Ep 126 – Is Your Lead Magnet Too Coachey?

This episode is the 3rd in my new series about Lead Magnets.

In all the time I’ve been an entrepreneur, I’ve downloaded hundreds of freebies.

I’ve gone seeking solutions to specific problems, found websites and lead magnets that seem to address my problem.

I give my name and email, somewhat begrudgingly I must say, and faithfully go through the process to download my prize.

I’ll be honest, I can still count on one hand the free offers that have provided real insight, delight or a sense of desire to pay for the services of the person who wrote the freebie. And in each of those cases I did hire them.

But really, 5 out hundreds. That’s not good odds.

Is that your experience too?

So what do you do then? If you’re like me the lead magnet goes quickly into the trash and with the next email I receive from that person, I’m unsubscribing and feeling like I’ve just swept up the messy crumbs of an unsatisfying snack that wasn’t worth the calories.

Obviously, you don’t want THAT to be what happens with the people who opt in for your freebie.

5 Goals Your Coaching Freebie Must Achieve

Look, your goal isn’t just to get the name and email of a person in your target audience. It’s to keep those people on your list long enough to build a sense of trust. You want them to perceive you as a credible solution to their specific problems and desires.

So you have to think this through before you throw any old freebie up on your website.

  1. How will you entice them to opt-in? (More about this in future episode. Clue: It’s partially about titling)
  2. How will you inspire them to at least skim but hopefully read most of your lead magnet?
  3. How will you deliver UNIQUE insights, tips, tools or simple exercises that will impress them?
  4. How will you make them want to read your About copy and make yourself credible?
  5. How will influence them to take a next step with you without being salesy?

In my 5 month VIP Coaching Business Breakthrough program, I collaborate with coaches to help them create a memorable lead magnet that does all 5 of these things. It’s not easy, but it’s absolutely doable and I have a process.

Most Coaches Freebies Miss the Mark

The initial free offers most coaches create early on tend to be too coachey. By this I mean they are on typical coaching topics like:

  • work/life balance
  • values
  • imposter syndrome
  • confidence
  • fulfillment
  • life purpose
  • authenticity
  • boundaries
  • gratitude
  • stress
  • goal setting

These are topics all coaches enjoy coaching about. And while there is no doubt that you could provide value on one of these topics, this information is out there on the internet in millions of hits.

So it might be a good idea before you create your lead magnet content that you Google the topic and see how much there is out there about it.

3 Ways to Increase Uniqueness in Your Coaching Lead Magnet

Now, there really isn’t anything wholly new under the sun. But that doesn’t mean you can put your own spin on a well-worn topic and make it highly relevant to your audience. Here are 3 ways to dial in uniqueness:

  1. Base your lead magnet on your audience’s specific big problems and goals, not what you think they need and want.
  2. Contextualize your freebie by making the language fit with their unique circumstances. (If your target audience and niche are narrow enough this won’t be hard to do.) Use key words.
  3. Develop your own models and simple jargon to illustrate your points.

This last one requires you to tap into your own brilliance and think outside the box. You want to stop regurgitating what you’ve read and learned and instead integrate it into your own concepts and speak.

I’m always deeply gratified when I talk to a prospect interested in my Signature Program and I can tell they’ve actually read my lead magnet and are listening to my podcast episodes because they are using terminology I’ve coined.

Yes, you can coin new terms and concepts!

And that’s how you will pre-qualify and pre-sell people into your own Signature Program. For more about that listen to Episode 59 at prosperouscoach.com/59

Ep 125 – Your Ideal Coaching Clients Respond Best to Slow Marketing

This episode is part of the series about lead magnets and how to make sure yours will help you enroll ideal clients who pay you well.

And, if you haven’t heard it yet, first listen to Does a Coach Need a Lead Magnet? at prosperouscoach.com/124. It’s super short.

When I started my coaching business, if you would have asked me my marketing approach I would have said “I let people know I’m a coach and offer a free sample coaching sessions to enroll clients.”

