Mid-Year Review For 2020 Lessons Learned

Even though this has been A YEAR already, I’m still of the notion that we can carve a new path. That’s why I decided to move forward with doing my annual Mid-Year Review for my business.

IMPORTANCE OF BUSINESS REVIEWS

I talk about this a lot (sorry if your sick of it) but just in case you’re new here (Welcome!) you should know I feel very strongly about the concept of treating your coaching business like a business.

Related: Auditing Your Coaching Business

Most new coaches try to enter this industry and fail because they can’t seem to make the switch between expensive hobby and full-time business.

Businesses require strategy, planning, and action steps. You have to think like the CEO because now you are one.

This is why regularly reviewing your business for what’s working and what’s not is important.

 

MAKING DECISIONS

I’ve already gone over exactly how I conduct regular business reviews so if you’d like to hear that content you can check it out here.

What I wanted to empasize today is the importance of making strategic decisions such as creating or deleting certain programs, products, or income streams.

To me, there are only three reasons to make decisions in your business:

  • Evolution – When you are moving to the next ideal state of your business. It’s the direction you’ve always wanted to go in.
  • Revolution – You are going against the grain in your coaching niche and creating your own ‘Blue Ocean’.
  • Adaption – You are adapting to a major shift in the economy. (i.e. Global Pandemic).

Related: Blue Ocean Strategy

 

When you have this mindset it prevents you from making decisions because you feel like ‘everyone else is doing it.’

2020 MID-YEAR REVIEW REVELATIONS

Out of my mid-year review process, I had 3 major revelations:

  • The Female Coaches Community will now be called The Unconfined Lifestyle Community or ‘The Community’ for short. I felt that this aligned with my true purpose or ‘why’ for helping women create their dream coaching business.
  • Creating a Facebook Group, which I’ve been opposed to because I feel the focus becomes doing whatever to grow a group on a platform that you have no control over. So this group will be for Community Members only.
  • More courses about building your coaching business and ideal lifestyle.

My big word for the rest of 2020 is Alignment. I want to align with my vision of helping women start coaching businesses in order to create their Unconfined Lifestyle.

 

If you’re looking for a way to get extreme clarity in your life and business, you need to set aside at least one day at the end of every quarter to review your business. I promise you won’t regret it!

 

Other Links Mentioned In Episode:

Growth Hacker Marketing 

Notion App

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The Best Online Business Idea Is Coaching

Still on the fence about whether or not a coaching business is right for you? Here’s a few reasons why coaching is the best online business idea.

I transitioned into coaching after I realized that my service-based web design business was so limited and didn’t fulfill me enough.

Over the past few years that I’ve been dedicated to my coaching business full-time I’ve come to appreciate all the benefits (financially and otherwise) that it’s granted me.

 

Start-Up Costs

Easily the first question I get from people who are considering starting an online business, “Is it expensive?”

I think when people hear ‘online business’ their minds automatically start thinking of e-commerce. Since to many it seems like the only “legitimate” way to make money online.

But this is wrong! The internet has allowed for so many occupations to be virtual, and to do it for next to nothing.

I started my business for less than $1,000 and that included my ICF-Certified Coaching Certification.

And I run my entire business online for less than $200/mo –YES, this includes Facebook and Pinterest Advertising costs (should I choose to run ads).

Flexibility

I don’t want to go too far and say that coaching is 100% recession proof. But it can be pretty darn close if you have the foresight to structure it correctly from the beginning. 

Unfortunately, this tough lesson is being learned right now by a lot of coaches who have traditionally only offered Private Coaching in a brick-and-mortar office. 

 

That being said, if you operate your business all virtually and open yourself up to various types of coaching formats, you will find that no matter what the economic circumstances are, you can always make money. 

 

The industry has changed so much since the early 80s allowing you have flexibility in almost every part of your business. 

 

Clients

Does the idea of having crappy clients who take advantage of your niceness and time make you feel a little sick? 

 

Then you’re in luck. Now everyone needs to set boundaries with human-beings in general, but the good news is, in coaching you set those boundaries from the beginning for the relationship. 

