Ep 143 – Should You Stick with Your Coaching Niche?

Do you have a coaching niche that hasn’t paid off yet? This episode explores 10 strategic things that could be missing for you. The full transcript of this episode can be found at prosperouscoach.com/143.

Nearly all coaches are hoping for more traction in their niche. And I want you to understand something that may take the sting out of this. Nearly all businesses of all kinds are hoping for more traction all the time!

So you may be thinking: “It sounds like it’s not worth it to start a business!”

It absolutely is worth it if you’re serious about being the driver of a career that’s tailor made for you. If you want to choose how and when you work and with whom … if you want to be the one who decides your own fees, when you take time off and how often … your own business can give you that.

BUT you have to be in it to win it. Win it a bit at a time until you find the sweet spot. Screw your courage to the sticking place— as Shakespeare advised — and take risks knowing that you CAN make it with time and patience.

Maybe you don’t have time or patience. That in itself is a deal breaker. It’s not a good idea to start any type of business out of desperation. If you are on your last legs financially starting a business is not a good risk for now.

Start your business from a place of strength. Start your business when you’re hungry enough to motivate yourself and not so hungry that you’ll be under enormous pressure.

You don’t have to be independently wealthy to start a business. You just need a wealth of patience plus the willingness to try something, give it a fair shot for a decent amount of time while making small adjustments to improve yourself and your strategy.

ALLOW your business to unfold but don’t sit back and wait for it to happen without you.

I know I’ve used this metaphor in the last episode … your business is your baby. You would not judge a child harshly for not having it altogether in the first few months or the first few years would you? No, because you know there are developmental stages and every child has it’s own pace. That’s true for your business also.

If you’ve had your niche for a long time – let’s say a couple of years – and it hasn’t begun to pay off the way you want it to, should you abandon it?

Well the answer is possibly. Sorry there’s just not a clear straight forward answer here because there are so many variables to consider. Some have to do with the way you’re behaving and some have to do with strategy.

So let’s look inside your niche and your business. And by the way, I did a whole podcast series called Coaching Business Checkup that culminated in a beautiful free downloadable assessment to help you identify what needs to change in your coaching business … and yeah, it could be your niche for sure.

It could also be several other things. If you want to check out that series start with prosperouscoach.com/62

Inside the pdf you’ll also find links to each episode in the Coaching Business Checkup series so you can listen as you assess your business. The whole thing is like a mini audio course – all for free.

Your niche is only one of 10 things that could be keeping you back from financial success in your coaching business. It’s the cornerstone of everything so that does need to be right from the get go.

All businesses survive and thrive on a mixture of hard work, strategy and luck.

In my own business I surely have worked hard for over two decades. I am nothing if not doggedly determined. And that characteristic is a big plus.

I come by it naturally as nearly everyone in my family of origin are entrepreneurs who have scrabbled and cobbled together a good living all their lives mostly without being on someone else’s payroll. So working hard to grow my business wasn’t a foreign concept.

If you’re not working ON your business consistently and persistently … if you’re not in it to win it, well, that’s your answer right there. Without dedication no one makes it in business.

I’ve had some good luck too. I just happened to get involved in the Denver chapter of ICF at the right moment when the President recognized something in me and asking me to be a trainer for his coach training company.

Coach Training Alliance was born and I had the privilege of co-authoring the curriculum and developing the Certified Coach Program there. I personally trained 500 coaches and that put me right in front of an audience I knew I could help with my marketing and copywriting expertise.

That launched my current business. But I don’t want you to think everything was easy peasy from there. I kept working hard and finding my way.

There’s nothing wrong with working hard. It’s a positive energy unto itself. Enterprise is stimulating. It’s good for your brain to solve problems and follow a path as it meanders.

My hard work has paid off and kept on paying off. Apple, Google, Nike – you think those company leaders and teams haven’t worked hard? They have. AND they also did not know they would make it from the start. You will find your luck IF you work hard and stay the course.

The main thing you can control beyond hard work is strategy. And that’s what my free assessment – Coaching Business Checkup – is all about. Here’s a preview …

Strategy #1 is target a unique and viable audience. Does your niche have that?

Strategy #2 is center your niche on your audience’s BIG problems and goals. Are you good there?

Strategy #3 is articulate what you do in a way that inspires investment. That’s complex so that’s why there are powerful questions to answer in the assessment.

