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The Truth About Why You Don’t Have Time to Start Your Coaching Business

 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve entered into a conversation with a coach who says she wants to start her coaching business, but she “doesn’t have time.”

Does this sound familiar?

You have a full-time J-O-B. You have a spouse and kids and friends. You have errands and cooking and dishes. You have to get an oil change. And if it’s an oil change this week, it’s a doctor’s appointment next week, and a filling the following week.

Life is busy, and starting your own business seems insurmountable, given all the time constraints you face.

If you’re here, I consider you one of my unofficial coaching clients. So today, you can expect to get a little tough-love-style coaching. (You’re welcome. 🙂 )

If you don’t think you have enough time to start your business, you’re wrong. (I know. Ouch. But stick with me.)

This is NOT an issue of time management. It’s an issue of priorities.

You see, time is your most precious commodity. It’s a non-renewable resource.

You give your time to the things you consider most important.

Sometimes, when you’re not paying attention, your calendar gets full with the “external.” Maybe a friend invites you to lunch and you pencil it in. You realize you’ve run out of milk and you have to run to the store. You volunteer to run a bake sale at your kids’ school, and that’s an hour out of your day. See where I’m going with this? We allow outside influences (friends, family, boss, kid-related activities and events, etc.) to add countless items to our calendar all the time.

In cases like these, life happens TO you. It really can feel like you don’t have time to think about, focus on, or (especially) work on your business.

Don’t worry, there is good news in all of this: you can regain control of your time and your life. And you can make the time to work on your business.

It’s all about priorities.

Here’s a simple exercise for determining where your priorities are now, whether they align with what you want them to be, and how to adjust them if they don’t.

 

 

Identify What’s Most Important to You.

 

I always love a good brain dump! Take a few minutes to write down the things that are most important to you, right now. These may take the form of goals, like running a marathon or starting your business, or activities, like spending time with your family or exercising. Then, prioritize them. Put a #1 next to the item that’s absolutely the most important to you, and go from there.

 

 

Identify Your Current (Real) Priorities.

 

When I say, “Identify your current priorities,” I mean, figure out where you’re investing your time. Look at your calendar or schedule for the past several days or week, and write down the three activities on which you spend most of your time.

 

 

Compare Your Current Priorities with the Priorities You Chose in Step 1.

 

Once you know where you’re investing your time, evaluate whether those activities are in alignment with the most important things in your life.

 

If your current priorities align with the three most important things in your life, that’s great! And if your business isn’t on either list, that’s okay—now may not be the right time for your business.

 

On the other hand, you may identify your top three priorities and realize they’re not the most important things in your life right now.

 

 

Adjust Your Schedule.

 

Becoming conscious of where you’re investing your time versus where you should be investing your time, if you want to focus on your priorities, is an important step toward making time for what truly matters to you.

 

Now, it’s time to make changes to your schedule that empower you to give time to your true priorities.

 

Here’s another piece of coaching: you may need to let go of some things that are not easy to let go of.

 

  • For example, if you’re accustomed to working 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in your day job, consider working 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and working on your business for those two remaining hours.
  • If you’re accustomed to waking up at 7 a.m. to start your day, get up at 5 a.m.
  • Take shorter lunch breaks.
  • Spend a couple of hours every weekend morning working on your business.
  • Say no to lunch out, so you can work on your business during day-job lunch breaks.

 

I’m telling you, this works.

A recent graduate of our Easy Breezy Coaching Business Bootcamp was supporting her husband, and they had three kids under seven and a fourth on the way. Her business was a top priority, so she got creative and resourceful and was able to get her business up and running by fitting entrepreneurship in with her family (and other) responsibilities.

 

A current Bootcamper has two kids, a full-time job, and a part-time job. She’s supporting her husband. Getting her business up and running is a priority. That’s why she finds time to work on it! She wakes up earlier, takes shorter lunch breaks, and finds little chunks of time—because it’s important to her.

 

Even small chunks of time can yield amazing results. (Think about how much you get done in an eight-hour period before you go on vacation!)

 

 

Repeat This Mantra:

 

“I have all the time I need for my priorities.”

 

 

 

Work It!

 

Once you get used to prioritizing and setting your schedule around your priorities, you’ll be amazed at how much you can get done.

 

I’d love to hear from you!

 

Post in the comments below: right off the bat, can you think of anything you’re spending your time on, that’s not actually one of your priorities?

Posted in: Time Management

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7 Key Distinctions Between Hobbyists and Business Owners

Understanding the distinction between a hobbyist and a business owner is a crucial step in your entrepreneurial journey. This single insight can seriously impact the level of success you experience in your business and with your coaching!

Failing to understand it may cause you to hit the upper limits of your success without your even realizing it … and no matter how great your efforts, you will not see the results you desire. (Cue the ominous-sounding “dun dun dunnn.”)

But you can ensure you’re taking your coaching from hobby to profitable, thriving business by following the steps of the entrepreneurial journey outlined below, which I like to describe as rungs on a ladder:

Technician

Hobbyist

Business Owner

CEO

Shareholder

Rung 1: A technician typically someone who secures a job doing something she’s really good at, and that she truly enjoys doing.

Rung 2: A hobbyist. Most coaches/entrepreneurs have the courage to move beyond Technician, to Hobbyists, and that’s where they often get stuck. They fail to move on to the next rung: Business Owner.

Why?

Because while they set goals and intentions as Business Owners, they operate from the mindset and commitment levels of Hobbyists.

Here’s the great news:

When you can bring your mindset and actions into alignment with your goals and intentions, you can finally move from Hobbyist to Business Owner … and reap the rewards, which include increased cash flow, greater fulfillment, and more FUN!

As a quick note, neither Hobbyist nor Business owner is “good” or “bad,” “right” or “wrong.” They’re just two different ways of running a business.

The point here is that to achieve the level of success you desire, your mindset must align with your goals and intentions. When you create this alignment, you experience peace, results, and happiness.

Take a look at the following chart, which outlines the distinction between Hobbyist and Business Owner in several key areas of a business.

 

business-vs-hobbylist-Long-version

Thanks to all of the above, Business Owners coach more clients, make more money, and make a far greater difference in the world.


Now, both Hobbyists and Business Owners can be great coaches.

They just have different mindsets, actions, and goals for their business.

So let me ask you an important question:

Are you reaching the level of success you desire? Are you making the impact you want to make?

If you are, then exactly where you are is perfect, whether you’re a Hobbyist or a Business Owner.

If you’re not, take a closer look at the distinction between Hobbyist and Business Owner to identify where you are and where you want to be.

Then, place your attention on closing that gap, by leveraging your time and resources to get the best possible results. Create systems that generate consistent outcomes in each specific area of your business (list-building, enrolling, onboarding, supporting, etc.).

How do you leverage your time and resources? Ask yourself how you can streamline, organize, and/or automate your business’s back-office tasks so you can free up your time to focus on doing what you love while powerfully serving more clients and scaling your business.

As you move up to the next rung of the ladder on the entrepreneurial scale, you’ll start experiencing the level of success you envision for yourself, while having the desired impact you wish to have on this world.

Sounds pretty awesome, right?

I’d love to hear from you, now! Which of the seven distinctions I mentioned above is getting in the way of you being the best business owner you can be, keeping you “stuck” on a certain rung of the ladder? Share your answer in the comments section below!

 

Posted in: StartUp Coach

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How Many Technology Platforms Do You REALLY Need? 9 Factors to Consider When It Comes to Choosing the Technology to Streamline, Organize, and Automate Your Business

Ah, technology.

If you’re running a coaching business in today’s world, you can’t live without it.

And while your rational mind may tell you technology has the potential to streamline, organize, and automate your business, your emotional mind may feel a bit intimidated by the idea.

You need technology for so many different elements of your business: your website, lead generation, marketing, emailing, your calendar and appointment scheduling, client management, and your shopping cart.

It can be overwhelming to think about how you’re going to get ALL of these platforms set up in the first place, and then, how they’ll work together, and how you’ll find the time to manage them all.

The whole point of technology is to streamline your business so you can focus on coaching—but from where you’re standing right now, it may feel like handling the technology is a full-time job, in and of itself.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be.

You can choose the right technology to streamline, organize, and automate your business—without feeling overwhelmed.

And it’s key to get it all set up in advance, before you even start getting clients. After all, if you’re not set up to support your new client, how long do you think he or she will stay a client?

Because that’s so important, I want to make sure you have everything you need, now.


Here are nine factors to consider when you’re selecting the technology to power your business:

Can it be integrated?

What resources are necessary for managing it?

Is it designed for a service-based industry?

How complex is the setup?

Does it offer ongoing/post-setup support?

Does it offer community and resources in addition to technological support?

How much does it cost, and what is and isn’t included?

Is it overkill?

Can it offer a one-stop shop?

 

Can it be integrated?

If you’re using more than one technology, ensuring they’re integrated—that they can talk to each other—is a huge must. For every technology you add to your business, you add a layer of complexity.  If they’re not integrated, you’ll spend countless hours entering data multiple times, repeating yourself, making sure nothing slips through the cracks, and switching back and forth between platforms.

The Coaches Console is fully integrated.

The Coaches Console IS integration. Not only does it include technology for each element of your coaching business, but it also integrates those technologies, which means they talk to each other so you don’t have to be the go-between. It also integrates with merchant accounts such as PayPal, and lead generation tools like Leadpages—which means the data you enter into one platform automatically passes through to the separate technology. You don’t have to do anything with it! At every step of the way, from marketing to lead generation to conversion to support to follow-up, The Coaches Console keeps track of everything, so you don’t have to!

 

What resources are necessary for managing it?

Some of the technology platforms out there require a VA (or a team of VAs) to run them—which means you may need to outsource the running of these platforms to an expert (or more than one expert). So not only do you have to pay for and manage the technology, but you also have to spend time and money paying for the VA to operate it.

The Coaches Console is easy-breezy to manage.

