One of the biggest myths out there in the self-improvement space is that coaching programs are quick and easy to scale. I know tons of people (especially those who’ve previously built service provision businesses, like VAs and OBMs, copywriters, designers, developers, strategists, etc.) who’ve become coaches because they believed the coaching model to be the ‘holy grail’ way to make infinite money…
…only to find that their business wasn’t as scalable as they thought it would be as they had one of three bottlenecks.
- In some cases, that bottleneck was the coach themselves—because they were effectively still exchanging time for money they were therefore capped by how much time they had.
- In other cases, the bottleneck was the coach’s belief that, for some reason, they had to do it all themselves.
- And finally, there were cases in which the MARKET for the coach’s service was the bottleneck, keeping their potential contained.
I also observe, when people are struggling to scale their coaching business, that they go into panic mode. They worry that coaching models, in general, are BROKEN and that the only fix is to pivot into a product-based business or add products to their offer suite.
But, whilst I personally have a number of masterclasses and courses for sale that do indeed earn me a passive income, it’s important you know my coaching business is scalable with and without those things.
How? Because it DOESN’T have the chokepoints described above.
The 3 things you need for a coaching business with zero restrictions and obstructions—that allows clients and cash to freely flow—in my experience, are:
- A rock-solid mindset
- A robust system of support, and
- A durable marketing plan
With that ‘holy trinity’ in place, you can absolutely scale to 7 figures and beyond with ONE coaching program alone and finally exclaim ‘hallelujah’ that you’ve been able to create the reality you envisioned for yourself…
…so let’s get into each of them, shall we?
First things first, let’s take a look at mindset. If you’re a business owner offering 1:1 coaching, you’re probably well aware by now that the amount of money you make is constrained by how much time you have… or is it?
Lots of 1:1 coaches come to me and say that they can’t possibly make any more money than they are right now. They share that they’re charging, for example, say $10k for their 3-month coaching offering and that the maximum number of people they can hold space for and continue to serve to the best of their ability is 10. Any more and they wouldn’t be able to give their clients the attention and the experience they have paid for.
And… I get it. When I was earning 6 figures as a coach, I had 27 clients on my roster at one point. I was able to be of amazing service to my clients and offer an incredible transformation, but that came at the expense of health, wellbeing, and my business’s growth, as I didn’t have sufficient time or energy to invest in myself personally OR to work on the business as well as in it.
I had a story that I needed to work as much as that to earn what I wanted to (more on uncovering and transforming money stories here)… until one day the penny dropped (pardon the pun) that actually, the more I charged, the less I’d have to work. The problem I was experiencing wasn’t really a lack of time, but my money mindset. I’d done a lot of work on myself but still, obviously, believed on some level that I had to work long and hard to make money, and that I was only worthy of the price people were currently paying—otherwise, I would have already raised my rates, right?
It’s the same way for many of my clients. Contrary to popular belief, 1:1 coaching programs ARE scalable, they’re just NOT scalable when you’re charging low ticket. You can absolutely make 7 figures offering 1:1 coaching alone—you just need to do money mindset work to remove the blocks that are obstructing abundance. One of my coaches is living proof of this, so let me tell you her story…
I once worked with a coach who made a million from 1:1 alone. She priced her package at $100k, and all she focused on that year was ensuring she sold 10 spots at that price point.
- Did she need dialed-in marketing strategies and tactics? Of course.
- And did she need to ensure that her package delivered more than $100k’s worth of value? You bet.
- But the MAIN THING she worked on was her money mindset. And on was becoming the kind of person who could ask for (and receive) $100k in exchange for her coaching program. The main thing she worked on was busting all of the beliefs and overcoming all the obstacles that were preventing her from reaching her next level of financial success…and keeping things simple.
If that example isn’t enough to prove the pricing you desire is possible for you, consider me and my Luxe Mastermind. The Luxe Mastermind is a year-long container that is made up of 1:1 coaching, but also group coaching and in-person retreats… and to join the investment is $85k. From that offering alone, I make $680k per annum… and I could make a lot more if I sold more than 8 spots—I just choose to keep the group as small and intimate as possible so that my clients get more direct access to me and to James.
I sell those spots with ease via email and on social media, as well as at in-person events, and that in large part has to do with how much of an ROI people get from the program—the things James and I teach ensure people make their investment back FAST and a whole lot more which makes enrolling a no-brainer…
…but if I hadn’t worked on my money mindset, the truth is—the marketing and the value delivery wouldn’t matter. My thoughts and the habits and behaviors that result from them would have totally sabotaged my success. Literally, your mindset can make your business or it can break it, so if you’re struggling to scale your 1:1 coaching business it’s really important you pay attention to the ways in which YOUR mindset may be hindering you, and what you can change so that it helps you instead.
Lots of people make a move from 1:1 to 1:many as they believe it offers them the opportunity to make more money. And it sure can, can’t it? (Just compare $10k for 3 months of 1:1, vs $50k for 3 months of 1:many, if the group coaching program we’re considering is priced at half the price of 1:1 and the coach can take on 10 clients at a time!)
Group coaching programs leverage your time better than do 1:1 programs as you can serve more people within the 60 minutes you’ve allocated for a session, but remember—even group coaching programs will eventually cap your earning potential if you don’t raise your rates over time! Eventually, you’ll be full—so it’s important you bear that in mind.
But… as I’ve covered money mindset at length already, let’s consider another really important point—the necessity of having a dream team.
Yes… the problem with group coaching programs is that as the number of people you serve increases, so too do your business’s operations. You might be investing the same amount of time (e.g. 60 mins a fortnight) in the coaching call itself, but the support you provide between calls on Voxer, in Slack, or in a Facebook group is multiplied, massively with this model. The amount of customer service emails you receive that need to be responded to effectively and efficiently will without a doubt rise too… and that doesn’t even take into account the time you need to budget for launching, etc., because the lower ticket an offering is, the more of it you need to sell to achieve your income goals.
