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 40 – Do This Before You Create Your Coaching Website

This episode is part of a brand new series called Client Winning Coaching Websites.

This series is especially for new coaches who don’t have a website yet. I want to help you do it right the first time.

This series is also for you if you have a coaching website already and it’s not serving you well. No one is going to the website, signing up on your list or contacting you for a Discovery Session.

There are good reasons for that and I want to help you get your website working for you.

So be sure to stay tuned for each successive episode in this series because I’ll be going into details. And I truly believe you’ll have some big AHAs about how to improve your website.

This episode is about first steps to take before you create your coaching website.

  • Before you hire a designer.
  • Or before you decide to buy a Wix or Squarespace template and do it yourself. A dubious choice!
  • Or, before you ask your kid or your best friend’s cousin to slap up a website for you.

All tough choices especially if you do that BEFORE you make these critical 3 decisions about your coaching business.

First, I want you to know that I am not a web designer. But I am an international business mentor for coaches with 20 years of experience.

And, because I’m the TEACHER Archetype, I tend to learn from my mistakes by studying and creating step-by-step guides for others. So, after I launched my 4th website, which is a client generating website, I decided to pass on what I learned.

I created a step-by-step online training program called Client Winning Websites & Blogs for Coaches.

It was a comprehensive training that sold well for a long time.

But, the world of the Internet changes so fast. I took the program off the market because there are constant subtle shifts in how things work, in Google’s algorithms and in online trends.

I didn’t want to be updating that product every 6 months. I’d rather be helping coaches in Strategy Sessions and in my VIP 5 month Coaching Business Breakthrough program.

Every coach I work with, I help them write client-winning copy for their website and manage the web design process because my website and my client’s websites are proof that you can turn web visitors into clients if you create a friendly journey for your target audience on your site.

I realized recently, why not repurpose and upgrade the material in Client Winning Websites & Blogs for Coaches into bite-sized insights for Prosperous Coach Podcast.

So, over several weeks I’ll cover in great detail what makes for a client-winning coaching website and I’ll share some examples you can see online.

3 Steps to Take Before You Do Anything Else in Your Coaching Business

Today’s mini-episode is about 3 the things you should do before you create a coaching website so you don’t waste time and money.

And that’s always my aim— to help you create a financially successful and rewarding coaching business from the get go, rather than getting stuck blindly following the masses of coaches who don’t create a sustainable business. There’s no reason why you should know how to do this without support from someone who has taken the less traveled road and found an easier way.

Okay… let me tell you a story … and see if you see yourself anywhere in this.

About 1 – 3 times a week a new coach reaches out to me. They’ve been referred to my podcast by another coach — and I’m grateful for that — or done a search for “coaching niche” and so they end up strolling around my website and filling out the application on my Work with Rhonda page.

By the way that’s called a funnel or conversion process. More about that soon in another episode.

So the coach writes in their application that don’t know their coaching niche or target audience but they’re working on their website, creating ads and coaching programs.

And I think … bummer. In my minds eye I see them throwing time and money away on a blazing fire.

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 all coaches think are necessary to attract coaching clients.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe in the power of websites. My own website sends me a constant stream of ideal clients who are ready to enroll with me. That’s a client-winning website.

But, creating your website before you know who you’re serving and the problem you help them solve is like:

  • building a house on land you don’t own.
  • dressing up a manikin in finery when you’re wearing rags.
  • buying a car before you can see over the steering wheel.

Developmentally it’s better to wait until your coaching business has a solid foundation.

It’s not just the cart before the horse. There is no horse in sight. It’s a cart with square wheels mired in a swamp. It’s not going to go anywhere or do anything until it’s dismantled.

That’s what it’s like to put up a coaching website before you know WHO you serve and WHAT acute problem you help them solve.

I want you to know I made this mistake and not just once.

When I started as a coach in 1997, over the first 3 years I threw away so much money on 3 different websites. They were pretty websites with what I thought was interesting copy. I worked so hard on them.

But they were all duds. They sat there in cyberspace collecting dust. I only got hits from friends, family and myself.

Your website can be command central for your coaching business. And I do think unless you have a regional business that having a good website is critical if you want to be taken seriously. It can be an incredible tool if it’s created right. In an upcoming episode I’ll explain the distinct difference between an online coaching brochure and a client winning website.

