Ep 161 – The Identify Shift in Transition to Full Time Coaching

This episode is for new coaches who are shifting into full time coaching from a full time job. That transition is a big leap mentally and emotionally.

Building a business and then sustaining it is an amazing personal journey. More and more people are deciding to be their own boss because they want to have more lifestyle freedom and to be at the cause of their own circumstances.

But if you are taking the leap from employment into entrepreneurship it’s no small thing. There are big shifts that require mindset mastery as you transition.

  • You go from being directed by a boss to supervising yourself in every way.
  • You go from a defined infrastructure and role to creating your own systems and functions from scratch.
  • You go from working collaboratively to working alone, at least at first.
  • You had a regular paycheck, which will become an irregular income you have to generate on your own.
  • Someone else administered your payroll, taxes and benefits and now you’ll manage that yourself.
  • And, you leave behind an established organizational culture and your own reputation and now you’re going to have to create a new one.

It’s an identity crisis.

The truth is that your identity is more innate than you think. Plus, all of your core values, talents and skills come with you into your business. I would even argue that you get to be more of yourself and bring more of yourself to your business.

Look, you’re a multifaceted being. Starting your coaching business is a chance at a makeover where you get to be a better you. And that is enormously satisfying, and I think totally worth the adventure.

Leverage Your Background Into Your Coaching Niche

Last year, one of my VIP clients was shifting from a career of nearly two decades, all in one industry, into her own coaching business. Her previous position had status, significant responsibilities and a salary to match.

And, understandably, she was terrified about shifting to full time self employment as a coach.

Fortunately for her she decided to leverage her work experience by choosing a related audience and niche. And this is something I highly recommend to coaches when they can.

She had instant credibility with her audience because she had been where they are now. And, it was easy to put together relevant messaging and offers because she knew the context her audience lives in.

So, leveraging your background into your target audience and coaching niche will somewhat reduce the stress of the transition because there’s common ground into the thing you’re going to be doing.

But when you’re a free agent you’ll need to think a bit differently.

Now, I come from a family of entrepreneurs. My mom owned apartment buildings while I was growing up. Later, she became a realtor and started her own private brokerage.

My oldest brother is a serial entrepreneur starting with his own graphic design company, then a gluten free bakery and now sells his own graphic art. Another on my brothers had his own company too and my third brother has been an actor, producing his own shows for decades. All of those are entrepreneurial

And I didn’t realize until well into my business that coming from a family of entrepreneurs gave me a leg up. A free agent mindset was part of the culture I grew up in. And the freedom that comes from entrepreneurship was highly valued by my people.

Now you may not have the advantage of being surrounded by entrepreneurs so you’ll have to learn it.

7 Ways to Make Your Transition to Being An Entrepreneurial Coach Easier

  1. Let your fear be your fuel.

And don’t let fear control you. Look, everyone entering new territory feels fear. It’s natural. It’s uncomfortable but it’s not life threatening. So make the feeling of it work for you by dedicating yourself to your business success and stepping fully into the CEO role.

That’s, by the way, how you will feel more comfortable over time and you won’t worry about fear even when you feel it.

2. Hire a business coach.

If you want to do things right the first time and wade into the experience rather than diving into the deep end all on your own, find a mentor who will hold your hand through the first 5 months.

3. See your mistakes as opportunities.

I know you’ve heard this before but truly this is entrepreneurship 101. You can’t survive this if you get uptight about every mistake you make because you’re going to make a lot … and that’s how you learn … and that’s how you’ll become a success.

4. Create a grounding morning routine and stick to it.

Hopefully you already have one of these but if you don’t this is time to change this. A daily walk or other exercise, meditation and a good breakfast helps you to sail through the week.

5. Think both intuitively and strategically about everything.

Whether it’s planning, who you talk to or how you spend your time, where your money goes – all of that!

6. Look for a platform that will help your star rise.

No one succeeds alone. Who or what organization can help you reach your audience and confirm your credibility for them?

