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The coaching mistake that could cost you dearly

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3rd Sep 2012
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Nicola Bird encourages the community to look online to generate revenue as an L&D professional.
Have you ever heard the phrase the 'busy fool'? For many coaches, this is their reality. They work all hours of the day servicing their one-to-one coaching clients, often into the evenings. Time for personal and family activities becomes few and far between, but they think 'I'm busy, I've got paying clients, it's just the nature of coaching…right?'
Wrong.
That mindset is a mistake made by over 95% of business coaches and it is something I hope to challenge today. Those coaches whose only revenue comes from selling their one-to-one will always be limited by how much they can physically and mentally deliver in a day, week or month. They will never be able to break through that ceiling, unless they can charge significantly more for their one-to-one time.
For me, coaching was the perfect choice of career. It meant I could work around my children and pick and choose the times I wanted to work. This is the motivation for many mums I know who are professional coaches. The danger is that most of us at some point fall into the trap of working too much and suddenly, all the reasons we started coaching in the first place seem to be the very things we now miss out on!
 
"I spent a huge amount of my time delivering one-to-one coaching and it left me exhausted. It was at that point that I realised there must be a way to sell more of my coaching without it eating up all of my time."
I spent a huge amount of my time delivering one-to-one coaching and it left me exhausted. It was at that point that I realised there must be a way to sell more of my coaching without it eating up all of my time. If I could package up my coaching into a format that people could buy and work through in their own time, I wouldn't need to be there at all. I could spend time with my children and do the things I really wanted to, without jeopardising our finances.
I went on to develop an online coaching programme which included webinars and online questions, split up into modules and packaged into specific programmes that I would typically deliver to my clients. It literally transformed my business overnight as one of my first product promotions resulted in $24,000 of sales, the majority of which were a passive revenue stream for me.
I am not alone in my experiences either. There are many coaches out there making impressive revenues by selling their services online. The great thing about it is that it applies to any type of coaching, not just the traditional personal or professional development coaching. I know one lady who was a personal fitness instructor who made thousands from selling an online fitness bootcamp, containing content she had created years before, but never found a way to utilise properly. What I love about that particular story is that it was simply creating additional revenue from what she already had in place and it was a totally new market which opened up for her and one which she'd never really thought about before. She could reach clients now that she physically hadn't been able to do before.
If you are a coach or trainer already, I would encourage you to ask yourself one simple question. Are you limiting yourself by not thinking outside of the box and exploring new routes to market and new customer bases? Are there ways of attracting new business that you haven't even thought of yet and if you did, what impact could they make to you, your family and your lifestyle?
Whether you are an existing coach or trainer or are thinking about becoming one, my advice is to really think about how you can turn your expertise into products that people will buy. Whether that's 'How to stop smoking' or 'How to become a great business leader', the secret is to focus on topics that you are really good at or passionate about, as the material will be stronger and will help you stand out and sell more.
 
"If you are a coach or trainer already, I would encourage you to ask yourself one simple question. Are you limiting yourself by not thinking outside of the box and exploring new routes to market and new customer bases?"
There are many different online tools out there to help you get started with developing online coaching content and many offer free trials, so you can have a look around and see what works for you. I used a couple when I started out and then decided to invest in building my own coaching platform, which is now available to any coach wanting to offer web-based coaching products and services.
I'm sure you are reading this thinking, it can't be that easy. It does take some thought to work out how to package up what you do into products your clients actually want to buy, but once you've made that first online sale, you can do it over and over again. I still love my one-to-one coaching as it brings me great fulfilment and helps to keep me challenged to develop my skills and experience, but having more than one route to market and multiple revenue streams means I get to live life the way I want to, and that is absolutely priceless.
Nicola Bird went from earning $0 to over $500,000 online by mastering technology to transform her coaching business. She created JigsawBox as a way for her clients to access her expertise online in a flexible and affordable way, whilst leaving her free to concentrate on growing her business and spending time with her young children
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