This is lowkey, an episode of me raving about how podcasting can change the game for you and your business. But I do really mean it.
Our podcast has not only helped us create more income in the business, but it also allowed me to help people or reach people in ways I never thought was possible. The sheer fact that real human beings even listen to our show, and find value from what I share, it’s really something I never take for granted.
Let’s dive into how podcasting can help you sign more clients in your coaching business, even if you have a small audience, at the moment, across all your social media or content platforms. Or even if you feel like you aren’t established in your space or don’t have much experience. We’ll address both of these potential concerns that you might have in this episode.
Let’s start with a birds eye view of why I believe podcasting is the simplest, most sustainable way to take your business to the next level in 2023 and sign more clients. It’s because a podcast is long form, evergreen content.
Think about it this way: Your podcast is essentially a bank of value. You start with an empty bank, and overtime you put in more value with each episode you publish. The more episodes you publish, the more value you can serve to both people already following the library or future people who will discover your library at a later time.
This bank of content is helpful for your existing audience, meaning the people who already follow you and consume your work on a somewhat regular basis.
Overtime, the people who are ready to take the next step with you, will be much more confident in their decision to reach out and book a call because they’ve been following your work and learning from your thought leadership and hearing you talk about your offer for some time now.
With each episode you put out, they move closer and closer to a decision and in feeling empowered and confident about working with you.
The same thing can happen with the ideal clients who will discover you for the first time later on, and I’d argue that the “turn around time” could be even faster because of your podcast.
Here’s why. Let’s say you have already 30 episodes on your show by the time someone discovers you. You now have literally 30 episodes to go through in like, a week, if you really find value in the first few episodes you check out and now you’re hooked.
By the end of the week, you feel like you’re already pretty deep into the teachings of the coach and you have a pretty good feeling about working with this coach.
Put another way, the longer you’re in the podcasting game and the more episodes you have, the quicker someone can make a decision about working with you because they have more content to consume and learn from.
Here’s another scenario: Let’s say you only have an Instagram account with like 100 posts on your feed. For me personally, as someone who just discovered a new coach I’m keen on working with, if I were to choose scrolling through all 100 of their Instagram feed posts versus listening to 30 episodes on their podcast to help me make a decision, I’d personally opt for listening to the podcast.
Even if it technically means more research time on my part because I get to go in depth into their brain and see what their thoughts are on their industry, and overall have a better idea of how they can help me if I do choose to work with them.
Now, let’s zoom in a bit and talk about how a podcast can specifically help you sign more clients.
If you’re building a coaching business, then there are two areas I’d suggest you to think about focusing on:
First, think about how you are going to showcase your unique thought leadership to help you stand out from others in your niche or industry.
Second, how you are going to soft launch your paid offers and services, especially if it’s a 1:1 coaching package.
Let’s look at how a podcast can help you showcase your thought leadership and help you sell out your 1:1 offer.
One of the biggest worries that hold back a lot of coaches who want to start a podcast is they think they might not have enough to say on a podcast or that their ideas aren’t that unique or original.
Another thing I’ve even heard some people say, “I feel like if I say XYZ, it’ll sound like that other coach. What if people think I’m copying them?”.
Whenever this thought comes up for you, first, yes, do ground back into the belief that if this is something you genuinely and honestly believe in, then share it.
But second, I invite you to take it a step further by looking at the similarities between your viewpoint and the other coach’s viewpoint, but where are your differences? For example, where do you disagree with them? Where might their approach not apply to your ideal clients and people? Where might you be able to add an angle based on your lived experiences?
But also, just get your podcast out. Just share your ideas. Just help people.
And guess what? Your unique thought leadership helps people. But here’s the thing, your unique thought leadership isn’t necessarily original. Instead, your unique thought leadership just has to be honest and genuine to you. Meaning it stems from your own opinions, lived experiences, knowledge and training, and so on.
Everything you believe in, everything that you’ve gone through, all the lessons you’ve learned and the challenges you’ve navigated – all of these things inside your brain is what comprises your unique thought leadership.
And because it’s so honest to you and holds meaning for you, you’re the best person to share from your own perspective and hence help people with it.
