How to set up your new coaching practice


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Save time and money in setting up your own business with our free ebook. How to set up a your coaching practice. Free tips on how to set up and create a website. Free SEO tips.

How to set up your new coaching practice

  1. 1. Excellence Assured - 2012 Brochure Contents Page 2 Introduction Page 2 Training & Qualifications How to set up Page 4 Page 6 Which services to offer Keyword Searching for your new coaching your new Page 8 business Choosing a legal structure coaching Page 10 Page 13 Naming your practice Getting a website practice Page 15 Creating and designing your website Page 17 Search Engine Optimisation Page 20 Running a successful business and gettingSave hours and hours. Learn from our experience. clientsThings you need to be thinking about in order to set up as a coach on a budget. 9 stage process. Your Training, Practice Structure, Specialisation, Website, SEO, Getting Clients!
  2. 2. Excellence Assured - 2012Introduction explain how to do it all for minimum outlay, avoiding unnecessary consultancy and web design costs. So, lets start by assuming that you are feeling like breaking free of all the constraints of your current comfort zone. Your comfort zone is that area of life that you are in where life is comfortable, where you do not need to push yourself because you are “ok.” Things are familiar in your comfort zone and things are comfortable. You are fed up of this mundane existence, just getting by and earning a living, you want more! You want to make a real difference to other people and help them improve their life whilst of course making a living yourself.  You want to become a coach.  What do you do?   Stage 1 - Training and qualifications The first thing that you need to do is make sure that you have the necessary coaching qualifications. Coaching is not a regulated industry as yet and so there is no one national or international body that sets coaching related qualifications or accredits coaching schools or training providers.Our NLP based training courses provide many marketable skills There are many providers of coaching and coaching relatedand we get asked all the time about the practicalities of courses, each offering different levels and titles of coachingindividuals setting themselves up in a coaching/therapy qualifications.practice. So, which is the best provider and what is the best qualificationOne of the things that deters people from going ahead is the for you?  The best thing to do to answer that question is toperceived cost and complexity involved.  In order to support think about your desired outcome.  What is the outcome thatthe students of our coaching and NLP training courses we are you desire from your coaching qualification?  Think about thatgoing to produce a series of blogs on how to practically go question now and jot some thoughts down.about setting up a practice and marketing your services/networking, website construction, design and getting Ultimately you want training that is going to allow you to be arecognised by search engines. Most importantly we are going to successful and professional coach, don’t you? What is it that is 2
  3. 3. Excellence Assured - 2012going to determine whether or not you are successful in your our courses provide recognised professional qualifications thatcoaching career? are accredited by the NLPEA, an international body of NLP. There are two stages of professional qualification in terms ofThere is one thing that stands above everything else in terms of NLP. The NLP Practitioner qualification is the first stage, thewhat will facilitate your success, that is, how good you are at second stage being NLP Master Practitioner.  These twocoaching! You can have all the qualifications in the world but if qualifications combined are recognised now throughout theyou do not get successful results with your clients, then you world of coaching as being a stamp of coaching excellence and Iwill fail in business because you will not have any clients. would recommend any wannabe coach to complete theseSuccessful coaches, running successful businesses all have one qualifications.thing in common, they get great results with their clients andthese clients are happy to tell other people about how good Our popular online NLP Training courses are perfect forthey are. Referrals (one client referring you, your services to International and UK based students alike.another person) are a major source of business for coaches andwill form a massive part of your marketing plan. Setting up in business Whilst you are completing your training you can also be in theSo, picking a training course that will enable you to be a great process of setting up your coaching/therapy is your first and foremost consideration. This is why NLP There are many things to think about at this stage, here areTraining is so popular amongst the coaching community. NLP just a few that we will be writing about in this ebook:provides skills that are a perfect fit with coaching, enabling • What services will I offer specifically? Eg, Life Coaching,you, the coach to develop your own excellence, and providing Business Coaching, Executive Coaching, Relationshipskills and techniques that will enable you to help others to do Coaching, Performance Coaching, a combination ofthe same. services etc • What sort of business do I set up?  Sole Trader/LimitedYour second consideration is probably to ensure that you have a Company/Partnershipqualification that is recognised by the appropriate professionalbodies.  Whilst as I say, coaching is an unregulated industry, in • Name of your company/trading name? Incorporating/terms of acquiring clients it is possible that some corporate registering your companyclients will require you to be a member of a recognised • Designing a logo, getting your business stationery.national or international body. The largest recognised coachingmembership organisation in the world is the International • Getting a business bank accountCoaching Federation (ICF).  Our NLP Training courses provide • Getting an accountant?you with “coaching specific training hours” that are required byorganisations like the ICF in order to become a member, and • Website - a major consideration. Getting a web address, web hosting, web design 3