Everything I did reflected that basic misunderstanding about what effective marketing is — from the topics of public speaking I did, to the types of articles I wrote, all the way to the messaging on my website.

Did that approach work for me. Not a wit. Even though I got a lot of praise for the sessions, people who had a free session said “Thanks” but had no interest in long term coaching. And sometimes I fell into the trap of coaching them for many, many free session just hoping it would hook them in.

It took me a long time to realize why my mindset and actions weren’t paying off. But also it seemed most others coaches were doing the same thing so like a lemming I followed them off the cliff.

Two decades later, I’m a bit surprised when I look at coach’s website and see them trying this same approach.  I feel so much compassion for them and I am instantly transported back to my own frustration early on – working so hard and not getting results.

Mistakes Coaches Make on Their Websites

There are loads of mistakes I see on coach’s websites and I have a whole series about client-winning coaching websites to help you with this, which you can find at prosperouscoach.com/websites.

One of the big coaching website mistakes, but by no means the biggest, is offering a free coaching session. Sometimes it’s high up on the home page. Sometimes it’s buried where it will never be found.

Either way, a free coaching session is not a strategic approach to enroll paying clients who are serious about transformation. A free coaching session is not a smart lead magnet.

Why not?

  1. The coach cannot possibly demonstrate the real value of ongoing PAID coaching through a single free coaching session.
  2. It’s too soon to offer a live call.

This last point is my main point. Too much too soon makes coaching prospects turn and run.

Fast Marketing Only Sells Products Not Coaching Services

I admit I’ve purchased things through a single Instagram ad IF the unique value of the product is clear AND I’m already seeking a solution to the problem that product answers. That’s fast marketing.

But services, and especially paid coaching programs, aren’t easily sold through fast marketing. Coaching is still a relative unknown. Rarely do people seek it, but that’s just one reason why fast marketing techniques aren’t appropriate.

Think about it … what makes for an excellent coaching relationship?

  • A good fit between the coach and client
  • Trust
  • Honesty
  • Collaboration
  • Accountability
  • A growth mindset

Those things take time and repetition.

Coaching Relationships Are Intimate

The relationship between you and your client is intimate. Add to that the fact that time and money are invested to work with you. That increases the need for trust and fit.

So if someone arrives on your website and one of the first things they see is you offering a free coaching session, what happens inside that visitor?

Confusion. And a confused mind never buys. Let me illustrate this a different way …

Imagine you are in a grocery store line and the stranger in front of you turns to ask you out to dinner. A rare person would say yes because it’s too much too soon.

Maybe you’d go for coffee but probably not even that until you have enough of a sense of attraction and trust. How will the two of you get to that place? Time.

So, a free coaching session or even a free consult, is not likely to bring you paying clients unless you have first slowly and consistently built trust and helped prospects assess their fit with you.

You know how I build trust … you’re listening to it. Besides my free lead magnets, I publish a podcast episode every week showing how I understand you  — your specific challenges and desires. And I deliver unique value through my voice, the way I care and the practical tips I provide.

Do all the people who opt in for my freebie and listen to my podcast weekly hire me? No. But those who feel the fit and trust me do.

That’s slow marketing. It’s authentic, non-salesy and honors us both.

Ditch your free sample session offer on your website and get behind the slow approach. Part of that is creating a lead magnet that builds trust while providing unique value. You’ll be amazed how it pays you back with ideal clients and a lucrative income as a coach – all without trying to convince people how great your coaching is.

Ep 124 – Does a Coach Need a Lead Magnet?

This episode is part of a new series about lead magnets or what I call freebies.

I bet you’ve opted in for dozens of lead magnets since you decided to become a coach.

In case you haven’t, a lead magnet or a freebie is just what it sounds like. The idea is that you offer something of unique value related to your niche that your audience wants in exchange for their name and email address.

Then they become a lead for you – a potential future client.

Your Future Coaching Clients Are the Gold Mine in Your Business

They are just as important as current paying clients.

