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!)

Is online coaching effective?


It’s a good question.

Once I would have said “no”. Fresh out of coaching school in 1997, I was a purist and believed a coach has to be in real time connection with their client for coaching to be effective.one email can have a huge impact for your coaching business

Now, 15 years into coaching, I’d say “yes” as one of several ways you effect change with clients. Sometimes small incremental shifts have a huge impact. Those kinds of shifts are absolutely possible through online coaching.

Think of it this way, have you ever read a passage in a book that transformed your thinking? Then you know that a powerful question or message can do the same thing online.

There is one caveat…

Is your coaching business scalable?


When you’re a solopreneur — coach, consultant or other service provider — the biggest limiter of your income is your time. We all only have so much, and who wants to give it all to their business? Having more time to enjoy life is one of the big reasons I’m working for myself. You too?

If you want to make a six figure plus income, it’s critical to leverage your time and move beyond one-to-one coaching or time for money services. The easiest way to scale up, boost income and serve more people without working more hours is to create “passive” income streams.https://prosperouscoachblog.com/business-scalable/

Passive income is generated from a product or subscription-based program that you create once but can sell anytime to unlimited clients and deliver automatically. Your time isn’t caught up in live delivery. It’s the best way to get off the money for time treadmill.

7 Keys to Host Your Own Giveaway Event and Build a Massive List – by Erika Kalmar


Guest post by my friend, Erika Kalmar

Building a big responsive list is key to selling your programs and products.

But the question is – how do you build a big responsive list?

If this is also your challenge – don’t worry, you’re not alone! In fact, the majority of coaches and other service-based entrepreneurs experience this as their #1 obstacle.

Let me share with you my secret tool to massively growing my community – I used this tool to add over 2,000 people the first time and 3,000 the second time I’ve used it. All this, in 14 days each!

Not bad, is it?

The magic tool I’ve used is – organizing giveaway events.

There are many reasons why I think you should add giveaway events to your marketing strategy, no matter where you stand with your business right now:

  • It’s free
  • You can add a massive number of targeted people to your list in just 14 days or less

5 Tips for Successfully Launching your Coaching Program


This is a Guest Post by my friend and colleague, Milana Leshinsky.

Using a product launch to fill your coaching program is one of the best marketing strategies ever invented! The following are some of my most important key strategies that will help you launch your program successfully. Any time you get away from these principles, your launch results may suffer.

1. Think like a newbie.

inspiration

Experience can cloud your judgment, and what appears simple to you, maybe a complex idea for others to grasp. So, put yourself in your prospect’s shoes and simplify concepts as if you are talking to a 5th grader.

How To Reach Thousands of New Clients with Joint Ventures


This is a guest blog post by my friend — Max Simon, founder of Big Vision Business.

I felt embarrassed and small.

I was at this well-known business conference talking to big name people about my business and the kinds of projects I was involved with… and I had “list shame”.

Everyone around me had 10,000, 20,000, or even 50,000 person mailing lists of people they could speak to on a weekly basis.

… And I had less than 1,200.

I felt embarrassed and small like my work in the world was not important or meaningful. As a result, I did not show up as powerfully or engage as fully as I knew possible.

After that conference, that was when I made the unwavering decision to build a bigger following so that I could interact with the people I respected and admired.

Unfortunately, I had no idea how to attract more people to be a part of my tribe… and most of the internet marketing strategies like buying traffic (and other complicated stuff like that) seemed too challenging to figure out.

Joint Ventures will help your business reach the masses

That’s when I discovered a strategy called “Joint Ventures”… which is when you inspire other people to endorse you and promote your programs to their big list of followers.

… Which in turn builds your email list with perfectly aligned people who are hungry for what you’re doing (and want to buy).

So over the last few years, I devoted myself to learning EVERYTHING you would ever need to know about doing joint ventures and working with partners… and today, I’m thrilled to say that “I no longer have list shame.”

Plus I’ve been able to build a 7-figure business that truly is making a huge impact in the world and allowing me to work with incredible people who I can truly help.

So today, I’d like to share with you the 3 important “Partnership Secrets” to learning how to master joint ventures so you can achieve the same kind of powerful results no matter how far along you are in your business right now.

4 Ways to Make your Teleseminars Impactful and Memorable – by Kim Clausen


This is a guest blog post by my friend and colleague — Kim Clausen.

Have you ever been to a teleseminar where you felt like the person leading the call was a slimy sales person who had no interest in you except to get your money? Most of us have, and it’s no fun.

On the contrary, have you ever been to a teleseminar where the leader was warm, engaging, trusting and provided great value?

As a teleseminar leader you want to conduct a training that is memorable, transformational, and makes a positive impact on your attendees. And to do that, there are four key elements to consider – and they all start with the heart.

Imagine a picture of a heart divided into 4 quadrants.

In the first quadrant, is the word welcome. Make your participants feel welcome. Greet them when they come on the line and call them by name. Let them feel that you are glad they are there.

In the 2nd quadrant, is the word safe. Create a safe and positive environment. Tell participants they are going to receive valuable information on the call, and that they will have fun. Create a place for them to share and be affirmed, to be vulnerable and not judged, to be valued for their opinions and knowledge. Deliver a teleseminar that provides great value and is not a camouflaged sales pitch.

3 Ways to Make Old Income Streams New Again — by Andrea Lee


This is a guest blog post by my friend — the fabulous Andrea Lee of Wealthy Thought Leader.

Most of us follow systems in a very step-by-step way, which is useful sometimes – but if you want to light a fire within you that is sustainable and will burn brightly for a long time to come, you’ve got to adapt; to align those step-by-step principles to whatever makes you unique.

That’s my specialty: helping business owners like you to reach 6 and even 7 figures, on your terms, by harnessing innovation and your unique connectivity.

That being said, I know that the pain of your current income streams not working is very real – and that’s why I’ve put together this post on digging deeper into the ideas you already have, and into the hope behind them, and innovating.

woman-holding-fan-of-money

Without further ado, here are 3 ways to make old income streams new again:

1. Keep the content, change the level of support.

Here’s an example: Best-selling author Michael Port, designer of the “Book Yourself Solid” business-building program, offered several traditional workshops. He didn’t need help with his workshops so much – he’s very successful in his own right, in case you don’t already know him – but he’s very much an innovator and had a few smooth moves up his sleeve.

To make his ‘old income streams’ fresh, and re-purpose the same content, he designed a new type of workshop – one in which 12 people would come to his house and get a dramatically increased level of service. He didn’t have to recreate his content; he simply changed the level of support. And it’s been hugely successful – people are willing to pay top dollar to meet with Michael in this “knee-to-knee, heart-to-heart” format.

What does this make you think of – in regards to your own business and experience? Could you add a level of support to any of your existing products, similar to what Michael role modeled for us?