The 5 Key Steps to Starting a 6-Figure Coaching Business

5 Steps to Launching a 6-Figure Coaching Business

The coaching industry has been growing at a double-digit rate for almost a decade…

In fact, it’s growing so quickly, that last year, even Harvard decided to jump on the bandwagon and launch a new Business & Leadership Coaching program!

And it’s not hard to see why.

Coaching gives individuals with “particular sets of skills” (that’s you) an immediate outlet and clear-cut path to creating a profitable and positive business with minimal capital and corporate structure.

In fact, thanks to the interwebs, you can quite literally launch a coaching business this week and grow it to 6-figures in the next 90 days (just like I did).

But there’s one small catch.

Although the industry itself is growing at a phenomenal rate, only 2-3% of professional coaches are actually making a 6-figure income.

The average coach (with 5-10 YEARS of experience) makes less than $50,000 a year.

Why is this?

To be blunt–It’s almost 2020 and most coaches are still following the 2012 entrepreneurial handbook.

So let’s modernize. As a 7-figure coach myself and the founder of High Impact Coaching, I’ve had to rethink my strategy to adapt to new business models, new approaches to entrepreneurship, and an ever-changing corporate culture in the U.S.

And the results speak for themselves.

To help you on your journey, here are the five crucial shifts you MUST make to become a 6 or 7-figure coach in 2019.


Most coaches, despite what they’ll tell you on their Instagram, don’t have a business.

They have a hobby–one that occasionally earns them a little bit of money.

But to achieve lasting success as a business or life coach, you must have a business that provides valuable solutions with clear outcomes for your clients.

You must have a concrete personal brand, vision, and message that other people can get behind and that speaks to their biggest wants, needs, and desires.

Let’s be clear on this: “Life coaching” is not concrete.

You can’t touch it, see it, or feel it. If someone asks you what you do, you don’t want to endure the dreaded ‘oh this isht again’ eye roll when you say “life coaching.”

Instead, be ready to articulate your unique coaching method and how it results in concrete benefits. Talk about past client successes. Be solution-oriented, not service-oriented.

Craig is a great example of this…

He doesn’t offer coaching services.

He gives small business owners the tools, tactics, and strategies they need to double their income while working ten fewer hours a week.

Do you see the difference?

Life coaches who offer soft advice won’t make it past the $80/hour wage that barely adds up to $50k a year.

If you want to command $2k, $5k, even $10k per client, then you have to offer solutions to justify the fee.

2. Forget the Ocean…Create Your Own Private Pond

Most coaches start off by “fishing” for clients via blogs, podcasts, Facebook ads, and other mainstream outlets.

But that’s like fishing in the ocean alongside thousands of other coaches—most of whom are in much bigger fishing boats with bigger nets (aka budgets).

If all you have is a dinky fishing line, you’re not going to reel in a damn thing.

That’s why you need to create you own private pond. You want to create a resource that you own and control where YOU have the power to decide who can and cannot cast a net.

I recommend two ways of doing this: Facebook groups and Instagram. Using these, you can create authority, brand awareness, and a more intimate connection with prospective clients.

The best part about these ‘private ponds’ is they give you the opportunity to deeply connect with your new prospects.

People can get a feel for who you are as a person instead of what you offer as a brand.

And let’s just be real…

People don’t buy from brands. They buy from people. Specifically, people they know, like, and trust.

So get clear on your target market and ready your brand and solution. Then build your private pond and start inviting people in, offering intimate conversations that will build the right kind of relationships for successful coaching.

You’ll find that you can create a 6-figure coaching business much more easily this way. In fact, my first $12k/month was earned through a Facebook group of only 47 people and an Instagram following of only 500—most of whom were family and friends.

As the old saying goes, “If you build it, they will come.

3. Charge What You’re Worth and Stop Throwing Low Balls

This is where deals fall apart—quickly.

Most new coaches think they need to begin their business by charging a modest fee before scaling their way up.

And when you take a perfunctory look at the situation, this makes sense.

