If you’ve come out of corporate into coaching, I want to support you to win your biggest client yet. And whether you want to work with professionals such as business owners, doctors, or lawyers, or in corporate with leaders or executive coaches; I can help you identify and get the attention of and win your best clients.
What I’m sharing today helps all coaches, but really works best with people coming out of the corporate arena into coaching and you’ve had lots of success in corporate. You’re known for getting things done. And you’re wondering how to have the same success in your coaching business. The good news is you can leverage all of your time, talents and treasures and your credibility to do just that.
First a bit of my background. I came into the coaching business from the estate planning world. I was working 60 to 70 hours a week. I can’t even believe that I was working that long, but it’s true. I had made the million dollar round table in my second year. So I was a success, but I was used to doing it through hard work, and I was really exhausted. So as you can imagine, when I began the number one goal I had was to cut my hours. And of course since I was working 60 hours, even if I went down to 40, I could cut it by a 3rd already. But I’ve learned to cut my hours even more and do more with my time in each hour than I ever dreamed of. It really is a different life.
So let’s talk about what it takes to win your biggest corporate client and how you can make that happen.
What you really need to do this is have an authentic confidence. And you may be thinking, “Well, I do have confidence. I’ve done things I’ve never even dreamed I could do and I’ve been really successful at it.” I want to just say kudos to you! I believe if you’ve been in the corporate world and you’re a leader that you do have confidence and you have taken on a lot. And this will help you in your coaching business.
I really want to acknowledge you for all that you’ve accomplished & achieved. Yet being in an entrepreneurial business requires a different type of confidence. Rather than leading a team, you’re actually going to be leading yourself. That’s a different thing to do. Rather than having the structure of being in an organization, you’re going to have to create a design, your own structure. Rather than having a lot of people around you, you’re actually going to have to design & create your own work schedule and work product for you. So it is a little bit different and the confidence that is needed is a little bit different.
Now let’s talk about four truths today that can build your authentic confidence. And I’ll tell you a little bit more about why I use that term “authentic”. Alright, number one in order to have a successful coaching business you need to have a crystal-
clear marketing message. You need to know who your ideal client is & what the challenges are that you help them to get the result that they want. This is the foundation of your business. You can create your whole entire business on this strong foundation. It has to be done.
I’ve seen so many coaches who have created websites,,, businesses,,, social media, and they’re not clear on their marketing message. They’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars on all of this and they’re hearing crickets. You know, they’re not getting the clients that they very much deserve. And it makes me sad to see this happen so many times! By the way if this has happened to you, if you’ve done all this and you are hearing crickets or are not getting the steady flow clients that you want, it’s not your fault.
The coaching schools teach you how to be an excellent coach, but they don’t teach too much about marketing or sales. If they do, it’s just a very little bit. Then there are a lot of programs out there filled with all kinds of ideas. Most of these are tactical pieces so they end up being like things you have to put together into a puzzle that you have to solve. For instance,
“Do I need a blog? If so, what do I say? Should I be doing video? How do I drive traffic to my website?” All these questions and this conflicting advice can put a person into overwhelm. I know even it overwhelms me when I think that way.
Yet really, these are rabbit holes. These can be big distractions. Why I say that is until you have a few solid steady clients coming in working on these things can drain your cash flow and also your energy. So you want to get those few steady clients coming in, you want to get this business going. Then you can start to focus on all of that. But if you don’t have that, how can you get the business going?
And I know you, you want to spend your time coaching, you want to make a big impact in the world. You want to change the way business is done. You want to create those corporate cultures or deliberately developmental organizations or you want to help those solo professionals get more prophet, have more self-care & more time to be with their families, a better lifestyle. All of these things. That’s what you want to focus your time on not what’s going on with your social media. In fact, I have a client that I said to her one day, “If I hear the term ‘social media’ come out of your mouth one more time, I’m going to go crazy”. Because really, that can be delegated too once you’re at a certain point.
So the good news is the clients you’re seeking are also seeking you. And that’s also the title of the book I wrote. And it’s completely true. When you have that crystal clear marketing message, you draw them to you. You can really find those clients & they can find you. It’s an exact match. This is best done, to create this match & this marketing message, in a very calm state with your coach not in a state of overwhelm.
Here’s an example of what I mean by creating this marketing message as your foundation. I live in beautiful Tucson, Arizona, and we belong to the La Paloma Country Club and right now the club is undergoing renovation and everything’s torn up. So we’re not going over there at the moment. But the floors are torn up and we have these beautiful photos and fabric swatches of what the fitness center and the members lounge & all that are going to look like. Everything is going to just be absolutely fantastic. But until they pour those concrete foundation floors and make sure that that’s functioning then all of that beautiful furniture is not going to be able to be used by us.
The foundation has to function first. So this is what I mean by your marketing message. You have to have that foundation functional and once it is, then you can create all these beautiful messages all over the world. And you can spend your time doing more coaching, more of the stuff that you love in your business. And when you don’t have to worry about those other things, you’re going to be more of your radiant self and the person that you really truly are and bring to your clients.
