So you've got your Bio Box and About Page written from yesterday. Now, the most important thing to do is have a good quality, recent photo of your head.
No, I really don't care if you 'think' that you don't take good photos. People buy based on the personality of the person, so you NEED to be relatable. YOU are the face of your business. The best way to do that is to have a good photo of yourself.
A photo where you've been cropped out is not a good idea. Your head ideally should be in the centre of the photo with space all around it. Ideally you should be looking at the camera, as this builds trust with the reader. If you're looking off to the side, it can be perceived that you have something to hide.
Tips for a good Headshot
There are options here, you could go and see a professional photographer, or you could get a loved one to take your photo(s). Your budget and the skill-level of loved ones are to be taken into account here. Please do not limit yourself though, a good photographer might not charge that much, especially if you're willing to write a testimonial and go on their website (if you do, ensure you include your website and it doubles as exposure!).
Dress to show your Personality:
Ensure you dress in clothes that make you feel amazing and portray who you really are. Please do not wear boring business blacks if that's not your niche. Re-read over who your 'ideal' customer is. Would they want to do business with you if you were wearing what you have chosen?
With my personal clients as an Authenticity Coach I wear what I feel authentic in. As I bring these skills to Online Coach Support, I believe that the same clothes are appropriate. I never wear corporate clothing, even when I go to trainings or business meetings, so there is no way that I would wear that in a photo as it is inauthentic. My headshot represents who I am.
No photos from the '80s!
I have spoken to some older women who say that the best they ever felt was when they were young. The want to use a photo from when they felt 'younger/prettier/thinner/insert adjective here'. This is a big no-no. Your customers are doing business with you NOW, not 30 years ago. They deserve respect and honesty.
How do you want your business to feel?
Go back a re-read who your ideal customer is.
What benefits do you provide them?
What problem are you solving for them?
What symbols and images might resonate to this customer?
What colours feel like them?
All of these aspects make up your 'branding'. Successful branding allows people to identify who your are quickly and easily.
Look at your Current Branding
Have a look at any Branding that you currently use...
What colours do you currently use? Are they used consistently throughout? Or do you use a little bit of everything?
Do you currently have a Logo?
Does it fit in with the theme of what your 'ideal client' resonates with?
Do you currently have a Favicon on your website? Does it represent this ideal customer?
What photos are you using currently? Do they speak to your customers? Or do you not have any?
What will attract your ideal client?
I want you to start brainstorming possible ideas for the branding of your business.
You do not need to commit to anything at this stage as we will make decisions later. For now I want you to think about your ideal client and what message you want to share with them visually, emotionally etc.
Start looking at the psychology of branding if you think this is an area that you need to work on. Hire a Branding Coach if you need to. Ask for feedback in our Facebook Group, or in the forums.
Names that you use in your business are HUGE. Now is the time that we are going to look at the various names you use and decide if they are the ones you use going forward.
Your Name Online
Now is the time to decide what name you will be known by in business. I recommend that you choose a name that is honest and resonates with you. Ideally you'll be using this name for many, many years to come. Is this your full name, or is it a nickname? Some women I know choose to go by their maiden name online. I personally use a 'nickname' in business. Allie Atkinson is my business persona, but not the name on my Birth Certificate. However, I am called Allie and go by that day-to-day, so it doesn't feel like an 'act' or false in any way. It resonates more strongly with who I am now. I have only been called Allie for the last 5-6 years and I have been building my online businesses for much of that time. What name do you wish to be known as in business? This will be the name that you introduce yourself as at any business event, sign off as online etc. Changing it is not a decision to be taken lightly. Some people might have a name that is laughed at/not taken seriously and you may wish to have a different name online. Have a chat with your colleagues and see what they think if you cannot make up your mind. If you have the same name as a fraudster or a serial killer for example, it would probably be in your best interest to go by a different name online.
