Clients + Skillset Archives - Coaching Blueprint - marketing for life coaches
Why its Good Business to Fire Clients & 3 Scripts to do so

Why its Good Business to Fire Clients & 3 Scripts to do so

At some point in your coaching business, you WILL fire a client.

In fact, you will fire MANY clients. It just makes good business sense.

Why? Over time, you grow and evolve in your abilities as a coach. And as you do, so do your clients’ needs. What was once your “ideal client” is now someone who bores you, isn’t ready, or isn’t accountable.

Perhaps you start in health coaching and realize that your true talent is in raising someone’s self-esteem or helping them find love. In order to honor your growth and new understanding, you have to make room in your practice for new clients, which sometimes means you’ll have to fire a few existing clients first.

Firing clients must be viewed as a natural course of business, not something that’s reserved only for hostile events.

In fact, I feel so strongly about the need to fire our clients that I’ve written a song about it:

 

How do you know that you need to fire a client?

Well, are you feeling any of these emotions?

  • Boredom
  • Frustration
  • Annoyance
  • Lack of excitement

Or are your clients exhibiting any of these behaviors?

  • Don’t respect your boundaries
  • Are slow to pay or regularly make late payments
  • Insist on working with you at your old rate
  • Rude, hostile or overly demanding
  • What is the best way to fire a client?

Personally, my preference is email. It’s in writing. It allows them time to process the information and reply in their own time. It also ensures I follow through instead of putting it off.

Letting go of clients can be nerve-racking, especially when you’ve never done it before. Here are three scripts you can swipe and tweak to get you started.

SCRIPT #1: Changing packages because you no longer want to offer what they want.

Hi (),

I wanted to let you know that as of INSERT DATE, I will be discontinuing INSERT SERVICE.

I have recently made a variety of changes in my business and will no longer be offering this service going forward.

It has been a pleasure to work with you. If you’re interested, I have a few recommendations of some fantastic coaches who I’m sure you’d love to work with.

Thanks for your understanding,

INSERT SIGNATURE

SCRIPT #2: Client is no longer ideal and you want to make room for one who is.

Hi (),

I wanted to let you know that as of INSERT DATE, I will no longer be able to offer INSERT SERVICE.

I have recently seen a great deal of growth in my business, and I need to end my work with some clients in order to accommodate a better work-life balance as well as these new opportunities.

It has been a pleasure to work with you. If you’re interested, I have a few recommendations of some fantastic coaches who I’m sure you’d love to work with.

Thanks for your understanding,

INSERT SIGNATURE

SCRIPT #3: Client is hostile, not doing the work, missed multiple payments, etc.

Hi (),

I wanted to let you know that as of INSERT DATE, I will no longer be able to offer INSERT SERVICE.

It has become clear to me over the past few weeks that you and I are not an ideal match for working together.

INSERT PAYMENT DETAILS (e.g.,will you be offering a refund? Do they have outstanding payments to square up on?)

I appreciate the opportunity to work with you and wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

Sincerely,

INSERT SIGNATURE

 

Take Action Now

Have a client you need to let go of? Copy and paste one of the above scripts into your email account, tweak it and send! You’ll be doing yourself, your business and your clients a favor.
Farideh Ceaser is a musician turned launch strategist. After 15 years on the road touring as a musician, Farideh switched gears and now helps entrepreneurs launch their big ideas and online courses. She regularly delivers her wisdom in the form of a ukelele and a song here. Grab your copy of Farideh’s free 30-Day Launch Checklist & Calendar at www.launchyourcourse.com

3 Under-Rated Pieces of Copy that Make a Difference to Your Coaching Business

3 Under-Rated Pieces of Copy that Make a Difference to Your Coaching Business

 
When you think of the must-have copy for your coaching business, your mind probably envisions a snappy Bio, authentic About Page and stellar Sales Page for your signature offering.

Especially when you’re starting out or in the process of upgrading your business website, the copy on your webpages may seem more important than your other communication.

Now before I launch into why these 3 under-rated pieces of copy will make a difference to your business: a little confession — these pieces aren’t technically ‘copy.’

Strictly speaking, ‘copy’ is an advertising and marketing term that refers to promotional writing designed to persuade someone to buy or influence beliefs that will prime a person to buy. And when it comes to your coaching business, your website copy must compel readers to connect with you, get on your mailing list and ultimately hire you as their coach.

But website copy is not the only copy you should consider when wanting to build a successful coaching business.

My philosophy is that every piece of your communication should be treated as a promotional tool – because it is.

That’s why it’s so important you see every piece of writing (outside of your journal), as having the power to build trust and credibility.

