9 tips to help you start a coaching business - Kathleen Celmins

9 tips to help you start a coaching business

Hey everyone! This month’s playbook is all about how you can start a coaching business, or how you can add coaching as a lucrative revenue stream even if you don’t consider coaching one of your primary areas of focus.

But how do you do that?

We had that same question, so we asked some of our friends who are coaches or service providers who have added coaching to their suite of offerings, to learn more about them.

Here’s what they had to say.

Do your best to get your client to the point where they no longer need a coach

I started my coaching practice in 1992 before it was trendy. With an MA in Counseling Psychology and certifications in mediation and ontological coaching and years of training in Non-Violent Communication, I have a solid background as a listener and coach. I do my best work 1:1. The goal of an excellent coach is to guide the client towards attuning to their own wisdom such that they don’t need their coach forever. Whether a client’s work is long or short term depends on their goals. I recommend meeting weekly for optimal results so you can keep the momentum of your growth growing. 

For someone starting out in the field, I suggest researching carefully where you train. I did a 9-month certification with the Newfield Network. The founders were based out of Stanford and Chile, were on the cutting edge of the field. In my view, this is not a field where you can only learn online, you need to be with clients in person during your training. 

After extensive in-person training, I believe effective work can happen virtually. I choose to work with clients by phone for the convenience it provides. Although the work may be therapeutic, it is not therapy. Fees depend on goals and the duration of sessions and can be discussed by phone. I offer a complimentary 20-minute phone discovery call to see if there is a fit. I have a gift of seeing people’s needs quickly to guide them towards their own wisdom so they can have clarity on their path.

Hello! I’m Jen Goldman. I hold a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and I’m a certified mediator and practitioner of Compassionate Communication. Using expertise gained through my 28 years in the fields of coaching and psychology, I help you identify your needs, which empowers you to make clear and powerful choices and take effective action towards your goals. Learning to have attuned conversations can bring peace to you and your interpersonal relationships. Through my writing, audio work, and one-on-one coaching sessions, I offer warm, accepting guidance that helps you attune to your wise self and laugh along the way.


Create structure, be transparent about your pricing, and focus on education

Have you ever heard the phrase “Just be yourself and the rest will come.” or “I made $300,000 from the bathtub and you can too just by being yourself.” Unless there is a magical bath bomb at Lush that I don’t know about, this just isn’t cutting it when it comes to mentorship, coaching, and business advice. I was sick of hearing it and even more tired of creatives building full-on programs centered around this. I even fell for one and was left exactly where I started. Not only this, but I saw (and still see) so many programs hiding their prices. The lack of transparency makes it hard to even make a move. 

As a former teacher and speaker, educating was still a passion of mine, and I knew I could build a program that filled a gap for creatives. I knew I could share my expertise, my strategies that helped build my six-figure business, and the tools to get creatives to step into their CEO shoes without stifling their genius.  

Cue The Creative CEO Mentorship. 

It is not just any mentorship. It is a strategic, actionable, tailored-to-you mentorship that builds you up and boosts your bottom line. My first mentorship client at the start of 2020 made $10k within the first month after pulling in anywhere from $800-$2000 per month previously. Since then, that client has consistently made $7-10k months and says “You are still the best investment I have ever made in my business.”

Future mentorship clients saw similar success booking out $5k packages with ease and hitting revenue goals they never even thought possible. Beyond these monetary wins, all clients have reported feeling aligned but also KNOWING WHAT TO DO. They have a repeatable framework to use again and again as their business expands. Not to be dramatic, but that is life-changing. 

For new coaches or mentors, I am begging you to do a few things: 

  • Stay 100% transparent about your pricing. None of this “Are you ready for a 4 figure investment?” Because $1000 and $9000 are two very different numbers.
  • Understand how to teach and educate first. If this means hosting some masterclasses at $50-100 each, then do it. Get to know your teaching and presenting style so you can best serve your 1:1 clients in a high-touch way. 
  • Put together a structure for your program that includes frameworks, strategies, and actionable steps. Even if mindset is your thing, you can still provide actionable advice that isn’t ‘sit in a bathtub and marinate’.

Bethany McCamish, at your service. I’m a strategic brand designer, web designer, and coach for purpose-driven creatives and visionaries on a mission. See that? I’m not just one thing, and you don’t have to be either! I take a truly custom approach to design, meaning I’ll never force you into a certain design style, aesthetic, preference, or trend. Rather, I study how your brand can best connect with other people, and then highlight those elements through strategy and visual design.


When the teacher is ready, the students will appear

I started offering coaching services in 2019 when I realized I had a business on my hand. Friends and friends-of-friends kept asking me to help them get their book published. I was losing time to work on my own books. I went full-time as an author and coach and have been busy ever since.

Through my coaching, I offer one-on-one sessions to help first-time authors build a plan for how they will self-publish, answer their most pressing questions, help them avoid common pitfalls, and celebrate their publication. Clients feel confident in their plans and navigate the self-publishing process without pulling their hair out.

For those starting out as a coach, my best advice is to let the right clients find you. It can be scary when you think you need more clients. But the right client will be fun to help and keep sending more people your way.

MK Williams is an author and independent publisher. She has written and published numerous books under her own name and helped several authors realize their dreams of publishing their books as well. After having learned the ins and outs of self-publishing and independent publishing she is now on a mission to help aspiring authors get the answers they need, avoid money traps, and navigate the process of self-publishing their first book.


Coaches need coaches, too

I offer a variety of 1:1 coaching plans. Do you have a single obstacle you’re looking to overcome? I offer help with a quick, laser-focused zen coaching session. Also, offer 3 call intensives and 3 and 6-month packages depending on what you need. 

In between our sessions, I offer email support and every week send out a check-in email with a reflection question for all my clients. 

Later in 2022, will be rolling out my 6-week group program that merges hypnotherapy, energy tools, and life coaching.

My biggest suggestions for someone starting out are: 

  1. Go to a school that is ICF certified
  2. Work with as many different clients as you can
  3. Have a mentor coach for support, personal growth as a coach, and to consult when needed.

I’m Lucy Seligman, and I’m here to re-introduce you to the joy that life has to offer and to help you move forward with a healthier mind, body, and spirit. I combine hypnotherapy and life coaching for female entrepreneurs so that you can find the Zen in you. Zen coaching is moving through transitions with grace and a sense of hopeful joy in what’s to come.

There you have it: two people who went to school for coaching and two who created coaching programs after their audience asked, “Do you have a coaching program?”

Both offer great tips. If you’re early in your career, go get a certification.

But if you’re getting approached by people in your network who want your advice, do not let your lack of certifications keep you from setting up a coaching program.

Just make sure you put time, energy, and thought into the structure of your meetings. Always show up prepared.

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