The US life-coaching industry has seen significant growth over the years and stood at an estimated $1.47 billion in 2022. This growth is not expected to slow anytime soon with the industry expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.85% from 2023-2030, ultimately reaching an expected $2.1 billion by the end of the decade.
Many lifestyle and corporate coaches are looking for opportunities on how to scale their businesses to capitalize on this strong growth trend. In this article, we’ll take you through important steps on how to scale up your coaching business, increase your clientele and ultimately boost your revenue.
What Is the Difference Between Scaling and Growth?
To most people, the terms upscaling and growth are synonymous. However, simple growth is considered to be a linear process whereby a single unit of input (whether it’s time, money, or land) produces a fixed amount of output. When speaking about scaling we are talking about breaking the direct relationship between inputs and outputs. This means getting more return on your invested input (which could be time, money, or manpower).
A relevant example of scaling would be progressing from earning $20 an hour to earning $50 per hour by either increasing the value of your services, the size of your audience, or both. On the other hand, going from earning $100 a day to earning $200 a day simply by doubling the number of hours worked is considered simply growth.
How Do You Know When It’s Time To Scale?
If you’re having some difficulty deciding whether or not the time is ripe to upscale your coaching business here are some pointers to look out for:
- When you find that your time is fully saturated by one-on-one consultations with clients.
- If you notice that your business is no longer growing in terms of profit or new clientele.
- When sporadic client turnover leads to a significant reduction in income.
- When you have the desire to expand your business significantly.
Step-by-Step Instructions to Scale a Coaching Business
Here are the most important components involved in scaling a coaching business in 2023:
Step 1. Identify Your Goals
Before you invest your time or resources in scaling up your coaching business it is important to clearly define both your short-term and long-term objectives. This could be in terms of revenue, clientele growth, development of new products, time invested, better operational efficiency, or any other metric of your choice.
Long-term objectives are quite important, however, short-term goals are more useful for tracking your progress. Short-term objectives also have the advantage of dividing the process into feasible milestones and helping with motivation.
Step 2. Choose Your Scalable Offers
Most online coaching businesses begin by offering one-on-one assistance to clients. The disadvantage of this is that there are limited resources available to the coach, especially concerning time and attention. Scalable offers are coaching programs that allow you to switch effortlessly from one-on-one coaching to catering to a wider audience. They also allow you to break the direct link between time and money.
The decision on which type of scalable offering to adopt should be made based on your available resources, area of expertise, personal preferences, long-term objectives, as well as short-term goals.
Some examples of popular scalable offerings include:
- Group coaching programs: This involves a cohort-based coaching program whereby all members are enrolled at the same time and go through the program at the same pace.
- Membership programs: Membership programs may also be direct coaching offers. However, unlike the group coaching program, all members do not necessarily have to go through the membership program at the same pace.
- Digital products: Offering a suite of digital products is a great way to scale your coaching business without having to invest a significant amount of time or resources. The products can be prepared beforehand and sold to clients using automated systems, allowing you to focus on other business activities such as marketing and developing new products.
- Two-step programs: Two-step programs could be any type of scalable offer. The important feature of this particular type of program is that it offers two separate packages. The first package may either be a freebie or a heavily subsidized suite of resources which would attract interested buyers to purchase the second product which is typically premium coaching content.
- Self-study programs: A self-study coaching program allows the buyer access to the coaching materials and encourages them to go through the program at their own pace. It could be digital products or even a membership program.
Step 3. Design Your Scalable Offers
Now that you’ve made the decision on which scalable offers are best suited for you it is time to design your programs.
Scalable offers have several key components.
The first component is price. Make sure that your price reflects the value that your program offers. For instance, digital products like videos and e-books would be cheaper than group coaching programs because they require less involvement. By this reasoning, your highest-priced offer should be one-on-one coaching sessions because it is the most time intensive.
Another important factor to consider when choosing the prices of your products is the customer lifetime value (CLV). This is the amount of revenue you expect to generate from a particular customer over the lifetime of your business relationship. Therefore, one-time-payment programs should be priced higher than membership offers than involve multiple payments over time.
Remember to be clear about your fee structure and what payment methods you accept. Your fee structure can be tailored to the different types of products you offer or the different levels of coaching packages (for example basic, standard, premium, and so on).
