Wendy McCallum (00:01.538)
Hello there, welcome back to the Coaching Edge podcast. I'm your host, Wendy McCallum. So glad to have you here. I'm gonna talk today about a topic that is something I have a lot of experience with. And I think something that we are not talking about enough in the coaching world, both in terms of the pros and in terms of the pitfalls or the things to watch out for. And so what I'm gonna talk about today is the idea of.
Partnering with another coach to launch a program or to coach a group or to do really anything else together. It might be a challenge or a marketing initiative. Partnering with another coach can actually be a really, really great business idea, especially if you're partnering with a coach who has a complimentary set of skills and an audience or a reach to you so that you can...
both bring something really unique to the table as coaches, but then also get to take advantage of each other's existing audiences. So I love this idea and I've done it so many times over the years with different coaches. I have partnered with a naturopathic doctor to create a program called WTF Women Talking Frankly, which was all about menopause, midlife and burnout. I have partnered with an alcohol coach and created a program that we have run
together several times successfully live and that we now both use individually in our private practices and run as a group program on our own. With that same coach, I have run a live challenge, five day live challenge twice. And I have partnered, I'm currently partnered with a coach to run two small backend memberships for our private clients who then wanna move into a group community type setting. And we have also done a live challenge together. And then...
Honestly, I can think, if I think back, if I start going back in history, there are so many other examples of times I've partnered with other coaches or wellness practitioners. So it can work really, really well, but there are also all of these considerations and questions and conversations that you want to have before you get going to make sure that it is a good fit and also to make sure that you are doing everything possible to manage.
Wendy McCallum (02:21.358)
potential points of conflict, disagreement, or contention down the line. Because obviously the goal is to have the smoothest, most positive experience possible. And in order to do that, just like in any other business situation, you really want to spend some time thinking about all of the possible contingencies, things that might go right, things that might go wrong, and then really trying to in advance come to a general agreement as to how you're going to deal with those things. So I wanted to run through some of the things.
that I talk to my BBB coaches about when they're thinking about entering into partnerships. These are the types of things that I'm constantly encouraging people to think about and actually sit down and have a conversation with or around with their potential partner in whatever the business project is that they're thinking of partnering on. So the very first thing guys that you really sound so basic, you wanna make sure that you like each other.
So there is nothing worse than getting into a business arrangement with someone that you genuinely don't enjoy. I have done that before and it is not fun. So you wanna make sure that you genuinely enjoy working together. That is the very first most basic requirement, I think, of partnering with someone or even considering to partner with someone. So take some time to do that. Get together for a Zoom.
coffee chat, just to kind of shoot the breeze and find out a little bit about each other if you don't know each other really well. But in a perfect world, this is someone who you already like, know and trust. This is someone who you have worked with somehow before you have been connected to for quite a while. And you have, you know, lots of good reasons to trust this person and to trust that you know who they are already. So that's the first question. Do you like each other?
Then the second question that kind of flows directly from that is, do your coaching styles complement each other? So I don't mean that you need to have the same coaching style exactly, because no two coaches are exactly alike. And I think one of the things that is really important is to develop your own unique style as a coach. So it's not about being identical or maybe even that similar, but do they complement each other? Will they work well together? So for example, the program, the two group
Wendy McCallum (04:40.058)
small groups that I co-run right now. The coach that I co-run them with, our styles complement each other really, really well. She is maybe a little bit softer and gentler than I am as a coach. She's definitely incredibly positive and optimistic and I tend to be just a little bit more pragmatic and realistic and practical and a little more about this sort of kind honesty.
as a coach. And so we are our coaching styles really complement each other and we get that feedback from the clients that are in our groups. They love the calls that they have with her and they love the calls they have with me and they get something different from each call. So do your styles complement each other. It is really important, even though your styles don't need to be the same. It is really important that your fundamental philosophies around coaching actually are in alignment. So
the underlying principles from which you coach, those things that sort of form the foundation, the foundational assumptions, I guess, that you make upon which you ask great coaching questions, that those are similar. So for example, I am trained in a model of life coaching through the Coaches Training Institute, which is now the Coactive Coaching Institute. And...
That is based on the underlying premise that all people are fundamentally and naturally creative, resourceful and whole. And so when I'm going into coaching, I'm always assuming that my client is not broken, my client is not without, certainly not without hope, but in fact, it's the opposite. My client is already whole, my client is creative and resourceful. They do have the answers inside. They are the ones who know best. What is the best next step for them?
and what really matters to them as a human being. But they have maybe gotten stuck or are lacking clarity around that right now. And my job as a coach is to help them get unstuck and to help them get insight and clarity into what they need next for themselves, what will serve them best. So that underlying premise that they're naturally creative, resourceful and whole is really important to me. And I don't think I could host a program with another coach who didn't believe that, who was starting from a different place.
