Ep #23 The True Barrier to Expanding Your Coaching Clientele

by | Apr 4, 2024 | Coaching, Owning your own Health and Wellness Business, SCA Podcast

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Transcript

Brian
Hi, and welcome to the Somatic Coaching Academy podcast. This is episode 23. Hi, Ani. How are you?

Ani
Hi, Brian. I’m good, and I’m excited about today’s topic. Oh, how are you, by the way?

Brian
I’m doing okay. I see that you’re more excited about the topic than you are about how I’m doing.

Brian
But yes, I’m doing great. Thank you.

Ani
I am excited about today’s topic. We’re talking about why coaches don’t have as many clients as they want. And Brian, it’s like the plague out there. We hear this all the time. Oh, shoot. I meant to get the statistic around how much most coaches make.

Brian
Oh, I can tell you.

Ani
Oh, I love that. Einstein says, “Don’t remember anything you can look up”, which is why I don’t remember a lot of things because I know I can look them up, but I also keep Brian around for just these purposes.

Brian
Life coaches on average earn about $65,000 a year.

Ani
That’s a lot higher than I thought you were going to say.

Brian
Yeah, but that’s the average. That’s true.

Ani
There are people who are making millions. A lot less and a lot more.

Brian
Yeah, a lot of people are making more. Performance coaches are around around $100,000, maybe.

Ani
Again, average.

Brian
Yeah, something like that. Executive coaches are $150,000 and up to $200,000, something like that on average. Again, some executive coaches make a lot more money than that, some make less. But if you look at the generic, not that life coaches are ever generic, but they’re less specialized, let’s say, than a performance coach potentially or an executive coach, or at least a coach who puts themselves in that avenue or that niche or that speciality. Again, a lot of this can get messy.

Ani
Yeah, and executive or performance coaches are usually working with people who are used to paying for coaching. The client, that might be something they’re already investing in. Prices tend to be a little bit higher in those two spaces. The ICF has some statistics about how much coaches on average make, and it’s closer to that 60 mark, the International Coaching Federation has some statistics about that. But every time I hear it, I always think it’s interesting.

Brian
Yeah, of course. We want to say, too, when we’re saying average $65,000, that’s not your take home pay. That’s what your business is bringing in. Right. What you’re really taking home, like half to a third of what your business is actually making. At least that’s the metric that we use in our business, at least that I started using in my business. I started way long time ago, was that when I left my salaried position, I realized I had to, actually, from a business perspective, take in three times that amount to take home what I had previously been taking home. With that metric in mind, if an average life coach is making $65,000 a year, they’re only taking home less than $30,000 because of the business operational costs.

Ani
Right. And butter costs $6 a package right now, Brian. People want to make more money. Sure. A lot of people that we talk to, they want to be making six figures. When you map out six figures, by the way, for a coach, in terms of how they can get to six figures, it’s really not that difficult. But a lot of people that we talk to tell us that they want to have more clients, and they just don’t have the clients they want. And it’s not that they’re not doing anything, by the way. A lot of the folks that we talk to, they’re trying. They’re out there on social media. They’re going to networking events, they’re talking to people, and yet they still aren’t either attracting clients that are their more ideal clients. They’re not landing the clients. They’re not closing the clients, and they still want to find more clients. It’s a big deal for coaches in general.

Brian
Yeah. There’s really only a couple of ways to make more money in your business. You can either charge more money- raise your rates per client, or see more clients. That’s another way. Those are the two primary ways. I have a little bugaboo. Some people ask me about passive revenue, and that’s a demystifying thing. There’s no such thing as passive revenue. Having a conversation with somebody I was working with on a business model, and they’re like, I want some passive revenue. Well, explain to me what you think passive revenue is. Well, we’re creating this product, and other people are doing it for us. I said, Well, what about that is passive? You still have to bring in the money to pay the people who are doing the thing, and you still have to manage the product and supply and demand, all those kinds of things. There’s really nothing passive about that at all.

