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The reasons why you struggle to grow your coaching business (and how to thrive)

The reasons why you struggle to grow your coaching business (and how to thrive)

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Reaching the plateau is a normal part of every journey. Building and nurturing a coaching or consultation business isn’t any different. However, long stagnation is a sign that you should make changes.

If you’re stuck and feel like your competition is lapping you – they aren’t necessarily better than you. But probably implement tips from the first Maoio podcast.

Filip and Giovanni basically spit gold for 19:28 minutes on that call. Even your harshest competitors don’t know everything Filip and Gio mentioned in the podcast. There’s so much value in their conversation that we need to break this article down to help you find your way through all that stuff.

And they were only scratching the surface because…

They know the 4th point is a huge mistake most coaches and consultants make. Even worse, that mistake hurts their conversion rate and the coaching industry.

Yet before we get to that, we need to look at more gems…

Before the gold mining expedition, look at all the main points Filip and Gio touched in just 19:28 minutes.

  • What prevents most coaches from reaching their full potential
  • The three main challenges for business coaching practices
  • How to make your coaching business stand out (value bomb)
  • Why you should never give your services for free
  • Do coaches and consultants really need paid advertising?
  • The crucial factor for scaling a coaching business

 

Now, let’s see the challenges and problems coaches and consultants face. Read carefully, and you’ll get (a vision about) the tools to scale your business in less time and with less stress than you imagined.

What prevents most coaches from reaching their full potential?

To move forward, you need to break the chains that hold you in the spot. But you can’t break something you can’t identify. So Filip and Gio start the conversation by addressing the fundamental mistake for business coaches.

Gio had a perfect quote: “You’re selling results, not coaching.

What Gio wanted to say…

Don’t be focused on yourself and think that getting the client is the end of the journey. That’s just the beginning. Making a sale (from your POV) doesn’t give any value to your client. You need to create value. You do that by solving their problems so that they can see countable results.

If your client is a face yoga business and comes to you with a list of problems/expectations – your job is done when you help them solve those. That’s what they want. Not futile Zoom calls where you throw generic advice at them.

The most famous Croatian face fitness coach asked for our help with website redesign and a social media strategy. Mia wanted to get more organic traffic. We raised organic traffic by 23% – and that counts. Not how many hours we spent on Zoom or how many hours we invested in the strategy. No one cares about that.

As a coach or consultant, you aren’t paid to work; you’re paid to bring results. Once that sinks in your mind, you’ll notice a massive change. Prospects and clients will feel the difference in your tone. You’ll go from someone who’s just trying to make a sale to someone who brings positive changes in their lives.

And that will help you overcome the first of the 3 main challenges consultants face.

The 3 main challenges business coaching practices face

Filip helped numerous businesses grow, so he picked up the patterns of mistakes people usually make. It all comes to:

  • Visibility
  • Conversion
  • Scaling

 

Look at that as the 3 stages of the coaching business growth. Of course, that’s just to understand the connection between those terms. It doesn’t mean you should stop building awareness once you get enough clients. Or you should give up on getting new clients and focus on showing high-end services down your existing clients’ throats. All of that happens simultaneously.

But visibility is the first step. If no one knows your business exists – you can’t get conversions. You can’t get any results, so you can’t dream about scaling your business. If you’re invisible, you don’t exist.

It’s like that question: “If a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one to hear that, does the tree make a sound?

The only correct answer to that question is: “NO ONE CARES because it doesn’t affect anyone.”

That’s why those scared of failure never make it. You can’t get results if you don’t put yourself out there. However, the kind of awareness you build matters. If your coaching practice doesn’t stand out from the competition, you can’t expect many conversions.

How to make your coaching business stand out

As mentioned earlier, coaches are paid for results, not their service. So to stand out from the crowd, you need to stop positioning yourself as a service provider. Make prospects aware that you’re their growth partner. That must be obvious from the first contact until you finish your cooperation. And many consultants shoot themselves in the foot by overcomplicating.

Productize your services

This is one of the most valuable gems Filip shared in the 1st podcast episode. No one else will tell you to look at your services as products. It may sound weird, but that helps your prospects understand what you offer and what they can expect. Also, it helps keep track of your growth and lets you adjust offers/strategies.

If you can’t clearly describe each of your services like you’re describing a physical product, let’s say a mug – prospects will run away from you.

But if you productize your coaching and consulting services, you’ll automatically stand out from your competition.

