Center for Coaching Certification

Supporting Client Motivation

Motivation is the level of interest, desire, and willingness to do something.  Motivation is internal.  Often the level of motivation shows up in the way people say something: “I need to” lacks motivation.  “I choose to” demonstrates motivation. 

How does a coach support their client’s motivation?  During coaching certification, participants learn multiple ways to support client motivation including:

  • Positive, proactive coaching language:
    • What do you want?
    • What will you do?
    • How will you make it work?
  • Empowering an internal confidence:
    • What are you proud of achieving?
    • What have you done well?
    • How do you want to build on your successes?
  • Great coaching questions:
    • What motivates you?
    • What is behind your choices?
    • What is the outcome you want?

Similarly, when a client comes up with and commits to an action plan or action steps, ask great coaching questions.

  • How do you prefer to manage your accountability?
  • How do you want me to be your accountability partner?
  • Who in your network will support you?

Being active with accolades in a way that builds their confidence internally is empowering and motivating for clients.  Examples from coach training include:

  • What you achieved is excellent! How do you feel about it?
  • Congratulations! How are you acknowledging yourself?
  • Great work! What do you want to say to yourself for achieving that?
  • Way to go! How are you celebrating your progress?

During coach training, participants learn positive, proactive language.  Noticing the words clients use helps identify their attitude and motivation.  Be present and support the client to design their own goals, actions, and accountability plan.  When the goals, actions, and accountability are truly theirs, motivation follows naturally.

To solidify client motivation, ask questions about what they are learning so the client remembers what works and continues the forward momentum.

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Sustainability through Coaching

Sustainability through coaching is about supporting client consistency, commitment, follow-through, and client choice.  Consistency involves a client choosing habits and routines that support their progress.  Commitment is stronger when it is based on client choice.  Follow-through is increased when it is based on the client choosing their own strategies and action steps.

Sustainable change involves effective thought processes to keep it moving forward.  The change process, as explored during coach training, includes multiple elements.  At the core is client choice.  Coaching empowers the client to explore their opportunities, identify challenges, choose their goals, and develop their plans.  Coach training also provides the insight for thought processes with a focus on the desired result, internal motivation, and being proactive.  The combination of client choice, commitment, consistency, thought processes, and follow-through leads to sustainable change and/or a new norm.


During a client coaching session, finding the What and How via probing questions facilitates a discussion about change in preparation for planning.  Questions in the areas that involve change include:

  • What is your awareness of change processes?
  • What will you change to build your dream?
  • How will you change?
  • What challenges might you face?
  • How can you push through challenges?
  • How long does it take to create change?
  • What are your priorities in terms of creating change?
  • What resources do you have to support change?
  • How can you build on what has worked for you in the past?
  • How will you maintain what you change?

As clients think, capture their words, thoughts, and phrases.  Rephrase what they say for clarity. The information helps formulate questions.  Partner with your client on what works to move them towards their dream or goal.

Support maintaining sustainable change.  If it is helpful, explore what has worked for the client in the past, what is working now, and how they will make it work moving forward.  Ask them about their commitment to change.  Ask the client to describe what it will be like when they create the change they want including how they will feel, what they will say to themselves, and what they will see.

Coaching certification is an opportunity for learning the processes and techniques for creating and maintaining desired change.

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How does coaching fit into your career?

By Pete Liska

In my previous career as a Project and Test Manager for a defense contractor, my impression of coaching certification is that it had limited use.  The defense world is so rigid, it is rare to see individual employees empowered.  Then I realized that coaching is also a way of communicating and interacting that is, simply, more effective.  I was a working manager and was able to use the positive language.  The tools for identifying personal style and learning style of the employees and colleagues I was working and/or dealing with meant I was more effective in my interactions.

