In the last article in this series, I asked “IS COACHING DEAD?” The answer is NO, but it HAS evolved. If you haven’t already, read it to find out how to avoid the #1 mistake most life coaches make… which is that they try to coach everyone! (Hint: The answer is niche coaching!) See links to the other articles in this series at the bottom of this page.
The #1 question we are ALWAYS asked is “How do I get more coaching clients?”
In fact, as coaches, we’re asked this by all types of entrepreneurs. More clients or customers means more income in your pocket.
And, the answer, of course, has many facets, however it really comes down to avoiding the #2 biggest mistake most life coaches make, which is selling “coaching” (or any other service or product for that matter)!
Nobody wants to buy “coaching” (or another widget).
They want to buy RESULTS!
You see, people don’t buy coaching.
- They don’t buy programs or services or products.
- They don’t want information or to be told what to do.
- They never pay for things they SHOULD do.
- They only pay for things they WANT or NEED.
- People pay for things that solve their problems or provide valuable benefits.
They pay for results.
Results-based coaching allows you to stop wasting your time trying to convince people to want life coaching! Successful life coaches do NOT try to explain what life coaching is or convince people to want coaching. It’s exhausting, and it doesn’t work.
We’ve had those awkward conversations…
What do you do?
I’m a life coach
What does that mean?
Well, eh, I help people reach their goals
Compare that to… “I help people discover their life purpose”
Like I mentioned in my last article, offering vague general coaching sessions doesn’t motivate potential clients to sign up. But now I want to take it even further and point out that if you’re marketing “coaching” itself, no one will ever even find you. You see, no one searches for a “life coach”—in fact most people still don’t know about life coaching.
So, as I already mentioned, focusing on a specific niche helps you be able to stand out and find your ideal clients. But, having a niche isn’t enough because people are still not out there looking for a coach. The solution is to offer a coaching package that clearly achieves a RESULT the client is looking for—whether that is to lose 10 pounds, make a career change, or discover their life’s purpose.
So, let’s look at what it would take to create a results-based coaching package.
First, what is a coaching package?
Many life coaches make ANOTHER mistake—they offer 1-off coaching sessions. The problem is that someone may sign up for 1 coaching session, and even if it goes fantastic they may get busy and fail to ever book another session. The truth is that a one-at-a-time coaching session model doesn’t work. You spend all your time chasing clients.
The solution is to sell a coaching PACKAGE, which means clients are purchasing 4 or 6 or 10 coaching sessions at once. You can ask them to pay up front for the package or pay per session, or even monthly, but that’s not what it important here. What matters is the COMMITMENT.
By requiring clients to commit to a certain package of sessions, it ensures they are invested in actually following through with the coaching process. Single sessions of coaching do not accomplish anything. Coaching takes time because no matter what you’re coaching is focused on, you’re helping your client accomplish a goal, which isn’t reached overnight.
Unfortunately, many coaches stop here. They sell a 3-month coaching package, but it doesn’t sell. The reason? It doesn’t offer a specific result. The clients see “3 months of coaching”, but they’re left thinking “whoopdie-freaking-do, 3 months of coaching for WHAT?”
Next, what is a result?
The answer to the “for what?” is the result. Think about it like this:
- Your NICHE is like the category or focus of your coaching.
- Your TRIBE is the specific people who are your ideal target market within the category of your niche.
- Your RESULT is the outcome that those clients will receive from coaching, which fulfills a specific need that those specific people have.
And how do you know what result they want? By understanding their problem.
So, for example, one of our colleagues coaches retreat leaders. Her niche is transformational travel (aka retreats that people attend for personal growth reasons). Her tribe is retreat leaders (who teach and coach the individuals who join them at the retreats) and the outcomes she offers include teaching them how to design, market, fill, and execute transformational retreats.
And last, what is your gift?
Most coaches focus their coaching on a niche that they have experience in. For instance, perhaps you had a problem in your life that you overcame or solved or a skill or expertise you acquired. Now you want to help others do the same. The good thing about coaching on a topic you have personal experience with is that YOU UNDERSTAND THEIR PROBLEM and you know how to solve it because you’ve already gotten the result for YOURSELF. You become part coach, part guide, part teacher.
What result have YOU gotten in your life in your niche?
Not sure what your niche is yet? Check out last month’s article… but for now, ask yourself, what have you overcome or learned in your life that, if you helped someone else navigate the same journey, you could save them time, money, or pain?
So, imagine if you could coach someone to get the result that you have gotten for yourself. What impact would it have on THEIR life?
THIS is the result you are offering.
This specific way that you can help your clients is your GIFT. It’s based on YOUR unique experience. Packaging your gift not only makes you a more effective coach, it also makes coaching more meaningful and purposeful. And, it makes it easier to get clients!
Your Recipe for Success
So, the next thing you have to determine is HOW to get your client the result. What is your recipe for success?
Creating a coaching package is about writing this recipe. It’s like developing a curriculum that you use with your clients to help them achieve the desired result. In order to create a coaching package you have to determine how many sessions you’ll need, how much time it will take, and a lot of other details I won’t get into here. But, the most important thing is the recipe because it’s what allows you to transfer the result you got for yourself to someone else.
