Sometimes, my clients ask me why I became a business coach.
It’s a good question: I was a pretty unlikely candidate for it.
In 1993, I was an associate pastor in a small church in Lancaster, PA.
I loved my work—and had a real passion for it. The people were like family to me. To this day, I look back with great fondness on the incredible experiences I had and friendships I made as I served a close-knit congregation.
But as much as I loved what I was doing, there was a problem.
I felt like there was more in store for me.
I’m a family man. I have a beautiful, supportive wife, and four incredible children. And it’s tough to support a family on $30,000 a year…even in 1993…which was all our little congregation could provide me.
I began to wonder if perhaps there was something else I could do.
I realized that even with all the good I was doing as a pastor, my small income limited more than my lifestyle: it limited my circle of influence. If I could just grow my personal wealth, I thought, I’ll be able to do even MORE good in the community, and the world at large (not to mention relieve some of the pressure off my wife and family).
So I began to look around at other options.
Now, before I go any further, I want to be clear that I have tremendous respect for those who sacrifice money and time to work in service-oriented fields. We need pastors, teachers, social workers, firefighters, soldiers, law enforcement officers—desperately. I don’t want to take anything away from those who pursue these noble professions. Their influence has meant everything in my life and in the lives of those I love.
But I had another path.
Finding Business Coaching
My search took me high and low. I considered real estate, network marketing, internet businesses, and retail.
Then I stumbled upon a niche I’d never even heard of before: business coaching.
As soon as I learned about it, I just knew it was for me. I loved the idea of working with business owners and entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and improve the quality of life for their employees and families. It fit perfectly with my passion for people and my pastoral gifts.
As soon as I learned about it, I just knew it was for me. I loved the idea of working with business owners and entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and improve the quality of life for their employees and families.
Though I had little professional or entrepreneurial experience, I knew I had a lot to offer. I was good at leadership development, training, communication, team building, and personal counseling.
A web search for business coaching franchises led me to one of the world’s largest and most ubiquitous business coaching franchise systems and just six months later I was a new franchisee.
I contributed $9,000—my last and ONLY bit of money—to a pool of start-up capital with a business partner…and off we went.
My poor family. We went from almost nothing coming in to literally nothing.
Because I was a miserable failure.
I mean, TERRIBLE.
Like most entrepreneurs, I came to the horrible realization that I would quickly go broke if I didn’t start selling, and fast. If you’re a fellow entrepreneur, I’m sure you know the feeling.
I mean, I had NO business network in my community, NO clout, and very little cash to invest in marketing. To this day, I still marvel at it all.
A pastor starting a business to coach business owners?
What on earth was I thinking?
But despite all the setbacks, I was 100% committed to building a great business by learning how to acquire clients I could truly help—and who would be happy to pay me for real, practical, money-making value.
It took a few months, and more than a few financial close-calls, but I finally landed my first client. Then three more. And suddenly I had banked my first $10,000 month.
I can’t tell you how good it felt to make as much in a quarter as I previously made in an entire year.
How close are you to that breakthrough?
The fact that you’re here means that you’re closer than you were yesterday.
Keep at it. Don’t quit.
Soon enough, you’ll be able to tell your own “Why I became a business coach” story. It’s closer than you think!
To get you there faster, download our FREE ebook, How to Become a Business Coach, for a step-by-step guide!
Thinking about getting into business coaching?
If you’re considering a business coaching franchise, I’d urge you to consider the Coaches’ Coach instead.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m obviously biased, but would you allow me to make the case anyway?
After all, if you’re about to sign for a business coaching franchise, that’s an investment of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Isn’t it worth it to get a second opinion? To explore other ways of building the business coaching practice you’re dreaming of?
Here are three reasons you should give us a serious look…
A 15-Year Foundation of Research and Development
First, our system is built on the foundation of more than 15 years of research and development in the field of entrepreneur innovation and business coaching best practices.
Our system brings you the best of the best. We’re constantly exploring the field of entrepreneurial innovation, reading all the books, and attending the seminars and training events–so that you don’t have to!
We know what it takes to become a successful business coach because we’ve helped hundreds of coaches do just that.
Our approach is data-driven and proven effective.
Stay Free to Use What Works
Most of the business coaching franchise and licensing deals out there are built on a single big name. We believe that the systems based on a single person’s brand are inherently limited because they’re based on the work of a single thought-leader.
Here at the Coaches Coach, we consider ourselves tool agnostics. We don’t require you to use the business coaching tools and systems of just one big-name thought leader.
