Whether that’s through newsletters or a Facebook group or a Slack group, having an online community that supports you plays an important role in building a business, honing your skills, and building connections. More often than not, because we get too fixated on scaling our business, we forget the importance of a support system. The beauty of an online community is that it’s not only a support system to you, but you’re also able to be a support system to others. It’s that positive bond that will help you succeed as a life coach. And we have five tips for you to kickstart your very own community.
We all want those big numbers, and it’s always humbling to start small. Ten newsletter subscribers or 10 Facebook group members is better than nothing. And believe it or not, a cheerful attitude and appreciation for the first 100 people in your community is one of the most effective ways to build an online community that supports you. We've read a lot about how to get your first 1,000 customers and it's interesting to think about what sets you apart, even then. And from small, you can learn along the way the do’s and don’ts of having your own community. And you can slowly grow from there. That said, even while you’re still in the process of getting certification to be a life coach, you can already start building your community.
Believe it or not, showing up is a huge challenge for everyone. We all need to make choices around our priorities, and the truth is -- we usually only have one or two top priorities! As a life coach, you have a duty to your people to show up, and a duty to yourself to keep pushing to build the kind of business that you want. Consistency is key when it comes to building community and business. Besides, how will your community support you if you don't show up for them? You can benefit from a community, but not if you withdraw constantly without putting in deposits. Keep in mind that before they will show up for you, you need to give them a reason to stay. You need to contribute thoughtfully, provide value and even empathize with struggles and woes so that others can understand you're not just there to take, but to give as well.
Contribute and collaborate
Contributing ideas and collaborating should always start with you. This is your community, and you built it not only to gain support and have a solid support system for yourself, but also to become a support system for others.Thus, another one of the many effective ways to build an online community that supports you is to encourage collaboration amongst others by asking insightful questions, posting resources that have helped you and to keep contributing ideas freely. Contribute skills and offer free coaching or whatever freebies you have in mind. Some people are not conversation starters, but will join in once someone else takes the initiative.
Community over competition
This is homebase, a place to support and uplift. Let your people showcase their skills as well. Of course, you’d want to make sure it doesn't get spammy, but in general, it’s good to allow your people to promote their work and their skills in order to get honest feedback and . Keep in mind, community over collaboration. This is really when you’ll truly see the importance of a support system. Your support system will grow stronger if you welcome whatever they have to offer, be it pro skills or novice ideas. If you’re in the process of getting certified, if you’re on the road to becoming a life coach, the best way to succeed is to allow people to showcase their own creativity, and invite them into your circle. There's room for everyone, and collaboration is key to success.
Be real and transparent
As a life coach, you need to always remember the importance of transparency and real authenticity. And by that, we mean staying true to yourself. If you screwed something up, if you have no clue what you’re doing, there’s really no shame in admitting that.. Just because you’re a leader in this community doesn't mean you have to be perfect and to know everything. Besides, being real is one of the effective ways to build an online community that supports you because people support people who are real and honest and genuine. Not those who just focus on perfection or only tell other about the good stuff. We all have bad days and we all fail. If you start showing a more real side of yourself and make a space where people feel they can also be honest and real about all aspects of their life, your community will support and believe in you even more.
Look for those who are hungry for more
At JRNI, we value the community that we have built of coaches and those are are becoming life coaches. We are real, honest and transparent with one another about the struggles we face as young coaches, the difficulties we find in building the practices that we want and how hard it is to make an impact the way we'd always envisioned. But, we wouldnt have it any other way. We are hungry for more, we're eager to go beyond and we show up for each other because we know that we are better together. You don't have to do it alone, you can succeed alongside others -- form smaller groups, partner on new projects, build retreats, courses, e-books -- you name it. If you're looking for a coaching community to call home, well, we'd love to hear from you.
Ready to find a community that uplifts and helps you launch the practice of your dreams? If you're ready to learn more about how to become a life coach, take a look at The Catalyst Life Coaching Intensive. Vibrant community. Evidence-based life coach training. Lifetime support.