Ep 141 – 5 Questions to Test Your Coaching Business Integrity

This episode is inspired by my own breaches in integrity over the 2 decades plus that I’ve been a coach and some I see other coaches stumble with as well.

If you took coach training, hopefully you were provided with some standard ethical guidelines that need to be followed with your clients. Things like:

  • Keeping your coaching client’s contact info and what they say confidential unless they give express permission for you to share some part of it.
  • Setting personal and time boundaries with clients.

Beyond that, no one talks much about ethics and integrity in coaching.

Coaching is not currently a regulated field so it’s doubly important that you, as the professional coach, regulate yourself. That helps all coaches and the future of coaching.

Complaints about coaches hurt the field of coaching. And we really don’t want this field to be regulated, as it would greatly change the coaching industry for the worse.

What It Really Means to Be a Professional Coach

Have you realized that YOU are a PROFESSIONAL? Take this in.

Own the fact that what you do is a professional service and you are a trained professional offering serious and consequential experiences through your coaching.

When I say serious and consequential, I mean that you could hurt someone just as easily as you could help them.

I don’t think you should fear the possibility of hurting someone, but it’s wise to consider it often. More and more I craft what I say to clients both verbally and in writing.

When a client pays you for your services it automatically changes the power differential. You have a bit more or maybe a lot more perceived power than your client. You can equalize that by:

  • The respect you show your clients. Acknowledge always that they are resourceful, intelligent and whole human beings who don’t need you to survive. They can take of themselves.
  • Encouraging them to take full responsibility for their feelings, thoughts and actions.

I even have a sentence about this in my Coaching Agreement — part of my intake packet (also called a welcome or onboarding packet.)

As a professional you have an obligation to improve and maintain your integrity – your professional boundaries and more.

A Make or Break Factor of Your Coaching Business Success

Beyond being the right thing to do, I’ve come to think of integrity as a make it or break it factor in coaching business success.

I’ve seen how the way coaches conduct themselves affects their ability to earn well.

For example, if a coaching relationship is damaged by a breach of some sort that’s not addressed quickly that bad energy can float out and infect your business. People may not want to work with you even if they don’t know why.

Your integrity is about your core values in life, business, relationships — everything. It’s a set of principles that guide your words and actions – and even your mindset to help you to be your best self and do well at everything you do.

5 Powerful Questions to Check In With Your Integrity Level

To raise your integrity in your coaching business, look at all of these areas:

  1. What you do and say with clients
  2. What you do and say with potential coaching clients – including your marketing practices, social media posting, the words on your website, how you enroll clients
  3. Your business habits and timeliness
  4. How honest you are with yourself about what’s going on with your business.

Consider checking in with yourself every month or so. Ask yourself …

Am I operating from my integrity?

Am I conducting all aspects of my coaching business in an honest and authentic way?

Do I feel good about what I’m saying and doing with coaching clients?

Do I feel good about how I market and all the content I put out?

If you can say without a doubt ‘yes’ to these questions, you’re doing well. Here’s a different powerful question that will help you uncover the blind spots:

Am I regretting any decision, action or conversation I’ve had in the last few months?

If yes, take the time as soon as possible to look closely at this and take action to correct it. With clients it could be something that’s nagging at you but that you avoid dealing with.

Maybe you charge too little for your services and you’re feeling resentful?

Do you have a client you know is not a good fit for you?

Did something come out of your mouth in a session that could have been said better?

Look, this is human stuff. No one is infallible. Everyone makes ethical mistakes. However, coaches should be held to a high standard. It means, bringing awareness to this and consciously choosing your words and actions.

Ep 138 – A Coaching Skill You Might Not Have Learned Yet

This episode is about a coaching skill you might not have learned in coach training school. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s a relationship skill.

A few weeks ago one of my VIP clients emailed me asking if she could coach me in our next session to get more practice. It totally took me by surprise. No client had ever asked that before.

And I felt conflicted about it so I gave it some careful thought before responding. It wasn’t without risk. How might it affect our mentoring relationship?

I decided to say ‘yes’ if I could think of a good topic. It had to be something real for me because making something up would not give her practice. And it needed to be complex enough to truly challenge her.

And then I realized my topic was staring me in the face. I had been deliberating about a very serious decision. Something that involved my health, finances and it affected my partner too. Suddenly I felt gifted by the Universe because I really did need an objective person to share this dilemma with.

Into the Co-Creative Relationship

So in our next session we jumped into the co-creative relationship.

My client’s coaching was near to flawless. In fact, it was some of the best coaching I’d ever experienced. I came away from the conversation feeling clear about my next steps and leaning towards a decision that would honor my values and needs.

