Ep 58 – Start Planning For Profit In Your Coaching Business

This episode is part of my Money Mastery series.

I’m about to suggest a new mindset and practice that will help you take a big leap in the amount of money you earn from your coaching business — even if you’re a brand new coach.

It’s all about taking yourself seriously as a business owner and graduating from that hobby-like coaching business to what’s called a going concern – a sustainable business that reliably provides for you and your family.

There are two parts to this episode. In the first I’ll explain the 3 phases of coaching business development. You’ll see why soon. 

The second part is about planning. Are you wincing at that? Planning to earn could actually mean that you do earn and earn well.

I’m purposefully keeping this part very basic so if you’ve been a CFO in a corporation or a CPA or this is your 2nd entrepreneurial experience, you may not need this episode.

But if you’re a new coach longing to earn well in your first business then what I’m sharing may shift something inside you that needs shifting.

So first …

3 Phases of Coaching Business Development

The Startup Phase

This is what I help new coaches to do right from the get go. In the phase you create your business foundation:

I’m taking a stab at a metaphor to hopefully will help you understand the importance of each of these phases. let’s pretend your desire to have a coaching business is an apple tree seed. For good measure, you put several of these vision seeds into healthy soil, give them water, warmth and light. Soon, little sprouts come up.

You leave the strongest seedlings to grow and sacrifice the rest. That’s when you nail down your niche and audience. The goal is to have one little tree to focus you love and attention.

The Establish Phase

This is where your business begins to feel real. You will:

  • Consistently put out good content targeted to your audience
  • Develop your reputation
  • Build your leads list and followers on social media
  • Master enrolling clients
  • Earn enough to quit your job
  • Grow your website SEO
  • Find spheres of influence or colleagues who can help your star rise
  • Establish the ideal rhythm and flow of your business
  • ·Fine tune your business to maximize profits and work smarter

Back to the metaphor … your little tree has set down strong roots and delivers its first harvest.

The Maintain or Scale Phase

You’ve made it!

  • You’ve found your sweet spot. Now maintain it. Enjoy it.
  • Or, if you’re hungry to do more, expand into new programs, products or markets. 

This is where your apple tree becomes a reliable producer. It not only feeds your family, but also can grow into a whole orchard if you want.

So why did I tell you about these phases?

Partly so you know that reaching that desired place of the sweet spot requires successful completion of the stages before it. 

If you’re listening to this podcast you’re likely in that Start Up phase. You may have just finished coach training and are beginning to develop your business model. You may have done bits of that and think you should be earning well.

The Start Up phase is the most important phase. Because, without a solid foundation, nothing will grow. 

Coaches often ask me how long it will take before they are established and earning well as a coach. And I say it depends on you. How quickly you can successfully start up and take your business seriously.

Why the Market Isn’t Saturated with Coaches

Every month there’s a continuous flood of new coaches graduating from coach training and beginning the Start Up Phase.

Many coaches never complete that phase either because they intentionally move on to something else or their business doesn’t take root. Strong roots are the critical part for sustained growth. 

And that’s why the field of coaching isn’t saturated with sustainable coaching businesses and may never be.

It may seem shocking or sad to say this, but this is a natural thing. Lots of people stream into entrepreneurial businesses of all types but don’t stay in them. The need to graduate from one phase of business to another is what levels the playing field.

Entering into an entrepreneurial business is a hero’s journey no matter what the outcome. There’s value to the journey even if it ends by getting off the path and onto another.

The reality is that everyone hits some roadblocks in each phase of business development that could lead to closing up shop.

The trick is not to give up on yourself or your business. Listen to episode 49 if you haven’t already – The Only Good Reason to Give Up On Your Coaching Business

It’s about developing the patience and other skills to allow your coaching business to blossom.

So now, with the phases as background, let’s move onto the second part of this episode, which is Revenue and Profit planning 101 …

If you have your foundation set, help yourself move from Start Up Phase into Establish Phase by: 

1.     Creating an expense budget. Adjust it as needed to improve profits.

2.     Setting revenue and profit goals quarterly.

3.     Tracking and reviewing your business financials monthly or quarterly.

4.     Making improvements and set better goals every year.

Now, I can hear you groaning. Maybe you’d rather do cold calls than set financial goals and track them.

But I’ll tell you, there’s solid proof that stepping into the CFO role of your business dramatically increases how much money you’re able to provide for your family from your coaching business.

If you set revenue goals, you’ll earn more than if you do not set goals.

If you set profit goals, you’ll have more money earn year for the things you care about.

I remember setting my first money goals in my coaching business. When I didn’t reach them I got bogged down in shame and a sense of failure. But then I learned the trick to financial goals. Hold them lightly as potential milestones but take them seriously in terms of action to earn.

Think Profit Not Just Revenue

A quick distinction between revenue and profits … 

Revenue is the money you’re paid for your services and products. (So if you have 10 clients and they each pay you $10,000 for a yearlong program, that’s $100,000 in revenue.)

Profit is the money you keep after business expenses, costs and taxes are subtracted from revenue. (So if you pay 20% in taxes and spend $2000 to attract each of those 10 clients that leaves you with $60,000 in profit. That’s not a bad profit but perhaps you could do better.)

So, if you want to end your year with $100,000 profit, aim to make $140,000 in revenues at least. Then do the things day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month to make that happen.

The Beauty of Hustle

Have you set revenue and profit goals for your business? If you haven’t, you’re in good company.

Here’s the truth of it … Most new coaches simply wake up every day and do what they feel like doing in their business instead of what will really help them shift to The Establish Phase. They hope it will result in enough clients and income each year.

That mindset and habit is for a hobby business but not a going concern – a business that provides well for you and your family.

To step fully into the business owner role and earn more, plan your revenue and profits. Then plan exactly how you’ll earn and work your plan.

That’s called hustle.

What would motivate you to generate that kind of hustle where you’re serious about earning?

If you already have a job or if your income from your coaching business isn’t really needed to pay the bills, it’s harder to summon the hustle to really make things happen and get to that Establish Phase and then the Maintain or Scale Phase.