Now, in my present position with CCC, coaching is a tremendous fit.  From understanding coaching and what coaching is so I am effectively answering questions of people exploring coaching, to actual coaching conversations, a goal for my near future is utilizing coaching in the niche area of entrepreneurs and start-ups where coaching will be an outstanding asset for entrepreneurs.  Because of the coach training programs that I have taken at the Center for Coaching Certification, I am gaining a better understanding of coaching while also preparing me for the opportunity to coach.  The experience and insight with the coaching are powerful.  Learning coaching also gives me an edge to write blogs, create social media posts, plan white papers, and even with writing portions of Requests For Proposal (RFP).  I am discovering how coaching creates a positive, proactive focus and language that enhances writing.

With so many studies or articles discussing the ROI with coaching, it is clear that entrepreneurs and/or startups engaged in coaching will find their success rate or way forward improves greatly.  Within my niche area of startups, entrepreneurs, or the creative culture, utilizing coaching as one of the tools has been shown to be a positive addition to their business success.  My experience with individuals in this niche is that most are full of energy, very enthusiastic, and doing whatever it takes to make their business work and move forward.  As I move forward in this niche to offer coaching, a combination of their high energy with the success of coaching will create expanding opportunities for the entrepreneurs and other coaches too.


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Why Coaching?

Why coaching?  An individual who has a coach discovers their own answer with the help of their coach.   The success rate of someone who has a goal or dream is higher if that person came up with the way forward versus getting the way forward from someone else.  Working with a coach to explore possibilities, then create solutions moving towards, or forward, and designing actions to meet or get to a desired outcome is how a coach supports their client to achieve.  The coach is sounding board for their client to be afforded the time to think out loud, while the coach listens deeply and asks questions to empower their client to explore their ideas.  An effective coach develops the 11 Core Competencies of a coach during their coaching certification to prepare for the process. 

Coaching is a tool that can help you make life decisions, plan for your business, enhance executive presence, design your career change, or be intentional about your health and wellness.  Based on multiple studies, the Return on Investment (ROI) of coaching is on average of 600% when an individual has coaching.  This is because coaching empowers you to explore possibilities and create solutions.  Coaching session are an opportunity to create a plan and move forward using the plan with the coach as an accountability partner.

Depending on the coaching situation, being a coach in the business or executive arena can involve role play, discussing different workplace scenarios as a neutral in a non-judgmental space, identifying areas for development, brainstorming, challenging and expanding thinking, working through various possibilities, and more.  During role playing or talking through a challenge, the coach asks probing questions to partner with the client so they explore and find their way to an answer or strategy, or practice a conversation so they are prepared.

Coaching is one of the fastest growing professions in the world.  The reason for this is that it works.  Coach training is a leadership development tool and also an opportunity to advance in a profession or expand into a new arena.  Visit for information on coaching certification.  Free webinars and more are available as resources.

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Coaching for Entrepreneurs

Many cities now have entrepreneur centers, start-up incubators, or other locations that cater to start-ups and entrepreneurs.   Many of these offer boot camps and other sources of inspiration and business help for entrepreneurs.  What is missing is coaching.  They offer mentors and mentoring, and mentoring is much different than coaching.  Mentoring is someone showing someone else how to do something.   Coaching is where the ideas, dreams, goals, or way forward comes from and are decided by the client, the coach has a process, tools, and techniques to partner with the client.  The idea and concept of coaching fits in with entrepreneurs since entrepreneurs guide their own destiny and what they want to do as they move towards their goals.  They come up with and have their own ideas of what they want to do so a coach helps them plan.  

What is the benefit of coaching?   An individual who has a coach versus a mentor or trainer comes to their own answer with the help of their coach.   The success rate of someone who has a goal or dream is higher if that person came up with the way forward versus getting the way forward from someone else.  Using a coach to explore possibilities, then create solutions moving towards, or forward, then designing actions to meet or get to a desired outcome is enhanced when partnering with a coach.  The coach is also a sounding board so the client has the time and space to think out loud, while the coach clarifies and expands thinking with powerful questions to support the client in exploring their ideas.

