The Biggest Mistakes When Starting Coaching Business

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What are the mistakes in coaching business?

I talked about mistakes and misconceptions a lot of new coaches do in my latest podcast. These mistakes contribute to why they are not growing fast enough.

So, if you are feeling stuck and confused about the misinformation, continue reading!

Mistake #1: Not Confident in Their Expertise

This is a common chicken or the egg problem. This mistake is one of the most common ones in the coaching business.

A lot of new coaches tend to think they can’t work with clients until they are experienced enough. The problem with this mindset is that it doesn’t make sense.

Everyone starts at zero. I started at zero. Any successful mentor or coach you see today started at zero. No one starts their business with tons of experience under their belt. Everything is a rinse and repeat. We make mistakes and we learn from them.

In order for you to gain that experience, you do need to work with clients. If you keep telling yourself that you can’t start because you have no experience, then you are going to stay stuck. You will be in this cycle of telling yourself you “cannot do it”.

This is a roadblock and it’s the worst in the coaching business.

How to Overcome Low Confidence

Instead of focusing on the fact that you have no experience, do it scared regardless. The problem is not that you don’t have experience. You are scared of charging.

Yet, so many coaches get stuck saying, “I don’t have experience”. What they meant is, “I am afraid of charging”. These two are completely different things.

People automatically assume that once they work with clients, they need to charge money for it. And because they’re charging money, they start getting nervous that they can’t perform at the level that that money is buying.

So, they stop in their tracks and they don’t work with clients at all.

But what you have to know is there’s something called beta clients. This is is where I started off with. I started off working for free as well. Yes, this can be a little bit controversial. Because so many people are against working for free.

But if you have to be honest, working for free and gaining experience is better than getting stuck.

Start Gaining Experience in Coaching Business

As a new coach, you have no experience under your belt. You don’t even know what your offer is. You don’t even know what you can provide in the coaching business world.

So, it’s fair to say, “Hey I can help you accomplish XYZ. I would love to test my strategies out. Would you mind exchanging my free service with feedback and testimonial?”

As simple as that. Once you start developing 2-3 beta clients, you start feeling confident. Because now, you’re building your brand and strategies based on their feedback.

The best part is that because you’re not charging for it, then you don’t feel as nervous about it.

Mistake #2: Romanticizing The Idea of Making Money

The next pitfall in the coaching business is focusing on generating passive income right away. So many people want to do this while sleeping. Who doesn’t, right?

Yes, it’s cool. But it needs to be done accordingly.

For a lot of rookie coaches, they think this is their first step in the coaching business. So what happens is they end up creating ebooks and courses as their first products. Simply because they don’t want to trade time for money.

Yes, it’s cool and yes, it’s true. But the problem with this is you are not understanding how much traffic you need to sell digital courses. You need volume. You need an audience. You can’t just start selling digital products if you don’t have people who know you. Or, even want your products.

The Truth About Passive Income

In my company, we made $138,000 and our conversion rate was 4%. You have to realize that when you sell digital products passively, you need to look at the conversion rate.

A typical conversion rate can range from 1-5%. Anything over 5% is already a really rockstar conversion rate.

In our business, we make about $100,000 every single month. In order for us to maintain that number, we need about 4,000 people to see my offer every single month. And that’s 4,000 new people. This is exactly why I do so much YouTube.

This is the big pitfall that a lot of new coaches fall into. The moment they realize they want to launch a coaching business, they create a course.

Yes, courses are amazing but you need more than that. You need to have a solid foundation in order for your course business to succeed. 

Mistake #3: Not Building Solid Foundation

In order to succeed, you need to know how to create sustainable offers that help you scale from 1:1 to courses⁣⁣. It’s fine wanting to sell courses. But I don’t think it’s smart to make it your first product.

There are a lot of different components that make certain courses more successful than others.

When I first launched my program, it wasn’t only for coaches. It was a program that was made for anyone that had a business. It was for anyone that wanted to use Instagram to grow. And that was really naive on my part. It wasn’t until I launched that program that I realized, my course content wasn’t applicable to everyone.

I had students who were graphic designers, Etsy sellers, Amazon sellers, bloggers, YouTubers, and more. The problem was my course was not niched enough. It was so broad that I felt like I was helping everyone.

Niching Down Your Offer

When you are in a coaching business, it’s important to niche down. Because you don’t want to be attracting everyone.

An Etsy seller has different strategies they need compared to a graphic designer. The same with a dentist or a real estate. It doesn’t matter what your ultimate goal is for your coaching business, niching down is the answer to your solution.

If you want an audience, you need to find the right niche.

Starting From Zero

So many people get scared or even embarrassed about starting from zero. But you need to realize that everyone starts at the bottom.

You need to start off working with clients at a one-on-one level. Even if it’s five clients that you need to work with at the one-on-one level. So be it. Eventually, you can transition your business to selling courses.

But working with clients at the one-on-one level is going to allow you to actually test your strategies. It’s going to allow you to make active income instead of passive income right away. Because active income can lead you to that passive income.

With the active income, you can hire more people so you can open up the capacity to serve more clients. And you can slowly develop your team from scratch. Once you get to that level, now you can start thinking about creating passive income yourself.

I hope this week’s podcast is an eye-opener for you. Make sure you join my FREE live trainings happening on July 24, 26, and 28 where I teach you How to Build a WILDLY Successful Coaching Business from Scratch using Instagram ® (AND Get Paid… FAST)!


See you there!!


[04:09] I discussed about new coaches having no experience under their belts and what to do instead. 

[11:25] Why getting testimonials within 30-60 days is very important for your coaching business.

[14:48] How to position your offer effectively with proper system and support.

[22:55] The differences in strategies for different audience and why niching down your offer is crucial.

[29:06] Why earning active income is the best way for rookie coaches instead of focusing on passive income right away.


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– Vanessa

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