The Coaches Console is designed by coaches, for coaches, which means you don’t need to be tech-savvy to manage it. In fact, if you can operate a Word type of program, or Gmail, or even a smartphone, you’ll feel tech-comfy when it comes to using TCC! Although you can hire a Coaches Console Certified VA to manage it for you efficiently and effectively (which we consider a nice bonus!), you don’t have to. Many of our coaches manage the platform themselves in just a few hours per week.

 

Is it designed for a service-based industry?

Technology platforms that are not designed specifically for a service-based industry like coaching (or similar service-based practices) often don’t include the mechanisms you’ll want to use to build and run your service-based business. They may have tons of bells and whistles, but in many cases those bells and whistles are impressive only for other industries (such as brick-and-mortar businesses or businesses selling physical products).

The Coaches Console is designed with coaches and service-based practitioners in mind.

Like we said before, The Coaches Console is designed by coaches, for coaches. We know which list-building funnel, sales funnel and conversion process work for our industry, and we not only designed our platform with those in mind, but we’ve also prepopulated and preuploaded it with over 20+ templates, agreements, messages, opt-in pages, forms, documents, products, and lead magnets that you need to build your list, convert prospects into paying clients, and support your clients exquisitely, to better ensure they get results!

 

How complex is the setup?

If you’re just launching your coaching business, the prospect of Getting Started—i.e. the initial setup of the technology for your website, funnels, support systems and so on—may feel overwhelming.

Some of the technology platforms you’re considering may require expert setup. You may have to hire a website designer or computer programmer. Others are really user-friendly and you won’t need any help at all.

The Coaches Console offers you options, based on how much or how little help you want or need.

If you’re comfortable with technology, you can set it up yourself! It’s completely user-friendly, and tons of people have gone this route and loved it. If you want a little help and a lot of love, you can join us for our Easy-Breezy Coaching Business Bootcamp, where we walk you step-by-step and click-by-click through getting everything set up, and we share some kick-ass business strategy (also known as Best Practices) with you. Or, we can do it FOR you, so that it’s all set up and ready for you to use! (Because it’s user-friendly, additional support is not required; this is just one more option we give you, so you can choose HOW you want to experience the set-up of your business.)

 

Does it offer ongoing/post-setup support?

Each platform offers a different level of support, and before you choose a technology platform, it’s great to get an idea of how much is available to you. You may or may not anticipate needing support at this point, but things can change as your business grows.

The Coaches Console offers ongoing support, in many forms, at no additional cost.

The Coaches Console offers multiple types of support and many ways to experience that support: live implementation calls to get you started, live chat to support you as you need it, a searchable knowledge base, video tutorials and FAQs, and weekly live trainings—all at no additional cost.

 

Does it offer community and resources in addition to technological support?

In order to make the most of a technology you bring on to your business, you must know the best practices and strategies that will optimize it and bring you awesome results. So, ask yourself whether you’re getting anything beyond the technology you plan to use. For example, does the provider offer an online group or a forum where you can ask and answer questions? Does it give you education and guidance on those best practices and strategies you can use to optimize it and get the results you want and need?

The Coaches Console offers a supportive, friendly community to address technology, business, lifestyle, and mindset. It’s everything you need to create a business beyond your wildest dreams, so you can live a lifestyle beyond your wildest dreams!

We offer a Coaching Lifestyle Facebook group (where we focus on Body, Mind, and Business), as well as private Facebook groups for members and Bootcampers. It’s all relevant to all the aspects of success as a coach—not just technology.

 

How much does it cost, and what is and isn’t included?

Many of the program out there start relatively cheap, but as you’re successful and grow your list and make more money, they become more expensive. What you pay for is directly tied to how successful you are—the more successful you are, the more you pay. For example, your investment might increase as you add more contacts to your list, sign more clients, or process more transactions. This means you may end up paying significantly more for a certain technology later.

You also want to pay attention to any initial startup fees, and whether or not there is an ongoing maintenance fee, beyond the fee for the platform itself. Be sure to inquire about these types of “hidden” costs, to avoid any surprises in your bank account when your payments are processed!

With The Coaches Console, you pay a flat fee, no matter how big your business gets.

As your business grows, you can rest assured that your investment level for The Coaches Console won’t.

 

Is it overkill?

As we mentioned before, some technologies were developed around the needs of businesses other than service-based businesses. Therefore, they may include (and charge you for) elements you don’t actually need. For example, some shopping technologies offer a great way to get paid, but because they want to cater to so many different types of businesses, they include many elements you’ll likely never use as a coach (but you’ll still pay for them!).

The Coaches Console offers everything you need, and nothing more.

Because The Coaches Console is developed by coaches, for coaches, it includes exactly what you need, and nothing more. And you pay for a single fee for everything: website, list-building funnels, converting features, client support, and getting paid.

 

Can if offer a one-stop shop?

When you implement several different technologies, you have to install, learn, manage, and pay for several different technologies. While each one may handle a different aspect of your business well, you’ll have to handle each of them separately. This often means you have to enter the same data and information separately (and when it changes, you have to make the change separately)—and this is where things fall through the cracks if you forget one technology. Obviously, this approach requires you to expend time, energy, money, and resources separately. Each technology adds a layer of complexity to your business management experience.

The Coaches Console is a one-stop shop where you can handle everything related to your business, all in one place.

As we mentioned in Consideration 1, The Coaches Console is fully integrated. All the different components communicate with one another, and, even more importantly, you can manage your entire business from this one place. This saves you so much time, money, energy, and possible aggravation, and it ensures none of the finite details slip through the cracks.  It’s simple, and as Leonardo da Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”


 

In Conclusion …

The Coaches Console is an integrated technology, created by coaches, for coaches, that includes software to manage your:

MARKETING & BRANDING:

Website
Templates
Landing Pages
Newsletters

LIST BUILDING:

Contact Management
Opt In Pages
Autoresponders

CONVERTING:

Scheduling for sample sessions
Appointment reminders
Forms

EROLLING:

Electronic Client Agreements

ONBOARDING & ENGAGING:

New Client Autoresponders
Invoicing
Billing
Shopping Cart

SUPPORTING:

Secured Client Data
Forms & Documents
Course & Content Delivery
Private Member’s Portal

OTHER:

Reporting
Training & support
Security & Compatibility
Business Building Community Forum

 

And it is designed to work on computers and mobile devices, which means that you and your clients can use it anywhere, and at any time.

Many consider The Coaches Console to be a one stop shop: their business in a box!

Plus, we offer you an amazing set of resources, for the technology and for your personal journey as a coach, to ensure you have everything you need to make the impact about which you’re passionate and to enjoy the freedom and fun of entrepreneurship!


 

Again, as a quick recap, here are the nine questions to ask yourself as you consider each of the various technology platforms you’ll use to help you make an AWESOME impact and achieve that freedom you want and deserve:

  1. Can it be integrated?
  2. What resources are necessary for managing it?
  3. Is it designed for a service-based industry?
  4. How complex is the setup?
  5. Does it offer ongoing/post-setup support?
  6. Does it offer community and resources in addition to technological support?
  7. How much does it cost, and what is and isn’t included?
  8. Is it overkill?
  9. Can it offer a one-stop shop?

Finally, I’ll take a few moments to reiterate how crazy-amazing-sexy it is to have one integrated platform to handle all the behind-the-scenes details of your business.

Imagine having one piece of technology to install and manage—a single place from which to operate your entire business. Imagine how much time, money, and energy that would save you … and consequently, how much time and energy you could devote to coaching your clients and powerfully supporting them.

That piece of technology IS The Coaches Console. It’s one integrated platform where you can manage every detail of your coaching business, in an experience that is seamless and fun for you and your clients.

Comment below with the top 1-3 considerations that are lacking in your business right now … those that, when you make a few minor adjustments, could free up your time, money, energy and resources to focus on doing what you love. If you haven’t joined the private Coaching Lifestyle Facebook group yet, do so now! Just follow this link, click “Request to Join,” and we’ll get you added ASAP.

Request to join!

 

Posted in: StartUp Coach

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Decisions, Decisions! A 10-Question “Business Opportunity Filter” to Determine If It’s a “Yes!” or a “No!”

As an entrepreneur, you have TONS of creative ideas. Right?

Maybe they’re about what you could do in your business, “if only” … Or maybe they’re about the next “best” steps to take in order to reach your goals, or how to better support your clients.

And as an entrepreneur, you also have a multitude of biz-building opportunities presented to you, probably on a daily basis.

Things like:

  • Courses or trainings
  • Speaking opportunities
  • Networking events
  • Various investments
  • New tools to add to your business
  • And more!

And sometimes, when you see one of these opportunities, it seems to be just what you’re missing. It taunts and teases you, promising to give you exactly what you need in order to achieve your goals.

Then there are all the decisions you’re faced with when it comes to the daily operation of running your business.

The bottom line: you have dozens (if not hundreds) of decisions to make, each and every day. And considering there are only 24 hours in a day, if you’re not careful, you’ll quickly find yourself overworked and overwhelmed, trying to do it ALL, and saying “yes” to everything.

So how do you know what to take on, and what to let go?

How do you decide what to go for, and what to pass on?

How do you make sure that you aren’t saying “No” to a great opportunity because your inner fears or blocks are trying to keep you playing small?

You use my Business Opportunity Filter, to determine which decisions get the “Yes!” and which get the “No”!

One of my mentors from when I first started my business (The Coaches Console) taught me how to create this filter, and it is my GO-TO TOOL for making smart choices in my business that keep me focused and propel me toward my goals.

I’m sharing it with you today because using it will help keep you focused on, connected with, and advancing toward YOUR goal of having a business (and life!) you love!


 

Creating Your Business Opportunity Filter

For each opportunity or offer you face in your business, answer the following questions to help determine whether it’s a “Yes” or a “No.” Keep in mind that you do NOT necessarily need to answer all 10 questions every time. Sometimes, you’ll have your answer after only considering a few questions. You can also pick and choose which questions to answer. All ten are available to help you through the decision-making process when it comes to those you have the most trouble with on your own.

 

Does this person/opportunity/investment advance me closer to living my Bigger Why?