Strategy #4 is develop a simple coaching business model. Most coaches go with high tech, high labor low profit business models. There’s a better way.

Strategy #5 is create a simple and meaningful customer journey. Most coaches don’t think this through. I didn’t until the last 7 years! You can do better than me.

There are 5 more critical strategies. It’s time to examine your business and efforts dispassionately, so you can truly see what’s been in your way.

And if you want some help assessing your niche and business so far, grab a Strategy Session with me.

Ep 130 – A Surprising Way to Boost Your Coaching Income

This episode is short and eye opening.

The other day I was helping one of my VIP clients set her fees for her Signature Program and our conversation inspired this episode.

Anything having to do with money in your coaching business such as income and fees brings up old emotions:

  1. Fear of succeeding and failing.
  2. Insecurity about worth.
  3. Family or cultural beliefs about money.
  4. Fear of rejection.
  5. And, mistaken assumptions about why people buy.

I always encourage my clients to “do the math” rather than choose fees emotionally or based on erroneous ideas about what the market will bear.

By becoming somewhat dispassionate and stepping into the practical coaches can begin to understand how they can help themselves earn well.

Setting low fees is the most common way that coaches shoot themselves in the foot. Another way is by not setting goals. And coaches aren’t the only ones who fail to set business goals.

Why don’t people set financial and other metric goals for their business?

Well, it’s the same 5 reasons I listed above — fears, insecurities, learned beliefs and mistaken assumptions.

But here’s what I know for sure … if you do NOT set goals you’ll fail to grow your coaching business income. If you do set goals you will earn more. It’s as simple as that.

Let’s say in the first full year of your coaching business you don’t set any goals. Instead you just hope for the best and serendipitously earn $25,000 (for simplicity I’m talking dollars here).

Now let’s say you, in an alternative universe, risk setting a stretch goal to earn $100,000 in that first year and you earned $75,000. Would you beat yourself up about that? No, you’d be thrilled! And you’d be inspired to consider what worked and what didn’t work in your strategy.

The point of goals is not to beat yourself up if you don’t make the goal. The point to goals is to stretch yourself and to think through how you’ll make the goal.

Strategy is what brings about financial success. You’ll not only set financial goals but other metric goals too, such as how many Discovery Calls you want to have with prospects (because that’s the enrollment opportunity) and how many podcast episodes about what topics would inspire your audience to have the Discovery Call with you.

Goal-less business is not really a business at all. It’s a hobby.

Don’t let fears or limiting beliefs keep you from setting goals for your coaching business. Set the goal then plan how you’ll make the goal. Then celebrate your results, even if you didn’t make the stretch goal, and assess what worked and what didn’t. That’s how you step into the CEO role of your own business and thrive!

Ep 114 – 10 Things That Help You Become a Coach in High Demand

One of my VIP clients was researching other coaches in her niche last week. She came away from that shocked and concerned.

So many of the sites felt like ghost towns. A lack of current content or pages out of date seemed to signify the sites were abandoned.

Besides this one, three distinct fears crop up fast from researching other coach’s websites:

  • Is the coaching field too saturated?
  • Can I compete with this?
  • Should I even try to make it in coaching?

First, I assure you the coaching field is not too saturated, especially if you do things to stand out in the crowd, which you’ll hear me reinforce a lot.

And should you even try? Only you can answer that. You know your mind and heart. If this truly important to you, you’ll go after it with singular focus and true grit.

It may be hard to accept this. A lot of coaches do not make it — mostly because they lack determination.

Building and sustaining a business is no small feat. So many coaches will spend all the time and money to learn coaching skills then do all the tasks to launch but let the whole thing go before they even cross the threshold. Or, they give it 6 months then give up.

Looking back I’m amazed that I stayed the course considering my many mistakes and some slow years. I’m stubborn that way. Stick-to-it-iveness pays off.

So yeah, there’s tremendous attrition. And that’s true for all startups, not just coaching startups.

I encourage YOU to think of this attrition dispassionately. What really matters is YOUR courage of conviction. Don’t give up. Every problem has a solution.

Find your way and enjoy the journey because few things in life will teach you so many meaningful life changing things as growing your business.

What most coaches ultimately want is to become a coach in high demand. That golden place where clients find YOU and they are ready to enroll. It’s something you absolutely can achieve if you give it a chance.

