Welcome to episode #182 of Explode Your Expert Biz Show, brought to you by http://gtex.org.uk/,
I am your host, Simone Vincenzi, The Experts Strategist, and this is the podcast for experts who want to become the ultimate authority in their niche while making an impact in the world.
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Today I have the pleasure to Interview Nick Bolton
Nick is the founder and CEO of Animas. An existentially-oriented coach and supervisor, Nick has created Animas to embody the qualities of unknowing with an emergent approach to coaching that informs the coach training at every level.
In this episode we talk about:
- #1 Reason why coaches don’t make it in business.
- What to focus on if you want to get clients so you can build a sustainable business.
- How to make your clients understand the value of what you provide and say yes to you.
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– Hello, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome, welcome, welcome to another incredible interview with Nick Bolton, the founder of Animas, and myself, Simone Vincenzi, co-founder of GTeX. Nick, how you doing tonight?
– Yeah, okay thanks, good. Busy day today. I’m looking forward to this conversation more than interview. We were just discussing how we’re gonna make it a bit more conversational. So, yeah, looking forward to it, Simone.
– I’m looking forward to this conversation, too. Guys, thank you very much for joining. Thank you for attending this interview. I’m curious, if you attended the past interview as well, can you please write something in the comments? Because we did a part one that was about living the real four hour work week. And, if you have missed that one, I’m gonna send you, in the follow-up email, I’m going to send you a reminder with the link for the past one. So, if you missed it, you can check the other one, too. But tonight is all about growing your business, growing your coaching business, and getting clients. That’s what we’re talking about tonight. That’s going to be the topic. And there’s going to be a good conversation, and in particular we are going to answer a lot of your questions. So, tonight, you are going to give us the content, right Nick?
– I was expecting you to say a bit more on that. Okay, good.
– Don’t ask those questions, Simone.
– Ah, first rule of a coach. That’s true. Now, there is a poll here, guys, that we would love to know where do you need more help with. Is that packaging your services, increase your visibility, your credibility, area of getting clients, identifying your niche, or create your message. I would love to know first, just to get warmed up, if you can please fill out that poll that you can see right now, popping up like magic on your screen, and let me know, and let us know, where you need more help, because we can then steer the conversation in that direction. In that direction. Now, Nick, so we’re talking tonight about growing your coaching business. Why did we choose this topic? Let’s go a bit of a background in this way.
– So, our very first conversation we had, I don’t know, a month ago? Where we talked about having these conversations. Initially there was just one, which was gonna be on the how I’ve grown the Animas to be this kind of business that I can step away from. But then, I mentioned to you that I felt most coaches weren’t at the stage realistically, where that was imminent. And actually, most coaches were struggling with just getting started. And I always feel like it’s worth while recognising that and stepping back to what it’s like to be at the start of a business, not at the end of the business. So I just think it’s incredibly valuable, given our experience and everybody we’ve seen, both of us as mentors, as trainers, et cetera, seeing going through the coaching world, what works, what’s necessary, and so on. One of the things I did say to you before we got started tonight was, I feel like I’m somewhat distant from the cold face now of starting a coaching practise, but I’m very, very, very interested and always fascinated by the principles that underpin successful businesses. And I know that you’re more at the the cold face at supporting coaches to do it. So I kind of thought this is a nicer way to have a conservation tonight than just an interview, which would only draw out probably principles, not the detail that some people need.
– Yeah. I like, for tonight, they’re going to get, I like to get into the nitty gritty. Actually how do you do it, how do you get the clients, how do you get more visibility, how do you get on television, paper, how do you get get speaking engagements, and how do you package your service in the most effective way. That’s what gets me fired up. That’s what get me really, really excited.
– And I’m kind of more fascinated now a days, Simone, by the psychology of business, by which I mean, why don’t more people have successful coaching practises? Well, because somehow they’re not making the case sufficiently well enough to a prospective client that they can, at the right value, create the change that somebody needs. That’s the psychology of businesses. There’s a buyer and a seller and somehow there’s an exchange of value that makes sense in the minds of both people. And yet, given how powerful coaching is, why is there not more success in the coaching field? Because somehow, people aren’t connecting to the messages that they need to convey. So I guess I’m very fascinated by the psychology now that sits behind business rather than the network.
– Shall we talk about that?
– Yeah, go for it, yeah.
– I think it becomes a good conversation point. And I would love also to hear your opinion, guys, if you’ve watched part one, or even if you’re new, this is a conversation that you are having, so, let me know in the comment, answer the questions, because I’m sure you have an opinion, and we want to hear your opinions too. I work now with and mentored hundreds, if not thousands of coaches by now. And I started as a coach myself, as a life coach myself. That’s how I started when I was 22, so I can talk about my personal experience. I had very different reasons why I wasn’t making any money at all. And I wasn’t getting any client at all. Number one, no one knew me. And, a big mistake I’ve made, in my opinion, is just to start in a complete new field without having any connection, without having any network. And it takes time to establish yourself. It takes time to build that credibility, in particular if also you’re quite young. Because, you know, who wants to get, say okay, mentor my life and help me with my life. I’m a life coach and I’m 22 year old? There is that also question that no one will tell you in your face, but is there in the back of the mind, particularly if you are young and don’t have much life experience. Because I think that not many people know yet what the process of clean coaching is, and they are still asking question, that is a non-directive process. And that’s one thing. And the other part is that, as you said as well, I didn’t know about sales. I didn’t know about marketing and building an audience, and getting out there. And so, when I was talking people, I was saying, yeah, you know, I’m a life coach, I can help you with some stuff in your life, and we are going to have few sessions together. You’re going to feel better. And that was, I believe it was not very appealing at all based on results. So I think that when I gained clarity in how do I present the results that I’m going to provide to other people, and how can I help them, not myself, but how can I help them quantify how important this process will be for their life, and putting it in perspective, then I started growing, I started getting clients. That was one thing. I think the other part is that there is this conception as well in the world of coaching and mentoring that people want to be mentored by other people that are more successful than them. And that’s something that they will not tell you in your face. But if you think about the coaches and mentors that you hired, you might have hired for a reason. And the reason was that you wanted maybe to have a piece of them, or have a piece of their life, or have a piece of what they have been able to build. To have a piece of what they created, or maybe their personality in your life, and that’s why you were attracted to that specific person. And so, when I actually started meeting people in a five star hotel, instead of meeting people in Starbucks, and I started wearing a suit, instead of wearing a T shirt, that made all the difference in terms of having people actually trust in me and believe in me and saying yes. These are some of the things that I’ve experienced.
