The Basics Needed to Get Started as a Coach

get started as a coachWhen I first started out as a coach, I had no idea what I was doing business-wise. I felt very confident about being a coach but had no clue how to market myself and get clients. I was smart enough to hire a coach before I launched my business. She helped me get the basics down. But right before I was getting ready to launch, I got laid off from my job. This sent me into a panic. But deep down inside I knew everything happened for a reason and this was simply divine timing. I felt led to jump off the cliff and become an entrepreneur…full-time.

I don’t think this was a mistake. But I wasn’t prepared for the emotional roller coaster that was to come. I always tell people that becoming a business owner is the greatest personal development journey you will every embark upon. Every fear and insecurity you have locked deep down inside WILL come up!

So, my “I’m not good enough” story took center stage. We all have a story. And it plays out in every area of our lives. It’s that major lesson we’re continually learning and mastering. I’m sure if you really take a look at your life you’ll see there’s that one pattern, or story, that keeps replaying.

I heard the statistic that it takes 3-5 years to really find success in your business. But, I was determined to beat those odds. And my ego was depending on it. So, I began to take class after class, and invest in program after program, and work on my business 24/7, until I found myself thousands of dollars in debt, sick, and barely making ends meet!

I knew the way I was going about things was not sustainable. And, I also knew there had to be a simpler way to operate my business without having to sacrifice my well-being. What surprised me was how much I had been hiding behind my busyness because I was afraid. But once I simplified my business and faced my fears, magic began to happen.

What I’m going to share with you today is what I always share when I get asked the question, “now that I have my certification, how do I get started as a coach”? These are all things I’ve done or used myself and also recommended to my clients, with much success. And, I hope that you find them just as helpful!

TIPS AND TOOLS YOU NEED TO GET STARTED:

1. WEBSITE: CoachingWebsites.com

Technically, you don’t need a website to get started as a coach. But I know you want one and are wondering what platform to use and how much is too much to spend on your first website. Listen, if you’re just starting out, chances are you’re not completely sure about what your focus is or who is in your target market. I’m willing to bet you haven’t even figured out your messaging and branding. All of this is important but it can be figured out along the way, not before you get started. And, it’s definitely going to change within the next year so there’s no point in wasting a ton of money. What you want is something that is professional and appealing. I always recommend that first time coaches use coachingwebsites.com. It’s all done for you and you can have a website up tonight. Yes, there’s a monthly fee and no I’m not an affiliate. 🙂 I used this for the first few months of being a coach. It will save you a lot of time and money and as you grow you’ll be able to invest in a beautiful website later.

2. CONTRACTS/SCHEDULING/BILLING: SatoriApp.com

I started using this platform when I first got started coaching, and I still use it today. This tool keeps all of your scheduling, contracts (they have a done-for-you template!), and billing all in one place. It’s designed just for coaches and is very user friendly. It’s very professional and affordable.

3. MARKETING: Speaking 

I thought I could get around this. I was TERRIFIED of speaking and wanted no parts of it. But I soon learned that speaking is the #1 most effective way to market yourself and your business. In order for people to buy, they have to know, like, and trust you and the product or service. They need to know that you are an expert at what you do.  And yes, you are an expert! You may not have mastered your field…YET, but you know enough to be able to help someone with the knowledge that you do have. An old mentor once said, “to a 4th grader, a 5th grader is a God.”

So, get out there and speak! You get better and more comfortable the more you do it. Trust me. I still can’t believe I’m giving keynotes and workshops with ease now! Some great ideas for marketing your services are to offer a workshop to a local organization, sign up to be a speaker at a conference, offer a webinar online, start a YouTube channel, be a guest on a podcast (or start your own!), or do a FaceBook Live.

4. MARKETING: Network

I laugh when I think about the first networking events I went to. They were extremely awkward, stiff, and boring…and I had no clue what I was doing. The most important thing to remember is that networking is not about selling and passing out business cards. It’s about building and nurturing relationships. Being kind, sincere, and helpful will take you a long way. I give in depth tips on how to make the most out of networking here and here.

5. EMAIL LIST: MailChimp.com

You must have an email list! I personally use MailChimp and have for the past 5 years. I love it. Having an email list is VERY important. It’s not enough to have tons of followers on social media. You do not own those platforms and therefore do not own your followers. And you run the risk of losing all of them. But you do own your email list. No matter what provider you use, you always take your contacts with you. Social media is great to meet your potential clients, but you then want to bring them into your list so that you can nurture those relationships, educate them on what you do, be of service, and invite them to invest in your product or service.

