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The #1 Mistake That Will Destroy Your Coaching Business

Sep 06, 2023

If you're making very little money in your coaching business...

It could be because you're making one of the biggest mistakes that both new AND experienced coaches make.

This could be the reason why your audience won't buy your products or recommend you to their friends.

It’s basically like shooting your business in the foot.

I know this because I've made this mistake more than anyone.

When I first started, I was a real estate investing coach. I wrote a book called Fire Yourself that helped investors grow their house flipping businesses.

Some people wanted to hire me as their coach after reading it. They wanted to flip more houses.

Yet, on the sales call, I tried to switch them to other methods.

I’d say things like: 

"Hey, do you want to build a rental portfolio? I could help you with that, too."

Many left the call confused and didn't hire me.

When I pivoted to serving coaches, I wrote my second book, Nail Your Niche.

Then I proceeded to make the same damn mistake.

People who read it DM’d me about working together and we’d hop on a call. I assumed the book had answered all their questions and they wanted help with the next thing.

I’d say things like:

“Hey we should build you an email list!”

“Ever wanted to start a podcast?”

What they really wanted was some additional help nailing their niche. They wanted to finish implementing what they had already started.

But, I didn't have a cohesive customer journey that began with my book and ended with a backend program on that same thing.

Guess how long it took me to realize that I was doing this?

SEVEN years in the coaching space.


Imagine how much confusion I created. Imagine how many sales I lost.

Russell Brunson has a term for this, called the “opportunity switch”. Here’s what that means…

When a potential customer is seeking a solution, and finds you, they switch over to considering your way of solving their problem.

Now that’s a good thing for you.

But once they’re inside your world, you can’t keep switching them.

One time I was on a call with a client and we nailed the concept for his book, and he had a huge epiphany.

He literally zoned out on the Zoom call with his arms up in the air. You could see it sinking in.

Basically, he realized that his 1:1 coaching program, his membership program, and now his book idea…

Were all completely different.

They spoke to different people and promised different outcomes.

 He said:

“the spine of my business is out of alignment”.

If he had written the book without fixing the other programs, it wouldn’t have made a difference in his business.

Architecting Your Customer Journey

What you’re really doing - at a high level - is architecting a journey for your customer.

 You may already know that front end stuff like lead magnets and books are there to build trust and warm people up for your back end programs.

But if the front and back end don't align, the customer journey will take a massive detour.

You know how it feels when you’re driving somewhere and you see a “detour” sign. When you have to drive through a bunch of random neighborhoods to get back on your route.

It makes you late to where you were going. It sucks.That’s how your customer will feel when their journey with you takes a sudden turn.They will STOP their journey with you and start a new one with someone else.

OK, by now you can see that this is a big problem, so let’s switch gears and talk about how to fix it.

The real reason I kept making this mistake was because I didn’t have clarity on who I helped or what I did for them.

If that’s you, too, then let’s talk about how to get clear.

There’s 3 ingredients we want to get clear on:

1—the demographic you serve

2—the niche you serve them in

3—the quantifiable outcome you deliver

In order to gather these 3 “ingredients” I’ve created 3 simple “tests” that you can take. This should take you less than 10 minutes to complete. You’ll be clear on everything once you do.

Test #1—The Beer Test

If you were meeting someone for a beer later today…

Who would you be the most excited to meet?

Who would you have the most engaged conversation with?

Think demographic: entrepreneur, Mom, CEO, musician

Whoever you’d want to meet for a beer is the type of client you’re going to enjoy serving the most.

Test #2—The Library Test

If you spent all day in the library reading non-fiction just for fun...

What topic would you read about the most?

Whatever that is, it’s the niche you’re going to bring the most passion and excitement to in your business.

Test #3—The Credibility Test

What actual results have you gotten for yourself and others?

Real, hard, quantifiable outcomes.

Quantifiable means you know for sure whether or not it happened.

Examples include:

  • I lost 20 pounds
  • I bought 2 rental properties
  • I went through a divorce while remaining a great parent
  • I quit my 9-5 and replaced my income with online course sales 

List the things you’ve done. Then, score them on a scale of 1-10 in two categories:

#1—your level of excitement around delivering this outcome for your clients

#2—your level of confidence in your ability to deliver the outcome

Add the scores together and see which outcomes rank the highest. Usually, there will be one outcome that stands above the rest.

This is the result you’ll have the easiest time selling to clients because you’re excited about it and you believe in your ability to deliver it.

Here are my answers to the 3 “tests”...

 I love getting a beer with other online coaches and creators. Those are the type of people I have the most engaged conversations with.

If I spent all day in the library, I’d read books about business and marketing, whatever helps me grow my business online. I can’t get enough of that stuff.

As far as results go, I have written two books that have each brought in multiple 6 figures in client revenue.

Bringing that all together, I help coaches and creators publish books that bring them clients.

 It fits who I love serving, the niche I'm interested in, and a quantifiable outcome that I've gotten.

If you can check all 3 boxes, this is the "trifecta".

 Then using that clarity, you can architect a journey to help your ideal client get that outcome in a variety of ways.

For example:

  • Your content can help your ideal client get that specific outcome.
  • Your lead magnet can help your ideal client get that specific outcome.
  • Your book can help your ideal client get that specific outcome.
  • Your course can help your ideal client get that specific outcome.
  • And finally, your coaching program can and should help that same person get that same outcome. 

 This is what a clear and aligned customer journey looks like. Properly architected.

 You give them multiple ways to work with you, and they are all designed to do the same thing.

You might be asking yourself…

Does this mean I can’t talk about any other stuff in my content?

 Not at all.

Just keep your lead magnets, books, courses, and coaching programs all for the same client demographic, helping them get the same outcome. Also, make sure the majority of your content still makes it clear as to what you do.

 You also might be wondering…

Does this mean I have to help the same person get one specific outcome forever?

The answer is no.

You don’t have to stick to this forever. You can “opportunity switch” your own audience. You might have to, if you discover a better way for them to get what they want.

But, you generally want to stick with the same thing for at least 2 years at a time before creating something new.

 I wrote this as a public service announcement for coaches and creators out there.

 Don’t make the same painful mistake that I did. Build the customer journey right and you’ll have an easy time getting customers.

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 Here’s to you making an income and an impact..

 (all from a coffee shop in 4 hours per day)



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