How To Start A Profitable Career Coaching Business (Ultimate Guide)

Start A Career Coaching Business

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When it comes to starting a career coaching business, you may find yourself in a place where you have to make some big decisions.

You may be asking yourself:

  • What's the first step in establishing my business?
  • How much will it cost to start my career coaching business?
  • How do I price my career coaching business?
  • How do I market my career coaching business?
  • ... so much more!

We walk you through all of the steps; from idea → starting → launching → growing → running your business.

The purpose of this guide is to act as an outline for the steps you'll need to take to get your business running successfully!

market size
$15B
avg revenue (monthly)
$43.3K
starting costs
$15K
gross margin
32%
time to build
7 months
growth channels
SEO
business model
Advertising
best tools
ConvertKit, YouTube, Instagram
time investment
Side project
pros & cons
39 Pros & Cons
tips
9 Tips

💡 Introduction To Starting A Career Coaching Business

Players

Big Players

Small Players

Revenue Expectations

We've interviewed several different founders in the career coaching business and asked them how much $ they're making today.

Cultivated Culture

  • $240K/year in revenue
  • Sells top tier job placement service.
  • Solo founder
  • 1 employee

CareerMetis.com

  • $36K/year in revenue
  • Sells career & freelancer advice
  • Solo founder
  • 1 employee

Wall Street Oasis

  • $1.68M/year in revenue
  • Sells finance career advice
  • 2 founders
  • 10 employees

Screw The Cubicle

  • $120K/year in revenue
  • Sells career transition coaching
  • Solo founder
  • 1 employee

Search Interest

Let's take a look at the search trends for career coaching services over the last year:

How To Name Your Career Coaching Business

It's important to find a catchy name for your career coaching business so that you can stand out in your space.

Here are some general tips to consider when naming your career coaching business

  • Avoid hard to spell names: you want something easy to remember and easy to spell for your customers
  • Conduct a search to see if others in the space have the same name
  • Try not to pick a name that limits growth opportunities for your business (ie. if you decide to expand into other product lines)
  • As soon as you have an idea (or ideas) of a few names that you love, register the domain name(s) as soon as possible!

Why is naming your career coaching business so important?

The name of your business will forever play a role in:

  • Your customers first impression
  • Your businesses identity
  • The power behind the type of customer your brand attracts
  • If you're memorable or not

It's important to verify that the domain name is available for your career coaching business.

You can search domain availability here:

Find a domain starting at $0.88

powered by Namecheap

Although .com names are the most common and easiest to remember, there are other options if your .com domain name is not available. Depending on your audience, it may not matter as much as you think.

It's also important to thoroughly check if social media handles are available.

As soon as you resonate with a name (or names), secure the domain and SM handles as soon as possible to ensure they don't get taken.

Here's some inspiration for naming your career coaching business:

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Read our full guide on naming your career coaching business ➜

🎬 How To Start A Career Coaching Business

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Setting Up Your Career Coaching Business (Formation and Legal)

When it comes to setting up your business, you may find yourself in a place where you have to make some financial and legal decisions.

The first thing you'll want to decide on is whether you want to be an LLC, S-Corp, or C-Corp.

These three options are found to be the most common when starting a small business, and all serve to protect your personal assets and also provide you with certain tax benefits.

  • LLC: All income and expenses from the business are reported on the LLC personal income tax return.
  • S corp: Owners pay themselves salaries + receive dividends from profits.
  • C Corp: C Corps are separately taxable entities that file a corporate tax return (Form 1120). No income tax is paid at the corporate level and any tax due is paid at the owners individual expense.

Depending on where you're conducting business, you'll also want to consider securing the proper permits, licenses and liability insurance.

Learn more about securing the right permits and licenses ➜

Need to start an LLC? Create an LLC in minutes with ZenBusiness.

How To Price Your Career Coaching Services

One of the most challenging aspects to starting a career coaching business is determining how much to charge for your career coaching services.

When businesses under-price their product, this can be extremely detrimental to their bottom line and reputation.

Often times, businesses under-price their products to drive demand and volume, but that last thing you want is for customers to view your product/service as "cheap." Additionally, this can have a big impact on the type of customer you attract, which can be difficult to recover from.

On the other hand, when businesses over-price, this tends to be just as damaging to the business.

When customers buy, it's likely that they will explore the internet and look at other competitors to ensure they're getting the best value + deal. This is why it's so important that you research your competition and understand where you land in the marketplace.

Here are some factors to consider when pricing your product:

Understand your customer

It's important that out of the gates, you identify the type of customer you want to attract and how much they're willing to pay for your service. One great way to do this is by surveying your customers. Here are some important items you'll want to takeaway:

  • Customer demographic: Age, gender, location, etc.
  • Buying habits of your customer: What they buy + when they buy
  • Level of price sensitivity with your customer

All of these segments will help you identify the type of customer you're attracting and how to price your product accordingly.

