Annoying? Isn’t it?
Everyday you read success stories of bloggers making mega bucks from blogging, yet your blog is more of an expensive hobby than a money-making business.
What if you could create a signature coaching program that actually sells? Today, I’m going to show you how you can create your own wildly successful signature coaching program, despite the following handicaps:
◉ Hardly anyone reads your posts.
◉ Deep down, you don’t truly believe you’re qualified.
◉ You don’t have an email list.
◉ You’re actually terrified by the idea of getting on the phone with a client.
Create Your Signature Coaching Program in 9 Easy Steps
Step #1: Do A One-Question Survey
Start by asking your potential customers what their biggest frustrations are – so your first task is a simple survey.
This is the step that allows you to discover what people’s problems are, and figure out what pressing problem you can actually help your customers solve. Asking people to share their deepest desires and biggest frustrations lets you make decisions about your potential coaching practice that are based on real data, rather than guesswork.
So you always have to start with a survey. This step is not optional. Do a survey even if:
◉You think you know your niche well.
◉You think you are super-smart.
◉You’ve done surveys in the past.
It’s non-negotiable – if you want to succeed, you have to do this survey. Luckily, this survey only contains one open-ended question, and is ridiculously easy to create and implement.
That one question is:
“What is your biggest frustration with [your topic]?”
For example, my survey question is, “What’s your biggest frustration with blogging?” Your question might be the following:
◉What’s your biggest frustration with dieting?
◉What’s your biggest frustration with traveling?
…and so on. Your survey respondents can type anything they want into the survey form. Leave the answer field open-ended and give them plenty of room to respond.
If you need a simple way to set up your survey, you can use a simple Google Form. Google Forms are simple to use, and they’re free.
Step #2: Drive Traffic to Your Survey to Gather As Much Data as You Can
Once you have your survey set up, drive traffic to the form and collect as many responses as you can. You’re looking for at least 10 responses so you have enough information to see trends in the data. More than 20 responses are even better.
To get people to answer your survey, you can do the following:
◉You can email the survey link to your email list, in a broadcast email or newsletter.
◉You can link to your survey in a blog post on your site.
Step #3: Read and Interpret Your Survey Data
Once you’ve collected at least 10 survey answers, your next task is to evaluate the data and look for commonalities and trends.
As you’re reading, you’ll probably spot at least one common problem that sticks out as something people repeatedly mention in their responses. Sometimes you’ll spot more than one common problem, but there’s almost always at least one.
But you need to be aware before you examine your data that it’s possible your prospects can’t identify the main problem. They might describe the symptoms of the problem, and they might not be sure exactly what is happening to them (or why it’s happening).
Your job is to be a good interpreter. Read between the lines of what your prospects are saying, and look for the true common issues. Look for language or phrases used over and over again, and look for similar complaints about what is happening because of the problem.
Step #4: Rank the Problems in Order of How You’d Like to Solve Them
Now that you’ve identified the most common problems from your survey, your next task is to rank them if you have more than one problem. Because you’re looking for issues you can help people with, your job is to ferret out the most-solvable problem.
As you’re placing problems in your prioritized list, make sure you rank a problem higher if it is one you have solved yourself. As a coach in a particular niche, you’ll be far more credible if you’re teaching your clients how to solve a problem you’ve already personally experienced and overcome.
Step #5: Do Your Research
Now that you’re decided on the problem you’ll focus on, your next task is to research that issue more deeply. Think of yourself as a doctor – you want to personally interview your survey respondents about their symptoms, what treatments they’ve tried, and what a positive treatment outcome looks like for that person.
Review your list of survey respondents, and choose the ones who reported they have the specific problem you’d like to address. Then reach out to each of those survey respondents and write them a simple, polite email asking if you can interview them on the telephone. Here’s what to tell them in the email:
◉ The interview will take between 15-30 minutes.
◉ You are gathering additional data about their survey responses.
◉ You won’t take up a lot of their time.
