So… you want to be a business coach. I can’t say I blame you. Of all the coaching ‘niches’ business coaching is the most predictably lucrative. With a few key exceptions, it is the business coach who gets the highest ticket clients.
But with great rewards, comes great risk. Business coaching is a highly competitive game, with a lot of very skilled players. In order to succeed, you have to first invest in yourself. Time, money and focus. Learn the strategies from the pros, the guys who have already built their 6, 7 and even 8 figure businesses.
Take Dan Bradbury, for instance. Dan is the UK’s highest paid business coach, and the owner of the APCTC. Every once in a while, he runs his acclaimed Business Coach Training course for us, which comes fully certified. And it’s happening again this October (2016 – if you’d like to find out more, email our colleague Gabriella and tell her you’re interested.)
To help us promote it, he has shared some of his business keystones at both a foundation and an advanced level. Starting with…
#1. Getting Clients
This is the first thing we’re addressing in this series, and it’s the most crucial thing for you to address too. It doesn’t matter how big you are, it doesn’t matter how much you’re turning over. You can never have a big enough audience from which to engage and cultivate new paying clients from.
Most people think the easiest way to get new clients is by chucking a load of money into advertising or flashy ad campaigns. Those people are wrong, and that is exactly why so many coaching businesses (… and every other business, for that matter) fail.
That’s why you sell them on…
Before you start any marketing, before you throw any money at anything, you need to hook your potential audience’s interest. In order to do that, you have to be very clear on who your audience is in order to sell them the benefits of what you offer.
Rule No.1 of all sales: you don’t sell the product. You sell what that product will do for the client. In order to effectively sell coaching to someone, you must sell them a solution to a problem. You’re selling them a result.
But what result could this ‘audience’ possibly want? After all, businesses are all wildly different, with each one having different problems to solve right?
That’s right. Which is why, before you start assessing the benefits of what your coaching service can provide your audience, you need to identify your…
Just so we’re all on the same page: a niche in this instance is your area of speciality within coaching. It’s the market you are best positioned to serve, at the highest possible level.
Niching is by far the easiest way to enable your audience to find you. It is one of the most important decisions you will ever make as a business owner, and probably one of the hardest too. But the good news is that once that part is out of the way, the rest will be relatively easy. Especially if your niche is tight.
The tighter the niche, the greater your chances of being found and the greater the chances you will engage your target audience right off the bat.
Let’s break it down into an example.
You are a small business that makes specialist and high-end hi-fi equipment, and you’re looking to develop and grow your business to appeal to a wider market and ultimately grow your profits. You have two options for coaching, and you have no prior knowledge of how coaching works.
#1 is a general business coach with no speciality and generic services
#2 is a specialist in the field of audio-equipment manufacturing and a bonafide hi-fi enthusiast with detailed knowledge of the hi-fi manufacturing, distribution and retail elements entailed in developing small hi-fi manufacturers. And they have a proven track record of helping the same kind of business as yours.
… who are you going to go with? There’s every chance that #1 is an awesome business coach. He might be making his clients millions in profits! But if you have any sense as a small hi-fi manufacturer, you’re probably going to go with someone who knows your business.
A coach who can…
- Speak your language, and the language of your industry
- Understand the inner-workings of that industry without having it explained to them
- Understand what your biggest problems are likely to be
- Already know the solutions to those problems
That right there, is Coach #2. And Coach #2 is exactly the kind of coach you need to be. You might well be doing exactly the same things as Coach #1 (with a few small tweaks for the industry), but hat’s neither here nor there. The point is you go into your marketing knowing exactly what benefits they can offer. Exactly what solutions they can offer. A ready-made yet highly tailored service.
Niche. Find your niche, and (providing you’re clever about it!) your audience will find you. A nice tight niche will give you your benefits and the language you need to use to engage your audience’s interest and ultimately convert them into paying clients. But we’ll cover that later.
Unsure about what your niche actually is? Sadly, that’s a question only you can answer. You may already have that answer, or you may be getting close.
Ask yourself: what am I already doing? What do I spend most of my money on? What do I do for fun?
Your niche will likely lie in a cross over of two categories: what you know the most about… and what you’re passionate about. Passion is particularly important. Passion will always win over expertise, and will really help if you happen to have any competition in that area too.
Niching will ultimately give you your ideal audience. Once you know your ideal audience, you know what they will benefit from having. Once you have your benefits, you have something to sell: results! Remember, they’re not buying coaching. They’re buying results.
Once you have those results clear in your head, once you know exactly what you can do for your tribe, then things start getting very interesting.
Advanced: The Pain
If you have the results, then it’s likely you have identified the solutions you can provide to them. If you have the solutions, then you have correctly identified your audience’s pain.
Pain points are critical for any sale. Once you know your customers pain (and providing you have a solution to that pain) you have a paying client. Selling your coaching on your ability to solve their specific pain will yield much higher results than simply focusing on the benefits your coaching will bring to them, and that is what they will ultimately buy.
Why? Well, it’s a very simple and basic human need. We as a species will go to much greater lengths to avoid pain, than to pursue pleasure. The more specific you can get on your audience’s pain, the more likely they are to bite your hand off in pursuit of the solution to that pain.
Advanced: Finding The Pain
If you already have an audience you probably already have a vague idea of what their problems are. But if you want to take it to the next level and fully and completely engage your audience into becoming your best clients (read:biggest fans!) then you need to get a little deeper and find out exactly what you need to fix for each individual member of your audience.
The best way to find this out? Very simple: ask. If your audience trusts you, they will answer.
A simple conversation on the phone can be all that’s needed. But the quickest and fastest way to get fast answers in bulk (and fast data in return!) is by sending a survey out to your community. If you ask the right questions, your audience will reveal their specific pains to you and you will have an opportunity to follow up (email, phone call, whatever you prefer) with a more targeted approach based on their answers.
The best part is, by answering a survey question(s) in which they tell you what’s wrong, they have already taken the first step to solving their problem by starting that conversation with you, and then you can help them to the conclusion that they need the solutions you have.
“What do you urgently need to fix right now?”
“What will happen if it doesn’t get fixed?”
“What will make the biggest difference right now?”
The trick is to get them to tell you what you need to do for them, rather than you telling them. This is an incredibly powerful tool, and will ultimately get you a far better result than telling people what you can do, and how you can do it.
If you’d like to find out more about our Business Coach Certification Training (running in October 2016) email our colleague Gabriella and tell her you’re interested.
Next week we will be tackling the second keystone: the lowest hanging fruit – a powerful (and simple) business development technique you can use on both yourself… and your clients.