I want you to imagine what it would feel like if you could wake up each and every morning to your “Perfect day”.
Imagine if you didn’t have to commute to work, put up with toxic co-workers and an overbearing boss. Imagine if you woke up without an alarm and did only the things that were aligned with your greatest vision and purpose every day.
Imagine having the freedom to spend time with your family, the income to travel the world, and the satisfaction that comes from making and impact and changing lives.
I know that this might sound like a pipe dream to some of you, but if you are willing to put in the work required to build a profitable coaching business, this can be your reality.
How do I know?
Because it’s the reality I’m living right now.
Over the past five years, I’ve built Knowledge for Men from a small one-man operation to a 7-figure brand with more than 10 employees. It wasn’t east and I made almost every mistake imaginable… But today, I get to live the life of my dreams.
I spend my time traveling and connecting with amazing people. I live 3 blocks from the beach and can spend my days doing the things that I truly want. I am surrounded by people that I love and have more than I need to be truly happy.
It was all made possible because I committed to the business of coaching and serving others.
But here’s the thing…
When I ask most people why they don’t want to build a coaching business of their own to achieve true financial freedom and the lifestyle of their dreams, their response is that “It takes too long”.
Most people assume that it takes months or even years to build a successful online business and honestly, they’re almost right.
Building a scalable lifestyle coaching business does take time.
You need to build exceptional products, create killer sales funnels, master paid traffic, and become a competent leader and manager.
If you know what you are doing, you can build a substantial part-time coaching business in less than a week, without spending a single dollar on advertising.
So go ahead and pull out a piece of paper and a notepad, get ready to take notes and be prepared for some massive action steps…
Because today, I’m going to show you how.
Overcoming the Impostor Syndrome that Kills All Would Be Coaches
There are still days when I wake up feeling like a fraud, not sure I should be where I am. ~Sheryl Sandberg
If you’re anything like the majority of the men that I coach then you are probably thinking, “Andrew, I can’t really be a coach. I’m not that advanced and I’m certainly not an expert.”
And, for once, I’m happy to report that you are completely and utterly wrong.
You, yes you, are an expert in several areas.
How do I know?
Because the term “expert” is relative.
Let me show you what I mean…
Imagine that you are looking to improve your golf swing. You have colleagues, mentors, and supervisors who golf religiously, but you’ve never taken the time to learn.
You know that it will take far too long to teach yourself. So you decide to hire a coach to help you improve your game.
When you go out to find your coach, you probably aren’t trying to find the best in the world, a.k.a. the expert.
You are simply looking for a coach who is a few steps ahead of you. In other words, you are looking for an expert.
And, as far as you are concerned, an expert is anyone with a golf game that’s under 90.
This same principle applies to your coaching business.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a marketing coach, life coach, productivity coach, or a health coach.
You don’t have to be the best in the world at what you do. You just need to be 3-4 steps ahead of your prospective client.
So before you start feeling like you aren’t experienced enough to charge, ask yourself one question.
“Am I better in this particular area than the person whom I’m trying to coach?”
If the answer is, “Yes” then congratulations, you are the expert in that relationship.
How to Find Your Niche, Build Your Avatar, and Create an Irresistible Offer
If I had 6 hours to cut down a tree I would spend the first 4 sharpening my axe ~Abraham Lincoln
Before you can successfully onboard your first client and start getting paid, you need to develop crystal clear clarity on who you want to work with and what you have to offer.
To do so, you need to answer three questions.
- What is my unique area of expertise?
- What type of clients would I want to work with?
- What value can I provide to these clients?
In other words:
- What is my niche?
- Who is my ideal customer avatar?
- What irresistible offer do I provide?
Let’s walk through each question step by step.
How to Identify Your Coaching Niche
The first step to building a successful coaching business is to figure out the exact audience you want to serve, also known as your niche.
Your niche is the specific group of people whom you have the unique ability and expertise to coach to the next level.
Some common niche examples are:
- College Athletics
- Men’s Fitness
- General Life Coaching
- Accelerated Learning
These are just a handful of the most common niches I’ve seen in the world of virtual coaching.
But how do you, yeah, you actually find your specific niche?
By cutting through the b.s. and answering a handful of questions with brutal honesty.
1. What do I help people with for free that I would love to get paid for?
Are you constantly helping your friends overcome their relationship problems? Do people come up to you in the gym and ask how you got so damn jacked? Do you have friends asking you to proofread their cover letters and resumes?
What are the areas of life where you are already acting as a pro bono coach?
2. What are my core interests and passions? If my lifestyle was paid for, what would I do every day for free?
I see a lot of guys starting a coaching business in the wrong niche because they believe that it will be more profitable.
This is a HUGE mistake.
There’s money to be made in every niche. But the most money will be made in the niche that you enjoy. If you aren’t building a coaching business around your passions, then you will ultimately burn out and fail. I’ve seen it happen dozens of times.
So ask yourself, “What am I passionate about?”
