What's the difference between a successful solopreneur and a struggling one?
The successful solopreneur thinks of solving problems for their audience, while the struggling solopreneur thinks only of the end result. And when you focus on the end result, it's tempting to cut corners, look for shortcuts, and go straight for goal. Unfortunately, most first time entrepreneurs don't know the difference and fall for the trap of the immediate results, high-ticket sales, and other illusions the gurus-of-the-day sell them on.
After helping more than 100 clinicians launch their own side-gig, I've come up with the following 3 phases for a successful side-gig:
As discussed in other posts, I strongly advice to start your side-gig with a coaching practice.
And the first step is to decide one niche within your field in which you'll coach. For example, if you're a pediatrician, don't attempt to coach parents about "anything to do with their child's health". Instead, narrow it as much as possible in order to make your offer unique and valuable.
Some examples from pediatricians in my programs:
- Coaching for first-time parents with newborns.
- Coaching for parents of children with autism.
- Nutritional coaching for junior athletes.
- Coaching for parents of teenage girls.
After a few months of coaching, you'll naturally get better at it.
You'll learn what are the common challenges your audience has, their frequent questions, and the answers to them. Your job is to keep track of all of these questions and find better, more efficient ways to address them. At this point, it's time for step 2.
2. Create a digital product.
Based on your audience, your niche and your own personal style, you may opt to create an ebook, a course, a video series, checklists, or anything else that you create once, and can sell over and over again.
The mistake most first time entrepreneurs make is skip coaching and go straight to a digital product. After all, it is what we're looking for: scalability and passive income with little input. But when you don't invest the time to coach your new clients (and coaching is very different from treating patients), you're guessing about the problem your product solves.
This is the reason so many doctors fail with their digital products.
3. Raise the price of your 1:1 coaching.
Doing so will funnel more people into your digital product –which you've already created.
Where should you price your services when you're starting out?
A good rule of thumb is to price your coaching calls at 2-3 times your current hourly rate as a clinician.
When I began, I calculated my take-home hourly rate at about $45 and began offering coaching at $100/hr. When in doubt, round it down. It's better to make a little less money at first but get the experience (and the testimonials!) than to spend most of your time doing sales calls and not getting coaching clients.
Then, as you add digital products to your offerings, you can increase your coaching by 50 or even 100%.
For your digital products, I currently favor pricing them at a reasonably low price. Keep in mind, a digital product is a starting point, not the end goal. A good range, depending on the type of product and your audience, is between 35-150 dollars.
Don't get a customer to make a sale. Make a sale to get a customer. –Darren Hardy