Entrepreneur Nicola Bird gives some tips on moving into the coaching arena.
You’ve heard the phrase ‘those who can, teach’, but have you ever considered whether you could in fact, teach what you know? As business owners, we all have our unique skills and many of you already have what it takes to become a successful coach. But how do you start? What’s the best route to market? How do you make that initial leap as smooth and cost effective as possible?
I decided to become a coach when I had my children several years ago. I had a diverse business background and an MSc in Occupational Psychology, which gave me a great backdrop to launch my coaching business.
However, it wasn’t all plainsailing and initially, I wasn’t bringing in much money. It was frustrating because all around me, I could see other coaches who seemed to be making much more money than me, but weren’t putting in half of the time I was and weren’t nearly as stressed. The solution lay in ‘virtual web-based coaching’.
I loved the idea of online coaching, as it allowed me to coach at a time that suited me, around our kids and our lifestyle. So I started using a platform that I found, but it was a bit heavy and clunky and it didn’t have the flexibility that I wanted. As I was a small business coach, I wanted to be able to create a business around my expertise. Working with more and more female entrepreneurs, the platform I was using was becoming too generic. I needed specifics in order to be able to package and deliver online.
For me, the move to online coaching literally transformed my business overnight as one of my first product promotions resulted in £16,000 of sales, the majority of which were a passive revenue stream for me. I am not alone in my experiences either. There are many coaches out there making impressive revenues by selling their services online. The great thing about it, is that it applies to any type of coaching and training, not just the traditional personal or professional development coaching.
If you are thinking about moving into coaching, starting with some virtual programmes is a great way to start the ball rolling, perhaps whilst you are still working in a another job or business. Tap into solutions that enable you to get up and running immediately, as this ensures you can start potentially generating income for a relatively small initial outlay. My advice would be to really think about how you can also productise your expertise into products, services, training programmes, online wellbeing courses etc that people will buy. The secret is to focus on topics that you are really good at or passionate about, as the material will be stronger and will help you stand out and sell more. Don’t focus simply on one-on-one coaching, as while this can be your bread and butter income, it will quickly suck up all of your free time and limit your earnings.
There are many different online tools out there to help you get started with developing online content and many offer free trials, so have a look around and see what works for you. I used a couple when I started out and then decided to invest in building my own coaching platform, which is now available to anyone wanting to offer web-based products and services.
I’m sure you are reading this thinking, it can’t be that easy. It does take some thought to work out how to package up what you do, into products your clients actually want to buy, however, once you’ve made that first online sale, you can do over and over again. I love the fact that I can make money selling my own coaching services whilst I am out with my children, playing in the park or going swimming. I still love my one-on-one coaching as it brings me great fulfilment and helps to keep me challenged to develop my skills and experience. However, having more than one route to market and multiple revenue streams means I get to live life the way I want to and that is absolutely priceless.