It’s important to build relationships with future clients otherwise you’ll find yourself having to chase potential clients rather than attract them. I labored so hard chasing clients for the first few years of my business.

If a lead stays on your list, you have the opportunity to continue to communicate with them by email.

Those emails could be anything from a follow up series of emails for a specific campaign or purpose to a teaser email that let’s them know you have a new podcast episode or blog they might want to see. It could be an email that’s personal about you.

It’s a good idea to share some vulnerability and reveal something about you in every email.

If you are receiving my teaser emails each week to let you know when each new podcast episode airs then you have an excellent example showing what I mean by vulnerability in small bits.

Why Do Coaches Need a Leads List?

Well, I suppose you might not need a lead magnet or a leads list if you already have a steady stream of prospects contacting you. And those people are adequately primed to hire you.

The first thing – a steady stream of prospects contacting you — does not necessarily mean that the 2nd thing — people adequately primed to help you — is happening.

Most coaches need to create their own network of potential clients and get them excited about hiring them. Believe me, this is not accomplished by talking all about the virtues of coaching.

It takes time to develop a relationship of trust with people in your target audience leads list.

It may take dozens of messages before your words strike that resonant chord with a person in your audience. That’s because people are busy, distracted and bombarded with messages all day long.

Every one of us only pays attention to messages that hit the mark of what’s most important to us right now.

And, of course, not everyone on your leads list will take action to work with you.

That’s completely natural and, in fact, you don’t want everyone on your list to become a client. You only want to attract the most ideal clients. Listen to episode #117 called How to Attract ideal Coaching Clients Who Can’t Wait to Work with You.

I feel blessed. All of my ideal clients are finding me through my podcast. In a way, those subscribers are an alternate leads list Occasionally, I offer a special freebie related to a podcast and coaches are opting in for those by the dozens every week. That’s how they get on the Prosperous Coach list.

It’s fun. I see someone subscribe for a freebie of mine and then a month or two later some of those people fill out the application to work with me in my Signature Program. That’s how I know my systems to connect with ideal clients are working.

I want you to have that going for you.

A shout out to Mark who honored me during our recent Discovery Call where he enrolled in my VIP 5-month program.

Mark said: “I’ve listened to 75 of your episodes so far. I have to complement you, your podcast and website are extremely well thought out. You address everything going through my mind. I was jumping at the how rather than the what, and fuzzy about what to do first. I first looked at what other coaches are doing, which is could see isn’t effective. Your podcast brought clarity to what I would likely have done wrong following in their footsteps.”

This is the kind of response you want all of your messaging, whether it’s your freebie, your emails, the content you put out regularly, social posts – anything you put out there should be designed to strike a resonant chord with your audience.

6 Powerful Questions to Ask Yourself About Lead Magnets

Do you have a lead magnet?

Does it strike a resonant chord with your audience?

Does it show them you are a solution for their unique challenges and goals?

Does it pre-sell and pre-qualify people into your Signature Program?

Does it contain highly unique insights that your audience can’t find anywhere else online?

Is it part of a strategic conversion process that helps prospects discover that they are indeed your ideal client?

Over the next several episodes I’ll explain how your lead magnet can do all of these things. And, at the end of the series, I’ll give you access to a free assessment to test your own lead magnet and see if it’s doing what it ought to do. For now, take a look at your lead magnet and consider if it’s wholly UNIQUE and shows your brilliance as it relates to your target audience and niche?

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 120 – Should You Partner With Another Coach?

Some time ago a topic came up in Prosperous Coach Club, my Facebook group for new-ish coaches. The coach was talking about the challenge of networking with other coaches.

And that topic spurred me to talk about something related but not exactly the same, which is about partnering with another coach either short or long term.

By the way, for this episode partnering could be anything from partnering on one small project to going all in and building a business together in partnership.

So first, I want to own my bias. I’ve always been a bit of a maverick. I have unconventional ideas and like to be the sole driver of those ideas.