I was very lucky that in my 3rd year of coaching, Coach Training Alliance asked me to be a trainer and create their certification program. That put me in front of an avid audience of coach and was perfect for me.

7. Be a good boss.

Put boundaries around your business. Create space in your calendar for you. Celebrate your wins. Look for ways to continuously improve. Give yourself a promotion by raising your fees. And review what’s going on in your business and how you’re going to do things differently.

I know you’re going to be able to weather your transition to full time coaching. Entrepreneurship is different and it’s boundless. You never know what you’ll end up learning or doing. Your business will bring you wonderful surprises and help you become a better you.

Ep 151 – How to Not Slide Back to Your Life Before Coaching

This episode is about allowing yourself to fully evolve into your coaching business.

Take a journey back in time with me and imagine …

Who were you and what was your life like before the idea of becoming a coach inspired you and made you leap?

Maybe you had a job and a comfortable routine. Maybe you were used to your paycheck and working certain hours. Your family knew what to expect of your time and attention. You knew what to expect of yourself and your day-to-day life.

And that was part of the problem — part of the growing discontent that causes all people to seek.

Maybe your colleagues were a daily respite from the mundanity of work or maybe you felt drained by all of it.

A dream began to form. It was just a little spark.

Something awakened in you and made you think.

Maybe you could break away and breakthrough to a life where you could be your own boss and do more meaningful work. One where you had more flexibility in your lifestyle and you could serve your own vision.

When you first heard about coaching something in you thrummed with new life.

You took coach training and your excitement built along with a healthy dose of doubt. Learning how to coach transformed you — the way you think, the way you communicate. It was no less than revolutionary for you.

And, it wasn’t all easy because it broke you out of your mold. You saw yourself differently. You saw your relationship to others differently.

And coaching gave you hope. It gave form to something you’ve longed for and did not know existed.

Then the moment came when you needed to start making decisions about your business.

Imposter syndrome rose up. Some days you could just brush it away. And some days it hung over you like a cloud.

Yet every time you coached, even if it was for free or for way too little, you still loved it and so you moved forward bravely.

You were asked to choose a niche, to work on messaging. Things that required you to put a stake in the ground. Gulp! “What’s the right niche for me? Do I have to pick just one?”

All these things were not what inspired you to become a coach. Some resentment for all this hard stuff kicked in. But you moved forward bravely despite thoughts like:

“Can I really do this?”

“Will anyone really pay for this?”

“Won’t marketing mean I have to sell out?”

You realized that learning coaching was the vocational side of things. There’s another more serious side to this  called being a business owner. All the realities started to materialize as territory you’ve never been to.

“I have to attract clients, charge fees that will replace my old paycheck, navigate the mine field of social media and summit all sorts of learning curves.” Seemingly. Endless. Learning curves.

For some this is the point of departure. For some it’s a dare to keep going, keep building and manifesting the new life.

Now let’s pause for a moment in the present …

Being an entrepreneur was probably not what got you here. It was the desire to coach. And now you have to decide if you can be both … an entrepreneur and a coach. An entrepreneurial coach.

If you say YES to that you will need to keep transforming. It’s a little different journey than learning coaching skills and it can be exciting if you let it.

Let’s look at your future …

How can you stay the course? Is it time you allow your mindset and your habits to catch up with the new you?

I believe you have already changed deep in your essence or you wouldn’t be listening to this.

Your old self and your old life are magnetic things. All the wiring it took to be you before coaching, before starting a business needs a makeover.

That well worn groove — the path of least resistance — calls you to be that old self again. Laugh that off! Own the space that you’ve grown into.

Pay attention to what pulls you away from the honorable work of building your business, growing your reputation, attracting a following, delivering value even before your ideal clients hire you.

Ask yourself “What would help me leverage the energy I’ve already given this dream, this business, this life?”

