Ep 64 – How to Strategically Choose Your Coaching Niche

In my last episode I listed off 10 Ways To Be More Strategic In Your Coaching Business as an overview to my next 10 episodes.

In this episode I’m focusing on the FIRST way to be strategic in your coaching business. In other words, strategizing this step is what you do before you do anything else — website, offers, social media marketing.

What is this #1 way to be more strategic? Choose a viable coaching niche, of course.

This episode and the other 9 to follow are all part of my Coaching Business Checkup series. I will have a free downloadable Coaching Business Checkup for you at the end of this series, so stay tuned!

One Decision That Rules Them All

MBAs and business experts agree that if you niche your business in a strategic way from the get go you’ll dramatically increase your ability to succeed and sustain success.

And that’s truer than ever in this information age where there are more entrepreneurs and companies flooding the Internet with marketing messages every day.

You can’t attract clients if you can’t attract attention.

And attracting attention is mostly about standing out in some way. Standing out in your niche – what you do for whom is the easiest way to stand out.

If you want your message to get through to people who could become your clients, then you want to speak to a very specific group of people about what they care about most.

Strange isn’t it?

The more specific and focused your message is on a unique target audience and the big acute problem they face, the easier it is to engage people and build relationships of trust. And then enroll them.

You know, coaching niches are my super power.

I decided to strategically focus on this big problem for coaches 17 years ago because all around me I saw that coaches were utterly confused, frustrated, and in many cases, paralyzed by the niche decision. For many it’s what had them give up for good on their business.

So for coaches the agonizing question — WHAT IS MY NICHE? — is the most acute big problem they have. And it’s related to attracting enough clients who will invest. That’s the other acute problem coaches face.

And I know that once that niche piece is settled it opens up ease in all the steps that follow – messaging, offers, marketing – it all becomes a more graceful and intuitive process once you know your niche.

It was a smart strategy then for me to focus in on coaches — my target audience — and on the topic that’s most painful for them. I could pull in my background knowledge in marketing and my experience writing coach training curriculum and training new coaches. It’s a good fit.

I wanted to tell you how I came to my niche to illustrate the strategy behind it. It’s not rocket science but it was a thoughtful process. And that’s what strategy is.

Many coaches miss this crucial step of choosing a smart niche. It’s partly because of a misunderstanding of what makes for a successful coaching niche. And partly, it’s fear.

Can you relate to that?

  • Maybe you fear that you don’t know enough to specialize.
  • Or, you might fear narrowing to one group and excluding others. (Although exclusion isn’t really necessary because targeting an audience is about ease in marketing not exclusion or limitation of who you can have as a client.)
  • Or you might simply fear making a decision and committing to it.

All of these are understandable fears.

But here’s the thing that I remind myself of when I’m fearful. Fear rises up when you’re at an important threshold. It’s how you respond to fear and still move forward on your dream that builds courage and confidence. Moving forward decisively is the way out of fear.

What is a Coaching Niche?

A coaching niche is the intersection between a viable target audience + their biggest problem/desire + what you bring to the table to help them get there.

Let’s break this down.

  1. There’s a specific group of people who are seekers. (They do invest in their growth.)
  2. They have a big acute problem that is in the way of something they really want.
  3. You can help them solve it and reach their goals with your toolbox of talents & skills

And so, once you’ve chosen that niche, you conduct a bit of market research and then create messaging and offers that fit their top challenges and goals bringing your supportive skills and tools to the table.

Now, let me illustrate how choosing a niche can be strategic using examples of niches my recent clients have chosen with my help.

Here are two that are directly related to specific subject matter expertise or recent professional background that the coaches could leverage in their niche:

One coach helps parents empower their teen daughters to develop confidence, integrity and resilience. She has a Masters in Clinical Social Work plus experience working with teens professionally, and 3 teens of her own. Her niche is a great fit.

Another coach helps executive assistants break through the limitations of their role and advance to the next level. She has 8 years of experience as an EA and a string of promotions that rewarded her ingenuity and excellence in her roles. Her niche is a great fit.

Another coach with over 20 years experience in nursing and health care is focusing on helping nurses heal burnout and work differently.

Leveraging your recent experience or expertise is the most powerful way to niche.

But not all coaches have subject matter expertise. Instead it may be that your current life circumstances could become an ideal niche. For example:

One of my clients stumbled unexpectedly into being a father and a husband. It happens. In the thick of that he realized it’s a common and difficult experience for young men. So he’s targeting that group to help them find grounding and maturity in the upheaval. A heartful niche based on a personal context.

Another coach decided to work with women re-entering the workforce after a long gap raising children. She knows first hand the challenges that come with finding flexible, meaningful work after a big career gap. And as a bonus we realized her Ph.D. in Industrial Organizational Psychology related to employee recruitment and selection processes was a bonus point of relevance and skill related to this audience. A super helpful niche!

