If you’re like most business coaches, you don’t believe you can really charge what you’re worth.
And there are reasons for that:
- Fear – You’re afraid that by charging higher fees, you’ll lose clients or won’t be able to close the clients they need to keep the bills paid.
- Lack of organization – You’re all over the place, with no consistent marketing efforts, sales strategies, or coaching packages. You flit from one task to the next without being grounded in an intentional strategy or plan.
- Generalization – You lack a specific niche or specialty that will allow you to gain authority in a particular industry. As generalists, it’s much more difficult to build a following or explain your value to prospective clients.
But there IS another way.
Make the Midset Shift
So how do you overcome your fear?
You need to make an important mindset shift.
Understand that in a world of non-stop information, entrepreneurs and business owners desperately need help from trusted business advisors to sift and sort that information and apply it in their businesses.
That’s what good business coaches do, and you’re worth every penny for providing that service.
In a world of non-stop information, entrepreneurs and business owners desperately need help from trusted business advisors to sift and sort that information and apply it in their businesses.
Of course, it’s not enough merely to understand that intellectually. You also have to communicate it to your prospects.
Focus your sales and marketing messaging around these three areas:
- How much TIME you’re saving them…
- How much MONEY you’re helping them make…
- How much EMOTIONAL ENERGY you’re helping them conserve or redirect toward business-building strategies that are actually effective.
Business owners are willing to pay—and pay well—for business coaching that provides these benefits.
In the past, if you wanted to become a successful business coach, this is what it took:
A degree in business. Decades of executive experience. A business coaching franchise. At least $100k in your start-up war chest. Years of struggle until you finally had enough clients that you weren’t constantly in a panic about where the next one was coming from.
Many new coaches simply didn’t have the magical combination of time and money to make it happen. It’s no wonder that some estimates of the business coach failure rate were higher than 50%.
But not anymore! All that has changed.
The rise of the internet, and the availability of smart, savvy, and affordable business coaching systems—for both you AND your clients—have changed the game.
But most business coaches don’t know where to turn.
They struggle to attract and retain high-paying clients, ending up panicked and scattered.
Maybe I need to post more on social media…
Or maybe I need to spend more time cold-calling…
Or maybe I need to join my local Chamber of Commerce…
Or maybe I need to hire this guru or that expert…
And so it goes. Until you’re burned out or washed up.
But there’s a better way.
It starts with knowing exactly WHO your best clients are (and no, you can’t be all things to all people)…followed by a sleek and simple marketing strategy to attract and convert those clients…and ends with a business coaching curriculum that is PROVEN to work, so that your clients stay, pay, and refer for years to come.
(We’re biased, but our favorite system is our Rock Star Coaching System. Check it out.)
Too many business coaches get stuck serving any client who comes their way, as long as they’ve got a pulse and are willing to write out a too-meager check now and then.
Get enough of those, and it might even be almost enough to pay the bills…but certainly not enough to live the lifestyle you went into coaching for in the first place.
What’s the problem?
You and your clients are stuck in a transaction-based relationship instead of a value-based relationship. This makes you more like a hired hand than a trusted coach.
But when you differentiate yourself…target a specific niche…and change the way you think about business coaching, marketing, and selling…
Suddenly, everything changes.
Instead of providing generic business advice to anyone and everyone, you’ll be working with precisely chosen clients to grow their sales, fix their cash flow problems, and build an agile team using industry-specific strategies that you can deliver with confidence.
Suddenly, you become known in your industry or niche—freeing you to charge more for your services, create better results for your clients, and spend less time wondering where the next new client will come from.
You don’t need to settle for low-quality, low-paying clients.
You can grow your practice to attract and retain clients that will pay you what you’re worth. Begin to make these important shifts today!
If you’re like most business coaches, you often encounter prospects who are interested in your services…but who aren’t in a position to hire you for a full-price, one-on-one coaching program. For average business coaches, prospects in this position are simply a “no”—a contact to file away and go back to a couple of times a year, just in case something changes. But for savvy business coaches, there are ways to engage these clients now, get them awesome results, and make (mostly) passive revenue in the process. It’s called a coaching funnel. And the basic idea is that you introduce varying levels of service for clients who are in various positions financially and move them deeper into a business relationship with you.