After coaching, we both stepped out of the co-creative role. She asked for feedback and it was easy to give her praise about a dozen things. There was only one thing that I thought needed correction.

Because I’d been working with this coach for a few months already, this thing hadn’t affected my ability to be coached well. But, I knew that it could be an issue for her with a new client if she didn’t make changes. It could even affect her ability to enroll a new client.

During our coaching her voice was a bit flat. Technically, she was masterful. Asking all the right questions with excellent timing and moving me through to my decision without advising or manipulating.

Voice Matters

But energetically, I didn’t feel enough human connection in the coaching. And this is important! It was not about the words she spoke. It was about the lack of feeling conveyed in the words through her voice.

Voices are amazing things. They have the power to communicate beyond words.

I first learned this in college when I took a voice and diction class. At the end of the semester my professor clapped his hand on my shoulders and looked directly into my eyes saying: “You must do something professional with your voice, Rhonda.”

That had impact I can tell you. But I didn’t become a singer or actor or broadcaster. I became a coach.

I’ve used my voice a lot of the last two decades. Never so much as with my podcast, which has given my voice more range in multiple ways. It’s impacting more people than ever.

Just the other day in a Discovery Call a prospect said to me: “You sound just like your podcast!” It seemed that was reassuring to her. And I felt a kind of connection that I don’t think couldn’t have come from her reading a bunch of blogs I’d written.

Back to my client – the excellent coach … I suggested that she raise the energy of her voice. Inject it with human connection. Just a subtle shift would make a big difference.

And she immediately knew what I meant. She recognized that in concentrating so much to use the coaching model and ask the right questions that her attention wasn’t on the energy she was conveying.

And she also noted that she could relate to the dilemma I brought in my agenda, which she said threw her off a bit, though I could not tell.

You can convey so much with minor modulation in your voice. Changes in the timbre of your voice, speed, volume, enunciation, and word emphasis add meaning beyond words.

Imagine that you are in session with a client. How can you convey softness in few words without sounding parental or overstepping a boundary? Could you hear the warmth in my voice just now?

How can you shine a smile or convey humor through your voice? I literally did smile as I said that.

How can you call attention to what you’re saying without becoming loud?

Did you notice that I slowed my words down just then and put a bit more emphasis on certain words? My mouth worked a bit more to put more meaning into the words.

If you’re meeting face to face with clients, you might not need to inject more humanity into your voice. It can also come across with a gesture or look on your face. You shine light through your eyes.

I’ve always preferred to coach over the phone. I’m an introvert. Plus I like to take notes. And I know there is intimacy in speaking directly into my client’s ears and they into mine. From my client’s voice I can read body language. I can tell a lot just by the tone, speed and little elements in their voice.

You can too. All it takes is attention to this. Now maybe you already modulate your voice for meaning. Or maybe you could use more subtlety in your voice. I think you know instinctively what you need to do to be an even more masterful coach.

Ep 136 – The Downside of Coaching for Corporations

This episode is for those thinking they’ll make a lot more money coaching for corporations.

I had a Strategy Session recently with a client to help him choose his target audience and niche. We were discussing whether he wanted to target individuals or corporations.

I asked that because I could see his expertise and interests were centered on helping execs develop talent.

At first he wasn’t sure so I told him the pros and cons of targeting corporations. Mainly, it’s about the hassle factor.

When a corporation hires you you will likely have to:

  • Compete for the many corporate and executive coaches plus coaching firms.
  • Write proposals and give presentations to get the contract.
  • Invoice the organization and be paid slowly.
  • Be certified by the International Coach Federation or another well-known accreditor.
  • Have significant expertise in corporate and possibly in the roles you’ll coach.
  • Possibly report to the supervisor or HR department about your progress.
  • And likely not be able to hold all confidences.

Not to mention that you will have to charge market rates.

All of that boils down to giving up a lot of control — of your income, your hours, what you deliver and how.

Also, you’ll need to market to the decision maker — the person who will evaluate and hire you — rather than the individual or groups you coach. You’ll need your website and other messaging to be about the outcomes the corporation wants not the individuals.

A lot of people believe that you can earn significantly more money with corporate contracts. Not necessarily true.

You may earn more for a set term or contract but only if you don’t charge higher prices for work you do with individuals.

I advocate that coaches create a long term, high ticket Signature Program and provide a VIP service to individuals. You’ll only need a handful of clients each year and can earn well.

Me? I like to control every aspect of my business. It’s one of the main reasons I wanted to work for myself.

I want to decide exactly how I’ll work with clients, what I’ll charge, when I work and who I serve. A good fit is important. That won’t be 100% possible with corporate coaching.

