Ep 5 – The Simplest Coaching Business Model

This episode is part of my Start Smart Series. A listener asked me to talk about the simplest and least expensive way to get a coaching business off the ground. Great question!

I love it when listeners tell me what they want to hear on the show. If you have a specific request, go to my contact page on —ProsperousCoachBlog.com — and get in touch.

 

High Profit, Low Tech and High Touch

The answer to the easiest coaching business model is ultra simple! It’s 1:1.

If you’re charging enough and enroll your clients into a longer term package, you won’t need many clients each year to make a good income. I only work with 20 – 30 clients each year.

Your marketing could be minimal if you have ready access to your chosen target audience. And because expenses are incredibly low for this business model, 1:1 is the most profitable option.

Think about it … You don’t have to have a website (although you may want to.) You won’t need a team or even a Virtual Assistant to help you with all the tasks because admin is minimal. You don’t need big coordinated marketing campaigns, a strong presence on social media or a bunch of apps with monthly fees.

Literally all you need is a phone and a private place in your home to take client calls. And maybe an inexpensive business card for networking.

You know what I’m describing, don’t you?

It’s the way every service entrepreneur did business before the internet. Don’t roll your eyes. It’s still the way a lot of service entrepreneurs operate.

Sometimes I wonder if it isn’t easier than all the online stuff everyone, including me, does now. But an online business model does allow you to have an international audience, and I love that.

For that analog way of business, you have to be an active networker, go where your clients are, be a good conversationalist and a non-salesy enroller.

When I started, I only offered private coaching. I found all of my clients through networking and speaking.

It was only in my second year that I added in face to face group coaching. Then started doing VIP days – that’s 3 to 8 hours of working with one person in one day.

It was only in year 6 that I shifted to online. I created a Membership Program. Honestly, a huge amount of work for poor returns. Then, I added a high ticket online Mastermind with two yearly retreats. And I sold two self-study online training programs. For one of them, I took a group of 20 – 50 through it quarterly as well with a closed Facebook group.

It was fun doing all of that stuff and I made good money. But it was soooo much work keeping it all rolling. And so much of my income was going to expenses!

That’s often overlooked when coaches choose a business model. The more complicated or technical you go, the harder you work, and sometimes the less money you keep.

There really is no passive revenue except royalties. I was lucky to have the opportunity to co-write Coach Training curriculum for a royalty and that curriculum is still being used.

Market Less, Serve Clients Longer

But you know what I like the most? Getting to know my clients well and doing deeper work. The 30 hour work week with a 4 day weekend isn’t bad either! That’s my lifestyle choice.

So in my 20th year in business, I’m back to working privately with client in a 5 month comprehensive coaching business building program. I also offer a 90-minute strategy session.

So how do you find and enroll 1:1 clients? That’s a question for another episode. But I remember hearing what I thought was an urban legend, when I was in coach training …

Sandy Vilas, the then CEO of Coach Inc, supposedly worked with 80 clients each week, all of whom he enrolled simply by calling colleagues and inviting them to become his client. (To me 80 clients each week is 8x too many.)

That takes confidence plus a large and eager network. And my guess is that Sandy was an extrovert. LOL!

Every Coach Gets to Build Their Own Marketplace

The reality in today’s distracted world is that all coaches will need to find and develop their own tribe or target market. That’s why the wisdom is to fish in the smallest, most specialized pond, that you can.

The more you narrow your audience and then offer specific solutions to that group’s biggest problems, the faster you’ll build a network of fans who don’t really need to be sold on working with you. That’s the best!

And there’s a lot of joy in building a community.

What It Takes to Succeed with Online Programs

When people hire me to help them choose their coaching niche and build a business foundation I always ask them what they want to offer. Many say they want to quickly move into online programs.

I understand the attraction. You help more people transform in less time, which is especially great if you don’t have much time to give to your business right now.

But to succeed with online programs you need several things set up first, which takes time.

You need a fairly robust list — 5,000 people minimum in your target audience and probably more like 10,000 people who already know, like and trust you.

Develop joint venture marketing relationships with other people targeting your audience but who have a significantly different offer. That will help push your enrollment numbers up. (Another reason to narrow your audience and niche.)

If you’ve been listening to my previous episodes, you might have caught the idea that there are developmental stages in a business.

Start Up is the time to walk not run. That’s why 1:1 is the best way to start out as a coach.