Understand your costs

When pricing your career coaching services, it's critical that you first identify all of your costs and consequently mark up your career coaching services so you can factor in a profit.

The actual cost of your career coaching services may include things like:

  • The actual cost to make the product (ie. raw materials, supplies, manufacturer).
  • Shipping + overhead fees
  • Rent
  • Operating costs to run your business

You may want to consider creating a spreadsheet with every single expense involved in operating/owning your business. This will give you an idea as to what you need to generate in order to at the very least, break-even and will help you price your products to factor in a profit.

Create revenue goals

When determining the price of your career coaching services, you'll want to create goals for revenue + how much profit you want your career coaching business to make.

This process is simpler than you may think:

  1. Think about your breakeven cost (by completing the above step).
  2. Create a revenue goal based on your break-even cost
  3. Evaluate the # of items you plan to sell in a given period (make sure this is a realistic number)
  4. Divide your revenue goal by the number of items you plan to sell

This figure will help determine your estimated price per product in order to meet your revenue goals.

Evaluate your competition

The last piece in determining how to price your career coaching services is by simply looking at your competition.

The best way to do this is by finding like-minded businesses that offer product(s) with similar perceived value. Then, you can compare prices of the different businesses and determine where your career coaching services fits best in the marketplace.

All of these factors play an equal part in pricing your career coaching services, so it's important you evaluate each one individually to come up with an accurate price that will help optimize your business from the start.

Determine Which Business Bank Account You Need

There are hundreds of banks out there, and it can be overwhelming to find one that's right for your business.

Here are some factors you may want to consider:

  • Location - Is your bank close enough that you can easily make deposits or get cash?
  • Low Fees - Make sure to understand any and all fees associated with setting up and maintaining your bank account. Ask for a list - banks usually try to keep this hidden and in the fine print.
  • Online Banking Services - Make sure you can easily navigate through your online portal and you have easy access to everything you need.
  • Line of Credit - What do your options look like (even if you don't need this now, you may need this down the road).
  • Every bank has something that differentiates them from the rest, so make sure whatever that is applied to your needs and values.

Check out this list of the 13 Best Banks for Small Business in 2020 and what makes them so unique.

Write a Business Plan

Writing a business plan from the start is critical for the success of your career coaching business.

Why?

Because this allows you to roadmap exactly what you do, what your overall structure will look like, and where you want to be in the future.

For many entrepreneurs, writing out the business plan helps validate their idea and decide whether or not they should move forward with starting the business.

You may want to consider expanding upon these sections in your business plan:

  • Executive Summary: Brief outline of your product, the market, and growth opportunities
  • Overviews and Objectives: Overview of your business, target customers, and what you need to run your business
  • Products and Services: Specifics on the products and services your business will provide
  • Market Opportunities: Analysis of customer demographics, buyer habits and if your product is in demand
  • Marketing: Outline of your marketing plan and how you plan to differentiate yourself from other customers
  • Competitive analysis: Analysis of your competition and the strengths and weaknesses therein
  • Operations: Hierarchal structure of the company and what it will take to run the business on the day-to-day
  • Leadership Team: Detailing roles and responsibilities of each manager based on their specific skill-set
  • Financial Analysis Understanding of all expenses, operating budgets, and projections for the future.

Learn more about how to write a business plan here

Identify Target Customer

A very critical piece in building career coaching business is to identify your ideal target customer.

  • Develop a niche and create a consistent brand that reflects your target customer.
  • The colors, logo, content, and overall website should resonate with your target customer and should draw them in by helping them solve their specific "need".

Lydia Lee, founder of Screw The Cubicle identifies exactly the type of customer her services are curated for:

My core work focuses on helping corporate professionals transition their expertise and skills into an independent career where they choose a pathway like freelancing, consulting, and solopreneurship to earn a great living.

From self-guided courses like WorkReinvented to my 90 Day Launch program, the mission is to support passionate individuals to build the life they want with a business they can love.

-  
Lydia Lee, on starting Screw The Cubicle ($10,000 revenue/mo) full story

Building an MVP (Minimal Viable Product)

When building a career coaching business, it's critical that you first validate your product/service rather than rushing to build it right away.

This could save you months, if not years of building the wrong product/service.

If you're hoping to decrease any sort of risk that comes with launching your career coaching business, designing a prototype can be a great way to de-risk your situation.

The point of your career coaching services prototype is that it doesn't have to be perfect.

In the beginning stages, it doesn't matter how rough V1 of your prototype is, it's more important to just get started and you can always refine from there based on feedback from your network and most importantly your customers.

How To Build A MVP

Here are several different ways of building a prototype/MVP:

  • Start by building a landing page to see if customers actually need your product and if they are willing to pay for it
  • Build a very basic version of your idea and ask for immediate feedback from potential customers
  • Present a problem and solution via Facebook/Instagram Ads and see what the response is like

Austin Belcak, founder of Cultivated Culture dives deep into the process of designing and prototyping their product:

I’d tried launching a bunch of products (which all failed) before my flagship course finally took off. The big difference was taking the time to validate up front.