With corporate coaching you may not have control over any of those things.

I also really appreciate that the people I serve and also the people that invest in working with me. I find they are highly dedicated to the process and their own success. Whereas sometimes when someone else is paying for the services the individual you coach is not fully invested.

Think about it … when you pay out of your own pocket you’re a lot more motivated to squeeze all the juice out of the experience.

All that said … I realize that for some your skills, background and passions may be perfect for corporate coaching. So, if you decide to go that way do your best to have control over your business.

The best way to do that is to narrow your focus. That’s right … niche down.

Rather than trying to do everything for all corporate employees, specialize. If you become known for offering something no one else does in the corporate arena, and it’s something that is highly prized by decision makers, you’ll have more control.

That Strategy Session client? That’s what he decided. To avoid the dog and pony show he’s targeting mid-size businesses in a certain industry.

These businesses don’t have internal human development departments. They aren’t snobby about certifications. They want competent help and will recognize it by the fact that he speaks their language and understands what’s in the way of their big goals. Smart!

That’s how you stand out!

Ep 135 – Are Your Coaching Packages Keeping You From Earning Well?

This episode connects the dots between your website, coaching packages and pricing as a reason you might not be earning as well as you’d like.

Find links here to episodes that go into more detail on each of those topics so you can make clear, strategic shifts.

I didn’t start my business knowing how to be successful at coaching. Everything I’ve learned has come from studying my own many mistakes as well as what works and why.

Let’s start with websites because this is the biggest and most expensive bungle most coaches make.

Did You Just Slap Up a Coaching Website?

When you completed coach training, did you rush to put up a website? You might have thought, as I did, that:

  • A website is the first step to getting clients. It’s not.
  • You wouldn’t be legit as a coach until you had a coaching website. Other thresholds come first.
  • Your website should be about you and coaching. Not true.

After redoing my website 4 times now my site is like a spring river flowing ideal clients to me who are ready to enroll and invest. I’m grateful for the flow!

I want you to have that flow!

My website is not the prettiest or trendiest website. Those things can actually be distracting to buyers. Coaches like my website because they feel at home there. They feel that I’m talking specifically to them. And that’s the secret.

Is it obvious on your website WHO you serve? Are you speaking directly to your audience in words they’ll understand? If so, you’re way ahead of the game and you’ve been strategic.

The 3 big mistakes I see on coach’s websites are:

  • It’s not clear, in seconds, who the coach’s target audience is
  • The site is selling coaching as a solution
  • Multiple coaching packages and prices are offered

Let’s take these one at a time.

Why Make Your Coaching Website a Home for Your Audience?

Relevance. Have you ever gone to a website and bounced off quickly? Chances are, you didn’t find what you wanted there.

Your website must grab attention and strike a resonant chord with your audience in mere seconds or they are out of there fast! That’s called a bounce. For more about this listen at prosperouscoach.com/40.

So make sure that the short pithy copy on each webpage is highly contextualized to your audience using keywords they’ll recognize and about their top problems and ultimate goals. Be connective not salesly.

Don’t Sell Coaching On Your Website

What? You’re thinking “I’m a coach, Rhonda, what else would I sell?”

I’m serious. Do not have a page or copy about the wonders of coaching on your website.

There are inherent challenges to selling coaching that you don’t want to hassle with.

  • People rarely wake up knowing they want coaching.
  • Many people have a negative opinion of coaching.
  • Coaching is a skillset not an outcome.

For more about this critical concept, listen to Why Coaching is a Hard Sell  at prosperouscoach.com/7.

Instead have a Work with page on your website that let’s your audience know you have a solution to their specific problems that arise on the way to their big specific goals. That solution is not coaching but rather a Signature Program that you’ve strategically designed for your audience.

For more on that topic go to episode 66 called How to Describe Your Coaching Program Without Selling Coaching.

You’ll be amazed when you make this shift how prospects will take you more seriously and your program sells itself without you having to be coachey or salesy!

Do NOT Offer Multiple Coaching Packages

It’s said that a “A confused mind never buys.”

I don’t know who coined this phrase but it’s spot on. A light bulb snapped on in my head when I first heard it because I realized that I had been confusing prospects for years and it had been reducing my income.

When you offer more than one thing at a time, you shut down the decision making process. Suddenly, the prospect is thinking about price only and you’ve undone all the good will and trust you’ve built. It will be a rare individual who reaches out with questions to help them make a decision.

Also, consider not putting your pricing ON your website. That allows you to stay fluid in what you charge. But more importantly, you want your website to be about relationship building.