◉ You will ONLY be asking questions, and you won’t try to sell them anything (this one is probably the most important item on this list).
During the call, simply ask questions, then be quiet and listen to their responses. During the interview, you are trying to find out:
◉What are the common symptoms of the problem?
◉How does the customer describe those symptoms in their own words?
◉What solutions have they tried?
◉Which solutions worked? Which didn’t?
◉Of the solutions that worked, who did they work for?
◉What were the circumstances under which the solutions worked?
◉What does a positive outcome of solution look like?
Step #6: Dig For More Information To Discover What Solutions They Have Already Tried
Now, you’ll take the research one step further. If you were a doctor, you would’ve already asked about the symptoms of the problem. So, it’s time to determine what “treatments” they’ve already tried.
Chances are, if your interviewees have had this problem for a while, they have probably tried to solve the problem themselves. It’s important for you to know what solutions they have tried in the past, and what has worked – and what hasn’t. When you pay attention to the language your interviewee uses, you can discover more valuable insights.
Here are the questions you need to ask: “What have you tried to solve [the problem]? What have you attempted in the past to solve the issue?” Then continue with the following comments:
◉ “What worked?”
◉ “What didn’t work?”
◉ “Describe the experience of trying this solution.”
◉ If they used a solution that partially worked, ask them for details on that solution.
You can ask, “Why did that solution work for you? What was it about your situation that improved?”
After you’ve discussed symptoms and solutions, the next question you want to ask is about what a positive outcome would look like. You need to find out exactly what would happen in people’s lives if you were able to solve this particular problem for them.
So your next question is, “If I could wave a magic wand and make everything better, what would that look like?”
In many cases, your interviewees will have to ponder the answer to this question before they respond. Wait for them to answer.
Step #7: Create A Compelling, Highly-Targeted Landing Or Sales Page
Your next task is to put together a compelling landing/sales page that sells your coaching. The only job of this sales page is to persuade your potential clients to buy an hour of your coaching time.
Your sales page needs to do the following:
- The easiest way — Create a regular WordPress page and publish your sales page content on the page. For the page title, use “How to [DESIRED OUTCOME],” and in the body of the page, describe the problem and tell people how you’ll help them solve the issue. Then give them a checkout button of some kind so they can purchase right away when they’re ready to buy a coaching session. PayPal buttons work just fine for this.
- A more advanced method – If you’re feeling more ambitious and want to do something more advanced, you can use InstaBuilder which is an online tool that helps you create professional, distraction-free sales pages that will convert better than WordPress pages. Their page templates are specifically designed to convert well. Don’t let this bog you down or hold you up, though.
Step #8: Drive Traffic to the Sales Page
Once your sales page is published, and you’ve got a working PayPal button (or other mechanisms to take payments), drive traffic to your page.
Send an email your list and let them know (in a short, concise way) that you’re offering a new service they might be interested in. Include the link to the sales page.
Here’s an example that has worked for me:
Subject: Call me?
Message: Want to get on the phone with me and talk about how to get [DESIRED OUTCOME]?
I’m providing a new service where I help you do exactly that. Click here for more details: [LINK TO SALES PAGE]
Talk with you soon, [YOUR NAME]
Step #9: Do Your Consultations
If you’ve done your job and followed all of the steps so far, then you’ve got some sales coming in. Congratulations! You have people who have paid you to get on the phone with them and solve their problems. That’s huge! Take a moment to pat yourself on the back.
Now that you’ve got some clients coming in, what do you do next? Here are your next moves:
- Send all new clients a questionnaire to gather essential information before you get on the phone. Create the questionnaire in a simple Microsoft Word format so the client can easily fill it out and return it to you. Send each new client a questionnaire after they pay you for the session, but before they are allowed to schedule the actual appointment. If you wait until after they’ve scheduled the session, they will drag their feet about filling out the questionnaire, and chances are they won’t actually do it. They’ll want to talk through all of the questionnaire questions on the phone, and they’ll waste everyone’s time. It’s far better for both of you if they give you the information before the call. You can automate the whole process so that clients receive the questionnaire right away with an autoresponder (or on a simple Thank You page they get redirected to, after the sale). The first (and perhaps the most important) question on the questionnaire is, “What are your goals for this session?” After that, ask whatever questions you need in order to get a good sense of the client’s current situation.
