I wrote a post a few weeks ago about being selfish in business and how we NEED to take time for ourselves and yadda yadda yadda.
But, I know that there is a chance that if you’re new to business, you read that post and rolled your eyes and thought “yeah, must be nice to be able to take a a few months off and still be making money!”
Because when you are new in your business, that is NOT the reality for most people.
I’ll be honest — the hardest you will ever work in your business is in the first 2 years. It’s the time that sucks the MOST in my opinion, because you are working the most, trying to figure it all out, and not seeing many results (or much money).
Once the ball gets rolling and money starts coming in, you still have lots of work to do, but at least now it doesn’t feel like it’s all for nothing, because at least you’re getting paid.
It’s obviously best for your mental health and your optimism in business if you start making money sooner rather than later.
So let’s chat about the fastest way to do that, yes?
The fastest way to make money as a coach
Most people think that the best way to make more money and work less in business is to sell an online course so they can have passive income coming in.
I can tell you right now, this is just not true.
Hearing this over and over again from my students, it occurred to me that not enough biz coaches and marketing experts are talking about BUSINESS MODELS.
Because that is what this really comes down to. How do you want to spend your time in your business? What is your revenue model? How will you scale?
Your business model matters!
So I want dig into that with you, because it’s not something most new business owners really think about strategically.
Business model options
My business model here at Uncaged is a group program model combined with a course model – selling the same program twice a year with a big launch, and then selling my course as a self-study program the rest of the time.
Another coach might run a one-on-one business, working individually with 10-15 clients at a time.
Someone else’s model might be a small number of high ticket one-on-one clients (say, 10 clients a year at $30k each)
Someone else might run a membership model where a high number of people pay a small amount each month.
Others run a pure course model where they sell high volume of online courses through the year and rely on funnels and paid advertising to get the volume they need.
ANY of these is a workable business model. People make lots of money with all of them.
The best business model when you are new
Most of these models only work well much later in your business. But when you are NEW to business the FASTEST way to make money and the business mode I recommend, is selling one-on-one services.
Why? Because the other models require a few things that you simply don’t have when you are just starting your business. Things like:
In order to sell courses or even groups, you need more people in your sphere. LOTS of people. actually. If you think about it, instead of just needing ONE client to say yes, you need MANY clients to say yes in order to make money from groups and courses. This means that you need a constant pool of people to be marketing to, on an ongoing basis. This is why you hear people say that building your email list is so important — because when you do want to scale, you need a built in audience to buy from you, and you need to know how to continue to find new people on an ongoing basis. When you are new to business you are just figuring this piece out.
Not to mention that when you start to sell courses, your job really goes from coach (or other service provider), to marketer. Your whole job is to increase your conversion rate on every single step of your sales funnel and geek out over open rates, metrics, and marketing strategies. It gets much more complicated than simply selling one-on-one services by getting people onto sales calls with you. The sheer volume of marketing you need to do turns many coaches off once they realize what is involved in selling courses.
Great courses are created through actually DOING your service over and over and over again. So many times that you can anticipate EXACTLY where people might get stuck, where people get confused, and what you need to add to make sure that people get results from your program. You figure this out through actually doing the work with individual clients. After you have coached a shit ton of people, you will have really honed in on your process and have created a system for how to help your clients get past common stuck points. You will have experimented and tested so many times that you can predict results repeatedly for your clients. Once you are at that stage, you are ready to systematize your work and can start to think about creating a course.
3. Systems and structure to support your business
If you plan to sell courses or groups where you have a higher volume of clients at once, you will need structures in place in your business to support that volume. This likely means software and tech (think course platform etc), an assistant to set everything up for you, someone to handle customer service and refund requests, tech support for any glitches that arise, a clear on-boarding process, etc When you build your business up with one-on-one clients first, you can slowly build up the systems that you need to support your growth. But if you dive right into trying to run before you can walk (ie. selling courses before you have even sold one-on-one), you will likely be in over your head and either burn out, or piss off a lot of people because they trusted you with their money and your service is a bit of a shit-show of a client experience.
For these reasons, the FASTEST and easiest way to make money as a new coach is to sell those one-on-one coaching packages! Need help creating your packages? We teach you alll about that in Uncage Your Business.
You don’t even need a website to start getting PAYING one-on-one clients! You can start getting paid clients right away through networking and getting yourself in front of the right people, and be making money fast so that you keep your motivation up during those first challenging few years of your business.
As your business grows, your model will shift
Once you have the experience, the confidence, and have started to build up an audience of folks who need what you have to offer, you may find yourself ready to scale, and that is a great time to explore options for which business model makes the most sense for your business. How you spend your time and what you spend your money on will ALL be determined by what model you choose, and you will only learn how you want to spend your time and money by experimenting in your business in those first few years.
Each business model has their pros and cons.
For example, in my business, launching twice a year puts a lot or pressure on each launch to succeed. Many very successful coaches I know are moving away from doing live launches, because they hate the intensity and the pressure of launching. But the thought of having an open enrollment and having to work with clients on an ongoing basis feels hard and not fun to me, so I have stuck with the launch model (and I still love them, despite the stress!)
The high ticket one-on-one model doesn’t work for me because of the kinds of people I want to work with. I want to help new business owners (you!) get clients and make money fast, and I don’t like the thought of charging them $10k+ and putting all that pressure on them to make it work. It goes against what I believe about building a business — which is that it takes time, and that you need to be patient and not put so much pressure on yourself to be an overnight success.
The membership model is also not my jam. Having to constantly create new content or coach ongoing in a membership site makes my fear of commitment come out to play in a huge way.
So I chose groups + a self study course as my business model. This lets me serve my clients at a price point that I feel good about, and in a timeframe that lets me also have the uncaged freedom that I crave. The risk of a launch flopping is very real, but I am a high risk taker and am ok with that.
What model make sense for you?
Have you thought about it before? Or is this the first time someone is even mentioning it to you?
It’s ok if you don’t know yet — especially if you are new! And even if you have a vision for what you want in the future, remember – I HIGHLY recommend the one-on-one coaching model to start, because it is the fastest and easiest way to make money as a new coach.
It took me experimenting with EVERY model to eventually land on the one that works best for me. Literally — I think I have done everything except high-ticket one-to-one. I have launched online courses, low priced mini courses, a mastermind, various groups, a short-lived membership, and even retreats!
What is MOST important now for you, regardless of which model you choose later, is that you get started and get those one on one clients in the door, asap! The work you do one-on-one will grow your confidence, get you amazing testimonials, help you carve out your signature process, and pave the way for whichever way you decide to scale in the future.
PS. Our Uncage Your Business program was designed to help coaches create and sell their one-on-one services faster. Check it out and learn how we can help you fill your client list, no complicated funnels or endless posting on social media required!