In this episode of the Best Life (Coach) Podcast, we’re discussing:

Our first year in business – what a wild ride! We chat about our wins, learnings, and opportunities for growth. Stay tuned through the end to hear what we’re planning next.

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Best Life Coach Collective 0:00
Intro (music by DJ Aly Abji)

Melissa Byone 0:19
How are you guys? I feel like I haven’t talked to you in forever!

Stephanie Nelb 0:44
It has been a while, it feels like.

Sarah Mae 0:46
It has been the longest it’s been since we started the BLCC. Cuz usually we talk every week.

Melissa Byone 0:53
Yeah. It’s been a few weeks. Probably our last podcast. Yeah.

Stephanie Nelb 1:01
We’re back to it, back to the grind, jumping straight in. But yeah, it’s been a little over a year now since we started this like a year and a month?

Melissa Byone 1:17
It was June 1, June 1. That’s when we launched 2021. Yeah. Yeah.

Sarah Mae 1:25
And it was like May 3 that like we started.

Stephanie Nelb 1:29
Yeah, we got the idea.

Melissa Byone 1:31
Was that the infamous call?

Stephanie Nelb 1:35
Melissa, you started it all.

Melissa Byone 1:39
It started with an idea and then a domain.

Stephanie Nelb 1:44
It is amazing, though. Like how far we’ve taken this in such a short period of time. And I know we have like big goals and want to do a lot more but even to have come this far, in just a year, is amazing.

Sarah Mae 1:57
Well, the consistency is amazing. Like we have managed to post content every single day for a year. Like between the three of us.

Stephanie Nelb 2:10
That sounds overwhelming when you say that. But yeah, we’ve done it. We figured out a way!

Sarah Mae 2:17
And a blog post every single week? And we’re going on our seventh podcast and seven months of podcasts.

Melissa Byone 2:26
That is a lot! Yeah, what did the recent blogs that I helped write was the best of our first year and I think it has some stats I just wanted to call. So as of the first of June, we had eight coach members from all over North America to Canada. We had driven over 400 direct referrals to our coaching members websites and scheduling links.

Yeah, and we had 370 posts on our Instagram. We’ve grown our account from zero to 185. Yeah. Yeah, I’m really Oh, and then we had one reel that had over 8000 views and 300 likes. Sometimes you just need a good trending audio. Yeah, it’s really, really awesome.

Our most read blogs, I wanted to call these out. So what problems do life coaches solve? Mindful eating one simple practice of gratitude to start today? Power pause, what it is and when to use it. And then are cold showers good for you or just wait. So I feel like it kind of really covers the gambit of everything that we wanted to touch on and be about? So I think yeah, really cool.

Stephanie Nelb 4:10
And I recognize a lot of those blog titles too, as blog posts of our coaches, not the ones that you know, we have written as BLCC. So that’s exciting too to see that our coaches are getting traction on the blog, and it’s not just you know, our own content.

Yeah, we’ve come a very long way. It’s, it’s amazing to see and like I said before, hearing some of these stats sounds overwhelming, just looking at them at the bigger picture, but we did do it. We’re here. We’re continuing this and still going strong. So I’m really excited to see what’s to come for us in year two.

Melissa Byone 4:52
Yeah, me too. It’s definitely taken some learnings like we’ve definitely shifted our thoughts and ideas and our plans our strategy more than once. And like who we’re talking to and who we want to be. So that’s kind of what I wanted to touch on today just to highlight like how far we’ve come and how things have shifted for us. Just like, that kind of thing happens in any business, right? You, you start somewhere, and then you think you’re going one direction, and you end up in a squiggly line somewhere else. And it’s amazing.

Sarah Mae 5:37
I think that that’s what business is all about. It’s really, it’s embracing the journey and the process. That’s how you end up somewhere amazing, I hope.

Melissa Byone 5:50
Yeah, like being open to hearing someone’s idea or like, hey, why don’t we try this. That’s, that’s kind of how we’ve gotten to where we are today, like with our new thoughts on kind of how we want to move forward in 2022 and taking what we learned before, based on like, feedback that we’ve gotten, we’re really looking for and where we can find that unique spot for us.

Stephanie Nelb 6:22
Yeah, I love that we’ve been sourcing feedback from our coaches along the way, and then having our own conversations amongst the three of us as far as where we want to see this go. Because I think, you know, that’s really important to make sure that we’re doing what’s right for our coaches, in addition to our business, and having input from them, I think has been really valuable.

But then, past that, I think we have failed fast, a lot and pivoted, and I’m really excited for the direction we’re moving in, because we really have learned a lot in a short period of time. And we are taking those learnings and moving them into what’s next.

And now we’re working towards a brand new launch, which I think is gonna be really exciting for coaches. And I think it’s really solving a need. We’ve seen that with some of, you know, our Facebook group, and what they’re looking for in there. And, you know, I think this new program that we’re working on, it’s really going to make great strides towards that as well.