Here are 3 underrated pieces of copy that are absolutely essential to nail if you want to build a solid reputation as a coach.
 

Email Confirmation Letter

Your new client should receive an email confirmation letter within minutes of transferring money to you.

Even if you’ve already outlined the process of working with you on your website, you need a well-crafted email that contains three things:

  1. Genuine thanks and excitement that they’ve taken the step to work with you.
  2. A brief step-by-step description of how your process works. (Yes, even if this is on your website or you’ve spoken about it already.)
  3. One simple call-to-action that has them take the next step. (This could be filling out your questionnaire or simply marking your first session in their diary).

The intention of this piece is for your client to feel safe with you and reassured that they’ve made the right decision in choosing you as their coach. This email confirmation is a key part of handling the inevitable buyer’s remorse or doubt.

Whenever we make a significant purchase, no matter how excited we are or how amazing whatever we purchased is (and that includes coaching with you!), there is a degree of wondering if we’ve made the right decision. To build a successful coaching business you need to be proactive when it comes to buyer’s remorse. Every opportunity to turn doubt into trust must be taken.
 

Thank You Letter

We don’t think of a ‘thank you letter’ as ‘copy’, but we should. A thoughtful, well-crafted thank you letter sent to a client who has completed a coaching series with you (whether via email or handwritten and sent via a dove) communicates genuine care for their development as well as your professionalism.

Ideally you want clients to recommend you to their friends and associates without the slightest hesitation. A personal thank you letter that wraps up your time working together is an absolute essential piece of communication. It is one that I believe should be part of your must-have copy kit.

In my ideal world, we’d all be sending and receiving hand-written letters every single day. But at the very least sending a beautifully written thank you note to your coaching clients positions you favorably. (As an aside, I don’t offer a handwritten letter service yet, but if that piques your interest and your handwriting isn’t lovely, I’d be happy to write one on your behalf!)
 

Client Feedback Request

It’s no secret that building a successful coaching business requires building social proof. We all value testimonials because other people raving about you is understandably more effective than…. you raving about you.

What scares most coaches starting out is the prospect of *actually asking* for testimonials. So don’t ask for a testimonial. Ask for feedback instead.

Crafting a client feedback request that doesn’t feel like an arduous feedback form to your time-poor clients is key to building a successful coaching business. This is because you need social proof and people will only give it to you when it’s not hard for them. That’s why I see the client feedback email as a must-have piece of copy.

Even though I’m not a coach, as a copywriter I’ve observed what works for me as well as for my clients who are coaches. After observation and experimentation, I believe eliciting feedback effectively comes down to these three elements.

  1. Fewer questions = thoughtful answers
  2. I love writing and even I don’t like filling out surveys or lengthy forms. So keep your feedback form simple. When I first started out I developed six feedback questions for my clients. Now I have just three. The number doesn’t actually matter. What’s more important is that each question elicits an open, rather than closed response. Posing fewer questions means your client doesn’t feel daunted by the prospect of giving feedback.

  3. Make it casual
  4. By adopting a ‘no pressure’ stance, one that a) conveys how much you’ve loved working with your client and b) invites their thoughts on your service, you client is more likely to respond on the spot. While some people prefer to think through their responses (and that’s ok), ideally you want giving feedback to feel like a no-brainer so your client provides it sooner rather than later. If the request feels too heavy or even desperate, your client will feel pressured and may avoid it.

  5. Timing is everything
  6. If you get the timing right, you may not even need to send your official client feedback request to elicit that blow-your-mind testimonial. You can still send your client feedback request later, but pay attention to the gushing odes of praise that arrive in your inbox. Whenever I get one of those spontaneous love notes (side note: mine always contain swear words!) – I know that all I have to do is re-jig it into a testimonial and get my client’s permission to publish it on my Praise Page. I used to think I was somehow not allowed to do this, like I had to be very official with getting feedback. But how easy and fun for both you and your client to take their spontaneous praise and turn it into a testimonial – no further work required.

So when you’re upgrading your copy – or considering hiring a professional copywriter to write copy for you – remember to think beyond your website copy.
Every piece of communication is a promotional tool, Make sure all your words – from those on your website to your client thank you notes – are doing you justice.

 
Kate Erlenbusch is a writer, teacher and the force behind Word Love, a digital copywriting service and virtual playspace for creatives, coaches and big-hearted business owners who want to sell and serve with soul. When Kate’s not searching for the right words she’s searching for her car keys, or the meaning of last night’s dream. Download Kate’s free eBook 7 Cheeky Secrets of Writing that Sells & Serves at wordlovebykate.com.