Ani
No, there’s not. Also a lot of ‘passive revenue products’ cost, prices that are not a whole lot of money. You got to sell a lot of them en mass to be able to bring home six figures or something like that. I mean, part of me is laughing because we’ve done some of these things with our past academy. We still have, occasionally, people will buy a video or something like that. It’s passive because for 10 years we hoofed it.

Brian
But also for the virtual videos, we’re still paying to host the sites on which they are, the software.

Ani
All the software. All the technology support to be able to support the technology. Anyway, that was a small thing.

Brian
Anyway, we do digress, but let’s come back to, so forget about the passive income thing for a little while and just come back to the idea of if you want to make more money in the coaching world, the two basic ways are, unless I’m missing one, it’s either to charge more money or to see more clients.

Ani
Yeah, but when you talk about seeing more clients, people are like, I would be fine with seeing more clients. Actually, I love what I do, and I just don’t have enough clients to see. I think that a large part, actually, a large part of what happens is people start to figure out how to fix that problem, Brian, and they’re trying to fix that problem from not correcting for the ‘being state’, which we talked about two episodes ago with purpose, not correcting for the being state. They’re trying to correct the doing action problem, which doesn’t really work sustainably because we could do some different actions. But if we’re still being that same person in the world, it’s not going to be a sustainable fix. So one of the things, and it’s one of the reasons why our students have such great results, even though they’ve taken other certification programs, even coaching certification programs before, and they tell us, Yeah, but I haven’t been able to actualize the clients that I really want to get. Well, they probably haven’t, and most people haven’t that we talked to, done the work to change who they are and really get coaching and be coached from an aspect of the whole human so that their thoughts and their words and their actions are arising from a whole different place.

Ani
And actually start to become a client attractor because a lot of people are actually repelling clients, and they don’t even know it. Yeah.

Brian
So we had a conversation just this morning, Ani, which is really interesting. You told me that a lot of the people who call us at the Somatic Coaching Academy to talk about our programs, already have or have already invested in the past in other coaching programs.

Ani
Or other holistic programs. They are already professionals.

Brian
They’re already professionals. They’ve spent a bunch of money, they’ve learned a great skill or a great tool. One of two things, either they’re telling us that I’m just not making any money based on all the money I already spent, or I’m still stuck in a job that I can’t leave because I can’t make enough money in my coaching business. I think what you’re speaking to is really important because you can learn a skill, but that doesn’t automatically make you a great coach, doesn’t automatically make you someone who can attract clients. There’s something that has to change deeper within our being state, primarily in order to do something different in your business. I see that connection that way.

Ani
Yeah. We teach business development skills at the Somatic Coaching Academy, in conjunction with our certification programs, and that’s important. Brian, if you take out the business development, you put it in the exact things that we teach, exact. You put it in another environment, they work quite as well. Case in point, I used to teach the exact business development skills that I teach at the Somatic Coaching Academy to our students, to people who weren’t our students and certification students. And the results were good, but they weren’t a hundred percent. Everybody couldn’t do it all the time. And the reason is because the things that we teach at the Somatic Coaching Academy, the way we coach you and the way we teach you to coach others, actually does get at this being state. It teaches you the skills to be able to navigate resistance to change so you can actually take the business development skills and actually actualize them, actually do them because you can navigate the resistance that comes up, the subconscious resistance, the physiological resistance, so that you can actually do those skills. We actually teach really high-level, simple. The way that we teach it is simple and it’s easy to understand, but they’re really high-level business development skills.

Ani
We teach high-ticket sales, actually. Regardless of whether our students are going to be doing high-ticket sales or not, they’re really helpful, heart-centered ways to interact with students. Actually, while we’re on this topic for just a second, a lot of other programs will tell you they’re teaching you business development skills, but they’ll teach you things about marketing. And while marketing is important, I usually tell our students that marketing is not super important until you make about $250,000 in your business. Because up until about $250,000 in your business, what you really need are sales skills. But a lot of people will tell us, I need marketing help when they really need to learn sales skills. I know I’m just going on sales or something that people oftentimes, Brian, people cringe to even think about. But it doesn’t have to be like that because there’s no way to change another person’s life unless you have a powerful conversation with them about who they could become. That’s what I mean when I’m talking about sales skills.