Coaching has a fit like any other self-help or forward-thinking idea.  The benefit with coaching is that the ideas, dreams, goals, or way forward comes from and are decided by the client.  The thoughts and ideas come directly from the client in his or her words.  A way forward, meeting a goal, or getting to one’s dream comes to fruition when it is their own idea and own thought.  The opportunity for this dream or goal coming true goes up exponentially because it is the client’s idea, goal, or dream.

Graduates often share that they learned a great deal from the Certified Professional Coach program at the Center for Coaching Certification and it helped them moved forward in the job or life.  While everyone is different, coach training will help you move forward with your entrepreneurial aspirations and help tie everything together for you because it provides a powerful process for exploring options, setting goals, and creating strategies.

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Stories About Starting a Coaching Business


Imagine Katrina plans to start a coaching business.  She completes her initial training and starts researching and planning for her business.  She then completes her next coach training program and joins the International Coach Federation.  She is hesitant to start because she wants more (as yet undefined) resources and she is unsure she is good enough to coach.  She stays in a job and is regularly drawn back to researching and planning.  This continues for five years before she decides to start a coaching business obviously doesn’t work for her, so she commits to staying in a job where she is unhappy.


Envision Richard completing his coaching certification and hanging out the proverbial shingle for his new coaching business.  While he is uncomfortable with marketing he does update his LinkedIn profile and talk to people in his network, so he gets a few referrals.  Richard coaches a few people at a time and while he wants more clients he procrastinates doing the marketing.  The coaching business continues on a part time basis, so Richard decides to get other work too. 


Visualize Maria starting a coaching business.  After she completes her coach training she utilizes the resources provided and the examples in the previous blogs to develop her plan.  She commits to scheduled action steps and actively talks about what she is doing with her network.  As she spreads the word her contacts refer people to her for coaching.  She ensures she provides a quality service and her clients refer others too.  Maria continues to work on her business consistently and she achieves her goals for the business.

After reading these examples, reflect on the possibilities:

  • Which outcome do you want for yourself?
  • What will it take to achieve that outcome?
  • How will you motivate yourself to follow-through?
  • What resources will you use to create success?
  • What might get in the way?
  • How will you move past the challenges?
  • What is your action plan?
  • Describe your ideal outcome.

The choice is yours – choose what you want and commit to taking the action so you create success.

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Marketing Plan Outline for a Coaching Business

Provided as an outline for you to write your marketing plan for your coaching business, this includes areas to cover and explanations on what to include. 

