What’s Hot and What’s Not for Coaching Businesses in 2012

As the new year approaches I thought it would be fun to share my 3 predictions for what’s in and what’s out for coaches in the coming year.

Webinars Overtake Teleseminars

I’m not saying that teleseminars are out, but webinars are certainly IN! Have you noticed there’s more webinars being offered than ever before? One reason is that social media has raised the desire for visual cues. When I browse through my Facebook news feed, I tend to focus faster on posts with photos, graphics and videos. What about you?

Another reason webinars are gaining popularity is that attendance rates are higher and people enjoy the chat function. When there’s something to follow along and a way to connect, attendees stay longer on calls and multi-task less. And if you’re promoting through webinars, that means more clients and higher income.

A well-done set of power point slides delivered as a pdf handout may accomplish the same thing for a teleseminar. In either case, the quality of the visuals and timing will affect results.

Also, there are new systems for webinars, such as Evergreen Business Systems, which makes distributing webinars so much easier. The replays are more interesting that audio alone.

Of course, the big downside to webinars is the cost of the webinar recording systems like GotoWebinar and the potential for technical difficulties. But, like any 3rd party system, invest in it with intention to use it frequently, which justifies the cost while you get more technically savvy.

My Favorite Things for My Coaching Biz

Thank you for following my blog. In gratitude for your big heart, your big goals, your courageous actions – I’m sharing some of the tools and support systems that have made this past year so much easier, more joyful and more profitable for me.

#1 My Fabulous Online Business Manager

An online business manager is much, much more than a Virtual Assistant. She keeps me on task, on track and manages all my promotions and projects. She’s always hip to what’s hot and new in marketing, online tools and trends. She streamlines my email, takes care of customer service and keeps all Prosperous Coach web pages, documents and processes up to date. Sorry to say my OBM is booked but you can find a good one too at the link above.

#2 My Ace Webmaster – Nichole Betterley

There are web designers and then the more rare, web MASTER. Nichole is bar none the finest designer/coder. Not only did Nichole make my website beautiful, clean and easy to navigate, she keeps it that way. And when I want to add some new fangled system like Digital Access Pass for my membership programs, or Evergreen Business Systems so I can get webinars out there big time to my market, she digs in and finds the most elegant way to code it so it works like a charm.

#3 Jeff Minnichbach, Freelance Designer

Need a free report laid out professionally. Jeff will make your content look top notch!

7 Quick & Fun Steps to Biz Planning Your Whole Year

We spend a lot of time thinking about our futures, but strangely the subject of business planning still causes folks to groan and procrastinate… many to the point of never planning at all.

Here’s what I know… if you don’t plan for your business you’ll make less and have less fun. It’s true. I still shoot from the hip as much as the next entrepreneur, but over and over I’ve witnessed that the more I plan, the better I do – both financially and emotionally.

What if planning could be fun and inspiring? What if you could do it quickly?

I just whipped together my plan for next year and I feel great! Plus, now it will be really easy to break it down into baby steps so I never have to wonder or worry whether I’m taking actions that will payoff.

Ready to play? Keep this simple at first. Just jot some thoughts down. Then it’s simple to go back and add more structure and details.

1. What are your personal goals for the year?

Fun Business Plan Goal SuccessBefore you do anything else, decide when you’ll take vacations! Get the “me time” and “family time” in there because your well-being always comes first. For next year, I’m taking all of May and December off. Woohoo!

Then, consider how you want your days to flow. I’m planning office hours for Monday – Wednesday, no more than three calls a day.

Consider the theme or overarching inner game for your year. For me, this coming year is about JOY, REST and FUN. I’m going to do more celebrating and less sweating the small stuff.

Then answer these questions:

Business Plan, A Neglected Factor – 14 Reasons Why You Absolutely Must Have One – by Erika Kalmar

This is a guest post by my friend and colleague, Erika Kalmar, the Coaching Biz Start-Up Strategist …

One of the often seen mistakes of coaches is that they start setting up their business on the wrong end. Sometimes it is due to overwhelm, at other times due to lack of planning, but conclusion is – many coaches do not start where they should be, the #1 step they would need to take and this is preparing a business plan.

So what, you may ask? Everyone is free to choose their first steps, right? Some might feel starting up with their website, others with their Facebook Fan Page and again others might jump straight into creating their products.

The thing is – if you also belong to this group of people, then you are not following a long-term plan but acting on a short term strategy basis, working on a to-do item on your list.

Do you see where I am getting at?

Business Plan, A Neglected FactorHow will you know that this strategy or to-do item will really fit the big picture, the vision of your business – and most importantly, that this is the best way to fulfill your business vision?

Because this is exactly what is happening if you tackle individual steps instead of the “big picture” first – you are working on short-term goals, hoping that it will ever contribute to your long-term one (that you might not even be aware of at the time).

