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If I were starting my ADHD coaching business again, from scratch there are a few things I’d do differently. Today I’m sharing how I would go about launching in a more streamlined, simplified way (and with fewer start up costs).
Why am I sharing this? Because a lot of my clients are aspiring coaches and when they come to me, they’re either stuck in overwhelm or not knowing what to do next, or they’re struggling with imposter syndrome or rejection sensitivity. Whether you have ADHD or not, this post and video will be helpful if you’re thinking about launching a coaching business.
Table of Contents
- Table of Contents
- Start With Structure – The Secret Sauce to ADHD Success In Business (or Anything)
- When Starting a New Coaching Business, Start With Solving a Problem
- Got Emotional Blocks Around Starting an ADHD Coaching Business?
- Imposter Syndrome + Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria is Fueled by Negative Self-talk.
- How to Get Past ADHD Overwhelm When Launching Your Coaching Business?
- Getting into the Right Mindset to Launch Your Coaching Business
- The Logistics of Launch an ADHD Coaching Business
- Successful ADHD Coaches Focus on Pain Points – Not Niches
- How to Choose A Problem or Pain point to Focus On
- Refine your pain point
- Build Your Audience + Offer Around Your Pain point
- What Should I Name My ADHD Coaching Business?
- I Can’t Start my ADHD Coaching Business Without a Website + Logo!
- The MOST Step – Create an Email List for Your ADHD Coaching Business
- Should You Use a Coaching Software in Your Business?
Start With Structure – The Secret Sauce to ADHD Success In Business (or Anything)
I’m a huge advocate for building structure before starting a new business (or any project). That said, you’re going to see me refer to my Notion template, which is available below if you’re interested. But you will get tons of information from this, whether or not you are a fan if Notion. Feel free to replicate these processes in your own productivity system of choice, but just don’t overlook the value of creating a structure to start with!
If you find this video useful and want to support the work I’m doing, I would love it if you use my affiliate links, or you can purchase the template that comes with this video.
When Starting a New Coaching Business, Start With Solving a Problem
To illustrate this point, let’s start with the pain points that my audience of aspiring coaches is dealing with. This is an important step for any new business owner, because when you start a business, your goal should not be just starting a business. It’s about solving a problem.
When I put this out to my audience of aspiring coaches, I asked them for specific feedback on what was holding them back, and these are some of the things they said to me.
Their biggest struggles were
- not knowing what they needed to do to get started
- not feeling qualified enough
- having too many options for a niche
- feeling overwhelmed around all the things they need to do to create good systems in their business
- getting stuck on the small details.
Got Emotional Blocks Around Starting an ADHD Coaching Business?
Before we get into the logistical pieces of starting a business, let’s address a couple of emotional pieces that came up first: imposter syndrome, rejection sensitive dysphoria, and general overwhelm.
Imposter syndrome can come up because you’re new at something and haven’t developed the skill for it yet. If that is the case, your most important next step is getting as many coaching hours under your belt as possible.
When you are starting out as a coach, you’re going to have a lot of head trash around: Am I doing this right? Am I adding value? Am I wasting this person’s time and money? If that’s the case, it can help to coach for free or for small amounts, to help you build that coaching muscle. That way you can “get your reps in” and apply the learning that you’re getting from your training, while building your confidence.
Remember, confidence comes from competence, the more you do anything, the more competent (and therefore confident) you become at it.Caren Magill, ADHD Coach + Creator
Imposter Syndrome + Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria is Fueled by Negative Self-talk.
What if you do have lots of experience and training (aka competence), but you still lack confidence? If that’s what you’re struggling with and no amount of experience makes you feel any more confident to launch yourself, that’s when you need the help of a coach or a therapist to help you move past whatever internal narrative is holding you back.
The same thing is true for rejection sensitivity. Sometimes it’s just a matter of putting yourself out there and getting in the reps to start feeling comfortable with this new role that you’ve put yourself in.
However, if you are constantly feeling crippling fear from moving ahead in any direction in your business, then that is always going to hold you back until you can really explore what that fear is. Your brain is holding you hostage whenever you think of moving forward in this business. Until you can move past that emotional block, the logistical stuff is not going to move forward, so I highly encourage you to get the help that you need.
How to Get Past ADHD Overwhelm When Launching Your Coaching Business?
When we get into a state of overwhelm, the same thing happens to our brain. It pulls you out of your prefrontal cortex, which is all the executive function that you need in order to create a business and move forward with it. This is where structure comes in. Starting with a template or process can help you break down the process of getting started. If you struggle to do that on your own, you might benefit from ADHD business coaching.
Getting into the Right Mindset to Launch Your Coaching Business
At this point, you’re probably starting to understand that the emotional side of launching a business is huge, particularly for ADHDers. Getting the support you need is critical to not only getting started, but also sustaining your momentum as an entrepreneur. It’s not an easy path, but with the right support in place, it’s extremely rewarding.
The Logistics of Launch an ADHD Coaching Business
Now that we’ve touched on the mindset piece of launching business, now let’s cover the basic elements you need to get started. This process assumes that you are already in training or have completed training to become a coach and you’re just looking to launch your business in the simplest, most cost efficient way.
Successful ADHD Coaches Focus on Pain Points – Not Niches
So many new coaches get stuck in defining a niche. This is particularly tricky for ADHDers and multipotentialites because we don’t like to put ourselves in a box. The thought of it is terrifying because we know our interests will change. I get that and that’s totally fine.
But you know what we’re great at? Problem solving. So let’s start there instead.
