4 Ways to Make $100,000 as a Coach
What does it take to be a six-figure coach? A well defined niche? A strong marketing background? Grit and determination?
Maybe all of the above but that’s not the intent of this article. What I want to highlight today are the hard truths that are revealed when you run the numbers that lead to a six-figure income. If your goal is to earn $100k or more, I suspect that you want to get to that income level and stay there. So whatever strategy and business model you use needs to have sustainability built into it.
Check out these four business models for life and business coaches. Which one do you want to use?
1. The Jerry Maguire model to a six-figure life coaching income
In the blockbuster hit movie Jerry Maguire (featuring Tom Cruise), Jerry Maguire leaves his big time firm and goes out on his own as an agent for professional athletes. All of his clients dump him except one, Rod Tidwell (played by Cuba Gooding Jr.)
From that point forward, Jerry dedicates himself to his one and only client with the expectation of a big payout.
You could be the next Jerry Maguire of the coaching business. From a number crunching point of view, it’s the easiest way to make a $100k. Here’s how you do it.
Find a high net worth individual who has a lot to gain by working with you. Be their personal concierge life coach and charge them $8333 per month (or more). With just one client, you can earn $100k and possibly keep the client for a long time.
Want to double your income? Great. Find another client and charge them $8333 per month. Just like that, your income doubles.
While simple, this strategy is not easy. Otherwise, more coaches would be doing it.
So let’s look at the next strategy, one that’s far more accessible to the average coach.
2. The one-on-one specialist roadmap to 100 Gs
Most coaches just want to coach. They are good at it. They want to do more of it. And they would be perfectly happy with a roster of 20-30 one-on-one coaching clients at any given time.
A full roster of clients is an admirable goal and one that plenty of coaches have achieved. How this approach is different from the Jerry Maguire approach is that it requires a continuous flow of new clients to keep a full roster.
The one-on-one specialist’s maximum monthly revenue (because let’s face it, clients are not going to stick around for ever) is calculated by multiplying three factors:
A: Monthly revenue of the average client
B: The number of months the average client sticks around
C: The number of new clients attained each month
Maximum Monthly Revenue = A x B x C
So for example, if:
A = your average client pays you $500 per month
B = your average client sticks around for six months
C = you can secure four new clients each month (roughly one per week)
Then, your monthly income is going to top out at $12,000 ($500 x 6 x 4) servicing 24 clients per month. That’s $144k per year, assuming you start the year with a full roster of clients. Not bad.
Most coaches I talk to only focus on the end goal of 24 paying clients. However, if you get to 24 clients and stop adding new clients, your roster of clients will slowly drop back down to zero and so will your revenue.
So in addition to answering the question of how many paying clients you want, you should answer the following question:
Given how much you charge and how long your clients stick around, how many clients do you need to add each month to maintain a monthly income greater than $8333 (the equivalent of $100k)?
The answer may surprise you.
3. The group coaching system for making big bucks
Another way to make $100k per year is by selling group coaching. From the number’s point of view, it’s the same as one-on-one coaching except that it’s more scalable.
Instead of coaching one person every hour, you could be coaching several people at once and potentially making more money. Let’s say you charge $100 per hour for one-on-one coaching. You could charge group coaching clients $20 per hour and make the same amount of money with only 5 clients. Now imagine getting 10, 20 or even 30 group coaching clients. Now you’re making $100k and working less.
If you can pull it off (i.e. get that many clients to hire you) I see a beach, lounge chair, and an order of margaritas in your near future.
4. The online marketer’s way to making moula
The fourth way to making a life coaching income of $100k is to develop e-goods that require very little or no maintenance after they are produced. Build it once and monitor your bank account.
No matter how many clients you have, the cost to deliver e-goods is roughly the same. Therefore, instead of a goal of 20 clients, you can shoot for 2000 or 2 million.
Popular e-goods include ebooks, ecourses, and membership sites. Or you can build all three.
What the most successful coaches do
I’ve just outlined four different ways to make $100k. In all cases, the math is pretty much the same. You need to multiply A (monthly revenue per client) x B (length of average coaching engagement) x C (the number of clients you can secure each month) to figure out your maximum monthly income.
An even simpler calculation to estimate your annual income is to multiply the lifetime value (LTV) of a customer by the number of customers you get in a year.
Annual income = LTV x paying customers
The basic premise is that in order to make $100k per year, you need to either charge a lot of customers a little bit of money or charge a small number of clients a lot of money. Option 1 (the Jerry Maguire method) amounts to one customer paying you $100k. Option 4 (the online markerter’s approach) might mean 100k customers paying you $1 each. Option 2 and 3 are between those two extremes.
The best coaches use two, three or maybe even all of four models (leading to multiple streams of income), recognizing that some people will not pay for group coaching but would pay a nominal fee for an e-good. Other people don’t want to mess around with group coaching and want to pay for one-on-one help that specifically addresses their immediate needs.
No matter which model you choose (maybe your personality will help determine which ones you choose), the hardest part is to consistently add new customers as old ones leave, especially when you are first starting out and don’t have an army of satisfied customers who recommend you to their friends and family. Sure, it’s nice to reach the goal of 25 paying customers earning you $10k in a month but unless you can consistently replace departing clients with new incoming clients, you won’t make $100k per year (we will show you how to do this in future posts so make sure you click the "subscribe" check box at the top right column of this post to get future updates).
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.
Learn More About Deliberate Growth!
About Stephan Wiedner
Stephan Wiedner is the CEO and Head Coach of Noomii.com. Stephan helps entrepreneurs and free thinkers forge their own unique career path.
Check out these related articles:
- Deliberate Growth: Everything You Need to Build a 6-Figure Coaching Business
- Lesson #1: The Secret to Taking Your Coaching Business to the Next Level
- Lesson #2: Marketing Mastery is in the Doing
- Lesson #3: The Easiest Way to Get 10 New Clients
- Lesson #4: How to Get a Full Roster of Clients and Stay There
Ana Caragea Strategic and Intuitive Coach about 8 years ago
Hi Stephan. Thank you for your article. The pyramid is a great visual aid :) At the moment I'm doing only One-on-one coaching, but I guess in the future, after I will have more experience in coaching, I will focus on the other approaches too.
Stephan Wiedner about 8 years ago
You're welcome Ana. Most coaches start with one-on-one coaching. Although the price-point is typically lower with group coaching or selling egoods, it requires a bigger list.
Mike Shereck almost 8 years ago
Stephan, thanks for distinguishing this....I current us #2 and #3. And it's a lot of work...and fun....and my intention is to get close to #1 and #3....thanks for the clarity.
Stephan Wiedner almost 8 years ago
Hi Mike - thanks for sharing. What came first, the group coaching or the 1:1 coaching? Also, how did you start doing group coaching? Who participated? How did you attract them?
Kaylee Houde about 5 years ago
This is awesome, I have worked for a salary in HR and paid peanuts for my group coaching. Now that I am a certified coach on my own I plan to start with 1:1 coaching, then move into group, and also leverage an online course (But got to learn how to create it first!)
Alan Young about 5 years ago
This is one of your better posts Stephan! As I develop my concept for retirement coaching, I think group coaching is my next step. I need to find a model that will work, my one-on-one model does not scale.
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