Are you starting your online coaching business? I want to save you from a lot of headache.
When I first started out, being a control freak - not as much anymore - I had to do everything on my own. Well I was also very mindful of where I spent my money on so when there were things I could do on my own, I did it myself.
Actually I did pretty much everything.
I spent weeks of researching, comparing prices, pros and cons, reading reviews and finally figuring out how to use and set up everything. I've always been pretty good with technical stuff.
That's what I'm going to be sharing with you here.
On a side note though - here's a funny story. Growing up, I actually helped my dad fixed our cars. I once decided to help my dad clean the car engine room so I hosed down the whole engine area, used some laundry detergent and brushed the whole space. It was so clean, I was so happy with the result. But the car wouldn't start the next day - somebody got into trouble that day!
Ok back to the topic.
Here are a few things to help you get started. Obviously, I'm not going to cover a million things you need to do, otherwise, this will be a long post.
1. Choose Business Name
Business name can be both your personal name or a business name. Even if you have a business name, you can still build your personal brand going forward. e.g. Richard Branson is the face of Virgin.
Depending on where you are in the world, you'll need to register your business name with your local commerce and you might need to register business registration number for tax purposes also.
2. Register Domain Name
Your domain name can be your business name or your personal name. However, if you want to make sure whichever people search for it gets to your website, I suggest you get all the possible domain names. e.g. www.CompanyName.com, www.YourName.com, www.NearestNames.com
You can use GoDaddy.com to register domain names. It's a pretty straight forward process and it doesn't cost too much.
Once you've got a domain name, you need to create your website.
There are many tools out there but I'm going to tell you what I know. I use Wix. It has its own limitations like other platforms have their own. However, it's very simple, straight forward, drag and drop and the customer support responds really fast.
4. Email Domains
Once you have decided on your business name and website name, whether they're the same or not, you'll want to start creating email domains.
It really annoys me when people charge a lot of money for their services and use Gmail e.g. TheirName@gmail.com. I highly suggest for you to get your domain name in your business name e.g. YourName@businessname.com
You can do this easily in Gmail. Google Gmail for Business and you can sign up straightaway. It's also a simple and straight forward process.
5. Payment Solution
If you're building an online business, it's a must that you have at least one payment solution.
I use both PayPal and Stripe. Both have its own pros and cons in terms of the payment charges and how the money is transferred to you. I suggest you do your research but if you have signed up at least PayPal, you're good to go.
6. Scheduling Software
If you see clients, I suggest you use a scheduling software, espcially if you have global clients like I do. Timezone differences can be a pain if you were to figure it out back and forth through emails.
I use Acuity Scheduling. Again, it's very simple and straight forward system.
You can create types of appointments whether paid or free. There's a code you can select and embed on your website. So when potential clients want to schedule, for example, a Discovery Session, they just need to click, choose the time, fill in the form and submit. Done.
7. Customer Relationship Management System (CRM)
This is a must for every business because you need to build your list; collect email addresses. The reason why you need to collect email addresses is because you're going to build a relationship with your potential clients through email and convert them into paying clients over time.
It's the same concept as when you signed up for your favourite brand, shopping website or cosmetic store, they send you regular updates about what's new, what's happening and what's on sale.
Our messaging will be slightly different but that's going to be a different post.
Before I talk about LeadPages, if you don't know what a landing page or a squeeze page is, I'll quickly explain.
In your business, you'll be building your email list and to build email list, an exchange or transaction takes place.
For example, you create a free report that adds value to your target market. You will post it on Facebook and advertise it for you to reach more people. When people click on the post, it takes them to the landing / squeeze page. That's where LeadPages come in.
Landing pages are important for a number of reasons. To put it simply, we use landing pages to track how many people click on our ad and land on that landing page so we can analyse other data which will tell us if our ads are doing well or if we need to fix it. Again, this will be a different topic to dive in but you'll need a landing/squeeze page.
I use LeadPages because again it's simple and straight forward. It also has many templates available that I can just use and set up a landing page in like 15 minutes. However, there are times I do want a more facier template but I've come to terms with myself that done is better than perfect :)
9. Social Media
I've kept the best at last.
There are so many social media platforms; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. but the question here is, where does your target market hang out?
For me since Day 1 I know my clients are on Facebook so I've invested time and money to really understand how Facebook and Facebook Ads work. So these are the steps you need to take as well;
- Create a Business Facebook Page and choose the right category
- Post relevant photos and update the info so people know exactly what they're getting once they land on your page and it also reflects your brand
- Eventually you'll want quality fans but for a start, share it on your personal page to get some initial likes
- You can also share it in groups where businesses support each other by liking each other pages
- Then you can start running a paid Facebook Like Ad to grow your following
- Create a content plan of how many times and what you're going to post on your page - consistency is Queenhere
10. Dream Team
As Entrepreneurs, when we're starting out we are our team unless you've got some money to spend of course. I know people who paid $6,000 to get their website built. For me it was a lot of money and if I were to delegate one day (which I have now. I have a team supporting me) I want to understand how things work.
I also teach my clients to try and do everything on their own first and learn the ground work because I believe that every successful CEO was once an employee herself. This is only my opinion so do whatever works for you.
But here I'm going to share where you can start with affordable support.
- Interns - there're interns who would work for free in exchange for the experience and recommendation.
- elance.com - a place where freelancers bid jobs within the price range you ask for. It will take trial and error but I found my amazing team through here. Who do you hire? You can start with a VA (Virtual Assistant) and progress from there.
- Fiverr - A wide range of services from Graphic Design, Animation to Web Development where you can start with as low as $5.
So there you go, my ultimate guide to setting up your online coaching business. Some of these information are at high level. So I'll dive deeper into each topic in future posts. For now, I think you're good to get started with this information.
If you'd like more detailed info on getting started with your business, get this is game changing book where I explain more step by step approach to launch your business.