11 min read
When you start your online coaching business, every new client you book makes you break out into a happy dance.
You’re getting paid to help someone unlock their true potential. What is cooler than that?
But as you book more clients, you may realize you only have so much time to give yourself them. Once your roster is full, it’s hard to find ways to scale your coaching business if you only work one-on-one with your clients.
While private coaching is a great business model to pursue when you start out, you might feel like you’ve hit the ceiling of what you can earn when you only engage clients one-on-one.
Even if you are building your coaching business from scratch, you can get a few steps ahead by anticipating the growth that will happen over time. It’s never too early to start thinking about how to scale a coaching business.
Since you can’t clone yourself, finding ways to shift your business model to scale your coaching offerings is the next best thing. But before you consider new service and product types, we recommend starting by looking at your baseline offerings.
Once you have a good idea of how your current business is set up, you can start thinking about what the next chapter may look like. Because there are countless ways to scale, you don’t have to pigeon-hole yourself into one key offering or do the same things everyone else in your niche does.
Instead, you can start to craft a business model that will give you diversified income by allowing you to offer multiple tiers of products and services that will increase the value you give your client. This will help you increase your prices and income over time, which is something we can all get behind!
As you explore different ways to scale your online coaching business, keep your ideal clients in mind.
What would they be most interested in?
Have they asked you for a specific offering that you haven’t created yet but it might be a fit?
Listen to your ideal clients and your gut as you consider what it would look like to include these scalable offerings to your coaching business.
One of the simplest ways to grow your online coaching business is to increase the number of clients you work with. Since you can’t do this in a private coaching setting with only so many hours in a day, group coaching is a no-brainer for coaches who want to scale.
While group coaching still takes a similar output of energy, you’ll be able to coach more people at a time to increase your bottom line. This can be a great option for coaches who find themselves talking to their clients about the same things over and over again.
If everyone is struggling with the same thing, it might be easier and more profitable to create a group coaching program that more people can take part in.
Along with the group coaching program, you can also help your coaching clients create deep connections with one another by opening a community for them. This could be an incredibly powerful way to add monetary value to your group coaching offerings without a large time investment on your end.
Before you create your group coaching curriculum, consider how it will help you scale your business and what boundaries you want to put around the time you are available to clients. You may only have a weekly one-hour call with your five group members vs. five calls with each person if you were privately coaching, but it may take additional time to prepare for the call and give guidance between your calls.
It’s a good idea to have a list of expectations you are planning to meet within the group coaching program and include how long the program will run for. Some coaches run group coaching programs for a few months while others choose to work together for a full year.
Even if you want to do a one-day group coaching workshop intensive, you want to outline what this will look like before you start marketing your new offering.
If you are looking for an in-person way to connect with your group coaching clients, hosting a mastermind retreat could be the perfect way to scale your business. Instead of doing a one-on-one retreat, you can invite like-minded people to a central location and go through your curriculum in one place.
You can choose to meet in a local location that is close to you and your other coaching clients, or you can make a vacation out of it and meet in another location. While it may be easier to host a retreat that is close to where you live, you can still plan an event in another city, state, or even country! You just may want to call in reinforcements to help you plan it.
When you consider adding a mastermind retreat to your offerings or even as an add-on to your group coaching program, it’s important to think about the kind of culture you want to create with your event.
Is it a time for people to unplug and reconnect with their business vision, or is it focused on taking action and creating a foolproof plan for improving their business and life? Maybe it’s a mixture of both. Setting this intention early will help you plan the rest of the event with purpose.
Mastermind retreats usually work best when there are one or two key facilitators that guide the participants through different activities. It’s also good to set expectations early so participants know what to bring and prepare to talk about.
To add even more value to your mastermind retreat, you can create a Facebook group so that your mastermind participants are able to connect with one another before the retreat. You can also send them worksheets with thoughtful exercises that will help them get into the right mindset before coming to your mastermind retreat.
Creating an in-person event through your mastermind retreat will take more time than most online group coaching programs, but being able to witness the growth and transformation of each individual up close will give you a renewed sense of accomplishment and purpose inside your business.
You can also take what you’ve learned from the mastermind retreat and weave it into the rest of your coaching offerings.
If you are looking for a more hands-off approach to coaching while still helping people unlock their ah-ha moments, a membership community might be a great fit for you. When building your membership community, think about how many people you want to manage and how often you want to open the doors to your membership community.
If you price your membership at a low rate of $19-29/month, you may find yourself having to manage more people than you bargained for. Instead, you could create a higher value membership community at $49-99/month that gives your members access to group coaching calls among other resources.
When you create a membership community, you are usually in it for the long haul. It can be a great source of recurring income, but it’s important to figure out if it’s something you want to commit to early on. If you want to test it out in the short term, group coaching programs might be your best place to start.
If you do want to build a long-term online community through a membership website, you can look into platforms like Podia, Teachable, and Thinkific to get started. It may take a larger upfront time investment to create an archive of resources, but you can create monthly tasks that are easy to create on an ongoing basis.
With a membership community, you can also more easily delegate tasks to other contractors and team members so the full workload doesn’t fall on you like it does when you are private coaching. This helps you scale in an intentional way because you can focus your attention on multiple projects at a time.
Maybe the idea of creating an ongoing membership community sounds like more of a long-term time investment than you want to put in. That is totally okay! You can still create a short-term community and give a wealth of information by creating digital products.
Online courses allow you to create a collection of video lessons, worksheets, and other materials that can be easily accessed at any time and from any device. You can walk through an online course with your students during a designated time or create an evergreen offering that allows your students to jump in at any time.
Depending on what launch strategy you choose, you can create a variety of online courses to help students coach themselves through your online teaching. This is a great option for coaches who want to scale their business online by teaching through video rather than guiding clients through a more in-depth, personal coaching program.
Many coaches have created online courses so they can impact more people with their same platform. If this is something you are interested in, we recommend looking more into online courses to see if they are the right fit for you.
Instead of working one-on-one with a small selection of private coaching clients, you can take the main topics and themes you cover with clients and create a talk on it. Once you create a unique talk, you can start marketing yourself as a speaker to conferences, retreats, and workshops that are coordinated and facilitated by other entrepreneurs.
Before creating your signature talks, it’s important to have a solid understanding of what your platform is as a coach. Do you help women entrepreneurs create work-life balance by helping them with time management? If so, your platform and speaking topics would be different than someone who coaches stay-at-home moms on time management with home organization tips in mind.
Your coaching niche will give you a better idea of what unique perspective you can bring to each audience. Once you have created a speaking platform that fits your coaching business, you can start sending pitches to event organizers. Keep an eye out for open applications.
You may also want to create a speaking page on your website so event organizers can find you directly and reach out with event information. If you are looking for speaking page inspiration, Maya Elious and Ashley Beaudin are great examples.
If you want to keep a similar coaching structure to what you have right now but still want to increase your income over time, you may be interested in value-based scaling.
It’s good to ask yourself if you are currently charging enough for your client engagements, and if there’s any more value you can offer to increase your prices as they stand right now. Once you determine the right price for your coaching services, you can spend time creating a higher pricing strategy for one-on-one coaching vs. your other offerings.
You can start by creating coaching packages instead of charging hourly rates. Then you can move on to pricing the other offerings that will allow you to work with multiple clients at a time so you can raise your prices with one-on-one clients.
Hopefully, this article has given you more options to consider when adding income streams to your online coaching business. But which one(s) will work best for you? Take some time this week to think through the best way for you to scale your coaching business.
Download this issue of Tradecraft as a PDF to read and reference at your own pace.