Ep 94 – Maybe You Don’t Need a Coaching Niche

When I help a new coach develop their audience, niche, brand, messaging, web copy and more … part of what I’m doing is helping them to become an entrepreneur – the CEO of their own business.

My goal with helping them niche first is not to limit them but rather to help them leverage and have a powerful springboard to launch. I know that if they stand out in the crowd they have a greater chance of being a financially successful coach more quickly.

There are coach mentors out there that say you don’t need a niche. I have a theory about that. I imagine that those people are what I call PURE COACHES. Hopefully, they have found their own success without a niche before they tell other coaches that they don’t need one.

Which Coach Archetype Fits You?

I’ve published a previous episode called Which Coach Archetype Fits You?  Youcan find that at prosperouscoach.com/12. It’s worth a listen.

By observing successful coaches over 2 decades I cam up with 5 main archetypes for coaches … the Teacher (that’s my archetype), the Healer, the Icon, the CEO and the Pure Coach.

The first 4 archetypes are born entrepreneurs:

The 5th archetype, The Pure Coach, wants to coach anyone about anything. Their goal is to coach and not necessarily to earn well of have a say of how they earn well.

A side point here … I think a lot of coaches that are still in coaching training school or just out have this in mind at first. I know I did. I was enamored about the idea of coaching and I had little understanding of how I’d get clients or earn well as coach.

Like a lot of coaches I tried to sell coaching by the session or by the month to everyone. I didn’t know that coaching is a hard sell in most circles. I had a few clients and my first year I made a total of $5000.

That did not satisfy me and I wasn’t going to give up. So I sought another way.

I realized that I had a lot to learn so I studied my way to success.

Lo and behold I love running my own business. And I don’t even mind marketing because I get to do it in a non-salesy way such as with this podcast where I can teach and provide value while I let you know that I’m here to help you launch your coaching business.

The Pure Coach

The Pure Coach is someone who is not driven by a desire to put their own ideas or messages out there. They don’t care about having creative control of their own business.

In fact, for a Pure Coach being an entrepreneur might be torture.

A Pure Coach tends to become a devotee of a certain coaching model or a certain set of principles taught by someone else.

Think … John Marshall or Tony Robbins.

  • The Pure Coach wants someone to funnel clients to them rather than attract their ideal type.
  • They don’t want to market or publish content EVER!
  • They would be happiest applying someone else’s approach to work with each client for however long.
  • They would be fine with someone else setting their fees and setting the rules.

I don’t know a lot about getting a position as a coach within an organization as I’ve never done it and never had the desire to do it.

However, I’ve had a few Tony Robbins coaches come to me thinking they should “graduate” from that to having their own business so they can earn more. They are being paid a cut of the whole fee and it doesn’t feel like much.

They wanted my help to niche and build their solo business.

For some, we quickly found out with a little coaching that they really did NOT want to be an entrepreneur. It’s not for everyone. It’s a certain kind of risk and reward.

I want you to know that I LOVE entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs. I also love coaches. And I want coaches to find their way to financial success and feel proud of their work. It doesn’t have to be my way. And I do have a way that works.

Ep 93 – Bring Your Full Self to Your Coaching Business

Having a coaching business may be the only income-producing role in your life where you get to bring your full personality, values and life experience together to serve others.

You get to be authentic and vulnerable.

Sure, you put your best foot forward whenever you can. But you don’t have to pretend or puff yourself up.

You don’t have to build a persona but rather draw from and OWN all that you are.

Human beings tend to forget to OWN their intrinsic value and earned wisdom.

Truly, if you’ve never had a paying client before you can be honest about that.

In fact, I suggest to my clients to say with their first coaching prospects “I’d love it if you’d be one of my first clients!” It takes the pressure off. And your prospect will appreciate your honesty.

But you say it with enthusiasm for the person you’re enrolling and what you offer, right?

Build Your Coaching Business On Your Values

I took my training at Coach U, one of the first coaching schools, which was created by Thomas Leonard, who is often called the father of modern coaching.

He was known for an abundance of short pithy exercises. I received by mail 10 pounds of notebooks full of his exercises and curriculum!

