In this episode, business mentor and ICF-accredited coach Jo Lott discusses the five critical steps that coaches need to take to achieve financial independence and how long it might take to accomplish them. She emphasises the importance of choosing a profitable niche, creating an irresistible offer, building an audience, investing time in growing a financially viable business, and starting a personal growth journey. Jo shares her own experience and the experience of other coaches she has worked with, providing valuable insights and guidance for those looking to build a successful coaching business.

Steps to Financial Independence [00:00:28] Jo discusses the five critical steps coaches need to take to gain financial independence and how long it might take to achieve that.

Importance of a Profitable Niche [00:02:24] Jo emphasises the importance of choosing a profitable niche and the elements that need to be in place for a coaching business to succeed.

Elements of a Profitable Niche [00:07:49] Jo explains what she means by a profitable niche and the four elements that make up a solid niche.

Testing and Refinement of Niche [00:09:58] Jo talks about the importance of testing and refining a niche over time to achieve clarity on each element.

Front Door vs Back Door [00:11:02] The importance of leading with the client’s immediate problem and not trying to sell them what they really need.

Profitable Niches [00:12:43] The different profitable niches for coaching, including business coaching, executive coaching, performance coaching, financial coaching, career coaching, health coaching, life coaching, fitness coaching, and relationship coaching.

Choosing a Niche [00:16:05] The average timeframe to choose a niche, which is around three years, and the importance of getting direct feedback and support.

Creating an Irresistible Offer [00:18:12] The top three mistakes coaches make when creating offers, including selling by the hour, selling by the number of sessions, and selling by the timeframe. The importance of focusing on the client’s end goal. LINK TO SIGN UP TO LIVE FREE OFFER WORKSHOP ON 23 APRIL 2023 Create a high-value coaching offer (

Steps to Financial Independence [00:20:55] The five critical steps to reach financial independence as a coach: choose a profitable niche, create an irresistible offer, build an audience, invest time, and work on your mindset.

Choosing a Profitable Niche [00:20:55] The importance of choosing a profitable niche and being specific when telling people what you do.

Building an Audience [00:22:52] The average timeframe to build an audience or community to sell to, and the need to nurture them until they are ready to buy.

Investing Time [00:24:56] The need to put in time, effort, and consistent active efforts to grow a financially viable business.

Working on Your Mindset [00:25:54] The need to be prepared for the ups and downs of building a business and the importance of investing in personal support to deal with mindset hurdles.

Closing Remarks [00:30:51] Jo Lott thanks the listeners for tuning in and encourages them to trust and believe in themselves. She also invites them to connect with her on LinkedIn and Instagram and share their progress in their coaching business.

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[00:00:00] 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, and I'm on a mission to help brilliant coaches build brilliant coaching businesses. 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.

Hello and welcome to episode [00:00:30] five of Women in the Coaching Arena. I'm so glad you are here. Today I'll be sharing an honest balanced and real look at the five critical steps that you need to reach to gain financial independence as a coach, and most importantly, how long that might take you. And before you run away thinking that this is gonna be more hype around how easy it is to build a six figure business with no work involved at all, this is different and it's the part that no one [00:01:00] seems to be talking about.

If you have the word coach already in any of your social media profiles, then you will have seen the adverts and direct messages promising a six figure income within a seemingly minute timeframe. Depending on where you are in your coaching journey, you might be thinking it's all smoke and mirrors. I'm not falling for that. I've been around long enough to know that it's not as easy as they make it sound. Or you might be thinking, well, [00:01:30] some people have achieved this, so maybe it's possible for me. And I agree with both points. I will never be one to squash on someone's dreams, but I do want to of talk about what are the elements that need to be involved for you to achieve that level of success, if that is what you are after in your business, and when I talk throughout this episode. I'm talking about financial independence as a coach, so [00:02:00] I do not want to dictate to you what that might mean for you. Maybe you want a small income around your family. Maybe you want to replace your corporate salary. Maybe you do want to earn six figures and above. So when I talk throughout this episode, you decide what you want to make and make it relevant for you.

So there are many people making big promises without helping people understand what's involved [00:02:30] for that business growth to actually happen. And it's irresponsible. And as a business coach, I believe I have a duty to share typical results of my clients and not just those cherry picked five year old case studies that get dragged out year after year.

But of course they make no reference to the fact that these are old case studies, and it probably took those people five years to achieve that level of success. So it's [00:03:00] really easy to be duped into thinking that people achieved this level of success so easily without any work on their part. And when we hear these six figure business claims, it seems like anyone can go from zero to a hundred K without having to do any work at all.

