Prosperous Coach Podcast is hosted by Rhonda Hess, international business coach and niche strategist. This bi-monthly show offers practical guidance and inspiration to emerging coaches who want to launch their own successful coaching business. Episodes will cover how to choose a profitable coaching niche, create authentic messaging, design magnetic coaching programs and other topics to help you get noticed by ideal clients who will pay well. The show will also delve into coaching tools, coaching client challenges, money mindset and moving beyond limiting beliefs. Rhonda has over 20 years of experience in coaching, marketing, curriculum development, copy writing and editing. Join the conversation at https://prosperouscoachblog.com/podcast
When is the Most Effective Time to Promote Your Coaching Business?
This episode is inspired by a recent look at my business analytics, which are confirming that my business is surging right now and yours could be too! Find the full transcript for this episode at prosperouscoach.com/144.
What are business analytics and why am I talking about them?
Well you can’t know what times are most effective for promotion unless you set up and track analytics. Sound complicated? Not really.
For me, there are 7 sets of numbers I regularly review and track that tell me how many people:
1. are on my website and how long they engage there
2. are subscribing to get my freebie
3. open and click through on the links in my emails
4. listen to my podcast and what percentage of the episode they listen to
5. respond to my posts on social channels.
6. fill out my application to work with me and sign up for a Discovery Call
7. are enrolling in a Strategy Session
These are all my opportunities for a future connection with a person who could become my paying client.
What opportunities have you set up to connect and attract paying clients?
I’ve made every aspect of my business — my website, my lead magnet, my podcast and more — highly visible and compelling for my target audience. I never do any type of promoting to a general audience.
Monitor Analytics About Your Coaching Business
Do you have stats about your business that you’re watching? If not, I encourage you to set up processes to attract ideal clients and keep their attention. Then figure out how you can measure that. Apps make this easy.
If you do have numbers you can review, what do you do with them? Soon I’ll do an episode about this. For now, I’ll just say … never let your stats depress you. Instead let them spur you to action.
So, my question in the title of this episode — when is the most effective time to promote your coaching business — is a bit of a trick question. The truth is that it’s best to promote all the time. All. The. Time.
Never Hard Sell Your Coaching Prospects
And I want to make it clear I’m not talking at all about constantly asking people to hire you or posting ads all the time. I don’t believe in that pushy approach.
If you’re running your coaching business the way I do and the way I teach my clients in my VIP program, you are using the simplest coaching business model and have built a beautiful customer journey so your ideal clients steadily flow right to you ready to enroll.
I’m not advocating hard selling. Consistent non-salesy marketing is the best approach for coaches.
My new clients tell me that one reason they chose me over other business mentors for coaches is because I didn’t hard sell them … ever. They never felt I was pushing or attached to them hiring me.
So take away this point today … run your business so that you’re promoting in a non-salesy way all the time. Do that by getting in front of and staying in front of your audience with high value content. Speak their language.
Inconsistent marketing is usually a waste of time because people forget who you are and their interest is harder to spark again.
Read about the 4 times when coaches can get better traction in their business here.
Should You Stick with Your Coaching Niche?
Do you have a coaching niche that hasn’t paid off yet? This episode explores 10 strategic things that could be missing for you. The full transcript of this episode can be found at prosperouscoach.com/143.
Nearly all coaches are hoping for more traction in their niche. And I want you to understand something that may take the sting out of this. Nearly all businesses of all kinds are hoping for more traction all the time!
So you may be thinking: “It sounds like it’s not worth it to start a business!”
It absolutely is worth it if you’re serious about being the driver of a career that’s tailor made for you. If you want to choose how and when you work and with whom … if you want to be the one who decides your own fees, when you take time off and how often … your own business can give you that.
BUT you have to be in it to win it. Win it a bit at a time until you find the sweet spot. Screw your courage to the sticking place— as Shakespeare advised — and take risks knowing that you CAN make it with time and patience.
Maybe you don’t have time or patience. That in itself is a deal breaker. It’s not a good idea to start any type of business out of desperation. If you are on your last legs financially starting a business is not a good risk for now.
Start your business from a place of strength. Start your business when you’re hungry enough to motivate yourself and not so hungry that you’ll be under enormous pressure.
