Ep #310: My Business Model
I get a lot of questions about The Life Coach School, so I've been bringing them to the podcast to answer all in one place. This week, I want to give you an inside look at the business model of The Life Coach School, my approach to marketing, and why overdelivering is our jam.
There are four components in my business model, and in this episode I’ll run you through each one: marketing, Self Coaching Scholars, Coach Certification, and overdelivering.
You’ll learn about why I work so hard to find people who need the Model, the value that clients get from Scholars, and why I’ve kept my offerings narrow. There’s a lot more than that to dig into in this episode, so whether you’re just starting out in business or running something bigger than The Life Coach School, there will be something here for you.
If you have any follow-up questions about the business, send them to [email protected] – I will do another episode so all your business-related questions are answered!
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What You will discover
- The four components that make up The Life Coach School business model.
- Why marketing is one of the most important things you’ll do as an entrepreneur.
- What I do to find new clients and bring them into the School.
- How Self Coaching Scholars works in the business model and provides tons of value to members.
- Why I love the Certification aspect of the School, even though it is a big responsibility.
- How overdelivering helps set the School apart and keeps our customer service on its toes.
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Get the Full Episode Transcript:download the transcript
You are listening to The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo episode 310.
Welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast, where it’s all about real clients, real problems and real coaching. And now your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.
Well hello my friends. So here’s the thing; I have been recording episodes for you to answer questions that I get all of the time. So several episodes ago, we talked about how to make 100K. Couple episodes we talked about what it’s like to work as a contractor coach.
People ask me all the time, “Should I become a coach? Will I be able to make money? How do I do it? What does it look like?” So I’m making these episodes so I can answer the questions that I’m sure many of you all have, but also so I can direct people to hey, go check out this episode if you want to know the answer to this question.
So the question that I’ve been getting a lot lately from a lot of people is, “Hey, can I take you to lunch? Can we get on a call? I want to talk to you about how you run your business. I want to talk to you about your success in your business.” And I completely understand this. I completely understand the desire to understand what I’m doing and how I’m getting success so you can leverage the ideas on my success.
And because my whole vision in life is to be an example of what is possible, I do want to be able to do that. But if I get on the phone with every person that wants to pick my brain about my business, I literally won’t have a business. I will be talking to everyone, saying the exact same thing to all the same people at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, instead of running my business.
So what I decided to do is record this podcast where I am going to talk about my business model in detail. I’m going to talk about the way that I think about my business and the way I run my business. And I will cover the components of it and the education that I provide in it, all of it. Everything that you need to understand, everything that I would tell you if we went out to lunch together, I am going to put in this podcast.
And this is for the most exceptional business minds that are already making more money than me, and this is for the brand-new business mind that is just learning about all this material. I am going to cover it all. And I’m excited to do this because I think a lot of you don’t understand what goes into creating a business like this, and I want you to understand. I want you to understand all the mechanics of it and understand what drives me and my mission.
So The Life Coach School is now completely my business. I mentioned on a podcast earlier that I bought my husband out. He had come in as a partner and now he’s back out as a partner. I originally started it myself. He came in, we worked together for a long time, and now he’s working on his own company.
So when I think about my business, when I think about approaching it, I have many, many years of experience running a business, and I also have literally thousands upon thousands of hours of learning about business and reading about business and taking classes on business. So I have a lot of knowledge in my brain and I’m going to give you the best of it.
I’m going to constrain myself and boil it down to the best of what I have to offer to you on this. So get ready. The business model that I have and the way that I run my business and the way that I think about my business is in components. So I like to look at my business in four different ways.
So there’s the marketing piece of my business, which is the front of my business, which by the way, is one of the most important parts of business. I have so many life coaches that want to coach but aren’t interested in learning marketing. And for those of you who are, I want to get you hired as a coach because marketing will be at least half of your life if you’re an entrepreneur.
I love marketing. I love the ideas of marketing. I love the way that I market. I love everything about marketing, so I’m going to talk about that in detail, and that will help any of you who are in business or any of you who want to get a career, you have to market yourself. So I’m going to talk about that.
The second component of my business is Self-Coaching Scholars. That is my membership program. It is the way most people get to know me on the deepest level. It’s the part of my work that I think makes such a huge contribution to the world and the success stories that are coming out of Self-Coaching Scholars blow my mind every single day.
The third part of my business is certification. That is where I train coaches to become life and weight loss coaches. And the last part of my business is the overdelivering part, and that’s the part where I have my customer service team and my shipping team, and I’m going to talk in more detail about that.
