In any business endeavor, planning and preparation are key in ensuring that you get off to the best possible start. Launching an online coaching business is no different. You will need to be able to identify as a business who you are, what you do, and how you do it.
Every great business started as an idea and now, so has yours. As you gear up for the journey to make this idea a reality, you will want to start refining your thoughts and identifying what will help your online coaching business grow. Let’s have a look here at a few key steps to get you ready to launch your online business.
Step 1: Identity
Many people believe that research is the first step in creating a successful business, and to them, I say you are right! However, research should also be focused and how will you know what you are looking for without knowing who you are first. Start to formulate a plan of action for yourself as well as an outline of what you would like your coaching business to become.
What is your Vision?
The first thing that you should do when taking on your new online coaching endeavor is to create your identity. Take a bit of time and create a mission statement and a vision statement. Just a few sentences on who you are and what you are doing. You can also use this time to brainstorm for the fun things like your name and branding if you haven’t already.
With each step towards launching your business, the picture will become clearer and clearer. Creating your Vision and Mission statements will give you a great idea of what you are striving to become and help point you in the right direction.
What are your Strengths?
When you know where you would like to go it will be easier to look inward and assess your own personal strengths and weaknesses. A great exercise is doing a quick SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis to help you really think about what you are good at and what you can learn to be better at. Just divide a piece of paper into four sections and list all of your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats in each section. By being able to identify these aspects of you and your coaching business, you will be able to maximize the positive and minimize the negative.
What are you going to do?
While formal business plans still have their place, but they are quickly becoming less essential. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take the time to organize and plan where you are going. Make an informal roadmap for your coaching business to put milestones and goals in place for yourself. This should essentially be a timeline in which you outline your goals and objectives to complete as you get ready to launch your coaching business and grow. Create SMART goals for yourself that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-sensitive.
Examples of these goals may be that you want to have your online coaching platform set up in a month. Or that you want to have 5 new customers in your first week after launching. If your goals have the 5 attributes listed above, it is much easier to hold yourself accountable to them. When you have your goals you will also need to take into consideration the steps you will need to take when setting up those goals. Write down your action-plan of the steps you need to take to make each of these goals a reality and you now have your roadmap!
Doing these exercises when starting your online coaching business will give you a great insight into what is needed to start as well as help you maximize your research efforts. Continuing your research may lead you to decide to change your offerings, your branding, your target market, or even your overall vision. This is also not limited to after you have launched your business. Never be afraid of change but be ready to embrace it.
Step 2: Research
Once you have a good idea of where you are going with your online coaching business, it’s important to start doing your homework. Research is a key part of validating whether your business will be able to succeed or not. With the information you uncover, you will be able to shape your path to success and discover where there are opportunities for your business.
The main three things that you will want to research are your customers, your competitors, and your partners. Knowing who each of these groups are will help you in being able to identify where and how you should direct your efforts.
Know your Customers
Knowing who your customers are will be incredibly important in knowing how to approach them and how to retain them. If you are targeting a younger demographic in the fitness industry, focusing on your social media presence may be the best way to market yourself. If you are hoping to offer consultations to business professionals a well-crafted email campaign maybe your best option. Being able to identify your customers will also help you when validating that your coaching business will be successful. Your potential customers all have needs and knowing how you can satisfy them will be the biggest thing that will make or break your business.
Knowing your customers will also help you be able to when pricing your services. Each of your customers are going to have an individual perceived value, which is the monetary value that they would pay for your services. By knowing how much your customers would be willing to pay can maximize your pricing for your services.
Know your Competitions
Having a good knowledge of your competition will also help you be able to identify not only aspects that are working for them but also where there could be some opportunity that they are neglecting. Take note of their offerings, their pricing, and the way they try to position themselves. This is another great time to pull out the SWOT analysis from your toolbelt.
When you are able to identify what your competitors’ strengths are you can strive to match them. And with their weaknesses, try to capitalize on having strengths in those areas as well. It also might be worth actually reaching out to your competitors to get a bit of insight into the industry from them.
Know your Allies
The other valuable asset that you will want to research will be the possible partners that you will be able to leverage in your endeavor. Now this list can range from the online tools you use to consultants or advisors that you may want to hire to help you grow your business. Also, consider potential investors or team members that you would like to join you on the journey.
When you start to look at people or platforms that can help you launch your online coaching business, pull out your personal SWOT analysis again. Try to find people or platforms that will help you minimize your weaknesses and your threats.
Maybe one of your weaknesses was your lack of experience. Finding a consultant or even a business partner that is a veteran in the industry could help you navigate the unfamiliar landscape. If you are not a very technically savvy person, maybe finding an all in one platform will take the pressure off putting together a solution of a number of assorted online tools.