How to Choose A Problem or Pain point to Focus On
If you’re training to be an ADHD coach, that is already a niche, but it’s a really broad one. If you’re training as a general life coach, then you have an even bigger scope of focus.
Here’s the thing that you need to know about coaching (that will help you frame your pain point) – people don’t buy coaching just for shits and giggles. They buy coaching to solve a problem. The bigger the problem, the more they will want to pay to solve it.
So, what problem do you want to solve for your potential customer?
If this question overwhelms you, consider what problems you have had that you have figured out how to solve. If you can’t think of anything off hand, consider what got you interested in coaching. Did someone solve a problem for you? Did your coach training solve a problem for you?
Look at the books you read. What problem do most of them promise to solve? That will be a clear indication of what motivated you to read it.
What “experts” do you find most helpful? What problem do they solve for you?
And of course, if you have an existing audience… what problems do you currently or could conceivably solve for them?
Refine your pain point
Now that you have an idea or two about the pain points you want to address, it’s time to refine it.
If you have an existing audience, ask them what their struggles are, if any, in relation to the problem you’re focusing on.
If you don’t have an audience yet, there are still ways to go out and research the pain point.
- Research hashtags in social media.
- Look at the conversations people are having in the comments of posts that relate to your pain point
- Go to amazon.com and look for books that address your pain point. Start looking at the comments of those books to see what people are saying about whether or not the book solved their problem, what they liked about it and what was missing.
Build Your Audience + Offer Around Your Pain point
Now, assuming you’ve got your problem nailed down, the next things that you need are an audience, an offer, which is a solution to the problem, and a way to accept payment.
If you haven’t started an audience building process yet, my best advice is to choose one marketing platform as your main content platform and let the content on that platform drive the rest of your strategy forward.
The best choice for your marketing platform is going to depend on your pain point. Menopausal weight loss is probably not a great fit for Linkedin, for example. Find a platform that you enjoy creating on, and that is appropriate for your focus and get started there.
What Should I Name My ADHD Coaching Business?
So many new coaches get stuck here, so I’m going to make it super simple for you. As a coach, you are selling yourself as a service. That said, it’s easiest to start with your name. As you gain experience and hone in on your audience and niche, you may want to go with a brand name, but it’s best to avoid the decision fatigue and just go with your name, or something close to it. Be sure to capture your handles on all social media accounts, but don’t worry about launching on all of them just yet.
I Can’t Start my ADHD Coaching Business Without a Website + Logo!
I have strong feelings about websites and branding when you’re starting out.
Do you need a website? Yes.
Do you need a fully custom designed one with pretty branding and a logo? Absolutely not. In fact, this is the worst choice you can make as you first start out.
Because when you’re first starting your business, you have the beginning of an idea. Nothing else. I can almost guarantee that your idea is going to evolve dramatically as you get clearer about who you want to coach. That means the messaging & branding you start out with, is also going to change to align with your growth.
That said, if you have spent all kinds of money on getting a website up and running when you’re just starting out, then you’re going to be reluctant to make appropriate changes that might need to be made as your business evolves. So instead, I recommend that you create a very simple landing page where you can iterate on very easily.
At this point in your business, you just need somewhere you can send people to where it can at the very least share who you are, what you do, what problem you’re solving, and how people can buy your service. You’ll also want to have a place to capture emails (more on that in a minute) and maybe display a few testimonials as well.
If you’re a web designer or a web savvy person, obviously this doesn’t apply. The key thing here is that you want to start with something that YOU can change. Because trust me, you’re going to want to tinker and experiment with pricing, packages, messaging, etc, and you won’t want to have to wait for, or pay someone every time you need a small adjustment.
So given that we’re working on the timeframe of just one weekend to get your coaching business up and running, I would recommend using Canva to start your website.
Canva is worth every dollar spent on it. It has a bunch of royalty-free stock photos and videos. You can do so much with it. Have a landing page of some kind where you can collect emails from and avoid investing a ton of money in a website until you’re at least six months into your business.
Watch the video above to get an overview on how to create a quick and simple website and logo using canva.
The MOST Step – Create an Email List for Your ADHD Coaching Business
The easiest way to make sales in your business is through email marketing. So from day one, start building an email list. This is where your highest conversions are coming from. This is the only point of contact you own with your customers and it’s the easiest way to make sales in your business.
If you’re thinking that you can build your business on Instagram or Facebook, you’ll be in for a cruel awakening when you realize you’re investing a ton of work to build Zuckerberg’s business, not yours.
From day one, your biggest call to action whenever you put something out on social media is to get people on your list. Once you have their email, you can nurture them, build a relationship with them, and eventually sell to them.
This might sound daunting, but it’s really not. I recommend using Flodesk to start out as your email provider because it’s affordable, super simple to use and it makes everything look pretty. Watch the video to see how I use Flodesk for my email provider AND a checkout process for selling services.
Should You Use a Coaching Software in Your Business?
There are so many coaching softwares on the market that can help you manage your coaching business, including acting as a make-shift website, managing your offers, taking payments and tracking your hours (something you need to do if you want ICF certification). They can also house your coaching materials, manage your contracts and keep your calendar of appointments up-to-date.
If you are someone with ADHD, or you work with ADHDers, I often recommend that you invest in a good software that will prevent you from doing a lot of admin work (because we know how we feel about boring stuff).
The software I use and love is Practice.do. I did an entire review of the software here, but to sum it up, I find this software checks all the boxes in terms of things you’ll need, plus it’s intuitive to use, and offers an app you can use to communicate with your clients. You can learn more about Practice.do here.
I hope this guide has been helpful. There are many more tips and tricks in my Notion template below. Good luck on your coaching business!