I see people saying they teach marketing to ‘coaches, consultants and therapists’ or something similar. Here’s the thing – they’re usually not talking about us. The kind of coaches that this type of marketing helps are the kind of coaches we are often mistaken for, the kind who coach in the way that sports coaches coach.
Our kind of coaches need specialist support because we have a problem that no other professional services provider has. The problem we have has two parts. One, no one understands what we do, and two, they think they do but they’re wrong. These are big challenges to overcome, and we tend to try to overcome them by describing the coaching process.
As you’ll be aware if you’ve ever tried it, the person on the receiving end of that description isn’t interested, much less inclined to pay you for the service you’re describing. It’s maddening, isn’t it? We have in our grasp a superpower that is strong enough to change the trajectory of someone’s life, and they’re not interested. Where on earth are you supposed to go from there?
Why Specialist Help Matters
Consultants and therapists don’t have this lack of understanding problem. People know what they do, and more importantly, they know if they need to engage the services of that kind of professional. With coaches, people don’t understand what we do, so why would they ever realise we can help them?
They won’t – it’s that simple.
If you want to build a coaching business, this problem means you must do one of two things. If you have had a long, successful career, you may be privileged enough to have monetisable credibility. What that means is that for you, networking is probably all the marketing you need. If I’m describing you, conversations with people who already hold you in high esteem are the perfect way to build your coaching business.
What about the other 80%?
If however, you belong to the other 80% of us (yes, it is the vast majority) who don’t have this kind of credibility, then having conversations with your network probably hasn’t worked for you. It can be frustrating and upsetting when those in our profession with this kind of credibility insist to the rest of us that conversations are all it takes to lead to coaching work and referrals. We know it doesn’t.
To be fair to these coaches, they don’t realise the privilege they have because our own privileges are hard for us to see. They don’t understand that most of us can’t do what they have done. They are so blind to their privilege that this article will make them feel cross – they think that they’ve worked hard to build their coaching business and what I’m saying seems to diminish that. I’m not trying to diminish their achievements at all, I’m simply shining a light on it. The 4/5 of us who don’t have their privilege can often feel ashamed that our best efforts aren’t yielding the results we hoped for and shame is reduced by bringing into the light.
Let me list some of the challenges that 4/5 of coaches have when building a coaching business.
- No one knows what we do
- They think they do, but they’re wrong
- Prominent and esteemed coaching professionals tell us that our coaching skills are all we need to build a coaching business
- We’ve tried using them to have conversations, but it just isn’t working for us
- We don’t know what else to do
- Marketing is a dirty word in the world of professional coaching, so we don’t want to think about it
- In the same way that no one knows what coaching is but they think they do and they’re wrong, coaches don’t know what marketing is, but they think they do and they’re wrong
I could go on, but I’m sure you’re beginning to understand the bigger picture here.
Specialist Marketing Training For Qualified Coaches
We at The Coaching Revolution specialise in teaching qualified coaches how to attract clients. We teach them comfortable, effective marketing techniques that result in ‘inbound enquiries’. An inbound enquiry is when someone approaches you. They ask if they might speak with you about what working with you looks like.
The kind of marketing we teach means no:
- cold calling
- sliding, uninvited, into people’s DMs
- nasty, pushy, grubby/grabby posts about how bloody wonderful you are
- breaking client confidentiality by bragging about your clients
- having to be everywhere, all at once
These are some of the things coaches tell me they’re worried about when they think of marketing. Fortunately, if they choose to learn how to market with us, they won’t need to do any of them.
Positives Of Good Marketing
What good marketing also means is that your marketing will
- demonstrate empathy for your potential client’s situation
- demonstrate knowledge and understanding of your potential client’s situation
- have a positive impact on your potential clients even if they never work with you
Doesn’t that sound more comfortable than you thought?
Back To Specialist Marketing Training For Coaches
Marketing training for consultants and therapists is far less nuanced than for qualified coaches. That means that consultants and therapists can talk about what they do, and people understand what they say; they don’t have the barriers to understanding that coaches have.
Everyone who teaches at The Coaching Revolution is marketing their coaching business. All our mentors have been through our training programme, learned and implemented that learning and grown thriving coaching businesses that keep them emotionally and financially fulfilled. The Coaching Revolutionaries teach from experience and lead by example.
We won’t tell you that your coaching skills are all you need because it’s not true. We will teach you what you need to do and support you while you do it. And you can gain an ICF-accredited Marketing Diploma for Coaches for most of our programmes (worth 18 x RD and 1 x Core Competency – ethics of course!)
Should we talk? Here’s my diary if you would like to schedule a conversation.