– Yeah, it’s interesting, I mean, I think, again, going back to principles, I kind of think about, well, what needs to exist effectively in order to building a coaching practise. Well, I think first of all you need to be clear on who your market is. And that doesn’t mean you’ve got to have a niche, although I think a niche is a very powerful first step, but even if you don’t have a niche at least know, broadly speaking, who your market is, that you will naturally attract, whether it’s age range, or whether it’s a location, whatever it might be, it’s gonna be something that makes you more attractive to the some group of people than another. That’s just normal. So you’ve got to figure out who your market is, but then you’ve got figure out, how do you get known by that market. Rather like sitting in a room, wondering why you don’t have a girlfriend or boyfriend, where you’re not going out anywhere, and you’re sort of expecting somebody to knock on your door and say, hey, I’ve heard there’s a random person who lives in this flat and they’re single. Do you fancy dating me? Of course they’re not gonna do that, and yet somehow we do that as coaches. We don’t figure out how to get known by the market we want to work with. However, there’s more than just being known. You’ve got to be known to be good. Because you could be known, but it’s like, this person who is not a very good coach, but they think they are. So, you’ve got to get manageably good. But there’s another dimension, Simone, which most people don’t realise, is you’ve got to be known to be worth it. You could be good, but if the outcome of that goodness isn’t worth what you’re charging, you still don’t get business. So there’s really four components: Figure out who you’re trying to reach, figure out how you reach them, figure out how you get manageably good and to do what they need from you, and figure out what the value proposition is that connects that piece of goodness to the exchange of money for your services. In other words, I often tell a jokey kind of version of this, which is, if little Jimmy washes cars, and he walks down the street, then he might say to you, hey, should I clean your car? But if you’re car doesn’t need cleaning, you’re going to say no. If your car does need cleaning, and you know that Jimmy’s really good because somebody said, Look, Jimmy is an amazing car cleaner, you go, okay, how much is it Jimmy? And Jimmy says, it’s a thousand pound per car, worse, a thousand pound per wheel, the value proposition doesn’t stack up even if he might be the best wheel cleaner in the world. So there’s a number of attributes you’ve gotta figure out before you start thrashing around in the ocean of coaching business. You’ve got to figure out who you’re market is, how you reach them, how you get good at getting what they need from you, and how the value proposition makes sense. Once you’ve got those four components working, then you’ve got a potential business. But without that, you’re just kind of trashing.
– I completely agree with you, and I would love to know what you think, guys. So please, put it in the comments, why don’t you think lot of coaches don’t have successful businesses. Or, what kind of world struggles as well are you having. Because this is why we are doing these interviews and these conversations. It is a place where we kind of can drop the mask, pretend that not everything is alright, but that’s also how Nick and I started our conversation today. It’s like, oh, how was your day? Yeah, problems with the team. Great, how was your day? I had problems with my team, awesome.
– Just in case they’re watching, it wasn’t problems with my team, it was just problems in my head.
– Problems in my head, yeah, that’s true. That’s the same thing I had. So, when we are having this kind of conversation I want you also to be honest with us. This way we can help. In fact there is Monica who says, “I would like to have some help “with finding a consistent client flow.” I’m definitely going to give a good strategy for that. Tim Aloha is asking, “I’d like to find the “reasonably priced business marketing coach “that doesn’t bang on about six figures. “The low fives are fine for me.” Thank you, I appreciate that, Nick. No, I think sometimes the build a six figure, seven figure business, is a little overused. Carol said that the fourth component that Nick shared is a tough one, getting known that they’ll work.
– Yes and no. In terms of whether she means tough strategically or tough tactically, and they’re different things. Now, there’s lots of ways to kind of tactically handle it. Testimonials, case studies. You know, demo what you do if it’s a demoable thing. But strategically it’s a different thing. I think the first thing that most coaches don’t realise is how much their services are really worth. If you can actually, at an emotional level, connect with the power of what you do as a coach when you start putting out the value of that, but if deep down you think what you do is talk to people, listen to people, question people, if that’s what you think they’re buying then you’re not gonna have the emotional connection to the power of what coaching is about. How can we put a value on changing somebody’s life is that’s what we really, really, really believe we do as a coach? If we can genuinely believe we change somebody’s live, it’s invaluable. Then the question is how do we demonstrate the power of that at a tactical level, i.e. how can we show that that’s possible. And you’ve got to really believe it. I think with in any business, when you start selling what we really, really, really believe we can do, not what we think we should be able to do. And if all you think you can do right now is listen to somebody intensely, then sell that as a starting point. The rest will come. But you’ve got to sell it from a place of absolute confidence that you can deliver. Do you know how many people starting out coaching sell the idea of coaching being life changing, but they don’t even believe it? They might believe that coaching can change lives, but they don’t believe that they can change lives, in which case it’s gonna come across as incongruent and they can’t really put a value on it that says it’s worth this much. So I think there’s something about how you get really in tune with the value of coaching and then you think about the tactics, which is testimonials and yada yada, all the kind of technical stuff.
– That’s brilliant. In fact, Nick, what you said just feeds in with a question, or a comment, from Sam, Sam Chilkot, if I’m pronouncing your surname correctly, probably I’m not. But let’s assume that that’s a surname. Says, “How do we put a price on something “which is mostly intangible?” That’s a very good point. Nick, what do you say about that?
– It’s really interesting. Sam, you’ve got to decide what your time is worth to you. Because you’re right, coaching is essentially invaluable if it can create the change that you want to create. That person gets that change, it’s almost invaluable, right? Unless they’re saying, like, I want a 10,000 pound pay raise. Well, it’s not worth 10,001 pound in that case. But you get my point. So then the question is what is your time worth to you. But a lovely starting point is to find out what their money is worth to them. So a lovely question you can ask is, Simone, what’s the fee you would need to pay me… Yeah, what’s the fee you would need to pay me to make this coaching feel like, ah, this has got to work. If 20 quid feels like, eh, whatever, 20 quid, that’s not buying commitment. But if you go, Jesus, Nick, if I had to pay 150 quid it’s really got to work. That’s a great starting point. Because it’s what’s gonna trigger the emotional commitment to the process. And by the way, I’ve literally mentored people to take that approach and it’s worked so well. One lady asked that question to a client once, or prospect, what’s the fee you would need to pay me to make yourself feel like, ah, this has really got to work? And in her head the coach had an idea of 80 pounds, which was a lot for her. And the client, the prospect said, I’m really sorry, but I think I can only afford 120 but that would be the amount that would really make me want it to work. And she said, 120, god, that’s 50% more than I was anticipating. And that’s what they went with. And I think that’s a powerful starting point. The point is, Sam, there isn’t really a market value you can attach to this. It’s not like, okay, I can buy a Vauxhall Astra or a Vauxhall Astra here. It’s not like that. It’s a totally unique pricing strategy. So I think you’ve got to figure out what do you want to charge, that’s your value, or what does your client need to pay you that’s gonna make it make sense to you and them.
– That’s a great point, Nick. I just want to give a bit of context because I know a lot of people know you, a lot of people don’t know me. So, in GTeX we started about five years ago with 100 pounds. And never ran a business before. Actually I ran a business before for a year. That didn’t go very well. It got closed because I forgot to pay my taxes. And I didn’t know I had to pay taxes. That’s how stupid I was in business sense. And from there we built a company. Now we have scaled up. We have gone to half a million, and we have worked with other coaches now that delivers our programmes for us. And before, for the first three years, it was always me and my business partner delivering the coaching and the consulting, and getting clients. So some people have realised here is that a coach has already all the skills you need to sell effectively. Number one skills you need to sell effectively is questioning, is asking the right question. Like, you will have your questions ready when you go to your coaching qualification with Animas. They give you a set of questions that you can ask in different situations so you can be prepared. In the sales situation you want to have a set of questions that prepares you to be more effective during that sales conversation. And a great question to ask is… Remember you’re always selling the results that they want to have at the end of the coaching. So one thing that you want to explore with people is, what kind of results do you want to have? What kind of problem are you facing right now? And let them talk. Then you can ask them. That’s how you make it quantifiable. What would it mean to you if you don’t have this problem anymore? Or what would it mean to you if you got this result? And they will tell you. And you can ask, even if you want to make it quantifiable for them. So this is your thing. You don’t have to make it quantifiable for them. Ask a question so that they quantify it themselves. Like for example, how much money would this be worth to you, would this result be worth to you? How much more time you would save? And they will give you now all the tangible because this is the problem, as you said, when you’re not selling something which is really tangible, like confidence, like purpose, like inspiration, like motivation, like feeling energised. These are feelings. But now remember that those feelings are used then to get tangible results. So ask them and they will tell you. And that’s a way to make the intangible more tangible. So I hope I answered this question as well.