Always charge what you’re worth. Do not discount your services to attract more clients. In the long run, this is unsustainable and only creates resentment since you feel you could be generating more revenue for that particular level of output.
Lastly, set the terms and boundaries of each coaching package to let your clients know exactly what resources they are entitled to. Inform them of the number of phone calls or emails you will respond to outside of scheduled sessions and whether the coaching program is a lifelong commitment or accessible for only a limited time.
Step 4. Find the Ideal Platform
The right platform can make or break your scaling efforts. This involves finding a platform(s) with the right payment mechanism and technology to help you manage client relationships.
It should also have an efficient client onboarding system that deals with everything from initial contact with potential clients to the final contractual agreement. all the services may not be provided by a single platform, meaning that you may have to use a suite of tools.
Finding a platform(s) that offers all the above services as well as great automation is quite important. This allows you to avoid repetitive and time-consuming tasks and focus your energy on growing the business. Some other important features which should be automated include client scheduling, payment processing, course creation, and so on.
Almost everyone is aware of platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and so on. However, let’s take a look at some other great platforms for easily creating and selling online courses.
Project management and task-tracking systems are also quite important too. Some popular examples include platforms like:
Automated client scheduling and online booking platforms are other tools you should have in your arsenal. Some popular examples include:
Step 5. Decide How You Wish To Market Your Offers
One of the first things you will need to do is outline your ideal client/customer. For example, are you marketing your products to working-class professionals who may not have the time to engage in committed group membership programs and are therefore more comfortable with digital products?
You should also take out time to identify how this new market differs from your traditional one-on-one coaching program. This will help you highlight key areas to focus on during your new advertising campaign.
After this, it is time to decide which customer channels will be used for marketing. Are these entirely different from the previous customer channels which you have been using during your one-on-one coaching programs? Are you going to add more channels or cut down on the number of channels you currently use?
There are a variety of options you can use when it comes to marketing your products, each of which has its pros and cons. However, some popular marketing channels used by large-scale coaching programs include:
- Online marketing and advertising
- Social media marketing
- Affiliate programs
- Client testimonials and referrals
- Speaking engagements
- Business partnerships
Search engine optimization (SEO) is another important feature to add to all your marketing activities. This improves the ranking of your content on search engine ranking pages (SERPs).
Another thing to focus on is the key message of your marketing campaign, in other words, your unique selling point (USP), also referred to by some as your value proposition. This loosely refers to a particular advantage that you offer over similar competitors in the industry or the benefits that your clients can expect to enjoy by hiring your services.
Your USP could be several things from an accelerated mentorship program, to access to a large amount of high-value digital products or even the offer of valuable free content. Irrespective of what it is, ensure that you make it the key focus of your marketing strategy.
Step 6. Build Your Team
This involves creating a team of like-minded individuals who have the necessary expertise, dedication, and motivation to help you achieve both your short-term and long-term goals. To scale your business quickly, delegate tasks to your team members. Aim to delegate enough tasks so that your business can still run even in your absence.
Step 7. Monitor Your Progress With Key Performance Indicators
A famous quote from management guru Peter Drucker states “You can’t improve what you don’t measure.” Therefore monitor your progress toward both your short-term and long-term goals using various key performance indicators. Some important metrics which can be utilized include:
- Volume of sales: This is a commonly utilized metric that takes into account the number of product sales that a company makes over a specified period, for example, a month, year, or quarter.
- Conversion rates: This metric helps you measure the number of individuals who performed a desired action after being exposed to your marketing efforts. It is similar to the close rate which is calculated by dividing the total number of leads you generated in a period by the number of customers that came from those leads.
- Number of leads: This is a simple KPI that monitors the number of potential clients who expressed an interest in your services.
- Length of sales cycle: The length of sales cycle is calculated by dividing the total number of days it takes to close a deal by the average number of deals closed within a period. It gives a crude idea of how long it takes to onboard a client from introduction to payment.
- Cost per lead: Cost per lead is the amount of financial resources invested per lead and helps you determine the cost-effectiveness of your campaign.
Scaling a coaching business is certainly not easy, however, it is worthwhile and quite possible. All it takes is dedication, knowledge, and the right skill sets. Keep growing by continuously investing in yourself and your business. This means taking courses and attending workshops, joining professional organizations, and doing all within your power to ensure that you can provide the best quality possible to your clients.