A client who recently turned 49 felt called to remake her life from the inside out and create an intentional journey moving toward 50. So she’s targeting women at 50 to break free and rewrite the rules of their lives. This is a personally motivated niche.

It’s rare that targeting a specific age makes for a good niche but after market research it was clear that 50 is a point in time for women that’s rife with so many physical & emotional challenges and creative yearnings. And we were able to create a transformational program for women at 50.

So you can see there are different ways to approach choosing a niche. The main thing is to think it through strategically.

Remember, don’t just sell coaching to a general audience. Instead, create a program with milestones to help a specific audience overcome specific acute challenges on the way to an ultimate goal.

That’s how you’ll become known quickly and attract a steady stream of clients who pay well.

Coaching Niches That Lack Strategy

Topical niches can be powerful if they are closely linked to a tangible outcome that a specific group has. For example, I’ve known coaches who focus on helping business owners create systems or coaches who focus expertise in something like the Enneagram to help corporate leaders master leadership in a personalized way.

But some topics bomb as a coaching niche:

  • Stress
  • Limiting Beliefs
  • Overwhelm

I’m guessing those topical niches bombed primarily because these challenges are usually chronic problems. They are challenges that people are used to living with and so they aren’t inspiring people to actively seek and invest in solutions.

All coaches can help any existing clients with things like stress, limiting beliefs and overwhelm. But in marketing messages and on websites these topics tend not to inspire enrollment except for a short engagement at a low price.

It’s missing a specific target audience and their ultimate outcome as an anchor point. But even if you did attach one of these chronic problems to a target audience and their goal, it may not feel acute enough to the audience to inspire investment.

Similarly, big overarching goals or life skills can bomb for the same reasons above:

  • Self Care
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Law of Attraction

If you search for topics like these on the Internet you’ll find millions of articles on them. Great support for free but not likely to result in paid engagements with long-term clients. And if clients are short term for low fees, it means you have to work with a lot more people. And that means more marketing and enrolling moments for less income and profit.

Strategizing a smart niche for a viable audience isn’t a needle in a haystack kind of equation. It’s more like the beginning of a jigsaw puzzle where you try to find the opening move that quickly builds momentum.

If you’re stuck and struggling with your coaching niche, let me help you over this wall.

Let’s have a Strategy Session. It will focus you in and give you direction for everything else you create in your coaching business. It will help you stand out the crowd and build your brand & reputation.

I’ll send you some exercises to start then we’ll spend 90 minutes brainstorming on the call. I’d love to work with you. Sign up!

In the Next Episode we spring into the next logical piece of strategy for your coaching business after you’ve landed your target audience and niche.

Ep 62 – Coach, Are You Focusing On The Right Things?

This episode is the first of a new series called Coaching Business Checkup.

In this series I’m going to detail the top reasons why coaches struggle to earn well and explain how to shift it.

STAY TUNED til the end of this series where I’ll give you access to a free downloadable checklist so you can give your business a checkup from time to time.

I’m starting off with something that covers a lot of ground … strategy.

Do you ever feel like you’re spinning your wheels and going nowhere despite staying busy in your coaching business?

That doesn’t feel good. You’re left scratching your head wondering what you’re doing wrong.

Well, first let me say I get it. I’ve been there. And you’re in good company if you feel this way.

Here’s the big question … are you doing the right things every day? I’m talking about efforts that will pay you back with clients and income?

There is so much out there to distract you. The bright shiny object syndrome is alive and well in the coaching community!

You see what another coach is doing and that sends you into a flurry of activity to implement something that may not work for you. It may not work for your target audience or fit with what you’ve already created.

All the puzzle pieces on the big board of business success don’t necessarily fit together.

You get bombarded with marketing for programs that promise 6 and 7 figures if you just try this simple tactic. It’s so tempting to leap for it thinking …

“Maybe this will give me traction.”

Yeah, maybe.

Or maybe it will be just another money and time taker with little results to show.

I’m embarrassed when I look back at how much money I spent on masterminds and online training programs that didn’t ultimately help me mainly because I didn’t have the foundation I needed to plug those tactics into for good results.

And most of those programs don’t have individualized support. Which is what we all need.

I have inside knowledge about what most coaches are spending their time on day to day. It looks something like this …

  • Researching and brushing up on coaching skills.
  • Looking at other coach’s websites.
  • Downloading every freebie that crosses their attention.
  • Writing blog posts and social posts without any real strategy.

Will those tasks pay off even in the long run?

I remember something I learned a long time ago that I take for granted because it’s so ingrained in my habits now. I want you to know about this so you can take the right actions and get results.

