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This episode is part of the Smart Mindsets & Habits series. I hope it inspires you to make a shift in the way you’re thinking about coaching that will help you attract more clients. The kind of clients who will invest more to work with you.
I’m all for less selling and more connecting authentically to attract clients.
Let me ask you this …
- Have you ever felt weird trying to convince someone about the value of coaching?
- Have you ever told someone about your coaching business and you can see their eyes glaze over?
- Have you ever had an incredible sample coaching session with a prospect and they loved it but they didn’t enroll in your ongoing coaching program?
- And what about this … have you ever gotten a single client from your coaching website?
Well, that was me for the first 3 years of my coaching business. I know, that’s crazy, right?
When I came out of coach training school I was what I call a Pure Coach. Episode #12 is called What Coach Archetype Fits You? and it has a description of the Pure Coach archetype.
I thought that coaching was amazing and that everyone else would think so too.
After struggling for too long to earn enough as a coach I began to realize something kind of shocking … most people don’t readily buy coaching. They don’t know what it is. They mistake it for therapy. They assume they can’t afford it.
For me, it was a sort of loss of innocence about coaching. I just couldn’t understand how something I loved so much could be the topic of such indifference to other people.
It felt like my friends and family and potential clients were humoring me whenever I would talk about it. They didn’t really GET the value of coaching.
But then I realized that what’s really going on is they haven’t connected the dots between coaching and something they want or a problem they want to overcome.
I had not connected the dots for them.
And I see the same on most coaching websites, which are just online brochures about coaching.
I think we, as coaches, are unwittingly confusing people that we’d like to enroll as clients.
If you haven’t heard my episode called Why is Coaching a Hard Sell? I highly recommend it.
It’s an eye-opener. And if you can make the mindset shift I believe it will dramatically change your results — how many clients hire you and at higher prices. They stay longer and refer more people to you.
And it all comes down to one paradoxical thing.
Do Coaching But Don’t Sell It
Here’s what happens when you stop selling coaching and start offering a program that helps a unique target audience reach a specific outcome that audience truly wants:
- You become crystal clear about the value of your services.
- That means you can easily articulate what you offer in a far more compelling and non-salesy way.
- So it’s far easier to enroll clients into longer programs at higher prices.
- You get more referrals because people understand who you serve and the problem you solve.
- And, you get to coach more and help more people get where they want to go.
It’s really true. Shifting your mindset and actions away from selling coaching will boost your confidence way up.
You may be thinking … Well Rhonda …
If I Don’t Sell Coaching What Am I Selling?
First, try to get the word ‘coaching’ out of your vocabulary for now. I know that seems radical but you’ll understand in a minute.
- Realize that coaching is part of your skills not an outcome people will buy.
- Get that word out of your company name and brand.
- Get that word off of your website, business card and all of your social profiles.
So what goes in its place?
Well that depends on who your target audience is.
See, everything you do should be centered around your target audience.
Let me illustrate this for you by having you think of something visual …
Have you ever been to a website that totally captivated you? Not because it was pretty or a slick design, but because the words there were addressing you. It almost felt personal.
- You land on this website and immediately you feel understood.
- You spend time on the site, browsing, reading things.
- And that inspires you to opt in to get a free guide or something that give you a big AHA!
- You actually learn something useful from the site.
- There’s no salesy stuff there. Nothing to shut you down or turn you off.
- In fact, it feels like it’s meant for you.
Now this episode isn’t about websites. I’ll have a whole series about websites down the road. But you can stop and ask yourself now …
Does your website do what I described? Is it a home for your target audience? Do they want to hang out there?
Most coaches will say ‘no’.
It’s ironic how oriented around people we coaches are. But when we throw up a website, design a program, create marketing, we often forget about the most important thing — the people we’re serving.
Or, we try to serve everyone so it’s hard to say anything compelling on the site because everything is so general, vague, non-specific. And those types of sites aren’t client-winning.
As you know, I talk a lot about target audience and niche because after 20 years as a coach and 16 of those years helping other coaches succeed, I know this for sure …
If you aren’t targeting a unique audience and focusing your entire business —social posts, web copy, freebie, paid programs, everything — on serving that audience about their top challenges and desired outcomes … you will have trouble earning well as a coach.
And I see it every day, most coaches sell coaching. So much so that most coaching websites all pretty much look and sound the same. And they aren’t helping the coach.
So, your next step, once you flip your mindset and stop selling coaching is to choose a viable target audience. One that’s easy to find and connect with, eager to evolve and willing to invest in their personal or professional growth.
It helps if it’s narrowed down rather than broad and vague. So not all women, not all businesses, not all leaders. Get specific.
Or, if you’re going to have a big broad audience then narrow down on the specific challenge you help businesses with.
Because the way you’ll do best is if you stand out in the crowd. Targeting a narrow audience helps you:
- Speak about what’s most important to them (not coaching).
- Attract their attention.
- Engage them.
- Build trust and connection.
Because you attract them through relevance, you don’t have to sell. They are pre-sold on the idea of working with you and you’ve not even mentioned coaching or pricing.
Wouldn’t you love that? If you could stop trying to convince people to buy coaching?
This episode is called Would YOU buy your own coaching program? because chances are you would not unless you’ve done a good job targeting and audience and gearing your business to serve that group’s top goals and challenges.
I want you to think back before you became a coach. Before you knew how great coaching is. Now, imagine meeting you or going to your website as it is now … would you buy your coaching program?
I would buy mine in a heartbeat.
That’s because it’s designed around what I, as a new coach, could not find out there and desperately needed. Private VIP support to step through and solve all the start up problems coaches face for their coaching business.
- What’s my niche?
- Where do I find enough clients who get the value of coaching enough to invest in it?
- How can I earn enough?
- How can I feel confident in what I’m offering?
And all the details in between.
See how that works? It’s not general coaching for anyone or coaching on a specific topic. It’s solution oriented for a very specific audience.
If you want help to shift from selling coaching to a much easier and more lucrative approach that isn’t salesy, let’s have a Strategy Session.
It’s a great way to get my support on a first foundational step — a step that until you’ve taken it, you’ll feel stuck — let’s nail your audience, your niche, your branding or something foundational for you. It will give you a solid sense of direction so you know exactly what you’re doing.
The Next Episode Is: 3 Power Packed Online Tools Every Coach Needs