His concept was that anything you did with a client you should first do yourself. In other words be just one step ahead and make sure your come from is authentic.

One exercise was meant to identify core and business values. Maybe you’ve even seen this exercise or a derivative of it out there somewhere in the coaching sphere.

I’ll never forget that exercise because I learned principles about myself that have never sent me in the wrong direction — that is, whenever I let them guide me.

For example … I realized that money is not in itself important to me. However EARNING is a core value. It’s important to me to deliver great value in exchange for my income.

See I crave independence in thought and action and the ability to choose what’s right for me moment to moment.

Those values made me a perfect candidate for entrepreneurship … for developing my own coaching business.

Sometimes, I’ve gone astray from my values trying to implement something that I saw other coaches do.

Sound familiar?

Through trial and error and a desire to serve myself while serving others I’ve found what fits me better.

Over the years I’ve made adjustments in my business to find my sweet spot – the way I love to work, when I want to work and who I want to work with. All of that is possible by making micro adjustments.

It takes time to find your sweet spot.

With my VIP clients we do much to uncover the clues to their sweet spot. But I also know that it’s a journey that’s worth the exploration.

And this is part of what it means to bring your full self to your business.

I think that being an entrepreneur and running a business is a spiritual journey.

If you have a big message you can put that out in an honoring way that fits your target audience. It could be that you launch your own podcast or get on a stage with that message.

Or it may be in a more quiet way where as it fits, you bring that message to a client in session.

How else can you create freedom in your coaching business to fully be yourself?

Look … you can dress the way you want. Let your freak flag fly. And you don’t need to worry about what people are going to think because the name of the game is attract YOUR people, your tribe.

I’m not a good fit for every coach. And you don’t need to try to be a good fit for everyone in your audience. This is the secret of niching that a lot of people don’t know … you want to become known for serving a micro audience because it helps you thrive.

Decide The Size of Your Coaching Empire

You can morph it as you go. I encourage my clients to start with 1:1 services and then build from there, as they feel called. But you may never need to do anything more elaborate than 1:1.

Beware of doing what everyone else says you should do. Just because there’s an exciting online training program about creating an online training program don’t feel you have to go there.

The reality is you can earn more with less labor and costs with 1:1. It’s the simplest coaching business model. I learned that through trial and error too.

I have adapted my business to fit who I am now. I’m on Prosperous Coach version 6.0 in 20 years.

Some jobs allow for some of that personal growth but most can’t allow you to do that fully because they have a internal structure, a hierarchy and proscribed ways of doing things.

NOW with your coaching business you can make and control all of those decisions.

Bring it! Bring your expertise, work experiences, life wisdom, skills, passions & interests to your business. It doesn’t have to be THE focus or your niche but rather something you bring to your client in the moment.

Consider What’s In Your Coaching Toolbox

Let’s say you’ve studied yoga and meditation. That doesn’t mean you have to be a yoga coach or meditation expert. Instead look for the opportunities with your target audience where that insight or practice will help them achieve their goals. Make those thing part of your toolbox instead of your specialty.

Now don’t get me wrong. I still believe it helps to target a narrow audience, to find out what they want so much they’ll invest in your help to get it. This is your niche. And niching helps you stand out, grab attention and grow your business faster than if you just do the life coach, career coach or wellness coach track thing.

Targeting and niching is about building a pipeline of clients. It’s about EASE and speed so you can earn more and market less.

How you work with your paying clients is up to you. And that’s where your uniqueness, your message and your style all come into play.

And play it is!

So, how will you make your business YOURS?

How can you bring your fully authentic self to this?

For a clue, think about how you’ve been limited in a previous role or business. What are the ways that you chafed against some boundary or rule? 

How could you give yourself freedom of expression while you serve?

Your coaching business is the opportunity of a lifetime to bring all that you are and all that you know to the table.

Ep 91 – Should You Launch Your Coaching Business at a Better Time?

I hope a day will come very soon when new listeners come across this episode and Corona Virus is a dim memory.

I dream of that day when we’re all free to hug, hang out without distancing and go to work and school safely.

At this point, the pandemic has been going on a lot longer than we all imagined.

Many coaches are hesitating to launch their business even though they are as ready as they will ever be.