Melissa Byone 7:34
So let’s go through and each of us like what was one big learning that you’ve had in the last year in regards to business or the coach collective specifically

Stephanie Nelb 7:54
I can go first, I would say, you know, I think that this was one that I already knew, but I think just has become very obvious on our journey. And something that we’ve really had to hone into is just not doing too many things at once focusing on a strategy and achieving that strategy.

We’ve had so many cool ideas over the year, and we have a parking lot full of ideas that we would eventually really like to do. And you know, all those ideas are so exciting to us. But I think we are starting to get a little bit better about being more targeted and focusing on you know, our current strategy or current vision and just charging forward with that. So I think that’s my biggest takeaway.

Sarah Mae 8:43
And the fact that like, we have three of us, and we’re still doing that, I think speaks like volumes to the fact that it’s like you’re building your own business being specific in what you’re doing and and sticking to that strategy and following it through is so important.

Yeah, I found I don’t know if it’s a learning but just having the like, there’s no way that I would have been able to post every single day for the last year and have like a weekly blog and everything without having two other people to collaborate with. So the power of like, a team and a community’s just, I couldn’t I couldn’t have imagined how valuable it would have been before we started this.

Stephanie Nelb 9:43
Yeah, totally.

Melissa Byone 9:44
100% like the fact that I know you guys are counting on me to do my week of content. I have to get it done. I can’t let Steph and Sarah down! Do ya as being a team is really, really awesome. I value that a lot, especially like, these calls that we have together, we talk weekly, we don’t necessarily like make a podcast. Just having someone like that I know I’m going to talk to that understands where I’m coming from some of these like thoughts and ideas and just wanting to like, live a better life, like why we started this podcast in the first place. That’s been really awesome for me.

A business learning I have is probably not to spend money you don’t have. And I think we’ve done a really good job, especially you, Sarah, in finding workarounds and free products, and just making things work as a starting place like not wait, not saying, oh, we can’t do that until we like to pay for a subscription. It’s like no, but what can we do right now? So not letting things like not having huge budgets, get in our way, like being scrappy, and finding a way. I think that’s really, really cool.

Stephanie Nelb 11:28
Yeah, Sarah, you seem to have a special knack for finding all of the freebies and all of it interesting work arounds. So I do think that’s been a huge asset to our business over the last year.

Sarah Mae 11:40
Yeah, cool!

Stephanie Nelb 11:41
Can I add a fourth learning? Okay. So, for all of those listening, most of us here, really don’t enjoy writing content. And writing blog posts. And having those go out every week has been such a challenge, I think for all of us, because it really takes a lot of time to sit down, figure out what you’re going to write and take the time to make sure it’s a good piece of writing that you really want to put out there. And, you know, I think at first, I definitely struggled with it, I’ll speak for myself.

And it felt like such an uphill battle to write 500 words, and the more I did it, and just committed to okay, I’m just gonna get this out there. And, you know, even if it’s not absolutely perfect, I’m just gonna get it to like 80%. And then launching at 80% a couple times made me feel more confident and felt like my blog posts were getting closer to 90%. And now, you know, I feel like, it’s a lot easier to write 500, or more words than it was for me a year ago. So just kind of getting in that habit, just trying it out. And doing it even if I’m not amazing at it has been really helpful, I think.

Sarah Mae 13:04
I love that you highlight that, because I feel like it’s like that for everything in our business. In coaching as well. Like, the more you do the things that seem like a challenge, the easier it gets, blogging is a perfect example. There’s also posting content, we did some Instagram lives that got easier as we did, then this podcast is getting easier as we do it. Yeah. Awesome.

Stephanie Nelb 13:34
I like that you generalize that too, because it really speaks to the idea of just start, you know? A year and a half ago, when we were in our coaching program and trying to figure out our way individually, hadn’t come up with this idea yet. And, you know, I think we were all kind of struggling with okay, ‘what are we doing with this coaching certification? And where do I want to take this?’ and I think we all kind of encouraged each other to just get started and just do something. And then just look how quickly that snowballed. We each have our own individual business, and we have this. So it’s pretty amazing.

Sarah Mae 14:13
Yeah, it’s, it’s like how coaching in itself is like something that well you just got a coach, just get on the phone and do the coaching. It gets easier. Do the practice if you’re still in school and you’re just doing practices that people like, the more you do it, the easier it gets, the more comfortable you get doing it. I have to say Melissa has been really good at being like, let’s just do it now. He’s like something that I don’t want to do. And she’s like, well, let’s just do it right now. Okay. Yeah.

Stephanie Nelb 14:51
What else are we taking away from our last or this past year in business?

