A sad truth in the coaching industry is that fewer than 1 in 5 coaches succeed. By succeed, I mean very specifically, succeed in creating a coaching business that can sustain them financially.

1 in 5 is a very small number. Worse, there are 4 out of 5 who fail to thrive – that’s a big number. It’s too big.

Why Do Coaches Fail?

Coaches don’t fail because they’re lousy coaches, although sadly, they often end up believing that they must be. Coaches fail, because they simply don’t know how to market their coaching services properly. They don’t know the process, or understand what consistency means. That’s it. It’s the only reason.

Why don’t coaches know how to market their services? Because no one has taught them how to. It’s that simple. Even if we’ve done a module on business development within our coach training, it’s not enough (and not actually useful in some cases!).

It seems mental doesn’t it? Most of us have an innate sense of how marketing works. We just know that if we offer our services to enough people then the odds are in our favour of some of them saying yes and wanting to become our paying clients. There is a sense of us simply having to cast our net wide. That’s what our intuition tells us.

And yet…. Our intuition is wrong.

Casting your net wide guarantees only one thing. You’ll become one of the 4 in 5 who fail to thrive.

Why Focus Matters

The absolute opposite of casting your net wide is actually what works best. As a coach, marketing your services you need to focus in on a particular kind of client, with a particular problem that your coaching can help them to solve. The more pressing that problem, the more value to solution has to the problem-holder. The higher the value that solution has, the higher the fee you can charge.

Once this person becomes your client, you’ll coach them in all areas of their lives, but until they do, in order to become one of the 1 in 5,  you need to become known as the coach who does one thing, for one kind of client.

The beauty of this business development model is that a) it works, b) you get to choose the kind of client and the problem and c) no one else will be operating within your micro-niche, which means you’ll have little by way of competition from other coaches.

Having Meaningful Conversations

I belong to lots of coaching groups. Those groups contain many new coaches and those new coaches often ask how they should go about finding paying clients. It fascinates me how many existing coaches recommend that the new coach simply has ‘meaningful conversations’ with as many people as possible. As a way of practising interaction, that’s great. As a marketing strategy, it’s really, really poor.

I’m going to be controversial here. A book that everyone raves about, that I don’t, is The Prosperous Coach. The reason I don’t rave about it is because it teaches coaches that having deeply meaningful conversation and ‘powerfully serving’ everyone/anyone is the best way to get clients. In one of the chapters it refers to someone experiencing this powerful serving and then coming back in a couple of years to engage the coach. That’s great if you can survive the intervening couple of years! I have never been in a position to deploy a marketing strategy that results in client 24 months from now, but nothing today.

Most coaches need to earn a living, and they’d like to earn it from coaching. They’d particularly like to have coaching as their main income provider, not the side-hustle that it is for so many.

Do As You’re Told

This article title says that if you do as you’re told, you can be that 1:5 coach. The successful one. Let me explain why I say that.

The vast majority of coaches don’t know how to market themselves. The 4:5 failure rate clearly demonstrates that.

There are coaches out there who offer to coach others to create successful businesses, but I have rarely spoken to a coach who has found this process successful – and I speak to a lot of coaches. The reason that you can’t be coached to success, is that there is a knowledge gap, a very specific knowledge gap; a big one. You can’t be coached into filling that gap.

The knowledge gap is the marketing process. Make no mistake, it is a process, not an event. Marketing is something that has to be consistent in terms of both visibility and message.

There are several marketing processes that coaches can implement. I can only talk about ours. What we teach works. We’ve proved it over and over, and all over the world. If you learn our process, and then implement it in the way that you have been taught, you will succeed. It’s really that simple. That’s what I mean by doing as you’re told. Learn the process, and implement it as instructed.

Several of our coaches have expressed massive relief when they realised that they simply have to follow a process. They were worried that marketing was something mystical, or worse – grubby – and that they were going to have to spend their days trying to force people to buy coaching. Or trick them into it. Or some other such horror.

Thankfully, that’s just not true!

Are you looking to learn about our business development process? a good place to start is with our book A Coaching Business In A Book.

If you are looking for faster results, perhaps our mentoring might be more appropriate?

If you’d like to book a chat with me to see if we’re a good fit for each other, click here, and click ‘get started’.