There comes a point where if you want to grow your business then the amount of personal attention you give your clients can’t be your main differentiator.
Many coaches and private practitioners are afraid that if they begin to step away from done-for-you and/or high touch offerings that their clients aren’t going to get results, and not only will it hurt their reputation, they will feel like they aren’t being of service to the best of their ability.
If this is you, then it’s time to ask yourself is it more valuable to fish for your clients or to teach them to fish?
The old parable will tell you that the latter is much more valuable.
And I would add that the former will keep you in “service provider” mode with a limited capacity to grow your business, until you can trust your process (and your clients) enough to step back.
So how do you empower your clients to do more on their own and “teach them to fish?”
1. Get Clear On Your Signature System
You may already have a process that you follow with your clients that helps give your work structure, if you do then you’re already ahead of the game. Refining this process will make it easier for you to create a way for clients to navigate it without as much hand holding.
On the other hand, you may feel like every client is an individual and you meet them where they are at with no true “repeatable” system. I find this isn’t usually true, and if we dig a little deeper there are steps you take with each client that can be combined into a repeatable system.
2. Understand Both The Physical Steps and the Mental Leaps That Occur During Your Work
We tend to think of a system or process as a series of steps, which is partly true. The difference in working with you versus following a system in a group or home study program is usually the mental leaps that happen when you ask in-the-moment questions or point out things that your clients are too close to see.
These insights that you are so great at uncovering and offering are why it feels your clients won’t get the same value unless they are working directly with you.
However, if you pay attention you’ll notice that even these insights and questions are common between many of your clients and can actually become a part of your system.
I do this in the Branding Game™ where there are certain modules that I’ve identified obstacles or shifts that are common between clients but aren’t shared by everyone. So I created “bonus” lessons within these modules to be completed “IF” a client is having a certain experience. This creates a sort of “choose your own adventure” feel to the program and covers a wide range of needs, without taking people through material that they don’t necessarily need.
These nuances are something I’m very good at helping my clients identify which makes their programs even stronger.
3. Develop the Training and Exercises
This step is fairly straight forward, it’s time to actually develop the program. The trick here is to not overwhelm yourself because as you get going you’ll realize there is A LOT that you know but you don’t necessarily need to include everything. In fact you only want to include what is absolutely necessary to make your program easier for clients to consumer and not overwhelm them with information they don’t necessarily need.
4. Test and Gradually Refine Your Program
Making the leap from “one on one” to “completely hands off” is usually too much too soon.
When I was creating the Branding Game™ I ran it in a few different ways, gathered questions, and figured out where people got stuck so I could fix those problems before I ever offered it as a home study. This process took years because I was doing it on my own with the “trial and error” approach (and honestly I was too afraid to let go too soon) but with my clients we can usually skip many of these steps and go straight to “evergreen.”
Where you might start is by using your new training and exercises with your one to one clients, having them do the exercises as pre-work and shortening your calls by half because a lot of the work is already done for you beforehand. Your job at that point is to answer questions and deepen their understanding. This will also give you the insight I mentioned before about where people get stuck and what questions they ask so you can work them into the program itself.
From there you might run small groups where the group is going through the program at the same time and you’re meeting for group coaching calls to make sure everyone is getting what they need to move forward.
As you introduce the group aspect you might find that your clients will actually gain even more value because they will be sharing an experience with others and witnessing their pitfalls and growth which will take their learning even deeper. They will be able to witness your system being applied to scenarios that they can relate to and may run into later. In this way I actually find that groups can offer even MORE value than working one on one.
It’s honestly bittersweet when you realize that maybe they don’t need you as much as you thought.
The final step is to evergreen your offer and set it up in a way that clients can join at any time. This is a topic for another day, but when you do this you’ll have finally created true leverage.
The important thing to remember is that you can create leverage in your programs, you can teach your clients to fish, and you can deliver amazing results without having to hold your clients’ hands every step of the way.
By the way, creating leveraged programs with my clients is one of my favorite things to do. If you’d like help going from “one to one” coach or service provider, into being able to deliver your services in a couple of hours a week, without losing any revenue then let’s set up a consultation and see if this would be a good next step for you.