I wanted to make sure people would buy what I was selling before investing time to create it.

I started by sending an email to my audience asking if anyone would be interested in beta testing a premium resource around job searching. That was my first point of validation, I wanted to see if people were even interested in the general idea.

After reaching a critical mass of replies (I aimed for 50), I used Google docs to create an outline of the course. It walked through:

  • Why it’s so hard to land jobs today (immediately addressing a pain point)
  • My story (qualifying myself)
  • Introduction of the course - what it is and what to expect
  • A module-by-module breakdown of what’s included
  • Testimonials from people in the audience who had seen success
  • Pricing (with a 50% discount off the future “retail price” with a working payment link)

I also created a survey that asked people:

  • If they were interested in buying the course (yes/no)
  • What they loved about the course
  • What was missing from the course
  • What questions they had about the course

Then I replied to each interested person and asked them to read through the course outline and then fill out the survey.

Of the responses, I singled out people who said they would buy the course and encouraged them to pre-order using the payment link (offering a 50% discount and early beta access).

I read a lot about tiered pricing leading up to the course launch so I planned to launch with three sticker prices of $47, $147, $297. The first price was for a version of the course that allowed access to 2 out of the five modules. The second was for the full course, and the third was for the course along with a 30-minute coaching session.

Given the pre-order beta was an “MVP,” I only mentioned the middle price so it came in around $73 for beta users.

My goal was to get a 10%+ to sell-through rate. I had 50 people “interested” so I needed at least 5 buyers. I knew that if I could get 10% of people to put money down for something that didn’t exist yet, that was a good sign.

I ended up getting 20 pre-orders which validated the product and I spent the next two months building it!

-  
Austin Belcak, on starting Cultivated Culture ($20,000/month) full story ➜

How Much Does It Cost To Start A Career Coaching Business

If you are planning to start a career coaching business, the costs are relatively low. This, of course, depends on if you decide to start the business with lean expenses or bringing in a large team and spending more money.

We’ve outlined two common scenarios for “pre-opening” costs of starting a career coaching business and outline the costs you should expect for each:

