Blogging, Blogging Podcast, Interviews

110 How To Effectively Offer Coaching From Your Blog – With Marlee Ward

By Leslie Samuel

Who: Marlee Ward
Blog: MarleeWard.Com
Transcript: Right Click To Download Transcript

Listen to This Episode

This is a Learning With Leslie First, and I enjoyed it so much. In this interview, I got on the line with Marlee Ward to talk about . . . well . . . we had NO IDEA what we were going to talk about.

I considered this interview an experimental interview. No plan, no outline, and lets see what happens.

It turns out that Marlee was the PERFECT person to do this with. We laughed, we discussed, and Marlee shared her VERY interesting journey with us.

Now, even though the conversation started without a plan, it went in a very specific direction where Marlee ended up sharing some KILLER TIPS for anyone looking to make money from their blogs by offering coaching.


This is an EXCELLENT way to use your expertise to help out your audience, and get customers to pay you for your time.

I plan on offering coaching (eventually) and when I start, I will be coming back to this interview to listen again so that I can get started on the right foot.

Here are just a few of the topics Marlee got into:

  • How to know who your target audience is. I know – you're thinking that you've heard this before, but I REALLY LOVE Marlee's take on this
  • How to decide if the potential client is the right fit. If they aren't, don't work with them.
  • How to get your potential client to share their compelling vision
  • How to create a plan of action to help them achieve their goals
  • How to execute that plan
  • How to monitor results

Notice something? The first two words on all those topics are “How To”. Yep, that's just how she rolls! She really got into some practical and ACTIONABLE tips that I KNOW you're gonna love.

So stop reading this right now and start listening to the interview. Wait – don't stop yet!

One more thing before you go. When you are finished, I would LOVE to get your feedback on how you think this unplanned interview went. What did you like? What didn't you like?

Let me know in the comments section below!


Some people prefer to read along with the podcast episode. Others actually prefer to read than listen. If you are one of those people, not to worry. I’ve got a transcript right here for you 🙂

Click here to download transcript.

Resources Mentioned

    1. Great to hear Robert. Definitely stick with your blogs and continue with the goal of offering tons of value to your audience. Wishing you all the best!

  1. LESLIE,

  2. Leslie. Marlee. Thank you! What Marlee said at the end “you have permission to change directions.” That really hit me (as in teary-eyed and everything). Over a year ago, I wrote in my calendar, “I realized today that I am no longer happy at my job and in my profession.” When I came across that date in my calendar this year, I was very sad to see that I was still at the same job and in the same profession. Granted, I have started taking steps in coaching (thank you Leslie for using me as an example… it truly helped to have some steps to my specific situation), but I’m just ready to take a LEAP (just need to have the $$ behind it…). I have a goal of when I need to be 100% free from my job, and I plan to make that happen.
    I really like the idea of offering ONE specific type of coaching at first and just helping a ton of people with that specific issue and then expanding on that. I think that will really help get a lot of people in the door and help me feel more confident. I do have a question though… Leslie, you had suggested that I offer a month of free coaching just to start since I have zero real coaching experience (other than personal and on my blog writing self-improvement articles). I have just finished with my first client as of yesterday. It was very successful, and I feel like we met a lot of her goals. The only thing is that after a month, not only could she not afford coaching, but she felt like she was well on her way and coaching wasn’t quite as necessary anymore. I have now revised to offer just 2 weeks free. But I wonder if even that is too much. With so little experience, what is fair to offer? Should I just do a free consult call and then pricing options right away? Or stick with the 2 free weeks for awhile? I’m just not sure what’s best.
    Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed this podcast. Definitely a success, as it seemed to speak to me directly!

    1. I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed the episode. Didn’t mean to bring you to tears though 🙂 It’s ok. You know that it’s all out of love 😉

      To answer your question, I think I’ve evolved the way I look at offering free coaching. I think it’s better to have a lower priced coaching in the beginning than to have Free coaching. I would personally move more towards a free initial consultation as opposed to a month, or even 2 weeks. Unless you REALLY want to do the free to build up your first few testimonials.

      Now, I haven’t personally offered paid coaching before so I am speaking out of very limited experience. However, I have offered some free coaching, with the understanding that I could use the recordings for my podcast. That way, there was some direct benefit to me even though I wasn’t being paid.

      You are running a business. Don’t be ashamed to charge, as long as you are offering value.

    2. Hi Holly!
      I’m so glad this podcast spoke to you, it was so much fun to do. Make your plan and work your plan, Holly, and it will come to pass.

      As to offering the free coaching, I agree with Leslie’s direction. I don’t offer free sessions. The truth is, free sessions attract a lot of tire kickers. When I offered free sessions in my business, I offered 1 20 minute power session. 80% of the time those people just wanted to grill me and get on with their own agenda. My time was worth too much to do that.

      You are better off created a free digital guide like and ebook or video or something of extreme value that people can download with no strings attached, but get an idea of what it’s like to work with you.

