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Is your social media working? (The gold mine of information that’s hiding in your Google Analytics)

Is your social media working? (The gold mine of information that’s hiding in your Google Analytics)

guest-jackie-johnstone
 
Social media can be a super-important piece in your online marketing puzzle but do you know if all those strategies and tactics are actually helping you achieve your goals? Are you seeing results for the time and energy you are putting in?

Because your real focus on social media should be building relationships (not making a sale directly from a tweet or Facebook post), it can be hard to quantify the direct impact of social media on your bottom line.

There is, however, one key — quantifiable — business-building metric you can easily measure using Google Analytics: Email opt-ins.

You know building your email list is one of the most important priorities in your business and you’ve created an irresistible opt-in offer. Awesome. But how what percentage of people who visit your site actually give you their email address? (That’s your conversion rate.) How many of those conversions are coming from social media? And which social media channels are responsible for the highest number of opt-ins?

Don’t know? No worries. Google Analytics makes answering these important question super easy, you just need to set up a Tracking Goal. (No need to start sweating, I’m going to walk you through it step-by-step!)
 

CREATE A GOAL TO TRACK YOUR OPT-INS

Step 1: Login to your Google Analytics and click on the Admin tab in your dashboard
analytics_dashboard1

Step 2: In the Admin tab, click on Goals
analytics_goals
 
Step 3: On the Goals screen, click the button to create a new Goal
analytics_newgoal
 
Step 4: In the Goal setup section, select Template > Acquisition and then click next
analytics_setup1
 
Step 5: In the Goal description section, name your goal, select Type > Destination and then click next
analytics_setup2
 
Step 6*: In the Goal details section, under Destination specify the page that shows when someone opt-ins to your list, verify you’ve set the Goal up correctly and then click Create Goal!
analytics_setup3

*Important notes on this step:

I like to select ‘Begins with’ instead of ‘Equals to’ because sometimes your URL will have stuff on the end of it (like /thanks/ vs /thanks) this ensures the goal captures all the traffic to that page.

This is where you put the URL of the page that shows when someone successfully opt-ins on your website without the “www.yoursitename.com” part (For example on my site the full URL of my Thank You page is “http://jackiejohnstone.com/thanks” BUT I enter only “/thanks” in the Goal Destination field here.)

This Destination can be either the final ‘Thank You’ page (as in the above example) OR the “Please confirm your email address” page that shows immediately after someone enters their email if your email service requires a double opt-in.

When you press ‘Verify this Goal’, anything more than 0% means it’s good to go and you’ve set it up correctly!

And you are done! Your Google Analytics will now track opt-ins to your list and give you all kinds of great information about how your opt-in is performing and where your subscribers are coming from.

You’ll need to wait about a week or so before you’ll be able to see some data on your new Goal. And I’d suggest you wait at least a month to let your Analytics gather enough data before you use it as a basis for any decisions.
BONUS: if you have several different opt-ins with different ‘Thank You’ pages you should set up a goal for each one. This will let you see ALL your conversions and easily compare how they stack up.
 

ANALYZE YOUR OPT-IN DATA

Step 1: Take a look how your Goals are doing under Conversions > Goals > Overview in the left side panel of your Google Analytics Reporting dashboard
analytics_dashboard2
 
Step 2: In the Goal > Overview view, check out the number of opt-ins (Goal Completions) and what percentage of people who visit your site are giving you their email address (Goal Conversion Rate). Then click ‘Source / Medium’ to dig into where these subscribers are coming from.
analytics_goal1

(If you have several opt-ins setup as separate goals, this is also where you can see how they stack up against each other.)
 
Step 3: Analyze the sources of your new subscribers in the ‘Source / Medium’ view to see where people are actually coming from! (This is where the gold is!)
analytics_goal2

This breakdown shows you, for the time period selected, where every one of your opt-ins have come from AND gives you percentages so you can easily see which referral sources are responsible for the biggest chunks of your opt-ins.

As you can see in the image above, Facebook referral traffic is actually coming from 3 different places (here’s an explanation of what all these different Facebook URLs mean ) but when we add them all up, Facebook traffic accounts for nearly 25% of all opt-ins! That makes Facebook the #1 driver of opt-ins for this site. Google search is a close second at 23%.