Domain names are a crucial part of online business. This is the www.com address that your business 'lives' at. Ideally they should sum up what your business is about and what benefits you have, or what problem you solve. If you were to read the address written on a piece of paper, can you tell what your business is about? If not, then perhaps we could do some brainstorming.
If you were to tell your 'ideal client' the name of your website, would it peak their interest? Does it speak directly to their problem? Write down a few possible ideas on what your domain name could be.
The domain name rises how easily you are to find when searched for online
You are doing business in a world market. If you are selling anything online, then you should be using a .com address. The ONLY time that you should use a local address, such as .co.nz or .com.au is if you are only doing in personal coaching sessions and you never plan on expanding to online. So, in other words, none of you. If the .com address you want is taken, getting the .com.au one is not a good idea, all it will do is cause confusion and lose you customers down the road. Planning ahead here is important.
If you come up with a potential domain name. Write it down. Go to a domain-buying site such as GoDaddy.com and see if it's available. If not, move on. If it is, I want you to open another browser window and Google that name. It might already be a business that doesn't have the Domain Name. Search keywords, does anything similar come up?
The more succinct, the better. A long web address is hard to remember. A couple of words or a short phrase is going to be a long more memorable than a sentence. Now is not the time to be 'cute' and misspell words. Do not use 'y' for 'why' 'u' for 'you' etc. It will only cause confusion and you will lose a large part of your potential client base. If you use a word that is often misspelled, or has a British/American variation, I recommend that you purchase it spelled correctly and incorrectly. Use the correct one for your website and direct traffic from the other one. For example, if you had 'colour' in your web address, buy the domain names for both colour and color.
Domain names are cheap. I buy them from $10 a year, so buy several if needed. Ensure that you purchase your own name if it's available and/or yournameCoach. This allows you leverage for down the road.
If you don't think that your Domain name/web address is a good fit. I highly recommend that you change it now, ready for the next steps that we will cover.
Your Business' Name
What is the name of your business currently? Do you have a name yet?
I want you to reread your 'Perfect Customer' description. Does your business' name speak to that person? Does the name clearly sum up what your benefits are?
You do not need to have a Business Name at this stage. You may be doing business as a Sole Trader. Please refer to your country's guidelines on what is needed. Your Business Name does not need to be the same as your Domain name/web address though.
I chose to have the Business Name of Heartfelt Group Ltd. I am registered as a Limited Liability Company, after discussion with a Charted Accountant. The reason I went with Heartfelt Group, is that I envision a group of 'businesses/enterprises' all with the theme of being Heartfelt, or being important to me and from the heart. My company is able to trade in the areas of Coaching and Art, as well as products to do with either. As my business grows, I will probably set up other companies for various things, but I will get the advice of an accountant and a lawyer when I am heading in that direction. Everything doesn't need to be fully set up at the beginning.
Determine what name you will use in business. Your name unless there is strong reason not to use it.
So here we are at Day Three of our 21-day countdown to launching to the world.
I expected to have a business-based task for you to work on today. I have a list and I am carefully plotting and planning the order that makes the most sense in which to do these tasks. I am trying to guide you easily through these difficult waters and I was very proud of what I had done thus far.
Today however, I couldn't work with the task. I was besieged with doubts and vulnerability. I have been working on these tasks for OnlineCoachSupport.com as well as with my own business. I was tired and wrung out and feeling concerned. Colleen and I even had a disagreement :/
Then I took some time out to self-soothe and I had the strongest feeling that THAT was what we needed to work on today. Because if I am feeling these feelings going through this process, then perhaps you are too!
My purpose in life is to be authentic and I want to show up authentically for you guys too, even when things are hard. ESPECIALLY when things are hard. So here it is. I literally get naked. I was inspired whilst in the shower and the analogy was too beautiful not to share. I hope that it inspires you. If not, don't worry about it, keep working on one of the previous steps.
Knowing what makes you feel vulnerable
As we have been working through creating the foundations for our businesses, what things have been coming up? What doubts have you been having? What issues have arisen?