Take High Payoff Actions in Your Coaching Business Everyday

That’s the secret. I take 1 – 3 high payoff actions in my business every single day that I’m working. And it helps me cut way back on time and money wasting.

So, what is a high payoff action?

It’s an action that brings you significantly closer to achieving specific goals with measurable results. In other words, these are the actions that will make it happen!

If you want enough clients and revenue to clear a 6-figure profit this year, then daily high payoff actions are what will get you there.

3 Types of High Payoff Actions

  1. Make Life Changing Decisions
  2. Create Smart Strategies
  3. Continuously Implement Decisions and Strategies

Let’s take these one at a time.

#1 Life Changing Decisions

I believe that decisions are actions. Because nothing leaves you stuck like not deciding. Decisiveness is a top skill of the successful.

Life changing decisions are the kind that require great intention and commitment.

You made a life changing decision when you decided to become a professional coach and build a business of your own. That decision affected your career, your lifestyle and the way you’ll afford your lifestyle.

It also affects your family, friends, community and future clients.

Choosing a viable target audience and committing your coaching business to serving that group and their biggest problem is another life changing decision and high payoff action.

It’s a foundational piece that most coaches miss or misunderstand how to niche effectively. It leaves you floundering and unable to get traction.

Things that are not life changing decisions include things like what colors or images you put on your website or how pretty your business card is.

I’m not saying those things don’t influence your success. But in the scheme of things those are fleeting decisions that have little impact.

#2 Create Smart Strategies

Most coaches I meet for the first time have not strategically thought through their niche, brand, domain, web copy, social posts, and blogs or other content.

The idea of strategy was completely foreign to me when I started my business. Even now, if my efforts are foundering it’s usually because I didn’t do a good job strategizing.

Actions without strategy are busy work. And results will be low, slow and inconsistent.

That’s why I offer a single 90 minute Strategy Session in addition to my signature program for coaches. Because getting the strategy right is critical BEFORE you start slinging messages and offers around. And it’s easiest to strategize with someone who can be objective and see the bigger picture with some expertise about the territory you’re in.

A Strategy Session is perfect for making a life changing decision like choosing your target audience and niche.

If you’re stuck around something in your coaching business, let’s tackle it together. Grab a Strategy Session with me:

#3 Implement High Payoff Actions Every Day

This is where the rubber meets the road.

The truth about high payoff actions is they make you squirm a bit. They require courage and conviction.

For example:

  • Invite past clients to hire you again.
  • Reach out to someone who said ‘no’ before to see if they’ll say ‘yes’ now.
  • Set up Discovery Sessions with potential clients.
  • Contact a center of influence – the person who knows many people in your target audience – to develop a referral partnership. Have a strategy in mind.

Notice how all of these examples are about directly connecting with potential clients? There can be other types of high payoff actions.

But it really is about tolerating the squirm and doing the risky-feeling thing that could give you the quickest and biggest pay off.

If you’re doing things all day every day that are safe and easy it’s for one of two reasons:

  1. Either you’re an expert with vast experience with a well developed strategy.
  2. Or, you’re doing busy work just hoping it will eventually pay off.

Do a 30-day challenge! Develop a smart strategy for everything – blogging, podcasting, emails, social posts, public speaking.

Then every day take 1 – 3 high payoff actions – the actions that make you squirm a bit.

Evaluate after 30 days and see if you’re not in a better rhythm with better results.

Once you have this habit in place of completing 1 – 3 high payoff actions every day, you’ll have a bigger comfort zone because you’ll have begun to master strategic action.

In the Next Episode: Ways To Be More Strategic In Your Coaching Business

Ep 60 – How To Price Your Signature Coaching Program

This episode is part of my Money Mastery series. It’s the follow on episode to How to Develop Your Signature Coaching Program. Consider listening to that first before this episode if you haven’t already.

Common Pricing Strategies and What Works Best for Coaching

I can think of 3 common pricing strategies for pricing:

  • Cost plus pricing – where you calculate your costs then mark up the program so it pays you well.
  • Competitive pricing – where you set your price based on your competition.
  • Value based pricing – where you set your price based on the value of your offer to the client.

I do encourage you to the do the math of what it will cost you to deliver your program. Most coaches miss this piece. And it’s quite eye opening to realize the cost of the time you spend getting a single client in addition to specific costs of marketing and inclusions in the program.

That said, to ultimately determine the cost of your program I prefer VALUE based pricing.

Here’s the reality, if you narrow to serve a viable audience and create a unique program based on market research, then your program probably doesn’t exist out there so competitive pricing or so called “market value” isn’t a useful guideline.