You don’t have to be independently wealthy to start a business. You just need a wealth of patience plus the willingness to try something, give it a fair shot for a decent amount of time while making small adjustments to improve yourself and your strategy.
ALLOW your business to unfold but don’t sit back and wait for it to happen without you.
I know I’ve used this metaphor in the last episode … your business is your baby. You would not judge a child harshly for not having it altogether in the first few months or the first few years would you? No, because you know there are developmental stages and every child has it’s own pace. That’s true for your business also.
If you’ve had your niche for a long time – let’s say a couple of years – and it hasn’t begun to pay off the way you want it to, should you abandon it?
Well the answer is possibly. Sorry there’s just not a clear straight forward answer here because there are so many variables to consider. Some have to do with the way you’re behaving and some have to do with strategy.
So let’s look inside your niche and your business. And by the way, I did a whole podcast series called Coaching Business Checkup that culminated in a beautiful free downloadable assessment to help you identify what needs to change in your coaching business … and yeah, it could be your niche for sure. It could also be several other things. If you want to check out that series start with prosperouscoach.com/62
To read the FULL transcript and see links to other resources click here.
And if you want some help assessing your niche and business so far, grab a Strategy Session with me at prosperouscoach.com/strategy.
How Long Will it Take You to Reach Coaching Business Success?
I was having the last session of my signature program with a favorite client the other day. This short episode is inspired by that conversation. Find the full show notes at prosperouscoach.com/142
It’s bittersweet having a final session with a client. For them, they’re losing an accountability partner and the structure that helps them stay inspired and make things happen. From here on out they’ll have to hold themselves accountable.
For me, I lose their unique presence in my life session-to-session. I’ve been holding space for their growth. I’ve been responsive to emails and getting comfortable with their learning style, their work style.
All my clients are truly brilliant in their own way. And I come to feel a kinship with them.
My signature program is 5 months long so I have the honor of seeing my clients transform – not only the nuts and bolts of their niche, business model, website and program but also in mindset and approach.
There’s a lot of teaching and learning. That goes both ways.
For most of my clients there’s enough room in my program for at least one pick-my-brain session. You know, they ask me a bunch of questions about little things related to client management and the like. Little details from an experienced coach that will help them avoid pitfalls or shorten more learning curves.
And sometimes it’s the big questions that get asked. The ones on every coach’s mind but they are afraid to ask until the last minute. Not because they are intimidated but because we’re busy workshopping their business from the ground up.
So this client, a smart man with a family, full time job and the chutzpah to start a business of his dreams asked me the ubiquitous question that has no satisfying answer.
It goes something like this … how long will it take me to be successful? He said with humor in voice. Is it three months, six months, two years?
Here’s more or less what I said:
Yes. All of that and more. At three months and before you’ll have a slice of success. At six months if you’re consistent and congruent, leveraging what we’ve created, you’ll have bigger successes.
Success comes moment to moment and you must celebrate those moments. Because if you do not, the long-term success you crave won’t arrive.
Your business is your baby. It’s like a living entity – a part of you. And you need to nurture that baby every day and you can attract good things – a following, social proof, Discovery Calls, ideal clients and of course income comes with that.
Neglect that baby and it won’t thrive.
And then my client said something like “Yeah but with a kid don’t they eventually grow up?” And we laughed about that.
It gets easier but they are always your child. And with each phase you need to learn how to parent differently, right? You adjust as they grow.
With a business as with a child as with your body you grow with it and it grows with you. You calibrate to the new phase. You learn what works and what doesn’t. You learn to live with limitations.
Successes happen. Then things change and you have to figure out the new way. Test and tweak. Incremental improvement.
There is no magic number. Could I say it takes about 18 months?
Read the rest of the show notes here.
5 Questions to Test Your Coaching Business Integrity
This episode is inspired by my own breaches in integrity over the 2 decades plus that I’ve been a coach and some I see other coaches stumble with as well. Find the FULL show notes at prosperouscoach.com/141.
If you took coach training, hopefully you were provided with some standard ethical guidelines that need to be followed with your clients. Things like:
· Keeping your coaching client’s contact info and what they say confidential unless they give express permission for you to share some part of it.
