When your goal is to fill your capacity with coaching clients, you’re limiting the potential of your business. Once your calendar is full, your business has reached its peak. Your only opportunity for growth is raising your prices, and there’s only so much of that you can do. But when you diversify your network, your products, and your capacity, the opportunities are endless.
Micah Lorenc, a successful Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, describes how to increase business with diversification.
Create a Thriving Coaching Business
When I started my coaching practice in early 2021, I decided to split my capacity in half. Half of my total capacity would be allocated for coaching, while the other half would be protected for…I wasn’t even sure yet. In my mind, the second half of my capacity was theoretically for networking with other coaches, marketing, lead generation, product development, experimentation, and all-around managing my business. I had very little idea how to do any of those things, but I knew they were important.
During one of my courses, while gaining the training hours I needed to get my ICF coaching certification, my instructor boasted about having a thriving coaching business, with six or more coaching sessions scheduled each weekday. She encouraged us to strive for a similar future, but I knew in that moment that would never be my future.
Here is how I’ve found great success in my coaching business through the diversification of my network, my products, and my capacity.
Diversify your Network
Without a doubt, I can attribute substantially more of my new client acquisition to my network than to my website. In the beginning, I spent hours every day connecting with other coaches and my ideal client on LinkedIn. I was creating genuine interactions with new connections without expecting anything. Discovering pretty quickly, when I saw everyone I met as a potential client I was a little more pushy and a little less genuine. I didn’t like that version of me. So I decided that I would stop seeing every new connection as a client I want today. I switched to seeing them as a client I want in the next 10 years. My perspective and my pace changed accordingly. Many of my most profitable customers and most beneficial partnerships have resulted in diversifying my network with a long-term perspective.
Diversify your Products
One-on-one coaching alone will not sustain your business. I’ve seen friends and colleagues who pursued a coaching business go back to a regular full-time job because they were single-minded about what they offer as a coach. There’s no recipe for success here, but you have to find more products and/or services to offer and find what works for you. Find something you’re genuinely excited about offering. Maybe it’s group coaching. Perhaps it’s an online course. Maybe it’s tools or digital products for other coaches. Or maybe it’s speaking engagements. Whatever you decide, make space in your capacity to make those things a reality. But before you choose what to develop and sell, listen to your customers and build to the demand. There’s little more discouraging than putting your heart and soul into launching an online course that nobody buys.
Successful diversification is when the products or services complement each other. For example, offering speaking engagements that you can use to promote your work with team building.
Diversify your Capacity
In 2022 I noticed that it was getting easier to fill the 50% of my capacity I allocated for coaching my clients. So, I started to plan ahead by looking for a handful of other coaches who aligned with my brand, my standard for quality, and my client’s needs. Then in 2023, once I reached my full capacity for individual coaching, I started subcontracting my new clients to the coaches I brought on board. All of these coaches are building their coaching businesses, too. So while they work under the umbrella of my company when coaching my clients, they all continue to build their practice at the same time.
My goal is for them to stop needing to accept the business I bring, but in the meantime, I benefit from their capacity and expertise. They benefit from my business, and my clients benefit by having more options for excellent coaches. Like mine, your capacity shouldn’t be limited by your available hours in a day.
Start Now to Build the Future of Your Business
Your coaching business may be at a place where you can start (or already have started) putting these things into practice. In that case, you’ve probably already gotten a taste of what this could be like for you. Keep going and find the right combination of network, products, and capacity that will work for you and your business. Suppose you’re just in the early stages of launching a coaching business, even better. Build a diversification perspective into your business roadmap. Start laying the groundwork today for what could be an amazing, thriving coaching practice beyond what you might have imagined.