Do your offers clearly communicate the value your clients will receive? How do you manage the journey from discovery call to onboarding? Which tools are you leveraging to streamline your admin processes? For many of us, when we're just starting our coaching businesses, our focus is almost totally on coaching.
Do your offers clearly communicate the value your clients will receive? How do you manage the journey from discovery call to onboarding? Which tools are you leveraging to streamline your admin processes?
For many of us, when we’re just starting our coaching businesses, our focus is almost totally on coaching. At that point, it’s probably not worth it to use a CRM and it’s no big deal to manually create and send a PayPal link to our one client. But as we grow and scale, it becomes critical to have support systems in place.
In this episode, I’m sharing the four elements every coach needs in their business, and the frameworks and tools you can use to serve your clients without overwhelm.
- The power of a supportive community
- Why I created my mastermind program
- Exciting news for the upcoming mastermind cohort
- How to create a clear offer
- Breaking down your audience, approach, and offer
- Identifying the right tools to streamline your booking and payment process
- Creating clear communication channels for your coaching clients
- Why you need a trusted guide who can support you
- Coach with Clarity Mastermind Application
- Coach with Clarity | Episode 105: The Four Keys to a Rock Solid Coaching Business
- Coach with Clarity | Episode 13: Tools to Build and Grow Your Coaching Business
- Megan Hale on Instagram
- Leslie Tagorda on Instagram
- Julie Stoian on Instagram
- Coach with Clarity Podcast Facebook Group
- Coach with Clarity Collective Waitlist
- Connect with Me on Instagram
- Email Me: email@example.com
* affiliate link
Now it’s time for you to show the world what it means to be a Coach with Clarity! Screenshot this episode and tag me on Instagram @coachwithclarity and let me know what you’re more excited to explore in future podcast episodes!
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Well, hello, my friend. Welcome to the Coach with Clarity Podcast. My name is Lee Chaix McDonough, I'm your host, and I am so happy that you are joining me for today's episode. Now, full disclosure, if you are a longtime listener, you may notice a slight difference in how I sound today. And honestly, it's because I've been sick over the last couple of weeks. And I'm still not fully over it. Fortunately, I do have my voice back. There were about three days there where I did not have a voice at all. And it made me very grateful that I had pre recorded several episodes of the podcast so that I could share them with you. But I am still dealing with a lingering cough and a voice that still comes and goes. So if you hear a little bit of raspiness in my voice or if I just sound a little different, rest assured I'm fine – I'm just still getting over whatever this crud was. And that's exactly what my health care provider called it; the crud. I tested negative for COVID and strep and flu. She just chalked it up to the crud. Not exactly a clinical diagnosis, but we're gonna go with it. And as a former drama kid, I know that the show must go on.
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So here we are today. I'm really excited to be back on the mic. I'm grateful that I have a voice. And actually, this is my first day back in my office for a few weeks. In the midst of dealing with the crud, I was also traveling quite a bit. I attended a wonderful conference in Austin, Texas, hosted by my good friend, Megan Hale. She is the founder of Feel Good Money and this was her Feel Good Money live conference. My friends, it was amazing. If you are not following Meghan Hale, you absolutely need to. She is really changing the way we look at entrepreneurship, and how we build and grow and scale our businesses. And after the conference, I got to spend a few days with her and my dear friend Leslie Tagorda, who is an extremely accomplished and talented astrologer. And I'm working on getting her on my show. So I bet we'll have an interview with Leslie in the next few months, so more to come on that. But to spend time in community with Megan and Leslie after that conference was so powerful. I'm so grateful for that experience. Then I came home for a week, and then I was off again. I spent a weekend in beautiful New Haven, Connecticut, I had never been there before. It was lovely. I got a chance to walk through the Yale campus and just take in the architecture and the gardens. It was just so lovely. And I got to spend time in community with my friends and colleagues within the Digital Insiders Mastermind community. That community is run by another powerhouse of a woman, Julie Stoian. She should also be on your radar. And as I was reflecting on my experiences in both Texas and Connecticut, what really came through for me was just how vital it is to have a supportive community. To be surrounded by people who understand the challenges we face as coaches and business owners and entrepreneurs, people who can both empathize with the struggle and the joys and who can also provide really strategic guidance when we're wondering what to do next. And as I reflected on that, I realized that is exactly why I started my own Mastermind program