Day #1 - Who You Serve

 

Welcome to Day 1 of The Niche Challenge!

Today's lesson is all about WHO you serve.

Why is this important? Because if you're not clear on who you serve, you won't know where to find clients. And you won't know how to create marketing that draws them in.

A lot of people recommend creating a "customer avatar" for this step - basically a fictional character that represents who you serve. For example, you could say "This is Susie. She's a 34 year old mom who lives in Atlanta and loves to golf, etc."

We're not going to take this approach. Susie isn't real and that's what makes customer avatars risky. Unless you've been in business successful for many years, you just don't have enough information do this exercise accurately.

Instead, what I want you to do is use ACTUAL, real-life people to get clear on who you serve.

You have two options here.

1. If you have experience working with paid coaching clients that you love, we're going to try to multiply those people.

2. If you're just starting out - no worries. We're going to use a former version of you to figure out who you can best serve.

Now let's try to identify who your S.T.A.R. clients are.

There are 4 attributes that make up a S.T.A.R. client:

S - Similar to you
T - Testimonials (i.e. they've given you great testimonials) 
A - Able to pay
R - Ready to start

If you've ever worked with someone who checked off all 4 of those boxes, that person is a S.T.A.R. client. Write down the names of any client who qualifies. 

And if you're just getting started, you only need to focus on the last two attributes: able to pay and ready to start. When in your life would past you have been willing and able to pay to get coached by present you? When were you trying to achieve something big, experiencing pain or frustration, and hungry for change? Write down when in your life that was.

Stop and do this exercise before you keep reading.

Okay, so now that you have one or more REAL people in mind, we're going to try to find out how to refer to them in a way that they will recognize.

What label or labels could you use to categorize this type of person?

Examples include: women, 30-somethings, coaches, entrepreneurs, leaders, dads, etc.

Please do not try to get clever here and create your own term, like "trailblazing pathfinders" or "spirit-driven people."

We're looking for labels that are verifiable - meaning that this person would know for sure whether they fit your label. There's no ambiguity. When in doubt, use the label that your S.T.A.R. clients (or former you) would use to describe themselves.

Okay. At this point you should have a list of names and a list of labels that you're trying to narrow down.

If you're having trouble landing on the key label(s) that will represent who you serve, then use these two prompts to inform your decision:

1. Who do you most want to be a hero to? These are the people who you are passionate about helping and who you have empathy for.

2. What types of people already come to you for advice? These are the people who you have access to and who already see you as an authority.

The key thing to remember here is that you can still take on whatever clients you want. If you meet someone at an event or they are referred to you, and you really want to work with them, then feel free. You've already gotten their attention so you don't need marketing - you can just communicate with them one-to-one, based on what you know about them.

The reason we want to get specific about who we serve is so that we know where to look and we know how to draw people in. Your niche is something you can use for your "one-to-many" communications. If we don't get specific with this type of marketing then our message won't resonate with anyone.

Make sense?

Action item: Take a couple of minutes and write down who you serve. We'll have a chance to revisit this later in the challenge when you put all the different components together.

 
 

Day #2 - What You Help People Achieve

 

It's Day 2 of The Niche Challenge!

So grab some coffee, drop some coconut oil in that bad boy, and let's go.

Yesterday we talked about WHO you serve.

Today's lesson is all about WHAT you help those people achieve.

When you put these two components together, you'll be better off than 99% of all the other coaches out there.

And you'll have more clients too ;)

Now, when it comes to clarifying what you help people achieve, the key is to combine your real-world experience and expertise with coaching skills.

What a lot of coaches do is say, "Coaching is all about helping the client find their own answers. So I can basically help people achieve anything they want with my coaching."

And you know what - that's kind of true. But what's even more true is that there are certain things that YOU are personally best suited to help people accomplish.

For example: Could I help someone become a broadway actor? Maybe. I could try to do some "pure coaching" to tap into their vision and help them stay on track with small steps.