Be honest: Have you created your WHY statement yet? (Hint: It’s the most important beacon in your business!)

If not, you may want to stop right here and work on that, because …

You must be crystal clear on why you’re doing what you’re doing, and why you started your business in the first place.  

Here’s how to clarify and hone your Bigger Why:

Ask these clarifying questions at least three times to get to the soul of your Bigger Why. It might not be a super-quick process, but I promise you, it’s worth it.

I even suggest framing and hanging your Bigger Why statement when it’s finished, so you can refer to it often, staying focused and inspired. That’s what I did, and mine still hangs above my desk, 13 years later!

Answering this first question will give you a pretty quick and easy “Yes” or “No” on a decision at hand!

 

If I say “Yes,” what will I be saying “No” to?

Let’s be frank:

Saying “yes” to a person/opportunity/investment requires time, energy, and resources. That means when you say “yes,” you’re saying “no” to other opportunities … overtly, or inadvertently. So consider what you’ll have to pass on, even if it’s for a short time, if you do say “yes.”

This way, you’re fully aware of what you’ll have, and what you won’t, as a result of the decision you make. When I consider this particular question around an opportunity, I really reduce the FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) factor, because I can stay focused on what’s most important to ME and MY goals—instead of someone else’s.

 

Am I saying “yes” because it’s just easier than saying “no”?

Humans, especially “conscious entrepreneurs,” or “heart-based” entrepreneurs, and women!, often have a difficult time saying “no” to people. We want to make others happy. We don’t want to disappoint. AND, it can feel safer to just say “yes” because doing so appeases the other person: no uncomfortable conversations, no confrontations, no vulnerability, for you. I get it!

But this is a recipe for overwhelm. Saying “yes” to everything inevitably means saying “no” to yourself. And isn’t that what we’re trying to avoid in the first place?

Consider whether or not you’re taking what you perceive to be the “easy” way out, if you say “yes.” It may be harder to say “no,” at first, but it’s not as hard as dealing with the overwhelm—and fallout from the overwhelm—later.

 

Am I noticing synchronicity?

The Universe corresponds to your desires. So, when you’re clear on your desires and your Bigger Why, you basically become a magnet for perfect opportunities, programs, people, and/or resources that will advance you closer to your dreams!

Even better: it often feels effortless.

Pay attention to the synchronicities related to your Bigger Why. Here are a few examples for you:

  • You were just wishing for something in your mind, and whalla! A link or article pops up on Facebook that totally answers your wish.
  • You were thinking about a particular person, and he or she suddenly calls you “out of the blue.”
  • You were struggling with something that continuously blocked you from reaching your goal/dream, and then (as if by magic!) you are introduced to someone who has the exact solution you need to get past the block.
  • See where I’m going here? If you notice synchronicity around a decision, it may make it an easier “Yes.”

This is my “go to” question. If synchronicity is showing up, then I TRUST that magic in my life, and I tend to weigh out the opportunity even more.  I do my best to not argue with or resist the Universe when he/she is trying to make my life and goals easier to experience!

 

If needed, can I collaborate with others?

Does saying “Yes” to this particular person/opportunity/investment put you in a spot that requires you to grow? To develop new skills? If so, collaborating with others who are a few steps further down a shared path creates a massive opportunity for growth. If you already know people who have already paved the way for you, and who are there for you to lean on for support, saying “Yes” to an opportunity may be an easier decision.

I always say yes to at least one opportunity each year that places me in constant collaboration with people further down the path than I am (a program, a Mastermind, etc), because I know it will help me grow.

 

What happens when I harness the “as if” power?

This is all about acting “as if.” (Bonus: this is a powerful coaching question to use with your clients as well!)

If you’ve asked yourself a question 105 times, and the answer is still unclear, then act “as if” you’ve made one decision, and take away the other.

For a 12-hour period, move through your day ACTING AS IF you’ve given a resounding “YES” to the person/opportunity/investment. How do you feel? What thoughts are you having? What do you notice about your body?

Then switch! For the next 12-hour period, move through your day and ACT AS IF you’ve given a resounding “NO.” How do you feel? What thoughts are you having? What do you notice about your body?

Pay close attention to how you FEEL in both situations, and let that guide your decision making.

 

Am I willing—and able—to consistently give it my ALL?

If you’re in, be in. If you’re not, then don’t do it. Half-assing means you waste time, energy, and effort on all sides if you’re not “all in.”

So, do you have the time available to invest 100 percent? Do you have the energy for it? If you say “Yes,” will you be spreading yourself too thin? Is this a priority to me?

 

Does my soul give this a “Hell Yes!”?

Because let’s be honest: if it’s not a “Hell Yes!” then it’s a “Hell No!”

If you don’t feel a resounding, soulful “Hell Yes!” immediately, then consider whether that means it’s a “Hell No!”

If you’re only getting a whisper, or a “Maybe,” that could mean it’s really a “Hell No,” or that you just need a bit of time and awareness to expand into the “Hell Yes” that this really is for you. You’ll definitely want to walk through the other questions to decide.

Often when I use this filter (whether I’m buying a pair of shoes, enrolling in a program, or considering going out to dinner with girlfriends), I experience a “bonus” benefit, too: when I put myself in the place of a solid “No,” I can then release fears and get clear on what would need to be in place for it to be a “Hell Yes” (if that’s what I want).

 

Where am I on a scale from 1 to 10?

This is a simple and effective way to consider a decision. It involves using numbers to engage your mind and ego in the decision-making process, taking the emotion OUT of the equation for a moment, so you can be totally rational and fact-based.

Ask yourself:

“On a scale from 1 – 10 (1 being a ‘Hell no, forget it,’ and 10 being a ‘HELL YEAH, I’M IN!’), where am I on this decision?”

If you’re a 10 out of 10, you don’t need me to tell you what to do. Trust yourself and enjoy the adventure!

As a general guideline, if it’s a five or lower, you’re probably not ready. And that’s okay! At least you’ve got your answer, right? There’s freedom in and of having made a decision, either way! You can walk away and not give it another thought.

Anything under a five practically guarantees that you won’t be committed to your “Yes,” if you say it, and it will distract you from what will be most effective and fun for you. Plus, you’ll avoid beating yourself up later for making “another bad decision.” Politely decline, and walk away.

If, however, you’re somewhere between a six and a nine, ask yourself:

“What would it take for me to be a 10 on this particular person/opportunity/investment?”

And then listen to yourself! The answer will typically pop up in about one to two seconds. Don’t overthink it; you’ll just get in your own way. Take note of would make it a 10 for you, and then ask yourself if you could do whatever that is to move yourself toward a 10. (Then, do it!)

 

What will be my ROI if I say “Yes”?

Sometimes, your ROI (Return on Investment) will come in the form of money. Sometimes, it will come in other forms: indirect returns such as new leads (that will eventually lead to new clients and money), or a skill set that you needed in order to move you closer to your goals.

Other times, your ROI will be emotional currency, like when you’re able to be involved with a group of people who are aligned with your values, mission, and beliefs.

And still other times, your ROI may be in the area of self-development; you become the next greatest version of you so you can reach your goals, dreams, and desires.

As a business owner, whenever you encounter a new opportunity, always consider what your ROI will be, what form it will take, and when you can expect to see it.

Knowing this in advance will help you determine if the investment of your time, energy, and resources is worth it.


 

And there you have it! Your Business Opportunity Filter.

Answering these 10 questions will hopefully help you discover the decision that is already inside of you.

And if all else fails, TRUST YOURSELF.

 

EXERCISE:

Sometimes, even going through all 10 questions above might leave you undecided.

So here’s a quick exercise you can do “when all else fails.”

Think of a decision you need to make.

Then, (right now!), place one hand on your heart, and one on your solar plexus (your gut). Take a deep breath in. Slowly release it. Take a second. And a third. Calm your mind, and create space in your heart.

What do you hear?

Sometimes the “yeses” and “nos” are faint whispers from your soul. To hear them, you have to get quiet, at least long enough to hear them.

Some people call this prayer. Some call it meditation. However you frame it, create that still, quiet place within, so you can listen and trust yourself. You know more than you realize.

And above all else, once you make your decision, move forward unapologetically. Don’t go back and question, or beat yourself up. Be confident.

Everything we do in our business as entrepreneurs is research: every step we take, every project we create, every decision we make … all research. When you take a step—whether that step comes from a “Yes” or a “No”—it becomes research for your Biz-Building Quest.

It will inform you intellectually, physically, emotionally, energetically, and spiritually. Pay attention to that research, and adjust accordingly based on the experience of hindsight.

If you say “Yes” and realize it wasn’t the right decision, act on that new information. If you say “No” and realize you wished you’d said “Yes,” act on that new information, immediately. And adjust accordingly. Simple!

You can do this! Here’s to your next decision – with clarity!

Post in The Coaching Lifestyle Facebook community which Business Opportunity Filter Question resonated most, and why. I read everything, and I’ll personally respond! What opportunity are YOU considering right now that you could walk through each of these questions? If you haven’t joined this private group yet, do so now! Just follow this link, click “Request to Join,” and we’ll get you added ASAP.

Request to Join

 

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A Tale of Two Coaches

As a start-up coach, how awesome would it be to just close your eyes, cross your arms, and “I Dream of Jeannie” style nod your head and poof! Magically, your coaching business is filled with great clients, running itself, organized and beautiful … while you make the difference you’re here to make.

Ahh … if only!

The truth is that starting your coaching business can be messy and complicated. But it doesn’t have to be.

And that’s why today, I’m telling you a story … a Tale of Two Coaches.



Melinda’s Story:

In my former life, almost 15 years ago, I had my dream job. (It wasn’t coaching, then.)

I loved what I was doing – and had been dreaming of doing it since I was 13. I went to school for it and had planned on doing it my entire life.

I actually had my entire life all planned out, all the way through retirement.

But then, I was fired … and all my perfect dreams were shattered.

And you know what it’s like, right? Sometimes when it rains, it POURS.