I ’ve narrowed it down to 10 things all coaches need to become a coach in high demand:

Specialize on an Audience with a Specific Big Problem and Goal

The viability of your audience and niche is the cornerstone of your stability as a coach. If you stand out in the crowd and become well known by a unique and viable audience, you set yourself up for success. The more broad your audience or light your niche, the less likely you’ll gain traction.

Implement a Strong Content Strategy

Standing out matters here too. If your blogs, episodes, videos and social posts seem to be just like every other coach’s, those efforts won’t pay off. Content is still King and Queen!

Grow Unstoppable Determination

This is about character. Will you apply discipline? Will you believe in yourself and this calling even when there’s no proof you’ll make it?

Take Daily High Payoff Actions

A high payoff action makes you squirm. Coaches who make it will do the hard things until they are no longer hard to do and then they’ll find other challenges.

Have Patience

The first eighteen months after launch is a critical time. Because it’s during that time you’re most likely to give up. Patience is absolutely required. Without it, you’ll live in disappointment and give up before you’ve gotten started.

Value Your Time Highly

Act as if you are already in high demand. Choose wisely where you put your time and energy. Control your calendar and pinpoint your efforts. Set up and hold boundaries. Be a professional.

Charge High Prices

Graduate from student mode quickly. Stop charging by the session or month and develop a Signature Program. Charge fees that will allow you to work with few clients each year.

Develop a Platform

A platform is a stage that allows you to reach people. I was asked to train at Coach Training Alliance and to re-write their curriculum. This put me in front of hundreds of coaches that wanted my help to build their business. As you network to reach your specific target audience, because you’ve specialized an organization or center of influence might notice you and help your star rise.

Help Your Client Achieve Critical Results

If your clients are satisfied you’re worth the investment, you’ll enroll more but only if you’re charging well for your services. Professionalism and a sense of authority are strong attractors.

Ask for and Reward Referrals

I used to think any happy client would refer. But people are busy. You have to incentivize referrals. For example, when one of my VIP clients refers someone who enrolls in my 5-month VIP Coaching Business Breakthrough program I reward them with 2 free sessions to use anytime. It’s a strong incentive.

In the Next Episode: How to Market Your Coaching Business Just Like You Coach

The Coaching Business Backslide: How to Get Out of Your Own Way

You’ve invested a lot of time, money and passion to become a professional coach. No doubt, you’ve already made a difference in people’s lives.

But that initial push to learn how to coach and build your business foundation can quickly turn into disillusionment if paying clients don’t beat a path to your door at the get-go.

Impatience slows manifestation. Is it time to get out of your own way?

After 16 years of mentoring, I witness 3 main ways that coaches get in the way of their own success at this stage:

  1. Allowing doubts to crush momentum after a few coaching prospect rejections.
  2. Hiding behind the computer, constantly repositioning their niche, website and messages.
  3. Becoming paralyzed, afraid to get out there consistently to build trust and enroll clients.

Sound familiar? Here are 3 ways to think differently about your blossoming business …

Check Your Expectations

Expectation is a possibility killer because it lacks the most essential ingredient of possibility thinking – being open to outcome.

Words to live by: Happiness is low expectations. The idea isn’t to settle for less or shut down when challenged.

The idea is to BELIEVE in the journey. Set goals and create a vision. Then, make it happen with courage and grit. After all, isn’t that how you’d coach your clients?

That’s why self-made entrepreneurs are so celebrated. They believed and persevered.

But, if you ask them, they’ll tell you of delays, unexpected challenges and learning from mistakes … many mistakes.

There’s a lot of rhetoric out there that might make you think any coach can and should become an instant phenom.

But, if you pause for a moment, you’ll see that the people selling that message are working very hard at their own success. They’ve got a profitable niche, smart messaging, conversion processes, clear offers, and a team working with them to build their own little empires one day at a time.

Like every other entrepreneur, they built their empire on delays, unexpected challenges and learning from mistakes.

Give Yourself the Gift of Momentum

Consistency + congruence = leverage.

Leverage rocks! After 18 months of consistently blogging to my audience with a congruent message, I started enrolling clients from Google searches! I earned more with less effort.

One day – when you’re not tapping your foot with expectation – your efforts will arrive at a critical mass and something unexpected and wonderful will happen that takes your business to the next level.

Faithfully nurture your reputation and show up consistently.

Look at it this way …

If you get a cavity in a tooth, you wouldn’t stop brushing your teeth would you? You’d improve your habits. Maybe even become an avid flosser.