 

It’s called establishing the agreement and you usually do this at the beginning of every coaching session, just to be clear of what the client’s ultimate goal is from the session. 

 

But if you listened to Episode #12 of The Unconfined Lifestyle Podcast, I’m laying out the importance of Marketing. When it comes to this industry, marketing can make or break the type of clients that come your way. But of course, you’re in complete control of this as well. 

 

Income Potential

Of course after flexibility and aligning with the right types of clients you’re now able to maximize your income potential. 

 

There’s so many different ways that you can make income as a coach. Private coaching, group coaching, courses, membership sites, digital downloads, masterclasses, audio files, templates. 

You name it, as a coach, if you create things that can help people get outcomes there is a potential for income. 

 

The best part is some people think (or rather it’s become a thing in the past few years) that you have to  charge premium prices in order to make good money as a coach. 

 

But the truth is, you need to understand your ideal client and then combine that with what you really feel passionate about creating otherwise, regardless of the cost, you won’t be able to sell it. 

 

Mobility

Raise your hand if you’ve been dreaming of finding a way to make money and live anywhere in the world? Me! 

 

That’s actually been my number one reason for starting an online business. I’m a true sagittarius so I have a  real travel bug, but I also tend towards comfortable (not luxurious–but comfortable) as well. 

 

Being in more control of my income is important because I’m just not the hostel type #sorrynotsorry. 

 

I also just want to grab my laptop and camera and go. All of my meetings are conducted virtually so as long as I have good internet connection and headphones if necessary, I’m good to go. It’s a true laptop lifestyle. 

 

Impact

Last (but certainly not least), coaching is the only business where I truly feel like I’m making a difference. 

 

This is essential and so important to me. In fact it’s so important that if I’m working in a job where I’m not making a positive impact, I can’t function. I’ll always find a way to self-sabotage. 

 

Nothing makes me happier than my clients getting a win. And every small win feels like I’m making a positive impact for all women.

Start A Coaching Business With No Money

Things are tight right now for many people around the world. If you’ve been experiencing anxiety, then let’s talk about some ways to start your coaching business with no money.

 

Tips for Starting Your Coaching Business With No Money

 

COACHING CERTIFICATION

Easily one of the biggest expenses of starting your coaching business. With some coaching programs costing as much as a new car, it can be a little overwhelming and frightening to imagine spending that much just to get started.

But, before you start the loan application, I’d first suggest you really consider if you need the coaching certification in the first place (See: Should You Invest In  A Coaching Certification?).

Here’s what I would suggest if you’re on a budget and still hell bent on getting certified:

  • Cost –  Honestly, you don’t (and shouldn’t) be investing anything over $3k. That’s dumb. Stop it. Stop it right now. There are plenty of awesome programs for less.
  • Payment Plans – Yes, even though they say you’ll spend less by paying all upfront, you are not a crappy person for choosing the payment plan option.
  • Type – Do not opt for getting the ICF Credentials right now. You don’t need it! In fact I’ve never met an ICF accredited coach making over $100k, why? Because they spend all their time getting private coaching hours which caps their income.

BRANDING & WEB DESIGN

I know there are a lot of coaches out there who will tell you that ‘time is money’ when it comes to your business. And this true to an extent, but when you are first getting started (especially in a tight economy) money is money.

And when you’re a 4-figure coach, you can’t afford to hire a 5-figure assistant. So you need to put on your big girl undies and discipline yourself and learn to DIY things if you are trying to grow your coaching business with no money.

Some places you can get your hands dirty are:

  • Website- Use a page builder like Divi.  It’s affordable and will give you tons of ways to customize your website. There are tons of tutorials and courses out there. Checkout Website in a Week inside the The Community for more.
  • Branding- Create your own Logo and Brand Guidelines or hire someone for cheap using Fiverr.
  • Graphics- Online businesses require a lot of graphic design skills, whether its for social media or products like workbooks etc. Learn how to do these things for yourself in the beginning and save some money.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

Now is the perfect time to start using social media more effectively.