So we have the four components in my business model. We have marketing, we have Self-Coaching Scholars, which is my coaching program for clients where I coach clients, the third part is certification where I train coaches to become coaches, and the fourth part I have is the overdelivering part.
So let’s start with marketing. I’m going to tell you about my approach to marketing and how much time I spend there. So the way that I define marketing is that it’s letting people know that you can help them. And it’s letting your specific people know that you can help them. There’s a specific group of people that want and need what I have to offer.
And my goal is to find them and let them know that I can help them. There’s a woman right now who is suffering emotionally. She’s either overdrinking or overeating or over-anxiety-ing, and she doesn’t know that I exist yet. She doesn’t know about the Model. She doesn’t know about the podcast.
I want to find her. I want to let her know that I’m here and that I can help her. That is what marketing is to me. Finding the people who can’t wait to learn what I’m teaching, who don’t even know that I exist. That is the big picture for me in terms of marketing. Letting people know that I can help.
My approach to marketing is influenced by direct response marketing. So there’s two ways to kind of look at marketing. There’s marketing where you’re letting people know that you can help, kind of on a broad scale, and then there’s direct response marketing where you’re letting people know that you can help them and you’re asking for them to respond.
You want to be able to measure, are they hearing? Are they understanding? Are they learning? And it’s really important for people who want to grow their businesses quickly for them to learn direct response marketing because it gives you direct feedback in the way that you can measure whether your message is getting to the right people and that they’re hearing it and that it’s provoking them to take action.
So much of what I teach and what I’ve been preparing is about this concept of how to be interesting to your person. And I created a whole training on it. A whole day training on how to be interesting. And it’s almost like the way that Dan Kennedy described it was it’s like dog whistle. I have a dog whistle and only dogs can hear it, you know, because I’m obsessed with dogs.
But it’s almost like we have our own whistle for our own specific market that we’re trying to communicate with, and to everyone else, my marketing will just be noise. They won’t even pay attention to it. It won’t even be important to them. So my goal in my marketing is to find the people that are looking for me, that they don’t even know they’re looking for me.
And I’ve heard it from so many of my clients. “I saw an ad, someone recommended your podcast, I heard you talking about something on the podcast, and I knew that I had come home, I knew that I had found the person that I was looking for to teach me and help me.” That is my goal with marketing.
Find the people that are looking for me that don’t even know that they’re looking for me. Now, the way that I market, there’s two really main ways that I market. One of them is with my podcast and I put a lot of time and energy into my weekly podcast, obviously.
I create my podcast with the intention of results ahead of time, of creating a podcast where you can take what I’m teaching you, apply it to your life, and feel the effect of it right now without ever having paid me one dime. Just downloading my podcast, listening to it, going out into your life and changing your life.
The overwhelming feedback that I get about the podcast is that that is working. There are many people who have never paid me any money who literally have changed their lives completely. Made more money, quit drinking, lost hundreds of pounds, become entrepreneurs, quit their jobs, increase their relationships. I’m flooded with notes all of the time from those types of people.
And really representing myself on the podcast and sharing a lot of my personal journey so I can be an example of what is possible when you apply the Model to your life. The other way that I market and do acquisition, which is what we call it, which is acquiring customers, is Facebook ads.
Most of my clients are on Facebook and most of them don’t even know to look for me, so I go looking for them. And I wave my hand. I’m like, hey, hey girl, check it, is this what you’re looking for? That is my goal. So when I do my marketing, it’s really important for me to distinguish between my clients who have listened to my podcast, who are familiar with me, who are familiar with the Model.
I want them all to know that if they want to change faster, if they want to take it to the next level, they need to join Scholars. Because it’s one thing to listen to me on the podcast, it’s another thing to get the materials, get the books, start practicing and writing it down. Then everything accelerates completely.
So many of the comments that we get from the people who have listened to the podcast for years who joined Scholars is, “Oh my gosh, I thought I knew all of this but this is a whole ‘nother level.” So that’s how I market to you all. To all my podcast listeners. You’re already familiar, you already know that I can help you and I want to let you know I can help you faster in Scholars.
My approach to my brand-new people who have never heard about me before is much more of an introduction where I’m approaching them from hey, do you even know about coaching? Do you even know about me? Do you know that there’s a way to work on your brain that makes life better? It’s a much more basic message where I’m introducing them to the big general ideas of what’s going on in my business.
Now, this is really important for all of you who are marketing your companies because if you take a one kind of swooping approach to everyone, you’re going to miss a lot of people. There are people that we call cold traffic. Those are the people that have never heard about you before and they’re driving by.