I very much enjoy the challenge of running my business driven by my own values and desires. I want to be able to turn on a dime. Make decisions quickly knowing it affects only me.

For those reasons, I’m not a good partner candidate. And that’s okay. You might be a good partner candidate.

By the way, I didn’t always know these things about myself. I found this out the hard way trying to partner with a number of fine human beings over the years including, at one point, my husband. Bless us, that was a challenging time in our marriage I can tell you!

Looking back at it all I can say that the biggest reason I floundered in partnerships was a lack of confidence.

If I had known my own business, known my own mind, my wants and what doesn’t work for me before I leaped … well you know … hindsight.

Partnership is a Big Risk

If you are risk averse or a conflict avoider, you may not be up for partnership until you grow those strengths.

When you’re a new coach you are vulnerable to partnership because it can be lonely and overwhelming doing everything yourself.

You don’t have automatic colleagues, as you do in other jobs, to bounce ideas off of. You don’t have the built in accountability of a supervisor or a team leader.

Everything is on you – the costs of building and maintaining all aspects of the business and the workload of marketing and delivering services.

For this reason, many coaches prematurely reach out to partner with another coach. Some other coach shows up, suggests collaborating and out of loneliness you say yes.

On the other hand, trying a partnership may help you grow in lots of ways through the lessons you learn. There’s a lot of value in trial and error.

When a coach I’m working with brings up the idea of collaboration with another coach, I throw a red flag out there so the coach can slow down and think things through.

The first rule of thumb is only partner once you are well established in your own business. Then, you are clear of the value you deliver, your audience and services. You are differentiated from the other coach.

With that confidence and certainty you’re less likely to enter into a partnership out of desperation and unwittingly jump right into a classic trap.

4 Big Considerations Before You Leap Into Partnership with Another Coach

Finding the RIGHT partner at the RIGHT time for you is more important than looking for a helpmate. Hire a business coach for that role.

Here are 4 things to think through completely before you offer or accept partnership of any kind with another coach (and for that matter, with any individual or organization)

Are You Complementary and Compatible?

Partnership in business is a lot like partnership in marriage. You need to be compatible and compliment each other in many ways to weather the difficult times and find joy in the partnership. Ending a partnership can feel much like a divorce and get ugly. I’ve seen it happen between coaches many times.

Do your coaching niches align but not compete? Episode 119 is all about competition and why you need to stand out. If you and your partner haven’t settled on your target audience and niche yet, you’re not ready.

Do you have complimentary skills? For example, one of you is especially good at writing and the other is especially good at presenting.

Do your work styles blend well? If one of you is a workhorse and the other a slacker — that’s a deal breaker. I’ve always been a doer and I’ve partnered with people who don’t do. If I had a contract it would have raised awareness for us both from the get go. I wish I’d thought of all this. But I learned and I’m still here!

Do Have Aligned Vision and Values?

What is your collective vision for the project or business? Does it gel well together or is it jarringly different? Notice when you’re uncomfortable and ask yourself what that’s about.

Do you trust each other? Watch if you or they becomes a “yes person”. They assert and you automatically go along to get along or the other way around. Best to back off if you sense that.

Do your business values align? Let’s say you have high integrity and demonstrate that, but that’s not important to your prospective partner — that’s a deal breaker. Talk it all through and find out.

Can you sense mutual respect? One sign of disrespect is cause for a conversation. But more than one is a strong message that this isn’t partnership material.

Do You Stay Current and Have High Standards for Communication?

Are you two in excellent communication? Notice how the other person communicates verbally and in writing. Are they clear? Are they too verbose? Do you feel confused or frustrated with emails, texts or conversations?

Do they or you have a tendency to ghost – disappear or respond too slowly? That’s not going to work.

Create a Contract with Clear Responsibilities and Boundaries

If everything is looking good and you both agree to move ahead, create a contract – even for a small project. Sit down and set clear goals, responsibilities, timelines and boundaries. If money is involved hire a lawyer.

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.