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How to Start a Coaching Business: Expert Tips!

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Charles Camisasca

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Welcome to “How to Start a Coaching Business”! In this article, The eComm Boardroom shares the insights we gained from interviewing expert coaches. These amazing individuals have built awesome businesses sharing their expertise with the world and transforming the lives of their students.

To start, we will go over the basics for how to start an Expert Coaching / Consulting business.

Then, we’ll turn it over to hear from the experts!

Learn how each of them came to start their business, why they have been successful, their best tips for starting a coaching business, and more!

Let’s dive right in.

How to Start a Coaching Business

A coaching business is one form of an “Information Products” business. Under this model (as we’ve written in the past) the primary product is the transfer of knowledge from the teacher to the student.

Coaching businesses in particular involve providing consultations and advice to your clients about your area of expertise.

Many entrepreneurs started by gaining expertise in an area that interests them, discovering something new, and then sharing that exciting new thing with the world. 

Information products businesses have amazing scalability and high profit margins. That’s because the “manufacturing cost” of an information product usually consists of just one thing: time.

Once you create an awesome info product and figure out how to sell it, the only limitation is your marketing reach.

Are you wondering how to produce a marketable Information Product? There are 3 main steps:

  1. Become an expert.
  2. Develop your unique teaching materials.
  3. Iterate your product based on client feedback.

Easy, right?

Need More Info?

Are you interested in learning more about how to start an expert coaching / consulting business, or an “information products” business of any kind? We’ve got you covered.


Download Our Free Guide

Another great option? Check out The Coach Foundation’s definitive guide to starting a coaching business in 2021.

Expert Coaches: Interviews

We asked 6 expert coaches who work in a variety of fields the same 5 questions. Their responses blew me away.

Reading the below segment will really give you a sense for the different avenues you can take to start a coaching business.

Learn what makes these coaches awesome at what they do and read their best tips for entrepreneurs that are interested in starting their very own coaching business!

Without further ado, let’s get to the good stuff!

Interviews Included Below:


Interview #1: Jon Michail – Personal Branding Coach


Interview #2: Chandra Clements – Keynote Speaker; Managing Director


Interview #3: Ron Lee – Keynote Speaker; AKA The Corporate Ninja


Interview #4: Dr. Brooklyn Storme – Private Practice Coach


Interview #5: Prosper Taruvinga – SEO / Digital Marketing Consultant


Interview #6: Shane Warren – Registered Psychotherapist; Mental Fitness Coach


Interview #7: Dr. Liz Isenring – Nutritionist and Wellness Coach

Jon Michail Photo
Jon Michail – Personal Branding Coach

Jon Michail – Expert Bio

Website | LinkedIn

Jon Michail | Image Consultant | Personal Branding Coach | Business
and Personal Branding Strategist | Author | Group CEO and Founder,
Image Group International | Jon Michail, Founder and award-winning Chief Imagemaker together with his team at Image Group International help C-level executives, entrepreneurs and changemakers to build, grow and monetize their personal brands, (online and offline) by positioning them to stand out so they attract their ideal clients, connections and investors. They are committed to maximising an individual’s personal impact, influence and value in the ever-changing and disruptive business environment. Image Group International is recognised as Australia’s leading personal brand image advisory, with over 31 years of lived-experience and proven results including in the USA, China and South East Asia.

Jon’s Interview

How did you decide to start a coaching business?

At the age of 28 after successfully launching numerous businesses and employing over 200 employees in the fashion industry including manufacturing, importing, wholesaling and retailing I realised that my real purpose was to help people grow.

I got a bigger buzz in the relational aspect of business and less in the transactional, so I decided to repurpose myself to serve the people side of business, starting as a consultant and evolving to an advisory and coaching confidante for C-Level Executives, Entrepreneurs and Changemakers.

What is the primary reason you’ve been successful as a coach?

The Top 5 Reasons they have given are:

  1. I have lived-experience (a 30+ year track record).
  2. I have empathy and care for people – (humanity is first and foremost for me).
  3. I thrive through chaos – (I bring simplicity to ‘complex’ challenges).
  4. I’m contrarian and resilient. (No matter the challenge, the motto is “tomorrow is a new day”).
  5. I take a holistic view to my clients business and life needs and wants. (Work-Life Balance is a myth – reframing to Life-Work Integration).

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in running your business?

Starting a consulting / advisory / coaching business with no clients and building it from a zero base to become the leading niche personal branding coaching business in the world was no easy feat – However the biggest I think was always balancing the business with my family life, it was not easy but with commitment doable.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned through your practice?

