I speak to a lot of coaches; an awful lot of coaches. We talk about their aspirations, their frustrations and their confusing list of coaching priorities.
This blog post is going to look at coaching priorities. Specifically, it’s going to look at what coaches tell me they need, versus what I believe they really need (and why!).
Websites are very handy. They are a great place to host your blog, put your contact details and display information about what you do and who you do it for.
Websites are also black holes and as such, they shouldn’t be on your list of coaching priorities. They can suck all available resources (think time, energy and enthusiasm as well as financial resources). If you’re not a techie, crafting your own website, even if you use one of those whizzy new platforms, takes a monstrous amount of time and energy. If you decide to pay someone to create your website for you, costs can run into serious money if you’re not careful.
Is a website essential in order to run a financially viable coaching business? No. Absolutely not.
Why not, I hear you ask…
Well, there are other ways of having a digital footprint. For example, LinkedIn can be used in place of a website for the things mentioned above. You want to share contact details? No problem you can on LinkedIn. You want to write a blog? No problem (you’re reading one, for example). You want to describe what you do and for whom? You have a fabulous space called ‘the summary’ to do just that.
Websites are nice to have, but they’re not essential when what you really need are paying clients.
A Beautiful Logo
Beautiful logos fit firmly in the ‘luxury’ category for new coaches. They can be very time-consuming to design, even though that time can be very pleasurable. However, it shouldn’t even feature on your list of coaching priorities.
If you’re going to do without a website in the short-term, you can definitely do without spending lots of money on having the perfect logo developed, or lots of time on developing it yourself. Wait and get some money in your business account before you splash out.
Beautiful logos are nice to have, but they’re not essential when what you really need is paying clients.
You will find business cards useful, but I promise you, they need only have your basic contact information on them. Spending a fortune on them is unnecessary.
Coaches I have spoken to have told me that they can’t get business cards yet, because they don’t have a) their logo or b) their website ready.
If you heed my advice on the logo and website, then you’re free to get some simple business cards. Let’s face it, people want the information on your card, not the card itself. It may feel lovely to have a gorgeous creation of a business card, but honestly, it ends up in the recycling with all the others, so why go to the expense at the beginning?
A Limited Company
A surprising number of coaches think that they need a limited company in order to coach. There are reasons why you might want a limited company, but you certainly don’t need one in order to coach.
What You REALLY Need…
Clients and a coaching qualification are your minimum requirements in order to coach. These should be your coaching priorities.
I’ve talked to coaches who, they tell me have coaching businesses that are only a year or two old; “I’m still quite new to coaching and I haven’t got any clients yet”.
Let me make something plain. If you don’t have clients, you don’t have a business. It’s that simple. A website, beautiful logo and business cards or not, no clients = no business. If you really want a business, then you need to change something. Two years is a long time to be in business without having any clients.
I feel so strongly about this that I (along with others) set up The Coaching Revolution. Having a mentor is the best way to shorten the journey to success. A good mentor will help you to navigate the pitfalls that other (non-mentored) coaches fall into. If you’re wondering what they are, we have a podcast that is specifically about things we wish we’d known when we set off.
A good mentor will allow you to learn from their mistakes, so that you don’t have to make them yourself. They will help you create potential opportunities and then to look at them from an experienced – rather than simply hopeful – perspective.
If you’re a coach and you’ve read this and still think you need a website, a logo and flashy business cards, good luck.
If you’d like a mentor and some paying clients, why not book a call?