3 steps to help you reset your client’s motivation

3 steps to help you reset your client’s motivation

 

Are your clients telling you how exhausted they are at the end of each day? Maybe they feel so overwhelmed with the large pile on their plate that just thinking about their to-do list makes them feel queasy.

When the stress is sucking the fun & joy out of their work, listen up as I have 3 easy steps to help reset your client’s motivation.

They deserve to get back to feeling inspired – and it’s easier than you think. With a few simple steps, they can take back the reins on their life & business. Today.

Let dive right in, shall we?
 

Step 1: Help them get crystal clear about where their energy’s going

Ask them to get real with themselves: where are they spending the most time in their life? What occupies most of their focus?

Is it working with multiple clients & customer service headaches? Logistics? Processes? Chores? Family events? Or maybe a case of “Ooh, Facebook Newsfeed Distraction!” syndrome that knocks them off track time and time again.

Ask them to write a list of all the tasks in their business or job, and estimate how many hours in the day they’re working on them. Make sure they are honest with themselves.

Once they’re clear on where they’re really pouring their energy, it will be easier to categorize and rearrange their schedule.

For example: if they spending 3 hours a day responding to Facebook inquiries, but there’s a pile of untouched invoices on their desk, see if they can swap the time slots. Suggest they devote just 45 minutes to social media responses instead, and spend the rest of the time chunk getting those papers out.

Tip: Start by getting your clients to use a timer. After the 45-minute social media stint is up, they reset it for two hours to take care of administrative pileup. Devoting a specific amount of time to a certain tasks cranks up their productivity, and sets them up for success.
 

Step 2: Be strong about their schedule

Get them to say this with you: “No is the new Yes.

How much time do they spend on projects they’d rather not be doing, or attending social events, gatherings, or meetings they know won’t serve them in the long run?

My guess is, too much. So get them to take back control of their calendar right now!

You can get them to start small. Ask them to pick out 3 tasks, events, or appointments they can decline or delegate over the next 30 days. While you are talking with them get them to circle those ones with a pen or highlighter.

Keep trying this for the next few months, and feel free to get them to build the “No is the new Yes” muscle by crossing off more and more items asthey go. Practice makes perfect – so the more they say no, the easier it will become.

Your client might struggle with this. Tell them not to get caught up in the assumption that boundaries = selfishness. It’s completely acceptable, healthy, and necessary for them to start doling out loving, respectful “no thank you”s.

Their time is valuable. Support them in treating it that way.
 

Step 3: Get them to enlist good help

Got something on the to-do list that they hate doing, or just isn’t in their realm of expertise? Figure out what they can do to outsource those items to a third party.

Granted, this doesn’t always have to be hired help. There are applications to make them be more productive, and methods to streamline business’ processes that will make them faster and more efficient.

Getting back behind the wheel that drives their life = energy management and motivation refueling.

Help them take control of their calendar, say no, and find the help they need are three fantastic ways to move your clients business and life forward.

Start with these 3 simple steps on your next client calls and watch as their enthusiasm skyrockets.
 

Liz Brazier is an internationally-based accountability coach, productivity strategist, writer, and host of the Live Your Life Now™ and Get the Right “Bleep” Done podcast. She’s dedicated her work to help entrepreneurs find more freedom, flexibility and control in their busy lives and business. How? By giving them the inspiration and tools to take action, kick busy work to the curb and help them get the RIGHT stuff done – instead of waiting for a magical ‘someday’. Connect with Liz on Facebook, Twitteror on her blog.

4 Ways to Ensure Repeat Coaching Clients & Referrals

4 Ways to Ensure Repeat Coaching Clients & Referrals

 

You are great at your job. You show up and help your clients where they need it most, over-deliver, and they love you for it.

But the amount of continued marketing it takes to get your next client can sometimes feel overwhelming or unsustainable. That’s where referral business and repeat coaching clients come in to save the day.

Doing a great job delivering the service your clients have paid you for is key, but you’ve got that covered. Delighting your clients after you’re done working with them is the easiest way to ensure repeat clients and on-going referrals.

So before you wrap up with your next client, consider putting these strategies into action:

Give a “Goodbye” Package

At the end of your time with a client, the best way to ease them into taking the next steps on their own and wrap up the wonderful work you’ve done together is to put together an “end of our work together” package.

This can be a page on your website, and email, or better yet, a personalized pdf.

Here are some ideas of things to include:

  • A personal note mentioning how much you enjoyed working with them.
  • Links to past blog posts of yours that will help them take their next steps.
  • Any bonus material that will help them further (meditations, an ebook, etc). These can be something you create specifically for clients or that you regularly sell on your website.
  • Create a video with a personal thank you to them, especially if you haven’t met them in person. The fact that you take the time to record yourself, is much more meaningful than a simple “Thank You” in an email.

