School of Coaching Mastery

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School of Coaching Mastery: Why Everyone is Welcome

Posted by Julia Stewart

United Nations Photo.jpg

There's a post going around Facebook that discusses whether the International Coach Federation (ICF) should host any more of its Global Coaching Conferences in the United States, now the the US has placed an immigration ban on people entering from certain countries, because many of the ICF's members are from those countries and would not be able to attend.

In addition, some non-Americans are now refusing to enter the US for either work or pleasure, based on ethical grounds. And I have seen statements from organizations I admire that iterate that they are inclusive, regardless the current political climate.

SCM has always been inclusive and I'm proud that our students come together in interactive webinars from North and South America, Europe, the Mideast, Africa, Asia, and Oceana in a spirit of respect and trust.

Where ever you are from, you are welcome here.

I am so glad we are a distance-learning company and the travel ban does not effect us. It would be heart wrenching for us all, but most of all for those who are directly affected.

We believe strongly in inclusiveness, regardless of skin color, religion, nationality, gender, or sexual orientation. If you agree, we welcome you.

Trust and respect are fundamental to relationships and are the foundation of honesty and ethics. No one can coach well without them. Therefore they are requirements of professional coaching. All of our students are required to sign a Best Practices for Professional Coaches pledge to that effect.

Here is a specific passage from that pledge:

  • Professional coaches are unconditionally respectful to all people regardless of gender, race, color, religion, nationality, politics, or sexual orientation. They are respectful because that is who they are, not just because it is the law or because they have taken an ethical oath.

If you are someone who is naturally respectful of others, regardless where they come from, you may fit in well at School of Coaching Mastery and you are welcome here.

Explore coach training programs:

Check Out Coach Training Programs Here.

 

 

Topics: coach training, School of Coaching Mastery, webinar, Facebook, ICF, best practices

Can You Make a Living as a Life Coach?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Make a living as a life coach 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

Join Secrets to Making a Living as a Life Coach

Topics: life coach, become a life coach, coaching success, Facebook, what does it take to become a coach, getting clients, coaching career

Marketing for Coaches: How to Lose Friends, Respect, and Clients

Posted by Julia Stewart

finding life coach clientsIf you're a relatively new business or life coach, then the question of where to find coaching clients is probably nearly an obsession for you.

 

And that's as it should be. You're in a huge learning curve and your future business depends on your ability to learn quickly and keep moving forward.

 

This blog post will help flatten your marketing and sales learning curve and save you from bumbling ineptitude. 

 

As you can imagine, my coaching clients and students frequently ask me how to find clients.

 

Most don't ask where. You need to know 'where' before the 'how' question can even begin to help you.

 

So here's a list of places 'where' you may find clients, preceded by a few places where you almost certainly won't.

 

Where you WON'T find clients, but you may lose respect, friends, or worse:
  • Friends and family: don't invite your best friend to coach with you for a fee. You're violating your relationship with her and will likely offend her and possibly lose her friendship. Do offer to coach her for free, if you like - and if she's interested. Mattison Grey calls this the Friends Channel. Don't talk business unless you're both on the Business Channel.
  • Other people's tribes: you may belong to communities of interest that are led by other thought leaders. Maybe all the members are on the Business Channel, but your fellow members may view you as just a peer. Don't presume they're open to becoming your clients, unless they've already expressed curiosity about how you can help them and even then, have the conversation in private. Otherwise, you'll be seen as inappropriate and tribal leaders may view you as an interloper. Better to start your own tribe.
  • Your coaching school: don't try to build a coaching business by coaching other coaches, especially your classmates. You may see yourself as more developed than they are, but it's unlikely they'll agree. If you SPAM them with invitations to coach, or worse, invite them to coach with you in class, you'll just look self-serving - not attractive. Do invite your classmates to trade peer coaching with you, gratis.
  • Social aquaintences: the folks you meet in church, at a homeowners meeting, or in line at a store may or may not be open to coaching with you. Let them ask about it. If they're just being social, just be social with them. If they seem curious, go ahead and share more - probably in private.