They are thinking:

“It’s not a good time to launch a business because no one can afford the services I offer.”

This misunderstanding is why I wanted to do a mini episode on this topic.

Should You Launch Your Coaching Business Now?

So, you probably know what I’m going to say … YES! Now is always the best time to launch your business!

You can’t let global crises shut you down.

In fact, it’s just the opposite.

During a crisis is THE best time to be doing meaningful work. It’s THE best time to get your messages and offers out into the market place. It’s THE best time to respond to your calling.

Why?

2 Reasons Why Now is the Best Time to Launch Your Coaching Business

  1. YOU deserve to be doing whatever will bring you the most joy as soon as you can.
  2. It’s during a crisis that people become more serious about making positive lifetime changes.

Think about it … if your prospects are seekers — people who do invest in their personal or professional growth — they are looking around them right now and thinking: “This is not what I’m supposed to be doing.”

That dream for something better … a healthier body, a more dynamic career, to become their own boss, to improve their marriage, to help their kids thrive — whatever specific BIG PROBLEM has been dogging them is now fully in their face. We are all facing what is dysfunctional about us during this crisis.

It’s painful. That issue becomes ACUTE rather than chronic.

They think … “What am I waiting for? Life is precious! I won’t stop myself from what I want any longer!” And the old tapes that used to play in their heads during the status quote get replace “Get off your butt and make things happen!”

You see, crisis wakes people up. When things are easier, human beings get lulled to sleep. They live in a well worn groove on default mode.

But when the day to day chaos is shaken up, that’s when human beings rise up out of their stupor.

For my business, the first two months of the pandemic were a bit quiet and then it was like the flood gates opened. I’ve never had so many sign ups, inquiries and enrollments as I have now. My income is higher than ever. Demand for working with me is off the charts.

That could be you.

I’ve talked to other coaches who say their business is at an all time high.

And we’ve looked back at earlier crises together and realized the same thing. Remember the financial crisis of 2008. It affected nearly every country drastically. My business surged then too.

Here’s the other thing you might not realize if you haven’t owned a business before … it’s smart to get to the market fast.

The information age makes it much harder to be unique and to stand out. If you wait to get out there someone else may fill your shoes.

And I realize some people are overwhelmed with kids at home and not in the school building during the day or other challenges during this time. Waiting is never the best option unless you simply don’t have the bandwidth to make this happen. That’s about you personally not about what’s going in world.

So don’t use what’s going in the world as your excuse to do nothing.

That’s why I say if you’re as ready as you will ever be JUMP in my friend. The water is fine. If you want to jump in but you’re afraid to, let’s talk.

Grab a Strategy Session and we’ll coach around the blocks in the way and look at your readiness for the marketplace.

Ep 90 – Test Your Coaching Niche with 4 Powerful Questions

This episode is part of the Smart & Profitable Coaching Niche series. And … it has eye opening questions to help you test the viability of your coaching niche. So test your niche with those questions, which you can find in the Show Notes for this episode at prosperouscoach.com/90

By the way, there are 14 episodes in that niche series – lots of intel for you —so if you’re having trouble choosing a viable target audience and developing a niche that solves a BIG enough problem so clients pay you well, check that whole series out.

It’s easy to miss the earlier episodes if you are new to listening to Prosperous Coach Podcast.

I decided to take a break from the Client Management series because there’s a louder cry out there in the coaching community for help to choose a coaching niche.

I have several clients who are still enrolled in coach training and they tell me that the other coaches are really struggling with all the business steps especially the niche part.

What usually happens is coaches create a website first, which is really just an online brochure about coaching and not super effective before they think to choose a unique target audience or find out what those people want so much they’ll invest in help to get it.

It makes me wince because I know that website is likely a waste of money and effort. Audience and niche come before any other actions – before websites, blogs or social posts.

When coaches ask me in a Strategy Session:

“Is this a good coaching niche?”

What they really want to know but don’t know to ask is:

Will focusing my energy this way repay me with a consistent flow of clients who are willing to invest?

That’s the 6-figure question!

Choosing your niche is a critical decision to get your coaching business right from the get go. It’s the true north for your financial success.

