Episode 61: Scaling Small: Creating a Spectrum of Services

In part four of our scaling small series, I'm talking all about creating a spectrum of services. We’ll look at why I prefer this model to more traditional approaches and how you can start building out your own spectrum of services.
Spectrum of Services Coach with Clarity Podcast

61: Scaling Small: Creating a Spectrum of Services

For the past three episodes, we've been looking at the different ways you can increase your impact and income by expanding beyond one-on-one services through workshops, memberships, and group programs. For this episode, we're wrapping up our discussion on scaling small by introducing the spectrum of services.

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Show Notes

For the past three episodes, we’ve been looking at the different ways you can increase your impact and income by expanding beyond one-on-one services through workshops, memberships, and group programs. For this episode, we’re wrapping up our discussion on scaling small by introducing the spectrum of services.

The spectrum of services is how I conceptualize all the ways we serve our clients, from our free offerings right up to our high-end programs. I much prefer this approach to thinking about our offerings and in this episode, I’m going to share what makes it different from more traditional models, how you can create your own, and what you may want to take into consideration as you are building out your spectrum of services.

Coach with Clarity Spectrum of Services

Topics covered

  • A sneak peek behind the scenes at the Coach with Clarity HQ
  • What belongs on your spectrum of services
  • Why I prefer a spectrum approach to a ladder approach
  • The benefit of multiple access points on your spectrum of services
  • Focusing on the endpoints of your spectrum of services
  • The Coach with Clarity spectrum of services
  • Criteria for the different points on your spectrum of services
  • How to start building out your spectrum of services

Resources mentioned

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Well, hello, my friend. Welcome to the Coach with Clarity Podcast. I'm your host, Lee Chaix McDonough, and I am so thrilled to welcome you to this week's episode where we are wrapping up our series about Scaling Small. Now if you've been listening to the Coach with Clarity Podcast for the last couple months, you know that we have been discussing the various ways that you can grow your business in an intentional manner, and that's what Scaling Small is all about. It's about looking at ways that you can increase your impact and yes, your income, by offering services to more than one person at a time. So we kicked off the Scaling Small Series with a discussion about the Workshop Model. Then I shared with you a little bit about Group Memberships, and then we moved on to exploring Small Group Programs. So if you have not checked out those episodes, you will definitely want to do so and we'll make sure that we have links to those three episodes in the show notes. This week, I want to wrap up our discussion around Scaling Small by introducing you to what I call, “The Spectrum of Services”, and that's how I like to conceptualize everything that you make available to the people you most want to serve.

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So in today's episode, I am going to walk you through what a Spectrum of Services is, and how this differs from some more traditional or classic approaches to looking at what you offer your paid clients, and the people you hope will become paying clients. So once we're clear on what a Spectrum of Services is, then I'll talk about how you can create your own and what you may want to take into consideration as you are building your spectrum out. Before we get into that though, I want to share a little bit of a behind the scenes snapshot of what's been going on over at Coach with Clarity Headquarters. I am recording this episode from my brand new office space in the heart of downtown New Bern, North Carolina. I absolutely love my new office. It is everything I hoped for. It's just one little room, so nothing fancy, but it has some exposed brick, it has some gorgeous wood ceilings. I have a fantastic landlord. I just feel so incredibly fortunate to have found this space, and now I can set up my own podcasting studio right here in my office. Because up until now, every single episode of the Coach with Clarity Podcast has been recorded from my home. In fact, my earliest episodes were recorded from my bedroom closet. Then I moved from the closet into the bedroom itself, and then finally I moved into our guest room because the carpeting was great for sound absorption. So, the first 60 episodes of the Coach with Clarity podcast, were a homegrown production, 100%. Now that I have some lovely space here in downtown New Bern, I'm very excited that I will be able to record my podcast episodes here. Now the reason I'm sharing this with you is because one of the things I love most about my current space, is that it is right in the heart of the Historic District. Which means there are some beautiful churches with gorgeous bell towers that chime out the hour, and the half hour, and the quarter hour, on the regular. I happen to love that. In fact, it reminds me of when my family and I lived in Germany, and we could hear the church in our village chime the hours on the regular. So, I think it is perfectly charming. Now for recording podcast episodes, on the other hand, you may actually hear it in the background. Now I fully trust that my extraordinary podcast editing team, over at Podcasting for Coaches, will do what they can to minimize the background noise. But that being said, if you happen to hear a bell tower chime in the background, well, then I'm just going to pretend that it's because you are sitting right here with me in my office, and we are having a conversation all about coaching. And if you were here with me, you would hear that gorgeous bell tower as well. So, a little note in case you hear that in the background. Otherwise, I am so excited to dive into today's topic, all about creating a Spectrum of Services for your coaching business. Let's kick things off with defining what I mean when I'm talking about a Spectrum of Services. Essentially, I am talking about your Suite of Services. So everything that you make available to the people you serve, whether you are serving them in a paid capacity, or in a free capacity. It all belongs on your Spectrum of Services.