I was recently divorced, and I was now jobless, on my own. I had responsibilities. I needed to make money fast! But like so many of us, I had no experience setting up a business – I just knew I loved to coach, and wanted to make it more than a hobby.

Kate, who was my coach at the time, gave me a big stack of papers and said, “Here is everything you need to start a business.”

That pile of papers stood between me and my success.

Imagine it, for a second. If a pile of papers stood between YOU and YOUR success, what would you do? Tackle it? Hide behind it, pretending to do “busy” work? Let it stop you from moving forward? (Answer really honestly – it’s okay, I’ll wait!)

For me, it was perfect. I’m like Monica from Friends: I LOVE to organize and make things work as effectively as possible (I’m crazy like that).

So I went through that whole pile in under a month, and piecemealed different technologies together to create a system to run my business.

Because I did that, I put a system in place that handled all the details of my new coaching business behind the scenes, while I coached.

I automated, and made sure nothing could slip through the cracks. And because nothing was slipping through the cracks, I could deliver what I was promising while I powerfully served my clients!

And guess what? THAT gave me the confidence that set me apart from other start-up coaches.
That confidence allowed me to present myself professionally. I could go to the networking events and learn the marketing to get clients. It allowed me to charge what I was worth right out of the gate, and all of this was how I had a full, booming coaching practice in under six months.

In fact, I was on track to make $50k in my first year, and I hadn’t even finished my coach training!

The best part? The entire process was FUN – I absolutely loved it!

That’s how I built my business.

Kate, on the other hand, had a completely different business-building experience.



Kate’s Story:

Even early on, Kate recognized the fact that she had never excelled at things like administration, processes, or systems in business. She’s always been more of a “go with the flow” kind of woman, so it made perfect sense to her to do the same with her business.

Kate loved being a coach so much, that THAT was her flow, and she struggled in all the business-building areas … which meant she also struggled to create a thriving business.

(Can you relate?!)

Kate is naturally gifted at networking, client attraction, and sales, so it wasn’t too long before she had her first client. Along with that client came her “Oh, Crap! NOW What Do I Do?” moment.

She immediately called her mentor coach and said, “Now what do I do?” (I can only imagine her panic!)

Her coach walked her through the next steps of getting the client signed up. It became a pattern: every time Kate ran into another missing business system, she would call her mentor and then scramble to figure out the next step … always rushing to implement it right away, so she could maintain some level of professionalism with her clients.

To her clients and prospects, everything was “fine,” but behind the scenes, she was a mess!

The piecemealing continued as she solved immediate need after immediate need as she bumped into them.

Kate was stuck in REACTIONARY mode, and she lost clients and money in the process (she once told me a story about how it took her THREE MONTHS to create an invoice for a client and by then … she was so embarrassed that she didn’t send it! She ultimately waived the fee!).

Because Kate was disorganized in her follow-up, she would often just ignore it all together. This went on for three years! Kate did create minimal financial success, but everything was always a struggle. So despite being a great coach and a great marketer, Kate was a (self-admitted) terrible businessperson!



When the Two Come Together:

“When Kate met Melinda” …

Kate was quick to dub me The Goddess of Efficiency!

When I met Kate, as my mentor coach, she handed me that big stack of paper she’d been collecting for over three years and said, “Here’s everything you need!”

When I took that stack and created my newly-organized business systems, Kate said, “I want what you’ve got!!!”

And I began coaching her to organize the back-end of her business.

Realize that at THIS point, I’d only been “in business” about a month myself, so I wasn’t in the flow of attracting and serving clients. But Kate could see how much an organized, streamlined, efficient process would grow her business!

(And her crystal ball said that it would skyrocket mine!)

Kate and I quickly realized there were lots of coaches out there who didn’t know how to run a business, or didn’t like the business-end of coaching. And we realized WE could HELP them become thriving business owners!

And that’s how we became business partners. That was the birth of what is now The Coaches Console.

Fourteen years later, we’ve transformed this realization into a 7-figure business, working with thousands of coaches, and growing an awesome team, so we can continue to make even bigger impacts in the lives of many around the world!



The Moral of the Tale:

You have to be prepared, and have the back-end of your business ready to find new prospects, convert them into clients, and support them in an exquisite way to make the difference–and the income–you want to make.

Your passion and your love for helping your clients can get them the transformation they want – but if you’re always struggling in the follow-up or client attraction, you’ll never have the life YOU want.

There’s no shame in being “bad at the back-end” either! In fact, even if you’re great at it, imagine how much easier life would be if you could follow a proven system – and not have to build it all from scratch (or from a huge pile of papers and resources!).

So let me ask you:

Which coach can you more closely identify with: Melinda or Kate?

And which path do you want to take with your business?

Comment below – I LOVE hearing from you, and I read your comments! I can’t wait to respond to your thoughts and questions.

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My 5-Step Formula for Finding New Clients (Even If You Don’t Have a List!)

You are READY.

Ready to live your mission: transform lives by doing what you do best – coaching.

And you’re excited, right? To get out there … find clients … kick ass!

But then your enthusiasm is tempered, when you think … but … how? Where are the people you can help? How do you find them? Where do you even start getting leads, especially if you don’t (think) you have a list??

I hear these questions ALL the time from new coaches who can’t wait to get their business up and running – and it’s true: if you don’t have clients, you don’t have a business. And without a business, you don’t have the income … and without the income, you don’t have … well, food on the table. Right?

I get it.

And that’s why today, I’m answering the BIG question: HOW do I get clients?

But do me a favor … read this one all the way to the end. (It’s important!)

Without further ado, here is my 5-Step Formula for Finding New Clients (Even If You Don’t Have a List!)

1. Nail Your Niche

Choosing a collection of people that are facing similar challenges and wanting the same results allows you to fine-tune your marketing, to make it laser-focused and effective. (Think of it this way: if you seek transformation of any kind, do you respond to people or services that market to everyone? Claiming to be able to help anyone with anything? Or do you feel more comfortable responding to a person or service that speaks to your specific problem?)

When you nail your niche, you speak to the people who need your gifts. You become known for something and then let them find out about what else you offer. It also enables you to support your clients on a deeper level.

And it doesn’t put a cap on your revenue either. I promise you, there are people out there who need you, and there are plenty in almost every niche.

Exercise:

When it comes to nailing your niche, it’s critical to identify a specific set of challenges your coaching can overcome, and results it can achieve. Then, you find the people who face those specific challenges, and desire those specific results. And better yet, they start to find you!

So get out a piece of paper, and start writing! Get crystal clear around the challenges you hope your clients overcome, and the results you help them get.


2. Identify Your Top 10 Strategic Referral Power Partners

The power is in the partnership! (Well, there’s a whole LOT of it there, but we know the power is really in the coaching!)

Most coaches focus their attention on finding one client at a time (which often contributes to the feast or famine model). But not only does that become exhausting, fast, but it also means that you’re spending a whole lot of time on your marketing and sales … which means you’re spending less time coaching.

Why not let others help you grow your business, so you can really make the impact you want to?

Spend a bit of time up front identifying who else (coaches, experts, speakers) serve your ideal client in a different way than you do.

When you can align with these Strategic Referral Power Partners, you can get your message in front of dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of your ideal clients, all at once! That means you can increase your exposure, grow your list, and connect with people you otherwise wouldn’t ever get to meet – and help.

Exercise:

Go back to your piece of paper, and begin brainstorming. First, create a list of 10 professions that would be ideal partners. Then, go through your contacts or ask people you know to introduce you to people in those professions. Do a keyword search online, and then search the high results for people who specialize in the same type of work you do. Make a list of names.


3. Create the Perfect Lead Magnet

You don’t have to have an email list to get new coaching clients – but you want to start building one, because that’s how you nurture your prospects into clients. So when you’re networking, or when visitors come to your website, you need a way to capture their name and email address – and the best way to do that is to give something with value away to new prospects, as a gift. (And yes … THIS is the power of a “lead magnet”!)

A lead magnet can be an infographic, a template, script, chart, white-paper, eBook – you get the idea.

The key to a creating the Perfect Lead Magnet is that it contains education-based content that provides valuable insight, tips, and/or resources to help your ideal prospect immediately, and that begins to create momentum in that person’s journey toward his or her desired goals and results. When you give a gift like that, it also builds trust with your new contacts, and turns pressure selling into prompting!

Exercise:

It’s time to start thinking of what you can offer new prospects! Continue your brainstorming process on paper: it’s proven that writing down your ideas and goals increases your chances of achieving them.

What does your ideal client need – and how can you give them something that can immediately help them achieve? What can you create and share, that begins to address their biggest, most urgent problem? Share tips, resources, templates and anything that will help them move through those challenges and create momentum forward.


4. Gather Existing Contacts

Think you don’t have a list? No one who would even want your Perfect Lead Magnet? I bet you have more than you think!

Exercise:

Go to the various places in which you have your contacts scattered (consider them all: Gmail, Yahoo, Excel, Outlook, your smartphone, Facebook, LinkedIn, that pile of business cards on your desk).

Go through every single one and start a list of anyone you think would be helped personally OR by sharing your work with their clients, friends, or family members.

Once you’ve made your list, you’ll want to reach out to them with a friendly, warm “Dear Jane” letter. Let them know what you’re up to, how you help people, and share your lead magnet with them. Be sure to directly ask them to share it with anyone they think would benefit from it, by giving them the link to your Perfect Lead Magnet opt-in page. (Make sure that’s clear … this is how you gather prospects, right? By asking them to sign up for your Perfect Lead Magnet.)

Make sure it’s personal – these are your contacts, and they’ll love hearing from you! Share a bit about your personal life, too, and let your personality shine through!


