Do you want to turn your experience, training, or college or university degree into a life coaching business? Have you ever considered that your background could make you the perfect success coach?
In the video (and transcription) below is a coaching business case study with Master Coach University graduate Tomas Svitorka. Tomas is going to show us how his psychology degree became a six-figure coaching & international speaking business…
…in his first year of full time work.
He’ll also talk about:
- 11:46 How Much Time it Takes to Build a Successful Coaching Business
- 19:27 How to Build a Coaching Business Through Being Generous With Coaching
- 27:51 The Nice VS The Brutally Honest Coach And How to be Most Effective With Your Clients
- 31:02 How to Challenge Your Client in a Loving Way
- 39:17 The Simple Way to Use Facebook to Attract Coaching Clients
- 45:51 How to Package Your Coaching Content
- 48:26 Why You Should Employ a Team to Help You Create Coaching Content
- 49:07 Why Content is Where Your Coaching Program Starts
- 1:04:25 How to Let People Know About Your Coaching
You can skip to the above timecodes to watch that particular section of the video (or scroll to that heading in the transcription below), but I’m guessing you’re going to want to experience Tomas’ entire extraordinary story.
01:23 [Jeffrey Sooey]: I’m really excited to have Tomas Svitorka here who has been a longtime student of Master Coach University, and a really, really successful coach. I’m really impressed with what you have accomplished in your coaching career.
So before we start, I want to give you guys a chance to just get a sense of who I know Tomas to be and then Tomas will have a chance to also give a little bit more detail.
01:56 I’ve worked with Tomas for three years now and (I think) from the beginning of your coaching business, but I want to give you a little bit of background on where Tomas got started as well.
He completed his degree in Psychology with honors, but at the same time he was also employed full time, and completing coaching certification courses… three really big focuses all at once. He’s a pretty busy guy, and through a lot of that process, there was a point where Tomas had a chance to turn his own life around and redesign it so that he can enjoy life while doing what he loves, which is mainly what I understand to be helping others. So he has acted as a model of success and fulfillment for his clients, and I know we are going to talk a lot about some of the results that they’ve created and that you’ve created.
03:01 A little bit more detail:
- Tomas is a 5-time certified life coach and mentor.
- He works with ambitious entrepreneurs and professionals, taking them through a unique 3-step process designed to help them get extraordinary results, results beyond what’s expected and what’s predictable
- He’s also working with several coaches.
He’s a great example of what’s possible for a coach to achieve, so he’s actually attracted several coaches that have wanted to achieve the same level of success that he already has, which is fantastic.
Tomas has been an international speaker, trainer, and workshop facilitator based in London, UK, but also his coaching business has taken him around the world.
Tomas, it’s really great to have you here, and thanks for sharing some of how you’ve gotten so far as a coach.
04:18 Tomas Svitorka: It’s a pleasure to be here, Jeff, and I’m really honored that you’re interviewing me like this. You probably don’t remember, but in one of our first emails that we exchanged (I was applying for the Quickstart Coaching Code, I believe), I told you that I’ll be one of your best students.
I’ll be one of your best students
…so I don’t know if I’ve earned that, but I think I’ve come quite close to that.
04:41 Jeffrey Sooey: Yeah, this case study is a sign of that, so this is really fantastic, and I think I vaguely remember that conversation, but it’s seldom that a new student of ours will actually say something like that.
I think it does stand out when you know who you are and you know what you’re going to do to make something happen. You can have that kind of confidence that, “Hey, you know I’m going to take this stuff and run with it.” So that’s fantastic. It’s part of what you need, I think.
Let me start with the basics of what you’re up to (what you’re accomplishing).
Who do you coach and what kind of coaching do you provide?
05:23 Tomas Svitorka: I’m going through a rebranding process at the moment because over the few years I’ve been coaching, it has crystalized in my mind who I want to work with.
I’ve gone over my own story and what I believe in, what I stand for, and there’s a phrase that I think represents a lot of that, which is, “Okay is not enough,” and I love to work with professionals and entrepreneurs for whom “okay” is not enough.
They just don’t want to be average. They don’t want to settle for mediocrity.
In fact, that’s one of my biggest fears, that I’ll live a mediocre life.
I’m not scared of heights, or spiders, or beetles. Dentists, a little bit, maybe, but the fear of just getting by, that really scares me. Just counting the pounds, the dollars. Just trying to make it through the month, that really horrifies me. I work with people that have similar ambitions, who are ready to put in the work in some kind of direction. They know what they would like to achieve. We can do more of that [type of] clarifying process during coaching… These, I would say, are my typical clients.
06:46 I also mentor several coaches now because they’ve seen my results and they approached me if I could teach them how to do the same, and that’s really enjoyable as well. Now I understand why you have the business that you do. Working with coaches is great.
07:06 Jeffrey Sooey: What do you with them? What kind of coaching do you offer them? Maybe you could give us a little bit of an overview of what happens when somebody works with you that really makes a difference for them.
What kind of coaching do you provide them?
07:24 Tomas Svitorka: The coaching that I provide is wrapped around the model that I have…
The coaching model has these three elements
- Your Environment
- Your Performance
…These three individual areas have subsections, which is:
- Happiness and Fulfillment
- Your Environment:
- Your Relationships
- Your Network
- Your Space (the space around you – the space that you live in)
- Your Performance:
- Your Goals and Systems
- Your Habits
- Your (Life) Balance
07:57 To accomplish a great lifestyle that would really fulfill you, that you would be happy with, at least in my own experience and my beliefs, you need to take care of all these areas and to raise them to that level because if one of those is falling behind, as you know, it will project into other areas, and the whole thing can crumble. So this is a process that I take my clients through, but of course, they come with their specific challenges that we work on specifically as well.
08:36 Jeffrey Sooey: Fantastic. That’s really great.
A big part of your focus when you’re working with your clients would be these three areas, you’re either focusing on their mindset (presence, happiness and fulfillment), their environment (their space, relationships, network, et cetera), or their performance.
You could segment it out in those three areas, but the conversations are really going to center around probably one of those three in any particular session.
Is that right?
09:05 Tomas Svitorka: That’s correct, yeah.
