If you find yourself participating in yet another webinar about growing your coaching business, ask yourself this. Will what I’m learning take me any closer to getting my first – or next – paying client.

What Do You Mean Sarah?

I’m talking about the webinars and presentations that are offered by some of our august professional bodies, by coach training organisations and by leaders in our industry.

I love the wide variety of trainings that are offered. However, I have to question some of the topics and more specifically some of the marketing to go with those topics.

Let me give you an example. Last year a group of senior leaders ran a workshop on ‘discovering your niche’. The marketing that went with it was, in my opinion, shocking. It stated categorically that this one hour webinar would solve all your ‘how do I find my niche’ problems and that attending it would then give you enough knowledge to go away, find your niche and instantly get loads of inbound enquiries that would mean you had so much more free time that you’d finally be able to prioritise your own wellbeing.

This was run by very significant leaders. People who coaches would know. Ones from current or past leadership teams. People that would be believed….

Yet what they were saying simply isn’t true.

Perhaps They Think It’s True?

There is of course the possibility that they believed the marketing that was put out. I’m pretty certain that they didn’t write it but that it was written by the organisation to which they belong.

The thing is, no matter who wrote it, it’s not true and it’s not fair to imply – in fact state outright – that it is true. Coaches who attend the webinar would no doubt get enough of an insight to realise why they need a niche and possibly enough of a steer to start to craft one, but finding a niche is the first of very many steps that a coach needs to take to build a financially viable coaching business. What they wouldn’t get was the countless inbound enquiries and all this oodles of free time as a result.

And they’d think they’d failed when they didn’t. They would hear all these successful coaches from XXX organisation say that all they needed to do was find a niche, that they did what was asked of them in the webinar, and they still haven’t got these inbound enquiries! Failed again!

The Crucial Questions For Webinars

For me, the crucial questions have to be these:

  • Will attending this webinar get me my next client?
  • Is it likely that one webinar could give me this?
  • If the marketing promises unlimited bounties from a single webinar, is it likely to be true?
  • If one webinar was all it takes, why do so many coaches fail?

I Believe In Education

Let me state for the record that I absolutely believe in educating coaches. Once they have learned the delivery side of their business – the coaching skills – they need to learn the other skillset they need and that’s marketing skills. They need both to succeed. No ifs, no buts, they need both to build a financially viable coaching business.

I also believe that the marketing for this second skillset education – particularly when it’s delivered by our professional bodies – needs to be truthful in describing the outcomes that coaches can reasonably expect. We expect the marketing around education for our core skills – the coaching ones – to be truthful don’t we?

I’d appreciate your thoughts?