And then there are people that are warm traffic. Those are people who know who you are and they’re aware of you and they’re aware of what you do. And then there’s people that are hot, that are already in love with you and think you’re amazing and will buy anything that you sell. And I, in my marketing, I have three large groups in each of those areas.
If you’re brand new, you’ll have smaller groups in those areas. So I have a huge fan base of super-hot clients who love my work, who their life has been dramatically changed by my work, and they will literally buy anything I sell. And they tell me this. This is really evident when we do smaller group programs where I’m doing a Portugal event, I’m doing a How to Sell Expensive Things event, How to be Interesting.
All of those things sell out so quickly because I have a very hot base of customers who already know and love our work. And then I have my warm customers that are applying it, kind of, listening to it sometimes, love the podcast, aren’t really fully committed yet. I market to them differently. And then the cold traffic I market to completely different message and different approach to them. They need to learn more about me and what I do first, whereas my hot people, I don’t need to spend a lot of time on that.
So it’s a really basic description but it’s something that you have to keep top of mind when you’re marketing. If you are marketing and I see this a lot, if you’re marketing to your customer who is brand new cold and using your lingo and using the way that you talk to your current clients, they’re going to be totally lost.
An example of this was one time I sent out an email about the Model and I was talking about the T line in the Model, which is the thought line in the self-coaching model. Now, this woman who was on my list had no idea about the Model yet and she told me, she said, “We don’t have a T line here. We don’t even have a subway here.” Like a subway line, right? Underground subway line.
She didn’t have any idea of what I was talking about. And so it’s really important for me. That was a good check for me is like hey, the people on my list, there’s some cold people on my list that don’t understand anything I’m teaching yet. They don’t even know what Scholars is yet. I need to explain it to them so they can understand it.
So that’s my whole approach of marketing. Results ahead of time and aggressive acquisition is the other piece of that. One of the reasons that my business has grown so fast is I am willing to cut a check to get a customer. And what I mean by that is I am willing to pay as much as it takes to expose someone to my work.
If I am in an aggressive acquisition mode, it means that I will pay $297 to get someone into Scholars. And as most of you know, it costs $297 to get into Scholars. So I have made no money on that transaction but I have a new customer. And I value my customer so much that I’m willing to pay for them to find me.
And that’s something that I want to teach all of my students. When you love your work and you love your people and you want to share it with as many people as possible and you know how valuable it is, you’re willing to do aggressive acquisition, which means you break even on the frontend.
Now, you have to be willing to bet on yourself. Because what that means is my guess is when most people get into Scholars, their intention is I’m just going to sign up for a month and see what’s happening in there. That’s what I would do. That’s what most people do, right?
But what happens is they get in there and they’re like, holy moly, this is amazing. And so most people stay well beyond that first month. And because I’ve offered a high quality product, I’m able to do the aggressive acquisition on the frontend and even lose money on the frontend of that acquisition because I know what I’m offering to the right people is going to be incredibly valuable to them and they will be willing to stick with me.
And that’s what aggressive acquisition is. Now, I teach this much more in detail in my business workshops. I dive into the specifics of all of this. But that’s just in general, my philosophy on marketing is if you can give them results ahead of time and you’re willing to pay upfront to acquire a customer, you’re going to be able to overdeliver to them in a way that will blow their mind.
Now, the way that this can work and the only way that this can work is when you have a product that works incredibly well for people and they get incredible results, your word of mouth referrals will be extraordinary. And I’m not talking about a customer that goes and tells their friend about you. That’s not even what I’m talking about.
I’m talking about a customer that changes their life so much that people ask them about you. They say, “What are you doing to change this much? What are you doing to make this much more money? How were you able to quit your job? How were you able to lose so much weight? How did you quit drinking? How have you calmed down? How are you so much less anxious than you used to be?”
When you can get to the point and call that back into marketing where your product is so good that people’s lives become an example of your product, you’ve won the game. And that’s what we’ve done with Scholars. We’ve created a product that the end result for the customer is so massive that we don’t even have to ask them for referrals. Their life is the referral.
So that’s how we think about marketing. So when you’re thinking about marketing, you want to think about all of those steps up to it. You have to have a product that is so amazing that when you go out to market, you can do it aggressively because you know that the backend is going to supplement it.
So how do you do that? How did I create Scholars in a way that overdelivers? And here’s what I’ve done with Scholars is I have created a product of one, basically. A whole membership that literally no one can compete with. And when you can do that, when you can create a product that nobody can compete with, you’ve won the game because there is no other organization that offers what I offer.