So when you think about a spectrum, we're looking at a horizontal line. Where on one end, you have your free content, and I believe that your free content is, in fact, a service. You are providing a great deal of value to your potential, your perspective, and your existing clients. So, your free content belongs on the spectrum. So, if you can imagine a line, it's going to be on the left side of the spectrum. On the right side of the spectrum are your comprehensive offers. These typically are also your highest price offers as well. And for many coaches, this looks like your private coaching services. So if you have a package model in your business, and you are providing three months, or six months, or a year of coaching services to a client, that's likely your most comprehensive offer in terms of the support you provide. It's also likely your most expensive offer. And so that would be positioned at the right side of the spectrum. So on one end, you have all of your free content. On the other end, you have your most comprehensive, and probably most expensive, offer. And then on the spectrum will fall everything else that you offer to your clients in your business. So hopefully, in your mind's eye, you can envision what that spectrum looks like: a horizontal line with free content on one end, your highest price and your most comprehensive offers on the other, and everything else you might offer, or want to offer, in your business falling somewhere along the spectrum. Now there is a deliberate reason I choose to talk about this as a Spectrum of Services. I'm aware that other entrepreneurs, other marketing experts, may refer to this instead as your “Service Ladder”. Or, they may talk about an “Ascension Model”. So when we're looking at a Ladder, or an Ascension Model, the assumption is that your client will enter your business starting at that bottom rung of the ladder. And in this case, that bottom rung is likely your free content. So whether it's your email opt in, if you have a quiz, if you have a free download, if you have a podcast, oftentimes your clients will start at that first rung. Then the goal is to have that prospective client move up the ladder. So scale those rungs so that they work with you in that ascension capacity. So maybe they go from a free offer into, say, a $27 offer. And from there, maybe they realize, “Wow, this is really good, I want more, I'm going to look into a group coaching program.” And then from there, maybe they look at your one on one services. But the idea is that they are graduating through your offers, using this Ascension Model. So this is something that I was taught by just about every business coach and online entrepreneur-marketing type person, and I see the value of it. And I also see its limitations. And it's why I have chosen to take a spectrum approach, versus a ladder approach. And the main reason that I prefer a spectrum approach to this, is because not everyone should have to move up your ladder. Not every client who enters your business is necessarily going to need, or want, to work with you in other capacities. And when we bring an Ascension Model into our business, then the assumption is, “I'm going to bring these people in and I'm going to move them up.” And there's an expectation that yes, you're getting my free content, but I really want you to move on to the paid stuff. I really want you to join my group program, or my private coaching. And what I find is that this can very easily lead to those high pressure sales tactics that most of us are very uncomfortable with, or certainly uncomfortable being on the receiving end as consumers. But as coaches, many of us are uncomfortable with that model as well. We don't want people to feel pressured into, or forced into, taking that next step with us before they're ready, or if it's not something they're able to commit to. Whether energetically, or financially. But that Ascension Model has baked into it the assumption that people are going to enter that ladder and they're going to keep scaling up, and up, and up. That's the problem with a vertical model, which when you think about a ladder, it's vertical, right? It goes from down to up. And so that's why I've kind of flipped it on its side, and I'm proposing that we look at this like a horizontal model. By viewing this as a horizontal model, then all of your offers are on the same level. So no one offer is better than, or more important than, another. Yes, they may be distinguished by the level of service or access they get to you as the coach, and they will likely be separated in terms of the financial investment as well, and that's what moves them along the spectrum. But the fact is, your potential client can choose to engage with you at any point along the spectrum. Some of your clients may come in at the leftmost side of the spectrum, where your free content lives, and that's where they're going to stay. And I know many of you who are listening to the show right now, you've entered my spectrum of services simply by listening to the podcast. And that may be all the work that we do together. And I am perfectly content with that. I am so proud of this show, and I really enjoy creating new episodes for you so that you can learn more about the craft and the business of coaching. And if this is the only way that we engage with each other, and that's what you decide, we're good to go. But some of you out there may decide, “You know what, this podcast is really good. I would love to learn more from Lee, and I want to find out more about the other offers she has in her business.” Well, then at that point, you may decide that you want to move down the spectrum, you may want to explore some of those other offers that I have. And I'll talk about those more in a minute when I give you some examples of how you can structure your own spectrum of services. But the fact is, because this is a horizontal model, there's no pressure and there's no expectation that you have to move into a paid program. If you decide to enter my business on the leftmost side of my spectrum, and that's where you want to hang out, we're totally good. The other thing about having a spectrum of services is that you create multiple access points for your clients. So again, some of your clients may want to engage with you or may only be able to engage with you through your free content. You will have other clients that want to access your services on a different point of the spectrum. So maybe they are ready to go straight to one on one coaching, and maybe they've been referred to you by a colleague, or by another one of your clients. And they are already prepared to say yes. So they’ve not necessarily needed to engage with you earlier in the spectrum. They're ready to go, because they've heard about you from someone they know and they trust. Then, in the middle of the spectrum, there may be other offers. Whether it's group programs, memberships, workshops, all of the things we've already talked about in the Scaling Small Series, those are going to be points on your spectrum. And your potential clients may want to engage with you at that point. By having different access points on your Spectrum of Services, you position yourself in such a way that you can show up and serve regardless of one's ability to pay, regardless of the amount of time or energy they're able to give to the work that you do, you're creating something for everyone. So that's why I really love having a Spectrum of Services in my business and why it's something I teach, both in the Coach with Clarity Membership, and in the Certified Clarity Coach Program. So essentially, what I've done is I have flipped the Ascension Model, or this ladder, on it’s side. So we've gone from a vertically oriented, hierarchical orientation into a horizontally oriented framework that removes any sort of pressure that your prospective, or existing clients may feel in terms of feeling pressure, or any sort of obligation to go to the next level. For me, this is really at the heart of ethical coaching practice. We want to make sure that our clients feel empowered and emboldened to work with us when they are ready to do so, but that they're not feeling any sort of coercion or pressure. So when we move away from a vertically oriented model into a horizontal model, I think we're able to do that, because we're approaching each one of our offers, whether it's free or paid, as something whole. And as an appropriate place for our clients to engage with us and stay there if they choose. So, we're really giving our clients permission to decide where on the spectrum they are best suited to engage with us. Now, depending on where you are at in your coaching business, your Spectrum of Services may have two points on it: it may have your free content, and it may have your one on one coaching services. And that's exactly what my Spectrum of Services looked like when I was first starting out. I had my six months of coaching that I would offer to my clients. And then on the other side, I would have my blog posts, I would have my free consultation sessions, and other ways that my clients could get to know me. As my business grew, I was able to offer more under that left sided free content category. So my podcast for example, my free Facebook community, the Coach with Clarity Community, these are all examples of services that fall under that free content. And so if you're just starting out, it's okay if you're still developing that portion of your spectrum. That takes time that will come as your business evolves. But I would encourage you to have some way that people can engage with you, and learn more about you and the work that you do, in a free capacity. So again, that might look like hosting a blog, hosting a podcast. Maybe it looks like going on other people's podcasts, and giving interviews. Perhaps it looks like showing up in other Facebook groups or other social communities, and providing a great deal of value through the comments and suggestions that you're providing. All of these are acceptable strategies, and I would consider them to be really the anchor point of your Spectrum of Services. And if for right now, you have those two points on your spectrum, so you've got the left point with your free content and the right point with your one on one services, then in my opinion, you are approaching the establishment of your spectrum in the right way.

