Creating a signature coaching program is both easier than you think AND having a signature program makes it much, much easier to market your business and sign clients. Listen in for why it’s so important to have a signature coaching program, how creating one isn’t what you think, and how it allows you to grow your income and your impact faster, while serving the heck out of your clients. It’s all a win-win!
Read it on the blog here! https://staciemitchell.com/2021/09/13/create-a-signature-coaching-program/
The Coaching Cocoon opens soon! The Coaching Cocoon is 6 months of intimate group coaching with high touch support and community to help you build a simple, sustainable coaching business holistically designed for you.
Applications open to the waitlist only on September 14th -- with a super special discount and bonus you definitely don’t want to miss. You can get on the waitlist by signing up at https://bit.ly/coachingcocoonwaitlist.
I am super excited to be talking about something that was a huge game changer for me in my coaching business, and that aside from staying consistent in my marketing, was THE thing that helped me grow my income and my impact faster.
But first, let me know back to the early days of my business, where I tried to be everything to everyone, where I didn’t know a single thing about copywriting or sales pages, and where I thought a package of 6 coaching sessions for $600 -- or less, let’s be real -- was totally what people wanted.
Now, I want you to think about you before you ever became a coach. Try really hard to put yourself in your pre-coach shoes.
My guess is that you didn’t really understand what coaching was. And if someone had said something like, “I will help you transform your life. My coaching is $150 dollars per one hour session, and I recommend 6 sessions to get the most out of it...blah, blah, blah…” You know, all the things we’re taught in coaching school? My guess is that your response would have been like, “No, thanks, I’m not going to spend $900 of my hard earned cash for just 6 hours of someone’s time.” Because you just wouldn’t get it, right?
Before you realized the impact of coaching, you may have thought to yourself, “Why would anyone spend that much money on that?” And here’s why you might have had that thought: You couldn’t see the fuller value of the offer of coaching. You couldn’t see the impact on your life and on your problems.
When we sell our coaching like this, in undefined packages of sessions, we are underselling our coaching. Because, first, very few people understand the power of coaching in and of itself, and second, most people love tangible reasons for spending money.
People have money. Some people have lots of money. I realize this every time someone posts about the Dyson hairdryer in one of my Facebook groups, and there are tons of comments from people who’ve spent $400 on a hairdryer. Or $100 on one candle. Or $500 for a designer bag.
People love spending money, but it’s scary to spend money on something that isn’t tangible. You can’t hold it in your hands. And this is why I think it’s so important to package up your coaching along with your greater expertise and skill set to create a signature coaching program. It makes your coaching more tangible for your ideal clients, and it helps you paint a clearer picture of the kind of results you are offering through your coaching.
Because I’m about to say a really, really hard truth: Most people don’t want coaching. They want the RESULTS from coaching. There’s a big difference. And it’s a crucial difference when it comes to signing clients.
Now, I do want to be clear here: Your signature coaching program can be super simple for you. You don’t necessarily need a course platform or fancy PDF documents or video trainings, or anything like that to create a signature program. Now those things are all great, but those are just components of an offer -- it’s not what your clients are really looking for.
And when I first created my own signature program, I had some pre-work I’d send in a Google doc with some instructions, but I didn’t have any videos or fancy platforms. I’d just share the Google doc with them.
And with my very first signature program, I didn’t have loads and loads of worksheets to pull from or trainings to send, or anything like that, I’d designed my first signature program so that I could learn as I went, by serving actual clients vs. trying to design an entire framework or curriculum before I was really ready to do that.
I learned what my clients needed in each session, and would give them simple exercises at the end of each coaching session and/or give them resources for in-between sessions. Notice I said simple. We tend to think if we’re going to create a signature coaching program, that it has to be super structured or branded or fancy to work. But I actually think that works against us, not for us. Because until we’ve worked with several clients, we may not really know what they most need beforehand. And the only way you’ll know for sure, is by working with more clients -- NOT by designing an entire coaching curriculum beforehand.
So now you might be wondering to yourself, “If creating a signature program doesn’t mean creating a bunch of video content or PDF workbooks, what DOES it mean?”
And this is what it means instead: Creating your own signature program means that you solve a clear, tangible problem or problems for your ideal client, and a clear, tangible result from your coaching relationship. It also allows you to charge more because it feels more tangible to your ideal clients.
Now, I absolutely KNOW that there’s a few of you out there saying, “But, Stacie...what if the client doesn’t get the result?”
And let me just say that I have totally been in your shoes. It can feel really, really scary to create and market a program that solves a problem and gives a client a result. Because we all know as coaches that we can never really promise a result.
Because results are impacted by so many factors outside of our control. Some of those factors are within control of your clients and some aren’t, and we can’t possibly as coaches control them -- and it’s not our job to force client results anyway.
I like to think of it this way: You are giving the client tools for solving the problem and getting the result. You’re helping them see their options. You’re helping them find clarity and make commitments, and grow their self confidence to take actions towards what they want.
