Guest blog by Remi Gibbs
Remi is a 4x entrepreneur with over 20 years in sales, marketing and event planning/management. She currently runs two solopreneur businesses: Creative Marketing Avenue, a boutique marketing and special event company, and Renovated Realities, a coaching practice that specializes in helping people jump start their businesses as well as navigate life and career transitions.
Don't Fail to Launch!
Are you ready to jumpstart your business, but find yourself getting caught up in “Analysis Paralysis”?
- You know, when overanalyzing or overthinking causes forward motion or decision-making to become "paralyzed", meaning that no solution or course of action is decided upon?
- Or maybe you keep thinking you need to learn more in order to feel confident in what you have to offer, which stops you from working with that first client?
If you answered yes to either or both of these questions, and we were in the same room, this is the point I’d give you a hip bump and tell you to get out of your own way! You will master your trade as you go. Just. Start.
“Man improves himself as he follows his path; if he stands still, waiting to improve before he makes a decision, he’ll never move.” - Paulo Coelho
Getting a coaching business started really only requires three things:
- A contract
- A way to take money
- A place to deposit said money
Most reputable coach training programs offer a simple contract you can start with. Paypal is a super easy solution for taking money and allows you to make an invoice. And you probably already have a bank account. As a sole proprietor, using your personal account is fine, as long as you keep track of your income for tax purposes.
No, you don’t need to be overly focused on your niche to get started, as it will flush out and define itself as you begin working with people. Though, it is helpful to know the type of people you’d prefer to work with, so you know where to find them.
It’s a good idea to know how much money you’d like to make and price your services accordingly. That said, if a person comes to you that needs your coaching services before you're sure, a simple conversation about what they are willing to pay to get on track will take care of that.
If you’d like a rundown of business system recommendations and resources, check out Lumia’s guide: Business Resources To Jump Start Your Coaching Practice.
Where to Find Coaching Clients
The burning question of new coaches is always, “Where do I find clients?”
The simple answer is to start talking to people. Talk to your friends and family about what you are doing, ask them to make referrals. Post about it on all of your social media. Don’t forget LinkedIn.
Send personal notes to everyone on your social media and in your phone and email contacts letting them know what you are doing and that you would love referrals.
Find online groups that cater to your ideal client and start conversations.
Join an organization or two locally that caters to your ideal client, go network with people, if it helps the community or appeals to one of your passions, even better.
Figure out where these folks shop and hang out. Make connections with business owners and see if they will let you display business cards or will refer you. Yoga studios and therapists are great referral sources for life coaches.
If you are a writer, write blogs that will connect with your ideal client and post everywhere you can: your website, social media, Medium, Google My Business, etc. Think about what they read and send in articles.
The Business Plan
First things first...Create a 1-2 page business plan. This will help you get your mind wrapped around where you want to go and how you want to get there. This should be a living, breathing document that you change and update as you go. If you graduated from Lumia’s coach training program, they offer a simple template to get you started. You can also search for sample business plans online to get the juices flowing.
It’s likely you’ll want to start out doing 1:1 appointments, but you may add classes, retreats, writing a book, group sessions and/or any other number of things to your business model. However you decide to structure your business from here will determine what you need to do next.
Getting an accountant to help you decide if you need an LLC and to help you set up your taxes is a brilliant idea. Getting insurance to protect yourself is smart. Now that the business is outlined, you can start thinking about your marketing.
Where to Start with Marketing
Spend some serious time thinking about your clients.
- What are their pain points?
- How can you help them?
- How will working with you benefit them?
Once you have that figured out, you can build a website and your social media pages. They feed each other. Everything you write should be written to your ideal client and appeal to their needs.
There are so many avenues you can take with social media. Do some research to decide which ones appeal the most to your clients. Then figure out the best ways to share your messages. Is it videos or memes? Or a combination of both? In the end, consistency is the most important thing with social media.
Your website gives you credibility. It should be fairly simple, easy to understand who it appeals to, and have your contact information pasted all over it. Do you want to attempt building one yourself, or find someone to do it? If you want help, consider your budget. If you want to do it yourself, there are some great, simple platforms out there such as Wix, Squarespace and Wordpress. For additional guidance on what to include, check out: 6 Things Every Coaching Website Needs.
Design yourself a 90-day marketing plan that’s easy to follow. Stick to it and results will come.
Now you know, it is quite easy to begin. It’s just a matter of taking action and starting to have conversations. Take the leap. Don’t fail to launch. Get out of your own way and get started!
Want More Tools for Liftoff?
Grab your copy of Lumia's guide: 6 Steps To Start Coaching Today!
This free publication, written by Lumia Coaching co-founders John Kim and Noelle Cordeaux, will give you the tools to discover your niche, find clients, and get started on your path to becoming a successful coach.
Plus, when you sign up -- we'll keep you up to date weekly with coaching techniques, and the occasional much-needed kick in the pants to keep you motivated on your coaching journey.
So, what're you waitin' for? Let's get started!