As business leaders, we do a lot of coaching. But there’s a growing number of people out there that are taking their leadership skills and moving into the business of coaching.
One of the things we hear all the time is leaders wanting to know how they can use their experience and expertise and learn the skill of coaching. Traditionally, coaching has been a face-to-face interaction, but with the rise of online communication and video conferencing, many coaches are moving their businesses online.
But how do you build a coaching business online? Where do you find new clients, how do you communicate with them and nurture a valuable relationship without ever meeting in person?
To answer that, we’ve brought Alex Braganza on the show.
Alex is the CEO of Expertise.tv, a video platform that enables anyone, anywhere, to access the best experts globally. They help business leaders build and grow their coaching business online.
Alex has spent the last 15 years building businesses in the emerging markets including Hong Kong, Dubai and Mumbai. His experience of being away from his hometown of London has highlighted the difficulties of finding expert advice when there are limited providers physically close to you.
From this frustration, the idea of Expertise.tv was born and he’s on the show today to share his insights with us.
The biggest misconception of coaching in the digital age
The range of people you can reach and communicate with is far greater online, which is one of the biggest advantages of going digital. Until recently, reaching an audience of this scale was only available to large companies with marketing and technology budgets to match.
Alex says one of the most common misconceptions he sees is that as a historically face-to-face business, coaches believe that they won’t find clients on Facebook, Instagram or other social media platforms.
It’s not just about LinkedIn, he says – these other platforms are so ubiquitous that they all offer unique opportunities to connect with your prospects.
Making the transition to coaching online
It’s all about content.
You may have a great reputation in your local area – where you’re based geographically – but online you need to be able to build that same reputation and trust with the community. And the best way to do that is by creating valuable content.
The internet is a noisy place, so in order to stand out, Alex says you need to clearly identify your ideal client. Who is the client that you can help the most with your coaching? And what is the biggest problem that they have?
Find a problem that your ideal client thinks about frequently in their life and career, and focus your attention on creating content around that specific subject.
Provide insightful, valuable content that helps with this problem and deliver it using a mix of mediums to fully demonstrate how you can help people in this area of their career or business. Those mediums can include things like:
- Video/Live video
- Blogs and articles
Once you have that content available, it’s about distributing it to the people that are looking for that sort of help. And that’s how you begin to build your audience.
Over time you will build trust with this audience. As the advice you are offering through your content has a positive impact on their lives, they will start believing in you and your ability to help them and will be very keen to develop that relationship with you.
At that point, it’s about having the correct systems in place that make it easy for them to take the next step in becoming your client.
What type of content should a coach produce?
Alex’s thoughts: It’s all about starting.
He sees the biggest hurdle as just that – getting started. When starting out you should pick the medium that you are most comfortable with and go with it. That may be video for some or blogging or podcasting for others.
Once you begin to build a body of work in one medium and you are comfortable developing content regularly (Alex recommends putting a piece of content out twice a week), you can build on it and branch out into others.
How do you get your ideal client to find the content you are producing?
Alex highlights 2 main approaches to distributing your content online, depending on the speed of the results you want to see and the resources you have available to achieve them.
- The paid approach
By using paid campaigns on LinkedIn, Facebook or other platforms, you can target groups based on the influencers they are following. By targeting relevant influencers, you can determine that their followers are likely to be interested in your content.
- Live webinars
Alex says that the most compelling content that gets the strongest conversion rates online is live content. The idea that people can watch you live has got magic to it that other formats lack. It’s been true for many years and is still the case. People are curious to see what will happen on a live event and are excited to be able to interact and ask questions live.
Other organic methods of driving traffic to your content include posting answers to questions on Quora – a popular help forum where people ask for expert advice on many topics. This takes time to build a reputation and see increased traffic to your website or content.
How much time do you need to launch a webinar?
Once you have the webinar written and prepared to present, you can expect to get a big enough audience with a paid campaign within a week to two weeks. You can expect attendees to be registering from day one of a paid campaign. The total time needed will be dependent on your budget spend on the social campaigns driving traffic to the registration page.
If you’re launching the campaign from an existing email list that you have built up then you could only need a week to get enough registrations.
If you are driving organic traffic to your webinar then you will need to plan at least a month before the actual live event.
Across the board, Alex says, around 30% of webinar signups attend the live event. Meaning aiming for 5-10 attendees in your first few webinars means attracting 20-30 signups.
Even a webinar with 1 attendee should be considered a success
Because every new connection can lead to opportunity.
At the beginning, you should be planning on presenting to only a handful of people for each webinar. You should treat your first three webinars as your training ground. Use them as an opportunity to practice delivering the content, to learn which topics work and which don’t.
Using this chance to hone your delivery is important as your audiences start to grow.
Alex highlights the importance of reaching out to all attendees of your webinar while you’re learning to get feedback on the content. It’s the perfect time to improve your offering.
The biggest challenges that people experience in their first 3 webinars
Lack of practice! According to Alex, a surprising number of people do not rehearse their presentation ahead of their first webinar. Presenting online in front of a live audience can be nerve-wracking the first time so it’s imperative that you prepare appropriately so you’re ready to go when it’s show time!
Another challenge is not getting enough engagement. It’s important to draw your attendees into your webinar by asking open questions to the audience to engage them and get the conversation going. By starting that discussion you are much more likely to keep your viewers through your entire presentation.
The final common pitfall is not following up after the webinar. It’s critical to email each attendee independently (when your audience size allows in the early days!) to ask for feedback. It’s the best opportunity to learn more about the customers and shape the webinar in the future.
How do you engage with clients online?
Every coach is different. Every client is different. The biggest advantage of working online is convenience. Allowing your clients to attend sessions with you from anywhere at any time.
Using online conferencing software may force you to change the way you communicate and deliver content and training to your clients, but it also affords greater freedom of where your clients can be based, how they can feedback to you on the content you are producing, and how you can scale up your coaching business.
Expertise.tv is a coaching platform that allows you to deliver coaching to your clients online.
It also includes all the marketing and business tools you need to reach your potential clients, develop content for them to consume, create a community area where you can develop and nurture your relationship with them at scale. And from there convert those engaged audience members into clients through a number of monetization strategies.
It includes a free webinar platform to test it out.
Listen to the episode below and don’t forget to subscribe in iTunes!
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