  • The estimated minimum starting cost = $1,504
  • The estimated maximum starting cost = $27,319
Startup Expenses: Average expenses incurred when starting a career coaching business. Min Startup Costs: You plan to execute on your own. You’re able to work from home with minimal costs. Max Startup Costs: You have started with 1+ other team members.
Office Space Expenses
Rent: This refers to the office space you rent out for your business. To minimize costs, you may want to consider starting your business from home or renting an office in a coworking space. $0 $2,000
WiFi: Whether you work from home or in an office space, WiFi is an expense that's tough to avoid. Although the cost is minimal in most cases, it should be appropriately budgeted for each month! $10 $100
Total Office Space Expenses $10 (min) $2,100 (max)
Employee & Freelancer Expenses
Payroll: This number depends on if you decide to pay yourself a salary upfront and how many employees you have on payroll. At first, many founders take on all responsibilities until the business is up and running. You can always hire down the road when you understand where you need help. Keep in mind, if you do plan to pay yourself, the average salary founders make is $50K. $0 $4,000
Total Employee & Freelancer Expenses $0 (min) $4,000 (max)
Equipment & Supply Expenses
Technology Office Equipment: This includes (but is not limited to) physical items such as: laptops, cameras, monitors, microphones, speakers, headsets. Technology needs grow as your company evolves, so to minimize costs, try and only purchase what is needed for you to run your business at the time. $500 $5,000
Total Equipment & Supply Expenses $500 (min) $5,000 (max)
Website Costs
Website builder: The cost of your website will vary depending on which platform you choose. There are many website builders on the market, so it's important you choose the right one for your business and overall goals. To learn more about your options + how to build a great website, check out this article. $15 $100
Web Design: Web design includes several different aspects, including webpage layout, content creation, and design elements.If you have the skills and knowledge to design your website on your own, then outsourcing this to an expert may not be necessary. There are plenty of other ways you can design a beautiful website using design tools and software. $200 $6,000
A Domain Name: Your domain name is the URL and name of your website - this is how internet users find you and your website.Domain names are extremely important and should match your company name and brand. This makes it easier for customers to remember you and return to your website. $12 $200
Email hosting: Email is a critical piece for running your business. Once you have your domain name, you will want to set up email accounts for each user on your team. The most common email hosts are GSuite (typically starting at $6+ per user, per month) or Microsoft Office (typically starting at $5+ per user, per month). The number of email accounts you set up will determine the monthly cost breakdown. $5 $75
Server Hosting: To start your business, you will need to set up and manage a server. The cost for this is typically billed monthly and depends on the platform you choose (typically ranging anywhere from $0-$50/mo). $0 $50
Total Website Costs $232 (min) $6,425 (max)
Business Formation Fees
Small Business Insurance: Depending on which state you live in and the business you're operating, the costs and requirements for small business insurance vary. You can learn more here. $500 $2,000
Permit and License Fees: Depending on your industry, there are certain licenses and permits you may need in order to comply with state, local, and federal regulations. Here is an article that goes over all the permits and licenses you may need for your career coaching business. $50 $700
Lawyer Fees: Although you may want to avoid attorney fees, it's important that your business (and you) are covered at all costs. This comes into play when creating founder agreements, setting up your business legal structure, and of course, any unforeseen circumstances that may happen when dealing with customers or other businesses. $0 $1,500
Set up business: LLC & Corporations: The first step in setting up your business is deciding whether your business is an LLC, S Corp or C Corp. The cost for this depends on which state you form your business and which structure you decide on. We put together an article that goes over the 10 Steps To Setting Up A Business. $50 $500
Total Business Formation Fees $600 (min) $4,700 (max)
Software Expenses
Design Programs & Software: These programs might include the Adobe family of design tools: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and others. This is typically a monthly subscription ranging from $10-$50/mo. $0 $50
Email marketing tool: If you plan to grow your email list and email marketing efforts, you may want to consider investing in an email marketing platform (ie. Klaviyo, MailChimp). We put together a detailed guide on all of the email marketing tools out there + the pricing models for each one here $0 $100
IT Support: IT support installs and configures hardware and software and solves any technical issues that may arise.IT support can be used internally or for your customers experiencing issues with your product/service.There are a variety of tools and software you can use to help with any technical issues you or your customers are experiencing. This is a great option for businesses that do not have the means to hire a team of professionals. $150 $2,000
Accounting & Invoicing Software: It's important to have an accounting system and process in place to manage financials, reporting, planning and tax preparation. Here are the 30 best accounting tools for small businesses. $0 $50
CRM Software: CRM (customer relationship management) software system is used to track and analyze your company’s interactions with clients and prospects. Although this is not a necessary tool to have for your business, implementing this, in the beginning, may set your business up for success and save you valuable time. $12 $300
Project Management Software: You may want to consider using a project management and collaboration tool to organize your day-to-day. This can also be very beneficial if you have a larger team and want to keep track of everyones tasks and productivity. For a full list of project management tools, check out this full list here. $0 $25
Internal Communication Tool: If you plan to have multiple members on your team, you may want to consider an instant message tool such as Slack or Telegram. The cost is usually billed per month (approx $5/user/month) or there are freemium versions available on many platforms. $0 $20
Social Media Management Tools: If you plan to do social media marketing for your career coaching business, you should consider investing in a social media automation or publishing tool. This will save you time and allow you to track performance and engagement for your posts. Here is a list of 28 best social media tools for your small business. $0 $50
Online data storage: It's important to make sure the information for your career coaching business is stored and protected should something happen to your computer or hard drive. The cost for this is affordable and depends on how much data you need to store. To learn more about the different options and pricing on the market, check out this article. $0 $299
Total Software Expenses $162 (min) $2,894 (max)
Advertising & Marketing Costs
Business Cards: A career coaching business involves quite a bit of customer interaction, whether that is attending tradeshows, sales calls or simply having face to face interaction with prospective clients. Business cards are a great way to stay front of mind with your clients. $0 $50
Networking Membership Fees: Joining local networking groups or your chamber of commerce is a traditional yet effective way to promote your career coaching business - but these fees add up! It's important to choose the right group(s) that align with your business and help with growth. $0 $250
Direct Campaigns, Printing and Mailing: Although it may sound old-school, traditional marketing methods can be a cost-effective way to drive awareness for your brand. This includes flyers, postcards, sales letters, coupons, special offers, catalogs and brochures. $0 $300
Press: If your business and story is unique enough, press and media attention may come to you, but odds are, you may need to do your own outreach and budget for this. We put together a guide here that discusses different press opportunities (both free and paid). $0 $500
Google Ads: With Google Ads you have the ability to control how much you spend by simply setting a monthly budget cap. Additionally, with these ads you only pay for results, such as clicks to your website or phone calls! It's okay to start with a small budget at first and make changes accordingly if you see valuable returns. $0 $300
Total Advertising & Marketing Costs $0 (min) $1,400 (max)
Other Expenses
Credit Card Processing Fees: If you process credit cards then you will need to deal with interchange fees - which is usually around 3% of total charges. These fees are often forgotten about and can hurt cash flow if not taken into account. $0 $300
Time!: Time is money! When starting a business, think about how much time you are spending on certain tasks that could be delegated to another team member or automated. Additionally, spending too much time on tasks that aren't associated with revenue is a hidden cost of running a business. $0 $500
Total Other Expenses $0 (min) $800 (max)
Total Starting Costs $1,504 (min) $27,319 (max)

Raising Money

Since the startup costs to start career coaching business range between $1,504 - $27,319, there are ways you can raise money to cover these costs.

Here are a few ways you can secure additional funding:

🚀 How To Launch Your Career Coaching Business

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Traditional Launch Strategies For Your Career Coaching Business:

There are various different ways you can launch your career coaching business successfully.

