Ep 77 – 7 Ways to Create a More Valuable Experience with Coaching Clients

There’s plenty of information out there in training programs about how to coach. And there’s lots of attention out there on how to market and enroll clients plus the various tactics to earn well as a coach.

But there’s little communicated to coaches about exactly how to serve your coaching clients well so they love the experience, come back for more and refer others to you.

Client service goes beyond coaching skills but does stem from the way you market and engage your target audience from the get go.

Your coaching client’s satisfaction in you and your program begins before they hire you and continues after they finish with you.

If you’re following the guidelines I’ve given to you in episodes 62 through 77 in this Coaching Business Checkup series, then you’ll be strategically setting everything up for your coaching business in a way that guarantees satisfaction for ideal clients.

And if you put in place specific things to ensure that people you attract are ideal for you, it will increase your clients’ satisfaction.

Client service is another strategy point for creating a successful coaching business. And that’s why this is part of, and the LAST episode of, my Coaching Business Checkup series.

And as I’ve been promising, I’ve got a FREE download for you, ready now, that’s a comprehensive Coaching Business Checkup you can give yourself. This will help fill the holes in your strategy so you can do everything more effectively and earn more in your business.

When you download this assessment, take the time to honestly consider what you’ve got going for you and what’s missing. I’ve referenced certain podcast episodes for each of the 10 sections. And of course, if you want more help get my private VIP support to do all of this right. The best first step is to have a private Strategy Session with me, which you can find at https://prosperouscoach.com/strategy.

Let’s dig into today’s episode …

Do you feel nervous with your clients and have performance anxiety during sessions? If you’re a new coach, that’s totally normal. And you want to be sure it’s a feeling that diminishes with each client.

In my early days, I was so anxious about delivering value that I lost my personal power by inflating my role. And I ended up feeling drained instead of energized by sessions.

Over the years I’ve given this challenge my daily awareness and made a lot of shifts.

Happily, there are things you can do that both create value while also setting strong boundaries, which protect you and your clients. I’ll cover 7 main ways you can up your game in providing value.

#1 Cultivate Happy Coaching Clients Before During and After

Happy clients start by being happy prospects. You want them to already have a strong sense of your integrity, personality and exactly how you can help them before they hire you. This makes them happy because they’ll only stick around if they feel the connection with you.

I know, I talk a lot about this and that’s because a successful business is the sum of many things that work in concert. And that takes strategy.

If your social media, blogs, podcasts, videos, website – everything – comes from being fully informed about what’s important to your audience they can feel that. And it feels good!

Just the other day a new member in my Facebook group posted:

 “Just found your podcast. Wow! Get out of my head, Rhonda Hess! I needed this so badly. Thank you.”

I took that as a compliment because my episode hit the mark about what holds coaches back. Thanks for your feedback, Angela!

You want your audience to feel seen, heard and understood by you. If they do, they’ll follow you and share your content with others in your audience. They’ll also get curious about what you offer because you’re speaking about what they desire and what’s in the way.

Consider also staying in touch with past clients. Follow them on social media. Share a bit of social love. And check in with a short email to from time to time.

#2 Provide Structure and Boundaries

In a desire to be ALL things to your clients do you forget to set boundaries and provide structure?

If so, it’s understandable because coaching skills themselves are so open. Open-ended questions, deep levels of listening, open-mindedness about differences – don’t seem to fit with structure and boundaries.

But I’ll tell you … people thrive with a sense of structure and respect boundaries if you set them up thoughtfully.

These things make people feel safe.

  1. Provide clear terms and agreements in your intake packet.
  2. Ask clients to respect you with policies about showing up for sessions and on time payments
  3. In the first session explain the phases and flow of your work together (this is easy if you’ve created a Signature Program rather than just selling coaching packages)
  4. Provide and then ask them to send you a Session Prep 1 -2 days before each session
  5. Send them a Session Recap that lists agreed upon next steps and notes
  6. Set clear expectations about your availability and how/when they can contact you
  7. Hold time boundaries in sessions.

#3 Create and Track a Set of Goals

This may be obvious but it wasn’t to me with my first clients.

