Okay, sorry for the strong language, but it had to be said: some nice coaches look like, well you know, on social media. Don't be that coach.
Example. A couple of years ago, I wanted to work with a new coach and was considering one who had a great reputation. I was about to call him when he posted about a big breakthrough he had with a client, only he made it sound like it was HIS success, rather then the client's. Yuk. I never called. I actually think he's probably a great guy and a great coach, but he keeps posting stuff like that and I can't bring myself to work with him. Here's the thing: his fans probably forgive him, because they KNOW he's great. The rest of us aren't so sure.
Do you know how many coaching clients you've lost because you posted something dumb on social media? Me either, but I hope it's a really small number. To save us all from ourselves, I've compiled a top ten list on how to look like a douche on social media.
Top Ten Ways to Look Like a Douche on Social Media:
- Always post about yourself and your business.
- Quote yourself on social media.
- Brag about how successful your business is.
- Brag about how good you are at what you do.
- Shoot down others when they're being brilliant.
- Brag about the great work you did with a client.
- Complain about your "bad" clients.
- Always one-up others in the brilliance department.
- Never admit your weaknesses.
- Aggressively hawk your business on social media.
I've probably committed a couple of these boo-boos myself. But I really try not to. You?
Oh and I considered writing a separate post on How to Be Irresistibly Attractive on Social Media, but anybody could write it, because all you need is to flip the foregoing over. So to save you the paperwork, here it is:
Top Ten Ways to Be Irresistibly Attractive on Social Media:
- Post or re-share more about others than yourself.
- Say smart things now and then, but save the honor of quotes for others.
- Talk about other businesses you love.
- Talk about how good others are at what they do.
- Like or Fav the brilliance of others.
- Talk about how brilliant your clients are.
- Acknowledge how fortunate you are to have great clients.
- Add your brilliance to conversations, but don't compete.
- Be a little self-deprecating now and then, preferably with humor.
- Share your business with those who are curious (and they will be).
See a pattern here? Although people love great content, everybody likes to be appreciated and nobody likes a pompous know-it-all. Social media marketing is for creating new relationships with people who aren't already your fans. Each item your post could be a future client's first experience of you. Make it stellar.
All that's needed is to put your ego aside for a moment.
If you're new or unsure about social media marketing for your coaching business, download the Essential Guide to Social Media Marketing.
If you'd like a lot more helpful information like this, join the Coach 100 Business Success Program, or even just play the Coach 100 Full Practice Game.
Coaches are asking to see the video of Top Ten Secrets to Making a Living as a Life Coach. Okay, here it is. Click the image below, register with your name and email and download the video to your device. It's a safe download. Have fun!
The last post on this blog was, What Does it Take to Become a Top (Business or Life) Coach?
It sparked quite a stir and a lot has happened since.
- The post inspired a Q&A class titled, Top Ten Secrets to Making a Living as a Life Coach, which sold out in minutes, so we had to get a bigger webinar platform to accomodate all the coaches who wanted to attend.
- The class inspired a new Coach 100 Full Practice GAME, with both a free version for everybody and an elite version for members of Coach 100 Premium. Tagline: "Everybody wins when you coach more clients, because coaching is changing the world!"
- The GAME inspired a new blog aptly named the Coach 100 Full Practice GAME Blog, where game players can keep up-to-date, share their experiences, and support each other's success. Plus the game is also broadcast on our Facebook Page for coaches who prefer to play there. This is a social game. It's about winning by supporting others - the best way to succeed as a coach.
- The class and game inspired a new series of 10 monthly Q&A webinars that go into deep detail on the Top Ten Secrets to help players succeed more easily/quickly. These live classes will be included for Coach 100 members, at no extra charge, and non-member will be able to join for $20 per class.
- Players are already diving into the game. Are you one of them? If you'd like to join the elite version, go here to learn about Coach 100 Premium. If you'd prefer to play the free version, subscribe to the Coach 100 Full Practice GAME Blog here.
