America’s coaching business is valued at over 13 billion dollars. The industry is booming with multi-disciplinary professionals offering their expertise to learners in newer, more engaging ways. While coaching can be a straightforward endeavor in specific areas like sports, career planning, or wellness, it can be complex when applied to the world of finance.
First off, how do we even define financial coaching? You’d think it’s the same as financial advising, but that would be inaccurate. You don’t need financial expertise, for one. Instead, your job is to support your client in financially relevant aspects of their lives, such as decision making, self-mastery, learning, and progress.
More specifically, you will be guiding people into a mental position where they can translate their financial plans into actionable steps. At the same time, you keep track of their progress and usher them past snag points.
If you have the professional experience and personal inclination to help people achieve their financial goals, a career in financial coaching might just be your career. Here are steps to get you started on that path:
Just because you’re interested in financial coaching doesn’t mean you’re a good fit. You have to possess particular abilities to make it in this industry.
Assess Your Skills
Let’s start with people skills, the most crucial competency you can have as a financial coach. Remember: you’re only as good as the connection you make with your clients. You can’t impose your view on clients or force them into following your advice. You have to strike a chord within them and resonate with the connection between you, your work, and your client so they naturally follow your advice. People skills give you the ability to create a positive and tangible impact on the lives of others.
Another attribute you’ll need as a financial coach is analytical chops. In this job, you’ll be dealing with mounds of financial documents, from bank statements to mortgage agreements to tax returns. While you don’t have to be a math whiz, you should be able to make sense of these documents to offer sound financial advice.
Also, having a demonstrated history in finance before offering your services as a financial coach can help boost your odds of success. The more experience you have, the more credibility you possess and the faster you can establish authority in your sphere.
Define Your Goals
Every business has a goal, and you probably have your own narrative. Find the reasons behind your decision, or even idea, to pursue financial coaching.
- What encouraged you to become a financial coach?
- Who are the people you want to help?
- What drives you to help them?
To have the most significant impact on clients, you’ll need a strong reason behind doing what you do.
There are many advantages to knowing your narrative, such as keeping you focused on your goal. It can also help you map out your career with clarity. When you lay everything down before your clients, they’ll know where you’re coming from and connect better with you. When you know what drives you, you can block the forces that can push you off course, making you a better financial coach.
Grow Your Certifications
If you think you have the qualities of an effective financial coach but lack confidence in your technical expertise, sign up for a reputable training and certification program. More training means higher-caliber services that will make you stand out in your sphere.
However, the coaching industry is unregulated, and you should carefully choose your training course and provider. Look for social proof of their performance but don’t rely on everything you read on their websites. Instead, visit third-party platforms where you will likely receive authentic, non-partial reviews and testimonies.
Another way to vet a coaching course provider is by researching their founders’ and staffs’ credentials.
- Have any of them written books about the business, and how are those books doing?
- Have they worked with any big companies and personalities?
After receiving your certificate, stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends and tools that can give you a definite advantage once you’re finally in the game. Following credible news sources like the Wall Street Journal will keep you informed of industry happenings.
Prepare your business with your future clients in mind.
Plan Your Business
As soon as you think you’re ready and capable of providing quality financial coaching, you can get started with a plan, keeping in mind the following:
While you can offer your services to anyone, it’s best to focus on a particular group. Building a customer profile will allow you to design your coaching services to fit their needs like a glove.
Financial coaching is a highly flexible job that lets you choose between working in an office or at home. Consider that working at home will be convenient and cost-effective, while working in an office will help you create a more professional impression with your clients.
Each client will require a unique program based on their individual needs and requirements. Start with a fixed structure that allows you to operate consistently but can be easily tailored to fit client needs. For example, decide on a daily workflow, determine how much time you can reasonably devote per client, and offer options such as online coaching.
The coaching business is quite competitive, and one of the ways you can keep up is by increasing your efficiency through software for clerical tasks like scheduling, invoicing, and payments.
With your concrete plans in mind, it’s time to start following the plan and lay the foundation. Start by creating your business name, which should capture the essence of your financial services and what you or your brand represent.
Once you’ve decided on a name, you can gather equipment, resources, and a workspace. These can be physical assets or digital assets. Renting a physical space conveys that you mean serious business, but a virtual office can be just as effective. Not to mention cut down your expenses.
One of the most innovative things you can do as a financial coach is to be insured by an extensive policy that covers liabilities. If you’re planning to bring a full-time employee on board, consider workers’ compensation insurance, which will cover you for any work-related liabilities incurred by your employee.
Another policy you’ll need is general liability, which protects you against claims filed by dissatisfied clients. Consult an insurance provider or lawyer to ensure your coverage meets all your needs.
Spread the Word
Now, it’s time to share your site and services with the world.
There are many ways your clients can get in touch, but starting a professional website is the best way to engage with them directly.
Your website is your space. You can advertise your services, display your background and credentials, and any other information you think potential clients may need to know. Clients can send emails by completing online forms, or you can exchange messages through a live chat feature. You don’t want to miss any opportunity to seal the deal.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is another crucial feature to increase website traffic. With more technology and algorithms coming online every day to read websites, curating and creating content that answers your audience’s needs will bring in the clients you need to run a successful business. Your site should be search-optimized so people see it when searching for financial coaches. Before hiring a web designer, ask if they offer SEO practices. Or, you can hire copywriters to draft blurbs and other content for your site.
If your website is your home on the net, social media are the vehicles that bring your prospects to your door. As a financial coach, you should be on LinkedIn and Twitter. These are the two biggest sites for professionals who want to expand their networks, collaborate with other professionals, and obtain client leads. You can also create a YouTube channel and share financial tips and other information with potential clients.
While you don’t usually go to Facebook or Instagram to find business clients, these sites can help spread the word about you and perhaps even showcase your lighter side. You can host a podcast which is a relatively untapped method of promoting your financial coaching services. Otherwise, you can sponsor existing popular podcasts or join them as a guest. Many small businesses and freelancers work together to further the reach of their audience.
Finding your first client will probably be a challenge, no matter how much potential you have as a financial coach. Even if you have a website that people can visit to learn more about you, it may take a while for leads to trickle in. The important qualities to remember are tenacity and consistency. Both are markers clients look for in financial coaches.
You have skills, passion, and ideas that deserve to be shared to better others. If you come to the industry prepared and never stop learning about new developments, the pasture will be as green as your financial coaching service.