So I don’t have to ever think about anybody else taking a customer from me, ever. And everyone will tell me, there’s nothing like what I offer on the market at the value and the quantity of content that I give. I decided to create Self-Coaching Scholars initially in response to kind of some feedback I was getting was that, “Oh well, you can make money as a life coach at The Life Coach School because you’re offering an opportunity for people to make money.”
So when I was offering just coach training, people were saying to me, “Well, of course you can do that because people are willing to pay money because they know that they’ll make money on the backend.” And I said that is absolutely ridiculous. I said, people - and I knew this because I had been this client. I had been this student of myself.
More than anything, people want to have their mental health, people want to feel good, people want to feel like they’re on track in their lives. They want to feel good about themselves way more than they want to make money. Making money is a small part of that.
So I kind of went out to be an example to all of my students that the demand for coaching and the demand for increased mental health is at an all-time high and I was going to prove it. And so basically what I did with Self-Coaching Scholars is I took all of the courses that I had made over the past 10 years that I had charged multiple thousands of dollars for, and I put them inside of Self-Coaching Scholars in the vault.
So for those of you in Scholars, if you go into the vault, you’ll see my entire weight loss program is in there. My entire overdrinking program. And this is a program that I charged $2500 for. It is meaty and solid and it’s all in there. All the worksheets, all the videos, all the content. It’s extraordinary.
I took all of them. So I took a how to feel better course, I did a how to solve any problem course. I did stop overdrinking, stop overeating, an entrepreneurial course, a course on making money, a master class in weight loss, how to manage your urges. Like, hundreds, literally, of videos in there and I put them all in what I call the vault so that people could access everything that I had ever taught in detail.
Now, most of the content I had introduced on the podcast, and there’s only so much you can do on a podcast. I have about a half an hour a week. I can introduce the concepts and I can help people get results ahead of time, but if you want more, then I take it into the deep dive practicing materials that are in there, and I put them all in the vault.
Now, first of all, no one can compete with me there because no one’s been a life coach for as long as I have. I’m old. I was old enough that I bought The Life Coach School domain for 99 cents. Nobody even wanted it. Nobody really even knew what a life coach was when I first became a life coach.
So I had all of this content based on all of my original work around the Model that had been so effective for people. So that’s all in the vault. That is literally tens of thousands of dollars that’s available to my clients for $297. Nobody can compete with that. But that’s not even all we do.
Then on top of that, I teach a brand-new class every month and I send you the workbook or it. So for example, this month it’s how to make your ideas reality. And I went through and created a curriculum and a program about how to come up with ideas for your life that suit your purpose and suit your mission and how to believe in those ideas enough that you’ll be motivated to take action and be willing to fail hard enough to be able to have those ideas become reality.
And it’s an extraordinary course in and of itself. And it’s a 30-day program workbook that I literally send to your house. So not only are you getting all the vault stuff, but then you’re getting this workbook. And on top of that, I’m going to coach you, I’m going to teach you that course, then I’m going to coach you in group coaching.
And in addition to that, you’re going to get a one-to-one coaching session every single week for $297. Now, I tell you all this because it’s awesome and you should join if you haven’t, for sure. But I also tell you this because how easy is that to sell? It’s ridiculously easy.
When someone comes to me and says should I sign up for Scholars? I’m like, immediately. Immediately you should sign up for Scholars. The massive amount of value that you get for your money is incomparable. There’s no one else in the world that gives you what I give you.
And every time I go to a mastermind and talk to a bunch of other people, they tell me that I give too much value and that I should increase the price. And I never do because I want this to be a no-brainer for people. I want people to get into Scholars and be like, what in the heck is happening? This is the most amazing thing ever. I get this workbook, I get all of her life’s work of courses, I get all these classes that are taught live every single day of the month on a weekday, I get actually to coach with Brooke live in group coaching, and I get a one-to-one coaching session.
The value there, it’s like, I’m not even - you know sometimes they pretend, oh, you’re going to get $100 million worth of value. The value that you get in Scholars is ridiculous. So for all of you that want to have lunch with me and ask me how I do it, how do I create a program that sells so easily, that’s how I do it.
I create a ridiculous amount of value so it’s a no-brainer to sell. If you go to thelifecoachschool.com/join, there are hundreds of testimonials there. Now, that’s just everything you get. The value of everything you get in there is ridiculous. But none of that is even the most important piece.
The most important piece is that everything I teach in there works. And it works like gangbusters. It works amazingly. It’s effective. So we’re not just saying, “And you get a video and you get a call and you get a this,” not just a bunch of stuff you’re getting. It’s stuff that works and changes your life. It’s stuff that is effective. It’s not just boring outdated reused material. It is cutting edge new idea material that takes everything I teach on the podcast deeper.