But you know what? I also know nothing about what that path looks like. There are probably a lot of people out there who could help that person in a more efficient way.

On the other hand, when a coach comes to me and says they want to get more clients...THAT I can definitely help with. In fact, for a certain type of coach (one who wants to market themselves in an honest, authentic way), I'm the best person in the world that they could go to. And I have a lot of case studies to prove it because that's what I help people with all day every day.

So that's the power of getting specific about what you help people accomplish.

Now let's talk about how you actually do it.

The best place to start is to think about the type of person you serve. Remember, we got clear on that yesterday (either your S.T.A.R. client or the former version of you).

Do you have them in your mind's eye? Great. Now I want you to ask yourself: "What specific result do they most want to achieve right now?"

What this does is shift your focus from what YOU think is important to what THEY think is important.

For example: I help coaches fill their client roster. I know that in order to do that, they need to fall in love with sales and marketing. But that's not what my ideal client wants right now.

What they want is to wake up, look at their calendar, and realize that they are so in demand that they can't take on any more clients.

So, what result do you want to help people achieve?

Take a moment to write down the 1-3 key outcomes that you could confidently coach someone towards.

A lot of people get stuck here because they have a lots of different passions and life experiences. What I would say is this: you don't need to narrow who you are to fit into a niche. Just make sure that you focus on the one area of expertise you have that people are most willing to pay for.

For example, I have a lot of interests. I like working out, I like whiskey, I like archery, I like having sex, I like personal development. I like a lot of things.

But one thing I love that people also like to pay for is marketing. As long as there are coaching businesses out there, I'll have people coming to me who want to get more clients. And so that's what I focus my business on.

Everything else is still part of my business in one way or another. Maybe I talk about it on my website, or use it as an example in my blog post, or share it as a photo on Instagram (okay  maybe not the sex part). But the point is, I focus on the thing that gets me paid.

If you're not sure what people are willing to pay for, I have a list of 21 proven and profitable coaching niches that you can choose from.

As an aside, I recently started a new coaching business helping people get fit. So if you have two passions that people are willing to pay for and you want to start two separate businesses, that's fine. Just make sure you get that first business off the ground first.

Fair enough?

A final thing to keep in mind is that once you're working with someone, you can support them in lots of different ways. They may have thought they had one type of problem and actually they need help in a totally different area first. So just because you focus on one result to draw them in doesn't mean you're limited in what you can help them with.

Action item: Write down what you help people accomplish. Try to use the words of your S.T.A.R. clients and focus on the specific result that they want instead of the process you know they have to go through to get there (that's actually what we're going to focus on tomorrow - your coaching approach).

 
 

Day #3 - Your Coaching Process

 

Day 3 of The Niche Challenge. Boom baby!

So far we've covered WHO you serve and WHAT you help them accomplish.

I bet you're feeling much more confident about putting yourself out there now that you've gotten clear on those two components.

(BTW - if you missed one of the lessons, no worries. Just go to the specific email you missed and then come back here when you're ready.)

At this point, if someone asks you "What do you do?" you'll be able to clearly explain who you work with and what you help them accomplish.

But what if they hear your answer and then ask this follow up: "How exactly do you do that?"

What would you say?

Most coaches give a long-winded, confusing explanation of what coaching is...

"Well, it's sort of like I have conversations with people and then they have these insights. Like I'm the bumper on a bowling alley and I keep them moving towards their goals."

Or something like that. The point is, most people don't understand what coaching is. Instead of trying to educate them, what if you could explain your process in a way that actually made them more likely to hire you?

Well that's what we're going to work on today - articulating your signature system.

To do this, I want you get a piece of paper or whiteboard and draw a horizontal line. Label the left side "A" and the right side "B." Like this:

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Now under point A, I want you to write the situation that your S.T.A.R. client is in when they come to you. And under point B, write the specific result that they want to achieve. Here's what it would look like in my business:
 

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Next, I want you to start labeling each step that your client will have to go through to reach their desired result. It will look like this:

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So, how do you know what steps your client has to go through?

