Ep 188 – How to Market Just Like You Coach

If you want to thrive in your coaching business, it’s time to change your perception about marketing. Let’s bust some myths about marketing and look at it from a different point of view.

First, I wanted to share a win with you because YOU helped to make it possible and I’m grateful …

Prosperous Coach Podcast recently hit 150,000 downloads. That’s momentous. My latest 5 start review said: “A well appreciated podcast! Rhonda tackles issues that any coach could face and provides useful tips on how to deal with them in a profitable way.”  Sweet!

I wanted to share that news with you because I market through my podcast. That’s called generosity marketing, which is about giving away value to attract ideal clients. It’s one of the non-salesy approaches.

So … when you think of marketing, do you cringe? Are you thinking:

  • Marketing is going to feel sleazy no matter how I do it.
  • I have to become good at selling myself.
  • I don’t know how to market effectively!

Only that last is true. You don’t know how to market effectively … YET. And there’s a natural fear of the unknown.

I cringed about marketing too until I learned a more conscious and transparent way of attracting clients. Up until then I thought of marketing as this necessary evil. That’s a reaction to high-pressure marketing tactics, which are old fashioned and a low integrity approach that ruins marketing for everyone.

So, toss out that approach completely. You do NOT have to barrage people with marketing that tries to fool or shame people into buying what you’re selling.

And forget the idea that you have to sell yourself too. You don’t have to sell your soul to market effectively.

But here’s the truth … if you want to earn well as a coach and stay in business you do have to find a way to attract your ideal clients.

The reality is, unless you already have a network of people who know, like and trust you and would love to work with you, you will need to create a community of potential clients and build relationships with those people. Otherwise, you’ll be another coach who is a best kept secret. And there are lots of coaches who are.

Becoming known by your audience is half way to becoming a coach in high demand. Being known doesn’t mean you have to talk about yourself all the time and toot your own horn. There’s a better way.

I started building my community from scratch. That’s not a heartbreaking task. It’s a heart-warming task if you do it in a conscious way.

And you don’t have to be known by tens of thousands of people either if you target a narrow and unique audience and craft a niche that’s meaningful to them. There are a multitude of reasons why choosing a viable target audience and choosing a smart niche is the first strategy to help you stand out and attract your ideal clients. Check out episode 9 if you haven’t already.

It also really helps if you don’t sell coaching because it’s a hard sell. Remember, we aren’t doing hard selling. It’s a steep upward climb if you have to convince people they want coaching before you can enroll them. For more on that, experience episode #7.

Now before you despair, creating your own community or tribe is a powerful, graceful and loving action if you let it be. I know it’s true because I live it every day.  I feel a mutual respect and heart connection with my ideal clients. Now let’s talk about how to market your coaching business just like you coach ..

6 Steps to Market Like You Coach

  1. Raise your curiosity about your target audience. What makes them tick? Who are they inside? What do they really want? Episode 187 had 22 questions to help you create your Avatar – a description of your ideal client. If you haven’t done that, what are you waiting for? It’s a high payoff action!
  2. Find out what your audience’s big problem is that’s keeping them from getting what they want. Buil your niche around that. Apply all your skills and talents to create a Signature Program to help them. Episode 59 will be eye-opening for you if you haven’t done that yet.
  3. Listen to the exact words your audience speaks as they describe what’s most important to them. Apply that to your messaging. Don’t have your website and social posts be all about the virtues of coaching.
  4. Engage your intuition and discover your zone of genius for this audience.
  5. Discover the top values that drive them. What will inspire them to hire you?
  6. Help them see their future the way they want it to look.

Think about it. Being curious, identifying the big problem, listening to their exact words, engaging your intuition, discovering their top values and what inspires them and helping them see their future. Isn’t that what you do when you coach a client?

That’s conscious, authentic marketing. It’s being about your client, not about you.

It’s connecting, NOT performing.

It’s compassionate and understanding not pushy and manipulative.

It’s powerful because it feels relevant to your audience.

When you coach clients you know your intentions are positive, right?

Apply that to the way you market. Be real. Come from love not attachment. Speak their language.

