I'm really excited to share this episode with you because we are going to the fundamentals of a solid coaching business. And really, I would say these are fundamentals for just about every business or any business, but especially for those of us who have coaching businesses. So today, I am going to walk you through these four keys. And then at the end, we will have our Clarity In Action moment as we always do and I am going to share with you one of my number one recommendations that every business owner should do, not just when they're first starting their business. But I think periodically, it's helpful to take this action on a recurring basis. So whether that is before you create a new program, whether that is part of your annual reflection, the timing is up to you. But I strongly recommend that you take this action in your business. It is something I did as I was preparing to relaunch what is now the Coach with Clarity Collective. And I'm really excited because if you are listening to today's episode on the day, it drops March 21st, 2022. That means that the doors to the Coach with Clarity Collective are open, and they will be open only through March 27th. So you have a little less than a week to become a Collective member. And when you head over to coachwithclarity.com/collective, you will see everything that comes with your Collective membership, you get four live calls a month; so that works out to pretty much one live call a week. And that includes a monthly spotlight coaching call and the spotlight coaching calls are one of my very favorite things about the Collective. It is an opportunity for you to witness powerful coaching in action. As a Collective member, you can apply to receive 30 minutes of targeted coaching from me during a spotlight coaching call. So you and I will talk just the two of us, for about 30 minutes, your fellow Collective members will be watching and then at the end of our session is time to debrief the coaching process. It's a time for you to ask questions or provide feedback on what you witnessed me doing as the coach. We can talk about what worked, we can talk about what didn't, what you might have done differently, what you might incorporate in your own coaching practice. It's meant to be a reflective process so that we can all become better coaches and serve our clients more powerfully. So you will always get the benefit of observing a coaching session and being a part of the debrief. And as a member, you can apply to receive that spotlight coaching during a future session. These monthly spotlight coaching calls are in addition to the q&a calls, the co-working session, and the monthly guest expert trainings where I invite an industry expert to come in and share their secrets with you so that you can build a more profitable coaching practice and build your coaching mastery. Plus, you get access to the Coach with Clarity vault which contains all of my templates, scripts and trainings that you need to build, grow and scale your coaching practice. And you also get access to an attorney prepared coaching contract template that you can amend and use with your own clients. Plus you get access to an entire vault of other contracts and templates to serve you in your business. There's more to the Collective than what I've just described. And you can learn all about it over at coachwithclarity.com/collective. We have some special bonuses in place through March 27th, including a new member call where it'll be you, me and other new members of the collective getting to know each other while you ask any questions you have about your Collective membership or about your coaching business in particular. Plus, you will also receive an invitation to any quarterly or annual planning workshop I conduct in 2022, all part of your Coach with Clarity Collective membership. It's a really robust program. I'm so proud of it. And I love the community of coaches that we are creating together inside the Collective. So don't miss out, you have less than a week to secure your spot inside the Collective. And you can do that over at coachwithclarity.com/collective. I can't wait to welcome you as a member of the Coach with Clarity Collective.
