For Coaches, Consultants, Experts & Authors
Digital Transformation (DX) was recognized as the key to survival for businesses even before COVID-19. During 2019 the analysts published that the 2018 global Digital Transformation market was valued at USD 261.94 billion (Reports and Data) and was estimated to grow at 18.5 CAGR to USD 462 billion by 2024 (Market Research Engine). And yet, in April 2020, while delivering Microsoft’s quarterly earnings report to Wall Street Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella stated; “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months”!
And it is not just the big tech companies such as Microsoft or Amazon that saw significantly growth of their DX-related product and services. In a recently published results of a survey, DMEXCO stated that 70% of digital decision-makers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland expect the coronavirus pandemic to accelerate the pace of the Digital Transformation.
At the same time, however, many small consultancy & coaching businesses are rightly asking “how can I make sure that my coaching or consulting business will survive the pandemic”?
So that you can understand how I am able to provide pertinent advice on this subject, I’m going to tell you a story.
The year was 1997. Back then, I had a vision of the future. I envisioned that in the future, the world of coaching and consulting would be primarily run online and on the phone.
That month, in January 1997, I started providing my marketing consulting and business coaching services remotely. I opened the doors to VIP Global Media on January 1st, 1997.
Yes, all the way back in 1997, when we had dial-up. This was pre-high-speed-internet, pre-DSL, pre-Google. Those were the days that the Alta Vista search engine was king, and we had to make our webpages contain under 128k of data and images to load properly on dial-up.
Why am I telling you about all of this? Because it is pertinent to our story.
You see, this COVID thing is not my first rodeo. My business survived the Y2K blitz, we survived 9/11 and its business aftermath, we even survived the 2008 recession (when an explosion of low-end marketing & media companies entered the marketplace) and we came out on top, like a cat because we had 2 things that other companies didn’t.
- A functional business model that provided services to people and businesses that solved a major life or business problem.
- We serve high-end clientele who were (and still are) happy to pay our high-end rates because they know that they are getting exceptional quality.
And right now, in the time of Coronavirus, we are thriving and so are our clients.
We are thriving because our business model works. Our business model works because we help business owners grow their businesses, pivot or evolve their business model(s) (when necessary), provide remote services and leverage time – in ANY type of business climate.
So, back to the question at hand – how can you, the business owner ensure that your coaching or consulting business will not only survive, but THRIVE during the time of Coronavirus?
I have 2 answers for you.
- Make sure that you are providing coaching or consulting that solves a major life or business problem that people have.
If you are not currently providing a service that solves a major life or business problem that people have, it’s time to go back to the drawing board and look at how you can either switch up your services and pivot to something else – OR – re-frame your offer to your clients in a way that positions it as solving a major life or business problem.
- Make sure that you have the ability to provide a significant portion of your services remotely and have an online group program that leverages your time so that you don’t burn out + an on-going monthly program that serves as a valuable way for you to provide ongoing support for your clients while providing regular income for you because the “dirty little secret” about the coaching & consulting industry is the feast or famine income.
This is extremely important. A big chunk of Microsoft’s “2 years of DX within 2 months” is based on products / services that enable their customers to work and learn remotely.
As I mentioned, I’ve been providing my coaching (business & life coaching) and consulting (marketing consulting) services remotely since 1997. And it’s not just about providing remote services, it’s all about HOW you provide remote services while helping your clients still know that you are there for them.
It’s about having protocols and procedures in place for how you share documents, manage projects, manage phone calls (to prevent the ever-so-time-wasting chit-chat that often happens when people are all of a sudden thrust into getting their social needs met remotely).
And, for those of you who are coaches or trainers of some kind, it’s about having some form of a high-end online group training or coaching program that helps you leverage your time so that you can prevent burnout.
Whether you create a small volume tight-knit Inner-Circle style online group program with less than 10 or 20 people or you go the route where you open it up to hundreds (which I ONLY recommend for those of you who have a significant following of at least 20,000), having an online group program helps you provide exceptional value to your clients without you having to repeat yourself over and over again, because the basic steps involved with any coaching or training process are the same for everyone.
But it needs to be done properly so that the curriculum that you develop for your program not only serves the “wants” that your clients think that they have, but also serves the “needs” that they have, but don’t know that they have. Make sense? It’s a combination of giving them what they WANT and what they NEED, but don’t know that they need.
When you are creating curriculum, it is imperative that you look at the psychological elements that make your clients come to you in the first place because when you are able to address both their wants and their needs, they are far more likely to be clients for many years to come.
Also, making sure to incorporate a live and personal element to your online group program is an absolute must, otherwise it’s nothing more than an online course, which studies have shown have limited effectiveness at helping the end user.
This is an extended version of the article first published at vipglobalclientformula.com.
J.D. WildFlower has been a marketing consultant as well as a Holistic Success Coach helping professionals create lives and businesses they love since 1997. Her client list includes Academy & Grammy Winners, New York Times Best-Selling Authors, High-Profile Professionals and globally recognized companies like Samsung, US Bank and Dish Network. Learn more about J.D.’s consulting services and VIP Global Client Formula, her signature program that helps experts brand, build & launch a High-End Signature Training Platform while creating an Online Group Inner-Circle Style Program & Ultra-High-End VIP Private Program Suite in 8 Weeks at http://www.VIPglobalmedia.com