How will you generate enough hustle to earn well as a coach?

To start, create a need for the money you’ll earn then pay yourself a salary out of your earnings to cover that need.

For example, commit to yourself that you’ll pay your mortgage or rent each month from your coaching business income. Move the money from your business checking to your personal checking and call that a salary.

Over time, add in more bills or perhaps X number of dollars to go into a college or vacation fund each month.

Be sure it’s a monthly amount that you have to make. That will help you get into a rhythm.

You’ll need to keep enough money in your business account to cover your expenses. And this will help you see the real financial value of your business.

You may realize that you’ve got too many monthly expenses, too many apps and services you’re paying for that are reducing your profit.

It’s good to realize that sometimes when other coaches or business owners brag about their revenue that the money spent (or expenses) to reach those revenues is a high proportion of the money they’ve made. In other words, their revenues may be high but so are expenses. That means profits are low.

You’ve heard me praise the value of a simple business model for coaches. Listen to episode 5 if you haven’t heard it yet. 

Sometimes, it’s better to keep a low overhead and simpler business model than to buy into that idea of passive revenue or scaling up, which can result in low profits and a massive amount of work.

I’ve shared my personal story about this. I scaled up my business in 2006 and earned multiple six figures over the next few year but profits were low because of all the apps and assistance I needed in order to sell my online training programs, group and retreat programs.

If I did those things now, I’d be wiser about the way I did it, no doubt.

Still, not everyone needs an empire to have an enjoyable coaching business that earns well. And no matter what it’s best to start with a simple model and then grow into those more complex and involved ways of earning later.

In the Next Episode I’ll explain a way to package and price a signature program that helps you earn well on low expenses so your profits are high. 

Ep 54 – Awaken Your Money Making Mojo

A quick announcement … Have you been stuck on something that’s holding you back in your coaching business? It could be something small but critical, such as:

  • choosing a narrow and viable target audience so you stand out
  • discovering the big problem you help your audience solve
  • crafting your compelling core message
  • branding your company
  • brainstorming an irresistible free offer
  • planning your transition to full time coaching
  • developing or pricing your program
  • or working on a mindset issue that’s been blocking you

These are all perfect topics for a 90 minute Strategy Session with me.

If you’ve been stuck on some aspect of your business, give yourself an early New Years gift of a Strategy Session. In 2020, fees for my sessions increase $200 but you can still get them now for the original price. Learn more and sign up here:

Now to the episode …

This episode is part of my new Money Mastery series in which I’ll be talking about money mindset, charging what you’re worth, profits, pricing and revenue planning.

In the last episode, I talked about gratitude practices and the concept of what goes around comes around. If you haven’t heard that episode it’s a great lead in to this one.

Gratitude primes the pump for attraction. When you appreciate your privilege and all that you already have in your life, you’re waking up your manifestation potential or what I’m calling money mojo.

It really should be wealth mojo because it’s far more than just numbers in your bank account. It’s about flow of all positive energy. But the alliteration in money mojo is more fun.

Also just about every coach I know has some money issues and it can be a key limitation to success. Money mindset challenges are easier to overcome than you might think. For some of my client a quick mindset shift and improved charging practices open the flow of income and profits.

What Is Money Making Mojo?

I consider “money mojo” to be an unshakeable belief in your ability to create the life you want.

Maybe right now you have a fledgling coaching business and what you really want is a steady stream of clients and a robust income from coaching. Maybe enough to transition from your day job to full time coaching.

Do you believe you have the ability to create that for yourself?

You might be thinking …

“Well, Rhonda, how can I have unshakeable belief in my ability

if I’ve never achieved those results in my coaching business so far?”

I feel you. When you want something so much, but as time passes and it doesn’t fully materialize, discouragement sets in. And then belief in self suffers.

It doesn’t help that friends and family are watching you. They might even be skeptical that the money you’ve invested in your coach training and business development are ever going to pay off. A lot of people don’t realize that entrepreneurship is always an initial investment and it takes time to get out of the red.

But what’s most important here is what you tell yourself. How you think of your own abilities.

Everyone struggles with belief in self. Everyone. So if you’ve ever felt like there’s something wrong with you and everyone else has this all figured out, that’s not true.

It’s a HUGE myth we all perpetuate that we are alone in our struggles. Let’s bust that myth once and for all! That’s part of what being willing to be both vulnerable and supportive in community is for.

Your growth opportunity every day begins with bolstering your faith in your abilities. And, as a coach and a fellow human being, it’s also a growth opportunity to help others bolster their faith in themselves. That’s part of what brought you to coaching.

You need to do the work that you ask your clients to do. Shuck those limiting beliefs.

But, contrary to a fear some coaches have, you don’t have to have it all figured out before you coach. Just be actively growing yourself.

Now, imagine for a second, that you are living your life from unshakeable belief in yourself despite not yet having everything you want? What would that be like?

Well, first, you would free up so much energy because you’re not living your life with the gas pedal to the floor and the emergency brake on. Seeing yourself as not capable is like an emergency brake that you forgot to take off when you started.

Releasing that constriction in perception frees up your potential too. And yes, it’s totally okay if it takes a while to fully release those false perceptions. Incremental growth rocks and it’s sustainable.

Also, positive beliefs are like pontoons on a boat. Everything flows more smoothly as you travel.

Stop Casting Spells on Yourself

So how can you awaken your money mojo – or your ability to create what you want in your life?

Begin by monitoring what you think and say.

Do you have a mean streak about yourself?

Do you talk to yourself as if you were lecturing?

Are your thoughts full of self-deprecation and bitterness?

Do you default to boredom, victimhood or sarcasm?

Negative thoughts and spoken words about yourself can cast a spell on you. Give yourself a fighting chance and stop casting those spells.

It’s easy to slip into unconscious beliefs about the way it is – as if your past has forever sullied your future or what’s presently happening will always be so.

I invite you to begin a new habit now where you adjust what you think to yourself and say about yourself to more accurate words.

“I’ve never achieved the results I want in my coaching business.”

becomes

“Some of my goals haven’t manifested yet.”