But first, let's get to the heart of today's episode, let's get to those Four Keys to Creating a Rock Solid Coaching Business. And I want to preface this by saying that we're not talking specifically about marketing or sales strategy today. And that's not because they're not important, because they are important. Every coaching business needs a solid marketing strategy, and a sales process so that you know how to connect with and convert prospective clients into paying clients. But that's a topic for another time, because before we even get to marketing or sales, we need to make sure that we have these four keys locked down, because they will inform everything about your marketing and sales processes. So the first key that I want to talk about today is your identity. Before we get into anything about who you serve, or what you do, we want to make sure that you are crystal clear on who you are inside your business, and how your business reflects your identity. I call this knowing your True North, and this is a concept that I went into great detail just a couple weeks ago in Episode 103. So if you have not taken a listen to that episode, go back two weeks, check out the episode titled ‘Starting a Coaching Business? Do this first!’ That's episode 103. And that episode goes even deeper into this first key of knowing your identity and allowing that to be the foundation of your business. Knowing your True North means that you are crystal clear on what matters most to you. So, what your values are, you also know what your vision is for your business. And your vision should be something big, something bold, something that you may not be able to achieve in one lifetime. But it is charting your course for where your business is heading. As an example, the vision of Coach with Clarity is a world centered in meaning, justice and joy co-created with coaches, entrepreneurs, and communities through the teaching and practice of coaching. That is a big statement. It is my big vision. And it may not be something that I can achieve solely in this lifetime. I hope that I see a world centered in meaning, justice and joy. And it's something I work towards every day, and it's meant to be aspirational. So don't be afraid to create a vision for yourself and your business that is expansive, because that gives you something to work towards and it communicates to your people, your clients, your colleagues, what matters most to you. Your vision ideally incorporates your values, and then that informs your mission or what it is you actually do in your business. So again, as an example, the mission of Coach with Clarity is to provide and model exemplary coaching through comprehensive and accredited coach training, that prioritizes innovation, intuition and inclusivity. That's the mission of what I do. So when I am creating this podcast, when I am facilitating the Coach with Clarity Collective, or teaching my students in the Certified Clarity Coach Program, everything I do connects back to that mission. So when you know your values, your vision and your mission that will inform any marketing or sales strategy you create in the future. But if you are not clear on those now, it's going to make marketing and selling much more difficult down the line. Part of centering your business in your identity also means knowing what your strengths are, and the unique qualities that you bring to your work that separates you from everyone else out there. And this connects so deeply with your True North, knowing who you are at your core, and how you show up in the world is connected to your values, your vision and your mission. And of course, the thread that weaves through all of this is your intuition; that wise inner voice that guides you when you are making decisions or taking actions in your business and your life. Having that direct line to your inner wisdom and allowing your intuition to be a guiding force in your business is part of knowing your True North, and knowing what your identity is within and outside your business. That is the first key to a rock solid coaching practice, knowing who you are, and how you show up in your business. And again, if you need any support or want to dive deeper into that, you'll definitely want to take a listen or a second listen to episode 103 from just a couple weeks ago.
I intentionally placed identity as the first of the Four Keys to Creating a Rock Solid Coaching Business because I do believe strongly that we need to start with us, we need to be really clear on our strengths, our talents, our values, our vision and our mission. Because that is the anchor for everything else that we're going to do in our business, including the next three keys. So once we're very clear on key number one, which is identity and how we show up in our business, then we can move on to the second key of a rock solid coaching practice and that is audience. This is the key that helps you clarify who it is you most want to serve in your coaching practice. So if you have ever done any work around your ideal client avatar, or your ICA, then you have been working on this key, because this is all about your audience. And there are three ways that I like to think about describing your audience. The first way is where many of us start and that's with demographics. So demographics are those typically external qualities, the kind of qualities that might be described on a census data form, so age, gender, occupation, location, etc. These are demographic qualities. So when someone tells me that they have a coaching practice that serves working moms, they are taking a demographic perspective of describing their audience. And I think this is a great place to start but as many of you know, we need to go deeper than demographics. There's two other things I consider when I'm defining an audience. I also want to look at their psychographics. So these are the internal qualities, these represent things about a person that I might not know unless they tell me. So for example, their deepest desires, their fears, their thoughts, their values, the qualities that make them uniquely them. So a psychographic approach asks us to go deeper, and really get to know the internal landscape of our ideal client. It pairs beautifully with a demographic approach because demographics are a quick and easy way to describe who we serve. But a psychographic approach allows us to go deeper, and when it comes time to create marketing materials. So if we're writing copy for our website, or for a Facebook ad, or something like that, we can use those psychographic qualities to connect with our ideal client in a richer, deeper way. So we have demographics, we have psychographics. And the third piece that I consider when I am defining my audience is what I call the process perspective. When I take the process perspective, to defining an audience, I am really looking at where they are in their personal journey. So if I were to create a timeline of their life, I would know what they've already done, what they've already tried, what they've already accomplished, any challenges they've already experienced. And I would understand how all of that life experience has brought them to the moment they're at today. And I would be crystal clear on what it is they still want to achieve, or how it is they still want to feel, whatever that motivating factor is I can look forward into their future, and see how that might shape their actions, behaviors and decisions. When I understand where they are at in their personal journey, I better understand what they're looking for. And also maybe why the things they've already tried, either have worked for them, and they're ready for the next step or haven't worked for them and why they're looking for coaching. So when it comes to knowing your audience, those three approaches – demographics, psychographics and process are so important because they give you a well rounded, holistic view of your client and of your larger audience.