Here is how that affects your prospects (hence helps you get the right kind of awareness):

  • Listing your services with all their ingredients, results, and guarantee shows that you know what you’re doing.
  • It’s a sign of honesty – if you set a clear goal, both you and your client will know if you fail – most coaches aren’t ready for that risk (that’s why they never make it).

 

And that’s not something we heard somewhere. We know that the productization of consulting services brings results because it helped us scale Maoio consulting. Check out how we present each of our consulting services/products to understand the simplest method to make your business stand out immediately.

Social proof is vital for coaches and consultants

What’s the foundation of every (business) relationship? Trust. Without trust, there’s no growth. If no one trusts you, no one will work with you. And that’s where social proof is vital.

We understand that getting testimonials might be difficult. Yet Giovanni said you don’t need to get actual testimonials to have social proof to show. Remember that your clients’ results create an opinion about you as a coach.

So if you can’t get in touch with some of your clients, don’t let that prevent you from writing a case study. It’s not a must for case studies to have names. The goal is to show that you can deliver what you promise. Who you do it for is less important.

And as Gio also said, look at the big picture. Focus on gathering tiny bits of social proof and assemble your social proof highlight reel. But be careful…

The next mistake we’ll mention destroyed countless coaches and consultants. In fact, it’s draining the industry.

Why you should never give your services for free

“You need to give free stuff to your prospects to convert them.”
Or:
“Start with a $7 product and make them climb your value ladder.”

That’s just wrong!

As Filip and Gio said in the podcast, providing free value is crucial. But there’s a difference between free value and free work. Gio gave an explanation to help you differentiate one from another.

By providing snippets of your results and work, you give people free value (and position yourself as an expert), but no one can use that to achieve exponential results.

Look at that from this POV; if a prospect books a free consultation with you and you spend 30 minutes solving their specific problems, you’re working for free.

And that same prospect probably has his calendar filled with free consultations, so they don’t hire anyone, yet they get (some of their) problems solved for free.

Once you learn that leads aren’t sales, you’ll stop throwing gold at people who never had any intention of paying for your skills.

This brings us to a silly myth about high-end coaching.

Coaching businesses must have a classic value ladder – WRONG!

That sounds logical and makes sense when you read it in books, but it’s a waste of time. Let’s say you offer a CREATIVE BRAND & COMMUNICATION STRATEGY program for $8,400

Do you really think someone who grabs your free lead magnet or buys your entry-level product for $7 can afford high-end coaching? No. Of course, they can’t. That’s why they linger in the shadows and pick up the crumbs. They aren’t your target market, and it’d cost you too much to turn them into your target market.

So instead of wasting time on wrong prospects, focus on getting results and social proof. Build awareness among people who can actually help you achieve your business goals. That’s a better strategy than serving those who might help you reach your goals.

That’s another danger most consultants and coaches don’t recognize.

At first, it’s ok if you do business for the sake of business. You need dazzling results. You need to prove your worth. But while you’re happy with working, you can’t scale your business. You need to charge according to the results you deliver. And to find clients who can pay you as you desire, you can’t waste time on entry-level services.

Do coaches and consultants really need paid advertising?

Let’s recap. The 3 challenges consultants face are building (the right type of) visibility, getting (the right) clients, and scaling.

Many focus on building awareness or grabbing every client they can get. To do so, they rely on paid advertising. But as Filip said, that’s not necessary. He then underlined the importance of providing free value.

If you keep producing quality content (without revealing everything you know) – your audience will begin to trust you over time. Add as much social proof as possible to the equation, and we guarantee that you’ll start getting much better leads than you do through paid advertising.

The main difference is in the awareness level.

When you hit someone with a Google Ad, they don’t know who you are, so even if they reach out to you – that’s a cold lead.

But if someone sees your posts on LinkedIn and gets value from them over time, they’ll contact you when they need you, so closing a sale won’t be a problem.

The crucial factor for scaling any coaching business

Ultimately, Filip mentioned the crucial factor for scaling a coaching business again.

Trust.

And you earn trust by showing up, solving problems, getting results, and presenting those results to new prospects. Once people and companies see that everything you touch turns into gold, your business will pretty much scale itself.

Yet, that’s not so simple. As Gio’s mentor said, businesses fail because they focus on doors instead of hinges. In other words – knowing where to focus your resources matters.

It’s similar to the “Work smart, not hard” trend. You can try to break the doors for days and never get in. Or you can hit the hinges (the root of the problem) and solve the problem. You’re selling – solutions you deliver to your clients, not the amount of work you put in.