The only place where I offer a price on my site is when there is a sales process and automatic way to enroll & pay such as for my single Strategy Session. That’s because people go to my site looking specifically for that as I mention it in my podcast. Product sales pages are also a place to include pricing.

So go forth. Correct your website and packages for far better income and clients.

Ep 129 – The Single Most Important Thing About Your Coaching Lead Magnet

This is the final episode in the series about lead magnets. Coaches have told me they are getting a lot of value from this series, so listen to the whole thing.

I’ve been promising you a downloadable assessment to test your own free offer. Well it’s finally time for you to grab How to Make Your Free Offer Irresistible.

In this short episode I’ll reveal what inspires your audience on your coaching website to opt in for your lead magnet.

So … the single most important thing about your lead magnet is the title.

Of course, your freebie should be valuable, but the title you give it may make or break your leads list development because it’s likely to be the deciding factor whether someone will bother to opt-in and read it.

Look, unless you have trained in marketing you’re probably not that good at titling — whether it’s your free download or a blog or a podcast episode.

Titling is an art and it takes practice to wordsmith in a way that motivates people to take action. It took me years to learn this.

The biggest secret about titling is to RAISE CURIOSITY. Not what you thought, right?

Take the title of this episode — The Single Most Important Thing About Your Coaching Lead Magnet. It inspired you to action. You decided to listen to this episode.

Notice that I didn’t give away what that single most important thing is in the title. That’s the big mistake most coaches make in titling.

I could have titled this episode: How to Title Your Lead Magnet. Not a horrible title but it is super dull.

Now, you do need to give some idea what your lead magnet is about in the title but you can be somewhat cagey about it. I encourage my VIP clients to take their unique benefit statement and slightly alter it into a title for their freebie.

Why? Because their Benefit Statement describes the big problem they help their clients overcome and/or the ultimate outcome their audience wants.

For example, my Benefit Statement is:

Helping coaches earn more and market less by choosing a highly profitable niche they’ll love.

Choosing a profitable niche is a BIG problem for all new coaches. And, all coaches want to earn more and market less.

So my own freebie title mirrors my benefit statement:

5 Secrets to Choose a Highly Profitable Coaching Niche You’ll Love

See how that works?

3 More Things Your Coaching Lead Magnet Title Needs

So you want to start by raising curiosity. There are four other things that are helpful:

  1. Numbers in titles have been proven to increase interest.
  2. Name or imply your target audience in the title. The phrase “Coaching Niche” makes it clear I’m talking to coaches.
  3. Name the basic topic without making it dull.

If you’re following my guidance in this podcast series for creating your lead magnet you’ll first design your Signature Program, then create a free offer that pre-qualifies and pre-sells your audience to buy that program by having the freebie organize around your VIP offer.

I know, this is bit complex.  But there’s method to this madness. See I’ve learned that congruence and relevance are what help you attract clients.

So take a look at your lead magnet title now. Does it raise curiosity? Does it mirror your benefit statement and Signature Program? Don’t forget to grab your copy of How to Make Your Free Offer Irresistible so you can assess how your lead magnet stacks up and a client winner.

Ep 128 – Listener’s Choice – What Exactly Makes a Coaching Website Client Winning?

This episode is a Listener’s Choice episode, which means a whole lot of coaches have listened to it!

Think of this as a master episode – it’s almost like a seminar and it covers nearly all of the most important principles I impart to you about having a successful coaching business.

And, because I’m finishing up a series on Lead Magnets, I wanted to remind you about something that’s critical to the success of your freebie – you must have a sticky website. That’s a website that inspires vistiors to hang out, read everything and of course, sign up for your downloadable lead magnet. It’s what I call a Client Winning Coaching Website.

Without that all the effort you spent on your lead magnet will be wasted.

Also a reminder … at the end of this series on Lead Magnets for coaches I’ll have a free downloadable assessment for you to test your own lead magnet to see if it’s irresistible or not. So keep listening to this series. It’s coming to a valuable close with that free assessment soon.

Now onto the Listener’s Choice episode …

I’m going to take you on a journey. And, this is really about websites and how they work on your behalf to bring you clients and future clients and get people on your list so you can connect with them and build relationships of trust with them over the long term.

Okay, so today what we’re going to dive into is what is it that makes a coaching website client winning.

And remember last week I talked about how so many coaches are putting up what I call an online brochure, https://prosperouscoach.com/41 which is really not geared for attracting and enrolling coaching clients.

As a result, the website just kind of sits there and does nothing. And it’s frustrating because no doubt you spent money on it and time on it and invested a lot of your heart and soul into it too.

