You are listening to The Life Coach Business Podcast, episode number 69.
Welcome to The Life Coach Business Podcast, a show for coaches who are ready to up-level their business and take their impact, leadership, and results to a whole new level. If you’re ready to start taking powerful action and become the leader your business needs in order to grow and thrive, this show is for you. I’m your host, Amanda Karlstad, certified life and business coach, and entrepreneurial leadership expert. Now, let’s get down to business.
Hello and welcome, everyone. I’m so glad to have you with me today. I hope you’re doing amazing. I am looking forward to our conversation today. But before we dive in, I have to tell you all, I had the most productive week ever.
I feel like I had probably one of the most productive weeks I’ve had in a while. And I think the reason for that is because – I’ve mentioned it on the last couple of shows, but I’ve been working on some projects behind the scenes and I’m super-excited to talk about some of them in the coming weeks.
But I was able to move some of them forward and I was able to really start putting some of those things together. And so, it just feels amazing and I’m really excited about this year. I’m excited for 2021 and all of the things that I am implementing in my programs for my clients and just so many new levels of resources and support. And I couldn’t be more thrilled for that. So, super, super-excited about that. And I hope you’ve all had a productive week too.
And so, before we dive into our topic for today, I actually think that this is going to be one of the more important episodes that you listen to. And the reason for it is because I decided that I wanted to talk to you today about some more strategic approaches in your business. I wanted to talk a little bit more about the strategy and dig a little bit deeper into that.
So, I actually think that – and I know many of you take notes because you tell me, and I think that’s great. But today’s episode might be one of those shows where you grab a journal and something to write with and you take some notes on this. Because I feel like I’ve got a lot to share with you. I’ve got a lot to say on what we’re going to talk about.
So, like I said, I actually think that today’s episode is one of the most important conversations that I feel like I can bring to you and, you know, there are things that I have talked about before in previous episodes, but I want to just dedicate some time today to go a little bit deeper with them.
And the reason for this is because I’m seeing them come up in a lot of different places. And so, I’ve been thinking a lot about the different ways to grow a coaching practice, the different ways to grow a business. And I’ve been thinking about all of the things that we as business owners, as entrepreneurs, as someone that is growing a business, whether that’s a coaching business or otherwise, that there are certain things in your business for the foundation of your business for it to be able to grow, scale, and quite frankly survive.
And so, I’m going to dive into some of those things today because I do think that no matter where you are in your journey of building your business, whether you’re just starting out and you’ve just gotten through certification, or even if you’re in a certification program, or if you’ve been building your business for several years, everything we’re going to talk about here is relevant to you.
And so, I want to start out by saying that in any business – and this isn’t even in the coaching, consulting industry, in any business there are certain things that have to be in place, that have to exist in your business in order to be able to grow and scale it.
And so, I know that there’s a lot of opinions and there’s a lot of ideas, there’s lots of different tools and tactics and strategies when it comes to building a business. And what I think is really important to understand is there is truth to there not being one right way to build a business. And I say that because when I look at my clients, and even my own business, all of you listening, you are all unique. You all work with a very unique audience. You are probably solving different problems.
And so, because of that, is this why I’m a firm believer that templates and kind of plug and play easy things don’t always work. And that’s because what may work for me, what may work for someone else may not work for you.
And so, we definitely have to take a unique approach when it comes to building our businesses. And this is why I’m so passionate about doing that with every one of my clients, is because what worked for someone might not work for them. And so, it’s a matter of really trying to figure out what that looks like.
So, there are certain things, if we put that aside, there are certain things that need to be in your infrastructure, that need to provide an actual foundation for your business, like I said, in order to be able to survive and to grow and scale. And so, I want to talk about what some of those things are today. And I want to preface this conversation by, you know, I think the timing of this is relevant.
For those of you that are maybe running Facebook ads or considering Facebook ads, you may or may not – or some of you that maybe aren’t even at that point yet, you might have heard some of the new updates that are coming through. It’s the IOS 14 updates.