Send a Thoughtful Thank You Gift

Everyone is touched by snail mail! Especially with our lives happening more and more online.

Think back through past conversations and see if they mentioned anything in particular.

For example:

“Time for some tea!”

“I want to film videos but only have an iphone”

“I’m off to the theatre with my hubby”

Send them a special tea, a small tripod for their iphone or tickets to a play in their city.

Or you can follow them on social media to see what kinds of things they enjoy and talk about in their personal life.

Another option is to look through their Pinterest boards to find out what they love. A lot of Pinterest-lovers even have a “I want” board. This is gold!

If you can’t find anything 100% personal, use etsy to find one-of-a-kind gift ideas.
 

Follow Their Social Media Accounts

If your clients hang out online, be sure to follow them where they hang out most. Not only does this show your support for them, but it gives you to opportunity to continue to support and interact with them.

  • Schedule 15 minutes a week to go through your clients profiles and interact with them.
  • Share their stuff! Comment on their blog posts, retweet them, share their articles.

 

Follow-Up

There is no better way to ensure repeat clients and on-going referrals than simply following up with past clients. Not only does this make them feel thought-about, appreciated, and loved, it keeps you on top of their mind for when they do need your services again or know of someone that might.

Often, clients might need your help now, but just haven’t taken the time to reach out. A little “Hey!” from you in their inbox might be all they need to hire you again.

When life and business gets busy, it can be hard to keep on top of this.

To help, use a Contact Management System (CRM) like Contactually or Streak (free) to keep track of your follow-up with clients. Or if you shy away from yet another software or browser add-on, simply set reminders in your calendar for 1-3-6 months after your work together is complete to send them a quick email.
 

Take Action Now

  • Take out a pen and paper and brainstorm what to put in your “Good Bye” package to clients
  • Follow all past clients on social media and create a Twitter list for them.
  • Research a CRM option or set reminders in your calendar to follow-up with past clients.

 

Leah Kalamakis wants to live in a world where website shame doesn’t exist and anyone can find freedom in freelancing. As a web designer and freedom-seeker, she helps entrepreneurs have beautiful online homes and freelancers find freedom from soul-sucking corporate jobs.

When she’s not hanging out online, you can find her eating popcorn, riding her scooter along the French coast, or drinking wine in the sunshine.

Download her free Website Planning Toolkit or say hello on Twitter!

5 Questions that Generate Repeat Clients

5 Questions that Generate Repeat Clients

 

Want to generate repeat business? How you start working with clients is a huge part of that. When you’re starting to work with a new client, it’s important that you have some pre-session questions to ask, or at the very least, some questions that you make sure you cover with every client, in every session.

These are five questions that I find important to ask either on a pre-session questions document or during a first session. In fact, question #1 is something that I ask during every session.

 
1.) What would you like to focus on, during our session?

You’d be surprised by how often coaches don’t ask this. This is a question that best serves the client while also being a question that best serves you–ask people what they want, and give it to them, and you’ll see your retention rates improve.

Note–this question is asking what someone would like to FOCUS on. If someone then responds by saying, “Well, I’ve been having some issues with such-and such, and…” followed by launching into a Story, take a moment to clarify– “So what would you like to focus on over the next hour, regarding such-and-such?”
 

2.) What’s the best thing to say to you if you are feeling triggered and in a place of resistance?

This is one of my favorite questions to examine, mostly because my courageous clients offer up their responses, so willingly. I love that they are willing to help me help them, by “outing” themselves and their places of resistance.
 

3.) What’s the current state of your finances?

It might seem invasive to ask this, but–this is an important question that I wish more coaches were asking. Aside from it being a clue as to where your client is at, emotionally (how someone treats money is often indicative of how someone treats their life–are they rigid with it? unaccountable with it?), it’s imperative that we ask: Can our clients actually afford coaching?
 

4.) Are you currently, or have you recently, seen a therapist? Are you, or have you been, under treatment for any psychiatric or mental disorders?

I know–these are loaded questions, questions that in the coaching world are often hotly debated. After all, who defines so-called “mental health”? Any of us looking at the DSM would see shadows and shades of ourselves in those profiles.

At the same time, you need to make sure that your clients are getting the best possible support that they can get. For some people, the best support they can get is someone who is in-person, who can see how they’re doing visibly and who is local who can be of help to them if they had an emergency. I would encourage any coach to know what boundaries they will put in place about who they will and will not work with, and prepare how you’ll address such situations if they arise.
 