Now, it does take time to get this marketing message, right. I do have a process that I’ve helped my clients with. You’ve got to do some work on this, but I promise you that when you’re done with that foundational work, you’re going to have a perfect stable business, one that functions beautifully. Then you can do anything else you want with it. So you can draw your next biggest clients, your business, with ease once that’s all taken care.
All right, let’s look at the second truth that builds authentic confidence in your business. That is getting clear on your unique and authentic approach. What makes you stand out from other coaches? What is it that you bring to your clients? I think in the corporate world you probably had to be very buttoned up & wearing some type of mask. I knew I was. You may have created a certain persona to do this, and now it creating your own business you want to be yourself. You want to be the leader that you always dreamt of being with your own style on your own terms, in your own way. You want to be able to build your business on that strong foundation and have the integrity with your authentic self. That’s the foundation that’s really going to work; your style, your own voice.
This creates a lot of ease. But you might be thinking “Who is that person… after so many years of wearing that corporate persona?!” Sometimes it’s tough to know who you are at your core. This isn’t your fault. You spent so much time in your roles, so much doing what your boss wanted you to do, what your colleagues wanted you do in your company that takes time and energy to unravel all of this. And when you come back to your center in your authenticity, your vibe is going to attract your tribe. And that’s a very colloquial saying, but it’s really true! And your next client & the one after that are going to recognize you and they’re going to feel compelled to work with you because they know who you really are.
So there are many different elements to creating this route map of who you are, you’re authentic self. Some of them you may know already. I like to look at self ideal, values, purpose. We actually look at eight different reference points for who you are at your core in our foundation session. With this, you have confidence to build your business with complete authenticity. Really, really cool.
Let’s look at the 3rd truth that brings confidence. That is you need to have a system for enrolling clients that’s based on your marketing message and your unique approach. You’re probably used to a lot of systems in corporate. You’re used to consuming those systems & being in them. Now you need to design your own. And you probably already have some of these systems in place. In the corporate world, you had an entire sales team to bring in clients. And sure, I know if yours was anything like me, in corporate sometimes sales over promised and then my team had pressure on us to deliver. But we had somebody to do that job and that was a great thing.
I remember when I was going into business for myself and I started to have to sell myself it felt very awkward to me. It really did. I did make a mindset shift early on that said instead of selling me, I was going to sell coaching. That really helped a lot for me to be able to sell the coaching process cause I so believed in coaching. I believed it then and I believe it even more now. Yet over the years I went on to find strategies where I didn’t have to sell at all. Isn’t that amazing, wouldn’t it be great?
So you have all these connections from years past working side by side with people.. going to their kid’s weddings, having lunch with them almost every day. You have a reputation, you’re well known for being a hard worker, somebody that can get things done in. You know, you can do that and you have a vision for your coaching business. And you want to put all of this together. There are ways to do this where the clients are going to come to you. They’re going to ask you to work with them. That’s really cool. That makes your business easier and the clients you receive are going to be the ones who are so aligned with your message & your style that they’re going to be a dream to work with.
When you have this system of bringing in your next biggest client & then your next one & your next one after that, you don’t have to spend so much of your time selling (maybe 10%, maybe even less). And you can spend more time coaching your ideal clients. This gives you a lot of confidence (and since you aren’t tempted to take on clients that aren’t a perfect fit just to make your financial goals).
I want to spend a moment talking about this because this is something I don’t hear people talking about too much. In the beginning I took on almost anyone who wanted to work with me because I wanted to get my business going. I remember that there were those who were not a good fit. Usually the ones who are not a good fit were the ones who asked me for some kind of discount in the pricing. They were a little bit needier and maybe more desperate and I wanted to help them. I was a little bit of a rescuer in those days and I wanted to help them. So I took them on and then they tended not to get their results. They tended to need more time, more of my time and even then it didn’t happen. What I realized is the clients that I could help the most were those that were willing to pay the price and that were all in and that were a perfect fit for me.
Having my ideal client was not only a great idea and may coaching much easier, but it also is a sweet spot for me in helping my clients get their results. So it gave me A LOT of confidence because my clients were getting results. So think about that in terms of your enrollment strategy and how you’re bringing clients in to your business. Are you bringing the ideal clients in? Because those are the ones that are going to get the results, and then that’s going to really boost your confidence.
Let’s go into the 4th truth that builds confidence. That is having a coach to help you through. That’s the biggest shortcut in getting your next biggest client. Seriously. Being an entrepreneur is very different than being in the corporate world. In fact, at times, can feel like a foreign country. And you may know this if you’ve been around and trying this out for a while it can be a foreign country.
I want to share in illustration with you. Last year I was a keynote speaker for a conference that was happening in Venice, Italy. It was so great 🙂 We made reservations at the Westin hotel right on the Grand Canal just a 5 or 10 minute walk from Saint Mark’s Square. We went over business class. It was such a lovely trip. And we had two days in Venice that were very different. We had six days total. We had two days that were very different.
