Do you follow a proven format for coaching clients? If not, consider that the best 1:1 coaching programs not only follow a proven format, but they offer more than phone calls and Skype meetings as well.
Coaching Tools Include
- Reading material (books, e-books, blogs, etc.)
- Video—either for training purposes, to illustrate a point, or to offer inspiration
- Audio content
- Simple printables to help explain ideas and concepts
Many coaching tools are easily repurposed from your own business. For example, if you have standard operating procedures or a variant of checklists that would be beneficial to your clients, rebrand them and offer as PDF downloads.
You can also create a reading list of your favorite books. Compile a list of useful You-Tube videos. Package your email responses to share.
Worksheets that offer fill-in-the-blank questions can help your clients work through complex or confusing processes, and will serve as a reminder in coming weeks or after their coaching program is completed, so they can continue to benefit.
Another option for high-end coaching programs is to send your clients physical books that will help with their growth. If you’ve written a book, another idea is to send clients a physical copy of your book, perhaps even customized for them, with notes in the margins or sticky notes to highlight important chapters.
Exercise: Plan Your Coaching Tools
What tools, training, worksheets and other resources will help your clients achieve their goals?
To achieve significant results, coaching clients needs a focused, step-by-step coaching action plan. You design your best personal coaching programs that guides the client logically through each step in the process.
Big breakthroughs don’t happen overnight, and they don’t happen by chance—as your clients have no doubt discovered by now. In fact, your ideal client has probably been struggling for a while. She's read blog posts on the topic, watched dozens of webinars, attended conferences, read books, listened to podcasts, and still, her problem is right there--in front of her all the time.
For example, a coaching action plan designed to help freelancers get started online might include:
- Developing service offerings
- Ideal client discovers
- Pricing packages
- Creating a website
- Keywords and SEO
- Developing a sales funnel
- Creating contracts
- Marketing methods
- Sales calls
Each step in the coaching action plan is necessary, and also are dependent on one another. You cannot market your website if it doesn't exist yet. You can't work out pricing if you don’t know what services you offer.
Your coaching action plan, as well, will benefit from a logical flow of steps. Keeping your desired outcome as well as your ideal client in mind, think about
- Where is she right now in business and life?
- Where is she going with the help of your coaching?
- Next draw the mind map to get her there, and this becomes the steps of your coaching program.
- How long your program will last?
.One-to-one coaching programs range from a few weeks to a year or more, depending on the depth of the information and the outcome clients will achieve.
Realistically, how long will it take for your customers to work through the steps of the coaching action plan?
Be sure to consider outside influences such as:
- Day jobs—if your customers are building a business while still working outside the home, it will reduce the amount of time they have available
- Family obligations—toddlers in the house, summer vacations, elderly parents and a host of other life events can limit the time a client can dedicate to your program.
If your program includes elements that take time, consider extending the length of your coaching to accommodate them.
In step five, we'll talk more about contact access and frequency, but for now, only start considering how long your overall program will be, and what the steps to completion include.
Exercise: Brainstorm Your Coaching Action Plan Steps
What do your clients need to learn so that they can achieve your desired outcome? Spend a few minutes creating a list, and then organize it in a logical order.
In what order should your clients cover the topics listed above?
Exercise: Plan Your Program Duration
How long will it take your clients to work through all the steps above?
"Design Your Coaching Tools"
Knowing what client problems you solve (and for whom) is the next step. You need to know what outcome your clients will achieve.
If you've ever written a sales page, then you're familiar with the concept of features vs. benefits. Features describe the product. Benefits are the outcome of purchasing and using the product.
- A feature of a showerhead is that it’s “low flow.” The benefit is that you save on your water bill.
- A feature of exploring relationship issues is to identify personal desires and develop a plan to meet those desire.
- A feature of your new curtains is that they block light. The benefit is that you can sleep in on the weekends.
- A feature of your coaching program is that you are an expert in a specialized niche. The benefit is the outcome your clients will experience.
When you're thinking about the result you provide, try to see it from your potential client's point of view. The client problems cause her to struggle to find a solution.
- What will her life or business look like once she's completed your program?
- Will she make more money? How much? In what time frame?
- Will she find her dream date? Get engaged? Married? How soon?
- Will she grow her email list? By how much?
