Jessica Kinsey is the founder of Prodigy Collective, a team of 8 experienced entrepreneurs, who empower entrepreneurs with one-on-one coaching. She has worked with entrepreneurs, start-ups, small businesses, and non-profits to redesign their competitive advantage and pursue a winning strategy.
In this exclusive interview, she talks to us about her journey from being a coach for entrepreneurs.
Tell us about your journey
My first experience coaching entrepreneurs was working with MBA students who were competing in a business plan competition in 2013.
I loved interacting with them, giving them guidance and direction, and seeing them bring their goals to life—even on paper. It was such a fulfilling experience; I knew I wanted to find a way to make it part of my career.
When I started full time in Prodigy & Co, I included both consulting and coaching packages in my offerings.
How did you choose your niche?
Entrepreneurship has always been my interest. I chose it and innovation as focus areas during my MBA and fell in love with how people can solve problems in creative ways and create businesses from those solutions.
I wanted to work with others doing the same thing.
People who were passionate about solving problems and perfecting their craft, but needed help with the business fundamentals. Entrepreneurs and business owners often are so busy running their business; they don’t have time to step back and assess larger goals or growth strategies.
What was your biggest challenge as a coach?
Putting a process in place for clients was hard for me. I was great at talking to people and providing ideas and guidance, but formalizing that into a repeatable process with objectives and outcomes for sessions was not something I had experience with before.
How did you get your first client?
Word of mouth referral through a co-working space where I work. All of my clients have been referrals so far.
Did you take any specific training to be a trainer?
A trainer needs to have an understanding of the topic area they are covering. The best training is more than just following a set curriculum. It includes stories and examples that connect with the audience. I did not have any specific training for facilitation or training.
How do you acquire clients?
I have a partnership with a local tech school that sponsors some of my small business workshops, which gets me in front of more clients – both for coaching and consulting. It allows them to get to know me and my style.
I also offer free creativity workshops quarterly at my co-working space to showcase the workshops to attendees. Both of these are open to the public, and I promote them via email marketing and social media.
My clients have come through these channels or word of mouth referrals.
What is your pricing methodology?
For corporate clients, my workshops start at a base rate for one hour and under ten attendees. I adjust upwards from there to accommodate more extended workshops or larger groups, as I often need an extra set of hands for larger groups.
For my training workshops related to small business topics, if I don’t have a sponsorship for the class, I charge a fee per student.
What are your revenue streams, as a coach?
The coaching portion of my business has two separate tracks currently. The first is a longer-term package (starting at three months going up to 12) that involves strategy development, goal setting, and regular meetings—biweekly or monthly— to assess progress. This track is coaching at its core but involves some consulting on the direction and plan as well.
The second is regularly scheduled accountability sessions (every 2, 4, 6 or 8 weeks) in which the client typically has goals they want to meet but is struggling to stay on track. They don’t need help with developing the strategy or goals; they just want someone to make sure they are making progress.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to become a coach?
Coaching is based on building relationships, being supportive, and holding people accountable. You have to be good with people and comfortable giving constructive feedback when people aren’t meeting their goals.
It is also different with every client. You have to be willing to get to know their personality and the best way you can motivate and engage them. It is not a one size fits all process.
Readers can connect with Jessica Kinsey on LinkedIn, here’s her profile.