How To Become A Business Coach (And How To Get Coaching Clients)
In this blog, I’m going to show you how to become a business coach (or a life coach if you want) and how to get coaching clients with ease.
I originally posted about this process on the blog “This Online Business World” and I have gone into deeper detail on this process in my Scale Your Business online course, but this is the first time I have gone deep into the process of specifically how to become a business coach on The Entrepreneur Ride Along Blog.
First and foremost, you should be an online coach. I have found, it is one of the easiest (and cheapest) ways to make money online. In my first year of coaching, using coaching as a supplemental revenue stream in my online business portfolio, I booked over fifteen clients and generated over $10,000 in income. And that’s while working a full-time 9-5 job, managing three online businesses, launching a new online course, writing a book, taking a two-month road trip, and getting married. That goes to say, I was spending less than five hours per week coaching. Imagine if I had invested twenty or more hours per week in coaching. If you spend a bit more time connecting and booking clients, you can easily bring in $50,000+ from coaching online (I know plenty of people that make a full-time living through business coaching).
Coaching is free, and it’s easy. To become a business coach, all you need is yourself, dedication to helping others, and a video conference platform like Zoom or Skype. That’s it. It is completely free to be a coach and book clients. You just need yourself.
In this blog, I am going to tell you why you should be a coach. I will show you how to become a business coach, and I will show you exactly how to get coaching clients (it’s easier than you think).
What is Business Coaching?
If you are reading this blog about how to become a business coach and how to get coaching clients, I am going to assume that you know what coaching is.
But if not, I will quickly explain what coaching is all about.
To put it simply, business coaching is the process of helping an entrepreneur or business owner reach a specific goal. This can be accomplished through one-on-one coaching or you could coach multiple people at once in a group coaching setting.
Simply put, business coaching is the process of meeting and helping people in business. A coach is simply a helper, a soundboard, and a guide to help the client solve a problem or reach a goal. You do not need to have to have all of the answers. Remember that. A coach is not a guru. A coach is not an encyclopedia or supercomputer that has the answer to every question. A coach is a guide, a high-level thinker that takes a high-level view of the client’s problem. A coach looks at the problem of a client from an outside viewpoint, with a second set of eyes, to provide a fresh perspective and guidance. You are not there to act like a doctor prescribing solutions and solving every problem, you are there to help the client and provide guidance which oftentimes helps the client reach an “aha moment” and come to their own conclusion.
That’s all coaching is. In its simplest form, coaching is helping.
Why Business Coaching?
Before we get into the specifics on how to become a business coach, let’s quickly cover why you should be a coach.
It is one of the most viable revenue streams for new entrepreneurs. It can be your main source of revenue, or like me, you can add coaching as one of the many revenue streams you use to generate income for your business.
Below, I am going to touch on the three main reasons why you should be a coach.
A product with no overhead, with a 100% profit margin, that you can sell for $2,000+. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?
An incredibly profitable product.
To put that in perspective, would you rather sell one single coaching package to one client for $2,000 or hustle to sell 200 copies of your $10 eBook?
Personally, I would rather work hard to find one client and sell one coaching package for $2,000. Finding one high-paying client is MUCH easier than finding 200 paying clients.
No need to spend six months writing a book, building a website, doing all of that SEO work, driving traffic to an email funnel, to hopefully get a couple of passive eBook sales. Instead, you just need to go out and book one coaching client. That sounds much better than struggling for six months!
You can charge a lot for coaching. I charge $1,500 for a package of three 90-minute coaching sessions, one session per month. And that price is only going to increase as I perfect my craft and book more clients. There is a lot of money in coaching. It is one of the most profitable products that you can sell in your business.
It’s Easy (well, easier than you think)
Coaching is much easier than you think. Coaching is just talking to people. To book a client, all you need to do is go out and help, give advice, and provide value. That is all there is to coaching.
You don’t even need a website to be a coach.
Let me say that again. YOU DO NOT NEED A WEBSITE.
Too many coaches are out there perfecting websites, posting on social media, crafting mission statements, and designing business cards but they never get any clients. They forget, the only way to get coaching clients is to coach clients! It’s all about meeting people and helping people. There is nothing more than that. To be a coach you just need to go out there and help. You do not need a website. It is easier than you think.