in September of 2021. So I've spent the last 7,8,9 months in community with such a powerful group of women coaches. I have been able to provide some support and some strategic guidance both in our one on one coaching sessions and during our group Mastermind calls. But those group Mastermind calls are so powerful because it is not me being featured as the go to expert. It is truly a roundtable have experienced coaches and business owners showing up to support each other. While I do contribute to the conversation, I really view my role more as a facilitator. And so to bring these women together in community with each other so that they have support, they have guidance, they have a place to celebrate their wins. They have a place to strategize and work through any hiccups in their business. All in a space that's been carefully cultivated to prioritize psychological safety and community. I have to tell you, it has just been such a powerful experience. And that's why I am so excited to open up the second cohort of my Mastermind program. So starting in June, I will be welcome in four to six coaches who want to spend nine months with me, growing their coaching business, and maybe even more importantly, stepping into their full leadership capabilities. We talk a lot about what it means to be an embodied leader, and how we want to show up for our people and for our business. That's really at the heart of the Mastermind. I currently have two open spaces in the next cohort. So if you are craving that sense of community, if you want an opportunity to work with me one on one, and receive the benefits from being in an intimate container of like minded coaches, then I would love for you to apply for this Mastermind. If you head to coachwithclarity.com/mastermindapp. So that's all one word, m-a-s-t-e-r-m-i-n-d a-p-p. So just had to coachwithclarity.com/mastermindapp, there will be a brief preliminary application for you to complete. And then you and I will get on a call, we'll talk about your goals for the next nine to twelve months, and how a Mastermind program can support you in achieving everything that is you want for your business and for your life. I have to say, bearing witness to what the women in my current cohort have created, it's been astounding. And I know that this next cohort is going to be more of the same. It is going to be such a powerful container where you can explore as a coach, where you can step into your power as a leader. And you'll do so knowing that you have the full faith and support of everyone in this intimate container, including and maybe especially me, so if you would like to work with me in this really dynamic capacity, head to coachwithclarity.com/mastermindapp and let's get an appointment on my calendar, so we can talk about whether the Mastermind is the next right step for you.
All right, now let's go ahead and dive into the Four Things I Believe Every Coach Needs in Their Coaching Business. Number one, the number one thing every coach needs is a clear offer. As a coach, you need to be explicit about what it is you provide, how you provide it, and to whom you are offering your services. So essentially, we are talking about your audience, your approach and your actual offer. So those are three key components that you want to nail down, because that will make it easier for your ideal client to say yes to your coaching services. Now, we talked about this a bit a few months ago back in episode 105, the Four Keys to a Rock Solid Coaching Business. So if you want to take a deeper dive into this topic, I highly recommend going back and listening to episode 105. It is already one of the most popular episodes of the Coach with Clarity Podcast. When I take a look at my stats, I can see that episode by far has more listens than just about any other episode. So it is a good one. Definitely check it out if you haven't already, because that's where we really dive into audience, approach, and offer. So when we're talking about your audience, essentially, we're talking about who it is you want to serve. It's really important that you know, the three components of your audience. And those three components are their demographics, their psychographics, and where they are at in their personal journey. When I talk about demographics, I think about externally recognizable data. These are things that you might expect to find on a census report. We're talking about someone's age, gender expression, socioeconomic status, their profession, where they live, all things that you could probably find out through a Google search or by researching some census data. Demographics are a really quick and easy way for us to describe who it is we serve. And I viewed as kind of that first level, oftentimes, that's where we can decide, yes, this is someone that I might want to work with, or no, this person does not meet my ideal client criteria. But it's only the first level and while it's important, we need to go even deeper. And that's why we have the two other aspects to our audience. The second aspect is knowing your audience's psychographics. Those are the internal qualities that inform and influence a person. So we're talking about their values, their motivations, their hopes and dreams, their fears, all of the things that contribute to making them who they are, that contribute to their personality. But we might need