This exercise has proven very useful for me and it’s something we cover extensively in our flagship course, the Level 1 ConnectedCoach Blueprint. TL;DR: I believe you gotta look at what’s working for others if you hope to make it big yourself.
In the Blueprint, I do a deep dive into what I’ve found to be the 7 most important features of successful coaching businesses. After all my experience and research, I truly believe that each of these are entirely necessary if you want your business to survive and thrive in the decade ahead.
Today I’ll be taking the major points from that module and sharing them here. 👊
I know this is a bit long, but I encourage you to think of today’s post as a summary/ aggregation of topics we’ve covered in the past in other blogs and podcasts. And, If you want more on each topic, I’ll include links so you can dive deeper where you see fit.
Let’s get to it!
1. Identify your ideal customer
Time and time again, I’ve found that the coaches who find a very narrow niche and stick to a very specific customer perona are the most fulfilled and successful.
To ensure the best outcomes, you should only work with athletes who aspire to develop the skills that fall within your expertise.
Far too often, coaches define themselves by the sport they coach, rather than by who they serve and what specific outcomes they are experts at producing.
And, of course, the first step in this process is to narrow in on exactly WHO you want to be coaching. That’s not something someone can simply tell you - it’s important to do some soul searching and figure that out for yourself.
Remember: If you try to be everything to everyone, you’ll end up being nothing to no one. I promise you’ll be much more fulfilled (and make more money) if you clearly define your ideal customer and only coach that niche.
For more on this topic, including some strategies for identifying your ideal customer, check out some of our previous posts and podcast episodes: “Coaches! Here are Our Top 3 Ways to Attract Your Ideal Customer”;“Know Who You Serve (And Who You Don’t)”; PODCAST: “You're Going to Quit Coaching | 3 Major Mistakes You Must Avoid”.
2. Create an irresistible offer
It’s crucial to really hammer home what it is EXACTLY that you’re selling and WHY your offer is a no brainer for your ideal customer.
Remote coaching sessions, various curriculum modules, training/exercise plans, meal plans, or learning materials like an eBook, or virtual ConnectedCoaching access via CoachNow, are a few examples of “offers”... Really it’s just a collection of products; a vehicle under which you deliver your coaching expertise.
And I argue in another post that there are 3 key components when it comes to crafting an irresistible offer: bundling mechanisms, a clear CTA, and the customer- coach feedback loop.
For more on each of these points, check out our previous blog: 3 Tips for Crafting An Irresistible Coaching Offer. For more on the concept of “offers” and how it fits into the greater world of marketing lingo, check out: “Hook, Story, Offer: What it Means and Why You Should Care as a Coach”.
3. Systematically sell the offer
This is where you’re really gonna need to put your marketing hat on…
I know it’s not every coach's favorite thing, but selling the offer is the only way you’re gonna find your ideal customers and grow your business. Remember: You’re Not Just a Coach, You’re an Entrepreneur.
The goal is simple - get their attention by finding a good “hook” in your messaging. In my experience, the best hooks ask a leading question or make a provocative claim that hints at a common problem in your prospect’s mind.
Then, once you have their attention, you need to explain why your offer is the solution they’ve been looking for. Equally important is contextualizing your coaching business with a relevant “story”.
Remember: a hook without substance is just clickbait. You want to make your ideal customer feel understood and position your offer as too valuable for them to pass up.
There’s a LOT more to be said here, but I’ll leave it here for now. For more on this topic (including examples) check out these posts: “Hook, Story, Offer: What it Means and Why You Should Care as a Coach”; “How to Get Started Digitizing Your Coaching Expertise”; and “Social Media for My Coaching Business: Where Do I Begin?”.
4. Deliver unparalleled value
This is the meat and potatoes of a winning business - you need to actually deliver on your promises and keep your athletes stoked about having you as their coach.
And remember, when delivering this value it’s crucial to not tie yourself down to a specific time or location.
Don’t fall into the trap of selling your time for money! More on this here: “What’s Wrong With Selling My Time for Money?”; “3 Reasons Why You’ll Quit Your Coaching Job”.
As a coach you shouldn’t think of your time as the main thing you’re selling– What you’re really selling is value. And with CoachNow, it’s easier than ever to deliver that value 24/7.
Here are some posts with more specific advice on how to deliver unparalleled value to your athletes:
The Power of Micro Touch Points; Using “Video Recaps” to Increase Retention and Showcase Progress; How to Save Time and Improve Your Offer With Asynchronous Communication; 3 Key Ingredients to Level Up Your Live Coaching Sessions, 3 Ways to Eliminate Repetition in Your Coaching Business; PODCAST: 3 Ways to Level Up Your Live Coaching Sessions; Video Recaps; Asynchronous Communication
5. Retain your happy customers
Did you know increasing your retention by 5% can increase your profits by 25%+?
There’s no doubt that Happy Athletes = A Happy Business. Once you get athletes stoked about your coaching, your next job is to keep them around.
How do you do that? Go above and beyond.
Surprise and delight your athlete’s with strategies and services they weren’t expecting.
The last thing you want is to constantly chase down new customers because people don’t stick around. That’s a surefire way to burn yourself out.
Plus, happy customers tell others about you. The single best way to grow a coaching business is through word of mouth. Believe it or not, this is still one of the most common ways we get new users at CoachNow!
6. Maximize referrals/word of mouth
If you deliver unparalleled value, it’s only a matter of time beforeyour happy customers will spread the word.
Be ready for this… Have a process/ program in place for referrals.
Now, it doesn’t have to be super complicated.
By maximizing referrals and word of mouth, you’re empowering your existing customers to become a make-shift guerilla marketing team.
Trust me, you’ll save yourself tons of time and money if you let your existing customers find new customers for you.
7. Create and upsell more irresistible offers
The final step doesn’t need much explaining. Now that you’ve done 1-6, do it again with something new. Aka “Rinse and Repeat”.
The best part about creating and selling multiple offers? You’ll constantly learn something new. AND the more launches you conduct, the more people you’ll have in your database to market to.
If you’re reading this, odds are you have some familiarity with CoachNow. Just look at what we’ve done in the last year - we don’t just offer one product and let it sit there. We’ve conducted a myriad of launches, from the Blog to the Podcast to the ConnectedCoach Blueprint, and, of course, CoachNow PRO.
We are ALWAYS developing new offers and creating value for our customers.
Experiment, launch, listen to the data, and iterate. Trust me, it might sound overwhelming but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to do this in your sleep.
The first launch is always the hardest!
Whew! There you have it - the 7 steps to a successful coaching business.
Remember: everything we do at The ConnectedCoach Academy is meant to help you grow your coaching business, while saving yourself tons of time, giving you a healthy work-life balance, and keeping you at your best.
I know this post was long, but I can’t stress enough how important these points are. I strive to be your resource for organizing these thoughts and concepts, so I hope you learned something here!
As always, just reach out if you have any questions or need further information.
Here’s to delivering value to your athletes and scaling your business sustainably!
P.S. Like this content? Hate this content? Think we’re missing a topic in our growing content library? Submit any and all feedback at this link. We read every submission – don’t be shy!
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