5 Ways to Right Size Yourself to Empower Your Coaching Clients

You know how certain clients are a perfect fit for you? They come to the table fully responsible for their feelings, decisions and actions. They’re hungry for the gifts of coaching, no matter what they look like. They allow it to catalyze their own wisdom and intelligence.

Those folks are showing up empowered and fully stepping into their role in the co-creative relationship.

But what about the flipside when it feels like a client comes to a session resistant, as if their arms are folded across their chest. Coaching seems to bounce off them. Or worse they bring the expectation that you’ll fix things for them, but aren’t willing to be part of the solutions. What’s going on there?

Power dynamics.

Empower Your Clients - Rhonda HessFor coaching to happen, both coach and client must show up co-creative, resourceful and whole.

How can you do your part?

How to Stop Shrinking or Inflating Your Power

Most coaches I meet genuinely want to help others. In fact, it’s often a driving force in their lives to give.

I know I have that “helper” archetype. And I’ve gone many turns around the spiral learning to be conscious about the heavy shadow side of that noble desire. Do you feel me?

3 Things I Wish I’d Learned 13 Years Ago

I’ve been an entrepreneur for 13 years, but I’m still learning things that make me feel like slapping my forehead. Know what I mean? Something comes along that’s just so smart and eye-opening that I think I should have known it years ago. Or I should have come up with it myself!

In just the past week, I’ve had three such light bulb moments. So I thought I would share them with you. The resources linked in this post all taught me things I wish I’d known when I started my coaching business 13 years ago.Things to know when you start your coaching business

I’ll give you one highlight from each of them.

Why People Don’t Buy From You

Brendon Burchard has put up a free video series to market his Total Product Blueprint program. For your opt-in, you get three meaty videos outlining:

  • The basic structure of an information product, and the 12 types of information products with money-making potential.
  • How to market information products.
  • What makes information content valuable and how to take your teaching to a deeper level.

This is worth the investment of time (nearly 3 hours). I learned things on these videos that are going to improve my ability to get clients and make money. Brendan is planning on taking these videos down tomorrow, so grab it while you can by opting in here.

(I’m not affiliated with Brendan’s campaign, and I’m not encouraging you to buy – just to learn.)

Brendan teaches that there are six universal reasons why people don’t buy. Or to turn that around, six shifts your marketing must accomplish for people to buy from you:

How to Connect With Your Tribe

When I announced last week that I was going to stop publishing an ezine, the response was strong, and mixed. It led to some juicy conversation in the comments on that post, and a lot of personal emails that really touched me.

I know many of you will miss getting the ezine or the full blog post with your email. I feel badly about that. And I know that if you read your email on a mobile device, that makes clicking through and reading the blog online more of a hassle.

But here’s the thing. I want more from you. You all are my tribe. I want to do what I can to encourage you to join the conversation on this blog, because that will make the blog a richer resource for everyone.

I’m also hoping that for most of you, the new way will be more respectful of your time, because there is less coming into your inbox.
How coaches can connect with their tribes

Tribes Need Connection

All this has got me thinking about how coaches connect with their markets. What kind of relationship do coaches want with the people we serve?

It’s become fashionable to talk about business in terms of tribes, but if you haven’t checked out the source of that trend – Seth Godin’s brilliant book Tribes – I recommend it. The message is: business leadership is not about building factories anymore, and it’s not about using advertising to push an idea on people. It’s about connecting like-minded people and leading them to a place they want to go.

By Godin’s definition, a group of people needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate. So the lesson is, if you want to strengthen your tribe, help them communicate.

5 Tips to Get Your Business OUT of the Shadows and INTO the Spotlight – by Nancy Marmolejo

This is a guest post by my friend and colleague, Nancy Marmolejo, the Online Visibility Expert for Heart Based Entrepreneurs…

Click the play button to listen to the audio of this article directly from Nancy!

If you’re a coach, consultant, speaker, author, trainer, or other service professional, then you have a powerful message to share with the world and your business is how you get it out there.

What good is that message is it’s hidden in the shadows and no one can find you?
It’s time to get your business out of the shadows and into the spotlight so more people can know about your message, your business, and your expertise.

These 5 tips will get you started so more people know about you, connect with your offers, and buy from you!

  1. Claim Your Expertise, Claim Your Medicine
  2. Your expertise is more than what you know; it’s medicine for the world. Don’t be reluctant to claim your expertise. In fact, it’s really not about you; it’s about the transformation your work activates. Let your message and your “medicine” lead you to step up into a bigger arena and get your name out to the people who want and need what you have.

  3. Use Your “Spotlight Style” for Maximum Marketing Impact
  4. There are 3 distinct “Spotlight Styles”, which is how we’re wired for marketing success. They’re based on personality traits and comfort level with certain actions. Knowing your Spotlight Style keeps you from making the marketing mistakes that trap your business in the shadows.