  1. Within the first 2 sessions set specific milestones you’ll help them achieve
  2. Get clear on top challenges, goals and who they want to transform into
  3. How will you help them perceive that they’ve made progress?
  4. Set a tickler in your calendar to check in on their goals/milestones and progress

#4 Gather and Give Feedback

Feedback is under-rated and so valuable for any transformational process.

Ask for feedback.

  • At the end of every session, ask about their takeaways. Write those down in the Session Recap.
  • Make sure that your Session Prep form asks for feedback. Acknowledge what they say.
  • If you’re not getting enough feedback, directly ask for it half way through your program.

Give feedback.

  • Let them know how they’re doing. Be kind but also real. Encourage more if progress is slow.
  • Ask for referrals mid-way through your program and at the end.
  • Ask for a testimonial. Give them guidelines and make the testimonial process easy.

#5 Model Integrity

One of the beautiful things about coaching is that sometimes we attract clients that teach us while we’re supporting them. Mostly this is seamless and organic. But sometimes it can be painful. You realize that you need to work on the same thing that your client does.

So be real if that’s the case. Show your vulnerability while also modeling how you face your challenges.

  • Walk you talk, not just in session but in every public way you show up
  • Be responsive to your clients with timely replies
  • Provide a personal touch but don’t go overboard
  • Own your mistakes and biases
  • Hold confidences

#6 Help Your Clients Stand Fully In Their Power

The absolute best way to empower your clients is to monitor how well you are standing in your own power.

Some years ago I wrote a popular blog post on this called 5 Ways to Right Size Yourself to Empower Your Coaching Clients. You can see the link to that post on the show notes for today’s episode, which you’ll want to check out anyway to get the free Coaching Business Checkup download. Again, you can find that at prosperouscoach.com/77

As a coach, it’s critical that you learn how to be right sized in your power for a healthy coaching relationship.

By right sized I mean holding the right amount of responsibility in the co-creative relationship while also asking your client to do this same. Ideally, you and your client have the same amount of power in the relationship.

There are many pitfalls, such as:

  • charging too little
  • allowing late payments
  • allowing clients to slide away from doing their work
  • over-delivering
  • failing to hold time boundaries and other boundaries

It takes practice. You can do it if you pay attention to what’s happening within you when you interact with your clients.

  • Hold your clients accountable for what they agree to do
  • Challenge them to do and be more. They will thank you for it.
  • Show you care without being overly responsible or invasive

#7 Share Your Humanity

When I first started as a coach I thought I had to be a pillar of perfection with clients. I found out the hard way that this turns out badly.

When people put you on a pedestal they project all sorts of crap upon you and the relationship goes into shadow.

So instead:

  • Be a real person. Let clients see who you are. But don’t make it too much about you.
  • Be interested in you’re client’s uniqueness and how they differ from you. Hold up a positive mirror for them to admire themselves.
  • Give the personal touch without going overboard
  • Accept that life throws everyone curve balls from time to time

During my work with clients some have major health crises, financial crises and other types of difficulties that throw off the arc of our work together. The right thing to do is to flex to support them. You might put your program on hiatus for a time to give them space needed for recovery.

Similarly, I’ve had times where I need to take a break and ask my clients to understand.

Now, think through how you can up your game on customer satisfaction.

In the Next Episode: The Art of Crafting Powerful Coaching Questions with the brilliant Laurie Cameron, coach trainer extraordinaire!

Ep 76 – Will You Exclude Some Coaching Clients If You Narrow Your Audience?

Today’s episode is short and sweet. It was inspired by something that came up in Prosperous Coach Club, my Facebook group.

Several new coaches were having trouble drilling down to a narrow and viable audience to serve because they didn’t want to exclude anyone.

I had that concern myself in my early days of coaching. I waffled and stayed general for far too long. I didn’t realize how much easier it would be if I did narrow my audience.

But as time passed and my income from coaching remained small I became keenly motivated to do anything I could — including things I was afraid to do — to change that.