Feel the difference? The spell stops anchoring you to disappointment through your words.

5 Powerful Questions to Check Why the Coaching Business You Want Hasn’t Manifested Yet

Looking back at my own coaching business journey, I’ve tracked 5 reasons why I hadn’t yet manifested what I wanted at any given point in time:

  1. I let my previous failures mean that I wasn’t smart enough to make this happen.
  2. I hadn’t cleared enough space and time for the thing I was calling in.
  3. I didn’t actually create a full vision for what I want and then put an action strategy plan in place.
  4. My heart wasn’t fully into it as evidenced by my lack of focus and consistent action.
  5. My impatience made me miss the true value of the journey and opportunities available.

I’m much more sanguine about the ebbs and flows of my coaching business now. I know that while I don’t have complete control over my results, I have responsibility for generating my results. It’s actually very freeing to know that.

If your money mojo is flagging take a quick look at each of these areas to see what needs a shift. Ask yourself:

  1. Do I need to bolster my belief in self?
  2. Do I need to secure more time and attention for my goals?
  3. Am I patient and open minded enough to receive what’s coming to me?
  4. Is my vision and strategy complete enough?
  5. Am I taking consistent enough action?

I think you’ll find the key to the shift that wants to happen there.

In the Next Episode: Is What You Love to Coach About Marketable? This is ON AIR Coaching with Alexia Mellor

Ep 53 – Get Prosperity Thinking Working for Your Coaching Business

This is the first episode in the new series called Money Mastery. In this series I’ll dig into pricing strategies, revenue planning and liberally sprinkle in money mindsets and prosperity thinking, which make all the difference in attracting coaching clients who pay well.

After all, success is part mindset, part strategy and part right action.

First for a bit of gratitude …

Prosperous Coach Podcast has just hit 20,000 downloads and that’s because you have been generously passing forward this podcast to your coach friends and colleagues. Thank you!

Every day I hear from another coach how much this podcast has meant to them and I feel so grateful. That fills me with joy.

Speaking of gratitude … are YOU feeling it?

I ask because I’ve seen a direct relationship to gratitude and financial success for coaches. For one thing, gratitude is attractive in the most literal sense of the word.

And it goes both ways. When you’re grateful, you feel better. When you feel better, other people feel better. It’s a beautiful circle.

Attitude and Practice

You’ve heard of an attitude of gratitude.

Gratitude isn’t just an attitude. It’s a practice that goes beyond counting your blessings. Although, naming what you’re grateful for is the centerpiece of prosperity.

Not many people know this, I started my coaching business as a spiritual coach and prosperity building was my focus. No wonder I branded my company Prosperous Coach.

I ended up helping coaches choose a profitable niche and launch their business with confidence because I found myself surrounded by coaches who wanted my help to get their business models set up powerfully.

Well, how did that happen? The usual way. Angels and Surprises.

In my 3rd year of coaching I was on the board of the Denver Coach Federation and the President at that time, Will Craig, was starting a coach training company called Coach Training Alliance.

He invited me to be a trainer and after a year asked me to help him rewrite the curriculum and design a Certified Coach Program.

Talk about gratitude. If not for Will, the opportunity he gave me, and his trust in me I’m not sure I’d still be in business.

Will, if you’re listening, I love you, man. Our partnership has taken me places and brought me in connection with more wonderful people than I ever dreamed possible. I mean who knew?

What’s wonderful is Coach Training Alliance is still going strong 18 years later. They’re still using my curriculum and certification program. And many of the trainers are the original bunch of the best coaches I know.

Do you ever wonder what opportunities might be around the corner for you? What angels — real people — will show up and give you grace?

Anyone you meet could be that person for you. Any opportunity you have could be one that catapults you to a better place. In fact, this happens every day.

So, one powerful gratitude practice is to be grateful for ALL of your connections. Even the ones that don’t feel great.

Here are some other gratitude practices you might not of thought of as gratitude or prosperity building:

Share the Good Stuff

If you get value out of something share it with others. Pass it forward.

I’ve noticed something that worries me in the coaching community. Sometimes coaches get competitive. They are out there only for themselves and their clients. They build their business then put their head down in isolation and strive and strive. They write their blogs, put out their posts but that’s it.

That makes for a lonely business. But it’s also shut down the flow of prosperity.

This is how gratitude ties into integrity.

What Comes Around Goes Around

That can work both ways, you know.

What do you want to have happen in your coaching business? Are you doing for others what you wish people would do for you?

  • If you want people to engage with your social posts, be sure you’re engaging (more than a LIKE) with other people’s posts. Do it purely to help someone and without attachment. I guarantee you that energy comes back to you.
  • If you want people to engage in your groups, be engaged in other people’s groups. If you say you’ll do something, do it.
  • If you want people to show up for appointments they book with you, show up to appointments that you book.
  • If you want excellent testimonials and referrals, write excellent testimonials and recommend others.

What comes around goes around.

Show Gratitude for the Good Stuff

Send a hand written card or heart felt email of thanks to someone who helped you.

Praise people generously, especially online because it flows out to a bigger circle.

Give people a boost. It will give YOUR a boost.

Show Gratitude for the Hard Stuff

Teachers come in many forms. Recognize that something difficult might be a call to open your mind and learn something new.

Looking back in my life I can think of dozens of people and circumstances that felt hard but that woke me up. And that was a real gift to me.

Give People Social Love

One of the best things about social media is the way it can be a force for good. Liking is okay but you’d like more than that on your own posts, wouldn’t you?

Comment. Engage. Share what you know and what’s challenging for you. Both of those things help others immensely. And then you get helped.

See how this works? Prosperity wants to circulate.

When you make gratitude into a way of being every day, prosperity flows to you, through you, around you.

Keep that energy flowing. It’s a positive force. And we need more positive forces in our lives.

In the Next Episode: Awaken Your Money Making Mojo

Ep 52 – Listeners’ Choice 2019 – How to Enroll More Coaching Clients Without Being Salesy

Last week I shared the Listeners’ Choice #1 Best Episode and again it had record plays!

