Ep 197 – 4 Scheduling Tips From a Pro Coach

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Episode Transcript

Okay, so this episode might seem like a good one to skip. But DON’T! You’ll be thanking me someday if you listen and pick up the 4 coaching business logistical tips I have for you.

Here’s the new coach scenario … you get out of coach training and set up your potential client times on your calendar. If you’ve quit a job to start your coaching business you might think, well my clients have jobs and won’t be able to meet until evening and I should also offer a weekend day too.

Or maybe you still have a full-time job and you’re trying to build your coaching business as a side hustle and, in that case, nights and weekends may be all you have to offer.

Or, when you enrolled your first client, you just asked your new client what time is best for them and rearranged your life to make that work.

In any scenario, you might regret the decision to do what’s convenient for your client.

Scheduling Tip #1: Don’t Pander to Your Coaching Client’s Preferences

I understand the impulse. You want to get clients so you’ll bend over backwards to make things easy for your prospects. Strangely, this is not a good practice if you want to stay in your coaching business for more than a few months.

I’m guessing that part of the reason you want to be a coach is to work for yourself. To make your own decisions and do things your way. So do that from day one and make it your practice even if you haven’t enrolled a single client yet!

Here’s a secret … when people hire professionals, they expect to fit into the openings that are left. But more importantly, if you don’t set boundaries on your business from the beginning when you don’t have any clients, you won’t like your life when you do have clients

I’m embarrassed to say it took me years to figure this out for myself.

There’s a smart mindset here … ACT AS IF you are a coach in high demand right now. Make decisions for your business from that personally powerful place and not from the newbie mindset.

Think about it this way, if you are a coach in high demand and a new client comes along you will only have maybe one or two potential time slots available on your calendar. And guess what … the new client will happily take what they can get!

I know this hard to imagine this at the start because you are so eager to please. But if you’re eager to please what does that signal to prospects? That you are inexperienced, lack confidence and maybe even that you are desperate. That might sound harsh. It’s just something I’ve realized over time.

Successful entrepreneurs value their time in every way. And isn’t it better to model the behavior you want to grow into?

By the way, this is the same savvy mindset that will guide you to charge fees for a sustainable business AND life!

So, set up your availability to suit your lifestyle. Do you go to Pilates on Tuesday and Thursday mornings? Great, don’t work until noon that day. Do you want to pick up your kids from school every day. Block out afternoons. Do you want a weekday off plus your weekend too. You can have it!

Now, if you really believe that your audience is never going to be available when you most want to work that should influence your choice of audience and niche, which is your very first business decision and I can help with that.

If you still have not clicked on the certainty button for a viable audience and profitable niche that fit you schedule a Strategy Session with me. I’d love to help you nail that.

I can tell you this, since I have been running my business in a way that fits the lifestyle I want, I’ve found that no one walks away from the openings I have. And I have clients from all walks of life who have decided that they want to build their coaching business with my step-by-step private support.

Tip #2: Show Less Availability

There are loads of online schedulers to use. But there’s a common mistake most new coaches make with their online scheduler … they show too much availability. You might think this is a mistake but it’s not.

For example, let’s say you set up an activity for 45-minute Discovery Call. This is not a coaching call but an enrollment call with a prospect who is seriously considering hiring you. You ask powerful questions to understand their specific problems and goals and then share details about your program. You both can asset fit in that call.

The temptation is to put several openings throughout each week for potential Discovery Calls. Instead, limit availability no more than 3 openings per week. More than that looks to the prospect like you have nothing to do and that’s not confidence inspiring for them.

Tip #3: Give VIP Coaching Clients Exclusive Times

I used to use my scheduler for any call I set. But I was running into scheduling issues for my clients in my 5-month VIP Coaching Business Breakthrough Program. The more in demand I became the harder it was for those VIP clients to get on my calendar.

So, I did something radical … I stopped using my online scheduler for VIP clients and scheduled them manually instead.

I assign one specific time slot on a specific day of the week and that becomes my VIP client’s exclusive time through my 5-month program. I never give that time slot to anyone else until they finish the 5-month program. No more scheduling hassles!

And here’s the beauty of it, I don’t meet every week with my VIP clients. They have 15 hours of sessions to use over the 5 months so it shakes out roughly to 3 sessions per month. Those weeks off allow them to work on homework, gel their learning or for one or both of us to have a break. It works beautifully.

Tip #4: Schedule Like An Established Coach

Now 20 years in, what does my schedule look like now?

  • I only work with clients Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. (I do admin and create my podcast episodes on half of Monday and half of Friday. Or, if I get ahead, I can take a 4-day weekend.)
  • I only allow 10 calls per week including client calls, Discovery Calls, Strategy Sessions and other calls. This is to manage my energy.
  • I prefer to only have 3 calls per day and 4 calls only once per week if at all.
  • On Tuesdays and Thursdays my first client calls are start at 10:00am.
  • On Wednesdays I have an 8:00am slot for international clients.
  • I never work with clients later than a 4:00pm end time and that late only once per week.
  • I space my clients 1.5 – 2 hours apart so I can finish notes, decompress between clients and be fresh for my next call.

A lot of my VIP clients end up emulating this whole approach. You might too.