In a business coaching franchise or licensing deal, you’re often limited to promoting the ideas of just one person. We think the world is much bigger than that and you should be free to adopt whatever works…and reject what doesn’t.
In a business coaching franchise or licensing deal, you're often limited to promoting the ideas of just one person. We think the world is bigger than that and want to be free to adopt what works...and reject what doesn't.
Community, Coaching, and a Constantly Updated Members-Only Library
In our members-only site, you’ll access recordings of live training sessions, PowerPoints, audio presentations, videos, templates, spreadsheets, documents, and more.
We regularly provide for our members exclusive webinars and training sessions with thought leaders in the business coaching such as Vern Harnish, Michael Gerber, Karl Bryan, Taki Moore, and many more.
Every time we add a new product to our suite of business coaching tools, you get it for free if you’re a member. We have a help desk that’s active 24/7 where you can get your questions answered. And, we have a thriving membership community in a “private” Facebook group where you can make connections, ask questions, and develop relationships with fellow business coaches.
Plus, you have the opportunity to opt into a one-on-one coaching relationship with a Certified Coaches’ Coach who banks a minimum of $200,000 per year and can show you the ropes.
Most business coaching franchises don’t offer all of these perks.
Intrigued but not convinced?
For a more in-depth comparison of Coaches’ Coach vs. business coaching franchises — as well as a comprehensive guide to what you should keep your eyes out for when considering a business coaching franchise — check out our FREE resource, The Business Coaching Franchise Buyer’s Guide.
Lead generation is the most important aspect of building a successful business coaching practice—and for many business coaches, the most elusive. Over the years, we’ve experimented with tons of tactics to help business coaches generate the leads they need to grow. And we’ve found that these eight are consistently the most effective.
If you’re struggling to generate leads, we highly suggest you dump old, ineffective strategies you may be using, and focus in on these.
First is referrals. This is the fastest, easiest, and most high-leverage way to get new clients for your coaching business. You can get referrals either from existing clients or others in your network. Here’s our favorite strategy for setting up a meeting with a contact and leaving with warm names you can reach out to, with the added bonus of a vigorous endorsement from a mutual acquaintance.
Networking is another way to generate warm leads…IF you do it right. That’s a big “if,” because far too many people go to networking events only to hide in the corner and get nowhere. But networking can be incredibly effective if you follow these steps.
Beware: you can waste a lot of time, money, and energy spinning your wheels on social media. We’ve used two social media strategies to great effect; leave the rest alone. First, we have a free Facebook group where our clients and prospects can interact with one another. This is a very positive, supportive environment that gives members access to Certified Coaches Coaches and allows folks to build a community while getting our best advice. Could you create something similar for your clients?
Second, we use micro-targeted, paid marketing on Facebook and LinkedIn. We know exactly who our target market is, and we show them ads that are designed to get them to opt into our database by offering free, high-value content.
Content marketing is the process of creating high-value, actionable content to your prospects before they buy. It can come in many forms: ebooks, podcasts, mini-courses, blogs (as in this very post you’re reading), YouTube videos, and more. The trick is to ensure that the content you give away for free is as good as the content you sell. When people become clients after consuming your content, it’s not the content itself they’re buying: it’s the help implementing it, and the accountability to make sure they do it right.
Contrary to popular belief, direct mail isn’t dead! In a world in which everyone’s inbox is inundated with an endless stream of solicitations, direct mail can still work well. Use it to generate new leads, warm existing leads, and drive traffic to your digital properties.
Why “outsourced”? Because, in most cases, your time is too precious to spend it cold calling. (That doesn’t mean you don’t need to spend time every day on the phone, though!) Use outsourced telemarketers like ConnectAndSell to do the screening and appointment setting for you, so that you can spend your time having live conversations with real prospects who want to talk–instead of suffering through hours of fruitless dials. We call this “warm calling” because you’re phone calls are to warm prospects, not cold ones.
Bold walking is the practice of going into places of business, in person, to meet and connect with business owners. Of course, this strategy works best if you’re focusing on being a “local legend” (someone who works a particular geographic market as opposed to, say, a particular industry). Bold walking is a great way to break into a new area, or to make connections in the community that can pay dividends now and down the line.
Strategic partners are highly valuable relationships that essentially provide you referrals in bulk. They’re non-competitive companies that cater to your approximate customer profile and preferably have an advising role: think accountants, bankers, and lawyers. These relationships can take time to cultivate, and because they operate on trust, sometimes you need a large portfolio of experience to prove your value. But they are worth their weight in gold if you can be the go-to expert recommended by other trusted professionals.