And for those of you who have told me that you’re trying to emulate what I do in Scholars and recreate it and you’re falling short, one of the main reasons, the most feedback that I give to people is that they don’t have original ideas. They don’t have original content that they have tested to be effective.
People are not dumb. You can’t go into a product and just tell people stuff they already know, or tell people stuff that they’ve already tried, or give them exercises that you haven’t even tested to be effective. You have to know your stuff. Your students will know if this stuff works or not. And if you’re not getting your clients results, they’re going to quit.
You have to provide something that will give your clients results. And one of the secrets to doing that, people ask me this all the time, is you have to constantly be coming up with new ideas, you have to constantly be working live with your clients to help them overcome their problems. And then when you help them overcome, then you create that into a podcast or a class.
One of the reasons why Self-Coaching Scholars is so amazing for people is that I’m growing so fast in so many areas of my life and I’m working so hard on myself. And as soon as I figure something out, then I share it. So my whole overeating class came out of me learning how to be at my ideal weight.
My whole overdrinking class came from me quitting drinking and all of the research that I did around that. My entrepreneur class, my making money class, all of the classes that I have created, the feeling better class, the dealing with anxiety, the relationships, all of it is work that I have done on myself and with my clients that I know works.
I am not testing stuff on the clients that are coming int Scholars. That’s the proven stuff. So if you want to create a product that people will rave about and that you’ll be able to spend money on the frontend, it has to work and it has to be good. And don’t tell yourself that you don’t have great ideas because you do have great ideas and you’ll get them from working with your clients.
So that is Self-Coaching Scholars in a nutshell. It is basically the way that I describe it is it’s selling a Mercedes for $10. $297 is a high price point for most memberships. Most memberships that are out there are I think at about - some of them are $7, some of them are $10, some of them are $25. I talk to a lot of my colleagues that have memberships.
But I wanted to be on the high end of that price point because - and this is really important for those of you considering doing it is I wanted every single person who was in Scholars to be serious. And one of the ways that we make sure that that is true is you cannot quit Scholars and then come back in.
That costs me. Because I do that, that probably costs me hundreds of thousands of dollars every year because people want to get back into Scholars once they quit and we literally won’t let them give us money to do it. And the reason why is we don’t want people that are half in. We want people that are all in.
And so the energy that we get in Scholars is so amazingly powerful. We have status accomplishments basically of what happens in Scholars when you’re there for six months, you become VIP. When you’re there for a year, you become diamond level. When you’re there for two years you’re double diamond. When you’re there for three years, you’re triple diamond.
At each level of status that you achieve, you get further benefits, further time with me personally, further coaching, further materials to take your work even deeper into a more advanced way. And we have so many people that are triple diamonds, which is so extraordinary.
They have been working within this process for three years minimum and their lives are unrecognizable. They are truly our ambassadors for the program. And so I want to encourage you to create a program where people want to stay in it for that long and they want to keep working with you for that long because your stuff is so good.
When people say to me, “I want to create a membership like you, Brooke, I’m going to go do it this weekend,” I’m like, this is my life’s work. There’s no way you’re going to be able to create what I’ve created in a weekend. This is literally everything that I’ve learned about coaching and I’ve been at this a long time, and my shit is good and my materials work, and I have tested them and my students have tested them.
So that’s what I encourage you to create for yourself. Okay, so that’s my membership. So we have the marketing piece, I already covered. We have the Self-Coaching Scholars, which is my entry-level program where I demonstrate all of my tools and my life’s work and coaching and I teach about all the things that I have learned and applied to my own life.
Many people then decide that they want to become coaches. We currently have many dozens upon dozens of coaches working in Scholars, coaching our Scholars. And many of our students say I want to do that. I want to be a coach too. I love what she’s doing for a living. I want to be able to make that contribution back too.
And some people take our entrepreneur class within Scholars and decide they want to become life coaches, and so they sign up for our certification program. So that is the other part of my business is certification, and that’s where I certify people to be life coaches.
I take this program incredibly seriously. I am in love with the life coaching industry. I feel a huge obligation to raise up the level and the reputation of life coaches. I think that because there is no regulation in our industry, anyone can call themselves a life coach and I’m trying to distinguish between Life Coach School coaches and other coaches because I feel like we are so rigorous when we put people through the paces to become certified with us that if you encounter a Life Coach School certified coach, you know that you’re getting the best in the world.
