Paid lead-generation that goes beyond nominally paying for your time, but actually becomes a lucrative revenue stream on its own?
^ this is what sales funnel copywriter Jess Haney has achieved, bringing in about $40,000 this year from being a paid expert in others’ coaching programs.
That’s $40k on top of what she earns from clients who convert from those programs (!).
And she’s giving me the exclusive of how she did it.
Here’s our conversation, edited and condensed for clarity — link at the end to listen to the full, raw interview that’s more like a podcast!
We’re discussing your lead generation strategy, being a paid expert in group coaching programs. How does this serve as paid lead generation for your business? What exactly do you do in these programs?
Each coaching program I join requires something different. Sometimes I provide monthly live trainings or live copy reviews. Most often, they submit their copy, and I review it, giving feedback via Loom.
So, how does this translate to paid lead generation?
When I join a program as a copy coach, I ensure that the students are people I’d like to work with. As they progress, many approach me to help them beyond the program. They’ve seen my expertise and trust me. I’ve also written copy for many of the coaches themselves, so they’ve seen how effective my work is. It’s like paid lead gen because the coach pays me, and then the students turn into clients.
So you ensure that the programs align with your expertise?
Exactly. If a program is about website creation, for example, that’s not for me. Many programs aim to help participants launch coaching programs themselves or passive offers. That’s where I come in, because I’m a sales funnel expert.
Are there examples of programs you’ve found were a good fit?
You’d be surprised how many programs focus on launching group courses or coaching. I’ve also worked with niche programs like those for elopement photographers.
So, are participants in these group programs usually ready to hire professionals? My impression is that group programs wouldn’t be great for lead-generation because they’re full of DIYers. Is that a myth?
I would say they don’t enter the program ready to hire, but it kind of depends on the success that they’re able to achieve on their own within the program. Some people just genuinely cannot write copy. They have a hard time separating themselves from the results. And so they might launch something and it flops. And they’re like, well, that’s what I was able to do on my own. I don’t want to give up on this entirely, so they’ll turn to me to just do it for them.
Can you explain how you began working with these group founders and how you pitched yourself to them?
I started out by writing sales pages for individual coaches. As I worked with these coaches, they would occasionally invite me to guest speak in their programs. I saw an opportunity to offer more. So, I approached some of these coaches and pitched the idea of being a part of their Slack communities, not just as a one-time guest speaker but for ongoing support.
In your experience, are group program founders actively on the hunt for experts like you to bring into their communities?
Absolutely. Over the past couple of years, it’s been more and more common. Most established group programs I’ve come across have started bringing in external coaches. These experts could range from Facebook ad specialists to design coaches. My offering is unique in that I don’t just come in for a session or two but offer continuous support, mainly through platforms like Slack.
Do you think this group-program-expert strategy is possible for people whose target audiences are not coaches?
Yes, I believe so. In any business, if you can articulate the value you’d bring, it makes sense. Instead of just asking a coach if they have a position, show how you can add value. For instance, if a photography coach can help students produce better success stories, it can lead to better testimonials and easier sales for the program owner.
Logistically, when it comes to pitching, whether it’s someone you know or a cold pitch, do you have advice about the timing?
Timing is crucial. It depends on whether the program is being live launched or is evergreen. Avoid reaching out during a live launch as they’ll likely be overwhelmed. After the launch is a better time. Generally, present your idea and see how you can fit into their plans, whether it’s for their next live launch or a trial period.
How do you structure the payment for your paid coaching role?
I recommend starting at $200 an hour. Many might think $200 an hour is steep, but it’s standard given the admin and external tasks involved.
I also suggest pitching clients on creating custom assets, like educational modules or templates, for their students. Pricing for these can vary. For instance, I initially charged $500 for a one-hour live lesson and a loose page outline. This led to three clients for a $3,000 service, making me realize the value of my offering. So now, for a core custom module with a template, starting at $2500 seems right for me.
With an hourly rate, how do you assure coaches about the total time needed, for budgeting purposes?
Most haven’t asked because the hours depend on their program’s activity. For instance, 10 students mean fewer billable hours than 30 students, so it works out to be affordable for them because of what payments are coming in for THEM.
If the coach you pitch IS asking you about total time to budget, then you could say, you know, ‘we can put a cap on hours.’ So I could only work, let’s say max five hours a month, but that means that past 5 hours, your students are not getting any more support.
How do you decide if you have the capacity to offer this?
Personally, I gauged my screen time and realized I could replace some non-productive time with coaching, which would be more profitable. I then considered the number of students in a program and what I’d be auditing. Over time, I developed a sense of how long tasks would take, but each program varies.
Did you have any coaching experience before starting copy coaching?
No, I hadn’t. While I’d written educational content, I hadn’t taught lessons on copywriting.
Is coaching a different skill set? Did you need to upskill for it?
Teaching itself wasn’t challenging because we’re sharing basic information with beginners. However, delivering effective feedback was an area to improve.
Initially, I only suggested changes without explaining. True coaching meant teaching them the reasoning behind the changes, so they could apply the knowledge later. It was a challenge to resist just giving answers and instead empower them to understand the “why” behind decisions.
Is there anything else you want to share?
I would just share that, quite honestly, adding copy coaching into my business has increased my revenue like I couldn’t believe. It’s brought in so much money from just not only the hourly rate, but also from the custom lessons and templates. It has given me so much breathing room in my business that I couldn’t have anticipated that at the start of this year. It is extremely lucrative and I definitely recommend going this route.
If you can find some people who you identify as needing your support in their programs, go for it.
Are you able to share what your actual revenue numbers are?
So, from coaching, $26,000 this year. And from the copy trainings and assets like I created, another $14,000. About $40,000 total that I’ve brought in this year, not including clients who found me through the programs.
Can you think of other examples of service providers who can easily do this, other than copywriters?
I’ve been in programs with graphic design coaches where they’re doing page design reviews, email marketing template reviews, social graphic reviews or creating social graphic templates. I’ve been in programs with Facebook ads managers who are doing back-end troubleshooting and reviews for students. I’ve been in there with Pinterest managers, sales coaches, etc. — literally the opportunities are endless.
Like I said, just make the case for yourself that you’re going to come in, add value to the coach, take time off their plate. Their students will get better results. So they get better testimonials, which means they sell their program so much freaking easier.
🎧 Listen to the full, unedited 30-minute interview with Jess, like an exclusive podcast ➡️ Click here to listen.
About Jess: Jess Haney write sales pages + launch emails that sell TF outta your group coaching program.
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