You’re fresh out of coaching school having just spent the past year learning about hundreds of different dietary theories, a thousand different mindset hacks and various ways to support clients in helping them reach their full potential. You’re super excited to start coaching clients from all over the world and making your mark. The only thing is you have few practical skills and very little knowledge to actually start building your online coaching business.
Building an online coaching business is an exciting and fulfilling project, but one that requires crystal clear clarity and a whole lot of consistency. The first steps to creating your coaching business involve developing your personal brand and expanding your network.
So your personal brand is basically the feeling or experience that people get when interacting with you and will largely determine the type of clients that you attract. You want a strong foundation from which to serve and sell your packages? Then you need to pay attention to this part.
Here are some crucial first steps to developing your personal brand and starting your online coaching business.
1. Have a clear and specific mental image of your ideal client.
So you may have heard this one a lot but it really is a super important aspect of developing your business. For this I suggest imagining that your ideal client is sitting in front of you. What is her name? What does she do for a living? What is her social life like? What are her dreams and hopes? What does her ideal life look like? What is stopping her from having exactly what she wants? Knowing her intimately is important as it informs the development of all your products and packages, the way you write blog posts and captions, the images that you use and what your visual branding looks like.
2. Know who you are and teach from a place of authenticity.
This one is so crucial. Often times we are motivated to coach people around issues that are currently prominent in our own life. When I first started my online coaching business a few years back I was newly separated from my husband and having epiphany after epiphany regarding my personal responsibility to love. During that time I was so passionate about what was going on that when I attained my certification I started coaching women in the area of relationships.
The problem here was that I was still in the place of healing and what I was teaching and coaching women I wasn’t living it out in my own life. In the end I found myself burned out because I had created a business that wasn’t an authentic representation of who I was. Recently, a client of mine went through the same experience and had to take a step all the way back and re-evaluate what she had created. I guess what I’m really saying is…Practice what you preach!
3. Develop your social media presence.
If no-one knows who you are or what it is that you do then it’s going to be hard for you to build an online business. I recently had a prospective client ask me, “do I have to be on Facebook every day in order to have an online business?” Well no, you don’t have to be on any platform every single day but it’s important to appear present whether you take the time to schedule out your content using tools like Hootsuite, Buffer or Later. The more visible you are and the more you share your message the faster you will develop your personal brand and grow interest in your business. You don’t have to be on every single social media platform, just pick the one that appeals most to you (and to your ideal client) and stay consistent in sharing your message.
4. Know and be vocal about what you’re selling.
One of the hardest things for soulful coaches is selling their services. To have a business you have to make money and to make money you have to be clear and confident about what people can buy from you. Shake off the feeling that “selling is sleazy” because with that mentality you’ll never make a dime. You’re here to be of high service to your clients but in order to do that you have to be compensated. Do you know what you’re selling? Get clear on the pricing and elements of your package. Do you have a 3-month private coaching package with 6 sessions and unlimited email support? Do you offer individual sessions? What are the ways that people can work with you and how much do they cost? Once you’ve figured this part out start sharing value to your audience and then inviting them to your service.
5. Have a way to take payment.
So there are many different things that you will want to eventually become aware of when it comes to building an online business. If you eventually want to sell digital products or courses from your website then you’ll need to start exploring different platforms for bringing that to life. But for now your primary goal for building a business is clients and cash-flow, right? Once you’ve developed your packages and are being vocal about your service, you’ll need to have selected a payment provider so you can get paid! To start out with you might look into Paypal as it’s one of the easier methods in my opinion. Set up a Paypal account and keep your client coaching agreement handy, so that you can ensure a smooth process for signing clients to your program.
6. Be intentional about building relationships.
I saved this one for last because it’s one of the most important things you can do. As a coach you have chosen to be in the business of people, so the quality of relationships that you build is essential to your success. Be intentional about seeking out relationships not only with potential clients but also with other coaches and leaders in the online space. Join Facebook groups (you can join my group here), interact with people on Instagram, attend meetups and conferences for online entrepreneurs. Great relationships not only make way for collaborations and referrals but they are also an important source of support when you need a little encouragement.