September 10

A Writer’s Guide to Launching a Successful Coaching Program


In the most recent post in this series, Can You Make More Income with an Online Course? The Truth Every Writer Needs to Know!, we talked about how to turn your book into an online course. This week, we’d love to show you how a live coaching business can help you increase your impact, influence, and income. I’ve done this with my books, and you can do it too!

I love the rush I get from coaching my clients through my books in a live setting. With my live coaching programs in 2012, I expanded from offering only in-person coaching to offering virtual coaching sessions based on the topics and themes I wrote about in my books. This is easy to do with Zoom for as little as $15 a month. They even allow you to record the session to send to your coaching clients who had to miss that meeting. It’s really as easy as connecting to your phone, tablet, or computer.

But how do you do it . . . really?

Start with the topic or theme of your book.

For nonfiction authors, it’s as easy as isolating the main topic of your book. For instance, if you wrote a book about changing careers later in life, you might want to build your coaching business on helping those who are forty-something and older with discovering their new career and helping them find their first job opportunity in that field.

However, if you published a novel, this might be a bit more challenging—but it is possible. Don’t believe me? I did it with Elixir Project. During the development of my novel, I conducted a lot of research so I could learn more about technology and hacking. But I knew I’d have to get creative if I wanted to help people with my coaching. So I designed multiple aspects of my business all centered around teaching people to become unhackable. This was so successful that I’m publishing a nonfiction book this year that turns my novel into a nonfiction narrative. (Unhackable will release this year on October 23.)

Focus on what makes you different.

By identifying how you stand out from other coaches, you’ll have an easier time marketing and promoting yourself because your potential clients want to invest their time and money where they can find the most value. Spend some time researching other coaches who offer a similar service and take notes on what they’re offering—and how much they’re charging for it. You can use that information to inform how you’ll structure your own coaching business in a way that highlights you as being unique or solving a problem others aren’t currently tackling. And once you’ve figured out what that is, you can use that in your marketing to grab your potential client’s attention.

Set your long term-goals for your coaching business first.

To figure out where you need to begin building your new coaching business, you should know what direction you plan to travel in. These long-term goals should be concise and measurable, and they should be detailed enough so you can figure out a path directly to them. For instance—with our example about a career coach—a long-term goal might be that you want to help 1,000 people find their new career in the next ten years. Because this is a measurable goal, you can logically say that you need to average at least 100 coaching clients every year to meet that goal. If you were to bring in clients at a constant and dependable pace, that breaks down to nine new clients per month. That tells you exactly what kind of effort you need to start with in the beginning. So, if by mid-month you only have two clients on your schedule, you will know you need to ramp up your efforts to bring new business in.

Create a structure you think will work well for all your clients.

Start asking yourself some questions to find where your most successful structure might be found:

  • Will you meet your clients in person, online, or a combination of both?
  • Will you only do group coaching sessions, only do one-on-one coaching sessions, or have a mixture of both?
  • How often will you meet with your clients?
  • Will you create varying levels of service that allow your client to choose how much attention they need from you?
  • How will you measure their progress?
  • Will you create a basic syllabus to work from that can be personalized for each client—or will you customize a lesson plan from the ground up?

You may not need to implement all of these things right away, but it’s still a good idea to think about how you want your dream coaching business to look in the future. The more blanks you can fill in for your prospective customers, the better outcome you’ll have because you did your work to set the right expectations.

Once you combine all of these elements together, you’ll have a much clearer picture of what your coaching business will look like—and so will your prospective clients. When you both know exactly what to expect from the future, you will begin to create magic for everyone.

Come back next week for the next post in this series. I will give you a checklist to help you get started in creating your own certification program for speakers, coaches, and trainers.

If you’ve ever worked with a coach, what was the most important thing you learned from the experience? How can you use that lesson to make your own coaching business better?

Kary Oberbrunner


Kary Oberbrunner, CEO of Igniting Souls, is an author, coach, and speaker who helps individuals and organizations clarify who they are, why they’re here, and where they’re going so they can become souls on fire, experience unhackability, and share their message with the world. Connect at


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