So there's a lot about leads on autopilot or attracting clients on autopilot, but at some [00:03:30] point, if you receive these people's money, you are going to have to provide a service. So I think that is a really, really key point that generally you will have to do a sales call and then service these clients.

So if you have a really big goal, then do map out what's the price of your product and how many clients will that mean for you to reach that goal.

And along with the practical elements of delivering this type of service, [00:04:00] there are so many other elements that a business needs to have in place if you want to work towards big milestones like this in your business. So it's usually if a client has a profitable niche, and I will talk a bit more about that in today's episode.

If they create a great high value offer. If they ask for and act on the coach's feedback. If you are an excellent marketeer and market like a pro. If you [00:04:30] have an excellent work ethic and get on with things super, super quickly. If you invest heavily in your business, this type of success doesn't happen without a lot of investment into training and ads and all of those things.

If you make decisions quickly. If you have a brilliant mindset and can get over hurdles, if, for example, your service doesn't sell really quickly, can you the next day reflect on what went well? Reflect on what you can do differently and start selling [00:05:00] something immediately afterwards?

Do you have a big audience or a super strong network? Because people buy from people they know, like, and trust. So it does take time to build up that trust with people. Have you got a great personality and amazing energy around you? Can you put in the time required to build this amazing business? Do you have the resilience to keep going? Because any business person will tell you [00:05:30] that it does require a lot of personal work and resilience to ride the rollercoaster of the entrepreneurial journey. Are you determined and committed? And lastly, are you proactively working on all of the kind of trauma triggers that come up when you are building your business?

I don't know many successful coaches who aren't also doing a lot of personal work. For example, I always have [00:06:00] a supervisor, a mentor, a coach. An EFT lady doing lots of trauma work. As well as a business coach, I'm always actively working on every single aspect of my life, and I'm investing in every single aspect to be able to deal with those things that keep you playing small in your business.

And these things will come up. So it's a lot of things to align to be able to attract that level of success.

Let's talk about [00:06:30] five steps to reach financial independence as a coach and the average timeframes that most coaches take to achieve these steps. And again, we can always talk about the one person who nails their niche on day one, nails their offer on day two. But the reality is, because of our emotions, we are human beings. Often these things are not as quick and easy as we want them to be.

It will be of no surprise that these are the [00:07:00] elements I cover in my signature coaching program, the business of coaching, which takes coaches through these steps in the smoothest and fastest possible timeframe, as well as being supported so you take action a lot quicker than you would do alone.

So step one of this framework is you need to choose a profitable niche. So let's get this one out of the way and address the most Googled question of all coaches. Do I [00:07:30] need to niche? And I certainly googled this a lot at the start of my journey because you finally learn the skill of coaching. You don't want to narrow your audience. You want to be available to help everyone. So you can really, really resist niching. And also it is the polar opposite to what you learn in coach training. So you can help anyone with anything. The client sets the agenda. You dance in the moment. And whilst I am an I C F A C C [00:08:00] qualified coach and absolutely love the power of coaching, it's sadly doesn't sell, certainly not enough to gain a good consistent income without niching.

This is my genuine experience of trying to do it the other way and of working with wonderful coaches, 35 or so coaches in the last year alone, and they are having the exact same problem. So we can either [00:08:30] keep batting away at trying to sell something that the majority of people don't understand enough to pay for. Or we can get super good at marketing and sales, which is the route I've gone down and why I've been successful in my executive, career and business coaching niches because we need to sell people what they want, not what they need. And I'll talk a bit more about that in this episode as well. So what do I mean when I say profitable [00:09:00] niche? I mean that you can build a sustainable, long-term coaching business around it. So yes, it's easy to land one or two clients with a vague niche or message, but it's another thing to be able to build a solid pipeline of clients that will sustain your business in the long-term.

So a solid, profitable niche solves a tangible problem that people are serious enough to pay for. So [00:09:30] I like to think of a niche as having four elements. So who you work with, what problem you solve for those people, what result they want, and how you're going to get them there.

So your goal is to work your way towards a hundred percent clarity on each of these elements. But in reality, this often takes coaches years of testing and refinement. So I would start with the [00:10:00] problem that you solve because people pay to fix very specific problems, and the more tangible you can make it, the more profitable it will be.

So, for example, people don't pay for confidence. They pay for confidence to get that next promotion. So what does the confidence look like in tangible terms in their life, for example. People don't pay for better habits. They pay to stop drinking alcohol every [00:10:30] single night. So we need to be very, very specific as to which problem we are solving. The more you try to encompass every single problem in your niche, the more people will not think that you are the right coach and experienced enough and specialized enough for their needs.

