How to Launch an Online Coaching Business
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Work from home? Control your own schedule? Impact people across the world with your product or service?
Internet marketing is on the rise for a reason. It gives you the ability to scale your business to a global level without forfeiting your personal freedom. Still, there’s one question that still prevents entrepreneurs from entering the online space: “Is it really possible to make a living off the internet?”
Related: The Complete, 12-Step Guide to Starting a Business
Not only is it possible, it’s lucrative when done correctly. We live in the Golden Age of internet marketing. Thanks to social media, everyone can get in front of a camera and pitch their idea to the masses. Good enough, right?
Not quite. These days a big idea will only get you started; it’s what you do to bundle and package that idea that matters. Here are the three steps you need to take to launch a profitable online business. Flesh out your idea.
Of course, before you create your product, you need an idea. Your idea must solve a specific problem that a specific group of people face. Make sure you establish that before you move forward.
Now, before you begin creating your product, you need to write your sales copy. Your sales copy (or sales video, if that’s what you prefer) should be enticing enough to take prospects from “I’m interested in this” to “I need to buy this now.”
But, why write your sales copy before creating your product? Too many entrepreneurs write copy that promises a lot but delivers next to nothing. When you write your copy before creating your product, you build the blueprint to create a product that satisfies your customers’ needs — without overpromising.
Your sales copy should address the prospect’s problem, explain how your product is the solution to that problem, and include a list of bullet points that summarize the benefits of your product. Make sure you nail the first 500 words — easily the most read section of your sales copy. Finally, always create a sense of urgency or people at home won’t be motivated to buy your product.
People always ask me, “Well, what if I’m not a good writer?” That’s OK. Just say your pitch out loud, record it and send it to an online transcribing service. For a relatively inexpensive price, you’ll get your sales copy written out for you. Just review it, copy it and paste it to your website and boom — there’s your sales copy!
Related: How to Start a Business With (Almost) No Money Build the “know, love and trust” factor.
Most people believe you need to sell prospects first, then deliver results. But, what if you flip it? It’s much easier to sell someone once they know, love and trust you as an authority in your space, rather than selling them on your product before they even know if you can deliver the results you’re promising.
That’s why the most successful internet marketers — including myself — give away boatloads of free content via blogs and videos. Granted, the stuff we give away for free could easily be packaged together into a high-priced course, but that would be short-sighted. You don’t want prospects to buy from you once and move on — you want them to become long-term paying clients.
See, you deliver free quality content to your prospects, then they take it and implement it into their businesses. They start to see results in advance, which leads them to trust you more and more. Soon, they begin to crave more knowledge from you, and their willingness to pay for your products and services increases.
Eventually those prospects become your most loyal clients. They buy your front-end products, your upsells and your flagship products — all of which I’ll get to in just a second. But, before you get that far, make sure your prospects know, love and trust you before you worry about selling them anything.
Related: 12 Low-Cost Business Ideas for Introverts Create your front-end product and upsells.
Once your copy is written and you’re building the know, love and trust factor, your next move is to create a front-end product — a product that’s easy to sell. This could be an ebook, a membership site or a course that comes with follow-along videos.
Now, you might be tempted to charge a high price for that product. Here’s the thing: Most of the money is made on the back end. I’ll talk more about this in a second, but for now just remember that the front-end product is not the final product you’re really trying to sell them. I — along with many of my fellow internet marketers — don’t mind breaking even or losing money on front-end products because I know I’ll more than make my money back with my flagship product.
Instead, your aim should be to use that front-end product to upsell them instead. So, after they purchase your front-end product, offer them three different upsells. An upsell is a higher-priced product or service you offer a customer after they’ve bought something from you. These upsells should be done-for-you, and they should enhance the front-end product by making it easier to understand or more efficient at getting results.
Why are upsells so important? Besides adding value to your front-end product, you’ll be able to recruit more affiliates to promote your business. An affiliate promotes your product to their own audience for a commission fee. If you make money through upsells, affiliates will choose to work with your business over your competitors because you can pay them higher commissions. The payoff? You get more traffic going to your webpage and ultimately more bottom line revenue.
Related: 63 Businesses to Start for Under $10,000 Move them to your flagship product.
That’s how you set up the front end of your online business. But, what about the back end? Remember I said that most of your money will be made on the back end and not the front end?
That’s why you need a flagship product to pitch your clients once they’re done with your front-end product. But, what in the world does a flagship product look like?
It could be high-end coaching sessions. It could be a spot in your exclusive mastermind group. It could even be a suite of software that teaches them everything they need to know about their industry. The front-end product is a way to get your clients through the door; your back-end product is the money-maker product, the one they’re more likely to buy once they’ve already purchased something from you.
I’ll give you an example. People will often find my products online. Usually when they finish using those products, they’re still hungry for more knowledge and advice. At this point, they’re considered qualified leads for my mastermind program, so we make sure they know about that program and how to become a member of it.
That leaves you with one problem: How do you send marketing emails to every single person that buys your front-end product/upsells? It’s basically impossible, unless you’re in front of your computer screen 24/7 (which I’m sure you’re not). Fear not, because it’s actually easy to do when you use an autoresponder system to send out all those emails on your behalf.
It’s simple: When your clients purchase your front-end product, the system automatically sends them emails from you. That way, you can build a sequence where you give away even more of your best free content before sending them an offer for your flagship product. By the time they get to your flagship product, they’ll be so confident in your expertise and results that they happily pay the higher price for your higher level of service.
That’s the simple science behind converting your prospects into clients, and your clients into fiercely loyal clients. It’s how you sell your highest-priced online programs without running into any of the typical sales objections. Follow these three steps and start building your own online business empire today. More from Entrepreneur Dustin’s experience and expertise can help you monetize your message, build a marketing strategy and connect with influencers.
SNC-Lavalin’s failure to secure deferred prosecution comes after years of legal fights, lobbying blitz | Kenora Daily Miner
Billions at stake for SNC-Lavalin — corruption conviction would bar firm from federal contracts for 10 years
But on Oct. 9, the director of public prosecutions rejected the option, saying it “is not appropriate in this case,” court documents show. If the company is convicted it would be barred from bidding on federal contracts for 10 years, potentially costing it billions in foregone revenue.
That same day SNC’s share price plummeted 15 per cent.
Ten days later, lawyers for SNC filed a notice of application to ask the Federal Court to review the decision.
“The applicants are in the dark as to how they failed to meet the requirement of “appropriateness,” or why the public interest requirement, though met, has apparently been ignored,” the company wrote on Oct. 19.
On Thursday, the Globe and Mail reported that members of the Prime Minister’s Office had urged then Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould to help SNC avoid prosecution but she refused. The story did not name the PMO staffers. In January, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau demoted Wilson-Raybould to the Veterans Affairs file.
SNC is by extension a major player in Trudeau’s lofty infrastructure ambitions, with plans to spend $186.7 billion over 12 years to expand the country’s roads, bridges and telecommunication lines. The firm is set to build a number of the projects funded under the plan, including the $6.3 billion REM light rail development in Montreal.
The expectation in Quebec is that the PM should have put his oar in. He should have said this is a great company with a proud history
The firm employs 9,000 Canadians, including 3,400 in Quebec, considered to be a crucial region in the upcoming federal election.
The province is also acutely sensitive about losing another corporate headquarters — and associated jobs in law, accounting and consulting — following the exodus of many in the 1970s and later the sale of aluminum producer Alcan to Rio Tinto and Rona to U.S. rival Lowe’s, said Karl Moore, a professor at McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management.
“There’s a sense that we don’t want to lose any more corporate headquarters,” he said in an interview with The Canadian Press.
Protecting Quebec business champions is not new. Governments of all stripes have helped companies, including Bombardier Inc.
And so, the reported political pressure from the Prime Minister’s Office on Wilson-Raybould — denied by Trudeau — to help SNC-Lavalin avoid a criminal prosecution is viewed differently in Quebec, said Moore.
“The expectation in Quebec is that the prime minister should have put his oar in. He should have said this is a great company with a proud history in Montreal. You guys are pushing it too much. Let’s be more like the Americans and the Brits and be a little bit less silly about it.”
In its Oct. 19 filing calling on the Federal Court to overrule its rejection, SNC claimed it had “easily met” the requirements to negotiate a deferred prosecution. It called the decision by director of public prosecutions Kathleen Roussel an “unreasonable use of her discretion.”
