When I first started my freelance business, I didn’t have many, or any, processes in place to make things efficient for both myself and my clients. I said ‘yes’ to almost every opportunity I received for years, which often started with evening phone calls or last-minute meet-ups.
As a Journalism grad, I had tons of writing experience under my belt, but little to no business experience. Enter Wins – my first freelance business coach who taught me about things like ‘unique value propositions’ and ‘sales processes.’ Essentially, he gave me the cheat code I needed to accelerate the growth of my business.
Now you might be thinking…
But how will a business coach help my business?
Don’t I need to be a six-figure earner before getting one?
What kind of results am I going to get and how much is it going to cost me?
These questions are valid, and I had all of the same ones too. I can honestly say that working with a business coach has been one of the best investments I’ve ever made.
According to a 2017 report from the International Coaching Federation, 86% of organizations saw an ROI on their coaching engagements, and 96% of those who had an Executive Coach said they would invest in one again.
But if you have no idea what the heck a business coach is or what they do, don’t worry. I’ll be covering all of that and more within this post.
Let’s dive in!
What is a freelance business coach?
Think of a freelance business coach as the cool aunt-figure you had growing up. They have the expertise, insight, and perspective to lead you and your business in the right direction, all while respecting your values and boundaries. They understand that you want the freedom to make your own decisions, but they’re willing to work with you to ensure you’re set up for complete success.
How do you know if you need a business coach?
Well, it depends on what your goals are and where you’re currently at. You might scroll past your favourite freelancers on Instagram and think: How the heck do they do it all? And how can I do it too? And trust me, I’ve been there. The reality is that they likely have really good help behind-the-scenes.
Here are a few signs you might need a business coach:
1. Your to-do list never ends.
Now, I’m not one to judge about a few emails slipping through the cracks here and there, but if you’re having a tough time managing all the moving parts of your business, it’s likely time to have an expert weigh in with a new approach.
2. You’re not hitting your goals.
At the very least, you know who you want to sell to and why. You also know there’s room to aim higher and potential to secure new clients, but your workload and workflow just aren’t letting you get there. You’ve tried adjusting the process on your own, but it hasn’t helped. It’s not that you aren’t capable, but more so that something’s missing.
3. You recognize that there’s a lot you don’t know.
Whether your area of expertise is in copywriting, social media strategy, or UX design, nobody expects you to gather years of business knowledge on top of your skillset. It’s completely okay if you don’t know how to structure your business in a way that makes the most sense, and that’s exactly what a coach can help you with.
What are the perks of hiring a business coach?
Before actually hiring a business coach, I was a bit skeptical. When you’re used to running the show alone, allowing someone in can feel unnatural and uncomfy – kind of like getting ready for your peaceful morning jog and your roommate asking if they can tag along. Yourpace, dynamic, and direction may change but you could also find a new route that gets you a better view in half the time.
Will creating better systems give you more time to produce client work or connect with your loved ones? Will learning how to optimize your sales or marketing processes help you get better clients with less effort? This is the kind of work a freelance business coach can help you with.
While every coach is different, here are some of the things you can expect:
An initial assessment
When you’re in the thick of keeping up with client work and staying on top of projects, it’s easy to lose momentum on scaling and growing your business. A coach will help you determine where you’re currently at, where you want to go, and how you can get there.
An action plan
Feeling stuck in your processes or workflow? A good business coach will help you determine how your business goals can fit in with your personal goals. From business tools to key concepts, they’ll set you up with the foundation you need to thrive in all areas.
Being a freelancer is like trying to navigate a foreign city without the help of Google Maps – completely achievable if you ask for guidance from the right people, but extremely time-consuming if you go at it alone. Late-night web searches and solo decisions can only get you so far. Sometimes you need advice from an expert that has successfully coached other business-owners and creatives through similar situations.
You know that feeling when your friend double-texts you to ask if you can send over the pics you took together at brunch? You put it off (just because), and not-so-subtle reminders give you the nudge you need to send it sooner, rather than later. A coach will not only follow up with you but also serve as an accountability partner to make sure you’re achieving the goals you’re aspiring to.
How much does it cost to hire a business coach?
Ever come across inspirational ads by business coaches that get you thinking to yourself, “Maybe one day,”? Well, the good news is the cost of hiring a business coach varies. Some offer retainer packages monthly, while others may work with an hourly or session rate. This can range from $35 to $250+ an hour or $100 to $1000+ for a session.
For me, I was lucky enough that Wins was open to an exchange of services (I provided him with copywriting work in exchange for his coaching). While this might be trickier to come across, it’s definitely still a possibility. If you’re working with a tight budget, try to figure out what value you could offer to your potential business coach.
What’s the difference between a business coach and a business coaching program?
Typically, business coaching programs are done in a group setting, whereas a freelance business coach would work with you in a 1:1 setting. With that in mind, a coach you hire 1:1 might also offer a variety of coaching programs.
Where can you find a business coach?
Finding business coaches for entrepreneurs and business coaching programs isn’t as tricky as you may think. A quick online search will give you dozens, if not hundreds, of options. Whether you choose to hire a business coach from a directory or join a few freelance Facebook groups to ask for recommendations, there is no shortage of coaches out there.
What qualities should a good business coach have?
Picking the right business coach for your business is definitely important. In my experience, you should seek out someone that not only cares about the success of your business but is also equally invested in what’s important and fulfilling to you personally. They should be prepared to ask you the tough questions, such as:
How come you weren’t able to complete that task? Is there something holding you back from launching? What can you do to improve?
If you’ve found a business coach that you believe is a great fit, then you need to:
Be willing to put in the work
Investing in a coach might get the process started, but you won’t suddenly wake up with everything sorted. If you want to make the most of your time with a coach, you need to consistently put in the work and determine what areas you may need extra support in.
Be open to new perspectives
Most freelancers are used to going at things alone. We often get extremely comfortable with our own opinions and can make decisions on the fly. However, when hiring a freelance business coach, make sure you’re ready to get a fresh take on your processes, workflow, goals and more.
You don’t need to be the hero of your business, and you don’t have to do every single thing solo. Having a great business coach will not only help set you and your business up for success, but it will also give you the freedom and flexibility to concentrate on what you’re best at.
And if you’re still unsure about whether or not a business coach is right for you, don’t worry – I know the process of trying to figure it all out can be daunting.
Click-Worthy Creative Academy is a freelance mentorship program that distills my over a decade-worth of freelance experience into a 6-week intensive course that will give you the leap forward I wish I had when I was starting out.
Inside this program, you’ll get:
- Access to the exact tactics, tools, and resources I use every day in my business
- Receive next-level accountability so you can take serious action in your business (no more procrastination station!)
- The opportunity to connect with and learn alongside other like-minded creative professionals
- One-on-one support from yours truly, every step of the way
It’s everything you’ve been waiting for, right? Click the button below to join the waitlist and be one of the first to know when we open the doors for our next round!