You gotta be in it to win it. Get in the GAME:
A new coach told me recently that she thought coaching is probably like most professions: 20% of coaches get 80% of the clients. And yes, she may be correct. According to my research, only about 20% of coaches are really thrilled with their businesses. Obviously, if you're going to become a business or life coach, you want to be one of the top 20%.
So what does it take to get to the top 20% of business and life coaches?
Some marketing and sales gurus will offer you "shortcuts" to coaching glory via fancy business models, affiliate programs, slick sales techniques, or complex technological solutions.
But you're a person of integrity. Don't you first want to have something of value to sell?
Because the most successful coaches I know are also the most effective coaches. They didn't get that way by marketing. They took consistent targeted action over time to become masterful coaches and developed their sales and marketing acumen along the way. Sales and marketing are most effective when you have a fabulous service offering, such as master coaching.
So what is master coaching? The ICF and IAC have defined what it takes to get master-level certification, but their requirements are different. And arguably the world's first coach,Tony Robbins, probably can't pass either the IAC's or ICF's certification. But no one argues with his success - or his mastery.
And then there's Thomas Leonard, who founded both the ICF and IAC. His definition of mastery has nothing to do with certification. He said mastery is when you innovate your profession, grow the boundaries, so to speak.
Malcolm Gladwell made famous the 10,000 hours rule that says to master anything, you need to put in about 10,000 hours of practice. For many experts, this translates into ten years or more. Hours and years alone, though, aren't enough. You need to be actively learning throughout. That's the key.
Pablo Casals was once asked why he still practiced the cello in his nineties. He said, "I'm making progress."
So do you want to know what it takes to become a master business or life coach?
- Learn the most effective coaching skills. This may sound obvious, but a surprising number of people skip this step and just announce they are coaches. Few, if any, succeed.
- Learn what is not coaching. Confusing your service offerings makes each offering less effective for your client.
- Practice. Then practice some more. Then keep practicing.
- Get expert feedback on your coaching. Otherwise, you likely are practicing - and hardwiring - your mistakes.
- Develop your personal awareness. Discover your most important values, needs, and strengths. Use them to create an amazing life. Step into your Greatness. That's so attractive.
- Let your free or low-fee clients train you. Their success or lack of it will help prepare you for high-fee clients.
- Ask your happiest clients to refer more clients. They'll be glad to help.
- Hang out with successful coaches. You become who you hang out with.
- Get your own coach(es). It's enlightening to be on the receiving end of coaching.
- Have a vision for your coaching that focuses you and pulls you forward. If you feel overwhelmed or crazy-excited, you're not there yet.
- Become a leader in your profession. The leaders tend to become the most successful, even if they didn't start that way.
- Keep up-to-date with new research. Intuition offers awareness; science offers precision. At the top, the differences that make all the difference are tiny.
- Become marketing and sales savvy. They're important, but great coaching ability is your foundation. It takes time to get all three up to speed.
- Have an alternate income source until you make it. A part-time job takes way less time and energy than worrying about money.
- Love yourself, your life, and your clients. Wherever you are is perfect, right now. With a good plan and consistent effort, you can improve on perfection.
Of course, everything we offer at School of Coaching Mastery is designed to help you step into the Top 20% of all coaches. But because practice is so critically important to mastery, we're upgrading our signature Master Coach Training to allow for more live practice and expert feedback.
This September, we're introducing the 'flipped classroom' a la Khan Academy for our Master Coach Training Program. We offer a wealth of MCT recorded classes on a multitude of effective coaching skills that coaches can listen to/watch prior to live classes. The live classes are then reserved for Q&A and live coaching demos, practice, feedback, and 'coach the coach'. This allows everyone more flexibility in scheduling, attendance, learning and PRACTICE. And yes, you can become certified by joining this program (Which is included in many of our longer coach-training programs).
We want you to become a master coach faster and step into the Top 20%.
Coaches are often confused when first designing their businesses - and sometimes they feel guilty too! Maybe they think they're spending too little time with the kids, or bringing in too little money. Or maybe the house isn't as clean as it used to be, or key members of family aren't fully on board.
