Three genuine mistakes I made building my Coaching business – so you don’t do the same! 

You’ve done the Coach training. You’ve maybe even built a website. Now you’re waiting for the clients to come rolling in!.. But let me guess, it’s not happening yet? I know this because I’ve been there – and I know how incredibly tough this is. You want this to work more than anything – but how?!

I help coaches shift their coaching practice from being an unpredictable, patchy, side-hustle to a successful, thriving business you love with a steady flow of paying clients.

I do this because I know it’s really hard. I also know there are a lot of “follow my five simple steps to become a millionaire in a week” type programmes out there – which I don’t want you to fall into the trap of paying for. (Sorry to say there is no 30-day fix to go from very little to a six-figure income).

So, here are three mistakes I made when I started out. These mistakes delayed me reaching that steady flow of clients I dreamed of. If you DON’T do the below, you are way more likely to be successful much sooner than I was.

1. Using “Coach speak” 

Ok, this may sound counter-productive, but the truth is your clients may not know they are looking for / needing a Coach. When you talk about “stepping into your power” or “aligning with your values” to people that are not in the Coaching world, you may as well be speaking a foreign language. Some potential clients will recognise themselves or their problems in this narrative, but the vast majority won’t.

When you constantly talk about the process of Coaching, it won’t land. If you have a problem you want rid of, you aren’t concerned about how that will happen – you want to know it can be fixed and what the outcome will look like.

If you had a blocked toilet and the plumber told you all about how they were going to fix the drains, the tools they will use, the exact process to release the water – would you really care? No! You just want to know, will it work again?

Coaching isn’t that different.

So, when you are putting marketing content together, speaking at networking events, writing your blogs focus on who you help, what challenges they have and the outcome you can help them reach. That’s it!

2. Say you can Coach anyone 

I know you can Coach pretty much anyone – and nothing should stop you doing that if the opportunity arises. However, in your marketing content and the conversations you have, when asked what you do, your answer shouldn’t be a vague “everything to anyone” response . You must be specific. Describe one ideal client’s problem and the outcome you can help them reach. When I focussed on Career Coaching, I would always be talking about helping working mums of young children, feeling stuck and unhappy in their careers – helping them figure out how to make changes so they could be career happy again.

Did I still Coach men? Yes. Did I still Coach non-parents? Yes. Did I also coach people that needed help in their careers in other ways? Yes!!

Your marketing message will not cover every tiny thing you are able to do. If you say you can be anything to anyone, nobody remembers you. When you are specific, and people hear your consistent messaging they remember you. You will still find people say “I know I’m not (whatever your specific niche is), but could you still help me with X?”. Those people will still ask you, not the generic “appealing to nobody in particular” Coach, because they have resonated with something in your messaging (even if they are the exact person you are talking to). They see you as a specialist. They hope someone like you will still help them!

So when you are thinking about your messaging, aim for the centre of your dartboard and remember the darts will still land around the edges.

3. Charge by the hour / minimise your fee / give coaching away! 

I’ve cheated a bit by bulking all these together – but they all fall into the same category… You don’t have a business if you are not making money. It is important to feel comfortable with your fee, but don’t allow your lack of confidence, imposter-syndrome or self-sabotage stand in your way.

When people aren’t buying from you, it is really easy to blame the price. Maybe a prospective client even said no due to the price. I guarantee you this isn’t the reason you are not selling your Coaching. Either you are targeting an audience that isn’t able to pay (I believe everyone should have access to coaching and there are ways to factor this in – once your profitable business is up and running); or something is breaking down in your messaging at some stage in the sales process.

When you charge peanuts for your coaching, it doesn’t scream value. In fact, quite the opposite. It may suggest your coaching won’t be as good as someone that charges more. Sometimes people want to invest a certain amount because that signals to their brain to take this seriously! I also found, as I charged more, clients are way more commited.

Now, I am not saying everyone should have “high ticket” programmes (I’m also not saying you shouldn’t). What I am saying is charge a professional rate. Charge what allows you to make the ££ you want to make. It isn’t for you to decide if someone will pay your rate. Your job is to charge the rate the outcome of the programme is worth and target it at the right client base.

Charging by the hour or session also won’t help. You will know some coaching sessions are more valuable than others. You need to build momentum to get to the ‘gold’ of working with you. Charging session-by-session suggests all is equal. It also avoids commitment. You have no idea if they will work with you for one hour or ten! When you design a programme, sales are easier as you are talking about the outcome of your full programme. Your income isn’t permanently uncertain. Knowing you need to sell four programmes a month, is way easier than feeling like you need to book and conduct 30 sessions (and invoice for them) every month.

There are many more mistakes I could share that I or other Coaches have made (feel free to get in touch if you would like to know more about these and how I can help you overcome them!). The above, though are some of the most common and ones I definitely made.

So, after reading this, what is the first action you will take? Feel free to share it with me.

If you feel you need to go deeper and have me in your pocket to help you shift from a patchy side-hustle to a thriving coaching business you love, then book a call with me and let’s see how I can help! Here’s my diary: