2022's Top Startup Secrets to Scale Your Coaching Business
Effective business coaching relies largely on expertise. Building and scaling your coaching business, though, requires more than that. That transition from subject matter expertise to business acumen and the right support system is a major reason why 20% of startups fail in the first year.
Fortunately, plenty of best practices from the startup world exist for new and growing business coaches to turn to. Much of it revolves around strategy, automation, and technology systems to support you. Let's dive into this year's top startup secrets that can become invaluable to scaling your coaching business.
1. Identify Your Target Audience and Market
The first step to scaling starts at the foundation: you have to know exactly who you're marketing your coaching package to. In other words, a true understanding of your target audience is key to success.
That's especially true as a chasm begins to grow between you and your early adopter audience during business growth. Scaling means getting the mainstream audience on board, which is only possible through true product-market fit.
One way to start: develop personas that can help you better understand your prospective clients. Buyer personas are hypothetical representations of your ideal customers, helping you visualize just who it is you're trying to market to.
2. Find Your Audience's True Pain Points
Experienced growth hackers know that even the best ideas matter little if they don't align with audience needs. Your coaching business may initially attract some customers simply because their needs happen to overlap with your offering. But if you don't make sure that you treat the issues at the source, attracting a larger audience and building a larger client community will never be possible.
Finding your audience's true pain points means understanding exactly why they would turn to a business coach. Talk to your clients and members of your target audience to learn more. As you interview them, the Five Whys Technique can be a great option to get to the true root cause of those pain points.
Another crucial source of information is Voice of Customer (VOC) feedback or listening to what your audience says about you through a variety of channels. Client reviews, complaints, and even custom-conducted surveys can all help you understand just where coaching services like yours succeed and fall short.
Finding those true pain points is essential to scaling any type of new business. It allows you to broaden your appeal to a broader audience, building effective messaging specifically addressing key needs.
3. Emphasize Your Unique Value Proposition
Once you know those root pain points, it's time to work on your messaging. Your unique value proposition is the simple statement that explains just how your business coaching services are different from your competition. At its best, it also explains how you're best equipped to address your audience's pain points.
Again, this relatively simple marketing tool has become crucial to scaling a startup business. It anchors all of your messaging, allowing you to build an integrated and consistent promotional strategy. You'll spend much less time on building out individual promotional channels, and much less money on potential ads for your business as a result.
This guide walks through a few basic steps that can help you identify your value proposition in a way that resonates with your clients. Defining it early in your business lifecycle allows it to help propel your business growth.
4. Prioritize Customer Experience From First Touch
With a messaging strategy in place, it's time to turn your focus to customer experience. Every time your clients get in touch with your business in any way, they should come away delighted. From an initial website visit to checking out your coaching content or scheduling a session, the experience should be both consistent and reliable.
Research has found that 86% of business customers are willing to pay more for a superior experience, and that number rises even higher when providing business services. After all, the experience is the product. The more you can optimize it, the better.
Part of that process, as we'll explore further in the next point, is making sure that you have the systems in place to make the experience as repeatable as possible. After all, a client having to wait for a personal call or message from you just to schedule a coaching session might get frustrated waiting if your schedule happens to be full.
5. Digitize Your Services Where Possible
A significant part of making your customer experience more consistent is creating digital systems that can help to support you as your business and audience grow. That starts at the support level, with the digitization of tasks like schedule management using free coaching software.
But it doesn't need to end there. As your client base grows, you can no longer simply rely on real-time business coaching sessions. Scaling your online coaching business means taking some of that content, and placing it into a more easily accessible format using a coaching platform.
For example, our clients have had significant success with pre-recorded sessions, webinars, and even resource blogs that can serve more customers at once, and on their own time. You can also create business coaching programs that then function as lead magnets, a key strategy used by one of Profi's clients to multiply its database of potential customers. Group coaching is another option, helping you scale your startup coaching business from one-to-one sessions to many-to-one sessions serving more clients at once.
This productization of your service can help you make sure that your clients always have no content and advice to rely on, far beyond their individualized sessions with you.
6. Automate Repetitive Tasks
Beyond digitizing your services, it also helps to put automation workflows in place that take care of repetitive tasks for you. Marketing automation has become especially popular among startups across industries, providing a number of opportunities that take the burden off the coach (or coaches) running the business:
- Lead nurturing flows, sending automated messages to potential clients who have filled out a form on your site wanting to learn more about you.
- Onboarding flows, giving new clients everything they need to start scheduling appointments and engaging with the larger community.
- Scheduling automation, sending confirmations and email reminders to make sure your clients don't miss their session with you.
- New content promotions, ensuring that your clients learn about new resources like pre-recorded sessions through social media posts, email announcements, and more.
- Reporting workflows, pulling analytics that allow you to see how your clients are engaging with you and your content.
And these are just a few of the many examples of potential automation. The result: repetitive but important tasks occur dynamically in the background, allowing you to focus on your subject matter expertise and what you do best.
7. Create Client-Optimized Pricing Models
Pricing is a crucial part of scaling, to the point that the Harvard Business Review calls it one of the biggest challenges for startups across industries. Finding the sweet spot between the amount your clients are willing to pay, and the revenue you need to make to support your coaching business can be immensely difficult.
It pays to know how to price your coaching services. Ideally, that means building different tiers with increasingly personalized services for higher prices, allowing you to help any member of your target audience at the level they can afford.
Building the right coaching package for your audience may require some help. A coaching software like Profi helps you build packages that can group together sessions with online services or products.
At the same time, each pricing decision has to be able to support your business. That's a lot easier when you can minimize your non-paid administrative time by automating tasks and digitizing some of your services, allowing you to free up time for more personalized attention to the highest-paying clients.
8. Create Scalable Marketing Strategies
As your client base grows, individual outreach becomes increasingly difficult to manage. Finding the right strategies to continue and optimize effective coaching promotions becomes vital.
Two areas that can help in this approach are affiliate marketing and content marketing:
- Through affiliate marketing, you can leverage your clients to promote your coaching business on your behalf. Offer incentives for affiliates to join the program, and provide custom links to help them track their success. As a result, you'll drastically expand your reach into the peers of your existing target audience.
- Through content marketing, you can reach broad audiences while building your perceived expertise and credibility. Once you know where to post content, what to post, and how frequently you should post, you have a great foundation in place to get your name out there.
Each of these strategies, of course, requires significant set-up time. But once the strategy and implementation are in place, they're among the easier marketing initiatives to scale alongside your online coaching business.
9. Find the Right Business Coaching Software Platform
The final step ties it all together. Taking these measures is only possible with a software platform in place that's specifically designed to help you scale your coaching business. From digitized scheduling to client communication and task automation, the right platform can take the tedious parts of your business off your hands, allowing you to focus on what matters most.
That's where Profi enters the equation. Our platform is uniquely designed to scale your business by focusing on these four key pillars: transparency, flexibility, personalization, and results-driven. A partnership with this type of comprehensive platform can go a long way toward growing your coaching business without fear of taking on too much.
Ready to learn more? Book a demo with one of our product coaches today. Let's work together to scale your business and help you thrive as a business coach.
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