And let them come to their own conclusions by being present and being client-focused. Some of the people following you will fall away. Some will take some time to resonate with you so be consistent and stay in front of them. Some will hire you fast because they feel the connection.

When I work with my VIP clients, I always encourage them to pick an audience they can directly relate to. A tribe of people they understand – either because they’ve been where they are or they still are where they are.

It’s relevance that attracts people to you. They connect because you show that you understand them through your messages, Signature Program – every word on your website and every word you say.

Now shift the way you perceive marketing and your approach:

5 Mindset Shifts to Help You Love Marketing

  1. Turn on your curiosity and connect to your audience. Turn off performance mode.
  2. Shift away from loathing marketing to loving it because you connect with your audience authentically.
  3. Shift away from thinking you should sell people on the idea of coaching. Offer what they know they want that fits your zone of genius.
  4. Shift away from believing you have to sell yourself. If you are real, genuine, authentic, vulnerable and also own what you know – you will attract ideal clients.
  5. Shift away from giving free coaching sessions to enroll clients. Episode 19 has a step-by-step enrollment process you’ll love.

Let me know how this works for you. So far I’m hearing great things from coaches about this.

Ep 180 – Have You Found the Niche Within Your Coaching Niche? – Listener’s Choice

This episode is about the un-mined gold in your coaching business. It’s also a Listener’s Choice episode, which means it’s popular with coaches. I’ve updated it because, you know … continuous improvement.

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, the most exciting and profitable niche is many layers deeper.

The Layers of Your Coaching Niche

When I work with my VIP clients we begin by discovering 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 …

I had the pleasure of doing business mentoring with Maria Napatov, who helps stepparents transform family chaos into meaningful and harmonious co-parenting. Her brand is Synergistic Stepparenting and she has a valuable podcast of the same name. If you’re a stepparent or know a stepparent point them in her direction!

Let’s breakdown the layers of Maria’s niche:

  • First there’s the track — relationship coaching.
  • The layer beneath that is a more specific relationship — parenting.
  • Drilling that down further is the stepparenting relationship. You know those individuals have a whole set of challenges that other parents do not!
  • And then below that is the specific PROBLEM Maria helps stepparents solve — going from chaos to harmonious co-parenting. She’s created a dynamic Signature Program to help stepparents transform.

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

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

Many coaches are afraid to niche more tightly at first. 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 Maria is missing so many opportunities! She’s missing the chance to work with all types of relationships or all parents about any parenting topic.”

But actually specializing is a strategic thing to do.

The reality is this … in this competitive world coaches must grab attention from the larger service business pool not just from other coaches.

Broad Coaching Niches Mean Slow Business Growth

The broader your niche, the less attention you’ll get. The less attention you get the harder it will be to enroll paying clients. Think about how your scroll through your emails and your social channels. You scroll and scroll until something grabs your attention through RELEVANCE!

You will ignore what is not relevant. And so will your prospects. You know I’m right about this.

If you’ve never read Seth Godin’s book called Tribes, I highly recommend it. The main point is that it’s an old fashioned and obsolete idea to serve larger populations. It’s better to build affinity with a small distinct group and become a leader for that group. 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 make it easier to get the word out.

You know that I co-wrote curriculum for Coach Training Alliance and trained 500 coaches there. Being surrounded by coaches I quickly realized their BIG problem is niching. So, I studied this problem and solutions then developed a Signature Program around niching. I called myself the Coaching Niche Success Strategist.

Suddenly other mentors for coaches wanted me to speak in their programs. They sent me clients. Coaching schools also started referring people to me. I was no longer competing but leading.

Niching is not at all the only thing I help coaches with but it is a stand out problem that few want to help coaches solve. And it’s the cornerstone of what I do with coaches now because every aspect of a coach’s business begins with a smart niche.

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 – 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 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 differentiated your services are from all others – 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, find your stand out thing. It has to fulfill a BIG problem for a 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 out there seeking help for your specialty, you won’t earn. You can do this!

Ep 177 – Is it Strategic for ‘Coach” to Be Part of Your Professional Title?

Now that you’ve taken the training, what you should call yourself? Should you be a life coach or something else? Should the word ‘coach’ even be in your personal title? That’s what this episode is all about.