With hindsight I know without a doubt that finally narrowing my audience catapulted me to success so that now I reliably attract ideal clients and earn well – even during the pandemic.

Now I fully understand that my choice to narrow was a strategic choice.

I’ve been talking a lot about strategy in my current podcast series Coaching Business Checkup. That series is all about assessing what pieces of strategy might be missing if you are having difficulty enrolling enough clients to quit your job and pay for your lifestyle.

4 Ways Strategic Choice Makes Your Coaching Life Easier

And because I’ve been a business coach for coaches for a long time I also know this. When you target an audience and discover their big problem then gear everything –messaging, offers, web copy, social posts – to speak directly to your audience 4 wonderful things click into place:

  1. You have clarity. It’s as if the fog lifts and you can now see your path.
  2. You grow confidence. You understand your value and believe in yourself.
  3. You know what to do. You have pinpointed focus and direction.
  4. You have leverage. Now everything you do builds momentum.

So, the best reason to narrow to one specific audience is to make your life easier.

Stand Out in the Crowd

Look, if all you want is a coaching client now and then and a bit of spending money, then you can afford to be a generalist.

But if you want your coaching business to be a going concern, as they say, and feed you and your family for years to come, then being a generalist and selling coaching won’t do that for you.

Why are you listening to my podcast? Because you’re a coach and this is specially designed to help coaches. I know coaching. I know business.

There are lots of other mentors helping any type of business owners out there. But isn’t extra helpful when someone understands exactly where you are and where you want to be and what’s in the way?

That is the power of narrowing and specializing.

You’ll Help More Coaching Clients

By choosing a narrow audience you are setting a powerful intention for your own good.

But the beauty is that your intention also makes it easier for serious prospects to find you. That’s another benefit for you but it’s also a benefit for your clients.

Don’t you want to help more people? If so, then make sure your voice, your topics attract attention. In this marketplace specificity is what snaps people to attention.

Specialize Doesn’t Exclude Anyone

And here’s what I also know because of hindsight. Focusing your niche on a specific audience doesn’t mean you can’t work with people outside of that audience. You can!

I’ve worked with all types of business owners over the years even though my website, my blogs, my podcasts are all focused on coaches.

So for ease and clarity your social posts, your content, your web copy and freebie should all be focused on supporting your specific audience. And that means it will speak to them. It will touch me. They will feel special and follow you.

And you’ll find it easier to create valuable content, to post on social channels and get engagement, to draw the right kind of prospects to your website. Because focusing makes all of that easier.

If you stay general or just focus on a coachey topic for your niche people won’t take you seriously. That’s the bottom line.

The more you stay broad, the less you’ll be noticed.

One More Way to Look at This

Are you still resisting this idea of narrowing?

Think of it this way … if you want to go on vacation but can’t decide where you’re going and how you’ll get there because there are soooo many choices and you don’t want to leave any out, chances are there will be no vacation for you.

You are stalled from something you really want.

And that same indecision is keeping you from having a successful coaching business. I lovingly challenge you to be strategic about your niche and everything your business. Take the risk to specialize and become known. You will love it and so will your clients!

In the Next Episode: 7 Ways to create a More Valuable Coaching Client Experience

Ep 75 – How to Produce Content for Your Coaching Business That Inspires Engagement

Today is all about creating smart content as part of a visibility strategy for your coaching business.

I’m finally getting back to the Coaching Business Checkup series.

I started the series two months ago and have covered specific points of strategy that are critical for having a successful coaching business. I outlined those in 10 Ways to Be More Strategic In Your Coaching Business.

I want you to know why I veered away from finishing that series after 9 popular episodes.

It takes tremendous brainpower to delve into strategy in a clear and useful way. The pandemic has had me swimming through brain fog. I know I’m not the only one affected in that way.

But finishing this series now is important to me for a few reasons:

  1. It’s high time to get back to it. Procrastination steals energy!
  2. I know will help you start thinking strategically for every area of your coaching business
  3. I’m putting the finishing touches on a free download for you. It’s a series of powerful questions to help you assess if you’re doing all the right things to grow your coaching business and attract clients who pay you well.

