Coaching Business Makeovers: It’s Time for a Change

When is the last time you changed the theme on your website? Changed your headshots? Rewrote your “About” page?

If the answer to any of those is more than a year ago, listen up, because big coaching paychecks require more than a fancy sales page and an email pitch. If you want to attract high-end clients, you have to look and act the part.

Headshots Done Right

We all looked better ten years ago, but that’s no excuse for using old, outdated or—heaven forbid—amateur headshots.

When you’re selling coaching programs that range into the five figures, looking professional is critical, and that starts with great headshots. Hire a photographer who specializes in portraits for speakers and coaches. Expect to spend a few hundred dollars for a selection of high-resolution images you can use in all your marketing materials, including on your website.

Get Your Website Redone

Speaking of websites, if you’re still using the same theme you designed yourself, it’s time for a new look. While you can say that potential clients should not judge you by the way your site looks, they will. A clean, modern website will work wonders to improve your credibility and start attracting the right clients.

While you’re at it, take some time to solicit new testimonials. Don’t just load them all up on a single page though. Take the best ones and add them to your sales page, put them in your email newsletters, and include them in your lead-gen materials as well.

Don’t forget your “About” page, either. This one is hard for most people, so it’s a good idea to have someone else write this, or at least have a writer revise the one you wrote. Remember to include your most recent accomplishments, any awards or accolades, your speaking engagements, and anything else that lets people know you’ve got what it takes to help them grow. Include a few personal details as well, so readers will feel as if they know you just little better for having read it.

Lastly, remember to update your social media profiles as well. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and others have a long reach, so you want to ensure that no matter where potential clients find you, the information is consistent and professional.

Getting new headshots and making over your website might feel like a waste of time, but the truth is, people do judge a book by its cover, and you often only have a second or two to make an impression. Make sure it’s the best one you can make.

5 Ways to Uplevel Your Credibility

If you want to earn top dollar for your coaching programs, it’s clear you’ll first have to become the go-to expert in your niche. You’re likely already working toward that goal, and probably have been for some time, but if you’re not quite there yet, here’s how to jumpstart your career.

Content Creation. This is by far the most important thing you can do to grow your audience and your credibility. Blog posts, podcasts, ebooks, and self-paced training programs—whether free or paid—are the building blocks of your empire, and if you want to earn top dollar, you first have to put in the work to create a solid foundation.

Video. This is where a lot of people struggle. Maybe you hate the sound of your voice or you hate how you look on video. You’ll need to get over it. Your potential clients need to get to know you better before they shell out $5,000 or $10,000 for that group-coaching program you’re putting together, and video is the easiest way for them to do that. So get a makeover, hire a video coach, and start sharing what you know on YouTube and other video channels.

Write a Book. The big daddy of content, a real, physical book can skyrocket your credibility and pave the way for the rest of your coaching career. Now, we’re not talking about Kindle books here (although they do have their place in your overall content plans). No, for this, you want to publish a printed book—and if you can attract the attention of a publishing house rather than going the self-publishing route, that lends more credibility.

Speaking. Nothing says “I’m an expert” quite like getting to take to the stage and speak in front of a group. Chances are your expert status has already attracted the attention of event organizers and you’ve been asked to speak. If you have, and have turned down the opportunity, now is the time to boost up your confidence and make the leap. If you haven’t, then go out and actively seek opportunities that are a good fit. Don’t be afraid to start small—at your local Chamber of Commerce or a recurring MeetUp group—but keep an eye on the big stage, too, and be open for the chance to wow a crowd with your expertise.

Host a Live Event. Want to really blow your audience away with your coaching and business skills? Plan and host a live event. It doesn’t have to be huge—in fact a small, intimate venue is often the best choice—but do start making plans. Live event hosts are often viewed as the real movers and shakers in their industries (because they are).

Remember, too, no matter which credibility-boosting method you’re using, it will only work if people know about it. So don’t just start a podcast, market it. Don’t step onto a stage of any size without shouting about it to the rooftops, and never ever write a book without a big launch. Credibility and visibility go hand in hand, so do everything you can to get the word out about your achievements.

Your First Live Event: Start Small, Think Big

Hands down, one of the best ways to boost your credibility as a coach is to host your own live events. They’re a chance for you to show off your expertise, provide social proof (your guest speakers will do that for you), and get your name in front of more potential clients and customers.

So what’s holding you back?

Well, if you’re like most people, it’s fear. Fear of not being able to attract speakers. Fear of not being able to sell enough tickets. Fear of just putting yourself out there and saying, “I’m hosting an event.”

Here’s the secret though. Your event does not have to be a 300-person affair. Sure, you can have aspirations of that (and you really should), but that’s not where you begin. You begin with a small, intimate venue that holds less than 50 people.

Think about it. If you only have to sell 50 tickets, there’s a lot less pressure to perform. You’ll have lower out-of-pocket expenses, fewer people to please, and less equipment to worry about.

But you still have all the benefits of being able to say, “I’m hosting an event.”

Plus, this live event will lay the groundwork for future events. Because you’ve got the experience, it will be much easier to add live group coaching or mastermind components to your top-dollar coaching programs. You’ll have a lot less worry over managing all the pieces and parts, simply because you’ve “been there, done that” on more than one occasion.

Live events can take many forms, too, so don’t think you have to commit yourself to a multi-day, multi-speaker conference. Your first event might be a local Meetup, or a half-day workshop held at your favorite conference center, or even a free mastermind session tacked on to a larger event you’re attending. The point is to get your feet wet and pave the way for bigger and better events down the road.

