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Tanner Rankin of The Source Approach: “Brand Your Process”

I am passionate about mentorship and over the years, have taken on several interns where I focused heavily on their skill development but also career development. The coaching industry is now tremendous. It is a 15 billion dollar industry. Many professionals have left their office jobs to become highly successful coaches. At the same time, […]

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I am passionate about mentorship and over the years, have taken on several interns where I focused heavily on their skill development but also career development.


The coaching industry is now tremendous. It is a 15 billion dollar industry. Many professionals have left their office jobs to become highly successful coaches. At the same time, not everyone who starts a coaching business sees success. What does someone starting a career as a life coach, wellness coach, or business coach need to know to turn it into a very successful and rewarding career?

In this interview series, called “Five Things You Need To Create a Highly Successful Career As a Life or Business Coach” we are interviewing experienced and successful life coaches, wellness coaches, fitness coaches, business and executive coaches and other forms of coaches who share the strategies you need to create a successful career as a life or business coach.

In this particular interview, we had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Tanner Rankin.

For over 10 years as an author, speaker & founder of The Source Approach — eCommerce Consultancy and Referazon –Amazon Influencer Marketing Software, Tanner has helped brands & retailers make eCommerce their strength quicker & easier. Tanner is a top-rated eCommerce Consultant & Amazon Consultant and has authored SEO For Everyone, Social Media Marketing For Everyone and regularly shares strategy on Twitter and Linkedin.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and what brought you to this particular career path?

Thanks for the opportunity. I would say I’ve had a pretty atypical path to becoming an eCommerce consultant. Over 15 years ago now I started out as an Amazon affiliate, then transitioned into having my own brands co-founding and investing in others. During this journey, I identified several challenges related to working with 3rd party marketing and eCommerce agencies and I solved those problems through a method or “approach” I call The Source Approach. I was so inspired from this methodology that it led me to founding my consultancy, The Source Approach literally from my bed while recovering from spinal fusion neck surgery.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Well the first of course is perseverance, as I mentioned, I believe in my method so strongly and it got me so excited, I was willing to build the business with 3 herniated discs removed from my neck when most would definitely not feel like working.

Second is the sense of urgency in taking action; I had already proven that this method works, so I was willing to put in the work when I certainly didn’t feel like it, but what’s more, I could have said “I’ll wait until I feel better.” but the truth is, the perfect time never comes and every day that goes by is time lost. Every day that goes by waiting for the perfect moment you could have been taking action to move your business forward and achieve your goals.

Third is not being risk adverse. Starting a career as a coach or consultant, you are essentially an entrepreneur therefore you need the mental wherewithal to put yourself out there and risk your financial future as well as your reputation on your business. The effective path forward is to take calculated risks and believe in yourself.

How have habits played a role in your success? Can you share some success habits that have helped you in your journey?

The most powerful habit that has propelled me forward has been waking up every day and only focusing on tasks that will add the most value to driving my business.

I’ve bucketed out the most important things that will add value to my business, help me acquire new customers, help me overachieve for existing customers and help me continue to develop my skillset.

This will be intuitive to you but it will be helpful to spell this out directly. Can you help explain a few reasons why it is so important to create good habits? Can you share a story or give some examples?

Good habits mitigate risk and maximize success opportunity.

The reason for this is they provide structure and keep you on a clear path.

Some of my habits include working out so my vessel is strong and my mental acuity is sharp, when you’re a Coach or Consultant, you rely on your body and mind to be at their peak. Additionally, I set up systems to make sure I am always up on the latest best practices to continue my education in my subject matter.

Lastly, I follow strict routines such as when I go to sleep or get up to a T as maximizing your hours of productivity in and of itself is a competitive advantage.

Speaking in general, what is the best way to develop good habits? Conversely, how can one stop bad habits?

For me, developing good habits starts with learning the “why” which serves as the driving force of doing what you do.

Then, identify what are the key habits that will help you achieve your goals quicker and easier.

Then, any time you are tempted to not execute on your habits, ask yourself “will this deviation help me achieve my ultimate goal quicker and easier?” If not, then cut it.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

My life lesson quote and mantra actually is the last sentence of the poem “Desiderata” by Max Ehrmann.

“Strive to be happy.”

When coupled with the remainder of the poem, helps me not only strive to be happy by achieving career and monetary success, but also work-life balance.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

I am involved primarily in 3 businesses.

I am the Founder & CEO of an eCommerce Consultancy called The Source Approach, a Co-Founder & CEO of an Amazon Influencer Marketing Software Company called Referazon as well as I invest in eCommerce companies.

There is 1 through-line to those projects and that is eCommerce.

By being involved in each, it makes me better at each.

I am able to consistently, quickly and easily learn new things that make me better at all 3, which mitigates my risk and maximizes my success opportunity.