09:06 Jeffrey Sooey: It’s great how you’ve organized this because I think when you can deconstruct what’s happening with somebody’s success, challenges, or any part of their life, and you take it apart and look at the components of it, then you can do something with it.
You can change the component. You can improve one aspect and see how it connects.
You can rebuild that life.
That’s fantastic to be able to organize it in that way so that your clients can appreciate what you’re up to with them and that you can organize it for yourself as their coach to make sure that you’re focusing on something that is a really important constituent part of their greater vision and their greater success as well. So it’s very, very cool.
09:54 Tomas Svitorka: Thank you.
09:56 Jeffrey Sooey: What kind of results are you getting right now in your coaching business? Give us the vital stats as far as how many clients are you working with, and let’s get to the “Show me the money”.
What’s happening as far as clients and your monthly revenue, for instance.
10:16 Tomas Svitorka: Okay, cool.
I’m trying to maintain the number of clients I work with in a given time between 15 and 20. Not necessarily more than that, because my sessions tend to be quite long.
That’s something I learned from you, and I always want to make sure that they’re walking away with “the job is done”, and we’re not leaving anything “open”, and so I would say around 15 to 20 clients that I have at a time.
In the future, I would love to work with fewer people and have a much more interactive and closer relationship with them. However, at the moment, this is what it is, because it works out the best for the lifestyle that I want to have.
11:07 In terms of revenue… This year has really been quite extraordinary for me because I will be closing this year in probably around £80,000, which is around $100,000 (USD).
11:29 Jeffrey Sooey: Nice.
11:31 Tomas Svitorka: That has been really exponential growth, especially this year when I “leaned into it” completely.
What other things would you like to discuss?
How Much Time it Takes to Build a Successful Coaching Business
11:46 Jeffrey Sooey: Well, let me ask you this, because the revenue number is fantastic, but I think there’s something I know about just from us working together this year that is important to clarify around that revenue number.
Can you tell us when did you go full time as a coach? It was pretty recently, wasn’t it?
12:13 Tomas Svitorka: Oh yeah. Yeah, that was pretty recently.
It was this year.
That’s when I went completely coaching full time because initially I started having a fulltime job and I was coaching on the evenings and of the weekends, and luckily my job allowed me to withdraw from it gradually. So, over two years, I’ve been withdrawing into four days a week, three days a week, two days a week, one day a week, and the first six months of this year, it was my final stage of that job.
I was going [to work] occasionally for one day a week, or something like that. I’m not even there sometimes, but just to make sure.
When I had the time, I can’t really just sit around and do nothing. But when I had the time, I went there and made some money just because it was possible and available, but yeah, I went [full time] this year.
13:14 Jeffrey Sooey: I just want to clarify. You worked about a half a year or half of this year not full time as a coach, because, I mean, you went full time… what, June, July, August?
It was sometime in the summer, wasn’t it?
13:27 Tomas Svitorka: Yeah, yeah, in the middle of the summer. I would say June or end of June. However, when I say full time, it meant that I completely quit that job I was doing.
00:13:38 Jeffrey Sooey: Right.
13:40 Tomas Svitorka: Which for the last 6 months, I was doing roughly one day [of work] a week.
13:46 Jeffrey Sooey: Okay.
13:47 Tomas Svitorka: The previous year, it was a couple of times, sometimes 3 times a week.
13:52 Jeffrey Sooey: Okay.
13:52 Tomas Svitorka: I would say I had been gradually withdrawing from that.
13:54 Jeffrey Sooey: All right, that makes sense. Soyou were still working about one day a week for about half this year, and you still were able to get to six figures.
Hopefully, guys, when you’re listening to this, you can see that it’s like, yes, he put the time in and he definitely did a serious amount of work to get to this, and it took years to build to this point, but it’s not just about sheer time put in.
This is a strategy that took a while to build to the point where you’ve gotten to these results, so that’s really fantastic. It’s a really great shining example of what’s possible for a coach when they think strategically and they take action on these pieces, and just like you said, the first time we talked, you reflected today… when you decided to be the best student you can of the strategies, so it’s really, really great.
14:49 Tomas Svitorka: Thank you.
14:50 Jeffrey Sooey: Let me ask you this… What is the closest thing to a magic bullet in your coaching business that you’ve got?
In terms of the business side of the business, getting clients and running the business and keeping the time together, delivering results. Not the coaching side, but the business side, which is something that a lot of us coaches are not the most jazzed about.
What’s your best magic bullet that you found so far? What’s helped you succeed in the business side of the coaching business?
15:23 Tomas Svitorka: Well, okay. So I would say there are two things.
One of them, as you know, (And just to clarify this, I live in London and maybe what could be quite unusual is that I do approximately 50% of my coaching face to face.).
15:40 Jeffrey Sooey: Nice.
15:41 Tomas Svitorka: And people actually come to my apartment, a really nice place…
So, they come here, and they love to come here, and London is huge, with 10 million people, so the clientele is huge. Even though the rest of my coaching clients are on Skype, on the phone, and they’re kind of scattered around the world, or they’re outside of London, or in the UK…
One of the first magic bullets, I would say, is that (and it won’t be surprising) just doing the work… the business part, which means:
- reaching out to people
- offering free consultations (or discovery sessions)
This is what I found… I’m mentoring some coaches (around six coaches).
People are shy.
When they’re new, or even experienced coaches, they’re just hiding and they’re not very open and direct about, “Hey, I’m a coach. This is how I help people. This is what I do. Would you like to meet up for a discovery session? I’d love to know more about your business. I’d love to know more about your life, and I’m sure there’s something I can help you with.”
Hey, I’m a coach. This is how I help people. This is what I do. Would you like to meet up for a discovery session? I’d love to know more about your business. I’d love to know more about your life, and I’m sure there’s something I can help you with.
This can be quite scary to many people, just picking up the phone and making the phone calls, and I have struggled with that for the most part.
And still, it’s not something that I entirely love doing, but it’s just the part of the business that needs to be done.
17:25 Jeffrey Sooey: Right.
17:26 Tomas Svitorka: Just doing the selling, doing the marketing, and really engaging in the activity. Just today I had a session with one of my protégés, as I’d like to call them, and I’ve done lots of speaking, you know. I’ve been running my meetup for a year and a half and I’ve been pretty much consistently doing weekly workshops and seminars, and it’s been getting quite saturated around here in the London area. There are many, many people developing meetups.