– Let me build on that, Simone. I think we have to understand what we’re doing as coaches when he help somebody feel confident, if indeed that’s what we do. It’s life changing. I just can’t emphasise enough that if coaching is done well and it works in that relationship, it’s life changing. So, in a way, I think we have to tune into what that impact is that we’re having on peoples’ lives, and ourselves first. Then we need to get them to tune into what that might be in a one to one relationship when we’re consulting with them. But thirdly we need to then build the confidence that you can deliver. And I think that’s probably where most coaches fall down, is they’re probably pretty good at asking questions if they can not be too scared about the sales process or the consulting process. But once they’ve got to that point being, okay, I can do this, do they actually believe that this coaching thing will change somebody’s confidence? If they do, it’s just mind blowingly invaluable. I mean, how would it be for you to be lacking confidence at the age of 30 and then for the next 70 years of your life have confidence. It’s far more worthwhile than a Porsche and yet we’ll charge infinitely less than a Porsche. And yet why? Because somehow we’re not connecting to the difference we make. In a way we’re often looking for the quick fixes, the little tactics, that if I can only say this or only do this, will it get me a client. Well, that’s one way to do it, and I agree that can be helpful. But I would spend a lot more time really believing in what you do as a coach because that’s the bedrock on which you’re gonna build your coaching practise.
– Absolutely. From that believe then will build the tactics. Because otherwise you can have the best strategy in the world and then if your confidence is not there, you are having like a castle in sand. And that will not work. So let’s say now, let’s assume that now you have that confidence. And actually, let’s put it in this way. I’d love to share with you, and then I’ll ask Nick as well how you can get that confidence in what you do. Because I remember when I started as a coach, I didn’t have the confidence in what I was doing either. I was managing restaurants before. And then I started asking people questions. It’s completely different, And saying to people I was going to change their lives. So what I did, I did more than 200 coaching sessions for free. That’s what I did. And on one side because I didn’t want to charge, and I had some bad beliefs about money after I decided to make that transition, which fortunately I sorted out. Thanks, God. But on the other side is because it was something new for me. And I think that one way to become confident in what you do and confident in the results that you provide is you do it enough so you have proof of the results. And for me, I was 22 at the time, and I decided in one and a half years I did more than 200 coaching sessions. By the time I went charging, I started charging, and I remember it gave me so much confidence. Then I charged my first clients 50 pounds. The second client immediately I went to 75 pound. The third client immediately I went to 100 pound. And the fourth client immediately I went to 150 pound an hour. And then I stayed there for about a year, year and a half before going to the 500, 600 pound an hour, in terms of hourly rates. So, that’s what worked for me. And if you are the kind of person that needs the practical andexperience, then this might work for you as well. Nick, do you have something to add?
– It’s funny, you said at the very end in a way that I think is helpful, which is if you are the kind of person that… I think there’s no single answer to this stuff. If you are the kind of person that needs to practise a long time, then do the practise. And equally, if you’re the kind of person that’s got this kind of gut confidence in their ability, great, nobody is gonna say you should practise a lot. Just go and charge and do it. I think it’s about knowing yourself, and it’s about having that self awareness of what you need to be confident and congruent. But the challenge I think that most people, they follow paths in which they’re not truly confident or congruent. And that’s what creates the edge, the dissonance, if you like, that makes it very hard to grow a business on a consistent basis because deep down they kind of doubt themselves or whatever. Get over that by whatever means you need to, whether it’s practising , practising , practising , practising , whether it’s charging, charging, charging, it’s up to you. But I would figure out a way to get confident and congruent because that’s gonna be the thing that enables you to grow something solid.
– Yeah, and you can get a coach for that. There is Carol which is asking a very good point which is very linked to also the comment that Joanna left and the question that Joanna asked. So, Carol said, “It’s hard to believe it “when clients don’t get back to you “after the coaching process is finished.” We’re all familiar with that. You are left with a lot of unknown results. How would you prevent this to happen, Nick?
– Well, I don’t. But it’s a really great question. I understand it. There’s a really beautiful book called The Schopenhauer Cure, which was written by Irvin Yalom, a very existential psychotherapist. It was a novel about a psychotherapist who has been super successful but later in his year’s he’s been told he’s got cancer and one year left to live. And so he starts questioning himself. Has anything he’s ever done made a difference? And so he seeks out the most intransigent client he could ever remember to find out did he make a difference in that man’s life. It’s a beautiful novel and well worth reading. But I think it’s something that we all contend with all through our life as practitioners of coaching, or therapy, or whatever it might be. I think things like supervision and coaching for yourself is a vital component. But I also think it’s again going back to self awareness. What do you need to feel good? I never had a great desire, personally, to know what happened to clients. I feel like so long as I can feel in myself I’m doing what I do and the relationship feels positive in the moment, then what happens after I never felt a need to go into. But I get why people would. What’s your approach, Simone?
– For me it is a link to what Joanna said, which was in her experience it’s better to start with an hourly rate or an hourly fee or build in packages. And I think that the questions are better linked because I always want to have a process. Even if it’s a mini-process, I want to have a process with someone with also a clear understanding from the beginning of how we are going to assess and measure the results. And most of the time I will never charge for a one off session. It will always be a process. If it’s a one off session it will be a half a day kind of process which they will pay more money but then can be one off, but we’re spending more hours, so a longer time together, so they can see a result at the end of the time that we spent together. But I would never recommend to sell just one because then what happens, they will go and buy a package from someone else. Because a transformation, most of the time, takes time. Sometimes it takes a moment, but sometimes it… And that’s my experience, it also is a process where you’re working on one thing, and you’re working on the next thing, and you’re working on the next thing. So even if I was working with pro bono clients I was always making sure that we had a certain amount of sessions. And because they were pro bono, if they weren’t showing up, or they weren’t coming back, I would immediately fire them as clients because at the moment I wasn’t serving them and they were not serving me on the pro bono process. And if we were going to work together as a paid client as well, there is a minimum time of one month, or three months, or six months, that we will spend together so that we can see during the time, we can assess in the progresses, the results. And that’s how I felt that I was kept in the loop, and also I could see that the process was working. And on a business level that’s also how I get the testimonials and the referrals that allowed me then to have multiple clients just kind of from that client.
– That’s a great answer, Simone. It’s interesting because I think a lot of Animas coaches don’t necessarily work with the kind of issues that are immediately transparent and tangible results, so they tend not to be, on the whole, performance coaches, but more transformational coaches at the inner paradigm level, if you like. That can take a long time. It can take a long time with you or it can take a long time even post you as a coach. So I think there’s also something about coaches trusting the process, having a genuine trust and belief in the process of coaching that’s not predicated upon seeing results in the world. I’m sure almost everyone watching has had this where you’ve been through a process of seeming change that doesn’t actually change you in the moment but then two years later you look back and realise how important that was to you for where you are now, two years later. You know, I went through a master’s course, and it was an uncomfortable two years for me. I didn’t felt like I fitted in. And yet I could look back and go, that was one of the most transformational two years of my life. And yet I had been asked how I was impacted at the time it felt negative, and unpleasant, and all this kind of stuff. So the outcome might have felt like it doesn’t weigh up at all for the cost. But somehow later in life I thought, oh my god, that was unbelievably important to me. So there’s something important about having you as a coach, having the trust that this is a journey that you have to let people go on and flourish in their own time, and you have to believe that what you do is enough and not even have to see the result. That’s my take on it, but I entirely get your point too.