Without that direction and focus your messages and offers will be vague and won’t capture attention. Which means you won’t have that consistent flow of paying clients.

What is a Coaching Niche?

It has 3 critical parts and most coaches miss two of those.

  1. Choosing a NARROW target audience.
  2. Knowing what they want so much they’ll invest in your help to achieve it.
  3. Applying your special talents and skills to help that audience overcome BIG problems as they reach that goal.

So a viable and profitable coaching niche is the intersection of those 3 things. If you’re missing one piece then you don’t have a profitable niche.

Do You Really Need a Coaching Niche?

Of course, I’ll say YES emphatically! Ultimately, there are 12 smart reasons to niche and they boil down to this:

  • Ease
  • Reach
  • Profitability

We choose a niche so we can market less, earn more and help more people transform. It goes a long way towards making you credible early on in your coaching business.

If your intention is to build a solid long-term coaching business that you can rely on for a satisfying income, it’s worth it to choose wisely now before you invest time, money and energy on your branding and marketing.

A smart niche helps you to:

  • Quickly become a coach in high demand through momentum.
  • Leverage your efforts and contextualize your messages and offers, instead of being all over the place.
  • To command higher fees.

Test the viability of your current coaching niche with these 4 powerful questions.

Stand Out in the Crowd

POWERFUL QUESTION #1:

Does your coaching niche help you stand out in the crowd?

If yes, give yourself 2 POINTS.

If not, consider narrowing your niche before you go much further.

There are more service entrepreneurs than ever before. And they are all vying to get attention online and offline. People only pay attention to the messages that speak specifically to their most important desires and problems. Everything else is ignored or deleted.

Think about it … isn’t it true? If you’re on Instagram or Pinterest or Facebook you’re scrolling like mad until you see something that speaks directly to you. You don’t give attention to 95% of what scrolls by.

As a coach, if someone is talking about coaching you’re listening because it’s high up on your list of favorite topics. But if you’re talking about coaching to a general audience and not contextualizing that message to fit their specific problems and goals, then no one will pay attention to what you’re saying except for other coaches.

You, just like everyone else, are out there seeking SPECIFIC information. Let’s say you see messages about coaching niches right at the time when you are struggling with that challenge.

BOOM! Your attention magnifies and you are reading, engaging, possibly even clicking through to take action such as sign up for a guide, listen to a podcast episode or enroll!

For that reason, it’s critical to go beyond identifying your coaching track — such as relationship, wellness, business coaching. This is all the further into considering their niche that most coaches do.

You can do far better than that!

Refine your niche in 3 additional ways:

  1. Choose one narrow audience that’s easy to find.
  2. Zone in on one specific hot problem or urgent goal that audience faces.
  3. Customize all your messages and offers to help them achieve that outcome.

That’s how you’ll:

  • Get noticed.
  • Build rapport quickly.
  • And continuously enroll clients that are eager to develop themselves.

New Coaching Client Accessibility

POWERFUL QUESTION #2:

Can you easily find hundreds of your prospects in your audience right now?

If yes, give yourself 4 POINTS.

If not, your niche audience probably isn’t viable.

Having a viable niche feels like you have access to a deep and reliable well full of potential clients. You’ll never go thirsty for clients.

Some niche audiences are “overdrawn”. For example, the large group of Entrepreneurs or Small Business Owners is barraged with messages from all angles.

If you want to serve entrepreneurs or business, give yourself the advantage of narrowing to a specific industry or type of business owner or specific problem and outcome. Pick a unique topic critical to that group that hasn’t been claimed out there yet. You’ll differentiate yourself from all of the other providers for entrepreneurs and they’ll be willing to co-promote with you.

When I started coaching coaches, which was a natural thing because I wrote curriculum for a popular coach training program, I just offered myself as a coach for coaches. But there were so many other people offering that who had more experience and a higher profile than I did that I wasn’t getting enough tractions.

And then I realized that even though I can help coaches with every aspect of building their business and do, if I spoke more often about the challenge of choosing a profitable coaching niche I would stand out. And I have for 2 decades now. Imagine the cache of that?

That’s what you want to do with your chosen unique audience.

Targeting a narrow audience gives you a boost, especially if there are already events, associations and publications designed for them.