  4. 4. Excellence Assured - 2012• Website optimization Stage 2 - Which services to offer?• Insurance - Professional Indemnity Insurance/Public Liability Insurance• Joining a professional organisation (NLPEA/INLPTA/ICF)• "Once I have my business how do I make it successful?" You have decided on your training path and you are undertaking your training on your way to becoming a coach. Whilst you are training, and in order to get started with clients as soon as possible you will be thinking about setting up your coaching practice. One of the first things to think about is what services specifically are you going to offer? Before you decide on a name for your business, before you decide what legal structure you are going to opt for, you need to decide what services you are going to provide, and what areas of coaching you are going to focus on. “Life Coaching” as a broad title can encompass coaching in many different areas of life. Here are just a few: • Business Coaching • Confidence/Self Belief 4
  5. 5. Excellence Assured - 2012 • Finances/Money For example I decided to offer an Executive Coaching service. • Health The reason for that was because I have worked at a senior • Leadership management level in business and so in the eyes of my clients, I am able to empathise from experience with many of their • Motivation challenges, eg work/life balance, challenges in managing others • Parent Coaching (including your boss!). • Personal Development So, for another example, you may be a mother, in which case • Relationships offering Parent Coaching would make sense, as you have a perceived level of experience in that area. • Retirement • Spirituality Your NLP Training, should you decide to go ahead with that, will provide you with the skills to operate in all areas of life and • Stress business coaching, so it may be that you offer a full range ofIn addition to that there is Executive Coaching, Performance coaching services, but you specialise in one or two particularCoaching, Business Coaching and Mentoring...the list goes on. areas.In making a decision as to which direction you head with yourcoaching business I think that we need to think ahead a little bit. As well as the credibility aspect of specialising, it will also makeThe beauty of coaching is that a coach does not necessarily your marketing easier, as you can target a specific market or aneed to have any knowledge of or skills in the area in which they specific group of people, rather than marketing to the wholeare coaching. population. Marketing to specific groups of people is considerably less expensive as you have less competition.The whole idea of coaching as we know is that the person being Thinking ahead to your website, and thinking about acquiringcoached (the coachee) has all the skills and knowledge inside clients using your website, it is much easier to get on the firstthem already, or they are able to get them, in order to reach their page of google, for “Executive Coaching Sheffield” for example,potential, or solve their problem. The skill of the coach is to be than it is for “Life Coaching.”able to facilitate the coachee in releasing, discovering thatpotential, in facilitating the coachee in looking inside themselves The next stage of the process in setting up your coachingfor the resources to solve their own problems. practice will be to investigate these “keywords” or key phrases on google, and I will explain how to go about that in another blog.Having said that it definitely helps from a credibility point of view Depending on the popularity or not of your keywords, you maywith potential clients if you are able to provide some evidence of need to change your mind over specifically what areas you arehaving skills in the specific area in which you are coaching. going to work in, you may need to expand your work areas if 5
  6. 6. Excellence Assured - 2012there are not sufficient potential customers or further specialise if Stage 3 - Keyword Searching for your new Coachingyour potential marketplace is too big and too competitive. businessFor now though, thinking about what skills you have andmatching them up with specific coaching areas will be useful foryou in taking your business planning forward.Next stages: • Keyword searching • Naming your Coaching Practice/Choosing your website domain • Choosing a legal structure for your business • Choosing/Designing a logo. You are still in the early stages of planning your coaching business, you are completing your training and gaining your qualifications. Whilst you are training you are wisely taking the opportunity to start putting together your coaching practice. We have discussed in previous blogs how it is wise to think now about what services you are going to offer to your customers, what areas of coaching you are going to specialise in. Think about the skills that you have, the areas of knowledge and expertise that you have built up over the years, and match your areas of coaching as closely as possible to these skills. We are thinking now about future marketing opportunities. How are you going to acquire clients? One way, and the best way is through word of mouth. If you provide coaching services in an area of life or business where you have a track record of experience, and maybe expertise, then it will make the job of acquiring clients much easier for you. It will most likely also 6