This is not the time for ‘fluff’ when it comes to building your brand and business. Don’t get caught up in just getting ‘likes and follows’. After all, if you can’t convert those followers into paying customers, then what’s the point?

To use social media to your advantage try:

  • Purpose-Remember, your goal is to drive your community to take action or move the next step in their journey. Include a call-to-action in all of your content.
  • Engagement- Social media algorithms no longer support the ‘Post and Pray’ method (meaning just put some hashtags and you’re good to go). Now, you need to engage with your audience consistently in order for your content to appear in their feed. So starting your day by checking in with you audience first before you post is key!
  • Educate- Like I said, we are in an age of ‘no fluff’. Remember, people are selfish. They want to know what’s in it for them. You need to become an educator first and show your audience what it would be like to work with you!

Related: 3 Skills For Marketing Your Coaching Business

SYSTEMS & TOOLS

Become friends with Systems & Tools in your coaching business. These can be crucial for helping you keep money in your pocket and maintain your sanity when you’re trying to stay on a budget.

These are the kind of systems you should implement:

  • Sales – How will you take people from being unaware of your brand and business to being ready to enroll in your programs? Remember, the sales system is Attract, Nurture, Convert.
  • Content – When you’re doing this solo you need to have the right systems and tools in place so you save time & money. I have a system in place where I create content weekly and I use tools like Planoly, Canva, and Notion to create, edit, and auto-post all of my content.
  • Payment Plans – Speaking of tools. I know it’s tempting to fall for the ‘save 20%’ overall if you buy yearly. But I would caution against this if you’re investing in Apps and Tools for your business. Start with the Free Trial, then move to monthly payments if available, just in case you eventually want to use something else.

Now that you’ve got some ideas for how you can continue to build your coaching business on a budget, let me know in the comments below if any other ideas come to mind!

Should You Invest In A Coaching Certification

Time for the most controversial topic within the coaching community. Should you invest in a coaching certification? Do  you really need one or not?

I get asked about this a lot and I think it’s important I give my opinion (and I cannot stress enough that this is my opinion), based on my own experience as a coach who has not one but two, yep two, coaching certifications.  

Here’s what I believe you need to know before deciding if a coaching certification is right for you.

Want to listen instead?

 

The Coaching Industry Has Changed 

First things first, let’s talk about how much the industry has changed in the past 40 years.

When coaching first became a thing in 1980s people were still trying understand where it fit within the physical, physiological, and psychological spectrum.

And because coaching was so closely related to psychology, practitioners emulated the same type of service/business model: booking appointments for on-going sessions.

As coaching evolved and became more standardized, and established itself as technique independent of counseling or psychotherapy it was discovered that coaching was meant to have a finite period.

As some people have had the same therapist for 20 years, you are not meant to have a life coach for the rest of your life. Clients were meant to reach a resolution or moment of clarity.  

WHY COACHING PACKEGES?

This is why coaching packages were established along with the standard practice of ‘entering the agreement’ in sessions.

Soon after this, practitioners began to realize that they could only take on so many private coaching clients and still have time to do all the other necessary tasks that help keep a business running; like marketing and sales.

This is where books, group coaching, and live seminars really became a thing in the late 80s and early 90s.

And then a magical thing called the internet happened and a whole new way to make an impact and still make income became available. Now, people who couldn’t work with you in private sessions could order cds and dvds.  

And it’s just continued to grow from there. With e books, digital courses, signature programs, and memberships websites now making it easier than ever for people to have access to coaching without real in-person meetings.

But this also lead to one big –some would say– negative consequence: Because the industry expanded so quickly and there was no standardizing oversight, literally anyone could call themselves a coach.  

This led to an influx of bad press for coaches, with many people questioning the validity of the ‘life coaching’ industry.

And to this day, while the International Coaching Federation exists, it is still not recognized as the only governing body of the coaching industry. Like the Department of Education setting the standard for curriculum in the United States.

Leaving the coaching industry still very much unregulated.

WHAT IS COACHING NOW? 

In the most basic (albeit dumbed-down) sense of the word, ‘coaching’ involves employing a certain set of techniques to help someone reach an elevated state of clarity around a stuck state –whether that’s life, work, family, etc.

