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 71 – Are You A Highly Sensitive Coach?

I bet that by now you are longing for a haircut, dying for a latte or something like that and just really missing hugging your friends and family. We’re still in weird time on pandemic Earth right now.

Last week I didn’t post an episode. It’s the first time in 18 months of podcasting that I’ve skipped airing an episode except for Christmas Day.

And the last two weeks when I sat down to focus on my podcast I’ve been blank. Sure, I’ve felt a bit blank before when I sit down to create. I’ll take a walk and come back with a burst of creativity.

But this blankness has gone on for weeks. My pre-recorded, pre-published episodes have caught up with me.

Finally I realized that I’m deep in grief. At times of grief, business as usual doesn’t feel right. And there’s no bandwidth for generative thought.

I spoke to a past client of mine. (I’ve been reaching out to lots of people I haven’t been in touch with lately.) She encouraged me to share on the podcast what’s going on. Thanks, Kate. That was brilliant advice.

A Heavy Energetic Load

I’m an empath, which means I sense the mental or emotional states of others.

Usually, I sense other people’s energetic states and it’s a slow trickle — totally manageable. In fact, it’s useful to have this skill as a coach, as a human being. And I’ve learned tools to protect myself and release energy that isn’t mine.

But during this pandemic, sadness, grief, fear and anxiety have come rolling in tsunami waves. I wake up feeling as if I’m under water. It’s taking much more self care to rise above it. And daily self-care is a normal priority for me.

It’s amazing to realize that perhaps for the first time in human history, the whole world is feeling sadness, grief, fear and anxiety all at the same time. That’s a heavy load.

So why am I telling you this? I don’t want you to feel sorry for me. Sensitivity is a super power. Especially when used for self healing and doing good.

And that’s what this episode is about … being highly sensitive as a coach.

Not Fragile But Uniquely Capable

If you don’t identify as highly sensitive, consider listening to this short episode anyway because a significant percentage of human beings are highly sensitive and you might learn something new.

In 1997 Dr. Elaine Aron, wrote The Highly Sensitive Person. That was the year that I graduated from coach training. I remember reading it and feeling a deep sense of relief to finally be seen and heard in a different way.

Labeled as fragile much of my life, now I was able to reframe that as strong and uniquely capable.

Intensity Increases Sensitivity

For me, sensitivity is my nature. I was born with it.

I have early memories of being in my crib with the door shut to my room and being able to track each of my family members energetically, no matter where they were. And if they were in distress, I’d feel it in my body and dissociate from my body to go to them.

I was an unusual kid. And my parents really had no idea how to deal with me.

Holidays were particularly difficult because of the heightened energy – anticipation, elation, frustration, disappointment, and exhaustion. The camera would come out and I’d be crying while everyone else was smiling or faking a smile.

I became camera shy, associating trauma with cameras so there are few photos of me growing up.

The Field of Coaching Attracts Highly Sensitive People

According to Dr. Aron, approximately 20% of the population is highly sensitive. I suspect that number has climbed as population swells, as we move faster, eat less nutritious food, swim in a non-stop field of EMFs elevated by Wi-Fi.

I have a theory going that many highly sensitive people are drawn to coaching. I seem to attract clients – all coaches — who are highly sensitive. We recognize and understand each other.

What about you? Have you ever felt you were sensitive?

It comes in many forms. Some people are emotionally sensitive. Some are physically sensitive. Some are energetically sensitive which affects the emotional and physical body. And there are sub-categories within each of those.

Sensitivity is an Asset for Coaches

Did you know that being highly sensitive can be an asset in coaching?

Here are some of the ways I’ve found it to be valuable:

  • I can read a room in a small group even online in a training or mastermind.
  • I can sense subtle cues that help me choose a direction for coaching and mentoring.
  • Certain words and phrases clients say float into the air with emphasis.
  • What isn’t said is as clear to me as what is said.
  • My intuition is a reliable guidance system.
  • I can sense when I’ve given away my power and quickly correct that.
  • I can sense when my client’s have given away their power and gently notice it.

My guess is that hearing this you’ll realize you have some or all of these abilities as well. And by raising awareness you can fine-tune them.

But here’s a caveat, being sensitive doesn’t mean you’re infallible.

I’m not always right. Sometimes I sense something and think it’s one thing when it’s something else. So it’s important not to assume. If I detect something and I think it’s important, asking an open-ended question is always the best way to check in.