 

Places where you CAN find coaching clients:
  • Friends of friends of family: go ahead and offer some free coaching to your family and their friends. If they like it, ask them to refer friends to you for coaching. Sometimes it's as easy as that.
  • Friends of friends of friends: the closer someone is to your social circle, the more likely they are to be concerned about confidentiality, so ask friends to refer people for free coaching sessions. Ask those people for referrals. The third tier is a better bet.
  • People who join your tribes: start a Facebook Page, LinkedIn Group, or live networking organization. Serve your members. A lot. Invite them to complimentary sessions. The more they perceive you as a contributor to their lives and success, the more they will want your coaching.
  • People you meet at networking events: live networking is powerful when you know how to use it. Everyone there is 'selling' something, so the trick is to notice those who want what you have. Invite them to a free session.
  • People who read your blog: one of the easiest ways to build a tribe is to start a great blog. Easy, but time consuming. If you love to serve and love to write, your blog can become a powerful attractor. Use it to invite potential clients.
  • People who hear you speak: lead live workshops, online webinars, or teleclasses. Educate, entertain, and serve. Your listeners may fall in love with you. You can invite them to work with you, but don't be surprised if they ask YOU to coach them, first. When you're in the right place, doing the right things, sales practically take care of themselves.

 

So there you have some powerful DOs and DON'Ts for attracting coaching clients without offending people. As always, it boils down to Servant Entrepreneurship. If you want much more...

 

Get Paid to Coach. Join Coach 100.

Topics: business coach, blogging, coaching clients, make a living as a life coach, make a living as a coach, Facebook, Life Coaches, marketing and sales, LinkedIn, Social Media Marketing, Marketing for life coaches

Best Coaching Blogs: Winning Secrets of Social MEDIA Butterflies

Posted by Julia Stewart

Online Social ButterflyBest Coaching Blogs 2013 is under way and already the social butterflies are pollinating hundreds of admiring voters. (If you haven't entered yet, you still have time to win, but sign up now.)

I'm going to share some secrets of Online Social Butterflies and how they win Best Coaching Blogs, each year. You see, mastering social media cross pollinates with mastering coaching. That's my evil, um... divine plan!

First, what's a social contest, anyway? It's a win-win online contest that leverages everyone's social reach (friends, contacts and followers on sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+) to attract large audiences for popular voting. Ultimately, everybody wins because contest visitors discover more great coaching bloggers when they visit the site.

Wait! Does that mean coaching bloggers could lose potential clients to their competition? Nope! I'll explain, uno momento.

If you want to see Online Social Butterflies in action, follow the Best Coaching Blogs 2013 List on Twitter. You can pick out the front-runners without even visiting the contest, because they regularly tweet about the contest. Also, search for hashtag, #BestBlogs for related tweets.

Best Coaching Blogs invites coaches who blog on coaching topics to enter their blogs and each year, both new and established blogs win top honors. The winners actively 'play the game' by inviting their readers, colleagues, clients and social reach to come vote for them. People can vote as often as they like, so the contest measures more than just the number of people who like a blog, it also measures passion: both the voters' and the bloggers'.

Passion is a big deal in coaching. It's what ignites clients and creates success. But competition? Not so much. At least not for a lot of clients.

Cooperation, mutual support, acknowledgment, belief in others; that's the stuff of coaching. And it's also the stuff of social media mastery. Both realms, coaching and social media, require that we get our little egos (that part in each of us, that always wants to WIN!!) out of the way and make it all about other folks - without turning ourselves into robots or doormats.

Winning Best Coaching Blogs usually requires more than just a great blog, although great writing and content definitely help. Winning requires the right balance of competition and cooperation. I don't know an English word for that, so I made one up: coopetition.

