Do you find yourself constantly talking about money? Are you the go-to person in your group of friends when someone is looking for financial advice? Your passions might actually be directing you down a potential career path. Personal finance coaching is the opportunity for you to help others improve their financial situations while allowing you to make a good living as a money coach.
Whitney Hansen is the founder of WhitneyHansen.com and a money coach with over four years of experience. She is also the host of The Money Nerds podcast. Her business now generates over $100,000 a year, and she has already helped over 200 clients.
In this conversation, she shares her money coaching journey and explains how you can get started as a successful and profitable money coach.
How She Got Started as a Money Coach
Whitney used her passion to build a six-figure business as a money coach. So how did she get started?
Her background is in public accounting, so she used to do taxes and external auditing. However, she quickly realized that as much as she loved finance, that role wasn’t where she wanted to stay forever. She then transitioned to higher education. In higher education, she taught entrepreneurial workshops and did marketing across campus.
Personal finance coaching evolved from her background and her interests in finance. Once she really found the personal finance world, she started to make huge changes to her own finances. She paid off $30,000 in less than a year.
As a money nerd at heart, she was always talking finance. As people took note of her own progress, they started asking for her to share her budgeting plans. Soon after, her career as a money coach was born.
Gaining Her First Money Coaching Client
Getting started can seem overwhelming. But there’s a chance that you are already doing some personal finance coaching. That’s exactly what Whitney realized.
She is someone who always talks about money. That means that her friends and family were already turning to her for help. The first couple of clients were friends and family, and she didn’t even consider them as clients. In fact, it took her a bit of research to realize the work that she was doing for free was actually something she could build a career on.
Whitney found herself enjoying her finance work so much, so she started to explore how to make it an online business. She started researching personal finance coaching and saw that there was a growing market for financial educators. Since she was particularly passionate about educating people on the day-to-day aspects of money, she realized coaching would be the right fit for her.
To pivot into professional personal finance coaching, she started to reach out to her existing network. Once family and friends had success with her coaching program, that success generated referrals that led to her first paying clients.
Learn more about knowing how to charge what you are worth with the tips here.
Obstacles and Imposter Syndrome
Whitney worked hard to build a successful career as a money coach, and a lot of that hard work meant overcoming obstacles. One of the first challenges Whitney resolved was creating an ideal schedule.
Create a Schedule
To run a six-figure business, it is essential to optimize your day. For Whitney, that meant eliminating her commute. She quickly realized that a one-hour coaching session could double or triple in length if she was meeting her clients in person. As a result, she started to build her platform as a money coach as an online business.
Know Your Limits
To be a successful money coach, you also have to confront the challenge of owning your own limitations. Whitney says that it is crucial to be honest with your clients. If you don’t know something, be upfront about it.
She also adds that it is essential to make it abundantly clear that you are coaching on habits and day-to-day finances. Money coaches cannot legally offer specific tax or investment advice. Be upfront about what your role as a money coach allows you to do for your client’s financial well-being and for your own. If you find that clients are asking for advice beyond what you can offer, Whitney suggests creating a personal referral network that you can use to put them in touch with other finance experts.
Lean Into Imposter Syndrome
Another obstacle Whitney faced was imposter syndrome. To begin a new career, you simply have to start. But that can be overwhelming and intimidating. As someone who is prone to second-guessing herself, Whitney found herself embracing imposter syndrome.
Rather than pretending she never faces imposter syndrome, she leans into it. She’s not afraid of trial and error and says that her confidence continues to grow over time.
Click here for more tips from Pete McPherson on combating imposter syndrome.
Transitioning to Full-Time Money Coach
How do you make the switch from employee to entrepreneur? It is different for everyone. For Whitney, she knew it was time to make the transition to a full-time money coach once she felt a sense of security.
As someone who is fiercely independent, Whitney realized she also values security a great deal. When she first started coaching, she also worked a full-time job. That meant that she was building her online business in the evenings and on weekends.
To create that sense of security, she maintained both her full-time job and her side hustle simultaneously. However, once the income she generated from her online business as a money coach started to outpace her full-time job, she felt the sense of security she was looking for. That’s when she realized it was time to make the leap.
Growing to Develop a Six-Figure Coaching Business
A six-figure business isn’t born overnight. There is a lot of hype and sensationalism surround entrepreneurship. Some of it is helpful, and a lot of it can be overwhelming. Whitney says that you don’t want to worry too much about what other people say you should and shouldn’t do.
In fact, getting too caught up in following one particular business model can hinder someone as much as it might help someone else. In Whitney’s case, she originally believed that everything she was doing should be scalable. That works for a lot of entrepreneurs, but that wasn’t what her audience needed. Once she started to focus more on her personal finance coaching, she realized how profitable that coaching income could be.
Of course, she still allows herself to dabble in other things. She enjoys innovating and trying out new things, whether it’s a piece of technology or a marketing channel. However, she is also quick to point out that she has enough data to see what works for her business, and she knows what will get her better results.
For anyone who is looking to take their online business to a six-figure business, Whitney also acknowledges the sheer amount of work that goes into building that kind of career. Right now, she sees herself working hard and doubling down as part of the current season of her life. She is taking advantage of the momentum she generated, but she also knows that her days will not always look like this.
The Importance of Marketing
When you start your career as a money coach, it’s easy to think that money coaching is going to be your primary responsibility. Not so fast, says Whitney.
In fact, your full-time job is going to marketing. Whether you run an online business, work in person, or do a blended model, marketing is crucial.
There is a lot of advice out there about the best marketing strategies. Rather than get overwhelmed with all the options, Whitney says to remember your strengths.
You might think that someone who runs a six-figure business is active in every marketing channel. That’s not the case. Whitney currently focuses on her podcast, as well as her Facebook group and Instagram.
She has the data to show these marketing channels are most effective for her business and her personal finance coaching. As a result, that is where she puts the majority of her marketing effort.
Before you set up a YouTube channel, ask yourself if you are awesome on video or if you run when someone points a camera at you. Let your strengths guide you to a marketing niche. Maybe it’s video. It might also be podcasting, writing, or in-person speaking. Choose the marketing channel that allows you to capitalize on your strengths and dive into it.
Click here to find out more from Nick Loper about how Facebook groups can help you grow your brand.
Final Thoughts on Succeeding as a Money Coach
You’re a money nerd, and you’re in good company here. So many people in the FinCon community are passionate about finance. So how do you know if personal finance coaching is right for you?
Long before you attempt to build a six-figure business, test out the waters. Whitney Hansen suggests that you reach out to someone who asks you about money and offer them complimentary coaching. It is an opportunity to see if you really like being a money coach. Plus, you can ask for a testimonial and a referral that will start to pave the way toward a successful money coach career.
Are you a money coach or interested in becoming one?
Please let us know in the comments below.
I have been a money coach and educator since 2017 and LOVE it. Couldn’t agree with Whitney more about taking time to build up a practice. Also want to share for any other money coaches looking for community: Coach Connections. Such a great group to lean on and learn from 5-10 -15 year veteran money coaches and great people!
Great points Michelle! I’ve heard great things about the Coach Connections Community.