There is a totally different way to do a website and if you’re about to start your website, I hope you’ll listen really closely because it does begin with some really early things. One is choosing a viable target audience full of seekers and developing a really smart niche that’s going to help you stand out in the crowd.

But also there’s the mechanical thing which is to choose a website template that is actually geared towards enrolling clients for you and a lot of them are not. That online brochure type is not.

Imagine the Customer Journey Online

Now, take a couple of deep breaths, close your eyes and think about when you’ve been online and something has jumped out at you and hit the mark about what’s important to you .

You have clicked and gone to a website. Then, because of the experience that you had there on the website, you made a decision to sign up on a list for get a free download. Or, perhaps even taken a stronger action and actually invested money into a program of some sort.

That journey is called the customer journey.

Create a strategized customer journey like what I describe below for your website tailored to your target audience.

The easiest way I could think of to illustrate this for you was to talk to you about your own goals and objectives as a coach.

As human beings, when are on the Internet, we are mostly in a trance moving through this thick, very busy, loud, marketing-heavy environment. We very quickly make decisions about what we’re going to pay attention to and what we’re not going to pay attention to.

It’s mere seconds. We pay attention to is something that has a high degree of relevance to us as individuals.

Your top challenges and goals are floating around in your head in the background all the time. Something that you’re struggling with, something that you are challenged by, something that you’d like to change, something that you’ve tried to do on your own but haven’t been able to.

You’re looking for help … maybe even consciously yet.

Relevance is What Grabs Attention Online

What we’re talking about here is relevance.

You have a set of things that are top of mind for you as an individual and every other person out there on the Internet has a set of challenges, goals, things that they’re thinking about in the back of their mind all the time.

How does that relate to your website?

Be sure that your website hits one of those high points, one of those relevancy points for your target audience.

And you can see the problem here is that if you don’t have a narrow enough target audience — if you don’t know exactly …

  • what makes them tick what keeps them up at night
  • what it is that they really, really want
  • what is an acute problem they most want solved

… then you’re going to have a hard time creating a website with an online customer journey that will enroll your ideal clients.

A Model of a Customer Journey Relevant to Coaches

I’m going to take you on … my client’s journey because it’s quite intimate to me and also quite intimate to you. I serve coaches and you are a coach so the customer journey that I’ve put together that connects to my website is relevant to you.

My hope is that by walking you through this, you’ll have a model. You’ll see what it is that you need to do with your own website, for your own target audience.

Okay, so there you are. You’re a new coach, you have some clients, some of them are paying, some of them are not. You finished coach training or are just about to finish coach training.

But so far your business really hasn’t taken off and there are set of things that you’re struggling with as it relates to your coaching business.

You have to be a successful coach and to make a difference in people’s lives. One of the struggles is this whole niche thing.

I still don’t have clarity about my coaching niche!

So what do you do when you’re online with that problem? Well, you might search for answers about coaching niches. Searches are one way that your clients might find you.

Searching online you’ve found some articles about coaching niches and you start to read them and you’ve kept your Google page open because you want to go back to options. Some of the articles are helpful and some of them are not. Some skim over the surface.

But then you come across something that is unique, that isn’t something you’ve heard everywhere else and it speaks to you.

You’re inspired. You go their website.

Here’s How to Create a Pre-Qualified Coaching Client on Your Website

  1. The first thing you see is that their brand (same as the name of their company and domain). It speaks to you.
  2. And then right underneath that brand name, you see a core message. It’s a benefit statement. And what it says hits the mark about specifically what you want and what you’re challenged, so you’re inspired to read more.
  3. You scroll down and you read the highly relevant home page web copy. It’s short and hits all these specific things that you’ve been thinking and feeling.
  4. It’s pointing you towards a solution — a free downloadable guide all about how to figure out your coaching niche. And so without a thought you are putting in your name and email address and you are downloading that pdf.
  5. You’re inspired to immediately open it up and everything you see in that guide makes your heart sing because here is someone who gets you, someone who understands what it is that you’re trying to accomplish, they’ve done it themselves and they have a system.
  6. And you are so inspired by this point that when you read how the guide invites a free Discovery Session with this person you don’t hesitate to schedule it.
  7. And in the meantime, while you’re waiting for that discovery session to happen, you are back at that website bingeing on more relevant content.
  8. By the time you get to that Discovery Session you are pre-sold on hiring this person! So when they offer you an opportunity to work with them, you sign up.

What I’ve just described is it customer journey. It’s a model for you and what you want to create for your ideal clients — a unique narrow audience.