to do a little deeper digging in order to really assess that. These are things that are not necessarily going to pop up on census data. It's going to take time connecting with people, asking them questions, getting curious, and being really clear on what drives them, and what they stand for. I think knowing your audiences, your ideal clients’ psychographics is so important, because when it comes time to talk about your offer, to talk about what you do, we can more easily connect with people on a psychographic level. It's one thing to say that you want to work with working women, it's quite another to say that you want to work with working women who value freedom, adventure, and autonomy, and who are looking for a non traditional route to success. When we connect with their values, freedom, autonomy, that is where they connect with us on a deeper level, that is where they feel seen. And that is why it is so important that you are really clear on the psychographics for your ideal client. So we've talked about demographics, we've talked about psychographics. That third piece is understanding where they are in their personal journey. What experiences have they already had? What accomplishments have they already fulfilled? And what is yet to come for them? Where are they present day, and where do they envision themselves one year, three years, five years down the road? Because when we know that, then we can position our coaching offer as a way to help them reach that next point, it also helps us make sure that our clients are ready for us. So we know that generally speaking, our clients have had certain experiences already. And that will prepare them for the work that we're about to do together. So that's why I love looking at all three, demographics, psychographics, and where they are in their personal journey. And that's what I use to really define my audience. Once we know your audience, then we can look at your approach and your actual offer.
So your approach is on a larger scale, how you work with your clients. So are there particular theories, strategies, and tools that you use as part of your coaching work, it also looks at how you operate as a coach. Some coaches are highly direct, highly directive, they cut to the chase, and they are very strategic. Other coaches take a softer approach, they're more feelings oriented, maybe they come from more of a mindset approach versus the strategic approach, and then you have coaches in between. So it's important to think about the theories and systems that inform your coaching work and it's also important to think about how you carry yourself and how you connect with your clients. That all goes into defining your unique coaching approach. Because once we know your audience, and once we know your approach, then we can get crystal clear on your offer.
And when we're looking at your offer, there's two things I want you to consider. First, I want you to consider the benefits of working with you. This is where we take a results oriented approach. So what will your client be able to do differently, think differently, or feel differently as a result of working with you? And how will that translate into their real life? So as a result of working with you, ill your client be able to get their business off the ground? Will they be able to redefine their relationship with food and exercise? Will they be able to communicate more effectively with their partner and with their children? When they have those things, what will their life look like? Will it look like regular date nights with their spouse? Will it look like having their first five figure month in their business? We want to start with the end in mind, we want to be really clear around what the ideal outcome is. Because that is the result of working with you, that is the result of your offer. Once we are clear on the benefits of your offer, then we can talk about the features. And this is where I see a lot of people start. They start with the features which kind of reads like a laundry list of everything you get when you decide to work with me. And don't get me wrong. It's really important that our clients know this. They need to know how many coaching sessions they get from us. They need to know what communication between sessions look like. Do they get any sort of additional resources worksheets, courses, etc.? Those things are important. But we need to have some sort of context in which to place the list of things that the client gets. It doesn't really matter if they get 6 or 12 sessions with you, if they don't understand what the result of those sessions will be. So that's why when you're clarifying your offer, you want to be really clear about the benefits of working with you, and what the ideal outcome looks like. And then we talk about what your coaching offer actually includes; the number of sessions, how often you meet, support between sessions, any additional materials, et cetera. So all of that goes into a clear offer, you need to know your audience, you need to know your approach, you need to know the benefits or results of working with you. And then you need to know the features, or what actually comes with the coaching offer. And that my friends is the first thing every coach needs to have in their coaching business, a clear offer that includes careful consideration around audience, approach, and offer.
