You have the smarts, experience, and credibility. You know how to coach individuals to perform at their peak and help corporations reach their profit potential. Now is the time to develop your thriving coaching business, right? Right. But remember, starting is the easy part. The real challenges come when building your one-man practice into a million-dollar business.
Are you getting repeat work from current clients? Do you have a steady stream of referrals rolling in? What kind of reviews are you getting? Are you certain you have all the skills needed to be a successful coach? If not, consider setting your trajectory towards prosperous growth with these six coaching practice tips.
Step 1: Create Your Foundation
You can’t get the answers you need until you ask the right questions. When developing your life coaching or business coaching practice, it’s important to first figure out who your ideal clients are. What problems do they have? How can your particular approach to coaching and training solve their problems?
Once you determine whom you’re talking to, it’s time to create your pitch. Specifically, what are you going to say to convince prospects you’re the coach who can best help them to resolve their issues? Remember: No one really wants a coach; they want solutions. Your unique selling proposition should reveal the prospect’s path to success by identifying their problem, speaking their language, and presenting the value only you can offer.
Step 2: Reach for the Low-Hanging Fruit
When you’re a growing business, it’s important to be choosy when spending money to attract clients. Overspend too fast and you’ll be out of business before you know it. The good news is, you can wrangle your first clients for little money or even for free. Start with referrals from your current clients. If they’re happy with your work, they’ll share the experience with others. And, there’s no shame in asking them to put you in touch with people or companies who would benefit from your services. In fact, you’d be doing their colleagues a favor.
Once you’ve done that, you can put yourself out as an expert through informative and educational content. You can also create strong alliances with like-minded organizations to increase the flow of clients in your direction. For instance, if you specialize in coaching accountants, team up with accounting associations. Position yourself as an asset to their members and they will spread the word for you.
Naturally, you can still do online marketing and develop additional ways to reach the decision-makers who are in a position to hire you. But, look for the cash-free options first.
Step 3: Sealing the Deal
So now, you have prospects coming your way. How do you close the deal? What if they don’t have enough money or want to pay your preferred rate? Remember, coaching is not a one-size-fits-all service. Direct, detailed, and deep conversations are a terrific way to engage with prospective clients. This allows you both to determine how well you’ll work together. This approach allows you to explain away any objections they may have, while at the same time build your value in their minds. It’s a great way to prove you are on their side.
Remember to be flexible. If they want more training than coaching, offer those services. If they want more coaching, let them know what’s available, too. Once they start to customize what you offer to their needs, it will be harder for them to turn down working with you.
Step 4: Making Clients Stick
Long-term relationships are the most profitable. And, your current clients will consistently be your best source of recurring revenue. As long as you continue to deliver superior value and help your clients achieve solid results, keeping them happy (and paying) for years to come should be no problem.
Step 5: Scale Up
Once your business is up and running, be careful to avoid any trap that limits how much money you can earn. If you’re trading your time for dollars, it’s going to cap your revenue. That’s because there’s only so much time in the day, which means you will only be able to so much money.
How do you get around this? Start to build your private practice into a multifunctional company. After all, you’re a trainer; you know how to build systems and methodologies. Develop a proprietary intellectual property that others can use to sell on your behalf. Teach your system to other coaches and team up to take on bigger clients and projects. This not only expands your reach, but it also enhances your reputation as an expert. And, that higher profile allows you to start charging more money for your time.
Step 6: Your Million-Dollar Business Strategy
Now that you’ve set your foundation, established your methods, fine-tuned your marketing, and considered your own growth and expansion, all the components are in place to execute your million-dollar business plan. The key now is to maintain these smart practices consistently. This starts with making a commitment to provide your clients with top quality service and insight every time you make contact.
And never neglect to continue coaching yourself. There’s always more to learn…and more to earn.