This student of mine, he was saying, “Yeah, I’m thinking of starting a meetup as well, but it’s quite saturated. I’m thinking maybe I should figure out something new, something that most people do.”
I said, “Okay, then pick up your phone and call every single one of your contacts and have a little conversation. Just re-establish the rapport and the relationship you have with them, and tell them what you do, tell them who you help, what kind of results you get, and ask them for a referral, whether they have friends, or a family member, or a work colleague, and say, “if you can recommend me to those people, I would love that.”.”
18:41 This is something that most coaches don’t do. They hide behind Facebook Livestreams and other kinds of things. All these indirect ways of promoting a business. I personally believe this direct approach is something that most people don’t do or are very reluctant to do. So this is the first thing.
The second one I personally believe (and this links more to what I started with that coach face to face) is building up very good reputation as a coach…
- throughout your social media
- throughout the work that you do
- the way you present yourself
- the way you treat your clients
- what you share all day
- how much you contribute
- how much value to give
How to Build a Coaching Business Through Being Generous With Coaching
19:27 I have to admit that most of my clients come through referrals.
It’s because my clients are getting great results. They always are treated really well.
I always give them extra. This is something I have to say I learned from you, to over deliver, and people are very happy to recommend their friends and family members and colleagues because they’ve had great experience.
So the reputation is so very important, in my opinion.
19:57 Jeffrey Sooey: I want to go back to the process of reaching out to people, offering free sessions, letting them know who you are and what you do, and that you can help them.
If you’re listening to this, first of all, what Tomas shared, the words that he used there as he talked through, “Here’s what I do, here’s who I am, and I’d love to meet with you because I know there’s an area where I can help you,”
Here’s what I do, here’s who I am, and I’d love to meet with you because I know there’s an area where I can help you,
Hopefully, you could hear the confidence in what he said, the tone, and things like that. But, in addition to that, the words don’t lie. I mean, the words are these important words to be able to say.
20:38 Now, I probably use different words than that. We all have our own style.
But, what you say, people actually listen to the words.
That’s how they figure out what you mean.
So I think just that alone, and the technique of saying something so that somebody can make a decision to work with you, or to meet with you, or to have a chance to create a deeper relationship where you really actually are in a position to help them… not just social, but where it’s like, “I’m here to support you, to coach you, to provide value to you.”
It’s that kind of offer, and the words that reflect that offer, that is very, very important. Hopefully, you took notes on that.
21:19 Besides that, I want to ask you, because you were talking about just putting in the work… on average, how much time do you spend on (let’s say a weekly basis) having those kinds of conversations, making those kind of invitations, offering free sessions… whether it would be networking with them, or direct calling them, or whatever?
How many hours a week do you spend doing that kind of thing?
21:47 Tomas Svitorka: I would say it’s a tricky question as I have not really timed it, but I would say all the time when I’m not coaching or when I’m not building the brand or just building the business (the back-end things that you need to get done). If you’re not coaching or building the business, then you should be prospecting.
If you’re not coaching or building the business, then you should be prospecting.
How many hours?
I think it varies a lot depending on how many clients I have at the time. But Jeff, I’ve been working seven days a week for the last 4 years or 3 years, and that includes all this in my fulltime job.
22:30 Jeffrey Sooey: Right.
22:30 Tomas Svitorka: But when I wasn’t at work, I was working on my business and I’m working on my coaching business on the weekends, evenings, and only recently I started taking the weekend off because I felt like I’ve earned it.
I know this is not something that maybe some of the coaches want to hear.
22:49 Jeffrey Sooey: Sure
22:50 Tomas Svitorka: It’s a business like any other, and you don’t have to necessarily put extreme method into it like this, but if you want extreme results, then you need to put in extra methods.
23:00 Jeffrey Sooey: So I’m glad you said what you said because, I mean, I don’t know if we’ve talked about this before, but the first 2 to 4 years in my coaching business, I don’t think I took any time off.
I wasn’t taking vacations. I probably had a few days’ off.
I’m not saying I never took a day off or a weekend off, or something like that, for special events and things that really were important to me (or if I really just needed it), but I don’t think I regularly planned out big long weekends.
That was the time that my business was really growing the most, and I really didn’t even know what I was doing, but just action alone really made a gigantic difference.
23:49 Tomas Svitorka: Absolutely.
23:49 Jeffrey Sooey: I take plenty of time off.
I probably don’t work more than forty or fifty hours a week in any particular week now.
But the reason I’m able to do that and generate the revenue that I generate is because there was a time when I made the investment.
24:08 Tomas Svitorka: Exactly.
24:08 Jeffrey Sooey: So it’s just so important that you said that.
I’m glad we got that out because you get what you put in to this just like any other business, and it’s up to you: If you care enough about it and you’ve put the time in, you’re going to start getting those kinds of results.
If you care enough about it and you’ve put the time in, you’re going to start getting those kinds of results.
So it’s really, really cool.
Let’s see, you talked about the reputation and referrals.
Let me ask you this, when you get referrals, most of the referrals, people just bring people to you? or are you asking for referrals?
What do you find (other than just being a really amazing coach for your clients, which like I think that’s what you already shared)? Is there anything else that you do that tends to be that final 1%, that final thing that gets the ball across the finish line or the race car across the finish line in terms of a referral?
24:57 Tomas Svitorka: Yeah, a couple of things, one of them with the actual clients. When you have these conversations with them (coaching conversations) they oftentimes mention people in their lives, that some other people are struggling, so you can always say, “Hey, listen, if Jack is struggling with that, I’ll be happy to have a discovery session with him and see if I can help him.”
Hey, listen, if Jack is struggling with that, I’ll be happy to have a discovery session with him and see if I can help him.
Just don’t be shy and just ask if you hear that there’s opportunity to help someone else in their network.
Just do that. There’s nothing wrong with it.
25:32 If you think of it, it’s a beautiful gift that we’re giving someone.
Also, when you either finished working with someone, or during the consultation, there are always opportunities, too, when you’re getting great results, just ask them, “Hey, can you think of someone that would benefit from results like this or who would like to make these kind of changes in their lives?”
Hey, can you think of someone that would benefit from results like this or who would like to make these kind of changes in their lives?