A shout out to Susan who wrote:

“So much truth. It was like a choir of angels harmonized in the background as I understood. Happy Anniversary to you and Prosperous Coach Podcast. You’ve helped me get to someplace new and exciting in my business, thank you.”

I love that, Susan!

Today, is another Listeners’ Choice Best Episode in 2019 — How to Enroll More Coaching Clients Without Beings Salesy.

I’m not surprised that this episode was super popular. For one thing who wants to be salesy? But also this episode also has a content upgrade – a downloadable guide you can get for free that walks you through my step by step questions to ask coaching prospects during your Discovery Session.

The questions actually inspire people to hire you.

Here we go with Listeners Choice for 2019 …

This is the first episode in a new series that I’m doing called Smart Mindsets and Systems. There’s a ton of juicy stuff that’s going to be in this series. 

Now, in this session we’re going to dig into something that I know is critical and also difficult for a lot of people — how to actually enroll clients.

How can do enroll coaching clients in a way that doesn’t feel like you’re selling?

How can you enroll authentically while standing in your power with ease and grace?

When I shifted to this method of enrolling, it improved my enrollment success rate. I’ve taught this to every coach that I worked with. It takes a little bit of practice, but it’s not hard.

It’s much easier than giving a free sample coaching session!

We’re going to get down into it in just a minute. This session is sponsored by my own free offer to you. 

I want you to have this cheat sheet that walks you through 10 Steps to Enroll More Clients Fast!

You’ll find this cheat sheet really helpful and it also includes some of the secrets I’ll share with you in this episode.

Have you ever choked when it came time to tell a potential client your fees?

This is where discovery sessions often go astray because you’re shifting a conversation that’s more connective with your potential client to suddenly trying to tell them what you charge and why it’s worth it. 

Have you spent hours delivering your best sample sessions only to hear “Thanks, but I can’t afford you”?

Those two problems are big for new coaches. You’re not alone in that. I struggled mightily at this once upon a time. 

If you want to dramatically improve your enrollment into coaching programs, there’s a different that inspires prospects to say YES and hire you. 

3 Shifts to Enroll More Coaching Clients

There are three shifts you can make right now that will ease the money conversation and the whole enrollment process in your discovery sessions.

Shift from:          Over delivering in introductory or sample session

Shift to:               Having more effective enrollment conversations

Shift from:          Stumbling into your pitch at the end of the session 

Shift to:               Being transparent from the get go that you’re enrolling

Shift from:          Timidly asking for the sale

Shift to:               Confidently owning your worth

Something clicks internally when you believe in yourself. It seems hard to do, but it is something you can control. 

A Powerful Mindset Shift

I’m sure you’ve heard how important it is in life — in business with your clients, with your friends and family — to stand in your power. 

This is something I’ve been challenged with in my life. So I’ve made a study of it. That’s my Teacher Archetype coming in there.

Everyone fears rejection when asking for significant fees. You start wondering, “Who am I to think that I can help this client and why would they pay me well for coaching?” 

That thought form can take over your mind.

The trick is to notice your feelings and thoughts, then take a moment to notice it and turnaround your thinking. 

Those types of fears stem from two main things.You’re forgetting to own your innate gifts. It’s as if you haven’t taken ownership of all the talents and gifts you bring to the table.

If you’re a new coach who might be thinking: “Well, I’m new, so that means I’m not that good.” But that’s just not true.

Own everything you bring to the table!

Flip Your Mindset

Blow off that mindset about being a new coach.

Instead of looking for the proof of your worth in other people, know that you are inherently valuable. You wouldn’t be listening to me if a part of you didn’t already know that.

Decide right now to own your gifts!

And please know I am not talking about arrogance here. I’m not talking about strutting around thinking you’re better than everyone. It’s about being at peace with who you are and living the power of your essence, your integrity and your humanity.

It’s super magnetic.

The Power Pose

A quick tip to be able to access your personal power at any time. It’s a little physical exercise and here’s what you do:

Stand up

Feel your feet

Sense your spine

Find your center

Breathe

Try it now. Just stand up, spread your feet apart a bit and access your personal power in connection with everything else.

Let’s say you’re about to get onto a call with a prospect, why not just take a moment and do the power pose? Then have your enrollment call.

Feeling powerful in your skin goes a long way to helping you become a master at enrolling your clients.

Seeding Co-Creativity and Choice in Your Potential Coaching Clients

So now let’s talk about how to empower your potential clients and detach from outcome.

Now that you’re in connection with your personal  power, simply enjoy the human being that you’re talking to. I feel so honored that I get to meet amazing human beings in my discovery sessions.

When you put your focus on enjoying them, it’s as if the spotlight comes off of you.

The other thing that seeds co-creativity and empowers your prospects is to set fees that pay you well and then stand firm in them.

I find that a lot of my new coaching clients are charging subsistence fees that are never going to help them make a good living as a fulltime coach.

What about you? Are you charging subsistence fees?

My guess is that you are thinking that that’s all you’re worth. Or, because you haven’t done something — certified, coached a lot — you feel that you have to keep low fees.

The truth is you haven’t started enrolling clients at higher fees yet because you haven’t asked for them.

$50 to $100 US per hour (convert to your currency) may seem like a lot if you’re working for a company with benefits. But as a entrepreneurial coach, you have marketing and website expenses plus health insurance and higher taxes to pay all out of your own pocket.

All of these considerations should go into how you set your fees. And I don’t even want you to think in terms of dollars per hour for your fees. (I’ll cover fees in more depth in another episode.)

Right now, if you know you’re charging too little, double, triple or even quadruple your fees. Just do it and then stand firm. The more that you charge higher fees, the easier it’ll get for you to attract excellent clients.

Trust that your IDEAL clients will afford your fees.

An interesting thing happens when you show up this way — enjoying the human being you intend to enroll, having set fees that pay you well and trusting that your ideal clients will afford you … clients feel that power and they step into their own power.

And so, for the highest good of all, your prospects feel at choice and choose from their highest self.