· Setting personal and time boundaries with clients.
Beyond that, no one talks much about ethics and integrity in coaching.
Coaching is not currently a regulated field so it’s doubly important that you, as the professional coach, regulate yourself. That helps all coaches and the future of coaching.
Complaints about coaches hurt the field of coaching. And we really don’t want this field to be regulated, as it would greatly change the coaching industry for the worse.
What It Really Means to Be a Professional Coach
Have you realized that YOU are a PROFESSIONAL? Take this in.
Own the fact that what you do is a professional service and you are a trained professional offering serious and consequential experiences through your coaching.
When I say serious and consequential, I mean that you could hurt someone just as easily as you could help them.
I don’t think you should fear the possibility of hurting someone, but it’s wise to consider it often. More and more I craft what I say to clients both verbally and in writing.
When a client pays you for your services it automatically changes the power differential. You have a bit more or maybe a lot more perceived power than your client. You can equalize that by:
· The respect you show your clients. Acknowledge always that they are resourceful, intelligent and whole human beings who don’t need you to survive. They can take of themselves.
· Encouraging them to take full responsibility for their feelings, thoughts and actions.
I even have a sentence about this in my Coaching Agreement — part of my intake packet (also called a welcome or onboarding packet.)
As a professional you have an obligation to improve and maintain your integrity – your professional boundaries and more.
A Make or Break Factor of Your Coaching Business Success
Beyond being the right thing to do, I’ve come to think of integrity as a make it or break it factor in coaching business success.
I’ve seen how the way coaches conduct themselves affects their ability to earn well.
For example, if a coaching relationship is damaged by a breach of some sort that’s not addressed quickly that bad energy can float out and infect your business. People may not want to work with you even if they don’t know why.
Your integrity is about your core values in life, business, relationships — everything. It’s a set of principles that guide your words and actions – and even your mindset to help you to be your best self and do well at everything you do.
5 Powerful Questions to Check In With Your Integrity Level
To raise your integrity in your coaching business, look at all of these areas:
1. What you do and say with clients
2. What you do and say with potential coaching clients – including your marketing practices, social media posting, the words on your website, how you enroll clients
3. Your business habits and timeliness
4. How honest you are with yourself about what’s going on with your business.
Consider checking in with yourself every month or so. Ask yourself …
What's Missing From Your Coaching Niche?
This episode is a refresher about what components are needed for a strategic coaching niche — one that will bring you clients who are inspired to invest and engage fully. Find the FULL show notes at prosperouscoach.com/140.
Look, I know this whole niche thing is aggravating. And that’s because it takes a few mindset shifts to approach this decision intelligently.
Simplifying this complex thing is my super power. I help coaches strategically develop a smart and profitable coaching niche and build their entire business foundation around that.
That’s my niche because I’ve seen too many coaches throw up a coaching business, website and all, without thinking it all the way through. And then the business only works well enough to keep you struggling but not to earn well.
Partially creating a niche is like building a new house without a foundation.
Think about it. If the foundation is good, the house is solid and secure. It will last. If the foundation is non-existent or poor, the house is not long for this world. It’s flimsy.
You may know that flimsy feeling in your coaching business but not know what to do about it.
That flimsy feeling is like this … you don't know exactly what to do every day to attract clients that pay you well.
Your Coaching Niche Idea is Not Quite Enough
When you finished coach training you may have had the seed of a good idea in mind for your niche. But you might have stopped short of fortifying it with the essential parts. You might have felt romantic about your idea and become attached to the vagueness of it then just put up your website and started posting.
That vagueness is keeping you from earning well.
Most coaches who hire me have a good idea that’s not fully formed. They tried to make it work and it was only somewhat successful. They are dancing on the edge of success.
I can see in that seed something valuable. And I can clearly see that it’s missing the parts that would take this good idea into the concrete world so it sustains them.
Most Coaches Only Choose a Track
Some people say that a coaching niche is the area you focus on, for example:
· Health and Wellness
· Business or entrepreneurship
· Executive or Corporate Leadership
See, to me, these are not quite niches. They are coaching tracks — a seed of an idea. You might have taken coach training in one of these areas and that training WILL be very valuable to you and your clients. However, alone that is not a strategic niche.
