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What To Do Right After Graduating FCMT (4 Steps)

***While this post is tailored toward recent graduates of Dave Ramsey's Financial Coach Master Training (FCMT), the principles are directly applicable to any new coach or consultant.***

I graduated Dave Ramsey's FCMT program back in January of 2017 and... I absolutely loved it.

BUT, I also walked away feeling a little confused.

"Okay, what do I do now?"

And if you're anything like I was after FCMT, you might be asking yourself the same question.

So to help you get the clarity I didn’t get, here are 4 very specific next steps to get you up, running and profitable asap.

I’ll talk about all the specific 'whys' for all of these a little later.

Here are all 4 at a high level, then we'll dig into each one rapid fire:
  1. Ask who do you want to serve and how do you want to serve them?

  2. Do a quick market/niche validation exercise (super important)

  3. Pull together a 'Beta Offer' and start testing it

  4. Set up your business's online presence


1. Two Important Questions

Who do you want to serve and how do you want to serve them?

And I'll be honest, these two questions used to do drive me crazy when I was getting started.

Because I was like, "I can work with anybody and everybody."

But in any kind of business and especially online, 'anybody and everybody' is actually 'nobody' and we'll talk more about why that is in a minute.


First Question

Who do I want to serve?

When you're new, the temptation is going to be to go broad here, but I'm going to press you to try to be even more specific than you might be comfortable with right now.

  • You'll want to avoid using terms like 'anyone' and 'everyone'.

  • It's super counterintuitive at first but, when you’re trying so hard to talk to ‘everybody’ you’re actually not talking to anybody and we'll cover more about this when we get to your beta-offer.

  • To get started, think of a specific person you know that you'd like to help.

  • Here are a couple of examples:

  • Ex: "I help mid-career software sales executives eliminate their debt and move into investing and financial independence using our 'Financial Traction Tread' system."

  • Ex: "I help professional single moms get clarity around their investing strategy and financial independence with my 'FI Clarity Coaching'."

(By the way, those two examples are what we call an XYZ statement and I show you exactly how to formulate one of those here: https://www.bradlong.co/blog/xyz)


Second Question

How do I want to serve them?

This question refers to the kind of business model you'll be using to deliver value or transformation to your clients (and there are essentially 4).

Do you want to:

  • Sell digital products (which is more of a passive income model)?

  • Employ an individual coaching or consulting model?

  • Offer a 'done for you' type of agency/service model?

  • Use some hybrid model of all of these?

(Quick aside: To help you be even more precise about which one might be best for you, I have a quick 60-second quiz to give you some clarity: www.bradlong.co/quiz)

Once you've gotten a more specific idea (or two or three) of who you want to serve and how you want to serve them, the next step is to make sure that this is going to be a profitable market.


2. Market/Niche Validation (7-Steps)

I'm going to go a little overboard here and beg you to not minimize or skip this step.

I want to help you avoid the 4 years it took me to learn the importance of choosing a profitable market the hard way.

Despite how the FCMT portrays the financial coaching market, not all niches inside this market are going to be valid.

So you'll want to uncover, does my market/niche possess:


Players With Money?

  •  Can they afford your help in solving their problems?

  • Are they willing to give you 'mindshare or wallet share' to do that?

  •  And the big question you'll want to ask yourself is, how are you going to make money if your market doesn't have PWMs?


 Enthusiast (vs Problem/Solution)?

  • Think Star Wars Fans vs lice removal customer.

  • Is this market enthusiastic about the topic (like Star Wars, or do they just want to take wave a magic wand and make the problem go away (lice removal)?

  • I'll argue that with any kind of financial coaching market, it's not going to be a assumed that they're enthusiasts.

  • Some niches are more enthusiastic than others.

  • It's worth it to spend some time on this.


Evergreen (vs Fad)?

  • Think weight loss vs pet rocks.

  • Is this a market that is always active (like weight loss), or is this more of a passing fad (like pet rocks or beanie babies)?


Immediate $1-10k Problem

  • A few very important questions here:

  • Is there and immediate $1k-$10k problem that you can help them with?

  • If this problem isn't solved, will it wind up costing them more in the near future?

  • Do this right and they'll love you forever.