If you make concessions to enroll a client, you unwittingly disempower yourself and your prospect.

Take that in.

If your prospect does hire you because you discounted a fee for them, then your professional relationship begins out of balance. It is not co-creative.

Anytime that I have done that in the past, the client ends up becoming a burden.

Have you ever felt that a client has become a burden? It’s not a good feeling, right?

They’re not showing up enough because you’re carrying them and then you will resent the relationship and how hard you have worked for so little.

So you see that your fees are not just a pragmatic choice. And it’s not a choice about how experienced a coach you are or your money issues. This is really about integrity. It’s about the health and wellbeing of your relationship with your clients.

Attachment Stunts Your Growth

Attachment stops the flow of prosperity.

Let’s say you become attached to enrolling a potential client. Your expectation builds. And then if you don’t reach that outcome, then disappointment breeds and becomes toxic.

Detachment is seeing what is as perfection and that is freeing.

Do set intentions to achieve the things that you want. While you’re enrolling a potential client, if you feel they are a good fit, think to yourself: “For the highest of all, I’d really like to work with this client.”

Then, let it go.

Literally, open your hands and let go of attachment. Let the energy dissipate. Acknowledge what went well and aim for continuous improvement in your enrollment skills.

Whether potential client says ‘yes’ or ‘no’ neither diminishes nor elevates you.

Just bless their decision and bless yourself and move on. That signals the Universe that you’re serious about your success and it pays off in the short run.

Hold Back the Goods During Discovery Sessions

Do not coach or problem solve during enrollment conversations. That muddles what the discovery session is meant to be.

Why? Primarily, because they have not paid you yet.

If you were taught to do sample coaching sessions by your coach training school, know that the reason schools have you do that as a student is to get you out there having coaching experiences.

Now that you are not a student anymore and you are the CEO of your own coaching business, enroll clients in a professional way.

Sample coaching sessions are not set up well for enrolling clients at fees that pay you well. Here’s why:

  • They don’t uncover what prospects want in the long term that would inspire deeper investment for real value.
  • They tend to focus in on one bite size issue and they leave prospects feeling complete without the desire for more. Prospects are not hooking on because they don’t perceive a longer arc in what you can help them achieve.
  • Lastly, giving free sample sessions keeps you in the newbie frame of mind and offering session by session or monthly services for low fees.

So what do you do in a Discovery Session to enroll a client? That’s where my free cheat sheet comes in …

These steps will keep you out of the coaching role with prospects. They set you up for success because you are transparent from the get go about what’s going to happen in the session.

There’s no shock when you get towards the end of the session and tell your prospect about your program and your fees. They’re ready for it. They know it’s going to happen.

This step by step enrollment process works for any coach.

How to Earn More and Work Less

This enrollment process and the mindsets that go with it work beautifully with higher ticket programs.

But you’ll need to set your business up with a strong foundation for it to work for you:

  1. Target one unique viable audience that fits your specialty or build your niche around that audience and what they want so much, they’ll pay you well to get your help to achieve it. (This is your coaching niche!)
  2. Make your brand, messaging, marketing, website and offers congruent with your niche.
  3. Stop selling coaching. (Listen to Episode called Why is Coaching a Hard Sell?)

Your business could look like mine if you take these 3 steps. And that’s what I teach my clients.

  • I only need to work with 20 – 30 clients per year to earn really well.
  • I market very little to attract all of my clients.
  • I earn a lot because I deliver high value in a longer term package
  • My overhead is very low.
  • I only work with clients 3 days each week.
  • Most months I have a whole week off

If you’d like VIP handholding to become a coach in high demand with a business model like this, let’s work together. Try me out with a Strategy Session and we’ll go from there.

In the Next Episode: Get Prosperity Thinking Working for Your Coaching Business
Did you ever think about this — what comes around goes around … even in your coaching business. In other words if you put positive energy out to others it comes back to you.

Ep 51 – 2019 Listeners Choice #1 – Why is Coaching a Hard Sell?

I’m starting out here with an announcement … I’m proud to say that Prosperous Coach Podcast is 1 year old and going strong with over 18,000 downloads thanks to you.

I’m grateful for the continuous stream of enthusiasm I hear from you and how generously you’ve shared my episodes with other coaches.

Keep that up because coaches need this kind of community support.

We’re in this together. Whatever generosity you have towards other coaches comes back to you many fold.

Very soon I have a new series for you. I’ll be digging into pricing, packaging and all the mindset issues that I know coaches have about asking for fees that pay you well. I had them and I see the same limiting beliefs in my clients.

The good news is you can leap over those issues with a bit of coaching. I’ve seen lots of coaches go from stuck and limited to suddenly understanding why it’s so important to charge more than you think you’re worth in order to realize your worth and help clients transform significantly.

More about that and all the MONEY topics very soon.

To celebrate the 1 year anniversary of Prosperous Coach Podcast, I wanted to share the top episodes so far. Listeners’s Choice.

I’m not surprised that this is the clear #1 episode. And it’s so important for all coaches to hear. It’s called Why is Coaching a Hard Sell?

Listen closely. You’re about to have your eyes opened. And it’s in a good way that will help you succeed as a coach.

Click here to find the rest of the Show Notes for Why is Coaching a Hard Sell?

And tune in to another Listeners’ Choice episode for 2019.

Ep 48 – The Meanest Mindset That Holds Coaches Back From Success

I’m taking a break from the Client Winning Coaching Website series to talk about 2 widespread coaching business killers — perfectionism and analysis paralysis.

This episode fits into the series on Smart Mindsets & Habits.

Perfectionism and Analysis Paralysis are two mean siblings. And they may be holding you back from … well, so many things in life.

By the way, perfectionism is an older cousin of Imposter Syndrome. Check out episode 1 for more about that.

Think of it, if we could all cure ourselves of these things for good, there would be a lot more happiness in the world — happier kids, happier students, happier entrepreneurs, definitely happier coaches.

First, I want you to know, I am not cured of perfectionism and I do still find myself stuck in analysis paralysis from time to time.