  7. 7. Excellence Assured - 2012mean that you are guaranteed to get great results with your so you stand a chance of getting enquiries from your website ifclients as you will certainly be able to add a good amount of you target these type of keywords.value to their lives. The more value that you add, the more likelyit is that your clients will speak to colleagues and friends about Once you have decided on some keywords that represent whathow good you are, and refer you on to them. you want to offer, are specific in description and location, then it is time to research these keywords to make sure that they areOne other way of acquiring clients that is becoming more and popular enough to get you some clients.more successful is by using the internet. There are over 40,000searches per month on Google for “Life Coaching” in the UK, The free internet based tool that we use to do the research is the9,000 monthly searches for “Executive Coaching” and 12,000 Keyword tool in Google Adwords.monthly searches for “Business Coaching.” So, there are plentyof people searching for coaching services, and if you are at the Just type your keywords into their tool, and google will tell youtop of the search results for these Keywords, then you are going how many people have been searching using those specificto be doing very nicely indeed. words or phrases. You will be provided with global monthly searches and local monthly searches. Assuming that you are notThe thing is that it is not going to be easy to get to the top of the selling services internationally, then the local monthly searches issearch results for these Keywords since all the other coaches in the one that we are interested in as that will tell you the numberthe UK are going to be competing with you to be there and most of searches that have been made on those keywords in yourof them have got a head start on you! country.So, start thinking about words that are specific to the services Initially I would recommend looking at keywords that have 1,000that you are going to offer. For example, what is your location? monthly searches or less, as this will give you the best chance ofWhat are the specific locations that you are going to market your making a quick move onto the first page of search results forservices? “Executive Coaching Bristol” will get far fewer those keywords. You may need to look at several phrases insearches per month than “Coaching” or “Training” or order to get the numbers to around 1,000, and that is ok,“Counselling” but there will be much less competition for these because you can target different keywords with different pages ofKeywords, so you stand a good chance of getting your services your website.on the first page of the search results, and this is what we areafter. If your keyword phrases are similar in type, then all the better. For example, “Training Kent” and “Coaching Kent” are similar in“Relationship Counselling Derbyshire” is another good example, type as Kent is common to both phrases, and this will help theit describes exactly what your services are, so people searching search engines to get to know what you are offering, andon these keywords find what they are looking for. It is about therefore which search results to place your website listing in.being specific and the competition for these keywords is modest, 7
  8. 8. Excellence Assured - 2012“Relationship Coaching” and “Relationship Counselling” again Stage 4 - Choosing a legal structure for your businessare of similar type and this is good.You will use the Keyword tool then to identify what your servicesare going to be specifically, so that you know that there arepeople looking for what you are offering, and so that you canstart naming your business accordingly and designing yourwebsite.Google Adwords has many more facilities than just the keywordresearch that we have discussed, and once we have ourbusiness set up and we are looking at marketing options, wemay well be back to this tool to design advertising campaignswith Google. You have decide to set up your own coaching practice, you are taking your training, you have decided what services you areThe next stage in the process of setting up your coaching going to be offering, what areas of coaching or therapy you arebusiness is to choose a legal structure. going to be working in, and whereabouts you are going to call your business ‘territory.’ The next thing to do is to decide on aHave you started your coaching training? NLP Training with name for your coaching practice, what sort of legal structure yourExcellence Assured is your perfect starting point. You can start business is going to take and to grab your website addressnow by training in NLP Online. before someone else gets it. In terms of legal structure for your business you generally have three options depending on which country you are in. You can operate as a limited company, you can operate as a sole trader, and you can operate as part of a partnership. Since we are talking about you setting up your own business, then we will assume for the purpose of this article that a partnership will not be suitable for you as that would involve working in partnership with another person, or persons. The main differences between a limited company and a sole trader are to do with the tax treatment and how liabilities are treated should your business fail. 8
  9. 9. Excellence Assured - 2012A sole trader is responsible for the debts of the business as if company. Limited Companies are limited by the issue of shares,they were their own debts. So, if you are a sole trader, and your so for example you may set up your business with 100 sharesbusiness fails, then you will be responsible for the debts that you that you own. Your business is then made up of in effect 100have accumulated in running your business. segments, which you can sell to raise capital.A limited company operates as a separate entity in its own right Most business owners take money out of their company in theand therefore has ownership of its own debts. So, if you are form of dividends which come as income from the shares. Theoperating as a limited company and your business fails, then tax on dividends is lower in the UK, than tax on income (half atyour liability is “limited” in that the business is responsible for any the basic rate), so this makes sense financially. The business isbusiness debts. This is the cause of much concern for creditor responsible for collecting and paying VAT if the company isvictims of serial entrepreneurs, who run up business debts, let registered for it.the business fail and then set up another business and startincurring debts once again. Some benefits of setting up as a limited company are that some organisations are reluctant to contract employ sole traders asIt is probably unlikely that this will be a major consideration for coaches, since they view it as a credibility issue. Limitedyou since it is very difficult for new businesses to get credit these companies must register accounts with Companies House,days, and you are not going to be running a business with a vast which means that it is easier to financially appraise and carry outamount of stock, so therefore you will not necessarily be needing due diligence on a limited company than it is a sole Limited companies can be sold, or part sold if they build up a value. This may not be such a benefit in the coaching arena,As far as tax is concerned, a sole trader is responsible for since you are the main asset of the company, and without you,income tax on any income that they generate above their usual there is no value in the business.individual allowance. They are also responsible for charging andpaying VAT if they are registered for it. As a sole trader there are Most coaches set up in business as sole traders at the outset asexpenses that you will incur as a result of your business activities the structure is much less complicated and also the professionaland these can usually be off-set against income before any tax fees (accountants) associated with the business are lower. Youbecomes due. You will complete an annual tax return to report can change the legal structure later if necessary.income and expenditure, just as most higher rate taxpayers areused to doing in the UK already. The next stages of building your coaching practice:A limited company is liable for Corporation Tax on any profit that • Choosing a name for your businessis made. You will need an accountant to prepare and submit • Getting your website addressannual accounts for your business. Once the business has paidthe corporation tax, then you may take an income from the • Web hosting 9
  10. 10. Excellence Assured - 2012 • Website design Stage 5 - Naming your practice • Getting an accountant, business bank account • Company business cards, letterhead • Finding some clients!If you have reached this stage with your ideas of being aprofessional coach and you havent completed your training, thennow is the time to do that. NLP Training Online - CoachingTraining You have decided to start a business as a coach and you are in the process of setting up your coaching practice. You are in the process of completing your training to gain your qualifications, wisely you have been combining your time training with the jobs involved with planning and setting up your business. You have decided what type of coaching services that you are going to offer, you have done your Keyword research in preparation for naming your company and getting your website and you have decided on the legal structure for your business. 10
  11. 11. Excellence Assured - 2012The next steps are to name and register your business, produce presence than I would have done if I had called the businessthe stationery, get an accountant, and get a website. NLP Training Excellence for example.Considerations in naming your coaching business Your business name and the internetSome things to think about when naming your business. Does it If you think in terms of what people on the internet are searchingtell potential customers what you do? Is the website address for for, people are not going to perform a search on “excellence” orthat name available? Is someone else using that business “assured” if they want some life coaching, are they? They arename? going to search for “life coaching” of course, aren’t they? Google and the other search engines want to return search results toIf you are planning on just keeping your business simple, then people based on what they are interested in finding out about, soyou may just opt for YOUR NAME COACHING, or YOUR NAME if someone types in “life coaching” the Google robots will try toLIFE COACHING. It is important to have the “coaching” or “life find the websites with the biggest presence in terms of lifecoaching” part to your title for a couple of reasons, firstly it tells coaching to present in the search results. One of the things thatcustomers what you do and secondly it is beneficial in terms of the robots take notice of is the title of the website, so thegetting noticed by Search Engines like Google. websites with the words “life coaching” in the titles are likely to be favourite to appear in the search results.If you are wanting to keep your options open for futuredevelopment of the business into different business areas, or Another thing that search engines look at is the location of theemploy other people then you may choose a different approach. I business if it is stated in the website name and they will matchchose the name Excellence Assured for several reasons: that with the location of the person performing the search. Yes, • I knew that I wanted to specialise in NLP and NLP is the they know where you are! So, for example a website titled study of “excellence.” Executive Coaching Bristol is likely to appear in the search results for people searching for “executive coaching” in Bristol. • “Excellence” is vague enough as a word for it to work in It is unlikely that it will appear in the search results for someone terms of business training, coaching and personal in Glasgow searching on “executive coaching.” development. • I knew that I would not be the only person in the business So, think about what you want to appear in the internet search and that I may need to employ or contract other coaches, results for in terms of your business name. You can of course trainers and administrators to fulfill the objectives of the call your business Fred Blogs Ltd and have a website address of business. In fact if you really want to you can have Relationship Coaching London as a division of FredThe name Excellence Assured has worked out well for me but it Blogs Ltd as long as other people are not using the name.does mean that I have to do more work in terms of website 11