If your child falls while trying to walk do you encourage her to stay down and give up? No way. You let her fall on her bum and show her how to get back up.

So get out there every day with enthusiasm for your message, your value and your offer. Enjoy people. Even if they don’t hire you … right away.

Your ideal coaching clients are out there. Keep waving your arms so they can see you.

Yes, there are ways to get attention more quickly and enroll clients more easily at higher fees. It takes congruence – connecting the dots between your audience’s desires, your message and offers. It’s an art. I can help you with that.

Timing Does Matter

Sometimes, you begin to build your coaching business but there’s not enough room in your life to bring it fully into reality.

If you’re gainfully employed or have a family you’re caring for full time, there’s often not enough drive left to stay the course and grow your coaching business into a thriving livelihood.

Your options? Create a transition plan, clear space and redouble your efforts. Or, put your business to the side until you’re willing to take that leap. No shame.

But if you want it now, shrug off doubt and expectation, and aim for leverage!

What ways have you got in your own way to build your coaching business? How have you built leverage to reach that moment of critical mass where you thrive?

Enrolling Coaching Clients Requires Mindset Mastery

Recently, I posted 10 powerful questions for enrolling clients and it sparked excitement from some coaches that haven’t found sample coaching sessions effective and concerns from others about the potential for manipulating prospects with the questions. Thanks for the great discussion!

https://prosperouscoachblog.com/enroll-coaching-clients-mindsetSuccessful client enrollment is part competence with an enrollment process and part mastery of mindset. I explain in my previous post why, after more than a decade of coaching, I prefer the process of enrollment questions over giving a sample  session.

Are enrollment questions manipulative? No, not in themselves. But if the coach asking those questions is attached to the outcome of getting a client the questions could feel manipulative to the prospect. The coach’s attachment to outcome is the potentially troublesome factor.

What Were You Thinking?

Why do some coaches and consultants have a constant flow of ideal clients, while others don’t?

The answer to this mystery isn’t what you might think…

  • It’s certainly not that they are more skillful.
  • It’s not that they know all the right people.
  • And it’s not that they’ve got a big list of prospects.

It comes down to how they value themselves.https://prosperouscoachblog.com/thinking/

When it Rains it Pours

Half of my clients find me when they’ve run out of clients and can’t seem to get anyone to yes. We plump up their niche and core messages. And suddenly it pours. They have more clients than they can handle, when just a while ago they couldn’t get anyone to hire them.

What happened? They got their mojo back.

Could This Be the Reason Your Coaching Business Hasn’t Arrived Yet?

Your mindset.

It’s true. The make or break factors in coaching business success are rarely about education, specific business skills, or experience. Instead, it all comes down to how you manage your mind.

Nearly all my clients have struggled with believing in themselves at one moment or another. I’ve struggled with it on and off myself. What’s pulled me forward again and again is a BIG WHY. With all my heart I want to serve and earn with the freedom to do it my way. Over the years I’ve learned to use obstacles as my prosperous path.

Change Your Mind

https://prosperouscoachblog.com/reason-coaching-business-arrived/When you break through, it’s a shift in perspective that does it. You simply change your mind. Suddenly, what seemed like a steel wall in your way becomes a wisp of cloud. If the steel wall persists, it’s not because it’s real. It’s just waiting for you to see the wall come down. You have the power.

There’s a simple tool you can deploy whenever you feel that knife edge of wanting to give up: Turn what feels like a big deal into no-big-deal. Release your fixation on whatever you think is lacking and put their focus back on serving.

Move forward like a toddler reaching for a toy – with joy and determination.

10 Ways to Break Free from Perfectionism

Perfectionism can be paralyzing. You’re in good company if you get bogged down by it.

But, can you train yourself out of it? Yes!

If there’s a scale of perfectionism I was once a 10. But now I’m closer to a 5. By necessity my coaching business trained me out of it. I realized that if I wanted to earn more and work less that expedience is key. I saved a lot of time and aggravation by relaxing standards where they truly didn’t matter.

What was most eye-opening is that I discovered that perfectionists are not the most financially successful or happiest people on the planet. So why put myself through brain strain?

https://prosperouscoachblog.com/10-ways-break-free-perfectionism/In a recent juicy conversation with some coaches in my Prosperous Coach Inner Circle Mastermind*, we took perfectionism apart; examining what it is, when it arises, the significant costs and how to move beyond it. Here’s the wisdom that came out of that conversation: