How To Start An Online Coaching Business (Simplest Plan)

Starting an online coaching business is one of the simplest ways to start your online business. Service-based businesses are actually the first step I recommend for anyone who wants to build an online business.

You don’t need a huge customer base (usually 1-5 customers will help you make a full-time income), and you learn so much about your audience that you can, later on, package into a course or done for you program.

A lot of people make the mistake of creating a course without first knowing if there is a need for it. When you coach clients, you get to talk to them directly. You can then automatize and systemize how you deliver the service and create a course version of it.

Today, I want to take you through a step-by-step process to create and launch your coaching business. These are the exact steps I took when I launched my fitness coaching business years ago. I automated most of it and it transformed into a group coaching program.

What You Need To Start A Coaching Business

  1. Conversations with your target clients
  2. The system you’re going to take your clients through (If I would sign up with you now, do you know the steps you’re going to take me through?)
  3. An application process
  4. A simple website where people can find you and sign up for your service
  5. Where you’ll get paid
  6. Focus on providing value when you get started

Conversations with your target clients

When I started my online coaching business, I sent a survey to get people’s feedback about pricing my packages. A few weeks later, I launched the packaged with an offer that was within the price ranges I got and… crickets.

Surveys have their place but from my experience, people don’t always do what they say they’ll do.

Beta Test Everything

The best way to get real feedback is to talk to people directly. When I launched my second offer, it was different, I did a beta version of my service and offered it for free. I got 4 clients I worked with completely for free. At first, I did not like this idea. Why would I work for free?

But the results were so much worth it. I not only got to talk to my target clients at a deeper personal level, but they actually helped me sell my coaching services later successfully by providing me with great feedback I used to update my package and great testimonials!

Offer your services for free to 2-3 people. It can be just an hour or a week. I actually did a full month of free coaching. I think 2-4 weeks is the sweet spot so that your clients can actually get results and each conversation brings you closer to get to know them better.

Gather as much information as possible about their issues and how they want to transform in the area you’re coaching in. You get to hear it from them directly. In their own language.

If you haven’t yourself lived through their challenges, you can’t really know how they’re thinking unless you talk to them.

Also please offer the service as if they paid for it. You want to over-deliver here. Just because it’s a beta test, it doesn’t mean you should offer a low quality service. Remember, these are beta clients who can give you great testimonials if they’re really happy about the results you helped achieve.

P.S. If you’re just getting started and you need help creating coaching questions, get this book now. It has helped me immensely in my coaching business.

Create Your Packages

If someone calls you tomorrow to work with you, do you know the exact steps you’re going to take them through to get them from point A to point B?

If you’re a health coach, you need to create the process you’re going to take your clients through so that each call or session has a purpose and a plan. Create your package and process before you start taking in clients. An example of a process for say a weight loss coach can be:

  1. Session 1: Assessment and gathering client information
  2. Session 2: Goal setting and mindset work
  3. Session 3: Creating week 1 plan and talking about challenges and obstacles
  4. Session 4: Reviewing week 1 and making changes to the nutrition plan

You can change your process. Just make sure to have a system to follow with your client so you’re focused on a path and not just letting each session run itself.

The Application Process

The last thing you want is to work with anyone and everyone. Please have an application form in place. Make sure to only select clients who are committed and ready to work with you.

By creating an application form, and having the right questions in there, you’ll be able to rule out anyone who is not serious about working with you, who doesn’t want to invest with you or simply not a good fit.

A lot of times as you review the applications, you’ll see that a prospective client’s needs are outside of your area of expertise and you can email them to refer them to someone else.

The application form really saves you a lot of time and helps you only work with people who are a good fit.

Example of application questions:

  • What specifically do you need help with?
  • What do you want to achieve (goals)?
  • Are you willing to invest in coaching and what is your budget?
  • On a scale of 1-10 how committed are you to achieving your goals

A Simple Website Where People Can Find You

Building a website is a great way to let clients find you. You can create a website in as little as 10-15 minutes and start creating blog posts that people can find on the internet.

When people find your content, they get to know and trust you at a personal level. And people want to do business with people they like and trust, wouldn’t you agree?

Instead of worrying about selling to strangers, cold calling, or approaching friends and family to sign up and pay you. How would it feel like to get an email from a reader who is asking you to work with them because they’ve been reading your blog, loving your content, and want you to become their coach?

That’s how a website can help you. Don’t worry, it’s very simple to create a website or blog from scratch. Just follow the tutorial on the page. I take you through every step.

How Will You Get Paid

Once you get your first client and they’re ready to purchase your package, you want to send them to an invoice page. So make sure you set up your Paypal and Stripe accounts to ensure you get paid through Paypal or credit card.

A service I use to organize and manage all of my clients’ work is Dubsado. I absolutely love this company. It’s a complete management system where you can create beautiful invoices, set up your stripe and PayPal accounts, create emails the clients can get and automate them, and even create canned emails.

Canned emails can be welcome emails, or any email you tend to repeat for each client. It’s a complete service and their monthly fee is very minimal.

You can also just send your clients an invoice directly from Paypal. But, you’ll have to manually do it. So you can do it this way.

Later on, as you’re ready to automate this process, create an application form using Dubsado. Set up email automation that sends the client an email when they submit the application to pay for the service. Once they pay, they’ll get another automated email to welcome them in and even to book their first session.

Everything automated 🙂

Focus On Providing Value

When you launch your service business, you need to develop a success mindset. Focus on finding solutions and your goals. Don’t let failure quickly disempower you.

It’s very normal when you first start to not find clients (especially if you’re brand new to this). Focus on providing value for free, either through writing blog posts or creating great posts on social media.

I prefer writing articles and blog posts because you can read a wider audience that way all over the world. Your posts will exist on the internet for a long time. And that way you can work on building your audience by first providing them with free value.

As you do that, they’ll want more from you, and you can promote your coaching that way. The important thing is to stay focused on providing value to your audience and future clients.

Don’t focus on the money right away. In fact, provide as much free help as possible. People will truly appreciate your passion for what you teach and they’ll love to pay you to give them more of your time.

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