Mindfully and Strategically Design Your Coaching Client’s Web Journey

Don’t throw up a website selling coaching. Instead, mindfully, strategically making every decision that influences what your website is going to look like, what the copy’s going to say, what your free offer  is that takes your ideal clients on a meaningful journey of building trust and getting pre-qualified to work with you.

By the way, don’t just offer a Discovery Session as your freebie on your website!

It’s too early for that. It’s kind of like going on a first date with someone who brings their parents along. Too much too soon!

Build your customer journey from the ground up.

I know it’s not an easy thing to create this customer journey. I know it’s not an easy thing to choose your coaching niche to make sure that you have a viable target audience that’s full of seekers — people who will invest in your help to get exactly where they want to go.

Specificity is the Secret to Creating a Client-Winning Journey for Your Coaching Clients

It is specificity in all things that snaps our head to attention.

Going back to the coaching niche example, see how specific that is?

We need to find for you what is that burning issue that is common for your specific narrow target audience. The pain is so acute that when your ideal clients see words about that on the Internet, they snap to attention.

5 Things That Make a Coaching Website Win Coaching Clients

Now, I promised you in this episode that I would explain to you what makes a client winning coaching website client winning. And in a way I just have but I’m going to go over it now instead of the customer journey where you’re a part of it.

First, it starts with choosing a brand name that is really specific to the outcome that you offer. Here is my brand:

Prosperous Coach

See how it fits my target audience?

I’ll go into more details about brand names in a future episode, but just know that that’s an overview.

Your brand —which is the same thing as your company name and your domain mirrors that too — is the very first point of client attraction on your website.

You want ideal coaching clients to arrive on your website and think: yeah, this is for me.

Which brings me to the second point, which is what I call a core message and a lot of people call a benefit statement — it’s a sentence that describes in specifics how you help your target audience.

My core message is:

Helping coaches earn more and market less by choosing a profitable coaching niche they’ll love.

I’m naming two specific things coaches really want — to earn more and market less and a top of mind challenge for new coaches — to choose a profitable niche they’ll love.

It’s short and it’s power packed. It’s not just a tagline that’s sort of like — Go. Fight. Win! — it says more than that. In seconds it tells people who arrive on your website if they have arrived at a place they want to be and it inspires them to delve further into your website.

That core message is high up in your website. right on the header right there with your brand.

On many coaches websites that I see, the header just has a quote on it or it has some pretty image, but it doesn’t really tell the person who is arrived on the website: I have arrived at the right place.

When you go to website, aren’t you pretty quick to judge whether this website is valuable to you or not?

If not, you bounce off and you’re on to something else because the internet is a vast place and if you are not spoken to at the heart level about your specific challenges, then you’re gone off that site never to come back again.

Next, what goes right underneath the header is some client winning web copy and there are a lot of tricks to web copy. Don’t write a philosophical essay and hope that people are going to read it because people have very short attention spans.

We are a distracted population, especially when we’re online, especially when we’re on our phones.

We are so easily distracted away from what we’re doing that we very often don’t read more than a sentence before we move on

 So your web copy on your homepage needs to be short, punchy and get right to the point in a way that is emotionally evocative. It can’t be formal language. It can’t be long, deep paragraphs. Maybe … 250 words max.

Your home page copy is meant to get your target audience to your first conversion process, which is your opt in  — a free downloadable guide, loaded with value that they can’t get anywhere else.

Don’t create a freebie that’s coachey because there are hundreds of thousands if not millions of those kinds of articles and free things out there already.

Dig in and create a free offer that’s so specific to your target audience and niche while it solves a really unique problem they have while it pre-sells them on enrolling with you without being salesy.

I’m going to go into more detail about freebies later on down the road,

Once they download your freebie, you want them to read it. The copy needs to be short and punchy and really to the point. Pull their eyes through that downloadable freebie and deliver AHA’s quickly. Enlighten them, inspire them, open their eyes, get them thinking.

You want them to read it all the way to the end where you invite them to your Discovery Call.

By the time they finish reading your guide they are so primed that they click the link takes them to your calendar.

But you know people are all different. Some people are not going to immediately read that downloadable freebie. So you also need to have set up a set of follow up emails constructed in a very strategic way. They’re short, but they’re connective, they’re emotionally evocative, and they point attention to specific passages or pages of your freebie.

Lastly, your Discovery Call is your opportunity to enroll them as a client. There’s a non-salesy, non-coachey way to enroll them that doesn’t send them away wholly satisfied as sample coaching sessions do.

If you are working on your website right now and there’s something holding you back from getting it done in a client winning way, reach out to me. Let’s have a strategy session.

Ep 86 – When and How to Stop Coaching for Free

This episode is part of the Money Mastery series.