Wendy McCallum (06:54.63)
So that's just an example. So your coaching styles need to compliment each other and your fundamental philosophies around coaching really do need to align. So again, the only way you're gonna know that is by having a really good conversation with this person. Then we start getting into some really like basic questions but important questions that I've seen so many coaches not ask. They just get excited about the idea of partnering with someone else, obviously.
Partnering with someone else means you don't have to do all the work yourself, which is very, very helpful when it comes to creating a course. It can be very helpful to be able to split content creation, for example, with people and to be able to split obviously responsibilities for managing the community and troubleshooting and also live coaching. So, um, people get really excited about the idea of partnering, but don't think through some of the practicalities around what that partnership's actually going to look like. So first question to ask around,
how the split is going to work. Because we're talking about not just the split in profits, we're also talking about the split in work and responsibilities. The first question is, how much will each of you be contributing it in terms of content? Now there's no right or wrong answer to this, it's just really important to be clear on this. So they have the expectations laid out because that may impact the division of profit.
at the end of all of this and how you guys decide to manage the money side of this program that you're going to run together. So how much will you each be contributing in terms of content? So you could have a situation where somebody already has a bunch of really great pre-created content that they've been using for some other purpose that's super versatile and that you can just upload and incorporate into this joint program, for example. You might have a situation where you just decide to do it 50-50. You're going to create 21 videos or 22 videos and you're each going to do 11.
But you might have a situation where one person is like feeling much more confident around their ability to do content creation on this subject, and the other person is bringing a different set of skills or an offering to the table. So it is important to be clear on what that is. Like I said, there's no one right way to do it, but you do need to understand how much will we each be contributing in terms of content. And then the next question is...
Wendy McCallum (09:09.986)
How much will we each be contributing in terms of coaching time? So if this is a live group program that you're creating, how are you going to decide who spends what time where? So maybe there is one hour a week of live coaching. Are you gonna alternate between weeks? Are you gonna split that 50-50? What about the community? Are there gonna be certain days where one of you is responsible for checking in the community, answering questions, providing support?
or how are you gonna organize that? This is a really great question too, to think about whose platform is gonna host the program. That's important for a number of reasons. First of all, if it's on one person's platform, it can be more difficult for another person to later repurpose that content. So that's something to think about. Like strategically, if you're going to make an agreement to have ownership.
each have ownership over the content and be able to do what you want with it after such time as you're no longer partnering on it, you wanna be thinking about where's this gonna live and how can the other person who doesn't maybe have control over the content because it's not their platform, how can that person ensure that they have access to all of this content afterwards? Also, the platform probably costs money. Who's paying for that?
Is that a disbursement that's going to get paid out first before you pay out profit? So are you going to be reimbursing all expenses that are out of pocket, direct expenses with the creation of the program first before you start looking at the division of profit? So there's just a couple of things around the platform. Obviously other, you know, other questions and concerns arise around that. So the one person who is managing the platform or who is admitting the platform, there's a...
decent chance that person's going to end up having to do a lot more work in terms of uploading content and course, like actual course creation on the tech side of things and the admin side of things, probably also troubleshooting and managing problems is going to fall on that person. And that's important to understand because of course that might contribute to how you decide to split profits on all of this.
Wendy McCallum (11:19.006)
What are you each contributing in terms of audience and exposure? This is a big one. So I have partnered before with people who have a smaller audience and less exposure than me, and I have partnered with people who have a significantly bigger audience and exposure. And it can work either way, but you wanna have an understanding of that when you come in because there is a value to coming to the table with a larger audience and exposure depending on how you're splitting the profits. So we're gonna get to.
profit splitting in a second and all the considerations there. But if you were splitting them 50-50 and it wasn't, you weren't tracking where the leads came in and you just decided, well, we're just going to see how many people sign up and then we'll just pay out expenses and then split the profits 50-50, then there, you know, that may not seem, that may not be fair. Right. But again, if you decide to do that, that may also be a real advantage if you're the person with the lower
exposure, smaller audience, if that makes sense. So these are all things to think about. And again, there's no right or wrong way to do it. But I can tell you that the overriding goal in a partnership should be to make it fair. Because if it's not fair and it doesn't feel fair to both parties, it is going to become contentious down the road. That's how problems arise.
