Coaches: How to Build a Thriving Coaching Business

In this blog I interviewed Jayne Warrilow as she launches her new book, The 10 Day Coaches MBA: The Small Business Book for Coaches Who Want To Play Bigger. If you are a coach, I strongly recommend that you read this timely, game changing book.

Jayne’s new book will be available FREE on Kindle between April 15-19.  You can download your copy here. 

To enrol in Jayne’s Masterclass, click here

Jayne is the founder of JW International, a global coaching and development company with a focus on resonance as the key driver of individual and organizational success. She is one of the world’s most exclusive business coaches and her clients are by invitation and referral only. Jayne has worked with CEOs and Senior executive teams around the world, best selling authors, trailblazing coaches, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, millionaires and people who simply want to make a difference. An expert on business and leadership, Jayne specializes in helping coaches build conscious, seven figure businesses through her new brand Coaches Business School.

1. What prompted you to write this book?

I realized that most coaches were being taught how to create a successful coaching business largely by internet marketers and their approach simply doesn’t work for coaches. There are some coach training schools who are also trying to equip coaches with the skills they need to build a successful coaching business but business is changing so fast this isn’t their strengths and so coaches are not getting the information or developing the skills they need to be successful in today’s digital marketplace. There are some great people teaching pieces of business, but no-one is teaching a complete system. The industry is heavily weighted towards great coaching but not great business and self employed coaches, which makes up the majority of coaches worldwide can’t be successful or fulfill their potential as a coach if they don’t know how to create a successful coaching business.

I’m concerned that although coaching is the second fastest growing profession worldwide, the income individual coaches are earning from their coaching skills is decreasing. I want to change that. And business is my strength, so sharing what I know with coaches can only benefit.

2) In this digital era, what are some fundamentals that coaches need to have in place to grow their business and thrive?

It’s easy to forget that business is only about one thing really. Value creation. Every successful coaching business creates and delivers something of value and this is value as defined by the clients (not you as the coach). So knowing your value is the starting point. Then other people need to want and need that value, so the value needs to be relevant, otherwise it’s not valuable! So if you know you have something valuable, now you have the potential for a business because people will pay for value, but the price needs to be lower than the perceived value which means clients will feel they are getting value for money. Next you have a responsibility to fulfill client expectations and potentially exceed them wherever you can – this is in terms of coaching results AND quality of experience delivered to the client. And finally you need to be profitable otherwise you don’t have a sustainable business. As a coach you need to make a living so you can continue in business.

These are the critical elements of any coaching business and if one is missing then the business won’t survive. But how you create these things can be different. In the early stages of business you can do this on your own as a coach doing everything yourself but as your business grows you will need systems that deliver both client results and a quality of experience for your clients. A coaching business is a dynamic human system that creates value for clients.

3) What are some typical things you have seen coaches NOT do well regardless of whether they are just starting or are more experienced?

There are lots of coaches who try to do everything all by themselves, without systems and burn out in the process.

I’ve also seen many coaches who don’t know who to trust, they’ve been on lots of training programs, sometimes with conflicting information, they follow pieces of advice which can give them some success but its not sustainable because I haven’t seen anyone teaching a complete system for coaches. And it’s the system you need today but that’s not the fault of coaches.

There’s 3 things I think that stop coaches from being successful. Firstly they don’t know what to do or where to start. Secondly they might know what to do but aren’t doing it, they keep their knowledge in their heads and don’t actually implement anything different in their business. And thirdly, they don’t believe they can – this can stop any coach dead in their tracks, perhaps they don’t trust what they’ve been taught or they don’t have the confidence to do what they know.

And with things changing as quickly as they are, business today is complex, diverse and continuously changing, so it can be really challenging to understand what will work for you and your coaching business.

4) What advice do you have for those coaches with a less systematic and more unstructured approach and personality type? How can they best create systems to support them better?

Start with the end in mind. I know this because I actually resisted systems for many years, because it’s not my personality preferences I’d rather be spontaneous and create things for each client as I go along (this is the story I told myself and it isn’t true!!!) but when I implemented my first system I realized the freedom it gave me. I now know how systems liberate me to give my clients even better attention and how I can use them to really leverage my impact and income. So I know I need them, and I keep my vision of the future alive when creating them. And even now, I usually create the outline for a system and then a team member will take over and fill in the details, so if you can get someone to help with a more systemic skill set do. But whatever you do, just know you can’t be successful and truly leverage your potential as a coach without systems!

5) What is required most from a coach to assist in a client’s transformation? What do effective coaches do that others don’t?

For me, it’s all about sustainable change for clients, change that goes beyond the coaching conversation. And ROI today is about more than just achieving results for clients, it’s also about how you achieve them and how you support clients through their entire change process in such a way that it sticks and they don’t experience a “drop off” in between coaching sessions. This means coaches need to think beyond coaching, to develop resources for clients that can support the change process and experiential learning for clients in between sessions. So clients get to choose when and how to learn, with access to multiple resources that support their transformation.

Effective coaches do this by creating an integrated business system focused on their clients, defining a quality of experience for their clients, a transformational journey if you like, to orient around sustainable change. They also know their value and can communicate it clearly, embracing a deep purpose in there brand messaging which truly resonates with their clients. They understand technology and use it in service of coaching to build trust and deeper relationships online to become more than a coach, build community around their brand and become a trusted authority in their field.

6) What is something that has surprised you in your work with coaches?

I think coaches are some of the most resourceful people I’ve ever met. I’m continuously surprised by the lengths they will go to for their clients, they have big hearts and really want to make a difference. And so they put other people before themselves. I’ve known coaches who will go through extreme hardship to keep coaching, they love it so much. It’s as though as an industry, we’ve polarized purpose and profit so most coaches choose purpose and ignore profit. That’s why I want to share a different way, purpose and profit is not only doable its imperative to be the best coach you can be and in todays clients are naturally oriented to that.

7) What is your hope and vision for coaches and the coaching profession?
My vision is for a world where coaching is the ultimate lever for change, a positive force for good in the world, a valued profession where anyone who needs coaching can get access to it. And for coaches to be as skilled at business as they are at coaching to ensure individuals who are passionate about this life changing profession can make a decent living doing it. Purpose + profit so all coaches, worldwide can thrive.

8) In your book, you ask “What would it mean for you to hold your identity in a fluid and flexible way? Can you give an example of this?

This is big question that needs to be lived into. Here’s what I mean… if you think of yourself as a coach, you buy into a cultural set of beliefs that define what a coach is… what they think, how they behave, what they “should” be doing. It’s usually unconscious and because we “know” what a coach is, it can limit what we think and do, and also what we believe is possible for ourselves, our coaching business and our clients. But if we hold our identity in a more fluid way, e.g. I might think I am “more than a coach”, and I don’t know what that means because it’s not clearly defined, then I stay open to new possibilities. Knowing is a closed energetic system, once I know I don’t need to know anything else, not knowing is open and allows the new to emerge. So when I think of myself in all aspects of life, not just professionally as a coach, if I can be more fluid then I won’t be unwittingly constrained things I might not even be aware of… make sense?

9) Any other comments or sharing?

Not really… just to say if this resonated for you I’d love you to read my book and let me know what you think. Of course I’d love an honest testimonial on Amazon, but more than that I’d love to know how I can help you specifically. And I’ll be running some masterclasses, coming up where I dive deeper into all the content and you can ask any questions you like live.

I am on a mission to change the way coaches do business, and if there’s value there for you I’d love to help you get the success you deserve.

P.S Jayne’s new book will be available FREE on Kindle between April 13-17.  You can download your copy here.

To enrol in Jayne’s Masterclass, click here

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