It’s totally normal to give some coaching away while you’re in coach training school. No doubt your trainer will encourage that because they want you to practice coaching skills with as many people as you can as often as possible.

Practice integrates learning.

The downside of offering free coaching over a long term is that it becomes increasingly difficult to shift from free to charging fees.

Resistance gathers … and soon simply the idea of charging fees looms large in your mind.

That’s why many coaches get stuck in practice or what I call Perpetual Student Mode.

Patterns Become Habits and Habits Become Mindset

It’s critical to cross that threshold from offering free coaching to becoming a professional coach and charging fees sooner rather than later.

You see, our brains have a need for order. Anything you do repeatedly can become habit. Your mind SETS.

That can be a positive thing. But some mindsets make you feel STUCK.

Take a moment here and answer truthfully …

Has your mind set on limiting beliefs having to do with charging your clients fees?

Here are some of things I hear from new coaches:

  • I’m still inexperienced so I shouldn’t ask clients to pay.
  • How can I charge fees when I don’t know what I’m doing?
  • Why would someone pay me for this?
  • I’m a fraud.

It’s time to challenge these mindsets. Let’s look at them one at a time.

Own Your Experience

First, it helps to shift the way you think of coaching. Coaching is a skillset.

Have you ever learned a new set of skills in a job?

Let’s say you are suddenly given a new responsibility at your job. Chances are you showed some promise already and that’s why you were given the opportunity.

There’s always a learning curve, right? But your employer pays you while you learn. It’s a good faith practice that you will integrate the learning by doing.

As a professional coach, you employ yourself. Are you going to require that you know everything before you get paid? That would be unreasonable.

You Brought Skills to the Table of Coaching

Do you know everything about coaching? No. No one does. You’re on a developmental path. But you didn’t start this journey of becoming a coach on ground zero.

When you decided to become a coach you already had significant communication skills. If you hadn’t, you would not have gravitated to this.

You already knew how to listen, ask questions and support or inspire greatness. No doubt, your friends and colleagues sought you out as a sounding board and counselor.

In fact, this zone of genius may have been with you for decades.

Give yourself credit for what you brought to the table. Coach training only enhanced your skills.

People Invest When They Perceive Value

 “Why would someone pay me?” is the wrong question.

The right question is “What does my audience want so much they’ll invest in my help to get it?” See the difference?

That is the question you need to answer in order to strategically attract paying clients.

Which brings up the issue of charging little for your services.

If you’ve graduated from free services to fees but the amount you’re charging is too low to earn well, you’ve got one foot in the professional realm and one in the student realm.

Graduate from Student and Step Fully Into Professional

There’s a kind of trance that new coaches get into of striving so hard for results and yet not stepping back to think things through strategically.

I flopped around without strategy for years when I started as a coach.

For example, I didn’t think about profit until well into my coaching business.

Any coach can earn well in their first year of coaching. The only thing holding you back from that is you.

Sure, finding paying clients requires strategy. And there are many things you can do to make that easier.

That’s my mission – to help coaches launch with confidence. And I help my clients get everything linked up and congruent from their coaching niche to their brand and messaging, their website and content strategy – everything is designed to attract clients who are eager and willing to pay.

But every coach has to act the part to start powerfully.

The longer you hold yourself back in student mode … the longer you deny yourself the right to being a professional … the more likely it is you’ll quit this path altogether.

Everyone and No One is a Fraud

Have you been thinking of yourself as a fraud? That’s harsh.

But for some reason the Imposter Syndrome seems to be wired into humanity. Nearly everyone feels like this.

Here’s the thing I want you to continually remember. You are on a developmental path growing and evolving. Everyone is.

At any given moment each of us is a fraud to the next step, the next level.

But let’s replace the harshness with positivity.

Instead of ‘fraud’ think I’m a trailblazer.

The mere fact that you took the leap to become a coach and an entrepreneur means you have grit, determination and a vision. Hold onto that while you give yourself a big raise and own all that you brought to this table.

In the Next Episode: How to Rise Above Skeptics of Your Coaching Business

Ep 56 – Are You Turning Away Coaching Clients with Your Pricing?

This episode is the 3rd in my Money Mastery series.

You’ll learn a powerful shift in the approach to your coaching business that will dramatically boost your earning power.

Are You Charging Fees for Coaching Sessions?

Raise your hand if you’ve ever priced your coaching by the session or by the hour.

You’re not alone in that. It’s the typical pricing strategy for new coaches. I raised my hand too.

I used to charge by the month for a certain amount of sessions. Now, that’s slightly more strategic than charging by the hour, but as pricing strategies go, it’s on the low side of effective.