5. Connect with Others

Instead of sitting behind your computer, isolated, get out and get connected! Trust me, being an introvert, I know it can be tempting to stay in the comfort of working from home, but you’ve got to get out there! So, here are a few ideas for you:

  1. Join a local networking group. Find one that meets regularly, so that you can connect with other professionals to find new leads and referrals. And be a giver! Be on the lookout for any opportunity that allows you to bring value to the group in the form of masterminding, providing new leads, and offering constructive feedback.
  1. Offer your expertise as a guest blogger. Make sure the article you share fits with the purpose of the blog you will share it on, and offer something that readers will get tons of value out of. Guest blogging is great, because you can share your expertise and grow your brand by tapping into someone else’s audience! (And at the end of your article, you can link to that Perfect Lead Magnet you’ve created … ta-dah! New prospects, new nurturing … new leads, new clients!)
  1. Join LinkedIn or Facebook groups and answer questions about your niche – get visible, and connect! Create profiles in those platforms, and make sure the information you provide is up-to-date. Import your contacts, and connect with as many people in your network as possible. Then you can share your blog posts, website, and other interesting content directly to your LinkedIn/FB newsfeed.

And there you have it! You ask how to find and get clients, and I answer!


BUT HERE’S THE THING:

If you don’t know WHAT to DO with your clients once you get them, all the “How to Get New Coaching Client” tips in the world aren’t going to help you grow your coaching biz.

Nope – not one bit!

You have to have the back-end of your coaching business ready to support your new clients – in an exquisite way – to make the difference – and the income – you want to make.

It’s simple, right?

Once you go through the steps above, you’ll have a warm lead right there in front of you … and the what?

Setting the BACK end of your business up BEFOREHAND is the difference between running your business sporadically – reactively – at best, and growing a successful, profitable business that is scalable to what you desire.

So let me ask you:

Which technique (running out and getting clients using the 5-Step Formula above versus setting up your back end so you have steps and processes already in place – automated, even! – to nurture the leads you get, so they become clients) can YOU most relate to? Which is more appealing to you, any why?

Which makes more sense to be successful?

Comment below – I LOVE hearing from you, and I read your comments! I can’t wait to respond to your thoughts and questions.

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5 Sexy Best Practices for a Business That Runs Like a Well-Oiled Machine

As you begin the process of setting up your coaching business, you may be realizing that the running of your business can be just as time consuming as the actual coaching, if not more so!

You know it’s part of running a business, but you definitely prefer the coaching part of the business!

When it comes to running a business, there are many, many moving parts: that is, if you want to grow your business into a thriving, profitable, world changing venture (and I am pretty sure you do!).

I call these moving parts Best Practices: finding new leads, growing a contact list, converting prospects into paying clients, and getting paid while providing those clients with exquisite customer support.

If you don’t consciously learn and implement these Best Practices, then you often end up creating random steps in reactionary mode as various things come up. The back end of your business is clunky, at best.


Here’s a brief rundown of Best Practices in the five core areas of your business:

Attract:

The #1 Way to Generate New Leads: Create an opt-in form with automated follow-up email sequences.

The #1 “Keep in Touch” Marketing Strategy: Post articles, consistently, on your website.

Convert:

The #1 Way to Convert Prospects: Offer effective enrollment conversations, or sample sessions.

Engage:

The #1 Way to Quickly Onboard New Clients: Create online client agreements and a private client portal to provide and drip content and material over time.

Support:

The #1 Way to Support Clients in Creating Optimal Transformation: Provide exquisite client support.

Refer:

The #1 Way to Get New Clients: Word-of-mouth marketing, or referrals, through an automated testimonial- and referral-gathering process


 

For every Best Practice, there are 27 core elements required to implement each of them. And within those 27 core elements, there are innumerable nuances as you apply and optimize them. This applies no matter whether you want five clients or 25 clients.

Of course, for each Best Practice, there is also a great technology you can use! And for every technology, you’ve probably received a recommendation from a colleague, a mentor, or a friend. You likely have a list of seven or ten different technologies, right?

When you get right down to it, being a coach-preneur almost requires you to be a technology master as you ensure those technologies are working together.

But is that really how you want to be spending your time?

A recent conversation I had with my friend, Christy, illustrates this perfectly.

Christy is burnt out at her job in higher education. She’d like to start a business helping teens live their lives fully in this world. As she began to think and talk about her new passion, the sparkle came back to her life. Her passion transformed her.

She was excited and tuned in to her higher calling.

Synchronistic things began to happen for her. One day, she sat next to a woman on a plane and shared her desire to start a new business. When that woman heard Christy’s story, she said, “I’ve had my own coaching business for years. Here’s everything you need to get started.”

She went on to list out innumerable “necessary” technologies, including those to accommodate:

A contact list

Lead generation

Payment processing

Client notes

And more

As Christy told me what this woman had advised, my heart sank.

While the woman had given Christy hope that her dream was possible, and she’d also given her specific tangible resources she could use to make that dream reality, Christy didn’t realize the path she’d just put herself on.


 

At The Coaches Console, we believe there are two paths a coach-preneur can take when setting up his or her business:

1. The Piecemeal Path
2. The Proactive Path

Christy’s enthusiasm, fueled by the woman on the plane telling her that her dream was doable, meant she was ready to do whatever it took to make her business work. She was one step away from blindly embarking on any journey just to see her dream become reality.

In other words, by exploring all these different technologies, Christy was headed down The Piecemeal Path! This is a trap many startup coach-preneurs experience because they don’t know what they don’t know.

Christy was about to spend hours and hours learning between seven and nine different technologies, which, when combined, would cost her between $349 and $532 per month!

Her excitement and enthusiasm were blinding her to the long-term effects of following this path.

When you’re on The Piecemeal Path, you’re asking yourself, “How can I address this one part of my business?” You’re taking a microscopic, small-scale view of your business, solving one immediate problem at a time. And one by one, you put in place systems to address each part—email, lead generation, content delivery, scheduling, etc.

=> The result: you end up using several technologies—seven to nine on average! Not only is this time consuming, but it’s also expensive, and can cost hundreds of dollars per month.

If you’re like so many of the coaches we work with at The Coaches Console, you don’t want to spend all your time on technology—you want to spend it working with clients, creating programs, and being supportive.


 

To get to that place, consider asking yourself a question that’s different from the one above:

“How can I address ALL the necessary parts of my business?”

Exploring the answer to this question requires you to take a broader, longer-term view of your business. Answering that question puts you on the Proactive Path. The Proactive Path requires you to spend a bit of time up front to understand the Best Practices I mentioned above, as well as how they all work together in an integrated way (well-oiled machine, baby!).

Once you understand those elements, and put a system in place to streamline and execute them, you can generate consistent results.

That system is The Coaches Console.

You see, The Coaches Console is the answer to that question, “How can I address ALL the necessary parts of my business?”

It’s one, pre-built, integrated technology, specific to the coaching industry, that enables all the parts and pieces of your business to become a well-oiled machine that’s always working on your behalf, generating consistent results on an ongoing basis.

It frees up your time, money, and energy so you can put them towards tasks and activities that positively impact your bottom line and the transformation you provide to your clients.

So, now, I’d like to ask YOU a question:

If you had to choose between working harder and working smarter, which would you choose?

I’m pretty sure you’d choose to work smarter—that’s why you’re here, right?

To work smarter and accomplish more in less time, with less work, it’s optimal to have one platform that can handle all the elements of your Best Practices for you. It’s even better when that platform is pre-built for coaches, and is meant to serve as the foundation of a growing, thriving business.

By taking the time, up front, to learn how to work smarter, using a single platform, you’re saving yourself tons of time, energy, and money in the future as you grow a coaching business with a streamlined, organized, automated back end!


 

Exercise:

Complete this two-part exercise to determine how much time and money you spend on managing the various technologies you’re using now.

Technology Audit

Write down every technology you currently use for your business, and its cost, from website hosting to shopping cart, to online calendar to course and content delivery. Use the Technology Comparison Chart for ideas. Add up their monthly or annual costs to determine how much you’re spending all together.

Time Audit

For one week, track the time you spend managing the different technologies you’re using. Multiply the number of hours by your own hourly fee to determine how much the management of these technologies is costing you in billable hours. Or, if you pay a VA to manage these technologies, write down the number of hours you’re paying her for. Then, consider this: on average, members of The Coaches Console report spending just two hours per week managing their Console Systems. That equates to roughly 20 minutes per day!


 

Next Steps:

If you’re ready to work smarter, and to follow The Proactive Path to a streamlined business that allows you to focus on coaching, supporting, and nurturing your clients—and making a big impact and a great income—then go here to download your complimentary Technology Comparison Chart, which is designed to guide you in streamlining the back end of your business! 

 

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The Evolution Stage: How to Leverage Your Time and Resources, So You Can Make a Bigger Impact AND More Money

by: Melinda Cohan

This article is the fifth in our series, The Success Path. In the first article, we explained that The Success Path is a five-stage path coach-preneurs journey, as they go from coach, to startup business owner, to CEO. To navigate the journey successfully, it’s important to complete each stage before moving on to the next. In the exercise at the end of the first article, we helped you identify where you are now on The Success Path, and what you need to do to continue on this journey to whichever stage you consider your final destination. In the second, third, and fourth articles, respectively, we went into depth about The Declaration, Transition, and Attraction Stages: what they are, what you may face when you’re in them, and what you must do before moving on to The Attraction Stage. We recommend reading the previous articles in this series here, before reading the article below:

Article 1: The Start-Up Entrepreneur’s Success Path: The Critical Process of Mapping Your Route to Success

Article 2: The Declaration Stage: Commit to Creating the Success You Dream About

Article 3: The Transition Stage: Where the Magic—a.k.a. Preparation—Happens

Article 4: The Attraction Stage: Avoid Overwhelm and Prep for the Magic


 

If you’re like so many of the coaches we work with, you’re passionate about making a difference. You want to guide people to creating transformation in their lives, and the more, the better!

But you’ve gone into business for yourself because you’re seeking balance. You want to be your own boss, make your own hours, and experience the freedom of business ownership.

You may wonder if you can make a big impact and experience that freedom, at the same time.

At The Coaches Console, we are firm believers that you can – when you have the right systems in place.

When it comes to The Success Path we outlined in the first article in this series, that’s what the fourth stage, the Evolution Stage, is all about: leveraging and growing your business.

It’s about reaching a greater number of people—expanding your impact—while working less and earning more money.