Well, they should be based on the obstacles that your client is facing now. Since this should be an area that you have expertise or experience in, you get to decide what the path looks like. That's why it's called a "signature system."

Keep in mind that if you're just starting out, you may not have this exactly figured out. The beauty of working with people 1:1 is that you can help them through the challenges they are facing on a session-to-session basis. But do you best to look back at your own journey and see if you can identify the main obstacles you had to overcome to reach your goal.

For example, here would be an example for this 5-Day niche challenge:

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Each step is one day of the challenge. And by the end, all of the steps add up to you nailing your niche.

The reason why this makes people more likely to hire you is that you're actually educating them about what they need to do in order to reach their goal. You've given them value and built up expertise in advance. And if they buy into your system, they're going to want your help to implement it.

Make sense? Now it's you're turn...

Action step: Take a couple of minutes to brainstorm the 3-5 main challenges that you help your clients overcome. Then try to put them in order. If you can't put them in order, that's okay - you'll still know the 3-5 things that you help people with. If you have no idea where to start, put out a poll on social media asking "What's your #1 challenge around [the result you help people accomplish]" and see what people say.

 
 

Day #4 - Your Pricing And Packaging

 

Welcome to Day 4 of The Niche Challenge!

Here's what we've covered so far this week:

Day 1: Who you serve
Day 2: What you help people achieve
Day 3: Your coaching process (a.k.a. how you help people)

That's a lot! If you've stayed with us so far then give yourself a pat on the back.

Today we're going to cover a topic that could probably be a 5 day challenge all on its own: packaging and pricing.

Let's start with packaging.

The key thing to remember when it comes to structuring your engagements is this:

You want to offer the package that is most in service to the people you work with and the results you help them achieve.

There are four main questions you'll need to answer:

1. Local or global? Do you want to deliver your coaching in person, online, or both? I personally set up my business to be online from the start because I wanted to be able to have an impact beyond just my local city. But it's certainly okay to go the local route if you feel it's most in service to your clients - and if it matches the lifestyle you want.

2. Group or 1:1? Okay so here's the deal. I always recommend starting off by working 1:1 with people. Then you can scale to small group programs. THEN you can build a course if you'd like. The reason for this is two-fold. First, it gives you more cash flow without needing a big audience and it validates that you've chosen a niche people are willing to pay good money for. Second, you can learn what actually works with real clients instead of trying to build a curriculum without knowing what really works and where people get stuck.

3. How frequently will you meet and for how long? Personally I don't get too caught up on this. As a reference point, my private clients meet with me for a total of 3 hours each month and they can break it up anyway they like (2, 90 minute sessions...3, 60 minutes sessions, etc.). I've found that any more or less time than that each month presents challenges - but again, it all depends on who you serve and what you are helping them accomplish.

4. What is the total length of the engagement? This is where a lot of coaches short-change themselves and their clients. They start off working month-to-month with people or even (god-forbid) session to session. Usually this happens because the coach is either not confident about their value or not willing to charge for it. Because if they were really confident, they would choose an engagement length that was actually designed to get the client from point A all the way to point B. Don't sell partial solutions. Give yourself at least 2-3 months with a client (I personally work with people for 6 months minimum) so that you can really dig in and have an impact on their life.

Okay so I know that was a lot. The bottom line is that you want to view your coaching package as a solution to your client's problem, not as a collection of sessions and hourly fees.

With that in mind, let's move on to pricing.

The key thing to remember here is that you want to price your coaching based on the value it provides, not on the time it takes.

So you want to ask yourself questions like...

What is it costing my client each month to NOT have the thing they are hiring me for?

And...

What is having this result worth to them?

Now you might say, "Well, the thing people hire me for is priceless."

