There’s a lot of myth and legend out there about making money online as a life coach, but little disclosure about what it really takes to make good money as a coach online and how long it takes to start making it.
And I believe that’s because there’s a sea of “money messaging” being shared online where big money numbers are offered as the goal, the focus, the outcome and the only worthy purpose of building your own coaching business.
And in an effort to stand out in a crowded marketplace and quickly capture attention in social media feeds (or even more commonly now in “helpful” or “vulnerable” Facebook Group posts, coaches love to share big revenue numbers (think $50K in a day or a million dollars in a year).
It’s totally seductive and oh-so-alluring.
Of course, we want to make great money doing what we care about, and what we’re passionate about too
And it is a reality for some of those coaches to share their revenue, and I’m not here to say any are lies or manipulation.
But, I do want to caution against taking these numbers as fact without understanding all the factors at play driving and influencing these amazing outcomes.
Because most coaches will quickly become frustrated that many of the success stories, prescriptions, marketing hacks and growth strategies shared can’t easily be recreated.
And it’s likely you’ll find that just plugging them into your business without an understanding of how your unique circumstances, experience, and capacity can influence results may leave you feeling more than a little disappointed.
The right strategies make for speedy success, but the right strategies FOR YOU are even more important.
Considering your resources, experience, and motivation and having foundational elements in place is critical.
But the foundations don’t make for sexy marketing messages and rarely generate the same level of buzz and swoon as big money numbers.
And I’m not immune from this seduction. Who is?
When I first started out and heard of million-dollar course launches, I was already booking my private jet, ready to make bank in my first year out of corporate…
And that’s because I didn’t know what I didn’t know (um… yeah… of course).
I was trying to complete a jigsaw without all the pieces, and the learning curve was major.
And that’s why following the hype can leave you feeling let down, especially if you don’t consider what else it takes.
Taking inspiration from the strategies, testing, and giving things a go is great.
But replicating without all the facts and beating yourself up because it doesn’t work and making that about you will keep you in confusion and doubt.
When you keep rushing to create the next thing believing you’re just one step away, you’ll be on a fast track to burnout and overwhelm.
So, rather than pimping big numbers with more outliers and mythical opportunities that may or may not work for you….
I want you to have the essential elements that contribute to a profitable and lasting coaching business.
Firstly, BIG numbers are being shared by coaches who have been coaching for more than a hot minute, and many have even had a different version of their business previously.
It’s really common that many coaches had a prior iteration of their business before the business that is now seemingly an overnight success.
And there’s nothing shady about that at all, but it’s worth noting that those early learnings, failures and sunk costs can accelerate the next version of business.
My first business was Boutique India Travel – a bespoke travel business.
I was lucky enough to ditch it within 6 months, but that helped me understand how to quickly create a website, launch it and understand social media and online marketing basics when I started my coaching business.
And many success stories out there haven’t just happened on the first try.
They also usually have an existing audience (or access to one), a book, a solid social media following and an email list of 10,000 peeps or more – all of which most new coaches do not have.
So to be clear, I don’t think it’s normal or EASY to create high six-figure or seven-figure revenue results year in your first year in business as an online coach.
Yet we often ignore this simple truth and can be left wondering why it seems to take so long to reach the kind of results we get bombarded with in our social media feeds.
Building a successful life coaching business online takes time, talent, skill, and dedication.
Just because you’re building a business with social media and online marketing doesn’t mean that the tried and true principles of business can be sidestepped.
It is rarely, if ever, done off the back of one strategy in isolation…
There’s no overnight formula for success, so getting real about your goals is key…
Understanding your skills, experience, expertise, motivation, and ability to energetically and emotionally tolerate the ups and downs of growing your coaching business online will help you recognise your potential success and the speed at which you can create it.
It will also keep your expectations on track.
So here are the foundations you need to fast-track your success, as I see them:
Building an aligned business, embracing the models and offers best suited to you, and crafting and sharing messaging that works best are all assisted and informed by archetypes.
Finding and understanding your archetypes and how they impact the success of your business, especially your marketing will really help you avoid making more failures than you need to, especially when it comes to the types of strategies you choose.
Archetypes provide a roadmap to the ideas, themes, and people you are always drawn to, why you make certain choices, and what drives you to act the way you do.
