OK, so you are interested in becoming a coach and helping others to succeed; that’s great but how do you go about getting started in the first place?
Before you start, let’s take a quick look at the pro’s and cons of running your own coaching business so you can decide whether this is an avenue you really want to pursue.
The pro’s of coaching
This could be quite a lengthy list as coaching is a business that anyone can embark upon, but here are five of the top benefits to becoming a coach:
- Anyone with people skills and the ability to help can become a coach. As long as you are an expert at something you can coach someone to become an expert too. Although it’s recommended you take some courses and get certified, the coaching profession isn’t highly regulated yet, which means anyone can call themselves a coach (perhaps this could be called a con too)!
- You can start small so it is actually quite affordable to get your coaching business off the ground. Odds are you already have the equipment needed to start; a computer. You can download Skype for free and buy a quality set of headphones for under $50. You should also have a website, coaching contract and perhaps homework materials, but again, those can all be had for less than $100.
- You can feel good about helping people in the area you coach in. There is nothing better than helping someone who is stuck in an area of their life or business and seeing them progress forward.
- You can do individual and/or group coaching. Especially for people who can’t afford one-on-one time with you, group coaching allows them a way to work with you and you to be able to help more people in less time. And if you are a business coach, as they see the benefits and results in higher profits, they will probably be able to invest more into coaching and pay to access you on an individual basis.
- You can offer add-on products or services to further assist your clients. Many coaches have books and home study products and this offshoot can generate an extremely lucrative business in itself and you can reach far more people who, once again, may seek out more access to you as they progress and see results.
The cons of coaching
- As stated in the pro’s list above, although certification is not currently required, getting certified can certainly increase your credibility and marketability. But, of course, getting a coaching certification takes time and money and this needs to be taken into consideration.
- You do need to have great people skills and patience. Just because people come to you for help, doesn’t mean they’ll do what you suggest, even if it is in their own best interests. In fact, many people are fearful and resistant to change, so you need to be able to support, encourage and sometimes challenge your clients to make needed changes to have the breakthrough they desire.
- You’ll spend a lot of time on the phone or video conferencing. If you don’t mind having many appointments a day, that won’t be a problem (this is where having an information business on the side will alleviate this issue).
- You need to be in top form whenever you’re with clients. You might feel bad/sick, have a personal issue or other difficulties in your life, but when you’re with a client, you need to be “on” no matter what and laser focused on them 100%. Remember that as a coach you will ultimately be judged on the results you get for your clients.
- It can take a while to build a solid, stable business. Getting your first clients can be tricky, but you can offer discounted or even free sessions to get them in through the door to show them the value you offer and to hook them. But this does take time and perseverance, although this can be argued the same for any business!
Now, before you even think about starting up a coaching business you need a thorough understanding and acceptance of who you are. Don’t forget that the most valuable resource you have in your business is you. It’s the one thing your business cannot do without. Take time to really understand what makes you tick, how you ended up where you are and who you want to be for the rest of your life. Yes, your business will provide an income (hopefully), but it’s also an opportunity for fun and fulfilment.
All great creations start with a dream. You have permission to dream about what you want, where you want to go, who you want to work with. Make this dream as real as possible, use all your senses. Yes, create a vision board and mind map. Test drive that dream car. Record your dream in a way that you can revisit it as often as you need for inspiration. Then check how comfortably your business fits in to your dream. And this is important, if it does not fit, then you need adjust your business, not your dream.
Still here, good! Now let’s take a look at a few personal qualities that you will need to succeed as a coach:
You Are Happy To Invest In Yourself
To succeed as a coach, you must not be afraid to invest in yourself consistently. Take a look around and you will see that this is a trait shared by the best coaches. Think about it; if you aren’t willing to invest in yourself, why should a client invest in you? You can’t help others see their blind spots if you can’t see your own. The best coaches are constantly getting support from other coaches.
You Need To Have (Or Develop) A Business Mindset
Too many coaches only want to coach. That motivation and passion is critical, but as a coach, you’re also a solopreneur. For better or worse, the stamina you have for coaching has to transfer over into maintaining the bottom line, and no matter what, running a business is serious work. This means personal branding, social media strategy, writing articles, speaking to audiences – and that isn’t even delving into the financial management and bookkeeping elements of running a business. It’s not about whether you can do it, it’s about whether you can enjoy it enough to do it. The major reason that many coaches fail is not because they can’t coach enough clients, but rather because they lack a strategic business plan. Seeing clients is a small slice of it… a good coach gets and enjoys all aspects of the business, especially the marketing.
