Joanna Lott Coaching

Here’s a crucial topic for all new coaches: the common branding mistake that might be draining your resources. This episode is packed with wisdom on building a solid coaching business foundation without falling into the costly trap of prioritising aesthetics over substance.

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Hello and welcome to Women in the Coaching Arena podcast. I'm so glad you are here. I'm Jo Lott, a business mentor and ICF accredited coach

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and I help coaches to build brilliant businesses. I know that when you prepare to enter the arena, there is fear, self doubt, comparison, anxiety, uncertainty. You can tend to armor up and protect yourself from vulnerability. In this podcast, I'll be sharing honest, not hype, practical and emotional tools to support you to make the difference that you are here for. Dare greatly. You belong in this arena.


Hello, welcome to the 53rd episode of women in the coaching arena. I am so glad you are here. I have been in Brighton for four nights, which was lovely creating my elevate course, which starts next week. And in the five day challenge I held to launch that course there were a lot of people starting out. So I really wanted today to focus on the biggest mistakes that I see now, working with lots of new coaches starting their business and working with people throughout things like my challenges and webinars and on discovery calls. Because it's really easy to make this mistake. And I made this mistake. So I can't go back and tell myself that it was a complete waste of time. But what I can do is share my learnings with you in case it saves you time and money. So let's go into the most common pitfall that most new coaches fall into. Which is thinking that a snazzy website and slick logo are the golden ticket to establishing a successful coaching business. I have lots of calls with people that say, I haven't even got a website yet, and I need to get a website and then I'm in business. And what I wanted to share was sadly, you aren't in business if you haven't got clients. So even if you have zero logo, but you have clients, I would consider you are more in business than someone with a beautiful website and a beautiful logo and all the lovely colors. Who hasn't got a solid business foundation. One of my coach friends Delphine hello Delphine has been in business for five years now. And she still hasn't got a website at all as far as I know. So you can genuinely build a business just from a LinkedIn profile or from Instagram or whatever social media you wish to use. It really isn't required. And I know that you will think yes, but I still want to do it. And that's absolutely fine because it helps you to feel like a proper business and I really do get that. So today I will share some. Easy quick ways of you doing this and getting started quickly so you get that feeling of being like a proper business with a website and logo. But without having to shell out loads of money for it. So let's talk about the branding illusion, because many coaches spend months perfecting their brand's visual identity. Thinking about their colors, paying someone to do a logo, paying a lot of money for a website. But what's often missing is actually knowing who your ideal client is. So you actually can't build a website. You can't really build a brand without knowing exactly what problem you're solving and who you're working with. So I think most of the coaches who start my program are quite surprised that websites and profiles it's like module nine because there's quite a lot to do before you get to that stage. Otherwise, you are just going to have to do it all again and that's absolutely fine. You might be fine with that, but if you want to get this right first time, and this is the episode for you. There's this great quote from, I can't remember who said it. But it's something like your brand is what people say about you when you're not in the room. So it's actually more than just the logo and the pretty pictures and what it looks like. It's actually your reputation and what people feel about you. It's about the value and transformation that you bring to their lives, not just the fonts on your website. So if website and branding is not the first thing you're meant to do, when you start out in business, then what is, you may be asking. So it has talk about the real foundations of a successful coaching business. So that number one, no surprise. Clarify your niche. This first step, isn't picking your website color. It's about clarifying who you help. Your niche really is the foundation of your message, your marketing, without clarity on who you help and how no amount of pretty websites are going to fill that void. So I like to think of a niche as four components. So firstly is the who, who you help. Secondly is the problem that you solve. Third up is the result that you deliver. And fourthly, it's how you're going to get them there. If you are stuck on any of these items, I go way more into detail in episode 14 on five steps to find a profitable niche. And in episode 10, I cover how to create a signature coaching program. So that is the how of your niche. So I hope those episodes are helpful to you. And I will also mention them in the show notes. The second foundation to your coaching business is validating your niche and offer. Before you even think about logos, make sure people are willing to pay for your coaching. Validation comes from the market, from what real people are prepared to invest real money in. So you really do need to go out there and find out if this is something that people want to pay for before spending a lot of money on a brand and website and logo that sadly, no one may ever come across. So get out there and have real conversations with real people and ask them what their biggest challenges are with regards to your niche. Another good question one of my clients asked recently was how prepared are you to pay, to fix this problem on a scale of zero to 10, for example, and what she found through doing that was no one was above a five. So. It could be an uphill battle trying to create a business. Where people aren't really prioritizing, fixing that problem in their lives. Our third real foundations of a coaching business is to create a simple, effective online presence. Yes, you will want to be found online, but it doesn't need to cost a fortune or cost you months and months of your time. A simple, clear LinkedIn profile or other social media profile is perfect start. And if you do want a website, because I know that people often say, well, the first thing I do is Google them and check that they have an online presence. So if that is you and you do feel like this is a really important step for you to feel valid and