Business of Coaching

Here's our best advice for how to combine coaching and making a living. You need to do both or the world won't have any coaches.

Quite often we run into a prospective coach who is wary of the business side of coaching. Two things get these coaches over the hump.

One is the realization that marketing is a moral obligation. Somewhere in the world is someone who needs help, who wants help, and who doesn't have any help. It's your job to find them.

Two is the training, tools and support we offer as part of membership. Even if you've never sold so much as a glass of lemonade, we'll get you up to speed.

How to get featured

The first thing to know is that we can often bring top coaches a huge chunk of clients. To do this we feature top coaches in our directory, in our newsletters, and in special partnership deals. The two most important ways to get featured are:

  1. Have a specialty. Generic coaches don't sell.
  2. Have a track record. We care about results, not credentials. Successfully coaching a few friends is the first step toward climbing our coach rankings.
  3. Get certified. Our certification program is free and going through it lets us make promises to potential clients about what to expect from you.

How to augment an existing coaching business

I'll talk about how to meet specific revenue goals below. But first let me help people who may already be successful coaches think about how to scale.

  • Provide daily accountability. Help your clients take daily actions in between your face-to-face sessions. This is a perfect use case for our habit coaching. Our chat coaching has a fixed price, but you're free to bake additional fees into your existing coaching rates. 
  • Provide introductory phone consultations. Expand your reach by listing yourself in our directory.

How to build a coaching business that makes $50,000 per year

We serve coaches at many levels, so here's some general advice based on your financial goals. If your goal is an annual salary of $50,000, you can often do that just by being a great coach and without also being a great marketer.

For example, if your specialty was in helping clients build habits via habit coaching, your target for $50,000/year should be to win 25 chat clients from being featured and pull in an additional 50 clients through your own network. The clients pay $15/week for chat coaching and many of them will upgrade to occasional phone consultations (you set your own price for those). To win that many chat clients, you should be targeting a cancelation rate of 2% or below.

For people unfamiliar with habit coaching, most coaches can easily handle 75 clients during standard work hours provided that you've specialized and are coaching most of those clients on similar goals.

If your focus is on phone sessions, then the client load could be much, much lower. Almost all coaches charge at least $100 per session.

Alternatively, even with a lower client load, can be a significant side business. It's common for coaching to be combined with book writing and public speaking.

At this level, coaches can usually win this many clients through a combination of prospecting within their network and automated social media marketing.

How to build a coaching business that makes $100,000 per year

In order to reach the $100,000 per year mark, you need to also be a strong marketer. There are several paths.

  • Climb to the top of our chat coaching ladder. We often recruit our top coaches into even bigger opportunities such as coaching other coaches or coaching inside of businesses as part of our for Teams product.
  • Build an outside mailing list. One of our top coaches generated $7,000 in 24 hours by selling through his 500 person mailing list.
  • Be an affiliate partner. We give up to a 40% referral bonus for any new clients that you bring in. Some of our best affiliates are well know bloggers and others are strong internet marketers.

How to build a coaching business that makes $250,000 per year

This level requires deep subject matter expertise and a big community. Generally, we're looking to coaches at this level for partnerships. For example, a single email from Tim Ferriss in 2015 generated $30,000 worth of coaching signups. The two most common partnerships:

  • For recognized subject matter experts, we can provide and train coaches for your specialty. For example, for the release of The Bulletproof Diet, we recruited six coaches from the existing Bulletproof community and sold those coaches on an affiliate basis.
  • For existing executive coaches, we are looking to scale coaching to the entire staff of the business. In this role, you direct the strategic direction of our coaches, continue on your existing coaching contract (we never look at or inquire about that), and bring in our staff-level business coaching on an affiliate basis.