So in my program, the business of coaching, I refer to it as the front door and back door. So the front door is, for example, they hate their job and they [00:11:00] just want a new job. The back door, which is what many coaches often aim to sell and why it can be really, really difficult to sell it. It is the confidence to actually leave that job understanding their strengths and values to figure out what's next for them.

Yes, that's definitely what they need, but sadly they don't know it yet. All they want is to leave that job that they hate and get another job. So we need to always lead with the thing that they are currently aware of and currently [00:11:30] seeking help in. And I've genuinely experienced this myself. One of my friends was super lacking in confidence, hence why she kept applying for jobs that were so below her pay grade. So I was constantly saying, Let's do some coaching. Let's help you with your confidence. Let's figure out your next move. And she was saying, well, to be honest, like that's really nice and it sounds lovely, but I haven't got time for that. I just need to get a new job. So what I needed to say is, come work with me. We'll work together to get you that new job. [00:12:00] Once she's in the front door, then I can talk about the back door. Okay, let's start with what jobs are you thinking about applying for? And then have a discussion about the confidence and why she is going for jobs that are so below her previous pay grade, for example.

So I needed to lead with that front door. Her actual problem versus what I was trying to do is sell her what I knew that she really needed.

So another way to think about this, which I really like is by a [00:12:30] marketeer, Perry Marshall, and is it a bleeding neck issue, is what he says. So later means never in marketing terms. So no one bothers to get help for that sprained ankle. They just keep on limping. So is it a, I have to go to a hospital right now?, or is it, it's a bit annoying that I'm maybe eating biscuits every night and I'm kind of slowly putting on weight, but it's not got to that serious [00:13:00] crux that I'm like, I need to do something right now. So that's the really good thing to think about. Are you solving a bleeding neck issue, which they need to sort out right now?.

And is it something that they're consciously aware of or is it that little niggle that we all know we need to eat better and exercise more, but we're not really ready to do anything about it?

So let's move on to thinking about what are profitable niches? And there's a lot of [00:13:30] talk about business coaching being the only profitable niche. And whilst yes, I completely agree that business coaching is a profitable niche because entrepreneurs have an urgent must sort now bleeding neck issue that they need to solve because for example, they need to get clients now versus you're just a little bit unhappy, maybe you are not at the stage of taking full responsibility for your decisions, you might be waiting on your manager or [00:14:00] different things. So that is why I do think entrepreneurship is a super profitable niche because they need to do something about it. No one is gonna do this for them.

But there are many, many other profitable niches, and the key here is being brave enough to put a stake in the ground and actually stand for something. And it takes a lot of courage. It took me a lot of courage to get to this point, which again, is why you can't often [00:14:30] be at a hundred K in six months because it's a process and a journey that you go on to build your voice and understand what you are super, super passionate about. So let's talk about these profitable other niches. So we have the executive coaching niche and within each of these niches I talk about there are millions of sub niches. So I would recommend niching down way further than these headlines that I'll give you now.

So we also have [00:15:00] performance coaching, so helping people to perform better in their workplace or in their business. We have financial niches, so that's the whole money mindset. We have career coaching niches. We have health coaching niches and life coaching niches. Although this one I think needs a lot more work to make it way more tangible. But there are the odd person who has managed to be successful [00:15:30] being more of a generalist. But you will need to be prepared to be extremely visible and talk extensively to a lot of people to make this one successful.

Then there are fitness coaching niches. Lots of people want to lose weight and be more disciplined. And then relationship coaching niches, people getting on better with their colleagues or family members.

So that is step one, choosing a profitable niche [00:16:00] and let's quickly cover the average timeframe to choose a niche. And I would say of all the coaches that I know and see online, this genuinely takes an average of three years. And I know that is like shock horror

but it doesn't have to take this long, especially if you get direct feedback and support. And I think that's what I've noticed from people who have perhaps been in business for three years and have been [00:16:30] struggling. And they maybe have done lots of other programs, but no one's really explained or given them direct feedback that, for example, confidence is not a specific enough niche.

So I give very specific feedback. I give so many different examples to help them to see what could sell better for them. And I do think that is something that is missing in most programs, which have hundreds of participants and no one is really helping you. They are showing you some [00:17:00] content and hoping that you understand the concept, but the concept is emotional as well as practical.

So sometimes we resist. Most of my clients gain a 70% right niche to take to market within the first one to four weeks of my business of coaching program, because never, ever sit around waiting for that right decision. That, again, is another key success trait to a fabulous entrepreneur because there [00:17:30] is no right decision. You need to get clear enough and take action. And it's the action that will help you to see if it is the right decision. So once you have completed this first step and chosen and validated your niche, then you are ready to move to our second step.

So step two of building a financially successful business is creating an irresistible offer. So when I [00:18:00] first started building offers, I made a lot of mistakes. And now that I've helped other coaches to do this too, I see people have the tendency to make the same mistakes as I did. So let me share with you the top three mistakes and how to avoid them.

So the first mistake is you are selling by the hour. So that will be a hundred pounds an hour, please.

And you can't build a sustainable business this way. [00:18:30] And also, they might not get the result that they want because you are not catering for the fact that everything in life is a process. It's not like you can go to the gym for one hour and get fit. There will need to be a discussion and reflection on what works, what they're gonna do going forward, all of those things.

So coaching is a process. You need to be paid for more than that one hour because it's all of that stuff that happens in between sessions that also forms the coaching relationship. The second mistake is you're [00:19:00] selling by the number of sessions, so buy my six session coaching package, or would you prefer 10 sessions? Nope. People don't care how many sessions. They want to know what they're gonna get out of those sessions.

So we need to be talking about their end goal versus the logistics. No one really cares. And often we can think the more we cram in, the better it seems, but sometimes people wanna nail this thing in three sessions, so will pay [00:19:30] exactly the same amount to nail it in three sessions as you thinking if I say 10 sessions, they'll think it's more valuable. So it's all about really thinking about what they want and how many sessions it might take to help them to achieve it.

The final mistake is your selling by the timeframe. So we can work together over three months or six months. People don't care how long it's for. It's like the age old story of would you rather the plumber spend the entire week trying to fix your plumbing [00:20:00] or would you rather get a super experienced one that hits the pipe in five seconds and then says thank you. That will be 250 pounds, please. I am sure we would just rather save the inconvenience of all of the digging up and messing around and just pay this experienced one to get the job done quickly. So again, it doesn't always matter how long it's for. It's all about the result that they want, their big goal. And not ironically, this is another crucial element I work with clients on [00:20:30] in my program because we need to learn to inspire people to act so that they don't stay stuck, and so you get paid to support them.

So let's talk about the average timeframe to design an irresistible offer. So I know many, many coaches, three plus years in business who still don't have an irresistible offer that they are known for. So again, this can take a really long time. We work on this in week [00:21:00] three of my Signature program, the Business of Coaching.

So by the time you are four weeks in you will have a 70% good enough niche and something unique and highly valuable to sell.

So step three of reaching financial independence as a coach is that you need to have an audience or community or someone to sell to. So at this step, you are likely to notice that we've covered what you are selling and to who [00:21:30] before moving on to telling people what we do. So what you need to do now is tell people as specifically as possible, and that's

in caps because most people don't speak specifically enough when they tell their friends and family what they do. So when you are starting your business, you are unlikely to have much of a social media presence. So your lowest hanging fruit will be those people that you know, and you can tell those people immediately now [00:22:00] in really specific terms, what you do and tell them often don't think I've already told people that I'm a coach, I'm never gonna tell them again. Tell them now you have more clarity on your niche and offer exactly what you do for people.

So when I started my business, I was obviously, like most coaches, super inspired to help people with their confidence. And I thought, well that's great, you know, everyone needs confidence. What I now know, due to experience [00:22:30] is that no one cares about confidence, sadly.

I mean, we all need confidence, but we won't prioritise it enough to pay for it unless we have a very specific end goal in mind that the confidence will actually help us to do so fill in that blank. What is it that they would love to do if they had amazing confidece?

So the average timeframe to build an audience or community or network of people to sell to [00:23:00] often takes years. You can use ads, which can help, but often they are still a cold audience, and they will need a lot of nurturing to get to know you well enough. If you have no one to sell to, you will need to take time to build up your audience and network before you expect to reach consistent income as a coach. Your first step will always be people you know already, and that's [00:23:30] because people buy from people they already know, like, and trust. And it takes time to build that trust with people who don't know you yet. So you don't need a huge email list, but you do need a core group of people who are interested in what you offer.

And this can genuinely take in all honesty, anywhere between one to two years with consistent active efforts. In my program, this is something I prioritize highly. So then we create those systems to [00:24:00] nurture those people in your world until they are ready to buy. Because it's good to know that only 3% of people are ready to buy right now. Those people that really hate their job and they've just had an argument with their manager and they're ready to finally do something about it after sitting at their desk miserable for years.

So it's about grabbing those 3% who are ready to take action now and helping them, but also nurturing the 97% who are just generally [00:24:30] unhappy and they need careful perspective shifts to help them to finally take those small, small steps towards making a change.