Never stop growing, Covid-19 has been an excellent wake up call to never rest on your laurels. Always try to be better today than yesterday and even better for tomorrow. A mindset of creating possibilities in your business and life is a guaranteed process to new opportunities.

What are your best tips for someone interested in starting a coaching or consulting business?

Get mentored by the best even if you can’t ‘afford it’. Run away quickly from online get rich & marketing ‘gooroos’. Always invest in yourself, it’s the greatest asset you have.

Chandra Clements – Keynote Speaker; Managing Director – One Legacy Pty Ltd

Chandra Clements – Expert Bio

LinkedIn Profile

I am an experienced global Executive committed to creating profitable and sustainable great places to work, increasing global innovation, improving levels of empowerment within workforces, and helping people and organisations alike to exceed their expectations.

I am a 2014 Inductee in to the Australian Businesswomen’s Hall of Fame, the 2013 Gold Medal Female Entrepreneur for Asia, Australia and New Zealand, the 2013 Newcastle University Young Alumni Medallist, and the 2013 Bronze Medalist International Executive of the Year for Business Services. I was the 2012 Australian Telstra Young Businesswoman of the Year. I have worked across Australia, the Middle East, Asia, New Zealand, America, South Africa, Europe and the UK. I am passionate about safe, socially responsible and sustainable business, and believe that most leadership and business hurdles stem from the limitations we place on ourselves and others.

Chandra’s Interview

How did you decide to start a coaching business?

I have been casually coaching people since my high school approached me at age 15 to coach children with learning difficulties. I formalised my coaching however in 2013 after deciding to turn an “interest” in to a career and my coaching business One Legacy Pty Ltd was born. The business has grown from there with so many people looking for someone who can truly listen and understand what is holding them back.

What is the primary reason you’ve been successful as a coach?

I have made a lot of mistakes in my life. I have also known great success. My mistakes, however, are what help me understand the real world and the importance of turning setbacks into fuel for growth and development. A great coach has to be cognizant of how to turn obstacles into pathways.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in running your business?

COVID-19 has certainly changed the nature of coaching. It’s changed the process, the affordability, and the reasons for engagement. However this has only served to push the coaching industry in to a higher realm and created greater levels of efficiency.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned through your practice?

Many people engage me as a professional or executive coach. Yet once the formalities of ‘posturing’ are over, there are typically personal, emotional, confidence or family obstacles at play. Knowing when someone is ready to move on to discussing those issues is critical.

What are your best tips for someone interested in starting a coaching or consulting business?

Enter the coaching or consulting space if you truly desire to leave a legacy and make a difference in people’s lives. Coaching requires extreme levels of focus and listening skills, and is best suited to someone who wants to hear and not someone who wants to be heard. Once you become a coach or consultant it stops being about you.

Ron Lee
Ron Lee – Keynote Speaker; AKA The Corporate Ninja

Ron Lee – Expert Bio

Website

“The Corporate Ninja”, Ron Lee, CSP*, speaks at conferences, trains management up to Executive and Non-executive Chair level, and consults to executives and sports people globally. His keynotes, consultations and master classes come from Eastern/Western Philosophies, Metaphysics, Martial Arts and the Performing Arts. He studied at the NIDA, where Cate Blanchett, Sam Worthington and Mel Gibson also trained, and still occasionally acts professionally.

All of Ron’s presentations are high-impact, interactive, fun and memorable experiences that stay with people for years. Ron recently trained a woman to five world championships in her Olympic sport, and through using his philosophies and methods, his clients have effortlessly surpassed their business, private and sporting personal bests.

Ron’s Interview

How did you decide to start a coaching business?

In 1989 I started as a conference keynote speaker doing hoaxes as a Japanese industrialist who was a personal power expert. The interactive presentations used my Eastern/Western Philosophies, Metaphysics, Martial Arts and the Performing Arts. Clients started to ask if I could expand do training sessions with their teams. From there, CEOs and others asked for individual advice. Also, elite athletes and other sports people asked for coaching.

What is the primary reason you’ve been successful as a coach?

When people do activities that seem superhuman, they gain a different perception of themselves and have higher expectations of their performance. In the martial arts, the most effective techniques are simple, though not always easy.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in running your business?

Marketing. When others, globally, were closing their businesses, I made it through the GFC entirely on referral and repeat business.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned through your practice?

