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The ultimate guide on how to strategically launch & grow a profitable coaching business from scratch

Create great content, it eliminates buyer resistance which makes selling easier for you

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If you are a coach, speaker, consultant, or trainer, who is determined to help people but finds it hard to build a business around your passion, starting, launching, and growing a successful online coaching business that earns you a full-time income just got easier.

Raise your hands if you’ve been dying to get transformative advice on how to build an ethical, profitable business without the hype that’s available online. There is a plethora of information online about how to successfully build a coaching business few really share the exact process with you. You’ve probably tried everything and are wondering if creating a business that makes you full-time income is real.

Until now.

Whether you just started your business and you’re not even sure what to do next, or maybe you’re really struggling and want to take things to the next level, or you are a talented coach, speaker, or trainer looking to explode your influence and income online, this guide is for you.

If really you want the next 12 months to be a defining year for your business, to extend your reach, grow your impact, become more significant in your space as a leader who people want to spend their money with, this guide is for you.

If this sounds unachievable, don’t worry, I’ll walk you through a step-by-step process that has enabled me and many people who have who we have worked with to grow a full-time coaching business in as little 12 months. If you follow this process, you will start seeing some really amazing results in your business.

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Here are the 10 steps on how to build a profitable online coaching business for easy skimming.

  • Step 1: The 3 goals you MUST set for your business.
  • Step 2: Clearly identify who you are reaching
  • Step 3: Become the go-to expert in your industry.
  • Step 4: Map out the success journey.
  • Step 5: Map out your winning content.
  • Step 6: Create a winning keynote.
  • Step 7: The 3 tiers of products and services you MUST offer.
  • Step 8: Choose the right offer strategy for your business goals.
  • Step 9: Build strategic relationships for success.
  • Step 10: Focus on the main thing.

Now, if you would rather watch and listen to this epic training on how to grow a full-time income online at your own pace, click here. My team and I have specifically created a FREE library full of exclusive training videos on everything you need to know to succeed as a coach, speaker, or trainer.

Read on if you are ready to know the exact steps to building a profitable business in 2017.

Step 1: The 3 Goals That You Must Set For Your Business

There are 3 goals you must set for your business. For the record, I won’t be talking about SMART goals––there’s a lot of useful material out there to plug into.

You see, the challenge for most of us in the online business industry is that while we get the importance of goals, we don’t usually set them. For those of us who do understand the importance of goals, we tend to set the wrong kinds of goals for our businesses.

With that said, the 3 goals you must set for your business before you start dabbling into other things are:

  • Your income goals
  • Your impact goals
  • Your Influence goals

The first you should be setting is your income goals

Most coaches in our space are heart-led because the primary reason they’re in business is to help people. But a crucial mistake that they make and repeat is treating money as an afterthought. I constantly hear the phrase “follow your passion and the money will follow” among other cool expressions. Yes, it sounds cool, and this is the sort of thing we like to hear.

But the reality is if you don’t set financial goals, and if you’re not clear about how much you’re going to be making, you will find yourself doing a LOT of activity and none of it will be productive.

I sit down with coaches struggling to make money in business and ask them “how much do you want to be making 2 months from now” and the response is startling; they just stare at me. Yes, they want to be successful, have clients and have lots of buyers…but they didn’t actually think about their financial goals!

As an entrepreneur, what you want to do is to determine the level of income you want to achieve beforehand. Business is about profiting from the marketplace and every business activity should work towards income. This is non-negotiable.

Do this now: Determine how much you want to make this year and write it down. You can even go further and break it down by quarter.

The second goal you want to set is your impact goals

How would you have changed people’s lives? How would you have helped people get to where they want to be? How many businesses do you want to radically grow with your method?

Not only should you be setting income goals, you should be thinking about the people you help when you set goals. The way I like to measure how I am faring in this aspect is through testimonials and results.

Let me use a fitness professional as an example. As a fitness trainer, you need to determine how many people would experience successful weight loss or belly blasting with your programs this year. Well, the best way to measure results is to ask your past and current clients for testimonials. Ask people who engage with your recipes, fitness programs, services, etc to share their experiences with you.

Once you do this, you can now start working on the next part of your business goal.

The third goal is the influence goals.