So first, let me say that I don’t think your personal title is remotely the most important decision you need to make for your coaching business. In my mind, that decision is informed by WHO you serve and WHAT you help them accomplish. Those two things – your audience and their most desire outcome – are powerful concepts.

That first decision is the centerpiece of every other decision you’ll make for your business.

Still, just getting to be the one who decides what you call yourself can be fun. After all, how many jobs allow you to decide your title?

So first, let’s talk about something that might be hard for some coaches to hear …

Some People Poke Fun at Life Coaches

I’m not at all a fan of the personal title “Life Coach”. Here are 2 good reasons not to go with that moniker:

  1. Some people like to poke fun a life coaches. There are TV shows, films, articles out there that smirk at the concept. And I think … why set yourself up for that ridicule? Why climb the mountain to prove your value when just a shift in language could do that for you? Unfortunately, the phrase ‘life coach’ doesn’t inspire confidence.
  2. Life Coach is non-specific. If there is anything I’ve learned about success in business it’s that specificity grabs attention whereas generality does not. Life is everything. Calling yourself a life coach is like saying “I can’t decide how to specialize so for now I’m just an everything coach.” That will likely keep you from earning much. Specializing garners credibility so you can charge more.

It’s time to get more specific and creative than ‘life coach’ or other fill-in-the-blank coach titles.

You Are Not Limited to Your Certification Title

Just because the certification you received is a life coach or wellness coach or relationship coach certification does not mean you can get creative and stand out in the crowd with your title and all of your messaging.

Standing out in the crowd is important. If you’re on any social media channels regularly you’re going to see a lot of coaches trying to ply their trade. Most of them are selling coaching. That’s a hard sell. While some people know they want coaching, most do not. Coaching is not the top of mind benefits people look for.

If you haven’t already listen to Episode 51 – Why is Coaching a Hard Sell? I think it will open your eyes to a challenge you’ve already been trying overcome. In a nutshell use your coaching skills to serve paying clients but don’t push the idea of coaching because it’s not outcome people know they want. It’s part of your toolbox. Professionals don’t always need to point attention to their toolbox. Sometimes, it’s a disadvantage.

Your Coaching Audience is a Clue to Your Personal Title

When I help coaches create a strategic foundation for their coaching business, we start with choosing a narrow, viable audience full of seekers. Then, after some research, we shape the niche. A niche isn’t a great niche if it’s not contextualized to the unique group of people you serve.

I had the pleasure of working with a coach recently who targeted single Christian women to help them find their life partner. Her title is Faith-Based Relationship Strategist.

When a title is that specific it helps attract ideal clients. And that’s important. You don’t just want any client. You want clients who will help you become well known and in high demand. You want clients who will refer other clients to you that are more likely to want what you offer.

Your Coaching Niche is a Clue to Your Personal Title

The specific problem you solve with your coaching also helps you attract ideal clients.

Look at how these 4 titles makes it clear exactly WHAT these coaches do for their clients:

  • Stepparenting Mentor
  • Midlife Success Strategist
  • Writing Coach & Publishing Strategist
  • Post-Grad Transition Coach

This last is the creative title of recent client who decided to target Seniors of elite universities to help them achieve personal agency in the adult world. Yes, she’s doing life coaching with her audience but this title is more descriptive and confidence building.

Get Super Creative with Your Personal Coaching Title

I must admit, I lean toward titles that are more descriptive more than fanciful. But I truly admire coaches who get really creative with their titles. And I’ve noticed that creativity fits their personality.

  • A coach who works with people whose spouses have dementia calls herself a Dementia Hopeologist.
  • A coach who helps women at 50 escape the daily grind and live on their own terms calls herself an Escape Artist.

So, if you’ve got that out-of-the-box style, flaunt it!

Change it Up Anytime

One of the wonderful things about your business is you get to do what you want. You can change things as you go. You may wake up one day and realize you want to shift from being a Career Coach to an Encore Career Coach.

I’ve called myself a Coach for Coaches, International Business Mentor for Coaches and the Coaching Niche Success Strategist. A lot of my clients like the word ‘strategist’ because it carries more gravitas than ‘coach’. But it’s not for every coach, every audience or niche. Does your personal title help you attract your ideal clients? If not, it’s an easy change.