Also, few if any of your prospects are ever going to do cost comparisons, especially if you don’t sell coaching but rather offer a unique program.

Purchasing a program such as I suggest you create is an emotional decision.

They will hear or see your message. Their trust in you builds because you’ve struck a resonant chord with all that you’re doing.

Then, they go to your website, which is hopefully already designed as a client winning coaching website not an online brochure. On that website are beautifully streamlined words and conversion processes that gently encourage visitors to have a Discovery Session with you.

All of this is thoughtfully coordinated and strategized but in a non-salesy way to build trust with potential clients rather than trying to convince them about the value of coaching.

They hire you because they like you and trust you. You’ve been in front of them with valuable content and your website reinforces that. Then, in the Discovery Session you lovingly assess if they are a good fit for your program and enroll them.

You don’t want to sell people – to have to convince them to hire you. It’s unsavory. It makes you feel skeevy.

But if you have a signature program that you have thoughtfully crafted to fit their circumstances, their pain and desires then no hard sell is necessary. You do need to ask them to enroll though. ; )

The Mystery of Odd Numbered Pricing

You’ve no doubt seen that a lot of people use odd numbered pricing where prices end with 5, 7, or 9. For example, a long-term high value program might be priced at $5,975 for a 5-month program or an online training might be priced at $697.

Early on in my coaching business I eschewed that whole odd number practice and priced evenly. $5,000 instead of $4,975. $500 instead of $497.

And I struggled to enroll clients. I’m not saying there may not have been other factors involved.

And then, I looked around at the people I admired that offered mentoring, coaching and training. I noticed they were all using odd numbered pricing. I switched and immediately saw a difference in my revenues.

Weird? Yes. But we as human beings have been trained all our lives on odd numbered pricing and it’s ingrained. There’s an emotional response to it even if it’s not logical.

That said, if you have an issue with it, do your own testing.

Encourage Single Payment Investment

With your Signature Program, encourage or incentivize a single payment investment by creating significant savings over a payment plan.

For example, if your 4 month program is $3,995 for a single payment. Make the payment plan total roughly 25% higher. So, 4 payments of $1,249 paid at the beginning of each month — which adds to $4,996 — is over $1,000 more than the single payment.

Incentivizing a single payment helps both you and your clients in these ways:

  • They invest once rather than continually making payments, which is an irritant.
  • They are not focused on the financial investment but rather fully focusing their energy on transformation.
  • Also, bundled programs like I’m suggesting don’t deliver value in even amounts month to month.

My own 5-month Coaching Business Breakthrough program is front loaded with value. The first 2 – 3 months, depending on the pace of my client, are where I’ll deliver the most support and assistance to create everything for their coaching business. The last two months are less labor intensive because we’ve completed the bigger milestones.

It’s a risk for you if someone pays monthly and drops out in the early months.

In the last 17 years, 90% of my clients have paid the single payment up front for my signature program. I’ve noticed that those who opted for the payment plan often became difficult clients because they were not as committed to their own success.

I think that’s because they weren’t fully invested up front. They had one foot out from the start. A part of them didn’t believe in themselves up front. And a part them wasn’t fully ready to have a business yet.

In the last 5 years none of my clients has opted for the payment plan.

When people want something enough

they find a way to make it happen.

And just that mindset and action empowers them significantly!

Should You Have Tiered Pricing?

One last thing about pricing … some people advocate having tiered pricing.

I say no. You’ll do better if you direct clients to your Signature Program and stand behind it.

  • First, a confused mind never buys. The more offers you have that you’re marketing at one time, the less likely someone will enroll.
  • Also, remember … don’t sell coaching. It’s a hard sell.
  • Do coaching with paying clients who have enrolled into a program they know they want.
  • And, the more people you sell into your signature program the more you earn doing exactly what you love.

If you want to create lower priced programs than your Signature Program, consider making them altogether different. For example, offer an online program about a different thing your target audience wants help with. It’s not only different in focus but also different in format.

Sell it as a down sell only after someone firmly turns down your Signature Program. That way you don’t set up competition for the program you most want to deliver.

But consider, that you don’t really need to have other offers besides a free downloadable offer so you can build rapport and stay in touch with your network unless you’re prepared to create a separate way to attract potential clients to that offer.

This and the episode before it were an episode loaded with tips. Consider listening to them again and please share it with fellow coaches. So many struggle with this piece.

Also, if you want help to create your entire business foundation with everything I’ve talked about in these episodes, go to prosperouscoach.com/VIP and tell me about you.

We’ll have a conversation about what you want and what’s been in the way to see if you’re ready for a coaching business breakthrough.

In the Next Episode: Get Out Of Your Own Way To Earn More As A Coach

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: How to Develop Your Signature Coaching Program

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.