Do you have a bunch of ideas about what you can offer in your coaching practice, but at times feel scared to put yourself out there, because you’re not sure if it will actually work?
I get it, this is normal.
Basically, you’re not sure how to do it, and this is what keeps you paralyzed and holding back.
What if you are sitting on a BIG IDEA and because you’re sitting on it, it doesn’t get out there and you never end up knowing what would’ve happened?
I’m thrilled to be sharing this 5-part blog series, all about Breaking the Rules: The Art of Business for Coaches. It’s designed to help you see what you can do now, before spending money on a logo, website, tagline… before you really know who it is you are here to coach. These posts are here to give you a new view on business and real steps you can take to dig deep and find your way that is unique to you.
This is the fourth post in our 5-part series. If you missed the last post, head over here to check it out. If you missed the first post, head over here to check it out. If you missed part 2, click here to build your foundation.
How doing a beta test helped me cross to the 6-figure mark in my business.
It’s 2012, I’m having one of the hardest years in my life and coaching business. So hard, I was on the verge of giving up. This is not something I do easily. Everyday felt like I was moving further away from what I thought I was supposed to be doing as a coach.
I was confused, overwhelmed and scared. Luckily, I had amazing support from my online BFF’s, who are there for me when I really need them. While talking with one of these brilliant women, I shared that I believed I was onto something, but this something… REALLY scared me! It was the good kind of fear, the “Will I be able to pull this off” – kind of fear.
You see, at that time, there were so many people showing up, asking me, how I got started in my coaching practice, and some even wanted to know how they might be able to coach like I did.
I started to see a pattern of people wanting to learn about coaching, so I began to follow the breadcrumbs. (This is what I talked about doing in your coaching business to help you figure out your next step. Check it out in last week’s post: Time to Get Down and Dirty with Research & Design).
I decided I was going to post in a Facebook group asking who was interested in coach training and wants to talk about it. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to create a coach training program or show people how to become a coach? I was afraid to put myself out there not knowing how I was going to do this, but did it anyway.
I had a STRONG feeling there was something here and knew deep inside that I would have to step up to make this happen. Posting in that group was the start of my real work in the world, where I pulled all the parts of myself, my life experience, skills and knowledge.
I did my R&D. I connected with over 50 women. I asked questions and found out they were interested in becoming a coach without certification. With this information, I created a 6 week beta coach training program, (that today is The Art of Becoming a Coach) where I was paid $199 from 6 women. I got paid to figure it out. This is why doing beta works. You get to practice, sample and get feedback to make what you’re creating even better.
[Tweet “You get to practice, sample and get feedback to make what you’re creating even better.”]
After my beta test, I improved the program and came up with a name and tagline all from the feedback I got from the students. I also told them they would get a spot in the next round. I did this to set myself up for success and follow through.
Fast forward to 2013 TAOBC, we made the program 12 weeks, making sure to incorporate all the feedback. We also got amazing testimonials and our tagline. At the end of 2013, we did the same thing.
We got feedback, did more R&D then, in 2014 we made it a 17 week program.
Now, for 2015 we used the feedback, made adjustments and realized it was time to make it an even better program – not with content but with design. This year it will be a 6-month program and it will be the best year yet.
Ultimately, what I found out from each round was there needed to be more time and space to go through the content because we go deep. There needed to be even more implementation weeks, practice coaching and more support for getting the first paying clients.
The steps in this blog post series, are the steps I took to create the business I have now and keep growing, as my ART. Now, let’s see how you can put this into play for yourself.
Now let’s see how you get to use all of this to your advantage.
How you can use practice to your advantage.
As a coach, practicing helps you become a good coach. It helps you get testimonials, so those wanting to work with you can see the results you provide.
Practice allows you to build your confidence and not feel like an imposter. It takes the guess work out. It gives you permission to learn while doing.
[Tweet “Practice allows you to build your confidence and not feel like an imposter.”]
If you have something you’re playing with for your sessions, or even for a product, then find people who are a fit for you (from your R&D work and practice it.) What does not work you get rid of, what does work you keep.
Why you want to practice summary:
- Practicing helps build your confidence, get over fear or feeling like you don’t know what you are doing.
- Practicing gives you feedback and testimonials.
- Practicing helps you figure out what works and what doesn’t.
How to use samplers to your advantage.