Know What Your Audience Wants

POWERFUL QUESTION #3

Do you know exactly what your target audience wants so much that they’ll invest to get it?

If yes, give yourself 3 POINTS.

If not, dig deeper before you launch your coaching business.

With a bit of fun market research it’s easy to find out exactly what your target audience wants (instead of what you think they need). That’s different! When your messages and offers reflect their top goals, you earn their trust. They feel understood and want to work with you.

You know this … people reach for professional support when they have a big goal to achieve or a painful problem to solve or both. The more acute their problem or goal, the more they are willing to invest.

A niche like Women in Transition doesn’t usually pay off because it’s trying to cover too much ground. Imagine how narrowing to one specific type of transition — first time pregnancy, re-entering the work force, or menopause — would help you standout with that audience?

Reality Check on Your Coaching Niche

POWERFUL QUESTION #4

Would you invest in what you’re offering if you were your target audience?

If yes, give yourself 1 POINT.

If no, your current niche might not earn well.

If you, in all your years, would not have invested your time and money in the solution you’re offering, it won’t inspire your audience either. For example, if your niche is Stay at Home Moms, you may have already realized that they love you and your free stuff but they aren’t likely to take a greater step. That’s because, first and foremost, they spend their money on their kids.

Refine that audience or choose a better one. You can do it!

How Did Your Coaching Niche Test Out?


8-10 POINTS = You’re on track for a profitable niche!
6-7 POINTS = Test your niche in the marketplace to see if it pays off or refine now for the best bet.
0-5 POINTS = Choose a better niche for long-term success.

Hey, if your niche didn’t do well on the coaching niche test, consider having a Strategy Session with me. It’s a private 90 minutes session with me, the Coaching Niche Strategist. I’ll send you exercises before we meet and then we’ll dig in during the session.

Ep 89 – Do You Shrink or Inflate Your Power with Coaching Clients?

This episode is part of the Client Management series.

In the last episode, I covered 7 RED FLAGS to watch for with clients and also how you need to watch your feelings for indications of losing your integrity in sessions with clients.

Well, this session is one way you can lose your integrity and disempower your client.

What do you do when a client comes to a session resistant, as if their arms are folded across their chest? Coaching seems to bounce off them.

Or worse they seem to have the expectation that you’ll fix or figure out things for them, but aren’t willing to be part of the solution. What’s going on there?

Power dynamics.

For coaching to happen, both coach and client must show up co-creative, resourceful and whole. In other words … standing in their personal power.

How can you do your part to encourage that?

The Helper in You May Overdo it

Most coaches I meet genuinely want to help others. In fact, it’s often a driving force in their lives to give.

Are you familiar with the Enneagram? What’s your number?

I’m a 2 – The Helper. And I’ve gone many turns around the spiral learning to become ever more conscious about the heavy shadow side of that noble desire to help and give. Do you feel me?

Wanting to help and give all the time can actually disempower others.

While it’s an obvious choice to become a coach if you like to give and help, that very impulse needs to be monitored.

So, for me learning how empower clients begins with “right sizing” myself. My intention is to show up as powerful as I am without inflating or deflating myself through my thoughts, words and actions. Because I know if I’m not right sized it will upset the power dynamic and disempower my client.

Think about it … in your last coaching session were you RIGHT SIZED?

It’s not a set it and forget it sort of thing. It requires centering before beginning any session and then tracking yourself

5 Ways to Empower You and Your Coaching Clients

1.  Hit the reset button before sessions.

  • Take 5 minutes of quiet to breathe and reconnect to your Highest Self.
  • Value yourself intrinsically.
  • Own your gifts, talents, and skills (as different but not more than your clients.)
  • Show vulnerability without being self-deprecating.
  • Get your needs met outside the coach/client relationship.

2. Let your clients take full responsibility for their role.

  • Charge fees that pay you well.
  • Never adjust fees to get a client.
  • Treat clients as resourceful adults.
  • Don’t do your clients work for them.
  • Set time boundaries and ask clients to honor them.