So what are you contributing in terms of audience and exposure? And then who's going to be responsible for marketing? And how's that marketing going to happen? Are you guys going to both do that? How are you going to do that? What's the marketing going to look like? How are you going to launch this thing? Launching a program is like a whole other podcast episode, but there are so many different pieces that go into that, from accessing and leveraging your existing newsletter and email lists to a social media campaign to maybe running a live challenge or some kind of a master class.
an open house or a Q&A or a live presentation that then leads to an email series or a discovery call or an application for the program or however you want to structure it. Who's responsible for the marketing and how, right? How is that happening? Who's going to get spin-off work?
Wendy McCallum (13:23.426)
from this program, who's gonna get benefits? So let's say you have a group program that you're creating with someone else and there are members of that group program who then want to sign up for one-on-one or individual coaching. How are you guys gonna manage that? Who's gonna do that one-on-one coaching and what's gonna happen with the revenue that's created from that one-on-one coaching? Who owns the content? Such an important question, everyone, and one that people don't talk about.
who owns it and what can you do with it afterwards. Now, I wanna be super clear, as always on this podcast, even though I have a background as a lawyer, I am never giving legal advice here. These are just business considerations, okay? But this is one that seems like a very important one. Who is gonna own this content? Does it belong to both of you and what can you do with it? What are your rights with this content that you have created together?
What happens to the content if the partnership breaks up or you decide not to proceed after the first launch or the second launch or at some point down the road? What happens to that content? Can it be repurposed by one or both of you? And in what way? Really, really important. Can you offer the courses a self-guided option on your site, even if the coached version is being hosted on theirs?
good consideration, right? So let's say your partner with somebody and decide to run a live group coaching program using this course that you create. And you charge, you know, more for that because it's got a live coach option with it. Can you take that same course and upload it onto your website and sell it at a lower price? Maybe, maybe not while you're offering or launching the live version of this, but as something maybe that you sell in between the times that you are
running this live with your partner or as a down sell, which can be a really great thing to have a self guided course evergreen course can be by evergreen. I just mean always available for registration. So there isn't like an open cart date and a closed cart date. That's what we mean by evergreen. When you hear that term, it's something that's always available for registration. You can sign up today for it and start today.
Wendy McCallum (15:39.298)
So if you have this course as a evergreen self-guided option on your website at a lower price, that can be a great down sell in a discovery call if someone's not a great fit for private coaching, or if they just simply can't afford whatever the higher ticket option is. And it can also be a really great way, lower price option to bring people into your coaching funnel and warm them up for a higher ticket offer down the road. So are you allowed to do that?
Is that cool with your partner? You have to decide that. What costs are involved in running the program? Now, I'm gonna give you a few examples of the types of costs that might be involved in running the program, but this is not exhaustive by any means. Things like the cost of the platform. So how much it costs to purchase the platform and use it whatever course creation or course hosting platform you're using.
marketing expenses. So are there are there going to be fees involved? Are you hiring someone to help you with the marketing? Or are you going to be doing boosted boosting posts or paid ads on social media, for example, or on Google ads? Like, is there going to be an actual cost of marketing? What about other expenses and dismerse disbursements? payment provider fees? So who is where's the money running through? This is also something to think about.
Are we running all the money through one website? And then is the person who's collecting that revenue responsible for splitting it? And of course, in that case, the payment provider fees, whatever the payment provider, whether that's Stripe or some other platform, is charging for processing that money, that would need to get reimbursed, dealt with, paid for before the profit split happens, so that nobody's out of pocket extra money. There are all these little considerations around this.
Are you going to need to hire somebody to do bookkeeping on this program? Are you going to need an admin assistant to help with it? A virtual assistant maybe to help you manage all the live group calls and post the replays and all of that. Will you be hiring somebody to create a sales page for this program or will you be doing that yourself? What are the costs involved in creating this program? And you want to try to nail down as many of those in advance so that you've had conversations around them and then have a...
Wendy McCallum (17:59.918)
plan in place for when other expenses arise. So if somebody realizes along the way, oh shoot, this is gonna cost more money and I think this is something worth doing, you have an agreement to talk to your partner before you go ahead with that expense so that you get their approval. What's fair in terms of a revenue split or compensation? This is the one that I think, sort of the last, one of the last questions because.
You want to figure out all this other stuff first, because as you can imagine, all of those questions or considerations that I've just run through would have a direct impact on what is actually fair in terms of the revenue split here, the compensation. How's this gonna work? Is it going to be 50-50? Don't assume it's going to be 50-50, because 50-50 might not be fair. If you're gonna be putting in the lion's share of the work in terms of content creation and also...
marketing, and you also have like the significantly bigger audience and reach here, then a 50-50 split probably doesn't make sense, right? So you want to have a really honest conversation about what's fair here in terms of revenue split. Trust me when I say this, if it doesn't feel fair to you, it will lead to resentment and contention and conflict, which is what you're trying to avoid here.