This significant benefit—or desired outcome—is what will sell your coaching program, which solves client problems, and is the light at the end of the tunnel in which your client is stuck. Every aspect of your coaching program should lead in this direction.
You may feel challenged now, as you determine to create the desired outcome of your coaching package. Real case studies and testimonials—and even your own experiences—can help.
Look to your past clients and their achievements. What have they gained as a result of working with you? Chances are you have some testimonials you can turn to for details, but if not, don’t be afraid to reach out to them to ask about their results.
Pro Tip: Create an “exit interview” as a part of all your training programs—both group and 1:1—so you can find out about results, ask for testimonials, and make improvements to your programs as well.
Exercise: What Will Your Client Achieve?
As with your statement of the problem, write the desired outcome of your program. (Example: My clients learn to dramatically scale their marketing efforts to triple their income within a year.)
Making money online with your coaching business means you will need clients. Attracting those clients could be difficult, but with practice the process can become easier.
Step 1 – Know Your Target Market
Narrow down your target market. Don’t try to get just any client. Choose a specific group or area of expertise that fit those people you want to coach or work with. Shape your message to serve this specific segment. Use the words they use for emotional topics or soft skills, Talk about the specific benefits you offer that provides solutions to their challenges.
Examples of target markets:
- Realtors who are faced with a lot of competition in a slow market.
- Hair salon owners wanting to find a way to stand out among other salons or who are overwhelmed with their work.
- Parenting coaches choosing to work with a special needs segment of the school population.
- A Family Coach who want to coach mothers and children through the divorce process.
Can you begin to see how attracting clients is your task and focus most every day. An this process could be automated.
Step 2 – Have confidence in your coaching service
Show you believe in your services and value your time in everything you say and do. Clients will see your value as well. How do you act or speak with confidence? Do you speak about how you offer services? Then switch the discussion to the vapes and emotional benefits your clients feel and experience when they work with you.
Step 3 – Connect with prospects
When talking to prospects, really listen and connect with them. Let them that feel you understand. Take the time to let your prospective clients know you as a person. Become known as someone who is friendly, helpful and willing to go the extra mile.
Step 4 – Be where they gather
Go to the forums, meetings and social media outlets where your prospective clients are hanging out. Interact with them. Network with them at events.
Step 5 – Show yourself as the expert
Get your knowledge out among the crowd by answering questions and helping others in the places where your clients are gathering. Write articles and books on your niche. Use social media as a way to create a buzz around your coaching business. Use Twitter, Facebook and your own blog to help spread the word about your services.
Volunteer to speak at networking events and conferences to build your reputation as an expert. Choose Facebook Live as a venue for coaching or educating prospective clients. Ask for testimonials from current clients to build your authority. Form alliances with other coaches and people in your niche.
Step 6 – Ask for referrals
Ask your current and past clients for referrals. Everyone knows of a friend, colleague or family member who might be a good fit for your services.
Step 7 – Create a compelling marketing message
Your marketing message, tagline and elevator speech should grab the attention of prospects and make them want to call you.
Step 8 – Create your services package
Package your services, what you offer and what you know into courses and systems that make the prospective client take notice and want to work with you. Your coaching packages should be positioned so they sell themselves also apart from packaged programs.
Step 9 – Create a marketing plan
Create a specific plan to help you reach your prospective clients. Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket. Use several different types of marketing. For example, some methods that a parenting coach might use to become better known in their community would be to
- offer a free parenting talk at the local library
- write for a local parenting newspaper, to magazine
Step 10 – Learn to close the sale
Once you have attracted your ideal client, age next step is making a sale. To do that, learn how to close the sale properly so you don’t scare a person away or leave them hanging by not providing the next step.
Attracting your ideal client gets easier the more you do it. Spending time in the right places and using the right marketing plan can help.
Clarify Life Coaching
Recently, this coaching topic has been the target of a lot of jokes and demeaning cartoons. Many people have no realistic notion of what it is all about. Life coaching is more than assisting people to set and attain personal or professional goals.
As a life coach, my definition of life coaching is: catalyzing in others personally-desired changes they will make to create a lifestyle of their dreams...one that will work better for them.
In order to effectively do my job described above, I regularly make inquiries about the client. There is a difference between "questions" and "inquiries." The former can be answered immediately after they are asked.
[tweetshare tweet="Inquiries however, are designed to be thought about, deliberated upon and regularly reviewed by the client." username="parent_coach"]
Some of the best inquiries a qualified life coach can make are described below.