And if people have good experience with you, they’ll be happy to recommend you.
26:03 Jeffrey Sooey: Yeah.
26:05 Tomas Svitorka: But again, taking action, and not being shy, I think that’s really important…
…not holding back.
Coaching is a great – I use the word – “gift”, or just a way to help someone through their challenges, such as becoming happier, healthier or wealthier, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with offering that…
and if people say “no”… well, so what?
26:37 Jeffrey Sooey: Yeah, it’s fantastic. I mean, everything that we’re talking about here, I think, comes down to a certain amount of generosity.
It’s like when you’re talking about offering a free session, even before you might get in a referral conversation, you’re just trying to give them a gift.
It’s not for you, it’s for them.
Yes, you may get something out of it, you may not, but you have to be generous to really offer that, and be willing to put yourself aside, to give of yourself, and give somebody the option, if they choose, to take advantage of it.
27:09 It’s the same with the referrals, both those types of conversations that you were talking about, just mentioning that you’re willing to help when they come up in coaching sessions (when other people are mentioned, et cetera), and then just asking the question, “Hey, now that you’ve experienced results, can you think of somebody else who would benefit in this way, or somebody else who would benefit from the same kind of support that I’m giving you,” you’re really just being generous with who you are for them.
The fee comes later! That will tend to take care of itself once you’ve got the relationship with somebody.
So, really, it’s just a generous relationship that you’re offering, so it’s really, really cool.
The Nice VS The Brutally Honest Coach And How to be Most Effective With Your Clients
27:51 Let me ask you this, and we talked about the coaching business, what’s the closest thing to a magic bullet in your coaching?
Like when you’re working with your clients in these different areas that we talked about before, what would you say is the most important distinction, or idea, or technique that you’ve used that’s made the biggest difference for how much value you’ve been able to give out as somebody’s coach?
28:20 Tomas Svitorka: It’s a very, very simple answer. It’s just not holding back as a coach, absolutely…
…and this I remember exactly, it was luckily quite early on… I would say a few months of me coaching, at the beginning:
I was the “nice coach”, and I valued every single client so much, and I wanted them to stay with me, and I didn’t want to upset them. I didn’t want to challenge them, and I was kind of nodding along and I was being the nice coach. I used to tell them what they wanted to hear, not necessarily what they needed to hear.
I used to tell them what they wanted to hear, not necessarily what they needed to hear.
28:57 The results my clients were getting were okay, but not mind blowing because I gave them the room to negotiate and fool themselves into believe in their limiting beliefs, and so on. At some point, there was a switch when I realized that, “No, no, no, this is not helping,” and I think in one of the sessions, actually, I don’t want to say that I snapped, but I was like, “You know what, okay, I’m just going to lay the cards on the table for you,”
You know what, okay, I’m just going to lay the cards on the table for you
…and, really, I was just being brutally honest with sharing what I saw or what I heard that they were actually saying (what I thought that was going on).
29:43 And I could be wrong… but I even said that, “Hey, I might be wrong, but look, this is what I see. This is what I think is happening,” and I’m just being brutally honest and challenging the clients.
In my opinion, it’s probably (maybe) the only way, or the most effective way, of them getting to see what they really do to themselves (the way they fool themselves) because no one, probably, in their lives, is able to challenge them in the same kind of loving way, but also be very, very firm and direct.
30:26 Jeffrey Sooey: So basically trying to be nice and keeping them in that perfect relationship with you, and just giving them, I think the word you said was you “always tried to give them room” to just do whatever they needed to do, or what they felt they wanted to do, et cetera… that type of mindset. It sounds like it really held you back from actually giving them your insights and actually giving them the truth of what you saw, and what you thought, especially the areas that they probably didn’t want to hear (or didn’t sound so nice).
31:01 Tomas Svitorka: Totally, totally.
How to Challenge Your Client in a Loving Way
31:02 Jeffrey Sooey: Yeah, it makes total sense. So I love how you put that, though. It’s not like, “I’ve got to be a jerk or I’ve got to be mean,” or something like that. It’s like… just don’t hold back. It’s a big difference.
If I’m going to work with you and I’m not going to hold back, there’s a big difference between that (not holding back and giving you everything I’ve got in all the different colors and shapes and feelings that would come with that), versus somehow being hurtful, or mean, or angry, or something that really is malicious, or less than empowering, because I can really go for it.
31:39 You may not always be comfortable with what I say, but if I’m framing it from the perspective of not holding back and giving you everything I’ve got, letting you know what I see that’s going on (and I still care at the same time), I could see how that’s going to be effective. I’m also going to be able to retain as much of the positive relationship as possible with that client.
With a client that really needs the coaching, and really wants what you have to offer, they’re probably going to appreciate that. I know that you and I probably had that conversation quite a bit before, so it makes total sense.
32:15 Tomas Svitorka: Yeah, and I just wanted to say that it’s not about swearing, but I always make sure that even when I’m very firm and direct to them, they know it’s coming from a good place, and you can easily package that and say (and THIS, I remember when I learned this from you… 99% of what I do now, I’ve learned from you).
I remember once you said a line or a phrase, “Hey, look, I need you to hold still now because I’m going to hit you with a baseball bat,”
Hey, look, I need you to hold still now because I’m going to hit you with a baseball bat.
and sometimes people were like, “What?”
“I’m going to tell you what’s happening here, and tell me if I’m wrong. Look, I may be wrong, but like let’s see.”
33:02 I just lay it out, and it’s not about being rude…
YES, it will make them uncomfortable, because truth hurts sometimes, but they so need to hear that, and I’m a big believer and promoter of being genuine and transparent because, when you are…
When you’re hiding something from people, it’s naturally becoming an insecurity, because… why would you be hiding it otherwise?
33:35 And of course, we all have some private things about ourselves that we don’t necessarily broadcast to the world, but sometimes people live this pretentious life and they pretend to be someone else and it’s just making them so unhappy.
I always tell my client, “In here, the place I live in (my building), it’s called Ability Place (so I couldn’t get a better place to move into), this is Ability Place and I want you to be completely real and transparent with me, because whatever you’re holding back, if it’s stopping you now, it will keep stopping you. There’s no point in us continuing if you’re not ready to become vulnerable and be transparent,”
There’s no point in us continuing if you’re not ready to become vulnerable and be transparent.
