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business coach

Business coaches! This conversation is specifically for you…BUT it’s also for business owners who are looking to find and hire a coach. 

It seems that there are more business coaches popping up every day. In fact, you can find an online coach for everything from health and fitness, business, relationships, to just about everything in between.

I am an online coach myself and have been for over 15 years!

So…what exactly makes a business coach effective?  How do you know if you should become one and almost more importantly, how do you know if you should invest in one? 

Before we tackle these important questions, let me say hello and introduce myself!

I’m Kelly Gabel and I am a multi-passionate entrepreneur empowering female entrepreneurs to get tech-savvy and make an impact with their business! 💙

I know what it’s like to start a business and then wake up one day and realize it’s NOTHING like you thought it would be!

I’ve got you!

Your unique talents and voice are so needed in the world and I am honored to have the opportunity to help you take the first steps towards creating the business you actually want!

As you start or continue your entrepreneurial journey, I would love to help you find more time to focus on the parts of your business that truly fire up your passion and purpose!

Most businesses are run by a team of people with different skillsets!
So what are your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to running your business?
How can you fill in the gaps in your 1-person team? 
Take the 2-minute quiz to find out!

You should also check out this blog post where I’m sharing my thoughts on popular business tech to help you choose the right one(s) for you!

Top 5 Tools for New Entrepreneurs

For more free business training, come join me over on YouTube! You can leave comments there with specific tools and training you need. I hope you also join me in The Village over on Facebook. I sincerely hope you hop over there! I would love to connect with you personally!

Ok, so let’s get back to this super important topic…how to be an effective business coach.

Like I mentioned above, there are so many business coaches these days! I hesitate to say that “coaches are a dime a dozen”…especially because I am one and I don’t want to trivialize what we do at all…but the reality is, business coaches are everywhere.

If you want to make a living…or, more importantly, make an impact as a business coach, then I have a few suggestions for you.

The “Discovery” Call

Discovery call, Free consultation, Strategy session…we use a lot of different terms to describe our first 1-on-1 conversation with a prospective client.

Give it all the fancy names you want, but let’s call it what it is…this is a sales call. This is the conversation where we get a feel for the client’s business and what their needs are. Then, we tell them about all of the programs and courses we offer that can help them. 

As a business coach, however, you could be using this call for so much more than making a sale though, right?

I feel like a broken record saying this next thing, but I believe it so whole-heartedly that I might just need to print it on a shirt and wear it all day long! 

Business Strategy is not one-size-fits-all.

We need to acknowledge here for a second that this statement also applies to business coaches

Being someone’s coach is a huge responsibility.

**If you are a coach of any kind and you don’t agree with that last statement…I encourage you to stop here for a minute and think about the level of influence you hold over your clients. Regardless of the type of coach you are, you are guiding your clients towards an action plan, financial investment, time investment, etc. and they are choosing to follow that path with the understanding that your primary goal in the relationship is to help and serve their best interest. If you don’t feel the weight of that responsibility, then you might need to re-evaluate your true motivation for being a coach.**

Not every coach/potential client relationship is a perfect match. This initial conversation (we’ll go with Discovery Call for the purposes of this post) should be treated as a bidirectional interview.

As the coach, really listen to what your potential client is telling you they need.

Are you truly the best person to guide them on their journey?

You might not be…and that’s OK!

In business marketing, we have a saying, “if you market to everyone, you market to no one.”

Essentially, what that means is that you need to know who you most desire to help and are most uniquely capable of helping. Focus on connecting with that group of people and you will have a thriving business! However, if you try to help anyone and everyone…you will ultimately fail.

That may sound harsh…or make you anxious that there just aren’t enough clients out there for you to serve, but that’s just not true!

I find this incredibly freeing!

Take a minute to envision your business future as a place where each and every day you spend your time helping the exact people you want to help. I think if you do, you’ll agree with me!

If you can already sense in that first conversation that this might not be the right fit, then you will save yourself (and the client) a TON of frustration by simply saying that upfront.