If you’re about to create your coaching website or you have one now and it’s not serving you well, be sure to stay tuned for each successive episode.

This one is about first steps. Before you hire the designer. Or decide to buy a Wix or Squarespace template and do it yourself. Before you ask your kid or your best friend’s cousin to slap up a website for you, make critical decisions about your coaching business.

These are decisions about your future. They’re big decisions and doable. Making these decisions will help you have crystal clarity about your value as a professional coach.

What are those decisions and why are they important?

You know what I’m going to say. Step #1 is for you to choose a viable target audience to serve before you do anything else.

Viable is an audience full of seekers, people who do invest in their own personal and professional growth. That viable audience is easy to find and connect with. They are eager to evolve and it’s narrow enough group that you’ll stand out in a crowd.

And standing out in the crowd is a big part of what makes it possible to attract clients online. Think about it, if you’re just another voice in the crowd, no one ever listens.

And there’s another step to take before you slap up some copy about coaching. 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.

And knowing that is how you develop a smart coaching niche.

Then, you’re ready to create a brand and get a matching domain, to craft an attention getting core message and offers.

And finally, to write web copy that’s streamlined and resonates with your target audience.

What’s next then? Hiring 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.

Here’s the thing … the people you’re going to serve are at the center of your coaching business.

Their problems and goals are where YOU come in.

Transformative coaching can’t happen without the coachee — the person you’ll serve with your coaching.

You and all coaches love people and want to see them thrive. Your coaching website might be their first connection with you. So why would you build a coaching website before you know your target audience intimately?

Look, I get it. The target audience and coaching niche decision are hard. Why else would I get so many hits on my website from ideal clients about this topic. It’s not all I do to help my clients succeed but it is the first decision. And that decision becomes your true north. It’s how you’ll know what to do next and next.

If you’re struggling knowing who you audience is or how to make your coaching niche stand out in the crowd, let’s get that settled in a Strategy Session.

Or, if you’ve got a coaching website up and it’s doing nothing for you, let’s have a Strategy Session so I can review it with you and share step by step how you can transform it to be a client-winning website from now on.

In the Next Episode: Some Coaching Websites Aren’t Set Up to Enroll Coaching Clients

Ep 24 – Choosing a Viable Target Audience for Your Coaching Business

We’re taking a pause from the Smart Mindsets & Habits Series. This episode is another On Air Coaching Session (there are 3 previous) where you get to listen in as I work with a coach to decide on a viable target audience for her coaching business.

Today, I have the pleasure of working with Deborah York. Deborah introduced herself this way …

I am a divorced mother of two young men that are coming into their own. My younger son will be graduating soon and going off to med school. And my other son is working full time and taking classes and still trying to figure out what he wants to do.

That kind of makes me think about my coaching and trying to wrangle it in to determine which direction I really want to go into. I tell people all the time that I’m a Jill of all trade and master of some because I have two master’s degrees.

I love working with people in helping them to uncover their purpose or their path in life. And that’s, I guess what’s caused me to struggle a little bit because I want to help everyone. And I understand as a coach, you can’t help everyone.

One of my Masters is in industrial organizational psychology that has a specialization leadership coaching. So when I initially started coaching, and it’s been almost 10 years ago now, I started off coaching people that were in management or are looking to get into management. And through that, it made me look even deeper. So I ended up getting another certification in health and nutrition.

My approach is more of a holistic approach, uh, but still trying to find that right group of people that saw the value that I brought to the table who were willing to pay for it has been the struggle.

Don’t Do This Alone

Deborah isn’t alone in that struggle. Most coaches, including me, start out not knowing who is a viable and ideal target audience for their coaching business. Many simply do not choose and that often means their business doesn’t get off the ground.

And, it’s not the easiest thing to figure out your audience and coaching niche on your own.

I really admire Deborah and all women who are the primary or sole provider for their kids, plus getting advanced degrees while holding a full time job and then starting their own coaching business. Super women! You all have my deepest respect.

All Coaching Is Holistic In Nature

Deborah mentioned that she coaches her clients holistically.

I pump my fist for that!

When I’m working with coaches to help them build their coaching businesses, there are some days I’ll do somatic coaching to get them in touch with the wisdom of their bodies. Some days we’ll talk about what’s going on at home. Sometimes we’re going to talk about mindset or spirituality.

So even though I’m a business coach specifically for coaches, I coach holistically.