But it's really not. There is an amount that the people you serve are willing to pay for that result and there is a price that they aren't willing to pay.

When you charge too much, it means that the result you help people achieve isn't perceived as valuable enough to warrant the price.

When you charge too little, you often end up taking on clients who aren't truly hungry for the transformation you provide - and then you go out of business.

Pricing is all about confidence. So we want to find the price that's right for you at this point in your business. It should be high enough that you would be excited if someone paid it, but not so high that you feel like throwing up when you think about it.

Another way to test your price is to compare it to your income goals. Take your monthly income goal, divide it by the number of clients you're willing to take on over the course of a month, and that will give you a rough sense of what you'll need to work up to in terms of pricing.

As a reference point, I typically recommend that new coaches work up to charging clients $500/month as quickly as possible. Anything lower than that and you'll run yourself ragged with clients - assuming you're able to attract that many. If you can't imagine charging $500/month per client, you may need to re-asses whether you're really solving a big enough problem for people.

Action item: Write down your pricing and packaging. I recommend starting out at $500 per month for a minimum 3 month engagement and adjusting from there based on experience/case-studies and the results you help people achieve.

 
 

Day #5 - Putting It All Together

 

Congrats! You made it to Day 5 of The Niche Challenge.

At this point you've gotten clear on who you serve, what you help them accomplish, your coaching approach, and your packaging/pricing.

There's only one thing left to do - put it all together!

In this email, I'm going to talk about how to present your niche to people piece by piece. I'll also give you an opportunity to get more support from me if you'd like.

The first thing I want to teach you is what I call a Curiosity Hook.

This is basically just a statement that combines WHO you serve and WHAT you help them accomplish.

For example, I help coaches [WHO] fill their client roster [WHAT].

This is the first sentence I say when someone asks me what I do. It's not meant to explain everything, just to generate curiosity from the right people. And it's MUCH more effective than just saying "I'm a business coach."

If I really want to amp up the curiosity factor, I'll sometimes say "I help coaches just focus on coaching."

The next thing people will typically ask is, "How do you do that?" or "What do you mean?"

This is where you can say "Well, there's really 3 main steps that I take people through" and describe your signature system. You can also lay out your system in the form of a case study - telling the story of someone you've helped - but that's sort of a pro move.

For most people, this is where the conversation will stop. If they are interested in learning more, you should invite them to a complimentary strategy session so that you can ask them some more questions and demonstrate the value of working with you. Do not make the mistake of getting into your pricing and packaging before you've learned more about what they need.

At the end of that strategy session, you can ask if they want to learn more about working with you. If they do, explain your packaging to them.

Finally, when they ask what the investment is, you can walk them through that as well.

And if they say yes, you have yourself a new client!

Now, obviously there's a lot of details that I left out. You still need to know where to find potential clients. You need to learn how to invite them to a strategy session. You need to learn how to have a strategy session in a way that makes them want to sign up. And you need to learn how to create a great experience for that client while still staying on top of your marketing efforts.

Basically, there's a lot that I can still teach you. But I can't cover it all in a free email course.

So if this has been useful to you, and you don't want to figure the rest out on your own, then I'd like to invite you to an in-person event that I'm running at the end of this month called Foster Your Roster.

Foster Your Roster is a weekend intensive that will help you develop your own personal game plan to get clients and build a six-figure coaching business. I'm holding it in Washington, D.C. 

Here's the truth: you have exactly what you need right now to get more coaching clients. But you need to know how to use the assets you already have to build a business. And you need to do it your way.

If you sign up for Foster Your Roster before Monday at 5pm Eastern, I'm going to give you $250 off of the current ticket price of $749. That means you'll get two full days in-person with me for only $499.

Click here to learn more about Foster Your Roster.

Hope to see you there,

Greg

P.S. If you still don't feel 100% clear on your niche, don't let that stop you from attending the event. We're going to spend the first session of the weekend making sure that your niche is solid. You can see the full agenda here.