Here are Some Winning Secrets to Coopetition:

  1. Start early. Be the kind of person who supports and champions others, as a matter of course. The more history you have doing this, the more people will want to do the same for you. Wait until you need something from them (like a vote) and it could backfire.
  2. Embrace your selfish reasons. Yes, it's totally okay to be for yourself. Just don't be that way, only. If you try to deny your agenda, people won't trust you. If you fail to express it, people will walk all over you. So go ahead and ask for people's votes. If you've been supporting them, they'll want to help. Even if you haven't, they'll respect your request.
  3. If you're already supporting others and clear with them about what you want, you're ready to play a fun game. In Best Coaching Blogs, that could mean leaving comments on competitors' blog entries that acknowledge what's great about those blogs. It could also mean voting for your competitors (!), or even telling the world why they should vote for your competitors (!!). You could even ask your competitors to vote for you (!!!). This can get icky and manipulative fast, though, so take care.
  4. Why is coopetition a winning strategy? Because being a model of coopetition is extraordinarily attractive. It seems like people who act that way should lose out, but they win, instead. The bloggers who do it best always attract more voters, readers and clients, rather than lose them. So it's about a lot more than winning a contest.
  5. Trust the process. This is hard for high achievers, but you really can't control most of the moving parts in this process; you can only influence them. Resist the urge to pester people, or to obsess about whether or not all your votes get counted. Not even Zuckerberg has total control of Facebook.
  6. Even in life, it's the folks you support who 'vote' for you and what you want. That's the coopetive advantage. In Best Coaching Blogs, it's the finalists who pick the top winners, so those who play the game well, immediately become the biggest influencers. But 'winning at any cost' is a losing strategy in this contest, as well as in life.
  7. How does this relate to coaching? People who can let go of their need to win, to be right, to never fail, and who can support and champion others, make great coaches. Entering Best Coaching Blogs is a 'game theory' approach to coach development. If you're interested in becoming a great coach, be sure to participate. Vote here through August 31st. Enter here only through July 31st.

Vote for Best Coaching Blogs

Topics: Coaching, Best Coaching Blogs, blogs, contest, Free, coaching success, Facebook, How to, twitter, Top Life Coach Blogs, master coach, Google, Masterful Coaching, LinkedIn

Thomas Leonard and Professional Coaching: Ten Years Later

Posted by Julia Stewart

Thomas Leonard RIP

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the death of Thomas Leonard, the Founder of the Coaching Profession. Nostalgic coaches everywhere are marking this day in whatever ways are meaningful to them. (Here's a Facebook group that's giving away free coaching, today only.)

If you missed knowing Thomas, well you missed the man who inspired a profession that is still one of the highest paid and fastest growing in the world. No small accomplishment for a man who died suddenly of a heart attack at only 47.

Here's what you don't usually hear about Thomas: he was a genius marketer. He could even write a sales page (You know, those awful web pages with yellow highlighting that try get you to buy stuff) that you'd read to the very end, even when you knew you weren't going to buy the product, because his writing inspired and enlightened you instead making you want to commit harakiri.

So the next time you find yourself saying, I wish I could just coach without all the marketing and sales, consider upgrading, instead.

Thomas called coaching, "advanced communication skills", which is what great marketing is, anyway. Today, I don't find many coaches who remind me of Thomas, but some great marketers do. (Here are two marketers who elevate marketing to advanced communication: Seth Godin and Chris Brogan.)

I pay homage to Thomas pretty much everyday, by taking what I learned from him at his two coaching schools and always looking at what the next step needs to be in the profession and if I think I can create it, I do. Such as taking his brilliant Values- and Needs-based coaching and integrating it with Strengths-based coaching to get the full picture.

Years ago, I discovered the rough draft of Thomas' bestselling book, The Portable Coach, on the web via the Wayback Machine, which Thomas offered to the world to use freely. It's a detailed account of his 28 Principles of Attraction (not to be confused with the Law of Attraction). I took what he wrote verbatim, typos and all, and split it into 10 weekly, easy-to-digest ecourse lessons that show up in your inbox. It is, of course, free.

Want to become irresistably attractive to the best people and opportunities? Thomas will teach you for free:

Get Thomas' 28 Principles of Attraction Free eCourse

Topics: professional coaching, Facebook, Thomas Leonard, Law of Attraction, coaching schools

Marketing for Life Coaches: Why Facebook Events Are For Losers

Posted by Julia Stewart

Marketing for Life CoachesPost by Julia Stewart, MCC.

