Do you want to start an online coaching or consulting business? Well, today, I’m going to show you how to do exactly that! Starting this business has allowed me time, location and financial freedom. I’m actually making an impact with my work and serving people who I really enjoy working with. I’ve helped tons of others do the exact same, which is exactly what I’m going to share with you today.
Step #1: Identify your unique place in the market – your “niche”
The first step to starting an online coaching or consulting business is to identify your niche. Coaching and consulting is essentially helping your clients to achieve a certain outcome or a certain result. Now the mistake that a lot of newbies make is actually trying to help anybody and everybody.
The reason this doesn’t work is because it’s simply too generalist. So you never become known for a certain thing, and you never become an expert. Not only that, but having a clearly defined niche is going to help you with your messaging when you’re creating content, because you’re going to be super clear on who you’re actually speaking to and what you’re saying.
Another big misconception is that your niche is simply an industry or a category, like “business” or “fitness”, for example. But again, that is far too generalist. What a niche actually means is solving a very specific problem for a very specific person. So when you are identifying your niche, you want to be super clear on who you’re specifically helping, what is the problem that you’re solving, and what is the outcome or the transformation that your clients go through when working with you.
How do I know if my niche is profitable?
When you’re looking for “starting a business” ideas, it’s useful to look at the 3 most profitable evergreen niches:
Now, the reason these are the most profitable and popular niches is because people are always going to be needing help with their wealth, their health and their relationships. That’s not to say that you won’t be successful if you choose to help someone with their hobbies, or something like that. But these are the proven ones that there will likely always be demand for.
So if you’re stuck, and you want a foolproof way of knowing that your niche is profitable, then you could stick to one of these three. But – I cannot stress enough how important it is to pick something that you’re genuinely excited or passionate about. And don’t worry if you don’t know what your passion is yet, because I’m going to give you some tips to help you discover it.
If you do decide to pick a niche just because you can make money in it, then you’re not going to persevere through the challenges that you’re inevitably going to face in your business. This is why it’s so important to have a bigger reason and a bigger purpose for why you’re doing what you’re doing, over and above simply making money.
Frameworks for finding your profitable niche
If you can identify something to which you have a personal connection to – So for example, a transformation that you have personally gone through, then that’s even better. Because when you’re working with clients, you would have first hand experience of what they’re currently going through.
There are two frameworks that can be used to identify a niche, and they’re the ones that I also teach to my clients. The first is the Japanese concept of Ikigai which I first came across in this book.
Ikigai involves using this graphic below to find what gives you a sense of purpose in your life. What you want to do is to simply draw out this graphic here and fill it in for yourself!
The other framework that I use is journaling on question prompts. Going through these questions will also help you fill out your ikigai framework too. The questions that you want to go through are:
- What is a transformation that you have been through that you’re excited to share with others?
So that might be losing weight, or it might be a certain diet, or it might be growing your business in a very specific way. Whatever it is, write that down.
- What do you do when you’re in a flow state i.e. when time doesn’t exist?
So a flow state is when you don’t really notice a time passing because you’re so engrossed in what you’re doing. This is a really good indicator of what you naturally find interesting, and that you love spending time working on.
- What is the one thing that people always come to you for advice on?
So your friends or your family – What are they always asking you to help them with? This is a pretty good indicator that you have strengths in that area, and that they see you as knowledgeable on that topic.
- If you could talk about one subject for the rest of your life, and you didn’t get paid for it, what would that be?
- Simply: What do you want to be known for?
So let me know in the comments below, what is your niche? Who are you helping/do you want to be helping? And what are you helping them to achieve? I’d love to know!
Step #2: Clarify your message
The next step to starting an online coaching or consulting business is to clarify your messaging. Your messaging is essentially how you talk about your offer – So the specific words that you use when you’re talking about the problem you’re solving, and the solution that you offer. Your messaging is going to come across in all of the marketing that you do, so it’s really important to nail it.
Whether that’s in social media, or when you’re speaking directly to clients, if your messaging is off, then people aren’t going to listen you’re ultimately going to find it difficult to attract clients.
💡 If your messaging is unclear then people won’t know if you’re able to help them. So they might end up hiring your competitors instead, just because their messaging is clearer!
A great way to nail your messaging is to use some variation of this formula:
I help (ideal client) to (result) without (pain point)
Even if you don’t follow it exactly, just make sure you include these essentials:
- Who are you helping specifically?
- What is the outcome/result of working with you?
- What is the pain point/challenge that you’re solving?
- What is the process that you’re using?
But the most important thing you want to highlight in your messaging, and when you are selling your offer, is the transformation that you’re providing. So remember, you’re always selling the outcome, and not the features of your offer.
Step #3: Get attention!
The next step to starting an online coaching or consulting business is to get attention. So where are you going to get eyes and ears on you and your offer? I suggest picking one platform to be on initially, because this is really going to allow you to master it and to maximise your results.
I’d also really suggest building an audience in some way versus the other ways of attracting clients. Because as a beginner, building an audience is really going to allow you to create and structure your offer around your audience and around what your clients actually want.
💡 Remember: Every social media platform “works”. You just have to be consistent and play the long game.
Don’t expect overnight results when you’re growing a community organically. It’s not instantaneous – it’s something you build over time. I personally started on Instagram because it’s an amazing platform to actually nurture your audience and make sales. For example, I sold over £10,000 worth of consulting packages just on Instagram Stories – before I even had a website! But there are so many other platforms that work equally as well; I teach my private clients TikTok, Instagram – everything.
Step #4: Build your authority
The next step to starting an online coaching or consulting business is to build your authority. When you’re selling higher ticket services, like coaching or consulting packages, you will need to nurture your audience, and the best way to do that is with content.
Your audience needs to know, like and trust you before they can buy from you. And typically that buyer cycle will take quite a few months. However, you can shorten it if you create powerful content that’s going to eliminate their objections, and really make them believe that your solution and the result that you’re proposing is possible for them.
Another thing you want to do is give tons of value and serve your audience with your content because this is going to position you as an authority in the subjects that you’re talking about.
Building your authority using content deserves another blog post in itself, so I’ve written this detailed step-by-step one here if you want to dive into that.
I hope this helps you if you’re on the lookout for “starting a business” ideas. Until next time!
Make sure to check out these blog posts as well: