How to Build a Coaching Practice that Scales
In the coaching industry, your income is essentially determined by two factors - the time you spend working with clients and the fee you charge them. Increasing the number of hours you put in or increasing your fee can thus directly contribute to higher financial success from your coaching business.
But there are only so many hours in a day. Also, increasing your fee would mean bringing down the number of prospective clients who can afford you. In short, building a coaching practice that scales can seem like a pipe dream for a lot of coaches.
That is however not true. In this article, we will take a look at some concrete steps that you can take to build a coaching practice that can truly scale.
Clients are not all the same
Different clients have varying levels of motivation. Highly driven individuals may demand a one-on-one training with their coach. For each such individual, there are dozens of others who are driven towards similar goals, but may not need a personal coach. This is either because of lower motivation levels or simply because they cannot afford such training.
What’s your brand?
Your personal brand can play a significant role in determining your hourly fee. Internationally renowned life coaches like Brian Tracy and Lucinda Bassett charge several thousands of dollars for every hour of work. While it is not realistic for every coach to find such levels of success, it is also true that your personal brand can directly influence the fee that your clients are willing to pay.
This presents a dichotomy for coaching business owners. The value of a brand is determined by the number of people you touch. Yet, your income is based on the number of niche, high-value clients you work with.
To build a coaching practice that scales, you have to build unique offerings that can cater to each of these different client profiles. Creating an offering for the mainstream audience who cannot afford a personal coach helps in building your brand. You may then leverage this brand by signing up with niche, high value clients who can afford your high hourly fee.
Step 1: Create products with mass-appeal
The objective here is to create free coaching products that can reach people on a large scale. There are two strategies that have a proven track record here. The first is to create a YouTube channel targeting viewers from your industry. Identify topics that are popular among your audience and create highly insightful videos on these topics. Secondly, invest your time in launching a blog. Content marketing is a huge aspect of brand building. Writing long-form articles on your blog (as well as guest posting on other industry blogs that your audience follow) is a great way to establish a name for yourself.
Step 2: Market your free offering
The next step is to promote your YouTube channels or blogs through social media networks like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. You may also look at Adwords and other pay-per-click advertising channels. The idea is to build traction for your services. This helps maximize your reach among your audience.
Step 3: Build a list
While a sustained video or content marketing strategy helps build a following and a brand, it is important to note that this is a long-term process. To quicken your brand building process, it is important to capture your visitor information and set up a sustained marketing program targeted at these visitors. To do this, create useful downloables (like ebooks) that visitors to your YouTube channel or blog can access by providing you with their email address. You can read more about effective email marketing here.
Step 4: Create online coaching courses
This is the first step towards monetizing your coaching business. The objective here is to create paid coaching courses that your subscribers may pay for. These are a lot more in-depth and cover a much broader topic than typical blog posts or YouTube videos. Platforms like Udemy and Kajabi let you organize these courses into multiple chapters that your paid subscribers can access. These platforms may also be used as a marketing tool to expand your reach. You may do this by periodically offering free courses to these visitors that act as a gateway for these subscribers to know about you as well as buy your paid courses.
Step 5: Set up live coaching sessions
Online courses help reach subscribers willing to pay for your lessons. A relatively smaller subset of these subscribers may be willing to pay more for virtual one-on-one and live interactive coaching sessions. You may organize live webinars and video-conferencing sessions that bring you in direct conversation with your subscribers and potential clients
Popular elearning tools like Docebo, TalentLMS and Moodle come equipped with features that enable video conferencing as well as online learning courses to clients. Since these are live sessions, clients benefit through direct engagement with the coach. The typical fee for such sessions are higher than online courses.
Step 6: Become an influencer
Once you have an established pipeline of new leads generated through content marketing and video marketing, you will see a steady growth in the number of learners you acquire for your online courses and live training sessions. At this point, you are are well on your path to building a personal brand. The next step is to become an influencer in your industry. To accomplish this, you must start seeking speaking opportunities at industry events.
You may also look at corporate gatherings that are frequented by your target clients. In addition to this, you may also hire a publicist who may help you get quoted on leading media outlets. Some coaches have found branding success by partnering with publishing agencies to write books on industry related topics. All of these steps take a lot of time and money but can help you establish yourself as a leader in your industry.
Step 7: Target high-profile clients
Once you build a bigger brand for yourself, you must start noticing a steady inflow of new coaching requests from both individuals and corporate clients. It is worth noting that operating a YouTube channel, publishing courses and organizing live classes online can take a lot of your time. Your hourly pricing for one-on-one coaching needs to be determined by the hours you have left and the maximum fee that you can charge to fill these hours. Charging higher would bring down the number of hours you spend coaching, and charging lower than this could mean that you may not be able to fulfill all your coaching requests.
The strategy provided here works because it helps you maximize your money-making potential while expanding your reach, improving your brand and helping you target high profile clients in the process.
Want to become a six-figure coach?
Noomii’s CEO Stephan Wiedner has partnered with Master Coach Sifu Karl Romain, the #1 most hired coach on Noomii, to develop Deliberate Growth, a six-month group coaching program to teach coaches the invaluable skills needed to market and grow their coaching business.
About Anand Srinivasan
Anand Srinivasan is the founder of project management app, Hubbion; a tool that has been ranked among the top 20 in its category by Capterra.
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