Ep #235: Building a Successful Coaching Business in Today’s Industry

What does it take to build a successful life coaching business in today’s world? It’s time for you to hear my raw, unfiltered thoughts about the reality of creating a seven-figure-and-beyond business from my unique vantage point of having seen behind the scenes of countless coaching businesses.

Things are shifting in the coaching industry. What would have worked even just a couple of years ago is no longer enough to guarantee your success. This is true regardless of your niche or the revenue level you’re currently at. So what do you need to do, as a business owner, to ensure your success today and well into the future?

Tune in this week to discover what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur in today’s coaching industry. In this episode, I discuss the shifts I see audiences going through, how the climate in the coaching industry is changing, and you’ll learn what you need to do in today’s industry to create the high level of success that you desire.


If you’re ready to create the next-level million-dollar version of yourself and become an example of what is possible, I invite you to join my High-Level Mastermind where we will scale your business to multi six and seven figures and beyond. And if you’re working to grow your business to your first $100K and beyond, I encourage you to join my business accelerator, The Mastermind. So click here to fill out your application and schedule a call!

What You’ll Learn:

  • Why the old tactics and strategies don’t necessarily work in today’s coaching industry.
  • The shift in awareness that people are currently going through around coaching.
  • Why being in the right spaces as a coach truly matters.
  • How the macroeconomic climate is impacting coaching businesses.
  • The non-negotiables for making a real impact in the coaching industry today.
  • What a hybrid approach to your marketing looks like.
  • How to evolve in your business alongside the coaching industry.


Listen to the Full Episode:



Featured on the Show:

  • If you’re an established coach and are ready to scale your business, achieve your long-term goals and build a practice that will stand the test of time, my High Level Mastermind could help you take your business to the next level.  Find out more about it by scheduling a call with me here. I look forward to working with you!
  • Get my exclusive three-part private podcast series called 3 Vital Shifts Every Life Coach Needs to Rapidly Scale Their Business here!


Download a Transcript for The Life Coach Business Podcast

You are listening to The Million Dollar Coach Podcast with Amanda Karlstad episode number 235.

Welcome to The Million Dollar Coach Business Podcast, a show for coaches who are ready to up-level their business and take their impact, leadership, and results to a million dollar level and beyond. If you’re ready to break through your limitations and start taking powerful action and become the seven figure version of you that your business needs in order to grow, scale, and thrive, this show is for you.

I’m your host, Amanda Karlstad, Master Coach, high level business mentor and advisor, master intuitive and business growth and scaling expert. Let’s get down to business.

Hello, and welcome everyone. I’m so excited to have you here. I have a great episode for you today. I’m really excited to dive into this conversation. It’s been something I’ve been thinking a lot about. It’s something that quite honestly, I feel is really important if you have the desire to grow a highly successful coaching business today and beyond. 

I think there are so many conversations that are happening right now around these things that we’re going to talk about. There’s so many opinions around these things. So I decided that I wanted to bring to all of you today my thoughts, my real, raw thoughts as far as what it really takes today right now in this moment now that we are officially in quarter two of 2024 on what it actually takes to build a really successful, a seven figure and beyond business. 

I will tell you that I have the unique vantage point of not only looking at my own business, but looking at so many of my clients businesses and also having the perspective of seen behind the scenes of many online coaching businesses in the industry. What I can tell you is that a lot of what have worked maybe even just a couple of years ago, some of these tactics that may have worked over the past couple of years, I will say I think there is a shift. I think some of these things are not working anymore. 

So what I’ve been observing happening is that what’s actually more important is that as people become more aware of coaching and the level of awareness of your audience, and by the way, this doesn’t matter what niche you are in. The truth is that your audience right now is likely going through a shift in their awareness. 

What that does for you, as the business owner, is it creates an environment where it’s really important to be able to adjust to this, to be able to innovate, to be able to adjust your sales, so to speak. So I have found that right now, it is really, really important that you are willing to do these things that we’re about to talk about. I just want to tell you that right now I am seeing this happen in real time as I observe so many client wins, so many clients success stories. 

