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10 Questions with Coaching Expert Katie O’Brien

Katie O’Brien is the best of both worlds: a former coach with a passion to serve and a talented designer whose websites are as beautiful as they are effective. In other words, she’s the perfect guest for our next installment of 10Q.

Katie’s approach to business is wrapped in honesty and integrity, something we at SavvyHippo can’t applaud enough. Though it doesn’t always seem to be the case, you really can thrive online as a coach doing the right things, the right ways. What are those right things? Katie has quite a few to share…

SH: How and why did you get involved with coaching?
I couldn’t decide what I wanted to be when I grew up. Nothing that I came across sat right with me. I always excelled in the ‘jobs’ I had… but nothing felt like my thing. I was in and out of college, switching majors, trying to find that thing. And then I stumbled across the coaching profession in 2011 and knew it was for me.

The idea that I could help people live their best lives sounded amazing. I thought it was my forever-calling. Well, two kids later I realized my dream of staying at home and being a full-time coach was a little more difficult than I thought. I eventually made the hard decision to call it quits until my kids were older… but then just a few months after hanging up coaching hat, I ended up opening my web design business.

And wouldn’t you know it, my favorite clients and projects… were my fellow professional coaches. While I don’t call myself a coach nowadays, I regularly use coaching through my branding and web design client relationships.

SH: How did you set yourself apart in the market??
First off, I’m niched. I’m very specific on my ideal client and let my network know about it. I used to be scared to niche down, but I’m so grateful I took the leap. I’m known for WordPress website design for no-fluff coaches.

Second, I’m passionate about my methods and style. Simple. Chic. Frustration-free. Those are my goals for every project, and every client.

Lastly, I just show up really genuine and authentic. I don’t hard sell… ever. Honestly, I don’t feel I sell at all. I just show up and try to be of service to those I think would be fun to work with. I think what sets me apart the most is just the fact I don’t try to show up as someone I’m not, I’m super honest and a straight-shooter. I’m also somewhat obsessively organized. Streamlined systems make my heart so so happy… which in turn seems to make my clients super happy. And happy clients = more referrals.

SH: What decision helped grow your business more than any other?
To keep ‘slow + steady’ as my business motto. I’m not chasing outrageous numbers or trying to be known as a big agency. I really just enjoy my work and the financial freedom it’s bringing my family. And ironically, by taking things slow I’ve experienced success well beyond my initial goals. When my kids are a bit older and more independent, I’m sure I’ll ramp things up. But for now, I’m perfecting my craft, streamlining my systems, building my reputation and enjoying the balance.

I just show up and try to be of service to those I think would be fun to work with.

SH: What resource (book, course, etc.) has helped you more than any other?
Without a doubt, the Bible. Don’t get me wrong, I love personal development and business growth books but they’re nothing compared to the wisdom found in God’s word. I attribute all of my success to God.

SH: Looking back, what advice would you give your younger self?
Accept the pivots. Entrepreneurship is not a straight line. Forget your plan. Show up and be of service with the gifts you’ve been given. God’s got this.

SH: If you could suggest only one method to get in front of potential clients, which would you choose?
Oy. This is a tough one. I’d say after you’re crystal clear on who your ideal client is… ask them. Where are they hanging out? Are they at networking events? Are they on Facebook? Are they on LinkedIn? Are they at conferences? Wherever they are, you should be there, too.

SH: If you could suggest only one method to get in front of those potential clients, which would you choose?
Don’t sell. Focus on being of service and getting to know them. The more you know and understand your ideal client, the better you’ll be able to serve them.

The more you know and understand your ideal client, the better you’ll be able to serve them.

SH: What mistake do you see most new coaches make? How can they avoid it?
Niching down too soon.

I see so many people advising coaches to niche down before they’ve even had a real coaching client. I think that’s really bad advice. How is the coach supposed to know if they even like coaching around that topic? Or that type of clientele?

Brand new coaches need to give themselves space and grace to evolve. And not be afraid to tell people they’re just starting out.

I say test the waters. Show up, be of service and then niche based on what you enjoy the most.

SH: Imagine waking up tomorrow and it’s all gone. What are the first three things you’d do to rebuild?
First, I’d pause and pray. If I was given a blank slate… I’d want to lean heavily on God and have His guidance leading me during the rebuild.

Second, I’d focus on rebuilding my website. I’d get crystal clear on my ideal client and have a clear call to action for visitors to join me for an Intro Talk.

Third, I’d find my new tribe. I’d find a mastermind or online business program that resonated with me most and dive right in. I’d show up 100%, give full participation and focus on being of service to others going through the program as much as possible. As a result, my network would grow and referrals would begin.

I firmly believe there’s no better way to build a business than by focusing on what we can give rather than get.

SH: What are you working on right now?
It’s definitely a busy season! I’ve got a few clients at various stages some beginning their website design project, some in the middle of logo and brand visual revisions, some preparing for launch and others preparing to launch their first online course.

I firmly believe there’s no better way to build a business than by focusing on what we can give rather than get.

NAME

Katie O’Brien

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CPC, ELI-MP from iPEC

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Website Design for Coaches

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Website Design

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Newsletter + Resources

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