So once we have that well defined, then we need to look at how we can support our business logistically. And that's where the second thing every coach needs in their business comes in. And that is a way for your clients to book and pay you. So there are all sorts of ways that you can do this. And actually, if you want to go way back in the Coach with Clarity archives, you can check out episode 13, which is all about Tools to Build and Grow Your Coaching Business. I released that about two years ago. So you can get a deeper dive into some of my recommendations regarding tools. But today, I just want to get really clear on the two things your clients need to be able to do, which is book their sessions with you and pay you. If you are just getting started out, this does not have to be super complicated. You don't need to start with a fancy calendar system, you can choose to coordinate your calendars by phone or by email, you can set a regularly occurring time to meet with your clients. So for example, every Tuesday at 10am. So it doesn't necessarily have to be something fancy. But you do need to have some sort of system in place where you know, this is how my clients schedule with me. And then of course your clients need to be able to pay you. And again, if you are just starting out, there are some simple ways to make this happen. Your clients can wire money to you, they can use a program like Zelle, which transfers money from their checking account to your business checking account. You can use something like PayPal, where you can invoice and receive payments that way. So it doesn't have to be super fancy when you are first starting out. But as you grow, you may find that you want a system that streamlines the booking and payment process. And that's why I do recommend looking into a CRM or a client relationship manager software. There are a lot of options out there when it comes to CRMs. And the one that I have been recommending more and more of late is HoneyBook. I really like HoneyBook because I find it's user friendly, you can set up systems and workflows fairly easily. They actually have some already made that you can take and tweak so that you don't have to start from square one. And these automations are set up to simplify and streamline the process. So for example, let's say that you accept a new client into your coaching practice, with one click of a button, you can have an automation that sends them the contract to sign, once they've signed the contract, then it will send them the invoice so they can make their first payment, you can set up recurring payments through that. So instead of them having to pay every month or every quarter, you can set it so that their credit card is automatically charged every month or every quarter whatever your frequency is, so it's easy for them and it's easy for you. Once they've submitted payment, then it can automatically send them a link to your calendar, because HoneyBook includes a scheduling app as well. So you can connect your calendars to HoneyBook, and then your clients can book their sessions, and it'll automatically show up on your main calendar. So it's really easy to use. And then let's say there are some forms that they need to fill out before their sessions. Well, once they've booked their appointment with you, then maybe the next step in your automation is that it sends them a form to complete. All of this can be structured so that you set it up once as an automation, and then whenever you onboard a new client, you simply activate that automation for them and it takes care of itself. So it saves so much time, so much hassle. And it really makes life easy for your client.
The other cool thing about HoneyBook is that it is its own payment processor, which means you do not have to set up a separate Stripe account or Pay Pal account or another processor. HoneyBook will do that for you. You can connect your business checking account to your HoneyBook account and then they handle all of the processing. And I believe they charge a 3% processing fee to do so, which is comparable to a number of credit card processing agencies. Like for example, Stripe, I believe is 2.9% plus 30 cents. So HoneyBook is right there in line with a lot of major payment processors, so it is competitive. So for a one stop shop, I really like HoneyBook, I've been experimenting with it more inside my business, transitioning some of my clients from my previous platform into HoneyBook. And I've been really happy with it. I recently decided to become an affiliate for HoneyBook because I was really impressed with their services. And because I'm an affiliate, I'm able to offer a special discount. So you can get 50% off your first year of HoneyBook, when you go to coachwithclarity.com/honeybook and sign up for your account. Now I believe that there is still a free trial with that, so you can try it out. And then when you decide you love it, you can get your first year for 50% off. So full disclosure because I am an affiliate, this means when you sign up for HoneyBook using my link, I receive a small compensation at no additional cost to you. And this affiliate income is how I produce my free resources like this podcast. So when you purchase something using one of my affiliate links, you helped me continue to provide quality content through this podcast so that I can continue to keep it free. So thank you in advance for heading to coachwithclarity.com/honeybook where you can learn more about HoneyBook and get 50% off your first year.