I strongly encourage my members, my students, and my clients to build out the end points of their Spectrum of Services first, before they start adding to the middle. When you focus on those two endpoints, you are building your credibility, and your visibility, through your free content. And then you're also bringing in revenue through your higher touch, higher paid offers, and that revenue is going to allow you to continue to build out your business. So I'm a strong proponent of starting with those two end points first, and getting really clear and really comfortable with what you offer in a free capacity, and then in your high touch, high paid capacity. Once you feel really rock solid in those, then we can look at building out the middle part of your spectrum. This allows you to bring a very thoughtful, intentional process to growing and yes, scaling your business. When you focus on a signature piece of free content, and then a higher end offer, you position yourself really strongly as someone who takes a stand, or who is known for a certain issue and then supports people one on one. And from there, you can then decide, “Alright, what do I want to introduce to my spectrum in order to reach more people, and to grow my impact?” And when we take the spectrum model, it allows us to maintain our focus in the type of work we're doing and who we're serving. I think this also helps us avoid what so many of us know as “Shiny Object Syndrome”. So, maybe we have a great idea of something that we can offer in our businesses. Well, before we rush into developing it, and marketing it, and launching it, we can take a good look at our spectrum to see where that offer would fall, and whether it's in line with your current offer suite. And I'll be honest with you, my Spectrum of Services has saved me so many times in this way, because I'm definitely an “ideas” person. I will have this bright idea of, “Oh, I should create a course around this!” or, “Oh, no, I need to do a group program around that!” And it's not that the idea itself is wrong or bad. In fact, it's usually a pretty good idea. But then the question is, how does this relate to my business? And what I'm already offering? Is there a place on my spectrum for this? Or are we starting to move away from the heart of my work, which is training and education for life and business coaches. So having a spectrum allows me to see whether a new offer or a new idea fits with my business, and where it would fall, and how it might serve the people that I love to work with. So it really helps me maintain the focus of my business and of my work, and it keeps me from getting distracted. And then finally, having a Spectrum of Services also ensures that I am able to serve people regardless of their ability to pay. Because when we have a Spectrum of Services, we're able to provide multiple entry points to our business at different price points. Which means that we can serve people regardless of affordability. So if someone is not able to work with me one on one, or if they're not able to participate in the Coach with Clarity Membership, that's okay. I can still continue to show up and serve them through the podcast, or through the Facebook community. It allows me to show up and serve. So even if it's not possible right now for someone to be a part of the membership, they still feel like they're able to engage with me, and engage with Coach with Clarity, and gain value from it. Hopefully, you're finding that right now with this podcast. So as an example, I'm going to walk you through the Coach with Clarity Spectrum of Services to give you an idea of what I offer, how it falls on the spectrum, and how they all worked together.