For savvy business coaches, there are ways to engage these clients now, get them awesome results, and make (mostly) passive revenue in the process. It's called a coaching funnel.
How does it work? Follow along!
At the top of your funnel is free stuff. But don’t be fooled. As my friend and expert marketing copywriter, Bob Bly, shared here on the Coaches’ Coach: Your free stuff should be as good (if not better!) than your paid stuff. Invest in your top-of-funnel content. It’s extremely important.
What kind of free things should you develop?
- Blog posts (great for SEO)! You don’t have to blog daily, but blog regularly, whatever rhythm you choose. Here, we post four times per month…and have been doing so religiously for years. You’d be amazed at the traffic that finds us just through blogging.
- Free courses. These can be video courses or email courses. Should be short, actionable, and incredibly useful. No esoteric stuff.
- Ebooks/Reports. One of our favorite ways to generate leads. Create a high-value ebook about a subject you know your target clients are struggling with.
- Webinars. Do free, live webinars on topics that are timely. Market it to your prospect list and encourage them to bring their friends.
Low-Cost Info Products
The next level of the funnel is low-cost info products. Information products are a wonderful source of revenue because they’re cost-effective to produce–and leverage your time and efforts in creative and profitable ways.
The pricing for these can be anywhere from $27-$197. The idea is to keep it low enough to be an “impulse buy” whereby your customers can make a decision to buy instantaneously without engaging in a long, drawn-out budget and approval process.
Typical products include webinars, video courses, and membership sites.
Hot tip: We recommend that you immediately begin hosting free webinars and then segue into paid-for webinars when you feel ready. The great thing about webinars is that they’re a fantastic way to prepare your knowledge to be repackaged into other products. It’s super easy to produce video courses by compiling your actual webinar recordings and turning them into videos. Use something like Riverside.fm to get good video quality. You can also prepare worksheets to go along with them.
Membership sites are awesome because you can provide all your best business documents, exercises, and templates and have low-budget clients pay a monthly fee to access them. This is particularly helpful if they can’t afford higher-value coaching programs. Plus, you can use this same repository of content for your higher-paying clients to cut down on teaching time and maximize the results-driving implementation that will keep clients around long-term–a technique we’ve often recommended.
High-Cost Info Products
The pricing for these is typically $297-$2,997 and it includes things like psychometric or behavioral assessments, premium courses, live events, and conferences.
One of the best ways to make quick cash–and attract new clients in the process–is by conducting regular live training events, such as morning seminars or 1-day business growth seminars. These can be in-person, online, or hybrid. Conduct them anywhere from once a month to once a quarter, and charge a tuition fee of $297 to $497–with discounts if they bring friends! This gives your prospects a chance to “try before they buy” a more expensive program.
As you get more comfortable with live events, you can also roll out higher-cost, multi-day conferences where you charge thousands of dollars instead of hundreds.
You can also license tools to resell to your clients, such as psychometric assessments (we like the Teamalytics 360), business management tools, and more.
Low-Cost Coaching Programs
The next level of the funnel is low-cost coaching programs. The pricing for these is typically $497-$1,997 per month, and includes things like mastermind groups and group coaching.
Group coaching allows you to maintain high Effective Billable Rates (EBR) because it reduces the amount of time you spend with each client.
For example: If you have just four clients paying you $497 a month to receive coaching in a small group, you’re earning $2,000 per month…and it doesn’t take much more time than tending to a single coaching client! If you invest just four hours per month per group, which includes two coaching sessions per month and no more than two hours of logistics and preparation, you’ve got an EBR of $500 per hour, per group!
If you have just four clients paying you $697 a month for an investment of just four hours per month of your time, you’ve got an EBR of $697 per hour, per group!
And you’d be surprised at how effective group coaching is. Many clients even prefer it, because of the camaraderie that comes from the small group environment.