Here are a few different strategies to get customers excited about your career coaching business:

  • Set up a Facebook page for your business. This is a great way to establish an online presence
  • Host an event in a fun location with drinks & food. This is a great way to get exposure in the local community.
  • Get Press! Pitch your story to the media and you may just land in an amazing publication
  • Live sales to get customers excited
  • Send a hand-written letter in the mail with a discount on your services to the local community/neighborhoods.

Nissar Ahamed, founder of CareerMetis.com dives deep into the process of launching the business:

To be candid, I had no clue about blogging or content creation. I didn't even know the depth of the industry and did not realize that "content marketing" was actually a thing.

In 2015, I was working in software sales at that point and had a decent career. I started blogging part-time, so I could learn the process.

My costs were little — annual domain registration, monthly hosting fee, and a Gmail account. All of this cost less than $20 a month.

how-i-started-a-1-5k-month-blog-about-career-advice

My original goal was to write 10 articles in 90 days. I thought that I could easily hit that target.

At that point, I had just read and listened to Grant Cardone's The 10X Rule. It puts a fire under my butt to raise my targets, so I upped my goal to write 100 articles in 6 months. It was one of the best decisions I made early in my blogging career.

Every weekend I would head to the local Starbucks and write.

how-i-started-a-1-5k-month-blog-about-career-advice

I wrote It about things I knew something about — job search, interview preparation, productivity, motivation, book reviews, etc.

I had no clue how to write, I just wrote. Now, I am embarrassed by reading some of my earliest articles. I can't imagine I wrote it. It wasn't very good.

Over the course of 6 months, I wrote over 100 articles.

I didn't care about results or traffic or social media attention or even making money. I had set a goal, and I wanted to write. The writing process was fun.

Then around that 6-month mark - something happened.

Someone reached out to me saying that she liked the articles on my site, and wanted to contribute. Honestly, I didn't know that was actually a thing - where people wrote on other's sites. I accepted her request. It was a win-win situation for both of us.

Soon a few weeks later, another person reached out wanting to contribute. I accepted his offer too.

That's when it hit me. I thought to myself, "Why am I writing all the articles? Should I leverage other people to get more content out"?

It was another right decision on my part, and I switched gears and started focusing on building the contributor network.

I started reading blogs, books and started learning what other bloggers have done. Some of the really successful bloggers pivoted to a publisher model Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Addicted2Success, etc.

I decided to become the HuffPost for "career advice."

So, I invested my time and effort into outreach — reaching out to as many influencers, career coaches, etc. I encouraged and persuaded them to become guest authors on CareerMetis.com.

Some of them agreed. Soon I went form 2 contributors to 25 contributors. This was Feb 2016. And by the end of 2016, I had over 100 contributors.

I decided to take a break from writing and became the Editor. The blog was evolving into something bigger than I had imagined.

In May 2016, something else happened. I received an email from an advertiser wanting to place a sponsored post on CareerMetis.com. That was my first few dollars I had earnt online, and I was hooked. I wanted more.

So, I decided to make that my primary monetization strategy — sponsored posts or advertising revenue.

Today we have worked with over 80 different Advertising Agencies and Sponsors. Here's the best part.. all of them reached out to me, and I have not spent a dime on paid advertising. Organic traffic or inbound continues to be our primary marketing channel.

-  
Nissar Ahamed, on starting CareerMetis.com ($3,000/month) full story ➜

Build A Website

Building a website is imperative when launching your business, and with the right tools in place, this can be a simple task to check off the list (without having to hire someone).

  1. Pick a domain name that's easy to remember and easy to type
  2. Choose a Web Hosting Plan (ie. Shopify, Squarespace)
  3. Make sure you choose the right theme and design
  4. Implement the proper page structure (ie. about page, contact page, pricing etc)

To learn more about how to build a stellar website with little stress, we give you all the details on this step-by-step guide.

There are a ton of different websites platforms out there, and it's important to choose the right one that will set you up for success

Shopify is most commonly used for eCommerce boutique businesses and Squarespace is most commonly used for physical storefronts.

Here's everything you need to know about these two platforms:

Web Design

Once you have chosen the domain, web hosting, and platform, it's time to get started with the design phase.

Themes are a great way to produce the fundamental style and identity of your website - this includes everything from your font design to your blog post styles.

One of the best ways to get started is to simply explore the various themes (free or paid depending on what you're looking for) and test them on your site.

If web-design really isn't in the cards for you, you may want to consider outsourcing a web designer to help bring your vision and brand to life.

Brett Lindenberg, founder of Food Truck Empire discusses his startup costs setting up his blog + his decision to outsource:

Like most bloggers, the launch of my business was low cost. I bought a domain name from GoDaddy, website hosting from HostGator, and had my initial website template customized by someone located in the Philippines. I was introduced to the designer from a friend who had worked with the individual for a Wordpress design as well. The total initial investment for the business was around $500. The majority of the costs went toward paying the designer to create the logo and set up the site.