And I have so many of my colleagues and friends and people in my industry come to me and say, “Hey, can I get someone trained by you to come work for me? I only want Life Coach School coaches working for me and helping my people too.” I can’t even tell you how excited that makes me when that happens because I feel like oh my gosh, everything I’ve wanted to do to help this industry is happening.
I am raising the level of the caliber and people know if someone’s a Life Coach School coach, they’re getting the best of the best. So when people come through this certification program, they go through it in a group of 10 people. So it’s a very small group of people that they’re learning with and there’s one instructor to every 10 people.
And for me, this was always something that was really important is small classroom size like, for my kids when they were going through school, being able to get that attention. I want to make sure that nobody comes through our certification that we don’t know their name and we don’t know how they’re coaching.
We are not just certifying people that pay attention in class. We’re certifying people who know how to coach, and we’re having them practice and we’re watching them practice and we’re giving them feedback. If they’re not quite ready, we give them more work to do before we certify them.
We teach, I think, the highest-level tools in the world because they work. The self-coaching model is by far the best tool I’ve ever used to change my own life and to use with my clients. You’ll hear me say at least twice a day, how do people go through life with the Model? I do not understand.
How do people manage organizations without the Model? How do people be married without the Model? How do people have kids without the Model? How do people deal with what’s going on in the world without the Model?
The Model really changes our lives. It’s the way of looking at the world where we can just calm down and feel like we have more control. So, I feel like our certification program, because we’ve been teaching it for so long, is so perfected. I used to teach it live in front of 10 people at a time, many, many, many years ago. And every single time I taught it, I got better and better and better.
And after hundreds of times of teaching it, I feel like I got it down to perfection, really. The way that I teach that course, I am so proud of what people walk away from with that and the huge manual of all the tools that they get and the ability to go out there and literally coach anyone and to have the confidence to know that they can use the Model and depend on the Model and lean on the Model to coach anyone.
And so, when people ask me about setting up their own certification program, they ask me the wrong questions. They ask, “Well, how do you do it? Do you do it on Zoom? Do you have a website?” I’m like, no, none of that is what matters; none of that.
We do all the top of the line printing; we send you the materials and you get to be on Zoom and it’s all very organized and all of that. But that’s the easy part. If you’re going to create a certification program for yourself, for whatever you’re offering – now, for my coaches, they know that they can’t offer a certification program with the Model.
And one of the reasons why I’ve set that up as a rule is I don’t want the work of the Model to get diluted. So, if I’m training people in the Model and they’re going out and training other people to be certified in the Model, but four times down the road, the Model will be unrecognizable. But if you want to certify someone in your specific idea that you’ve come up with, your specific creation or your specific tool, you have to make sure that you have taught it enough times and proven it enough times that you can then teach someone else how to do it.
It’s one thing to be able to do something for yourself. It’s another thing to certify someone else to do it. Just because you can do it well, doesn’t mean you can teach it well. So, you just want to ask yourself those questions. Are you really ready to create a certification program with your specific idea? Have you had enough people asking you for it, for your idea? Not to teach the Model. If they want to learn the Model, you’ve got to send them to The Life Coach School, but any other thing that you’ve added to your repertoire, of your business.
Maybe you’re teaching people how to run better. I have a client who teaches women how to run and how to get into running. And maybe you want to create a certification for coaches to teach other people how to run. You want to make sure that you have a proprietary process that you can teach and then certify people in.
I always discourage people from creating certifications because it really is a lot of responsibility and a lot of work, especially for coaching. I have a huge sense of responsibility to my clients and I am never going to certify someone that I wouldn’t let coach my sister or that I didn’t feel like could go out and represent my school or the Model properly. And so you want to make sure, when I see these certifications where you don’t even have to be tested, you don’t even have to prove that you’ve learned what they’ve taught you, you just get stamped with a certification, I think it’s reckless.
I don’t think it’s okay. I want any client that comes to The Life Coach School to get a coach, they know they’re getting the best. And so, you have to create what I’m going to tell you is a very expensive process to be able to do that. It’s much easier to just give people a class and then certify them. The way we do it is we give them a class and then we test them on it. we give them a class then they demonstrate. We give them a class, and then we make sure they know how to do it so when they leave they are solid in their understanding in all of our tools and they’ve proven to us that they know how to, most importantly, hold space for a client, most importantly know how to honor and love and respect the client that they have the honor of working with.