Okay, life coaches, including me, don't usually call people, 'Losers.' I admit, I said it to be provocative. My apologies. I'm having a little fun. But if you use Facebook Events to market your coaching business, you're losing. It's that simple.

You're losing fans, friends, credibility and even interest in your events. And that's no fun.

Let me explain. As we all know, Facebook is approaching the Big B: one billion users. That means soon, one in every seven people will be on Facebook. So that makes it the perfect place to advertise your events, yes? Probably not.

Anyone with a Facebook account can create a Facebook Event and invite all their Facebook Friends to it via email. They can also send frequent email updates to everyone who has been invited, even if nobody has agreed to come to the event.

This is a nice little tool if you're planning a school fund raiser. The trouble is that SPAMMERS, those folks we've all hated since long before international laws were passed to make SPAM a criminal offense, think Facebook Events is a nifty tool, too. After all, it's not illegal, yet.

And unfortunately, less savvy marketers also use Facebook Events and when you do, the folks who used to be your Facebook Friends start thinking of you as one of those SPAMMERS.

Yes, there you are, sharing space in their minds right along side the guy from Russia who wants to sell them penis-enlargement pills, cheap Viagra and fake Rolex watches. Or the prince from Nigeria who constantly needs help cashing a check.

Do you really want your coaching business to be regarded that way?

No doubt, some well-meaning social-media 'guru', or 'coach', or virtual assistant told you about this slick little tool that lets you SPAM...er email, all your friends on Facebook for free whenever you have an event to announce ~ or even when you don't (Some really un-slick marketers use Facebook Events to SPAM their Friends any ol' time).

An important rule of thumb in marketing, especially with social-media: Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

So far, using Facebook Events is legal, so you can. And Facebook, not exactly a paragon of privacy, puts the onus of removing oneself from an Event list on the recipient, not the sender. So you're technically not doing anything wrong by inviting all your Friends, even if you know they won't be interested or they are too far away to attend.

However, in the rest of the Universe that is not already controlled by Facebook, people know they have a right to avoid SPAM and they usually have the ability to choose which messages  reach them via email. So it makes them incredibly mad when you violate that.

This is a complete reverse of the marketing world 20 years ago, when advertisers could shoot their messages at potential customers via TV, junk mail, etc. just as if we were sitting ducks. Nobody likes being a sitting duck. And we don't like being reminded what it's like.

By using Facebook Events, you're using 2012 social media to market like it's 1992.

So how are you losing? Let me count the ways:

  1. People don't hire coaches they don't trust and nobody trusts a SPAMMER.
  2. Your RSVP list on your Event Page will look something like: 'Yes: 2, Maybe: 5, Un-responded: 993', which makes your event look like the party nobody wants to attend.
  3. Lucky for you, those 'Un-responded' numbers include all the 'No's', because Facebook doesn't publish those. What's not so lucky for you is that when your annoyed Friends go to the trouble of visiting your Event Page to decline your invitation and thus turn off the irritating messages they're getting from you, Facebook gives them the instant opportunity to check a box to ignore all future communications from you, or block you completely, un-friend you, or report you to Facebook for SPAM; all with a simple click and yes, some folks get mad enough to do all that.
  4. Your constant email 'updates' about the Event may be so irksome that even the people who thought they might attend may very well change their minds.
  5. You're now associated with the penis-enlargement guy.
  6. Increasingly, nobody pays attention to Facebook Events, so you might as well announce your event via telegraph.
  7. And you're still associated with that guy.

For anyone who would like to know how to stop getting invitations to Facebook Events, here are a couple or routes. Sign in to Facebook and click the little downward arrow in the upper right corner (I know, it's really tiny.) Then choose Privacy Settings, then Manage Blocking. You can write in the names of people you want to block from Event Invites. See below:

Marketing for life coaches

 

 

But an easier way to block all events before they reach your inbox is to go to Account Settings, choose Notifications, then Events and un-click everything:

 

Marketing for life coaches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you tempted to keep receiving invites in case that really cool life coach that you love wants to invite you to something? Don't be. If they are that cool, they already don't use Facebook Events. And if you really love them, you probably are already on their mailing list, which means they will be emailing you directly.