This is the big caveat, you are not advising or telling them to do something around their problem, you are helping them come to a realization or answer that they’ve already had in them. 

But, the reality is, many people are naturally gifted and regularly display these techniques without (a) realizing they are and (b) knowing what it is. This is because most of coaching relies on a persons level of Emotional Intelligence (EQ). 

So while it upsets some people who’ve invested to learn the techniques of coaching, it does beg the question, “Can those who naturally display the techniques of coaching still be considered ‘coaches’?”

For me, the answer lies in understanding the difference between ‘technique-based coaching niches’ and ‘experienced-based coaching niches’.

And it’s important to know which one you want to do before you blindly invest in a coaching certification that may not yield the reward you hope for.

Technique-Based vs. Experience-Based Coaching 

 If you intend to call yourself a ‘Life Coach’ and offer private or group coaching sessions, then you may want to strongly consider investing in the certification. 

Because there are several techniques that you need to learn in order to help your clients overcome a stuck state and reach a level of transformation. 

Things like establishing the agreement, asking questions, re-framing, and action-planning are all essential to the life coaching experience and you need to know how and when to use them.

On the other hand, if you want to be an executive leadership coach and you have been ‘coaching’ direct reports and others throughout your 20 year long career, then your experience may speak for itself.

More importantly, your clients may not care that you have the fancy title of ‘Certified’ Executive Leadership Coach. Your sessions will most likely consist of problem-solving, confidence, and personal branding. Things that only years of experience have garnered.

Another example is the difference between a Career Coach who has worked for 10 years in corporate HR/Recruiting and had front seat experience as to what hiring managers are looking for in qualified candidate versus a Health Coach who literally advises people on health and nutrition.

 In the latter’s case, for health and safety reasons, some form of formalized training should be evident.

Okay, now that you’re enlightened as to why you may or may not want to invest, I want to call you out and say the one reason you absolutely should not invest in a coaching certification. 

A certification is not what makes or breaks your business

Hands down, the No. 1 mistake that I see first-time coaches make when they get into this industry is thinking that a certification legitimizes them and is the golden-ticket to all the coaching clients they could ever want.

Wrong!!!!!!!! Building trust and growing your business all happens around Marketing and Sales.

If you’ve only heard me say this once, prepare yourself to hear it a lot more. Because it is vitally crucial that you understand that coaching is a technique NOT a product. 

 To make money as a coach, you have to sell something.  That thing may or may not require you to use the techniques that you have invested in learning. 

A product is your package, course, signature program, book, or membership. These are all tangible products that can generate revenue for your business. 

Related: Why You Need A Signature Coaching Program

Some of these, you may use the actual coaching techniques that you learned in your certification program. Such as private coaching packages or your signature program if it includes a private or group coaching component.

But in other cases, you may not. It all depends on your coaching niche and the types of products and services you intend to offer as a coach. 

So understanding how to run a business is just as (in most cases more) important than getting a certification.

Yep. I said it! Because it needs to be said! 

You may get that shiny new certification and because you don’t know how to: build a brand, create products and programs, and actually market yourself; your coaching business will fail.

So what would I choose if I had to do it all over again?  

I would get the certification at the same time that I took an extensive business building and mindset program.

So on the day that I completed my coaching certification, I would be prepared (or damn near close to prepared) to take clients.

Why? Because the mindset roller-coaster that you will go on in those early stages of your business when you have no idea what you’re doing is what, without a doubt, leads to the high number of coaching businesses failing.

It’s better that you know exactly how you’re going to bring in clients and make money from Day 1.

I want to hear from you! Be sure to join me over in The Female Coaches Community to continue the conversation! 

And if you’re brand new, make sure to download my free Online Coaching Business Guide, where I’m walking you through the exact strategy that you need to take to build your business!

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3 Content Creation Tips For New Coaches

Ever feel like you suck at the whole content creation part of your business?

Maybe you look on Instagram and it seems like everyone has the perfect feed and seems to know exactly what to say?

