I started my career by working 6 ½ years from one of the world’s leading coaching & personal development companies. In order to qualify as a coach with them we went through 250+ hours of training plus had to pass a handful of probationary months to prove that we could 100% deliver results for our clients. Because of a few internal shifts on the team it led me to eventually start my own private coaching practice back in 2008. When I made that transition, like most coaches starting out on their own, I found it was tricky trying to get my first few clients and grow my business. Today I want to share with you a few things I wish I would have known back then.
As you may know, the coaching industry is growing rapidly. However, I think there’s way too many people deciding to call themselves a coach. Health coaches, sports coaches, life coaches, happiness coaches, business coaches…etc. It seems like every day there is a new type of coach entering the market. The competition is growing and its making it a bit harder to stand out in the industry. That said, here’s some of the best lessons I’ve learned in starting my own coaching business.
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Here are 2 important distinctions from a good friend of mine Topher Morrison, owner of Key Person of Influence here in Tampa, FL. He runs a growth accelerator for businesses and he has partnerships all over the world. Recently, he presented at our Performance Coach University mastermind where we were teaching our PCU trained coaches how to market and grow their business.
While he was there, he taught us 2 really important points. I realized that these were the keys that helped me rapidly grow my business back in 2008. We went from working hard to enroll 2 to 3 clients a month all the way to enrolling 20 clients in a day. Within 8 months we grew all the way to 52 1-on-1 coaching clients a month (way too many clients for one coach!).
Tips from Topher:
3 Ways To Define Your NICHE
How to define your target market:
WIDE to NARROW: Market to a wide audience with a very specific topic – help anyone with a specific thing –losing belly fat for example.
NARROW to WIDE: Help one type of person to do array of things. Example: We help police officers to get happy, healthy, fulfilled, have amazing relationships…etc.
NARROW to NARROW (BEST OPTION!): Help one specific group to do this one thing and be the best in the world at it. In the beginning it can be very scary. The truth is the better and more refined you get in the process, the quicker you will get more clients.
The next major lesson I learned early on in my business was about partnerships. Luckily I found a partner early on who helped me grow my business tremendously. However, at the time I didn’t know these 3 criteria that especially make partnerships successful, which could have saved us a lot of time, money and energy with other not so great partners down the road.
3 Criteria For A Great Business Partnership
There are three components to a great partnership: product, great brand and great distribution.
- Product: a product must be scalable and creates raving fans – they love it!
- Brand: brand reputation must be rock solid. People trust it, refer others, and keep coming back.
- Distribution: Reach and platform are key to connecting with prospective customers with your product/service.
The key is that one of you have at least 2 out of the 3 and the other has at least 1 (or 2) to compliment each other, so that when combined you have all 3 components to a great partnership.
My first business partner had great distribution (she was holding events for women starting their own businesses), she also had a great brand (people trusted her). When we partnered, I had an excellent product they needed (coaching focused on mindset, achieving goals, accountability). I also had a great reputation as I was still building my brand. Together we had all three components and this made a high mutually beneficial partnership that helped us grow both of our companies.
That’s all for today. Hope you’re able to grow your own business from some of these great business lessons.
To your success,