When I booked my first client, I didn’t have a website, I didn’t have a social media channel, I didn’t have any coaching certifications, I didn’t have any following, and I didn’t have any credibility as a coach other than knowing I could help. I was using a free video meeting platform (Zoom) and I was using my personal email address (I didn’t have a business email setup). Nobody knew who I was when I booked my first client. No one except for one person that I met online, we met on Reddit and I helped him with his business. I invited him to a free coaching call, I provided some advice and guidance, and by the end of that first call, he was already asking about how to hire me as a coach…but I didn’t let him hire me! I didn’t let him pay me for my coaching services after that first meeting (not yet). More about that in the next section about how to get coaching clients.
More Than Money
As a coach, you will be paid in more ways than money.
The connections alone are worth the investment of business coaching. Even if you don’t book a single client.
The connections are one of the main benefits of coaching for me. Sure, it generates additional revenue for me as another revenue stream, but just as important I am able to meet, collaborate, and learn from new entrepreneurs that I otherwise never would have met had I not put myself out in the world as a coach and a helpful person. Since I started coaching I have been interviewed on more than fifteen podcasts (including Pat Flynn’s Ask Pat Podcast), been invited to guest blog for more than ten websites, and I have met more than one hundred entrepreneurs in the past year all of which are experts in various fields of business that I can reach out to for help in the future.
With coaching, you are building a huge network of clients, true fans, and friends. These are connections that will pay dividends long after the coaching relationship ends. Oftentimes, the connections are more valuable than the initial income from the coaching relationship. These connections will be there to return the favor when you need help, and will be the best sales team in the world as they continually refer and send new coaching clients your way.
How Much Money I Make Coaching
I first started coaching, as a business coach, in December of 2019. A few weeks later, by Mid-January, I booked my first paying client. Since then, I have launched multiple group coaching programs and booked over fifteen coaching clients. Generating more than $10,000 in coaching income within my first twelve months of coaching. And I was not coaching more than five hours per week. With less than five hours per week of coaching, I generated $10,000 in coaching income (coaching is a supplementary revenue stream for me). Imagine what you can do if you coach twenty hours per week! That’s just two hours in the morning before work and two hours in the afternoon after work. You can do that! If you can invest twenty hours per week to coaching, you can easily build a $50,000+ coaching business (probably a lot more).
For proof of revenue, see screenshots below from Stripe. Please note, a few of my clients are paying their contract on a monthly basis, so it does not show the full $10,000 accumulated from coaching.
If I can be a coach, generating $10,000+ in my first year of coaching with less than five hours of coaching per week while taking a two-month break to get married and go on a road trip, imagine what you can do. You can EASILY quadruple what I did.
In the next section, I’m going to show you exactly how to become a business coach and how I booked more than twenty coaching clients in my first year of coaching (it’s easier than you think).
How To Get Coaching Clients
Now, let’s talk about how to get coaching clients. This is how to become a business coach.
In this section, I am going to show you the exact same process that I use. This is the exact process that I go through in my Scale Your Business online course (in week 4 and week 10 I go deeper into detail about coaching).
I’m going to share exactly what I do, and show you how to get coaching clients.
To get started coaching, all you need to do is go out in the world and start helping people. If you are wondering how to become a business coach (like me), then all you need to do is go out, provide value, and help people with their business.
So, what does that actually mean when I say “go out and help people”? That means nothing without an example of how to do this.
To make things even easier, I am going to share my five-step process on how to get coaching clients. It is a simple, easy, straightforward process that myself and thousands of other coaches use. This is a process I learned originally from the book The Prosperous Coach by Steve Chandler and Rich Litvin, and have since adapted to my business coaching. The process is simple, I’ll summarize it below and walk you through each step and teach you how to get coaching clients.
Step 1: Help and Connect
First, you need to go out there in the world and help people. You can make connections and start helping people online or in person. If you are an introvert (like me), then start online. Connect with people in online communities like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Reddit.
To start helping people, find where entrepreneurs and business owners are hanging out online. What groups are they a part of? Where are they asking questions?
Are there LinkedIn and Facebook groups where business owners are posting questions and asking for help? That’s where you want to start. Find where people are online asking questions related to your niche and help them. Answer their questions, and provide as much value as you can. If you are learning how to become a business coach, start by going to LinkedIn and find a new business owners group.
There are so many opportunities out there. There are thousands of groups out there where business owners and entrepreneurs are asking questions looking for your help. I’m a business coach, I help entrepreneurs, so I hang out over at the entrepreneur Reddit community and help people build online businesses. The people I help might later become paying coaching clients.
