Ep 73 – Do You Fit One Of These Coach Archetypes?

This episode is another REPRISE during the pandemic to give me a chance to be with my emotions while still provide something helpful to coaches. Bless my foggy brain. I need a break, ya’ll!

So you’re going to love this if you haven’t already heard it. And if you have already heard it consider listening again.

And, I double dog dare you to choose just one of these archetypes as your primary archetype and not just say “Oh, I can relate to all them.” In my experience, one rises to the surface like cream.

So this is a creative exploration of how personality can affect your choice of coaching niche.

When I work with coaches to help them determine their niche, I ask a lot of questions to uncover clues that, when strung together, point us to natural possibilities for them.

I’ve been playing with this idea for years — that coaches often have a natural inclination, which influences how they will build and grow their business. And that can influence what type of audience and niche will fit them best.

This is not usually a conscious choice, but rather a subconscious leaning. I’ve decided to call these archetypes.

I began to witness 5 major patterns in the way a coach will grow their business. So, in this episode I’ll explain those 5 major archetypes and how they emerge to influence the direction of a coaching business.

One of them might be a clue for you.

A few caveats here …

  • Not every coach will have one clear archetype.
  • You might not relate to any of these archetypes. After all, they come out of my experience only.
  • And for some people this archetype isn’t yet awakened until they launch their business and something blooms within them.

I’ll use myself as an example.

I had no idea when I decided to become a coach that 3 years later I’d be developing my own curriculum and teaching others how to coach. I didn’t know that I’d launch a new and specific business 12 years ago to help coaches choose a smart niche and launch with confidence.

I didn’t intend any of that.

Meet the TEACHER ARCHETYPE

If you fit the Teacher Archetype then you have a strong leaning towards teaching.

And it’s born out of your own ideas, not someone else’s.

That’s a key distinction.

It might happen like this …

You struggle mightily with something — in my case it was trying to figure out what my own coaching niche is — and your sense of determination kicks in full force.

You decide that you’re going to study this problem from all sides.

It becomes a bit of an obsession.

You fall on your face a few times but it doesn’t matter because you’re like a dog after a bone. You’re going to figure this out.

And this DRIVE TO SOLVE is a big part of the teacher archetype.

At first, you’re not thinking about helping others with this problem. You simply want to

solve it for yourself.

But at some point, when your ideas start to have a positive affect on you … you realize that you’re not the only one with this very difficult challenge.

And you begin to look at things from a meta-level. While transforming yourself you’re also continuing to study the problem and develop a system or a model.

And maybe, unbeknownst to you, you have a gift for breaking complex things down into steps. And so you write them down.

It’s often the way you respond to challenges.

Over time you perfect the system. And then you realize this could help others. So you create a program, you write the workbook, you put it online or gather together people who have the same problem as you. You walk them through the actions that will solve their problem.

That’s the teacher archetype.

1. It starts with a personal journey of transformation around a key problem.

2. From sheer grit and your own experiential study, YOU create the solution.

3. Then you offer it to others.

Often, but not always, the services you offer will be B to B. Business to Business.

Another example of this Archetype is Tami Stacklehouse of the Fibromyalgia Coaching Institute.

Tami’s struggle with her own fibromyalgia turned into a coaching business serving others with fibromyalgia and quickly became an institute where she trains other coaches, who had fibromyalgia, in her system to help others take back control of their lives.

Wow huh?

See how specific and narrow this is? But, Tami has made this into a very successful business that is able to help many more people than she can coach by herself.

Later this month I’ll be interviewing Tami and hope to share her story on this podcast.

You can see how your coaching business model would be affected by knowing or discovering that study, teaching and solving is your natural drive.

Can you relate to this? You might fit this Teacher Archetype.

If so, your niche will be very specific, fit one narrow audience who shares the problem you had. And you will create the solution, from your own unique perspective but not by learning it from someone else.

Meet the HEALER ARCHETYPE

Similar to the Teacher Archetype, the Healer Archetype is born out of a personal challenge.

If this fits you, you’ve experienced something deeply personal and possibly traumatic —in your youth or adulthood.

I know, it seems like we all could fit this archetype, but not everyone has the inclination to heal themselves or others.

Healing yourself through various means, you have a natural inclination to help others who have felt the same source of pain that has created difficulties in adulthood.