Then move forward bravely now and always. That is what will make you proud.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now onto the Listener’s Choice episode …

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

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

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

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

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

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

Imagine the Customer Journey Online

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

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

That journey is called the customer journey.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Relevance is What Grabs Attention Online

What we’re talking about here is relevance.

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

How does that relate to your website?

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

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

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

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

A Model of a Customer Journey Relevant to Coaches

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You’re inspired. You go their website.

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

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

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

Mindfully and Strategically Design Your Coaching Client’s Web Journey

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

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

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

Build your customer journey from the ground up.

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

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

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

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

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

5 Things That Make a Coaching Website Win Coaching Clients

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

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

Prosperous Coach

See how it fits my target audience?

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

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

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

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

My core message is:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ep 123 – Coach, You Don’t Have to Sell Yourself

This episode is short and sweet.=

When coaches reach out to work with me, they almost always say that their biggest fear is marketing. They say: “I’m no good at selling myself.”

And I say, “Well, that’s okay because you don’t have to sell yourself.” And I mean it.

Sure, you’re the coach and you’ll be delivering coaching to your client. Although, I really believe that coaching is co-creative. It’s not at all about performing.

But if you go about your business the way I suggest, you won’t sell coaching at all.

Coaching is a hard sell. People don’t know they want it. I’ve talked about this many times before. If you haven’t heard it I recommend you listen to episode #66 – How to Describe Your Coaching Program Without Selling Coaching.

Still, this is important. Do not sell yourself. Don’t be salesy and promotional. It doesn’t feel good and it’s not effective.

Instead be about what your prospective clients care about. Know without a doubt the exact things that they want. Not the general things. Don’t try to cover all the bases and say I help people reach their dreams or something equally bland and non-specific.

Specifics grab attention. Specifics grow the know–like–trust factor because your audience can sense that you understand them and are an advocate for them.

My very first coach, Judy, used to ask me: “What has frustrated your audience so much that they feel mad as hell and aren’t going to take it anymore?”

When you know the answer to that your marketing job just got a lot easier.

When you speak your audience’s language, when you care about them … when you speak to what’s tripping them up, what’s keeping them from the big important things they long for … you don’t have to sell.

Yes, you should think this all through. Strategize everything about your business so that it shows you can help that specific audience solve those specific problems and reach that elusive goal. This is what I do with coaches in my 5 month VIP Coaching Business Breakthrough program.

Here’s what you can do right now to dramatically improve your coaching income and your joy in your business:

Stop having your website be all about coaching.

Stop having vague language about how you help your clients.

Stop making your marketing about you!

When you make this shift you’ll be amazed at how much better it feels. You no longer do the unsavory thing – to sell coaching, to sell yourself.

You’ll no longer try to convince people about the value of coaching. Instead you’ll attract ideal clients who resonate with your message and they’ll want to hire you.

It’s such a HUGE relief. Make this change today. It’s worth it to retool your business a bit so you don’t keeping preaching to an empty house.

Ep 122 – How to Ace the Money Conversation with Coaching Prospects

This episode is inspired by brilliant coaches everywhere who, no matter how many skills and talents they bring to the table, are afraid to own their worth and go boldly into the money conversation.

Take On The CEO Role and Own Your Value

Chances are you came to coaching from a job where you were paid a salary or an hourly rate. Someone else set that amount. And you received the same basic paycheck over and over.

The control was out of your hands. And you probably just did the job without thinking a lot about the money piece.

Now, you are the boss. You are the CEO. You decide how much you charge for your services, how much you earn and when you pay yourself.

It’s time to make that mindset shift. Own your role as CEO of your business.

Have you done that yet? You’ll be amazed at the difference in your self-esteem when you do.

If you take on that role with enthusiasm, you’ll pay yourself well. You’ll stop doubting your value and thinking small.

Look, I get it. I started out doing group coaching at $10 per person for a 3 hour face to face experience. That meant I was earning about $27/hour. But really less because it didn’t take into account all the time I spent developing my program and marketing to attract prospects.

My first year as a coach I only made $5000. That’s not a living. That’s a hobby.

