Why create products?
I’m a big believer in creating passive income for a coaching business, but many coaches either don’t know what to offer, or hope that their one-on-one coaching services are enough to sustain their lifestyle.
Sure, your clients hire you for your specific skillset and specialty, but wouldn’t you like to earn more in your business? Wouldn’t you like to reach more of your target audience who aren’t quite ready to purchase your big ticket coaching packages? And, how about some passive income—cashing in on the phrase, “Make money in your sleep”?
This is why you need products to sell, in addition to your coaching services.
But What Will They Buy?
A direct way to determine what your audience needs is simply to ask them. Create a short survey with Survey Monkey or Typeform, and ask your followers on social media and on your email list to complete it. Maybe what they are looking for is a ebook, a checklist, or a workbook. Others may be looking for a class to resolve their particular problem.
Also ask your current coaching clients what they need. This is especially important to retain them as clients after their coaching sessions end. What’s the logical next step for them to continue learning with you, if they don’t want to renew your coaching services?
Identify Your Target Market
You have likely done this exercise already, but it’s important to reanalyse your market and identify any changes that may have occurred. For example, if your target market is teenagers and young adults, have you updated your social media plan? Platforms like Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok are the most popular amongst young people, so if you’re not using them effectively, you could be missing out.
Be original. Identify your target market and their pain points. Jot down their demographics and where that audience can be found online. Ask them what types of products they would like to see or that they desperately need.
Consistent Product Branding Can Lead to Increased Sales
I have little doubt that, before you opened your coaching doors, you thought long and hard about the branding of your company, from the logo design to the colors of your website. The same kind of branding strategy should occur when you’re creating products for your audience.
While the product graphics don’t have to look exactly like your website, there should be enough repeating elements so your subscribers and clients will recognize the product as being yours. Think of your own buying habits. Do you have brands that you trust?
Whether your on-line products use the same colors or perhaps the same font, design repetition develops both name recognition and trust. And once people trust you, they are more likely to become repeat buyers.
Repetition is also important when you have a series of products, whether it’s a series of ebooks, webinars, or classes. For instance, you know that section of Amazon that shows the “Customers who bought this also bought…”? If an author’s books show up, all looking similar in design, the reader can tell right away that (1) they’re all by the same person, and (2) that the author is most likely a credible authority, because, after all, look at all the books they’ve published!
If the books in a series are all different in design –perhaps because the author didn’t think about consistent branding – the credibility rating is not as dramatic. Readers might even think that the books belong to all different authors.
Make it as easy as possible for customers to recognize and purchase your products through consistent visual branding.
Why a low-end product?
There are plenty of coaching gurus who tell you to go after the high end clients, and you might think you can’t get those clients without offering high end products.
But let’s think about it another way…does a high end client start off as a high end client? Or, does that high end client start off as a low end client who increases her earnings (and spending) year after year to eventually become a high end client?
By creating lower priced products, you can attract people who aren’t quite ready to purchase a high priced item. These are still good prospects to have in your sales funnel, because they can start slowly with your lower priced items and, as their interest and income increases, they can purchase higher priced items. While they progress through your products, they will see you as a credible expert and will trust your expertise, especially when you offer your higher priced coaching sessions.
What Types of Products Can Coaches Offer?
You’re only limited by your own creativity. But some of the easiest products to create are ebooks, workbooks, ecourses, toolkits, and recurring revenue sites. They should be easy to create, because you’re using your own expertise and experience. No need for expensive ghostwriters or a team of researchers.
Let’s take a closer look at the five most popular products you can create:
1) Ebooks: An ebook is similar to a “free report” only the latter should be something one can consume in a short amount of time. An ebook is more of a read – say 25-50 pages, so you can charge for it. One possibility is to take the steps (modules) of your coaching program and write a summary of them in a book form. This way you give the buyer their money’s worth because they can go out and employ your methods on their own, if they are so inclined. It also gives them a taste of what it would be like to hire you as their coach.
Another ebook idea is to dive deeply into one area of your expertise and solve one problem. For example, I have low-end products that help a coach create a lead magnet, design a coaching program, or set up a referral system. These are specific areas where my target market needs help, and you can zero in on one of your own areas.
2) Workbooks/Planners: People love workbooks because it can make their work easier, and, at the same time, make them feel like they are accomplishing more. A workbook could also take the form of a planner—anything where they are learning something and then have to “fill in the blanks.” Examples include “Build Your Perfect Podcast Workbook” and “Change Your Mindset for Greater Success Workbook” by ThriveAnywhere.
Planners are very popular right now because they help people get organized. I have several planners in my low-end product offerings such as “Content Cash Planner.”
3) ECourses: An ecourse can be a package of PDFs, worksheets, checklists, and/or cheat sheets. The format can be printable, audio, or video. Again, you can take the main areas or points in your coaching program, or dive deep into one area and create a digital version. Many people like to take classes, and yours can be structured like one. You can even have live group calls associated with it.
4) Toolkits: Toolkits are very popular right now, because people like to use tools to do things. A toolkit typically will have everything you need to accomplish a specific project or objective. It can include some or all of the same materials in an ecourse, but it’s more focused, for example, my “Ultimate Content Creation Toolkit.”
5) Recurring revenue site: This could be a membership or mastermind where people pay every month to get training or coaching of some kind from you. It is a more advanced technique, but many coaches have one, and it’s nice to have the recurring income every month! The only caveat is that you have to have content available every month.
Be original. Identify your target market and their pain points. Jot down their demographics and where that audience can be found online. Ask them what types of products they would like to see or that they desperately need. Plan your pricing based on what your market can handle, as opposed to your own monetary goals.
So many coaches focus on the high end products and forget that not all their clients will purchase their high end product right away. In fact, that’s the rarity instead of the norm.
Your own coaching success won’t be based on how other coaches structure their businesses. Your success will directly correlate to the amount of work you put in, the products you create, and the way you market yourself. So, take control of your own destiny and make your business choices based on what YOU feel is the right move.
In most cases, people will hear your name and want to learn more about you. But they’ve worked hard for their money and will likely want to hear you speak, or at least understand what your coaching practices and beliefs are prior to buying a package from you.
What better way to encourage potential new clients than to offer low end products for them to test out before buying a high end coaching product?
I hope this idea of passive income intrigues you, because it could really be a game-changer for your coaching business.