In order to have adequate time and energy to invest into your curriculum content and delivery, into serving your clients in the best way you are able and know-how, you must enlist a support system. The more you try to do everything yourself, the less space you’ll have for paying clients, and the less money you’ll make as a result.
One of the team structures I most advocate is having a customer service rep in the inbox, and support coaches in the community who can lend a hand by keeping your clients accountable. A VA can be invaluable too to take care of the more administrative tasks like setting up reminders for calls, and I’d even suggest having a couple of people to help you out with the content creation you require for marketing materials, such as a copywriter and graphic designer, if budget permits, as ultimately, they’re going to help you book out.
Of course, when building out a dream team, you need to ensure you’re hiring people who are self-starters, who don’t need continual encouragement as they’re as reliable as they are driven. Another thing I look for when hiring people to help me out in my own business is initiative—I don’t just want my team to action the steps I tell them to, I want them to come up with ideas of their own, on their own. Let me tell you—there’s nothing better than having people in your corner who care about your cause as much as you do, who make the effort to go above and beyond to find new or different ways of doing things to produce better results. My team is as invested in my vision and mission as I am. They care about my success but also the success of my clients; they find assisting me enjoyable and pleasurable, as they know that in being in my business, they are making a contribution, they know that it’s with their support that I’m making such a difference in the world.
If you don’t have a team like this, don’t you want one? Do you see the value in what having this kind of support system would add, and how it would help you scale your coaching program? One of the best-kept secrets to scalable businesses are the people who help the CEO build them—if you’re interested, I share more about hiring in this blog post right here.
Next, I want to zero in on memberships, as these are argued to be one of the most scalable coaching programs of all. Why? Because when the coaching calls within them fill up with more and more people, your clients aren’t actually dissatisfied with the decrease in direct access to you. They understand that the kind of coaching you get inside a membership is MEANT to be lower touch and that the low price point they pay is reflective of this.
Yes, one of the greatest things about memberships is that they’re low ticket, which means they allow the people who can’t usually afford your advice and guidance to be coached by you for a fraction of the usual price. The low ticket price point means people are likely to stay with you for a long time as month to month the investment is manageable, and so offers you the opportunity to earn a lot through a compounding effect.
Memberships are easy to sell to fresh audiences with whom you haven’t yet built the know, like, trust factor, and give you the chance to warm them up for higher ticket investments like in your group package or 1:1…
…but with all that being said, memberships DO have some characteristics/traits that can adversely affect their scalability, so it’s important we unpack what those things are.
1. First things first, acquisition
Memberships are only high earners if you get enough people inside them, and so if you’re planning to market organically, they’re best suited to businesses that have large audiences already or that have smaller audiences but sufficient resources to grow them. If you don’t have many followers on social media or subscribers on your mailing list, then it’s unlikely you’ll enroll enough people without a growth strategy—and actually, those with large audiences should take note of needing one of those too as there usually comes a point at which you burn your current audience out.
Yes, whilst you will need a monetization strategy (a.k.a. a content marketing plan to turn your followers/subscribers into paying clients, and preferably one that is very value led to show how worthwhile working you would be as I share in this post here), you’ll also need a growth strategy to acquire more and more leads and prospects. As I said before, this can be made possible with the support of a team—as obviously, content marketing requires sound knowledge of strategy and the skill and talent to execute it.
However, it takes time to grow an audience, especially on Instagram, so another viable option is to supplement the organic marketing with paid advertising. If you have the budget for ad spend and a funnel you’ve tried, tested, and proven to work the opportunities can be endless. Many even favor paid advertising over organic content marketing if resource-wise they’re money rich but time/energy/team poor.
2. Next up, retention
Not many people know this, but whilst gym memberships have a renewal rate of around 80%, self-improvement memberships don’t typically do nearly as well, with membership expert, Stu McClaren, reporting high churn rates, low lifetime values, and an average customer staying just 2 and a half months in the majority of cases.
Does that mean that they can’t do well? Absolutely not. But if your membership model is to succeed at scale, you don’t just want to focus on acquiring clients, you want to focus on retaining them, too. One of the biggest mistakes you can make with a coaching membership model, in my opinion, is doing everything to drive the first sale and putting no energy into the relationship with your customer after the money has exchanged hands.
Don’t just work ‘the top of the funnel’ and stop right after the first sale, double down on delivering value as this will lead to additional revenue from that same customer (it’s easier to retain and upsell an existing client than it is to find a new prospect and convert them to a paying customer).
Have you optimized your mindset, team, and marketing for scalability yet? Or do you know that in some ways, they’re bottlenecks keeping your potential capped?
If the latter, please know that myself and my husband James can support you with all three pieces—we’re still accepting applications for the Luxe Mastermind in which mindset, team, and marketing are key areas of focus!
Here’s a short summary:
The Luxe Mastermind is an annual, experience-based Mastermind combining in-person retreats, 1:1 coaching, and group coaching led by both myself, Emily, and my husband, James Williams, who’s a certified high-performance expert.
When you join, you join an exclusive, inner circle of 7 other influential entrepreneurs who are serious about scaling to 7 figures and beyond.
As a Luxe Mastermind member you’d receive:
- In-Person Mentorship at Luxury Locations, including Austin, Bora Bora, and Santa Barbara
- 1:1 Coaching with myself and James
- Intimate Group Coaching with myself and James
- 24/7 Slack Support from a high-level impact and community
- All-Inclusive Access to our resource library