The way the Healer Archetype is different from the Teacher Archetype is that the personal transformation doesn’t necessarily become a mentally driven study that results in a desire to teach.

Instead it’s more of a heart based desire to hold space for another person as they work with the fallout of their trauma towards a more whole and healthy existence.

As coaching is not the same thing as therapy, a coaching business built around this type of transformation requires additional training to be ethical.

I had the pleasure recently of interviewing, Jennifer Davoust, who has a popular meditation podcast called Tune Into You. I highly recommend that you subscribe.

I’ll have the link to her page and anyone else I mention on this episode’s show notes at prosperouscoach.com/12.

Jennifer experienced a traumatic childhood. Then she transformed her life from what she defined as directionless and worthlessness to confidence, courage and a life that lights her up.

You can read her story on her website.

Now, as a Self Love specialist, combining coaching, meditation and hypnotherapy, she’s supporting others who want to learn to love themselves. Sometimes they are struggling with low self esteem, perfectionism, self judgment and anxiety.

Her podcast is how people find her. And, if you listen to her podcast you’ll hear how she uses her buttery voice and hypnotherapy to soothe us all.

This type of support in the Healer Archetype is usually directed at individuals rather than entrepreneurs or companies. It’s B to C, Business to Consumer, rather than B to B.

Another example of the Healer Archetype is Julie Cluff of Build a Life After Loss. http://www.buildalifeafterloss.com/

Julie lost two children in an accident. Her reality shifted to one of just coping. But 3 years in, she realized that she could honor her children and also live a purposeful, joy filled life.

Now Julie helps women who have lost children to build a life of purpose and joy. She’s trained in Grief Coaching.

Meet the PURE COACH ARCHETYPE

This is someone who loves coaching in it’s purest forms. These coaches are most likely to call themselves Life Coaches or something similar.

They tend to crave learning and often fall in love with the tenets of a coaching model or a system that someone else has created. For example — a Tony Robbins coach or a John Maxwell coach.

Some of these coaches don’t want to run a business of their own and so may find coaching firms to represent them or be hired by a corporation to coach for internally. Many leadership and corporate coaches fit this archetype.

But others in this archetype will create their own business and the way they serve will be largely guided by that coaching model they love so much.

I recently did an On Air Coaching session with Marshall Stern. I’m guessing that Marshall fits this Pure Coach Archetype.

You can hear that session where Marshall & I work on firming up his target audience in Episode 11 of Prosperous Coach Podcast.

Meet the ICON ARCHETYPE

This fits a person for whom coaching is only a small part of a much larger, and often more grand, business model. In fact, the individual might not even be a trained coach but has natural coaching and motivational skills.

Think Tony Robbins, Marie Forleo and Danielle Laporte.

These people have a big personality and a strong desire to be a publicly recognized figure. Someone might discover them, recognize their star factor and back a venture where they are the face, voice and personality of the company.

These people are likely to write books, speak on big stages, get TV interviews or other high profile media appearances.

Some coaches may end up in the Icon Archetype only after starting from one of the other archetypes.

Have you heard of Ali Brown? She’s been on ABC’s Secret Millionaire and several other TV channels. She was once named “Entrepreneurial Guru for Women” by Business News Daily.

She puts on large, well known events. For many years, it was called SHINE. Her latest event is called ICONIC Content and I.P. Retreat for entrepreneurs and thought leaders.

Interesting that it’s called ICONIC, eh?

But what most people don’t know is how Ali started. I met her back when she took the coach training, that I co-authored, at Coach Training Alliance.

Close after that, she did a very smart thing. She wrote an ebook to help entrepreneurs create an ezine (what is now called a blog). She was first to the market offering a very affordable step by step how-to.

Do you recognize the Teacher Archetype?

Now and for the last 15 years she’s been the glamorous star of her own empire.

If you have aspirations to be a big name and own the big stage, you might fit the Icon Archetype.

Meet the CEO ARCHETYPE

This last archetype is one I’m just testing out because I haven’t had personal experiences with coaches who fit this. But I knew an option was missing in the pantheon of coach archetypes.

Similar to the Icon Archetype, this person has big dreams and goals that might look like this …

They become a professional coach then build a firm with a stable of other coaches who all serve a particular industry.

Or, they build a multi-employee company that isn’t necessarily centered on coaching as the service but incorporates coaching principles or models into a larger idea.