…and every single time, and I’m speaking from my own experience, when people become transparent and become genuine, it’s a huge relief for them, and their life becomes so much easier.
34:42 Jeffrey Sooey: So seriously, where you live, the location is called Ability Place?
34:50 Tomas Svitorka: My building is called Ability Place, yeah.
34:55 Jeffrey Sooey: Oh, that’s amazing. That is something else, yeah.
I mean, no wonder face-to-face sessions are so great because literally when they’re walking in, they’re getting a post-hypnotic suggestion. They’re looking at the name of the place and they’re like, “Wow, I’ve come to the right place. I’m in the Ability Place.”
35:15 Tomas Svitorka: Totally.
35:16 Jeffrey Sooey: Geez, that is something else. It’s very, very cool.
All right, and I remember, it’s so funny, because, literally, I think that phrase that you brought up just a second ago, it’s been a long time since I’ve thought about that… So I’m actually glad you brought it up because the whole, “I need you to hold still for a second because I’m about to hit you with a bit of a baseball bat here.” …Is really great!
35:44 Tomas Svitorka: Yeah.
35:44 Jeffrey Sooey: With your client, if you’re going to tell them something that you know might be challenging for them to hear or deal with, it’s okay to prepare them. It’s okay to say, “Hey, look, I’m going to tell you some things you’re not going to want to hear, or you might think I’m an idiot, or I’m wrong, or I didn’t hear you, or I don’t care, I’m a dick, or whatever.”
36:10 I mean, there are just so many things you could say as a bit of a preamble to, really, not soften the blow, but help them to really know that they need to get strong for that conversation to get them to “Ability Place”, so to speak, before giving them the challenging distinctions and some of the bad news as well. That’s so important.
I see so many coaches trying to be the nice coach, or negotiate like they think coaching is about having a really friendly relationship, and it can be, but that’s not coaching.
36:48 Tomas Svitorka: Exactly.
36:48 Jeffrey Sooey: Coaching is not about being somebody’s friend only.
36:50 Tomas Svitorka: Exactly. Sometimes, when they get upset and they disagree with me (like if I’m 100% sure that I’m right, that they’re just fooling themselves), and I will be very persistent in getting them to see what’s going on, and they get upset, they get angry, or they cry, or something, and they could fight back, and I even tell them very explicitly, very openly, I say, “Look, that’s okay if you don’t like me. We are not in here to make friends with each other. I’m in here to help you to get the results, and we cannot move on if we don’t deal with this.”
Look, that’s okay if you don’t like me. We are not in here to make friends with each other. I’m in here to help you to get the results, and we cannot move on if we don’t deal with this.
You know what? A few years back I would be petrified just thinking of that, because, “Oh my God, how could I even say that?”
Oh my God, how could I even say that?
37:38 I always say in coaching, “You don’t necessarily need to be liked, but you need to be respected as a coach,”
You don’t necessarily need to be liked, but you need to be respected as a coach.
They need to know that they can come to you, and that you will help them find the truth, and move past the barriers, because I was the “vanilla love and light coach” at the beginning, where I was nodding to things, “Okay, you didn’t follow through. Okay, well, you look busy, I understand,” and people were not getting results, and what’s that for if they pay for that?
38:09 Jeffrey Sooey: Yeah, absolutely, and by the way, coaches, if you’re listening to this and you’re coming from (what Tomas is saying) the “rainbows and love and light and shiny happy people” coaching perspective, that’s great. That gives you that much more rapport, and influence, and charisma when you need to say the things that are really not easy to say or not easy to hear, you know?
38:40 Tomas Svitorka: Yeah, it’s so true.
38:40 Jeffrey Sooey: So you can use that and take advantage of that, but don’t let that mindset hold you back because that’s just as much tyranny as negative thinking, or anything else that, in personal growth circles, we tend to look down on and think it’s so bad. Just thinking everything is wonderful, it’s all good, and no problem, and all that kind of stuff, it has a place… it could be useful, but sometimes it’s not going to be useful. Sometimes, it will hold you back, so don’t let that part of you hold you back. Just use it for the benefits that it provides. So it makes total sense.
39:15 Tomas Svitorka: I agree. Yeah, I agree.
The Simple Way to Use Facebook to Attract Coaching Clients
39:17 Jeffrey Sooey: So I want to get more specific with you on a particular set of strategies and tactics because I think it would be valuable for me to hear what you’re up to here. I think for a lot of coaches, this is probably one of the areas where some of them are probably fantastic with, but some of them also grew up in a world without these options, without these techniques or technologies, and I’ve seen you, in these worlds, really take them on fully and put some serious time and energy into them.
What I was wondering was, what are you up to on social right now that’s working for building clients, building audience, and building reputation, because you’re working in some of the circles that I don’t spend a lot of time in. So I just wanted to get a sense of what is your routine for what you’re up on social, what kind of results you see that producing, and what do you think the best tactics are that have made a difference for you.
I know you’ve tried a lot of stuff, so what are you up to with social right now?
40:31 Tomas Svitorka: The platform that I really believe in and that I’m putting the most effort into is Facebook, and at the beginning, I was deciding whether to have a Facebook Page or use my personal profile for it, and I wouldn’t say that I’m running a business through it, but I’m building my brand and my profile on Facebook. If someone has your name, one of the first things that they do is they either google it, or they have a look on Facebook.
41:01 So, if you’re a coach (my life is wrapped up around coaching), it’s not a separate thing that I do and then I close the laptop at 5 o’clock and then I run and live my real life, or something like that. If you look at my Facebook right now, you can see every single piece of content is created to, in some way, (obviously, sharing about value, that goes without saying) be representing me as a professional coach and that I live and breathe coaching and personal development.
41:42 Jeffrey Sooey: So what do you end up with? I mean, are you trying to do that through a page, or just through your own personal account, or both? What was the platform that you chose?
41:56 Tomas Svitorka: Right. So, I have a page. However, I’m not really using it much because naturally, around 3 to 5% of people that like your page will actually see your post, whatever you’re posting direct.
42:10 Jeffrey Sooey: Right.
42:10 Tomas Svitorka: Facebook is clever, they want to make some extra money, so unless you pay and boost these posts, people will not see it, right?