And so, it’s a new update that Apple has released and there is a whole thing around how it’s really going to impact the advertising space and it’s really impacting every single platform. So, it’s impacting YouTube and LinkedIn and Facebook and Google, like literally any app that is downloaded on that platform will essentially have to agree to have certain information shared.
And so, to not go into all the details, because it is quite complicated and it’s something that I actually brought all my clients up to speed on in the last couple of weeks, and the truth is, we don’t a lot of what the impact is going to be. But what we do know is that it’s likely going to change how we’re doing certain things as it relates to paid advertising.
Now, does this mean that paid advertising is not going to be part of the game? Absolutely not. In fact, I think now more than ever, if you’re not running paid advertising, now is the time to get in the game, and I’m going to explain why in just a few minutes.
But essentially, what has happened is Apple has released this new update and it’s created all sorts of buzz in the marketing community and we’re starting to see some of those changes go into effect. But I think it’s timely to talk about this because, you know, I was thinking about this. A lot of times, when I observe what’s happening from a marketing space, when I look at some of what is being taught out in the industry, it seems like there’s different kinds of camps.
There’s the camp of all organic growth. There is the camp of just paid advertising. And what I want to challenge you all today – and this is what I really believe – is that it requires a little bit of combination of both. It requires a combination of both.
And the reason for that is because, if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that things can change dramatically in any moment. And, you know, I observed a few people in 2020 – I haven’t talked about this. But I observed a few people in the industry, I would say kind of more of an influencer in the industry that I know. And these are individuals that have built huge audiences over several, several years.
And what happened was – I don’t know all of the story behind this so I’m not going to speak to that. But the point that I want to bring to you is that essentially what happened for a few of these people that I know is that they woke up one day and literally their social profile was gone. So, literally their whole audience that they had built on their social media platforms was completely gone and there was no way to bring it back.
And so, I share that with you because I’m just a firm believer that I think it’s a very dangerous thing to build your entire business on a social media platform, okay. And this is why I’m bringing this conversation with you today.
Because when you’re building your business solely on one just social media platform, when you’re relying on one social media channel, it’s actually putting you very much at risk. And what’s interesting is the more and more that I look at this and the more and more that I see all of this happening, the more important what we’re going to talk about here today really is to the health of your business.
And so, we’re just in a time of rebirth. 2020, I believe, was a great awakening. I think we’re still in that. By no means are we through that. I think there are some really, really exciting things ahead for all of us in 2021. And just a sidenote for any of you that might be into numerology – I shared this with a couple of clients this week – there are some exciting things that are, according to reports, that will be happening and it’s actually a really great time to be an entrepreneur. It’s really a great time to be building a business.
And so, just knowing that, I think, we all feel it. We’re kind of in this space where it’s a rebirth, where our world has changed in so many ways. But we’re really being called, I believe, to a higher level of consciousness. We’re really being asked to open our levels of awareness and to really participate in what I would call this great awakening.
And I think it’s actually a great thing. I really do believe it’s for all of us. And so, I see this as a really exciting time, and I think that there are only great things ahead. And I also think that there is no better time than right now to be building a coaching business.
So, I want to talk to you all today about what I believe are the key things that you need in place, the key things you need to be asking yourself and really be working to implement in your business, whether you’re just starting out, if you are just starting out as a life coach and you’re building a business, or like I said, if you’ve been in the industry for a while and you have been trying to grow your business.
And so, many of you know that I work with clients that are new in their businesses, meaning they might have just gone through certification or are going through certification or are planning to, or are out of that process and are now looking to grow their business.
And so, they’re usually working to get to that first six figures. But I also work with clients that are at that multi-figure level, that are in the scaling process of their business, that are really looking to take their business to the next level.
And so, the way that I work with clients is in two different programs that I offer. And I’ve talked about those on previous episodes. But I will just say that, again, no matter what level you’re at – because I see this both with my clients in my foundational program and I see it with my clients that are in the scale phase, that what we’re talking about here really is essential.