High-Cost Coaching Programs
The next level of the funnel is high-cost coaching. The pricing for these is typically $1,997-$4,997 per month (or more!) and is the bread and butter of your coaching practice.
You can also do exclusive, members-only retreats in exciting locations where your clients can get 1-on-1 facetime with you in a relaxed, social environment which they never get in their Zoom-driven coaching sessions. This takes coaching relationships to a whole new level and creates long-lasting, lifetime bonds with your clients. The investment for this kind of exclusive, members-only retreat can be as high as $9,997 or more, depending on the length of the event.
At every level, you’re generating more revenue, deepening your relationship with your clients, and creating a consistent stream of business. So build out your coaching funnel if you want to maximize your success!
Do you have clients who are struggling to get aligned with their teams? This is one of the most common reasons clients engage a business coach–and often, the solution lies in helping them examine their meeting rhythm. An effective meeting rhythm will help clients stay aligned, productive, and cohesive as they work together.
An effective meeting rhythm will help clients stay aligned, productive, and cohesive as they work together.
So what’s the recommended team meeting rhythm you should introduce to clients?
Annual Off-Site Retreat
Every year, the team should go offsite for at least one day, sometimes two days. I usually suggest doing this meeting in October or November (or, if your client operates on a different fiscal year, have them schedule it for early in Q4). While there, the team will review the work completed in the previous year and reset their annual goals to drive toward the three- to five-year targets the organization is pursuing. In addition, have them loosely sketch out the objectives for each quarter in the upcoming year. The management team should attend. Often, it makes sense to have this retreat professionally facilitated.
This is a four- to eight-hour gathering to review the team’s progress toward their annual goals. The team should evaluate the previous quarter’s progress and set actions for the upcoming quarter. This should be an “all-hands” meeting, to get the entire team on board.
On a monthly basis, the team should meet for about four hours to review whether they’re making progress or falling behind, and whether they’re hitting their numbers. If the team is struggling, you may need to urge your clients to change the actions they set at the beginning of the quarter in order to meet the annual goals. This meeting is for the management team.
Weekly KPI Review
This is a weekly, two-hour meeting in which the team should: review big news from the week, look at weekly KPIs, and talk about who’s doing what and when. This is a meeting for the management team
Daily huddles are 10- to 15-minute stand-ups within teams. Here, the agenda is breaking news, KPIs, and help with any urgent bottlenecks. In growing organizations, I suggest “cascading” huddles. This means that the management team should have a huddle, and then hold another huddle with all their direct reports. When this is working properly, a decision can be made by the executives on a weekly, or even daily, basis–and by the end of a single day, the news has filtered down through the entire organization. When a business is growing, there’s no better way to keep an organization functioning effectively.
This simple meeting rhythm can help businesses become more nimble, cohesive, and productive. Introduce it to your clients and enjoy the results!
And for more in-depth training and tools you can share with your clients, explore our Rock Star Coaching Program. It will change the way you coach…for the better!
These days, business coaches who aren’t online aren’t succeeding.
There’s been a massive cultural shift over the past decade or so, moving us out of the Information Age into what I call the “Connected Age” — where people are not just looking for basic information, but need experts and specialists to help them sift through and apply the growing mountain of information available to them.
In my opinion, most coaches should build an online presence that accounts for at least one-third of all your marketing — and a full 100% of prospects should receive email and other digital offers from you regularly.
In my opinion, most coaches should build an online presence that accounts for at least one-third of all your marketing -- and a full 100% of prospects should receive email and other digital offers from you regularly.
For maximum leverage, you’ll want to have information products or membership sites that generate passive revenue.
But even if you’re only using your website for lead generation and client nurturing, here are the six steps you need to employ to be successful.
Six Steps to an Effective Online Strategy
Get the right players on board. These are web developers, designers, and copywriters. Unless you have a digital marketing background, do not try to do this on your own. How you appear online is the first impression most of your clients and prospects will have of you. You get what you pay for, so don’t be too thrifty.
Set up your site. Are you a local legend? A global guru? Consult with your developer and an SEO specialist to help you determine the keywords you should target and the domain name you should register. Here at the Coaches’ Coach, we use WordPress—a near-ubiquitous web development platform that is infinitely customizable and relatively user-friendly.
