How To Build A Profitable Coaching Business With Ayisha Amatullah

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Have you ever wondered how you can build a thriving coaching business? For anyone who's thinking about starting a coaching business, or maybe you've already started your coaching business, but you want to master your craft or maybe you're a consultant, but you don't have the coaching piece, which I think you need both the coaching and the consulting. Then this, this is exactly why I had to interview a very special guest. In this blog, Ayisha Amatullah gives us her best tips on how to do it. 

In this article and YouTube video, you will learn:

  • Do you have to niche down to find clients?
  • Why should you narrow down and define your market?
  • What’s the best market or niche to go with?
  • How will getting your client's results to help your business?
  • What are the two key things that will help you get your client's results?
  • What are the two things to remember when you create a step-by-step system?
  • How do you create a product out of a step-by-step system?
  • What should you do when you get stuck in a particular area?
  • How do you drive traffic to your products?

Check out these highlights:

  • Ayisha Amatullah's Origin Story [03:49]
  • The Importance of Niching Down [07:09]
  • Defining your market [11:04]
  • Getting your clients results [12:40]
  • Having a step-by-step system that leads to results [17:02]
  • Creating a product funnel out of a system [18:44]
  • The 10x10 Matrix [20:16]
  • Getting clients with the 4 Play Funnel [22:58]

Let’s dive in!

Aprille: (00:37)
Ayisha Amatullah founded the Universal Coach Institute (UCI), which has earned her as title of The Coach's Coach, that, and having over 15 years experience in the coaching industry. Ayisha is a certified coach trainer, she is a Life Transformational and Master Relationship Coach. She approaches coaching using solution focus, positive psychology and neurolinguistic programming techniques. 

The Universal Coach Institute (UCI) Life and Business Coaching is a program I joined in 2016. And let me tell you, it is fabulous. When I began the program, I didn't know what I was going to get into, but just reading the sales page and looking at what all was included, I felt I had to do this.

And then when I actually logged in and went inside the Student Center, all the wealth of information in there, you can literally create your coaching business from the ground up.

So if you're looking to improve your coaching or become a coach, you definitely want to check out Ayisha's UCI website.

Ayisha Amatullah's Origin Story [03:52]

Ayisha: (03:52)
I've been in the online world since the late nineties, like around 1999. I started out as a web designer and that turned into an online business consultant because of course back then the internet is not as we know it now.

So when I was creating websites for people, those same people needed help basically with marketing their website online. So I was on my business consultant from there. I decided that I didn't just want to do this. I wanted to become a therapist so I went to school.

I started out in school to be a therapist, but then I changed my major to computer information systems because everybody was telling me that's what you should do. Information Technology (IT) that's the way for the future. So that's what I did and when I graduated, I was like, this is not what I want to do. I wanted to be a therapist.

So from there, what happened was I got very depressed. Like I was very depressed and I had developed anxiety. I had a friend who was a coach and she told me, you can still do what you want to do. Actually, you can do both without going back to school. Get your Master's in therapy.

So that's when she said you can be a life coach. You know, she says, it's not the same thing, exact same thing as being a therapist, but around the same thing. You could be a life coach and you can still do business coaching.

She introduced me to life coaching. Since then, and after a good class, I just started teaching other people to do what I do. And now I'm here.

The Importance of Niching Down [07:09]

Aprille: (07:09)
Awesome! Now you have your Master Relationship Coaching and your Life Coaching. How easy or difficult was it to find clients? Is Master Relationship a broad, niche? I mean, did you have to niche down?

Ayisha: (07:27)
Let's talk about that. I actually, it's funny, I got the Master Relationship Coaching, right. But that was very short-lived. I didn't get into that much. I did a little bit of it, but when I did it, I realized that most of the people that I was coaching in their relationships had issues with self-esteem. So I niche down to self-esteem coaching.

The very first thing to really begin to find clients was to niche myself down. So that's something that I recommend for everyone. And okay, let me back up. First of all, I tell people you need to niche yourself down, but at the same time, I don't want you to stop moving forward because you can't choose a niche.