Less experience = lower fees…Right?

But this is the death of any coach.

What they soon discover is that they are overworked and underpaid. Because they’re getting so little per client, they spend way too much time trying to market themselves and find more clients, rather than actually coaching.

What’s more, clients once engaged in the idea of coaching soon disappear because the dirt cheap rates don’t inspire longterm commitment.

In other words, if you start your coaching with super low fees, your passion will turn into a(n unsuccessful) grind.

Instead, be clear about your methods and solutions—as well as your client outcomes—so that you can confidently command a fee that you’re worth. My clients normally start out at $2-5k, but some start out as high as $25k.

Don’t sell yourself or yourself short.

People only value things they’ve made a sacrifice to obtain.

If you can deliver on the solutions you promise and those solutions are more valuable than the fee you’re charging, you have an obligation and a responsibility to charge what you’re worth so that you can take care of yourself and your clients.

4. Overcome Yourself

We live in the Information Age. The strategies, tactics, and tools you need to successfully launch a six-figure business are all at your fingertips.

The limiting factor is you.

Becoming a successful coach requires becoming a bigger person. It requires growth, committment, and an insatiable curiosity for your craft.

You will faces challenges, fears, and limiting beliefs—you will even doubt yourself and what you’re capable of doing. But only when you can overcome these doubts will you be able to help clients.

One of the biggest roles of a coach is teaching clients to get out of their own way. The faster they can do that, the faster they can increase their income and help people grow.

But to do that successfully, you first need to get out of your own way.

5. Eat Your Own Dog Food

Imagine you, as someone who never sets foot in a kitchen, trying to bake a cake from scratch. You don’t have a recipe and you don’t have any guidance.

How do you think that would go?

Seems like a ridiculous idea, but that’s exactly how so many coaches try to start a business.

They dive right in with no experience or knowledge and expect to be successful.

They spend hours touting the importance of coaching and mentorship on their own channels…but they are unwilling to invest in and work with a coach themselves!

They spend years scrambling to put all of the right ingredients together, all the while forgetting the most important ones—because they didn’t really know how to build a business to begin with.

That’s why you need a mentor. Not just any mentor—you need someone who can give you the exact “recipe” you’re looking for.

Your Uncle Joe, a chef at a local restaurant, isn’t likely to give you any helpful advice on launching a coaching business, so don’t ask him. Seek out mentors who have been there—and who have succeeded in the same ways you want to succeed.

Oh, and don’t be afraid to invest a little to get the recipe you want. There’s no such thing as a free lunch—or, eh, cake.


As you prepare to move from hobby coaching to 6-figure success coaching, remember these two unwritten rules:

  1. It IS possible to have a 6-figure coaching business. But you have to believe it before it will become a reality.
  1. Your coaching is worth it because it’s not about you. When you face obstacles and challenges, you will be able to tackle them because you’re motivated by helping people—serving those who want to succeed and are willing to ask for help. If you don’t put the effort into overcoming your own obstacles, imagine all of the people who will fail because you weren’t able to help them. That’s a tragedy.

Remember: You can make this happen, you WILL make this happen. Why? Because there’s someone out there right now who is looking for exactly what you have to offer.

Looking for top-notch coaching to take YOUR business to the next level?

Sign up for one of Craig Ballantyne’s Perfect Life Workshops—small group coaching with one-on-one attention designed to give you a customized game plan for business success. Craig has helped CEOs and startup entrepreneurs alike, so whatever your goals, he can help. Sign up now! (Or, tell a friend about it—just send them this link!)

Zander Fryer

Zander Fryer is a former IT Account Executive turned success coach and entrepreneurial consultant. As the Founder and CEO of Sh*t You Don't Learn in College he helps entrepreneurs turn their knowledge, expertise, and passion into six-figure businesses, so they can make the money they want while doing what they love. He recently co-authored his first best selling book, "Mastering the Art of Success," with N.Y. Times #1 best-seller Jack Canfield.