5.) Finally, ask a question that relates to the specific type of work that you do. For instance, I ask questions about what people fear. I ask this because fear is *specifically* where I focus my attention.

It’s important for me to ask these questions, because while I would support any of my clients in their artistic endeavors, I’m not (specifically) a creativity coach. I don’t specialize in helping people to put their artistic visions out in the world. Thus, I want to make sure that on my pre-session questions I’m asking the sorts of questions that I would actually ask about in a session.

  • If you’re a creativity coach, are you asking *specifically* about someone’s creative process? Are you getting a complete profile of what kind of artistic work they do?
  • If you’re a health coach, are you asking *specifically* about someone’s health–and not just their nutrient intake, but your specific approach to health?
  • If you’re a business coach, as you asking the hard questions about someone’s finances and business dealings? Are you looking for the pockets that are commonly ignored in setting up a business?

This week’s exercise to benefit you and your business:

  • Check out your current pre-session questions, or your “first session” questions. What kinds of questions are you asking? Are they the same old questions that your coaching school suggests everyone ask? or–Are they a reflection of you, and the types of things that you want to focus on with your clients?
  • Are you safeguarding yourself and your practice, as well as your clients, by asking the questions about finances and work with therapists that ensure your clients are getting true support? We don’t want our clients to come to coaching when they really need therapy, nor do we want them to go into financial distress to pay for coaching.
  • What might you add to your pre-session questions, to make them more powerful?
  • Here’s how you’ll know that you’re on track with what you ask: People will turn in the questions saying, “Just answering these questions opened up a lot.” The process of examining the questions, in and of itself, will be illuminating and powerful.

 

How To Host Your First Webinar, Even If You’re a Complete Beginner

How To Host Your First Webinar, Even If You’re a Complete Beginner

 
You’ve probably heard about webinars (and you might’ve even attended a few yourself), but you’re still a little confused about exactly how to use them for your coaching practice. Plus, the idea of figuring out how to host one yourself totally makes your head spin like crazy.

Let’s start calming that overwhelm, okay? Hosting a webinar isn’t just for the tech-savvy and it doesn’t have to be scary for complete beginners either. After you finish reading this, you’ll know exactly what steps to take to host your very first successful webinar, so you can fill those last few spots in your client list.

First, let’s talk about what a webinar is and how it can be a super effective marketing tool for your business.

Most simply put, a webinar is a virtual seminar given over the web. It’s sounds a bit bland, but really, it’s a way for you give a live talk while your biggest fans listen on the phone or through their computer.

Webinars are awesome because they help build momentum and buzz about your business, like drawing bees into the honey. They are a space for you to provide free content, so that your audience can learn from you and then, ideally, take the next step and sign up to work with you. Sounds like a win-win to me!

So, how can you host your own webinar?

 
Here are my favorite services for hosting a webinar:

FreeConferencing– free and user-friendly
Instant Teleseminar– free 21-day trail + a paid service with more options
GoToMeeting– free 30-day trail
Spreecast– free + great for video
Google Hangout– free + another option for video
 
What to talk about:

When preparing your talk for the webinar, follow these super simple steps:

1. Ask yourself, “What is the most urgent problem my dream client needs solved, like, right now?” (This will be your main topic.)

2. Then, what are 3 – 5 “secrets” from your program that solve this problem? (This will be the heart of your talk.)

3. Highlight the gap. For each of the 3-5 secrets you share, talk about the pain your dream client is experiencing, then create a vision of the results they want. This creates the gap, so that you can share how your program is the ideal bridge between the two.
 
How to highlight the gap:

This is where you can be extra creative. Get inside your dream client’s head and imagine their thoughts, fears, hopes, and dreams.

How does your dream client CURRENTLY feel?

Are they depressed, stressed out, full of shame, overwhelmed, frustrated, scared? Are they experiencing physical pain? How is their financial situation? Are their relationships being negatively affected? What bigger negative consequences might happen if your dream client doesn’t get help now?

How will your dream client feel AFTER your program?

Will they feel at peace, confident, free, excited, fulfilled? How is their self-image improved? Are they making more money? Is their career, relationship, or health improved? What big dreams will they be going after?

Once you’ve highlighted the gap for each of your 3-5 secrets, share how your program can fill that gap. At the end of your webinar, your audience will be craving a chance to work with you (and have their gap filled), so give them a chance by inviting them into your program.
 

Congratulations, you’ve just mapped out your first successful webinar!

 

Ashley Wilhite is the founder of Your Super Awesome Life, where she helps women live a life they love while creating a freedom-based business. You can find Ashley on Twitter, Facebook and get your free copy of “The 5 Things That Hold You Back From Living the Life You Love.”