If you are an independent health coach then you are familiar with both the excitement and heartache that comes with owning your own business. You’ve probably been well-trained by one of the many notable coaching programs, but one area in which some coaches seem to run into issues is in figuring out how to package and charge for their coaching offering.
This is one of the most difficult aspects of all businesses, but don’t fret because we are sharing some of the lessons we’ve learned after interviewing countless coaches.
Identify Your Niche
I’m not just talking about focus, such as diabetes prevention or weight loss. No, I’m talking about your actual target market. Are you a high-end coach with a handful of clients providing exhaustive services to these select clients (i.e. low volume/high price)? Or are you someone who wants a low-touch, scalable approach to work with more clients (i.e. high volume/low cost)?
Creating a buyer persona can be useful to help map out who your client is, taking into account items such as their goals, occupation, and background. As a result you will have a target person in mind when creating content for both your marketing and client materials.
Try out this guide to developing buyer personas from Hubspot to get started modeling your ideal customer.
You’ve probably heard plenty about “digital coaching” over the past few months and that’s because available tools on the market have allowed coaches to grow sustainable business through remote coaching, leveraging technologies like:
- Video Conferencing for intro consultations and regular face-to-face check-ins.
- Text messaging or emails for ongoing touchpoints.
- Sharing of lifestyle data from various mobile health platforms.
With so many options available on the market you can have flexibility in your model, providing various levels of support for different clients, depending on the type of business you are trying to create.
For instance, as a coach you may decide to create a high volume business based on leveraging a low-cost, scalable offering where a client can get started for $100 or $150/month consisting of a monthly video call and weekly messaging.
Conversely, you may chose to maintain a high-touch, high cost offering where you are essentially serving as a 24/7 health concierge for your clients - potentially leveraging house calls, grocery store tours, and even preparing food for clients. An offering like this would limit your ability to scale, so you would need to provide these services at a premium.
Regardless of the model or models you chose to incorporate, it’s important that you are able to piece together an effective offering that provides the appropriate touchpoints with clients and at the appropriate price for you and your clients.
Content, Content, Content!
In this day in age everyone is constantly building their own brand, and their is no better way to do so than consistently creating valuable content. For those unfamiliar with marketing or SEO, I’ve included some links below of blogs that can help explain the importance of inbound marketing.
In a nutshell, regularly maintaining a blog with solid content helps makes you more discoverable to your target audience and can help position you as a thought leader in your field.
A blog can be a valuable, complementary piece to your digital strategy, further informing your audience (and potential clients) that you are a knowledgeable professional capable of providing real value for the price.
One of the leaders in inbound-marketing and resources.
Produce great content about growth hacking, inbound marketing, and fine-tuning your models.
The Value of Recurring Revenue
I have conversations with countless coaches each week and I am still amazed by the number of coaches I see neglecting the concept of recurring revenue. Coaching is a front-end heavy business as you have to sell your services, collect payments, and asses your new client. It can be a grueling process to coordinate schedules and collect payments, but there are ways in which you can make it fruitful for you in the long term.
Most coaches utilize some type of upfront fee for the first consultation and some type of payment schedule for a multi-month plan, but what happens after the client completes the course? Do you just say goodbye and start looking for a client to fill in the revenue gap?
I bring this up because a huge opportunity is missed by not introducing some type of ongoing "Maintenance Plan" that provides the client with periodic check-ins and ongoing content from their coach. Consumers are use to the concept of subscriptions and like the idea of inputting their card once and not having to deal with paying ever again - i.e. gym membership, software subscriptions, etc.
For instance, an example of a low-touch, maintenance offering might consist of …
- Regular content, which could be as simple as a member newsletter.
- Access to a monthly webinar you host for all your clients.
- Ongoing access to additional resources or documents.
These are simply examples but could all be a part of your Maintenance Plan that can cost as little as $25/month ongoing.
Putting It All Together
Research by Bain & Company says that it costs 6-7 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. Finding clients can be tedious and time consuming, so it’s critical that you do what you can to ensure your clients stick around and continue to look to you as a source of meaningful information.
- Obsessing over your existing clients and their ongoing success will increase the likelihood of referrals and make it easier to scale your business.
- Know exactly who you want to provide your services too, and map out exactly how those services will be delivered. Every client MUST receive personalized coaching, but the basic structure and methods of delivering that coaching can be set and repeatable to create efficiencies in your model.
- Take some time in the next week or two to map out a lower cost, longer-view "Maintenance" offering that will keep your existing clients with you long after they've met their initial health and fitness goals.
- Consider how content can fit into your schedule and strategy. Do you have time for a weekly blog post? A monthly email newsletter? How can your knowledge raise awareness of your business, and provide added value to clients?
Understand that sharing your knowledge and insights through content does not equate to giving away your services. People may become clients because they trust that you know what your talking about, but they will be paying you because they have made the decision that they want the ongoing attention, support and added accountability only a personal relationship with you can provide.