Okay, so we've talked about how every coach needs a clear offer and every coach needs a way for their clients to book and pay them. Let's talk about the third thing every coach needs in their business. And that is a clear way of communicating with their clients. Now, this does not need to be fancy, my friend, it can be something as simple as a separate business email account. Now I do recommend having a separate account for your business email, do not use your personal account for your business practices. Now, if you're really just starting out and money is tight, you can go ahead and create a free Gmail account for your business and it'll be firstname.lastname@example.org. But I do recommend checking out Google Workspace where you can get a domain name for your business, and then have an email account with that domain. So that's what I do coachwithclarity.com is my domain and I use Google Workspace for my email. So that email@example.com email address is through Google Workspace. I think it costs about $6 a month. So it's not a huge expense. And it really does add a level of professionalism to your business. So definitely get a separate email account for your business. And consider something like Google Workspace where you can get a clearly dedicated domain for your email. Also, as part of Google Workspace, you get access to Google Drive and storage. And that's where you can create shared documents. You can create Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, everything we need to disseminate information to people. And so you may decide that you want to create a folder for each client, and you share that folder with the specific client. And then you can drop forms, drop information into that folder, they can upload documents and all sorts of things for you to review. So that's another really easy way to expand communication with your clients between sessions. You can also use something like Dropbox to do the same thing where you create a shared folder. And that's where you and your client can share documents and communicate with each other between sessions. Now, when you get to the point where you want to add a CRM, like HoneyBook, onto your business practices, you can also use HoneyBook as a way to communicate with your clients between sessions. You can send them messages, you can have forms and documents that you share. It's a pretty robust system so you can pull that into HoneyBook as well. You'll also want to be clear around the type of communication you offer between sessions to your clients, some coaches will have unlimited email access. Other coaches may have spot coaching sessions where you get on the phone or on Zoom for 10 minutes to hash out a problem in real time. I love adding Voxer as a means of communicating with my clients between sessions. Voxer is an app that you can download on your phone, there is a free level. And I find for my clients, the free level is more than enough. I have the pro level which is, I think $30 a year. So again, not going to break the bank. But it allows me to transcribe messages, it allows me to speed up playback, and it also saves all of the messages that I have with a client. So that way, if a client has a question, or they need something, or they just kind of need to touch base with me, they can send me a Voxer. And then they know that I respond to Voxers within a certain period of time during certain hours. And then they can expect a response from me. So I absolutely love Voxer as a communication tool to use with my clients. So that was the third thing every coach needs in their business, you need to have a clearer way to communicate with your clients. Ideally, that looks like a business specific email address. And then it might look like a CRM, like HoneyBook, it could look like a shared storage system like Google Drive or Dropbox. And you may also want to pull in a voice app like Voxer, to have a means of communicating with each other between sessions.
Okay, we have one more thing that every coach needs in their business. I believe that every coach needs a trusted guide. They need someone in their corner that they trust implicitly, who is there to support them, to provide them with guidance and knowledge when needed, with validation and emotional support. Someone who has their best interests at heart who is going to provide sage counsel, and who also knows when to give that counsel, and when instead to ask the right questions in order to elicit ideas and solutions from the client. That is what a powerful coach can do. A powerful coach knows when to step up and provide some direction. And when to step back, ask questions and allow the client to start to develop their own solutions. I believe every coach needs a powerful coach. Regardless of what stage you are at in your business, it is so important to have that person in your corner. And as a coach, I can tell you there is no better feeling in the world than being someone's trusted guide. I absolutely love showing up for my clients and supporting them as they bring their big vision to life. And because you are a coach, I know you understand that too. So that's why for me having a trusted guide is a non-negotiable, I am able to achieve so much more in my business, and I'm able to achieve it faster when I am working with a powerful coach.