The great philosophers asserted that the meaning of life is to leverage our talents, knowledge, experience and passion to serve as many people as we can. I heard about this a year after I started and shifted focus from myself to the client. In the following year, expenses remained almost the same and revenue doubled.

What are your best tips for someone interested in starting a coaching or consulting business?

Forget about your needs and wants. Focus entirely on client outcomes. Define the difference between coaching and consulting. Most younger people with limited life and business experience should focus on coaching. Don’t position yourself as an expert, more of a facilitator who helps people to achieve clarity and results.

Dr. Brooklyn Storme Headshot
Dr. Brooklyn Storme – Private Practice Coach

Dr. Brooklyn Storme – Expert Bio

Website

Brooklyn is an experienced business coach, consultant and speaker. Driven by a commitment to simplifying business, she takes pride in helping her clients see old business challenges in new ways. As a former psychologist, her goals are to teach clients how to integrate spiritual practices like gratitude with their business processes and in doing so, unlock opportunities for their work that may not have been visible prior. In addition to her work, Brooklyn has been featured on major media platforms locally and overseas, including SKY, PsychCentral and ABC.

Dr. Storme’s Interview

How did you decide to start a coaching business?

Coaching found me. I was working as a Psychologist in private practice and I began learning about new methodologies to attract clients. I began posting articles online about them and before long, people started to approach me, asking if I could coach them on how to use those strategies in their businesses too.

What is the primary reason you’ve been successful as a coach?

The primary reason that I’ve been successful as a coach is because I stand for something. By being different and by owning my space, the right clients were able to find me and enrol in my programs and offers.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in running your business?

The biggest challenge that I’ve faced in running my business was learning that it’s okay to let go of tasks and give them to someone else. For example, if you don’t like managing your social media, consider outsourcing it to a VA that LOVES social media and who can do it more quickly and more cost effectively than if you had to spend hours doing it yourself. It’s by letting go of things you like doing, that you’ll be able to focus more on the ones you do and that generate turnover for the business.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned through your practice?

The most important lesson I’ve learned through my practice is to be helpful to people that reach out to you for support or with questions and second, to detach from the outcome. This means, if you have a discovery call with a client, don’t put pressure on yourself to enroll them. Just be present, be in the moment and allow the conversation to unfold organically.   What are your best tips for someone interested in starting a coaching or consulting business?

  • Find your space and stand boldly in it.
  • In times of doubt, you’re probably making things about yourself. Returning your focus to your ‘why’ or to your client will help you conquer fears.
  • Don’t buy other people’s webinars / PDFs etc. You already know what you need to do. Listen to your instincts and trust them.
  • Invest in a coach. A good coach will help you see your blind spots and can be pivotal in helping you create and develop the business you desire in a way that aligns with your vision and values.
Prosper Taruvinga – SEO / Digital Marketing Consultant

Prosper Taruvinga – Expert Bio

Website

I am a Search Engine Optimization Expert (SEO) by day and Digital Marketer & Online Consultant by night. As an SEO Expert, I can help you reach your goals of being visible to prospects searching for your business or services. I work with clients to raise brand awareness, generate leads, and find new customers. Through quick and straightforward changes to a website, I can dramatically improve the visibility of companies on search engines in any industry.

Prosper’s Interview

How did you decide to start a coaching business?

Digital marketing is overwhelming. So many small businesses fail simply because of this overwhelm. The way we help our clients to do their marketing to avoid overwhelm is- We help them find the right market for their product or service, create a resonating message, and then we help them to choose a way to deliver that message. My mission is to help small to medium businesses to leave their digital headaches behind, and stand out from their competition and reach profitable new markets with search engine optimization.

What is the primary reason you’ve been successful as a coach?

Human beings are always running away from pain. The pain that my clients have is that of obscurity. No one knows who they are or what they do. Their marketing, therefore, becomes expensive.  My job is to help them make money the easy way by developing a never-ending chain of new business using practical, low-cost Digital marketing solutions.  That’s why they keep coming back to me. I am also a practitioner, in that I practice what I preach. I am testing all the strategies that I help my clients within the trenches. That is what makes me empathetic to my clients, and they resonate with that.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in running your business?

Algorithms change and people die or move on. These are things we can’t control in life. We have had 3 Google algorithm changes and 4 Facebook changes that could have set our business back. But I have since realized that all one needs is a message, that is directed to a specific market, the media can change. We have since started working on our message and all the difficulties that may come our way, have all since subsided.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned through your practice?