Relax: you're normal!
This infographic from My Corporation will help you see how you compare with other small business owners:
New to the business of coaching, but want to attract clients quickly? Coach 100 has been helping coaches fill their coaching practices for a decade:
The other day, a friend of mine tagged me in her comments on Facebook about a blog post on how life coaches shouldn't quit their day jobs, because you just can't make a living as a life coach.
I half-read the blog post (I know, I "should" have read the whole thing, but I didn't) and commented on how interesting it was that coaches who have trouble making it as life coaches often conclude that nobody can make it as a coach (what I didn't say was that kind of negative generalization can stop anybody from succeeding at anything). Obviously, life coaches are making it or the profession wouldn't continue to grow like an out-of-control wild fire.
It turned out the blog post was really about a marketing program the writer was trying to sell to life coaches. That's an age-old approach to making money: convince someone they have a problem, then sell them the solution. Fortunately, there are ways to attract paying clients that don't involved cutting them off at the knees, like this. Along with everything else, marketing and sales have evolved.
The real question here is can YOU make a living as a life coach?
That of course, depends on you. Everybody dreams of being their own boss, but not everybody is comfortable with it. In fact, there's an age-old joke amongst entrepreneurs, that we're all working for lunatics (Oops! There's another generalization).
To get a customized answer to that question (because only a customized answer will do for that question), you may want to work with your own coach. Find out what it took for them. Then have them help you find out if you really want it and if you have what it takes.
Here's a secret: it's more about working at it and learning from your mistakes than it is about a magic set of talents.
If you'd like to learn more secrets on how to make a living as a life coach, join the one-time-only class below. Readers of this blog get in for free with this discount code: MakeIt714
Positive psychology research is clear: when you embrace positivity, stay curious, are forgiving, learn from mistakes, feel grateful, look for what's right rather than what's wrong; you will be happier and more successful.
Which will you choose?
Learn to become a positive psychology coach:
Definition of Coaching:
School of Coaching Mastery (SCM) definition of coaching: Coaching is a customized conversation that empowers the client to get what s/he wants by thinking and acting more resourcefully.
International Coach Federation (ICF) definition of coaching: Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential
Whether you call it life coaching, executive coaching, or business coaching, the profession of coaching is the byproduct of a new paradigm in human development. Scientists, philosophers and regular people are asking questions about life, such as, “How can people reach their full potential and enjoy greater happiness and success?”
As a result, new possibilities are opening up for many of us. In a very real sense, new questions create new realities and new realities lead to new opportunities for our happiness, success and fulfillment. Coaching is all about asking those new questions.
This new approach is empowering, but because it is new, people often have trouble understanding what it means. For this reason, sometimes it’s helpful to explore what coaching is not.
Coaching is not the same as counseling or psychotherapy, professions which evolved out of the disease model of traditional psychology. Clients generally seek out therapy or counseling when they are distressed by a problem and may need to heal.
Clients seek coaches when their lives are already okay, but they want to be even better. Coaching assumes clients are already “whole, complete and perfect” and are capable of making empowering choices. Having a skilled coach who believes in them, can help clients grow, act resourcefully, reach their goals and discover their greatness. Healing from a disease or problem is never the central focus of coaching.
One way to think of the distinction between psychotherapy and coaching is their relationship to health. Therapy takes a client from an unhealthy or negative state ( - ) and brings them up to a healthy or neutral state ( 0 ). While coaching begins at that neutral state and moves the client toward their full potential or positive state ( + ).
Coaching is also not consulting. A consultant is an expert in a particular field who assesses a client’s situation in relation to that field and makes recommendations on what to do to improve the situation.
A coach generally assists clients to assess their own situations and think - and act - more resourcefully about how to improve them. In other words, a coach helps the client to grow so they can reach their own goals independently, now and in the future, rather than become dependent upon an expert for help. Most consultants also do some coaching and most coaches also do a small amount of advising, so these professions are often confused, but generally, coaches help their clients be their best, while consultants advise clients on what to do.