At the time, $500 was a substantial investment for me. I fell into the trap of having around $40,000 in student loan debt another $10,000 in credit cards after college. Adding a monthly car payment shortly after graduation and the other bills (rent, cell phone, internet access) meant things were tight for me financially for the first 5 years after graduation.

In spite of financial woes, I forced myself to invest money in the design and setup of my blog. In retrospect, I’m glad that I did this because it saved me a lot of time starting the website.

When you start a blog, my belief is that you should outsource all the one-time technical work, design, and setup. There are so many people that spend months wasting time trying to figure out plugins and Wordpress themes when they could have solved the problem on Fiverr.com for a couple hundred bucks and be off to the races.

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Brett Lindenberg, on starting Food Truck Empire ($5,400/month) full story ➜

🌱 How To Grow Your Career Coaching Business

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Improve your SEO

SEO is not just about driving traffic to your site, it's about driving the RIGHT traffic to your site, and ultimately, converting leads into customers.

One of the most important aspects of SEO is understanding what your customers are searching for, otherwise known as "keyword research."

Here are some tools that can help you choose the right keywords for your career coaching business.

Publish Great Content

Finding keywords is an important piece of the puzzle, but Google also ranks your site based on the actual content you produce, as this is what your customers are reading and engaging with.

There are various different "forms" of content that you may want to consider diversifying on your sites, such as blog posts, articles, studies, and videos.

So let's discuss what google considers "good content:"

  • Length - This will vary depending on the page, however, generally having a sufficient amount of content helps search engines recognize that your site is a good source for a specific topic
  • Engagement - The longer people stay on your website to read your content, the higher Google will rank your website. It's important to have informative and "thick" content that keeps people reading
  • Avoid Duplicating Content - Google will recognize this and may consider your content to have low value
  • Ensure pages load quickly - This will also help with engagement and time spent on your website
  • Shareability - Create content that people want to share, and is easy for them to share, especially to their social media accounts (ie. "click to tweet" is a great example of this).

Another element of creating good content is creating consistent content.

If (and hopefully you are) publishing content frequently, it's important to stick to a schedule - this helps build brand trust and easy user experience with your customers.

Planning out your content with a content calendar is key to staying consistent.

Here are a few great content calendar tools that can help you:

  • Trello
  • Airtable
  • If you prefer to keep it simple, your average spreadsheet is just as useful!

Backlinks

Backlinks are an important piece to SEO, as they allow for other websites to link to your content.

Search engines recognize that other sites are essentially "verifying" your content and essentially rank you higher because of this.

Of course, some links are more valuable than others and can affect your site in different ways.

For example, if a highly valuable and credible site like the New York Times links to a page on your website, this could be remarkable from an SEO perspective.

Aside from organically getting mentioned from other sites, there are other ways that you can increase and earn backlinks:

  • Create infographics with relevant data that people want to share
  • Promote your content on different sites/look into "guest blogging"
  • Contact influencers/journalists/bloggers and ask them to mention you!
  • Write testimonials for other sites in exchange for a backlink
  • Leverage existing business relationships

Learn more about the fundamentals of SEO ➜ here and check out Neil Patel's 3 Powerful SEO Tips below

Build A Blog

One of the most effective ways to build brand awareness and grow your business is through consistently blogging.

We've outlined some useful tips for you to consider when creating content:

Consistency and Quantity

Quality is important, but it should be the standard for any content you publish.

What’s more important is consistency and quantity.

Consistency is as simple as committing to publishing and sharing a certain number of posts per week. For me, that’s three per week right now.

This kind of commitment is key, because one day, a random post will blow up, and you will have never expected it.

Oversaturation

The easiest mind trap is to think "I’m posting too much", and “I need to give my readers/audience/this platform a break”.

This is nonsense.

There is no such thing as oversaturation. Well, there is, but it is just someone else’s opinion.

For every person that tells you you are posting too much, there is another person that wants even more of your content.

You should ignore people’s opinions on how much you post.

Patience & Persistence

Keep posting, keep trying, and keep putting out good content on the regular. Your time will come, and when it does, it will change everything.

The only thing you have control over is your content.

You can’t control how people will react to it. You can’t control pageviews, likes, or shares.

So the only metric you should focus on is how much content you can put out in a week, month, etc.

Where to share your blog content

Mailing List

I know it sounds obvious, but the best places to share your content is on your mailing list. It is guaranteed traffic and it is a great way to get rapid feedback from your most loyal readers.

Send newsletters often. I have done once a week since starting, and I’m moving to twice a week soon.

Work on increasing your mailing list as well. Look into ways to increase your conversion rate to your mailing list. I added a flyout popup thing to my site and now I’m collecting ~30 emails per day.

An email newsletter is one of the most powerful assets you can have and it is worth its weight in gold.

Reddit

Reddit is one of my favorite places to promote content.