What things do you love doing? What subjects fascinate you? Where do you find yourself spending your free time?
3. What niche would you love to work in 5-10 years from now?
Most people starting their first coaching business have a very short-sighted focus.
And I get it.
You want to make money and you want to make it now. You want cash flow, you want freedom, you want options. You don’t want to work for the man any longer.
But the coaching game isn’t a game of weeks or months, it’s a game of years.
If you can’t see yourself happily leading your specific niche 5-10 years from now, then you are in the wrong niche.
You must have a long-term vision for your coaching practice or it will fail. Sure you can get 2-3 clients in the next week, earn $1,500 a month, and go along your merry way.
But it will never turn into a six or seven figure practice.
Take 10 minutes right now and write down the answer to these three questions.
It’s essential that you do this now because the rest of this guide depends on you knowing your specific niche.
The Step By Step Process for Creating Your Customer Avatar
Now that you have defined your specific niche, it’s time to dive even deeper into this process.
Knowing the type of coaching that you want to offer is great, but it’s important that you also have a clear understanding of ‘who’ you want to coach as well.
Not all coaching clients are made equally. If you aren’t careful about defining and seeking out your ideal customer, then you will eventually get stuck with dozens of PITACs or Pain in the Ass Clients.
I’ve been there before and let me tell you, it’s not a pretty picture.
So before you begin crafting your unique offer, you must first create your ideal customer avatar.
Your ideal customer avatar is simply a fictitious character that embodies all of the attributes in your ideal client.
You want to get as specific as possible here so that you have a very clear picture of the type of person you want to work with.
Here’s a list of attributes that you should define when creating your ideal avatar.
- Marital Status
- Income per year
- Education Level
- Goals and values
- Challenges and pain points
- Favorite books
- Potential objections to coaching
If you want a more in-depth walkthrough of the customer avatar creation process, Digital Marketer has an excellent resource that you can use here.
The Irresistible Offer: How to Provide Value Up Front and Eliminate Buyers Objections
Now that you have clearly defined your specific niche and created your ideal customer avatar, it’s time to craft your irresistible offer.
The irresistible offer is simply a free offer that helps you get your foot in the door with a particular client so that you can demonstrate your expertise and close down the deal.
Typically, these offers come in the form of lead magnets like eBooks, video series, etc.
For our purposes, however, we are going to offer a free 30-minute consultation call designed to solve a hyper-specific problem that your niche has.
I’ll walk you through the specific steps required to actually set up this consultation later, but for now, all you need to do is have a clear understanding of the offer you bring to the table.
To find your audiences biggest problems ask:
- What are the complaints and challenges that this niche has?
- What solutions are people looking for?
- What are common questions this niche has that you have answers to?
For instance, a few problems men experience are:
- Being single but wanting to be in a relationship
- Being in relationships but they know they are settling out of scarcity
- Struggling with depression as they work through a serious break-up or divorce
- Trying to escape their addiction to porn
- Unsure about their purpose and mission in life
Once you have spent some time thinking about the specific problems that your niche has, it’s time to define your offer.
If you are a productivity coach, your offer could be a 30-minute consultation that will help your prospect shave 8 hours off their work week.
If you are a dating coach, your offer could be a 30-minute consultation to help your prospect develop unshakable confidence and rock sold self-esteem.
If you are a sales coach, your offer could be to help your prospect double their close rate overnight.
Figure out what your audience needs that they would be willing to pay for.
Then deliver it for free on the first consultation call.
If you have completed all of the steps above, then you are well on your way to getting your first coaching client and building a profitable lifestyle business.
How to Make the Sale – Even if You’re Horrible at Sales with “The Magic Question”
Now, before I dive into the tactics that you can use to find new prospects, I first want to address the topic of sales.
One of the most common objections that I get from would-be coaches is, “I’m not good at sales.”
To which I call b.s.
You simply think about sales in the wrong way.
When most people think about sales, they think about a sleazy car salesman, a pushy real estate agent, or an obnoxious door to door rep.
In reality, you are selling people every day. You sell your spouse on where you should go for date night. You sell your employees on why they should be motivated by a new project. You sell your friends on why they should try out this new Netflix series.
Every day you are selling. Because sales is simply sharing something valuable with another person and convincing them to take action.
Do you feel bad about convincing your overweight friend to eat better foods and get to the gym? Of course not! But that’s an example of sales.
Do you feel bad when you recommend a really badass movie to your best friend? I’d hope not. But it’s another example of sales.
Heck, as you are reading this, I am selling you on why you should continue listening to what I have to say.
Anytime you engage in any sort of persuasion, you are selling. So you can eradicate the “I’m no good at sales” belief right now!
With this in mind, I’m going to share my secret weapon with you.
It’s the one question that has helped me close more clients than anything else.
I’ve kept it secret for years, but today, I’m going to give you a peek behind the curtain.
Are you ready?
Here’s the magic question…
“Do You Want My Help?”
When you start bringing in prospects, you’ll have a bunch of different conversations about what problems they have and how you can help them. But at the end of the day, all of sales boils down to this one simple question.
