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The Business of

Coaching
8 essential steps for business success
By Heather Markel, CPC, ACC

eing a coach does not automatically mean you're a businessperson, nor that you want to be. It often means that sales and marketing fall into one of two camps: 'overwhelming' or 'evil.' However, sales and marketing are pivotal to any successful business. I absolutely LOVE sales and marketing. It may sound sappy, but I
love people. I love the creative brainstorming process involved in reaching more people with coaching that

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new direction, and when you follow it, you'll get right back to that client attraction place. Yes, saying goodbye to your old niche and hard work is painful (I'm on my third one myself, so I know!), but the happiness, growth in business, and increased creativity that result from following your heart make it all worthwhile. 2. 3e vulnerable and authentic- The more you tell your audience about your own experience,

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ultimately makes the world a better place. I also enjoy the ability to support myself and give to charitable causes. I believe coaching is one of life's most beautiful creations, and that all coaches should be able to create a business around it. Here are eight steps to help you
create a profitable coaching business:

especially the mistakes you've made and the hardships you've endured

(vulnerability), the more you allow people to feel bonded to you with
a common experience. Being honest

l. Go with the flow of your niche. Like Madonna's look, your coaching business will naturally evolve in tone, Iook, feel, and focus. As you grow as a coach, your
niche gets refined. The universe has a way of restricting business when it's time for you to make a change. Your heart will be yearning for this

about who you are lets the people who need you, find you - and leaves the others who don't to find a different coach. Authenticity, in my
opinion, is about using your website to let your personality ROAR. Your

specific quirks, opinions and passions should pop out powerfully on every page. I have been more vul-

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nerable and authentic on my current website than any of its predecessors. The result has been more interaction, more client attraction and more business and it's only been out there for a

4. Let go of perfection, If I had waited until I had every piece of my
business

be as successful as they are, or even

more so!

in perfect alignment,

and

few months! I came to a place where

I

realized I only want to work with people who like me as I am. Trying to appeal to people that find me'too much' simply didn't work for any of us. So I let go of serving everyone, and allowed myself to be powerfully me. That's gotten me clients I love,

my mission 100 percent precise, my website still wouldn't be published! It's easy to get caught up in thoughts like, "I will launch my website when I have my logo, my business cards are done, and I have some products." I'm sure you can lengthen this list. The fact is, our websites and

6. Expose your business creatively, Many people I've worked with focus on a small group of

blogs

will

constantly evolve, our

and allowed me to step into my element as a coach. How could life be any better? 3. Make your

mission narrow

and specific, This one takes time, especially as you transition niches.

business cards will need updating as our missions get clearer, and the potential of our product ideas is in6nite. So, why wait? Your internet presence is like the human body - as you grow and mature, so does your content. Express your current self now, and let the future you be reflected in your future website.

It's important that you know who you are serving, and how you are helping. My first target audience was "everyone disappointed with their work" and my mission was "to make you happier with your work."
As you probably guessed, I attracted almost no clients. My current niche

5. Inspire yourself with autobiographies. Reading about successful entrepreneurs you admire is a fantastic investment. You will learn that before they were successful, they had little means, worked creatively, made a lot of mistakes,

is much more personality-based,

ro get the word out about their businesses. Think bigger. Whaterrer your target market is,6nd other businesses that serve the same people in a different way. For your online presence, consider writing free articles for the website of those other businesses. Consider partnering *,ith local businesses for live e\rents or service referrals. A great example is a client I recently worked n'ith rvho offers holistic meals and guidance for busy professionals seeking healthy living. He had already thought of yoga studios, but in brainstorming, we added to the list; high-end gyms, spas, stores that sell high-end exercise clothing like Lululemon, and doctor's offices. By expanding your list of porential business partners, you expand the growth possibilities of 1'our business. Of course, it goes rvithout saying that you must delight vour clients and your cusresources
tomers.

7. Get help. Too many of us think rve have to do every part of
so you know pretty quickly if you like me or think I'm too goofy for your taste. As you refine your niche and your services, you will attract the clients you are meant to serve. A good niche can be stated and understood in two sentences and should not rely on the word'coach.'

our business ourselves. That means we are coaching, attending to soand struggled with money. Two cial media and other internet marbooks I'd recommend are Richard keting responsibilities, doing our Branson's Losing My Virginity, and own accounting, creating products Blake Mycoskie's Start Sometbing from start to finish, and more. The That Matters, about Tom's Shoes. fact is, you have got to get help, or I've found it inspiring to know they you won't have time for coaching started from a place I can resonate or taking care of your own health. with, which means, to me, that I can If someone else can do in one hour

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spending, and allow you to focus on revenue-generating activities. If you

what takes ,vou five, you get a longer day! Let go of your attachment to the details of your business, and hire people to handle at least the parts of ,vour business you hate doing. Think you can't afford help? Then try bartering services to get you started.
8. Mind your money. As an entrepreneur, you need to have your eye on your cash flow. Every year,

you should set at least one financial goal, or modify one from the previous year. If you choose to believe money is not important, you probably won't be keeping much of it. Goals help you curb excessive

want a successful business, you have to accept that money management is an essential part of your achievement. This will also enable you to give back to your community. The clearest sign that your business is headed in the

right direction

is your income. Use

it as an indica-

tor of whether to move forward, or refine. Either way, your future is full of potential!

Works Cited: Branson, Richard (2O07), Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Foftune Doing Business My Way (New York, NY Crown Business, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, lnc.)

Mycoskie, Blake (2011), Staft Something That Matters (New York, NY Spiegel & Grau, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, lnc.)

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