Brian
I’m so glad you took this ramp on it because this is exactly what I’ve been thinking for the last three minutes listening to you, is that this is where I wanted to take the conversation also. I’m so glad maybe we’re just mind melding here and going that way.

Ani
We spend enough time together.

Brian
I think there’s actually a fantasy that people have when they graduate from a coaching program and they think that whether this is happening consciously or subconsciously, and if you’re listening to this, there might be a little bit of harsh self-admission on this. It certainly existed this way for me that you’re going to send out an email with a button on it that says, ‘Click here for your coaching sessions’, and people will just click a website and order up a session, and you’ll get paid without ever having to talk to a human being before you do the session. I think there’s a bit of a fantasy that happens around that, and then we’re very dismayed when that doesn’t happen because that’s not the way it works.

Ani
Well, listen, we hear about it all the time. You look online anywhere, and you’re going to get ads if you’re in the coaching space for, ‘Have your clients click a button’. I mean, literally, it’s everywhere. Brian, I remember the first time someone told me I was going to have to call somebody. I started crying, and I hung up the phone on them. I’m not kidding you. I had so much resistance to talking to people on the phone. It was so bad. I waited eight months after I had that conversation to get in a really tight financial spot, and then remembered that conversation and thought, maybe I should try to call somebody, and I was absolutely shaking. Absolutely shaking. So the first thing I did actually was call one of my best friends because I knew I could do that without dying. And then I finally worked myself up to… Now I love talking with people. And we talk to people on the phone all the time because it really is how you transform someone’s life. It’s not clicking a button on a website. I think that’s a really important thing to bring up, but I’m so glad you did because it’s a fallacy and that those are primarily people who are buying into content marketing who are telling you that they make a hardy living.

Ani
Off of telling people. I’m not saying that they’re snake oil salesmen. Those things work at a low percentage. It’s usually about 3% of people will click on your link, which means you have to have a rather large audience to make those things work. So I think being honest about that is really important.

Brian
Yeah. And so if I could just extract from what you just said, it sounds to me like what you’re saying is that conversations are the transformational way to enroll more clients that you can help transform their lives.

Ani
Yeah. It has to be a certain conversation. And it’s a conversation we don’t often have out there in the world. It’s a conversation that, like your purpose, helps to put us, both people having a conversation, in the way of influence. What do you really want to achieve in your life and what’s been blocking you? Oftentimes, if you catch what conversations you have out there, you’re listening, I encourage you to check it out because we ask our students to check it out, and it’s always interesting what they say. Usually, the conversations we’re having in our lives on a daily basis aren’t a conversation that puts us in the way of influence, in the way of desire, in the way of evolving. There are conversations that help us to maintain our current level of where we are. So it needs to be a certain kind of conversation. We call them influential conversations. And the point isn’t to influence and not to manipulate anybody. The point is to put ourselves in the way of influence to help somebody get clarity and then to help somebody make a decision. That’s all.

Brian
Yeah. So that’s the part, too, is that the reason we don’t naturally have those conversations, I think, is because we were taught things about ourselves at very young ages that wouldn’t allow us to naturally have those conversations. And what we are taught about ourselves has either clouded or informed our state of being. So if we have a certain state of being, it’s impossible for us to have influential conversations where we can help someone else make the best decision for themselves, regardless of what it has to do with us.

Ani
Absolutely.

Brian
But what we’re teaching people is how to change their being state so that those conversations become a natural extension of who they are.