Uncovering your archetype profile will help you amplify your strengths, get you into momentum with the least resistance and harness the power of your nature and instincts to set yourself apart, capture attention and showcase the best of your coaching.
An archetype is a pattern of behaviours that, once discovered, helps you better understand yourself and others. Archetypes are the blueprints of your nature, your essence, and your character.
The idea of the archetype originated with the great philosopher Plato and is at the core of the influential Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung’s analysis of human behaviour.
They give you insight into the type of person you are, and as a coach, you are a personal brand, so archetypes show you the kind of coach you are too.
Using your archetypes to guide your strategies will also help you show up and succeed in less time and with less effort.
They help you get seen, heard, and well-paid online because it’s easier to share who you are and make the right decisions for your business growth.
When you uncover your archetypes, especially about how you love to show up, work, serve, and be seen by others, you can quickly shortcut your influence and sidestep some imposter syndrome.
And these archetypes can also be further refined to help you market yourself, create offers and attract clients too.
I have shown my clients over the last 5 years how to use the Branding With Archetypes® system to find their Signature and Influencing Brand Archetypes and use them to create a coaching business that is a powerful authentic expression of their passion and personality.
In the Branding With Archetypes™ model, I’m a Hero.
I champion the cause of others and go deep when I do it, so coaching is a great fit, but I derive way more satisfaction when I know my clients’ stories, characters, and journeys.
And that’s why I found the strategy of a high-volume online course biz early in my journey, it just didn’t feel in flow for me to be removed from results and somewhat isolated from the journey.
Specific coaching business models and offers suit different coaches, and the more you land on the strategies most aligned to your archetypes, the more success you’re likely to create.
Once you know the direction to head in, you want to make sure you have an offer that not only showcases your talents but also attracts and inspires the kind of people you love to work with.
When it comes to making a significant impact and attracting paying clients, your offer is key and there are three keys to creating your successful offer:
- Clarity: You want to clearly define the problem you’re solving and the transformation your coaching provides.
By communicating the specific benefits your clients will experience, you’ll create a compelling reason for them to choose you.
- Value: Ensure your coaching offers real value by developing a framework or method that guides your clients through the transformation you promise.
- Differentiation: Stand out by highlighting what makes your coaching unique. Identify your niche, your strengths, and the specific audience you’re targeting. This will help you attract attention and create meaningful and lasting relationships with your clients.
Pricing is a crucial aspect of your coaching business, but it doesn’t determine the success of your business in isolation. Pricing alone doesn’t dictate how fast you make money.
But it does impact your profitability.
Want to discover more on pricing? Check out my free pricing guide.
Without an audience of people to access or share your offer with, metrics will dictate that you’ll struggle to make money.
Now, that doesn’t mean you need to build a huge audience before you can succeed, and the size alone doesn’t always drive your results, what matters more is the engagement and attention you create.
The Biggest Mistake New Coaches Make When Starting Out
As a new coach, getting caught up in the excitement and rush of starting your online coaching business is easy.
However, one crucial mistake can block your chances of stress-free success: trying to do everything on your own.
Building a thriving coaching business requires a combination of skills and knowledge that extends beyond the art of coaching alone.
Trying to handle marketing, sales, and all the technical aspects without guidance or support can be overwhelming and will slow down your progress.
Investing in a mentor or coach who has already achieved your aspirations can also save you so much time, energy, and unnecessary frustration.
By learning from someone who has been through the process, you can avoid common pitfalls and fast-track your success.
You also want to consider some of the operational resources you’ll need to get your coaching out there.
When starting out, it’s easy to get caught in the trap of learning and doing, and that can dramatically slow you down.
That doesn’t mean you need a huge or expensive team, but the right tools and maybe a contract VA can be just what you need.
Try and trust in yourself first and foremost, and don’t use the success and confidence you haven’t yet created as a reason to doubt you can get there.
Suppose you avoid some of the pitfalls I shared in this episode and embrace all the success essentials I listed above.
It’s possible and entirely reasonable to create six figures in revenue in your first or second year.
$5K a month is a great initial goal when starting, and once you have that done you can move up from there, pretty quickly.
And that, in my experience is the reality of what it takes to make good money online as a life coach as quickly and sustainably as possible.
By setting realistic expectations, staying committed to your growth, and seeking guidance when needed, you can make great money within 6 months.
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