  1. Market Research Summary – written last, this is a global summary
  2. Profession / Industry Economics
    1. Market Size and Demand – include information on the potential client base and demand for your services and sales patterns
    2. Trends – what is the growth of your market
    3. Influencers – how the economy, business environment, and politics impact sales
  3. Barriers – what specifically could interfere with your marketing efforts
    1. Strategies to Overcome Barriers – how specifically will you overcome barriers
  4. Target Market – include their demographics as well as their reasons for buying
  5. Competition – who else does what you do in your market, what do they charge, how do they compare
  6. Unique Selling Proposition – what makes your services special and different
  7. Branding – include your messaging and your design
  8. Description – describe what you offer succinctly and include your bio with education, coach training, and experience
  9. Pricing – how much will you charge for what you offer and what is your level of flexibility for negotiation
  10. Forecast
    1. Income Goals – when will you earn and how much
    2. Number of Clients Goals – how many individual, group, team, or corporate clients you want and how often
    3. Ancillary Sales Goals
      1. Workshops or Seminars – a great way to earn money while also gaining new clients; what programs will you develop and market and how are they connected with your coaching niche
      2. Speaking Engagements – motivational of topic focused this is again a great way to earn while gaining clients; be specific on content
  • Other Services (Consulting, Facilitation, Training, etc.) – what additional services will you offer and how will you both blend with and keep separate from your coaching services
  1. Products (Books, DVDs, White Papers, Newsletters, Training Materials) – what additional products will you offer and how will marketing them support offering your coaching services to new clients
  1. Expenses – part of your budget so here describe your marketing expenses including website, business cards, printed materials, travel for client meetings or networking, business dining for marketing purposes, product development, etc.
  1. Strategies
    1. Marketing Message – how are your mission statement and/or tagline perceived by your ideal client?
    2. Theme or Look – consistency counts: what logo, colors, font, and images will you use, how, and where
  1. Business Cards –information you will include (company name, your name, title, designations, niche, phone, email, website) and the font style and size you use to ensure readability, logos, colors, paper type, etc.
  2. Website – what pages will be included in what order, content and images for the pages, design colors, font, and images
    1. Home Page – give the reader an easy way to find what they want
    2. Services – describe what you offer and how it works
  • Products – describe what is available and how it is purchased
  1. Events – what is happening for the reader
  2. Testimonials – provide testimonials clients give you permission to use
  3. Contact – how they can contact you
  • About – information about your company and/or your personal bio
  1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – basics are often easy to put in place and spending on this is weighed against the likelihood of it meaning clients hire you
    1. Website SEO – plan your key words, page titles, page descriptions, and content so that these are unique on each page, consistent, and match each other on the pages
    2. Inbound and Outbound Links – outbound links are easy – these are links from your page to other good websites offering helpful information or insight; inbound links are when other sites link to you and these happen with directory listings, guest blogs, publishing articles, social media, etc.
  2. Brochures or Flyers – whether these make sense depends on your target market, your opportunities, and your reasons to hand them printed materials
  3. Blogs – a blog connected to your website is a great way to consistently add new content and create new links – it is a commitment so decide if you will blog once or twice a week or month
  4. Publishing in a Book or Articles – publishing demonstrates expertise – a book creates visibility and articles online are a great way to create inbound links (Example: write a chapter for the Center for Coaching Certification book series Coaching Perspectives to learn the process, have content you can later publish elsewhere, gain credibility, and have a product you can sell)
  5. Networking – both online and face-to-face your willingness to get to know others and then share how what you offer helps them based on their interests makes a difference in your ability to grow your referrals and client base
  6. Referrals – how and when will you approach your network, clients, and contacts to ask for referrals
  7. Social Marketing – include your plans for LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, etc.
  8. Speaking, Training, or Facilitating – one of the best ways to gain new clients is to get in front of them or someone who knows them; guest presenting increases exposure (Example: give a webinar at the Center for Coaching Certification)

12. Timeline and Schedule – when specifically, will you start each action item, how much time will you dedicate to it, how long will you continue your efforts

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Business Plan Outline for a Coaching Business

The length of a business plan varies – because you are writing this for your own planning, include the information and level of detail that makes a difference for your focus and action steps.

  1. Executive Summary – written last, this explains the history and trajectory of your business
  2. Company Description – include a description of who, what, how, where, when, and why
    1. Bio of each Coach that includes training and experience
    2. Mission, Vision, Code of Ethics, Core Values
    3. Goals and Objectives
    4. Business Philosophy
  3. Management and Organization – describe how you are structured and how you operate
    1. Legal form of Ownership

(Sole Proprietor, Partnership, DBA, Business License, S Corp, LLC)

  1. Insurance (Liability, Professional, Other)
  2. Management
    1. Oversight and Decision Making
    2. Standard Operating Procedures
  3. Professional and Advisory Support

(Accountant, Attorney, Mentor, Advisor, other)