for people that you know, to look you up and know that you are a real business, then there are extremely cheap ways of doing this. So if you haven't heard of canva.com. You can create yourself a free logo in Canva. And the cheapest website I know which I have discovered recently after building a more extensive website myself. Which four and a half years into business. Yes, I did finally invest in branding and a logo. But I did build a really solid business with real good income before I needed to take that step. So that's all I'm saying here. It's not your first port call. A website and a logo does not mean you have a business. So I will link to a 20 pounds Canva website in the show notes. I cannot actually believe you can get a real functioning website for 20 pounds. It's a one page website, which is like your home page, but further down the page, you can have things like your services and your about section, and it can link to that. So I am so, so impressed when I came across this one recently. And it's a perfect starter while you figure out your niche, figure out all of the stuff that you need to figure out as in what you're offering and what your niche is and what your wording is. It's a great way of feeling established just to get started. And then, yes, fine. You might want a more extensive website with a blog and different pages further down the line. But please, please, please. Don't lose a year of your life. Like so many people have that I have had discovery calls with. Building this website and brand prior to really getting out there and selling their service. One final tip that I will share with you that I have seen work super well for my clients is the power of storytelling. If there's one area of branding to focus on, then this is it. Putting a post out saying, here's my services just sadly doesn't get anyone on board. People want to know why this is important to you. They want to support you. They want you to ask for their support. So I would really, really craft your story. Bring people along with you on that journey. Craft your mission. Really know why this is important to you and others will want to support that mission. Stories build trust and help people get to know you. And that is what really is required for a successful business is know like, and trust factor. So people need to know you, which is how stories really help, because you get to share a bit about yourself. They need to like you and yes, not everyone will like you. But you have to try and be yourself as much as you can so you call your people in. And they have to trust you and how they trust you is knowing that you are reliable. You are consistent. You have empathy. You really get where they are. You showcase client case studies. So that is what it really takes to build a solid business. And that is what I would start prioritizing right from the start. And telling as many people as you can, what you are doing now. Back to the validating. One step, which you would really want to do is inviting people to have a free call with you on your particular niche topic. And if you are struggling to gain clients to even come on a free one hour coaching call for example. Then you may struggle to actually sell that. So that is a great way of validating. So in summary, investing time and money in your brand before you have validated your business. Clarified your niche or secured your first few clients is like putting the cart before the horse. It is a real common startup mistake. I definitely went down that route and spent hours and hours creating a very bland website. Where I had no idea who I was talking to. This doesn't just cost you money, but it also costs you your business a lot of the time, because all of those months that you may have wasted on this area have been months when you could have been networking. Putting posts out on LinkedIn. Telling people really clearly what you do. So before you go down the rabbit hole of investing a fortune in website and branding before knowing who you are helping and how. Ask yourself, are you focusing on the right things? Are you investing in areas that will truly move the needle for you in your business? If your goal is to have a coaching business, that makes a real difference. Do you start with focusing on what truly matters. Finding clients and making that difference to them in their lives and telling as many people as possible what you do. Thank you for joining me in today's episode. If you do want to go deeper on any of these topics, do you scroll back to episode 14, five steps to find a profitable niche and episode 10, how to create a signature coaching offer. I hope this was useful. And I will also put links in the show notes to my sister's company. And yes, she does proper websites and branding and all the other things, but she also does really low-cost as in, I think it's 20 pounds. One page Canva website templates, which look beautiful. And also branding kits, which are perfect for starting out. So if that is you right now, and you are wondering where to go next and wondering whether to spend thousands on a website. Despite not really having any understanding of your business foundations, your solid niche, exactly who you're talking to. Exactly what you're selling. Then I would really recommend just getting that quick, easy presence, and then yes, maybe investing once you have that clarity. I invested in my brand six months or so ago and had a new website recently. But bear in mind this is the first time that I have done that, four plus years into business. And up until now, I have just created a very quick website. And used a Canva free logo and built a solid business. So, yes, you will want to upgrade in the future, but it really isn't required. What is required is sharing your message loud and clear with as many people as you possibly can so you can go out there and change lives. And if you want more help in building that solid business that is what I do. And you will find details of my business of coaching program. In the show notes. And like I say, at the end of every episode, trust yourself, believe in yourself and be the wise Gardner who keeps on watering the seeds.

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Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Women in the Coaching Arena. I have a mess of free resources on my website joannalottcoaching.com. That's Joanna with an A and Lott with two T's. joannalottcoaching.com. And I'll also put links in the show notes. Let me know if you found this episode useful. Share it with a friend and leave me a review, and I will personally thank you for that. Remember to trust yourself, believe in yourself and be the wise Gardner who keeps on watering the seed. Get into the arena dare, greatly and try.

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