Because coaching is popular and not regulated, people who are not coaches sometimes call themselves coaches. The following services are not coaching: consulting, training, seminar leading, counseling, therapy, internet marketing, selling, bill collecting; or offering advice on financial or legal matters, health issues, or religious teachings. Be suspicious of anyone who calls himself a coach, but who offers services in any of the foregoing areas.
Sometimes people who are unqualified to be licensed in a regulated profession will call themselves coaches to get around legal requirements. This is not only unethical, it is a red flag that the person is unqualified in that area.
Become a qualified coach and get certified:
Photo by Elan Sun Star
One of the free services that School of Coaching Mastery offers to coaches is our free study groups, which are hosted by SCM coach members. Our newest study group, the Positive Psychology Coach Study Group is about to launch with Strengths-Based Business Coach, Nancy McCabe, CCC. Nancy is an awesome model of positivity and she happens to be a member of our Certified Positive Psychology Coach Program. Learn more about Nancy here.
Why would you want to join the Positive Psychology Coach Study Group?
How can you join the Positive Psychology Coach Study Group?
Go here to join the free Positive Psychology Coach Study Group
You'll be sent directions on how to register for the specific study-group webinar sessions you want to attend
If you need to miss a session that you've registered for, please UN-register in advance, using a link provided in your confirmation email
REGISTER ASAP, BECAUSE SEATING IS LIMITED
Join the Positive Psychology Coach Study Group below:
Master coaches have learned many concepts and communication skills that make a dramatic difference to their coaching clients.
But as with many endeavors, the 80/20 rule applies in coaching. That is, about 80% of the value is created by approximately 20% of the effort. The secret is to learn which 20% makes the difference.
So here's part of that secret: connect your client's goals to what matters most to your client, i.e. their values, their calling, their life purpose, or the legacy they want to leave. A powerful "why" generates resourceful "hows".
The result? Coaching is much easier for the coach and much more powerful for the client.
Learn to coach masterfully:
When I was a coaching student, my classmates and I were told it was okay to practice coaching even before we graduated, because "Coaching can't hurt anyone."
But the Elliot Rodger massacre counters that advice with a stark reality: "Coaching" doesn't cure mental illness, but it can and does hurt people when delivered by unknowledgeable or unscrupulous "coaches". Sometimes in spectacular ways.
The thinking behind the advice I got in coaching school was that coaches don't work with vulnerable populations, or in crisis situations, and that our clients are high-functioners who are responsible for their own choices. If the coach is ethical and is getting good training, and the client isn't mentally ill, then this theory works well. By the way, this is also why coaching isn't a regulated profession.
Coaching is unregulated, so buyers must be extra careful.
Reportedly, Rodger's parents did everything they could to give him a good upbringing and tried to help him with his emotional problems by getting him therapists and life coaches. He doesn't sound at all like a high-functioner to me, so most likely he was never a good candidate for coaching. His obsession with his perceived victimhood suggests something seriously wrong.
That doesn't necessarily mean Rodger was harmed by his life coaches, but apparently he also explored another type of "coaching": the Pick-Up-Artist Coach (such as the guy to the right), who left Rodger feeling more frustrated than ever. The "coach" in the picture, and his website, look so creepy to me that I would call into question the mental health of anyone who hired him (or worse, slept with him).
Then there's the guy, below, who according to Slate and Jezebel, SPAMMED Rodger's YouTube channel with ads for his Dating Coach business. He claims his products could have saved lives!
That's one of the many ways over-hyped coaching harms coaching clients: the marketing, itself, over-promises and misleads potential clients, while pretending the coach just wants to help. People with common sense often see through the sham. But not always.
I've known some very smart cookies who've been taken in by scam artists posing as coaches. Their sole purpose is to empty clients' bank accounts and max out their credit with ever more personal and exclusive "coaching programs". I've known more than one coaching client who lost their house, as a result.
And not every harmful coach is a scam artist. Some are well-meaning, but operate on false beliefs and methods that can leave a client dazed and confused.