This is about how many people you are reaching, and for me, this is related engagement, your email subscriber list, and customer acquisition.

How many people are going to be added to your email subscriber list? How many people are going to be happy to buy from you?

How many conversations are you going to start your engagement platforms? How will you create and share content? How many followers do you want to have on your twitter or Instagram account? How do you want to measure interaction on your YouTube channels?

How many new buyers are you going to generate in 2017? How many repeat customers do you want to upgrade into premium programs?

All these are tied to your influence and network. Think carefully about this as you map out your business goals.

 

 

Step 2: Clearly Identify Who You Will Be Solving Problems For.

The mistake a lot of people make is focusing on people who seem like their customers but aren’t. This could be in form of writing for everyone who operates a “blog” and hoping they’ll open their wallets.

To build a profitable business, you need to clearly identify who you will be solving problems for in 2017. I have written some questions for you to help you figure out your ideal clients. As you work your way through this list, I want you to think about these questions to help you identify your ideal clients

  • Who are you going to help?
  • What is their big desire? What is the big thing that they are really looking at?
  • What is their biggest fear, their biggest frustration?
  • What is their demographics?
  • Where are they currently seeking help?
  • How well is that working?
  • How much disposable income do they have?
  • What motivates them into solving their problems?
  • What does satisfaction look like for them?
  • What influences their decision-making?

    To build a profitable business, you need to clearly identify who you will be solving problems for

    DJ Sobanjo

Be ready to do some gold-mining. Be ready to ask people what's holding them back, to dig into their fears, and to help them articulate what's frustrating them.

 

Step 3: Become The Go-To Expert in Your Industry

Imagine there is a massive knowledge bowl and there are expert levels from 1 to 5.

Just imagine this is the knowledge bowl 🙂

At the lowest space in the knowledge bowl is a huge concentration of experts. Is this where you are right now?

But the reality is this: the higher up you go, the greater your capacity to earn more income because there are fewer experts there. There is a higher level of expertise and skill involved and you will enjoy working with clients who value the same things you value.

It’s really amazing because most people are looking for how to attract clients to their businesses and look good online. They take several courses to learn how to package themselves like level 5 experts when really, they aren’t. Yes, they will attract level 5 clients. But sooner or later, these clients realize that they aren’t all they claim to be.  

So, what should your goal be?

Your goal should be to accelerate your progress through this knowledge bowl in order to gain expert-level status. A lot has already been shared about positioning, packaging, business strategy, client attraction, branding, and son on in the online industry. But no one is talking about actually gaining the skills to back these things up!

If you’re a level 1 expert, people at a level 5 will usually not want to partner with you. This explains why there are masterminds that are almost exclusive to 6 and 7-figure earners.

Now, there are 4 core areas you need to work on to move up these levels.

  1. Mindset. You just need to have the right mindset. People who are on level one have a different mindset have a different mindset from people who are on level 7.
  2. Attitude. This is a core thing that influences your behavior. This is how your respond and react to what happens to you. The attitude of people at level 2 and the way they react to situations in businesses is different from those on level 10 react.
  3. Knowledge. I can’t overemphasize this. A simple way to look at this is to remember how we acquired knowledge as we passed through grade school in elementary school. There is a higher level of knowledge needed
  4. Skills. This is about the ability to get results. The fastest way to move up the knowledge bowl is to possess the ability to get better results faster than the average person. This is going to be a big game-changer for your business.

If you work on enhancing yourself and growing your capacity to implement your skills, you will garner attention.

The higher up you are in the knowledge bowl, the easier it is to get visibility

DJ Sobanjo

Potential clients will engage with your content, listen to you, observe you, and seek you out by themselves. An instant attraction begins to take place and they begin to see you as a peer. You don’t need to spam every Facebook group. By now, you become attractive to partners, clients, and things become smoother.

Here’s what I’m saying in a nutshell: the higher up you go in the knowledge bowl, the easier it is to get visibility. People see you as someone to learn from and they want to partner with you and support you. As you become aware of this reality and position yourself properly, amazing things will happen in your business.

 

Step 4: Map Out Your Success Journey.