We also want to ask ourselves, what is it that my audience wants? What are they looking for? And what is it that my audience needs? And wants and needs are not necessarily the same thing. Your audience may want one thing and as the coach, you know that they also need another thing. And your audience may not yet be aware that they need whatever that is. And the mistake I see a lot of coaches make is that they lead with what they think the client needs. But the client may not yet be aware of that, they may not be at that point. And so they're not necessarily going to see themselves in your business because you're offering something they don't yet know they need. So that's why it's so important to be clear about what your audience wants, while being aware of what they need. And understanding that they may need some time, some education and some connection to get to the point where they see “Oh, yeah, I need this too in order to get what I want.” These are all important factors to consider when you are defining your audience, which is the second key of a rock solid coaching business.
Now, I do want to make the point that you are never limited to serving only the audience you've described. And I know that sometimes people get a little nervous, or they wonder, “Do I really have to be specific about who I serve? Can’t I just serve anyone and everyone? Do I need to create a niche?” all of those questions. And my response to that is, you don't have to, I mean, it's your business, you can choose how you want to talk about who you serve and what you do. But when you have a specific audience or a specific client in mind, it makes it so much easier to connect with them through your marketing copy, through any free or paid content you create, you're speaking to someone specific, and so you're not talking in generalities. And what you might find is that you may attract people who don't necessarily meet every single criterion you have for your ideal client. And that's okay. There's likely something about your messaging or the way you talk about who you serve that appeals to them, and they want to learn more. So even if they don't meet every demographic or psychographic or process element to your audience, that's okay. Because then you can get to know them better and decide if there's someone you want to work with. It reminds me of the time that I was hired by someone who on the surface did not look like he would be an ideal client for my coaching practice at all. And in fact, I was a little confused as to why he was so interested in working with me. And what I found out later was that I happen to remind him of someone he used to work with and really liked, there was something about my personality, my tone, the way I talked about my work that linked me in his mind with this person that he loved and trusted. And so I kind of got the benefit of the positive association with this other person. And even though he didn't necessarily represent who I thought I wanted to work with, it wound up being a wonderful coaching experience. So just a little note that it is important to define who it is you want to serve. And it does not have to limit you. You are the CEO of your business, and you can decide who you want to work with, regardless of whether they meet all of the criteria of your ideal client.