And so, let’s talk about what those things are. So, the first thing that I think is absolutely essential is having what I call a holistic growth strategy. So, for those of you that have been following my show since the beginning, you probably remember a show I did, I believe it was episode number three. It was The Importance of Having a Holistic Growth Strategy.
So, for those of you that haven’t listened to that show, I highly encourage you to go back and listen to it. But really, in that episode, I talked about the importance of having a holistic growth strategy in your business and also what it was. So, that’s absolutely my first essential point here.
My advice is that as you’re growing your business, it’s really important that you are focusing on the different areas of your business and that you have strategies for the different areas of your business to grow so that you’re not just relying on one social media channel, for instance.
So, that’s point number one, is that the holistic growth strategy is the foundational strategy that really allows you to build a strong foundation for your business. It’s something I’m super-passionate about and one of the things that I really ensure is in place for my clients and as I’m coaching them and working with them, is that we’re building a holistic growth strategy for their business.
Because what happens is, when we’re only focusing on one area, when we’re only focusing on one channel in their business, we’re essentially stunting their growth. And so, it’s a strategy that goes a lot deeper than just surface level, right?
So, there’s a lot of elements with it. and if you’re wondering what those are, you can go back and listen to episode number three where I go in detail about that. And I do think that this is something that, in most cases, doesn’t exist, in most cases doesn’t exist for new business owners, for new coaches, for those of you that are building businesses from the ground up. I think this is something that because you’re new to the game, because you’re new to the industry a lot of times and you don’t know what you don’t know.
But what’s really key is that the sooner that you can get these things in place, the sooner your business will actually be able to grow. And I do think that this is one of the reasons that my clients are able to create such accelerated results in their busines, is because they have this clarity, because they’re building all of the pieces, because they’re able to see the strategy, they’re able to see the step by step right from the beginning.
The other side to this is that I see this come into play very often when coaches have built their business to a certain level, whether that’s organically or otherwise, where maybe they’ve been super, super-focused on one channel, one way of building their business. And what happens is they get to a certain point and they want to grow, they want to scale, but what happens is that because they haven’t implemented a holistic strategy from the beginning, they actually have to go back to the beginning with this. They actually have to start fresh.
And so, the fact is that you can certainly build your business to a certain level by doing certain things, but in my experience and in all the clients that I work with, until you really have a solid structure in place, you have this solid, holistic growth strategy in place, your business really is capped at a certain level.
Alright, so the next piece that I believe is essential if you are wanting to grow and scale your business to any significant level is that you have to know exactly who you serve and how you serve them. And so, when we talk about knowing your ideal client and knowing the niche that you’re in, that is really, really important.
And so, some of you listening to this right now, because I know this is a thing, might be in a bit of a drama, or might be in some drama around your niche or your ideal client. And what I want to tell you is that I think that the sooner you can gain clarity, the sooner that you can understand where you’re really best-positioned to serve, where you’re really best-positioned to help people, I think that’s really where you need to ask yourself, who is that and how am I able to really help them? What have I experienced? Where does my level of experience really position me to help others?
And so, it’s really important to understand this and have clarity around your ideal client. Because the reality is that the sooner you can do this, the sooner, I promise you, your business will grow.
Because once you are able to clearly identify this ideal client, once you’re able to clearly communicate to this client and how you can help solve their problem, that is when they will see you as the solution. That is when you can start attracting those ideal clients to you.
And you know, when I think about this, I was thinking recently about just looking at 2020. We know obviously there was a lot of disruption in a lot of different industries. There were some big, big impacts economically and a lot of industries that were really hit hard.
But when I look at the businesses that were really able to grow in 2020, when I look at the businesses that weren’t impacted negatively in 2020, it was really the businesses that were very clear, that were very specific on who their ideal client was and how they helped them and what problem they helped them solve.
And so I want to challenge you all to look at this for yourself and look outside of the coaching industry. I think it’s really useful to even think about this outside of the coaching industry because so often I think we can get so wrapped up in just coach speak and just looking at the problem from the same level that we’re at.