So screw the thought that you have to be original, 10000% unique, or else people will think that you’re copying. I’m saying this as someone who was deeply immersed in academic and research, where making sure you’re not committing plagiarism was a BIG DEAL.
Remember how we’d have to submit our papers to turnitin.com or VeriGuide? Those plagiarism checker websites? I mean, I totally understand why we were required to do so. Because the instructor needs to make sure we actually used our brain and not copy and paste something we found online.
When I was working in research settings, there was always a pressure to publish your research findings first. Like you have to rush to publish it first before anyone else from somewhere else in the world publish something exactly the same or similar. Because the first person to publish takes the cake.
Also, let’s throw it back to grade school. The first kid to raise their hand and answer the question correctly gets praised, even if you legit had the exact same answer but you just had a slower reaction time and didn’t raise your arm.
There were so many instances in our lives or school experiences or maybe even professional work experiences where we were led to believe that we have to have not just the original, but also be the first one to say that “original thing or idea”.
The question I had to ask myself was, “To what extent is that true in building an online business?” And sometimes I would even venture to ask, to what extent are those rules even true in the world at large?
I literally would answer those questions and challenge myself to break my own beliefs of what I believe originality means, and then redefine the way I want to help people based on everything I know and what I’ve experienced.
Here’s how I see thought leadership. When it comes to becoming a thought leader, it has nothing to do with being the first to say something or saying it in a completely unique way that no one has ever heard of before.
We aren’t trying to get a patent or trademark for our intellectual property. At least, not right now.
Our goal right now is to help people with our brain.
Over time, the more we practice sharing our concepts, ideas and approaches for helping people, the sharper and more refined our intellectual property will become. And the more reputation and brand awareness we build for our intellectual property and thought leadership.
But right now, focus on just getting your ideas out there and helping people.
How I personally define soft launching is that your offer doesn’t have time urgency, rather than opening the doors to your offer only during a select period of time, and creating a sense of time urgency for those who want to join your offer.
The reason why I personally prefer soft launching, especially for my 1:1 coaching programs, rather than leveraging time urgency and creating that ultra big hype around my offer, is because I personally prefer to build and compound the demand around my offer over time.
When I focus on 1) creating content that reflects my unique thought leadership and 2) continuing to showcase how my offer can help my ideal clients, and continue to do this overtime, the collective impact of every touchpoint, every piece of content, every time I impact someone who consumes my marketing, it all compounds and the demand builds naturally and quickly.
Meaning, I do not have to rely on time urgency because now there’s natural demand and interest in my program, and also this primes my business to do a traditional launch later on, whenever I do want to launch an offer that might require time urgency, such as a group offer where there’s a legit deadline to enroll.
So here’s what soft launching looks like in your podcast:
a) How can you be that coach who is proud of their offer and deeply cares about helping their people
b) How can you be that coach who knows how to coach and help clients create results
c) How can you be that coach who is so clear and convicted about their message and what their values are
d) And your podcast is the perfect setting/platform for you to showcase all of this
a) Are you selling something that clients are aware that they want ?
b) Is your messaging able to showcase the uniqueness of your offer?
c) Are you building demand and brand awareness for your offer? Because a dream offer is typically one that has been around for a while, and has developed a reputation over time. The creator of the offer took the time to build its reputation and make it known. It didn’t just happen overnight.
d) All of the above can be articulated through your podcast. And the goal is to be able to share about your offer from multiple different angles, over and over again. It’s not that there’s one single perfect combination of sentences or the perfect messaging that will propel your business to six-figures.
But rather, with different examples or different ways of explaining your offer, without changing your offer, can land differently for different ideal clients. So, soft launching and sharing your dream offer is an ongoing process.
How exactly can you showcase all of the above on your podcast?
Well, it’s not that one episode alone will do all of it. It will take the collective of all of your episodes to highlight this, and it will also involve the future episodes you publish. It’s truly a collective effort.
So there’s no pressure to make sure one single episode hits all of the checkboxes. Instead, all of your episodes create an experience. They all work together to create a brand. They all work together to help your audience.