Alright, so we've talked about the first two of the Four Keys to a Rock Solid Coaching Business. We've talked about identity, and we've talked about audience. The third key to a rock solid coaching business is your approach. When I'm talking about your coaching approach, I want to know how you serve your audience in the broadest sense. So for example, is there a particular coaching modality that you use with your clients? As an example, my coaching approach is highly informed by ACT or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. I've also seen coaches refer to it as Acceptance and Commitment Coaching. So ACT, ACC, whatever you like. But you all know that ACT is a foundational part of the work that I do with my clients. I had the good fortune to be trained and act as a therapist back in 2009 when I completed a six month traineeship, and ACT really revolutionized not just the way I worked with my therapy clients, but also how I related to myself and the world around me. So it was a professional tool, yes, but also a very personal one. And then when I moved into coaching, I found that the principles of ACT worked seamlessly with how I wanted to show up as a coach, and I talk much more about this in my book, ACT on Your Business. If you've not picked up your copy, you can do so at coachwithclarity.com/getthebook, but that's really a deep dive into the principles of ACT and how you can apply them in a small business context. And I think as coaches, you'll also see how you can apply them in a coaching context as well. So for me, when I talk about my approach, I'm definitely talking about ACT principles, and how they inform my coaching practice. So that's one element of knowing your approach. It's also important to know what your coaching style is. So, how do you show up and connect with your clients? I would say that my style is empathetic, yet straightforward. And I understand how to blend compassion and understanding with a drive for achievement. My clients would describe me as approachable, caring, empathetic, and also strategic, future oriented, forward thinking, and always making sure that what we talk about in session translates into action. So that is maybe a brief summary of my style. And it's helpful for me to know that because then when I'm connecting with a prospective client, and they're asking me, what is it like to work with you? I know how to answer that question. That's also one way you can determine whether a given person is a good fit for your practice. I remember I held a consult call with a potential client once and he was very clear about the kind of coach he wanted to work with. He even said, “I want a coach who's going to get down in the mud with me, and be my personal drill sergeant, be my bootcamp instructor, and make sure that when I start slacking off, they're going to be in my face telling me to keep going.” And listen, there is nothing wrong with that coaching approach. It is valid, it works for the right client, and it works for the right coach. It does not, however, work for my style of coaching. And so I knew right away that if this was the approach this person wanted, I was not the coach for him. And trust me, it's better to establish that before you take someone on as a paying client, and then realize, “Ooh, this is not going to work.” So it's important to know what your approach is, what your coaching style is, so that you can communicate that to your potential clients and ensure that you are the right fit for each other. So when you are thinking about this third key to a rock solid coaching business, I encourage you to think about the process of working with you and how you would describe that journey that often encapsulates your approach to coaching.
And at that point, you're ready to start thinking about the fourth and final key, which is your offer. Of course, if you have a business, you need to have a service or product for sale. And this is what you are offering to your clients and customers. So once you're clear on your identity, your audience and your approach, those three things can inform the fourth key, which is your offer. It's at this stage that we can start thinking about what it actually looks like, on a more tactical level to show up and serve your clients. So for many of us, that involves some type of one on one coaching, maybe that is just a single one off coaching session, it could be a day long coaching intensive, or maybe it's a more extended coaching relationship that lasts for one month, three months, six months, even longer. There are also some ways that we can incorporate technology into our one on one services. So for example, maybe you offer a day of Voxer, where your client has access to you via Voxer, the voice and text messaging app, so that for an entire day you are communicating back and forth with each other around any issues your client is facing. There are all sorts of ways that we can provide one on one coaching support for our people. And of course, that all falls under the broad category of what you offer. As your business grows, you may also be interested in providing more group oriented coaching offers as well, that could be a group coaching program, or a membership or a mastermind. Perhaps it's a course that also includes some live teaching or q&a component. So there are ways that you can provide direct support in a group setting. And maybe you want to consider ways that you can support your clients without that direct contact. So now maybe we're looking more at a product based program that could be a book or an ebook. Maybe it is a collection of templates or scripts or guides, perhaps it's workbooks or maybe it's a self paced course. These are the kinds of things that I include inside the Coach with Clarity vault to supplement my group coaching offers, but they can also work beautifully as a stand alone product and so that might be something that you want to consider having as part of your offer suite as well. Regardless though, of whether we are looking at a one on one coaching offer, a group coaching offer, a product based offer, we always want to evaluate how our offer, the fourth key, connects with the previous three keys we've already discussed. So for example, number one, how does this offer work with your coaching approach? Number two, how does this offer connect with your audience's wants and needs? And number three, how does this offer reflect who you are, your True North and your identity? If your offer is consistent with the other three keys, so that identity, audience approach and offer are all in alignment, then you my friend, have the foundations for a rock solid coaching business. And once you have all of this in place, you are perfectly prepared to start talking about who you are and what you do, making your offer and welcoming clients into your business. And with that, let's head into this week's Clarity in Action moment.