  1. Products
    1. Description and Pricing
      1. Books, White Papers, CD’s or MP3’s or DVD’s
      2. Training Programs
    2. Unique selling points – what makes your products different
  2. Services
    1. Description and Pricing
      1. Individual Coaching – describe how, list packages and prices
      2. Group or Team Coaching – describe, list prices
  • Consulting or Speaking – describe what is offered, prices, and how it is separate from coaching
  1. Niche and unique selling point – what makes your services different and special
  1. Marketing Plan
    1. Market Research – what is the interest in what you offer?
    2. Target Market – be specific and include their interests
    3. Competition – who are your competitors and what do they offer?
    4. Strategy – how will you reach your audience and make the sale?
  2. Operating Plan
    1. Location – describe office set-up and security
    2. Production and Inventory – what is your plan for developing products and how much will you keep on hand?
    3. Service Scheduling – how and when will you schedule with clients?
    4. Payment Policies and Processes – detail what forms of payment are used and also how and when clients pay
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32 Action Steps to Start and Market a Coaching Business

After you complete your coaching certification, to start a coaching business complete these steps:

  1. Choose a Name (Personal Name or Business Name)
  2. Define Your Coaching Niche
  3. Describe Your Ideal Client:
  4. Write Your Mission Statement
  5. Write Your Vision Statement
  6. Ethics – plan how provided to clients and where promoted
  7. Define Your Core Values
  8. Decide the Type of Legal Ownership and Complete the Registration
  9. Decide on Insurance and Obtain
  10. Set-up/Organize Office and Filing System
  11. Define Your Goals:
    1. Income
    2. Number of Coaching Clients
    3. Ancillary Income
  12. Develop Your Budget
  13. Create Your Business Plan
  14. Create Your Marketing Plan
  15. Choose Your Colors, Theme, Look Description
  16. Get or Design Your Logo
  17. Create Your Marketing Message
  18. Design and Print Business Cards
  19. Develop a Website
    1. Choose Service, Buy Domain Name
    2. Choose Template or Hire Designer
    3. Write Content
    4. Create Draft
    5. Get Feedback and Make Changes
    6. Finalize and Publish
  20. Design Brochures and/or Flyers
  21. Develop Contact Database
  22. Create/Finalize Forms
  23. Set-up Blog
  24. Write Article(s) and Submit to Other Blogs or Newsletters
  25. Publish: in a book, a full book, white paper, manual
  26. Develop 20 to 30-minute Speech
  27. Develop 1-hour Workshop(s)
  28. Develop 3 to 6-hour Seminar(s)
  29. Speak or Train
  30. Create Your Plan for Product Development and Promotion
  31. Choose Online and/or Local Networking Groups and Join
  32. Create Your Calendar Include: Phone Calls, Emails, Letters, Distributing Flyers or Brochures, Online Networking, Local Networking, Blogs and Articles, Seminars and Workshops, Speeches, etc.
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Build on the Foundation and Create Success as a Coach

Once you have your foundation in place with your initial research and your coaching certification, it is time to build your coaching career.

If your plan is a job, create a powerful resume, research opportunities, network, ask for informational interviews, apply, prepare for interviews, and plan your job negotiation strategies.

If your plan is to add Coaching into an existing business portfolio, strategize how you will differentiate coaching from other services and plan how you will offer multiple services on one contract too.

Starting a part or full time coaching business involves business planning, budgeting, planning your marketing strategy, setting up your work environment, technology and tools, creating forms and other resources, organizing your work process, and the doing the work to make it happen. 

Creating Success

In coaching there are people who believe that once they earn their certification they are done.  There are others that realize marketing yourself is part of the process.  Common barriers to success in business include a lack of planning, financial limitations, lack of preparedness, fear of failure or fear of success, and hesitation in taking action.

A coaching business requires planning and follow through just as is true with other businesses.  The level of planning or length of a business plan will vary based on your knowledge, skills, attitudes, and interest.  Some people want a full blown, comprehensive plan.  Others are good with a simple outline.  Sometimes there is a paralysis by analysis and the planning gets in the way of the doing.  Other times a lack of planning contributes to a level of ineffectiveness.  Ask yourself:

  • How much information is the right amount for you to move forward effectively?
  • What is the risk of investing too much time in the research and planning?
  • What is the risk of not investing enough time?

Schedule time to research and then schedule time to develop your business plan.

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