Or you open your inbox and that newsletter is so compelling it definitely made you want to click, and your like, “I wish I could write something that good”?

Don’t worry, this is actually really common.

 In fact, 65% of marketers surveyed said they found it hard to produce engaging content.

The reality is most people are not innately good content creation.  

3 CONTENT CREATION TIPS FOR BEGINNERS

Want to listen instead?

 

TIP #1:  STORYTELLING CONTENT

Learn to fall in love with reading and writing, because both of these skills are needed for content creation.

You need to be able to take your audience on a journey and then link your story back to your content and call-to-action

U’ll use storytelling in: Your weekly email newsletter, Social Media Captions, and Sales Page Copy.

Want to tell better stories:

  • Keep up on the latest and get daily inspiration by downloading an RSS Reader App like Feedly.
  • Create and use templates to organize your writing process.
  • Learn how to connect the ‘lessons learned’ to your call-to-action.

TIP #2: CURATING CONTENT  

Have you ever looked at an Instagram feed and thought, ‘That is so pretty, I wish my Instagram looked like that?’

Well, chances are the user put a lot of time into curating their Instagram feed.

Curating simply means organizing and once you tap into this skill you’ll do it without even noticing.

To start curating try:

  • Organizing your images by type (what you’ll post about) and color (your brand colors).
  • Use a content scheduler and planner like Planoly to visually organize your images so they make sense.

Related: 5 Instagram Tips For New Coaches

TIP #3: DESIGNING CONTENT

Obviously closely related to curating but deserves it’s own category.

Whether it’s Instagram Graphics, Lead Magnets, or Branding and Website there are a lot of things that you have to design for your business.

To start designing better content you should:

  • Learn basic graphic design principles (visual hierarchy, repetition, etc.)
  • Master tools like Canva or Adobe Spark.  

 

*** This post contains affiliate links and I may receive a commission should you purchase any products. 

The Value of Coaching And How To Convey It

Conveying the value of coaching to people can be really difficult for newbies. Even harder is getting over the fear of no one wanting to buy from you. Here are some tips to help.

Want to listen instead?

 

Tip #1: Show The Outcomes  

Understand that for many, coaching feels like a nebulous concept. Is it therapy? Is it consulting? Is it teaching?

There’s a lot of apprehension about the benefits of coaching and for super analytical realists, it can seem very ‘woo woo’ as they say.

The truth is, “coaching is a technique, not a product.”

What’s the difference? Products provide outcomes, and that’s what people are more inclined to invest in.

You need to focus on positioning the results of coaching:

  • Testimonials – These are so powerful especially if you’re brand new. Always follow-up your sessions with a testimonial questionnaire.
  • Signature Programs –  It’s a product that allows you to coach (whether it’s private or group), provide a clear outcome, and then get a testimonial at the end.

Related: Why You Need A Signature Coaching Program

 

 Tip #2: Prove Your Knowledge  

Create consistent free educational content for your business. This is non-negotiable (especially in an economic crisis).

It sets you apart as a thought-leader in your industry and provides a place for you to direct people who are not able to invest in your services.

7 times is the average it takes for someone to feel comfortable enough to invest in you. So content is essential to your growth strategy.

  • Decide on your platform: Blog, Podcast, YouTube, etc.
  • Create an editorial calendar and post on a regular basis to improve your reach and trust.

 

Tip #3: Brand Yourself  

The coaching industry is 90% influencer driven. Which means your brand matters!

Now, you don’t need to invest thousands on a fancy website, but you definitely need one! Equally as important is that you invest in good brand photography.

  • You want good quality photos for your website and social media.
  • Save money and use a Page Builder like Divi for building your website on WordPress.

Related: Your Social Media Bootcamp

 

Tip #4: Know The Real Value Of Coaching

Reminder, it’s not all about getting a monetary return on investment.

More time, freedom, peace of mind, love, admiration, or contentment are all the underlying reasons why people decide to hire a coach.

Everyone want’s more in life and it’s your job to:

  • Know what the answer to the question: “What will it mean for you to…?”
  • Tell other’s through your sale copy and email marketing what they can expect to change by working with you!

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