Once your site is live, it’s time to drive traffic. There are several strategies, including search engine marketing, social media advertising, blogging, email marketing, and even offline marketing that drives traffic to your website. Again, expert help is important here.
Convert your visitors to prospects. It should be clear and easy for visitors to your site to take the next step. Create a “lead magnet”—something that entices visitors to leave their contact details in exchange for valuable information. In our business, we’ve used ebooks, free reports, email courses, and videos.
Convert your prospects to leads. Next, warm your prospects through email marketing, podcasts, webinars, and invitations to engage you for a Complimentary Coaching Session.
Finally, make offers. Give them reasons to work with you now instead of later. These can be information products, Complimentary Coaching Sessions, special pricing, and more. But the sooner you can get them to give you money—even if it’s just a little at first—the faster you’ll be able to turn them into full-fledged clients.
Even if you’re just starting out as a business coach, be sure to make digital tools and strategies a key element of your business plan.
I’m guessing that when you began your coaching practice, your goal was freedom.
Free time, free cash flow, freedom of lifestyle, freedom to choose what you do with your life and when you do it, freedom to hang out with the people you want to hang out with, freedom to work with the people you want to work with. You just wanted the freedom that business ownership and entrepreneurship promise.
Now that you’re into your business coaching career, how’s it going?
Many business coaches realize that they spend more time than they wanted working, worrying about where the next new client is coming from, and taking on problem clients just to get the bills paid.
But that freedom is still possible. It just requires some shifts in the way you think about your business.
Why You Need More Leverage
Leverage is commonly defined as “any influence which is compounded or used to gain an advantage.” So with that general definition in mind, I’m gonna share with you my definition of “business leverage.”
In my thinking, business leverage is anything you can use to compound the results of your own personal effort to grow your business for the benefit of all. Notice that I’m saying “compound the results of your own personal effort.” Business leverage is anything you can do to compound, grow, and magnify the results of your own personal effort—and it’s what creates the freedom you crave!
Business leverage is anything you can use to compound the results of your own personal effort to grow your business for the benefit of all.
Now, there are really only two ways that I know of to leverage in business coaching: people and technology. Let’s look at each in turn.
Back when I was building my first firm, I used people-leverage.
I had seven coaches working for me, delivering these KPIs:
- The average coach produced $214,000 in revenue and took home $107,000 per year.
- There were about 11 clients per coach, and an average sale per month of $1,800.
- There was an average 10-month retention for coaches in their first year.
- The firm generated about 23% operating profit on $1.1 million in sales.
This means that it wasn’t incumbent on me to do all the coaching and selling; I had empowered others to do it on our behalf. I gradually extricated myself from the day-to-day operation of running the firm, and eventually, I was able to sell it for $1 Million. And because they didn’t pay the entire thing in cash up front, it produced a passive income stream for me, while the business continued to produce essentially the same amount of revenue for them—without me!
The other form of leverage that translates to freedom for business coaches is technology-based.
It’s now possible to build a business coaching firm with substantial amounts of revenue based not on your personal coaching production nor the coaching production of associate coaches, but based instead on passive income from things like information products and membership sites.
Once you get these products up and running, they have nothing to do with your personal revenue production day in and day out. It’s going to cost you some cash upfront, typically anywhere from $500 to $5,000 depending on how complicated the product is. It’s also going to cost you some time upfront, could be 20 hours or even 200 hours. But once you get it up and running, and you’ve marketed it effectively, it’s going to produce positive cash flow! That cash flow could be $500 a month, or it could be $5,000 a month, or even $50,000 a month if you’re a real legend at this!
Once you’ve got the initial investment down and the marketing going strong, your Effective Billable Rate is infinite! You’re spending no time, week in and week out, to produce totally passive income—and you’re generating lower-priced clients you can convert to higher-paying clients down the line.
If you want more freedom in your business coaching practice, it’s time to start thinking holistically about business leverage, so that you can create the business and lifestyle that made you choose business coaching in the first place!