Ultimate How-To Guide for Starting an Online Coaching Business

Here’s the thing: You have a gift. You can share that gift to both create a business and to change the world. That’s what an online coaching business is all about! 

If you’re just starting out, the prospect of starting your own online coaching business can be a little overwhelming. There are so many decisions to make.  

What specifically should I coach people on?

How should I package my programs (as home study programs, group coaching, or one-on-one coaching)?

How should I deliver my programs (via phone, Skype, Internet, etc.)?

Should I create multiple programs or just one?

The decisions and details seem endless, right? And they are.

But, if you follow HeartCore Business’ advice, then you’ll remove tons of stress, you’ll streamline your business growth, and you’ll be able to effectively use your gift to help people—which is what this is all about!

First, we’ll cover what NOT to do … because we’ve seen entrepreneurs make these mistakes and we want you to avoid them so you can grow your business, your impact, and your freedom lifestyle as quickly as possible.

Then, we’ll give you some quick pointers for figuring out what your prospects are looking for, so you can create coaching programs that inspire them to become your clients!

Mistake 1. Creating a product out of your head.

In other words, it’s a mistake to build a product based on what you think people want or need from you—before you actually talk to people who fit the profiles of your ideal clients.

Although you may think you know what they want and need—you may have placed a lot of focus on one particular aspect of your experience, while members of your target audience may be experiencing it differently. How will you know, if you don’t ask them?

If you neglect getting input, then you risk offering something that’s not actually helpful (and therefore, that people won’t be inclined to buy). Not only will you not make money, but you also won’t be able to share your expertise or your gifts.

Mistake 2. Building your audience in the wrong place(s).

So many fledgling entrepreneurs believe that because social media is cheap and easy—and because almost everyone has a social media account—that social media is a great place to grow their audiences.  

That couldn’t be farther from the truth, for two reasons:

First, you have no control over social media sites. They can change their rules, their algorithms, and the way they handle your account at any time—and you can’t do anything about it!

Second, people aren’t just going to magically find you on social media. Their newsfeeds look the same as yours: filled with updates from friends, ads from other companies, and notifications from the social media sites, themselves. Cutting through that clutter is hard!

So where should you build your audience?


The short version: you control your email list. You control the rules. And, more importantly, you have a unique opportunity to ask people—your prospective clients—what they want and need from you—and how they can best consume what you’re sharing.

So how do you get the information you need from your prospects so you can design a coaching program that meets their needs and inspires them to become your clients?

Here’s How to Inspire Prospects to Become Clients

Once you’ve built your email list, create a survey.

Ask members of your community:

  • Which challenges they’re facing.
  • What specific changes or results would change their lives.
  • Which obstacles stand between them creating those changes and results.
  • How they’d prefer to consume materials—live or at their own pace; via video, audio, or written format.
  • When they’re available for live programs.
  • Whether they’d enjoy an online community experience.

Of course, this is just a handful of potential questions—you can ask even more as you get to know your audience.

The best way to share your gift effectively is to dig deep and find out exactly what your target audience needs. When you do, you’re able to provide it—and share your gift as you build your freedom lifestyle.

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Author picture

Hi! I’m Shanda Sumpter, owner of HeartCore Business, investor to entrepreneurs on The Pitch, and named as one of Inc. 5000’s fastest growing companies in 2017, 2018, and 2019. I’ve helped business owners all over the nation grow and scale their businesses while enjoying their lives more. I believe in giving generously and being honest—all in the name of leaving a legacy.

Connect with me on Instagram

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