So while you’re planning your event, keep these points in mind:

  • Promote and talk up your event as if it’s the biggest thing in your industry. Don’t lie, of course, but do be energetic and positive about it.
  • Get testimonials from attendees, and do it while you’re at the event. Don’t wait until they get home, because we are forgetful creatures.
  • Take notes. What worked, what didn’t, what could have been improved?
  • Keep it simple. Don’t try to host a multi-day, multi-room event for your first time out. Put that on your “someday” list instead.

But the most important point about your first live event? Just do it. Step outside your comfort zone and enter the world of event hosts. Once you’re there, you’ll find that your coaching credibility increases exponentially.

Mindset Matters: Getting Inside the Head of Top Dollar Coaches

When you think about the highest earning business coaches, people like Ali Brown and Carrie Wilkerson and Marie Forleo, what comes to mind? Charisma, experience, and expertise are often at the top of the list, but would it surprise you to know that those are not the most important characteristics?

In fact, while those things do help attract and keep an audience, there’s one thing that is absolutely critical to their success, and you can’t even see it.

Mindset.

It’s true. In everything you do, whether in business or in life, your mindset is the determining factor when it comes to your success. Your coaching plans are no different. Without the right mindset, you will forever be attracting and working with clients who—while deserving and lovely—are less than your ideal when it comes to their ability to pay.

So before you can realize your dreams of four- or five-figure clients, you have to do some internal work. You have to make some changes to your own mindset, to be more in line with what the top earners in your industry already do and feel.

Changing Your Attitude

One thing charismatic and personable people have in common is a good attitude. Think about it; you’ll never see Carrie Wilkerson or Paul Evans complaining about how the kids are sick, “again!” or that the cable repair guy is 40 minutes late, or even that the car blew a tire.

Instead, you see their expressions of gratitude in everything. If the kids are sick, they’re grateful to have a business that allows them to stay home and play nurse. If the cable guy is late, they’re grateful to have 40 extra minutes to read a book instead of watch television. And if the car died in the middle of running a week’s worth of errands, they’re happy to have found a mechanic who does great work at a reasonable price.

If you find yourself complaining—even in your head—turn your attitude around. There’s nearly always something to be grateful for, even in the worst situations. And when you can rethink and revise your attitude for the better, you’ll not only be happier, but you’ll attract a better audience, too.

Growing Your Confidence

Here’s something else top-end coaches have in common: confidence. They believe in what they do. They believe in their ability to help others achieve the same thing. They walk on stage or join a webinar filled with the knowledge that what they are about to say will change the lives of those who are listening.

It’s not cocky or arrogant, it’s just confidence. And if you don’t have it yet, you can take steps to increase it.

Start by asking yourself, in any new or uncomfortable situation, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Of those worst-case scenarios, resolve what you have control over, and let the rest go. So if you’ve agreed to speak in front of a small group of business owners, and your fear is that you’ll flub your speech, practicing beforehand will greatly improve your confidence.

Next, get inside the head of someone who is confident in what you’re about to do. Walk onto that stage as if you’ve been doing it for years, and not only will you feel more confident, but you’ll be more confident. You can use the “as if” attitude in everything from creating a new product to closing a sale. Whenever you feel your confidence failing, just remember to act as if you’ve done this successfully hundreds of times.

Just like how the person you’re talking to on the phone can hear a smile in your voice, your potential clients can sense your mindset. And if it’s not up to the standards of the top earners in your niche, you’ll struggle to make the sale. Work on your attitude and confidence levels, and watch your income soar.

Sales Tips for Reluctant Sales People

Would it come as a surprise to you if I said we’re all salespeople? It’s true.

Every time you have a prospective client on a discovery call, you’re making a sales pitch. Every time you send an email or write a blog post with an offer, you’re making a sales pitch. Every time you write an opt-in page, you’re making a sales pitch.

And you’re probably pretty good at it, too, or you wouldn’t be where you are today, would you?

So why do we continue to think we’re so bad at sales?

Sales Feels “Icky”

I hear this one a lot. You feel pushy or uncomfortable when talk turns to money. You don’t want to force anyone into a decision. You secretly think your rates are too high.

I’m going to be honest with you. This is one of those things that gets better only with practice. But the good news is, you don’t have to be on the phone with a prospective client to get that practice time in.

Instead, use the technique self-help gurus have been advocating for years: Look in the mirror and talk to yourself. Practice saying your rates out loud. Practice your segue from discovery to sales pitch. The more you do it, the more natural it will sound, and the less uncomfortable you will feel when on a real call.

Fix Your Mindset

What if you weren’t selling anything, but instead were simply chatting with a friend about the incredible new product that was going to change her life? You’re helping your friend to improve herself by sharing your experience with this new product.

That’s exactly how you should think about selling your coaching programs. You’re not trying to get your prospective client to spend money. Instead, you’re offering a solution to her problems. You’re genuinely helping her to overcome some obstacle in her life or business.

When you can turn your thinking around from “sales” to “helping” you’ll find it’s much easier to have the sales talk.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Follow Up

Most clients won’t say yes with the first call, and maybe not even with the second. But good coaches know that many sales can be closed if you simply take the time to follow up. Send a quick email and invite your prospect to:

  • Schedule a follow-up call to answer her questions
  • Read some of your testimonials
  • Review your coaching program outline or sales page
  • Or even join a different program of yours that might be a better fit

Don’t let that old “I’m not good at sales” thinking get in the way of making a real difference in people’s lives, and in growing your business and your profits. With these easy tips, you can quickly turn your sales blocks into a system for landing new clients consistently.