If you want to be successful, look at what others are doing and do the opposite.
In our previous post, we heard about Leslie, a business coach who was struggling to grow her own coaching business. Like 80% of all coaches, she couldn’t make a living from her coaching fees.
Now, Leslie wasn’t a bad coach. She knows her stuff and she only started coaching after years of learning the ropes, helping other businesses and getting coached by the best in the industry. The only problem was, when she became a coach, she did what the other coaches around her were doing.
If you want to become successful, you don’t do what the unsuccessful people are doing. The unsuccessful coaches all do the same thing. They go to networking events or conferences, they pitch their services to everyone they meet, and they hope that they’ll land well-paying clients.
The reality is that they end up spending a lot of time manually searching for new clients, and the ones they do get are not the right fit. Eventually, instead of trying to change how they find new clients, these coaches burn out or find a part-time job to support their family.
Leslie, on the other hand, decided she wanted to join the 20% of coaches who were successful. So she modeled them. She looked at what top coaches like Tony Robbins was doing and copied their techniques. She didn’t copy the way Tony coaches, she copied his strategy for promoting himself and finding new clients.
That strategy is what we’ll cover in today’s post.
Everything starts with a plan. Not just any plan. We’re talking about a strategic plan.
When most people plan, they don’t do it with a goal in mind. They simply add a bunch of activities to their day or week and then do it to feel like they are being productive. Similarly, unsuccessful coaches might plan their week and schedule meetings or events in advance, but there’s no goal or strategy to it.
Gary Vaynerchuk is a huge proponent of reverse engineering your goals. What this means is you start with the end goal in mind. Then, you work your way backwards, figuring out what steps you need to take to get there and creating a plan out of it.
So, in your strategic plan, you start with your end goal of becoming a successful coach. Let’s say success means earning a regular full time income from your coaching business. You take out your calendar and mark a day, maybe 3 months or 6 months from now, as the day you achieve that goal. Then, you work backwards planning out the steps you need to get there.
This plan then becomes your Bible. You look at it every morning and every night to make sure you’re keeping pace with it. Seeing your end goal and all the steps plotted out for you will drive you forward to success.
As for what steps you need to take to get there, well, those are the remaining 4 ingredients.
Here’s a thought experiment for you. Let’s say you’re walking down the street and a tall, successful-looking man walks up to you and says, “Hi, my name is John Doe and I want to coach you for free. Will you accept my offer?”
What do you think you’d say? If you were in a bad mood you might say, “Who the hell are you? Get out of my way!”
Even if you were in a good mood, you would politely decline the man because, no matter how successful he looks, he’s a total stranger.
Now let’s say another man walks up to you but this time he says, “Hi my name is Tony Robbins and I want to coach you for free. Will you accept my offer?”
I don’t care how bad your mood is, you’ll be jumping up and down with delight. It’s the same scenario, except this time you know who the person is.
That’s the power of a personal brand. You may not have been to any of Tony’s seminars before, or enrolled in his courses, but you have definitely heard of him and the impact he’s made. If Tony were in a group of 100 other coaches, he would immediately stand out because of his brand.
You would also accept his offer of coaching without thinking twice. You wouldn’t deliberate before saying yes, you wouldn’t question his methods, and you would follow the plan he gives you without holding back. You trust him without even knowing him!
Now imagine if you could have that same effect on people. When you build your personal brand, you stand out from all the other unsuccessful coaches who no one has heard of because they don’t have brands. You also evoke those same feelings of trust in clients and eradicate all doubts in their minds.
Most unsuccessful coaches understand the importance of building a brand, but their counter-argument is that it’s tough and it takes years. That may have been true a decade ago, but today it’s easier with social media, blogging, ebooks and videos.
So you decide which makes more sense. To hit networking events and try to convince people who have never heard of you that they need you as a coach? Or to build a brand and attract hundreds or thousands of people who already trust you?
It’s a no-brainer.
Call it what you want, a fan-base, a community, a social media following or even just a mailing list. The point is you need one.
