This episode is part of the Money Mastery series.
It’s totally normal to give some coaching away while you’re in coach training school. No doubt your trainer will encourage that because they want you to practice coaching skills with as many people as you can as often as possible.
Practice integrates learning.
The downside of offering free coaching over a long term is that it becomes increasingly difficult to shift from free to charging fees.
Resistance gathers … and soon simply the idea of charging fees looms large in your mind.
That’s why many coaches get stuck in practice or what I call Perpetual Student Mode.
Patterns Become Habits and Habits Become Mindset
It’s critical to cross that threshold from offering free coaching to becoming a professional coach and charging fees sooner rather than later.
You see, our brains have a need for order. Anything you do repeatedly can become habit. Your mind SETS.
That can be a positive thing. But some mindsets make you feel STUCK.
Take a moment here and answer truthfully …
Here are some of things I hear from new coaches:
- I’m still inexperienced so I shouldn’t ask clients to pay.
- How can I charge fees when I don’t know what I’m doing?
- Why would someone pay me for this?
- I’m a fraud.
It’s time to challenge these mindsets. Let’s look at them one at a time.
Own Your Experience
First, it helps to shift the way you think of coaching. Coaching is a skillset.
Have you ever learned a new set of skills in a job?
Let’s say you are suddenly given a new responsibility at your job. Chances are you showed some promise already and that’s why you were given the opportunity.
There’s always a learning curve, right? But your employer pays you while you learn. It’s a good faith practice that you will integrate the learning by doing.
As a professional coach, you employ yourself. Are you going to require that you know everything before you get paid? That would be unreasonable.
You Brought Skills to the Table of Coaching
Do you know everything about coaching? No. No one does. You’re on a developmental path. But you didn’t start this journey of becoming a coach on ground zero.
When you decided to become a coach you already had significant communication skills. If you hadn’t, you would not have gravitated to this.
You already knew how to listen, ask questions and support or inspire greatness. No doubt, your friends and colleagues sought you out as a sounding board and counselor.
In fact, this zone of genius may have been with you for decades.
Give yourself credit for what you brought to the table. Coach training only enhanced your skills.
People Invest When They Perceive Value
“Why would someone pay me?” is the wrong question.
The right question is “What does my audience want so much they’ll invest in my help to get it?” See the difference?
That is the question you need to answer in order to strategically attract paying clients.
Which brings up the issue of charging little for your services.
If you’ve graduated from free services to fees but the amount you’re charging is too low to earn well, you’ve got one foot in the professional realm and one in the student realm.
Graduate from Student and Step Fully Into Professional
There’s a kind of trance that new coaches get into of striving so hard for results and yet not stepping back to think things through strategically.
I flopped around without strategy for years when I started as a coach.
For example, I didn’t think about profit until well into my coaching business.
Any coach can earn well in their first year of coaching. The only thing holding you back from that is you.
Sure, finding paying clients requires strategy. And there are many things you can do to make that easier.
That’s my mission – to help coaches launch with confidence. And I help my clients get everything linked up and congruent from their coaching niche to their brand and messaging, their website and content strategy – everything is designed to attract clients who are eager and willing to pay.
But every coach has to act the part to start powerfully.
The longer you hold yourself back in student mode … the longer you deny yourself the right to being a professional … the more likely it is you’ll quit this path altogether.
Everyone and No One is a Fraud
Have you been thinking of yourself as a fraud? That’s harsh.
But for some reason the Imposter Syndrome seems to be wired into humanity. Nearly everyone feels like this.
Here’s the thing I want you to continually remember. You are on a developmental path growing and evolving. Everyone is.
At any given moment each of us is a fraud to the next step, the next level.
But let’s replace the harshness with positivity.
Instead of ‘fraud’ think I’m a trailblazer.
The mere fact that you took the leap to become a coach and an entrepreneur means you have grit, determination and a vision. Hold onto that while you give yourself a big raise and own all that you brought to this table.
In the Next Episode: How to Rise Above Skeptics of Your Coaching Business