So let’s get this topic rolling …

Content is Still THE Most Effective Visibility Approach

In today’s marketplace, whether you have a coaching business, manufacturing business or a bank, delivering useful content to your audience is the best way to build followers, loyalty and revenue.

That’s why part of my 5 month VIP mentoring program for new coaches is helping my clients to choose a content creation method, strategize a plan and create valuable content.

For more information about working with me to help you strategize everything from your ideal audience to your niche, messaging, offers, web copy, visibility approach and more, go to prosperouscoach.com/VIP.

To be successful every coach should put out valuable free content. It’s called generosity marketing.

3 Main Content Delivery Methods

There are three main content delivery methods:

  1. Blogging (articles & newletters)
  2. Podcasting
  3. Videos (FB Live, You Tube, Vimeo)

To make any of these work well for you employ social posting, emails and lead magnets to build awareness, inspire engagement and shares, and drive traffic to your website to encourage subscribes and eventually enrollment.

Blog

Podcast          +          Social posting                      +          Email              +          Lead Magnets

Videos

You’ve heard me say that too many coaches try tactics that are beyond where they are developmentally in business building. So what I’m sharing with you is deliberately basic. I’m not getting into ads or email campaign strategy because it quickly overwhelms.

And every coach needs to move towards those advanced tactics only after they’ve mastered the basics. Basics are foundational.

Most Content Out There Is Boring and Unoriginal

The challenge with most content is to inspire reading and sharing.

Here’s the thing … if you write about coaching it will only be interesting to coaches.

So if your content is about standard life coaching topics — limiting beliefs, values, self care — it won’t help you attract clients inspired to hire you and pay you well.

I know it’s tough to hear this. You may already have dozens of blogs and articles out there already on coachey topics.

I fell into the trap of putting out what I’ve come to affectionately call coaching drivel when I started my business as well.

Yes, everyone needs help with those issues and other standard coaching topics. But if your blog, podcast or video is about those things your voice will be lost in a sea of voices.

Here’s a trick, if you think of a topic you want to write about Google it and see how many hundreds of thousands or millions of hits that search gets.

So how can you consistently create content that will do these three things?

  1. Grab attention
  2. Be thoroughly consumed
  3. Get engagement and shares

It’s simple but not easy … be unique. Unique topics, unique titles for a unique audience.

What exactly do I mean by unique?

4 Ways Coaches Can Create Unique and Valuable Content

Originality isn’t a pure thing. In other words, you don’t have to be 100% original. But you do need to stand out with authentic content.

1. Narrow your audience

You know I’m a fan of this approach for coaches. If you want to stand out and become known fast then choose a small sub group as your tribe. I’ll use my own business as an example. I started out focusing on entrepreneurs. Then narrowed to women entrepreneurs. Then narrowed to coaches. Creating content got easier as I drilled down.

How could you narrow your audience?

2. Focus in on one specific problem

I have focused a lot of my content on one of the most painful and common problems for coaches – how to choose a smart and profitable niche. That’s not the only way I help coaches or the only topic for my blogs and podcast. But it is the cornerstone of what I do.

How can you focus your topic?

3. Develop an original perspective, model or system

This is about looking at a challenge or goal from a different angle or spin. My approach to helping coaches create a sustainable, profitable business they’ll love is different. I’ve developed a specific step-by-step system.

How can you create an original system for your audience?

4. Develop you own authentic personality and voice for your content

So … what’s unique about your writing and speaking voice? Which traits can you emphasize?

This takes time and repetition. But knowing this is a goal for your writing, podcasting or videos will help you get there faster. I see my clients’ voices blossom before my eyes as I help them create content.

Okay, that’s Content 101. And to help you ace your content grab my free guide called 5 Rules To Write Better Copy For Your Coaching Business.

In the Next Episode:How to Create a Valuable Coaching Client Experience

Ep 74 – Is Fear Holding You Back From Launching Your Coaching Business?

Today is all about the F word.

Fear is a powerful force. It can move you toward safety and it can keep you from your destiny.

The feeling is no fun. But, like all feelings, it holds the possibility of transformation.

