Q: What is the best way to start a coaching business?
What should I focus on? Do I need to pick a niche before I begin…..or can I simply give general life advice to people who are struggling and make a great living from that alone?
A: The truth is, working with aspiring coaches and passion professionals, the most common conundrum, crisis and question that comes up is……
“WHAT should I focus on? I mean….I l can help people with all of their problems, should I just be a general life coach and work with people of all types and stripes and figure the rest out later?”
Honestly – from my own personal experience on both sides of this issue…..it’s not a great idea to start a coaching business from the vantage point of a “generalist” – and for far too many reasons to list here..;-)
For example –
Many people who have a ton of empathy, and are the shoulder to cry on and open ear to emote to…..are the types of people who think that coaching is simply about listening and giving great advice and that this alone will transform lives in a powerful and positive way.
And as a friend…it can, and is the greatest gift you can give. (short of a vital organ 🙂
BUT – when it comes to coaching and people actually paying for you for your time , giving good advice is rarely enough…and more often than not, is actually counterproductive to offering the sort of insight that’s going to lead to lasting change.
In my own coaching business….I find that one of my most common failures is that offering empathy – or understanding – only goes so far.
(and can lead to a sort of dependence on empathy rather than action)
Understanding where people struggle and suffer is NOT enough – and cheerleading them through a difficult time is not going to faciliate the sorts of transformational change or “A-Ha” moments we all need to overcome the obstacles that hold us back from living lives we love.
Your best bet if you are thinking of launching a coaching business and aren’t sure where to specialize in simple:
- Pick the area that you have the most expertise….and authentic confidence that you can really faciliate major breakthroughs.
- Pick something that pesonally challenges you…and that you feel is most closely aligned with your sense of PURPOSE and passion.
- Get exceptionally “tunnel visioned” as you build your coaching business around that one single thing. Create a client COMPOSITE – and their characteristics – and get a deeply nuanced understanding of who it is that makes up your ideal audience.
Then…..simply apply a simple strategy of straight lines…..(Content + Community + Curriculum= Clients) by identifiying where your ideal audience lives….and aggressively approaching them with creative content around your area of expertise to get them to pay attention.
Convering your content into a community of fans, friends and followers….and your community into a smaller group of clients and customers at that stage is easy, and allows you, over time to embody “expert” or authority in your area of specialty.
(By demonstrating thea ability to faciliate real change in the lives of those you’ve been privileged to work with)
Later of course, as your own interests grow and expand and continue to evolve, you can simply build on additional offers, or channels of expertise and influence, and continue to grow as a person…and a coaching practitioner to boot.
For some alternative opinions on building your coaching practice….check out some of the additional resources below from around the web……., or use the “Ask Me Anything” link above to see how I may be able to serve you better with your own challenges 🙂
If I was to hire a coach and show up for the first coaching session and the coach had no agenda, I’d fire that coach. I need a leader in the coaching dance and who better to lead than the coach who is the expert?Imagine, you are hiring a coach; they have expertise but won’t share it (because they insist YOU have the answers!) and they have no planned curriculum – you just show up to the call. Would you pay good money every month for something this vague? My answer is no – no because most coaches who do this can’t make money… so, the public is saying “hey, we want more” and hiring people like me who give more. I don’t tell my clients what to do, but I do give them valuable information that helps them choose the best course of action for their goals.If you want clients to hire YOU, you must change your model.With no agenda, no plan, no curriculum, why hire YOU?