Find a group where you can help. Start talking to business owners and provide value online by responding to their questions. Use your expertise and answer every new question that new business owners post in the group. Go into the group with the goal of helping, with the goal of serving without receiving anything in return (we are not trying to book clients yet). Have a real conversation with these business owners. Comment back and forth. Answer the questions in this group. Talk by commenting back and forth with these business owners. Be curious, ask inquisitive questions, and help lead them to a solution. Be the expert that they are looking for, be their hero, and the answer to their questions.
These are your potential coaching clients. If it feels right, if you click with a particular person that you are helping (and know you can help more), send them a direct message. When you find a person that is valuing your help, send a direct message to continue the conversation (like through the direct message feature of LinkedIn). Something as simple as “Hey, it’s Jake from the Business Owners LinkedIn group. We were going back and forth talking about online marketing strategies. Figured I’d shoot you a direct message to continue the conversation. So what seems to be the problem, you are struggling to get any traction with your Facebook advertising?”
Look at the example below. This is a screenshot of a real conversation, a real direct message that I sent to someone on Reddit that ended up becoming a paid coaching client. We were talking on Reddit, I was helping him with his business, we were commenting back and forth on a Reddit thread. So I sent him a direct message to follow-up and see how things progressed after I provided some help. This later turned into a paid coaching relationship.
It is really that simple. Step one is that easy. Go out there and help people, that’s it.
Step 2: Invite to Free Coaching Call
Now you made connections. You completed step one, you went out there and spent 15-minutes in a LinkedIn group helping business owners with the questions they were asking. Now you have proved that you are an expert to a select group of people, now you have proved that you are a valuable resource and potentially a good coach.
Now, for this second step, I want you to invite each individual connection that you made to a FREE coaching session. I call this a “complimentary coaching session”.
Invite each person that you helped, invite them each to a complimentary coaching session.
The goal in this step is to get your prospective client on a coaching call. We want to get them on a phone call or a video call so we can provide more help.
Look back on your connections from step one. Follow-up with each person that you had a conversation with. In an honest and helpful way, invite each connection to a free coaching session. Do this in a non-threatening and non-spammy fashion. Simply reach out and offer to help by inviting them to a complimentary coaching session.
This takes practice. It takes a little finesse to come across as an honest and helpful person that truly just wants to help, for free, without trying to sell anything. See my example below. This is a real example of a direct message conversation I had with someone on Reddit. This is how I invite potential clients to a complimentary coaching session. This is how I phrase my invite in a non-threatening, non-spammy, helpful way. In this case, I sent this individual a direct message inviting them to a coaching call after I helped answer a few of their questions.
Notice I simply say “Do you want any help talking through some business ideas and answering your questions about a niche? I’d be happy to jump on a quick call some time to talk through your ideas and give you feedback based on my experiences starting niche websites. Let me know! Happy to schedule some time with you. Figured that’s easier than commenting back and forth”
That’s it. Simple and non-threatening. I’m just offering to help.
I recommend copying this exact language. Take this and tweak it for your coaching practice. Use this to invite your prospective clients to a complimentary coaching call.
I find that it’s about a 50/50 shot of the person taking you up on your offer. Some people just want a quick answer, they don’t want a coaching call. And that is okay! Not everyone is coachable, not everyone is going to accept our offer. We are just offering; they are allowed to say no to our offer.
If they say yes, and accept our free coaching call, great! For this first coaching call, I am inviting them to a complimentary 30-minute session. This is just an opportunity to meet, coach a little bit, help the prospective client a little more, and show some of my value. If I like the prospect, if I think they are a potential client, I will invite them to another free coaching session (we will cover this in step 4).
Remember, at this point, I am not sure if I want to work with this client. I want to coach people that I like, people that are coachable and willing to work hard. This person might be rude and obnoxious; I don’t want to work with that type of person. So, for now, for this first call, it is just a 30-minute complimentary coaching call to try and provide more help. Nothing more than that.
Step 3: Coach (for free)
They accepted your complimentary coaching call invitation. Congratulations!
Now you can begin coaching. For free…
In step three, we begin coaching. That’s it. Just coach. Show up empty and provide help in a free coaching session.
There is no pressure on this call. You are not trying to sell anything. You are there to help, and that’s it. Let your prospect show up with questions, they will do most of the talking. As the coach, you are there to listen and provide guidance when you can. Show up empty. Don’t bring an agenda. Just join the call and ask the prospect how you can help.
Remember, this step is all about coaching. All you are doing here in the third step is coaching, we are not trying to sell anything yet. So just show up and help, don’t expect anything in return. Simply show up and deliver more value for free.