– Thank you for sharing, Nick. We have Rachel. So now I’ve learned how to start marking questions here, which is pretty cool. And now we have Rachel building up from this question, which asks, “What’s a great way to measure coaching impact “so that we can collate such results “and utilise them for future marketing “and business development?” You want to start with this one?
– I’ll start with this one then.
– You I don’t, you take it.
– I’ll start with this one. There are two things that are really important. Immediately is having a coaching contract at the beginning. So every time I would go into a coaching relationship I have my contract, which protects me and the person I’m working with, legally, because you never know what can happen. Fortunately, God praying nothing happens, but you never know. You’re working with people, and you’re working with people on a transformational level. And sometimes things can happen, so you want to be protected yourself, and also you want to lay expectation. And in the contract I will always put that around the midterm and at the end of our relationship, I would ask for a testimonial and a referral. So now they know up front that halfway through and at the end I’m going to ask for a testimonial and a recommendation. So they know expectations. There is no surprise to that. When they give me the referral I will ask them to connect me personally with the other person they think that can be a good fit for our culture, and they can have a free tester session. And for regarding the testimonial I always, in the contract, there is also explicit permission to make this testimonial public. And then I create a Google folder. So I have a Google folder with about, now thousands, but I started building day by day, screenshots from text messages that people were sending, and I was asking their permission. Hey, if I blurred your name, can I use this? Or Facebook Messenger conversations, or comments on social media, or a proper testimonial which was written by them, or, again, another way to get great testimonials… Because people are lazy, remember that. People are lazy. If you write the testimonial and you ask for approval you will get the testimonial back because you are not asking to. So you’re taking something real that happened, you write it yourself, then you say, can I use this on my website. Some people will be comfortable to use their picture and their name. Some people will not be comfortable with that depending on the kind of work that you are doing. But at least you can get the quote in that way. And the screenshot I believe are the most powerful way because people in testimonials on websites, anyone can write whatever they want. But if you take a screenshot, again, psychologically it gives more weight. Another thing that I’ve been doing is also if you go on my Facebook, if you look at Simone Vincenze, I have a Facebook photo album with about 300 screenshots of testimonials there in the photo album. So someone can go on my social media, go on the profile. There is an album called testimonials and these are all the screenshots of the people that said how great were my events, and the transformation that they got through the coaching together, the money that they made in their business, and so on. So these are a few ways to use it in a more strategic level right now to leverage, and then get more clients, and in particular build your credibility to the eyes of future customers.
– I’ve got nothing to add to that, Simone. That’s really a very, very great answer. I’ve got nothing to add from it. I’ve got something to take away from it in a sense. It’s like, I’m gonna keep reiterating myself, and I realise that, at the risk of just being boring. But there’s something about not having to predicate your marketing on the outcome of coaching because I just feel like often it’s just so hard to pin down the outcome. My honest, honest, honest answer to all this stuff is you’ve got to believe in you first. I really mean that. If I have to rely on somebody to look at testimonials I’ve already lost. Unless they find me through an online advert or something. But if they’ve met me and then they have to go look at testimonials, something’s happened that hasn’t worked. So I haven’t communicated something at the level of strength in my belief in what I do. That’s meant it’s fallen down. I mean, I love what you’re saying. I think it’s brilliant, and I think every coach can benefit.
– I do agree with you a bit on that. People are influenced in different ways. There are some people that they will just naturally buy into you. Other people must be looking at social proof. And it depends, again, it’s about them, it’s not about you. I can be the most confident person in the world but if that person buy in process is looking for social proof, and I don’t give them the social proof, I’ve lost the client.
– I love what you’re saying, I think it’s great.
– They are all important on this. We have another one which is Freya, okay. Sharing rates and packages online versus asking people what the fee is, and what would they need to pay to feel Is there a best way? You can answer this one. You can start with this one.
– There’s not a best way. There’s the right way for you. Personally, I’ve always, always, always preferred putting my fees transparent. In fact, somebody was criticising Animas today on Facebook, not a customer but like a prospect. So on Facebook, and they’re like, what a rip off, da da da da. And I answered and said, there’s no rip off here. Everything is super transparent on the site. This is just a way for you to meet us. I’ve always been very transparent. I’ve never said you had to come to introduction dates to find out how much our course costs. And the same for me as a coach. Personally I say my time is worth this, I want to work with people who can afford that, and I’m good with that. And if I lose people because of that, then I’m fine with that. The other strategy is, like, tailoring it and saying, what’s this worth to you? It’s just a different strategy. It’s not better or worse, it’s just, you have to choose the right one for you.
– I’m with Nick with this. And also if you are going… It’s about understanding the way you create leads for your business and where you want people to go. So for example, I don’t have any of my prices on the website because people can’t buy courses on the website because I want people to come to my events first. So, they will come to the event and the only thing I’m promoting on my website are my free webinars and my free events. There is not even a way get a free consultation. At the beginning, because I was running consultation, yes, that’s what I was offering. But right now what I want is people to come to the free event or the webinar so then they can get to know me, they can get to know my personality, they can get to know the content that I’m sharing, and I can build a reputation, and I can build credibility to their eyes. And then at that point I will say, okay, this is how you can work together. And sometimes I will make a paid offer, and I will make the price there with an offer or discount. Some people believe in discounts. Some people will never offer discounts. It’s completely up to you and the way you choose to run it. Both strategies work, but if you offer discounts, offer discounts. If you never offer discounts, then never offer discounts. Kind of pick one because otherwise people can get very different messages and then they will not trust you anymore, if you say, I never offer discounts and then you offer discounts. It’s always about sticking to your word in this case. Or sometimes I will just say, come to the event. They will come to the event and at that point I will offer a consultation, but they already know who I am, they already know the price, and then I use the consultation for them to buy. So think that when you’re structuring your business it’s about understanding where do you want people to go and putting the emphasis on that. And then if you want to be super transparent and filter people. Because putting the prices on a marketing level is a filtering process, which means I’m filtering immediately the people that cannot afford to buy it. But then I’m attracting the people that can afford to buy it and they know already how much it is. While if you don’t put it there, you are attracting more people but then you’re gonna be ready to have a conversation also with people that cannot afford to buy, or to have other different products or services, like an online course, or a membership site, that can then be more affordable for the people that will not be able to afford your one to one services. That’s my answer to this question.