It’s a collective effort and that’s why the more episodes you publish and the longer you continue to podcast, the more income and impact you create in your business.
This is what soft launching is. It’s not that you have to rush to get your messaging for your offer right. It’s not that you have to rush to find the perfect combination of sentences or the most concise way of talking about your offer.
But rather, it’s about taking the time to showcase how you are a dream coach and how your offer is the dream solution to your dream client’s problem, from multiple different angles and explaining what you do in different ways.
And continue to do so over time, so that collectively, every piece of content and every touchpoint you have with your ideal clients creates a cohesive experience for your audience and it helps them understand that you are the coach for them and your program is exactly what they want to invest in to help them with the problems or challenges they’re currently facing.
Cool beans. Now I want to touch on two specific concerns people might have when it comes to starting a podcast and leveraging it to sign more clients.
This is a common concern that a lot of people have.
I first want to share about our client, Betty.
Betty, in the first year of her coaching business, only relied on building her thought leadership and soft launching on Instagram.
As of right now, she’s been doing coaching for around 1.5 years, and she currently has a little over 270 followers on Instagram. She also started a podcast near the end of our time working together, not too long after she celebrated her business’ first anniversary.
During our time working together, Betty was able to sign multiple four-figure coaching clients, her first clients ever, I should add.
Also throughout our entire duration of working together, Betty created over US$15,000 in the first year of her coaching business. For most of that time, she was a side hustler with multiple other professional and personal priorities.
When I asked Betty what she felt was the biggest contributor to her wins and results, she said the following, “Cheryl, you’ve helped me to bring out the really good juice of my thought leadership and trained me to be at ease with content creation and sales process. All of these give me a good foundation to be creative, inventive, leap forward when I want to, and take a step back when I want to.”
She also went on to say “I’m amazed at how far I’ve come with the business in a little less than one year. I think if you asked Betty one year ago how far she thinks she would have come with the coaching business, she would not have guessed this.
Results can happen any time, even when life stuff is happening. During this year, I also made a transition from being an employee to a business owner fully. I have a filmmaking, consulting, and coaching practice.
I think having built a solid foundation for the coaching business really allowed me to feel confident in making that big career transition, and that is simply incredible. This business has really allowed me to have more options, flexibility, and confidence in life.”
Being able to hone in on your unique thought leadership and being able to showcase that in your content, whether on a platform like Instagram or something more evergreen and long form like podcast, can make a huge difference in your business results. Even if you have a small audience.
And it’s not because I’m saying that by having a podcast, your audience will suddenly skyrocket overnight. But rather, I’m speaking from the perspective of: When you’re able to demonstrate your unique thought leadership via your podcast, you focus on helping your existing audience irrespective of how many people are currently following you.
Some of them will become clients if you continue to show them how you’re the dream coach with the dream offer. And overtime, the new people who follow you will also be quicker in their decision to work with you, after going through like twenty episodes of your podcast within a short time frame.
Your audience will naturally continue to grow, but right now, focus on helping your existing audience and set the stage for that.
Now, let’s talk about what if you feel like you lack the experience, and now you’re worried you might not have not enough things to talk about on the podcast. And maybe you’re also worried about whether anyone will even want to work with you, let alone listen to your podcast, if you aren’t “established”.
This is a legitimate concern in my opinion, because I do believe that clients want to know that they’re working with the best of the best. Clients deserve to know that they can trust the person they’re working with, and I’d also argue that having experience and continuing to get more experience is a requirement as a coach or entrepreneur.
That said, before anyone freaks out about not having enough experience, I want to share a conversation that I was having with a good friend, Ruby (you can find her @rubysparks.co on Instagram).
In a nutshell, Ruby and I were talking about a theme we noticed. And this is just a rough generalization, as I’m sure it doesn’t apply to every single person.
We noticed that the coaches who seem to be able to build traction and sign clients much quicker in their business are usually those who have the experience to back up what they’re saying in their content and marketing, even if their coaching business is brand new and they’ve never started their own business before this.
This experience usually looks like industry experience outside of the coaching industry. So maybe they have worked in a certain profession for a number of years or they’ve done a lot of good work and have built up their brand and reputation within their industry that has nothing to do with their business.