This step takes a bit of practice. You will get better at this step with time. Coaching will feel awkward at first. Keep connecting and inviting new prospects to this free coaching session. Repetition helps. The more repetition you get with coaching, the better you will be. Keep connecting and inviting new prospects to this free 30-minute coaching session. Your coaching will improve as you make more connections and have more coaching calls. Trust me, I’ve been there. I’m still learning, I’m improving my practice during each and every coaching call.
The best part is, with this first coaching call, there is no pressure on you! You are just a friendly face showing up to help. You don’t need to have all of the answers today, this prospect isn’t even paying you yet.
This takes practice. It can feel awkward at first. If you are wondering how to become a business coach, this is it. Get out there and start coaching, you will be shocked at how quickly your coaching improves.
Step 4: Invite to Another Call
You completed your first free coaching call with a prospective client, that’s great! You coached a prospective client in a free 30-minute session and solved some of their problems.
Now do it again.
That’s right, do ANOTHER free coaching session with this same prospect.
At the end of your free 30-minute session, if you enjoyed working with the client and they seemed motivated, invite them to a “real” coaching session.
This time, the second complementary session should be 90-minutes long. That is typically the length of time of a paid coaching call, that’s why I call this a “real” coaching session.
The goal here, in step four, is to show this prospective client what a real coaching session looks like.
My paid coaching calls are 90-minutes long. So, for this second call, I invite the client to a complimentary 90-minute coaching session. I want my prospective client to experience what a real coaching session would be like if they paid me for full-time coaching. It’s like a free trial. Once they see my “real” coaching, they will want to pay for my full coaching package.
I typically do this at the end of the 30-minute coaching session. I say something along the lines of “Great, well I really enjoyed meeting you. I’m excited about the progress you are going to make over the next week. Want to touch base next week and discuss the progress you have made? We can set up a “real” coaching call. I offer this to one person each week, completely complimentary. All it means is I block off a full 90-minutes to go through a true coaching call just like I do with my paid clients. All that means is we have more time to talk about anything and everything that you have questions about! Because these 30-minute calls can feel rushed.”
For example, see the email below that I sent to one of my prospective clients inviting her to a 90-minute coaching session.
All you are doing here is getting your prospective client to continue the relationship. By giving them even more free coaching and more value.
Step 5: Propose Your Coaching Package
You have now spent over 120-minutes with your prospective client. You helped them on a 30-minute introductory coaching call and you helped them on a 90-minute “real” coaching call.
They have had a taste of your coaching, they know how great you are, you have built a relationship with this prospective client. Now it’s time to sell your coaching package (or offer another free call).
At the end of step four, after your 90-minute “real” coaching call, you have three options:
- Option 1: Propose – ask the prospect if they want to hear about your coaching package and invite them to continue as an ongoing paid coaching relationship.
- Option 2: Another free session – if it doesn’t feel like the right time to sell your coaching package, if you are unsure if this person will be a good fit for your coaching program, invite them to another free coaching session. Schedule another free 90-minute coaching call at no charge. If they take you up on the offer, they are likely interested in your coaching so you can propose to them after the next call.
- Option 3: Do nothing – if it doesn’t feel like a good fit, if you are not invested in the person and don’t want to work with them, then don’t offer them your coaching! Simply end the coaching relationship and say something like “it was great meeting you, please reach out to me through email if I can help in the future.”
At this point, now that you have invested over two hours of your life coaching this prospective client, I’m going to assume that you want to work with them.
That means it’s time to propose your coaching package. It’s time to ask this prospective client if they want to continue this coaching relationship and pay for your services.
Here is how to make your proposal.
Simply ask. Ask if they are interested. In a non-threatening, no-pressure manner simply ask “Would you like to see what this would look like if we continue as an ongoing paid coaching relationship?”
And that is all you need to ask. That is the start of your proposal. Nothing salesy, no hard selling tactics, no scarcity techniques, no scammy bait and switch sales tactics. Just ask this one simple question. “Would you like to see what this would look like if we continue as an ongoing paid coaching relationship?”.
And let them answer “yes” or “no”.
The ball is in their court. If they are not interested in your coaching, or they cannot afford coaching right now, they will politely decline. If they say no, don’t worry about it! Let them go, don’t push them. That is their decision, we do not want to force someone into a coaching relationship. As a coach, we care about our client’s wellbeing and decisions, we want them to make decisive decisions for themselves. A bad coach will push clients in one direction, a good coach will support and talk through decisions with their clients to make the best decision for the client. So, stay true to how you are as a coach, and let them say no if they don’t want coaching right now. They might be back later. Or, maybe they will pay you back with referrals and exposure (remember, I have been published 20+ times on other websites and podcasts simply because I helped the business owner on a free coaching call).