You decide if you have a hobby or a serious business. You make that happen.

There’s a fear, right? It seems more strategic somehow to charge low amounts. As if you’ll have less rejection. As if lower prices will attract ideal clients.

That’s a lie you’re telling yourself. Valuing yourself less doesn’t make prospects value your services more.

And I have proof that higher prices enroll more ideal clients with less hesitation.

There’s an old story in your mind. Lessons you learned when you were young about value and money drive your decision about how much your services are worth. You may think it will take years to change your story. But actually you can make that shift in a moment.

I’m diverged from my topic today because I’m passionate about this.

This episode isn’t about how much you charge. For help with that see episode #60 How to Price Your Signature Coaching Program.

It’s also not about how to raise your fees, which you can find in episode #57.

This episode is about how to approach and then ace the money conversation in a Discovery Call — which is an enrollment opportunity that you set up with coaching prospects.

Ace the Money Conversation with 5 Tips

By the way, the Discovery Call is not a free sample coaching session.

Sample sessions are for brand new coaches trying to fulfill the requirements for certification. It’s a great way to learn how to coach, but honestly not an effective approach to enroll ideal clients who will pay well, stay longer and refer more ideal clients.

So there you are in the Discovery Call, you’ve asked some powerful questions to reveal what’s top of mind for your prospect.

What specifically do they want so much that they are inspired to invest in your help?

What’s been in the way of those goals that’s costing them

time, heartache … maybe even lost opportunities?

So now you say “Are you ready to hear how I help my clients?” You finish that sentence with the specific goals they’ve just told you about.

Now you’re ready to tell them about your program – the specific milestones you help them reach and the challenges you help them overcome.

You share how many sessions they’ll get and anything else you’re offering in your Signature Program.

Obviously it’s critical to strategize all of these things before you’re on the call.

This is the moment … it’s time to share the price of your Signature Program. Use these 5 tips:

  1. Intentionally relax your jaw and shoulders. Open your hands.
  2. Keep the same pace and inflection in your voice as when you were asking the powerful questions earlier.
  3. Let go of attachment to the outcome of enrolling this client. Act as if you have a full stable of clients already.
  4. Release the idea that it’s your job to convince this client to hire you. Never convince anyone. Know that this human being will make the decision that’s best for them.
  5. Remember, their decision does not define you. It doesn’t mean anything. Bless them, bless yourself and move on. But do ask yourself if there’s any way you could improve.

You can do this!

Ep 119 – Find the Niche Within Your Coaching Niche

This episode is about the un-mined gold in your coaching business.

Because I’ve studied the strategic art of niching and coaching niches for so long I’ve noticed something that no one is talking about.

There are niches within your niche that will serve you better than staying broad. There are layers. The surface is not the most exciting or lucrative layer. In fact, it’s many layers deeper.

The Layers of Your Coaching Niche

When I work with my VIP clients we discover a niche ideal for them that’s a few layers down to something more strategic than where they started. Let me give you an example.

  • Layer 1, of course, is coaching. Coaching itself is a kind of niche.
  • Another layer in might be relationship coaching
  • Another layer beneath that is to pick a particular type of relationship, let’s say marriage.
  • Then you can niche deeper than that to put some context about the specific PROBLEM you help the married individuals solve.

Now, keep this in mind as I share one of my VIP client’s niches …

Deanna Bryant, whose brand is Revive Your Midlife Marriage helps married WOMEN cultivate meaning and intimacy with their husbands after the kids are grown.

By the way, Deanna has an insightful podcast called Revive Your Midlife Marriage. If you’re a woman in midlife with grown children and your marriage is feeling a bit flat and empty, her show and services are for you!

