Office Hours Audio: November 12, 2019

(Click the timestamps below to play individual conversations, or click “Full Transcript” to read them.)

Marinda

2:04 (Full Transcript)
Like all great coaches, Marinda cares about her clients! She is conflicted because she currently offers a 12 week coaching program to moms who run at-home businesses. She wants the client to walk away from the program having formulated specific goals for their business. 

But, if by the end of that time, the client still hasn’t achieved the goals of the program, Marinda doesn’t want to just send them packing. She wonders:

  • Should I offer some sort of lifetime access with my program? 
  • Should I do a monthly group call to continue support?
  • Or should I offer any continued support at all, since it gets ambiguous?

Programs that promise a specific result are tricky. Your ability to deliver results for your client also depends on your client doing their part–and if the goal doesn’t get accomplished, the last thing you want to do is argue with your client over whether they did what they should have. 

I suggested to Marinda that she structure her program more like a course. She spends a lot of time repeating the same content, so she could easily create materials that the client could consume on their own. (**Warning: don’t spin your wheels creating something shiny–a Google doc with accompanying short Loom videos works great!)

This more structured format could put more responsibility on the client to complete various homework assignments. 

  • If they do them, then the work sessions will be more effective and they will be more likely to complete the program’s goal. 
  • If they don’t do them, they have clearer ownership over why the goals didn’t happen in that time frame.

Some coaches and clients are just fine with freeform, “bring your mind” coaching. But Marinda loves a more structured approach, and so she should embrace that in her coaching format, as it will make her more confident and excited about her offering!

Hanalee

18:54 (Full Transcript)
Hanalee came looking for feedback on a niche idea–weight loss coaching for women in their 40s or 50s, where their weight is starting to affect their physical health. She has a couple of clients already, which is a good sign. But is it enough? 

(Side note: when someone turns down coaching, they might blame it on the money. When someone turns down *free* coaching, they might blame it on the time. Really, it’s not that at all. It’s that they don’t want to fail again because they are sick of failing. So, even if some of your clients aren’t paying clients, that is still an accomplishment! You’ve already demonstrated that you can give someone hope.) 

A great way to test the niche is simply to produce content that has these specific concepts from her clients: “I just want to be able to go for a bike ride” or “I want to be able to swim with my grandkids.” People will respond. Hanalee was worried about how to target the right people on facebook, and how to build a business “the right way”, and just the idea of all that was already sapping her joy.

She was already having success by teaching classes and building relationships with people–no need to change anything! Sometimes we think owning a business HAS to be painful. If you enjoy the way you’re approaching your business, and it’s working, don’t suffer just because you think you’re supposed to do things a certain way. If you keep doing what is already working, your business will keep succeeding. 

Morgan

35:44 (Full Transcript)
Business is great, but Morgan is not–she is tired! She’s a coach for designers…and she launched a Shopify course last year…and she has design clients! Morgan has successfully built up multiple revenue streams, but she needs to make them more manageable this year. 

Morgan wants to reduce the energy that has gone into launching and fulfilling her coaching programs, namely 1:1 sales calls and 1:1 coaching. 

  • To reduce sales calls, I recommended that she set launch dates, cap enrollment, and take deposits. That way, when she really goes into launch mode, there will already be some spots taken. She can tell people there are only X number of spots are left, and that helps add urgency. Then, do a group Q&A call rather than lots of individual sales calls. 
  • To reduce 1:1 coaching, we discussed the idea of turning her coaching program into a course. Ideally it would stay at its price point, but it’s tough to sell a $2500 course without a monster marketing machine. It would work best to position it as a group coaching program with supporting video content. 

Morgan’s design services are also wearing her out, so her best approach is to increase the price. She has sold services at those prices before, so she knows it’s possible. It’s about trusting that those few, but lucrative, jobs will continue to come. 

If you’ve had a steady stream of clients, and your goal is like Morgan’s–to maintain the same salary, but to work less–consider listing a higher price on your website. You’ll reduce back-and-forth in the sales process because people who can’t afford you won’t even contact you with questions. The people who do contact you? Well, 70% of the sale is already made by the time they reach out to you.

Prioritize rest! When you’ve spent time building great things, pull back and let them work for you. 

Riece

1:06:57 (Full Transcript)
Riece is a new coach who really resonated with the Beautiful Business framework. She doesn’t enjoy the idea of a high-pressure business approach, but of course if she can never ask people for money, then that won’t get her what she wants either. 