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. Many coaches are successful, but some are not very successful. From your experience or perspective, what are the main factors that distinguish successful coaches from unsuccessful ones? What are your “Five Things You Need To Create a Highly Successful Career As a Life or Business Coach”? If you can, please share a story or an example for each.

  1. “Be Steeped in Your Subject Matter”: To lead others as a coach or consultant, you need to have “been there, done that successfully” and eat, sleep and breathe your subject matter. Personally, I’ve been responsible for people, projects and budgets, ran companies, founded companies and invested in companies all with 1 thing in common, eCommerce.
  2. “Brand Your Process”: There is value in you as a coach or consultant, but there is more value in a proven and repeatable process that is branded. The name of my consultancy is “The Source Approach”, but it also the name of my method or “approach” to eCommerce.
  3. “Become an Authority in Your Space”: Seek out opportunities to guest blog post and appear on YouTube videos on prominent media outlets in your space. This will establish significant credibility, making it easier for you to convert clients. What’s more, you will be able to feature the “As Seen On” logos from those appearances on your website, landing pages and media kit.
  4. “Build a Platform”: Build a blog or YouTube channel that your customers go to when they need to solve problems or answer questions. Start producing content regularly that addresses your customers common questions and problems. Then, they will come to you, creating inbound leads.
  5. “Create Successful Joint Ventures”: Nothing is as powerful as a referral. You will want to build relationships with businesses in and around your space that can serve as referral sources to you. Me, as an Amazon Consultant for example, I build relationships with accountants and attorneys who help Amazon sellers.

What are the most common mistakes you have seen coaches make when they start their business? What can be done to avoid those errors?

By far the most common mistake I see that is absolutely crushing for businesses is trying to solve too many problems and be too many things for too many people.

When you first start out, you’re thinking everyone can benefit from what you do. The challenge is, it’s difficult and expensive to market to everyone.

Focus on a sub-niche of your target customers that ideally, you are passionate about and know a lot about.

An example for Referazon, my Amazon Influencer Marketing software company would be medium sized business brands who sell fashion & apparel on Amazon.

Based on your experience and success, what are a few of the most important things a coach should know in order to create a Wow! Customer Experience? Please share a story or an example for each.

In my experience, apart from solving your customers problems without friction, exceeding expectations on professionalism creates the Wow! Experience that your customers are hoping for.

As an Amazon Consultant, I meet with my clients via Google Meeting.

To exceed expectations, I wear a shirt, tie & jacket every day, invest in high quality equipment like my microphone, lighting and webcam as well as I have staged my office setting which appears in my background to be professional but inviting.

What’s more, is I invest heavily in the best software tools to help my clients and when we use them together while screen sharing, it reassures them that no expensive is being spared to make sure they get the results they need.

Liken this to investing in well made packaging or a real estate agent staging the home with the scent of fresh baked cookies and nice décor.

Lead generation is one of the most important aspects of any business, and particularly in coaching. What are the best ways for a coach to find customers? Can you share some of the strategies you use to generate good, qualified leads?

The most important time to show up to your potential customers is when they are looking to solve a problem or fulfill a desire.

When you think about where people go to achieve those 2 things, there are 2 clear places.

Google and YouTube.

Your goal is to not only show up on the first page of results when someone searches for say: “Amazon Consultant” but also, when people search for how to solve problems or fulfill desires like: “How to increase Amazon sales”.

Therefore, your blog posts and YouTube videos are crucial to your lead generation process.

What’s more, make sure when you create this content that you embed ads for your own services and make it easy for leads to sign up.

Coaches are similar to startup founders who often work extremely long hours and it’s easy to end up burning the candle at both ends. What would you recommend to your fellow coaches about how to best take care of their physical and mental wellness when starting their business?

The 3 things that have helped me achieve a work life balance that I am happy with are:

  1. Be as physically active, get as much sleep and eat as healthy as you can. Your body is your vessel and if you don’t take care of your vessel, your output will be a bottleneck in your success.
  2. Set clear hours of when you work on your business and when you work in your business. Structure your days so that you know when you are working on client projects and when you are working on growing your own business.
  3. Be selective with your clients. Don’t take every opportunity that comes along as some will be more grueling on you than others. Depending on what your field is, you will know what that means for you and you will want to build key indicators into your discovery calls or free consultations.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I am passionate about mentorship and over the years, have taken on several interns where I focused heavily on their skill development but also career development.

I’m of the mindset that not only every entrepreneur should have a mentor but every student should be assigned mentors so they can streamline and expedite their life successes.

We are blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

Given that I’m also a CEO and Co-Founder of a software company that serves the Amazon seller community, I think it would be great to chat with Greg Mercer, the founder of Jungle Scout.

He’s been a great resource to the Amazon seller community through his work.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

The best place to follow me is at my Amazon Consultancy The Source Approach and at my Amazon Influencer Marketing Software company Referazon.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!

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