You may be wondering—I got the result for myself, but how to I teach it?
In order to teaching what you know or guiding a client through a journey, you need to identify the PROCESS you used to get your results. How did you do it? What steps did you take? What else was required or needed? Once you identify this process, you can be confident you will get your client the result they are looking for.
Let me tell you a little story…
When Joeel (my partner in crime) and I first started out with coaching we offered general coaching. We began focusing on our first niche—life purpose coaching—which was more gratifying and easier to market, because it was a niche. We found that most of the time the people seeking to find their purpose were entrepreneurs, and so we began offering entrepreneurship coaching, ultimately helping them create businesses that were in alignment with their purpose.
It was great, but we still struggled to the get the clients we wanted and it felt like it took a lot of effort to explain what we were offering.
And then we went to a conference where we learned the lesson I’m sharing here—that people want RESULTS, not coaching.
Here’s the story. We’d been meeting people all day, many of whom seemed like our ideal clients—new or aspiring entrepreneurs. But, no one seemed interested in finding out more about our coaching. One conversation went something like this: a woman asked us the classic question “So, what do you do?” And, Joeel responded “we do a lot of things” and proceeded to tell her about our entrepreneurship coaching, publishing company, speaking, and on and on… and we totally lost her. She said “oh, that’s nice” and walked away! I was confused, how could she not get it!
Now, part of the problem here was that we had a terrible “elevator pitch” at the time, which is a topic I’ll save for another article. But, ultimately the problem is that we were focusing on what we did, rather than telling them the results we could get them.
This happened to us all day and until someone asked us what we did again and Joeel blurted out, “we help people follow their passion and purpose and take that idea and launch a fully developed businesses in 6 weeks.” Her eyes lit up and she grabbed us by the arm and introduced us to someone she worked with. We barely said a word and she was selling him why he needed to work with us.
The funny thing is that we knew we had a habit of starting businesses in just 6 weeks, but to be honest, at the time we had no idea how we did it.
Serendipitously, we happened to be at a conference where we were learning how to identify the PROCESS we used to create success in our niche so that we could teach it to others. And, so, by the end of that event we had reverse engineered our success and created a program that would allow us to walk our clients through the same process we used to build our businesses, in 6 weeks.
Reverse Engineer Your Process (Recipe)
So, based on your niche and the results you can get your clients (that, most likely, you experienced yourself), the question you need to answer is:
HOW did I get these results?
Here’s a quick brainstorming activity to help you begin writing down your recipe.
Imagine going back in time and talking to your younger self—before you overcame your challenge, transformed, or learned what you know now.
- What words of advice or wisdom would you tell yourself?
- What strategy, tool, or insight could you share that would offer your younger self a short cut?
- How did you do it?
- What steps did you take?
- What else was required or needed? (A certain belief? Behavior? Change? Skill? Action? Tool?)
In order to identify your process, imagine starting at the end result and working your way backwards to identify what you had to have, understand, and learn (the ingredients) and what you had to do (the step-by-step recipe), in order to go from where you were when you begin to where you are now.
Once you identify the process for accomplishing the results you got, you can turn it into a coaching curriculum (a package!) and guide your clients through this process during your coaching program.
Putting it all together into your Results-Based Signature Coaching Package
You already have the ingredients for success:
RESULTS (You’ve gotten results for yourself.)
+ YOUR GIFT (You unique wisdom, experience, or expertise you can share.)
+ YOUR PROCESS (Your step-by-step curriculum for achieving the result)
= YOUR RESULTS-BASED SIGNATURE COACHING PACKAGE
It’s a “signature” coaching package because it’s something unique to you! It’s you’re the gift you can offer your clients, neatly packaged with a bow! It’s the greater purpose behind being a coach!
And, because you are easily able to identify and explain the RESULTS you get your clients, you no longer have to try to convince anyone to want coaching. Instead, you tell them the problem you can solve for them and they automatically “get it”!
Now, sometimes it is challenging to identify your ideal coaching niche, your gift, or your process. Odds are, you’ve reached the end of this article and haven’t yet had your “eureka!” moment. It’s okay. Building a successful coaching business doesn’t happen over night. Finding the right niche can take weeks, months, or even years. And, as you can see from our story, it often evolves over time.
But, I do hope that the steps I laid out in this article will help get you started identifying the results you can offer your clients—your gift to them! More importantly, I hope you can see why creating a results-based signature coaching package designed specifically for your tribe of ideal clients within your niche is the key to building a successful coaching business.
Now, get out there and give your gift to the world! Your clients need you.
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The 3 Biggest Mistakes Life Coaches Make
4-Part Article Series
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Joeel & Nataile are co-founders of Transformation Academy®, where they train leading-edge entrepreneurs, leaders and life coaches how to master their mindset and create a purpose-driven business. They have started more than a dozen businesses, and trained over 500,000 coaches from 200_ countries and territories. Joeel is a former psychology professor with a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Education is currently completing his dissertation on eudaemonic happiness for a Ph.D. in Psychology.