Systems are a business owner’s best friend. And a good setup can be your launchpad into a quantum leap.
While it can be easy to believe that effective business systems are out of reach for the beginner life coach, it couldn’t be further from the truth.
The thing is, systems are like Legos. Even with just a handful of them, there are thousands of configurations. And it can get overwhelming, fast.
Trying to find the perfect system on your own can be just as time-consuming and laborious as doing things manually. And in the long run, a poor setup costs you more time and money, when you could be working on impacting clients and growing your business.
To save you as much time as possible in this cycle of trial-and-error, I’ll be sharing 5 easy systems to grow your coaching business through automation tools and techniques. Let’s get started!
Systemize Your Way to Success
“Business system” is a vague term, so let’s dial in what they really mean for your coaching practice.
Good systems create automation. They’re designed to take care of the repetitive parts of running your business, so you have more time to focus on your clients as well as what matters most to you in the main four quadrants of life: relationships, health and wellbeing, vocation, and time freedom.
Systems also make sure you don’t forget about anything important in your business.
– Setting up recurring payments for your clients.
– Sending invoices.
– Keeping track of payments received.
– Recording transactions in an organized way.
But if you do them manually, you’re more likely to forget something. Or not get paid, or lose paperwork, or make mistakes.
And then you’re going to spend even more time trying to fix those problems.
So how do we avoid these traps? How do we build our coaching business without wasting hours every week trying to figure out how to do everything ourselves? Well, here’s where business systems come in.
Automate Everything with Systems
Automation is the key ingredient to any successful business. It saves you time, frees up your brain to focus on other things, and makes sure you never miss important aspects of your business operation.
For example, let’s say you want to start automating your client billing process.
Here’s how it works:
Let’s say you automatically bill your clients every month for your services.
You wouldn’t have to go back over each invoice and double-check that you’ve billed them correctly.
On top of that, you’d eliminate the stress of remembering all of your clients’ information.
It’s all automated.
Now, if you were to try to do this yourself, you’d probably end up spending a lot of time figuring out which client is participating in which programs, what their recurring transactions are, how much they owe each month, etc.
You might accidentally charge someone twice. Or you might lose some of your data along the way.
Either way, it would still be a lot of work to get right.
But once you have a good system in place, you can use it over and over again.
So you can spend less time figuring out how to do it, and more time focusing on helping people.
That’s why systems are so powerful.
By building a solid foundation of systems, you can grow your coaching business faster than ever before.
Let’s dive deeper into five ways to automate your coaching business.
1. Basic Financial Systems to Grow Your Coaching Business
I’m starting with basic financial systems because they’re the easiest ones to implement.
These are the most common systems used by small business owners. Possibly even the most important, since it helps them track the very thing that keeps them in business: money.
While there are plenty of options, I encourage you to go with what fits your current needs and add more advanced systems later on as you grow. Let’s go over some of the most popular tools:
- Automated Payments/Client Billing System
This will help you collect payments from your clients while keeping track of who has paid when. You could also automate recurring payments for clients as well, which sends them invoice reminders on a scheduled basis, so they can stay in integrity with their commitment to grow.
- Online Banking
Having a separate, online business bank account can make tracking your expenses and cash flow more convenient and accessible. I recommend choosing an online bank account that is mobile-friendly and has great customer support. You can check out this list of small business bank accounts from Nerdwallet.
- Bookkeeping Software
Using bookkeeping software is essential for coaches because it allows you to easily track expenses, income, generate reports, and more. You could even automatically track write-offs and file your tax returns quickly, easily, and accurately. This is especially important if you don’t have your own CPA or professional bookkeeper yet.
It’s important to note that CPAs and professional bookkeepers are more affordable than ever. Not only can they help you prevent costly mistakes, but by delegating, you’ll have more bandwidth to focus on your zone of genius!
2. How to Create Client Management Systems for Easy Growth
The excitement of getting your first few clients is indescribable. But once you start getting an influx of clients, it becomes a lot easier to describe: overwhelming, intimidating, and demanding.
That’s where creating a client management system saves the day (and your sanity).
Client management systems allow you to organize and prioritize your client relationships. They let you focus on what matters most and makes it easier to surprise and delight your clients! So you can take care of the details without feeling overwhelmed.
They include onboarding forms, welcome kits, agreements, questionnaires, and more.