Don't waste your precious time and resources on tactics that don't work. These tried and true approaches to business coach lead generation will give you a lean, effective marketing system that gets results.
What Are You Waiting For?
I’m not exaggerating when I say that these are the ONLY eight lead-generation strategies you need. Don’t waste your precious time and resources on tactics that don’t work. These tried and true approaches to business coach lead generation will give you a lean, effective marketing system that gets results. Enjoy!
Not too long ago, I had a business coach client email me with exciting news. He’d been working to secure strategic partnerships with CPA firms, and finally landed one. He said:
“I just picked up a check for $2,625! My client is a CPA firm which I had approached about a strategic partnership–splitting coaching fees with the clients they bring us. They were EXTREMELY excited about the idea. And then after talking, they realized they needed help, too! We’re off!”
Strategic partnerships are an incredibly effective, high-leverage way to win more clients.
They operate on the principle of trust–in this case, the client’s trust in your strategic partner, and your strategic partner’s trust in you.
If you can be the go-to expert that service providers such as accountants, bankers, and lawyers refer their clients to when it’s clear they need business coaching, you can have a steady stream of high-quality, ready-to-rock clients with minimal sales and marketing costs.
So how do you do it? Follow the steps outlined below.
If you can be the go-to expert that service providers such as accountants, bankers, and lawyers refer their clients to when it's clear they need business coaching, you can have a steady stream of high-quality, ready-to-rock clients with minimal sales and marketing costs.
Step 1. Identify and Contact Your Ideal Strategic Partners
First, develop a list of businesses in your area or niche that share your same client profile. This needs to be a non-competitive business (e.g. don’t try this with another business or executive coach!). The best-case scenario is to work with other professionals because they’re already in a position of trust with their clients. Look for:
- Accountants / CPAs
- Financial advisors
- Bankers / lenders
- Business brokers
- Corporate attorneys
You can also connect with printers, office furniture retailers, internet service providers, web developers, outsourced IT firms, and others that provide products and services for businesses that match your ideal client profile. Those partnerships won’t be as fruitful as the ones that are already in influential positions of advising, but they can still yield excellent results.
Step 2. Create a Proposal for Revenue Sharing or a Fee for Referrals
There are tons of possibilities in terms of how you might structure your strategic partnerships.
- Create a revenue-sharing agreement, where your strategic partner gets a percentage of the coaching fees you collect from their referrals.
- Offer a Complimentary Coaching Session to your partner’s customers, and pay your partner a fee for each one you complete.
- Pay a one-time referral bonus for whenever a client converts.
- Have them bundle coaching in with their regular retainer, and have the strategic partner pay you per session.
You can have different arrangements with different strategic partners, depending on how your goals align with your partner’s.
Step 3. Coach the Clients–and Keep Your Strategic Partner in the Loop!
Finally, do an amazing job coaching your partner’s clients. The better you help your partner’s clients, the more they’ll be willing to send clients your way.
Be sure to keep your strategic partners updated on your progress with your shared clients. Pay your referral fees and revenue splits in a timely way. Flag any troubles early. Meet with your strategic partners regularly and be impeccable in your communication with them. These relationships are as important as your client-coach relationships–perhaps even moreso, because they can turn into long-lasting sources of some of your best clients.
In my coaching business, I had such powerful strategic partners that I’d have accountants and bankers call my cell phone and tell me they had a client set up to come to their office primed and ready. I’d show up, conduct the Complimentary Coaching Session, and leave with a $3,000 to $5,000 check for the first month of services!
How transformative would that be for your business?
For more great business-building strategies like this, download our FREE ebook, Secrets of a Business Coaching Rock Star.
“…Been coaching a while, barely getting over the $2,000 and $2,500/month barrier…getting pretty frustrated. My wife will tell you that I was almost ready to quit. Then I found Coaches’ Coach! Wow! I wanted to hire Eric Dombach immediately, but he was just too expensive for me right then. And then I discovered the Coaches’ Coach courses!!
“I’m telling you right now, the courses literally changed my life! Just amazing stuff!
“From the 21 Silver Bullets, I pulled out the Strategic Planning Bullet and I just got back from a 4-hour strategic planning session with a client. And they loved it!
“I’m not where I want to be as to revenue, I’m not where I need to be, but I am at $8,000/month right now and the Courses have totally changed everything about how I do business. It’s only been about 10 months ago that I discovered Coaches’ Coach and one of my income goals is to quickly get enough money coming in to be able to hire Eric Dombach. And I think I’m going to be there pretty quick!”