You will also prove yourself to be honest and full of integrity…qualities that might just cause this “not the right fit” client to refer someone to you who is your ideal client! 

Taking on every potential client that comes your way is a sign of desperation, not expertise.

Trust that your time, and the client’s time, is better spent with the right coach/client relationship. 

If you aren’t quite sure if it feels right, offer a free or low-priced opportunity for you to work together. If you are the right coach for them, this will only make that more clear to the client and cause them to jump into working with you without hesitation. If you aren’t, then you get to learn that the easy way instead of the hard way. Win-win!

Be flexible

be flexible

To be a truly effectual coach, you have to be flexible. Even if your coaching style is based on a written course or a curriculum, you have to be able to meet your client(s) where they are at on any given day.

Sure, you have a plan for each session, especially in a group setting, but if the needs of your client veer off the plan for the day, you need to be able to adapt. 

Some days, what your client needs most of all is a supportive ear to listen. Nothing you plan to teach them is more important than their mindset. Without the right mindset, all of your coaching “gold” will fall on deaf ears.

This also means, if you are the right kind of coach (meaning, coaching in the area where your expertise lies) then you shouldn’t need to spend a ton of time prepping before each session whether it’s a group program or a private session. A simple outline of a plan for the session is the perfect way to make sure that you can adapt your teaching to the specific client(s) you are working with at any given moment.

Give personalized feedback and advice

OK, I know you might be thinking “duh…of course I’m going to personalize my advice”, but let me ask you something…do you recommend the same exercises, programs, or courses to each prospective client? Do you wait for them to say a certain magic word during the discovery call that points to the offering you are currently trying to promote?

I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to have a signature program or course that is applicable to many different people. I think we probably all have that!

What I’m saying is, point your client in the direction of what is best for them not just towards the thing you are currently trying to sell. 

As a tech savvy business coach, I have certain tools and systems that I like most, but they aren’t right for everyone!

Convincing someone to use the tools I know best (so that it is easier for me to help them) isn’t doing them any favors. That’s why the first step I take with any tech client is to have them test drive multiple options so that I can help them find the one that is going to be best for them in this season of their business and then empower them to use it to make their business work for them.

Forcing someone to use my favorite system is ultimately going to lead them to frustration and probably make them less than happy with me as a coach. I certainly don’t want that and I’m sure you don’t either!

Just like with the previous suggestion of being flexible, your advice and feedback should be able to adapt to the uniqueness of each client. Show them that they are more than income to you by really learning what works for them and what doesn’t.

Never, ever, ever guilt or manipulate someone into investing in your services

Unfortunately, with social media algorithms and search engines deciding what content and ads we see most, naturally, the high-priced (and often less invested) coaches tend to have the most visibility.

Early on in my business, I noticed that every single course or program I came across was going to cost $1k or more. 

I am a firm believer that financial accountability or “skin in the game” is a powerful motivator to help us stay on track towards our goals however I also firmly believe in being responsible good stewards of our money. 

As coaches, I believe it is our responsibility to make sure that we never convince someone to over-invest in our services. 

I think we can all agree that mindset is key to the success of any coach…the coach’s mindset for sure, but more importantly, the mindset of their clients.

If your client is stressed out about how much money they invested in your program, it will limit their ability to truly reap the benefits of all you have to offer.

If your client needed to be convinced to purchase from you, then they don’t have the necessary “know, like trust” factor it will take for them to get the most out of what you bring to the table.

Respect the budget and time boundaries that potential clients have set for themselves. When the time is right, the right clients will remember your patience and graciousness and return to invest with you.

To sum it all up, essentially, follow the Golden Rule:

Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them.  – Matthew 7:12a MSG 

It’s simple.

Treat others the way you would want to be treated.

Serve your client’s interests above your own and truly listen to what they are telling you they need.

These simple strategies will keep your clients coming back for more and sending you referrals by the dozens. 


Just in case you forgot to click to join The Village, you can do that here too!

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