Within some of these programs, you could automate things even further. Take a look at the following examples:
Automate Client Onboarding Campaigns
If you’ve been working hard at growing your coaching practice, then you know just how important client onboarding is. It helps new clients feel comfortable with you, understand their options, and decide if they want to work with you.
But there’s never enough time to get everything done manually. And there’s always something that gets missed along the way.
That’s where automated client onboarding campaigns come in.
With these campaigns, you can automate a series of email messages that introduce yourself and your services, answer any questions they might have, and offer them a free consultation.
It’s like having another coach on staff.
Automatic Calendar System
When it comes to managing clients, nothing beats a calendar system. In fact, Mary Morrissey (the Founder of Brave Thinking Institute) considers it a transformational tool!
Calendars help you stay organized and focused. They give you a visual representation of your schedule. And they’re great for reminding you of important dates, deadlines, and appointments.
This gives you the opportunity to meet with clients, exchange questions, and discuss their needs.
So instead of sending out weekly reminder emails, use a calendar system to automatically remind you and your client when and where to meet.
Fit Small Business ranks the top 5 scheduling software here.
3. A Painless Marketing System for Your Coaching Business
Marketing can feel tough when you’re just starting off. You spend hours researching, writing, editing, designing, and testing content.
Then you spend hours promoting your content to attract traffic to your website and building relationships with potential clients.
All while trying to keep up with ever-changing trends.
It’s exhausting, but necessary. But it doesn’t have to be complicated. So, in this section we’ll go through a simple marketing plan for your coaching business.
1. Think About Your Target Audience
Start by doing research into the niche market you’d like to serve.
What topics interest people? What problems do they struggle with?
While you can seek out people to interview one-on-one, you can make it less intensive and a lot more fun! Polls are a great way to conduct research on your audience. For instance, you can join a relevant Facebook community and scan the types of questions and conversations that happen, engage (while following the group rules), and ask specific questions in the form of a poll.
This is possible on LinkedIn and Instagram stories as well. The point is to experiment and once you find something that works, you can set up regular polls (that you can schedule using the tools from the next section on this list).
2. Work on Your Social Media Presence
There are hundreds of tactics, strategies, and tricks you can use for your social media content. But the most basic (if not the most important) step is “posting” your content.
So if you find yourself struggling to post content on social media or simply forgetting, you might want to use a social media scheduling tool to do all the heavy lifting for you.
You can streamline your social posting by scheduling out batches of content in advance on multiple platforms. You could also save time designing posts by using templates (like the ones you can find on Canva or Creative Market).
Some graphic design pieces of software like Canva have a native scheduling tool included in their premium subscription. But you can also invest in a social media management platform that offers more control and usability like Hootsuite or SproutSocial.
You can check out 29 different tools you can use to automate your social media here, and research which tool works best for your needs.
3. Create Lead Magnets
One of the simplest, most powerful marketing tools you can use to grow your life coaching business is a compelling lead magnet.
This is where you provide a valuable, free piece of content in exchange for contact information (usually their email address).
This saves you time by giving your target audience an opportunity to land on your page on their own and download a piece of content that builds your expertise, trust, and likability. You can also automate certain emails to go out to help nurture them throughout their buying journey.
The following section will go over other pieces of content you can offer to increase your likability, trust, and authority.
4. Growing Your Coaching Business Through Content
First off, there’s no better way to promote yourself than by sharing valuable information. After all, it’s not about tooting your own horn. You’re sharing information people actually care about.
But how do you share information effectively with the right people and build likability and expertise?
One of the easiest methods that you can set on autopilot is running a webinar.
For example, you can record a video between 45-90 minutes long around a subject you would love to build authority on.
You’d attract people into your webinar with a hook, introduce yourself (personal and professional background), guide your audience through your chosen topic, and close with a transition into your main offer.
Once you’ve recorded your video and host it on a webinar platform (like WebinarJam, etc.), you can promote it on social media as a post and even through paid advertising.
That way, people can click the link, enroll for your webinar with their name and email (where they can watch instantly or at a scheduled time), and either watch it straight from the landing page or later in their inbox.
This entire system is hand-free. And it’s one of the most straightforward ways to attract potential clients and get them to learn more about you, who you serve, and how you serve people through the services you offer.
5. Setting your Sales System on Autopilot
Now let’s take a look at how to set up your sales system so you can sell your products and services without having to send a link to every client who asks for it.
