As I come up on the one-year anniversary of my coaching business, I thought about the three biggest mistakes I made – and a lot of other early stage entrepreneurs make – when we’re first starting out in the online space.
A lot can change in the online business world in a short amount of time, but I think the biggest lesson I learned that probably will never change is the length of time it takes to build your business. I didn’t realize that the successful coaches I admired had been doing this for a long time.
It will take you time too, but it’s important to avoid the mistakes where you can. Here are the three big ones I made when starting out:
At first, I was focusing on having everything look perfect, and that included my website. Yes, a pretty website is amazing, but when you’re in the thick of starting your online business, you need to focus on getting to your ideal client, talking to them, and moving them from the platform they’re hanging out on (like Instagram) to where you want them to be – your program or services. Most people will find their ideal clients hanging out on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
So, no, you don’t need a website to start a coaching business. Start thinking about the things that are actually going to move the needle forward:
In the beginning, I didn’t position myself as an authority when I needed to. I wanted to be everyone’s friend and be loved, accepted, and didn’t insert my skills. Unfortunately, I had a hard time with this, so I got stuck in the friend zone where people would pick my brain for free – which doesn’t create income.
I have a Bachelor’s degree in business, but I didn’t mention it until about 3-4 months into coaching. Bachelor’s degrees don’t necessarily equal authority, but it helps. Authority is truly built by showing up and telling people exactly who you help and how you can help them.
As you are scaling, you need to assert yourself as someone who knows what they’re talking about and give value when you’re on IG stories, mini trainings, workshops, emails, everywhere. If you don’t, they’re not going to see you as an authority, and if they don’t see you as an authority, they’re not buying from you.
When I launched my first offer, I had to talk about my new coaching service for six weeks to warm my audience up to it. My audience wasn’t primed for that offer, so I had to continue to show up and talk about it often.
If you are thinking about starting or moving into coaching, then yes, take messy action. Start putting your face out there consistently and sharing your offer with your audience. Start talking about your story – why are you starting or moving into this business? Start inserting your value through educating and teaching. Tease the offer that you’re going to launch and talk about who it’s for and what benefits it’s going to bring your ideal client.
A lot of people are afraid to prime their audience, so they take an idea and launch without mentioning it much beforehand. It might be a really good idea, but when you take the steps to give value and hint to something that’s coming and develop a full launch plan, that good idea is even better. Your audience will be expecting it and more ready to buy!