Know your Numbers
Another thing you need to explore to ensure that your business will be viable is what your costs will be and what you will need to make to turn a profit. At the end of the day, you’ll be taking your profits home so it is important that you know where your funds are coming in and going out. Find your breakeven point or the monetary value of all of your costs.
You will want to look into every conceivable cost that you can think of, whether it is your online platform costs, marketing costs, equipment costs, legal and accounting costs, even the costs of running your office (home or external). Categorize your costs into variable and fixed depending on if the costs are able to be altered. An example of variable costs might be your costs of hiring an advisor or employees, where your fixed costs will be things like your platform costs or your monthly internet bill. Adding up all of your costs will tell you how much revenue you will need to make to turn your first profit.
Knowing this point will help you also be able to make decisions to ensure that will help you minimize costs and maximize your profits. Look at the payments that you need to make before launching and what can wait will one way to extend your cash flows to ensure you can keep operating while you start getting close to profit. Leveraging a reasonably priced all-in-one coaching platform like Yondo will help you save costs on purchasing multiple Meeting platforms, scheduling platforms, and eCommerce platforms.
By combining all of the information you researched, you should be able to take another look at the planning that you did in step one and reevaluate what needs to be tweak and what did you get spot on. Have a good think about what is your actual plan to make money and what are the income goals you are hoping to achieve. Are you going to charge an hourly rate for a coaching session or will you set up a passive income scheme from digital products and video subscriptions as well. All of this will need to be worked out ahead of your launch.
Your research will never end. Be prepared to subscribe to industry news outlets, social media influencers, and any other source of insight that will keep you updated as the industry changes. Knowledge is power.
Step 3: Setting Up Yondo
After you have created your identity and done your homework, it is time to set up your platform. By combining what you have discovered in steps one and two, you should now be able to identify where your coaching business will fit in the market and what you will want to offer your customers.
Whether you are a Wellness Coach, a Marketing Consultant, a Physiotherapist, or an English tutor, Yondo can help.
The Yondo Platform offers an All-in-One Video eCommerce System which allows you to sell Live 1-to-1 Consultations, On-Demand Videos, and Courses, and Live Group Seminars/Webinars all from the same platform. There’s no need to patchwork a solution out of a handful of platforms when you can have it all in one place.
Easy for you
Setting your own hours is one of the biggest benefits of starting your own online coaching business and Yondo makes it easy to do so. You can create Live 1-to-1 Consultation listings with an availability calendar of times that you set. No more back and forth between you and your customers trying to find a good time to meet. And with Yondo’s Two-way Google Calendar synchronization, you won’t have to worry about being double-booked.
You will also be able to sell videos and courses that you have created through your own On-Demand Video Library. Simply upload your videos, choose whether you would like to sell them as rentals, one-off purchases, or as monthly subscriptions and publish your videos to start making money while you sleep.
Yondo also makes holding Webinars and Group Classes easy with the ability to broadcast your video, audio, and screen share to up to 1000 people. Webinars are a great way to reach a large number of people at once and give yourself credibility as a coach at the same time.
By leveraging each facet of Yondo, increasing your offerings is extremely simple. Yondo also has a great discount engine as well as a fantastic feature called ‘Call-to-Actions’. These calls to actions are available in all functions of Yondo and will allow you to add clickable sales panels that direct your customers anywhere you please. You can send your video viewers to a link to download your newest ebook or offer your customer live 1-to-1 consultations right from your webinars.
Easy for your customers
Another huge thing to consider is how your customers will use your online platform. Yondo simplifies your customer’s journey by offering all of your listings and content in one place. You are provided an online template store that is automatically populated by the listings you create in your dashboard. Customers can come to your store to make purchases of all of your online offerings in one place. You can also add your listings into your own website through a number of easy to use plugins and embed codes.
Yondo also helps make sure that no appointment is forgotten. Any time a customer makes a booking for either a Live 1-to-1 or a Webinar purchase, confirmation emails as well as reminder emails 24 and 1 hour before the session are sent directly to you and your customer with a join session link. The appointment time will automatically be marked off of your calendar as unavailable so there is no worrying about being double booked.
Yondo is also completely browser-based and available on all devices, meaning that your customers won’t need to worry about downloading any additional apps to meet with you or access your content. All your customers need to do is make their purchase, and wait to join their booking with you. Easy!
Easy to integrate
Yondo also has a number of amazing integrations that can link a vast array of solutions to your platform. Integrate your favorite CRMs, your email marketing tools, and analytics programs to your platform. These integration partners make it easy for you to track your Yondo sales and effectively market to your customers without needing to manually transfer data between platforms.