Ep 165 – Wait to Create Your Coaching Website Until You’ve Done 3 Things

This episode shares steps you should take BEFORE you create your coaching website. I’m talking before you pay a designer, before you decide to buy a Wix or Squarespace template and do it yourself …or before you ask your well-meaning friend who has a bit of skill to do it for you.

I am not a web designer. But as an international business mentor for coaches with 20+ years experience in solopreneur business development, I know how websites work for coaches if done right and what doesn’t work to attract paying clients.

I’m the TEACHER Archetype. If you don’t yet know your archetype, listen to Episode 12.

I tend to learn from my mistakes by studying solutions then creating step-by-step guides for others. It’s the way I roll. So, after I launched a couple of dud coaching website when I started as a coach a couple of decades ago, I decided to study to understand what makes a coaching website client-winning.

One thing became crystal clear in my study. Most coaches put up a website too fast and end up having to do them again.

I’m lucky that coaches— my target audience — find my website either because they’ve found my podcast, were referred by another coach or coach training organization, or they’ve Googled “coaching niche.”

It’s satisfying to realize that I have done a good job driving traffic to my website because a steady stream of coaches who already know they want to hire me are showing up there. That’s what I want for you too.

On my website the coaches fill out the application on my Work with Rhonda. That’s called a conversion process. Does your website have a conversion process that inspires your audience to have a Discovery Call with you?

In that application, most coaches share that they are feeling lost without a clear coaching niche or target audience. But then they say they are working on their website, creating ads, social posts and coaching programs.

And I think … bummer, because the coach has done things out of order and if they want to be successful they will be starting from scratch not very far down the road from now.

It’s an honest mistake. When you finish coach training there’s this emotional rush to get a website up, to start doing all the conventional things most coaches think are the way to attract coaching clients fast.

Here’s the truth, if you create your website before you know who you’re serving and the problem you help them solve its like building a house on land you don’t own or buying a car before you can see over the steering wheel.

Developmentally, it’s better to wait to create your website until your business model has a solid foundation.

I made this mistake myself. In my first year as a coach I threw away a lot of money and effort creating a pretty website with a lot of philosophical copy about the power of coaching. I worked so hard on it. But it sat there collecting cyber dust.

Your website can be command central for your coaching business. If it’s created correctly it will definitely help you earn well and serve more clients. But an online brochure about coaching will not create those results.

3 Critical Decisions Before You Start Your Coaching Website

So, before you do anything related to your website make 3 critical decisions about your coaching business and your future as a professional coach.

What are those decisions and why are they important?

#1 Choose a viable target audience to serve. Viable, in this case, means an audience full of seekers — people who do invest in their own personal and professional growth. They are easy to find and connect with, eager to evolve and it’s a narrow enough group that you’ll stand out in a crowd.

It’s only by standing out that it will be possible to attract clients online. Think about it, if you’re just another voice in the crowd, no one ever listens.

#2 Conduct Market research. And it’s not what you think.

It’s not asking a bunch of people if they’ll pay for your coaching. It’s more subtle and scientific than that. It’s how you’ll learn exactly what your audience wants so much they’ll invest in your help to get it.

Knowing that is how you develop a smart coaching niche. After you have all of that certainty supporting your niche idea …

#3 Then you can create a brand, get a matching domain and craft attention getting messaging and offers.

And only then are you ready to write web copy that’s streamlined and resonates with your target audience. That’s when you can create a successful website for your business.

Hire Your Designer 4 Months Before You Launch Your Coaching Business

About 3 – 4 months before you want to launch your coaching business get on the wait list with a savvy web designer who knows how to code and how to make a customized website designed to convert visitors into fans and fans into clients.

Very few designers have all those skills. Most just know how to make a website look pretty. And pretty alone won’t help you.

So to review, think differently about your website. Shift from online brochure to a home for your target audience.

The people you’re going to serve should be at the center of your coaching business. Their problems and goals are where YOU come in. Transformative coaching can’t happen without attracting the people you’ll serve with your coaching. Attraction is about relevance.