42:20 Jeffrey Sooey: Yeah.
42:20 Tomas Svitorka: And a page gives very different advantages. You can run ads, and you can be promoting content, and so on, which a personal profile doesn’t allow. A personal profile, it has limits. You can have maximum 5,000 people on there, which is not a bad network, but, when you post something on your personal profile, everyone who is your friend, unless they unfollowed you, will see that part of the content that you shared.
42:51 What’s very important is that you don’t openly promote your business there on your personal profile because it’s not allowed, or you could get your profile shut down, but show people that this is what you do, this is how you live.
So I talk about my client’s results.
I share my thoughts of the day.
For example, I started this just random 60-day challenge that for sixty days I’m going to the gym, and so every day I’m sharing a photo from the gym and just showing people that, “Hey, I’m consistent. I have the discipline to get myself in the gym every day.”
43:31 I hate going to the gym, but I’m demonstrating that I’m doing well as a coach.
My clients are getting results. I have my shit together, so to speak.
But also, what’s important is to understand the nature of Facebook.
The personal profile, if you start posting things that are not personal, meaning some random business blog posts and things like that, people will not really react to that. But, if you share a photo of you and your daughter on the merry-go-round, people will go crazy. You’d get a ton of engagements.
44:18 So personally, I see coaching as a very personal relationship with my clients, and people want to understand who you are as a person, and I think Facebook is a great way to, again, put out there enough content, where they can scroll down on my personal Facebook, for years now, and they will see consistent coaching-related stuff, and also personal, so they would get to know me… and so I’m building up definitely these seven hours of content that people need to go through to feel like they know me.
45:02 Jeffrey Sooey: Fantastic. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense, that if you’re focusing on getting a one-on-one client, or coaching client, really, they’re buying into you leading them.
It’s a leadership profession.
You’re offering and selling your leadership, your advice, your support, your coaching ability, to them.
A part of that is… they want to know you.
They want to be able to see into your life and see you as a reflection of the very understandings and the very abilities that you are supposedly going to help them with as well, so it makes a lot of sense.
Anything else that you’re up on social that you think would be helpful for a coach to take on and to use?
How to Package Your Coaching Content
45:51 Tomas Svitorka: Sure, so YouTube is huge, and it can be extremely valuable if you are able to create some kind of either videos, or some slideshows with voiceover and, yes, there’s a lot of competition on YouTube, but you don’t necessarily need to compete on YouTube itself. You can have all the content on your website in the form of resources.
People can just go through…
For your client you can say, “Hey, I have a great video on how to deal with procrastination. There is a link, have a look.” People appreciate that, so making videos is great.
46:27 I think podcasts is huge now as well. You can be on iTunes. You can go on soundcloud for free. It’s something that I’m going to look into very, very soon… as soon as all this rebranding is finished. Creating podcasts with audio content is very valuable, and of course, blogging has been always, you know… people love to read blog posts.
You can combine things. I know people that create a video about, let’s say, overcoming procrastination, then they create a blog post out of it, and they create an audio version as well, and it’s all in one blog post so people can consume it all kinds of ways, whichever they prefer. Some people prefer to just listen to it when they’re cooking. Some people like to sit down and watch the video when they’re eating. Some people just like to read the blog posts.
47:20 So it’s something I’m going to look into after the New Year, and I want to create a good amount of content. I think you’re doing a very good job there yourself. So, yeah, these are the things that I’m thinking about and I believe that it definitely can add a lot of value.
47:39 Jeffrey Sooey: Fantastic. That helps a lot.
Yeah, I’m a real believer in taking one piece of content and repackaging it in every single way that your customers would generally be looking for.
If you could put it on iTunes, or you could put it on a podcast, or you could put it on a video, or you could put it on a blog, these are all different ways that people might be looking for that specific content, and since you did so much work to create the content, you might as well have a system for turning that content into various outputs, so that every time you create one idea that’s really valuable, it propagates across all these distribution channels, so you get them into more people’s hands, and so I think that’s really, really helpful.
Why You Should Employ a Team to Help You Create Coaching Content
48:26 The tricky part, I think, is the system for you repackaging it because each package can take time.
Having something that you can repeat with that repackaging, that’s awfully important, so that you don’t spend a whole week just repackaging one piece of content.
48:43 Tomas Svitorka: Absolutely, yeah.
48:44 Jeffrey Sooey: It could be valuable. There are probably even more important things we could do with your time.
One of the things that I’ve started to do is employ my team to take a piece of content and repackage that across these different distribution channels. Because, I mean, if I can pay them $10 an hour to do that while I’m out doing coaching for $100 an hour, then I just made $90. I would have lost that ($90) had I been doing that repackaging myself.
Why Content is Where Your Coaching Program Starts
49:07 Tomas Svitorka: Exactly, yeah. And these days it’s so easy to outsource work as well. If you find a good virtual assistant, they can really, for a few dollars, you send a video over, and they create the blog post out of it, and extract the audio out of it, and create a blog post for you. It all can be done very inexpensively.
If, let’s say, you have rich clients, they’re $100 per hour, and so let’s say they stay with you for, let’s say, twenty sessions, so what is it?
So imagine that if one article or one piece of work like this in ten will actually bring you a client… so you paid – I don’t know – $200 on that and you made $2,000 on that.
It’s definitely worth investing into.
50:06 Jeffrey Sooey: Yeah, no doubt, and content is where the coaching starts, so not having that…
I mean, you’re going to have to create the content at some point. It’s just whether you’re doing it with each individual person, or you can make it so that you get 10 or 20 or 30 people at once with that content, so it makes a lot of sense.
50:25 Tomas Svitorka: Totally, and I think all these, video, audio and blogs, it’s a great way for any coach or anyone to really think and solve, or kind of ride themselves through, or talk themselves through their thoughts, and their ideas, and opinions about the topic, and create better awareness.
You learn something the best when you actually teach it to someone. Writing a blog post is just the same… or doing a video, it’s the same.
It’s kind of like teaching someone something, so it’s really an important part of this creating your own style, perhaps in coaching, or creating your own coaching model or methods. I think it’s really valuable.
