After the hard work of getting your coaching business off the ground, I wish I could tell you that scaling it will be easy. But after years of starting and growing a coaching business myself, I can boldly tell you that running a coaching or consulting business is a lot like running the Inca Trail Marathon.
The 26.2-mile Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is the hardest marathon in the world.
But despite the high elevations and passes here, millions have raced through the Andes Mountains to cross the finish line here in the legendary Lost City of the Incas. It takes careful and strategic planning as well as a healthy dose of passion and determination﹘exactly what you need to scale a coaching or consulting business to success.
Here are eleven of the best business tips to help you grow your coaching or consulting enterprise to success in a post-pandemic 2021 with all of the accompanying challenges;
1. Market your services to a well-defined target audience
One of the first things I tell people who want to start a coaching business is to choose a specific niche. The same applies if you’re also trying to become a consultant.
When you choose a niche, it becomes easy to specialize in this segment of the market.
You don’t just have to “target anyone interested in my services” as many businesses do. You’ll be better off having a clearly defined audience and only marketing your services to these ideal prospects.
2. Get a good understanding of your clients
Without a proper understanding of your clients, it will be quite challenging to build any successful business, whether it’s a coaching or consulting business.
You should be able to answer certain questions such as;
- Who are your ideal customers are (gender, age group, marital status, occupations, etc.)?
- Why do they need your services?
- What are their pain points, likes, and dislikes?
- When and how do they get your services?
- What do they expect of you and your services?
- What makes them feel good about getting your services?
- What do they think about you and your services?
- What do they think about your competitors?
- How much money do they make? Etc.
Make it a duty to find out whatever you can about your clients.
You can always get your information from different sources. These may include market research, identifying trends, and getting direct feedback from your clients and prospects. Generally, the more you know, the better your chances of being able to sell to them.
3. Grow your professional network for connections
There are big benefits to cultivating good social and professional relationships. Not only can this help keep you informed and exposed to new ideas and opinions, but it could also prove critical in boosting your career success and landing new clients when you’re just getting started.
Strategic networking can make a world of difference for your business. Leverage the power of social media, networking events, conferences, and meetup groups to make new connections, engage more people, and stimulate interest in what you do.
Social proof helps build credibility and can help you win new clients. It can help add fire to your marketing efforts and help you convert skeptical prospects into paying clients.
While offering coaching and consulting services is a lot different from buying commodities or physical products, there’s still a need to back up your promises with powerful client testimonials so new prospects can have confidence in your expertise and potential to deliver on your words.
5. Keep an eye on the competition
You probably might not know, but keeping tabs on your competitors is a valuable growth strategy. It hardly matters whether or not you’re satisfied with your business. There’s a whole lot you can learn from your competitors and this is not just about beating them.
When studying and analyzing your competitors, here are some of the things to look out for;
- What are the reasons their businesses keep growing?
- What are their marketing strategies?
- What value do they offer that you don’t?
- What are their weaknesses?
Is there anything good about them? Consider imitating this and doing it even better.
You should also look out for their weakness (the values you offer that they don’t) and make this one of your unique selling powers (USPs).
6. Craft a perfect USP to differentiate your business
Remember we mentioned how you should understand your clients and market your services to a specific target audience. Well, having a unique selling proposition (USP) that appeals to this audience will make your work a lot easier to yield better results.
Your USP should embody the core values that differentiate you from millions of other coaches and consultants out there. It should directly address the specific needs of your target audience without being vague or generic.
7. Sell benefits and results, not services
Many businesses make the mistake of selling their services without highlighting the inherent benefits and potential results. This is important because prospects care more about what they can expect than they do about all of the buzzwords scattered across your marketing messages.
When next you’re crafting your coaching business’s marketing messages or in conversation with prospective clients, endeavor to focus on the solutions you’re providing rather than just selling your coaching or consulting services.
8. Compete on value, not price
Want to offer the best price around? Think again!
You can’t successfully compete on price because there will always be someone somewhere ready to go lower than you. Historically, businesses that compete on price hardly fares well, except you’re Walmart, though. Rather than being the coach or consultant with the lowest fees around, you’ll be better off competing on values you provide that can hardly be found elsewhere. That way, potential clients will be able to justify the price they’re paying for your services even if it’s not particularly ‘cheap.’
9. Marketing should never stop
Engage clients and prospects on social media, via your website, guest posting, paid ads, etc. Many business owners see marketing as a one-time fix to their problems, forgetting that this should be a non-stop aspect of their business.
The moment you stop marketing, your business will find it almost impossible to reach potential customers.
While you’ll probably become more occupied with your primary operations over time, certain aspects of advertising should never stop. Don’t become too focused on the current client to forget to sell to the next one.
10. Go into productive partnerships and collaborations
Consider partnering with other coaches, consultants, and businesses offering parallel services that complement your services.
The benefits here go both ways. It can help bring in new clients for your business and can also help you provide a more complete, more robust service to your clients.
11. Reflect, evaluate, and review
Over time, you’ll want to implement the above strategies, as well as a few others to grow your business. I’m a fan of focusing your growth strategy on what works and this has helped me over the years. For your business, you’ll need to occasionally take a few steps back to reflect, evaluate, and review your strategies.
- Take the time to reflect on your current position and evaluate the strategies that are working compared to those that are underperforming.
- Double your efforts on your most successful ones and tweak these for even better results.
- Stay abreast of new and emerging trends to continuously finetune your strategies and approach to enhance your success.
The road to success is a long one and starting a coaching business is only where the work begins. Like the 26.2-mile marathon, you’ll need pure grit, consistency, and determination to reach the crossing line that separates successful coaches from not-so-successful ones.
Start by positioning yourself as an expert and authority in your niche.
Take the time to understand your clients and target audience deeply. Then craft a unique selling proposition that addresses their core needs and pain points. Engage your clients and prospects as much as you can with strategic marketing and continue to finetune your strategies for more success. These, and all of the other tips recommended here will help take your coaching or consulting business from startup level to smash-hit success.