This industry will only hold its integrity if we do. And so, for any of you who are considering a certification, I want you to think long and hard about the responsibility that you’re taking on there. You’re taking on the responsibility for the person who is taking the class, who wants to become the coach that is going to create their livelihood with what you’re teaching them. You better make sure that you’re giving them the materials that they can definitely use to do that. But also, that you are thinking very carefully about all of the clients that they’re going to coach with your material.
And make sure that that is a positive contribution to the world, that you’re not being sloppy with it, that you’re testing and making sure that they are completely ready to go out there in the world. I could sell this certification and offer much less within it.
Right now, you go through six months of training with a group of 10 and then you choose between applied coaching or your entrepreneurial track. And we teach you, in the entrepreneurial track, how to run your own company and we teach you in the applied coaching how to really hone your coaching down so you can go work for another organization as a coach. It is rigorous.
I have fulltime people focusing on making sure that we are producing the best of the best. It is a huge responsibility and I take it very, very seriously. I think being a life coach is the best career decision anyone can make who has that calling, to contribute and to help people and to work with them and to make their lives better.
And I wat to make sure that there’s no other place in the world that does it better than us and I don’t think there is. And I will tell you, if I found another place that had better tools than us, I want to promise you all something; I would be all about it because this is much bigger than me.
This is our industry. This is the movement of self-help. This is the movement of life coaching and we can’t look at each other as competitors. If someone has something better, we need to collaborate. We need to work together to bring the best into this industry, into this world, so we can help people, literally help humans evolve to the best versions of ourselves, bring more love and joy and compassion into the world and less anxiety and buffering and emotional suffering. That is truly my mission.
And I want to tell you this. This is the last piece of this; if you don’t have a mission that is true and genuine, you’ll never make it. Listen, I have made an eff-ton of money. I love money. I’m all about money. I think we should all make money. I think all of my coaches should make a million dollars. That is my wish for every one of the. At least a million dollars. My coach would say a million dollars is a good start.
But that can’t be the reason why you do it because you’ll quit way too soon. They money is the byproduct. The mission is what drives you. And the mission’s got to be pure. When I have people come in and they just want to make money like I make, I don’t worry about helping them because they’ll be out of business so quickly because people can feel that. People know that when that’s your reason for doing it. And it’s so shallow.
Now, listen, money helps you grow and money helps you get your word out and that’s a beautiful thing and we want to make money, but if you just wat to make money so you can go spend it on silly things and your mission isn’t driving you, I promise you it won’t be worth it. and I would tell you that if we were sitting at lunch and you were like, “But how do you make all the money. I need all the money.” I would be like, “Whoa, you’re not going to make it, sister.”
Alright, in the last piece of my business – so remember, the first one was marketing and I have Self-Coaching Scholars, then I have certification. And the last piece of that – and by the way, Self-Coaching Scholars I sell monthly and certification I sell twice a year, I do two large classes a year of 10 people per group in there. And I think we’re just about to close certification for this month. So, if you’re interested, you’ve got to sign up right now. Just a little side note.
And then, the last piece is overdelivering. One of the main things that I teach all of my students when I’m teaching them marketing, when I’m teaching creation, when I’m teaching life is the idea of overdelivering. And it’s especially important in sales, whenever you’re learning to sell something; whenever you overdeliver, it’s easy to sell because you know that you’re doing much more than what you’re asking the client to do. The value is much more than what they are paying. And it makes running a business so much fun because people always come to you all the time and tell you how amazing you are, and it’s great.
And especially when you’re a people-pleaser, it’s so much fun to be able to give more than you’re going to receive, and especially if you’re someone who likes to feel generous and feeling like you’re offering up to the world something important. That’s what matters.
So, we do that in all of our programs and our products, but we also do that in our customer service department within our business. We have some really high standards with our customer service. We have a lot of people working for us. We have a lot of processes and systems in place. We like people to get responded to right away and we like to make sure that we’re taking care of them and that their needs are met and that we understand their problems carefully and that we take care of our people who have the opportunity to work with our business.
Do not treat your customer service as an afterthought. Do not expect your customers to jump through hoops in order to get what they need from you. And I think one of the best ways for you to test that is to be your own customer and to test your own customer service process. Send yourself an email. See how the response is. Go through that process. Work in your customer service department for a day and see what happens and see what you experience and how you can improve that.
The other department we have is our shipping department. One of the ways that we overdeliver in Scholars is by sending physical materials. This is something that a lot of online businesses don’t do. It’s a huge added expense for us. It’s a lot of work. We have a whole department for it. But I feel pretty powerful about doing that this year because I think there’s something powerful about writing thing down and putting thing on paper so you can see them.