And regardless of whether they reach that ultimate result during the coaching, they are on the path to reaching that result -- which, by the way, you can market your program that way.
For example, if you’re a career coach, your signature program could help your clients build a super solid foundation for getting a job in a new field. Notice that it didn’t promise they’d get a new job -- it promised them the foundation for getting a new job.
Another example: If you’re a health coach, your signature program could help your clients learn to lose weight without dieting. Notice the “learn to” language here.
You can also use your greater messaging and content to be super clear on how you help and what you can and can’t promise. Maybe you know you can help clients get a new job in 12 weeks because you’ve helped 98% of your clients do that, which is awesome.
But maybe you know that intuitive eating and coaching on body image takes a bit longer. You can be open and clear on your sales page, in your FAQs, and in your content to set these expectations.
Another example from my own business: I’ve helped several coaches now book out their coaching businesses, but not every single coach. And that’s because there are so many factors at play: how long you’ve had your business, including the audience you already have when you come to me, or if you’re starting from almost scratch, your network, your ability to fail fast and pivot quickly...and those are just some of the factors.
However, I absolutely know with 100% confidence that if you take my framework and apply it to your coaching business, you will gain traction over time and start signing clients. But I can’t promise it will only take “x” amount of weeks or months, because it’s so dependent on how quickly you take action and implement, your capacity for consistent marketing actions, sooooo many things that are out of my control as your coach.
So while not every single coach I work with will book out their businesses when we work together, I also know that my coaching program will have a long lasting effect on the growth of my clients’ businesses even after we’ve stopped coaching. And I have evidence to prove this!
But the point: Your signature coaching program only needs one real thing: to solve a tangible problem in your ideal clients’ lives.
And once you know this problem, and you’ve created your program to help your clients solve it, you will have a much easier time marketing it and booking consults or getting applications.
Now you might be thinking, “But what does that even mean, to create it, if it doesn’t mean creating a full-on curriculum with all the necessary assets involved?”
It means getting super, crystal clear on who you help, the problems you help them solve, and then sitting down and deciding how you’ll help them solve those problems with coaching.
You decide on the number of sessions they’ll have, whether they’ll get support outside of sessions via email or Voxer, whether they’ll have sessions every single week or every other week, how you’ll share additional exercises and resources with them between sessions...you’ll basically package up your coaching sessions and support to best support your clients through the problems you’re helping them solve to help them get the results they want to get.
And then, the cherry on top: You start to market your program -- and ONLY your program. You make it super easy for your clients to know you’re the right coach for them.
You write a simple sales page, using your clients’ language, so that what you’re offering them fully connects. They can see the tangible benefits of making an investment in your coaching. They’re not as afraid of making that investment now, because they really want their problems solved and the results you’re offering them.
I also want to note, I recommend you start with 1:1 signature program and move to group if that feels good, because I find that it’s so much easier to create an individualized approach in 1:1 coaching. But occasionally, I’ll work with a coach that does very, very well with groups and loves group coaching. And if that’s you, you can also create a signature group coaching program too.
Your signature program can also be a shorter intensive program that serves as a funnel of sorts to working with you 1:1 longer-term. A shorter intensive offer can help people get comfortable with investing in coaching, without making a big investment in money, time, and energy.
When I was a burnout coach, I first offered a 90 minute intensive call with pre-work, post-session exercises for the client, and a 30 minute follow-up call. I offered this for $111, and booked my first few burnout clients this way -- many of whom ended up joining my first group coaching program for burnout.
An intensive approach can allow you to deep dive into the clients’ problems and let them have a quick win. This builds trust with those clients, as well as social proof with the testimonials that come from a shorter program.
I still know some coaches that focus on marketing just their intensives as the first step to working with them. They then build that trust and relationship through that lower cost offer and convert those clients into long-term 1:1 coaching clients.
If you can’t tell by this episode and my other episodes, I am absolutely not a cookie-cutter, “it must be done this way” kind of business coach.
There are lots of models for signature programs that can work for you. And if this is something you know your business needs, or maybe your business has a signature program that’s not really doing so well, this is the exact work we’ll be doing in my upcoming 6 month group coaching program The Coaching Cocoon. I’m taking 5 clients per cohort, with a maximum of 10 spots, to help them create their own signature coaching program along with designing their own unique marketing formula for selling it.
I’ve never seen another program like this one on the market. What you won’t find in the Cocoon? Cookie-cutter, A-Z formulas, “exact roadmaps” or “you must do this” strategies. This program is about YOU - what you love, who you serve, and how to market the heck out of what you do without any ickiness or sleaze! I pinky swear!
You’ll also get individualized 1:1 support and attention on every single coaching call, with plenty of support between calls.
Applications open to the waitlist only on September 14th -- with a super special discount and bonus you definitely don’t want to miss. You can get on the waitlist by going to https://bit.ly/coachingcocoonwaitlist. Again, that’s https://bit.ly/coachingcocoonwaitlist. I can’t wait to see your application!