I'm sure you must have read or at least heard of  Stephen Covey's classic personal development book - 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It was massively successful and sold millions of copies worldwide. His target market was people who wanted to be successful and more productive in life. So, Stephen mapped out the steps they needed to

map out the process that they will need to travel to get out from their less desirable place to where they want to be.

DJ Sobanjo

take to be high-level achievers and "walked" them through them in each chapter.

The 7 Habits is the Unique Success Framework for the Stephen Covey brand.

You need to do the same thing. You need to map out your Unique Success Framework. What you to do is look at the people in your target market, and map out the process that they will need to travel to get out from their less desirable place to where they want to be.

Here at Profit from Coaching, our USF is the 4-part profit model for coaching business success that has served us since we started the company.

  1. Define your community: this is the very first part. Know the unique tribe of people who you want to serve.
  2. Grow your community: once you’ve defined it, you need to bring in the people who fit the profile of your community and grow your community.
  3. Serve your community: enhance and add value, help build confidence and competence to help them be successful.
  4. Upgrade your community: invite them regularly to a higher level of engagement.

This is your whole business in 2017 because you’ve structured your calendar, content, product around it.

Here’s the question we get often: How many steps should you ideally have in your unique framework?

3 is okay. 4 is a good number. Anything between 4, 5, and 6 is sweet. Anything more than 8 becomes confusing and complex.

Why this important: it helps to identify where people will need help in. We know that people need help defining their community: who to help, how I can help, and how I will get paid.

 

Step 5: Strategically map Out Your Content

 

 

How to strategically map out brilliant content. Why is content that important. Within your community, content is the #1 way to establish credibility, likeability, and authority. If you want to stand out from a lot of noise makers and be seen as a thought leader, your content is the primary tool that you are going to use to do this.

If you begin to turn out great content, it eliminates buyer resistance which makes selling easier for you. A lot of people who work in our space struggle to get people attend their paid events, buy their courses, and work with them 1 to 1. Usually, the reason why this happens either they’re not getting out enough content for their community. Or they’re doing it the wrong way.

if you decide to go with a method that doesn’t resonate with you, you’re going to struggle with consistency. And if you’re not consistent, you will not make the impact you need to make.

DJ Sobanjo

Now tread softly here. This isn’t about volume. Yes, there’s plenty of content advice out there and sometimes we do feel compelled to go with what’s popular. But if you decide to go with a method that doesn’t resonate with you, you’re going to struggle with consistency. And if you’re not consistent, you will not make the impact you need to make.

What is my recommendation?

Go with the path of least resistance for you and then repurpose the content.

You have the expertise and knowledge and insight to help people from where they are to where they want to be. There is a way that is easier for you to deliver your message. And you’ve got to discover what it is.

If you’re someone who finds writing easy, then that should be the core of how you create content. If you can jump in front of a camera to get your message across, then video will be brilliant for you. If you find being on camera a little exposing, audio (podcasting) might be the best way for you. Once you’ve created your core content, you can then repurpose it in different ways: infographics, social media updates, slideshows, etc to communicate your core message.

Key thing: for your content to make the impact you want to make this year, whether you’re doing a radio show, writing, or recording videos of your message, make sure it’s targeted, consistent, and valuable.

Again, however frequently you decide to create content, make sure it’s consistent.

So what do you write about?

I’m going to give you a very simple approach that would work for you in a powerful way.

  1. Go back to your unique success framework (step 4). If you don’t have one make sure you create one. Identify what the different steps are within your framework.
  2. For each of this steps, identify at least 10 questions people in your community ask related to your unique success framework.

Fyi, I use the same approach to create content, using my unique success framework. If you want a detailed breakdown of how I’ve generated over 40+ content ideas for the year, click here to get access to this entire post in video format.

Where do I get all these content ideas?

Pretty easy. Go to people who are already talking about this. check out podcasts, go to Facebook groups and identify some of the popular, pressing topics that people are talking about. This will help identify hot topics that you can create content around.

 

Step 6: Creating a Brilliant Keynote for Your Business

A keynote is a talk that establishes a core thing or idea. As a coach, you should seek opportunities to speak in front of an audience. Whether it is a webinar or live in front of other people’s audience, you want to make sure that you have prepared a speech that is well designed and put together to establish you as an authority.

