Not everyone wants to throw caution to the wind, to give up the day job (remove the safety net is how I’ve heard it described) and go all-in – make or break – to build a coaching business.
And that’s ok.
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. A part-time coaching business, coaching just a few people a month to supplement your income, is a perfectly valid way of working as a coach. In fact, in this cost-of-living crisis, it’s a good way of leveraging your skills and experience to supplement your income.
From my perspective, as someone who teaches marketing skills to qualified coaches, marketing a part-time coaching business is no different to marketing a full-time coaching business. The difference is the fact that the part-time coach will be in a position to start a waiting list much earlier than a full-time coach (or a ‘wait list’ as people seem to be referring to them these days – honestly, even the fact that I feel compelled to write this makes me realise just how old I am!).
The thing about marketing is that you’re either marketing, or you’re not. Marketing means that you become visible to the kind of people that you want to work with.
Here’s the rub – you have to stay visible too. If you don’t, they’ll forget you and you don’t want your hard-won visibility to disappear without a trace.
One of the things that our most successful coaches say is that if you keep going with your marketing – it works. Some of them say that prior to joining us, they had done some marketing for a couple of months and got disheartened because it ‘wasn’t working’.
So they stopped – and failed.
Here’s another rub – you mustn’t stop. Marketing is about many things. It’s about the right target audience, the right message in the right place, definitely, but it’s also about consistency. The stickability that we prize so highly in our clients is something that we need a big dollop of in our marketing too. It matters not whether you want a few clients or a full case-load, the marketing effort is the same.
The Good News
Marketing doesn’t have to be painful. It doesn’t have to be arduous either. It just has to be there. If it’s not there, the audience that you’ve grown during the time you were marketing will simply disappear. They don’t sit around waiting for you.
The best news is that good marketing is both effective and comfortable. It’s not shouty, or braggy, it’s just there. It’s there consistently and it works. It creates a steady flow of inbound enquiries, which you turn into paying clients. Perhaps some of them will be added to a waiting list, pay a deposit and become clients in the future. What a privileged position to find oneself in for a coach!
The fact is that if you want to build a coaching business, you need to market. If you’re fortunate enough to have a little black book of contacts with whom you already have established your credibility during your career, you’ve got a head start. Your marketing can be conversations with people who know you and are in a position to engage you.
If you don’t have this little black book of contacts, then you need to market in a more visible way. And you have to continue to market for the whole time you have a business (whether it’s a full-time or part-time business).
Perhaps the thing that coaches find most surprising is how enjoyable marketing is once they know what to do!
Whether you are planning on working as a coach part-time or full-time, book a conversation with me and let’s discuss your goals.