This article is part of the, “But WHY, Naomi?” series.
Most coaches and consultants offer specific packages and/or services to their clients, and I think that's a great idea. Being known for doing a particular thing, or set of things, can make it easy for a prospective client to decide to do business with you.
I, however, have never done that. Which I find kind of funny sometimes, since so many of my clients are coaches. I'm sure more than a few of them have wondered how I get clients without fitting the mold expected of most coaches.
(Answer: Referrals, mostly.)
But I can tell you why I don't offer packages. For me, and the way I run my business, they've never been a comfortable fit, for 4 reasons. Here they are, conveniently categorized in a numbered list.
1. I do more than coaching.
When you buy a batch of hours from me, you can use them for anything within my skillset.
I write. I edit. I brainstorm. I step in and play Rosetta Stone when your graphic artist doesn’t have a clue what your Online Business Manager is talking about. I will text you to remind you to get to bed at a decent hour. I will sit on Zoom with you while you go through your inbox, holding your hand while you work to make sure it gets done.
And yes, I coach.
Flexibility like this is a lot easier to pull off if we’re not shoehorned into an arbitrary package.
2. Packages assume a standardized, linear timeline or trajectory.
No two businesses grow the same way. No two business owners need the same help. If I were to create packages, programs, or ultra-specific handily trademarkable processes, I would actively exclude anyone who isn’t a perfect match for some arbitrary setup.
Many business coaching programs are highly structured, like “It’s February! So we’re talking about target demographics! Whether you want to talk about target demographics or not!” Since more of my people don’t fit the mold, any packaged system or program would by necessity exclude the majority of my prospects.
3. I love the surprises.
One of the most fun parts of being a coach is the constant surprise of seeing where things go and how things develop. Last week I spoke to a regular client that I haven’t heard from in several months.
She had spent that time running several successful launches and percolating on her next moves. When we spoke, she wanted to run an exciting new idea by me. Something with a lot of potential, momentum, and a tight timeline. It was a thrilling conversation, and I was lit up for hours after we hung up.
These little magic conversations wouldn’t happen if I had attached us to a structured protocol. All those months of percolation led her to something innovative and elegant. She wouldn’t have been able to do that if I had been banging on her virtual door shouting “Week 3 is Elevator Pitch week!”
If I had to run all of my clients through the same 8-week or 8-month program, the boredom would probably kill me. I like the fun of seeing what happens.
4. People’s needs change more frequently than anyone can predict.
Often times someone will come into coaching with a pre-existing idea of how much work will be required to complete a project. That works out to be true in some cases, but it’s not uncommon for the project to be sorted out well ahead of schedule, and then they’ll be ready to pivot to another project. Since we’re not locked down to a timeline, moving to the next project is seamless.
Other times something comes up as a result of working on the initial thing. Maybe it’s a sticky rebrand, but a third of the way through the client discovers that what’s actually causing the challenge isn’t the branding, but the need to start hiring staff. So there’s another opportunity to pivot. We spend some time working through the learning curve of hiring and managing virtual assistants, and then we’ve fixed what turned out to be a deeper need for the business – and the client.
I’ve always found that any business issue has, at its root, a personal issue, and a linear coaching package or process doesn’t take that into account. So the flexibility of being able to move into fixing the personal can really lead to a leap forward on the business front.
Packages are probably a good choice for most coaches and consultants. Just not for me.
I'm a Pisces. I don't fit molds very well, and I like a lot of variety in my work. It's a good fit for my ADHD.
Having an unstructured approach to coaching works particularly well for me, and so far, it's been a good fit for my type of client, too.
Click here to read more in the “But Why, Naomi?” series.
Things you can do next…
- Explore a bajillion posts on the Start Here page
- Hop on the mailing list to hear about new blog posts
- See cats giving business advice on Instagram