So I would encourage you to look at other industries that are out there. So when I look at just my own personal network and even my husband and look at what he does and his organization, it’s a very, very niche firm. It’s a very, very niche organization that because of the work that they do, they are in many ways known for that among their own industry.
So the same is true for a coaching business. The same is true for a coaching practice. In order to become known, in order to be able to build an audience of people that you can actually help, you have to know who that is first. You have to know how you can actually help them. So this is really important for all of you to understand because there are a lot of schools of thought out there that say that you don’t need an ideal client, that you don’t need a niche, that you can just help people.
And I do agree that to some degree, of course, as a coach you can help, you can literally coach anyone. If you have proper training and you have gone through, especially the type of certification that I have gone through, that many of my clients have gone through, yes, you can help really coach anybody with whatever problem they’re dealing with and that’s a great thing.
But when it comes to actually building a business, when it comes to being a smart business owner, this is where we have to get real. This is where we have to understand that to build a marketing structure, to build an infrastructure in your business, it’s going to require some strategy. It’s going to require you to really understand what it is that you do and how you present that to the world.
So the next step, the next piece that I think is absolutely essential for you as you’re growing your business is to build what I would call a customer base. Now, the reason that I say a customer base or a client base, I should say, is I’m not talking about a random list.
So again, there’s a lot of talk in the industry about the importance of building a list. I’m not saying that that’s not important. What I am saying is that I believe the smartest approach is to actually build a list of clients. And what I mean by that is there’s a difference between building a list of potential clients versus just building a random email list.
And so I will say though, if you’re not doing anything, I do think that it’s important to at least start building a list, regardless of whether they’re clients or not. But what I am saying is that I am seeing as move forward more and more importance on being able to provide offerings for clients sooner so that they purchase and again, see you as the solution. And what you’re doing is you’re really building a solid client base.
And so having an email list of some sort is very important. Having an email list that you can market your program to is very, very important. But what’s even more effective is if you can really create a solid client base. And so that’s something that again, I work with all of my clients on and there’s a lot of different strategies that go into that. And it’s also a very customized approach.
So what I’m saying here is that this is more than just putting together a free e-book for instance. This is more than just a maybe quick checklist that we’re putting out as a freebie, whatever that looks like. What I’m talking about here is being able to provide more value upfront and allow more of those ideal clients to see you, again, as that solution, and to really come into your business ecosystem. That’s really what I’m saying here.
And there’s lots of ways that we can build that. There’s lots of ways to go about that. But the important thing to really understand here is that being able to build a system, build a funnel that is really helping people take the next step with you in a much more accelerated way is only going to help grow your business in an accelerated way, versus being in a more passive position where maybe you’re offering a standalone opt-in of some sort, but then there’s really no action that they’re taking.
And so I think that’s something really important to consider. And again, I would say if you’re not doing anything, it’s important to start growing that. But the goal should really be how do I actually help these people that are coming on to my email list, how do I actually help them move forward and take the next step? And the sooner you can do that, the more your business absolutely will grow.
The next piece that I would say is essential to your growth is having a solid content strategy. So please, please, please before I get into this, I’m not saying – what I am not saying here is for instance, being on let’s just say Instagram stories or even I know TikTok is up and coming.
I’m not talking here about content that disappears in 24 hours. That’s not what I‘m talking about. What I’m talking about is delivering valuable content to your audience on a consistent basis that might be in the form of a blog, that might be in the form of a podcast, that might be in the form of a video of some sort.
And there’s so many different ways to go about it, but the point is that you’re delivering value. You’re delivering value to your audience consistently over the long-term, and that’s what’s really key here.
So again, this isn’t about just posting, being on social media all day and posting a ton there and having it disappear in 24 hours. Now, what I will also say to that is I do think that it’s not a bad thing to be on social media. It’s not a bad thing when it’s within reason.
What I am saying is that over the long-term course of your business, for your long-term growth, I think it’s essential that you have a solid content strategy well above and beyond what you’re doing on social media.
