I have learned many lessons during the fast and furious learning curve of my first year as an online coach but I have focused them down to the five most important.
1) Suspend Belief
The overwhelm of how to get from nothing to a fully-fledged online coaching program in well under a year seems impossible. And so you do nothing. That’s understandable. It all seems such a foreign language and, in a way, it is like learning a new language – the learning never ends. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day (actually it has taken over one million days so far) and so you have to take the first step and then the second, with your eye on the end goal but never thinking too far ahead in the steps you need to take or you will become overwhelmed. When I started creating the online coaching business, it seemed like an impossible task and yet, with some guidance from my mentor, Tony Teegarden, it happened really quickly but I did work my butt off to make it happen. I had to learn so much new technology that my head span with all the writing and promotion and course-creation. Yes, there was a lot to do, but I did it, and my first group coaching program was a brilliant success.
2) Create a Cohesive Story
Don’t start doing a bit of this and a bit of that. Think about your story and your image – that is what you will be putting out there in the public arena. Get this right at the beginning and everything else will flow from there. Take a branding course if necessary.
3) Focus on What is Important
This may seem to contradict number 2 but, as long as you are incorporating your story and image, designing a pretty website is not as important as writing great, focused content so that you can start to create credibility as an expert. It is easy to fiddle around for days, even weeks, tweaking the colours and fonts and images, installing plugins, buying programs for your website but you can do that later once everything is running smoothly. Just keep the big picture of who you are in mind.
4) This is a Business
This is about focus too. You are not blogging for your family or about your life. You are not writing random blog posts just for the sake of it. Every word you write is with the end aim of getting your readers to trust you so they will enrol in your coaching program. That is the only way, by imparting your expertise, that you can help them advance in their chosen field. No one will ever know all the wonderful things you want to teach them if you can’t get them to join so keep that end goal in mind and never waver.
5) Be Social
Social media takes on a whole new meaning once you are a business owner. Join Facebook groups that are relevant to your topic and where you will find people who are interested in your topic. Don’t be pushy or salesy but make connections and help out as much as you can. They will naturally come to you if you can prove that you are an expert in this particular area. However, don’t spread yourself too thin because there are so many social media platforms now. Find the three that speak most to you and concentrate on them. Build up your followings on these three and send all your posts to them as well as extra offerings that are helpful and generous. You will have to give it all away for free for a while if you ever want to be able to sell it. Actually, you will need to continue to give it away for free forever, but there is a fine line you walk of not throwing out the baby with the bath water.
Now, it’s your turn. What is your passion? I bet you can turn it into an online coaching program.