I know a book coach. She’s lovely.
She’s a qualified coach who is also a published author and she combines these two skills in her work as a book coach.
Her work involves some teaching and some coaching. She teaches potential authors what they need to know to be able to write a book, then coaches them over the obstacles in their head to actually writing one.
She charges a lot of money for her services. Sells a ‘premium product’ at way over £10,000.
She has a good number of clients, who all write and publish books. They do really well.
And this coach is afraid.
She’s afraid that someone will swoop in and steal her ideas. That they will take the one big secret that she holds dear and use it better than she can and that her business will die.
I asked her what on earth this secret could possibly be and you know what? She wouldn’t tell me. “If I tell you” she said “You can become a book coach too and steal my clients”. The fact that I have absolutely no desire to become a book coach seemed to have never occurred to her.
I Can’t Share My Secret
This coach was offered the opportunity to deliver a webinar to a huge group of people who fit the profile of her perfect client. She declined this opportunity – and several others like it – because she didn’t feel that she could give away her secret to people who weren’t paying her.
I was stunned.
Why on earth wouldn’t this woman be delighted at the opportunity? To share her knowledge and experience of publishing books to those who are most likely to want to then engage her services?
“If I tell them my secret” she said, “they’ll be able to go away and publish a book without my help!”
Give It All Away
You cannot give too much away. If that was possible, then every business book that was ever written would be all any of us needed to succeed.
In giving away her secret, what this book coach would do is establish herself as an authority in her field. She would have clearly demonstrated that she knows her stuff.
Yes, some individuals might be able to take what she taught them, apply it correctly and publish a book without her support. They are in the minority. If they are the kind of human that can take taught information, apply it and succeed then bloody good luck to them. Because (and this is the crux of it) they would never be her clients anyway!
Most people understand what they have to do, it’s the actual doing it that causes them consternation. Understanding something intellectually and actually implementing that thing, are two different things. People pay for support with the implementation, as most knowledge is freely available all over the internet.
Don’t Be Afraid
You don’t need to be afraid that someone might steal your ideas. Your ideas are almost certainly not unique and are therefore available elsewhere. Your clients will pay you to support them in implementation, or to change their behaviour, or whatever your area of coaching expertise does for your clients.
When I wrote my book, A Coaching Business In A Book, I gave away every single thing that I knew at the time about marketing a coaching business.
All of it.
Rather than reduce the number of enquiries I receive from coaches, it has done the absolute opposite. In fact, almost all the coaches that I speak to nowadays has read the book.
There may well be coaches who have read the book, downloaded the worksheets and have started to generate inbound enquiries from that work. You know what? I’m delighted if that’s the case! I’m thrilled that I could be of such use to them. The reason I’m not worried about that is because (and I know I’m repeating myself here) they would never have become my client anyway!
These coaches used my knowlegde and experience as stepping stones to their own success and I am delighted about that.
Give Freely And Establish Yourself As An Authority In Your Niche
In giving away your knowledge and experience, you start to establish yourself as an authority on your chosen topic. Your target audience (your niche) will start to notice you and begin to understand that you are the expert in the thing that they want to know more about.
People pay experts to provide structure, process and/or a framework in which they can apply and implement what they know intellectually.
Knowing something and being able to act on it, are two different things. This is where coaching comes in. We can help these clients to get knowledge from inside their heads and bring it into the real world, where they can use it to improve their lives.
Giving away content (ie knowledge and experience) gives you credibility and kudos. It isn’t something to be afraid of, it’s something to wholeheartedly embrace.