But wait, what about the “(direct) / (none)” opt-ins, you ask? (26%) These people have come from a variety of sources Google can’t reliably identify which, it’s worth noting, includes ALL Instagram traffic from the mobile app (unless you’ve put a work-around in place). However, it’s pretty safe to assume it’s not all coming from one place so Facebook is actually the #1 source of new subscribers for this site.

As far as social media traffic goes, Twitter is coming in a distant second with just over 3% of new subscribers for the last month for this site.

This business owner should therefore be spending the majority of their social media time & energy on Facebook because that’s working best for them.

Easy peasy, right?
 

TAKE ACTION NOW

Because this Analytics data is not retroactive, until you’ve set this Goal up, you are literally throwing away valuable information on your opt-ins. So get this goal setup ASAP! Bookmark this post and schedule some time in your calendar to follow the steps.

Having trouble? Feel free to reach out to me via the Coaching Blueprint Facebook Page and I’d be happy to give you a hand.
 
Jackie Johnstone is a social media consultant for passionate entrepreneurs with an important message to share. She’s on a mission to help you banish tech headaches, reach more people, make real connections and change more lives.

Get your social media brimming with brilliant posts your audience will love! Grab Jackie’s free training here and get everything you need to start using the 4 Pillars of Great Social Media Content in your business.

You can find Jackie all over the social web but she’d love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

How to Write a Sales Page that Reads Like a Sacred Invitation

How to Write a Sales Page that Reads Like a Sacred Invitation

guest-kate-erlenbusch
 

You know the feeling. I certainly do.

It’s visceral. And you likely tingle with excitement.

Reading a personal, elegantly expressed invitation takes you from fascination to feeling understood to the finale effortlessly. You know exactly what you’re required to do. And you can’t wait to do it. Invitations like this elicit immediate RSVP’s of the “Yes, oh yes please!” variety.

Contrast this with the dread you feel upon reading a standard “salesy” sales page.
You may feel:

  • Kicked in the gut (too many pain points hit at once).
  • Smacked in the face (your shame, fears and embarrassing problems are conveyed like a crude neon sign).
  • Defensive (like, how dare they assume they know you better than you know yourself. The arrogance!).

Ironically, we tend to use the word ‘salesy’ to describe sales page that don’t work (therefore don’t sell).

Because when sales pages are working — like they’re supposed too — they’ll feel like a sacred invitation to the person you most want to work with (aka right person, ideal client, dream peep).

I’m sure you relate to reading sales page that work like sacred invitations. I’m more sure that you’ve read plenty that don’t.

But when it comes to writing your sales page, how does this help you?

How do you craft a sales page that sounds more like a sacred invitation to your ideal client?

I have a few ideas that have worked when writing for my own clients. Many of whom happen to be coaches.

As a coach, especially, your coaching sales page must read as a sacred invitation. Because, frankly, whether you think of it this way or not, your work is sacred.

Coaching relationships are transformational, deeply personal and revelatory.

How could guiding a person through the process of self-actualization be anything other than sacred work?

Now let it be said that copywriting, especially long-form sales page, are not easy to write.
If you find writing your sales page difficult, firstly: you’re not alone. And secondly, this is not necessarily a sign that you’re doing it all wrong.

As a professional writer I couldn’t agree more with Nathaniel Hawthorne’s sentiment:

“Easy reading is damn hard writing.”

So, I’m not going to patronize you with a just-add-water formula for writing a sacred invitation.

Instead, I’ve got something better: 4 Essential Elements to Elevate Your Sales Page To Sacred Invitation
 

Pre- Writing Work // “You’re Speaking My Language”

A sacred invitation is one that speaks intimately to your reader. Recognize that your right person / ideal client doesn’t necessarily conceptualize things the way you do. We can all get lost in our own professional jargon. We’re often hypnotized by the dominant discourse in our field, that we forget to use plain language.

Many coaches who are struggling with writing their sales page for their own coaching offer make the mistake of skipping the necessary preparation.

What’s just as, if not more, important than the actual writing of the sales page, is the pre-work you do getting down to your ideal client’s desires, pain points, fears, problems and the language they’re using to describe their reality.

CONFESSION: I used to believe that I was somehow *cheating* if I asked my prospects direct questions and kept records of their responses. For an intuitive, crystal-ball gazing, goddess-oracle-card pulling copywriter, I felt I should just *channel* it all. By god(dess) I was hard on myself. Recording the language that your right people are actually using is so important. Don’t dismiss this. It’s as important as using keywords for SEO.