So that’s it for now. I’m switching to doing mini-episodes for the next few weeks and I may also replay favorites. One thing about podcasting is that there’s always gold in past episodes that many people miss if they don’t go back to binge listen.

Stay well, stay sane and keep doing whatever you can to let your target audience know your services exist.

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 66 – How to Describe Your Coaching Program Without Selling Coaching

This episode, which is part of the Coaching Business Checkup series, is going to be short.

You’ve probably noticed that there are overlapping themes in this series episode to episode. That’s because strategy intentionally connects one thing to another.

Here are the repetitive themes:

Forgive me for the repetition but it’s not possible to talk about one strategic action or decision without mentioning what goes before it. Strategy is about connecting dots. It’s about congruence.

If you can remember these themes in all you do for your coaching business, you’ll experience a dramatic shift in your ability to attract enough clients who pay well.

Strategy – The Many Layered Cake

So I’ve been making a many-layered cake for you.

We started with the strategy of choosing a viable target audience full of seekers and then moved onto the central task of developing a smart niche — centering on a big enough problem your audience faces.

Now, if you are continuously visible out there speaking your audience’s language about their big problem and show that you have a solution without being salesy, they will pay attention.

That’s what will compel them to go to your website where hopefully you’ve got streamlined copy speaking about what’s most important to them there as well. And then you gently point them to a couple of conversion processes you have your site.

A clue … that’s NOT inviting them to a free sample session or Discovery Session.

That comes later when they are more ready for it. You don’t want to push people to next steps. Lead them instead.

You need to have everything ready for them before they arrive.

And when they arrive you want them to know they are in the right place.

That’s why your website should NOT be about the wonders of coaching.

Instead it’s about what’s keeping your specific audience up at night and what’s in the way of the big thing they want.

Okay, I’m getting off track from my goal here. You see how everything is interconnected and strategic?

This episode is not about how to create a client-winning website. It’s about something you create before the website …  your signature system.

What’s a Signature System and Why Should You Have One?

Why would I call it a system?

Because when humans perceive that there is a structure — a framework to get what they want — they relax. And trust builds.

Your Signature System is the way you describe what you do so that your audience can see clearly:

  1. That you understand them.
  2. That you have a structure they can lean into.
  3. That you know what you’re doing.

In a non-salesy way, your system is connected directly to their exact situation — what specifically has been in the way of them realizing their most urgent goal.

Do you see now why you need to know the big problem you solve before you can move to this step?

In your system you name the specific milestones that your audience has wanted to achieve but they’ve been stuck for some reason and unable to move forward.

Remember my niche and the big problem I solve for coaches? That smart & profitable coaching niche has been illusive and without that solved they can’t really move forward. It’s painful and frustrating.

Why Doesn’t Your Signature System Mention Coaching?

Because it muddies the water and distracts them from what’s meaningful to them.

Coaching isn’t what’s meaningful to them. It’s the big and small, tangible and intangible ways they’ll grow and benefit from working with you that’s important now.

When you share your system with them in a Discovery Session you want it to be so spot on that they feel like it’s exactly what they’ve been seeking and didn’t even fully know it until just this moment.

You’ve ticked all the boxes. You’ve covered all the most nagging challenges they’ve been facing.

Your Signature Program is based on this system. But that’s getting ahead of myself again.

For now, I hope you take in that you can articulate what you do in a non-coachey and non-salesy way that inspires investment through trust and context.

In the Next Episode: What is Your Coaching Business Model?

Ep 65 – Are You Solving a Big Enough Problem In Your Coaching Business?

This episode is part of the Coaching Business Checkup series.

If you’re not attracting enough paying clients to sustain your business there could be several reasons why. The episodes in this series are designed to help you isolate what needs attention.

But don’t let these errors move you to give up on your coaching business unless you’re truly done with the dream of being a successful coach and helping loads of people with your unique talents.

To Succeed You Have to Be Willing to Flail and Fail

I encourage you to be willing to make mistakes and realize they don’t define the possibility of your future success.

Jumping out there without strategy is a time honored mistake. Nearly everyone makes these mistakes if they are willing to risk success.

On the other side of this is the person who does not risk anything and misses out on the chance to learn from their mistakes. And those are the folks who may regret staying in the safety zone.