So step four of reaching financial independence as a coach is you'll need time. So if you want to grow a financially viable business, you are going to have to put in time, especially in those first two years of your business. Anyone who says you can do it in one to three hours a day at [00:25:00] the start is leaving out some of the truth.

I have been in probably 30,000 pounds worth of different coach programs, and I can promise you there is no silver bullet. It is all about tiny, tiny steps forward to build your business. So if you are building your business whilst working full-time or whilst being the sole carer for your kids, then growth will be slower and that is okay.

[00:25:30] So the average time to complete this step is the more you put in, the more you will get out as long as you're working on the core topics I cover throughout this episode, which are essentially who you're selling to, what you're selling, and are you telling a lot of people about it and consistently growing your audience and nurturing them in your world until they are ready to buy?

So step five of reaching financial independence as a coach is you need to [00:26:00] work on your mindset. So you will need to be prepared for the ups and downs of building a business. If you are of the mindset, I'll give it three months and go back to my day job if it doesn't work out, then you might as well go back to your day job now. It takes commitment, focus, and dedication to build a sustainable business that makes money. You are also likely to need some money to invest in getting help with your business. If your mindset is one of not [00:26:30] investing where you need to, both in terms of the practical business building aspects alongside the personal support to deal with the mindset hurdles

that will come up along the journey, then you are likely to get stuck and lose a lot of time and money.

So do you think about your time, invaluable terms? Any time you are spending, staying stuck is costing you money.

So the average time to complete this step [00:27:00] varies but for example, I spend around 30 to 40 minutes, I would estimate daily on mindset work like gratitude, journal, yoga, meditation, maybe 90 minutes a week with my business coach, around 90 minutes a week with either a mentor, coach, supervisor, or with my trauma informed coach on the deep personal work that I believe has to go alongside building a successful business.

So as [00:27:30] you can see, it depends how quickly you gain financial independence as a coach. But now you know what it depends on. You can work through these steps, make quick decisions and fast track your progress. So the approximate timescales I've discussed in this podcast are an average. There will always be one in 5,000 people who does this in six months.

These are the exceptions, and everyone works at a different pace. Some [00:28:00] people will have a great network and jump straight into big corporates and earn really good money immediately. But if you are starting out with no idea how to market a coaching business, And have all the mindset hurdles that go with that. For most people, it takes time to grow as a coach, as a businesswoman, and also in energetic personal terms to not sabotage that level of success that's coming your way. So how many of these foundations do [00:28:30] you have in place? If you want to earn an income from coaching, you will need solid foundations. And now you know what these solid foundations are.

This is possible for you. So build those solid foundations. Implement what you learn. Be consistent and you will reach the financial goals that you want. So take time to take these steps, try things out, refine as you go. The future you will thank you for creating a sustainable, [00:29:00] profitable business that you can be so proud of for years to come.

Because showing up builds trust. Trust builds relationships and relationships build your business.

So let me summarize the five critical steps to reach financial independence as a coach and how long it might take.

So step one was choose a profitable niche.

Step two is to create an irresistible offer. And if you are listening [00:29:30] to this episode in April, 2023 on its release date, I am holding a high value offer free workshop, a 90 minute workshop on Wednesday, the 19th of April at 1:00 PM till 2:30 PM British summertime. So if you would like to attend, I will leave the link to that in the show notes.

I would love to see you there.

Step three. We need to build an audience of people to sell to.

And step four, we'll [00:30:00] need time to grow a financially viable business. We are gonna need to put in some work over the first two years of your business in particular, there is so much to learn and build. I'd estimate an absolute minimum of three hours a day at the start, if possible. Again, you may not have that amount of time, or you may have loads more time than that.

Your progress will depend on what you manage to put into your business and how focused you are in what you're doing in [00:30:30] those hours.

Step five is you need to work on your mindset. So you will need to be prepared for the ups and downs of building a business. If you are in the mindset of I'll give it a few months and go back to my day job, you might as well go back to your day job now because it's gonna take commitment, hard work, but I promise you it's so, so worth it. And you have that in bucketloads.

So start today and enjoy the journey. It's the biggest personal growth journey I've [00:31:00] personally ever been on, and yes, it's hard work, but my gosh, it's so rewarding and I wouldn't have it any other way.

And like I say on every episode, trust yourself, believe in yourself, and be the wise gardener who keeps on watering the seed.

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Women in the Coaching Arena. Please come and say hi to me on LinkedIn or Instagram and let me know how you are getting on in your [00:31:30] coaching business and how you are gonna go for your dreams this year. My name on LinkedIn is Joanna Lott and on Instagram is at Joanna Lott Coaching, 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. Thank you so much for listening.

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