I’d love to hear if this episode sparks an idea for you about the direction of your niche or coaching company. Or, if you have a theory about an altogether different Coach Archetype, email me at rhonda @ prosperouscoach.com

In the Next Episode: Is Fear Holding You Back from Launching Your Coaching Business?

Ep 70 – Attract Motivated Coaching Clients Who Will Invest

This episode is part of my Coaching Business Checkup series. This series is getting deep and that’s because sometimes you find yourself working hard but not getting traction. And, this series addresses what’s usually missing.

Today we’re digging into something that’s rarely talked about by marketing experts.

In fact it’s something that’s only recently dawned on me, even though I’ve been acting on it for a long time intuitively.

The topic is about why you only want to attract people who do have the motivation and the financial ability to hire you.

Before I go further …

How are you holding up? I know you’re scared about how Corona Virus might hurt your coaching business dreams.

I want you to know something … during 20 years in my own coaching business, the economy has crashed big time twice and other disasters have derailed the normal flow of business.

Yes, there is an adjustment period. But in each circumstance, I was surprised how in tough times, people are often MORE committed to their personal and professional growth. There’s the sense that time is precious and shouldn’t be wasted. So, where before people were stuck in their ruts and not moving, sometimes a shake up like this can wake people up and inspire action.

That’s good news for coaches. Especially because we can easily work remotely with clients.

As much as you can, accept the reality of what’s happening, take responsibility for your own part in reducing the spread, and keep your focus on what matters most to you.

If building a coaching business is important to you, stay with it, despite your worries.

  • If you haven’t launched yet and have extra time, leverage that towards time consuming tasks.
  • If you’ve already launched and things are slow, innovate. Try new things but don’t start over. Stick with your target audience and niche but pivot in small ways.
  • And consider not doing it all alone. I’m here for you. A Strategy Session where you get my full focus on what’s holding back for 90 minutes is just a click away.

Now, let’s roll with today’s episode.

The Churn

In the first 10 years or so of my coaching business the name of the game was numbers. Everyone advocated developing a big list – we’re talking tens of thousands of subscribers who would see your emails, read your blogs or experience your other content.

The idea was to drive tons of traffic to your website and have a set of low cost to mid cost offers that would attract lots of buyers responding through scarcity.

This is called the CHURN.

There are many people marketing this way.

But, as you know, I encourage coaches to consider a simple coaching business model where they offer a one-to-one high ticket Signature Program.

That way, you can keep your marketing simple, your overhead low and profits high. You can market less and have a manageable little empire.

I realized that business model isn’t for everyone. But it’s a great way to start your coaching business. And I’ve come back to it, after doing lots of intense marketing and offering so many types of programs – an exhausting way to do business.

So, listen on if you want to keep it simple and earn well doing less.

And that makes it easy to attract only the most ideal clients for you.

The 4 Top Criteria of An Ideal Coaching Client

I’ve heard many experienced coaches say what I feel myself, which is we want clients who:

  1. Are 100% committed to their own growth.
  2. Willing and ready to invest resources – time and money – into their own transformation.
  3. Are coachable, self reflective, and know their own mind.
  4. Want a thinking partner and guide to get there faster.

Now, you may think that describes most prospects, but actually, it does not. In fact, only a small percentage of prospects will jump in with both feet.

You want to attract more of those people and less of the other type.

The reason why a lot of people opt for a short term, low cost self-study online program is that they aren’t 100% IN. They have a foot out of the game. There can be some excellent reasons for that by the way.

But my point here is that you want to spend your time with people who meet those 4 top criteria.

Think about it. Wouldn’t it be grand if the people you talk to in your Discovery Sessions were already excited, ready, willing and able financially to hire you?

With each year, I have more Discovery Sessions with the people who fit those 4 criteria because I have installed strategic and authentic language and mechanisms to encourage them and to also gently discourage those that aren’t there yet or never will be.

3 Ways to Encourage Readiness

  1. BE REAL – Convey your unique style in everything you do. Be consistent. In other words, be unapologetically you, vulnerabilities and all. Over time, your tribe will emerge because they appreciate you as you are.
  2. GIVE A PERSONAL TOUCH
  3. ENGAGE THEM EMOTIONALLY

These last two are connected. This is something a lot of people in this automated world skip in their conversion processes on their website and other places. If everything is click and done then lots of people will jump in who don’t really want anything but your free stuff.