The first day we were out on the patio at our hotel & right crossed the canal there was this beautiful 16th century church, Santa Maria della Salute. It was gorgeous and we wanted to go see it. Our waiter said, “oh, it’s only a 10 minute walk”. We thought, “Well, let’s explore. Let’s go over and see the church.” We started walking. I had my phone for GPS while walking which I never used before, haha… and so we started walking. The cobblestone streets were very uneven so we had to kind of watch where we were walking. There were walking bridges that were just filled with people, we’re holding hands across the bridge so we don’t get lost & separated. You know, it was hot and humid & we weren’t used to that.
Needless to say 40 minutes later (seriously :/ ) we got to this church. We were exhausted by that time. The church was air conditioned and it was beautiful & totally worth doing 🙂 And contrast that with the next day. One of my coaching colleagues came to take us around and she walked us over to Saint Mark’s Square. We did some shopping. We bought these beautiful murano bracelets. We had a friend of ours who requested a rosary from Saint Mark’s. So we got one with a Star of Venice. We did a little bit of shopping around the plaza.
With this person as our guide who spoke the language and knew where to go it was all so… really so much of a relief. We had fun & joy. We didn’t have to concentrate. We could just allow her to guide us. And that’s the difference, to me, between having a coach and not having a coach. When you have a coach it’s like our 2nd day in Venice where we were taken around, where things get done in 25% of the time that they would have gotten done before. It was just so lovely and we enjoyed ourselves so much.
So having a coach is like having that person that knows the way, that can lead you through those cobblestone streets & into that alley (that is really a thoroughfare but looks like a dead end)… places that you don’t know how to get to. Of course, there is that thing, ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’. Your guide knows what you don’t know. To have confidence to navigate properly, having a coach is the quickest easiest way to get into winning your next biggest client.
There’s another truth about this that I want to share with you. It’s kind of a 5th bonus truth, a hidden truth. When you have a coach and you’re asking other people to coach with you, you’re in complete alignment. They’re going to feel that alignment unconsciously & it’s going to help them move forward. I’ve seen a lot of coaches out there who haven’t invested in their own coach and yet they’re asking people to invest with them. What happens is, people are hesitant. They don’t really know why they are hesitant to move forward, but they’re hesitant to move forward. So having a coach yourself & making that investment makes it easier for your clients to make that investment with you. Isn’t that interesting? I think that so so cool. And working with a coach is the fastest way to get your next biggest client for so many reasons. It will give you lots of confidence.
I have to say, even thinking of when I have invested in my coaches (which I have all along, but in the past couple of years I’ve made even bigger investments than I was even comfortable doing)…. One coach that I hired, I think last year, within four months, I may back twice my entire annual investment. Another coach within four weeks I made back my entire investment. So these are the kinds of things that really make sense when you’re a coach.
You might be saying to me, “Ok Karen, of course you’re saying to get a coach because you’re a coach, right? And you want to bring in your own clients.” And you know what, that is true. If you’ve resonated with this message and you’re the right fit, now remember, you’ve got to be the right fit for my process, I’d love to be your coach. But that’s not what I’m saying here. I’m saying, you know, there are what? 20,000 or more coaches in the world? Find the coach that is the right fit for you. And work with that coach, it will make a huge difference.
I do want to say when I started coaching, my first three months of coaching, I had three coaches because somehow instinctively I knew about this. If I was going to be a coach, I needed to be a coaching client. And in my second month of coaching, I had eight paying clients. So this is the reason why I tell you, find a coach that’s a fit for you. It will make a huge difference and it will give you lots of shortcuts and be your guide. You won’t be walking along those cobblestone streets with your bangs sweating against your forehead 🙂 You’ll be able to have a nice, easy,,, easy move, an easy way to go forward.
So if you resonate with this message, if you’ve come out of corporate, let’s talk. Apply to join my focused group Transition from Corporate to 6 Figure Coaching Business. Many of my clients are getting their next biggest client engagements that rage anywhere from about $10,000 to $70,000. So if this is the range that you’re looking at it & who you’re looking to work with and you’re interested in finding out more, get in contact with me. You can message me on Facebook, via my website, email. I’m all over the place. My team and I will be happy to see how we might support you. Just come to me and let’s see if were fit.
Whether this is something you want to do or not, let me know your biggest take away from it. What resonated for you here? What was a new insight that you got from this video? What are some unanswered questions that you still have? I’m always looking to serve the coaches & support you more.
Thank you for being willing to share your talents and be a coach in this world. You know, I guess it’s probably true at any time, but seems even truer now, we need thought leaders. We need people who are looking at helping to create corporate coaching cultures, helping to create deliberately developmental organizations, helping to create greater profitability for solo professionals so that they have lifestyles that they want. Lifestyles where they can spend more time with their family and get more of their own self care. This is what we’re here for and I thank you for being my colleague in doing this in the world. It’s really, really important. So for now, signing off. Wishing you lots of success with ease & joy.