All right, my friend we've covered quite a lot. I think now is a perfect time for us to explore this week's Clarity in Action moment. This week's Clarity in Action moment is brought to you by the Coach with Clarity Mastermind. The next cohort of the Mastermind begins in June 2022. And as of the time that I'm recording this on May 17th, I still have two spaces left in the next cohort. Now each cohort is kept intentionally small. There are no more than six people in a group because I value the intimacy and the depth that comes from small communities. So when you are a part of the Coach with Clarity Mastermind, it is not going to be a roomful of dozens or hundreds of people. Now you are going to be one of four, five, maybe six people at the most in a small group with me, you and I will have a private coaching session every month. And that's where we can really dive into your business and create or fine tune plans to help you hit the next level. You will also be a part of our monthly group Mastermind calls. So, these are structured so that you can bring an issue, a question, or a topic to the table and receive feedback and guidance from your fellow Masterminders and me. Everyone's contributions matter inside the Mastermind, which is why I'm so careful about who is selected to participate. It's why it is an application only process. So in addition to the monthly one one on one coaching and the monthly group mastermind calls, we also conduct quarterly workshops where I bring a guest expert in to do a half day seminar on a topic that you get to choose. So past workshops have looked at branding, messaging, how to create a marketing plan that works with your personality. And all of these topics are based on the needs of the people in the mastermind. These workshops are curated for your group based on your needs. And then of course, you also have a direct line to me via email and Voxer. So if anything comes up between our one on one or our group calls, I am literally just a message away. The Mastermind experience is one of the most powerful things I have ever created and ever been a part of truly, and I would love for you to be a part of the next cohort. So if you are feeling called to explore this with me, then please head on over to coachwithclarity.com/mastermindapp, complete a brief preliminary application, and then you and I will get on a zoom call. We'll talk about your goals and your vision for your coaching practice. And we'll see whether the Mastermind is the next right step for you. So again, had to coachwithclarity.com/mastermindapp, and I can't wait to see your application in my inbox today.
Alright, my friend. For this week's Clarity in Action moment, I want you to think about the four things I believe every coach needs in their business, a clear offer, a way for your clients to book with and pay you, a way for you and your clients to communicate with each other, and finally, a trusted guide. Of these four things, I want you to assess how you feel about each one of them in your business. Do you feel like you have a clear offer? Do you have a simple streamlined way for your clients to book with and pay you? How satisfied are you with your current communication practices with your clients? And finally, do you have someone that you trust and respect who is in your corner every step of the way in your business? Once you've had a chance to assess how you feel about each of these four things in your business, that should give you a little direction on where to focus your attention next. So let's say you're really happy with the logistics of your business, the way clients book with and pay you, the way you communicate with them. That feels really good. But when it comes to your offer, when it comes to the transformation you actually help your clients achieve and the specific path you use to help them hit their goals – maybe that feels a little murky. That's okay, my friend. This is simply letting you know that this is an area that may need a little more attention. And for what it's worth, those are absolutely the kinds of questions we address inside the Coach with Clarity Mastermind. So definitely check that out if you are feeling called to do so. But once you've sat with each one of these four recommendations for your coaching practice, hopefully you'll have a better idea of what needs your attention. And if there is anything I can do to support you in your process, I hope you'll reach out. I definitely encourage you to apply for the Mastermind, if you sense that that's your next step. And you can also send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or come send me a DM over on Instagram @CoachWith Clarity. If there's a specific question you've been pondering, your question may inspire a future Coach with Clarity Podcast episode. And in fact, when I think back to some of my most favorite episodes to create, they have been inspired by the questions and feedback that I've received from you. So thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts with me. Alright, my friend. That's it for me this week, but I will be back next week with a brand new episode. So, make sure you are following or subscribed to the podcast wherever you listen to your shows, that way next week's episode will show up automatically for you and we can reconnect them. And until then, my name is Lee Chaix McDonough reminding you to get out there and show the world what it means to be a Coach with Clarity.