It is a very scary place because you will often get banned or heckled, but it can really pay off.

Create social media accounts for your blog, the main ones I use:

Twitter Facebook Instagram LinkedIn

Set up Buffer and share all of your blog posts to all of your accounts. All of these little shares really do add up.

Automate this as much as possible. I automated all of my social media for Starter Story.

Facebook Groups

When I started out, I put together a spreadsheet of relevant Facebook groups for my niche, and I would post to these groups whenever I had a big story I wanted to share.

Grow Your Email List

The more engaged list of emails, the more engaged customers, which ultimately leads to more sales.

One of the best ways to start growing your list is by providing your customer with something free (or discounted) in return.

This could also be anything from:

  • Ebook
  • Fascinating case study
  • Video series
  • Free week of the product
  • Discount on the product

Learn more about how to grow your email list and improve email marketing ➜ here.

Alex Nerney, founder of Create and Go discusses how the key to growing your email list is through your email opt-in:

Along with being transparent, we put a lot of emphasis on building an email list. We knew the power of email marketing from our first blog and by collecting emails, we were able to really connect with our audience and build trust with them before ever promoting our products.

The biggest factor for growing our email list was finding the perfect email opt-in. By offering something to your audience, you’re able to entice them to sign up for your email list.

We offered a blogging bootcamp and not only did it serve as an awesome list builder but it also gave people a taste of what it would be like to learn from us. launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

article This is an example of our currently designed email opt-in for Create and Go

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Alex Nerney, on starting Create and Go ($100,000/month) full story ➜

Improve Your Email Marketing

Different types of emails

Here are the most common types of email campaigns you can send to your customers and their benefits:

  • Welcome emails - the perfect way to provide information from the start with a clear CTA. Make sure to tell your customer everything they need to know about your product or service.
  • Newsletters - a great way to give customers updates or send out your latest content
  • Product launch emails - the quickest (and easiest) way to increase sales is by selling to current customers. Make sure they're the first on the list to know about your new product
  • Promotional emails - promote discounts, deals coupons etc. Try and make this feel exclusive and for a limited time only
  • Abandoned cart emails - give your customers a reason to complete their purchase!

Here's a great resource for finding curated email designs, for all types of email campaigns!

Advice On Newsletters From OceanZen

Once launched, I thought all of my bikinis would just sell… well they didn’t.

I didn’t have a strong way of getting my product out there in the world, and I also didn’t understand influencer marketing at the time, no marketing experience or marketing budget.

We didn’t really understand the importance of having a newsletter list until recently, and now with Instagram changing their algorithm, it’s the best way to get your brand/product direct to your customer, literally straight to their mailbox.

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Steph Gabriel, on starting OceanZen ($10,000/month) full story ➜

Attend A Tradeshow

Having an online presence is important, but showing face will always remain one of the most effective strategies for growing your business.

As traditional as it may be, tradeshows and conferences are a great way to get your product in front of your customers.

It all comes down to basic human interaction - prospects are much more likely to invest in your product if they've created some sort of relationship with you and can put a face to your product!

Brandon with Photobooth Supply Co talks the importance of tradeshows

A trade show is like having access to hundreds or thousands of hot leads, all at once, and while every competitor is right next to you. It’s brutal, and it’s exhausting, and it’s amazing.

You truly have to stand out as a product, and as an experience, and as a company. We might spend $10,000 on a space and another $10,000 on staff, setup materials, and experience. Then we still have to have a show special and use that to drive sales. The margins get a lot tighter, but if you’re picking good shows, the kind your current customers go to, you’re going to do well.

That’s the best advice I can give for picking shows—just ask your customers where they’re going to be, and go there. Partially to sell, and partially to meet your people in person. You can never spend enough time getting to know your customers.

Types of tradeshows we attend

We love attending photography focused trade shows. I think photographers are probably some of the most creative entrepreneurs out there. There is the business side, which takes a remarkable amount of creative skill, and there’s the actual photography.

When you get a chance to talk to them, they realize very quickly that they’re entrepreneurs at heart and we’re a great solution!

Trade shows don’t have to be your thing to be profitable. Your company should mirror your spirit and interests, but sometimes we all have to do the things that are necessary for success.

Moreover, there is a wonderful opportunity to iterate on your sales pitch. You are sometimes talking to dozens of people in person every day. By seeing their body language and how they interact with your product, you can immediately tell what aspects of your pitch are effective.

By the end of it, you should have some solid strategies for your sales reps, ads, and website.

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Brandon Wong, on starting Photobooth Supply Co. ($300,000/month) full story ➜

Build A Facebook Community

Building a community is a great way to grow your network and your business.