6. SOCIAL MEDIA: Just pick one!

I know it’s tempting, but when you’re just starting out you DO NOT need to be on every social media platform! Just pick one, and master that platform before moving on to the next. It takes time and consistency to really build engagement and a following. It’s more effective to be great on one platform than to spread yourself too thin trying to manage them all. Keep it simple. I give more tips on how to approach social media here.

7. FIGURE OUT YOUR NICHE AS YOU GO

This may not apply to every industry, but when you get started as a coach I think it’s best to start out with a broad niche. Because, as you start working with clients you will come to see what you like to support people with and what you don’t. You’ll see what you’re really good at and what you enjoy the most. When I first started out, I learned that I really loved helping women find their purpose and develop faith in themselves to follow their dreams. And I loved it. But, little did I know that a year later I would find myself helping other coaches start their coaching businesses and develop faith in themselves to go after their dreams. So, don’t limit yourself or put too much pressure on yourself to have it all figured out before you start. Sometimes you learn your sweet spot during the journey.

8. KEEP YOUR DAY JOB

Having a job while you build your business does not make you any less committed. It does not mean that you don’t have faith in God or your dreams. And it doesn’t make you any less of an entrepreneur. It simply means you don’t want to be stressed and you want your bills paid.

9. MAKE SELF CARE A PRIORITY

I can’t street this enough. It’s going to be very tempting to want to sacrifice your needs in order to make your business successful. But, your business won’t be successful without YOU. I learned this the hard way when I got sick and was forced to make myself my #1 priority. I learned that business doesn’t have to be overly complicated, you don’t have to run yourself into the ground, and yes it’s okay to get some sleep. Getting sleep doesn’t make you a slacker, it makes you wise. You get more done in less time and you’re your most creative when rested. Learn what it is you need to be your best self, draw healthy boundaries, and stick to them. Check out my tips on creating a self care routine you love here.

10. GET A MENTOR AND/OR COACH

I would not have made it this far had it not been for the people I had around me, supporting me, and guiding me along the way. You have to have someone that is where you want to be, has been where you are, and can give advice based on experience. But you DO NOT have to break the bank!

There will be those that pressure you to make quick decisions about large financial investments under the guise that they hold the secret to your success. They will say that if you don’t make the investment it’s because you don’t believe in yourself. They may even go so far as to say that God brought you to them because it was meant for you to invest, and if you don’t it’s a lack of your faith.

Think of it this way…when you invest in the stock market, there are many levels of risk. There are low risk stocks that grow slowly. There are high risk stocks that grow fast. And there are the rest in between. There’s nothing wrong with investing in any of them. But, every wise advisor always suggests that you invest at YOUR OWN COMFORT LEVEL. And you should never put all your eggs in one basket. So, take your time, do your research, and choose wisely.

11. CREATE AND MAINTAIN A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE

Perhaps I should have made this #1. Because this is THE most important tip I can give you. This business idea that you have, this passion stirring in your soul to help people, was placed in your heart by God. And it’s going to be very important that you stay connected to your Source. Because there are going to be times where you don’t know what to do, you’re doubting yourself, someone is saying you must invest in this or take advantage of that opportunity, you fail, you get disappointed, someone breaks your heart…and you still have to keep going. Sometimes it will just be too much and your only solace will be during your quiet moments with just yourself and God. Develop a practice that allows you to quiet your mind and connect with Spirit on a daily basis.

I truly hope that you find these tips helpful as you get started as a coach. You have everything you need, right inside of you, to get started now. I know you may be feeling some fear, but guess what…if you wait for it to go away, you’ll never begin. You have to feel the fear and do it anyway! Push through, you’ve got this!

If you have any questions whatsoever about starting on your journey, or want to share some tips of your own, please join me on Facebook (@coachtiko) this Sunday (2/8) at 9p EST where I’ll be going LIVE! I’ll be discussing everything here and answering all of your questions. See ya Sunday! 🙂

Update: In case you missed it…here’s the Facebook Live from last Sunday! Enjoy!

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  1. Nina D Oglesby says:

    Awesome content! It’s very valuable. This article was so on point. I see that many times the obstacles we think we have aren’t really the obstacles we have. I wish there was a social media share button, so I could share it. I’ll copy/paste the article link for now. Stay blessed! Thanks again

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