“What is the ONE action I can take that will have the biggest impact?”
I had a conversation with a coach recently. She told me where she is in her business. Where that is, is she’s got a reasonable income from associate work, but it’s starting to niggle. She’s doing the lion’s share of the work (as she sees it) and yet they’re getting the lions share of the money. “It’s suited me well so far” she said. “It’s just that I’m beginning to want something more. I’m beginning to want my own client base”.
We chatted about focus, target audiences and all the moving parts that make up an effective marketing strategy for a coach. She frowned quite a bit.
I asked her why she looked so worried. “I just don’t think I have time to do all those things” she said. “What I want to know is what is the ONE action I can take that will have the biggest impact?”
My Least Favourite Question
Let me tell you why that is my least favourite question.
What that question really means is this: Give me the shortcut. Tell me the silver bullet solution to building a vibrant, fulfilling coaching business.
Here’s the hard truth. There is no shortcut. Having a thriving coaching business is a privilege that’s afforded to those who work at it. It’s not easy. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s hard. Bloody hard. But it’s worth it. Man, it’s worth it.
Being able to generate your own income is one of the most freeing things in the world. Being able to generate your own income means that you’re free. It means that you have choices and choices, my friend, are what it’s all about.
So let me tell you what the ONE action you can take that will have the biggest impact. Learn how to market properly.
Marketing For Coaches Is A Specialist Thing
You can go to a generic marketing trainer and learn how to market, but the problem with this is that when you apply what you’ve learned, it won’t work for you. The reason it won’t work is that coaches have a problem that no other service provider has, particularly no other professional service provider. The problem is this: no one understands what coaching is. Let me add a whole other dimension to this problem: people think they understand, but they’re wrong!
I bet you’ve had conversations where you’ve said you’re a coach and the person you’re talking to has assumed that you mean that you teach something. Am I right? They define ‘coach’ as the equivalent of sports coach – someone who knows a lot about something and so will teach them how to improve. Let me tell you something – this doesn’t happen to other professional service providers!
Think about it. Doctor, dentist, architect, accountant, psychotherapist, physiotherapist…. I could go on. Everyone knows what they do. More importantly, people know if they need the services of one of them…. With coaches, people don’t know what we do, so they have no idea if they need our services.
Back to why generic marketing courses just don’t work for us. We are special – you know that of course! We have to market differently from others, because of the fact no one knows what we do. What that looks like is that we have to talk about outcomes. We have to find a target audience (or niche – they’re the same thing) who have a problem that coaching can resolve, and we have to figure out what that group of people aspire to instead of their current situation. Then we speak to that in our marketing.
Let’s Compare Coaching To Marketing
If someone asked you what one action could they take to move them closer to becoming a coach, what would you say?
- Read a book?
- Take a $7 course?
- Ask their friends what they think?
- Wing it?
Of course not! You’d tell them to take an accredited course.
The reason for that is that coaching is complex. If a novice were to watch a coaching conversation, they’d have no idea of the mental gymnastics that are going on inside the head of the coach. They’d think that the coach was just lucky with the questions they asked.
Marketing is the same.
So why then do we so often think that we can do any of those things when it comes to marketing? Marketing skills are a full HALF of the skills we need to build a coaching business, but somehow, we think we can fudge it. We think that learning how do market isn’t important – we can do it on the cheap, or not at all.\
That is why I hate that question.
One Action? One Thing?
There is no one thing. There are only all the things.
If you’d like a heads up – for free – can I offer you the opportunity to join me in January for my 4-day challenge?
- 4 days
- 4 tasks
- 1 massive mindset shift
Click here to join me on 8 January. Let’s start 2024 with a bang!