Melissa Byone 15:04
I kind of wish like, I kind of just want to think back on all the things that we’ve done. Like we’ve done a few iterations of a different different things. So like, I know we have an online quiz. Like I know we’ve spent some time doing like, email funnels, and like, there’s just so many pieces that come together to create what we have built, the coach portal. I just kind of like, want us to bask in all of it.

Sarah Mae 15:47
Well, why don’t we rewind to the beginning? Okay, where do we start? Where do we start with? Obviously, like, nothing?

Melissa Byone 15:55
We started as three. And I think we came up with a name.

Sarah Mae 16:01
Yeah, we had a call. Yeah, we were on a call and Melissa had an idea. And then by the end of that call, we had a name and a domain and an idea that we were like, ‘Okay, well speak in a week.’ And we weren’t, we were doing our, our coaching certification, right? That’s where we met.

Melissa Byone 16:23
Yeah, I think we were finishing it up.

Stephanie Nelb 16:27
So we had done a series of IG lives. So we were in a cycle of doing think we’re on our fourth, third or fourth one. And we were just doing that to kind of cross pollinate on our own social platforms for our own individual coaching. And that’s kind of what the stemmed from. And again, I think we said it earlier, but I just want to highlight, we came up with this idea in early May. And by the first week of June, we were going live last year with a beautiful website that Sarah had designed. So really did not take us all that long time to kind of action on our idea.

Sarah Mae 17:07
So we had our website, and we had our Instagram and…

Melissa Byone 17:16
…Instagram and Facebook, started reading blogs immediately. So yeah, our first one scheduled.

Stephanie Nelb 17:25
I think we had that idea to do a blog post every week from the very start too.

Sarah Mae 17:29
Yeah, I think we just each wrote a blog. And then from there, we started alternating, who was going to do that week’s content. So we alternate each week, which we still do. And then we got our first coach members joining.

Stephanie Nelb 17:54
Yeah. I mean, we had to figure out what we were offering and kind of what our value was, and be able to convey that to these coaches, or prospective coaches that we wanted to bring onto our team.

Melissa Byone 18:07
Yeah so initially that was the listing on our site, to be a guest blogger, and mentions on social media. Right? Am I missing anything?

Stephanie Nelb 18:26
I think we knew advertising was a part of this too. And, you’re our resident marketing expert so that worked out really well!

Melissa Byone 18:37
Yeah, yeah. So running ads, also local listings. So Yelp and Google.

Stephanie Nelb 18:48
And then we got our SEO kind of peppered in there with not only just our website content, but really took a focus to it with our blog posts as well, which is part of the reason that it was so intimidating for us to write blog posts at first.

Sarah Mae 19:01
And we tried to, I was gonna say, we tried to figure out like our ideal clients, not but I mean, to be honest, we started with the people in our immediate network, which is how coaches need to start their business as well. So the people, you know, .hey, we’re offering this, want to join?’ And that’s how we got our first members.

Melissa Byone 19:26
Oh, yeah. Our monthly community call was also really, really big in the beginning. I remember like, it’s Christmas time, and you had so many people on the phone together, like supporting each other. That was really awesome.

Stephanie Nelb 19:47
Yeah, and I think we’ve evolved a little bit more to try and figure out how can we add more value for coaches so we experimented with adding additional calls on so we always kept our monthly community call and still do it today but we’ve done workshops, we tried a co working time where we just kind of sat on the computer together and silently got our work done individually, but together. So there are a couple of different things that we’ve kind of tried to add in to add that additional value.

Melissa Byone 20:20
Yeah, I think one of the biggest like, Hold on moments we had was, we were like, who are we talking to? Because I feel like in the beginning, it really started off as let’s talk to coaches and also potential clients. And I think our messaging got kind of jumbled. I definitely think that Instagram algorithm was like, Who are you trying to reach? So we had like a, ‘Hold up, wait a minute’ moment, and really kind of got clear on that. I think that’s kind of what’s taken us into where we are today, and where we’re headed next, really focusing in on coaches who are newer to starting their business, who are looking for some extra support, who want to learn from each other. Anything else?

Stephanie Nelb 21:27
Yeah, those that want that sense of community, looking for a couple of resources past all the many freebies that are out there looking for, you know, real actual guidance that they can start taking to start and grow their business. And, you know, we take some of the challenging or intimidating work out of starting your business, because we give you that listing so that you, you know, have a landing page or a website of sorts, as you first get started, you know, we’re still going to do that advertising for you to kind of help get the word out there about your services. So I think there’s a lot of value that, you know, typically, for someone starting can be very intimidating. And we’re just kind of taking that part on for you, so that you can just focus on what you do best, which is the coaching.

Sarah Mae 22:20
Yeah, while starting to build your online presence.

Melissa Byone 22:29
Yeah, I really like how you said that, Steph. Just being that starting point, because that’s like the hardest part, as you’ve kind of already been over, it’s just starting. So offering that support and a starting place, and a reference and a community. Yeah.