Do people want your help?
If so, then you don’t need to feel guilty about charging them a fee and demanding that they respect your time.
Who needs your help? Go and give it to them.
How to Find New Clients FAST without Spending a Dollar on Marketing
Now that you have your mind right and know exactly who your ideal customer is, it’s time to start prospecting for leads and getting your first few consultations scheduled.
There are dozens of more traditional ways that you can find clients from:
- Facebook Advertisements
- Google PPC
- Speaking at events
- JV Partnerships
However, all of these require two things.
Time and money.
And the whole reason that you are here is to build a coaching business in very little time without any money.
Even though the avenues I mentioned above are all excellent ways to increase your income and scale an existing coaching business, they aren’t relevant to our goal of building a profitable coaching business, this week.
Instead, I’m going to show you how you can acquire new clients using your existing contacts and social circle, without spending a dime.
Let’s dive in.
How to Leverage Social Media for Rapid Client Acquisition
The first and, possibly the easiest, way to acquire new coaching clients is through your existing social media accounts.
When I first got started, I was able to close several clients in my first month as a coach simply by providing value and offering my services on Facebook.
In your first week, there are only two tactics that you need to use.
- Providing value on social media by helping people solve problems
- Directly offering your services via social media
These two tactics work regardless of what platform you are using.
I’ve had the most success with Facebook and Quora, however, these two tactics can be used on Twitter, Instagram, or even Snapchat.
Here’s how they work.
1. Provide Value by Helping People Solve Problems
Social media is FILLED with people who are begging for help.
Whether they are posting questions directly on their Facebook feed, requesting feedback from a business mastermind, or direct messaging friends with a specific expertise, the people you are connected with on social media need your help.
The best way to get started finding clients on social media is to
- Find as many relevant groups as possible and start sharing genuinely valuable content and responses.
- Host weekly Facebook or Instagram Live chats where you share value with your friends.
- Start sharing your big wins and lessons on your social profiles and invite others to share their journey with you.
Keep it simple and share real value. Although this might take more than 7-10 days to get real results, I’ve used this tactic for the past five years to successfully sign up dozens of clients.
2. Directly Offer Your Services
You need to apply the previous step for at least a week before trying a harder approach.
This will ensure that your potential client has at least seen your name and interacted with some of your social media content.
Here’s what you do…
Once you have identified someone who fits your ideal client avatar, you want to start engaging with them more deeply on social media. Answer the questions that they post in different business groups, like their content, and comment on their feed.
Then, after a few days, send them a simple direct message saying something to the effect of:
I’ve been keeping up with your posts on social media recently and I noticed that you seem to be looking for some assistance with [niche specific pain]. I actually run a part-time coaching business that specializes in [niche specific solution]. If you’re interested, I’d love to hop on a consultation call to help you with [pain point]. There’s no pressure to buy anything or sign up, I’m just looking to help 🙂
I’ve found that this script will convert anywhere from 30-50% of the time. From those consulting calls, I found that I would typically close one out of every 6 or 7 prospects.
Your numbers will depend on your specific offer, the prospect in question, and your ability to sell, however, if you use the above script the right way, I promise you will be able to get your first client in the next 10 days.
Bonus: How to Turn “Socializing” into a Tax Deductible Expense
Another interesting way that I was able to generate a ton of clients over the past five years was by partying.
No… I’m serious.
When I started Knowledge for Men, we were primarily a dating site that helped men overcome their social anxiety and find the woman of their dreams.
My ideal customer avatar was a young to middle-aged professional with plenty of disposable income who wanted to improve their game and finally overcome their insecurity.
I knew that these types of men loved to go out and party and typically ordered expensive bottle service in order to show off to the women at the club.
So I decided to use this knowledge to my advantage.
When I was just starting out, I would regularly go out, have an amazing night, meet a bunch of beautiful women, and then take them over to a lonely-looking professional with an open bottle of champagne on his table.
This allowed me to enjoy the night more (who doesn’t love bottle service?), provide value to a potential client by eliminating some of his social anxiety, and display my expertise within my niche.
I’m not telling you to go out clubbing every week because, for most of you, your ideal customer isn’t sitting by himself at a fancy club.
What I’m trying to do is to illustrate the fact that potential customers are everywhere. If you know where to look…
If you are a fitness coach, join an expensive club in your area and get friendly with some of the other patrons.
If you are a peak performance coach, start hosting weekly performance seminars and showcase your knowledge.
If you are a writing coach, spend some time at your local coffee shops looking for up and coming authors in need of a mentor.
Get creative! Get out of your comfort zone and into the environments where your ideal client is likely to be.
The fishing is best where the fewest go and while everyone else is focused on Facebook lead generation, you can be converting clients every week simply by doing things that you love.
If you follow the steps I’ve outlined in this guide, then you will be able to close down your first client in the next 10 days. Within a month, you can have your first three clients and a healthy side income of $1,500/month or more.