This week's Clarity in Action moment is brought to you by the Coach with Clarity Collective. The Coach with Clarity Collective is the premier program for intuitive, innovative coaches who are looking for a transformative approach to both the art and the business of coaching. You will find everything you need to build your business savvy, expand your coaching skills, while creating a profitable soul centered coaching practice you love. From the live calls, to the templates, scripts and resources inside the Vault, plus a community of extraordinary coaches that you won't find anywhere else. The Coach with Clarity Collective has it all. And the best part is we are doing memberships differently inside the Collective. With most memberships, you have to pay a monthly, quarterly or annual fee in order to retain access to everything inside. But not at the Coach with Clarity Collective, we are trying something new for 2022 where we are offering unlimited access for one flat rate, you will get access to all past, present and future calls and resources inside the Collective for one rate. Now we do have 5 and 10 month payment plans available. So you can either choose to pay that rate in full, or you can space it out over 5 or 10 months whatever works best for your budget. But once you are done paying, you will never have to pay again, you will always have access as long as the Coach with Clarity Collective exists. And believe me, I plan on it being around for a very long time. So head on over to coachwithclarity.com/collective and join today. The doors are only open through March 27th so do not wait. You want to make sure that you get inside the Collective before the doors close. So head on over to coachwithclarity.com/collective. And I cannot wait to welcome you as the newest Collective member.
Alright my friend, for this week's Clarity in Action moment I am sharing with you the one action you need to take to help you solidify these four keys. This is something I did way back when I started the Coach with Clarity Collective back when it was the Coach with Clarity Membership in 2019. And I did it as part of the relaunch of the Coach with Clarity Collective. So you want to know what that is? I conducted client conversations. And that is what I encourage you to do as well. I want you to schedule three to eight conversations with people who represent the qualities or traits of your ideal client. Now, let me be clear with you these conversations are not sales calls, you are not pitching them, you are not making them any sort of offer. All you are doing is asking questions to get a better understanding of who they are, what motivates them, what's not working in their life, what is working in their life. All of this data will help you get to know your audience better and inform your offer. The data you will collect from these conversations is so powerful because it tells you not only what it is your audience really wants and what they're looking for. It also gives you the language they're using to describe who they are and what they need. So that when it comes time to write your website copy or create a Facebook ad or talk about your offer or your approach, you will be able to use your clients language, and they will connect with you much more quickly and even more deeply. So these client conversations are a critical part of doing your prep work so that you’ve locked down the four keys to a rock solid coaching business and you position yourself perfectly to create and implement your marketing and sales strategies. Now if you need help coming up with the questions you want to ask as part of your client conversations, we got that taken care of for you over inside the Coach with Clarity Collective, I have a resource that lists the questions I love to use when I am conducting these client conversations. So when you join the Collective today, you can get access to my cheat sheet of questions to help you knock your client conversation out of the park. Just head on over to coachwithclarity.com to learn more and join before March 27th. I hope you have found today's episode to be helpful, and that it has stripped away some of the overwhelm and uncertainty about what to focus on in your coaching business. These four keys are the foundational components. Once you are clear on your identity, your audience your approach and your offer, you will be ready to build and grow from here. And I hope I get the opportunity to support you in that process inside the Collective. And I will continue to support you week after week right here on the podcast. So if you are not already following or subscribed to the show, I hope you'll take 30 seconds to do that right now. Whatever podcast player you are using to listen, there should be an option to either subscribe or follow. It's free to do so and that ensures that next week's episode of the Coach with Clarity Podcast will automatically wind up in your feed ready and waiting for you. So take a moment to do that and then join me right back here next week for another episode of the Coach with Clarity Podcast. 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.