Who’s Buying Coaching These Days?

It’s a good question. If you’ve been selling a certain type of coaching such as relationship, career, wellness, leadership, life purpose (put any word before coaching)… you must be wondering this yourself because clients may have been hard to come by.

Many coaches haven’t noticed a blip in the number of people wanting their services. In fact, their income has increased over the last few years and it’s still rising. Their clients are staying longer. What are they doing differently?

Well, I’ll tell you, this may be shocking, but they are NOT selling coaching. And yet they are continuously doing some fine coaching with a wait list of clients.Are People Buying Your Coaching? - Rhonda Hess

Here’s what we know about any economic downturn, and there have been several over the last two decades where coaches rode the wave back up ahead of the curve…

People still buy things they want, but they have changed their buying strategy.

They feel they must justify their expenses and they get very serious about what’s really important to them. They dedicate their resources to those things right now.

Why it Pays to Be Well Known (and what might be keeping you from it)

Do you ever wonder how all the big name coaches and thought leaders got to the top? I used to think it was about years of experience, but it’s not. And, it’s not even about expertise or how much your clients love you (although it can help).

When it first happens it feels like you’re stepping onto a fast luxury train. It’s very exciting and smooth. Some sort of critical mass is reached where suddenly you’re the bomb and everyone knows it:

  • The right opportunities roll in (instead of the kind that waste your time).
  • Someone gives you a book advance or you’re asked to keynote for 5 figures.
  • People come out of the woodwork to promote you to their big lists.
  • You hear all the time “You’re the best there is.”
  • Your list suddenly grows exponentially.
  • Your time is in such high demand you must double or triple your fees.
  • And you realize you have to hire money managers because it’s flowing in.

Your star has risen! And now you’ve got the high-class problem of having to turn down opportunities and clients. But then you expand your team (into a lovely little family) so it’s possible to scale up without having to work harder.

I know not everyone wants a business like that, but don’t you want some measure of “having arrived”? At the very least you want to become THE top of mind go to person for your niche so it makes your life easier, more enjoyable and prosperous.

But what do you really need to have going for you to become well known?

Did You Skip This Crucial Step in Your Coaching Business?

I hope you didn’t. But don’t worry, it’s never too late to pick up that step because it will dramatically affect how much you earn and how hard you work.

We all happily stumble into exciting opportunities that become significant turning points in our coaching business. There’s a lot of grace in moving with the current… but it’s helpful to at least pick the river that will take you to where you ultimately want to go.

Making conscious choices, planning your work and working your plan, and setting intentions for the big milestones in your life are part of a prosperity practice. Deviating from the plan here and there is cool (but spazzing out all over the place is not so cool).

In my last post, my friend Erika Kalmar talked about the importance of business planning. Unsexy as that may seem, what I know for sure is that she’s absolutely right. Business planning helps you take AIM and take your business seriously.

Who you serve is the critical first step in your coaching business - Rhonda Hess

But it’s not the first step…

The 1st Crucial Step is Choose a Smart Coaching Niche: Decide specifically who you serve and what transformation you provide (that they urgently want). Stand for something and someone. That’s how you stand out.

Without that clarity, your business plan will be sketchy at best, your website will be bland and your offers won’t compel people to invest.

Are you leading your coaching business to long-term sustainable success? Or are you just taking stabs and hoping for the best?

Test Your Coaching Niche – Will It Go the Distance?

Coaches are taught to choose a coaching niche based on what we are passionate about. That approach to niching speaks to us, because we’re people of the heart. We tend to think that if we follow our true purpose, the money part will take care of itself.

test your coaching nicheThen there’s the real world of business. Coaches make money by selling a service. Like every other business, we have to get in front of people who don’t already know us, and show them that we offer something they are willing to pay for.

Nearly all of us start out thinking we know how to do that, and nearly all of us get humbled when it turns out not to be so easy. It turns out, the money part doesn’t take care of itself.

I’m all about passion, believe me. I completely endorse you following your purpose. But following your purpose is not the whole story – because it’s all about you. It leaves out your tribe.

So, what if you were to look at the whole topic of your niche from the point of view of the people you serve? From that angle, the question is –

What coaching niche would bring you a steady stream of ideal clients?

What coaching niche would connect so powerfully with what your tribe really wants that they would line up to work with you? Either your niche has that potential or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, you have to ask yourself how you are going to take care of the money part.

Test Your Niche

How do you know if your niche has that potential? Try this quick test. Rate your niche on a scale of 1-10 (10 being best) for the following four questions:

What Are You Recognized For?

Have you ever felt like you’re all over the place with your coaching business?

Today, you’re speaking at a brown bag association meeting about team leadership. Yesterday you gave a talk at your church about relationships. Next week you’ve got a gig at Borders where you’re giving a career choice seminar. You’re versatile, but are you building a sustainable future?

It feels good to be recognized, so you say ‘yes’ to speaking and training opportunities even if there’s no continuity to the topic or niche market. But what are you recognized for? And is it something you can leverage to become financially successful in your coaching business?

Or maybe you’ve committed to one topical coaching niche (like leadership, career, relationships) but you’re offering that topic to everyone, with no unique market or message. The same question applies. What are you known for? Is it something you can leverage for financial success?Make sure your coaching business is recognized for a distinctive market or message.

If you’re morphing your message to fit any opportunity or potential client you could possibly attract, you’re just making more work for yourself. Leverage comes when the market you’re serving and your message are congruent and consistent. Then you can leverage everything you do, because it’s all aimed at the same target.

If you’re tired of working really hard for every client and never building momentum, the fix is simple. Here’s how to coach more, earn more and market less:

4 Questions to Bring Your Coaching Business Out of the Fog and Into Focus

Ever feel scattered or aimless in your coaching business? Like you just can’t get any traction?

You’re crystal clear about your desire to make a big impact and contribute to the success of the human race. But somewhere in the drive to do that, your energy and attention gets scattered and ineffective. It’s pretty painful, especially if the lack of clarity sticks around for very long.

Of course, focus is the answer. Focus clears your mind and spotlights what to do next. Pinpointed focus renews your courage and confidence.4 questions to bring your coaching business out of the fog and into focus

I’ll tell you, on days when I feel unfocused, nothing worthwhile gets done. My response? I’m outta here. I had a day like that last week and, seriously, I just blew off my to-do list and took a mini vacation.

I’ve learned to let myself have days like that, because 85% of the time I am focused, and the result is always awesome!  On those days, I start my day feeling on purpose, energized, motivated, and ready to take high payoff actions. And I end the day feeling grateful, more prosperous and relaxed.

What Makes the Fog Gather

What causes that feeling of ineffectiveness to creep in? I’ve seen it over and over in the coaches I work with, and it usually comes down to this. They don’t have a solid grip on who they serve and what those folks really want.

If you’re even a little fuzzy about who you serve, what they want, and how you fit into that picture, then you don’t have a clear direction for your business. So, it’s more difficult to push forward on projects, create and fill your coaching programs, and attract a steady stream of clients. Of course, that means you’ll miss out on making a great income too.

The good news is, clarity on those points is closer than you think. Commit yourself to finding the answers for a few fundamental and pithy questions about your coaching business, and you’ll have pinpointed focus most of the time. Then you’ll be able to cover lots of ground quickly and get where you want to go.

Coaches Comment on Highly Profitable Niche Series

Over the last three weeks I had a free video series online called How to Choose a Highly Profitable Niche. If you missed it, I’m sorry, it’s no longer available. But stay tuned because I’ll be doing more teaching videos soon.

The video series drew over 200 comments and I was tickled, amazed, delighted and touched by coach’s sharing their aha’s and also their poignant stories. Many expressed gratitude for no longer feeling alone in what seems like an endless search for the right coaching niche.

To give you a taste of the rich conversations, here is a sampling of comments and, in some cases, my responses. I’ve also provided some references to articles that illuminate some of the struggles and success stories about viable niches.

Bottom Line: You’re not alone in your niche search. There is a highly profitable niche market out there that you’ll enjoy! You just need to know where to look and how to choose wisely for the long term.

Does What I Want to Do Translate Into a Viable Biz?

Mel said:

Thanks so much, Rhonda! I’m currently enrolled in a coach training program and have been confused about choosing a “niche”. It seems to me everyone in class has an idea of who they want to work with/for, what “type of coaching need” they want to work on. But nobody seems to have done any research on whether that “what I want to do” translates into a viable business need.

How to Get More Value from Every Business Building Program You’ve Taken

Have you ever invested in a teleseminar, home study program, or live event to get your coaching business off the ground, and then months later felt guilty for spending the money and frustrated that you didn’t reap the promised results? If so, you’re not alone.

But did you waste your time and money? I think not. Here’s why those programs haven’t worked their magic for you… yet.

You have invested in valuable programs full of cutting edge tools and proven techniques to amp up your income and bring you a better business. But without a solid foundation in place, you cannot fully leverage these techniques, even if you do your best to implement them.

Do any of these scenarios sound familiar:

Get leverage by setting your coaching business foundation

  • You’ve learned from the best how to fill your teleseminars or launch high ticket group coaching programs, but you still don’t know where to find enough people to enroll in your programs, and you don’t know exactly how to communicate the benefits in way that has them saying “Yes!”
  • You’ve got all the steps for creating membership programs and other recurring revenue products, but because you’re not certain of your niche, you’re not confident that if you build it, they will come.
  • You’ve learned how to enroll clients using the most powerful set of questions, but you’re having trouble scheduling people into your consults in the first place.

There’s a building block needed before these skills will reliably work for you.