You see them every day in your Facebook newsfeed. The sponsored posts where other coaches tell you all about how they’re rocking their businesses, or making six figures in their first year as a coach, or grew their lists to 10,000 in six months – and now they have a course that can show you exactly what they do – so you can do it too.
So you sign up. And it doesn’t work. And you don’t know why.
You’re not alone. The reality is that many new life coaches jump right into advanced business & marketing programs that teach them how to set up complex online marketing systems, rock their businesses, or make six figures in their first year – and then get frustrated when they don’t work.
And here’s the reason why: Most of these are advanced programs designed for coaches who already have a strong knowledge of business, marketing & being an entrepreneur. They assume that you already have your marketing & business basics in place – the basics you need to plug their advanced concepts into.
But you’re a new life coach. And a new business owner. So you don’t have those basics in place yet. And that means that these programs likely won’t work – simply because you’re not ready for them yet.
So what do you do if you’re a new life coach starting a business for the first time – and don’t have a strong background in business or marketing?
If you’re in what I call the first phase of business (usually your first year as a new life coach), then you’re still figuring your business out and learning what it means to be an entrepreneur. Which means this is a year of learning, making your best guess, and trying stuff out.
This is the time to:
- Educate yourself on business, marketing & being an entrepreneur
- Figure out who you are as an entrepreneur
- Make your best guess for now on who you want to work with & the services you want to offer
- Quick start your business so you can start telling people about your business & working with some clients
- Create a super-simple marketing strategy and start trying stuff out
Most importantly, this is the time to set the right expectations for where you are in your business right now.
So now you might be thinking: “Well, this all sounds great. But it also sounds like it might take a long time. What about all those coaches who are making six figures in their first year? Why can’t that be me? Why can’t I replace my entire income right now?
Beware the Compare & Despair Trap
The challenge I find is that many new life coaches think they’re in a more advanced phase of business than they really are (and believe me – I’m supposed to “know better” but I fall into this trap myself all the time!), and set expectations that are simply unrealistic for where they’re really at right now.
And I’m sure seeing all those Facebook Ads every day from other entrepreneurs talking about how they are “rocking their businesses” or “making six figures in their first year” doesn’t help.
But keep in mind that you may not know the full story behind these ads. And if you did, it would put everything in a lot more perspective. For example, it’s possible that:
- Many of these coaches were likely not “rocking their businesses” in their first year of business after leaving a corporate career. They could instead be “rocking their businesses” THIS year after putting in a few years of blood, sweat and tears.
- Many of these coaches who “made six years in their first year” – made six figures in the first year of running their CURRENT business – but have run several businesses before that…
- Many of these coaches who do ramp up their businesses quickly came from a career that very closely matches what they’re coaching on now (for example a former executive getting a retainer coaching contract with a company she already knows), or from a career that is already fairly entrepreneurial or directly related to sales & marketing (like real estate).
The important point here is that there is more to every message that you see & every coach has a background and story that is unique. And the reality is that all of the coaches in the examples above are likely in a more advanced phase of business than you are.
Beware the “Using Someone Else’s System” Trap
The other messages that I think are confusing to many new life coaches are around replicating specific marketing systems OTHER coaches have used to get results.
While it’s true that these coaches may have really honed systems that work for them and are getting them great results, it’s important to remember that every coach and every business is completely unique – from who you are and how you work best – to your business model, work history and contacts – to who you’re targeting, where your clients hang out, the services you offer and how & where you offer your services.
And this means that even if you replicate someone else’s system exactly – you may not get the same results – and that’s because you and your business are so unique.
More importantly, many of these coaches are so excited about teaching you their system because they LOVE THEM so much. And they likely love their systems because they work for them, and match who they uniquely are and how they work best. They’ve found systems that match their unique marketing flow and genius.
But they might not match yours.
Why You Need to Know Why & Do Things Your Own Way
The challenge here as a new life coach, is that if you don’t first have a big picture understanding of how business and marketing works at a high level – how all the pieces click together – you won’t yet be able to understand why a particular marketing system works and how you might be able to change things around to make it your own.
And most life coaches I know (myself included) have empathic intuitive personality types. And this means that if there is just one little piece of a marketing system that doesn’t feel right or authentic, we won’t do it, and the whole system falls apart. And if we can’t understand how a system works, make it our own, and do it our own way, we won’t do it.
So as a new life coach, what can you do right now when it comes to marketing?
If you’re in the first phase of business, I recommend:
- Learn about business & marketing at a big picture level so you can understand how all the pieces fit together
- Get in touch with your unique marketing genius (aka – what parts of marketing feel the most fun, energizing and in flow for who you are).
- Create a super simple marketing strategy that full of stuff that feels the most fun and easy for you
- Make your best guess on what will work in marketing for where you’re at right now, try stuff out, and be consistent – and then evaluate the results and make changes until everything is working and feels right.
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