Are you a coach struggling to sell individual coaching sessions at £40-£50 an hour?
Selling hourly sessions or a package of x number of hours is the most popular model that coaches use to get started.
There comes a time though, when you realise that there are only so many hours you can sell, and that if you want to increase your income you either have to charge more for each hour, or you have to compromise on time for you and your family, and work even more hours that you do now.
You may have heard of other coaches selling ‘high-end’ or ‘premium programs’ and wondered how they can do this while you’re finding it so difficult to sell lower priced session?
Keep reading… this case study is Sue’s story of how she increased her fees by 500% – in just 12 weeks!
Sue Ritchie helps new or aspiring leaders to realise their full potential in a senior role, and reach a higher level of success in their career, and when I first met her, she was selling individual coaching sessions and group workshops local to where she lives in Lincoln.
Sue came to me because she wanted to a) leverage her expertise into online offerings, and b) make better use of Facebook and Twitter to get in front of, and enrol her ideal clients.
I identified four priorities for us to address:
- #1: To position her in a Category of One, that easily showed how her approach is unique so she stands out from all the other coaches online.
- #2: Increase her income so she wouldn’t have to fill every day with individual sessions to achieve her income goal, and would allow her to take holidays, or be ill – and still be paid.
- #3: Increase her online profile – she was reasonably active on Facebook, Twitter and Linked in, but there was no cohesive strategy to the way she used any of these platforms. So our third priority was to craft a plan for how she could get known to more of the people she wants to work with online, and be recognised as the ‘Go-To’ Leadership Coach.
- #4: Create a basic sales funnel that meant Sue could focus on sending interested people to download her free incentive so she was building a list, and then follow up with them by email automatically – with the follow-up emails inviting the recipients to apply for a free consultation with her.
So, now we knew the goals we wanted to achieve, Sue and I got to work.
Expert positioning in Sue’s Category of One
Online and offline, there is an abundance of coaches, all jostling to enrol clients.
Even if you’ve niched down to help a specific type of client or solve a specific problem, it’s still easy for people you meet to view you as the same as someone else who works with the same people or problem.
So the first thing we did was to establish the exact process that Sue takes her clients through, to get them from their current ‘pain’, to the result they want to achieve from working with her.
I took her through my Signature System Planning Process to dive deep into the way she works with her clients, identify each step of her process, and from there to develop her Signature System.
Compiling the individual steps is easy enough, but we only uncovered the real magic of Sue’s Signature system when we pulled it apart together; stripping back the entire list Sue had compiled, and walking back through it as Sue’s avatar to ensure there was no confusion, overlap or ambiguity.
Done well, this is a painstaking process of recognising and consolidating your life experiences, knowledge, expertise and beliefs, so this step took us about a month to complete.
But, the effort paid off as by the end of the first month, we’d developed a highly valuable, long-term business asset for Sue – her credibility enhancing Signature System – “The Leadership Presence Blueprint™.”
Getting paid in alignment with the transformation you offer
While we were developing her Signature System, we were simultaneously working on putting together a fantastic premium package to offer her clients to generate some rapid cashflow.
We knew that very soon, Sue was going to create an online training program to teach her Leadership Presence Blueprint™ to people in her audience who may not want 1:1 coaching, but would get value from a home-study program where they can learn step by step how to be seen and respected as a leader by their staff, management, and peers, and land their next promotion.
So we created a bundle package. Grouping together 10 hours of coaching, with live and unlimited access to the new online Signature System program when it launched.
At this stage Sue was selling a coaching package for £297, but the goal was for Sue to very quickly enrol new clients into a new, premium package, so we added the £500 upcoming program value to the coaching package, and offered three people the opportunity to buy this bundle for a one-time, discounted investment of £800 – generating three sales.
So, within 4 weeks, Sue had almost tripled her fee and generated £2,400 in revenue.
By the end of our time together, the price of the bundled package had increased to £1,500 – 5x her original fee!
Building an online tribe
When Sue offered the original package bundle, she was able to easily fill those initial three places from the small audience she had already built on and offline.
Our next step was to map out a strategy of how Sue could use Facebook, Twitter and Linked in to share her expertise, and network with her prospective clients.
