Building a coaching business sucks.
Yes, honestly. It really sucks! And yet everywhere I look, people are turning to coaching as a way to overcome the negativity and turmoil in this world. As a way to transform their own lives, and the lives and careers of others who are stuck on the treadmill of life. And, as a way to secure their financial freedom.
So while we coaches are trying to explain the benefits of life/mindset/business/health/wealth/[insert word of choice] transformation, the vast majority are struggling to understand how they can just get through the month and maybe start paying off their credit cards, let alone feel motivated enough to jump out of bed on Mondays or believe that there is any possibility they could ever make a million dollars!
And so, when we ask potential clients to part with £100, £200, £300 or more, an hour, they look at us like we’ve just grown an extra head. What on earth can we do for them, in an hour of chatting, that makes us worth so much money? And herein lies the challenge. Because although there are many hugely successful coaches out there, charging tens of thousands for their services, there are many, many more that are barely scraping a minimum wage. In fact, in a recent survey of 237 coaches, I found that 68%, in their second year of business, were turning over less than £1000 a month.
So why are so many coaches failing to get their businesses off the ground? Well, the fact is that despite brilliant mind-expanding training, in-depth understanding of how values and beliefs affect our attitudes and behaviour, and the skills to help others to break through their limitations, set ambitious goals, and take unprecedented actions; coaches themselves often suffer so many set-backs, when it comes to building their business, that they fail to recognise the impact on their progress and ignore the fact that they really need support and accountability too.
And so instead of doing the things they NEED to do, to get the results they want, they end up fearfully procrastinating firmly inside their comfort zone.
So let’s check out the 3 reasons that coaches fail…
1. Wrong Strategy (or NO strategy)
I meet coaches all the time who don’t know how much they need to earn in order to cover their core living and business expenses. And, even if they do know, they’ve rarely got a strategy to achieve it. So, if you don’t know how much you need to sell, don’t understand your own conversion metrics (i.e. how many people you need to speak with to make a sale), and have no idea how to bring in sufficient prospects to meet your goals, then you have a serious problem.
What’s more, you need to know who you want to help and how, because opting for the old favourite, “I can help anyone”, will typically lead to you helping no one. And if you don’t have your services packaged up to make it easy for coachees to buy, while providing choice and value, and maximising your earning potential, then you are most likely leaving money on the table.
All in all, not having a robust strategy in place can be fatal for a fledgling coaching business. Not knowing what you’re selling, how much you need to sell, and whether you’re on track, will lead to you ending up so far off track that your business may not be able to recover.
2. Wrong Focus
This is by far the most common issue I find with coaches who are struggling to secure enough clients, and is closely linked to the strategy issue.
Too many coaches have been suckered into believing that the online dream, of prospective clients flooding to you, can be achieved by having tonnes of Facebook likes, or lots of followers on Twitter, and yet this simply is NOT true.
The fact is that most of those super-successful coaches, with hundreds of thousands of followers, built their following as a result of their success, not as the path to it. And, once they had larger advertising budgets to spend on promoting their businesses, their following went through the roof.
But for those just starting out, it’s time to acknowledge that Facebook organic reach has declined hugely, and standing out in the super-busy world of Twitter is a challenge for even the most well-known celebs. So wasting hours of your day on your social media pages is a total waste and would be better off farmed out to a $10 an hour VA.
Also, spending your days playing with your website, writing email newsletters, and looking for content to share is worthless if you don’t have any business. So stop wasting time on things that don’t generate revenue, and start putting all of your focus into the things that will actually attract prospective clients, and into honing your skills so that you can turn those prospects into paying customers.
3. Wrong Mind-set
Mind-set is a real double edged sword. Because I meet some coaches who have their mind-set totally nailed, which is amazing, however those same coaches are rarely taking the right actions (see points 1 and 2 above), in order to get the results they’re seeking. So, instead of using that amazing mind-set to support action, the mind-set has become an alternative to action. But let’s be honest. Belief is not enough to build a successful business.
On the flip side, I see those who are working their tails off to create results, although often in the wrong focus areas, while really having no belief in themselves whatsoever. I am constantly bombarded with, “I don’t think I’ll ever really make a full time wage doing this”, “I can’t see anyone paying so much”, “I don’t think I’m good enough yet”, and “I just don’t think I can sell myself”.
And yet, as a coach, if you can’t even believe in yourself, then you are going to have an incredibly hard time when it comes to helping others. So, make it a priority to build your self-belief, to recognise the amazing transformations you help to bring about in others, and to realise that there is nothing bad about selling a solution to someone’s problem. That, in fact, you owe it to the people who need your help, to provide the answer and help them to get past their fear of buying.
So there you have it. The three reasons that coaches fail is not because they are bad coaches, it’s because they are not walking their talk.