There are a variety of formats you can use for coaching your own clients… or that you can take advantage of yourself.
One-on-one coaching is actually preferred and ideal for a number of reasons.
This allows you to work very closely with one person at a time. You can really get to the heart of what they need and want so you can be as effective for them as possible.
You can offer this form of coaching either in person or online— it’s very adaptable. You can even offer a combination in between. In fact, some coaches offer online coaching and work with people from all over the world. The distance doesn’t matter much at all, as long as you adhere to best practices for business coaching. Don’t let the fact that you can’t or don’t want to meet in person hold you back.
Some one-on-one coaching is fairly general. It’s designed to tackle the person’s business as a whole. It can start before the person has entered a business or as they’re struggling with a current business. Sometimes one-on-one coaching is designed to tackle a very specific issue— something like mindset, or improving revenue, or client generation. That’s when the line between coaching and consulting is crossed.
One-on-one coaching is extremely special. Your client is putting their trust in you. They believe you are the one person who can help turn their business around. They feel lost— they know they can’t do it alone. They have some specific goals in mind and think you’re the person to help.
It can be scary to have all that trust put in you. Then again, you’re confident and knowledgeable enough to do a fantastic job. Nothing’s going to hold you back, which is why you have to get to the heart of exactly what is holding them back. You’re going to get to know their successes, their failures, and what their goals are.
You’re also going to provide accountability. No matter what you charge or how excited the person seems to be at first, a surprising number of people will drop off. It’s very disappointing, especially when you invest so much of yourself in a person as their coach.
The one-on-one coaching relationship can become quite detailed, so it’s important to draw boundaries. You’re going to get invested in the relationship, but not so much that it drags you down. There are some very fine lines you have to walk, and it’s not always as easy as it seems.
Note that you can have a few one-on-one coaching relationships ongoing at one time. These coaching clients will generally be confidential, so they won’t interact or even know about each other. You have to be careful not to take on more coaching clients than you can handle— especially at first. Many new coaches think it will be a breeze to offer coaching and start to see dollar signs in their eyes, only to burn out very quickly because it was more time consuming than they imagined.
Start out small and grow over time. Get a feel for what these one-on-one coaching clients really require. Set boundaries on your time and make sure your own business doesn’t suffer while you’re coaching them. Invest in their success, but don’t get so emotional or personally invested that the relationship or either of your businesses suffers. It’s always a careful balance, but it’s one you’ll get better at managing as you gain more experience.
Coaching Many at Once
It’s an option to coach many people at once instead of one at a time. This isn’t the most common scenario, but it often works well under certain circumstances. This can actually be a nice way to step into coaching before you tackle the one-on-one in depth.
You can offer group-coaching offline, in the form of seminars or group meetings. You can meet up once or several times, depending on the needs of the group.
You can offer group coaching online as well. This works extremely well in an online environment because everyone can check in and collaborate on a schedule that suits them. You can use something like Basecamp, Skype, or Facebook groups to achieve your goals quite nicely.
Cons to Coaching Many at Once
There are some downsides to coaching many people at one time. For one thing, you can’t go as in depth as you might like. One-on-one coaching is a very personal and private thing. People will share things with you they would never have shared with anyone else.
They might hold back when they’re in a coaching environment with other people. They won’t feel as willing to share things that they’re a little embarrassed about or ashamed of.
It’s important to consider what kind of coaching environment you want to foster. Consider the pros of this type of coaching before you make your final decision.
Pros to Coaching Many at Once
While people may not be as open, there are certainly many pros to the group-coaching situation. For one thing, people will be able to bounce ideas around with one another. Creativity is one of the most important things to come out of coaching. We’re much more creative when we’re around other people.
It’s easy to think that great ideas happen in isolation. Actually, that’s very far from the truth. Great ideas happen when we can work with one another, sparking ideas, letting them grow, and mature, and grow some more. The client and coach relationship is great, but the group-coaching situation sparks a lot more creativity and innovation.
Coaching in a group also allows you to offer your services to people who couldn’t afford it otherwise. It’s a great way to help people with your expertise and guidance at a lower cost. You help a few people at once so you get paid the same, each person paying into the pot.
You can deliver many of the same benefits you deliver one-on-one. Consider how you work best and how the people who have hired you will work best. It can be less intimidating to work with a few people at a time, for a lower cost, at first. Play around with the numbers and the set up to see what works best for you.
Most coaches will want to go with the one-on-one coaching model. Keep that in mind as you move forward with your plans to become a wonderful business coach.
You can get the best of both worlds if you combine methods. Let’s say you have a group of one on one coaching students going at one time. You can coach them individually but also offer group coaching and brainstorming sessions as an added benefit.
In fact, you can upsell your current coaching students on these group masterminds. Masterminds are a fantastic way to grow your business. They help everyone in the group solve problems, become more efficient, stay motivated, become more creative, and grow their business. Offer this as an add-on to your one-on-one coaching sessions and you’ll earn more and help your clients’ businesses grow faster.
What’s Right for You?
It’s very exciting to offer coaching services. You might offer just one type of coaching mentioned above or you might offer a variety. You can also choose to mix it up over time. Consider what’s best for you and your clients.