3. Promote original thinking and self-starting.

  • Verbally appreciate your client’s unique abilities.
  • Praise self-awareness, intuitive action and insights.
  • Reward initiative with enthusiasm and ask about their next steps.
  • Challenge them to do more than what’s comfortable.

4. Spark their wisdom without manipulating.

  • Let go of assumptions of what you think they know or don’t.
  • Ask their opinion about how to best coach them.
  • Ask a lot of direct open-ended questions. Let go of impulses to lead.
  • Own your opinions as just that … opinons. Don’t make them wrong for theirs.

5. Listen for their truth.

  • Validate their feelings without taking them on.
  • Separate your story from their story.
  • Ask questions to help them separate facts from interpretation.

What are other ways you’ve found to empower clients and stay out of the trap of fixing or saving them?

Ep 88 – Watch for These Red Flags About Coaching Clients

This episode is part of a series called Manage Your Coaching Clients, which already has 3 important episodes about setting boundaries clients, the intake process and keeping your clients on track.

Recently in my Facebook group called Prosperous Coach Club, members have started discussions about specific challenges with current clients. And that’s what inspired this series.

The topic of client management is deep. And there’s not a lot of intel out there about how to deal with paying clients. It’s one of trial by fire things. But you know me, I want to bee line you to success so I’m going to cover this stuff!

As a new coach there are certain challenges that will come up with paying clients that diminish as you gain experience.

When you charge highly for your services, clients are more committed and generally easier to work with. So do yourself a favor and charge more. I have a whole series on Money Mastery at prosperouscoach.com/money

This episode covers the red flags to watch for.

And then in successive sessions I’ll dig into what to do if you notice one of these red flags.

Find Your Integrity

Everyone knows what a red flag is. When it flies you as the professional are called to pay close attention and get ready for action. Exactly what you’ll do depends on lots of factors. But when it comes to managing clients the name of the game is find your integrity.

To quickly master client management issues, the first thing to do is raise your awareness … both about your client’s behavior AND your response to their behavior.

The Two Types of Red Flags are About:

  1. Your client.
  2. Your feelings about your client.

Both might indicate issues in the fit between you and your client. Client fit is incredibly important for you to have an enjoyable and lucrative business.

It may seem right now that you should coach anyone who wants to hire you. It’s a point of maturity when you realize and accept that not every client is a good fit for you.

The 7 Parts of the Coaching Client’s Role

The red flags for clients all have to do with ways they do not successfully take on their role in the co-creative relationship.

The client’s role is to:

  1. Show up for scheduled sessions
  2. Show up on time for scheduled sessions
  3. Pay their payments on time (although I recommend you move to a full fee up front policy)
  4. Be communicative
  5. Be truthful or forthcoming about details
  6. Take responsibility for their growth by taking actions and making progress
  7. Be coachable

For the first 6, at the very least you’ll need to bring the issue to your client’s and make a strong request that’s neutrally charged. I’ll explain more about this in other episodes.

The 7th part of a client’s role is fundamental. I know it seems odd but some clients aren’t coachable. Coach-ability is crucial for the health of the relationship and for them to get value out of your services. I’ll cover that soon in another episode because it’s complex.

Right Response To Your Coaching Clients

For now, let’s talk about the red flags in your response to working with your clients. These can be subtle feelings and approaches that are driven by your strong desire to serve and have income as a coach.

For example:

  • You feel drained by sessions with a client.
  • Your coaching approach is driven by a desire to perform well
  • Your coaching approach is driven by a desire to fix the client
  • You notice yourself being inauthentic
  • You feel resentful of how much time or energy this client takes (which may be an indication you’re not charging enough)

Each one indicates a breach in your integrity. It’s a signal that you have an opportunity to fortify your boundaries and stand in your power – not to dominate the client but to be more fully in your integrity with this client.

Coaching people is a huge responsibility. And there’s a tendency to either inflate your responsibility or deflate it. Everyone does this.

And you can teach yourself not to do it. A point of mastery your goal is to stay right-sized. For more about this, read my blog post called 5 Ways to Right Size Yourself to Empower Your Coaching Clients.

When you learn the way to be in power balance with your clients you become a better coach and a better person. You’ll feel more grounded, more certain of your value and less triggered.

Ep 86 – When and How to Stop Coaching for Free

This episode is part of the Money Mastery series.

