In 2010, I officially became a cycling coach. Â Off and on before that time, I had coached runners,Â triathletes, swimmers, and cyclists. Â Sometimes I would get paid, other times I was just helping my friends out for free. Â I began giving advice to people who got my name from a friend and would write to me and ask questions. When the questions got more frequent I would ask for some money to compensate me for my time. Â It finally dawned on me that if people kept coming back and wanting to hear what I had to say, and were getting good results putting into practice what I had been telling them, that I perhaps I could become a real (paid) coach.
The two hard parts of going from a hobby to getting paid are: A. Getting athletes to sign up with me (i.e. marketing), and B. Knowing what the heck I was talking about so that I gave my athletes value.
B is actually pretty easy and the most fun part for me. Â I have spend my free time for the last 15 years studying endurance exercise physiology and testing the ideas. Â I have even conducted my own scientific (small sample size, unpublished) studies for my ideas.
A was a much harder proposition for someone like myself who had no experienceÂ directlyÂ sellingÂ a personal service. Â I figured the first thing people would need would be some form of credibility. Â I took the USA Cycling coachingÂ licenseÂ test for $80 and became a certified coach. Â I then talked to my friend and former coach, Eric Kenny over at EK Endurance Coaching about becoming an associate coach with his coaching business. Â After agreeing that I could add depth to hisÂ offering, Â I signed on with EK and was featured on his website. Within a month, my first client had found me on a list of USA Cycling coaches, confirmed that I was a legit coach by visiting the website, and I was off the the races!
After coming to MSU and joining the collegiate cycling team here, I offered my services to the team riders . Â I had two riders from the team sign up with me, which is a double win for me because I can race alongside the riders I coach! My athletes’ continued success gives me the confidence to charge for my services.
To help increase myÂ visibilityÂ locally in Bozeman, this past fall with team RockfordÂ I ran the after school kids cyclocross program. Â I also started writing about cycling on this blog for exampleÂ here, here, and here. Â It turns out the marketing side is fun too!
So toÂ summarize, if you want to get paid to do what you love to do, the first step is credibility. Â You can talk about how awesome you are all you want, but until someone else says it, people won’t really believe you. Â Second, get your name out there. Â All you have to do is be on the web and send people over to check out your work. Â If yourÂ offeringÂ matches up with what they want, they will contact you! Â This means only the serious customers are calling, all you have to do is be confident and say “let’s do this!”