The Big Thing Holding You Back From Financial Success As A Coach

For this episode, I’m going to dig into the most common problem that holds coaches back from attracting enough clients and earning well:

There’s not enough people inspired to invest in your services.

You are no doubt talented, capable and truly effective as a coach. But that goes wasted if you can’t attract the attention of your audience and inspire them to invest.

What can you do about that?

Well, so many things! For now I’m focusing on one.

Let’s say you have chosen a target audience and they are SEEKERS — people who do invest out their own pocket to grow personally and professionally.

The next thing you do is to define your coaching niche, right?

And this is the place where you might be inclined to totally wimp out. I did when I started.

It’s partly because fresh out of coaching training there’s still this glow about the value of coaching that can blind you to effective ways to attract paying clients.

Have you romanticized the notion of coaching that you believe people know they want it?

Most people don’t think about coaching as a solutions. That’s why coaching is a hard sell.

So, at this starry-eyed moment in time instead of niching down, you niche widely or niche weakly.

Niching wide is choosing a broad coaching audience and naming an overarching abstract outcome.

I help women create a more fulfilling life.

OR

I help business owners become successful.

Another way to wimp out in your niche is to simply identify your track.

I’m a career coach.

I’m a leadership coach.

I’m a life coach.

I’ve seen many coaches list all or several coaching tracks on their websites. The lack of specialty does just the opposite of what the coach hoped — it turns potential clients away because they see a lack of commitment and focus.

And example of niching weakly is focusing on coaching topics as the specialty.

I’m a confidence coach.

I’m an empowerment coach.

I help you breakthrough limiting beliefs.

I don’t think people wake up in the middle of the night and say to themselves … you know what I need? I need a coach to help me breakthrough limiting beliefs.

Everyone has limiting beliefs. Any coach or mentor can help individuals past them. But it doesn’t inspire investment except for a few sessions at low prices.

These aren’t big enough problems to bring you a steady stream of clients who are ready to invest.

I niched widely and weakly at first! I didn’t know better. Now, I hope to save you some of my flailing and failing.

Fully Commit to Standing Out with Your Specialty

Notice I didn’t saying standing out with your coaching specialty? Let’s take the coaching piece out of the equation. That’s your toolbox — a skillset you’ll use to help your clients — not what people will buy.

If you intend to be a successful coach in the long run, commit to targeting and niching down strategically and then follow through with that in everything you do. Don’t let your website copy be dumbed down by focusing on the wonders of coaching. Focus on your specific target audience and what’s keeping them up at night.

Make it so that there is absolutely no doubt in anyone’s mind who you serve, the big problem you help them overcome and the big goal you help them reach.

Define Big Enough

When you’re looking for a dynamic profitable niche, you have to step out of thinking like a coach and step into thinking like your audience. (And this is the best way to create everything for your business and do all your marketing by the way.)

It takes a bit of mindfulness and practice. Here’s the question to ask yourself:

What specific problem will prompt my audience to go looking for solutions with their credit card ready?

Think about all the times you’ve invested in something that was pricey. What made you pay the big bucks for a service even though you knew you were spending a lot?

No doubt it was something that felt crucial for your future.

The Gap Between Pain and Pleasure

You’ve heard about pain points before. Some problems are annoying. Some problems are a hassle. You’re looking for the problem that is acutely painful.

It’s the gap between what your audience wants and where are they are now. That great longing for something that’s been elusive because there’s a big, fat problem in the way.

The thing is the way is usually the individual.

Big enough problems fall within just a handful of categories associated with a fundamental want:

  • money
  • career
  • power
  • love
  • healing

Here are a few coach’s niches. Notice how they fit into one of those 5 fundamental categories.

Helping HR leaders gain more impact and influence in their organization.

Helping moms with a long career gap find flexible work they enjoy.

Helping people with fibromyalgia feel better get their lives back.

Helping parents support their kids with ADHD to excel in school.

Helping wives of civil servants create space for a career of their own.

Do you see how these big problems and desired outcomes would inspire investment?

If you’ve chosen an audience and you think you’ve arrived at a big enough problem to solve, pause to ask yourself:

Would I buy high-ticket services to help me overcome this problem?

If not, dig in deeper.

And if you want help identifying your audience’s big problem and developing a smart business foundation that attracts ideal clients, you know where you can find me: https://prosperouscoachblog.com/work-with-rhonda

In the Next Episode: How to Describe Your Coaching Program Without Selling Coaching