Written by: Rolande S. Sumner, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
If you are like many new coaches, you are looking for a way to earn steady revenue for your business while building your new practice. This is particularly so if you are itching to leave your 9-5 and need to secure regular income to replace what you will lose. If this is the case, this article is for you.
Things To Consider
1. Credentials: If you have a coaching certification, you will stand out among your peers. This is particularly so if you are board certified via the International Coaching Federation (ICF) or a similar institution. Large and small companies that subcontract coaches want the best and most ethical talent available.
2. Pay Rate: According to Glassdoor, "The estimated total pay for a Leadership Coach is $84,772 per year in the United States, with an average salary of $65,960 per year." That is an average of $31.71 to $40.75 per hour.
3. Employment Status: Independent contractors are not employees but self-employed. You will be responsible for your taxes, retirement, and more. According to the Internal Revenue Service, the difference between an employee and an independent contractor is the amount of control a hiring company has on your pay, work conditions, behavior, and length of relationships. Independent contractors are hired for a specific time to do a particular task. The hiring company can not dictate how or when the job will be done. In other words, you are self-employed. Ensure you have a plan to replace the benefits you receive from your employer before jumping into contracting, as you are responsible for providing that yourself.
4. Opportunities: Keep your eyes open for other opportunities outside of coaching. For example, sales is an excellent way to fine-tune your sales skills and earn good money. Many independent contracting sales positions are %100 commission. However, don't let that scare you. When hired, you will be involved in training to optimize your success.
How To Get Started
1. Gather your documents: Collect your credentials, resume, IRS Form W-9, and driver's license and place them in a secure place. Once you are hired, you'll need these documents. Upon being hired, the sooner you submit these documents, the easier the onboarding should be.
2. Draft Independent Contractor Agreement: Have a draft independent contractor agreement available just in case the hiring company needs you to produce an agreement. You may find legal templates at Artful Contracts. Amelia Hesheim is an attorney who creates agreement templates for freelancers, coaches, and consultants. The templates are professionally designed and easy to use.
3. Look for opportunities: One of the fastest ways to find opportunities is on job boards. LinkedIn, Indeed, and FlexJobs are just a few options; however, many are available. When searching for opportunities, look for contract or freelance job types. If the job type is part-time or full-time, they are traditional employment positions. Read the advertisement carefully. Keywords to look for are W-9, 1099, or contract. You also want to determine whether the position is remote, on-site, or hybrid.
4. Research: Doing your due diligence will save you a world of pain. Look up reviews from previous employees and customers. Not all companies are created equal. You can check the Better Business Bureau, Glassdoor, and Indeed.
5. Apply: Many contracts found on job boards are simple to apply for. For the most part, you will apply to the position as if you are applying for a job. You may have to endure an interview and traditional onboarding; however, do not be mistaken; you are an independent contractor, and they are your client. The relationship is different than a formal employee/employer relationship. As an independent contractor, you have more freedom in when and how to complete the job.
6. Read your agreement carefully: You want to ensure you are clear on your expectations. You should know the contract's duration, renewal terms, and clearly stated payment terms. Don't hesitate to ask questions with bold, standard, and fine print.
This article is just one of many ways to land independent contracts. It's one of the easiest ways to get started and a great transition between leaving your 9-5 and working for yourself. When you are more comfortable with contracting, you can venture out to more complex and higher stakes contracts. Many coaches make independent contracting their sole or primary source of business revenue and personal income.
To learn more about getting into independent contracting, check out my mini-course, "Preparing to Subcontract with Commerical and Government Marketplace." at Business Launch Prep School.
Rolande S. Sumner, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Rolande S. Sumner is a retired US Army veteran and the CEO & Founder of Life After Service Transitional Coaching LLC®. Rolande served her country in the United States Army National Guard from 1995 to 2015. During her career, she was an Administrative Clerk, Heavy Vehicle Operator, and Human Resources Manager. She served as both a traditional National Guard Soldier and as an Active Guard Reserve Soldier. During her military tenure, Rolande received multiple honours: Afghanistan Campaign Medal, NATO Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Combat Action Badge, and the Army Accommodation Medal.