How To Make Money From Coaching or Consulting

If you are working full time as a life or business coach or consultant, your clients are your primary source of income. Let’s say you are doing fairly well… but are you accepting the maximum amount of payment for what you do, and what you can offer? If not, here are some tips on finding ways you may have missed.

Face it: you probably got into coaching because you like people and want to help them. If this is really true, money becomes a secondary concern, especially if you are in the “soft” coaching field of life coaching. While I understand this priority, I also know (as you do, of course) that when the rent or mortgage comes due, you need to be paid if you want to stay in business and coach more people.

Let’s look at your business structure a bit, i.e., How do you make money from coaching or consulting now? Find more clients? Great, but that’s only 33% of the picture!

You really have three ways to make money from coaching or consulting:

  1. Get more clients,
  2. Sell more stuff to existing clients, and
  3. Sell stuff more frequently.

Get More Clients. Most people only think of one way to make coaching money, and that is to secure more paying clients. This is the method I call “magic money bullet #1,” and is number one for a reason: it works. Getting more clients is – while not the easiest – the best way to expand your practice and have more income. If you currently have two clients, and get two more, this would double your practice, and presumably your income as well.

Part of the benefit of getting new clients is the ability to raise your base fees or rates. Existing clients may balk at price hikes, however, unless you do it in ways I go over in this article.

Sell More Stuff To Existing Clients, or “magic money bullet #2.” While this method may be obvious if you own a McDonald’s franchise (e.g., “Do you want fries with that”), what does this mean in terms of coaching or consulting?

The first part of the coaching “upsell method” is to know what brought your clients to you in the first place. Then (and only then) you can offer them more of the same, or similar. Let’s say, for example, you are coaching someone on how to build better relationships. While coaching them you happen to come across a particular product that helps with relationships, and you feel it would help them. By telling your client about that particular product you are helping your client.

If you are also an “affiliate” for that product line (similar to a sales rep or broker), you are adding to your bottom line immediately. When your client buys that product through your link or website, you earn affiliate income from their purchase. If the product is, say, an E-Book, CD, DVD, or something like that, each of these may not add a lot to your bottom line, but the commissions add up over time.

Referring clients to other (non-competing) types of coaches or consultants is another excellent way to build client loyalty and create goodwill. “Spreading the love” is not going to hurt you because, guess what, when you refer your client to someone else you help that client. When you help the client you also help yourself; they will remember you. The other coach or consultant will also remember you, and refer people back when and if the occasion arises.

Let’s say you are coaching someone on building self-esteem. Along the way, you become aware they are self-conscious about their appearance and weight. By sending them to a weight loss program that has a referral or affiliate offering, your client will lose the weight, feel better about themselves, and give YOU the credit! They will respect your future advice and refer others to you, the coach who took the risk and was generous enough to send them to a program that actually did them some good.

So it is not a matter of selling clients stuff they don’t need. People don’t buy when they are being sold to. They buy because a) they have a need, and b) they feel this thing is valuable for them at this particular time. So, for someone coming to you for self-esteem coaching, a weight loss product would be in line with your type of coaching. If you make money from the referral, even better!

Sell more stuff to your clients more frequently. Magic money bullet #3 involves time. If you sold Barbie dolls, that was easy. Barbie had (and still has) a zillion and one accessories, outfits, houses, cars, and tennis rackets – not only for herself, but also for partners Ken and others – that little girls want AFTER the initial doll purchase. Mattel Toys could practically GIVE that doll away and still make tons of money each month on these items!

What does this mean for you as a coach or consultant? Maybe set up your clients on, say, a yearly program. If that seems like a long time, look at the type of coaching you do. If you are coaching someone specifically on losing 40 pounds – and they lose the 40 pounds – the coaching is pretty much over. It would be a bit unethical to drag that out for a year.

If, however, you are coaching them to keep the weight off, self-esteem or other issues, you will have lots of programs to offer them over time. My suggestion is to set them up on a schedule: weekly, monthly – however they like to be coached – and make yours either a six-month or year-long program.

Once the schedule is set, bill them every month. Have an automatic billing routine where it either goes through their bank’s automatic payment feature, through your Shopping Cart or through PayPal’s automatic billing feature. This is a very nice thing to have and keeps you from having to chase them down.

Again, when you schedule someone more frequently, or schedule them in advance for a certain number of coaching or consulting sessions you are doing you both a favor. This way there’s not a whole lot of guess work. They know they are going to be billed every month, and you know the money is coming. This way you can focus on helping your client instead of focusing on billing hassles.