Transitioning from a Successful Business / Career to Business Coaching & Consulting?
Are you an owner & founder of a successful business delivering services or products to your customer and are now thinking about transitioning to business coaching & consulting helping your industry colleagues gain the same success you’ve had, OR, completely coaching the niche?
Or, you are in a corporate job, been doing business, marketing, sales, leadership consulting, managing products, processes, people, and would love to transit to business coaching, working for yourself, and grow successful coaching & consulting business?
Great, let’s talk about what you need to have in place to make that transition as smooth and successful as possible!
Keys to succeeding
The business coaching industry is booming. It is a huge industry and we cannot see it getting any smaller anytime soon. But it also means that there is a lot of competition. And I’m sure you have noticed that too. However, there are some coaches who will get the best clients, everybody wants to work with these specific coaches, they can command higher prices than others, and they are the ones that people are talking about. You might wonder: how can I become that coach?
In this article, I’m covering the KEY ELEMENTS to becoming that coach & consultant.
You might want to start helping colleagues in your own niche. Why? Because you most likely have connections and industry peers who have been watching you grow your firm and would love to get your help! If you’ve been in interior design, photography, web design, spa & salon business, running a restaurant, hotel or café, or maybe been successfully growing an e-commerce brand… you already have followers and connections that are wishing they’d know what you know, and they’d love to receive your help.
So, the best move you can make is to these connections.
When I started Avenue, or way before it was called Avenue, I started receiving requests from other designers about manufacturing physical goods and launching an international brand. So this led to me packaging a coaching service, which later on became Avenue; a business growth system, coaching and consulting services for small business owners in many niches and countries.
Current state - next step analysis tool
The first and the most important tool you need to have in place is a diagnostic tool that can clearly identify the client’s current state and point out the next step to get to her dream state. This sounds simple, but it requires a lot of understanding of the business model and challenges your client has.
You need to be able to diagnose their pains, their frustrations, and also the real reasons behind their challenges. You need to be able to diagnose the real problem and provide a simple solution that gets your client to the next stage.
For example, business owners come to us and say: “I have a marketing problem… I cannot get any clients”. And, when we start looking at what they are doing, what kind of assets they have in place, what kind of systems they have in place, then we might see that they, in fact, don’t have a marketing problem, but rather a sales problem. For example, they have a solid lead flow but their sales process is not working.
Your clients don’t come to you because they want to have some random advice. They come to you because they want to have a plan.
Business coaching is NOT about cheering your clients when they do good. It’s not about quietly listening to your client rambling about all kinds of stuff going on in their lives. For sure, listening to your client is a very important part of working as a coach / consultant, but your clients are confused, worried, desperate even. They come to you because they have a big problem and they don’t need a cheerleader, they need somebody who has a simple plan to get them out of that agony.
- They are confused.
- They don’t know what to do.
- They don’t know where to go.
- They don’t know what kind of decisions to make.
- And they don’t know how to measure the things that they are doing.
So, your job as the most wanted business coach is to be able to create that plan, illustrate it, and help your client follow that plan. You need to develop systems. You need to have frameworks. You need to have tools that you can use to identify where the person is right now, where they want to get. And then you need to create a methodology that will help them to get to their goals safely, and faster than they’d do on their own.
And if you don’t have a clear plan for how to get them to their goals, then you are going to leave them without results. If you want to stand out in the competition, you need to become the coach with a plan.
Sales Process that works
Now that you have a plan for your clients, now it’s time we start attracting the right clients to you! The most important step in getting started with your clients is to create a sales process that works.
- What is a sales process?
- How can I create a simple one?
- And, shouldn’t I start with marketing?
A sales process is what turns your prospects to clients. And if you don’t have any prospects yet, you need to build a marketing system to get some leads and prospects! But, since we want to make sure your marketing activities actually lead to sales, we need to create a sales process first.
Also, you might actually already have quite many prospects in your network, the people who are asking for your help and would love to work with you if you started offering business coaching. Let’s start with them!
How does a sales process look like?
A simple sales process contains a set of steps that lead to sales in the most efficient way. If you sell on a phone/Zoom call, then your simple process could consist of an application form, call booking system, a simple structure for the call, and a follow-up system. You need to have a few key assets in order to make this work, for example; a video presentation covering your services, and an e-book that describes your plan for delivering results for your clients.
Marketing System that works
Most new entrepreneurs want to start with social media, so they create accounts on IG / FB / PI and start posting random images and inspiration. While using social media in your marketing is smart, this is not where you should start, unless of course you already have a relevant following on your channels.
Why not starting with social media?
Growing a following organically is a long term play, and you need to get started with your clients NOW, right? Also, if you don’t have a clear plan for converting the followers to clients, you are going to be wasting a lot of your valuable time when you could be already working with your new clients.
So, where do I start?
Start by creating a lead offer, a downloadable PDF book, or a short video that solves A PROBLEM you know your ideal clients are battling with right now. You are going to need a technical infrastructure to deliver this offer, for example; a landing page where you can invite people to, and where they can sign up for this PDF. You also need to have an email system that delivers the PDF.
Our favorite tools:
- landing page builders like Lead Pages, or as we prefer: a custom-made WordPress site with a specific, branded URL.
- ActiveCampaign for building your prospect database and sending your emails
- Google Drive for storing & sharing the PDF
Scalable business model
Once you have started attracting the right clients and have delivered amazing results to them, you want to take the next step and start building your scalable business model. This is when you should start implementing the 1:many model, and the options are many.
Online courses are very popular, however, your clients most likely need more than a passive online program. This of course depends on what kind of clients you work with, and how you want to construct your business, but most often growing a business is complex, and if you want to work with high-end clients, a simple online course is not likely to attract the ones you want.
What’s the best choice?
We love hybrid programs, meaning: we offer the online course infrastructure with private 1:1 coaching and mentoring, and group consulting. If a client is not ready for this level of investment, then she can take a self-paced online course.
This means: create a product portfolio of offers that make sense for different needs (and budgets) of your client base.
Some of the offers are highly scalable, and some less scalable. Remember the pathway to results? You could package the first steps as a scalable online course, and then offer the next steps as a high-ticket consulting & coaching offer. Of course, you price your products accordingly!
What should I offer first?
Every business coach & consultant should start offering their most valuable, signature offer first. You want to become known for quality, right? You also need to focus on generating cash and you won’t be able to do that with low-ticket offers unless of course, you already have a huge database of prospects.
Should I work for free first?
No. You have years and years of experience, even if you’re new to business coaching, you need to charge accordingly. Besides, your clients don’t pay YOU to be YOU, they pay YOU to solve a problem THEY have, so if you have a solution, you must put a price tag on that!
One success secret that high-demand business coaches have and you might not...
They have a team.
You see, when in corporate, you most likely have colleagues and team members that are helping you with your client deliveries. As a newbie coach / consultant, you are completely solo, and that might feel a bit daunting. The most successful business coaches have teams and networks of other professionals that can help in client projects, or just offer a bouncing partner when you have questions and don’t quite know how to help your client or how to grow your business.
Business coaches need coaches too 🙂