In the online business world, we often joke about having to do “all the things.” When we don’t realize it’s time to shop for a coach or service provider, we push ourselves to learn new skills and fill multiple roles at once.
As a business owner you probably spend *some* of your time in your zone of genius. And the rest of the time you’re marketing, accounting, selling, designing…the list goes on and on. Not to mention, you’re responsible for delivering the core products/services themselves.
Sometimes this entrepreneurial balancing act can feel lonely. You might find yourself wishing there was someone to collaborate with you or give you guidance from a place of true understanding.
You’ve probably heard that doing “all the things” can lead to burnout. When it gets to that point, your entire workload gets put on pause.
Since this is nothing to joke about, we’re encouraging you to shop for a coach or service provider, if that’s been on your mind.
Yup, we’re inviting you to invest 👏 in 👏 support 👏
Here are five key tips you’ll need before working with a coach or contractor:
- Focus your mindset
- Understand the risk of online business
- Know your goals
- Connect your goals with a monetary value
- Shop for a coach or service provider online
Now, let’s begin! 👇
Focus Your Mindset
Take Ownership of Your Results
Whether you’d like to build your Instagram following, create your new offer, or hit a specific revenue goal, make sure you remain empowered. This means acknowledging that anytime you invite another professional into your business world, you are taking a risk.
You are assuming that the coach or service provider will help you reach your destination. But ultimately, you are the one taking the journey. Your business belongs to you, not your coach, copywriter, or online business manager.
So yes, while it’s necessary to communicate your expectations and needs to the professional you’re about to hire, the keys to your success are still in your hands.
Understand Their Boundaries
Just like you let your clients and customers know your professional rules through your contracts, policies, and terms (at least we hope you do!) you want to respect other professionals’ boundaries, too.
Whether you find someone online or through word-of-mouth, be sure to thoroughly read through their service descriptions and contract before blindly saying “yes” to a boundary that doesn’t actually sit well with you.
Enjoy the New Relationship
You never know what could come about from a new professional relationship, beyond the service being provided. You could make a new friend, and this could potentially open doors to more people and opportunities in the future. So, start your hunt with a positive and hopeful outlook.
And while you work hard together, don’t forget to have fun!
Understand the Risk of Online Business
Starting a working relationship with a coach or a contractor is super personal. Think about it: You’re welcoming someone into your world, so that person has to be someone you trust.
Here’s the thing about the internet. It’s a gift because without it, you couldn’t order takeout, shop online, or stream your fave shows from the comfort of your couch.
The internet has also made it accessible for many amazing online empires to take off — yours included! 💛
But because of the internet, anyone in the world can go online and claim they are a coach or service provider, with little-to-no proof that they can live up to the title.
This means that they might not have the training, experience, or expertise that’s worth your financial investment. Because of this, you have to be extremely cautious when starting a transactional relationship online.
Before you shop for a coach or service provider online, we want to share another key tip…
Know Your Goals
As long as your goals are blurry, you are prone to spending money in places that don’t truly pay off. In order to make a return on your investment, you must start out by defining your goals.
A great way to start is to open up your laptop or a new page in your notebook, and write out the “what, when, and why” connected to your goal.
What if you’re dreaming big this year? Perhaps you have multiple parts of your business you want to improve at the same time. Well, what if you could only pick one for now? What would your top priority be, and what is the long-term result of that single dream coming true?
Identifying a single priority will help you search for the right professional. There are tons of awesome ones out there, and we don’t want you to feel overwhelmed.
For example, maybe you’re thinking, “I’d love to launch my website and grow my email list to 500 subscribers by the end of the year.” When you look at those outcomes, you’re excited but unsure where to begin.
Initially, you might assume you want to hire a website designer, copywriter, and business coach who’s great at building email communities.
At this point, you can ask yourself questions like:
- “Why is a website necessary?”
- “What’s the incentive for joining my email list?”
- “What kind of people do I want visiting my website?”
From there, you might decide that you first want to design a lead magnet that will attract potential website visitors and email subscribers. So, before searching for a website designer, you first search for a copywriter who can help with your lead magnet.
And hey, afterwards maybe you can hire that same copywriter to work on your website homepage, services page, etc.
This process of defining your “what, when, and why” will help you use specific search terms that will lead you to suitable service providers. (This matching up of language happens through search engine optimization.)
The same goes for coaching. You need to be crystal clear about your ultimate goal and make sure your potential coach understands that.
With your goals in check, you’ll be able to hire someone who can confirm that their expertise aligns with your needs.
Connect Your Goals With a Monetary Value
Because coaches and service providers come with varying levels of expertise and resources, similar businesses can offer a vast range of price points.
Before being swayed by highly effective marketing on the internet, it’s a good idea to sit down and establish a budget. You’ve already laid out your goals in the previous step, so the missing piece is: “What does this goal mean to me, in terms of dollars?”
