How to Monetize Your Brand as a Coach or Consultant (without putting all your eggs in one basket)

November 9, 2015

We’ve done it all, my friend. Not long ago I was coaching business owners on how to build their businesses while still doing a few remaining freelance projects for a full-time income. While I was coaching, I unintentionally (at first) and then intentionally diversified my income by adding teaching products into my offerings. I was part coach, part infopreneur, part freelancer–which really helped me discover my strengths and find the place I could be most effective and offer the most impact.

Diversity. Great for communities and great for income.

But even as I was learning and going along and making many (many) mistakes, I experienced the snowballing benefits of monetizing my coaching brand in multiple ways. If you are looking to get into info products or to expand your existing coaching or consulting business through live workshops, live events, courses, books, or passive income products, this post is for you.

17 ways to monetize your brand as a coach or consultant 

a.k.a. 10 Services and 7 Products that are Super Epic for Coaches

Let’s look at this in terms of events and services that you can monetize as well as digital and physical products you can monetize.


1. Custom 1-on-1 Coaching Calls w/ Friendly Recaps

When you are first getting started in coaching, this will likely be one of the services that is simplest to offer. I think you need to plan what it entails along with what you will and won’t do, and I do still think it needs a signed client agreement. But, it’s a great place to begin because you can figure out what people really want and need, what really troubles your audience, and where you truly fit as a coach and teacher. What you learn in these sessions can be used to create scalable content to deliver in your online events to many people at once.

With your custom 1-on-1 calls (Skype or Zoom sessions, telephone calls, or even in-person meetings), you’ll typically:

  • send your client a questionnaire (we love Typeform or Dubsado for this) and/or meet with them to discover their specific needs and where you fit in
  • decide on a timeframe that y’all will work together or set up a rate per meeting or per month
  • send out an agenda before each call (if you have some general talking points for the meeting–and hopefully you do)
  • send out client notes sheets or a link to a shared doc where you client can take notes digitally (optional, but cool and a great way to add value)
  • conduct your session (usually 30 – 90 minutes depending on the type of call–this should be clear and communicated ahead of time so that all expectations are met or exceeded)
  • (with permission) record your session so that you can take a deep dive on problems/solutions
  • recap your session via email (or send the recording/replay to your client – the rules of recording are to make sure you have permission and to make sure to hit record, if it’s not automatic! Also, in your contract, specify how long you’ll be hosting the call and by what date your client needs to download it.)

2. 1-on-1 Coaching Program w/ Calls, Check-ins, and Homework

Once you’ve done custom 1-on-1 coaching for a while, or once you have an understanding of the general steps that your audience needs to go through to reach their goals, you can develop your custom coaching into an online program. In a formal coaching program, you guide multiple clients through a framework (the same general steps + processes) on an individual basis.

You still check in with your clients, have calls, and provide customized recaps and help to them, but it’s all based off of one formalized system.

In a coaching program, you’ll usually:

  • give your potential client an overview doc/email that outlines the programs, timeline, and steps, to help them decide whether or not it’s a good fit (again, Dubsado is a great tool for this)
  • have a call/questionnaire that helps you determine if the client is a good fit
  • send a welcome kit (optional, but wonderful) with your client’s first homework assignment and an invitation to schedule their first call after the homework is completed (we love Acuity Scheduling and Calendly for scheduling calls)
  • conduct your first call (via phone or video conference such as Zoom or Skype)
  • send the next pre-developed homework assignment (w/ a recap of your call)
  • repeat this process for as long as your program lasts

Note: To fully protect yourself and your client, your signed agreement with them should outline your refund policy, and the point at which the client is forfeiting the rest of their package (ex: you haven’t heard from them in 45 days and you’ve emailed them at their provided email address at least three times).

I once had a web project that lasted over a year because my client would never get back to me but I didn’t have a helpful “forfeiture clause” in my agreement–and P.S. I had spent every dime they’d paid me, so I wasn’t to keen on refunding them. Side note: The project ended up being super attractive and the client loved their site but a lot of angst and stress could have been avoided with a clear policy.


3. Custom 1-on-1 Email Coaching w/ Guaranteed Responses

Imagine this: either one of the options above (1 or 2), but instead of doing calls, you do emails. Or Voxer or WhatsApp.

You can tailor the process to each client (and just agree on a certain timeframe or a certain number of email “meetings”), or you can take your email coaching clients through a specific program (with homework and pre-set steps) and provide customized responses and email support. Bam. Magic. Great for introverts.


4. Group Coaching Program w/ Calls and Homework

Remember that one time, long ago, when we were talking about 1-on-1 coaching programs (#2 above)? Okay, now imagine that, but with more than one person. This is where the magic happens, my friend. Group online events that are well thought out (even in beta form) can add massive value to you and your clients. The client homework would go out to a group of people to complete individually or with accountability partners, and you would also:

  • conduct group calls or video conferencing via Zoom
  • provide recordings to clients who missed (optional, but super kind and especially thoughtful if you have clients in different time zones)
  • choose to focus on one or two people per call after the meat of the call has been presented (this “hot seat” can rotate each week), or choose to address everyone’s needs in each call
  • provide recaps, updates, and more homework via email or in the group coaching platform/community

5. Masterminds

Imagine that epic group coaching program that you created in #4 above, except that you added a supportive private community for your members. Things to think about — will you need to enlist help for moderation? Will the community extend beyond the end of your group program or will they have temporary access?