Every coach can coach about any topic and work holistically with our clients, but that does not mean that you shouldn’t specialize. In fact, to some degree, the more you specialize on a narrow and viable audience, the easier it will be to attract clients who pay you well.

The best way to go is to create a program for your unique target audience where you help them reach their top goal and overcome related challenges.

And coach them through it all in a holistic way.

So, Deborah was already clear about working holistically with her audience, which is brilliant!

Revealing Her Ideal & Viable Coaching Audience

Next, I asked Deborah whether leadership was a leaning for her. She’d already coached quite a bit in that track.

She affirmed that while also revealing her biggest struggle. Her sweet spot is working with up and coming leaders — what she called future leaders. I took note of that great phrase for describing the goal of her audience.

Because the leaders are up and coming, their finances may not be available to pay for her services. They’ve left home but they are just getting started in their lives. They’re not likely to have the money to invest unless they have a good salary at this point.

I asked Deborah if, in her mind, she imagined that these “future leaders” are employed. She said yes.

And, I asked if they want to stay within organizations or are they people who would want to break free from working for someone else and work for themselves in some capacity?

She said they’d be entrepreneurial.

We were starting to move in a certain direction, which was exciting!

I asked if she wanted to work with clients regionally, nationally or internationally. Deborah said nationally.

Then, I asked about her business model ideas. Deborah would love to speak and hold workshops and groups. She’d already had a number of speaking engagements when she was in sales. Fabulous!

She elaborated that she could imagine her clients straight out of college trying to get their first job. In her current part time job, she’s working in a High School and is always talking to student about their future plans. She uses coaching and mentoring to help them find their sweet spot.

I asked her about the age or stage of life of the people she wanted to work with. Deborah said Grad school.

And, that slowed down our momentum because even though people in that stage of life really could use a thinking partner, we realized it would be difficult to find grad school grads who have disposable income.

I was feeling Deborah’s dilemma and how it had her stuck.

My suggestion was to roll back the age group and work with parents with students approaching graduation to help them choose their direction, discover their sweet spot and prepare for decision making from a place of intelligence and maturity.

Deborah agreed.

When Kids Are Your Audience You Market to Parents

We discussed that the upside was that she’d be marketing to people who are holding the purse strings — the parents. Most parents are emotionally invested in seeing their children leave the nest in a really powerful way. It’s foremost on their minds so it’s an acute problem.

And they’d be likely to invest in solutions.

The challenge is that she’d have two audiences to market to because in addition to appealing to the parents, she’d also have to appeal to the students themselves.

An Audience That Aligns With Your Strengths

I asked Deborah how she is at connecting with young people? She answered that when she was in her early twenties she had a conversation with her mother and said: “I don’t know what my gift is.” Her mother laughed and said: “Your gift is young people.”

Deborah clearly has a gift for helping young people find their sweet spot. Beautiful!

Ready to Click on the Certainty Button?

I checked in then with Deborah and asked … “On a scale of 1 to 10, ten being the most, how excited are you about working with parents and their soon-to-graduate high school kids?”

Deborah said 10! I love hearing that!

My work was almost done.

What to Do Next Now That You’re Clear on Your Target Audience

Deborah’s mind starting buzzing with ideas such as how she could volunteer for some speaking gigs at the school.

I suggested that she wait a bit until she had a more solid foundation.

Jumping ahead now might burn some opportunities that are best leveraged by knowing exactly what you’re offering and having a clear next step for after the talk.

It can be hard to hold yourself back. A previous episode on this topic called How to Spot the Right Opportunities for Your Coaching Business.

We also talked about how critical it is to do market research, even though Deborah has been in the same shoes as her target audience. See the episode:Why Should a Coach Do Market Research?

Deborah and I had a fruitful conversation. And I feel good knowing that another coach who was unclear and struggling about the audience/niche question has now clicked on the certainty button and has a path for her next steps. Yay!

The Next Episode Is: The Irresistible Thing About You That Enrolls Coaching Clients

Will Your Coaching Niche Pass the Test?

Coaches often ask me: “Is this a good coaching niche?” What they really want to know is — will focusing my energy this way repay me with a consistent flow of clients who are willing to invest? That’s the 6-figure question.

First, do you really need a coaching niche?Joint Ventures will help your business reach the masses

Ultimately, there are three reasons to niche: ease, reach and profitability. We choose a niche so we can market less, earn more and help more people transform.

