Many of the insanely sexy blogger friends I’ve been talking with lately via email and social media (yes, you’re included in the insanely sexy category, if you’re wondering) have been going through the process of realizing they are more than bloggers.
A blog is a form of social media, and whereas it is totally possible to be a blogger (just as it’s possible to be a singer or a runner), it’s also possible that you might feel a bit of disconnect from that term by itself. It may be because you’re an infopreneur—and one of my favorite forms of infopreneurship, especially when you’re first starting to really monetize your brand (and blog), is creative coaching. P.S. There are tons of ways to monetize a coaching business. This post is about making the transition.
Creative coaching is a form of infopreneurship (making money from the knowledge in your head) that involves helping people learn skills + concepts they can put into practice and hopefully repeat. You can be a writing coach, a creative business coach, a coach for women transitioning out of a marriage, a coach for freelancers, a voice coach, or a coach for first-time fathers . . . honestly, you can coach people on almost anything that is important to them as long as you have knowledge, desire, organization, communication skills, and a solid customer experience process.
As I was bringing back my creative coaching class (since some of you wonderful people have been asking about it), I realized I hadn’t posted on creative coaching in quite some time, and I thought that one of the most common questions I get would be a great thing to answer:
“How do I start offering coaching services, but still keep a reader’s trust and attention? P.S. I want to make some decent money doing this, and I really do love it.”
Ah ha, my friend. You’ve asked the right question . . . it’s important to keep people’s trust. So let’s explore 10 quick tips to help you transition people into your new coaching services.
10 Tips to Help You Transition (Gracefully) from Blogger to Coach
1. Don’t “cold tofu” your readers.
I think some people say “cold turkey” but let’s just agree to disagree.
It can really help your brand and your readers if you are NOT a blogger one day and then a coach/consultant the next. But how can you avoid doing that? Well handsome/gorgeous, start to throw some baby hints and new content out before you’re selling any coaching packages–I recommend starting 45 – 60 days out, at a minimum. And I’d also suggest trying the next four tips below in your prep period.
2. Add a new category/column to your blog.
Slip a new category into your blogging routine that relates directly to the areas you want to coach or consult in. Consider waiting until you have at least three articles or posts in that category to create a link to it from your sidebar or menu.
In the posts that you add to this category:
- Start mentioning the questions you’ve been getting about [insert your topic here] and how excited you get to answer them. << Assuming that's true, I mean.
- Refer to the research you’ve been doing into [insert your area of interest here] and how passionate you are becoming about it.
- Share images (on other social media platforms as well as your blog) of you at a conference, class, workshop, or event related to [insert your new coaching topic here].
Subtle items such as the ones above will help your readers:
- Begin to get used to you being connected with a certain topic.
- Begin to see you as a resource on a certain topic.
- Get a behind-the-scenes look at your passion for something they may be interested in.
- Get an up-close look at the start of your coaching services.
All of the items above will be exciting and beneficial for people who are already fans of your blog or who are just getting to know you and your brand.
3. Develop a semi-epic, or all-the-way-epic, resource on your new area of interest.
A short eBook, a set of checklists, a “quick guide” to _____, or a mini-workshop on your topic of (coaching) interest will make an excellent gift for your readers. I’d recommend developing something you don’t charge for and something that is not an opt-in to something else. People don’t have to sign up for your email list, they don’t have to do anything at all other than enjoy your free resource.
Note: I would consider making this resource something that you can expand at a later date and then use as an opt-in gift to create an email list of people interested in your coaching topic.
4. Offer a free webinar.
People can read about you and your new interest all day, but some people will still not be moved or convinced. That’s natural. How about trying a webinar? Being able to see and/or hear someone’s voice not only helps establish trust of the person in general, but it gives people a more tangible picture of your passion and usefulness. And hmm. Perhaps you could even record the webinar and make it available as a part of that epic resource you’re going to package together as an opt-in gift. That’s deep.
5. Recruit a test client.
That friend who is always bothering you and “picking your brain” about your newfound passion . . . yeah . . . force them to help you out. Create a coaching package for them and actually guinea pig the mess out of your friend. << I could have thought more about my word choice here.
Use your test client to figure out:
- How much you like coaching on this topic.
- What types of questions people are likely to ask.
- Resources you’ll need to have in place when you offer this same service to non-friends.
- How you can add even more substance + value to the lives of people you are helping.
6. Create a “client story” from your guinea pig (or friend–whatever you want to call them).
A client story is like a testimonial on crack. Ear muffs kids. I just said a drug word. I don’t do them so I have to talk about them, okay?
A client story is a page on your site where you share your client’s name + image, the challenge or issue they were facing, the solution you brought to them, how they practically carried out the vision, and how they’ve improved. Now obvs, there are some types of coaching that may be too personal for client stories (as in: people don’t want their business out in the streets), but if this can apply to your business, it is a powerful, underutilized tool.
7. Up your multimedia game, son.
If you’re going to be launching something new soon, try to create content in the multiple ways your audience might like to receive it. Consider text (posts, articles, guest articles, PDFs, checklists, worksheets, workbooks, eBooks, etc.), videos (webinars, tutorial videos, motivational videos, online workshops, video conferencing, etc.), audio (podcasts or audio trainings), and IRL events (you know, when you join community groups or hold workshops in real life).
8. Set up a serious Q+A or “office hours” program.
What are some solid types of Q+A sessions or office hours you can host? << Great question. Here are some possibilities, in order of least involved to most:
- An FAQ page on your website (and perhaps a link/form where readers can submit some Q’s for ya).
- A button/link that takes people to a form where they can ask questions that you respond to via email.
- Weekly/monthly sessions where you answer questions on Facebook, Google+, or another social media platform.
- Weekly/monthly sessions on your blog (typically in the comments section or in a forum).
- Weekly/monthly sessions done as live video feeds or calls.
- Weekly/monthly podcasts or blog posts that include answers to submitted questions.
9. Create an email list for interested readers (after a month or more of everything above).
If you’ve been plugging away for a month or more, talking about your new topic, helping people out with free resources, and all that greatness . . . it’s time to build an email list of people who are interested in communities, products, or services related to your new thing.
10. Create a community.
If you want to create excitement and get a built-in set of friends to offer feedback and to take questions from, then consider building a community around your new topic. It doesn’t have to have hundreds of people . . . shoot, it doesn’t even have to have 10+ people . . . just a few people who are interested in exploring the topic more.
Use this community to listen, to share freely, and to slowly build your service offerings and digital products.
And yo, if you and I are email friends, I’ll be sending you a few additional tips (for making the transition from blogging to coaching) and a 45-day Transition Plan via email this Wednesday, for FREE.
Hey, did I mention that Creative Coaching (from scratch) has been revised and relaunched? There is updated content, more fun #AdultHomework (see images above), weekly chats online, and an engaged community to go along with it. If you’ve previously registered, I’ll be sending you new login details soon.
Photo: Pavel Gramatikov