I also think it's important to work into whatever arrangement you have with someone like, we're going to revisit this regularly. So this is, you know, the beta of this program. This is the plan in terms of the revenue split and the compensation and the work share on this beta. But this may change going forward. And so we're going to revisit this once the beta is over. Let's say you're planning to have the beta wrapped up in six months. At that point, we're going to sit down again and we're going to talk about how that went, lessons learned.
current arrangement seems fair going forward if we wanna revisit it. And then obviously how and when will each of you be paid? This actually can be trickier than you think, especially if you're working with an international partner. Ask me how I know, I have done that where I've worked with partners in the UK, partners in the States, and it can get a little tricky. You wanna have a plan for how the payment part is actually happening if one person is collecting revenue and then having to do a revenue split and payout.
Wendy McCallum (20:18.558)
Will you invoice them for the amount that's owed to you? Will they pay you directly? And if so, how? Just have a chat about that, because it can be complicated to transfer funds internationally, especially. So something to think about. So I mean, that is a big list of things. And
You know, I just, I wanted to highlight these things because I see far too often, I see coaches entering into partnership arrangements, feeling really jazzed, really excited about the possibility of working with someone and not considering at least half of these questions before they get into it. And then something arises and they don't, they're not expecting it. It's a bit of a blind side.
Sometimes one person tries to deal with it without talking to the other person and all of this stuff leads to conflict which can erode the relationship. And of course, not only do you pay as a coach for that and as a business person, but your clients probably pay because it becomes obvious to people, clients in a group coaching program, for example, when the two coaches are not in alignment and are not enjoying the time that they're spending coaching together. So.
This also serves your client base, and it is really, really important to think about these things. So before I finish this episode, I'm just gonna run through these questions one more time in the event you would like to write these down. Make some notes. First question, do you like each other? Second question, do your coaching styles and philosophies compliment each other? How much will you be contributing in terms of content? How much will you each be contributing in terms of coaching time?
Whose platform will host the program? What are you each contributing in terms of audience and exposure? Who will be responsible for marketing and how? Who will get any spin-off work slash benefits? Who owns the content? What happens to the content if the partnership breaks up? Can you offer the course as a self-guided option on your site? One or both of you, is that an option?
Wendy McCallum (22:27.894)
What costs are involved in running the program? What's fair in terms of a revenue split and how and when will you each be paid? Now, again, this is not an exhaustive list. There are all kinds of other things that might come up, but hopefully this will serve as a really good template, a basis for the conversation that you have with another coach before you start creating the program, before you get out there and do a whole bunch of work. Make sure that you have talked through these things. You're probably gonna
in the course of this conversation, notice that other things come up, other places where you're not clear come up and you guys can work through that. Again, the goal here is to have this be fair and to have this be as clear as possible. You can write this down, you can just record notes from the conversation, do what feels like the right thing for you. If this was a really big deal, like a very complicated partnership for me.
So I've had one of these where I partnered with someone in the UK on a corporate wellness program that we were offering all over Europe. And there was a lot of work involved. I did all the content creation for it because that was the arrangement. This person didn't have a lot of experience with content creation, but did have some connections. And so we made an agreement. Again, it doesn't have to be 50-50, right? In terms of the...
the split, it just needs to feel fair. And so what we agreed was that the balance, this balanced out really nicely. It was a good compliment and I created all the content. But because this was complicated, because we were selling to corporations, because the ticket price on it was quite high and the potential for profit was very high, we had all of this done with a lawyer. So again, I can't give you legal advice, but I would say be smart about all of this stuff. And...
It's always a great idea to keep notes, guys, to have a record of the conversation and the agreement. But the most important thing is to feel really clear before you enter into it. Try to deal with any potential areas of future conflict in advance, if you can. Partnerships are amazing. They can work so well. I love them. But they can also go very, very wrong.
Wendy McCallum (24:46.774)
just wanted to talk about this today, because again, I don't think it's something that we're talking about enough in the world of coaching and small business. So I hope you found that helpful. Let me know if you did, I love to hear from you guys. You can follow me at Wendy McCallum Coach on Instagram. I'm always putting out like little tips and short reels and things that are super helpful for coaches around building a resident, sustainable, profitable business.
But I would also love to hear from you. So if you have ideas for future episodes or guests, or if you have feedback on an episode, I would love to hear from you. You can always send me a DM there, or you can email me at wendymichalem.com. And if you're looking for information on any of the other programs that I offer to coaches, you can go and get that information on my website again at wendymichalem.com. Thanks for listening, guys.