- Schedule the appointments. After clients complete the questionnaire, you can send them to a scheduling tool so they can schedule their appointment with you. Using a scheduling tool makes the appointment process so much easier, and completely bypasses the tedious back and forth email correspondence required to manually schedule a session. Trust me on this – use a scheduling tool to automate this process, and I practically guarantee you’ll love it. I use this tool for automated scheduling: Acuity Scheduling.
- Do your preparation. Before each session, spend at least 30 minutes reading the client’s questionnaire, and thinking about how you can help them. Consider what you’ll suggest as a course of action, and write down any follow-up questions you might need to ask. When you get on the phone with the client, remember they’re paying you for custom-tailored information. So you must do your prep work.
- Do the call. When you get on the phone with the client, your first step is to verify the desired outcomes at the beginning of the call. You can say, “From what I understand after reading your questionnaire, what you’re hoping to get out of this call is [list desired outcomes from the questionnaire]. Is that correct? Just want to make sure I’m on the right track, right from the start.”
- I always verify the goals at the beginning of the call because I’m surprised how often people tell me they actually want something completely different from what they initially put on the questionnaire.
- After you get that verification, your next step is to get commitment from your client by asking this question: “If I can help you create a plan to achieve your goals – and we agree that it’s a good plan – will you promise me that you’ll take action on that plan?”
- It’s crucial to get this commitment because you want the client to take action so they can get results. If you get a verbal commitment that they’ll take the steps you mutually decide on, it radically increases the chances that they’ll actually follow through. And that’s a win-win all around.
- Give them your best possible coaching. You need to identify the real problems the clients have (and not just treat their symptoms). Remember when you were researching the problems, and trying to pick one to focus on? During that researching phase, you had to look deeply at the problem in order to determine what the true problem was. Remember those skills during these coaching calls. Help your clients identify the real problems they struggle with, and what’s holding them back from achieving their goals.
- The clients might think that their symptoms are the problems, but they’re not. Make sure to be clear on that, and help them diagnose the real problem. Then help them figure out the solutions to those problems.
- Tell the client the solutions, and explain exactly why they will work. The why is incredibly important because you’re not just prescribing information during this call – you’re selling them on the solutions.
- If you don’t persuade your client that your solutions are good ideas, they won’t take action. And if the client doesn’t take action, your time and the client’s time will have been wasted.
- Once you explain why your solutions will work, it’s time to organize your solutions into a comprehensive plan over a definitive timetable. Before they get off the phone with you, every client needs to have a comprehensive set of steps with due dates.
How to Create A Signature Coaching Program – Final Thoughts
You’ve come this far with a potential client. You’re making one of those all important calls. The worst thing you can do on one of your coaching calls is say, “Do this, this and this.” Instead, you want to say, “Tomorrow, do [step #1]. After that, do [step #2], and you should complete [step #3] by next Tuesday.”
Of course, make the timetables appropriate for the client and the specific problem. It doesn’t matter what the timetable is, as long as you give them a clear, customized plan that is designed just for them.
Ask your clients, “Do you think you can get that done in [proposed timetable]?” and get their buy-in before you create the plan. You need to make sure it actually works for them and they feel like they’ll be able to follow through on the plan.
And before you get off the phone, make sure you are both clear on the plan. It’s critical that you both know what the plan is, for follow-up and accountability purposes.
Now Your Turn
Are you making money blogging or is your blog an expensive hobby? Have you got a signature coaching program that actually sells? If not, why not? Please click here to leave your comment and join our conversation.