If your intention is to build a solid long-term coaching business that you can rely on for a satisfying income, it’s worth it to choose a smart niche now before you invest time, money and energy on your branding and marketing.

A smart niche helps you:

  • Quickly become a coach in high demand through momentum.
  • Leverage your efforts and concentrate your message, instead of being all over the place.
  • Make a bigger impact and command higher fees.

Test the viability of your current coaching niche with these powerful questions.

4 Ways to Choose Your Coaching Niche

stand out in the crowdCoaches are more business savvy than they used to be. Now, every coach knows that when you land a smart coaching niche, all the doors of opportunity open up and prosperity flows in. It solves so many problems:

  • It’s easier to enroll clients without being salesy.
  • It clues you in about how to connect with future clients.
  • With many niches, you can charge more and clients will stay longer.
  • You can move beyond your region into international coaching.
  • All your efforts can be leveraged for a bigger impact and result.

And, if you choose wisely, you quickly become a coach in high demand. That means you earn more, coach more, and marketless. That’s the way I like to do it.

Is your coaching niche helping you or…?

There are many theories about the best way to choose a coaching niche. Start broad and let it find you. Focus on a topic you know. Go with your passion. Or my favorite, target a narrow and hungry audience for quick success. All of them have some appeal. Some are more effective than others.

Ultimately, you want a coaching niche that helps you use your special gifts to do good in the world while you do well financially.

Missing the Mark

However you come to it, when you land on the right niche for you, it’s as if all the doors of opportunity open up and prosperity flows in. It solves so many problems:

  • How to talk about what you do without selling generic coaching
  • How to authentically inspire enrollment
  • How to leverage your efforts for a bigger impact and result

Test your coaching niche to see if it will payoff here.

What if the coaching niche you’ve pursued isn’t helping you? What if it’s actually holding you back?

It happens, and it can be painful, especially if you’ve invested a lot of time and money. Then it’s hard to let go, even if it’s not working. Release it. There’s a better path ahead.

Should You Niche Your Coaching Business or Not?

If you’re determined to do good in the world while doing well financially, then it’s worth asking whether you should choose a coaching niche or not. There are some very compelling reasons why you’d want to niche as well as a few circumstances where niching would not be right for you. I’ll cover both in this post.

woman questioningIn the “pro” column, targeting a viable coaching niche opens wide the doors of opportunity and prosperity by helping you:

  • Solidify your brand.
  • Earn more by specializing.
  • Become well known quickly.
  • Break through filters and capture more attention.
  • Get more of the right kind of referrals.
  • Build “social proof” with colleagues and future clients.
  • Focus and leverage everything you do so you can work less.
  • Stand out in the crowd of service providers.
  • Positively impact a unique group of people.

Since the nineties, when coaching became a profession and consulting of all types burgeoned, there are more solopreneurs in the world than ever before. That means niching is more of an advantage than it used to be. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to get your share of attention from potential clients if you don’t stand out strongly in some way. Your niche helps you stand out in the most complete and long lasting way.

Know the Most Important Half of Your Coaching Niche

The best way to attract clients shifted dramatically when social networks sprang up and became massively popular. People started sorting themselves into sub-sub-groups based on messages that attract them, and filtering out everything else. It’s changed how our potential clients focus their attention, form alliances and make buying decisions.

Seth Godin’s game changing book Tribes talks about these groups and urges entrepreneurs to become leaders of a tribe.

What does this game change mean to you? If you want to do well financially while you do good in the world, it’s more important than ever before to stand out in the crowd of service providers and stand up for a unique “tribe” of your own which means choosing a viable coaching niche. You can do this!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you have to be a social networking expert to attract clients steadily. I’m saying that the phenomenon of social networks has changed the way people are attracted to mentors and professional resources. It’s reduced the effectiveness of standard selling and marketing techniques.

Responding to the Sea Change

Leading coaches, consultants and trainers have felt this sea change, and have been making shifts in the way they attract clients.

I encourage you to follow suit. Stop trying to convince people to buy your coaching, consulting and training. Instead, show your tribe (also called a coaching niche, target market or target audience) that you understand them and can help them get where they most want to go right now.

If your message is specific and hits the mark, they will follow you, refer other like-minded people to you, and help you raise your star while doing what you love.