SNC argued that a prosecution would unduly subject innocent people to injury, including investors, employees, customers and pensioners.
RCMP officers guard the lobby of the SNC-Lavalin head office in Montreal as a raid is carried out the company, April 13, 2012. John Mahoney/Postmedia News
The company said it had asked to meet with federal prosecutors in April 2018, and even offered a sit-down with its CEO Neil Bruce in an effort to “better explain the materials and submissions” of its application. It said such a meeting might help the firm avoid the “extremely negative consequences” of the ongoing legal proceedings.
The company also launched a widespread lobbying and marketing blitz, aimed firstly at introducing DPAs into Canadian law, and then at earning a right to negotiate a deferred prosecution.
Representatives for SNC met with Gerald Butts, senior political adviser to Trudeau, in February 2017 in part to discuss deferred prosecution agreements, according to the federal lobbying registry.
The company has lobbied 80 times at the federal level on the subject of “justice and law enforcement” since 2016. Those meetings include high-level talks with Finance Minister Bill Morneau, Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains, Infrastructure Minster Francois-Philippe Champagne, as well as regular interactions with Mathieu Bouchard, another senior adviser to Trudeau.
Prospectus Associates lobbyist William Pristanski, who represents SNC, met in 2017 with Catrina Tapley, deputy secretary for the Privy Council Office.
On Oct. 17, 2018, just days after the federal prosecutor’s rejection, Pristanski lobbied the Ontario premier’s office and provincial attorney general to “support the new Deferred Prosecution Agreement Framework recently established by the Canadian government,” according to the provincial registry.
In November, the company registered a lobbyist in B.C., Richard Prokopanko, to “provide an understanding of the professional capabilities and expertise of SNC Lavalin.”
A man walks past the headquarters of SNC-Lavalin in Montreal. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press/File
SNC also took its plea to the public sphere, buying full-page advertisements in four newspapers across Canada. The ads conveyed a distinctly personal appeal: “As a company cannot be put in jail, the impact of the wrongdoing that took place only affects current employees,” they read. It said its 52,000 employees worldwide “continue to bear all the brunt” of uncertainty tied to the ongoing legal case, and said a DPA would lead to increased trade and tax revenue for all Canadians.
In the ads, CEO Neil Bruce apologized for wrongdoing prior to 2012 that has tarnished the company’s reputation and said it has made “fundamental changes” in its culture and governance.
In a separate criminal case, two former Lavalin executives, including former CEO Pierre Duhaime, pleaded guilty in a bribery scandal involving the construction of a $1.3-billion hospital in Montreal.
The company has also faced legal scrutiny overseas. The World Bank debarred the company and more than 100 affiliates in 2013 for up to 10 years following misconduct in relation to projects in Bangladesh and Cambodia.
The corruption case involving Libya has been in preliminary hearings since October, and no trial date is scheduled.
The looming prosecution has cast a pall over Canada’s largest engineering and project consultancy company. SNC recently cut its guidance for fiscal 2018 by 50 per cent over problems at a mining project awarded in 2016. Its revenues are expected to be around $10.1 billion, up from $9.3 billion in 2017. Analysts have begun to discuss the possibility of a hostile takeover bid for the company’s assets.
As a company cannot be put in jail, the impact of the wrongdoing that took place only affects current employees
In December, Quebec Premier Francois Legault told a local radio station he would do whatever he could to stop such a takeover, including an intervention by the provincial investment agency.
“In the future, when it comes time to protect head offices, I would like the leader to be Investissement Quebec,” he said.
SNC representatives have also lobbied the Quebec government with high frequency in recent years, including regular meetings with the provincial justice ministry, according to the public registry.
SNC will continue to argue that, due to the existence of DPAs in the U.K. and U.S., its competitors have been able to continue with business as usual as the company faces repercussions for actions it has since corrected.
In court filings, SNC’s legal team said the new remediation regime in Canada was “considerably influenced” by the U.S. and U.K.
In its response to SNC, filed Jan. 8, the director of public prosecutions laid out a stern estimation: “The application is bereft of any possibility of success,” it said.