Your focus during the Evolution Stage is to create and implement the tools, resources, and materials necessary to bring automation to your business, add additional revenue streams, and work fewer hours … all while working with more clients, supporting them in exquisite ways, and earning more money.

Yes! This is the sweet spot!

What you may be experiencing if you’re in the Evolution Stage:

As startup coaches traverse the Evolution Stage, they’re gaining momentum and confidence!

You have your online Client Agreement in place, as well as systems for managing and tracking your payments and finances.  You’re converting a majority of your sample sessions, and you’re supporting your clients. They’re experiencing great transformation, and you’re receiving incredible testimonials and case study stories from them. Things are moving along in your business, and you’re feeling great about the lifestyle and business you’re in the midst of creating.

Now, it’s time to leverage!

The Evolution Stage is all about applying the “wash, rinse, repeat” concept to your business—so that many aspects of your business can run on autopilot.

To illustrate the feelings you may be experiencing, I’d like to share a few snippets from conversations I recently had with startup coaches who are in the Evolution Stage.

“I’m missing upcoming goals and deadlines for clients.”

“I’m starting to lose clients because I don’t have a system that keeps them engaged.”

“If I do my job well as a coach, I coach myself out of a client. I don’t know how to keep clients coming back for more when there are so many other ways I can support them.”

“I just don’t have enough time to get everything done.”

“I love the work I’m doing and I want to keep working with more and more clients, but I just don’t see how that’s even possible; I don’t have enough time!”

“I feel like there are a ton of missed opportunities that I just can’t take advantage of because I just don’t have the time.”

What you should know:

If you want to continue to grow, you can’t do it alone. Leverage your time. Get support!

Many coach-preneurs in the Evolution Stage continue to do everything on their own, from marketing to scheduling to invoicing to meeting with clients. As they begin to offer group programs, they still do everything on their own.

To these people, we say: stop! There simply aren’t enough hours in the day for you to do it all. It’s time to get help.

This is precisely the time in your business when it is critical leverage your time. How? Get help! Hire a certified VA, a bookkeeper, an accountant, and so on.

Now, we’re going to walk, step-by-step, through the three core components of successfully traversing the Evolution Stage, so that you can truly leverage your resources – specifically, your most valuable resource: time.

Here we go!


 

The three core components of the Evolution Stage include:

Giving Your Clients Exquisite Client Support.

Exquisite Client Support empowers clients to create new habits, and therefore, to experience real transformation!

A hobbyist’s approach to supporting her clients is just showing up for the coaching sessions and providing great coaching. As a business owner, you realize there is more to being a coach-preneur than simply showing up for coaching.

You want to provide support to your clients before, during, and in-between sessions.

Furthermore, you want to leverage your time so that you can work with more clients in less time, and earn more money.

So the Evolution Stage is not only about offering Exquisite Client Support; it’s also about doing so in a way that doesn’t take up more of your time. Although that may sound tricky, it’s not.

It’s all about streamlining and automating the support in a secure and confidential way.

The key to streamlined, automated Exquisite Client Support: replace email with a private client portal.

Many startup coach-preneurs use email to share documents and forms, provide resources, and support their clients. Traditional email is not dependable, secure, or confidential. It’s time consuming, too, and it requires you to work harder to engage and support your clients.

That’s why we consider the private portal the backbone of Exquisite Customer Support. The private client portal is a secure, confidential place where your clients can get everything they need (a welcome packet, intake forms, scheduling information, session notes, homework, and more). This allows you to automate the delivery of any and all materials they need, when they need them. Plus, it gets your client organized, which ultimately ensures they get better results on the investment they made with you.

With a great private client portal, you can:

Include a session prep form that supports your clients in preparing to make the most of their coaching session with you.

Provide content and material to clients, to support them during their transformational experience.

Provide a recording of each session, as well as a post-session recap form that supports clients in integrating what they learned into their daily life.

Allow clients to schedule (or re-schedule) sessions to avoid the back-and-forth email nightmare that can sometimes occur.

Provide a secure way for clients to have access to you between sessions for “just-in-time coaching,” whether they want to share celebrations and big wins, seek support on urgent challenges, and upload material for you to review.

The bottom line is that a private client portal allows you to be extremely professional with your clients … and it frees up your time to focus on revenue-generating activities, including coaching more clients.

Here is a real-life illustration of the results you experience when you switch from using email to using a private client portal to offer your clients that Exquisite Client Support:

“I was trying to make it all work with Word and traditional email—or snail mail—and it was too cumbersome and time consuming for me and for my clients. I chose Coaches Console because there were so many details and I needed a single, secure online place to keep track of them. The Coaches Console helped me build my business more easily, and it now allows me to do more of the coaching and less administration. My clients and I stay connected between our sessions, in a way that is more secure and personal than we could with regular email. I don’t have to remember to send them a welcome packet; my system does it for me. And it gives my clients everything they need to know, in bite-sized pieces. It stops the overwhelm for my clients, and I notice they are applying the information more consistently than before, which helps their progress.”

When you’re in the Evolution Stage, you spend less time on the back end, administrative tasks, and technology … and more time on coaching!

Now you’re prepared to work with a greater number of clients in the same amount of time. In other words, you’re prepared to have a greater impact while enjoying the freedom and flexibility of the Entrepreneurial Dream!

 

Getting More Clients.

This is where the “wash, rinse, repeat” concept comes into play. During the Evolution Stage, you continue to research how effective your lead generation tools are, and make the necessary modifications to ensure it’s bringing in ideal clients who are ready to work with you.

You can continue to provide free resources, fill your funnel through various marketing activities, and take prospects through your sales funnel from free gift to sample session to enrollment conversation to onboarding to engagement.

Just keep workin’ it!

Pretty soon, you’ll reach your desired number of clients and/or the level of revenue where you want to be, while working the number of hours you want to work.

 

Leveraging Your Time.

As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, many coaches go into business for themselves because they want to make an impact while enjoying the freedom and flexibility entrepreneurship provides.

Of course, there are countless definitions of “success.” Some coach-preneurs simply want to supplement an existing income, while others want to make six figures.

That’s the awesome thing about the Evolution Stage: this is where you get to decide what YOUR version of “success” is, and leverage your resources accordingly.

There’s one thing most definitions of “success” have in common, though: making more money while working fewer hours, so that’s why we’re sharing some of the best ways to leverage your time, here:

  1. Hire other people to take on the tasks that are not in your zone of genius. The most common first hires are a bookkeeper and a VA (Virtual Assistant).

When you’re a startup coach-preneur, it may feel difficult (or even impossible!) to think about paying someone else to do tasks that you could do yourself (even if you’re mediocre at doing them). But don’t you want to free up more of your time? When you invest in someone who is highly- proficient at those tasks, it takes them a fraction of the time that it might take you to do it.

I know, because I’ve been there (Melinda, here!). When we first started The Coaches Console, I did all the books and financial tasks for our business. I was pretty smart about it, and I could manage QuickBooks. Initially, this was necessary, because we just didn’t have the money to pay someone else to do it.

Then, we bumped into that moment: the moment where we realized I needed to spend my time marketing, networking, and selling. The more time I spent on the books and financial reports (which, of course, are vital), the less time I was marketing. So we were saving money by not paying someone to keep track of our books, but we were likely losing money in terms of bringing in new business.

Long story short, we hired a bookkeeper. And it took her 20 minutes to do what it had taken me half a day to do! True story. Not only was our cost low in hiring this bookkeeper, but it freed up a significant amount of my time to spend marketing, networking, and bringing in more clients and money.

  1. Create leveraged programs.

As you work with more and more clients in a one-on-one setting, you’ll naturally find yourself repeating some of the core, basic teachings and inquiries that you provide to your clients.

This is an indicator that you’re ready to create a group program so you can put multiple people in the same room (literally or virtually) and address these commonalities to the group all at once.

Now, many startups feel stumped when it comes to creating content for group programs.

But once you’ve worked with lots of clients one-on-one, you’ll be gathering research about the best process to move your clients from Pain Island to Pleasure Island effectively. Then you can easily compile that learning into a group program and work with multiple people at once.

That being said, to leverage your time, take the common questions, exercises, analogies and resources you encounter during your one-on-one sessions, and turn them into:

A DIY (Do-It-Yourself) or home study course your clients can take themselves through.

A group coaching program.

Teleclasses or webinars.

Mastermind groups.

Bootcamp programs.


 

Exercise.

The Evolution Stage is all about leverage. So here is an exercise for doing so:

Step One. Review and analyze your last five to ten clients. Jot down what their challenges were, what their desired outcomes were, what kind of challenges they brought to your sessions, which coaching questions you asked them, and which resources you shared with them.

Step Two. Use those commonalities to create group programs.

Evolution Stage Mantra. To Leverage My Time, I Need Support.

Complete the exercises in this post, and enjoy the entrepreneurial freedom you work so hard for! If you’re interested in stepping out of your business to work ON it, rather than IN it, you may eventually choose to move on to the next stage, The Expansion Stage. (This is where you scale your business so that you can work minimal hours while making more money and a broader impact! FREEDOM!)

 

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The Attraction Stage: Avoid Overwhelm and Prep for the Magic

by: Melinda Cohan

This article is the fourth in our series, The Success Path. In the first article, we explained that The Success Path is a five-stage path coach-preneurs journey, as they go from coach, to startup business owner, to CEO.  To navigate the journey successfully, it’s important to complete each stage before moving on to the next. In the exercise at the end of the first article, we helped you identify where you are now on The Success Path, and what you need to do to continue on this journey to whichever stage you consider your final destination. In the second and third articles, respectively, we went into depth about The Declaration and Transition Stages: what they are, what you may face when you’re in them, and what you must do before moving on to The Attraction Stage. We recommend reading the first, second, and third articles here before reading the article below:

Article 1: The Start-Up Entrepreneur’s Success Path: The Critical Process of Mapping Your Route to Success

Article 2: The Declaration Stage: Commit to Creating the Success You Dream About

Article 3: The Transition Stage: Where the Magic—a.k.a. Preparation—Happens


 

To illustrate the importance of preparation when it comes to the Attraction Stage, I’d like to paint pictures of two different scenarios for you.