Your coaching website might be your new client’s first connection with you. So why would you build a coaching website before you’ve fully understood your target audience?

Look, I get it. The target audience and coaching niche decisions are hard. That’s why I get so many hits on my website from ideal clients. And that decision is just the beginning of the decisions and strategic actions you want to take to set yourself up for success.

That’s how you’ll know what to do next and next. And that feels good!

Ep 31 – The Coaching Niche of Least Resistance

This episode is another On Air session where I coach a coach to help her click on the certainty button for a unique target audience and then we formulate their coaching niche.

It’s clear from reviews that you really like these coach the coach sessions, so it’s my goal to do one every month.

Ellen Fowler has worked in the field of training, organizational and leadership development for over 25 years. Her experience includes work in the public and private sectors as well as academia.

She lived and worked in Ireland for 12 years, so she has firsthand understanding of the challenges of cultural diversity and radical life change.

She is also an ordained Christian minister. Ellen’s career has always involved working with individuals whether as a counselor, teacher, consultant or coach.

When I help coaches choose a profitable coaching niche, I always start by asking about their background so I can guide them to pull in experience, expertise, interests, gifts and passions into their niche.

Ellen’s background includes:

  • Itinerant minister
  • Training and organizational & leadership development
  • Change & diversity management
  • Teaching adults returning to the workplace on how to make their companies more efficient

Want to Be An Entrepreneurial Coach?

Then, I asked Ellen if she was interested in being an entrepreneur because it’s a certain type of person who does.

Ellen wants to run her own business because she wants it to be portable so she can travel. However, she feels a bit intimidated by the marketing side of things.

I was intimidated by marketing at first but when I learned to put the spotlight on exactly what my target audience wants, it became fun.

Two Potential Audiences That Seem Equal

Ellen had 2 main ideas for her target audience:

  • Mid-career professional women
  • Church leaders

I asked Ellen if it was okay with her if we focused on Church Leaders as a possible target audience first.

I made this choice for 4 reasons:

  • Ellen is an ordained minister and much of her career has been as a church leader. I felt that gave her credibility and gravitas with this audience.
  • Her faith is very important to her.
  • She’s currently coaching 10 clergy and staff from a church group in Pennsylvania and getting more referrals from that group. So she already has a toehold there.
  • She loves the work she’s doing with this audience.

Ellen shared that the work she’s doing with the Church Leaders is based on an instrument called Human Synergistics that she’s certified to use. It helps people identify effective and not so effective behaviors in the workplace and to develop action plans for changing those.

Is The Target Audience Viable for You?

I also felt that the audience — mid-career professional women — is not the most viable audience for Ellen because:

  • They are in corporations and hard to access.
  • They might expect their company to pay for coaching, and that’s an uphill battle to get a foot in the door with corporations.
  • There’s a lot of competition and marketplace noise for that audience already.

Passion and Fit Are The Best Coaching Niche Indicators

I asked Ellen:

What do you love about working with clergy and what do you enjoy about the Human Synergistics instrument?

As Ellen described how she uses Human Synergistics in her work with clergy, I heard her enthusiasm louder than her words.

Then, I wanted to check whether Ellen was earning well with this current gig with clergy because more and more it was sounding like a viable audience for Ellen.

Ellen explained that she felt blessed because the way she was connected with this particular group was that the church leader who hired her was part of the Human Synergistics training she took. He said:  “I’d like you to do some work for me.”

And he gave her carte blanche about what she’d do with the staff and how she’d price.

Right time – right place opportunities happen when you target a unique audience and focus your niche on their big problems.

So, I bee-lined to the bottomline question:

“Ellen, of the two audiences — church leaders or mid-career professional women, which is more attractive to you?”

Ellen said that she could go both ways. Her inability to commit comes down to how she’ll get in front of the audiences.

I spoke to the difficulty with gaining entry to corporations where with her background and current active church leader clients she already has a strong entry place.

I pointed out that if she were to have an international business, especially with her desire to travel and her experience in other countries, that the pond to fish in would be bigger. She could target larger churches and religious organizations with bigger coffers.

I explained that the Church Leader audience would likely mean more offline marketing than online marketing. I asked how she’d feel about that and she said:

“Oh, I like that!” More enthusiasm.