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

Practice integrates learning.

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

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

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

Patterns Become Habits and Habits Become Mindset

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

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

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

Take a moment here and answer truthfully …

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

Here are some of things I hear from new coaches:

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

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

Own Your Experience

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

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

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

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

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

You Brought Skills to the Table of Coaching

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

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

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

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

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

People Invest When They Perceive Value

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

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

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

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

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

Graduate from Student and Step Fully Into Professional

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Everyone and No One is a Fraud

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

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

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

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

But let’s replace the harshness with positivity.

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

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

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

Ep 85 – How Can New Coaches Be Perceived as Credible?

You’ve heard that you need to build the know-like-trust factor with your target audience before they’ll hire you. It’s true.

Imagine that your ideal clients reach out to hire you already feeling a deep connection with you and wanting what you offer. It raises their willingness to invest at a high level and fully dedicate themselves to the work.

But how can you convey credibility as a brand new coach?

That’s what today’s episode is about.

To answer that question, let’s turn this around. Shift your perspective on the problem. It’s nearly always the best way to solve problems.

What inspires YOU to feel that a resource is trustworthy?

Some people say things like credentials, years in business, reviews or testimonials. Absolutely. Those things help.

But there’s something that grabs attention and builds trust even faster …

Coaching Prospects Trust Coaches Who Understand Them

I hear constantly from clients, prospects and fans of my podcast that they feel like I’m speaking directly to them. Someone wrote me today saying: “I’m beginning to think your podcasts are written for me.”

That is your goal.

People will trust you if they feel understood by you. And this is the territory where brand new coaches can get real traction.

As a new coach you’d be unlikely to have loads of credentials or relevant testimonials. You haven’t had the chance to build up social credibility online. And, you don’t have ‘word of mouth’ going for you yet.

So instead, put your attention on KNOWING your audience inside and out.

I just received an email from a company that wants to promote my podcast. It took me all of 5 seconds to decide to toss that email. Not only did they not even use my name, I could see that they had not bothered to research me at all. It’s arguable that they know little about the challenges and goals of podcasters.

That’s a stupid and wasteful way to develop a business.

I get countless requests to connect on LinkedIn from supposed experts pushing out blasts to all coaches promising to help them get a steady stream of clients. It’s clear from what they write that they don’t understand coaches. They haven’t bothered to look at my profile. They searched “coach” and then put out the same basic message as thousands before them – all of whom I summarily blew off.

Don’t ever market like this. You will LOSE CREDIBILITY so fast. And essentially it’s spamming. Never spam.

Do Your Homework Coach

Do your homework! Your future and current clients are your most important asset. Treat them with great respect and speak to them with relevance.

Here you are — a coach – someone who loves people and wants to help them achieve something grand. Well, before you throw up that website selling coaching take the time to choose a specific target audience, research that group lovingly, then speak their language.

This concept of speaking your target audience’s language and contextualizing all of your copy and offers to fit them like a glove is the crux of everything I teach new coaches.

That’s because it quickly builds credibility. And in today’s market place you absolutely need credibility to grab attention, inspire a belief that you can help them, and motivate their investment in you.

Narrow Your Audience and Coaching Niche to Build Credibility

You can only show that you know your audience in your social posts, content, web copy and offers if you have already narrowed to a specific unique and narrow group of people who are seekers – people who naturally do invest in their own personal or professional growth.

The broader you are in your audience or niche the less likely you’ll be able to build trust quickly. Many typical niches coaches choose such as helping people get unstuck, transition, do self care or build confidence don’t inspire investment because there’s so much free stuff out there on those topics.

So the WAY you narrow and the way you articulate your coaching niche do matter. It’s an art. And it’s a strategic process that deserves your time.

So what undermines credibility?

Shoveling out there the same stuff that many coaches do.

For more information about how NOT to undermine your credibility consider listening to a few of my past episodes. Why is Coaching a Hard Sell? And also listen to the whole Coaching Business Checkup series.

What will you do this week to narrow your audience if you haven’t already, to research them thoughtfully and then SHOW that you understand them in all you do?

In the Next Episode: When and How to Stop Coaching for Free