A lot of people stop cause they get stuck because they can't figure out what niche to choose. Yes. Choosing a niche will definitely help you become more profitable, but also know that whatever niche you choose now, you can always change it later. It's going to happen.

Photo by Damian Zaleski on Unsplash

Aprille: (08:31)
Oh, that happened to me. And it's really hard to, I mean, I think at least in my personal story to niche down and be completely happy with, with clarity and everything, I pretty much started out broad, just business coaching.

Then I had to, like you said, take action before I tweaked it. Then I tweaked it there into where now I'm really narrow and focus into just, you know, doing webinars and coaching coaches for webinars.

So definitely I don't think I would have gotten to where I am if I had to just took freebie after freebie on how to come up with your perfect niche. I don't think I, yeah, I definitely wouldn't have gotten to where I am now. So yeah. 

Ayisha: (09:23)
You know, sometimes when you start out, you can start out in one niche and you end up changing your niche. Sometimes you end up changing it purposely and then other times it's just the direction your business is going in because of the type of clients that you are attracting.

Defining Your Market [09:36]

Aprille: (09:38)
Very good point. So now you have your niche, but you also have to define your market. Is that right?

Ayisha: (09:49)
Absolutely. So I'm gonna say it two ways. I tell people, first of all, if you have a broad niche, they, you should narrow down your market. If you have a broad market, then you should narrow down your niche. But in any niche that you have, I definitely believe that you should narrow down your market.

So that's the next thing. You first define your niche and then define your market. And the market is very important, not just for the purpose of just being focused on one market, but because it will help you to learn more about that specific market.

It will become easier for you to market to them, you'll know the terminology that they use, you know their struggles, you know, their pain points.

So when it comes to your market, I always tell people to go with a market that you are familiar with, the same thing with the niche, go with a niche you are familiar with. You will have the most success with that.

Photo by Damian Zaleski on Unsplash

Aprille: (10:48)
Yeah, definitely. I love how you said that. Because you know how to talk to them, you know, the jargon, you know, everything and even the market research - which I don't say skip on that! But that's going to be easier when you're trying to define what these people are struggling with? Because you pretty much already know you've already been there.

Getting Your Clients Results [11:11]

Ayisha: (11:09)
Right. Absolutely. Yes. So once you have your niche and once you have your market, the next thing that's going to help you to build a profitable coaching business is getting your clients results. Because when you get your client results, first of all, they're going to continue to come back for other things. That's number one. So you're retaining them.

Then also they're going to refer you to other people. So learning how to get your client's results is really going to help market your business. Plus you'll have them as case studies and testimonials and things like that. When you have case studies and testimonials, it's easier for you to get clients because they see that you are helping other people to get results. So you have to learn how to get results for your client.

A lot of people, when they come into coaching and I'm not even talking about coaching school, I'm just saying like, when these days you have a lot of people that pop up as coaches, everybody's calling themselves a coach, but they don't understand how to actually get your clients results.

Some of the key things that I just want to share in coaching to kind of help you. I'm going to give you one key thing really, and it's probably surprising, but the key thing to help you get your client's results is listening, having excellent listening skills. If you can have excellent listening skills and then pair that with the ability to draw out the answers within your client, through powerful questioning, those are two key things that are really going to help you get your client's results. So there's a bunch of other things with that, but you know, but those are the two key things.

Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

Aprille: (12:54)
Awesome. A couple of things came to mind when you were talking about getting testimonials. And I know so pretty much my audience, they're not quite new. They may not be actively collecting those testimonials. And so I know when I was starting out in business, one of the things I did is I gave away coaching for free. People are scared of that.

Giving away coaching for free. I'm not talking about you signing on a client for six weeks and you're taking them from A to Z and you're giving free coaching. I'm talking like short 20, 30-minute consultations where you're helping them with one specific problem and then asking for the testimony if they felt like they got the result. I think that practice in itself can help you take your paid clients, your long-term clients, to where they want to go and to getting their results.

Then you talk about listening. In my program, I teach to create a structure. Like a result-oriented package that has a step-by-step, instead of just, what do you need help with today? I'll help you with anything. I've been coached that way to where you have your first initial coaching.