Future Problems

  • It's REALLY hard to acquire customers, so you want to try and recruit the ones who ALSO have future problems you can help them solve.

  • So the question here is, once you solve their immediate problem, how can you help them in the future?

  • How can you start to create awareness of these future problems even as you're solving their immediate problem.

The next two steps will help you to define both the size of your market AND the number of competitors.

Market Size (Google Trends)

  • Is the market too big, too small or just right?

  • Don't assume that, just because you're a financial coach, that you can serve the same market that Dave Ramsey does.

  • Remember:

  •  He's the 800-pound gorilla in the space.

  • He has the #3 radio program in the US.

  • He has a ginormous marketing team.

  • (More about this in a minute.)


Market Competition (Amazon)

  • Who's your REAL competition?

  • This is a quick set of tests we run over on Amazon to find out

  • How many are too many, too few and why you don't want 0 competitors.


There's a bit too much detail to go into here, so...

For more 'how to' about this process, you can watch this video: https://www.bradlong.co/blog/5-common-mistakes 

OR you can attend my free monthly live workshop where I walk through the entire process from start to finish (link below): www.bradlong.co/workshop


3. The Beta-Offer

Okay, you're probably asking, "what exactly a beta-offer"?

A beta-offer is just a 'trial' or 'test' offer that you can use to:

  • Test your product or process's fit for your niche (i.e. is it relevant?).

  • Test you product's price elasticity (i.e. what is the market willing to pay?).

  • Trial your product for feedback and improvement before you launch to a broader audience.


As a best practice, I recommend you offer some kind of coaching cadence as your first 'product' and that you make sure to set the expectation that because your offering this for free or at a steep discount, you need:

  • Feedback about the process

  • A video testimonial of your experience and or results

  • An ongoing case study to show the long-term benefits of your process


SIDE NOTE: You'll want to start gathering social proof like this MUCH earlier in your coaching practice than you're probably going to be comfortable with.

So I HIGHLY recommend you start gathering testimonials immediately.

I actually have a video testimonial collection process I use that works really well.

Let me know in the comments if you guys want me to do a video on that.


You basically want to ask a few questions that demonstrate your ability to deliver a transformation like:

  • What was your biggest hesitation or skepticism before we started?

  • How did that change in the process?

  • What’s (at least) one thing that’s changed for you?

  • What would you say to someone who was on the fence about engaging in this process/buying this course?

  • If you could speak from the heart what else would you like to share or add?


IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE: You'll want to be very clear (and diplomatically) explicit about this agreement for feedback, testimonial, case study as it is an important 'exchange of value' in the agreement.

You want every bit of all three you can get and sadly, as explicit as you are some people will still ignore.

So, don't be afraid to be firm in your setting of the expectation.


Next-Level Beta Considerations

When you present your beta-offer, make sure to 'price anchor' to what the full price is ultimately going to be.

A price anchor is nothing more than way to 'anchor' or kind of set the full value of your offer in your prospect's mind.

  • Ex: "This will normally cost $4000/6mo, but I'm offering it to an extremely limited number for 50% off this month only."

  • Engagement Length: I only offer 6 months minimum commitment for my coaching programs. Any complex process like personal finance and online business especially will take at least that long to really get some results.

  • Billing: I don't offer any cadences that have ongoing 'monthly' subscription type payments. The reason being that I don't want for my clients to have make that 'buying decision' every 30 days. I find that it's MUCH better for the overall coaching process to handle all financial considerations early so that we can just focus on the doing work.

  • Payment options: I offer either one full payment or 3-4 installments, depending on the length of the engagement and the currency amounts.


4. Set Up Your Online Presence

At this point you might be ready to set up your business's online presence.

While it's not totally necessary to do this immediately, I do cover this in-detail in this video here: https://www.bradlong.co/blog/xyz 

Whenever you're ready, there are 2 ways I can help you:

1. If you're wanting forward momentum in your business, I'd recommend starting with an affordable course:

➡️ The ADAPTIVE. Solopreneur - Course Bundle: Productize your knowledge with my niche validation, content, marketing, audience attraction and traffic growth system. Everything you need to start, grow and scale a profitable solopreneur business.

2. Register for my next free in-depth workshop on how to start, grow and scale an online business from a side-hustle to six-figures and beyond: Register here.

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