Daily Fears Go Mostly Unnoticed

On any given day, I feel some amount of fear. What about you?

Fear could show up while I’m listening to the news. Or, if I’m in a car and I or someone else makes a mistake in judgment. It could be a deep concern that rises up about someone I love.

During my work, it could be a moment of uncertainty. Or, maybe I’m trying to learn something new or take a big step that I’ve rarely or never taken.

Fear is a fairly present emotion.

But most of the time fear doesn’t stop us. It might give you pause, but it doesn’t ultimately stop you from moving forward in your life.

And that’s totally appropriate.

Everyone Feels the Imposter Syndrome Sometimes

Everyone feels fear. So it’s not something we want to turn off or stop feeling. It’s not even about becoming numb to it. It’s more about having a healthy process.

All emotions deserve to be felt, acknowledged and then released, which is a key to good life, right?

Fear is an ancient and primal emotion. It can be a vital response for survival.

Habitual or Long Term Fear Needs Attention

But fear can also become a habitual response to opportunity. If we let it, it can block our growth.

That’s when you know that you need to respond differently to fear.

If it has stopped you from becoming who you are meant to be or achieving what you long for, then it’s time for a different response to fear.

As coaches, we’re all about helping others to expand their potential – to pull their feet out of concrete and take steps forward towards a better future.

But who helps you break free from that concrete?

As a business coach for coaches, I have the privilege to help my clients towards an ultimate lifetime goal … to become their own boss, to have a freedom lifestyle and creatively bring their whole selves – all of their talents, all of their skills, all of their passion — to their own unique business.

It’s an amazing journey that I’m honored to share and guide them toward.

And, that journey is rife with fear.

When you’re deep in fear about your coaching business, it can feel all encompassing. Like you’ve fallen into a deep dark hole and there’s no way out.

That kind of fear obscures your intuition. It makes you feel paralyzed.

It’s normal and natural to feel fear of the unknown and for imposter syndrome to get right up in your face.

At the heart of it is the question “Am I good enough?”

  • Will anyone listen to me?
  • Why would they pay me to help them?
  • Does anyone even want what I’m offering?
  • Can I really do this?

And I have endless compassion for those feelings. They are real. And they can feel like the tallest widest thickest wall blocking your way.

Most Fear Is Insubstantial Unless …

But, what I know for sure is that in the big scheme of things they are about as substantial as cardboard.

Yes, you are good enough. Your people will listen to you and pay gladly for what your offering. You can do this!

The way to rise out of that deep dark hole of fear and back onto the path toward your bright future is accountability. You need someone loving and firm to help you to take decisive action one small step at a time.

Decisive action will always be what breaks the spell of fear.

One last thing to consider … the longer you stay stuck in the fear, the bigger it feels and the more you’ll talk yourself out of risking what you want most.

So make an agreement with yourself right now. Give yourself permission to be afraid on your journey towards greatness. Treat yourself with compassion.

But also put fear in its place. It’s not the boss of you. You master it.

So … cross whatever threshold gave you pause. You’ll blow right past it and never look back. I promise.

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

Ep 72 – Are You Stuck in the New Coach Swirl & Spin? (Reprise)

Do you know how sometimes it helps to be reminded of something?

Coaches are smart people. We have lots of wisdom brimming inside of us. And, during the pandemic, I especially need reminding about many helpful things.

And after recent conversations with past clients and current clients I thought it might be helpful to reprise an older episode.

This is all about why it’s so easy to get stuck as a new coach and how to snap out of it!

Let’s roll!

It’s got to be said because it’s breaking my heart to see so many coaches bogged down and unable to move forward with clarity.

You know how they say that multi-tasking isn’t good for your brain? The best case scenario is that you do a lot but nothing well. It actually lowers your IQ!

Well, the same is true for your brain when you overload it with unnecessary ideas and future tasks for your coaching business.

I’ve talked about overwhelm before in Ep #20 – How to Stop Saying ‘Yes” to Bright Shiny Objects

In that episode the focus was mostly about wasting money, time and brain power on programs that you’re not developmentally ready for yet as a business owner. Advanced strategies and tactics that won’t work well for you until you have the business foundation in place.