Clients who are literally experiencing their highest cash received quarters to date in their businesses. We have clients who are launching brand new programs successfully. We have clients who are implementing really important systems in their businesses that are really the foundation to what it takes to grow to seven figures and beyond. We also have clients who are finally in full alignment in their business who many have been in this game for quite some time who have reached certain levels in their businesses and now are at that point where they’re finally able to lay a true foundation for their million dollar scale. 

So it’s really just an exciting time. I want to be clear that I know that there’s a lot of conversations right now in the industry. Really depending on the conversations that you’re having, I do think that all of these things are going to really impact you. So, with that, I want to just really be clear that I have taken a stand in my communities that the conversations that we have, the coaching, all of the things that we do inside of my containers are about winning, It’s about having winning conversations.

That’s just a standard that I have set. It’s quite honestly been almost an unconscious standard that as I think about it, it’s just how I’ve always operated. But I’d share this with you because I think this is really important. It is so important right now, especially now, that you are in a container, you’re in a room where conversations are moving you forward. 

It’s so important because for you to do the things that you need to do for your business, for you to show up in the way that you know you need to show up, for you to actually implement the strategies and to grow your business to the level that you want to, you have to be in a room in a container where you are having those types of conversations.

It is so important for your mindset, it is so important for your emotional state that you are really being supported at a high level, that you are being supported from a place that is truly helping your business for you to move your business forward. 

So we’re going to talk a little bit more about this in a minute. But I do want to invite all of you listening that if you are in a place right now where you know that you need a higher level of support. If you know, perhaps maybe your current level of support is not going to truly help you get to your next level then I want to invite you to join us inside of either the Mastermind if you’re growing to your first six figures or into my Million Dollar Mastermind if you’ve reached that six figure mark and beyond, and you’re really serious about scaling. 

So I want to invite you to apply because these are my High Level Masterminds where this is the work that we do. There is so much happening in these containers and so many things that we coach on a weekly basis. So many trainings, resources that are available to you.

I just have to say if you are serious about growing your business, get into these rooms. I have been working behind the scenes on so many new resources, tools, trainings, and all sorts of things that are going to help clients really take things to the next level. I really believe in these programs. These are very powerful containers. 

I just want you to know that if you are serious about your growth, if you are serious about truly making big strides in your business this year, it is time. So go to my website, click on the link in the show notes or click on the link in the show notes. I want to invite you to apply. We are in the process right now of bringing on new clients into these programs. Do note because this is a high level coaching program, there are limited spaces available. So it is important that you go through the application process. It is important that we make sure that it’s a fit. It’s really important, again, that you are in a high level container to really create the success that you want. I would love nothing more than for you to be one of our next success stories. 

All right. So let’s dive into today’s topic. What I want to talk to you all about today is what it takes to be successful right now, especially in today’s climate, especially in our industry. I will tell you that I’ve been in this industry now for around six to seven years. I will tell you that there are certain things for sure that are still the same, that are still the case as what they might have been when I first entered this industry seven years ago. 

There’s also many things that have shifted. So I want to frame this conversation from what I see is really requiring today now more than ever to create that high level of success. So one of the things that I’ve observed, especially in the past year, is that there are a few non negotiables if you want to, quote unquote, win in this industry, if you want to make a huge impact. 

The first of those is that it’s no longer possible to not be great at the business side of your business, to not have the strongest skills that you can have, to not be showing up as a true CEO in your business, to not be fully stepping into who your business is really calling you forward to be. So this is something that has always been at the core of my teaching and my work. It’s something that I’m continually helping our clients to hone and develop. It’s something that it comes to me easily now because I’ve had many, many years of experience through leading, coaching, mentoring, advising others. 

I will say that especially in these last two years, I think it’s more important now more than ever for you to be really developing your skills as a business owner. So, here’s the truth. I believe that when you are actively in this process, when you are doing this work of growing your skills, the probability for you to create the results that you actually want are much, much higher. 

On the flip side of that, if you are not actively in that process, and if you are spinning your wheels, or if you are trying to get different results by still doing the same things or maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed, and you’re not sure what your next best steps are. The truth is that until you have that clarity, the probability for you to create the results that you most want is actually very low. 

I will say this. It doesn’t matter what niche you’re serving. The truth is that it’s no longer optional to not be actively and intentionally working on your skills, working to become an even more effective, working to become a more masterful business owner than it is today. 

When I first started in this industry, life coaching was still a fairly unknown thing. For example, if you were to ask someone, do they know what a life coach is? Or are they aware of what life coaching is? The vast majority of people would not have been able to answer that question. I still want to note here that the vast majority of our world today still, right now today in 2024, is still not aware. 

But if we were to just hone into the United States, for example, the level of awareness that people had even just six or seven years ago was a lot lower. Fast forward to today, when we look at the awareness level across the board, it is a bit higher. I think a lot of that is due to social media. I also believe it’s just a testament to the power of coaching and to see now so many different types of businesses, to see so many professionals who are now adopting coaching as support. I think we’re seeing this more and more. 

So, in general, we’re seeing coaching become more mainstream. There is an overall higher level of awareness to it. This is a really great thing. What I will also say is that with this heightened awareness, there is also a cascade effect where now more and more people within any given niche, whatever that might be. Or if you were to look at a particular niche, there are more people in general who have at least some experience with coaching, who has maybe they’re more informed around coaching. They have a higher level of awareness. Some of them might even have experience in working with a coach. 

So we’ve arrived at this place in the market where right now no matter who your niche is, the truth is that it’s a little bit more sophisticated than it was in the past. There’s likely been a journey. To layer on top of this, we also have a macro economic climate that can be playing into the mindset of those in your audience. 

I was just having a conversation last week with a client where we were digging into her data. She was seeing a dip in some of her numbers and was concerned with what that was all about. So as we really unpacked that and as we looked through all of her data, which is always going to be the first step, what we saw was that as I started asking her more questions from the story that I was seeing through her data, one of the things that came to the surface was that, was just how the mindset of her audience was playing into her sales process. 

So it’s not necessarily what’s even happening in the economy, but it’s really the mindset that your audience, that your clients are bringing to the table. I think this is a really important distinction because for this client, what was happening is that her sales cycle was starting to take a little bit longer than it had. 

The onboarding process that had been super seamless where she was able to meet with somebody and have them on boarded sometimes in that same week, it was requiring some additional time as what it had taken in the past. So we, of course, talked about different ways to address this. From that conversation, from the data, from an informed place, she decided to make some shifts. So with that, she’s now better positioned to address, again, not even necessarily what’s happening in the economy, but from the level of mindset that her people are at. 

So, if you’ve been in business for a while and you’ve had success, like this client of mine, I think it’s so important, and it’s vital now more than ever that you’re tuning into and getting very present to what is actually happening in your audiences, to been willing to look at your role and to look at your role in the success or in the decline of your business. 

So, just like with this client, she was able to quickly see through the questions that I was asking, through the data, through the story that we were seeing here. She was able to pull apart some different very important solutions that she’s able to put into play immediately. 

So I will tell you that no matter who you coach, no matter what problem you’re helping to solve, there is a need right now that you are properly assessing yourself as well just as you’re looking at your audience and your clients and how you can best serve them but also as the CEO of your business. Being willing to look at what might feel uncomfortable, be willing to look at hey, how am I helping to create this environment for my clients? To be able to look at what might not be working right now in this moment. 

Because if there’s one thing that you take from this episode, I want you to take this. It’s that your results, or even your lack of, will always, always be, regardless of the economic climate, regardless of the objections that you might be facing in your business whether it’s from potential clients or otherwise, regardless of the challenges that you’re dealing with in perhaps your team. 

At the end of the day, the most powerful position that you can take that I believe is no longer negotiable is to take full responsibility and to take full responsibility for it all and be willing to be uncomfortable and to dig deep and properly assess what is actually going on.

So there will always be changes within our economy. There will always be external things that are impacting our audiences. There will always be objections that you hear in your interactions. The question is will you just stop there? Or are you willing and will you do the harder work, the more important work of really getting to the truth of what is? Then deciding from that what your response will be.

That might be shifting your approach. That might be growing your skill in a new area. That might be looking at an area that you might have put aside because you think you might have mastered it and really take on that true responsibility.

This leads me to the next point. For a long time in our industry, as long as I have been in this industry, there has always been an argument that certain ways of advertising, certain ways of selling, that certain ways of marketing are better than others. One of the most prominent arguments that I’ve seen in this industry is that you either need to grow your business organically or you need to grow your business through paid traffic. 

What I’ve come to observe and what I teach is that in my experience, and from what I’m seeing today, these are one of those things where I do think there has been a shift. Today, I do believe it’s requiring you if you truly desire to go to that seven figure level, which I know you do, is that you are taking a hybrid approach. 

Now, one of the things that I think a lot of people miss is that you take a hybrid approach. Now, I want to be clear and let you all know that I do think it is possible to grow your business to your first six figures, even low multiple six figures through organic channels. I’ve had many, many clients do this. For many of you listening, you might be in this place right now exactly in this moment where that is what you’ve done, where that has been your main strategy. 

I think that’s great. Here’s the great thing. When you do that, the ability to then layer on, for example, paid advertising is great. You have a huge opportunity. What I will say is I think one of the most powerful things that you can do, in my opinion, and this goes for any level of business. This goes for any revenue number. This goes for any type of niche, any type of work that you’re doing. I think one of the most powerful things you can do is to combine both. 

There are so many ways to do this. I think it’s really important to understand that when you are creating what I call an ecosystem like this where you are leveraging organic channels, where you are layering on paid ads. The truth is that each of those approaches will directly impact the other. 

So, for example, let’s say that you have a strong organic channel currently in your business. For again, a lot of my clients who come to me at that six, multiple six figure level, they may have a podcast. They may have a YouTube channel. They might have a really strong Instagram gam. Whatever that might look like. It can always look a number of different ways, but let’s say that you already have this established in your business. 

What I have found is that when you pair that strong organic channel with paid advertising, and this might be directly advertising to those Instagram followers. It might be advertising directly to the Facebook group that you’ve grown. It might be running ads to your podcast. It might be running ads and creating visibility to your YouTube channel. Again, this is going to be very personalized based on what your business looks like. This is something that we help map out and that I consult all of our clients on in their businesses. 

But whatever this looks like for you, there is so much potential. There’s so much power in being able to combine both that organic and paid traffic. From what I’ve seen, it’s really fascinating to see how one will always directly impact the other. So just as you can power your organic presence very powerfully, when you layer in paid traffic, your organic channels will all so very much grow when you start to implement this into your strategy. 

Again, this is a very nuanced thing. There’s a lot of skill that’s involved with this. It’s something that is going to look different for each business, which is why we work in depth and continuously with our clients on these things. But the truth is that you want to get to a place where you have this ecosystem working in your business.

So I share this example with you because I want you to consider, for a moment, just how much of the conversations that you might be observing, that you might be seeing between organic versus paid, or maybe you’ve even been involved in those conversations. Or maybe you’ve decided to lean a certain way yourself. I want you to consider that right now in our industry, again, going back to the topic of this episode of what it really takes to create a seven figure and beyond business. I want you to consider possibly being open to rather than an or conversation that it’s an and conversation. 

So this is a really important aspect here of these conversations, again, that I’m seeing that I think it’s just important to question. It’s important to look at where might you be leaning in a certain way versus the other? Are you open, can you be open to another way? Because the truth is, again, it’s requiring a shift across the board. So it’s about how do we leverage both? How do we make this an and in the business? This is a really important takeaway. 

Okay. So we talked about your skill level as the CEO, as the business owner, and how important that is. We talked about the importance of growing through what I call a hybrid approach to your marketing, and just really looking at, again, the conversations that you’re involved in, and whether or not they’re really helping you move forward. 

The next critical element to your success is your offer and your ability to powerfully articulate this to your audience. Now, the system, the process, the way in which you help your clients achieve their goals, I do think that there was a time when the awareness level for coaching was relatively low. That I do think there was a time for some of us where it was easier to sell general life coaching. 