51:13 Jeffrey Sooey: Yeah, it makes a lot of sense. So I want to give the coaches a little bit of a “before and after picture” with where you started, before you were a student of Master Coach University.
Where were you in your coaching business before you enrolled? Did you have clients?
I think actually this was before you were even in the coaching business, but what kind of clients and coaching income where you at before you went to Master Coach University?
51:52 Tomas Svitorka: Right, as I was finishing my university, I started flirting with the idea of becoming a coach, and the first thing that I did was I just went on Amazon and ordered a bunch of books. I started reading about it with some videos online and after reading all that, I thought, “Okay, I think I’m ready.” So I reached out and offered some free coaching and I had a few free clients.
Actually, I’m a fairly slow implementer, so I was coaching for free for a few months to start with, but I realized that, throughout these coaching sessions, that none of the clients actually acted or behaved or answered as these examples in the books, and so I was very stiff in my coaching methods and I realized, “I don’t think this is the way… just reading it in the books.”
I don’t think this is the way… just reading it in the books.
I guess it’s like reading how to swim and expecting yourself to figure it out from reading the book.
53:04 So I realized that, “No, I need some guidance. I need some mentor, and someone who will help me through this systematically,”
No, I need some guidance. I need some mentor, and someone who will help me through this systematically.
I started looking online for different schools, and there were some that I found with very bad reputations, and then I came across your free training on Udemy and I really connected with your coaching style.
I really started learning from you at the very, very early stage of my coaching practice.
I would say I had a few free clients, but I just found it so difficult to learn how to coach from books. It’s so theoretical.
53:59 Jeffrey Sooey: So basically, you were at zero income from coaching. You were doing some coaching, but it was basically all free coaching.
54:08 Tomas Svitorka: Yeah.
54:08 Jeffrey Sooey: okay.
54:09 Tomas Svitorka: And it was also very bad coaching, I think, as well.
54:15 Jeffrey Sooey: So once you enrolled and you went through… I mean, we have semesters, and you probably went through anywhere between two and four months of training during a semester… What did you get to? In a short term after enrolling, where were you in terms of clients and income shortly afterwards?
54:37 Tomas Svitorka: So I think shortly afterwards, I became much more active and I realized going through Master Coach University and Quickstart Coaching Code and everything that, “Okay, I need to put a lot more effort into it”, and I started reaching out to people offering free sessions. I was able to some ads on the internet and I think within a month, or maybe two, I had my first paying clients, which I charged £25 per session with a shaky voice, and I remember she was saying, “Yeah, okay, that’s good.” I’m thinking, “Man, I should have asked for more.”
Man, I should have asked for more.
55:19 And from then on I became much more effective as a coach because I went through the Accountability Training, Strategy Training, and also the Assessment Training, so I have learned a lot and I’ve learned how to coach, that’s for sure.
That just gave me a lot more confidence in asking for a fee, reaching out to clients, seeing myself as a coach, and from then on, I was gradually growing the business, raising my fees a little bit.
I’m a big believer in earning your place, so I started coaching for free, and then small fee, increasing the fee and packaging up three- and six-month coaching programs for people, and it’s been going like this until today.
56:12 Jeffrey Sooey: Fantastic. So basically, after you enrolled, you got some of your first paying clients, it sounds like a few, maybe not a huge coaching income at that point. It sounds like it was probably maybe a couple of hundred dollars a month max or something like that. Does that sound right?
56:29 Tomas Svitorka: Yeah, that sounds about right, but don’t forget, I had a fulltime job.
I only had a few evenings and the weekend for my coaching, so I wasn’t really able to give it – I don’t know – sixteen hours a day every day, so my time was limited.
56:48 Jeffrey Sooey: Exactly.
56:48 Tomas Svitorka: As soon as I started getting more clients, I started withdrawing from the day job and I was earning more money from that.
57:03 Jeffrey Sooey: And I think it’s important because we talked about this a little bit earlier around how you’re going to transition from the day job. When a lot of coaches will ask me, when they’re first getting started, how much time they have to put in, “What does it take to get your clients?”, those kinds of questions, like an issue around “What is the time that it takes?”, and yes, I think there is a minimum amount of time that you should put in… five or ten hours a week at a minimum, really, to get the ball rolling.
But the more important piece is that, if you have no job, and you’ve got nothing else to do, you should be full time. You should just put everything you’ve got into it.
57:45 Tomas Svitorka: Absolutely.
57:45 Jeffrey Sooey: As a leader, people are going to expect that. But, if you have a job and you’re working during the week, you can really build this business on the weekends, or you could build this business in your spare time. You can truly do that.
Will you do that as quickly as if you had full time available?
Not necessarily, but the key here is not time, it’s the fact that you’re fully engaged.
58:14 Like you were saying, you had a fulltime job, but you put your spare time into this, so, when you came across a client or a prospect, they knew you’re committed.
It’s not as much about the time as it is about the commitment involved, and then, if you have enough commitment, you’ll start to make a little bit of money. You could start to transition, and you make some more money, or you get some more clients as a result of that, but the key is that 100% commitment the whole time.
It doesn’t take a 100 hours a week to be committed 100%, but it does take something.
It takes you… putting the time that you have into it, and really playing full out with it.
58:53 And I think what you just talked about in terms of, within a month or two, you’ve got your first paying client, and then you’re up to a couple of hundred dollars a month in coaching income by the end of the first semester, even working a fulltime job. It shows that it’s not (yes, you need to put time in), but it’s about making the commitment that you need to make to your clients so they know that you’re going to be there for them… that this is not just something that you’re playing around with.
58:53 Tomas Svitorka: Yeah, absolutely. Just to give you a couple of examples… Today I had a session with one of my protégés and we had our second session today, and he already has three free clients, he already coached two of them, and so within three weeks he’s putting in, he’s super committed.
This guy is really on fire, but this is an example that you if you put the work in and reach out… He’s coaching his housemate, and he’s coaching an old friend, and her friend, and really he’s taking action.
59:57 Another example… another coach that I’m mentoring, and we’ve been working together for four months, and he messaged me yesterday that this month, if one more payment goes through as he’s waiting, he will be on over £1,000 from coaching for this month only.
01:00:22 Jeffrey Sooey: Nice.
01:00:22 Tomas Svitorka: Which was a $1,300 or $1,400 (USD)?