Step 4: Marketing Strategy
Once your plans are in place and you’ve set up your platform, you’ll need to start letting people know about your business. Crafting a well thought out marketing strategy to launch will help you position your online coaching business into the industry and ensure that you are engaging with your customers.
Marketing is all about showing your customers the value that you have to offer. Your launch strategy should be focused on showing people who you are and how your coaching can make their life better. There are endless possibilities that you can explore with your marketing plan, but for your launch, you should aim your marketing efforts at custom acquisition.
Promotional offers are another fantastic way to entice your customers to try out your services. These promotions can be anything from a social media competition (which we will discuss in the section below) to an introductory discount to entice your customers with a great deal. You will want your promotions to do two things: add value for your customers and create urgency to purchase.
As we mentioned earlier, each of your customers is going to have an individual perceived value of your services. If you offer a discount to your customers that value your services at the same monetary value as your pricing, you will actually be able to create value for your customers making it even more likely that you will retain them.
With your promotions, you will also want to create a bit of urgency around the offers to help boost your initial sales. If a customer thinks that the offer will always be there for them to take advantage of, there is no reason for them to act. But if your amazing 50% off deal is only going to last for the next two weeks or is only available to the first 25 customers, your customers will want to ensure that they received the most value they can possibly get.
Everyone likes freebies. Another business model you should consider for acquiring customers is a freemium model. Freemium content is another great way to create value for your customers. It is a pricing strategy where you offer a portion of your content for free while trying to also offer additional services to your customers for a price.
This could be offering a few informational videos on your Video Library for free while promoting your video subscription to access even more great content. Or you may want to offer your customers a free initial consultation so that you are able to meet and assess if your services will be a good fit for them. Either way, you will want to make sure that the free content you are creating is insightful and impactful enough that your customers see the benefit of accessing more of your content at a cost. But don’t give all of the good stuff away for free. You’re paid content is going to be even more insightful to entice them to make another purchase.
Another great feature of Yondo is the ability to capture customer information from the content you want to offer for free. Setting your pricing to free will require your customers to enter their information before gaining access. This will be especially useful in creating a good prospect database to offer your paid content too.
Nowadays it is absolutely impossible to deny that social media plays a huge role in everyday life around the world. It is also a huge part of business and a great way to start building a following before you launch. Get creative with your social media presence and have fun while you do it! If you see posting on social media as a chore, the content of your posts will probably show this as well.
Make sure that your posts add value to your customers’ lives and intrigue them to explore your online coaching business. Think of this as another part of the freemium model. Engagement should be your main goal. Share clips of your videos, post insightful tips and converse with them in the comments. Also, consider is recruiting other influencers in your industry to recommend your online services. Leveraging the established following that others have can be a great way to gain awareness.
As your audience continues to grow, consider creating a social media competition to boost your following. The easiest way to hold these competitions is to announce a give away your products or services to randomly selected followers that like, comment, and share your posts. This will increase both your visibility by leveraging your followers to bring more people to your pages as well as increase the engagement that you have with your existing followers.
Now you may not be starting out with a huge list of potential client emails, but it is still important to consider the impact of a well-manicured email marketing campaign. A good email marketing strategy is kind of like shooting a bow and arrow. You need to choose the right tools, know your targets, and focus on a specific purpose in mind. You should have two email campaigns ready to go as you launch: a customer acquisition sequence and a customer retention sequence.
Your customer acquisition email sequence should be targeting prospects that have not yet made a purchase. These could be people who are accessing your free content or who have given you their information out of general interest. Make them feel welcome and appreciated for their interest. The customer retention email sequence should be triggered as soon as your customers have made their first purchase. Thank your customers for their purchase and show them the benefits of what you have to offer.
Think about incorporating promotions or discounted offers or bundled packages to your customers towards the end of your sequences to entice them to make a purchase. Curate each of these sequences to the audience you will be sending them too and ensure that each email is written with a specific outcome in mind.
Yondo integrates with two great email marketing tools MailChimp and Constant Contact, which allow you to build segmented email lists and craft nurturing email sequences.
Step 5: Launch
At this point, you should know where your coaching business fits and where you’re going, you should have a good idea of the competitive landscape around you, and you have a well thought out marketing strategy to let your customers know who you are and how you can help. It’s time to launch!
Start sending out those emails, posting to social media, and reaching out to your customers and potential partners. As you start to grow you will want to start adding additional marketing efforts to customer retention and look to add additional partners that can help make your coaching business thrive. You can also rest easy knowing that Yondo is completely scalable meaning that the platform grows with you, meeting your needs as you go.
So are you ready to start your coaching journey?