But I’ve studied these 2 mean siblings. I’ve put the spotlight on them. And you know what happens when you raise awareness on a poor habit or harmful mindset, you learn how to think and behave differently.

My clients are an excellent mirror for my own perfectionism. And so I learn best how to handle my own perfectionistic ways by supporting my clients to go for good enough.

The Difference Between Standards and Perfectionism

That doesn’t mean that you should let go of your standards in your coaching business. But, you know who you are if your standards are unrealistic. That will hold you back. And, I can relate.

Bless our hearts, coaches are often the worst perfectionists. And maybe you’re thinking, “No Rhonda, you should say the best perfectionists.”

But here’s what I know for sure … perfectionism is crippling not empowering.

It doesn’t help you. It’s literally painful. And that’s where the 2nd mean sibling comes in — Analysis Paralysis.

Perfectionism causes analysis paralysis. So one mean sibling hits the other on the head and then the other hits back and it goes on like that.

When it comes to growing and running a business there’s absolutely no use for perfection anywhere.

Think about it. There is absolutely no advantage to being a perfectionist in your coaching business.

In fact, perpetuating this habit of perfectionism will keep you from doing what you love and earning well. It will kill the huge potential for joy in your business.

Basically, it’s a habit of expending massive amounts of energy without getting anything done.

Know what I mean?

So sheer honesty here. Today, I was sitting at my desk procrastinating on my podcast. Oh, believe me, it happens.

It’s not for lack of ideas. I literally have pages and pages of potential topics and series ideas.

And it’s not for lack of skill or desire. All that’s there and growing.

But where I get into trouble is overthinking things. I sometimes have too strong of a desire to serve you and that gets me into trouble. But what’s underneath that is a vestigial belief that I am not worthy of helping you.

Do you ever feel that way?

Serve Coaching Clients While Trusting Yourself

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t want to serve our target audience well and be generous with them.

But if I serve while trusting myself, it will come off with prosperity instead of scarcity.

If YOU employ your desire to serve while trusting yourself to take decisive action you’ll be prosperous at this business. Even if you make mistakes. Because you make mistakes and learn from them.

See, perfectionism is driven by a scarcity mindset. It’s the fear that you’re not enough.

And before you beat yourself up about that, realize these two things:

  1. Nearly all brilliant people suffer from the belief that they’re not enough.
  2. And, it’s natural part of having an ego.

But it is a limiting belief and a mean habit that you want to break. Now would be a good time for that.

4 Steps to Break Free from Perfectionism

So, here is my process, for lifting myself out of the constrictive, unforgiving frame of mind that is perfectionism and then shifting out of neutral (because that’s what analysis paralysis is). You’re not in gear.

Try this on for size, then morph it into your own process – one that works for you.

  1. Get into new habit of noticing when you’re holding yourself back.
  • You’ve been procrastinating.
  • You’re waffling all over the place.
  • You feel stuck.
  • You’re second guessing previous decisions.

2. When you realize you’re stuck in analysis paralysis, clench your hands together tightly. Then slowly open them up while you imagine your heart and mind also opening up. Release perfectionism. You may have to do this several times a day at first.

3. Create a short mantra and soothe yourself with it. Something like:

Good enough is better than perfect. There’s no one right choice. Taking decisive action is good for me.

4. Then take that action you’ve held yourself back on.

If you’re still paralyzed, talk to your coach or mentor. And I’ll offer myself for that.

If you’d like to move from a stuck place or work on changing the habit of perfectionism to get-to-good-enough-and-move-on let’s have a Strategy Session.

I’d love to work with you. We are all in this together. Don’t let yourself stay stuck.

In the Next Episode: The Only Good Reason to Give Up on Your Coaching Business

Ep 47 – 5 Rules to Write Better Copy for Your Coaching Business

Today I am diving into the 8th episode in the series called Client Winning Coaching Websites.

Writing smart copy is both an art and science. You’ll be amazed how using these rules will turn you into a significantly better writer. And, you will attract and enroll more coaching clients because your communication speaks to the heart of your ideal clients.

If you want support to write powerful copy for your coaching business, let’s talk. Fill out the questionnaire on my Work with Rhonda page of my website and I’ll be in touch quickly.

I wished I’d had a list of copywriting tips back in the day when I started my coaching business. These rules apply to your:

  • benefit statements
  • titles, subject lines, headings
  • web copy
  • emails
  • freebies
  • blogs
  • show notes for your podcast episodes
  • social posts

Copy that’s written with these 5 Rules will be evocative and action inspiring. 

Get Your Special Download of the 5 Rules

Download it. Print it out. Keep it next to your desk so that —whenever you write — you’ll apply and ultimately integrate these tools into your writing.

One Copywriting Rule to Rule Them All

Write to attract attention and keep your readers interested. 

We live in times where people read a lot less than they used to. So you can’t write the way you used to when you were in school.

Many of the academic rules of writing that you learned in school will not at all help you attract and keep attention these days. Learning how to write compelling copy is partially an unlearning of some of those old rules. 

Rule #1 – Specificity Attracts

Specific words and concepts are more attention getting than broad, sweeping, vague or abstract words and concepts. 

What I see a lot with coaches is they haven’t yet niched and drilled down their target audience to a narrow, viable target audience. They want to cover all the bases. They want to write in a way that won’t turn off someone.

But trying to turn on everyone means you won’t turn on anyone.

When you target a unique audience, you discover their psychographics through market research. https://prosperouscoach.com/22 You come away with valuable information —specific words and spoken phrases — that drive your target audience to action.

Then use those keywords and phrases in your content. That helps you to boost search engine optimization (SEO).

If you write any kind of copy, I don’t care whether it’s a social post or it’s a blog or its copy on your website, go through it and replace the broad, vague, and abstract words with specifics that are highly relevant to your audience as it relates to your niche.

Rule #2 – Less is More

Writing well is always about making choices. 

  • Do not try to cover all the bases.
  • Don’t attempt to include everything in one sentence, paragraph, article or page on your website!
  • Focus in on easy to digest ideas.