So let’s break this niche down into components:

  • Deanna serves women. (Choosing a gender can help you narrow your niche but alone it’s not enough.)
  • These are women in midlife – a tough time of life with specific challenges. (It’s smart to pick a time of life sometimes for a specific audience.)
  • In addition these women have husbands. (Not all women have husbands and only some are still with a husband in midlife.)
  • AND they want meaning and intimacy with those husbands again. (We know this because Deanna did market research for her audience.)
  • She also adds after the kids are grown because that empty nest time is a crossroads in a marriage. (Sometimes the kids are the glue holding the marriage together.)

Do you see how SPECIFIC Deanna’s niche is and can you imagine why that’s an advantage to attracting clients?

Doesn’t Niching Narrowly Mean You’ll Lose Opportunities?

Look, lots of people don’t understand the value of niching. If you niche narrowly your friends and family might question your wisdom because they don’t get it. But their advice to broaden won’t help you.

You might be thinking … “But by narrowing in all those ways Deanna is missing so many opportunities! She’s missing the chance to work with men, to work with unmarried women, to work with women who don’t have grown kids.”

The reality is this … in this world we live in we must compete for attention as a service business. Even if you don’t think of it as competition, it’s there.

Broad Coaching Niches Mean Slow Business Growth

The broader your niche, the less attention you’ll get. Think about how your scroll through your emails, your social networks. In a way we are all always scrolling and waiting for something to grab our attention through RELEVANCE! We ignore what is not relevant. You know I’m right.

If you’ve never read Seth Godin’s book called Tribes, I highly recommend it. It makes the point that you don’t have to serve a huge population. That’s the old fashioned way. It’s better to build affinity with a small distinct group and become a leader for that group.

And become KNOWN for something.

What Are You Known For?

Which brings me to another layer of niching. I tell my clients to be on the lookout for what will raise their star fast as they build their business and get the word out.

I wasn’t always the niche strategist for coaches. That happened about 2 years in serving coaches, which came about because I co-wrote curriculum for Coach Training Alliance and trained 500 coaches there. When I realized that was the top problem coaches have at the beginning I studied niches and offered help for that BIG problem. That catapulted my business into a much higher level of income, client attraction and expertise.

I’ve said before that I started as a Spiritual Coach and when I didn’t find much traction there, I targeted women entrepreneurs. Keep in mind coaching wasn’t nearly as big an industry then as it is now. I’d hazard a guess and say coaching has grown exponentially every year since 1997.

What that means is that coaches are a “dime a dozen” unless they stand out.

And just choosing a coaching track doesn’t distinguish you. By a coaching track I mean that first layer down in your niche – life coach, relationship coach, health coach, executive coach, career coach etc.

Yes, choosing a track helps but it still leaves you competing and not just with all the coaches in that niche but also any other kind of influence in that general area trying to get attention online.

This may be hard to understand if you’re a brand new coach but when you become a service business owner helping others to reach their goals you have to create your own marketplace.

It sounds super hard and it’s not easy but I can tell you without a doubt that the more your services are differentiated from all others and you stand out – the better you’ll do and the faster you’ll get there.

More clients, better clients, longer term clients, referrals, higher fees and income, more profit— all the things you want will come from standing out.

So back to being known for something. I became known as the coaching niche strategist this way. I was coaching coaches and trying to compete with all the tens of thousands of people offering support to coaches to grow their businesses.

I wanted to joint venture with other people and one such person, Milana, said:

“Rhonda, why would I help to promote you when I offer exactly what you offer? You need to stand out!”

So I looked around at my colleagues – many were direct competitors – and I asked myself how can I stand out from ALL of them? No one was into helping people with coaching niches because … well … it takes a lot of work.

As soon as I began offering specific support for coaches to help them with their coaching niche my business jumped a level and I had co-promoters happy to help raise my star.

The moral to the story is find your STAND OUT thing.

It has to fulfill a BIG problem for your specific narrow target audience. It has to be something so acute (not chronic) that it causes your audience to seek help. Because if they aren’t seeking help for your specialty, you won’t earn.  You’ll just give away a lot of free stuff.

Ep 117 – How to Attract Ideal Coaching Clients Who Can’t Wait to Work with You

I’ve been promising this episode to you.