Scenario One: It’s Monday, and you have a ton to do. You have to take the kids to school, then go grocery shopping. After you get home and put the groceries away, you have to put dinner in the slow cooker, make a few quick calls, and then go pick up the kids and take them to their track meet. Here’s how it goes down: you wake up late because you hit Snooze on your alarm. Then, you rush to get the kids ready, and barely make it to school on time. Because you were running behind, you didn’t have time to clean out the trunk of your car from all the weekend shenanigans. Now, you don’t have anywhere to put groceries, so you have to rearrange the car to make space. When you get home, you realize the fridge is full and you have to throw away some leftovers before cramming the groceries inside. You’re now running behind, so you throw the ingredients in the slow cooker and hope you’ll have time to make those calls tomorrow.

Scenario Two: It’s Sunday, and you know you have a ton to do tomorrow. You have to take the kids to school, then go grocery shopping. After you get home and put the groceries away, you have to put dinner in the slow cooker, make a few quick calls, and then go pick up the kids and take them to their track meet. So, you take a few minutes Sunday to have the kids help you empty out the trunk of your car, so you have room for the groceries in the morning. You set up your slow cooker and clean out the fridge. You set your alarm so you can get up 15 minutes early. Here’s how Monday goes down: Even though you hit Snooze, you still have plenty of time to get the kids ready and get out the door on time for school. You get to the grocery store and put the groceries in the trunk before driving home to put them away in your cleaned-out fridge. You have a few minutes to spare, so you make your phone calls before putting dinner in the slow cooker. Then, you have a few minutes before leaving to pick up the kids, so you check off an item from Tuesday’s to-do list.

So, what is the key difference between these two scenarios? Scenario One forced you to be reactionary, right? Whereas in Scenario Two, you were proactive. You anticipated issues before they happened, and you saved time and energy because of it.

When it comes to The Success Path we outlined in the first article in this series, that’s what the third stage, the Attraction Stage, is all about: proactively attracting clients to your business.

It’s about being prepared to have those enrollment conversations.

Your focus during the Attraction Stage is to create and implement the tools, resources, and materials necessary to enroll and onboard new clients.

What you may be experiencing if you’re in the Attraction Stage:

As startup coaches traverse the Attraction Stage, they’re gaining momentum as they put into place the systems for growing their business.

You have all your contacts organized into one place, and you’re equipped, confident and ready—no, prepared!—to get clients! You’re clear on your commitment to pursue your dreams, and you have a thorough understanding of the best practices you need to set up to start and run your business.

This is where overwhelm can creep in, if you don’t have the tools you need. It’s also where things really get exciting. It’s where you finally get to start working with people, making that impact about which you’re so passionate.

So, ARE you ready?

To illustrate the feelings you may be experiencing, I’d like to share a few snippets from conversations I recently had with startup coaches who are in the Attraction Stage.

“I don’t know how to brand myself so I don’t even know how or where to start to get clients or market my business.”

“There are a lot of ways to attract clients; how do I know which one to choose?”

“I know this sounds silly, but I just don’t understand how to get clients; when someone seems interested in what I’m doing, what do I do next?”

“I’m trying to create a marketing plan that is consistent without being overwhelming.”

“I hate marketing, I just ignore it!”

“I need more confidence and a specific marketing plan to connect with prospective clients.”

What you should know:

It is critical that you’re proactive!

Many coach-preneurs in the Attraction Stage are reactive when it comes to enrollment conversations. This is where they get into the “Oh, Crap! Now What?” business model, and they’re forced to scramble behind the scenes to figure out how to get the results you need. This is a stressful way to find clients and build your business, to say the least.

That’s why the key here is to put your client agreement and onboarding process in place BEFORE you show up for the enrollment conversation, so you’re able to leverage the “yes” when someone decides to work with you.

If you don’t have these things ready to go, a new client may have to wait hours – or even days – until they’re officially onboarded. That means you risk creating a time gap that allows their gremlins creep in, causing them to get cold feet. On the other hand, when your client agreement, welcome packet, autoresponders, and client portal are in place and automated, everything is seamless, and your new client experiences immediate engagement … and you can leverage his or her, “yes.”

This stage is all about the enrollment conversation. While some startup coaches refer to this as a “sample session,” “discovery session,” or, “initial consultation,” the focus of this session is to get them to a solid, confident decision about what their best next step is.

Yes, you will provide some coaching and value during this conversation, but the point isn’t necessarily to get them to hire you; it’s actually to tap into your greatest skills as a coach and support these people in gaining clarity on their next steps.

Specifically, it’s about you guiding them to clarity about where they are now, where they want to be, and identifying how committed they are to making the decision to get the results of which they’ve dreamed—which is the heart and soul of an enrollment conversation.

So many coaches show up for sample sessions thinking all they need to do is great coaching. But this is more than just a conversation! There is more to be done behind the scenes to facilitate an effective enrollment conversation.

That’s why, now, we’re going to walk, step-by-step, through the six things you must have in place during the Attraction Stage, to ensure you’re fully prepared for kick-ass enrollment conversations.

Here we go!


 

Six things you must have in place to move through the Attraction Stage effectively:

An easy way for prospects on your contact list to book a sample session with you when they’re ready.

An ability to send appointment reminders. These appointment reminders should:

Be branded, so you create brand consistency.

Be specific, so there is no question about who is contacting whom, at what time, and in which time zone, as well as on which platform (phone, in-person, Skype, Zoom, Bridgeline, etc.).

Include a quick link to an easy session prep form to help your prospect get organized in advance, so they can make the most of their session (this also serves as a filter to ensure you spend time only on those people who are committed to showing up!).

An ability to file the information from the session prep form (above) into the prospect’s client notes so that you, as the coach and sales person, can be prepared in advance for the upcoming conversation.

An online client agreement at the ready, in advance of the sample session, so you can leverage a “yes” when your prospect is ready to get started. This client agreement form should include:

An electronic, “I agree” button, so when a prospect says, “yes,” you can immediately move him or her into action, supporting the decision to go for getting the results they most desire.

An easy way for you to ask for and receive money from your new client so you can leverage his or her “yes.”

An automated onboarding sequence that gets them engaged. This should include autoresponders that deliver the welcome packet and any other welcome emails!


 

Exercise.

The Attraction Stage is all about getting organized before you attract clients. So here are four steps to doing so:

Step One. Set up an online calendar where prospects can book their sample sessions. Be sure that it incorporates automated, branded appointment reminders that are time zone specific.

Step Two. Create a session prep form that asks your prospects five simple questions, so they can prepare, and so you can prepare (by reviewing their answers).

Step Three. Set up an online client agreement with an electronic “I agree” option.

Step Four. Integrate an easy, automated payment option for your new clients to get started as soon as they accept your online agreement.

One quick note here, before you take action on this exercise: when you use various technologies to implement each of these elements, overwhelm can get pretty intense. The more technology platforms you use in your business, the more of your time, money, and attention is put into managing the back end of your business, into being the go-between for the different technologies that don’t talk to each other. That’s why we recommend using one, integrated platform that can accomplish all of these things, so the back end of your business can operate like a well-oiled machine.

Please allow us a moment to brag:

The Coaches Console is that platform: it integrates all these elements in one place and makes it so easy for coaches to streamline and automate all of these very important pieces—without overwhelm!

Attraction Stage Mantra. When Preparedness Meets Opportunity, Success is Inevitable.

Complete the exercises in this post, and then move on to the next stage, The Evolution Stage. (This is where you onboard your clients and give them the exquisite customer support they need to create the results they want—and to become your raving fans!)

Watch your inbox for the next article in this series, which gives you everything you need to know about navigating The Evolution Stage.

 

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The Transition Stage: Where the Magic—a.k.a. Preparation—Happens

by: Melinda Cohan

This article is the third in our The Success Path series. In the first article, we explained that The Success Path is a five-stage path coach-preneurs journey, as they go from coach, to startup business owner, to CEO.  To navigate the journey successfully, it’s important to complete each stage before moving on to the next. In the exercise at the end of the first article, we helped you identify where you are now on The Success Path, and what you need to do to continue on this journey to whichever stage you consider your final destination. In the second article, we went into depth about The Declaration Stage: what it is, what you may face when you’re in it, and what you must do before moving on to The Transition Stage. We recommend reading the first and second articles here before reading the article below:

Article 1: The Start-Up Entrepreneur’s Success Path: The Critical Process of Mapping Your Route to Success

Article 2: The Declaration Stage: Commit to Creating the Success You Dream About


 

 

If you were going to build a house, how would you start? Would you declare, “I’m ready!” and then run out to the unimproved lot and start nailing boards together? If so, you’d probably have a pretty ramshackle shelter, right?

The truth is, if you were going to build a house, you would first create a plan. Then you’d lay a foundation, right? A foundation gives your house a solid base on which to stand, so that it will be sturdy and safe!

When it comes to The Success Path we outlined in the first article in this series, that’s what the second stage, the Transition Stage, is all about: building a foundation for your business. It’s about getting prepared.

Your focus during the Transition Stage is to create the components to identify, find, attract, and engage prospects, and implement the funnels, strategies, and best practices to grow your list. Why? Because your list is the foundation for your coaching business.

Many coach-preneurs in the Transition Stage pursue their business—specifically—try to go out and get clients—without knowing, in advance, all the pieces and best practices they need, which results those pieces and best practices drive, and why they’re important.

With the right systems and processes in place, you can lay the foundation—incorporating the various pieces and best practices—for a successful business that is profitable and allows you to make that impact you dream of.

What you may be experiencing if you’re in the Transition Stage:

As startup coaches traverse the Transition Stage, they may begin to gain confidence. Although you know you have a lot to learn, you’ve put in place the pieces necessary to transition from full-time J-O-B to full-time coach-preneur. (Woohoo!)

You’ve got some cash reserves set aside, you know WHY you’re doing this whole coaching thing, and you’re READY to hit the ground running!