– Before you answer another question, Simone, I want to step into a bit of structure for business. Because a lot of these questions are predicated on the idea that you’ve got a prospect in front of you, or you’ve attracted a prospect to look at your services. And actually, one of the things we need to think is that a lot of coaches don’t know how to do that. And so, many of the guys on this call probably have done Kickstart Your Coaching Practise, which is a one day course we run on starting your business. And what I created was like an acronym which was what I felt were the four most useful, simple, and most effective ways to get clients as a one to one coach. And they spell SNAP. We’ve actually extended it to SNAPS, but I don’t really believe in the last S but my team liked it. But it was S is speaking, N is networking, A is advertising, by which I mean online ads, Facebook ads, Google ads, et cetera. And P, which is the most important when you’re first starting is personal contacts and referrals. To be honest, the order really should be PNSA, is probably the real order of priority. And the last one, which my team have added, is S for social media. I’m still not convinced by social media as a one to one client getting strategy, but, you know, I’m up to be convinced. But either way, I think those five…
– I can tell you it works.
– Okay, okay, so good. That’s because I’m very fuddy-duddy. But also SNAPS. Speaking, networking, advertising, personal contacts and referrals, and social media. And I think that what I will suggest is as a new coach I would pick one, maximum two, from that list, and master them, and really figure out how to use them well. I think every coach should be thinking about personal contacts. The nearest I ever got to building a one to one coaching practise, because my coaching sort of landed within an existing business I had, but the nearest it got was when I was a financial advisor, and I was a commission-only financial advisor, and I had to find all my own clients and sell to them, et cetera. And it was back before the internet-ish. I’d go down to the library, get the electoral roll of the library shelf, photocopy it, and then manually type letters to every person down a particular street, go and manually post the letter in the letterbox saying, in a week’s time I’ll be walking down your street knocking on your down. Then literally I’d knock on the door and say, hey, I’m Nick Bolton, a financial advisor, da da da. And I used to joke that I should name the streets after me because I had so many remortgages down the streets. But the first thing I was ever told to do working for this organisation as a commission only was make a list of every single human being in your life and then split them into three people. One is people you’re never gonna do business with because they’re your mum, they’re your dad, and you’re not gonna go, hey mum, do you fancy whatever? Then there’s people who could refer you but they’re not going to be your clients. It could be friends, or relatives, that cousin. And the third one is people who could definitely be your client, milkman,, whoever. And then literally just create this three column list and that was my starting point as a financial advisor. And if I were to start a one to one coaching practise from scratch that would be the very, very, very first thing I do is list every human being I can think of and figure out are they untouchable, are they referrers, or are they potential clients, and then start working my way through that list. And then that starts to get you your clients and then you start to build the others on top, which is great, now I can go networking, great, now I can go speaking, great, now I can, et cetera, et cetera. But that’s how I would start if I was starting from scratch.
– I believe I have nothing to add on that. I think it’s the best way and that’s how I started too. That’s the advice that was given to me as well when I was starting the very first time. And it was just getting in touch. I’ve got to say, it was not comfortable at the beginning because I wasn’t used to contacting people. That’s part of the process. The more people you contact, the more confident. It becomes just second nature. But you’ve got to get over if you feel that resistance. And I know a lot of people feel in particular if they never worked in a sales role, or a commission only role, then the reason that resistance, and am I going to annoy them, are they going to say no, and that feel of rejection kicking in. And something that I’ve learned, and it was a brilliantthat told me and they said, every no is getting closer to a yes. So, if you know you’re going to have a yes every 10 people and the yes is worth 1,000 pounds, let’s say, then it means that every person that says no is actually paying you 100 pounds. And so every time someone will say no it’s like, thank you for my 100 pound. At the beginning it was like, this is complete crap. But then I started believing it after a while, and I was like, oh, I’m enjoying the nos. Now every no is like, thank you for my 100 pounds.
– Funny enough there was a strategy that went around the internet a while back for coaches, which was get to 100 nos. The guys I was mentioning at the time, we’ve picked up on this, and they were on this big mission to get as many nos as they could. Not as in deliberately getting nos, but just clocking up the conversations that get to a no but sometimes get to a yes. It was supposed to be reframing the no. And I think that’s a wonderful idea just to reframe the emotion.
– Absolutely. Guys, you see that there is the poll here somewhere on your screen. I’m gonna close it in a moment so if you haven’t clicked on the poll, and let us know where you need help, then please do it right now because I’m going to close it in a minute. Something that was talked at the very beginning, and actually Unique got me to add it to the poll, which was increased visibility and credibility. Now I see that a lot of people here are putting that they want help in getting clients. But it’s very difficult to get clients if you don’t have an audience. Because after a while then even the people that you’ve done your three lists, and then you contact the people, and then they are done. Something which is really important, and that’s something that a lot of people will not do, or they don’t focus in doing, is to consistently getting in front of new audiences, is to consistently getting in front of new people that never heard about you before. There are a few ways in which you can do that, which I’m going to explain now, building on the acronym that Nick gave before. This must be one of your main priorities because otherwise you arrive to a point that even if you post every day, or three times a day, or 10 times a day, on your Facebook but on your Facebook there are only your mom, your sister, your cat, and your dog, then they’re not gonna buy, so you can keep posting, but if the only people that see are the people you’re already connected with then again you don’t get clients. So, I would give them, for me, what worked really well, and I think that is the best strategy to get clients, is doing speaking, is speaking about what you are doing. But not speaking at, you’re not creating your own events. Because unless you have already an audience, unless you have already people, or you have a marketing budget to put on paid advertisement. Nick and I both know, running events, that getting people in the room is not as easy as it looks like. Because there are a lot of factors that are happening to get someone even attending a free event. So if you’re starting out, don’t gamble with your own money, particularly if you don’t have an already an audience ready to come to your event. When you’re going to networking events, ask to be the speaker there. Or ask to be the speaker to relevant events, or the chamber of commerce. Or you’ll find networking events maybe in your local area, or business networking events. And they always have a speaker. And you can start practising there. You can become a good speaker practising in Toastmasters. But what speaking gives you, and that’s why I love it, it is because it puts you face to face in front of the right people. And, you know, everything you are doing online is great and is scalable. I’m here, I’m here in my T shirt, in my living room. Nick is there looking all sexy. There is still a screen between us, so there is less human connection. You can connect with me, you connect with me and with Nick, but you will connect way more on a human level if you see me and Nick in an event face to face. And so, as a priority, and that’s something that I made myself do, and it reaped incredible results, is just to speak at as many events as possible. Finding opportunities, getting out there. And it gave me two things. One was the confidence in speaking. I mean, I’m Italian, and when I started, my English was pretty poor. So also for those of you that are not English native speakers it gives you also the ability and the confidence to then speak in front of an audience and make yourself understood in front of an audience. And then on top of that, people are coming to you. People are there, and they say, oh my god, I’d love to connect with you. I love what you shared. And that’s a great point because now you don’t have to anymore introduce yourself, what you do. The conversation becomes how can we work together, how can I help you, without the whole introduction before. So that’s why I absolutely love speaking. If you’re not living in a city, because I know that also speaking is very geographically related. I mean, if you are in Essex, or whatever, I don’t know where. What is a small town in the UK, Nick?
– Goodness, I don’t know. Oh, what’s it called? Ely.
– Ely. I never heard of it, right, so it must be pretty small. And it’s very difficult also to find a lot of opportunities to speak. So if you are living in a small place then you can apply the same strategies but online. So you are speaking to other communities.