Ani
So let’s just be really clear about what we mean about being state, too. We help our students to identify for themselves and then to be able to do with other people if they are coming from a place of core woundedness or core expression. And most of us throughout the course of our day are coming from a place of core woundedness all the time, and we don’t even know it. It’s just a part of the water that we’re swimming in. And so the three core wounds as we identify them are- I’m not worthy, I’m not lovable, and I’m not safe. Now, again, the thing is you don’t know whether or not you’re coming from a place of core wounds or core expression. So the core expression would be-I am lovable, I am worthy, I am safe. Until you’ve done some of the excavation work to really understand how your subconscious works. So a lot of people are going out there coming from a place of, I’m not worthy, I’m not lovable, and we don’t understand why clients aren’t attracted to us.

Brian
It was really amazing. Just by altering that being state, you do become more attractive. Would you take the law of attraction away for a second? Again, not magical. You just become more attractive. You’re more engaged. You’re more alive. Your eyes are brighter. You smile bigger. Who doesn’t want to be attracted to someone like that unless you’re totally in the pit of depressions and you don’t want to be around anybody happy. But for most people, meeting someone who feels so, who seems to be so alive and their eyes are so bright and they’re engaged in life, people want to be like that person. So there’s a natural attraction and also a natural loss of the defensive, the self defensiveness that would stop someone from saying, yes, please help me change something in my life.

Ani
Yeah. So let’s talk about a few things that people might recognize that are going on for them. They want more coaching clients that can be corrected by being in a better being state, right? Coming from their core expression, Brian. So one thing is that you are hiding behind marketing strategies and thinking that that’s going to solve all your problems when you run, let’s say, a less than $200,000 a year business.

Brian
So it sounds to me, just be very clear, hiding behind marketing strategies is something like spending more time sending emails, setting up your website, doing LinkedIn or Facebook, rather than having real-time conversations with people.

Ani
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And you’re spending more resources on those marketing strategies that you think should be able to fix the problem rather than having conversations.

Brian
Yeah. So that’s one thing. So it’s just spending more time in marketing. What’s another sign?

Ani
Well, another sign would be that you’re nervous to have those conversations. Yeah. Because if you’re nervous to have those conversations or you feel like they’re sleazy or salesy, that’s another sign. Another sign is that you give away a bunch of precessions. People do that all the time, and it’s actually a strategy, the discovery call strategy. And I’m not saying never do discovery calls, but if you’re doing them because you don’t want to have conversations with people, or you don’t want to have more powerful conversations. If you are afraid to really hear what people’s excuses might be, if you’re afraid of what people might push back to you, that’s another sign. Yeah.

Brian
So all those are the signs and signals that there’s some up-leveling that you could do around your own being and belief systems about yourself and about the transformation that you can bring into other people’s lives.

Ani
Can I give you one more? Yeah, sure. If you think you have an ideal client issue, that oftentimes is a being state problem that can be corrected by coming from a different place because the people who we have in front of our lives, the people who we are currently attracting, are mirroring something for ourselves. And they might be mirroring for you, for example, that they think they don’t have enough money or don’t have enough time. For example, when maybe that’s an issue that you have for yourself, that I feel like I don’t have enough time, and I feel like I don’t have enough money. And until you tackle those things in yourself, you’re going to keep attracting people who have the same problems, externally until you correct it internally, and then you won’t be attracting those same clients anymore. So I really don’t believe that we have an ideal client issue, because every time I’ve seen it for our students, and for ourselves, it’s what is that person reflecting in me that I haven’t dealt with in myself yet? Because when I correct for it myself, the clients I’m attracting change, Brian. Yeah.

Brian
Great, great, great conversation here, Ani. So important to help coaching professionals do better work in the world. And that means they have to have sustainable businesses in the world to be able to help the world change in a positive way.

Ani
To be able to do the things they love to do. Yeah, that’s possible. And the clients that you want are there, by the way. Once you start to get into it in yourself a little bit differently, you’ll see that you’ll be able to see actually what you can’t see right now. The clients are there and the resources are there. So, yeah, keep learning and keep discovering within yourself, and you will have the clients that you want.

Brian
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Thanks so much for joining us again for this episode of the Somatic Coaching Academy podcast. We look forward to seeing you next time.

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