You Are A Good Listener
Studies show that listening skills can actually boost economic success, yet coaches often fail to apply this in their own practice. The worst coaches are focused only on feeding you information whereas a great coach has the skills to facilitate a shift in your mindset and perspective, which is only possible by really listening to you and understanding you at a deep level. Once that inner shift occurs, it is reflected back with massive powerful results which will ultimately benefit both coach and client.
Ok, so you have got this far and you are definitely invested into becoming a coach. Here are 7 quick steps you can use to get going.
Step 1: What Type Of Coach?
You are probably aware that life and business coaching are extremely popular, but they aren’t the only types of coaching you can do. If you are in the fitness niche you can become a weight loss, fitness or health coach. What about a sports coach? You can also become a parenting or relationship coach, organizational or productivity coach, technical coach, sales coach or a career coach. Where is your area of expertise and work from there?
Step 2: Set up Your Business/Company
Decide your business structure, create a business name and get a business license if required. Write a coaching contract that outlines your services and expectations.
Step 3: Invest In Your Coaching Equipment
If you’re going to be doing video conferencing, download the needed software and purchase a quality headset and webcam. Some coaches record calls and give them to their clients so they can review the session. If you want to do that, you’ll need to get a recorder that will record your video/audio calls. You can use Skype which is free to hold these types of calls. If you want to run group sessions, you could run weekly webinars etc. so you will need to invest in webinar software. Whatever you do, it is important that people can hear you clearly so invest in a quality microphone such as the Blue Yeti.
Step 4: Build Your Website
Potential clients need a place to learn about your coaching business and there’s no better place to sell your coaching and related materials than on a website.
You will need to purchase hosting and a domain name (preferably the name of your coaching company). Using WordPress, you can quickly get a website live online and customise the look and feel through various plugins and themes. If you aren’t very techy, you can outsource this to freelance sites such as Fiverr.com or Upwork.com and get someone to install and set this up for you (remember that this is an investment in your business and not a cost).
Write content that is client-focused on how you can help them improve their lives. Once you have testimonials, post them on your website as social proof is very powerful.
Step 5: Develop A Marketing Strategy
Do thorough market research to figure out your ideal client and where you can find them and then develop specific marketing strategies to lure them to your business. For example, if you’re a business oriented coach, you should develop a LinkedIn profile. If you’re a personal training coach, you might want to have videos on YouTube that offer fitness tips or teach specific exercises etc. Really delve into your market and understand what makes them tick, their hopes and fears, and determine how you can position yourself as the answer to those hopes and fears.
Step 6: Keep On Marketing!
In all honesty getting your first client will likely be the hardest. Use your personal and professional network to help. Like I have already stated in this article, consider offering a heavily discounted, or even better, a free 15 or 30-minute coaching session to entice people to try you out. Deliver as much value as you possibly can during these sessions as your business could depend on it. Just because they are free, doesn’t mean you should hold back. Help them as much as you can, and once they see the benefit and that you are genuinely interested in helping them, hopefully the decision to invest in you becomes a no-brainer.
Step 7: Be The Best Coach That You Can!
This may seem to be obvious but it needs to be stated. Coaching isn’t a business to take lightly. People are entrusting their emotional and possibility their physical well-being to you. You also owe it to them to stay on top of current trends in your industry, as well as best practices for coaches.
Remember that ultimately you will be judged on the results you achieve for your clients, so give them 100% and as they see the results, you will probably get referrals and your coaching business will soar. You could become the go-to coach in your niche with all the recognition and kudos that brings, and you know that you are affecting many people’s lives for the better and there is no greater feeling that that!
I hope this post has given you some insight into the benefits that starting your own coaching business can give to you. If you want to learn more about starting your own coaching business, I have also recorded some video training that you can see here: warr.us/atgmen1
As a successful entrepreneur or business person, you probably know exactly what you want and how to get it. You are driven, determined and a self-starter. So if you have all these great qualities, why would you need a coach?
10 Real World Benefits of Coaching
The personal benefits of coaching are as wide-ranging as the individuals involved. Many clients report that coaching has positively impacted their careers as well as their lives in many ways. Here are ten of the many ways that having a coach will benefit you.