I taught Sue the art of leveraging content, so that whenever you create any piece of content, you don’t create it for one audience, but for as many as possible.
There are a lot of ‘experts’ out there who will tell you that you MUST be creating videos and hosting livestreams because video is king right now. Same for blogs and podcasts, etc.
What you ‘should’ be doing is of no benefit to you if you don’t actually do it though. If you don’t enjoy writing or you don’t like seeing yourself on screen, you’ll never create any content.
So, choose the content format that you find easiest, and most fun to do.
My preferred format is writing, but yours may be video or podcast. The important thing is that you create regular content, so make it easy for yourself.
Sue prefers writing so I encouraged her to post a blog on her website, auto syndicate it to Medium, then email the blog to her list, share it every 3-4 hours on Twitter and once a day on Facebook and Linkedin for a few days. Then, after a week, to turn the blog into a Linkedin Pulse article.
Next was networking, and Sue made more effort to initiate and participate in conversations – spending a few minutes each day actively searching for and reading what her ideal clients are posting, and taking the time to engage has resulted in her audience steadily increasing.
She has also been approached by industry leaders who want to interview her, as well as being invited to co-host webinars to teach her Signature System to their audience. Her new approach to Twitter has resulted in contacts with several women’s networks who have invited her to share her expertise with their members too.
Turning your Signature System into a leveraged, online business model
When you’ve developed your Signature System, it becomes the foundation of your business and underpins everything you teach and offer.
Next, Sue wrote a short guide, “5 Steps to Developing Your Leadership Presence“, aimed at women who were aspiring to be, or had recently been hired as leaders, sharing how, by following the steps in the Leadership Presence Blueprint™, they can learn how to be an effective leader and stand out from the crowd.
At the end of the guide, Sue invites readers to work with her, by applying for her free “Take the First Step” call.
Sue regularly posts an invite to download the free guide on her social media accounts and Facebook ads.
When someone clicks on her post or ad, they’re taken to a page where they enter their name and email address and the guide is emailed to them automatically from Sue’s email service, MailChimp. As a result, Sue is building a list of her pre-qualified, ideal clients.
Now she has their email address, she can stay in touch by sending follow up emails, to remind them to book a call with her, invite them to buy her Signature System program, and/or introduce her to anything new she creates.
Teaching your Signature System in an online training program
The Signature System online program launched to a pilot group of 3 new, paying clients (so 6 members in total as 3 came from the initial package) and generated close to £1,000. She also created a trip wire product by slicing off a small part of the the full program to sell separately and has sold around 40 of these.
Following the “Fast Launch Formula”, she sold the full program before creating any of the training. The program was delivered as a series of 5 weekly training webinars which were recorded, along with additional downloadable worksheets and resources.
The webinar recordings are now stored on a membership site, so buyers can see the details, make their payment and access the training on autopilot, giving Sue a program she can sell, and her clients can get results from, even when she is on holiday or unwell.
Sue’s business has been transformed since joining my 1:1 Platinum Mentoring program. Her online visibility has increased, so more of her ideal clients are finding her, and she’s being asked to speak on webinars and events.
Her income has increased – she’s finding is much easier to enrol clients into her £1,500 package. The way it’s presented means clients can see how much value they’re getting on top of the coaching time.
And, she’s created a long-term, valuable asset for her business in her Signature System, the “Leadership Presence Blueprint™” that not only demonstrates how well she knows her topic and understand her clients’ needs, but that is also a clear foundation for Sue to teach in her existing and new online group programs, giving her passive and recurring income streams too.
Of the experience of working with me in my 1:1 Platinum Mentoring Program, Sue said:
“The work I did with Veronica on my Signature System and in designing my leveraged business has given me a framework for everything I do and makes it easy for me to demonstrate my expertise in my niche. Veronica helped me to see the true value of what I offer and gave me the confidence to create further online products and programmes.
Having her insight has made my message clearer and being able to utilise Veronica’s copywriting and Facebook ads expertise has been invaluable to me in my online marketing so I get more response when I post online. I was also able to use my Signature System as part of a proposal for a corporate organisation and I use the structure to help me put speaking engagements together.
Understanding the flow of products and services I offer and how to guide potential clients through them has helped me structure my business more effectively too.”