  • provide a community or means for people to connect outside of your group calls – options include a Slack group, a private Facebook group, or a dashboard on your website. We frequently hear from our group members that the community is one of their favorite and safest spaces for online growth and development. Community works.
  • provide Live Q&As or video recordings in the group as well as pinned posts of key information.
  • provide guided threads for each day of the week (or once a week) to encourage discussion among members so that they can help each other.
  • fostering a true community within your group can create IRL friendships that last for years. We’ve seen it time and time again! Digital communities create real communities.

 


6. Masterminds

Imagine everything we said above, but instead imagine that each week/month has a specific focus (growth, strategy, etc.) or that you are more of a facilitator and cheerleader than you are a direct coach.

You can provide a mastermind group that allows people to benefit mainly from others’ ideas and knowledge, but also from the regular accountability, and your presence.


7. In-Person Trainings or Workshops

Think of all the things you coach online 1-on-1 or in groups/masterminds—can it be applied or shared in real life as well?

You can create small workshops, pop-up events, and live trainings to help people with the goals you coach on. This is also a great way to collaborate with others in your community to help market and spread the word about your workshop. Think local coffee shops, co-working spaces and small businesses that might want the exposure from your event.


8. Speaking Engagements

This one’s pretty self-explanatory, eh? You can definitely decide to speak on the topics you coach on at different events, organizations, and conferences. It’s a great way to start to be seen as more of a teacher or “thought leader” (as they say), and it’s a great way to meet new people—some of them might even become your coaching clients. (p.s. Providing regular online events can boost your visibility as a speaker and expert.)


9. Online Office Hours

Perhaps people aren’t ready to commit to an online program, or perhaps someone really needs some targeted help with this one particular thing that you happen to be epic at, or maybe one of your audience members really wants the opportunity to “pick your brain.” Well, that’s where office hours come in. You can offer your time and expertise at a rate that’s comfortable to you, per hour or per day.

Office hours allow you to help people, make income, address audience pain points directly and swiftly, and keep your ear to the ground about people’s current needs and frustrations—which helps you know what packages and products you should offer.


10. Custom Audits or Reports

Often times, your potential clients will be in such a state of overwhelm/confusion, or in such a new place that they feel lost as to how to begin to get out of where they are to move to where they want to be. Also, you may have clients who just feel a slight bit off or frustrated with the current state of things and in need of some direction.

Doing a custom life audit, brand audit, situation report, or other type of organized document/delivery that outlines current areas that need improvement as well as current areas that are doing well, can be a rewarding, simple, and fun type of coaching that gives your client a strategic action plan that they can follow through with.

Custom audits and reports are also often a way for you to provide services to people who can’t afford your 1-on-1 rates yet or are looking to test you out before committing to your rates. You can also add this service as an add-on when people sign up for your online program. It provides additional income for you and gets them started in your program with one on one attention and laser focus.


11. Communities

An online (or IRL) community can be an add-on to any of your other products or services (as we discussed above), but an online community can also easily be its own standalone product. Providing partners, support, a venue, structure, and built-in friends and accountability partners for curated group of people who are all at a similar place in life/business is a seriously valuable thing that many people would be happy to pay for.

What is something you’ve had to struggle through on your own? Learn on your own? Do without support? Would you have enjoyed a community of people in the same position? Would you have paid for it? This has become one of the options that provides the most value for our audience – a place to connect in an online world.

Think of a community structure and virtual/physical meeting place you can provide for people. Is it something you’d be willing to add to your offerings?


12. Online Workshops w/ Live Q+As

These are so much more than your typical webinar. Think of classes that last 2+ hours and come with worksheets, videos, or some type of additional resources. Workshops have focused topics and may include guest speakers.


13. Pre-Recorded Workshops, Bootcamps, or Conferences

Packaging previously-recorded workshops or bootcamps together as paid products is genius. When you’re a coach, an online trainer or content creator, repurposing your best content is a strategic (and really really smart) way of doing business.


14. Courses

Seriously. Online courses (along with online events) are some of our favorite things in the world. Learning that can happen from your couch, or your cubicle on your lunch break, or during your commute, etc. #Epic.

And think about it. You’ll be able to package your knowledge, coaching skills, and experience together in a neat way that allows you to help more people at once.

You can also structure many of your courses to be forms of almost entirely passive (little to no maintenance) income once you create them. BUT…as you may know by now, we have found that the live component of online events and programs is what gives massive value to students since they’re able to get feedback in real-time.


15. Email Coaching Program (w/out Custom Support)

So, instead of framing your materials as a course and delivering it on some epic, 3rd-party system such as Teachable, Podia or Thinkific, you could also frame them as email coaching (without the custom replies).

“A new coaching session in your inbox each Monday for 8 weeks!” sounds pretty epic. And, it’s scalable, because those same sessions can be sent out to 10 people at a time or 10,000 people. #SuperEpic.


16. eBooks and Digital Workbooks

A digital file that can be automatically delivered to your customers as soon as they purchase it? Yes, my friend, that’s about as close to passive income as it gets in this coaching world—and it’s an epic way to make additional income while helping your ideal audience who needs items at different price points than your higher-priced coaching programs, online events and courses.


17. Printed Books and Workbooks

Yessssss. You can use printed books or workbooks with your clients as you take them through your coaching program, you can sell them separately on your site, or you can sell them through Amazon.com and get them fulfilled for you, so that you don’t have to ship off each order or accept + process returns. That’s brilliant, my friend.


So, if I’m not being too nosy, may I inquire how you currently monetize your online event hosting business or coaching business? And how you plan to monetize in the future? I hope this post helped, and I’d love to hear what you’ve got poppin’ in the comments below.

Photo (c): Branislav Jovanović via Stocksy.com