Why a keynote?

Every time you are invited to speak in front of an audience, especially an audience that may be unfamiliar to you, it gives you the opportunity to establish yourself as someone who knows what you’re doing, is good at you’re teaching about, and can deliver results that they desperately want.

So, how do you deliver a massively inspiring keynote that establishes your credibility?

If you want to connect with your audience in a faster way, go with a how-to presentation.

For example, if you’re a fitness coach, go with How to lose that stubborn baby fat and fit into your pre-baby jeans (so that you will be the envy of your friends). You can’t go wrong with a big how-to title that speaks to the solutions that your ideal clients are seeking. Just keep it really simple.

Now, let’s look at the structure of your keynote.

My recommendation is to teach your unique success framework. This is a system or process that your company helps people to travel from where they are to where they want to be. Again, our own unique process is the 4-part coaching model which is defining your community, serving your community, upgrading your community. If you haven’t figured out your framework, go back to step 4.

Back to structuring your keynote.

My advice is to device a 60-90 minute keynote. First, you start with a promise.

  • What is it that they’re going to get: Help them understand what it is that they’re going to get from the presentation.
  • Share your story: A really good story establishes you as an authority on the subject. Your story could be your personal story or an experiential story You could approach your story by sharing a picture of this is where I was, where I am now, why I started this, and this is what I want to help others achieve.

    If you haven’t been in their shoes but would LOVE to help them, your story could be what inspired you to work with people in that group, why you chose to do what you do, and some of the results you’ve been getting.
  • Highlight the wrong way people try to solve By explaining the wrong way people try to fix the problem and why it doesn’t work.
  • Introduce the solution. Take them through your unique success framework. Explain the process and why it’s important.
  • Ask your audience if they can see how this solution will help them. If you’ve explained your process well and used lots of stories to paint a picture for them, this should generate positive responses from your audience.
  • Call to action. This could be an invitation to join your email subscriber list, to buy a book, or invite them to take a step with you.

This is how you build a winning keynote. Now sit down and plan out your 60-minute keynote. Whether it is a podcast, an online summit, or a live event, you will have prepared yourself for flawless delivery when the invitation comes.

 

Step 7: Understand & Package The 3 Tiers of Products and Services

There are 3 tiers of product I recommend you start with.

It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, you need to have a product or offer so people can invest in your business. Maybe you want to help people be thinner, better, happier, more spiritual, you still need to bring a paid offer to the marketplace.

The 1st tier is what I call the low ticket solution (offers). These are lower priced offerings that could be anything from $1 to $100...or $1000 in some spaces. Generally, for most coaches, this is about $1 to $100. Things that can fit in this category include books, audio programs, workshops, etc.

Why low ticket solutions?

Low ticket solutions are a great way to extend your reach and get people to invest in you. Yes, they don’t make a lot of money and should not be the core of your business. However, a lot of people who will invest in your higher end solutions will usually start here just to get an idea of the experience they’ll get with you.

The second tier is called Middle ticket solution (offers): These are anything from $100 - $1000. You could run live seminars, consulting, and some group coaching events. Middle ticket solutions are transformational offerings because when clients seek these offers, they believe that there is a certain type of relief that will happen if they invest in them. Middle ticket solutions are also really good if you want a healthy cash flow every month.

Online courses are a big one. I will even go as far as saying you should plan to create one in 2017. It is a high value, low commitment, course. Meaning, you don’t need to show up to deliver it. You just create the content, put it online in a members area, and you are set.

The third tier is called high ticket solution (offer): This is anything from $1000 and above. Examples include 1:1 coaching, mentoring, boot camps, and implementation services. Why would people want a high ticket solution?

People invest in these programs when they want results and accountability, faster. High-end offers require a lot of engagement and interaction from you where you work with people over a period of time. A fitness coach working on a 90-day program who frequently interacts with clients will fit into the high ticket solution tier.

High ticket offers are great for financial freedom. I want you to think about what service you can package to get people the results they want. If you want to be in a place where you want to generate a full-time income to sustain a livelihood, this is where you should be.

Note: Even though online courses are middle ticket solutions, they could sell higher than $1000. It all depends on what your industry is and what outcomes people expect to get.