01:00:24 Jeffrey Sooey: Yeah.
01:00:25 Tomas Svitorka: I was super impressed, but I’m not surprised because this guy is just going for it. He’s just relentless and he’s just so committed.
01:00:36 Jeffrey Sooey: Yeah. So with somebody committed, I mean…
I think coaches, sometimes, they got it wrong.
They’re thinking that it’s “hard to make money” coaching.
Sometimes we look at the statistics and we’re like, “Well, the average coach makes $10,000 a year,”
Well, the average coach makes $10,000 a year.
…but the average coach is part time.
They’re dabbling in it.
They’re fooling around with all sorts of different things.
They’re not really committed to their coaching, or their coaching business, or even their clients a lot of times.
To be half-assed like that, and then make $10,000 a year extra money when you’re doing other things, have other jobs, et cetera, that’s pretty impressive, you know?
Tomas Svitorka: [Agrees]
01:01:12 Jeffrey Sooey: Somebody like that, like your protégé, that’s doing over a $1,000 in the third or fourth month of their business, it’s like, well, that’s the way it should be!
I remember one of my mentors who’s a partner of ours runs a million dollar coaching business, and when I talked to him about coaching, he would always say, “You know, coaching is a cash strategy. If I want to make cash fast, if I want to generate income for myself, I just offer coaching, and then all the sudden I have this income that flows to me… so I use it as a cash strategy.”
You know, coaching is a cash strategy. If I want to make cash fast, if I want to generate income for myself, I just offer coaching, and then all the sudden I have this income that flows to me… so I use it as a cash strategy.
01:01:46 I think coaches a lot of times have a misconception that coaching is not a really good money making venture, but it’s because they’re either…
- not really doing the work
- not a 100% committed
…or they have some other aspect of their strategy that’s just not tuned in yet as far as what’s valuable that they’re offering.
01:02:10 Tomas Svitorka: Right.
01:02:10 Jeffrey Sooey: I want to ask you one other question before we go, and we talked about how people can find you as well, so they can hook up with you and connect with you, if they’d like to connect more.
You’re kind of a special case in terms of the coaches that we work with, not just because you’re generating results, because a lot of coaches are generating results, but because you went through Master Coach University. You did everything in Master Coach University that there was to do, and then you went into the Synergy Private Client Program and worked with Kris Thompson and myself, and mentoring with me. I mean, really, you pushed for getting everything there was to get from like basically every program that we had to offer and went further and further every step of the way.
01:03:02 So with that kind of long journey, out of that journey, what do you think is the most important thing that you’ve learned throughout that timeframe?
What do you think you learned from Master Coach University, in Synergy, and the different conversations that was probably the most important thing for you?
01:03:22 Tomas Svitorka: Well, that would be very difficult to answer because…
01:03:29 Jeffrey Sooey: Well, maybe just generalize it.
I mean, maybe it’s an area of learning versus one quote, or one technique or idea, but, what do you think the most important overall set of lessons, let’s say, would have been that you’ve got through your tenure at the university and through mentoring?
01:03:53 Tomas Svitorka: I would say in terms of coaching itself, it’s to over deliver… to look after your customers.
It’s something that I’ve learned from you.
I’m so grateful that you became my mentor, that I learned from you, because that’s the way you run your business, and I was always given more than I asked for from you, so I’m really appreciative of that, and that’s how I coach as well.
How to Let People Know About Your Coaching
01:04:25 And another thing in coaching is just being real, honest, and direct, don’t hold back just because it would be uncomfortable, and in business as well, just do what needs to be done.
I always tell people to stop being busy and start being effective.
Do what counts.
People won’t become your clients just because you are a coach.
No one will come and knock on your door and beg you for coaching.
You need to let people know.
01:05:01 Even what I said at the beginning… that just making the phone calls and letting people know that this is what you do… may not get clients right away.
They may say, “No, I don’t want your coaching. I don’t need help. My life is amazing,”
No, I don’t want your coaching. I don’t need help. My life is amazing.
I don’t know what else they could say, but what you do is you’re building awareness about, “Hey, this is what I’m doing,” and they may not need help right there.
But I had people come to me…
01:05:29 I spoke almost a year ago at Bristol University, and a couple of days ago, one of the people from the audience reached out to say,
“Hey, I remember you speaking at the university. I think I need your help.”
So people remember. Don’t just look for the instant results, but I think building awareness about what you do and letting people know “Hey, I’m a coach and I help people through coaching” is super important also for your psychology. Just by you owning up to that rather than playing this ‘hiding game’ that many coaches play.
01:06:12 Jeffrey Sooey: So Tomas, all of this has been so valuable, and I really appreciate you taking the time to share with our coaches, and the coaches that are listening to this, some of the strategies that you’ve learned, what you’ve accomplished, and some of the real nuts and bolts tactics to get where a coach will want to go in their coaching and in their coaching business. For those who would like to hook up with you and find you, like what’s the easiest way that coaches and others can find you?
01:06:41 Tomas Svitorka: I think the easiest way is just to find me on Facebook and connect with me there… drop me a message.
Connect With Tomas Svitorka:
01:07:13 Jeffrey Sooey: Perfect.
01:07:14 Tomas Svitorka: But Facebook is probably the best to drop me a message and connect and say, “Hey, I listened to your interview case study”.
I love to connect with people.
01:07:26 Jeffrey Sooey: Fantastic. Tomas, again, thank you so much for your time and I hope that the coaches got a lot out of this. I know I have, and it’s really been helpful as well. So thanks a lot and I appreciate it.
01:07:39 Tomas Svitorka: Jeff, I thank you for being my mentor… a great mentor. Everything I do, I’ve learned from you.
I guess one other thing that I’ve learned for being a great coach is to get a coach, get a mentor, and learn directly from someone.
Thanks so much. I’m so appreciative of this, and grateful, and I’d like to think I’ve owned up to my promise of being one of your best students.
01:08:07 Jeffrey Sooey: Yeah, you definitely have. Really, really great!
01:08:11 Tomas Svitorka: Thank you.
I Hope you took some great value out of this Life Coaching Business case study today. You can download a PDF Ebook of this Case Study HERE:
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Jeffrey T. Sooey
CEO, JTS Advisors
Founder, Coaches Training Blog community