1. Establish and take action towards achieving goals:
This is especially important for introverted entrepreneurs and solopreneurs who run online businesses as it’s easy to become enmeshed in your own business world. A business coach will push you to step outside your comfort zone, meet new people and try new things in your business. Even extroverted entrepreneurs can get caught in ruts and a business coach will push you out of them and force you to take action to strive towards your goals.
2. Regain clarity:
When you decide to become an entrepreneur, you start with great dreams and aspirations of growing a business, hoping to achieve great things. As the months and sometimes even the years go by, you start realizing that your business is yet to become what you had initially envisioned, and you have yet to implement all the ambitious action plans you once thought of. You may start seeing that you are so caught up in the day-to-day running of the business that you find little time to think and plan a strategy. Working with a coach will help you raise your head from the day-to-day business race and look at the bigger picture. Your coach will get you to start thinking about the future, where do you see yourself and your business, and get you to act on this vision by developing a winning strategy that you can execute with confidence.
3. Become more self-reliant:
The one aspect that a coach brings that group sessions or mentors do not, is a keen awareness of your entire business and way of being. There are few times when someone is going to focus just on you for an entire hour, probing you about something that happened last quarter, an employee issue you had three weeks ago or your style of leadership. By being totally focused on you, a good coach can show you the way and when you take the necessary action you will become far more self reliant when running your business, and your confidence will soar and you are on an upwards success spiral.
4. Increased Productivity:
Professional coaching maximizes potential and, therefore, unlocks latent sources of productivity. To be successful and to get to a point where you haven’t been before, you need to do something you haven’t done before. And this is really what separates real successful entrepreneurs from mediocre ones. A good coach will not only motivate and encourage you, he/she will point out the things you are good at but most importantly he/she will point out the things that you are not exceeding in and you need to improve. We all have blind spots and often the more successful we are, the harder it becomes to highlight and accept our shortcomings. Identifying blind spots means that you get to work on areas of yourself you haven’t addressed before, which will result in becoming more productive and more aware about you need to do to lead a more fulfilling life.
5. Positive attitude and increased self-confidence:
Building the self-confidence of employees to face challenges is critical in meeting organizational demands and you will get much more done if the people around you are positive and uplifting, rather than negative people who are always complaining and wear you down.
6. Greater responsibility and accountability for actions and commitments:
A coach will not only push you and challenge you to do and achieve your best, but will also hold you accountable for your actions. An experienced coach is able to detect when you are lying to yourself and when you are sugarcoating existing realities in order to avoid the pain of taking action.
This leads to –
7. Return on Investment:
Coaching generates learning and clarity for forward action with a commitment to measurable outcomes.The vast majority of companies (86%) say they at least made their investment back.
8. Work more easily and productively with others:
Finding ways to do tasks more quickly and efficiently and understanding that is a process worth investing your time in is an important skill and this includes working well with others and, perhaps more importantly, being able to delegate tasks to others (especially when you may feel like it would be easier to do it yourself). You need to think about the bigger picture, the long-term results of investing the time to train and delegate tasks to others.
9. Communicate more effectively by voicing your frustrations:
Whether you are a solopreneur or you have a team around you, there will always be certain things that you may not be able to share with those around you for a number of reasons. In a coaching relationship, you can share your concerns with the coach, knowing that you are in a confidential setting; your coach is always your biggest advocate and wants you to succeed in whatever you set out to.
10. Coaching provides an invaluable space for personal development:
This is an important, but often overlooked benefit, especially in the corporate world but is just as important for a company as an individual. Take this for example; managers frequently have to deal with employees struggling with low confidence. The traditional approach would be to send them to an assertiveness course and hope this addresses the issue. In the short-term, the employee learns new strategies for communicating which may improve confidence. Unfortunately, in isolation these courses rarely produce a sustained increase in confidence. Although external behavior may change; it needs to be supported by changes in their internal thought processes. This is often where coaching is most effective and it can be tailored to the individuals needs.
Okay, there you have it. Ten top ways that coaching can benefit you.
Do you have the knowledge and expertise in your niche that would enable you to become a coach? There is no greater feeling than helping others to succeed. If you would like to learn more about how you can start your own coaching program/business, take a look at Mentoring Magic here: warr.us/atgmen1
The training mentioned in this video is Mentoring Magic.