I pointed out that that’s the old fashioned way, right? Not everyone has to use social media channels to build their business.

  • Ellen knows this world.
  • She understands their challenges and goals first hand.
  • She’ll be able to speak their language.
  • They’ll be more accessible because she’s been in their shoes.
  • And she’ll have testimonials from her 10 current clients.

For Ellen, the other audience is less viable. Viability is determined by 5 factors:

  • Easy to find
  • Easy to access
  • Eager to evolve
  • Willing to invest
  • Narrow enough (to help you stand out in the crowd)

Ellen added another key reason that Church Leaders are more ideal for her that spoke loud and clear:

“The spiritual side of life is really a bonus for me.”

I asked Ellen to do a check in with herself. Is church leaders the audience she can get fully behind with your heart, mind and spirit?

“Yes!”

Beautiful!

Then we shifted to talking about her niche for a moment … I asked Ellen what is the number one challenge and what is the number one tangible desired outcome that church leaders want?

Ellen said the most acute thing is how to avoid burnout. There’s always somebody needing something and they’re often understaffed and overworked. They feel called to the work, so it’s a burden of responsibility. They get into it because they want to help other people transform.

Burnout can begin to wear away their faith, which is critical for their position.

She felt the Human Synergistic instrument is a so effective in uncovering what’s really going on for the leader and the team.

Each time that Ellen spoke about Church Leaders and working with them I heard passion and compassion — a depth of understanding and certainty that she could help them thrive with her knowledge and the instruments she’s trained in.

She said: “Thank you, Rhonda, for helping me think it through it. It’s been really enlightening.”

The Next Episode is: Would You Buy Your Own Coaching Program?

Ep 9 – 12 Ways a Smart Coaching Niche Empowers You

This episode is part of my Smart & Profitable Niche Series. Hey, I know I’ve been talking a lot of coaching niches in my podcast so far.

And I know that topic might make you groan … because it’s so hard to figure out on your own.

But let me clue you in to my strategy in focusing on this topic for a while.

  • 93% of coaches struggle with choosing a smart & profitable niche. It’s a big issue.

Do you have to choose a coaching niche? No.

Some say let your niche find you.

You can just float around, stay a generalist, coach all sorts of people about all sorts of topics.

I think that’s a good way to go if you haven’t consciously chosen to become an entrepreneur. You’re just trying this coaching skill set on. You don’t expect to earn much. You just love the process.

But if you want to leave your current job and make coaching your job … if you’re serious about being your own boss and being the director of your career why not give yourself all the advantages and take the time to niche your coaching business in a smart and profitable way?

It’s a strategic approach, and an internal shift as well, away from thinking like practitioner to becoming an entrepreneur. Treating your business as a living entity that grows and changes with you over time.

I’m about to illustrate the advantages that come with focusing your business on a unique audience and niche. And notice how one advantage leads to another.

One smart decision makes everything easier and empowers you for long term success and exciting turning points in your business and life that you can’t even imagine yet.

I no longer offer ON AIR COACHING. But I have something even better for you …

In this 90 minutes Strategy Session you and I have a private business mentoring session. Most of my Strategy Session clients want my help to choose their viable target audience and begin to develop their profitable niche.

It’s okay if you haven’t done anything yet to build your business. It’s equally okay if you’ve tried one or more niches and, for whatever reason, it’s not working for you.

Before our session I’ll send you a customized questionnaire to fit your agenda and uncover possibilities. After the session I’ll send you a recap.

Knowing your audience and niche will give you a profound sense of direction and focus for you coaching business.

I’d love to work with you.

Now let’s roll out this cascade of benefits you experience when you do choose a smart and profitable niche and focus your attention on one target audience:

#1 You Have a Solid Direction and Focus

I remember when I started coaching without a niche how aimless and lost I felt. Every day was a head scratch. My brain searching around for purchase. What should I do?

First, I went to friends and family to convince them to hire me — the low hanging fruit. But those clients didn’t stay long. And I didn’t have the heart to charge them much.

I also noticed how hard it was to get them to focus. They brought weak agendas. There wasn’t a clear enough goal or a big enough why. It was as if my lack of focus didn’t inspire them to commit to serious process or changes.