Today, the only time that I charge by the session is for my Strategy Session. You’ve heard me mention this from time to time. It’s a one-off 90-minute session where you can get my expertise to help you choose a smart target audience and coaching niche.

Those are small but crucial steps for your success. Once you have your audience and niche figured out it’s like being let out of mental prison after a long stay. Sunshine. Fresh air. Freedom.

Consider giving yourself a special Christmas present that will be a turning point for you in your coaching business. Grab a Strategy Session with me.

Jil Hunsberger wrote this beautiful testimonial for her session:

I am so thankful I invested in a Strategy Session with Rhonda. I was at a standstill trying to define a viable target market and had spent way too much time and money trying to figure it out on my own with nothing to show for it. In one amazing session with Rhonda, we were able to define a unique target market that I am truly excited about. Rhonda is very good at what she does and I am excited to continue working with her to grow my business in the coming months!

Thank you, Jil. We had a lot of fun in that session!

The Coach Practitioner Approach

So why is my Strategy Session the only time I charge by the session now?

Because when I used to ask for fees for a certain amount of coaching sessions each month it kept me from earning well as a coach.

That by-the-session pricing approach is what I call The Practitioner Approach.

If you think of yourself as a practitioner of coaching then you are selling coaching and your only strategy to earn is to try to convince people to buy coaching from you.

Sound familiar?

That Practitioner Approach is the same thing that therapists do, that body workers do.

There’s a HUGE limitation to selling your services by the session or even a package of sessions.

Because you are putting a price to your time, every prospect and client is mentally calculating the value of each session against the cost.

They keep asking themselves …

do I really need any more of these sessions?

And that’s the problem with selling coaching. More about this in a minute.

Most likely you learned to price your coaching this way from your coach training school. It makes perfect sense when you’re first learning how to coach, you need to fulfill a number of hours of coaching to pass or certify.

If you have finished your coach training … I invite you to STOP that pricing practice now.

It’s time for a wholly different pricing strategy that won’t hold you back from earning well.

And it begins with key mindset shifts:

Shift to Being a Business Owner

First, stop thinking of yourself as a coach practitioner and start thinking of yourself as a business owner. Rather than running a coaching practice, run your business.

I know the whole world of business ownership can feel intimidating. But it can also be hugely empowering.

When you take ownership of your business it will raise your confidence. It puts you in the driver seat of your results.

Stop Selling Coaching

If you’ve been listening to my podcast for a while no doubt you’ve heard me suggest something that at first sounds crazy.

When you talk about coaching and sell people into a coaching program you’re pushing a big rock up a steep hill.

People don’t know that they want coaching. And some people have a negative opinion of coaching or they immediately rule it out for themselves because they think it’s like therapy and expensive.

In their minds, coaching is a nice-to-have for wealthy people instead of something they urgently want right now.

I talk about this in my most popular ever episode called Why is Coaching a Hard Sell?

Yes, you’ve been trained as a coach. Yes, coaching is highly valuable. You and I know it.

But if you’re trying to sell it you’re working very hard to earn very little.

What do I suggest instead?

  • Target a unique viable audience and find out what they want so much they’ll invest in you help to get it.
  • Then, gear your entire business around serving those clients towards that ultimate outcome.
  • Your website is no longer an online brochure about the type of coaching you do but a place your target audience feels at home with a strong conversion process to build trust and a desire to work with you.

Will you still coach your clients? Yes, because coaching is the main skill in your toolbox. But you’re no longer selling coaching – something people don’t readily buy.

And if you create a long-term private program that helps that audience reach their ultimate outcome one milestone at a time, you can charge much higher fees. And that means:

  • You need far fewer clients each year.
  • You’ll do less marketing to find and enroll them.
  • You’ll do deeper work with each client.
  • You’ll never have to try to convince people to buy coaching ever again.

Your target audience will be inspired to enroll because you’ve tailor made a program that helps them overcome specific obstacles while helping them reach their big goal.

They trust you because you’ve bothered to research what they want, what’s in the way and then put a clear pathway together to help them reach what’s been unreachable on their own.

And because they are investing in a whole program up front and it has milestones that get them where they want to go, they are not thinking about the money and calculating value. They are fully focused on the transformation.

And we all know that clients focused on their own transformation make greater leaps.

So, are you ready to make these shifts? I double dog dare you to try it. Get the word “coach” and “coaching” out of your vocabulary, off of your website. You’ll be amazed how things will change for you.

And if you need help to make these shifts in mindset and approach and get everything set up in your business to make enrolling great clients easy for you, check out my VIP Coaching Business Breakthrough program.

In the Next Episode: Coach, Is It Time to Give Yourself a Raise?