TAKE ACTION: Start an excel spreadsheet and record answers to key questions that relate to your clients’ (or prospects’) problems, desires, concerns, fears. You’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to write your sales page as a sacred invitation. Because when you speak someone’s language, you’re speaking to their soul.
 

Couch Problems Within Desires

Other than the difference in tone, what do you notice about these examples?

EXAMPLE 1: “Your sales page sucks, and you’re losing potential clients by the minute.”

EXAMPLE 2: “You’re aching to write the kind of sales page that people say yes to — but you have no idea what you’re doing wrong or even where to start.

The first example smacks the reader in the face with a problem. It will likely make your reader feel like crap (hardly inspired to act). The second example leads with desire, then follows this with the problem that is holding them back.

Oh, and for the record…

Injecting “personality” into your sales copy is different to injecting aggression and shaming your potential clients.

When I read overtly aggressive sales copy that basically opens with “Your {fill in the blank} is boring/crap/useless” + tries to make you feel like the biggest loser who can’t cope without whatever is being sold….I feel physically sick. My guess is, you do too.

Back to the examples. When you lead with desire, then follow with a barrier or problem to attaining this desire, it’s way more considered and ultimately more powerful.

Here’s why:

I have a hunch (supported by fact), that the kind of people who are drawn to working with coaches are looking to expand, and are likely more conscious (about themselves and other people), that evoking fear without referencing desires turns them off.

TAKE ACTION: In your opening “teaser” paragraphs (the initial part where you define what your right person is struggling with) look for opportunities to encase these problems within their overarching desires. This helps a potential client feel inspired to work with you, rather than a basket-case who (possibly) feels insulted.
 

Invitations Offer Clear Instructions

How can you say ‘yes’ to a life-changing event when you don’t know location, date and what the hell you’re supposed to wear, bring and do when you get there?

Let it be said: Soul Seekers Love Structure.

In your effort to infuse your sacred invitation (sales page) with soul, don’t neglect the details.
You still need the nuts + bolts to be crystal clear. And ideally, beautifully designed on the page.

When your right person lands on your sales page they need clear sign-posts and unambiguous instruction that leads to a “yes, please.”

Also, while we’re running with the invitation theme, remember your testimonials are key. Think of them as happy guests who have been to your event and are welcoming your new client into the exclusive experience. It doesn’t matter that you’ve got a 1:1 offer… knowing that other people have experienced what your prospect wants to makes all the difference.

TAKE ACTION: Use unambiguous sub-headings such as:

  • What’s Included
  • How it Works
  • Who it’s for/Who it’s not for
  • FAQ
  • Next Steps

And if you can give these sub-heading a personal flourish (without losing clarity) all the better.
 

The Humble Close

You know what I love?

When a friend says: “Kate, I would absolutely love you to be there, but if this feels like a no or you decide it’s not the right time, that’s totally fine too. We’re still friends.”

What I don’t appreciate is feeling pressured or guilt-tripped or manipulated. Not by my friends. Not by my family. And not via a sales letter.

I’m guessing you feel the same.

What I love to see on sales letters that are really sacred invitations (because that’s what we’re aiming for, right?) is a humble close.

Sometimes, out of desperation or because we fear we haven’t conveyed all of the awesome benefits in the rest of the sales letter, we push a little too hard on our prospective client’s fear of missing out or….. fear of something bad happening if they don’t click Buy Now.

What’s even more persuasive is to ease off a bit at this stage.

If you’ve highlighted all of the benefits, conveyed the features, handled objections and provided evidence (in the form of testimonials or your personal success story) of your amazing coaching offer, the final close is an invitation with a humble ‘if this isn’t right for you, no worries” comment. This not only builds trust, but also increases desire (who wouldn’t want to deal with someone so reasonable, genuine and nice?) and stops you from looking needy and desperate (because you’re not).

Finally…

Wouldn’t you rather work with a client who, to paraphrase Ralph Waldo Emmerson, would rather be led by their dreams than pushed by their problems?

That’s the way you transform your coaching clients.

And that’s, ultimately, the way you transform your sales letter into a sacred invitation.