And I want you to think about the fact that if, let’s just say Facebook or Instagram or whatever social platform decides that hey, we’re going to maybe just make a sudden change, or we’re going to do away with this, or we’re going to change this algorithm. What really could happen is that all of the work that you’ve done could be gone in an instant. I gave you some examples of that earlier.
So the key with having a main content strategy is that this is something over the course of your business will stand the test of time. It’s something that you own. You can put a blog on your website. You can put a podcast on your website. So that’s what I’m saying here is that it’s really important that you’re building your own foundation, that you’re really building content that is yours. Social media, your platform is not yours.
Okay, the next piece that I think is critical is leveraging paid advertising. Okay, so I mentioned earlier that we were going to talk about this. So one of the things that I go very deep in my programs on is paid advertising. And in fact, I have literally a whole course inside of my program on it.
And so what I will say is that while many and the majority of my clients do leverage paid advertising, and do use paid advertising, I do have some that don’t, and I do have some that are purely organic and that’s okay. And this is where I say it really does depend on your business.
But what I will say about this is that for the majority of you, I think that it’s really important to think about this again, from a long-term perspective and to leverage the tool of utilizing paid advertising. And I really believe that paid advertising is a way to leverage what you’re already doing organically.
And so for the majority of you that are trying to grow your business, the reality is that at some point, you will need to incorporate paid advertising. You will need to incorporate some type of paid advertising strategy in order to scale your practice.
And so I get the question a lot on – I talk to a lot of coaches that feel like they’re not quite ready for paid advertising. They feel like they don’t have clarity on certain things. They kind of need to work up to utilizing paid advertising.
And what I will say to that is that I think the sooner you can start using this in your business, the better. And the reason for that is the truth is you can get more traction in your business by utilizing paid advertising in a matter of weeks than truly you could in some cases, years, if you’re just growing organically.
Now again, this is different for everyone, but I do think that with the tools that we have, I think it’s a smart strategy to be able to utilize that for your business. I mean, the tools that we have available in order to do that are tremendous and have never – we’ve never been in the position for the barrier of entry and really for the cost to even be so affordable as what they are.
So even though yes, we’ve seen advertising costs go up in the last couple of years, the fact is that it’s still one of the best ways to accelerate the growth of your business. And so I think there’s a lot of stigma around paid advertising and around – there’s a lot of fear actually that I would say is around paid advertising.
I think part of that just comes down to not really understanding how it works, not really understanding how to manage it all, not really understanding how it really plays into your own business, which is why I take so much time with it and work with my clients all the time on it.
But I think it’s the smartest way honestly to be able to approach your business it that knowing that you can really combine it with what you’re doing organically, that you can really leverage everything that you’re doing organically. And just utilize the creative ways. It’s really an amazing thing to be able to do that.
And I will say, in terms of the budget, in terms of the investing in paid advertising, I get a lot of questions about what should that look like and I see a lot of fears come up, especially when newer coaches are starting to invest in paid strategy and kind of going through that testing process.
And what I want to point out with that is that when that is all coming up, when you notice some fears that might be coming up around paid advertising, I want you to really start investigating what your thoughts are surrounding that and really start thinking about where you’re really coming from with that.
Because from my vantage point, what I see happen a lot is that when coaches, especially are in a place where they don’t maybe want to put more money into the ads or they’re just not sure, they don’t have the results quite yet and so it feels very risky to them for whatever reason, what’s really happening here is that we’re honestly approaching this from our current level of belief.
So the truth is that by continuing to really kind of stay in that place and to not move forward and to not really lean into learning the tools and learning the strategies and learning how to really leverage what you’re doing, what happens is you’re really staying stuck and you’re really staying stuck from your current level of belief.
And to grow your business, to really scale your practice, you have to be willing to expand your capacity and you have to understand that. You have to understand how important that really is. And so being able to lean into it, to lean into the process, to lean into understanding how to do all of this is one of the most intelligent ways for you to approach your business.
Because you have to be able to expand your capacity in order to grow. There’s no way around it. There’s no other way to do it. And so if you want to be in this for the long-term, which I know all of you do, if you want to truly grow a business, a successful business, which I know you all do, and you want your business to really grow to some high, high levels, I know you all do, this is going to inevitably be a part of your business.
