Coaching Call with Voice Coach Adrian Goldner

Vocal coach and acapella group leader Adrian Goldner joined me on Ditching Hourly to brainstorm ways to package and price his expertise in more profitable ways.
Vocal coach and acapella group leader Adrian Goldner joined me on Ditching Hourly to brainstorm ways to package and price his expertise in more profitable ways. Unfortunately, I forgot to click the record button so I'll have to recap our conversation on my own. Whomp whomp :-(

Anyway...

Here's Adrian's background:

- He's a vocal coach, certified in something called the CVT method
- He runs an acapella choir group and makes a modest monthly income from membership dues and gig fee percentages
- He has a handful or private vocal students who are not pros and mostly just sing for fun
- He works a few hours per week teaching vocal lessons to students in a private university
- He prefers working with pros than with beginners, so the university gig and the lessons for hobbyists are not particularly satisfying

One of Adrian's biggest questions was how to take this patchwork of experiences and increase his fees through value pricing. He said that most buyer expectations for something like private vocal lessons is that the student would pay a fixed amount per lesson, and that the amount would be fairly low. He couldn't imagine justifying even doubling his lesson fees, never mind 10x-ing them.

We talked about a few different business models that might make sense for someone like him. He didn't want to scale by hiring employees or starting a school or anything like that. He wanted to stay solo, and remain fairly hands on with his clients.

So, the business model that felt like the best fit was the Authority Model. 

In general, the Authority Model has an MVP product ladder that looks something like this: 

- $50000+ Project (value priced custom engagement)
- $5000 Roadmap (diagnostic with recommendations and execution plan)
- $500 Call (one-off short paid consultation)

The trick to the Authority Model is that you have to become the “go-to” person for solving an expensive problem for a very specific niche market, who ideally has a high degree of buying power. 

Adrian couldn't really get his head around the idea of value pricing a 1-on-1 vocal project, so the example I used to illustrate was this:

Sting (former lead signer of the Police) can no longer hit the high notes in their smash hit Roxanne. So, he has to perform the song a couple of whole steps lower than the original. It's noticeable and it sounds weird. Kinda like a bad cover band. I betcha this drives Sting nuts.

So...

How much do you think Sting would pay to be able to go back to singing Roxanne in the original key?

$50,000? $100,000?

Maybe, maybe not... but it's a reasonable hypothesis.

If Adrian wanted to pursue this particular angle, his positioning would look something like:

“I am a vocal reconditioning coach who helps aging rock stars hit the high notes like they were 20 again.”

With a positioning statement like this, it would be easy to make a list of ideal clients, and it would be easy to justify five-figure fees.

The hard part would be creating a reputation for reliably delivering the kind of results that they crave. 

_ASIDE: Note that creating a reputation for delivering results is a _very different type of problem_ than trying to convince a singer in a local bar band to pay you $50,000 to increase their range by a fourth. A small increase in range simply isn't worth that much to a singer in a local bar band. So if you can't understand how value pricing could unlock huge profits for you, it might be because you're not imagining big enough clients._

At this point it occurred to me that there probably are people who are already well positioned as "vocal coach to the stars" so I started thinking about what would make Adrian different. The thing that jumped out at me immediately was his experience with vocal groups, not just individual singers.

This more focused target market immediately created a Rolodex moment for me with groups like Pentatonyx and BTS and Blackpink.

Maybe Adrian could even combine the "hit the high notes like you're 20 again" with "voice training for vocal groups" and start out with a laser focus like:

“I am a vocal reconditioning coach who helps old school boy/girl bands hit the high notes like they were 20 again. Unlike other vocal coaches, I specialize in the unique challenges of integrating multiple voices in harmony.”

Adrian lit up a bit at this proposition because he immediately felt uniquely qualified to excel at this very specific intersection of niche market and specialized expertise.

Is it a viable market position?

I don't know, but there are ways to find out.

As homework, I suggested that he research the number of groups who would fall into this niche, find out where they hang out to talk shop or who they listen to for advice, and to look for any other vocal coaches who serve the high end of the market to study what they're doing and how he (Adrian) would be considered meaningfully different by his ideal buyers.

He said he would try that and report back.

Keep your fingers crossed and stay tuned! I'll let you know if I get an update.

Coaching Call with Voice Coach Adrian Goldner
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