      In your case, I would try something like that, then offer the free consult and go into pricing options. Truthfully, Holly, if you know what you teach your clients works, then you shouldn’t be worried about having the experience to charge for it. Does your coaching work? You know it did for one person. So, if you are very specific about the type of clients you work with (ideal clients) who you know your coaching will work for, you should feel beyond comfortable charging for your time.

      And, as your demand increases your prices can too.

      Hope that helps!

  3. I wasn’t teary eyed like Holly but the ‘giving yourself permission’ line hit me as well. I’m doing some things currently but would love to follow up on this soon. I’m currently on the road that Holly is with regard to offering “free” coaching for a month while I collect data and build some things. This was VERY helpful to me today.

    1. Robert, don’t mind me – I’m overly emotional… i cry at Campbell’s soup and Hallmark commercials 🙂
      Do you find that offering a full month of coaching free is being a bit too generous? I mean, I know we’re trying to gain experience and credibility, but I feel like I should have gotten paid for that last month, or at least some of it! Thoughts??

    2. Ahh Holly – such a wimp, lol. Just kidding. I get a little wimpy while watching certain shows myself, so I can’t really talk. Ok, enough about that.

      I do agree with you Holly about the 1 month coaching being a bit generous. Now, if this is something that you are ONLY doing for 1 month, where there is some benefit to you (i.e. testimonials, recordings to be used, or something else to build up your coaching portfolio), that’s up to you to decide. However, I personally wouldn’t make it an ongoing thing, unless you had proven systems in place to convert a certain percentage of them into paying clients in a way that is beneficial to you and your business.

    3. I guess it depends. I am not planning to offer a free month to EVERYBODY. I am only offering it right now in my “beta” period to get some data and some testimonials. Then, I will have it priced out appropriately. I am in the process of creating some consulting packages and will post those on my website. If people believe that I can be of service or help THEM be of service, then we’ll exchange the appropriate value ;-). The FREE month is just going to those I have spoken to personally and who have been gracious enough to agree to be my “guinea pigs”, lol. No, seriously, they are providing a great value to me right now as I get going. So, I don’t really look at it as free. We just don’t happen to be exchanging American currency right now. Hope that helps.

  4. Dear Leslie, What an awesome spontaneous interview. I would not have known it if you had not said it up front. You have a very compelling gift of warmth and depth and delight. I really enjoy your emails and videos.

    Thank you for inspiring me!

    I am beginning my blog and wanting to do an interview show with the top coaches I have met from around the world.

    I love your intros, do you do them or do you have a part of your team create them?

    Warm regards,


    1. Thanks for the feedback William. I appreciate it. I see that your blog is all about coaching, so I know this episode probably resonate with you well.

      In terms of my intros, I had a few friends and past interviewees say that you’re listening to learning with Leslie . . . I edited them together. My wife sang the 888 # in my intro and I recorded that in my home studio. And then for the intro that I say, I basically play the music while talking over it.

      In terms of WHAT I say in the intro, sometimes I write it out myself (especially when it’s just an episode with me talking), and sometimes my assistant does it for me, if she researched the guest.

      Hope that helps!

  5. Hey,

    just listened to this podcast on the train this morning, great insights and tips to implement – especially since I am considering to offer coaching services one day myself.

    Just a short question, would you advice future coaches to complete a coaching certification before they offer their services?

    And yes, especially the last sentences gave me an additional boost 🙂 (No tears in my eyes, though, sorry). I am three months into entrepreneurship and sometimes I am losing a sense of direction, just have to learn that that is a good thing! I guess, I just should not miss my “destination”.

    Thank you,

    1. Hi Jantje,

      I don’t think it’s necessary to complete a coaching certification before offering coaching. It wouldn’t hurt, and you’d learn more about HOW to do it well, but most of the online coaches I know, even those who do it successfully, never had that kind of professional training.

      So if you want to do it because you want to be a more effective coach, then go ahead, but I don’t think it’s necessary.

    2. Hey Jantje!

      I agree with Leslie. Having a coaching certificate will always lend itself to having more credibility, but it won’t make or break your business by any means.

  6. Hey Leslie,
    I found this podcast very interesting. Marlee is very bright and I like the way she gets inside of her target market’s mind. I checked out all the tools and resources mentioned. I am going to order a book from Dan Kennedy on marketing from the library tomorrow because of this podcast. I learned from Michael Ellsberg from, “The Education of Millionaires” is that there is three things that all millionaires and billionaires have in common. They are successful at marketing, selling and networking. This is a great interview. Thank you.


    1. Glad to hear that you enjoyed the episode. Yep, marketing, selling and networking are all very important in building a business. I haven’t read the book, but it does sound like an interesting read.

      All the best!

  7. Im Quite Impressed by your writing style, I want to ask you to write a guest blog in my website Im a budding blogger inspired by ur bold n straight way of writing articles

  8. I think anybody starting out blogging can get help by the pros. It will really help out starting as there are so many things to consider. People may say it’s all about writing quality content but there really is so much more to it.

  9. marlee gran postcast asi como gran consejo de tu exito a tomar en consideracion
    marlee great postcast well as great advice of your success to take into consideration

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