And so I believe that in order to do that, you have to really become a student of this. You really have to become a student of running an online business. You really have to become a student of learning core business principles, which is all the things that we’re talking about today.
So this isn’t just about throwing something against the wall and seeing what sticks. It isn’t just throwing together something you think might work but there’s really not a whole lot of thought with it. It’s really taking a holistic approach to your business. It’s really considering intelligently how to best leverage the tools that are available to you, how to best leverage all the wonderful things that we have to grow our business.
And so I want to encourage you all to do that work. I want you to really think about this and start leaning into the areas that you might be resisting currently. And if you’re looking for help with that, I am currently enrolling for my mastermind. That’s my foundational program where I do help coaches build the foundation of their business and essentially grow to that first six figures. We really build the foundation and help them build to that level very, very quickly.
And so I want to encourage you, if that’s you, to reach out. Because this is, again, a really important of your overall strategy. And the truth is that until you start to address some of these things in your business, until you start to really take a more holistic approach with your business, your business growth will be stunted. It will be stuck.
And so with that, the final piece that I believe you must be looking at, you must be implementing in your business is really the mindset. It’s really the psychological side of business. And so this is really about the inner game and at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. All of these strategies work.
That’s the thing about this. All of these strategies, there are hundreds of ways to do this and all of them do work. But what happens is we’re only – those strategies are only as good as our mindset, as the person that is implementing them.
And the final piece to this is really the psychology side of the business, meaning how are you approaching your mindset. How are you getting support in becoming and stepping into from an inner level, the CEO that you need to become?
So here’s the thing that I see happen a lot. I see this happen very often where I see newer coaches especially that spend a lot of their time digging into stories and digging into things that for whatever reason tend to steal their focus, or take their focus away from the actual business side of things.
And what I would recommend here is that I think in many cases, that this actually becomes a bit of a sabotage pattern. And the reason for this is because I think as coaches especially, we tend to think that I’m a coach, and because I know better, because I have the tools, because I understand how powerful my mind is, we expect ourselves to be perfect. We expect ourselves to be able to overcome all of these things with no help in some cases.
And so what’s really important to understand here is that while it’s always good to be looking at what needs to be addressed from a mindset perspective, we always have to be looking at that, what doesn’t serve you is when you are what I would call sitting in a spin cycle, where you are digging and digging and digging into thoughts and going deeper and deeper and deeper into the things that are blocking you, without ever really moving forward.
And so I think there’s a big difference between that and between addressing the mindset blocks in a way that’s actually serving you, that’s actually helping you move forward. And so I’m a firm believer that we always have to be addressing the mindset first.
And we also have to do it in a way that helps us move forward. And so if you’re finding yourself staying or perhaps sitting in a story that is enabling you to find more stories to dig into, I really encourage you to look at that. Because I don’t think that’s useful for you. I don’t think that it’s going to help you move forward in your business, and it certainly isn’t going to help you generate clarity and momentum and the wins that are really what you need in your business.
And so I’d highly encourage you to start taking action and if you’re noticing that you’re spinning in the story and spinning in some drama and you’re not able to see beyond it, I think it’s important to get some different support. I think it’s important to get some support in terms of your overall strategy and your mindset.
And so that’s why it’s a core of my program. It’s a core part of how I coach my clients is always looking at what do we need to address from the psychological perspective, from the mindset perspective, and what do we need to be addressing from the strategy.
Alright my friends, I hope this episode served you. Have an amazing week. I’ll talk to you all again very soon. Take care. Bye-bye.
Hey, if you’re ready for a real breakthrough in your business and want to grow and scale your business to at least six figures or more in annual revenue, I invite you to apply for my exclusive program The Mastermind at amandakarlstadcoaching.com/the-mastermind. I look forward to seeing you there.
Thank you for listening to this episode of The Life Coach Business Podcast. If you want to learn more about how to build, grow and scale your business and accelerate your results, visit amandakarlstadcoaching.com.