Mistakes Coaches Make When Designing Their Signature Coaching Programs

Having a signature program doesn’t mean you’ll build a successful coaching business. But not having one means you don’t have something to sell and when you don’t have something to sell, you don’t have a business.

If you’re ready to have a coaching business that is fulfilling and satisfying, you’d probably want to have a signature program that’s a reflection of who you are, encompassing your value, conviction and superpowers.

You want a program you can call your own, and can be proud of.

You want a program that allows you to put all your experience, knowledge and talent under one roof – without cutting off an arm and a leg to fit into a box, or looking like a jack-of-all-trades.

Taking some 3- or 6-months “off the shelf” generic program designed by someone else and jamming yourself into it no longer works.

It no longer brings satisfaction. It doesn’t resonate. It feels like going through the motion without fully living their message.

If you’ve been struggling to create your signature program – not a flash in the pan offering, but something that sticks and makes you excited about selling (!) every single day – you may be making these mistakes:

1. Using Generic, “Off the Shelf” Program

Many coach-training programs provide students with a 3- or 6-month program they can use right away to get clients.

Or you might have purchased some other pre-written programs that claim to solve all your pain and suffering.

It may work for a little while to help you get your feet wet, but often times regurgitation is not a long-term solution.

When you take an “off the shelf” program, stick it into your business and call it a day, you are stuffing yourself into a box made by others.

These programs are generic. The flip side of “yeah I can probably sell this to anyone” is that they make you sound like everyone else.

They often don’t give you the space to express your value, conviction and opinion. And there is little opportunity for individual expression of your superpowers.

I don’t know about you, but for my peeps and myself, that’s stifling. Suppressing our voice is downright criminal.

It’s like letting someone else speak for you for the rest of your life. Would you allow that?

It’s one thing to use these programs as a stopgap move to get things going, but another to be married to it and treat it as a be-all-end-all solution.

I’m not saying you’ve to reinvent the wheel… but you gotta be in the driver’s seat before the wheel can take you anywhere.

2. Where are YOU in the program?

It’s not hard to write a program. Seriously. Especially if you’re the “hunker down and I can do anything Type A” kind of person.

I work with a lot of these go-getter clients. They take action. They follow directions they’ve learned in trainings and programs. They do the work. They didn’t write one program, they wrote three.

But still, nothing clicked.

Their motivation died when they realized the program they spent so much time and effort to develop didn’t resonate with them.

The reason? They’ve forgotten about the most important thing – themselves! They neglected the WHY that drives the program.

Most people focus on the “what” and the “how” of a program: the information, modality, delivery and execution.

They got hastily pushed down a particular direction during those 5-minutes-of-fame group coaching calls, before they uncover what really, truly motivates them.

They were missing the driving force that goes beyond a target market, a set of tools, or a topic of expertise.

Jumping both feet into the nitty-gritty has caused them to bypass the foundation – the PERSON behind the program.

The PERSON who puts her name and reputation on the program. The PERSON delivering the program. The PERSON who has to live and breathe that program. (YOU!)

The most successful program stems from a set of core value and conviction that transcends modality, delivery format and pieces of information.

There is a golden thread behind the content that ties everything together and give it a unique positioning that makes the “same information” different.

It embodies your WHY so you can stand by it with the utmost conviction.

It takes into account your superpowers so you can deliver it in the most effective way possible. It fuels you, not drains you.

3. It’s an Exercise in Navel-Gazing

On the other hand, your signature system is not all about you.

You can’t be of service if you’re not relevant to the people you serve.

I’ve seen many practitioners who make their signature programs all about them, their skills, modality and whatever tools du jour.

The disconnect happens when a program becomes a list of stuff you do, and you fail to relate it to your niche.

Niche is how you anchor yourself in the community you serve. It’s not a bunch of demographic data. It’s about being relevant.

You’re going to hear crickets when your signature program fails to connect your skills, expertise and tools with the needs of those you’re marketing to.

When you can articular why you’re relevant to the people that matter to you (your market), you’ll feel excited about what you do.

You’ll take on an identity that you matter and you’re creating value.

When you can articulate how your expertise applies to your peeps, you gain the confidence to actually get out there and talk about it.

It’s not just about selling stuff. It’s about you anchoring into a community that matters to you. It’s about creating an identity of you being valuable and confident.

You know, the stuff that makes you excited to get up every morning 😉

Ling is an Intuitive Brainiac. Through her unique blend of Business + Marketing coaching with a Mindset + Psychic Twist, she helps the multi-talented and multi-passionate maverick solo-entrepreneurs distill ALL their big ideas into ONE cohesive Message, nail the WORDS that sell and design a Plan to cut the busywork and do what matters, through her intuitive yet rigorous iterative process born out of her Harvard Design School training and 10 years of experience in the online marketing industry.