So I think I've already been pretty clear about the end points of my spectrum. So on one end, at the left end, I have all of the ways that I show up and support people free of charge. So that's through this podcast, it's through the Coach with Clarity Business Blueprint , which is my free guide to help you establish your coaching business. Which by the way, if you've not downloaded it yet, you'll absolutely want to grab your copy, you can do so at CoachwithClarity.com/blueprint, it's a pretty robust guide. It's over 28 pages, and it walks you through everything you need to know to start your coaching practice, to connect with referral sources, and to start seeing clients. And yes, that's free. So that's a pretty valuable piece of content. And it absolutely belongs on my Spectrum of Services. So in addition to the podcast, and the Business Blueprint, I also have the Coach with Clarity Community, which is our Facebook group, where you can show up, ask questions, and get support from your fellow community members and from me. If you're not a member of that community, just head to CoachwithClarity.com/community, and you can request to join today. So those are the primary ways in which I provide free content. Of course, I will also do some free discovery calls and free connections with people to see if we're the right fit to work together in a different capacity. But I would say for the most part, the podcast, the blueprint, and the Facebook group are the primary ways that I show up and serve my people on the left side of my spectrum. Then on the right side of my spectrum, I have my private coaching services. Now I don't do a whole lot of private coaching anymore. I still work with a few clients, maybe three or four at a time in a one on one capacity. Because to be quite honest with you, I love coaching and I love one on one coaching. And so I never want that to exit my Spectrum of Services. But because it's one on one, and it's high touch, and I'm providing a lot of wraparound services to my clients, that belongs on the right side of my spectrum. It's a higher touch and higher priced offer, so that kind of bookends the other side of the spectrum, with the free content. As my business grew, I started to add offers that headed more towards the middle of the spectrum. So if we imagine all the free content on the far left side, if we were to move in one level towards the middle, well that looks like my book, “ACT On Your Business”, which you can pick up on Amazon for like $10 bucks on Kindle, or $13, paperback. So, not a whole lot of money. But it is a paid offer, so that does require more time, and more of a financial investment, than my free content. I also have some $27 offers. And in fact, I'll be launching a new one in a couple months, so more to come on that. But again, these are still fairly low cost ways that clients can engage with me and they can get additional information, then maybe they would get through the free content. But it's not requiring a whole lot of time, a whole lot of energy, or a whole lot of money. So that's what the second point on my Spectrum of Services looks like: the book, my $27 offers, and those types of lower cost products. Now if I were to move in one point from the right side, so I've got my private coaching on the right side, that might look like my group coaching programs, or my certification program. So these programs are still very high touch, very high intensity, but they are group programs. So when I'm showing up in serving, I'm serving multiple people at once. Now, it's not hundreds of people. In fact, in the certification program, we're talking anywhere from ten to twenty-four at most. And in my small group coaching programs, it's generally been around four to eight. We talked in the episode about group coaching, how I really think six to eight is the sweet spot for small group coaching programs. But because these are not one on one offers, because they are group programs, I view them as being one step closer to the middle than my one on one coaching programs. So anytime I have a small group program, or even my certification program, that's where I think about it falling on my spectrum. And then right in the middle of my Spectrum of Services, I have the Coach with Clarity Membership. So, this membership is a great way for me to show up and serve more people than I do in my small group programs. Right now, I think the membership probably has about seventy-five people in it, and growing. And with a membership program, it still allows us to show up and serve our clients directly, and powerfully, so they're still engaging with us. But again, we're serving more people at a time. And so the touch points are fewer, and also the price point is less as well. So that's what my Spectrum of Services looks like. I have my free content on the left side. Then we move down the spectrum and we have my book, or maybe my $27 workbook. Then in the middle of the spectrum, we have the Coach with Clarity Membership. When we keep moving down the spectrum, we'll hit my small group programs, and certainly the certification program. And then at the very end, we have my one on one coaching services. Now I have a couple other offers that I didn't mention. In particular, say if I do a one off workshop or retreat, there's a place for those on the Spectrum of Services as well, but I'm really focusing on my regular and recurring offers. So, it's the podcast, and the Facebook group, then moving into the book, and my workbooks, then we move into the membership, then small group programs and the certification program, and finally one on one coaching. I will try to put up a picture of my Spectrum of Services on the show notes page, because I know it's one thing to hear about it, it's quite another to see it. So definitely head to the show notes page for this week's episode if you're a visual learner, and you need to see what that Spectrum of Services really looks like.