– Let me just interrupt with that because actually I think small towns are one of the best opportunities. Why, because people don’t think you can speak at a small town. Like, everyone things you could be in London, or Edinburgh. It’s so true. I remember there was a lady who trained with us who wanted to do coaching with mums. And I don’t remember how, I think she came to our little evening thing I did on sales. And I said to her, you should go to Mothercare. And funnily enough, she was in, I think she was in Colchester, or Chelmsford, around the seas of Essex. And I said to her, go to Mothercare and just say, I would like to run an evening session for your customers, talking about how, I don’t know what the subject was, but something to do with parenting, not coaching. But it was to parenting mindfulness or something. And they said yes, and I think she ended up doing three evening talks for Mothercare. So, in a sense she had created her own but it was essentially free, and the market was done by the shop. It made it so easy. Go to the local university, go to the local school, go to the local library, go to the local rotary club. It’s unbelievably rife with opportunity because it’s not saturated by coaches thinking they should be part of the next interesting talks meetup, or the next GTeX meetup. It’s like, it’s virgin ground for people to do stuff that is not normally done in that local area.
– You’ve got a good point, absolutely. So if you are in a small town, hey, take the opportunity. And then if you want to build a business online, because some people, for example, my wife, Lovelda, she wants her business to be mainly online. And there are people that actually don’t like being in with a lot of other people all the time, like myself for example. And you can apply the same strategy by getting in front of other online communities. So the most important thing is that you find always new people to speak in front of and to communicate your message with. Another thing called talking about credibility is being interviewed on podcasts or doing mutual interviews with other people because it builds your profile and also gives you a practise ground as well for your material. In fact, someone said, okay, actually, I would love Nick to answer this question, which was, what if you don’t like speaking? Because we talked a lot about the importance of communication, and speaking here, speaking there. What if you don’t like speaking? Is there still hope? That’s what I’m hearing the subtext in this.
– I think you’ve got to work to your strengths. And I think most coaches tend to be good people people, which is why they’re coaches. That doesn’t make them good speakers but it at least gives them the fertile ground to build speaking skills on, I would say. However, if you don’t currently have those skills, whilst not giving up on them, I think you’ve got to go, what am I good at, and what can I do? And that can be networking. It could be building one step at a time by referrals. But there is a reality to this which is you’ve got to find something that works to get you clients. I’m not good at networking, I’m not good at speaking, I’m not good at online advertising. Can I be a coach? Well probably not. Like if you’re not willing to find something you can master which will get you clients, the reality of it is you won’t get clients. I don’t think speaking has to be the one but I wholly agree with you that it’s one of the most powerful. But I also think so is advertising on Google. If you’ve got great website skills, and great website, and that sort of thing, and good consultation skills, you don’t have to speak, but yes, of course, it’s unbelievably powerful if you can. What are your thoughts, Simone?
– I found that the industry is going in a way where people, before hiring the coach… It’s not a plumber, right. It’s not someone that is saying, oh, wow, like, I’ve got a leak in my sink, and my sink is leaking, and I need to hire someone. I find that first number, and I call it. And generally people before hiring a coach or a mentor, they are looking for… They want to see them before, they want to see them first. That has been my experience a lot of times. It doesn’t always work this way, but I think about a good 80% of the time. In fact, if they like your website as well, they are going to look on YouTube, on some of the content that you share. Maybe they’re going to go on your Facebook page. And if they can see a video about yourself talking about what you do, the chances that this person is going to contact you immediately are going to go up because then they are going to have a like also in your personality and who you are. But you didn’t see. I can send you guys my very first video I ever did. It’s out, it’s not public anymore, because now otherwise it will damage my brand and what I’m doing right now. But I was basically like this. Hi, my name is Simone, and I am Italian. That was my very first video, I was like this, but 10 minutes of this, right. Ugh, I cannot even think about that anymore. But again, with practise you become better. So, I agree with Nick saying if speaking is not your strength right now, find what works for you right now. So if it’s connecting with people one to one, great. If it’s getting referrals, great. But also build the speaking as one of your skills to have. When you go into the coaching industry you’re going kind of the thought leader industry, and you will be asked to be on interviews, or maybe you will be asked to be on television, or to write an article for a magazine. And those speaking skills are going to become useful not only to get clients, but also to become more visible and build more opportunities for yourself. You never where they’re going to get you. You never where they’re going to get you.
– I totally agree with that. Let me just add one more thing to this particular conversation around if you can’t speak how can you get clients. I think, number one, I’d say you’ve got to recognise that you have to have something. I’ve already said it, but I’m gonna say it again. You have to have something that works to get clients. There’s no point going like, oh, I can’t do any of these things. Tough, you’ve got to figure one of them out. However, it doesn’t have to be speaking. It could be you become such an authority in a particular area that people can read. So that might be a longer term strategy. But if you’ve written enough that’s genuinely good and genuinely a thought leadership pieces, oh god, I’d love to work with Simone. Even if I’ve never heard Simone speak, I’d love to work with him because his stuff is great. They’d be honoured to work with Simone. But seriously, I’m sure all of us follow certain people online. Imagine working with that guy. It would be amazing because they know so much about X, Y, Z. So that’s one other thing. But the third one, if you can’t get any marketing strategies that work then you need to get somebody to do it for you, by which it could mean you end up being one of the, I forget what they call them now, but like essentially an at placement coach. So you go to one of the HR consultancies in a city, and you sign up to be on their registry, and they place you into organisations. Now of course you have to have the right background. You need to come from a corporate background. You’ve got to be credible. You can’t have spent your life dish washing and then say, can I be one of your coaches? But if you have the right corporate background, you could easily sign up for one of those. I forget what it is, is it at placement? But anyway, these HR kind of firms.
– I don’t know what they call them, but I know they exist. I don’t have a corporate background so I never looked at it.
– Yeah, me neither, but I know people who do, and they get a lot of business. I think they get paid a decent fee but 50% of it goes to the organisation. But nonetheless they got a decent practise out of that. If you literally cannot market yourself, if you don’t have any of the skills, then finding somebody that can do that for you, that would work for you.
– This is brilliant, Nick. It goes back to the interview, to the last interview, when we talked that also being in business is not for everyone. You want to have a choice as well. Do you want to have a coaching business where you become a business owner or entrepreneur, and coaching is the product or service that you deliver. Or are you just happy not to have your own business but be self employed and have different contracts with organisations. That’s how I started, because I wasn’t making any money from my own business while I was keeping traction. I started coaching in schools. But I wasn’t going in schools. I had four different organisations. And I might be able to send you the names, guys. I had four different organisations that were sending me in the schools as a trainer for their programmes. They were paying me 120 to 250 pounds for a half a day, and I was then delivering the courses in schools. And that actually was my very first experience and that’s what paid the bills while I was learning how to do events, while I was learning public speaking, build my client base. Because if you’re starting out as well, you know, your business is going to be like this for the first three to five years, until you arrive to a place that you know you’re going to have sustainable clients, and you build sustainable, good cash flow, you have recurring income, depending on your strategies. But you’ve got to also have a way where you are not, like I did, I made myself homeless because I was very stubborn and I said, I’m going to make it by myself. I’m not going to get any other income. I was like, believe and you can achieve. Yes, believe and you can achieve, but you’ve also got to pay your bills. So, I wouldn’t recommend anyone to just go into business completely blind. So, have a source of income, maybe like a full time or part time job while you’re building it, or getting different contracts with other organisations that are paying you to be there, which gives you that piece of mind and gives you that space for you not to have stress about finances and grow your business from a place of abundance rather than from a place of, oh my god, I need to have that client, otherwise my kid is not going to eat tomorrow. It’s just not a good place to build a business at all.