Sarah Mae 22:50
It’s so easy to get lost in the shuffle of like what we see everyone else doing, or like the dislike, oh, well, this coach is obviously got this great program that I need this, and I just spent all this money on my to get my certification. And now I think I need this to figure out the business side of things. And I’m gonna spend like three, four grand or whatever, $1,000, whatever. Because I need that before I can get started. And it’s really not the case. Just start. And then we can help with the advertising and everything. And that.

Melissa Byone 23:28
Yeah. Yeah, it’s like you didn’t get into coaching to do marketing.

Stephanie Nelb 23:36
Well, I think we’ve really come full circle in that regard, because we all left our coaching certification feeling like, ‘Okay, now what?’, you know, we were not really given the business saavy- Well, I think we all have our own business expertise in one way or another. 

But we weren’t really told how to start a coaching business, and you know, what you need to get started. And so that was just this big, missing piece that we didn’t get from our certification. And I think a lot of certifications don’t give you that. And so we started this out of a need for ourselves and for all of our colleagues in our program. And now we’ve kind of come full circle within a year where we know all the stuff to do and we’re now here to help other new coaches figure it out.

Sarah Mae 24:26
Yeah, I think that is, I like how you say like, we each bring something to the table because I, I was like, I’ve got the business part figured out, like I know, branding, I can build my own website and everything and then there’s so much that I just didn’t know. 

So that resulted in me really struggling to get things going because I skipped a whole bunch of things, because I just built up a beautiful website and like all of a sudden, everything looks so professional. And I’m like, nervous to get clients at the prices that I was setting this beautiful professional website, because I hadn’t done it yet. I just done the business part of it. So having all of the other things that we’ve learned along the way, and just starting, I think are the those missing pieces, if that makes sense. Okay.

Stephanie Nelb 25:26
Totally. And I think, you know, even just past us, each bringing a different skill set to the table, just bringing our time to the table, because starting a business is a lot of work. And I think we’ve experienced that all individually for ourselves. 

But even with the Best Life Coach Collective, it’s still a lot of work with three people. But having each other to kind of bite off bits and pieces along the way, I think has been really valuable. And, you know, not every new coach is going to have that. But you know, if you join the Best Life Coach Collective, you kind of still do, because we’re biting off some of those pieces for you. So that again, you can kind of focus on what’s most important.

Sarah Mae 26:08
Yeah, where we’re inviting people to join this circle that we have, so we can be there for them as well.

Melissa Byone 26:18
For you, you as well, for you, do you want to join us?

Stephanie Nelb 26:28
Should we talk about where we’re headed?

Melissa Byone 26:37
Where are we headed?

Stephanie Nelb 26:40
I’m glad you asked. So I think we kind of alluded to it earlier. But we are working to revamp our membership program, we want to offer a few different tiers so that we have a little something for everyone. So whether you’re just starting and not really sure if this is something you’re willing to commit to and pay the money for, we have something special for you. If you are all in and just really want to make your business a success, we have that for you as well. 

So these offers are not live yet. But it is something that we’re actively working on hoping to launch very soon. So that we can start to get more people to be a part of this collective and just continue to grow this community.

Sarah Mae 27:31
We all know that coaching is so impactful. That’s why we all chose to become coaches. So we really want to help people actually follow through once they’ve completed their certification and actually use the skills that they’ve learned to make the impact in the world that they want to make.

Melissa Byone 27:54
Yeah, we recently did a workshop on purpose, and kind of one thing that really came up for me was using the skills that I have to help other people and my skills be advertising and marketing, like I want to see coaches go out there and be successful, and coach other people and have everyone living the life that they want. Like, I know personally how effective coaching be at getting you to a new stage in life. So like, please let me share my gifts with you.

Stephanie Nelb 28:35
Totally. And just kind of tying what both of you said together a little bit. You know, we’ve seen a lot of new coaches, coaches from our program that graduated with us who have since kind of given up, like, have decided for whatever reason that they don’t actually want to do anything with their coaching certification. 

Or, you know, in many cases, they tried and tried to get a business started and had a really hard time getting clients and just didn’t continue with it. And it’s just kind of disheartening to see that because we know their value. And you know, we all kind of coached each other in our program as practice. So you know, I know the value that a lot of those people can bring. And so it’s kind of sad to see that they’re just not doing anything with it now. 

But I think that’s part of the benefit of having something like the Best Life Coach Collective because you really have that community to kind of encourage you to keep going and to give you some of those tools to make it easier to keep going.

Melissa Byone 29:39
I forgot we did workshops we do so much you guys. And I mean I feel like for us whenever we are talking like we have little mini coaching sessions like all the time I’m so that’s just one of the benefits of being part of our community calls. We’re there for each other. Like, if we’re struggling with something suddenly, like, coach you into doing what you know you want to do.

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