Have you ever found yourself doing too many Discovery Sessions with people who don’t have the means and motivation to hire you?

You don’t need to waste your time that way.

There’s a perfect moment in the conversion process to give prospects your personal touch where you customize a response and show you’re a real person and you understand them. It’s worth the little effort up front because you’re enrolling them into a VIP high ticket Signature Program.

By the way, in case you’re just starting to listen to Prosperous Coach Podcast, I’m referring specifically to the Simplest Coaching Business Model. This includes creating a high ticket Signature Program to help your target audience overcome a BIG problem on the way to a BIG goal.

So, instead of having a button on your website inviting a Discovery Session – which is too much too soon (it’s like inviting someone to meet your parents on a first date) – instead invite prospects to that session through your free offer.

Don’t just give them access to your calendar in your freebie. Instead, send them to your Work with page on your website to fill out an application that pre-qualifies and pre-sells them. That application needs to be strategically written.

Do you see the value of this high touch moment? You want them to invest their time before the Discovery Session to warrant your time. It’s reciprocal.

That’s how you’ll know that they are serious about working with you. If they aren’t motivated to fill out the application they aren’t likely to invest in your VIP program.

That small investment helps them put both feet in and raises their commitment to the Discovery Session. They know up front what the purpose of that session is – to assess fit. It’s simple and it takes a bit of finesse to pull off this personal touch but it’s worth it because you’ll spend a lot less time with people who are never going to invest in working with you.

In the Next Episode: Are You a Highly Sensitive Coach?

Ep 67 – What Is Your Coaching Business Model?

This episode, called What Is Your Coaching Business Model? is the 6th in my Coaching Business Checkup series, which is all about how to strategize the most important parts of your business. If something isn’t working well in your coaching business, it might be a lack of strategy holding you back.

At the end of this whole series I’ll have a downloadable Coaching Business Checkup Assessment you can use to diagnose and treat what’s ailing in your business so you can fix it and thrive.

The show notes for today’s episode can be found at prosperouscoach.com/67

Just in case this business model idea is totally new to you, let’s define what a business model is and why you want one.

Why Have a Business Model for Your Coaching?

A business model is literally a design for the success of your business. It’s a structure you create that makes your business viable. In other words, it’s your plan for earning good money as a coach.

Essential, right?

Like many aspects of your coaching business, your business model can’t really take shape until you have targeted a viable audience and developed a smart coaching niche. Those decisions are the cornerstone … everything else you build for your coaching business comes from that.

Notice I said a moment reliably attract people to your offers. That takes strategy. It’s a far cry from what I did for so many years at the beginning, which was what I call the “I hope it works” approach to business.

Without a business model, you are leaving your success up to dumb luck.

No doubt, you experienced a lot of business models just living in the modern world but you might not have thought much about it. I’ll just name a couple to help you understand the concept

Let’s take Netflix. You get an account. Pay monthly. And for that low fee, you get access to their impressive catalog of TV series and movies to stream on demand.

That’s called the Subscription Model. It has 3 main parts:

Subscription service + Options the consumer wants + Delivered on demand

It is something you could create someday. More about that in a minute.

How about Uber? Their model is called Create the Marketplace, which operates on supply and demand

SUPPLY = people with cars who want to earn

+ DEMAND = people who want to get someplace now without driving

It’s very specific and innovative. And this is close to what a coach needs to do. You identify a BIG PROBLEM that a specific audience faces and create a hunger for your program which helps to solve that problem through coaching.

The Simplest Coaching Business Model

A while ago I aired an episode called The Simplest Coaching Business Model and it’s been a favorite with record downloads. This episode goes deeper into what’s involved.

By the way, thank you so much for going back to my earlier episodes! I can’t tell you how often I hear that people are binge listening to every episode. That’s a great way to learn a lot fast.

It’s a great sign that episode is popular. It means that coaches now are much more business savvy than I was when I started. So well done you. Keep that up!

For a coach, the simplest business model is to offer 1:1 coaching.

Here’s how I help my clients develop this business model with 2 important twists:

  1. Choose a viable audience
  2. Find out their BIG PROBLEM – the one that will prompt them to seek your services
  3. Develop a high ticket private program designed to solve that problem. That’s one twist!
  4. Create ways to continuously build awareness about you.
  5. Drive traffic to a website with an authentic non-salesy conversion process or two. That’s the 2nd twist!
  6. Invite ideal prospects to an enrollment conversation and enroll them.

