There are many ways to become a coach. But regardless of which path you take, here are the top 5 questions you want to answer for yourself before starting a coaching business:
1. Do you have any specialized knowledge, experience, or expertise?
Most coach training organizations will tell you that you don’t need to be an expert on anything, and that having coaching skills will be enough to be successful. The reality shows that every successful coach is also an expert on something else in addition to coaching.
Whatever you are currently doing at your job, as part of your other business, or in any area of your life experience, you can turn that knowledge into a specialty that people will want to pay for. Coaching skills is not expertise – it’s a tool you can use to deliver your expertise, and you must specialize in a niche.
2. Do you understand that coaching is a business?
Some people believe that coaching is a profession, a calling, or a career. The fact is, coaching is a business. Just like in any business you will need to reach and become desirable to your target clients. This means investing in your marketing materials, such as a web site, a payment processing system, and a newsletter publishing program. This also means establishing your credibility and building your platform through holding workshops, creating special reports educating your potential clients, setting up strategic alliances, and using other strategies to attract new clients. You are responsible for creating your own opportunities.
3. Do you have good communications skills?
Regardless of your specialty or expertise, you must be able to communicate clearly in writing and speaking. You’ll be using your communication skills when enrolling a prospect, coaching a client, negotiating with a potential referral partner, speaking to a group of interested prospects, and in many other situations. The ability to clearly express your ideas and the value you bring to the table can become your best friend in building a business.
4. Do you understand that coaches are not guaranteed referrals?
Unlike doctors or therapists, coaches are not guaranteed client referrals. No one will refer clients to you just because they know you or just because you’re certified. You need position yourself as an expert in your field and establish a relationship with people who can refer business to you. You may even want to create a strategic alliance revenue sharing structure to reward for referrals.
5. Do you understand the importance of marketing?
As a business owner your time would be divided between coaching your clients and marketing to get new clients. Most people believe they can spend a few hours a month marketing their business and they’ll be successful. The reality is that truly successful coaches spend at least 30%-50% of their time marketing their coaching programs and services, or they hire a marketing assistant to help them.
Did you answer YES to every question? If so, then you may find “Coaching Millions Quick Start” and “Getting Started in Coaching” helpful in building a successful coaching business right from the start.