 
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.

7 WAYS TO FORM GENUINE CONNECTIONS ON TWITTER

7 WAYS TO FORM GENUINE CONNECTIONS ON TWITTER

guest-holly-worton
 

This isn’t just about “how to use Twitter.” This piece is about how to form genuine connections on Twitter (the kind that result in friends, and yes, maybe sales).

Many people struggle to form genuine connections on Twitter, partly because the social network allows only brief communication. It takes time to train our minds to communicate clearly in 140 characters or less. But Twitter can be a fantastic place to meet people, build relationships, and network online.

If you’re looking to optimize your use of Twitter and start forming genuine connections, it’s important to have a few things in place first.

YOUR FOUNDATION STEPS

  • Know who your ideal connections are. Your ideal connections on Twitter (and other social networks) are your ideal clients and your ideal JV parters. These are the people you want to be looking out for online, and you need to have a clear idea of who these people are so you can easily recognize them on social media.
  • Know your keywords. Get clear on the best search terms that people will use to look for someone like you online, so you can use these keywords and phrases in your social media bios. You’ve really got to hone it down to the top keywords for Twitter, but it’s important to clearly express who you are in your bio.
  • Know what you want from Twitter. Set clear objectives for your Twitter use so you know exactly what you want. Do you want to create brand awareness? Build your network? Get signups to your list? If you don’t know what you want, then you won’t be able to work toward it.

Great! Now that you’ve got your foundation in place, it’s time to start forming genuine connections on Twitter. It’s really easy once you know who you want to connect with and what you want to get out of using Twitter for business.

7 WAYS TO FORM GENUINE CONNECTIONS

  1. Create lists. Make your Twitter use easier by creating lists of the people you most want to keep track of. Your lists can be public or private, and it makes it easier to break down the people you’re following into smaller groups.
  2. Help others first. We often ask for help on Twitter, whether it’s retweeting our tweets or spreading the word about our new launch. Start out by helping others first: retweet interesting tweets from the people you want to get to know better. Send them a shoutout using the #FF (Follow Friday) hashtag to recommend that others check them out and follow them.
  3. Give thanks. Whenever people lend a hand by retweeting your own things or sharing about something that you’ve done, be sure to thank them via a quick tweet. And then be on the watch for ways you can return the favor and help them out, too. (Hint: create a Twitter list for this to make it easy.)
  4. Engage. Use your lists to hone in on the people you want to get to know, and strike up a conversation with them. Comment on one of their tweets, ask them a question, or send them a message.
  5. Reply. Be sure to tweet back to people who strike up a conversation with you. Feel free to ignore auto DMs (direct messages), as they’ve been automatically generated, but when someone takes the time to tweet to you, it’s important to reply.
  6. Check in daily. If you’re looking to form genuine connections on Twitter and really get to know people, you’ll need to check in every day. It’s hard to keep a conversation going if you only respond to people once or twice a week.
  7. Get personal. Don’t make it all about business; mention bits from your personal life, too. People used to make fun of Twitter being about what you had for breakfast, but do feel free to tweet things that you’re really passionate about in your personal life. It adds a human side to your tweets and makes it more personal.

 

ONE LAST BIT OF ADVICE

Follow them elsewhere. Search on other social networks for the people you really want to get to know better and follow them there. Connecting on multiple platforms can help to build a relationship…especially if you’re a really visual person and you can follow them on Instagram or Pinterest. Connecting with people on multiple social networks can add new layers to the relationship and make it easier to get to know people.
 

TAKE ACTION TODAY

  • Get clear on your foundation steps: who your ideal connections are, what your top keywords are, and what your main objectives are for using Twitter.
  • Next, start implementing the seven steps I detailed above. Try focusing on a new thing each day for seven days, and then evaluate your results after the seven days are up. See what works best for you, and plan to do more of that.

 
Holly Worton helps coaches and women in heart-centered businesses go from confusion to confidence with social media, so they can use it to build relationships online and get more clients. As a heart-centered business owner, you do amazing work, and Holly wants to help you help more people. The way to do that is through Connection, and social media is one of the best ways to connect with others and build your tribe. Sign up for her free 90-minute social media training at SociallyHolistic to start building connections online. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, or Instagram.

When Should A Coach Hire a Copywriter?