What would you like to gain by working with me as your life coach? In order to assist a client to attain their desired outcomes, it becomes important in life coaching to know what those outcomes are
How can you modify your thinking and behavior so that you increase the probability those outcomes occur? One definition of "insanity" is engaging in the same behavior over and over while thinking the outcomes will be different.
What new thinking habits, emotional habits, behavioral habits or social habits are you willing to develop that will increase the likelihood your lifestyle will be different three months (six months, a year, 10 years) from now? If you want to learn and practice new habits, you need to practice them regularly for at least 3-4 weeks in order to make them "unconscious."
What can you think, do or say today that will give you practice at strengthening those chosen new habits that replace the old ones? You can never "unlearn" the habits that created your current lifestyle. You can only learn and strengthen new habits that will replace engaging in the old ones! Th.is is the heart of life coaching.
What are some new choices and decisions you can make that will move you toward creating and enjoying the outcomes/consequences you want to incorporate into your new lifestyle? Despite making mistakes and engaging in unskilled behaviors, you might as well risk making new choices that you will enjoy.
With what kind of people will you surround yourself to be supportive of you as you create this new lifestyle? No one ever accomplishes important lifestyle changes without the support of others...even if such support is indirect or out of your awareness.
What are your current strengths, talents and abilities you can use or strengthen that will assist you in attaining your desired outcomes? If you are still alive, you already have some personal abilities that are useful in creating a modified or new lifestyle.
What new habits will result in:
A lower stress level;
A new sense of accomplishment;
A positive redefinition of negative experiences;
An ability to focus internally and lessen your "reactivity;"
An increase in your awareness of the consequences of your choices;
A lessening of your fears and anxieties;
Developing beneficial and enjoyable social and interpersonal relationships;
Developing your happiness and enjoyment about being alive.
If you would like to explore the above inquiries, you just might want to receive assistance from a qualified and experienced life coach...despite all the jokes you may have heard.
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Dr. Thomas is a licensed clinical psychologist and certified life coach. He is on the faculty of the International University of Professional Studies. He is the co-author of the book, "Total Life Coaching: 50+ Life Lessons, Skills, and Techniques to Enhance Your Practice...and Your Life" (W. W. Norton, 2005). He leads seminars/workshops on: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy; Life Coaching; Business Coaching; Creativity; Academic Excellence; Creating High-Quality Relationships; Effective Communication; Effective Leadership and many others.
- Lloyd J. Thomas, Ph.D.
- 3421 Polk Circle West
- Wellington, CO 80549
How does a certified parenting coach hold the right mindset for the ideal clients they envision? Mindset: Focus on your client, not on you.
How You Think and Envision
When a new author writes a book, the author is filled with his or her personal story — it’s drama, it’s inspiration, and the need to have others learn from their experiences.
However, if the author wants to sell the book, he or she needs to know what the reader wants to read and ensure the book addresses that.
If a coach wants to sell services, the services or product must fulfill the client’s needs. The fulfillment is essential to demonstrate in your story, writing, advertising, and offerings. All of your marketing materials need to be client focused:
- About them — someone to listen to their story, not hear about yours
- About solving one of their issues — your book, story or brochure will tell how…
- About finding support — every word you write and every visual clue you use in a logo, color, design and copy reflects how you support them.
The New York Times best-read nonfiction books tend to be cookbooks, biographies of famous people, and how-to books on weight loss. If people are buying these books...
- Why are they doing so?
- What does a client want from a coach that is like a cookbook?
- A recipe, a formula, something that appeals to their appetites.
Remember who you are marketing to:
- A doer wants an achievement.
- A thinker wants the list of steps.
- The supporter who wants whatever is most practical, appealing and adaptable.
- The creative influencer wants to share the beauty with others and convince them of its benefits.
What does a coaching client want that is like a biography?
- The emotional connection to you.
- Small pieces of your life experience connect with their hearts and mind.
What does a coaching client crave?
- the answers
- the steps
- the hope
- the promise
- the guarantee
- the formula… …to their dilemma and solutions or strategies for the issues they deal with every day - the issues that overwhelm them or make them tired and edgy.
Successful coaches respond to the needs of their targeted clients just like an author who is writing a book for them. You answer their needs, provide the soul food they crave, and develop a heart connection. Then, you’ve got it! !