Before we dig in I want to thank you for all the 5 star ratings and great reviews you have bestowed on Prosperous Coach Podcast and me.

Here’s a recent review from someone who used the moniker Soulful Coach. I think I know who you are and I’m bowing to you right now. Thank you for honoring me with your praise!

Here’s what this coach said:

This podcast is my go to for encouragement and quick reminders on specific topics that I’m struggling with. Rhonda is an amazing business coach and person. Her VIP program for coaches not only helps you identify your niche and much more but also helps you achieve personal growth in all dimensions of your life.

This review fits today’s topic about attracting ideal clients. I feel so blessed that I get to work with amazing human beings like Soulful Coach. How did that happen?

Most all of my clients apply to work with me because they like what they are hearing in my podcast episodes. My podcast is my content strategy.

What’s your content strategy? Whatever it is, the content should strike a resonant chord with your audience. That’s the best way to attract ideal clients.

And here’s the thing … if a new coach — my target audience — doesn’t resonate with what I’m saying in my episodes I know that they won’t be an ideal client for me. Nor will I be the best coaching business mentor for them. So through my podcast I’m calling in the absolute best clients for me.

I can be authentic, share what I believe and have experienced both in my own coaching business as well as other coaches and be sure it’s going to land with some and not others.

And that’s totally okay.

This concept applies to so many aspects of your business.

I remember feeling bummed out when early on in my business I looked at subscribe stats for my leads list and saw that people were unsubscribing from my list. I felt rejected and worried. What was I doing wrong?

Now I know, it’s actually a gift when people choose to get off your leads list! You want those who will never hire you to move on — get off your list, stop participating in your Facebook groups or not show up to your free webinars.

The people that are left are who you’re meant to work with.

This happy attrition is partly what my last episode was about, which you can find at prosperouscoach.com/116.

3 Ways to Call In Coaching Clients Who Fit You

So how can you call in clients who will fit you to a T?

1. Through your target audience choice. (And this is the first step I help coaches take.)

Before you can know what your niche is, you need to decide who you’re serving. What is the unique narrow group — the target audience — that will align best with your skills, your passion, your experience, and your personal story?

This is the tribe that within the very cells of your body you understand best what they’re going through, what they want most and how to help them achieve that.

2. Develop a niche and Signature Program that help them reach specific tangible outcomes they know they want

You need to think like them. Be about them. Connect the dots for them.

Every word on your website, everything you post on social media, every aspect of your program should be made highly relevant to your audience in a way that speaks directly to their hearts and minds.

It’s not unusual for coaches to forget these 3 things and make their website and posts all about themselves rather than their audience.

There’s another way to attract ideal clients … by watching yourself with your clients and seeing what about your favorite clients fits you best.

I’ve always had a document from the very beginning of coaching that lists attributes of individuals I love to work with. Over time it’s changed some and I’ve added to it. Now it’s two pages long.

Here are some of the things that are on my Ideal Client profile. And I tell you this to help you begin to write your Ideal Client profile. It might be a little different than you’re thinking.

My ideal clients:

  • are new coaches close to graduating or just graduating from coach training
  • have not developed their website and coaching business foundation yet
  • found me through my podcast and have listened to many episodes
  • feel a connection to me energetically and to what I say
  • are highly communicative both verbally and in writing
  • are willing to be real and vulnerable with me and give me feedback often
  • are warm, connective and generally positive
  • are open to learning and shifting but also stand up for what they know is right for them
  • respect themselves and respect my time
  • will stay the course, do the work and are highly determined to succeed

When I ask coaches about their favorite clients they often say that they love coaching clients who show up coachable, do the work and make progress. That’s a great start for an ideal client profile.

Go deeper now. Think this through. Why? Because when you KNOW what you want and you declare it to yourself, you automatically begin to do things that will attract those individuals. In the next episode I’ll be interviewing a coach with some experience who had an enrollment challenge that we thought other coaches would like to hear about.