When Should A Coach Hire a Copywriter?

guest-abby-kerr
 

Have you ever had a client say something like this?

I wasn’t sure if I was going to hire you, until my friend/retreat roommate/colleague inside this private forum told me I would LOVE working with you. I’m so glad I listened to her! I wasn’t sure from your website if you would work with someone like me.

If that little speech sounds familiar, it might mean that word-of-mouth referral is doing a great job of helping you grow your business.

Word of mouth is, indeed, a great way to grow a coaching business . . . except when it’s not. Except when the clients who seem to refer you the most are the ones you enjoyed working with the least. Except when too many potential clients in a row come to you asking for something you don’t quite do. Except when your favorite, hardest-working clients see you as their best-kept secret, or when the area of coaching you do feels too vulnerable for them to share with their friends.

Is any of the above true for you right now? Have you heard one too many times that your website alone wasn’t enough to convince someone to reach out to you?
 

If so, it might be time for you to hire a copywriter.

A copywriter is a communications professional whose job it is to translate your message, voice, and vibe into copy (text, words) that live on your website or your offline marketing collateral (i.e. brochures, business cards, flyers, signage).

Some copywriters write only digital copy (copy that will live online) and some write the full gamut. Some copywriters work independently (freelance) and some work within an agency structure where projects are assigned to them based on fit by a Creative Director or Project Manager, and some copywriters work in both ways. Some copywriters work collaboratively with their clients, co-writing drafts, and others work their magic behind the scenes, then present you with a draft to critique, which they’ll later revise. Some copywriters are specialists (i.e. working only with a certain niche, like coaches or non-profits or tech startups), and others are generalists, serving as broad a market as B2B. Copywriting rates — for gifted, experienced, dedicated pros — can range anywhere from $500 for an About page (which is pretty darn reasonable) on up to a few thousand (or more) for a long form sales page.

NOTE: The term ‘copywriting’ is not to be confused with ‘copyrighting.’ If you don’t know the difference, viva la Google!

Hiring a copywriter is an investment, but just like investing in web design or a marketing program, copywriting becomes a business asset that should pay you back over time. And the client connections it can solidify are, ultimately, priceless.

So how do you know it’s time to hire a copywriter to rewrite your coaching website (or certain pages of it)?

Here’s my take. But first, full disclosure: as Creative Director of a brand voice and copywriting agency serving solo and small business owners, I have some skin in the game. I think any business owner who wants to and has the budget should hire a copywriter so they can stay in their sweet spot and focus on creating what only they can.
 

When you just don’t have time to rewrite your site.

Let’s face it: you’re busy. And as your coaching business grows, that’s not likely to change. You can rock every workflow optimization method you want all week long, but time, alas, doesn’t multiply. When you’re too time-strapped serving clients and taking care of the rest of your life to rewrite your website, it’s a great time to call in a copywriter.
 

When you just don’t want to.

Sometimes resistance is whispering to us to push through, and sometimes, it’s a sign we should stop pushing. When you’ve tried rewriting key pages of your website but aren’t getting anywhere, or end up in an anxiety spiral every time you sit down to try it, you know your energy would be better directed elsewhere. Let the copywriter do what she loves to do so you can get back to doing what you love to do.
 

When the written word, honestly, isn’t your forte.

Every coach has a natural facility with language, or else you wouldn’t be in the talking-with-people business. But the ability to coach well via voice doesn’t always translate to putting polished words on the page. If you feel stymied by the writing process — stop fighting it. Start a fund to hire the best copywriter you can afford.
 

When you’re ready for an objective-yet-still-intimate take on your work in the world.

The cool thing about working with a copywriter is that she can shine a light on your business that may reveal to you more than you thought possible. Many of my own agency’s clients say they learned a lot about themselves and who they serve through the process of working with us and found the entire process unexpectedly inspiring.
 

When you have a hunch that your web copy isn’t connecting with your Right People.

I bet you occasionally ask your clients if they know what’s holding them back from making a certain change in their life, and when they say, I don’t know, you reply, If you DID know, what would it be? And then: voilà. Clarity. If you just know (without knowing how you know) that your web copy is standing in the way of true connection between you and the people you want to serve, there’s someone who can help you with that!

She calls herself a copywriter and she’s waiting for you to send her an email today. What she can deliver is a whole lot of impact in a limited number of words that speaks just so the people you want to serve.