They ask what do you want to achieve together with our time working together? And it's like, okay, I want to achieve X, Y, and Z. Then somewhere along the way for me anyway, and I have heard this with a lot of other coaches too. But you have entrepreneurial A.D.D. or that shiny object syndrome!

I was on Facebook and now they're saying Instagram is the hottest thing right now. So now I want to do Instagram or now I want to do a podcast or now I need to do my email funnel or I need to get clients here and you can get off track from that initial "This is what I want to achieve in our three months coaching or six months coaching." 

So I strongly encourage anyone who's coaching to have like a step-by-step system that leads to a particular result. Now, how do you feel about that?

Having a Step-by-Step System That Leads to Results [15:01]

Aprille: (15:01)
So I strongly encourage anyone who's coaching to have like a step-by-step system that leads to a particular result. Now, how do you feel about that?

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Ayisha: (15:13)
Yes. So two things about that. Number one has a step-by-step system and coin it. Make it your own, right? So I'm sure if most people already today, you know if they're on your podcast, they may have a bit of experience. So they probably heard the term signature system, right?

Oh, you want to make sure that you have a signature system, something that people, when they see that system, they know it's yours, that's number one. And then within that system, you want it to be result-focused, right? You want it to have a result, focused coaching programs, something that is yours.

More importantly, within that system, you want to make sure that you have something that's unique. You know, that the whole system doesn't have to be unique, but at least something inside that system needs to be unique. And what I tell my clients is called the unique component.

What is your unique component? There are other people like Todd Brown, who he calls it the unique mechanism. What is it that one thing about your program that is result-focused and unique compared to someone else is doing so?

You need to have a result-focused coaching program. From that coaching program, you can just have the steps by itself. You can use the steps within your coaching programs to create a product funnel or a value ladder. It means the same thing. So if you know it as a value ladder, the value ladder, if you know it as a product funnel, a product funnel system, you can use that system to create a product funnel.

Creating a Product Funnel Out of a System [16:52]

Ayisha: (16:52)
So meaning you can break that system down. It could be one full system, like one full program, or it can be like one or two, like the first two steps can be a product by itself. So you want to look at your system and see how you can make it one whole system and also how you can break it down into other products.

Aprille: (17:12)
So what you're saying, so let's say a particular result has five steps. And you're saying that step one could be its own course or its own one-on-one or group program. And then once they're done with that program, it leads them to step two. So, so a person can particularly have five products if it's a five-step system?

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Ayisha: (17:39)
Right, as long as each step gets a real result without needing the next step, that's the key. If the first step needs the second step, the work, then, then that would be the two steps would be a product.

Your step has to be able to produce results. So if your steps, if each of your steps can produce a result, then you can make individual products out of those. You can write a book and each step could be a chapter in your book.

There are so many ways you can do it in the best way that I really teach it, instead of saying steps as I, the 10X10 matrix. In a 10X10 matrix, Aprille,  I'm sure you're probably familiar with it because I talk about it all the time.

The 10x10 Matrix [18:26]

Ayisha: (18:28)
With a 10X10 matrix, you have 10 topics and 10 subtopics and normally those 10 topics are your system. 10 topics and 10 subtopics are 100 topics. You have so many products within those 100 topics!

Aprille: (18:49)
Yeah, definitely. And I love the 10X10 matrix by the way. So many people say it's just so hard to come up with a product and really, I think it's just, we're thinking too hard. Or we're comparing ourselves to somebody who's been in the game for 20 years and trust me, they did not start there. 

Ayisha: (19:10)
So one thing, let me just say. I just had a girl who, and this is not, she's not the only person I have this happened all the time.

Ayisha: (19:17)
When I tell them about creating your steps or just even using a 10X10 matrix, they get stuck. First of all, if you are stuck at the very beginning of it, then you need more training in that area. If you can't come up with steps, if you are having a hard time with that, then you need more training in that area. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Whatever you choose to be an expert in, you should always continue learning. So I just want to say, if you, if you start this out and you feel like you're stuck at creating your steps, or if you're stuck on a 10X10 matrix, then go learn more about what it is that you are trying to teach or coach.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Aprille: (20:02)
Perfect. I'm glad you mentioned that last step. This is in your actual program, the right. 