And another way that we completely overdeliver is we created a private podcast for our Scholars. So, right in their iTunes app, they can download all of the calls from Scholars. So, it’s like they have The Life Coach School Podcast and then right underneath that they have The Scholars Podcast. And it just makes it super convenient and easy for them to stay in touch with Scholars and to get the materials that we’re giving them and share with them the content that we have for them.
So, there’s so many ways that you can think about, “How could I make this even more valuable to my customer?” And the way that you can think about it is not, “How do I give them more stuff?” Because that’s the last thing anybody needs is more stuff. Is, “How can I make my clients’ dreams come true? How can I help them get the results they want in the easiest way?”
I am obsessed with these questions. I think about them all the time. I am a student of self-help. I am a student of coaching. So I am obsessed with these ideas and creating them for my customers. And I think that that is one of the things that differentiates me from a lot of the people that I talk to who want to build businesses like mine is you have to be obsessed with what you’re creating and who you’re creating it for.
You have to love your people so much. I always am thinking about that person who doesn’t know me yet who’s suffering. I’m always thinking about her. And I want to call her. I want to find her. I want to let her know that I’m here and that I can help her and that I’ve been where she is. I want to teach her this as soon as I can so she doesn’t have to go one more day without knowing how to manage her mind and ow to know the Model and how to change her life.
We’ve been talking a lot about the first-time people learn the Model and their reaction and their delight and their mind explosion and what happens in that moment. And I just want more of that for the world. I want more of – my work is having an impact on my specific person. Not on everybody. Not everybody is interested. I get on people’s nerves. Those aren’t my people. There’s people that are as obsessed as I am with self-help and mental health and those are my people and I will do whatever I can to find them through my marketing and overdeliver to them in my products.
One last note I want to say that I think is a really important note to consider is the number of people who are on my email list and the number of people who listen to this podcast is extraordinary. There are literally millions and millions and millions of downloads on this podcast. And here’s what I want to say; it would be easy for me to take advantage of this list and to sell them a lot of different products that aren’t mine and to try and, quote unquote, cash in, to put advertising on my podcast. And I’m not saying that you shouldn’t do that. But I want you to understand, I don’t do that because I have a very clear mission and I’m very constrained.
I have a program called Coach Tank. It’s kind of like the side dish of my business. And it’s where I create programs to do with my certified coaches. So far, I’ve done a program called Entrepreneurial Bookkeeping, I’ve done a program called Monday-Hour-One. I’ve done a program called Entrepreneurial Management. I’m going to be doing Selling Expensive Things with one of my coaches. We’re going to be doing the Reducing Your Desire to Overdrink, and we’re doing the Ultimate Coaching Experience.
Those are kind of my side dishes that I do in Coach Tank with my certified coaches. And I do offer those as programs that my customers can participate in addition to the main programs that I have. But the rules that I have is that they can’t interfere with the main dish and the main programs that I have.
And I think a lot of people have way too many things going on, way too many programs, way too many overlapping processes. It’s really hard for customers to make a decision of what they’re going to do. My business is very clear. If you want coaching, you sign up for Self-Coaching Scholars. If you want to be a coach, you sign up for coach certification.
When you sign up for coach certification, you get Self-Coaching Scholars, so we make the decision very clear. You don’t have to decide between the two. You can have both of them if you sign up for certification. The fewer decisions your customers need to make, the more clear and simple your business is, the easier it will be for you to run it and the easier it will be for your customers to sign up and be a part of your organization.
Those are my insights, my tidbits, my advice to all of you who want to pick my brain and understand my business model. There it is. Now, if you have additional questions, you can send them in. we’ll do a follow up Q&A on this, so I can make sure everything is covered. So, you can send them in to us as customer service and they’ll keep track of them at [email protected] and I will do a follow up to answer these questions.
I want to help you build your business. I want to help you build your membership. I want to help you build whatever it is you want to create in your life. If you follow these values and these tenets of what I believe when it comes to building a business and creating a contribution to the world, I don’t think you can lose. Everyone I’ve taught this to that’s followed my example on this is succeeding beyond our wildest dreams and it is so fun and it’s so worth it. it’s totally possible and totally realistic.
I encourage you to do it yourself. Alright, my friends, have a beautiful week, I’ll talk to you soon. Bye-bye.
Hey, if you enjoy listening to this podcast, you have to come check out Self-Coaching Scholars. It's my monthly coaching program where we take all this material and we apply it. We take it to the next level and we study it. Join me over at the TheLifeCoachSchool.com/join. Make sure you type in the TheLifeCoachSchool.com/join. I'd love to have you join me in Self-Coaching Scholars. See you there.