There are several different ways of building a community, one of the most effective (and simplest) ways is to build a Facebook group

Setting up the group page takes less than 10 minutes, and we've outlined ways the top 5 ways to create an engaging and successful group:

  • Make the group exclusive. This may sound counter-intuitive, however, this ensures privacy and that the group will feel comfortable posting and engaging with members.
  • Try to be warm and welcoming. A great way to do this is by having a "Member Monday" where you welcome new members and ask them to introduce themselves in the group
  • Use polls/surveys. This is a great way to know your audience and see what people want more of in the group (more business tips, networking opportunities, etc).
  • Include influential people & conduct AMA's (ask me anything). This is a great way to get members engaged
  • Host an in-person (or virtual) event with members in the group. This will create stronger relationships and build a strong community.

Mike Doehla, founder of Stronger U, an online nutrition company noticed that his customers needed a little motivation and sense of community:

Most diets are lonely so we wanted to give support and a community.

I think many people fail diets because there is no one to talk to and no accountability.

You can by a book, or google a meal plan but who’s going to keep you on track? We will. The entire SU community.

We give our members access for life to our Facebook community filled with people around the world who are looking out for everyone’s success.

Most diets make up arbitrary rules and we thought they just didn’t make sense. Meal timing, Cutting carbs, butter in coffee, sugar being the devil? Ehh no need to overthink that stuff.

We’ll give you the science behind of what we do and show you what actually matters based on real research.

Luckily we have a PhD at our disposal to educate our staff and members so everyone is getting the most up to date information out there.

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Mike Doehla, on starting Stronger U ($500,000/month) full story ➜

🏃🏼‍♀️ How To Run Your Career Coaching Business

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Build a Referral Program

Word of mouth is one of the best ways to get the word out about your business and acquire new customers. Especially when you are starting out, it’s important to build a solid referral program to encourage existing customers to help you find new ones.

A great way to do that is by offering a reward (ie. credit on your service or cash) to customers that refer you to their friends and family.

A fantastic referral program will help with clout, credibility, and establishing yourself in the space.

How To Retain Customers For Your Career Coaching Business

Retaining customers is one of the most effective ways to grow your career coaching business.

Oftentimes, it's easy to find yourself focusing on generating new customers, vs retaining your current ones.

Look at it this way - you are 60-70% more likely to sell a new product to an existing customer than you are a new customer.

That's not to say that finding new customers and revenue streams is not important, however, the easiest (and most inexpensive) source of new revenue is right there in front of you.

Here are some ways you can retain customers for your career coaching business:

  • Responding to comments on social media
  • Send discounts (or freebies) to loyal customers
  • Provide valuable content, for free
  • Write a hand written thank you note
  • Provide awesome customer service and build relationships with customers

To find out more tips and tricks on retaining customers, check out this article ➜ here

Lydia Lee, founder of Screw The Cubicle dives deep into the process of attracting and retaining customers:

In my many trial and error years of figuring out what worked for me to market and attract customers, I’ve found that picking one or two attraction ‘engines’ has been valuable in ensuring I keep things simple and consistent.

When someone is first starting out in their business, it’s totally OK to try several things to find your ‘groove’ and best channels. At this point, it’s great to evaluate how you like to market, where your audience best engages with you, and the kind of platforms or strategies you can see yourself consistently committing to every single week (this is important as your visibility for your business won’t happen overnight).

I learned that my genius zone in marketing is when I’m in the “Live Lydia” mode. It would take me 3x longer to write a blog than it was to film exactly what I want to say in a video format. I shifted my blog to then feature video blogs instead and started a Youtube channel which was one of my biggest sources of warm leads.

What I’ve learned from building a Youtube channel is to choose a schedule that works for you to create videos to your audience on that platform. Not an “I’ll film when I have time” habit, but build a real practice on showing up consistently. It may be easier to film when you brainstorm content ahead of time. I created my channel with the approach of having three ‘show theme pillars’ (i.e. corporate transition, start a business, lifestyle freedom) and then crafting topics that fall under each pillar to stay focused on my best categories.

It was important for me to not only build my own audience post-launch, but also to expedite that process with collaboration, features, and partnership. So, I created outreach campaigns where I connected with aligned brands to co-host webinars together, write blogs for their audience, and share my work on their podcasts. In time, I was also pitching to media outlets like Forbes, The Telegraph and Huffington Post, which elevated my business profile and expanded my reach to a wider audience. Doing your own legwork of researching the right journalists, story angles, and media platforms to pitch to ahead of time is a good idea as you have one attempt to ‘wow’ them in your first email.

how-i-started-a-10k-month-career-transition-coaching-business Huffington Post article feature

how-i-started-a-10k-month-career-transition-coaching-business Pique Magazine write-up

how-i-started-a-10k-month-career-transition-coaching-business

how-i-started-a-10k-month-career-transition-coaching-business Interview feature with Teachable

Storytelling has been a skill I’ve had to learn to do well when it comes to PR and media opportunities. And it’s been one of my most fun ways to build visibility!

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Lydia Lee, on starting Screw The Cubicle ($10,000/month) full story ➜

Resources

We put together the best resources on the internet to help you start your career coaching business.

Tools

Books

Web Resources

Videos

Case Studies

Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

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