In this episode I’m going to dig in deeper to what’s actually happening in your mind and your emotional body when you heap more and more information on yourself.

When new coaches reach out to work with me, they fill out a questionnaire on my website. I ask them to give me a snapshot of what they’re doing day to day to build their business.

Nearly every person tells me their head is spinning with all the research they’re doing.

  • They are looking at other coach’s websites. Oh no! That really won’t be helpful because it’s hard to discern coaching website that work from those that are duds. It takes experience to know that.
  • They also read everything they can about coaching and coaching business tips. They’re on loads of lists. And every day are force feeding themselves with information.
  • They’re surfing for answers to BIG questions that really can’t be answered in a free blog or webinar … things like how do I choose my niche or where can I find paying clients or what do I need to do to earn well as a coach? There’s so much complexity in those questions.
  • And, they’re signing up for every free webinar and download they can get. And sometimes investing in programs they aren’t ready for.

Here’s the truth. You can’t possibly consume a firehose of information and stay sane. It leaves you breathless with overwhelm and unable to move forward.

This is what I call the new coach swirl and spin. And those are the words that I hear coaches use. They say:

“My mind is swirling! My head is spinning! And I’m so confused that I’m paralyzed.”

I so know that place!

Thousands of bits of disconnected information has literally shut down your executive function, your creativity and intuition.

And that’s when fear and doubt surges up within you.

  • Doubts about whether you can succeed in coaching.
  • Doubts that anyone would pay you.
  • Doubts about everything you’ve been working on.
  • Fears that you’ve made the wrong decision, that you’ve wasted time and money.

And then your brain starts pulling up all the “evidence” to support those doubts.

Pretty soon you’re in a depression. Anxiety has you in it’s grips.

Everything slows to a dead stop. But it does not feel restful.

You start thinking about giving up. Part of you wants to give up. You think it would be so much easier.

Then your ever helpful brain begins to justify that idea.

And shame surfaces.

That’s the new coach swirl and spin.

Of course, this doesn’t just happen to coaches. It happens to most new entrepreneurs. It happens to students and people who were unceremoniously dropped into a promotion without training.

But there’s one thing for sure and that is … you have to stop it before it gets to this point.

How to Stop New Coach Depression From Setting In

There are mindsets and habits to address this.

By the way, there are nearly always mindsets and habits that will address nearly any mental or emotional challenge that comes up repeatedly.

First, let’s talk about good habits around this. Because these are preventative.

Wouldn’t it be great if you never got to that shame stage? To that place where you negotiate with yourself about quitting your dream of coaching.

Habit #1 Open to Bite Size and Specific Information

Reach out for specific information that will help you move forward on one specific bite sized goal.

Habit #2          Take Action Immediately

Once you have the specific information you need, take action on the next immediate step. And pause.

Not too long ago I decided to start marketing in Instagram. And I’m not the most social media savvy person. But I found the app nearly useless in terms of how to actually use Instagram wisely. And I’m still learning. But I’m not loading myself up with all the how-tos. And, earlier in my life, I would have.

I held myself back from overwhelming myself on this goal to learn how to wisely use Instagram to get the word out about my podcast and my services. So, I learned how to set up a basic profile and then I learned how to post and started posting weekly.

Is that perfect? No. Have I learned it all. No. Will I? Eventually.

Sometimes the best training is observing and doing. Learning incrementally on a pace that your brain can support.

Habit #3  Schedule Learning Sessions

I’m a big fan of blocking time. Try blocking time for:

  • client sessions
  • client management
  • emailing
  • writing
  • marketing tasks

Also block time for learning. Put it in your calendar. Consider limiting it to one 1/2 hour at a time.

When I decided to start podcasting, I looked for a training program where I could go at my own pace but also be able to ask questions of an expert. I found the Podcast Host Academy. And I loved their lessons because they had them broken down into tiny steps. Brilliant!

And that way, if I had 1/2 hour, I could learn something new and test it out.