So I have just walked you through how I like to conceptualize my product suite, which is what I call the Spectrum of Services. We've talked why it is such a helpful model, and how it differs from some traditional approaches to creating an offer suite, and we've explored why it can help you as a coach, and some examples of what could fall on a Spectrum of Services. So this feels like the perfect time to head into this week's Clarity in Action Moment. For this week's Clarity in Action Moment, I'm going to invite you to start thinking about what your Spectrum of Services might look like. So, imagine that you've got a horizontal line, kind of in front of you, and on the left side is anything you are currently providing to your prospective or paid clients for free. So any content that you're creating and sharing in a free, or in a public manner, that would belong on the left side of your spectrum. So go ahead and jot down everything that you've created that would fall on the spectrum. Then, I would encourage you to think about the far most right side of your spectrum. What does that offer look like? Who are you serving? What's your offer? What's the price point? What's the energetic commitment for both you and for your clients? And let's really start building out those two aspects of your Spectrum of Services. If you're at a point where you're feeling really solid about those two points, about those two offers, then you may want to explore what filling in your Spectrum of Services would look like. So, what would fall in the very middle of your Spectrum of Services? For me, it's the Coach with Clarity Membership. For you, it might look like a group program. Or perhaps it looks like a course. Maybe it looks like a single session offer. Maybe if you do a single, one hour coaching session, that might be in the center of your Spectrum of Services. So from there, you can then start thinking about what other offers you either currently have, or want to introduce in your business. And I encourage you to plug them in on your Spectrum of Services. And then that horizontal line, that connects them all, be really clear about what that represents. For me, that horizontal line, that thread that connects all of my offers, is training and education for life and business coaches. So I know that every single thing that I'm offering, every single dot on my spectrum, is somehow connected to the training and education of coaches. So, what does your horizontal line represent? And how well do the offers that you're currently making connect to the core purpose of your business? Once you have created your Spectrum of Services, well, I would love to hear about it. So why don't you come find me over in the Coach with Clarity Community. You can just head to CoachWithClarity.com/community, that will take you right to the Facebook page where you can request to join. We are a vibrant and growing community of over 4,500 coaches as of today, April 2021. And if you're not already there, well I would love to welcome you. So head on over to CoachWithClarity.com/community and request to join today.

You are also welcome to reach out to me via Instagram. I'm at @CoachWithClarity and I would love to start a conversation with you in the DM’s, so feel free to find me there. All right, my friend, we did it. That's another episode of the Coach with Clarity Podcast, and the very first one I've recorded from my brand new office in the historic heart of New Bern, North Carolina. I hope there wasn't too much background noise that Brittany, and Alex, and the fine people over at Podcasting for Coaches needed to edit out. And as always, I'm very grateful to them for helping me sound so good week after week, and I am grateful for you for listening to the Coach with Clarity Podcast this week and every week. And if you have not already followed the Coach with Clarity Podcast, be sure to do that so you will never miss a future episode of the show. You can download it wherever you listen to your podcasts, and I'll have another episode for you next week. So 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.

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