Now, how do you use the right product mix for maximum profitability in your business?

 

Step 8: Choosing the Right Offer strategy for your Business Goals.

There are different things you should be doing in your business depending on what stage your business is in and what goals you’re looking to achieve.

But there’s a huge challenge here: we tend to look at what people are doing and then copy exactly just that.

However, when you copy what people are doing, sometimes you might be copying their successes, not their strategy, making it incredibly difficult to replicate their results. These wildly successful strategies will only work for you depending on what stage your business is in and if combined with the right offers.

What are these stages, and what should my offer strategy be?

Stage 1: Just getting started and are struggling to generate a full-time income.

If you’re in this stage, your core focus should be on offering a high-ticket solution which is anything from $1000 and above. Low ticket sales are not going to get you anywhere. If you’re just running $37 events and selling $15 books, you’re going to struggle to generate a full-time income.

This is simply because, at this stage, you may not have a big following or crowd and will lack the right amount of traffic needed to sell a huge volume.

For example, as a fitness coach looking to generate a full-time income online, you can offer a 90-day fitness package for $3000. If you get two people into your program, that is $6000 a month––which is full-time income for a lot of people. All you need to do is to is get a small number of clients and soon, you will be able to hit your income goals.

So, how do you do this?

What you need is a simple funnel to enable you to achieve this.

Set up a system that drives people to a 1:1 consultation with you. Running free strategy sessions might seem scary, but don’t worry. We have written a simple, in-depth article on how to run free sessions that convert prospects to paying clients. Once you have a steady stream of consultations, you can move to upgrading them to your high ticket solutions.

Here at Profit from Coaching, we have a program called the Profit Pulling Pipeline which generates leads into a 1:1 Consultation with you where at the back of that, you offer them your high ticket solution. Now if they can’t take you up on this, you can offer them your middle-ticket solution.

Focusing on the wrong offer strategy will make your business may die out because you won’t generate the income needed to take your business to the next level. In other words, you will struggle to make money which makes it harder to invest in your business.

The second group of people I would like to address are individuals who are at...

Stage 2: My business is already enjoying a steady income

If your business is doing well and you’re no longer working part-time, your goal is right now is to accelerate your business growth. I’m talking about growing your business to be 5 times or 10 times what it is right now.

Keep doing what you’re doing. But while you have your profit pulling pipeline consistently bringing people into your high-end solutions, you need other middle-ticket offers to crank things up and fill in the spots. This is where you’re going to turn to middle ticket solutions for variability.

First, I suggest that you set up a subscription-based offer. A subscription offer is something people pay monthly for in order to get access to a product or service. Designing subscription-based offers get the masses coming in which makes it possible to enjoy the level of income needed to accelerate your growth.

Secondly, you want to create one to four really powerful middle-ticket offers. I recommend creating online courses, workshops, or live annual events, and setting up funnels to drive members of your community to these events.

Once people experience your brilliance at a low level of commitment, people will want to work with you one-on-one. When this happens, you can now double the price of your high-ticket offers which will 5x or 10x your business in no time.

 

Step 9: Build Strategic Relationships for Success.

At the end of the day, business is really all about people. Helping people get what they want and profiting from that.

If you want to make 2017 a different year for you, you need to invest in relationships. One person is too small to realize anything of significance. In this section, I’m going to guide you through the 3 types of relationships you must strategically and intentionally nurture as you prepare for massive success.

There are 3 levels of relationships I encourage you to build.

  1. Relationships with mentors.
  2. Relationships with peers.
  3. Relationships with proteges.

Relationships with mentors: Mentors have traveled the road that you have traveled. Not only that, they have made a commitment to help you do the same thing. They are at the place where you are aspiring you to be and are willing to help you reach your dreams.

Mentors help you compress the time to achieve your goals.

DJ Sobanjo

Mentors inspire you. Yes, this takes time, will cost you money and quite a bit of chasing, and will take humility on your part.

But mentors empower you in two different ways.