Clearly the professional you’re about to hire is going to save you time and energy, or else you wouldn’t consider hiring them in the first place. Based on the time and energy you’re about to save, how much money are you willing to spend?
What sort of emotional, mental, physical, or financial struggle will this professional’s expertise save you?
There are many ways to break down this question, but those are just a couple examples.
Once you land on a dollar amount — let’s say $500/month — expand that into a dollar range — we’ll say $400-650/month.
By creating this value range, you’re telling yourself: “If I find a reasonable solution that costs a little bit less, I’d be willing to spend more of my own time and energy. On the other hand, if I find a highly effective solution that costs a bit more, my budget can 100% handle it.”
And who knows, maybe once you land on different service providers’ or coaches’ websites, you’ll learn that your budget doesn’t exactly align. But at least you’ll have a starting point, so that you’re not shopping for a $5,000 service when you only have $2,000 at your disposal.
Are we ready to shop for a coach or service provider? We think so…
Shop for a Coach or Service Provider Online
This might seem obvious, but do a complete search for the individual or company that you’re considering. We’re talking: Google. Facebook. Instagram. LinkedIn. Pinterest. TikTok. Twitter. MySpace…okay, you don’t need to go that far.
First of all, if you can’t find them anywhere online, consider that a red flag. 🚩
But as long as they have an online presence, start digging around so you can determine if their messaging has been consistent over time. From your search, you should be able to determine the professional’s niche and depth of experience.
Review Their Niche
If you’ve identified a potential hire online, but they seem to be dipping their toes in multiple niches or industries, then you might want to take a pause.
This could tell you they either don’t keep up with their online presence or they are not committed to doing any one thing, in terms of the service they provide.
Being multi-passionate is great! But be careful not to invest your money into someone who simply *dabbles* in a niche that you need serious assistance with. 🙅🏽♀️
This is your moment to see how they describe themselves on their website, as well as the social media content they produce over time. As you dig in, you can ask yourself these questions:
- What are they doing to nurture their social media followers?
- Do they spend time educating their community?
- Is their online presence primarily lifestyle photos or sales copy?
- Does their content jump from random topic to random topic?
If you’re not genuinely excited about their contribution to their niche, then you might want to keep shopping around.
Review Their Curated Testimonials
When you shop for a coach or service provider, you also want to find out their experience level. This is revealed not only in what they say about themselves, but what others have to say about them.
Coaches and service providers typically have a section on their website dedicated to testimonials or client/customer reviews. Take some time to read through these, put yourself in customer’s shoes, and ask yourself if you would benefit from a similar experience.
If these reviews reflect good work, but it’s not quite at the level you need, that’s okay! It’s totally fine to recognize that someone is good at what they do, but they’re still not a good fit for you.
You’ve gotta protect yourself and your business from being someone’s “guinea pig.” Practice makes perfect, but you don’t need anyone practicing on you when the stakes are high.
This isn’t about throwing shade at anyone who’s just starting out. Lots of beginners have an amazing online presence, fabulous references, great experience, and are so worth your time and money. Remember, you were a beginner once upon a time! Look at you now! 💃🏽
At the same time…we want you to be protected from spending money on a service that won’t deliver the kind of help you need to take your business to the next level.
Pro Tip: All of the steps we’ve mentioned so far can be easily done through verified directories like Crème de la Crème, which has been carefully curated to give you the smoothest hiring process possible.
Find Unbiased References
Want to take your search to another level? We recommend finding previous clients and community members who are willing to share their unbiased, unfiltered opinion on the coach or service provider.
Go ahead! Send a DM or email so you can get the conversation started.
You might be thinking, “They’ve already shared testimonials on their socials and website. Why do I need to hear more?”
Remember, these testimonials are curated to further support their marketing efforts.
Nine times out of ten, they are only going to share reviews from happy customers. If they have a bad track record, they won’t be flaunting it in their latest Instagram post.
So go ahead and find references yourself. Make sure that this person has a track record of facilitating results for their clients.
If not, continue your search on Google and the other social media platforms we mentioned before.
What We Covered
Whether you’re looking for a coach to help you build a new business strategy, or you want to outsource some of your daily tasks, hiring help is always a good idea…as long as you hire the right person!
Four Ways to Carefully Shop for a Coach (or Service Provider)
- Focus your mindset
- Know your goals
- Understand the risk of online business
- Shop for a coach or service provider online
No, you don’t have to wear a million hats at once. And yes, there are amazing professionals out there who are ready to support you in reaching your goals!
Looking for a list of high-quality coaches or online service providers? Check out our Vetted & Verified™ Business Directory, Crème de la Crème, so you can take the guesswork out of your next professional investment. ✨
*The information presented in this blog post is for educational & informational purposes only. This should not be a substitute for customized legal advice from a licensed professional in a private setting. If you need legal advice, please consult with an attorney. This is not a law firm.