Another reason why Tony Robbins is so famous is because of his fan-base. He’s built a cult-like following of people who watch all his videos, attend all his lectures, and listen to all his speeches.
What this means is, he already has customers and clients who will buy his new products the moment they launch. He doesn’t rely on what Jeff Walker calls “hope marketing” where you put your products out there and hope people will buy. He has customers even before he has products!
Relying on hope is not a long-term strategy, which is why it doesn’t work when unsuccessful coaches depend on it. If you want to stay in control of your coaching business and be able to create a steady income, you’ll need a community.
Your community also gives you a channel for you to communicate with all your fans at the same time. They don’t expect personal calls because they understand that it’s not feasible. Even with just one email or post a week, you can still provide value to them and build a relationship that’s tighter than most unsuccessful coaches can achieve.
Like building a brand, it’s easier these days to build a community. Once you do, you’ll wonder why you never did so earlier!
If you think coaching can only be done offline, you’re severely limiting yourself. In a small city of 100,000 people, how many clients do you think you can find?
And the solution to that is not to move to a bigger city. Whether you’re in New Hampshire or New York City, you can still make the same impact if you sell your coaching services online.
Technology has made it possible for a child in China to learn English from a teacher in USA. It has made it possible for people to connect and help each other out. And it has made it possible for Tony Robbins to impact people all around the world.
A decade ago you might have had to run your coaching business by driving around to meet clients, or have them come to you. You were limited in that you could only coach people who were in the same city as you.
Now with Skype and other video chatting services, you can conduct face-to-face coaching sessions with clients in Europe from your beach house in Hawaii. Yes, you have the freedom to run your business from anywhere in the world!
Many unsuccessful coaches remain stuck in the past while the world has moved on. They don’t understand the whole “online thing” and so they aren’t willing to try it out. But really, how hard can it be to install Skype on your computer. You do have a computer, right?
Of course, selling your coaching services online doesn’t immediately bring you clients from around the world. That’s why you need to do the previous two steps of creating a brand and then building a community. So the moment you start coaching online, your community will jump on board.
Are you starting to see how all the pieces fit together?
This is where the real money is. This step is what takes you from a 5-figure coach struggling to support a family to a 6 or 7-figure coach.
Coaching online may give you the freedom of place, but it doesn’t give you freedom of time. You’re still spending an hour or two with one person at a time. There are only 24 hours in a day. How long do you think you can keep that up, and how many people do you think you can impact if you do it one at a time?
The answer is not to keep increasing your prices till it becomes ridiculous. It’s to create products that don’t require you to be in there every time someone buys it.
Here’s a simple example. As a business or life coach, you might find yourself starting off with the same advice for every client just to get their foundations right. Instead of repeating what you say in every initial call, why not create a book or an online course that anyone can take. That way, instead of doing 100 different calls and spending 100 hours, you have 100 people taking up your course that took 1 hour to create.
See how that works? You’re still coaching people and giving them good advice, except you’ve scaled and automated the process.
Now you’re probably coming up with excuses like, “What if they have questions?” Well, that’s what your community is for! If the people who enroll in your course have questions, they can email you. If they want to talk, you can do an online coaching call with them.
The point is, your digital products like books and courses free up a lot of your time. You can use that time to coach people who are more serious or higher-value. These products also allow you to generate passive income that you previously generated by trading away time.
Here’s the kicker. The top successful coaches ALL have digital products. In fact, Tony Robbins built his business on his books, and he now has online courses to go along with them.
So hopefully you now see how it all fits together. You start with a strategic plan to keep you honest and motivated. You set the end goal first and then work backwards filling in the parts where you build a brand, create a community, coach online and sell digital products.
Now that you know what the steps are and why you need to do them, it’s time to talk about how. How can you build a brand? What tools do you use to create a community? How do you provide more value online, and how do you create and sell digital products?
We’ll be covering all this and more in our free online course and future blog posts. Sign up for the course and learn how to become a successful coach now!