– Yeah, and tying onto this, you said that business does this. Well, the reason it does that is A, because that’s the nature of building something new. But also because often coaches, and many, many different types of business owners, focus on what they do, which is coaching, or plumbing, or brick layer, whatever the thing is, not the thing that sits behind how they get the client. And the sporadically do the stuff that generates clients rather than systematically does the stuff the generates clients. And the thing I’d say, for somebody that really wants to succeed as a coach, they’ve got to systematically do the work that gets clients rather than just occasionally, when it suits them, when they feel like it, when they happy that they… They’ve got to day in, day out, do the stuff that’s not the coaching but the client generation activity. And choose one or two things they can do well and do them over and over again. We talk often about critical drivers in Animas, and the critical driver is the thing that happens upstream of the end result. Because often we say, oh, I want to get clients. Well, getting clients is a result. It’s not a thing you do, it’s a result. It’s the result of stuff that happens upstream. The critical driver is what has to happen one month, two weeks, one week ahead of the thing called get client. That if you can see it’s not happened a month ahead, or two weeks ahead, or one week ahead, you know you’re not going to get clients. So what you need to do is get that upstream activity going again. Do you need to do more with networking, do you need to do more speaking, do you need to do more emailing, do you need to spend more on advertising? Like, what’s the thing upstream that’s gonna end in this thing called get clients.
– 100%, agree with you 100%. I’ve made the mistakes many times, for the first three years, and then I got the lesson. And it becomes a priority. It becomes a priority. As Nick said, what you do today might give you clients three months from now, or two months from now, or next month, so it’s important to keep it consistently as part of your daily or weekly routine to put what you’re deciding to do to get clients. And the way that we decided, I don’t know, I think Nick decided to, with Animas as well, it was similar strategy. For us it was pointing everything on events. And we were doing events over events over events to the point where we did more than 200 events every single year. They were small, they were like two, three people at the beginning coming. But that consistency, first of all, gave me the speaking skills, and also safer practise ground, but also got people to know us more and to have those referrals. Is that the same that you did with Animas when you started?
– Yes, I would say so. I would say that we had a very simple event strategy, which was our introduction evening when I first started. Now it’s the introduction day. What changed was how we got people to that introduction day. Because often people say, well, do events. That’s not a strategy. That’s part of a strategy. Like how you get people into the event is also part of the strategy.
– And getting that come into customer, that’s another strategy.
– Well yeah, that’s how you then create a sales strategy. But when I first started, I spent… You know the story. I sold my canal boat for 15,000 quid, and I had this wad of 15,000 quid under my bed. I was sharing a room with my mate’s ex wife. And then every so often I’d get like 2,000 pounds out, and I’d spend it on an exhibition space at One Life Show, which doesn’t exist anymore. Mind body show, mind body spirit show, yoga show, business show. And all my 15,000, whooz, like this. Because I was spending it on shows. And I hated those shows. I really hated standing in a cubicle with some of my people who knew me, going, hey, are you interested in coaching? I hated it. But it was the only strategy I knew that would get people into my events. But over time I started to learn about AdWords, and Facebook was still relatively new. I don’t think Facebook has existed when I started. But bit by bit we transitioned from real events, real expos, sorry, into online advertising. And my goodness, what a happy move that was when I finally went, no more expos. I hated them. But I did them for probably like four years. Oh, dreadful stuff. What shifted for me was how we got people into our events.
– For us, a great way to get people into your events is to speak at other peoples’ events. And it’s the cheapest way, because I didn’t even have the money for paying for lineups. And I spoke at other peoples’ events, and other people networking, whatever I could, and then say, hey, I’m running an event next Tuesday. Come along. And we started from evenings, then we started building our first half a day event, then we started building our first full day, then we build on a weekend, then three days, and moving on on that.
– Let me just jump in, actually, because you’ve just made me think of something. The one thing we’ve not talked about which I think is useful if joint ventures and strategic partnerships. And that might sound very grandiose for somebody starting off, it’s not, any more than speaking, could be speaking for five people at Mothercare. I once mentored a business coach. He’d been a plumber, or he ran a plumbing business, sorry. A building business, actually. He ran a building business for years. And he wanted to become a coach, business coach, but he had no idea how to get clients. And he was Polish. And one day he discovered an accountant whose sort of primary database of clients were mainly Polish. And he said, why don’t we do a workshop together. You invite all your customers, and I’ll teach them marketing skills, et cetera. And he went from zero to 20,000 pound overnight. When I say 20,000, he made a 20,000 pound sale to one customer from that event. And he’d been struggling to get clients for ages. That one joint venture with his accountant was all it took to get him started. And so sometimes joint ventures and strategic partnerships can be as simple as somebody you know that you agree to do business with.
– And that’s what we are doing tonight. This is why we decided to partner up and to work together, to collaborate. I always loved what Animas and what Nick does, and I managed to chase and to pester Nick enough to have a meeting. There was a bit of persistence there. But then we clicked. And we did the first interview, it went really well, and now we’re doing the second one. And the purpose of this is for you guys to see what kind of help do you need on a business level so then we can help and support you. That becomes what Nick said, like literally in practise right now. One question I got. There is a half-Italian, Katarina! Ciao, Katarina! We got a half-Italian and tips at the moment. This is a very long message. The summary is, any tips on narrowing down my message and keeping it clear.
– Oh goodness, that depends on so many factors. So the first thing I’d want to know is, broadly speaking, who is the audience? But I would say that, if I can answer that at a generic level I would say, try to identify what the most significant pain points are for that market. You don’t really have a message to market unless you have a market, in which case the message has to come from you are. So in a sense you could say the message has got to come from who you are, or who they are. One of those two has got to dominate the message. So if you have a market in mind, figure out what does the market need from you that you can speak to and you can deliver against. There’s no point speaking to something and, by the way, I can’t help. You’ve got to be able to help with that pain point. That’s if you have a market you can identify. If you’re more of a generic life coach then tune into what makes you different. How is it to work with you rather than Katarino? I don’t think that’s a masculine male name, Italian name. What’s the difference that makes the difference for you to be the coach rather than someone else, and tune into that message. But I would say the message has to be dictated either by the market you’re serving or by who you are.
– I completely agree there with what Nick said, Katarina. I found that the easiest way. It depends on how many clients you’ve got. I think there are different stages in refining your niche. If you already have a lot of clients, or a lot of consultations, at least over 50 different people, I recommend, you can look at the common patterns of the people that you enjoy the most working with, and the people that had also the money to pay you, and the people that really, really, they really wanted your help. So if they really wanted your help, you enjoyed working with them, and they had the money to pay you, you can find the common patterns and that can become your niche. If you don’t have yet those kind of people you can still start refining and fine tuning your message. I think I believe or Nick believes that the important issues are related at the beginning, at the moment the beginning just starts. Tell the people, say what you do, and then you will have some people that somehow they will join, and they will come to you. And then you will start refining from there. I found a great way to interact with people is that a lot of people, they will hire a coach because they find that they kind of would like themselves, or they overcame something that they want to overcome now. So, if you’re thinking about your life and think about, okay, what is one of the biggest challenges that I have overcome, and are there other people that want to overcome that challenge. Now, if you start from that point, it gives you a few different advantages. One, you can understand what they’re going through. So it will be, I think, easier to coach them and to give them results. Secondly, there will be a trusting built because now they can say, well, you have done it. Can you help me? And those in your material, it can be I have done it, you can do it too. There are just different advantages that at the very beginning give you a massive difference rather than doing like a full-blown market research, which will happen with the clients that you have. That’s how I started. For me, one of the biggest struggles I had was to find my purpose in life. I found my purpose. Then I created a nice methodology around helping other people finding their purpose, a good programme around it. And that’s what I started helping people with. And then the people, they were coming to me, they were asking me, oh, but you built, you’re making six figures a day in your seminars, and you’re making this, and you’re now built into this community with hundreds of people. I’m a coach, I want that. And the majority of people, they were coming to us buying purpose, but what they wanted, they wanted business training. And so literally we changed the whole entire company because we understand that the people that we attracted actually were buying something just because they wanted something else, and we just made it more clear. We said, okay, we can help you then start your coaching business, and make you avoid the mistakes that I have made, and teach you the best strategies that you can navigate a market right now, because I love business, and I obsess about this industry. I’m always testing something new. And that was my journey. And this message resonates with people that are working in the coaching industry because they see, well, he has done it. I did it, you can do it too. So you can see how that works mechanically. It also puts less pressure on you, and you start from the person that you know best, which is yourself, instead of guessing. Nick, do you have anything to add on this?