Be true to yourself. Following shiny objects will only lead you to chase waterfalls. When you discover who you are and what you stand for, those that you would want to serve will seek you out. After they find you, do work that matters. Do not take shortcuts and do not sell yourself cheap. No matter what society want you to think, not everyone wants to be known to have bought something cheap.  What are your best tips for someone interested in starting a coaching or consulting business?

  • Have a message. This means people should know what’s your why and why it should matter to them.
  • Always deliver your best work as we are all judged by our last shipment.
  • Do work that matters. Don’t just do something just because you want the money.
Shane Warren – Registered Psychotherapist; Mental Fitness Coach

Shane Warren – Expert Bio

Website

I have been able to perform many roles throughout my career, including trainer, business manager, youth worker, writer, coach, social researcher, political adviser and consultant. I bring to our clinical relationship more then fifteen years experience as a group facilitator, counsellor and coach. Over the years I have worked with people from all around the world going through various stages of life change and have gained some powerful insights into what stumps us from getting ahead.

I currently hold the following leadership roles within the international coaching community Co-Chair of the Ethics Board of Review for the Asia Pacific Alliance of Coaches (APAC); Chair of Public Relations for APAC, Convener of the Association of Coaches AsiaPac Network; and recently stepped aside from Licensing Committee Member for the International Association of Coaching.

Shane’s Interview

How did you decide to start a coaching business?

I am a registered psychotherapist and so coaching is a natural fit to the work that I do.

What is the primary reason you’ve been successful as a coach?

I split my work between private practice, organisational development / executive coaching and group facilitation – I think the secret to survival is to be authentic to ones capability but don’t be afraid to diversify.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in running your business?

Running a coaching practice is like any business, you need to stay ahead of the game, reinvent often enough to look fresh but also still established and maintain a strong enough presence to gain new clients… so the usual day-to-day stuff provides challenges enough!

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned through your practice?

Keep going!  What are your best tips for someone interested in starting a coaching or consulting business? Define your practice model and keep focussed.

Dr. Elizabeth Isenring – Nutritionist and Wellness Coach

Dr. Elizabeth Isenring – Expert Bio

Website

Dr Liz is passionate about transforming lives through nutrition that works. She is an honorary adjunct professor of nutrition and dietetics and director of LINC Nutrition. Dr Liz has published over 150 scientific papers, received $4, 000, 000 in research support and co-authored international guidelines widely considered the gold standard in the area. After more than 20 years in hospital and university positions Dr Liz has started her own business to help form a “LINC” from where people currently are in their health journey to achieve their vision of optimal wellbeing. Basically Dr LIz helps people to be healthy & love life via food.

Dr. Liz’s Interview

How did you decide to start a coaching business?

I was head of the nutrition and dietetics program at Bond University when two of my friends were diagnosed with cancer and I supported them through their journey. My frustration was that they were not being told about or given access to the nutrition support that we know helps (I had coauthored international guidelines on the area). I then found out it typically takes about 15 years from a scientific publication or research discovery to make it into standard practice. I wanted to be part of the solution rather than the problem so I largely left the academic world and jumped into the world of business, consulting and coaching. I now give people access to cutting edge nutrition and wellness info to improve their health and fitness.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in running your business?

In many ways it was like starting from the beginning again. I had to learn about technology, business, systems, marketing and promotion. While my qualifications and experience were valued in the corporate and academic world in the “real word” or amongst the general public any influencer and tv star can talk about nutrition. I did initially find it frustrating that anyone can give advice and I’d be like, “but that’s actually not true and could be quite harmful”. Hard to counter that though when they are standing in a skimpy swimsuit looking gorgeous!! I’ve since realised that the best way to cut through the noise is to be myself and hopefully be a voice of reason amongst all of the misinformation floating around.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned through your practice?

Results and world of mouth count. I would focus on helping  whoever is in your sphere. When they get results, their reviews and people they speak to will get you more clients than endless Facebook posts (in my experience). Focus on helping your clients to get results and nurture relationships. Basically care for people and help them to win along the way.   What are your best tips for someone interested in starting a coaching or consulting business? I have so many!! I do think it is important to seek advice from someone who is doing what you want to do or has achieved what you would like to. But remember everyone has their own journey. What works for one person may not work for another. I suggest that you be really clear on why you want to go into coaching or consulting, have a clear mission, be clear on your values and your boundaries. Nurture relationships and focus on results. Don’t try and sell to others but see how you can support them to achieve their goals. It’s not the easiest career but the satisfaction you get from helping others using your unique skills and the freedom of being your own boss means for many that going into coaching or consulting will be the best decision they ever made!!

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