Ep 116 – Why Losing Potential Coaching Clients Is a Gift

This episode is inspired by the wisdom of hindsight. Don’t we all love hindsight!

As a highly experienced coach, I can say without hesitation that not every coach will be the best client for me. And not every client will be the best client for you either.

In fact, some clients could end up being difficult to work with. Episode #98 was about this. In that case you and the client may suffer each time you have a session. And that’s sad because here you are intending to do good yet harm could be done.

I assure you, it’s not because there’s anything wrong with that client or that there’s anything wrong with you. It comes down to how well the client aligns with you and you align with the client.

Differences in Pace, Style and Values

When communication style, pace and guiding values align there’s a harmonious coaching relationship.

Let’s take pace. Have you ever had a client who talks so fast you can’t understand them? Or maybe it’s you who is the fast talker and your client is struggling to keep up with you. Pace in speech and processing is very personal.

There can be differences about the way our minds work. Differences in learning style, in work style too. Some client’s will have very different values than you and that could be challenging.

It’s true that part of our job as coaches is to learn our client’s ways and meet them with respect and agility in our approach. Sometimes that’s just not possible.

One of the preferences that I have with my clients is that we value each other as human beings. I’ve had clients where I felt like their slave. Obviously, that didn’t last.

But I’ve also had clients who are warm and connective, which brings us both so much joy. Now I ask for this kind of connection when I begin a client relationship. I don’t just want to help a coach build their coaching business from the ground up. I want us to enjoy the journey and each other.

5 Ways Fit Helps You and Your Coaching Clients

Fit between a client and coach makes the difference in whether:

  1. You end a session drained or energized
  2. Your coaching lands with the person
  3. The client makes real measurable progress
  4. You receive testimonials and referrals
  5. The client comes back for more

If you’re just getting started as a coach, there’s a strong desire to enroll anyone! You may be feeling “I’ll take anyone!” After all, at first client flow can be a slow trickle. I remember that. And I totally get that need to experience yourself coaching and earning as fast as you can.

As you gain experience though you might find yourself turning down a potential client before you’ve ever coached them. I have many times. I know that might seem hard to imagine.

Can You Fire a Coaching Client?

You may even need to end a coaching relationship at some point in time. I’ve had to let clients go. Each time, I’ve reflected and realized that there were warning signs that the fit wasn’t right when I met them in a Discovery Call.

Having a Discovery Call not a sample coaching session is a highly effective way to assess fit because you can ask questions to understand pace, style and values

It’s worth it to build up your intuition and pay attention to what’s important to you in the co-creative relationship.

Nearly every time I’ve let a potential client or existing client go, they have felt the lack of fit too on reflection. I take my part of the responsibility and emphasize that I’m not a good fit for them rather than the other way around.

But there have been a couple of times where a potential client insisted I work with them even though I knew for certain we weren’t a good fit. I’ve had to kindly say to them that for the sake of my integrity I know that it’s not right for me to work with them. Where possible I’ve referred those individuals to someone else. And I’ve found they are grateful that I spoke up.

Ideal Clients for Every Coach

Back in 2006 when I launched Prosperous Coach and became known as the Coaching Niche Strategist I had a vision for the field of coaching that every coach would become highly specialized, not only in their unique audience and niche but also in the parameters of the work they do with a client.

The idea is that all coaches become excellent referral partners for each other. So instead of taking on a client that is not a fit for you or your niche, you’ll refer them to a coach who has that specialty and style. I still hold this vision.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if instead of tens of thousands of coaches all in the same few niches you would stand out and quickly become known for your narrow specialty? You’d become a subject matter expert.

I’ll talk about finding the niche within your niche in an episode soon. Have you ever thought that someone else could be a better coach for a client?

There’s a maturity in that mindset. And there’s a bonus too. Because you’ll stop suffering if a potential client does not hire you. You’ll find peace in the idea that it’s simply about fit. And that will allow you to attract clients who are ideal for you.