If they say “Yes, I would love to hear about how we can work together” that is great! They have given you permission to pitch your coaching package. This means they want to learn more about your paid coaching service. So tell them about it! Start by talking about the intangible value they will receive from your coaching package and what you will accomplish together, talk through the price and logistics of the package, and hammer home the value of your coaching together. Something like “For starters, I recommend my three-month coaching package. It’s one 90-minute session per week with my personal help through email and text in between calls if you have any questions. We will dive deep into your business and work to [insert accomplish the main goal here] as we discussed over the past few weeks. That’s $1,500 paid upfront for the three-month package.”
And that’s it. Say nothing else.
Let them think about it. Let them stew on that major financial investment. They know the value that you bring, and they know they will get their money’s worth.
Again, give your client the chance to say “yes” or “no”. If they don’t say yes right away, they will probably say “I’ll have to think about it”. If they need time to think about it, that is okay! Give them time to think about it. Closeout the call by reminding them of the value and transformation they experienced because of your coaching and give them two to three days to decide. Set a date, and ask your prospective client to follow-up with their decision by the agreed-upon date (because you are busy and your coaching schedule is filling up fast). I typically give them two or three days to decide, and ask that they let me know by the agreed-upon set date and time like “this Friday by the end of the day”. You could even set another quick phone call to discuss their decision. A quick follow-up phone call helps with conversion, say something like “I completely understand that you need time to think this over, this is a major commitment both personally and financially, I want you to be confident in your decision. Let’s set another quick touch base call, this Friday at 5 pm, for just fifteen minutes to discuss your decision and answer any final questions that you have.”
And that’s it! As simple as that. This simple five-step process is how to become a business coach, this is how to get coaching clients. It takes a little bit of practice to perfect this process, and it is a numbers game. Not everyone will say yes, you might need to connect with fifteen different people to make ten proposals to get one “yes”. For me personally, I connected with and coached ten different people through this entire process before I booked my first client. Practice makes perfect, so go out there, start coaching, and make some proposals! That is the only way to book your first client.
The beauty of this process is, in most cases, I find that people are asking me about my coaching package before I can propose my package to them. They are so ready to be coached by me that before the 90-minute free coaching session is up they are asking me how they can work with me. That’s the best part! You provide so much value, so much free help, that they WANT to pay you. They want to keep working with you. After you’ve spent 120+ minutes investing in this person’s life, helping with their problems, it’s already in the back of their mind. They already know that they want to work with you, so the proposal is easy. You are proposing coaching that they already want.
That is how to become a business coach and how to get coaching clients, now it’s your turn to go out there and book your first coaching client.
Remember, you do not need a website to begin coaching. That being said, it helps. As you can see on my website here, I am a coach and I have a website! I built out my website to capture leads and attract people that are interested in building online businesses. I use my website to attract potential leads. Now, my leads find me. I don’t need to go out and do so much prospecting and connecting. Now, my clients come to my website, they join my email list, and then I connect with them and get them on a video call using the five steps I detailed above.
You can do this too, but it should be a future step. I recommend booking a few clients before you ever consider setting up a website and creating content. As a coach, you make money from coaching. It is a whole different world setting up websites, and driving traffic, and capturing leads. It’s a whole lot of work to learn that process. So, don’t focus on the website portion of coaching yet. Just start coaching, you will book clients and make money from connecting and coaching. Not from building a website.
Conclusion – How to Become a Business Coach.
In this blog, I’ve shown you how to become a business coach and how to get coaching clients.
I strongly recommend that you offer coaching. Beyond the lucrative financial benefit, you will make lifelong connections, gain exposure on guest podcasts and guest blogs, and reap the rewards of an extended network that will look to repay you in non-monetary ways for the years to come.
Not to mention, getting clients is much much easier than you think. All you need to do is help people, that’s all coaching is. Help for free, put yourself out there making connections and providing value, then blow away your prospects with your service and willingness to give on your free coaching calls.
In conclusion, on how to get coaching clients, all you need to do is help (connect), provide more free help on a phone call (free 30-minute coaching session), provide even MORE free help on another call (free 90-minute coaching session), and THEN propose your coaching practice once they are hooked and dying to work with you.
If you are wondering how to become a business coach, this is how you do it. Just start coaching. Go and get your first coaching client today.