Yes! You can be a good coach and a good marketer (This is the complete answer and the shortest article I’ve ever written!)
Seriously though, there is some utter nonsense floating around in the shape of the beliefs of some coaches around what marketing is and what it isn’t.
What Good Marketing ISN’T
- Boasting (although an important caveat here is that it’s not boasting if it’s true)
- Being pushy
- Yelling ‘buy my stuff‘ as loud as you can
- A fancy job title
What Good Marketing IS
- Clear articulation of the outcome that a client can expect from working with you
- Carefully planned
- Visible where it can be seen by the intended recipients
- Using the client’s own language, not coach-speak
- Storytelling – the client’s story, not yours
The Issue That Caused Me To Write This List
Many coaches talk about the ‘sleazy marketing’ that coaches use. Including some coaches with very credible academic qualifications. Further to this, they talk about the ‘increasing concern they and their fellow qualified coaches’ feel about the ‘grubby self-aggrandising that goes on’ when coaches market their businesses.
I have no idea what they’re seeing, to be honest. What I see are either coaches who are very poor marketers. Those who talk endlessly about how fabulous the coaching process is. Or those who are good marketers. The ones who talk about the kinds of outcomes that the specific kind of client they work with can expect to get from coaching.
I don’t see the grubbiness and the self-aggrandising at all.
These august coaching educators also talk about how coaches are ‘far more interested in their fledgling businesses than they are in upping their game on the professional skill development side of their businesses’.
In my experience, I often come across massively qualified (overqualified?) coaches who have piled more and more qualifications onto the delivery side of their businesses. They do this in the hope that they can find clients. On the contrary to these coaches, in my almost 5 years of speaking to many coaches each week, I have never, literally never, come across a qualified coach who isn’t interested in keeping their coaching skills honed with additional professional development.
This has to beg the question; are these people seeing something I’m not, or are they simply utterly uneducated when it comes to what marketing is and what it isn’t?
I’m really interested in what you think – drop your thoughts in the comments please?