  • Mentors give you access to their wisdom. They say experience is the best teacher but I don’t really agree. Yes, it is a great teacher but you can get a lot of pain, failure, and stress in the process. Wisdom, on the other hand, is the best teacher. Mentors help you compress the time to achieve your goals. With them, you fail considerably less. This way, you can make significant progress in your business.
  • Mentors give you access to networks: The other thing they give you access to is their networks, which is even more powerful. When you build relationships with them, they open doors for you. If they’ve been in business for a while, it’s likely that they have built relationships with other cool people who can help you with your business goals.

Relationships with peers: these are people have similar motivations and desires as you and are also heading in the same direction as you.

Entrepreneurship can be very lonely. But peer relationships can reduce this and actually encourage you. It’s also not just about encouragement; it’s about the way you challenge one another to stretch for growth. Your peers will push you to improve your skills, invest in your business, and set skyrocketing goals for your income.

Investing in growing your peer network is hard work but it does make all the difference.

Relationships with proteges: These are people who are aspiring to be where you are. Having protegee relationships are really important. Yes, you may be giving a lot of time and resources to make this happen (this is true). However, your biggest promoters in 2017 will be your proteges.

Proteges edify you, build you up, and validate you. As you work with them and see their progress, it validates your process(es), your own journey, and it feeds your ego in a healthy way. And I don’t know any better way to feed your ego than to mentor others and actually see the progress they are making as a result of your help.

 

Step 10: Focus on the Main Thing This Year.

One of the biggest challenges you are going to face as you take your coaching business to the next level is the distraction. These aren’t necessarily bad; in fact, I call them good distractions.

Distractors can be really good...so beneficial that could, in fact, distract you from the main thing that you should focus on; growing and profiting from your business.

But if you want to make this year a defining year in your coaching, speaking, and writing business, you need to identify the core things that makes what you do a business.

What are these two things?

Your business is primarily two things: acquiring paid customers and delivering what you promised.

The first thing your business is about is acquiring paid customers. It’s not about having a having a fancy website, business cards, nameplate, beautiful chairs, nice-looking images of the rich lifestyle on your website.

As a result, you need to ask yourself this: is what I'm doing helping me get customers? Is this the best use of my time and energy?

Don’t get drawn into things that don’t get you closer to your goals. Now, things like personal development, working on your coaching, speaking, and writing skills are good investments.

The second thing your business should be about is delivering what you promised. Ultimately, customer service is a hugely important. You need to constantly ask yourself: how can I give the people who are spending money with me an amazing experience that they would make them go all out to brag about me?

It’s amazing how some people master the first part but don’t get the second part. Every customer is going to have an experience of your customer service. Whether it’s going to be a positive or a negative experience is up to you.

These two things are the most important things you need to focus on. Do a weekly review to figure out how your activities are helping you come up with new customers and creating the excellent customer experience. If you are not happy with the results, or your actions don’t help you grow your business and give your clients brilliant experiences, refocus on the main things for your business.

We are all going to get distracted this year, I promise you. Other people are going to make suggestions to you and sell ideas to you. Now, they may come from a good place of wanting to help you. However, the fact that they say good things doesn't mean these things are right for you and your company.

Constantly ask yourself these 3 things:

  • Is what I’m doing aligned with my big objective?
  • Is it helping me acquire customers?
  • Is it helping me provide great customer service?

If the answer is no, I urge you to cross it out and focus on the MAIN thing in your business. By consistently repositioning and reviewing what you do, you will be on your way to making your coaching business a full-time income.

Now, what next?

  1. Click here to get access to this entire post in video format. Actually, 10 videos which explain all the steps. You also get access to several FREE training videos where I share everything I know about building a profitable coaching business.
  2. Share the link to Profit from Coaching Academy with your colleagues. Remember, one of the relationships that will skyrocket your income is peer relationship.

Bookmark this post so you can come back to it again. If you are ready to ditch the ineffective brainstorming sessions for an effective business strategy, I can't wait to see you on the inside.

 

Questions? Comments? A-ha moments? Please share your thoughts below!

 

About the Author DJ Sobanjo

DJ Sobanjo is a leading personal and leadership development expert, author, speaker, coach and consultant. He has been engaging, inspiring and developing people across the world for over 14 years. He started his internet business journey in 2003 and after many false starts went on to build a successful global business online. In 2014 he started Profit From Coaching to help other coaches, speakers and trainers build a profitable business around their passion of helping others.

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