Nothing will teach you faster about yourself and your audience than working with clients privately. You’ll learn about your strengths and weaknesses. You’ll figure out your secret sauce — a talent you have that’s unique and leverageable.

And, once you’ve worked with a few dozen clients privately who are all in the same unique target audience, it’s easy to create online programs that more of them will buy.

Mentioned in this episode:

Contact me if you’d like to request a specific topic for the Prosperous Coach Podcast.

The next episode is: 4 Mistakes I Made in Coaching Business Startup (and I lived to tell the tale!)

Enroll More Coaching Clients From Your Website

Is your website enrolling new coaching clients for you? ? Is it also creating a community of future clients? Does it quickly inspire people to share your site?

If not, your site might be a dud — a website that just sits there taking up cyberspace. Here’s how to make your website WORK for you:

4 Secrets of a Client Winning Website

happy with websiteAs you read through these, rate your own website on a scale of 1 -5 with 5 being the best it can be.

1. Be sure every word and image is tailor made for your target audience
The #1 mistake coaches make on their websites is they make it all about coaching. Unless your clients want to become a coach themselves, they will bounce off a site like that in seconds.

6 Easy Copy Writing Tips for Coaches

https://prosperouscoachblog.com/6-easy-copy-writing-tips-coachesAre you intimidated by the idea of writing your own freebies, marketing emails, and web content?

I used to find those daunting too until I learned the root of ace marketing copy: write to intrigue rather than impress.

When you want to inspire potential coaching clients to take the next step with you, aim to build a relationship and raise curiosity first. Take the spotlight off of you and your coaching “technology” and place it on your target audience.

Here are six more tried and true copy writing tips that will help you write in a way that’s both authentic and effective:

#1 Write like you speak

Coach – Give Yourself a Raise

A classic problem for coaches and other service entrepreneurs is that they run out of time to:

  • build automated systems that create a flow of future clients.
  • create recurring revenue streams like products and membership programs.
  • expand their potential by reflecting on their business and making continuous improvements.

The problem begins early on like this…

  1. https://prosperouscoachblog.com/coach-give-yourself-raise/Desperate for initial clients, coaches often set low fees and say ‘yes’ to many opportunities that aren’t likely bring a high enough return.
  2. When a client moves on, the income loss is keenly felt and there’s a scramble to enroll more clients “from thin air”.
  3. The limiting mindsets become habitualized for the coach, so new clients are also enrolled for low prices.
  4. Months or years later, it’s hard to breakthrough the ceiling on their income because the belief is that this is the best they can do.

Somethings gotta give.

2 Steps to Break From the Money for Time Paradigm

Your Website Has 6 Seconds to Make the Right Impression

In the online marketing world, 6 seconds is a long time. When we surf the Internet or click a link we impatiently look for immediate relevance or we’re outta there and likely never to come back.

That means your website has to make a connection with your target audience super fast! You’d be surprised how easy it is to do this.

https://prosperouscoachblog.comwebsite-6-seconds-impression/What’s in it for Me?

That’s the key question on the minds of your web visitors.

So if you want to…

  • make a great first impression
  • build your list of subscribers
  • sell programs online, and
  • create fans that consistently turn into clients

…your website needs to be written and laid out to do that for you.

3 Little Website Tips with Big Impact for Coaches

When you’re in business for yourself, it’s easy to forget about improvements and keep doing the same thing even if it’s not working. But improvements don’t have to take a lot of time or money. It’s almost always a series of small shifts that creates a big difference in results.

For example, take your website… most people pop up a coaching website and forget about it except to feel frustrated that they invested all that time and money for nothing. It’s not doing what they wish it would do – building a robust list of fans and enrolling new clients. Rather than waste it and regret it, leverage it! Make specific small tweaks that bring you big results.

Target. Connect. Convert

Every website’s goal is to target an audience, connect with them through relevance and trust, and then “convert” them into fans and clients. But that process has to be planned into the site. A simple online brochure can’t convert unless you personally point people to the site yourself.

These 3 little tips will tip the scales in your favor:

#1 Make sure your website feels like home to your target audience.

Instead of making your website be all about you and coaching, focus in on the tangible outcomes your target audience knows they urgently want, and the specific challenges they face while trying to get there. Show them that your services are the bridge that will take them where they most want to go.

Your tagline, benefit statement, title of your freebie, articles, marketing copy… even your About page should be highly relevant to the people you serve. Relevance is how they decide whether to stick on your site, opt-in, and engage with you or… never come back.