I have a public Facebook Group called Build A Coaching Business with The Coaching Revolution.

In it I asked this question:

Text saying "what's one thing you wish you'd known when you started coaching?"

There were some interesting answers and one stuck in my mind.

The answer that got me thinking was this: No-one appreciates the value of coaching until they experience it.

This is something that I was told when I trained as a coach. It’s something I hear often from coaches who are just starting out in their businesses and it’s pervasive.

However, just because it’s pervasive doesn’t mean it’s true.

Coach Marketing Myth Buster

The Myth: We are taught to deliver discovery sessions as one part of a two-part marketing strategy. The thinking goes that if someone experiences coaching then they can see the value of it and so will want to work with you. This can be a way of engaging the occasional client, but if it’s the only tool you have in your marketing tool box you’re going to run out of time, energy and momentum long before you have enough clients to live off the income you generate.

The second part is to network, in order to find people to offer discovery sessions to. This adds cost into the mix. Non-strategic networking is expensive and not very productive.

The Truth: The idea that the reason no-one appreciates the value of coaching is because they haven’t experienced it is not true.

No one understands the value of coaching because they have no idea what coaching is.

Worse still is that they think they do and they’re wrong.

Who Does Understand The Value Of Coaching?

As recently as last week I spoke with a coach who said they built their coaching business from their contacts. Apparently, they simply emailed their contacts and picked up more than 20 clients straight away, “and the rest came by referral”.

This is the truth for a fraction of people who train to be coaches.

The fraction (which is less than 20%) who are able to build businesses by coaching their contacts are those who have contacts who a) understand what coaching is and b) already know like and trust the person who has now trained to be a coach.

It’s actually pretty obvious really isn’t it? If your contacts are people in corporate who are at a level that means they know what coaching is, and they know, like and trust you, why wouldn’t they buy coaching from you?

But (and it’s a big but, an 80%-sized but) not everyone has that kind of contact.

Who’s Prospering?

A well-known coach said that if we lift up our eyes and look around, we can see all the coaching clients that we’ll ever need.

As one of our more down-to-earth mentors remarked about this “that rather depends whether you’re standing in Waitrose or Lidl!”.

Many coaches have not thrived using this method to build their businesses. We’ve had several clients who have worked with acolytes of this coach before they came to us. The fact that they did come to us tells you everything you need to know about their previous success.


One’s own privilege is usually invisible to us and being able to use this this ’email your contacts’ way of building a coaching business is a huge privilege. I’m not suggesting that these coaches haven’t worked hard to develop such useful contacts, but it is important that we remember that not everyone has such an impressive little black book.

Pragmatic Client Acquisition

So what do we do if we don’t have such a useful list of contacts?

We learn how to communicate with potential clients in such a way that they recognise themselves in what we say.

We choose a focus for this communication so that the right people hear us.

This method of client acquisition is called attraction marketing because it literally attracts clients to us. They recognise themselves, and the thing they’re struggling with in what we’re saying and they want to understand what working with you to resolve their problems looks like.

It’s what we teach at The Coaching Revolution and right now we’re gearing up to run another of our 4-Day Nail Your Niche Challenge. In these four days, coaches learn:

  • what a niche is (and what it isn’t!)
  • how to choose the perfect niche for themselves
  • how to articulate what coaches do, without trying to describe the coaching process
  • how to avoid niches that aren’t profitable
  • and much, much more….

We even have coach-focused prizes. Our top prize is 5 x coaching supervision sessions, which is great prize.

Best of all, the challenge is fun! As one of our previous coach participants said:

This is more helpful than 99% of the gajillions of courses and masterclasses I’ve signed up for over the years!

To join us, click here.