There is no shame in admitting that you are having difficulties, or need some support. Personally one of my major issues is with 'being seen'. Creating Blog Posts and filming video is pushing my buttons BIG TIME. I hate it when I pour my soul into things that are hard and then people put it down. It breaks a part of me. However, over time I have learnt that it's about getting back up! It's continuing to do soul work, even when it's hard!
Identify Self-soothing techniques
We've all heard it before, but it is no one's job, but your own, to make yourself feel better. YOU are in charge of your life and deep down you know, you are the only person qualified to make yourself feel better.
For many years I had major self-esteem issues. I would use other people as a means to feel good about myself. Their compliments and 'love' would help me chase away the doubts and secret fears that the world would see how flawed I was. Thankfully by the end of my 20s/beginning of my 30s the work I was doing around improving my confidence was starting to show in my choices.
I now love myself flaws and all and I am happy to show them to the world (in limited doses lol).
I use a variety of tools to self-soothe and I love to learn about other people's. Some methods include:
(Want to know how 'I' self-soothed today? Check it out here)
What techniques do you currently use? What interest you in trying?
Showing up after vulnerability
So, you've felt like crap, you've self-soothed and whilst probably not 100%, you're feeling a little better about yourself and the work that you do. Now what?
This is one of 'the most important' times in your business. This is the point where you might give up. You're possible having a 'vulnerability hangover' (a concept that I LOVE by Brene Brown).
NOW is the time to stay strong. Re-read over your Desire Statement, re-align yourself with your 'why'. Take ONE little baby step towards your future. How courageous you are now, will determine the success of your business.
Go forth Coaches. I KNOW that you can do this!
Today's Action Steps
Allie Atkinson is a Co-Founder and Co-Owner of
Niche Networkers - Online Coach Support She lives in Dunedin, New Zealand and you can find her out dancing, in her art studio or online supporting Coaches. She is passionate about being authentic, embracing courage and doing the hard work required to live her soul's purpose.
Today we are going to look at the money-making aspects of your business. If money is not coming in then it's not a business, it's a hobby.
How do you bring the money into your business?
What are your products?
Okay, so now take an honest look at what you currently offer. Now is not the time to write a new programme or book. You're a coach, start there. Do you have any packages? Do you only sell your sessions by the hour? Are you still not at that point? It's okay, we will work with what you have already. This isn't about pressure. It's about getting yourself out there in July :D
Even a 'one-hour coaching session' is a product!
How much do you charge?
How much are you currently charging clients for your services?
Please make sure you're charging a realistic price!
If you need help with knowing how much to charge, ask your colleagues in our private Facebook group, we are here to help. A general rule of thumb is, if you're a certified coach, you should be charging at least $80 per hour. If you feel that this is too high and you're not 'worth it' please look at getting some coaching around Money Mindset, or seeing someone about removing old beliefs. De-valuing yourself and the amazing skills that you have, will not serve you and may be detrimental to the coaching industry. If one coach is charging $30 an hour and another $80, yet both coaches have the same qualifications, it leads clients to question why. We have a highly-specialised skill-set, even if it feels a little 'easy' to us. Not everyone is able to do the things that we do. Celebrate and appreciate that!
Is there anyone who gives you the support you need?
Being a Coach providing online services can be a lonely venture. Please don't do it alone and risk burning out. We are here for you! Perhaps you could buddy up with another coach during this process? You can give each other the emotional support and accountability that you need. If you're needing coaching around issues, or creating new habits, ask for some within our group, but please remember that we are all professional coaches here, so discuss rates instead of making assumptions.
"How often are you, your employees and your co-workers operating like lighthouses standing securely on the shore, attracting and safety guiding the boats (customers) that need your business with your light?
How often do you run up and down the beach frantically looking for boats (customers) to serve?"