If there’s one word to describe you, it’s “enthusiastic,” and that’s great! (But, proceed with caution! More on this in a moment.)

To illustrate the feelings you may be experiencing, I’d like to share a few snippets from conversations I recently had with startup coaches who are in the Transition Stage.

“I don’t know how to reach people or start building a list from the start!”

“I don’t know how to reach people that I don’t already know.

“It seems like I’ve been spending a lot of time doing things for my business every day. I mean, I’ve been busy ALL day. But I dread each week that I still have a lack of prospects, and I don’t have any momentum in this area, so I just keep myself busy hoping something will make a difference and somehow, someone will want to hire me.”

What you should know:

 

There’s a difference between being ready and being prepared.

Preparation brings order to the otherwise chaotic, overwhelming task of building a business. This means you take time, up front, to know what needs to happen, when!

If you don’t, everything feels urgent. You spend a lot of time just keeping busy, hoping something will pan out, and you feel pressured and fearful—and your investments in terms of time, energy, money, and resources may not pay off in terms of the business-building results you want to see.

The very first thing you must do during the Transition Stage is to find and engage prospects so that when you are ready, you can effectively convert them into paying clients. How do you do that?

List building. Your email list is your goldmine: your Number One Business Asset. Hands down, it’s THE Number One Most Important System when it comes to laying that foundation we talked about.

But we’re not talking just any email list. You see, your list is only effective to the degree that its members are:

Made up of your ideal type of client.

Excited and ready to receive the wisdom you have to share.

Organized.

Responsive.

If your list is sloppy, created for the sake of having names in a database or a bigger number about which to boast, or if it’s scattered across multiple platforms, you’ll struggle to have enrollment conversations that lead to paying clients.

Now, we’re going to walk, step-by-step, through the four elements of effective list building, which will ensure you move through the Transition Stage efficiently.

Here we go!


 

How to move through the Transition Stage effectively:

Build a great list! Here are FOUR elements of a great list that converts.

Element One of a Great List That Converts: It’s Made up of Your Ideal Clients.

We mentioned above that the Transition Stage is all about growing your list. To be specific, though, we want you to keep in mind that you must focus on the QUALITY of the list you’re growing. That old adage—quality over quantity—is certainly true, here.

Let’s play a game!

I have built out two mailing lists, and you get to choose one of them to start sending communications to.

List A: The list size is 5,000 contacts, made up of a collection of people who may or may not be similar to the type of ideal client you’d like to work with. It’s in the general ballpark, anyway. These people may not be spot on, but there are 5,000 contacts! When you send out an email offering a free resource, 120 of them might open the email and click through to check it out. And about 60 unsubscribe on each send.

List B: This list has 1,800 contacts. It’s a solid list made up of the exact type of person you’d love to work with. When you send out an email offering a free resource (the same one as above,), 420 of them open the email and click through to check out the resource you’re sharing. And because this list is made up of exactly the type of client you want to work with, facing the exact challenges you can help transform into results through your coaching, only six unsubscribe.

You’d choose List B, right? (Right?!)

Yes, your ego may want the bigger list. It sounds so impressive to say you’ve got 5,000 people on your list! But, what’s more important at the end of the day? Size, or results?

Results!

(If you’re thinking size, you may want to do some self-coaching around your need for your ego to take charge of your business – and I say this with LOVE.)

Transition Stage Pitfall: Letting your ego get the best of you. In an effort to alleviate the fear they’re experiencing during the early stages of their business, many startups allow their ego to get the best of them. They want to make themselves look better by boasting that they have a larger list. But if that list is doing more harm in the long run, who does that really serve?

Bottom Line: When you focus on quality, when you put your time and attention into adding ideal clients to your list, and you’re fierce in protecting the types of people who are on your list, you end up creating a strong list that grows quickly. The people you add to your list want what you have. They tell their friends, and you grow your list faster, with less effort.

You CAN have it all: quality and quantity!

 

Element Two of a Great List That Converts: Its Members Are Excited to Receive What You’re Sharing.

This is where preparation is absolutely critical. You want your list to be filled with your ideal clients, right? Well, how do you make that happen?

You offer them lead generation tools that are aligned with addressing the exact challenges they’re facing, and the transformation you help them experience when it comes to those challenges.

Lead generation tools are free gifts that you give people in exchange for their email addresses. They may take the form of downloads, checklists, free reports, or blueprints. They’re also a great opportunity for the people you DO know—your existing contacts—to refer their friends to you, to give people you DON’T know a taste of the transformation you provide.

Here are five components of an effective lead generation tool – the tool:

1. Clarifies the steps necessary for the ideal client to get out of the challenges he or she has felt stuck in.
2. Conveys an understanding of why those steps are critical.
3. Provides the promise of a different possible future … and how creating those results in their life will positively impact their world.
4. Paints the picture of what it would look like NOT to pursue a path of change (and how this will negatively impact their world).
5. Gives social proof that what you’re sharing actually creates the transformation, or the end results your ideal client desires.

Transition Stage Pitfall: Telling them the HOW. Your lead generation tool should never include the HOW. Explain the WHAT and the WHY. If they want to know HOW to actually go about making the changes, well, they have to hire you to get that information. 😉

Bottom Line: The more clarity that’s present in your lead generation tool, and the more effectively it conveys the information to your contacts, the more ready they’ll be to receive and engage in what you share with them! And, as a sweet bonus, their life will be better for having read it, even if they never hire you!

 

Element Three of a Great List That Converts: Your List Is Organized.

This almost goes without saying … almost. It is SO important that you have your list of contacts organized in one place. You’d be surprised how many people overlook this simple, but major element of list building.

For example, one of my private clients had her contacts scattered across seven different platforms (her smartphone, an old email account, a spreadsheet, Facebook, and a couple others).

This type of disorganization in the back end makes it extremely difficult to communicate with your people … and consider how much time it takes to repeat a single message seven times and send it out seven times in seven platforms!

There are two general ways to organize your contact list when you’re first starting out (and keep in mind that as your list grows and your business evolves, you’ll likely add a deeper level of organization to this segmenting):

1. By status type:
Prospects: your ideal clients, or those who may know your ideal clients.
Hot leads: people who have booked a sample session, are very curious and interested in what you’re doing and how it can help them transform, but haven’t made the commitment yet.
Active clients: paying or pro-bono clients who are actively working with you in some capacity.
Inactive clients: former clients who are no longer working with you.
Buyers: people who have purchased other programs from you, beyond your one-on-one coaching packages.

2. By segment.
• Demographic
• Marketing/networking events
• Referral source
• Niche

The more organized your list is, the better you can communicate the right information to the right people to get the best conversion possible.

Transition Stage Pitfall: Diving into emailing your contacts without first putting the systems in place to organize them and streamline your communication process. Again, this is where preparation is key! The time you take to put all your contacts into one program, and to segment them appropriately will pay off in huge time, money, and energy savings almost immediately.

Bottom Line: Get organized! You’ll be glad you did. Not only will you be able to reach the right people at the right time, but you’ll continuously improve the quality of your list as you tell people only about the things in which they’d be interested.

 

Element Four of a Great List That Converts: Its Members Are Responsive.

A responsive list is a healthy list!

But what does it mean to have a responsive list? It means that when you send out communications of any kind—resources, promotions, referrals, content, a video—you get the best response. People open your emails, click through to the pages you’re linking to, and take the call to action you provide.

Creating a responsive list is centered upon your ability to send them quality, varied information, consistently. That means sending emails that:

1. Are different from one another, and arrive regularly.
2. Share great content.
3. Share great resources (created by you or someone else).
4. Introduce them to another helpful resource—one that helps them overcome challenges that impact their success in the areas where they’re working with you.
5. Provide fun, inspiring, or challenging personal stories so people get to know you outside of business.

Transition Stage Pitfall: Many startup coach-preneurs don’t want to seem “pushy” or “too salesy,” so they shy away from creating regular follow up. They fear being overbearing, so they go to the other extreme, and it’s radio silence, instead.

Bottom Line: While we recommend mixing up the type of content you share with your list (to keep them intrigued and engaged), we also want to remind you that consistency is queen! Send regular communication to nurture your list and build your relationship with its members.


 

Exercise.

As you now know, the Transition Stage is all about preparation.
So here are four steps to getting PREPARED!

1. Go to the various places in which you have your contacts scattered (consider them all: Gmail, Yahoo, Excel, Outlook, your smartphone, Facebook, LinkedIn, that pile of business cards on your desk). Put those contacts all into one central place. For Coaches Console members, this is as easy as importing the contacts from various platforms into one organized, segmented list in your Console System.
2. Group your newly organized contacts/prospects by status type.
3. Group your newly organized contacts/prospects into segments, as outlined above.
4. Send a “Dear Jane” letter, telling all your contacts what you’re up to, the ideal type of client you’re looking to support, and the transformation your services provide. Then, ask them to opt in to your free gift or sign up for your newsletter, if they’re looking for what you have to offer!

Transition Stage Mantra.

Benjamin Franklin said it best: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

 

Confucius said it pretty well, too: “Success depends upon previous preparation.”

Choose one of these and live by it!

In the Transition Stage, the more you can focus on growing a quality list—one that is organized, engaged, and responsive—the deeper you’ll build the know-like-trust factor. When people know you, like you, and trust you, they’ll book a sample session! Then they’ll hire you, re-hire you, and refer you to their friends, colleagues, and family members.

So many startups rush straight to trying to get clients, without taking a bit of time to build a quality list and build the relationships necessary for that sense of trust. After all, that’s what great coaching is – nurturing and supporting and being of service to those we love … and that especially includes the members of your list.

Being in business is a long-term game, and when it comes to coaching, it’s all about taking time to intentionally create a solid, kick-ass mailing list that will bring you results now and in the future.

Complete the exercises in this post, and then move on to the next stage, The Attraction Stage. (This is where you finally get to go out and attract the clients who need your life changing work! It’s going to be epic!)

Watch your inbox for the next article in this series, which gives you everything you need to know about navigating The Attraction Stage.

 

Posted in: StartUp Coach

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