So go on. Call a copywriter.

 
Abby Kerr is Creative Director of The Voice Bureau, a boutique brand voice development and copywriting agency serving solo-owned and small businesses. She is creator of The Voice Values paradigm for branding. Subscribe to her e-letter, Insider Stuff, for your complimentary brand voice self-assessment. Then tweet her to share your Top 3 Voice Values.

Abby lives in the PNW and is a home cook, a dog mom, and a fiction writer.

How To Use Twitter Lists To Grow Your Business

How To Use Twitter Lists To Grow Your Business

guest-leah-kalamakis
 

You’ve probably heard people rave about Twitter and how it’s helped them connect and grow their business online. If you’ve poked around and started tweeting, but aren’t seeing results, you may be missing out on one of the best ways to use it strategically: Twitter Lists.

Just looking at your home feed can seem like an overwhelming vortex of noise. You never see the tweets from people you want to see, and you have no idea how retweeting, favoriting, or responding to all these random tweets (from people you probably don’t know) will turn into actual results for your business.

I’ve been there. Then I discovered Twitter Lists.

Lists allow you to create custom feeds of tweets from the people you want to see and interact with. Since I started using them, I spend less time on Twitter, gain more followers, and get more relevant traffic to my website.

So first I want to show you how to setup lists (if you don’t know already) and then I will share with you the 3 types of lists that will help grow your business.

 

How to Setup Twitter Lists

Twitter-Lists1
 

List of Past Clients

There is nothing better when it comes to growing your referral business than staying in touch with past clients. If your clients are on Twitter, using a list to do so makes it easy and saves you time having to dig around, trying to find and remember each of your clients Twitter handles.

Not only can you create a list of past 1-on-1 clients, but you can create one for any group program or course you’ve offered. This also helps your clients connect with other people working through the material and allows them to support each other throughout the program.

Action step: Make a list for past clients so you can easily check in with each of them on a regular basis. Set a reminder on your calendar to visit your client list each week so you make it a habit.
 

List of Your Audience or Blog Readers

If you’ve heard of the 7-Touch rule, you know that on average, someone needs to be exposed to you or your work 7 times before they purchase from you. Your blog and newsletter is a great way to do this, but adding Twitter to the mix, helps it happen faster.

Hanging out and connecting with your community, where they hang out online, is a great way for them to know, like & trust you quicker.

Action Step: Create a list for your community. You can add people to it as they subscribe to your newsletter or you can announce on your blog, fan page or in a Facebook group (if you have one) that you’ve created a list and would love them to subscribe to it.

Bonus: If you make this list public, you allow your audience to see and connect with other members of your community. If someone resonates with you, they will likely love to connect with others in your community as well. Being a facilitator of these connections increases your expert status in your industry.
 

Using Other People’s Lists to Find Your People

There is nothing worse than wasting time trying to grow your Twitter followers by just following a bunch of random people in the hopes that they follow you back.

In order to reap the benefits of Twitter, being strategic of who you follow and spend time connecting with is essential.

If you’ve done any work on discovering your target market, you likely have an idea of who else in your industry they look up to. Looking at other people’s Twitter lists is a great way to find people with the same interests as you that you should connect with and follow.

You can find these lists by going to someone else’s profile, clicking More > Lists and then you’ll have two options:
 

Twitter-Lists2-2
 

Action Step: Look at the lists of people doing similar things as you (otherwise known as your “competition”). You’ll be able to see which lists they have been added to and who created that list. The members of these lists and even the creator, is likely a relevant lead you should follow.
 

TAKE ACTION

Head on over to Twitter and start creating new lists. It will take some time to build them up, but will save you more time in the long-run as you learn to use them effectively.
 

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!

Do you have a coaching practice or business?

Do you have a coaching practice or business?

guest-stephanie-pollock
 
Permit me a moment to be blunt.

I’m always wary of getting caught up in semantics, but for this I’ll risk it.

You don’t have a coaching practice. You have a coaching business.

And understanding the distinction is the difference between creating a sustainable, profitable and enjoyable livelihood, and having a hobby that brings in a little extra cash once in a while.

Perspective

We, as coaches, understand the power of perspective. Every day we coach our clients to shift out of unhelpful perspectives into more personally powerful ones that allow them to move their lives forward.