– I was gonna do a Rob thing, because Rob always does this. He says, no, but just… Just one small thing, which is hey, you have really, really, really got to believe your message. That’s all I’d say is just, you know, don’t come out with some marketing gumpf that you don’t believe in. Make sure you believe in what you’re saying. If you do, you’ll communicate it. If you don’t, you’ll be incongruent.
– Absolutely. Well, guys, if you don’t have any other questions, what I would love you to share is what was your biggest learning from this interview. From this conversation, let’s not even call it interview. From this conversation. I would love to know what is your biggest takeaway, what was the thing that stood out the most for you, and also what actions are you going to take. Remember, you can learn a lot of different stuff but let’s bring it down to earth. What is one thing that you can do as a result of this? I’m curious. Let me know, and let us know, because we want to see the impact. Talking about how do we measure the impact that we have. I want to see the impact that this conversation had. I definitely had a great time. I don’t know about you, Nick, but I definitely had a great time tonight.
– Yeah, it’s been fun. It’s interesting for me because I’m just not at the cold face of coaching anymore. So it’s fun to revisit it and remember, you know, what is it people contend with when they first start out. It’s sometimes easy to forget that, but actually that’s the truth of starting businesses. You’re right at the cutting edge where getting your first client is the most important thing to you. And it is, like you’ve got to get that person, but equally you want to start to build structures that support you to get them again, and again, and again, and again, and again.
– Absolutely. While the guys here are writing their biggest takeaways, we already have one coming in, so I’m going to read them in a few minutes so please keep writing. Can you leave us with final words of wisdom from the Nick Bolton? If we can have a final words of wisdom here.
– Yeah, my final word of wisdom. If somebody can do it, so can you, unless you can existentially appraise yourself and realise that you are not the same as that person in some fundamentally different way. But if somebody can do it, then so can you. And I really believe that’s true. And I think you’ve got to then go, like, what are they doing I’m not? What are they doing I’m not prepared to put the work in at? What are they doing I haven’t bothered learning? Or what are they doing that I haven’t had the courage to do myself? Or what are they doing that I haven’t found the time to do? Or whatever. But there’s absolutely no reason why somebody could build a successful business, coaching business, and you can’t, not in any absolute sense. I cringe when people say, is the market saturated? No. How many really successful coaches are there? Well, that doesn’t come down to the market. It comes down to the number of coaches who are really prepared to do what they need to do, but it’s all learnable.
– Yes, absolutely. Thank you so much for sharing, Nick. And for me, my last one is, to have a plan and to learn about business. Because if you want to have a coaching business, now you have to learn about coaching, now you’ve got to learn about business. And that was the biggest difference that made for me, when I took the coaching business as a business seriously. And I started learning about visibility, how do I get into large publications like Forbes or Entrepreneur Magazine, how do I get to debuting podcasts, how do I keep getting clients, how do I film my events, how do I get people to say yes. As Nick said, the very first step is having your confidence. You can have the best business strategies but if you don’t have absolute belief in what you do, even the best business strategies are not going to work. But once you have that, then the next step is, okay, now instead of having that passion, like I was, like I felt like I had a lot of passion, but I was going in 5,000 different directions and there was no focus in what I was doing. Once I started having a clear strategy and also giving myself the time and practising the fact of being a business owner, and being in business, then the clients started coming, client after client, and we built the organisation that exists today. This will be my biggest advice, piece of advice, on the topic. And guys, as we said as well, one of the reasons why we’re doing this conversation is because now we decided to work together with Animas and GTeX, and we are here to help you. So I’m going to send you a follow up email with a few different trainings. You can see I’ve got different online training, a free training that you can access, so that you can help, it can help you put more structure into your business, identify your niche, creating your programme, your services, so then you can have this journey easier. And also, if you want to work with us, there are going to be also different options on how you can attend our paid trainings. We have one coming out actually this very weekend on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. And also the one that we are going to put in the new year because we are going to take a break for December for the festivities. I’m going to read some of the comments here that are raining, make it rain here in the comments. Carol said, “Not biggest, “but I love the tip around the screenshot.” Thanks, you’re welcome. Trisha said, “I’m glad to have a reminder “that the most important thing “is to do what makes me feel good “and not compare myself to others.” Amen to that. Thank you, Trisha. Joanna, “Key takeaways. “Focus, don’t do everything. “Pick one or two things that you do well “and be consistent every week. “Also love the joint venture idea.” Great point. Thank you very much, Joanna. Katarina said, “I love your enthusiasm.” I’m sure she was talking about Nick. Then Sarah, “Key takeaway, “contracting around referrals and testimonials. “Never heard this being done before.” You’re welcome, Sarah. I never heard this too when someone told me that. Carol, “Quote of the evening: “If someone can do it, so can you.” Yes, Freya, “sparked a lot of ideas. “Loved the distinction of messages coming from who you are “and who they are. “I’m not into pain points, “but I love myself, so that was great.” Katarina, “Really believing in your messages.” Joanna, “Being really clear on your audience.” Lucy, “Build your approach around your values “and transparency of fees.” Venice, it’s like Venice in Italy, or is a bit different. “The conversation has been really helpful. “The biggest takeaway was to be confident “in what I have to offer. “As a new coach, I also like the approach “of allowing your client to think of the monetary value. “The emotional investment is worth it.” Absolutely. Coda, “Trust in the process “and not looking for immediate change. “And the idea of screenshots and testimonials.” And then Nick, “Starts with you, “with your own personal contact “and personal challenges you have faced. “That’s how you can grow and be authentic.” And with this, I think we can wrap up for tonight.
– Thank you so much, Simone. And thank you guys for listening to us talking.
– I want to thank Nick for the opportunity for this great conversation. Had a great time and opportunity to share this with you guys because I believe we are in this to help each other. That’s what we are here for. We can share our knowledge, we can share our path. And the beauty of this industry is that we actually are making the change in the world, that we are changing peoples’ lives, that we are changing the world. So, commend you for the work that you are doing. I know it’s hard work. Nick and I are practising everyday, and have been practising for a while. So, thank you very much for everything. I wish you a fantastic evening. And maybe we will do a part three. Who knows? I’ll leave you a cliffhanger. See, I love marketing. All right, guys, see you next time.
– Bye bye, guys.