Why you haven’t achieved your business goals yet?
- How could you speed up your business development?
- What can you sacrifice to make this business successful?
- What tasks in your business do you enjoy most? How can you do more of them?
- and so on…
Check out more business coaching questions
Ask the questions in a genuine and curious way, and carefully listen to what your client has to say. Then paraphrase his answers, to let them really sink in into his mind.
Implementing Coaching Exercises:
Although asking questions is the most important part of coaching, you can go the extra mile and introduce some coaching exercises. Those will help to achieve the desired outcomes quicker as well as make the coaching process more diverse and entertaining.
The coaching exercises will help your client to:
- Analyze his personality and life
- Determine what is missing
- Set attainable and relevant objectives
- Visualize the goals
- Set the tasks’ priorities
- and much more…
The exercises that we are going to share with you are backed by science and are proven to work, and they can be perfectly performed with clients in the business industry. You can either use them in one-on-one coaching sessions or give them to the client as homework.
Here are the best coaching exercises that you can perform with your business client:
- Wheel of Life – Self-reflection exercise where you evaluate 8 areas of life, including personal development, health, career, finances, recreation, family, love, and spirituality.
- Johari Window – Self-awareness tool assisting individuals in seeing the difference between how they perceive themselves and how others perceive them.
- SMART Goals – A framework helping to set up specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely goals.
- Eisenhower Matrix – The prioritization tool that allows determining important and not-so-important as well as urgent and not-so-urgent goals.
- Creating Vision Board – The visualization process where clients create an image of their goals and dreams.
In addition to that, you can also encourage clients to practice journalling and meditation, as these exercises can help to gain clarity, take control over emotions, and proceed with a calm approach.
Offering Coaching Products:
Last but not least, offering some coaching products to your clients will encourage them to transform faster. By providing high-quality resources, you will also increase your credibility, and look more professional in front of your clients.
The good news is that you don’t have to create any coaching products from scratch, as there are websites that offer plenty of already-created digital resources in business niches. Those you will be able to freely modify, rebrand, giveaway, or upsell to your clients. You can also use these products for marketing purposes, as well as lead magnets to get your potential client’s email address.
Here are the best sources to download done-for-you coaching products:
PLR.me – Discover plenty of done-for-you articles, ebooks, action guides, presentations, checklists, worksheets, and even courses in business, marketing, management, career, and other relevant niches.
Content Sparks – Supply your clients with top-quality complete courses on business, sales, and professional development. Rebrand and resell your courses, or use the course components separately in the way you like.
Coach Glue – Explore beautifully designed and well-crafted done-for-you planners, courses, or workshops. The entire library of products is dedicated to business coaches.
Every coach should take advantage of these products. Instead of spending days creating your own resources, help yourself by downloading what is already done for you. Put your logo or name on these products, and nurture your clients with the best knowledge.
And that’s about it. We have covered the entire process you need to follow in order to become a business coach. Start by getting some knowledge from the business coaching books, identify your skills with your favorite business niche, and create an astonishing coaching platform where you present yourself in a professional manner.
Thoughtfully craft and price your offer, and choose the best marketing strategy. Once you land your first client, try to do your best by asking the right questions, performing exercises, and offering some coaching products.
Business coaching is a huge multi-billion industry, and many managers, leaders, and CEOs are waiting for your help. If you feel that you lack business experience or knowledge, don’t feel discouraged and focus on developing coaching skills. The client has all the answers to his specific business problems, so do your best to bring these answers up.
Paul Lian is a researcher, writer, and founder of WayToChanges.com. With over eight years of experience in blogging, digital marketing, copywriting, and digital products, he has built multiple six-figure income streams. Through his blog, Paul shares his best expertise, strategies, and tools to help readers achieve financial freedom and success in their own digital ventures.