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The Ultimate Guide To Starting Your Online Coaching Business

How to Build a Successful Online Coaching Business And Create Massive Income and Impact

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ultimate guide to starting your online coaching business
story about a village elder

This story highlights the wisdom of staying flexible and keeping your head on your shoulders even in the face of uncertainty and danger. 

This is true in life and it's definitely true when it comes to running a successful coaching business.

Here's the thing...

While there are many ways to coach and many different ways to create life-changing shifts for clients, it's important to know that there is ONE space that allows far more flexibility, more freedom -- and often -- a lot more profitability than any other coaching space.

We're talking about the online world.

Now more than ever before, we are connected through online channels. Families using Skype and Facetime to talk to other family members. Teams using Zoom and Googlemeet to carry out their business meetings. Friends staying in touch through social media. And with the world changing so rapidly around us, it's important for us as coaches to adapt and meet our clients where they are at.

Benefits of Going Online
3 benefits of starting an online coaching business

All of this allows you a great deal of flexibility and, just like the village elder who remained flexible in the face of danger, it's incredibly important that you find ways to stay flexible and flowing through the uncertain "rapids" of life and business...

And starting and growing an online coaching business is one of the most effective, fulfilling, and lucrative ways to do just that!

So if you're ready to go deep into the incredible, borderless world of online coaching, let's dive in!

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5 Must-Avoid Mistakes In
Online Coaching

Before you understand the foundational pillars of starting and growing an online business, let's talk about some of the biggest mistakes that led to broken dreams for way too many coaches...

Even those who are highly experienced "offline" coaches. 

So many talented coaches have fallen into the belief that taking their offline, face-to-face enrollment strategies to a virtual setting will work the same, but unfortunately, the online world has its own rules that we need to adjust to.

For example, you can be a master at reading body language and interpreting your client's facial expressions when you are sitting in front of them, but the same won't translate on a webcam or, even worse, a phone call.

There are 5 common mistakes coaches make, that are basically challenges that arise from miscommunication and misunderstanding around what it actually takes to connect with ideal clients, create consistent income, and build a successful business that continues to grow and thrive over months and years.

Mistake #1: Not Understanding That It Takes Work

So many people - including coaches - believe that going online means hardly having to do any work at all.

This belief can be traced back to social media stories about the coveted "freedom lifestyle," stories that usually include images of an entrepreneur sitting at the beach with a laptop and a cool, tropical cocktail in their hand.

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While working online does offer a lot of freedom and flexibility, it doesn't mean it's easy.

Like any business, starting an online coaching business needs a lot of commitment, persistence, focus, and attention -- that's a lot of hard work.

The good news is, when you choose to invest time and energy at the start, you'll build a rock-solid reputation that can quickly spread like wildfire. It might sound like a simple mindset shift, but it's a game-changer for creating the online business you dream of!

This makes it a lot easier to find and enroll clients as you rapidly grow your business.

Mistake #2: Investing in Expensive Websites, Experienced Team Members, Sales Funnels, Etc

This is one of those mistakes that have stopped countless amazing coaches from building a business they love.

The truth is going online doesn't have to cost you your life savings and you can definitely bootstrap your online coaching business... especially at the beginning.

You basically need a simple, 1-page website you can set up yourself and a safe way for clients to pay you, and you're in business!

As you grow and start to create more income, you can - and should - invest in a small team so you can build out more complex marketing and sales channels to reach a bigger audience of ideal clients.

Watch this video to learn more about the costs of starting a coaching business and what you should consider investing in.

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Mistake #3: Not Creating a Budget from the Beginning

This one's related to Mistake #2...

While some coaches hold back from spending any money where they end up "freezing" at the starting line...

There are others who take out loans and "throw cash" at every challenge that they happen to come up against.

Here's the thing...

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If you want to make it online, you need to play the long game and this means, making sure you don't run out of money before you have the chance to get your business off the ground.

So whatever you do, don't go for expensive investments such as a $100,000/year Mastermind Training program when you're barely bringing in $1,000 a month.

Make the decision to only spend on the things that are vitally important to keep your business up and running such as website hosting and a secure online payment platform.

Mistake #4: Operating on Trust Alone

A lot of great coaches operate on trust alone and this often means they don't have clients sign an agreement or contract.

When you don't have the outline of your work with a client clearly stated in a legal agreement, you're setting yourself up for loss, liability, and damage both in terms of reputation and income.

Coaches who don't work without an agreement run the risk of dealing with clients who refuse to pay on time or even at all. 

Some coaches have even had clients accuse them of failing to provide a service that was never agreed on in the first place, and it's all because nothing was listed out in legal terms.

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So save yourself all of the heartache and headache, and set aside some of your startup budget to hire an attorney or lawyer who can help set up your contracts and agreements, or hire a general insurance for small and medium-sized businesses to stay on the safe side.

If you are just getting started and cannot afford a lawyer or insurance just yet, don't fret! You can use our free coaching contract template to make sure your terms and conditions are crystal clear with every new client you enroll from the get-go. It might not be a legal contract, but they will be signing an agreement beforehand which will set the right expectations and avoid any misunderstandings later on throughout the coaching relationship.

Mistake #5: Looking for Advice in the All Wrong Places

Here's another big one.

Way too many coaches go to family and friends looking for support on what to do next or how to grow their business online.

Sadly, most of the people they talk to are absolutely clueless and totally unqualified to weigh in and give good advice.

So make this your personal "alarm bell"...

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If you find yourself asking for advice from someone who doesn't already run a successful online business, you're asking for advice from the wrong person!

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Now that you know what NOT to do when you're starting your online coaching business, let's look at putting together a plan of positive action related to the 5 big mistakes. The following questions and action items will help you do just that.

1. Get The Truth

Check your contacts list, your network and do your research until you find a coach who is already running a thriving online coaching business. Reach out to them and ask for a true account on what it takes to be successful. If you're asking just one question ask this one: 

If you could go back in time to when you were just starting out, what's ONE piece of advice you'd love to give yourself around building a successful online coaching business?

2. Get Smart

Research website hosting and 1-click website options that don't cost a bomb. If you happen to already have a website, look at possible alternate options to reduce running and maintenance costs around hosting or hidden fees that you can opt out of.

3. Get A Budget

If you don't already have a budget, commit to creating one this week. You can start with a simple spreadsheet to keep track of the inflow and outflow of money in your business. If you already have a budget, make it a point to check in and keep track of how much you're spending and what you're spending on, each and every week.

4. Get Your Legal Documents

If you don't already know a lawyer who can help you get your legal documents in place, make it a priority to find someone who can. Or create your own coaching agreement that every new client will have to read and sign before starting a coaching experience with you. This is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your online coaching business. 

5. Get the Right Advisor

This doesn't necessarily have to be a paid coach or mentor (although it never hurts to work with some on a professional level if you can afford it). Getting the right advice from the right source can save you a TON of time and money in the long run.

If you could go back in time to when you were just starting out, what's ONE piece of advice you'd love to give yourself around building a successful online coaching business?