Everyone likes a sample, right? I know I do when I see a new raw chocolate at Whole Foods I’m all over that. If you are working on a worksheet, an opt-in (a free gift people get when they sign up for your email list), or want to launch your beta program or service (this is in the next step…) offering a free sample is great way for people to get to know you.
Another way to give a sample is to quote yourself. Ask questions on social media and share your own content. This gives a taste of what you stand for. We covered this in the 2nd post about Defining Your Philosophy. If you see my Instagram page you’ll see I quote myself. This helps me to see what my tribe likes and doesn’t like.
Important note, you want to be wise about how you use this. Don’t fall into the trap of not charging for your services for too long. Make sure the people who are in your beta group are engaged and taking this opportunity seriously.
Why you want to give away samples summary:
- People get to get a taste of what you do to see if it’s a match.
- You get to expose what you do in a way that helps people take a next step.
- You can show a bit of the results you can give on the spot and attract your ideal clients.
How to use beta to your advantage.
I saved the best for last. You already read how I used a beta to launch my coach training program. It was not overnight and it was a process. Doing a beta means you are doing a test and figuring it out. This goes hand and hand with R&D.
There are no rules here. The beauty of beta is that you can experiment and create it as you go. You do want wiggle room to change it up as you’re doing it and communicate this with whomever you are working with.
You can start out by outlining the guidelines and expectations of what the exchange is. My secret is to always enroll people with a promise that they can do it the next round. This is what kept me accountable and made me stick to my word. There was no room for fear, I had to deliver and I did.
When you do a beta do it for less time, less money and with less stress of having to get it PERFECT. Take imperfect action.
Create an outline of the results you want to help your 1:1 client or group with. This outline of results will help you stay focused, and allow you to check in with your beta group to make sure they are getting your intended results.
Once your beta test is complete send out a survey, and have a 30 minute conversation with each person to see where they are at. Have questions ready like:
- What is your biggest struggle around (the topic you’re focusing on for your coaching)?
- What have you done about this?
- Have you ever invested in (whatever it is you’re offering) if yes then how much.
As you talk you can dive deeper into the conversation, listen and take notes.
At the end of your conversation you can share what you’re creating (this is what I did with TAOBC) and ask if they are interested in doing something like this. YOU get a YES, then send them an email with a follow up, put in a payment link to enroll them. Be clear how long it will be and what they can expect.
Pretty cool stuff, right? It’s worth every moment, no time is wasted and it will save you time, money and energy as you find out even more what people want and don’t want.
Why you want to do beta testing summary:
- It pays you to figure it out without having to get it perfect.
- It helps you get feedback, adjust and make your idea better.
- Beta testing saves you time, money and energy.
I know that was a lot in one post… Remember give yourself permission to go at your pace and do one step at a time. Wherever you’re at know you’re doing great and it’s about imperfect action.
[Tweet “Wherever you’re at know you’re doing great and it’s about imperfect action.”]
Most importantly, have FUN and do not get too serious when you are out there doing your practice, giving samplers and beta testing.
Now let’s take imperfect action…
Sweet soul, are you sitting on some research, or an idea that you are ready to test out?
Tell me in the comments what your big idea is, so I can help you take the next step and bring your idea into reality. And, if you need help picking which one to go with, let me know that too.
Know any coaches who would love this series then please share it I have a feeling they’ll love you for it. (and you’ll get extra credit to win a 30 min 1:1 Breakthrough Soul Session with me or The Breakthrough to Coaching Experience Interviews – more details below).
Use these click to tweets or you can share through the Facebook share link at the top left side of this post.
Your Angel of Fire,
P.S. To make this an even sweeter experience for, you we’re having a contest…
What you win…
1. a 30 min. 1:1 Breakthrough Business Soul Session with Me. (Value $500)
2. Exclusive access to the full lineup of 15 Breakthrough to Coaching Experience expert interviews. Pssst… an hour with any one of our expert coaches, some of them don’t even do 1:1 sessions anymore, would easily cost you $500 and up into the thousands – and you can’t purchase these interviews or get this information anywhere else!
Participating in this contest now, is the only way you can receive all these interviews and find out what major breakthroughs these 15 top coaches made to build their confidence, create a coaching/mentoring business unique to them and get paid to work with clients they love – without being certified – and how you can too!
Enter to win… by leaving a comment below the blog. This is the last week to be entered. We will be posting the winners in next week’s final post.
This week’s question is: What is your big idea that you are ready to beta test?