Habit #4  Set Up a Learning Community

Back in Episode #4 – How to Feel Less Isolated in Your Coaching Business I talked about the importance of community when you’re building a coaching business.

If you’re in learning mode around a particular task or strategy, see if there’s a Facebook group or an online forum or a meetup group you can join for knowledge sharing.

Okay, let’s talk about the mindset piece now.

Here’s one mindset to rule them all.

Slow Down and Think It Through

We live in a culture of speed. It’s not helping us. But it is the way of the collective. You control your speed.

Slow down when you feel the first inkling of overwhelm. Breathe. Go outside. Then, when you feel that you’ve averted the swirl and spin, go into first gear and ask yourself:

What is the next immediate, small step that I can take right now?

Then take it.

Set a timer for a reasonable amount of time and do that. Then ask again.

Develop a range of speeds. When you’re ready, shift up to 2nd gear, then 3rd and eventually 4th and 5th gear.

Remember, you can always downshift. In your coaching business, you control your speed. You control your intake of information. You control your pace of work.

In the Next Episode: Do You Fit One of These Coach Archetypes?

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.

Ep 68 – Calling All Coaches To Innovate And Lead

I’m taking a break from the Coaching Business Checkup series because … times are strange and business as usual just doesn’t feel right to me.

I found it difficult to get things done. My head was fuzzy and I didn’t know what to do with my time.

If you’re listening to this episode in spring of 2020 individuals in our earthly community are either anticipating the pandemic to arrive in their neighborhood or are already in lock down. It’s unsettling to say the least.

I’m an empath. You may be too. Many coaches are highly sensitive people and we feel more than our own personal condition.

And so I took more time to:

  1. Spend more time in nature and connect with earth. 
  2. Meditate more on what it is to be part of the global community.
  3. Reduce my consumption of news. 

If you find yourself weighed down these days, do things like this to let the anxiety flow through you rather than letting the heaviness stick around. It will help your immune system.

There’s no doubt in my mind that most human beings will rise to this with courage and capacity they didn’t know they had. Strife always unites us.

In this short episode, I invite you to LEAN INTO what drew you to coaching in the first place and to use it for the greater good now. 

It’s the perfect time to break out your powers of innovation and lead in a compassionate way. General ideas include:

  1. Respond with integrity and intention – leverage those things in a deeper way.
  2. Manage your states of mind. Be a model and help others do the same.
  3. Innovate in your coaching businesses so you can still earn well. (Coaches are lucky because we can do what we do remotely.)
  4. And, help others innovate as well.

A lot of people will have trouble earning. Some groups are especially vulnerable.

So consider what you can do that’s extraordinary, more than what you do now day to day.

Don’t isolate yourself emotionally. If you can, after you and your family are set up safely … do some simple things to care for others. For example:

  1. Reach out by phone to people in your outer circles.
  2. If you’re on social media, share in a light hearted way. Post things that warm people’s hearts and make them laugh. Share only the most useful things. Cut down on posting the serious stuff unless it’s truly useful.
  3. Think about the individuals that will suffer most in these times. What could you do to help these people stay afloat?
  4. Give extra to homeless people because there will be less traffic on the street.
  5. Think about body workers, independent restaurant owners and their teams – people whose livelihoods depend on foot traffic or clients showing up physically.

I have a friend who is an independent Pilates instructor. One of her clients cancelled a session but said: “I’m going to pay you anyway because I want you to stay in business.” I was touched by the intelligence and kindness of that action and will follow suite.

I also suggested that she continue working with her clients remotely. Yes, it’s weird to do Pilates on Zoom but it’s possible.

Who do you know that might need some ideas of how to manage physically, emotionally and financially?

Consider calling your favorite local restaurants and buying a gift certificate. Or, if you’re comfortable get take out from them. Tip higher than usual.

And, what can you do for your coaching business to keep it going and growing?

If you have a great idea, either for your own business or for helping others shoot me an email to moc.hcaocsuorepsorpnull@adnohR and I’ll post them on the Prosperous Coach Club Facebook group.

In the Next Episode: Are You Stuck in the New Coach Swirl & Spin?