Specificity ties in here too, but there are lots of little tips for this rule to guide you.

Keep paragraphs short. No more than four lines deep in order to encourage reading. If people are looking at your website or whatever you’ve written on a mobile device, that four lines deep on a laptop is going to be 16-20 lines deep on a phone.

Use single sentence paragraphs often. Emphasize a point or ask a powerful question.

Reduce prepositional phrases in sentences. The more prepositional phrases you have in a sentence, the more complex it is, which reduces the chances it will be read online.

Prepositional phrases draw a relationship between a noun/pronoun and another word in a sentence. The most common prepositional phrases include one of these words:

  • after
  • at
  • before
  • by
  • during
  • for
  • from
  • in
  • of
  • over
  • on
  • past
  • to
  • under
  • up
  • with

De-complicate your writing. Break run on sentences into multiple sentences.

Avoid beginning sentences with it’s, here, and there. Listen to the difference between these two sentences:

There are some bloggers who use filler phrases.

Some bloggers use filler phrases. 

The second sentence is more effective. It’s easier to parse the meaning and it uses less characters.

Use adjectives sparingly. Adjectives tend to dumb writing down. In school, we were taught to use lots of adjectives. Go through your copy and pull out the adjectives as much as possible while still keeping the meaning. 

Eliminate VERY and REALLY. See how much more powerful the 2nd sentence is below?

It’s a very important to use really powerful verbs. 

Use powerful verbs. 

Rule #3 – Write to Your Avatar 

Your AVATAR is a detailed description of your most ideal client in your target audience

Describe specific details about their:

  • top goals and ultimate desires as it pertains to your niche
  • top challenges and pain points as it pertains to their goals and your niche
  • background, education, occupation, job title, income
  • age, gender, marital status, children, location
  • other details about their day to day existence
  • buying habits

Again, these are the things you discover through market research.

Write these things down as if they describe one person. Then, when you write, picture your Avatar. Your copy will be more specific and on target. 

Develop your Avatar only when you have narrowed to a specific viable target audience and you’re crystal clear about your niche — the urgent problem they have that you help them solve.

Use the word YOU instead of we or they.

Write informally and use contractions often. Less formal is more connective.

Balance authority with vulnerability. When I first started my blog in 2006, authority was the way to go. The current culture prefers vulnerability blended with authority. You’ll capture hearts and minds if you reveal obstacles you’ve overcome.

Use present tense to keep the feeling that you’re with your audience. 

Rule #4 – Use Devices That Keep People Reading 

Use punctuation strategically. Pick your spots wisely for exclamation points. Don’t use semi-colons. Rarely use colons. Use long dashes for parenthetical phrases that you want to emphasize.

Keep paragraphs short — a maximum of four lines deep — to encourage reading. 

Convert lists of information into a lead in phrase followed by bullet points. Bullet points help to pull the eye down the page. 

Scan for repetitive words and replace them with a synonym. Repetitive words will bore your readers and stop them from reading.

Rarely use italics or bold type. Use italics only for quoted sentences or questions. Bold is best for headings, subtitles, or rare points of emphasis. 

Occasionally, indent a single sentence to make a point stand out.

Add in evocative images now and then.

Use boxes or pull quotes now and then.

Rule #5 – Balance Authority with Vulnerability

You’ll capture hearts and minds if you reveal a bit about your own journey while also sharing how you’ve overcome obstacles and created a system for others.

Share a short personal story from time to time and relate your own challenges or blunders.

Convey your authority about subjects by using the imperative voice in sentences that guide. Start those sentences with a verb.

See the difference in the 2 sentences below?

You’ll want to edit your work.

Edit your work.

Eliminate ‘can’ and ‘will’ wherever possible unless it’s something like: You can do it!

3 Steps to Take Before Your Call Your Copy Done

When you feel you’ve done your best on a draft:

1. Read what you’ve written out loud to catch and correct awkward syntax and other errors.

I might read my copy will out loud 10 times before I publish it in.

2. Challenge yourself to reduce the overall number of words by one third to one half. You will be amazed how much better the copy is when there is less of it.

3. Spell check, check grammar and then proof. Use the spelling and grammar. Spellcheck won’t catch everything, that’s why you proof. (Reading out loud helps enormously.) 

Okay, that’s my gold mine of copywriting tips for you accumulated over 20 years. Use them and write better copy, Coach!

In the Next Episode: 2 Mean Habits That Hold Coaches Back

This is about something most coaches are all too familiar with. And it has to stop!

Ep 44 – Craft a Compelling Benefit Statement for Your Coaching Business

This episode is part of the Client Winning Coaching Website series.  

In the last episode I described 3 approaches to choosing your brand or company name and domain.

Today we’re diving into how to create your benefit statement so that it’s attention-getting. It’s the second thing your web visitors should see on your website to help them feel at home and interested in what else you have to say there.

 You’ve no doubt heard the concept of a Benefit Statement. It’s a single well-crafted sentence that describes specifically how people in your target audience will benefit from working with you.

I like to call it a Core Message because it identifies your coaching niche and all of your other messaging and offers will stem from the concept. But for the purpose of this episode, I’ll stick with Benefit Statement.

If you’ve ever done any live networking, you’ve probably experienced that dreaded moment when it comes around the table to you and you’re supposed to say what you do.

I remember times like that where I literally snapped to attention when someone introduced themselves with style. That’s the power of a well-crafted Benefit Statement.

But I’ve also heard and read a lot of there statements that lack inspiration and won’t help the coach attract clients.

Obviously, you want yours to be highly relevant and compelling to your target audience. 

 So in today’s episode I’ll explain 4 main things:

  1. What makes a Benefit Statement COMPELLING as well as how to avoid that “MEH” response.
  2. What a well-crafted Benefit Statement will do for you and your target audience  plus why it will help you get engagement and enroll clients from your website.
  3.  A bunch of Benefit Statements that are beautifully word-smithed for impact as well as some that are duds so you can see the difference.
  4.  The pre-work and basic formula for crafting your own Benefit Statement.

 So first, what does a Benefit Statement do for you and your prospects?