Now, for me personally, I never really sold a general life coaching. I always was very clear on the results that I delivered, on the results on how I worked with clients, and really my process, my system in which I did that. But I will tell you that I do think there was a time where you could sell general life coaching. 

I will say that today I don’t believe that we’re in that place anymore. I think there is a much higher level of awareness in terms of audience. There is more distrust, I think, in just the general mindset. This doesn’t go towards just coaching but just in general. I think there is more distrust in our world. I think there is less attention because we have so much information coming at us. There’s more options. 

So people are just being more considered, especially right now, where they’re making investments. It’s been my experience that unless you’re clearly articulating the result that you help your clients solve, unless you’re very dialed into and you’re clearly messaging how you’re helping clients, unless you are competent in your process and in your tools as a coach, it’s just going to be much more difficult to create the results that you want. Again, this goes for all types of coaching. 

So the more that you are able to nail this, the more you are willing to do this work, the more that you are willing to figure this out, again, I have so many clients who come to me who already have an established business, who have a six, multiple six figure business. 

That even in our first week of working together that very clearly see as we start pulling apart these things that we can see very clearly how they may be off a bit in their messaging or maybe in their approach or how they’ve been thinking about certain things or even the problem that they’re solving, being able to clearly define that problem. 

So the point is, is that this is always evolving. The more successful that you desire to be, in the same way you must be as willing then to be able to look at these things in your business, to show up and be coachable around these things, to be really looking at these things with a high degree of detail and objectivity. This might mean you make some big adjustments in your business. That goes back to that first point of being willing to grow your skill as a business owner and being willing to adjust your sales where you need to. 

All right, the next element is something that you’re going to hear me talk about more in upcoming episodes, and that is growing your thought leadership. This is a big topic. It’s something that I think is intentionally cultivated. I don’t think that this is something that comes super natural to most coaches coming into the industry. 

We could have a whole conversation around why this is and how we’re socialized in our school system and how we are conditioned, but the fact is that I have learned that your thought leadership is something to be intentional about. When you’re first starting out, again, it’s not something that you probably are spending a lot of time thinking about. Even if you are, what you might be thinking about is going to evolve tremendously as you evolve. 

So I think the more experienced that you become in your craft, the more aligned you become to your work and to your business, this will be revealed in many different ways along the way and through many different instances. But what happens is it will get more refined as you become more experienced. 

Having this intention of taking your business to perhaps that high six, seven figure level, and beyond. The truth is that you have to be willing to stand for something. You have to be fueled from a vision that is bigger than you. You have to be fueled by contribution. You have to be fueled from truly serving your clients. 

With that comes also being willing to take a stand on things. So when you take a stand, when you are willing to do that, you are really bringing forward in so many ways your unique thought leadership. Again, it’s something that you will grow over time. It’s something that you will become more convicted in. It will become something that will become more clear, that will become more powerful as you start to and continue to take the actions that you need to in your business. 

So what I have found is that this, again, will be revealed to you in a lot of different ways. I think this is one of the best byproducts when you are being supported at a high level. In fact, this is some of my favorite work that I get to do with clients is really helping them to see and help to reveal to them their truest, deepest, and most authentic selves so that they can step into their full potential, their potency, their potential with their work and their message and with their programs and offerings and within their communities. 

So I know we’ve covered a lot of ground today, there is a lot more to come on all of this. I want to invite you to lean into these core elements for yourself. Look at how you’re integrating these in your business right now and where you have some opportunities, and I want you to really consider if you were to take real action on these things. What would that do? What would the impact of that have on your business? 

All right, my friends, I know this is going to serve you so well. I want to remind you that the world needs you. The world needs your work. This work is so, so important. Have a beautiful week. I’ll talk to you all again very soon. Take care. Bye, bye.

Thank you for listening to this episode of The Million Dollar Coach Business Podcast. If you’re ready to step into the million dollar version of yourself and scale your business to six, multi-six, or seven figures and beyond, go to amandakarlstadtcoaching.com.


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