You might have heard this term tossed around pretty much everywhere:
Marketing funnels increase sales by funneling traffic (potential clients) through a system. The process involves multiple steps that lead to the conversion of leads to customers.
There is a specific goal and objective for every stage. Qualification, sales, upsells, cross-sells, and follow ups are all examples of stages within a sales funnel (which you can automate).
They can get complex quickly, so when you’re just starting off you can use templates.
Templates are pre-built sales funnels that can include email marketing automation, webinars, and automated messaging systems. They come with a lot of features, including autoresponders, landing pages, forms, and more. You can create multiple campaigns and track results.
It’s important to keep in mind that there’s a lot of experimentation that occurs in a funnel.
But here’s a step-by-step guide to building your sales funnel:
How to Create Your Own Lead Funnel
First things first: you need to select one of your client avatars to focus on.
What is their pain point? What problem are they trying to solve? What keeps them up at night? (If you’re completely new to sales funnels, check out this guide.)
This will give you a better idea of the type of product or service you should use for your offer.
Next, set up your landing page with these basic elements:
- Hook – A title/topic that grabs your audience’s attention. It helps people connect to the pain point you solve for them.
- Lead magnet — This is the first thing prospective buyers see when they land on your sales page.
- Form fields — These are usually located somewhere near the top of your page where they can fill in their contact information (usually first name and email address). It’s also important to keep this GDPR + can-spam compliant. As a good rule of thumb, be transparent as possible with what people are downloading, what information you collect from them, and how you plan to use their data.
- Call to action — This is the last button a prospect needs to click before completing their download/enrollment/purchase.
- Cross-sell or upsell opportunity – This is an opportunity for customers to add more products or services during checkout. In other words, potential customers can buy similar products that either supplement what’s already in their cart or opt into a higher-value offer.
- Thank you page – The final page after successfully completing a purchase/download/enrollment.
After creating your landing page, the next step is setting up email automation.
Once you have their information in your system, it’s essential to have a welcome and thank you email sent to their inbox. In fact, you can automate emails on each stage of the purchase journey your customer/client is on.
Having a funnel will help automate your sales because all the follow-up can be done in advance using variables like abandoned carts, people who download but didn’t buy, people who bought but didn’t purchase the upsells, etc.
Once you’re happy with your funnel, test it! Start sending emails to new subscribers to see how many people actually convert.
The Secret to Growing Your Coaching Business Fast
With all the different places you can start, let’s talk about how you can simplify the process of choosing which business systems to implement first. Instead of feeling all over the place trying to pinpoint your priorities, ask yourself these questions:
1. What are you doing regularly that doesn’t have a system yet? (Ex: client assessments after each coaching session)
2. What could be automated? (Ex: Collecting for testimonials/feedback)
3. What could be simplified? (Ex: How you filter your email inbox)
I recommend writing these down and highlighting the top 3 tasks that take the most time, but are also the easiest to automate. For example, this could be your appointment scheduling, setting up automatic recurring invoices, and automatically tracking purchases that could be possible tax-write offs.
Then, consider if there’s a software, service, or program that combines those tasks together or provides automation tools for all three.
Set a time on your calendar to dedicate to research or setting it up for your coaching business.
If there isn’t a software that can combine all three automation tools, select one task that you dislike the most out of the three. Work on achieving a system for that task first before moving on to the next.
And so on, and so forth 🙂
Create Sustainable, Measurable Growth for Your Coaching Business
Growing your business should be exciting and freeing, not stressful and chaotic. That’s the point of having systems in the first place: to preserve your sanity and help you focus on making an impact and moving the needle.
If you want to skip the trial-and-error and quickly get your coaching business systems set up, I highly encourage you to seek mentorship or professional support.
That’s why we not only offer our own coaches support, but also make available the support of an online community full of coaches from all stages of business. Their experiences, mistakes, and wins all contribute to helping you make smart business decisions in the right direction – faster, easier, and with a lot more fun!
Another way we’ve simplified the process is by creating a checklist that breaks down everything you need to launch a successful life coaching business into 6 detailed sections.
Inside, we share the same process we’ve each used to grow 7-8 figure coaching businesses in multiple niches.
If you’d like access to a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to building a profitable, sustainable business that truly makes a difference, download our checklist today:
Get a deeper dive into how to run your business on autopilot while working when you want, where you want! All while building an ethical, aligned service built for success.
Until next time – think bravely and act boldly,