  12. 12. Excellence Assured - 2012I would recommend making the name of the company match If you are setting up as a limited company, then as I said youyour website address as much as possible as I think that it looks must register the company with Companies House. There are abest in terms of gaining and maintaining trust with people. few ways of doing this but the best two ways are to do it using Business Link or you can use a formation agent such asWith this in mind have you got a name that you would like to go Companies Made Simple. Using a formation agent is really easyahead with for your business? and they do the registration for you. They generally have several incorporation packages that you can choose from depending onIs the name available? what you want and their basic packages are normally fine for aIf you have got the name in mind then the next step is to make simple company registration. They will also put you in touch withsure that the name is not taken. If you have decided to set up as an accountant and other professionals if required.a limited company and you are in the UK all limited companiesmust register with Companies House. You can check your The next step is to buy your Website domain name.proposed business name with their register here.If you are going down the sole trader route then you should stillcheck to make sure that there is nobody else out there who isusing your proposed name, you would do this by: • Checking your local phone books, business directories and the internet. • Making sure that your proposed name - or something similar - hasnt been registered by a company. • Making sure that the name isnt too similar to a word or expression that has been registered as a trade mark.Once you have your name, then you will need to register thatname.Registering your coaching businessIf you are setting up as a self-employed sole trader there isntmuch paperwork to do and there are no registration fees to pay,but you must register with HM Revenue & Customs for tax andNational Insurance purposes. 12
  13. 13. Excellence Assured - 2012Stage 6 - Getting a website for your business unique to you, so that anyone anywhere in the world can view your web pages if they have the correct web address. Web hosting Once you have created a website this will consist of various files, including the pages of the website, your pictures, videos, enquiry forms and so on. These files are just like the files that you store on the hard drive of your computer, but we cannot store them on your computer otherwise nobody other than you would be able to access them, so we need to find someone to store the files for you who will enable the files to be visible to the world, this person or organisation is called your “Web host.” There are lots of web hosting companies out there, so many with so many different options that it can be confusing. Unless you are looking to run training courses, chat rooms, forums, social networking functions or something similar on your websites thenStage six in our “Starting your own coaching business” is to get you just need a basic package from your web host. There areyourself a website. No business can be taken seriously these several web hosts offering free hosting services nowadays, but adays without a website to showcase the business, and it can be basic paid service is probably going to be more reliable. Ita fantastic source of business for a coach as well. shouldn’t cost you more than £5 per month. The thing to look for is where the web hosts servers are located.We have already spent some time in previous articles discussinghow to conduct your keyword research with Google to identify Local hostingthe keywords that you are going to use in your website title and One of the things that search engine robots look for when theyon your website to attract clients. You will now have taken the are compiling search results for someone is where a website isfirst steps in officially naming your business and registering it hosted. Imagine that you have a website that is offeringwith the appropriate authorities. The next thing to do as quickly Coaching services in London, but your web hosts servers are inas possible is to purchase your website domain name, you can California, the search engine robot is going to think thatthen go about setting up your website. Coaching services London is based in California, I can’t imagine many people in California searching for “Coaching in London” soThe way that the internet works is that you create a domain on I wouldn’t imagine that your website would show up in manythe World Wide Web and that domain is allocated a specific search results. What is worse is that the people that are inaddress, called the web address. Your web address will be London and searching for “Coaching in London” will probably not 13
  14. 14. Excellence Assured - 2012get your website in their search results as Google etc think that Ok, so you’ve bought a website address and you have someoneyou are based in California! to host your website. Now all you need is to actually get some web pages to tell everyone what you do. Easy right? Well yes, itSo you need to choose a web host who’s servers are in your is actually nearly as easy as creating a brochure in Wordcountry. nowadays once you have a programme to translate what you write and see in your desktop publisher into web language orTo make it easier for you it is a good idea to buy your domain html as it is called and we shall discuss this in our next from the company who are going to host your website, soresearch web hosting services first to establish where thewebsite would be hosted and then you can buy your domainname.Choose a web address that is local to youAs part of your consideration for your website domain name youwill need to decide on the .com or or .mob or .za or .auor etc. For websites that are not offering servicesinternationally I would recommend going for your local version. Inthe UK that would be, Australia it would be If youare offering services or products internationally, or if you arebased in the US, then go for .com.There are some people who believe that 95% of internetsearches will be carried out on mobile devices in five years time,in that case a .mob address would possibly be beneficial,although you may choose to wait for a few years until you opt forthat. The theory here is that search engines will deliver .mobwebsites higher up the search results for people searching onmobile devices..Com addresses will set you back about £20 for two years, .co.ukaddresses will be about £5 for two years. You may choose to buyboth just in case you go global in future years! 14