But because in their coaching business, they’re now helping people who are either from their professional or previous industry or helping people navigate similar problems as those in their professional/previous industry, you already have ample experience with people who you’re trying to help.
You might also already have existing networks and connections that can help you grow your audience. But the key thing to note here is that you have the social proof and experience from the years of work you’ve done prior to starting your business. And for many people who identify with this, have this type of industry experience under their belt.
Now, I didn’t start off with this type of professional or industry experience. I didn’t have that work experience prior to starting my coaching business, so how did I sign clients within the first few months of my own business journey?
Well, it’s because I was building my experience through 1) the content I was putting out and 2) continuously working with clients for free to gain even more experience and hone in on my skills and ability to help people.
For those of you who identify with this, I want to offer the perspective that when you create long form content, you’re not only honing in on your unique thought leadership and helping people via your content and showcasing why you’re a dream coach and how your offer is the dream offer.
But your podcast also helps you hone your craft and help you gain experience while you simultaneously do what you need to do to get more practical hands-on experience, such as working with people for free.
By continuing to put out podcast episodes week after week, you are training your mind to think at a higher level. This isn’t just to fluff your own ego and be like, “Look at how many brilliant ideas my brain produces and the unique take I add to my industry.”
Like, yes. That too. But especially for anyone who might feel like they lack the experience right now, your podcast actually trains you to think at an even more experienced level, i.e the level your clients are looking for.
When you think at a higher level, and simultaneously start working with people, whether it’s for free or in a paid capacity, you’re able to help them at a much higher level as well.
This means that you’re able to train yourself to become that coach or entrepreneur who not only has the thought leadership and unique angles to bring to the table, but you now also build your skills of being able to help people create results.
In summary, the podcast first trains your brain to think like an experienced coach.
Second, you will continue to go out and get your hands dirty by working with clients closely and helping them create results, meaning you’re also getting practical experience.
And third, because you’re continuing to showcase your unique thought leadership and soft launch your offers over and over again, week after week, AND you’re now training yourself and getting more experienced. This is the perfect formula for signing clients.
This is why, in my humble opinion, a podcast can not only help you sign more clients, but also literally pave the way for your first six-figures in business.
As we start to wrap up today’s conversation, I want to share a few thoughts on being aware of where we’re trying so hard to come up with reasons why we can’t do something.
Because a lot of times, our brain unknowingly literally fights for reasons such as, “No, but I do have a small audience” or “No, but I do have too little experience.” or “No, Cheryl, but legit, my audience doesn’t buy coaching.”
It’s like, our brain is working really hard to stop you from even being open to possibilities and it fights really hard to keep you believing in reasons why what you want to do won’t work out.
First, be super aware of where your brain is literally doing that.
Second, intentionally choose to stop rationalizing why you have to stay stuck. Literally.
If it couldn’t be my audience size, what else could it be or what else do I want to problem solve for instead? If it couldn’t be that I’m not as experienced as the other coaches, what else could it be or what else do I want to problem solve for instead?
You got this.
I genuinely do hope that it gives you some new perspectives on what podcasting can look like in your business.
Sure, I might be a bit biased and in favor of podcasting, but I do genuinely mean everything we talked about in this episode.
With that, let 2023 be the year where you start and grow your podcast, help more people, and ultimately take your business to the next level.
Join us in the Thought Leader Club 1:1 + Community Program is the exact room you want to be in if your 2023 and 2024 vision is to:
✨ Become known for your unique thought leadership and build your career as a thought leader
✨ Build a body of work that not only showcases the depth of your thinking and the caliber of your skills, but also compels best-fit clients to want to work with you and you specifically
✨ Attract both clients and opportunities that you once felt were out of reach for “someone like you”… But you now see that you’re completely capable of
Step into the version of you who stops following else’s playbook of “traditional success” and instead, proudly create something that’s truly of your own.
Get all the details and apply. We’ll then book a sales call to make sure that the program is the best fit for you and we can onboard you as early as next week. Our first inaugural cohort starts on November 1, 2023 👀
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