The Smart Way to Build Coaching Revenue Streams

As I pointed out in my last post, the best way to get off the money for time treadmill is to diversify your coaching revenue streams. To get past the ceiling on your coaching income, offer products and programs that don’t require more of your time each time you make a sale.

Doing this takes time and effort, so make sure you are working smart. Design your products and programs to fit together into a leveraged marketing funnel.

What is a marketing funnel and how do you create one?

The concept of the marketing funnel was originally based on the psychology of buying. What needs to happen before a prospect will make a purchase? How to you get multiple sales from one customer? How do you build brand loyalty?

The funnel is a set of offers designed to build a relationship based on trust, relevant value and connection over time.

The wide end of the funnel offers value for free, starting the relationship with little risk to the buyer.

As the funnel narrows, the number of buyers decreases while the quality of the relationships improve. That’s a natural pattern of self selection – and a good thing for you because it means that only people who really “get” you will buy your higher priced products and programs. Only people who have an affinity with your brand will engage your private time.

All offers should help your market in ways that are specific to their top challenges:

  • by filling the holes in their knowledge,
  • helping them avoid common mistakes,
  • showing them how to reach a goal you know they care about,
  • helping them break through to more powerful mindsets, or
  • motivating them to keep the faith.

There are four types of offers in a marketing funnel:

  1. Freebies: Small but highly valuable electronic offers to open the relationship with your leads and establish credibility with your market. At the wide end of the funnel, these offers are free (blog or ezine, free articles and reports, audio or video recordings, assessments, mini ecourses), or low priced ($10-50: info products, teleseminars, services that take very little of your time).
  2. Introductory Offers: These are samples, teases or free previews of something fee-based, such as sample sessions, consults, or preview teleseminars.
  3. Core Offers: Mid to high priced offers in the main stream of what you are known for in your market ($50 and up: private & group coaching, workshops, ebooks, CD/workbook sets).
  4. Back End Products and Services: These follow on the core offers and are generally more expensive, while including more advanced information or premium support ($500 to tens of thousands: major products, teleseminar courses, and exclusive services such as retreats, bundled coaching programs).

Chances are, you’ve experienced someone’s funnel first hand. You signed up for a freebie (an ezine, assessment, or teleclass). Then you purchased something (an ebook, teleseminar, or a bundled program like The Coach’s Power Path). You know it works.

Now it’s your turn to design the products and programs that will be in your funnel. If you’re just getting started, jot down your initial ideas for three basic offers:

Sample Session or Consult
Private and/or Group Coaching

Answer these questions for each of them:

  • What outcome-based name or title will I give this offer? (See examples below.)
  • What’s included in this offer?
  • What are the benefits? How does it educate, correct, simplify, shift or inspire my market?
  • What is the follow up offer?
  • (And for fee-based offers) What are my fees for this program?

If you already have your basic offers in place, congratulations! Now review your funnel and ask yourself these questions:

  • How can I better leverage both my offers and my marketing (so each offer naturally leads to a follow-up offer with a higher price point)?
  • Where are the “holes” in my funnel? (Look for big jumps between price points.)
  • Which offers do I want to sell more of, and which am I ready to phase out?

Keep this cycle of design and review going, so that your funnel is continuously improving.

Example: Women Sales Managers

Here’s an example of a basic funnel for a coach whose market is Women Sales Managers. This coach’s Unique Benefit Statement is “I help women sales managers create an inspired sales force and bring in their most profitable year yet.” Notice how each offer in her funnel ties back to her UBS, and naturally leads to its follow-up offer.

Is Your Sales Force Inspired for Greatness?
A six question assessment with “custom” results to determine how well the sales manager is inspiring their sales force. Each question connects to one of the three key strategies: Relationship, Respect & Rewards.

Sales Staff Mini Makeover Consult
A 20 minute free consult to review their assessment responses and close the sale for group coaching.

Group Coaching
Inspired Sales Force Think Tank
A coaching group limited to ten sales managers. Two ninety minute group coaching sessions each month, plus one private 45 minute session, plus a private Ning social networking site. Help each sales manager implement one strategy.
Fees: $550/mo. Six month commitment requested.
Follow-up: Sales Leaders Retreat

Want help targeting your market and creating a powerful funnel? Check out my workshop on choosing and championing Your Ideal Coaching Market.