I came away with some fluffy testimonials about the value of my coaching but little sense of true impact.

After exhausting people I knew, I palpably experienced that uncomfortable sensation of having to beat the bushes to flush out potential clients.

My marketing was pitiful but I worked so hard trying to interest people in coaching.

Having a solid niche replaced that aimless, listless feeling with certainty and focus.

#2 Your Message Stands Out and Grabs Attention

It’s not easy to get attention these days. Humans are more distracted than ever.

We flop around social media and websites in a trance. The only thing that breaks that trance is relevance.

Have you noticed how much of the same message is out there and how quickly you skip over it?

But when someone hits a hot button for you, you snap to attention.

How do we as coaches hit the hot button in our messaging?

It’s not going to be by talking about coaching. Because only coaches and wanna-be coaches pay attention to those messages.

What is personally relevant to you is not personally relevant to everyone.

Our brains in a constant state of overwhelm only hone in on specific words, specific problems, specific desires that are urgent to us.

When you focus your business around a smart niche with a unique target audience suddenly you’re able to speak with relevance about what those people care about.

Relevance is how your message gets noticed, liked, shared.

#3 You Know What to Do Each Day

Because you’ve focused your attention on a unique target audience and found out their urgent challenges and desires, the spotlight comes off of you onto them.

And suddenly, marketing is no longer the big scary.

You know what to do.

And if you need help learning what to do, the money you spend on training applies now, because you are 100% clear about your audience and niche.

Suddenly, you have the understanding about where to go to find these people and the courage to speak in a way that attracts them.

You know what they want. You understand their problems. You know more about why they invest in their transformation.

And you’re no longer throwing out random messaging and offers like spaghetti and hoping it will stick.

#4 Your Marketing Efforts Are Leveraged (So You Can Market Less)

Over time your consistent messaging and strategic approach gains power and momentum.

Attention becomes interest and interest becomes engagement.

#5 You Become Known and Trusted By a Community of Engaged People

Trust turns engagement into investment … in your programs.

#6 You Get More Client Referrals

Because you’ve geared your offers to fit your audience’s challenges and goals, your coaching produces more than just warm fuzzy feelings.

Your clients are getting tangible results. The kind of results you can put into a testimonial on your website.

They will refer other people in the tribe to you. Not just a casual referral but a specific testimonial about how your program helped them.

#7 Prospects Seek You Out Already Pre-sold on Hiring You

You’re known, liked and trusted. You’re on the inside of your target audience now.

They Google and find you.

And when they arrive on your website they’ll go directly to your Work With page wanting to hire you.

#8 You Know How to Enroll Without Being Salesy

Enrolling is easy now. There’s no convincing. There’s just a connective conversation that helps ideal prospects to “YES”!

#9 You Command Higher Fees

You’re a leader now. A sought after guide.

Before you tell them your fees they know it will be a significant investment in their growth and they’re ready to leap.

#10 It’s Easier to Create Irresistible Products & Programs

With your experience coaching one target audience who have a set of unique challenges and goals, you grow expertise quickly.

And it’s easy to turn that expertise into workshops, masterminds, retreats and online products.

Write the book. Launch the podcast. Grow!

#11 Big Opportunities Find You

The natural result of your commitment and focus on one smart niche and narrow audience is invitations

Invitation to speak. Nominations to lead a larger group.

It’s surprise time. Your Magic is fully awakened and alive.

I’ve had clients who because they stood out in the crowd were provided platforms to get their word out in a massive way or offered jobs in coaching firms or brought internally into an organization to coach the organization.

Those opportunities don’t show up if you’re a tiny voice in a sea of voices all saying the same basic thing.

#12 You Build a Legacy Business

Coaches have been sponsored, televised and awarded all because they had the courage to niche, specialize and become an advocate for one narrow audience.

Coaches contribute to their families and their communities in major ways.

Some coaches build a business that employs dozens or hundreds. A business that can be sold for a windfall.

It all starts with a smart & profitable niche.

Mentioned in This Episode

My next episode is W/hy Do Some Coaching Niches Fail?

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!)

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