Apparently Rodger tried learning "game", as PUA (pick-up-artist) Coaches call it, and it didn't help him with women. Then he join a PUA hate site.
Therapists didn't stop Rodger from going on a killing rampage, so it's not fair to blame the coaches that worked with him, except for this: ethical coaches know they don't have tools to overcome mental illness and even if they can't diagnose illness, they can observe whether or not they are helping and send a sick client to the appropriate professionals.
Here are 10 more ways over-hyped coaching, scam artists, and untrained coaches can harm their coaching clients.
1. Over-hyped coaching often encourages people to focus on false goals, such as becoming millionaires. Everyone wants more money, or at least thinks they do, so get-rich-quick schemes are always popular with scam artists. These days "spiritual" get-rich-quick schemes are especially in vogue. "Coaches" who promise wealth are one of the most likely groups to be preying upon unsuspecting clients. Sex is also a big seller.
2. The fact that most people don't know what coaching is, inspires nefarious people to call themselves coaches. "Coaches" are sometimes scam artists in sheeps' clothing. That includes an alarming number of spirit-based coaches.
3. Well-meaning (or not so well-meaning) Law of Attraction coaches may encourage overly extreme optimism, which can mimic bipolar mania, which tends to be followed by failure, including loss of money and disappointment. Then the client is told they are "doing it" wrong, that they must buy a platinum program to learn LOA better, which then leads to further failure and disillusionment. When the client finally accepts that the process doesn’t work for them, they may sink into depression. Manic Depression is the old name for biplor disorder. Really bad coaching encourages manic-depressive extremes.
4. Too many coaches are only interested in grandiose goals, when in some cases, more modest goals can transform a client's life. To paraphrase the old theater saying, "There are no small goals; only small coaches."
5. Confused coaches often expect to completely change a person’s mindset instantly, when in reality, permanently changing one’s thinking takes time and consistent effort. Sometimes the most successful coaching sessions merely open the possibility that change could happen.
6. Misguided coaches may over-emphasize environment and under-emphasize action. I was trained this way and environment is quite powerful, but coaching clients aren't passive creatures. They relearn how to be in the world by taking action and observing the results. Action trumps environment. Just ask Oprah Winfrey.
7. Over-hyped coaching promises outrageous success ("Make quantum leaps!", "Millions of dollars the easy way!", "Get beautiful women to sleep with you!", "Attract everything you want just by thinking about it!"), missing the subtle possibilities that are genuinely transformative.
8. Fake coaches focus primarily on advice-giving, which often is inappropriate for the client. Finding out the client's strengths, needs and values, helps them step into resourcefulness, which is almost always more valuable than advice.
9. Then there are the coaches who avoid any advice-giving at all, which can limit a client’s options. Effective coaches know when clients need more information. If they have it, and the best coaches have a lot of empowering information, they share it at the right times and in the right ways.
10. Finally, nefarious "coaches" make stuff up, instead of using tools that actually work. What kind of stuff do they make up? In the beginning, whatever the client wants to hear. Later, when the client has already sunk thousands into the coaching and is desperate to get some value out of it, scam-coaches tell the client whatever will make him or her spend some more money.
How do you avoid being harmed by bad coaching? There are plenty of good coaches. Only work with coaches who have pledged to uphold professional ethics, make sure your coach has been trained in evidence-based coaching, opt for a certified coach whenever possible, and never ever try to substitute coaching for therapy. Even those things won't absolutely guarantee a good coach, though. Also use your common sense. If your gut says to run, run!
Elliot Rodger was a tortured soul who believed he was a victim of injustice. One of Rodger's victims was Christopher Michael-Martinez. His father, Richard Martinez, believes his son is a victim of injustice, namely that current laws in the US make mass-murder more likely. His call to action, "Not One More", has spurred a movement to demand that lawmakers change the laws. Will it be effective? No one knows, but what we have currently is a travesty. If you'd like to send a message to your elected official in support of Martinez' movement, click here.