It is generally accepted as lore that if you want to be a Very Important Coach Indeed – or, in fact, be able to purchase Christmas gifts for your loved ones – you must have a Signature Service.
A signature service, also known as “Off The Shelf” or “5 Step Program” basically means factory coaching.
The client comes in one end and goes through a prefabricated set of steps, usually in a certain timeframe. Hocus pocus alakazam, they’re fixed, whole, and ready to refer their rich friends.
So. Is a signature service right for you?
A signature service needs one or both of the following:
1. The coaching topic lends itself to a prefabricated system.
Some topics lend themselves to steps. Others don’t.
Yoga For Beginners – yes.
Find Your Passion – maybe.
Work Through Your Grief – no.
2. The coach works well with a methodical, prefab process.
Not everybody does.
Some people color code their file folders and have realistic to-do lists every day. (My esteemed partner, for example.)
Other people institute a paper-full office policy and only write in Magic Marker. (Moi.)
He would be good at signature coaching packages. I would not.
So, first question. Does your coaching topic lend itself to a signature program?
A big part of your decision comes down to what your clients are looking for and how possible it is to give it to them. Just because they want it to be a simple process doesn’t mean it can be. This may be a more complicated situation than an easy-peasy, cookie-cutter process can handle.
In many situations, there are just too many unknowns.
If I offered a signature service called “Get Your Book Launch Ready in Six Weeks,” I don’t know where the client is. Susie gives me her money and when I take a look at her product and list size, it turns out she ain’t even kinda ready.
On the other hand, we have Billy Bob. He calls me up and it turns out he’s done so much already that he doesn’t even need the first two weeks of the signature program. Oops, looks like I’m not getting Billy Bob’s money. Sucks to be me.
Fewer unknowns = better candidate for off-the-shelf.
Now, second question. How do YOU feel about cookie cutters?
This one’s easy. Play a game with me.
Imagine someone suggests to you that you create a standardized system, a formula of sorts. 12 weeks, standard process, same for every client. What is your response?
a.) This is my idea of heaven.
b.) This is my idea of hell.
Aaaaaand, there’s your answer.
Your homework for today.
Read this blog post again, think about it, then do whatever you like. A signature service is not vital. Anyone who says differently is selling something.
I have never offered a signature package and I am still alive and kicking. Some coaches wouldn’t have it any other way. So much depends on what you like to do, what market you’re in, and what your clients want.
And that’s up to you to decide, based on all your unique factors, which nobody knows but you.
If it only seems like a good idea for your bottom line, think hard. But if it seems like a good idea for your topic and your personality? I say go for it.