Sometimes new coaches anxiously attempt to shrink the time frame between building people’s awareness of their coaching services, and making the sale. That’s like asking someone to get married when you just met! I encouraged her to never view someone transactionally. It’s all about letting relationships and content flow naturally.

You don’t need to get someone onboard with the cost right upfront. Instead picture this: someone tells you they’re struggling with something, you say, “I might be able to help you with that–let’s set up a time to chat”, then you coach them, then you ask them if they want to continue that kind of work, and then you describe what that looks like. 

In your content (Instagram is really the place to be these days), continue to strengthen your relationship with people that have a specific problem. Don’t think of every post, or really even any post, as THE time to get people to buy.

Beyond social media, another great way to build relationships is through teaching classes–”lunch ‘n learn”, MOPS groups, etc. Ask 5 people to come and ask them each to bring a friend. Then at the end of the class, have them provide their email address if they liked it. 

If there’s an aspect of your business that you are dreading, ask yourself if that’s really the way you “have” to approach it. Think instead about how you could make it genuinely fun and enjoyable, and that way, you will truly build yourself a beautiful business. 

Becca

1:26:05 (Full Transcript)
Are you a new coach? Do these thoughts sound familiar?

“People can’t afford me.”

“People don’t really understand what coaching is.”

“Nobody will ever pay me for this!”

Becca is having the same thoughts, so she was considering creating a lower-priced course. We discussed how if you want to do a course, great, but do it for the right reasons. If it’s because you don’t believe in yourself as a coach, then you won’t bring a lot of confidence or excitement to your course either. (By the way, courses aren’t an easy answer either because they require more traffic.)

We then talked about some great reasons why she might want to do a course. She serves a population that does not have a lot of disposable income, and she truly wants more of them to benefit from the content. 

We discussed pricing–if a $1200 program is too much for her clients, then a $300 course is likely too much too. Something under $100 will be much more accessible. A $300 course is one you would likely have to advertise with paid traffic, which would add to your costs. 

If she continues her approach of doing her newsletter, podcasting, in-person events like lunch ‘n learns, and even doing this course too, she will be giving a ton of value for little or no money, which will allow her to grow a community.

We discussed how some people are suspicious of her free events, and I suggested that she try charging a small amount for it. EventBrite is a super simple way to do that, and there are some WordPress plugins that work well for that too. 

Make the course simple (use content you already have, like Becca), give it a name, package it up so people feel like it is something special, tell them about it ahead of time, and get them excited about whatever you decide to charge for it. 

Becca was worried about her image if she prices the course too low, but no need to worry about that! Just get things out into the world and don’t worry that you’re going to do something “wrong” at each step. Providing valuable content always makes you valuable. 

Lindsay

1:39:58 (Full Transcript)
Lindsay is thinking of creating a podcast, but she has also been told, “Don’t start a podcast until you’re at six figures.” Sorry (not sorry), but I disagree with this one. If you’re supposed to wait until you’re perfect at it, then why would you produce any content before you’re at six figures?

Public speaking is one of the most lucrative and powerful marketing skills–why wait to start developing that skill? Guess what? You can always delete an episode if you decide later you don’t like it or that you can make a better one now. 

Lindsay is spending a lot of time covering the same content in the first 3 sessions with her clients, so just like Marinda, she could benefit from offering that content pre-recorded.  

We discussed the fallacy that a successful podcast has to have tons of episodes. Not true! Try just doing a 10-episode series. As people come into your world, you can send them there and it will help them get to know you and value you. What’s there to lose? 

Ceri

1:45:26 (Full Transcript)
Business is going well for Ceri, but she is wondering how to make sure it will keep going well. “Maybe the clients I acquired were a fluke, so I need to do more than what I’ve been doing to make sure they keep coming.” 

Ceri is producing daily Instagram content, increasing in followers, and her latest clients are ones she had no previous connection to. So is she doing enough? I say yes! It’s safest to assume that you will get your next set of clients the same way you got your previous ones, so don’t worry that it was a fluke. One way to figure out why it’s working is to track relationships back through the referral chain (and continue to foster those relationships at the top of the chain!). 

Many people think they need to do Facebook ads, and while they can be a great tool for those who are able to nail it, there is a tuition you will pay while you are on that learning curve. Also, if you do get a lot of traffic, then you are forced to change your business model into groups or memberships, and so think through if that’s what you want. 

In your business, there will be natural fluctuations. If what you’re doing stops producing results, then adjust. But if overall it’s working, no need to worry that it will disappear. Happy clients, consistent content creation, and building relationships all go a long way toward your business’s continued success.

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