  15. 15. Excellence Assured - 2012Stage 7 - Creating and designing your website translates what you want to see into what you do actually see on your website. The world wide web uses a computer language called "html" in order to represent your words and pictures etc to the world. In the past you would have needed to learn this complicatedMany people assume that creating a stunning website is going to computer programming language in order to design your owncost them a fortune. It certainly used to cost a fortune and there website. This is completely unnecessary nowadays due to theare many many website design companies out there who will availability of software such as Wordpress.charge you upwards of £3,000 to design and create a simplewebsite for your coaching business. Wordpress is free to use under the General Public License for free software. It was designed by a group of computerDon’t pay them!!! programmers under this license and they continue to develop the software for the good of the world computer community.Just to clarify I mean don’t pay them as long as they haven’tstarted working for you. A friend of mine was telling me recently They offer full details on their website of how you can install thethat his business had just spent £40,000 on a new website, program on your servers. It is quite easy. Basically all you needadmittedly they were trading internationally but still that is a to do is download the software to your local computer and thenridiculous sum of money for what they got, a website. upload it to your website using something called an FTP client. The FTP client is another piece of software that is like a “MyI think that the thought of this size of investment puts lots of Computer” file manager function for your website. Filezilla is anpeople off going into business at all. Believe me, after you have example of a quality FTP client and again this software is free.done a little bit of practice and study you will be able to createyour website in no time at all and for nothing! The benefits of Wordpress are: • It is free.The hardest part of creating a website is probably writing theblurb for your pages, and even if you do pay for someone to • It is easy to and create a website for you, writing the pages will still be • It is popular and therefore if you hit a problem, then thedown to you. chances are that someone else will also have had the same problem and had it answered on an internet forum.Wordpress Type your problem into a search engine and you willBy far the easiest way to create a quality website for free discover the answer.nowadays is to use a piece of software called Wordpress.Wordpress is the interface that you will use which basically 15
  16. 16. Excellence Assured - 2012 • It has a What you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) easy it is for the search engines to discover from your website interface, this allows you to copy and paste documents what you do, and how important that they think your website is. from your computer onto your website. The higher the perceived importance of your website and the closer that your website “keywords” are to what people are • You can easily transfer photos and videos from your searching for, the higher up the search results your website will computer into your website. appear. The free version of the Wordpress All in One SEO plug- • It is “search engine friendly,” helping your website get in is a must have plug-in for everyone as it does a large part of seen by more people. the SEO work for you. • It has many many free “plug-ins” which make your life We will discuss SEO in more detail next. easier.Plug-insBecause Wordpress is now the most popular website designsoftware in the world, there are lots of people looking to makemoney out of it. One of the ways that they can do that is todesign a special piece of software that plugs in to Wordpress andperforms a useful function, for example a Video Player, a SocialNetworking function, a Gallery presenter, this is what a Plug-in is.The great news is that in order to advertise their services thesesoftware developers put simple free versions of their plug-ins inthe Wordpress Plugin Directory. These free versions of the plug-in software are in most cases absolutely adequate for what acoach might need on their website.You can search for the various services that you might need inthe Wordpress plugin directory. For example if you want anenquiry form on your website, then just search for “Form” or“Enquiry Form” in the directory and you can then download theone that sounds most useful.Wordpress was originally designed for bloggers but is now usedby business owners large and small all over the world. One ofthe things that all business owners want to get right on theirwebsite is their Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). SEO is how 16
  17. 17. Excellence Assured - 2012Stage 8 - Search Engine OptimisationYou are starting a new coaching business and you havegenerated your new website and all is looking great. However, itis all very well having a nice new website to advertise your newcoaching practice but if you do not have any prospective clientsviewing your website then it is not going to do you much good interms of your marketing is it?We are going to discuss how to make sure that your website isappearing in appropriate search results. Optimising your websiteso that it is recognised by search engines and appears in goodorder in search results is called Search Engine Optimisation(SEO). You can spend the next two years googling the termSEO, getting led up various garden paths and spending a fortuneon SEO consultancy services, or you can just read on throughthis article and adopt my simple recommendations to get youstarted with your very own FREE website optimisation! As you can see above there are 1.3m results for this search term, so Google has to prioritise the Websites that it returns inSearch Engines the results in order to attempt to provide the best fit to theThe first step in getting your website recognised by the search customer request (search query).engines is to register your website with them. A search engine isbasically a very clever robot which scans through every webpage In the screenshot you can note that the first three results and allthat it can find on the internet. It stores the information that it of the results down the right-hand side of the page are adverts.finds in the webpages on its servers and when someone If you click on one of the adverts, then Google will charge theperforms a search it matches up the search term with the company concerned for redirecting you to their website. This iswebpages that it has scanned and presents the results that called "Pay Per Click." We will discuss advertising with Googleprovide the closest match to the customer request. in a separate article. For now we will concentrate on getting your website on the first page of the search results without you havingSo, for example, the screenshot below is what you currently get to pay for it.if you search for "NLP Training Online" in Google. You will notice that our website is returned at number three in the non-advertised results. 17
  18. 18. Excellence Assured - 2012Google Indexing - Registering your website In the screenshot above you can see that in our entry in theSo, how do Google and the other search engines prioritise search results for "NLP Training Online" we have "NLP Trainingwebsites? Since Google is by far now the most popular search Online" mentioned in the page title, the same keywords areengine we will concentrate on them. Firstly, the search engines included in the page description underneath the title and thecannot scan and store your webpages unless they know that same keywords are also in the URL (http://they exist, so in order to let them know that you are there and Googleallow them to "index" your webpages it is good practice to can be under no misconception over what this page is describingregister your website with them. to people, and therefore is happy to present it to people high up in the search results and this is obviously what we want.In order to register your website with Google you will need tocreate a Google account and then access the Webmaster Tools If you are using Wordpress then again there is a Plugin that youfunction. If you are using Wordpress for design of your website, can download that will enable you to do this "on-page" SEOthen you can download a plugin for your site that will do the rest easily, it is called "All In One SEO Pack."for you. Otherwise you will need to confirm ownership of thewebsite by placing some html code that Google will provide you In addition to the URL, the page title and the page descriptionwith on your webpages. You then need to submit a "Sitemap," mentioning your keywords, you will also want to mention them inwhich lists all of the pages on your website, again there is a the Website Description that you will find in your websiteWordpress Plugin that will do this for you. Dashboard, and also in the material on the webpage, particularly in the page and paragraph Headings.Once you have registered your website and submitted a Sitemapyou will need to wait a week or so for the Google robots to So, if you are providing Life Coaching in Bristol, then get those"crawl" your website. After it has done this and assuming that it keywords mentioned all over your website so that the searchfinds no errors in the code of your website, then it will index your engines know exactly what you do.Website and webpages. This is the first step to SEO completed. Number of webpages and contentKeywords The next stage in the SEO process is the one that takes theNow that Google has indexed your webpages, the next time that longest time. If you have only one webpage on your website,a search is made the Google robots will consider if your website then the search engines will not really take you too appropriate to return in the search results. We have discussed They are keen to present the most up-to-date and relevantkeywords in previous articles, so you have a basic knowledge of content to people from websites with the greatest "authority",what we are talking about here. It is a case of who shouts otherwise people will start using a different search engine.loudest gets heard with the search engines. Basically the greaterthe number of times that you are able to mention your keywords The best way to ensure that your website is seen by the searchon your webpage the better. engines as having authority in your keyword marketplace is by 18
  19. 19. Excellence Assured - 2012having a website with a good number of pages (linked pages) these tactics you may find yourself getting banned from theand to update your website on a regular basis. One way to search engines!make this happen is to write a blog. We currently have 260+pages on this website. Social Media One of the best ways to get your website noticed is to link yourMake sure that you do not copy content from other websites or website to the various social media websites like Linkedin andduplicate your own content on different pages of your website Facebook. This is also a superb way of letting your contactsotherwise you will be penalised by the search engines for having know what you are up to and starting your marketing. Wordpressduplicate content. has plugins that automatically links from your website to Facebook, Linkedin and Google+ and will post any blogs thatLinks you write for your website on your social media pages.If you write thought provoking articles and you manage to get therest of your SEO working so that people are reading yourwebpages, then gradually other website owners will link to yourarticles from their website. This then creates what is known as a"backlink" to your website. Backlinks are a very important aspectto SEO as the more backlinks that you have to your website themore important your website is deemed to be by the searchengines.The search engine robots pick up your backlinks as they do theirgeneral trawling of the internet. Once you have a GoogleWebmasters account you can see how many backlinks yourwebsite has according to Google in the "Links to your site"section.There are many ways of you creating backlinks to your websiteto assist in your SEO. The best way is to create organicbacklinks through commenting on blog posts, and writing articlesfor publication on other websites. There are so called SEO"black-hat" tactics that professional webmasters sometimes useto get mass automated backlinks, however these are becominguncovered by the search engines, and if identified as employing 19
  20. 20. Excellence Assured - 2012Stage 9 - How to get run a successful coaching be entrepreneurial and market yourself, then you havebusiness and get plenty of clients chosen the wrong career. 2. Pick a niche. It is so much easier to market your services in a particular niche of coaching rather than as a general coach. In terms of your internet marketing having a niche means that you can target your website keywords at this niche, it also means that when the potential client gets your website returned in their search results they will be impressed that you such an expert in exactly the area of coaching that they require. It is also beneficial to have a niche in terms of other types of advertising that you may need. Say you decide to become a golf coach rather than a general sports coach, you can imagine that all of a sudden you would know where specifically to hand out your business cards. 3. Tell everyone what you do. Get on the various social networking sites, contact everyone that you know and tell them what you now do and how you can help people. 4. Make it easy for clients to say yes to your coaching. This might seem like a strange one but some people putWe have focussed in recent blogs on how to go about setting up unnecessary obstacles in the way to clients agreeing toyour new coaching practice. At some point in time you are going become clients. Think, "do I really need a contract?"to have to think about how to get lots of coaching clients Clients are going to be much more likely to proceed if theyotherwise you will be a very unhappy coach! The time to do that know that they can pay by results. Offer money backis NOW. satisfaction guarantees. Agree to work on a meeting by meeting basis rather than agreeing to 10 meetings overI have listed below 14 key attributes required to run a successful 10 weeks for example. At then end of my meetings Icoaching practice and things that you will need to think about in always ask "When do you want to arrange anotherterms of your marketing. meeting?" I find it much better being flexible rather than sticking to a rigid programme. 1. One of the key attributes of a successful coach is to think and act like an entrepreneur. If you are not prepared to 5. Become a master of your art. Keep training, keep developing yourself. The more you learn the more of an 20
  21. 21. Excellence Assured - 2012 expert you beome. There will be a time when a client you were going to look for a solution on the internet to challenges you over some part of your knowledge or over their problem, what would you search for? your level of development as a human being. If you are 10. People want their coach to be enthusiastic. It might not continuing to fully develop yourself, then how can you sound obvious but you need to sound and behave promote this to a client? enthusiastically about life and about every moment in this6. When you first start as a coach and you consider how you beautiful world of ours. are going to gain clients, then it can seem a bit daunting. 11. Price your coaching services correctly. There is a The problem is that the mind cannot think of more than general rule of thumb with coaches that we call the 20% one thing at a time, and if you are trying to think in terms rule. If 1 in 5 of your clients complain that you are of gaining more than one client, then you will get overcharging then you have got your pricing about right. If confused. Best to concentrate "how do I get my next more than one in five are complaining, then you may need client?" and see what comes into your imagination. You to think about reducing your tariffs. If nobody complains will find that the mind accepts the challenge much more then you are not charging enough! readily. 12. Think of other ways to get people to hear what you do.7. When people ask you what you do, what do you say? If Are there any public speaking engagements that you you feel less than congruent about what you do then that can do? Are you a specialist in another field? If so, then will come across to the other person. Make sure that you maybe you can do some free public speaking in that field. are easily able to describe what you do, how you do it Of course make sure that you take plenty of business and who you do it for. Practice answering those cards around with you and broadcast to people exactly questions to yourself. how you can help them at these events.8. In terms of your google marketing, use Google Adwords 13. Get testimonials from coaching clients that you have had to market to your keywords. Have a benchmark price that successful results with. People love to read success you are willing to pay for each click on your advert and stories, it creates great pictures to them of how their future stick to that benchmark. could look. Write case studies and put them on your9. The more that you shout out to the world about what you website. do, the more people are going to hear you and the more 14. Do not be ruled by fear. You are at a delicate stage in energy you are going to put out there. Start blogging. your progression to be a professional coach, you are out When you are thinking about how to title your blogs, think of your comfort zone. You may well find yourself looking about what sort of problems you solve for your coaching over your shoulder and wondering what might happen if clients, and use those phrases for the titles of your blogs. you do not succeed. Remember that this is fear that you Put yourself in your clients shoes, if you were them and are feeling, and remember that you have a choice over 21
  22. 22. Excellence Assured - 2012 what you focus on. Get a picture back in your mind of why you decided to become a coach and what you want to achieve in your chosen career. Focus on that picture instead! You can do it!Thinking of becoming a coach? We provide NLP based coachingtraining courses and Anthony Beardsell also offers 1:1 CoachingTraining mentoring. Contact Anthony 22