Ayisha: (20:12)
Yes. So yes. So it's in the business building part of the program, you define your niche, your market, you lay out your product funnel. And of course, within the coaching program, you learn how to get your client's results.

Aprille: (20:29)
Awesome. Now I know you have a Facebook group, but how are you getting clients? How are you attracting, you know, how are you creating that traffic to your product?

Ayisha: (20:41)
Yes. So it depends on what we're talking about here. If we're talking about like life coaching itself, or even my business coaching, I use webinars. So, you know, that's why I was so excited that you were here doing these webinars. I use webinars to get my clients and I use a system that I call the 4 Play Funnel.

Getting Clients with the 4 Play Funnel [22:08]

Ayisha: (22:08)

The 4 Play Funnel is giving your client several touches before they get to your webinar. Often times we see webinars from Facebook Ads. You get on the webinar, you don't know the person.

They beef up the webinar, they show their testimonials, they share their story and tell you the bullcrap steps and at the end, they try to sell you a $3,000, $4,000, $5,000 program. What I have found is that only 2% of people really buy on that type of webinar because they don't know this person.

The other 98% are still searching. While the webinar is still going on they are in another tab Googling this person or trying to figure out how to do this for free. So basically what happened was that person didn't really build a relationship with them. Like that webinar, you didn't build a relationship with them on that webinar. You just brought in cold traffic and try to sell them.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

So let me just tell you why it's called 4 Play Funnel. Number one, it's like being in a relationship, right? When you meet someone, you don't just jump into bed with them and start doing the deal. You have to do a little bit of foreplay, right?

So you've got to touch them here, touch them there, you know, whatever, you gotta do a little bit of foreplay. So that's why it's a play on words.

So what the 4 Play Funnel basically is before you send them to a webinar, you're giving them four touches before they get to the webinar.

So one touch could be your lead magnet. After that, you can have three more touches. It doesn't have to be four exactly. It could be more than that, but those three more touches can be, it can be a challenge. It can be a video series. It can be a series of blog posts or a series of guides or whatever it is, but you are warming them up.

You're warming them up. They're going from cold to warm. And by the time they get to your webinar, they're a hot audience and they're more ready to buy. That is how I get my life coaching clients and my business, coaching clients. I take them through a funnel. I followed their customer journey and then I get them on a webinar and it's easier to sell that way.

Aprille: (23:43)
I assume you're getting them on a webinar through your email?

Ayisha: (23:46)
Yes. It can be through email or Facebook ads because, once they are on my list, I retarget them at each step of the customer journey. Something new I've been using is chatbots. I've been testing them out, and I'm loving them.

Aprille: (24:10)
Oh, really? I've been thinking about it, but I haven't gone there yet.

Ayisha: (24:16)
Email and Facebook ads to retail target them. That's basically that, but how they get to my funnel in the first place, how they get some, my lead magnet is mostly through SEO. And I say as of the last year or two, I've been using Facebook ads, but for the most part, it's search marketing. That's been getting people through the funnel.

Aprille: (24:42)
So once they're on your list or let's say they're not on your list from your ads, but maybe they got on your list through some other way, like your website or something. Do you upload that list to your Facebook?

Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

Ayisha: (24:55)
Absolutely. So two things I'll upload that list. You can, we target them that way and also through the pixels, you know when they hit the landing page. So when they hit specific landing pages on your website, I'll retarget them that way as well.

Aprille: (25:11)
Perfect! You gave like so many nuggets and awesome steps here! Thank you so much!
If somebody wants to learn more about you more about your program where can they find you? Oh, and then you have to tell us about the series you're starting!

Ayisha: (25:40)
If you want to learn more about being a coach, you can go to the University Coach Institute website. You can also go to my personal website, coachayisha.com.

It was such a pleasure to have the opportunity to interview Ayisha! She is such a wealth of knowledge and even from this interview alone there is so much she taught us! Be sure to check out her websites and look for the newest challenge and programs she has to offer!

Let's show Ayisha some love and write what your biggest takeaway was in the comments!