A coaching track is a direction but not a destination.
If you’ve only gone so far as to choose a coaching track it won’t likely bring you a good income for 2 reasons:
To hear the 2 reasons and learn all the components of a true coaching niche read more here.
Listener's Choice - The Art of Crafting Powerful Coaching Questions
This is a replay of one of the most popular Prosperous Coach Episodes.
I have the pleasure of introducing you to Laurie Cameron of WAKE UP Enterprises.
Laurie is literally the best coach I know. She is also the best coach trainer I know.
In 2001 I co-created curriculum for Coach Training Alliance and I designed their certified coach program, I was their first trainer. Then I brought Laurie in. She surpassed me significantly and she is their Senior Mentor Coach now.
I first met Laurie 20 years or so ago at the Denver chapter of the International Coach Federation and we became fast friends. We were both on the board there. Beyond that, Laurie and I have been accountability partners for each other and doing a little co-coaching now and then. Something every coach needs.
LAURIE CAMERON: I am really excited and thank you for all those kind words that made my week as well. So I’m really thrilled to be here.
The Most Powerful Coaching Skill
Rhonda: Laurie, I'm going to ask you some questions. I hope they're powerful questions because that's the topic that we're bringing today. So I wanted to start with … What is your favorite coaching skill, Laurie, and why?
LAURIE CAMERON: I would like to ask you a question in return. Complete this sentence: If you want better answers, you …?
RHONDA: … have to ask the right questions.
LAURIE CAMERON: Close. See when I do full day coach training workshops with leaders and managers and when I train coaches through coach training Alliance, that's the common answer. A better answer is you have to craft better questions.
RHONDA: Nice distinction.
LAURIE CAMERON: Thank you. Questions are amazing and they're even more amazing and more powerful when you are adept at putting words together in a way that draw somebody's wisdom out and draw out something new and, and send them deep. That's why I love powerful questions and learning how to craft them.
Take Your Time To Formulate Powerful Questions
RHONDA: That's great. I wanted to notice something. You know, you asked me that question and I jumped with my answer. You’re talking about crafting and crafting takes some time. How can a coach that's in the middle of a coaching session take the time to craft a question?
LAURIE CAMERON: Well, it's about taking the time to do that actually. And one of the challenges that I've noticed that newer coaches have about asking questions is they don't take the time to craft one before they start asking it.
So as soon as the kernel of a question pops into their head, it's coming out their mouth, they are revising it, editing it out loud, and it actually turns into this long thing that the client just loses track of.
Learning how to craft a powerful question is more about taking the time, pausing, being comfortable with the silence — which is also a challenge for a lot of coaches — and crafting internally before they open their mouth.
LAURIE CAMERON: That's great to know and it reminds me that a lot of times when I'm working with my own clients. I have something to say, could be a question or it could be anything, but if I don't quite have it ready yet, I'll just buy myself some time. I'll just say: Give me a second, I’m thinking.
To read the rest of the transcript go here.
Exactly what a new coach needs!
I’ve been listening to Rhonda’s insightful and inspiring podcast for several months now, and I enjoy it so much that often I binge-listen to many episodes in a row on long road trips! I absolutely love how open, sincere, and generous Rhonda is with her time-tested wisdom in what it takes to build a successful coaching business from scratch. As a newbie coach still enrolled in a certification program, my mind-wheels are constantly spinning about how to build my nestling business, and Rhonda’s value-filled words and energy help ground and ignite me at the same time. Her advice takes me out of the fog and into clarity, out of stumbling into jogging steadily forward. Thank you for being there for me, Rhonda, and for all the other coaches out there who yearn to build a profitable business doing exactly what they love!
Love Prosperous Coach!
This podcast covers all the right topics for a successful coaching business. Everything from narrowing your niche to handling clients and running the business itself. Rhonda is easy to listen to and learn from. I love that I come away with new ideas and things to try each week. I highly recommend!
A Student of Life
As a student of Life AND a student actively working toward Life Coach certification through the Coach Training Alliance, I appreciate the energetic space you have created and the lessons you are sharing. Thank you for being a leader and, more importantly, sharing your kind spirit with the world!