Well frankly, calling your coaching a practice is just another limiting perspective that keeps your business from growing and burnout not far away.

I remember when I was halfway through my coach training with the Coaches Training Institute. I bought a brand new orange journal to document all my coaching practice plans. I can still remember sitting on the couch, seven months pregnant, and mapping out scenario after scenario — inspired by the possibility of what could be.

“If I only have three days to work, I can probably fit in five clients a day, for $300 each per month, for a total of 15 clients and $4500 per month. Or maybe, I could sneak in seven clients a day, or charge $325 instead.”

All these scenarios were written out in detail believing that it was really just this easy to fill my coaching practice and create a sustainable income post-corporate exodus only a few months prior.

This all sounds fine in theory – especially to the new coach who’s still just hoping to get a few clients – period. And many coaches do run their practices like this – X many clients for X many dollars each month.

The problem is that nowhere in my scenario planning, did I account for ALL the other details involved in running my ‘practice’. I was so focused on the coaching, that I completely disregarded what it would take to actually attract, retain and grow my client base.

In short, I was thinking like a hobbyist not a CEO.

As you can imagine, and perhaps have experienced, it doesn’t take long before reality sinks in and you’re face-to-face with the truth that the clients aren’t rolling in and you’re just hoping that you can land one more this month to pay your bills and how on earth do you even find these clients anyway?

If this is you, or if you’re aspiring or brand-spanking new coach–stop calling it a practice and start calling it a business.

Your Coaching Business

You are a business owner who coaches.

Over the years, I’ve coached many coaches. From the fresh-out-of-school coaches, to the struggling coaches to the six figure plus coaches. And I can tell you unequivocally, that what separates the struggling from the successful has little to do with a particular strategy, a focused niche or the latest social media trend.

It has everything to do with this one perspective:

You’re not in practice, you’re in business.

Yes, it may feel like semantics, after all – don’t lawyers and doctors and massage therapists — service professionals just like you – refer to their practices? Yes. And in my view, it’s a mistake.

When you’re locked in a perspective of running a practice, you limit your thinking, your efforts and by extension, your growth. It’s all about finding the next client, and then the next one, and then the next one in hopes that you’ll keep your coaching roster filled and your bank account in the black.

In practice, your focus is simply, and often solely, in service. Strategic planning, joint ventures, systematization, effective marketing and leveraged business models are probably not happening, which means, you’ll probably not moving much beyond a handful of 1:1 clients. And it also means, you’re likely not building a strong brand for your business — you’re simply one of many hundreds of thousands of coaches (just like the lawyers, massage therapists etc) that a prospective client will have to choose from.

I get that I may ruffle some feathers here, but the word itself also draws sentiments of a casual, part-time service professional – one who’s probably great at their craft, but certainly not a contender in the business world. When I hear a coach refer to their ‘practice’, I assume she’s either fresh out of coach training or a hobby-coach. Hard truth? Words matter. And calling your business a BUSINESS (which it is, let’s be clear) is the first step in cultivating and evoking trust, authority and credibility.

Semantics and labels aside, this perspective may lead you to burnout, an income plateau and a lot of frustration (I’ve witnessed it hundreds of times with clients and colleagues). Unless you’re a coach who truly wants to just have a handful of clients and isn’t fussed about growth, holding onto a ‘practice perspective’ keeps your business small and completely reliant on the next client.

It’s only when we step into being the business owner that we can invite and incorporate more leveraged, high-impact, profitable elements that will help us transcend the “where’s my next client coming from?” fear that many coaches have and open us up to a more lucrative, systematized and focused way of bringing in business.

So if you have your heart and head set on a bigger, bolder vision, then this is the first point of entry. Because, circling back to how we coach our clients, when we inhabit a new perspective, we immediately start taking actions that align with this more powerful consciousness.

And that’s just good for business.
 
Business activator + leadership coach Stephanie Pollock is devoted to helping talented women in business GO PRO with their dreams, stepping into the spotlights — and revenue streams — they so richly deserve.
She’s the publisher of Going Pro Magazine, a Top 40 Under 40 changemaker and creator of Beyond PRO: Claim your place as CEO – a leadership program designed specifically for entrepreneurial women. You can find her online at Stephanie Pollock Media Inc and on Twitter at @steph_pollock.