What’s so great about this simple business model?

  1. It’s the easiest model to start with
  2. You quickly learn how to coach your ideal audience
  3. You can earn a 6-figure profit with relatively low labor and costs
  4. It’s a satisfying way to make a positive impact

And here are a couple of bonus things that I love about this model:

  1. You’ll only spend your private time with highly motivated prospects and clients
  2. And you’ll build a strong referral network that’s free

I’ll be talking more about how critical these two things are for your sanity in an episode soon.

There are other business model options that might help you scale up and reach more people in less time. However, consider that you could also keep your life and business simple. If you create a meaningful program with milestones that are important to your audience you can charge quite a bit for it. I covered this is Episode 66.

The Challenge of Scaling Coaching

Scalability is one of the biggest challenges in coaching businesses. To scale, people start thinking about “passive revenue”, a concept often attached to revenue streams such as:

  • online courses
  • selling books, ebooks and other products
  • membership programs

It sounds so good, doesn’t it? I’ll just create a few online courses and put it online and boom! Passive income! I’ll make money while I sleep.

Here’s the thing that I learned the hard way, there’s nothing passive about it. While the bulk of the content creation is done up front, the costs and labor to keep revenues flowing in are relatively high.

A good rule of thumb to remember is the higher number of people you want to buy what you’re selling the more marketing it takes. And it’s a style of marketing that’s highly promotional. It takes a team of people to pull it off. So not passive at all.

The Affiliate Marketing Model

Where people really excel at these scalable business models is when they are already well known in their industry. Think Tony Robbins, Brendan Burchard and Marie Forleo. They not only have a huge leads list of their own, but they also have other experts with huge leads list willing to help market the program or product for a kickback (also called an affiliate fee).

The affiliate fee is often 50% of the sale. And tracking all of that requires special programs and website.

The business model is called Affiliate Marketing and is composed of:

Email marketing with affiliates + a live or canned event + sales page + online or live course

There’s one business model being highly marketed to coaches right now, which I call the Evergreen Webinar Model. It involves:

Ads on social channels + webinars + online courses

This model is touted to be highly lucrative and I can see how it absolutely could be over the long run.

Experts selling the training to learn this business model often have testimonials like this …

“I just had my first $15,000 month!”

And that alone has us frothing at the mouth to sign up for the training.

But it’s important to realize that to earn that $15,000 in revenue in one month this individual may have invested up to or beyond:

  • $4500 on ads
  • $3000 on virtual assistants and web design
  • months of content creation
  • the cost of the training to learn this model $8 – $10,000

The way that business model becomes profitable is over time when costs per sale start to decrease. Just the continuous investment can literally kill a coaching business.

Yes, it could be an amazing business model later on. But, for a new coach who isn’t already well known and who doesn’t have a significant network of potential clients and marketing partners, it can be very difficult to pull off.

Membership Programs

Another costly option is membership programs. Back in 2006 when membership programs were trendy, I took nearly a year to create a comprehensive online course called The Coach’s Power Path. It was a vision I woke up with one day and truly thought I’d earn loads while helping hundreds of coaches.

In short, it was a colossal failure. I invested 10’s of thousands in that venture and never got close to earning it back, much less profiting.

I just didn’t realize how complicated it was — not only to create the curriculum and the entire back end of the membership site — but also to constantly market in ways that I really disliked. It was exhausting.

Later a marketing expert told me that most membership programs are loss leaders, which means it’s only a low cost offer to raise awareness and trust so you can offer people something higher priced and higher touch.

What About Group Coaching?

Group coaching is a much simpler business model than selling courses, membership programs and products. And, for many target audiences, gathering people with the same big problem or goal will greatly add to their transformation.

What you need going for you for this model to work is the 6 strategic steps I mentioned before for 1:1 coaching PLUS a developed network in your target audience. It could be your own leads list, a connection with a center of influence or a good sized following on social media.

That’s something you can build on your own without a lot of costs or any assistance!

I recommend groups for coaches who have a year’s experience or more in 1:1 coaching and that amount of time building visibility online.

So now, do you know what your intended coaching business model is? Have you strategized who you work with, what they want that they’ll invest in and how you’ll enroll enough of them to earn well? You’re on your way!

In the Next Episode: Calling All Coaches to Innovate and Lead