So, you want to be a life or business coach? That’s a great goal to have and many people have amazing success at it. However, for everyone who is able to break into the industry, build a following and earn a decent living from their coaching, there are 15 who don’t make it. This isn’t to make you think about quitting, but you should know what the odds are before you begin. More importantly, you want to find out what sort of things make other coaches fail – pitfalls that they have already experienced and failed because of – because you can learn how to avoid those same pitfalls that way. Here are the top four reasons why life and business coaches fail, and how to avoid them.
4 Big Reasons New Coaches Fail
Being Too Formulaic:
If you use the same method for every single client, you are going to have very limited success.
That’s because people are all different.
One size definitely does not fit all when it comes to coaching, and you need to be flexible enough to try other methods when you see that one particular one isn’t working.
Lacking Confidence in Themselves:
This is one of the biggest reasons that coaches fail.
They just don’t believe in themselves, and so their clients will never believe in them either. Even if you never tell your clients that you don’t believe in your ability to coach them to success, they are going to know, because people can just sense that sort of thing.
Avoid this by making sure to work on yourself first before you start coaching and give yourself positive affirmations every day.
Some people learn one style of coaching, which is a method that they got from a mentor or a training program and they just coach the exact same way; but that’s not how leaders work.
Followers copy other people but leaders forge their own path and take what others have taught them and develop their own style.
Be yourself; after all, people are looking for your input, guidance and experience to help them to move forward in their own life and/or business.
Lack of Persistence:
Finally, the last thing that cause many coaches to fail is a simple lack of persistence. If you continue working at your business, you are eventually going to make it, but it is going to take time. Just like any other business, you’re going to have to work to build up a clientele and get it to the point where you are actually making a living from your coaching practice.
Now that you are aware of these pitfalls, do whatever you can to avoid them and ensure your success; don’t be put off, remember that forewarned is forearmed
Now, if you are still here and still interested in coaching, it is highly recommended that you enroll in a training program, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience coaching. However, when you search for a training program online, there are literally thousands to choose from, so how do you know which ones are actually legitimate and which ones you should stay away from? While most of them offer some kind of value to the person taking the course, there are only a few that you should concentrate on, because you want training that other coaches and potential clients will respect and appreciate. Here are four of the best training programs out there for life coaches.
4 Of The Best Coaching Training Programs
Institute for Professionalism Excellence in Coaching (iPEC):
This is an accredited coaching program that is very well-respected by those in the coaching community. They offer a variety of coaching tracks including business coaching, corporate and executive coaching, health & wellness coach and much more. They have training programs all over the place, from Seattle to New York and from Texas to Toronto as well as a training center in London.
The International Coach Federation (ICF):
The International Coach Federation isn’t a school, it is a non-profit accrediting agency that vets coaching organizations and training programs. However, you can visit their website and get their recommendations not only on what kind of training you should be taking but also what ICF-approved programs there are out there. This organization is known by every professional coach in the world.
Erickson International is an accredited training school with a great reputation for turning out amazing coaches. They have coaching training that extends all the way from the basics to coaching topics that are intended for more advanced students or for later learning. Unlike iPEC, the training and certifications that Erickson offers are over the internet through distance learning.
The founders of this organization are Anthony “Tony” Robbins, a famous and respected coach and speaker, Mark and Magali Peysha and therapist Cloe Madanes, who shares the honor of having the school named after her along with Robbins. One of the many great things that this school has to offer is board certification as a coach by the Center for Credentialing and Education. They also have their basic Core 100 and Core 200 training as well as another training program called Breakthrough Training. These programs are comprehensive and respected in the coaching world.
You may be asking yourself: do you actually need certification to be an online coach?
This is a tricky question with no one straightforward answer. While there is no regulatory committee that makes sure that coaches all have a minimum amount of training and passing test scores like there is for doctors and psychiatrists, there are certifications that you can get and training programs (like the ones above) that will not only give you some great tools to help you in your practice, but will also impress other coaches and some clients who are familiar with the organization, mentor or training program.
It all comes down to the image you are portraying as a confident, competent coach and there is little doubt that having some form of certification will greatly enhance that, but is it really required; the answer is probably no, but if you are serious about your coaching business moving forward, it will certainly boost your credibility, especially in the beginning when you are first starting out and looking for clients.
If you have the time and money to gain some sort of recognised coaching qualification, it will only be a positive thing, but even if you do have a qualification, you will ultimately be measured on the results you get for your clients so focus on serving them as best you can and you will be on the right track to succeeding in your new coaching business.
If you are serious about becoming a coach then you should take a look at Mentoring Magic now.