 Your Benefit Statement is an attention-getter. It’s the centerpiece of your marketing. When you share an effective Benefit Statement, people will understand exactly who you serve and why those people would want to hire you.

You want colleagues and friends who hear it to say:
     “Oh, I know someone who could really use your help!”

You’ll use your statement a lot over the course of your business, including as:

·      The first marketing message in the header of your website.

·      The first sentence that you say to introduce yourself to prospects.

·      The beginning of your “elevator” speech when you share what you do in a networking meeting.

·      One of the first sentences within your “bio” for a presentation or your by-line in any kind of guest article or promotional material.

·      It’s also what you’d say if someone asks what you do for a living.

What Will Your Core Message Do for You?

·      Make it easy for you to articulate how you benefit your target audience.

·      “Weed out” non-ideal prospects. 

·      Spark interest with ideal prospects in seconds.

·      Evoke the response “That’s me!” or “I want help with that!”

·      Invite them to take a step with you.

·      Open potential for an enrolling conversation.

What Will Your Core Message Do for Your Coaching Audience?

·      They feel that you understand them and what they urgently want.

·      They recognize you as a potential go-to resource for them.

·      They begin to know, like and trust you (or move on).

Wouldn’t it be grand to stop having those awkward moments of trying to explain feebly what coaching is and why someone wants it.

In fact, and this is important … the word coaching doesn’t show up at all in a powerful Benefit Statement.

So before I go further let me share some actual Benefit Statements used by successful coaches.

As you listen to these, notice how each begins by specifically naming a target audience, then artfully goes on to name a challenge that target audience has which implies an outcome they want.

I help mompreneurs make more money doing work they love while taking care of priority #1: FAMILY.

I help parents empower their teenage daughters to build confidence, integrity and resilience for all of life’s adventures.

I help authors get their books out of their head and into bookstores.

I help restaurant owners and managers keep the staff and patrons who keep them in business.

I help divorced women move forward with vitality and a positive sense of self.

I help financial planners confidently build a lifetime of value with multi-generational clients.

So, do you see why those would snap the specific audiences mentioned to attention and pique interest?

What Makes for a Top Notch Benefit Statement?

Those were all top notch Benefit Statements. Why?

1.     Its one single sentence streamlined to 10 – 25 words max.

2.     It has the fewest possible prepositional phrases.

3.     The target audience is defined in the first phrase. I help _____

4.     The rest of the sentence names 1 to 2 SPECIFIC challenges and/or desired outcomes for your target audience.

5.     It flows mellifluously off the tongue. In other words it’s easy to say and read.

6.     It’s emotionally evocative.

That last one is critical if you want your statement to inspire action.

The words and concepts are highly relevant to the target audience and the syntax of the sentence is crafted mindfully.

That’s again why it’s really helpful to do market research in the form of info interviews to draw out from individuals in your target audience what specifically they say — how they language pain points and desired outcomes.

If you take nothing else away from today, I want you to hear this: Specificity grabs attention!

That applies to all messaging, whether you’re creating a Benefit Statement, writing web copy, blogs, social posts. You name it.

It’s so tempting to go with bland, broad, vague and abstract words. But those don’t grab attention or inspire action.

I think what happens for a lot for coaches is they want to leave the door open. They want their message to cover all bases. But that’s a misstep. Because broad, vague and abstract words and concepts don’t move people to action.

Let’s look at some of the Benefit Statements I read before one at a time. First, I’m going to dumb it down by replacing specific words with more broad, vague or abstract words. Then I’ll read again the crafted statement.

Here’s an example of how vague and broad misses the mark.

I help women get through divorce and thrive in their new life and relationships.

It’s not bad, just not attention getting. Now here it is with more specificity in the words:

I help divorced women move forward with vitality and a positive sense of self.

Instead of trying to cover everything — thriving in their new life — this statement hones in on vitality and positive sense of self, something all divorced women would want. 

Here’s another Benefit Statement dumbed down with abstraction and vagaries:

I help moms find fulfillment and joy in their businesses and family.

Starting with the audience as moms is too broad. The words ‘fulfillment’ and ‘joy ‘are too abstract, especially when used in a sentence that doesn’t get to a tangible benefit.

Tangible benefits get more attention. But that doesn’t mean you can’t also have emotional benefits included. 

See what I mean with this emotionally evocative Benefit Statement:

I help mompreneurs make more money doing work they love while taking care of priority #1: FAMILY.

See how much more powerful that statement is?

We know the previous statement was talking to moms with businesses but it didn’t make it as clear as it could. And what do business owners want? To make more money doing work they love. But since she’s a mom she also wants to take good care of her family.

Listen to one more set of Benefit Statements that goes from so-so to fantastic!

I help authors write with ease and grace so they can publish their books.

Okay. Not horrible. It names the target audience and something want, but it’s lacking emotionally evocative words. So this one infuses that emotion with a sense of motion:

I help authors get their books out of their head and into bookstores.

The Basic Formula for Your Benefit Statement

It might surprise you to know that a highly effective Benefit Statement is NOT:

·      About you.

·      About your skills.

·      A laundry list of how you help your clients.

·      The same as a tagline. That’s a different device altogether.

When you write your Benefit Statement:

1.     Begin with ‘I help’ or ‘Helping’.

2.     Then describe your target audience in the fewest possible words.

3.     Lastly describe in evocative language a specific tangible outcome they know they want that implies a related challenge they’ll move beyond.

CAUTION: Testing your Benefit Statement on people who are NOT in your target audience or who are not experts in marketing won’t bring you useful feedback. Well-meaning people who don’t understand what you’re doing may try to dissuade you from targeting and using specific language.

Okay, go forth and word-smith a compelling Core Message!

In the Next Episode: Custom Coaching Website Vs. DIY Template with Guest, Nichole Betterley, Chief Web Wiz

I’ll be interviewing Nichole Betterley https://npoweredsites.com, an ace web designer, the best I’ve found for coaches. We’ll talk about the real differences between DIY websites and custom professionally designed site. We’re biased for good reason.