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How Do Coaches Make Money? Turning Wisdom Into Wealth

Written by: Kimberly Viera, 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.

Executive Contributor Kimberly Viera

Here’s a shocking little industry insider secret. In the business of professional coaching, most coaches don’t actually earn a living through their coaching. Most are stuck in the pro-bono cycle, offering their coaching for free or for an outrageously low (and unsustainable) fee.

Coaching business model

The truth is, that success as a coach is not only measured in how many lives you impact but also in financial prosperity. You are growing a business. If you are not making money, you don’t have an actual business and you will not be able to continue leading people through amazing transformations. The world needs what you offer, which means the world needs you to make money so you can keep doing it. So, let's look at how you can earn money as a coach.

(Click here if you prefer to watch the video) Behind the scenes of transformative sessions and empowering guidance lies 12 major revenue streams you can create, each one as unique as the individuals you serve:

1. Private 1-on-1 coaching model

This is the most common kind of coaching business model, and it’s often where most coaches start out because it’s a straightforward approach. It is also one of the fastest ways to make a livable income from coaching because it is a high-ticket offer and because you don’t need a lot of clients to make great money.

It involves offering 1-on-1 coaching sessions to your clients, either face-to-face or online. Many coaches spend their entire coaching careers doing one-on-one clients. You don’t need coaching modules or any curriculum to get this format up and running. (Although, if there is a roadmap of how you’ll take the client through the whole journey of self-transformation then it is better). There is no cap to the number of fees you can charge to your clients in one-on-one private coaching, you can package it up to make your services a high-end coaching package. And, one-on-one coaching clients are ready to pay a premium for your coaching because they see your offerings as something that can help them get rid of their pain points.

2. Group coaching model

This model is like 1-on-1 coaching, but it is run with groups rather than individuals. It can be coordinated online or in person, but you’ll need to be able to tailor your material to suit a more general audience rather than one individual. You can serve many more people with your coaching this way (increasing your reach and impact and often your income). You can automate much of the coaching processes with group coaching. This sort of model lets you take advantage of economies of scale, and if you do it online you can access audiences everywhere. Group coaching allows you to accommodate people in bigger numbers and lets you leverage your income from one-person coaching to many. It allows you to free up your personal time as well. You’ll be spending the same hour that you spend in a one-on-one coaching session but you’ll be serving multiple people.

3. Mastermind coaching model

The Mastermind Coaching Model is a powerful approach to coaching that leverages the collective wisdom and support of a group of individuals with similar goals and challenges. You’re still providing an invaluable service by coordinating and facilitating this sort of arrangement, but your clients will be aiding each other in solving problems and achieving common goals.

Monetizing your masterminds could involve charging a fee for participation in the mastermind group or offering it as part of a larger coaching package.

4. Speaking business model

Do you love speaking to an audience, interacting with, educating, and inspiring groups of people? This business model involves attending venues in person and being paid to speak to a large number of people on a particular topic. Or, speaking to large groups online where you are occasionally paid to speak but more often get paid to enroll people in your programs or events. If you are speaking in person or for large events, you will usually be paid by the venue hosting the event rather than individuals.

5. Author business model

If you are more of a writer than a speaker, writing books that sum up your knowledge may be a better way to go. This model involves writing books for clients to purchase and work through on their own. It is very easy to digitally publish and even get print books today. You have to sell thousands of copies of books to earn a living from publishing so being an author is often used as a way to enroll clients.

6. Digital product business model

If you prefer releasing products and serving clients online, a digital approach may be the coaching business model you need. You can create all kinds of resources, but often you’ll be making courses or e-books, templates, toolkits, and other digital products that would help your clients achieve a result. These are instantly downloadable self-study products. You make money through sales of these products and the process can be completely automated once they are created.

7. Thought leadership/influencer business model

If you’d rather be known as a ‘Motivational Speaker’ this may be the model for you. Also known as ‘Influencers’, this coaching business model involves becoming somewhat famous in your niche where you develop a very loyal and engaged following, often on social media. You establish your reputation as an expert in your field. Then you monetize that fame through the ads placed on your platform or by promoting and recommending other people’s products (for a fee or part of each sale). Basically, YOU have the loyal fan following and advertisers pay you to get in front of them.

8. In-person events coaching model

In-person events are usually high-priced. These are things like live retreats, masterminds, boot camps, conferences, high-ticket experiences, and live shows. Since COVID, you can also do ‘in-person’ events by live streaming (via Zoom for example) in exactly the same intense format you would lead people through in person. Clients hold in-person or live online events very high in terms of value but they take a lot of time and often a team. It’s, perhaps, more challenging to sell these high-end experiences, too. But this is also one business model where volume is less but margins are very high. When it comes to coaching, in-person retreats are pretty popular. You’ll need a higher level of skills for this business model because it requires more coordination and organization. In-person events take a lot of upfront money and expose you to much greater risk… but the payoff can be huge.

9. Membership model

If you’ve mastered one-on-one coaching, you may consider moving to a membership model. This involves monthly memberships being paid to you, either in a fixed term – like 12 months – or in an ongoing, month-to-month way. Memberships usually offer your clients access to valuable resources and possibly group coaching sessions rather than individual sessions.

10. Corporate contract coaching business model

Prefer to work with HR departments, executives, non-profits, hospitals, government, and businesses? Try a corporate coaching business model. You’ll usually be contracted by businesses or departments that want you to help their employees or clientele build up key skills. This is a great way to have a captive, focused audience with a very clear goal in mind. You won’t need to do individual marketing generally, as the people are usually referred to you, but you will have to sell yourself to the businesses. You’ll need to do a lot of sales directly to the decision makers like executives, department heads, or to HR departments, but it is well worth the effort. A lot of very skilled and famous coaches have done seminars for corporations. The deals that you can strike with a corporation are often 6 figure deals, so the level of effort is high but the results are substantial.

11. Done-with-you coaching model

This is a hybrid model somewhere between consulting and coaching that allows you to charge large sums in terms of pricing. You (and/or your team) … help (done with you)… or actually DO (done for you) … the work on behalf of your clients. You basically take ownership of results with your customers. What that looks like is that you or your team does the work alongside or on behalf of the client and you help them in doing a large part of their tech and other operational work (depending on what you coach). You can charge much higher prices because of this.

12. Online course coaching model

The online coaching course is one of my favorite categories where you can literally put your skills and expertise in an online format and monetize it year after year by outlining a process in an audio-video format. Running coaching courses and providing hands-on coaching support allows you to have high-profit margins, massively frees up your time, and still gives fantastic value to your customers.

The online coaching course format is one of the most popular categories of courses and coaching these days. ALL the top coaches offer an online course coaching model. One great thing about online coaching courses is they are a certain dollar and time investment upfront to make. But, after that, you can reap the results and make money from them year after year. They are also a great ‘mid-priced’ offer if you still want to do one-on-one coaching as your highest offer.

These are the 12 major ways coaches and other service providers can make money in their business.

Are you ready to package what you know into a unique signature system?

If so, head over here and get started in our launch intensive where you will create your own program and launch it (in a group event)in the next 90 days.

Follow me on Facebook and visit my website for more info!

Kimberly Viera Brainz Magazine

Kimberly Viera, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Kimberly Viera is on a mission to help every woman become financially independent and gain control over her life by starting an online business. As the founder of JoinTheEveolution, she helps women build transformational coaching and wellness businesses that earn them a sustainable living within a year while giving them the time and lifestyle freedom they've been dreaming of. Stop Letting Things Happen. Start Making Them Happen. Join the Evolution.



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