Reference - Attracting Perfect Customers -
The Power of Strategic Synchronicity by Stacey Hall & Jan Brogniez
Another quote from the same book "Our business now attracts Perfect Customers only" also from the book above and thought it would be an excellent mantra or affirmation to use when starting your venture or new business.
What if you are still deciding or can't make up your mind? You may think "I want to help everyone - by defining my niche I won't be able to help as many people."
It may sound crazy but by defining your niche and being very specific you will be known as the expert or the go to person for solving a specific problem. This helps create your identity and makes you stand out from the crowd. A quote from Alex Mandossian "Be like a well - narrow and deep".
If you could spend all day, every day working with a particular group of people, who would it be???
It is often said you don't find your niche but your niche finds you. If you are unsure ask some of your friends, work colleagues what they think you are good at. You may think that you haven't got a particular skill or have actually taken something you do well for granted and it is not until someone gives you praise or asks for advice or help that you may realise your worth.
What do you like to do?
You may start off more generalised but find that certain types of people actually make you feel drained whilst others will make you feel vibrant and alive.
Ask yourself these questions:
Demonstrate how you can help someone either solve a problem or how they can benefit from the solution or tools they are getting from you.
By being clear on who you are, what you do and who you serve you will attract your perfect customer.
Spend some time on this as this is the most important aspect to get right, to be in alignment with yourself and your core values.
Some questions you can also ask yourself
"My job isn't to convert everyone out there to like me. My job is to stand up, share my light, share the truth of who I am and help as many people that I can."
Reference: Quote from Leonie Dawson - Amazing Biz & Life Academy
Mind map out your potential Niches
This can then be further broken down or you can use the same template once you have identified your niche to expand on how you can help or serve them. See how you go otherwise jump into our forum and ask for help.
Another alternative is by saying it in the positive:
Be really specific - no more than 60 seconds. This is your 'elevator script' - The message that you can say when someone asks you "So, what do you do?".
Check out this inspiring article from Entrepornography.com
Get even MORE personal with your list.
Once you have your ideal client framework, let's go even deeper and get to know them on an individual basis. Lisa Lachusa suggests creating an 'Avatarget' (Avatar + Target Market). Create a fictional character who personalises your client wishlist and is your 'Perfect Customer'.
Feel free to give this character a name, age, fears, worries and even a family.
Later when we start our marketing section, you'll be able to write directly to your 'Perfect Customer' and copy will flow a lot more easily! Thanks Lisa, for the great idea!
I hope these ideas have started your mind ticking over and you're ideal 'Perfect Customer' is taking shape. Remember, just chose some characteristics for now. As we continue through this challenge, you can add to your list! As Marla Cilley - Flylady says "Progress, Not Perfection"
Create an 'Elevator Speech'
Break it down into three steps - it will make it easier to identify who your perfect customers are.
Those three steps are:
Colleen's Vision for Niche Networkers -Online Coach Support
*We help new overwhelmed and stressed start up coaches, who have techo & marketing fears learn the basic skills, to get set up and move forward in their new business by giving them the experience to try different platforms and have a place to share their ideas with each other.*
What's YOUR elevator pitch for what you do? (Or want to do!)
Questions to ask yourself:
In my ideal scenario,
WHY do I want to be a coach? WHY do I want to be self-employed? WHY do I do what I do?
* Have you been working on your business for ages?
* Are you ready to take action?
* Do you want discussions and support?
Join us in a mini 21-Day challenge as we overhaul Niche Networkers and release it as the new OnlineCoachSupport.com Membership Site. Each day we will cover another area that we need to work on and identify areas that we will work on in the future.
We invite you to join us in our FB group and/or in our Forum, as well as in the comment section.
Video featuring Allie Atkinson of OnlineCoachSupport.com
Online Coach Support is a membership site that promotes, encourages and supports other coaches emotionally and with the techy, biz and marketing aspects so they can really thrive in their biz, reducing overwhelm in the online world.
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