And if you're a life coach who is tempted to market with Facebook Events, just don't. There are so many better ways to connect online in ways that people welcome, that you never need to annoy them or  look like a loser, by using Facebook Events.

If you're new to social media marketing or just want to brush up:

Free Social Media Marketing eBook

 

Free Social Media Marketing eBook

Topics: Facebook, Social Media Marketing, Marketing for life coaches, marketing, Free eBook Social Networking

How to Attract Coaching Clients Via Social Networking Sites

Posted by Julia Stewart

The Essential Guide to Social Media Marketing for Solo ProfessionalsIf you're a business of life coach, or any type of solo professional, then attracting coaching clients via social networking sites can be incredibly valuable.

If you're new to social networking and social media marketing, it can be pretty overwhelming. The great news is that you only need some essentials to get started. From there, it's pretty easy 'to learn as you go'.

The first step of course, is to join and build a following on social networking sites. From there, if you know how to do it, you can easily attracting paid coaching clients. I share two brief stories about how two coaches filled their coaching practices quickly with clients by leveraging their social networking relationships with Coach 100 in the new eBook, The Essential Guide to Social Media Marketing for Solo Professionals. To Get the free eBook, click the big button below. To learn more about how to attract coaching clients via social networking and many other approaches, join Coach 100. More info below. But first, here's one section from the new eBook.

How to Build Your Following on Social Sites

  1. Start by following others. Makes sense, doesn’t it? People like to connect and they’ll be more likely to connect with you, if you make the first move. Don’t be shy. This is a lot easier than asking somebody to dance at a high-school mixer. But here’s where it gets similar to school: the more popular you are, the more people will want to connect to you. Get the ball rolling and eventually momentum will start to help you out.
  2. Consistently Add Fresh Content to Your Social Profiles. Social networking doesn’t have to take more than a few minutes per day, but do be consistent. Try setting aside ten minutes per day to share something relevant. An easy way to do this is to share great blog posts from blog sites that are related to your specialty. Most blogs today have social sharing buttons built right into the interface (see ours above). You can amplify your shares across numerous social sites by taking advantage of their sharing options. LinkedIn has this built into posts. Just click a box to share something from LinkedIn to Twitter, for example.
  3. Self-Promote Minimally. Even on sites where self-promotion is well tolerated, such as Twitter, the rule of thumb is to post something promotional once out of every seven tweets. Exceptions are made for commercial accounts, such as Starbucks or Amazon, that people follow specifically to receive discount offers. If you’re running a high-end solo business, such as coaching, you want to primarily engage in conversations and add useful content, with an occasional offer to buy your book, attend your seminar, or try a sample session. Be even more judicious on Facebook, which is primarily social, unless you have a (free) Facebook Page for your business.
  4. Be Somebody People Want to Follow. That’s one reason why a head shot of you is so important to your social profile. People generally follow people, not companies. Let your personality come across. Are you philosophical? Share deep thoughts and/or quote other famous people (and share the thoughts of people you follow – which is a great way to get them to follow you back). Love humor? Make an occasional wisecrack or share the jokes of famous comedians you follow. Care about social issues? Update your accounts with links to important online petitions. All of this pays off when your clients like what you like. The better you know your market, the more you can hone your voice.
  5. Be conversational. Reply to people who message you. Retweet or share their comments. Join in the conversation. This can be as simple as ‘liking’ what somebody says on Facebook or as involved as participating in a lively conversation in a group on LinkedIn.
  6. Focus on the social networks that matter most to your clients. You can’t be everywhere, even on the internet. If you have a business-to-consumer service (as opposed to business-to-business), then LinkedIn may not be ideal for you. If your clientele are older, then maybe the latest hot new social site (currently, that’s Pinterest) isn’t important yet for your business.
  7. Invite your website visitors to join you online. Add ‘Follow Me’ buttons (you can get them free from Twitter, for instance, or Google to find 3rd-party buttons) to every page on your site (See our 'Follow Us' buttons to the right). This encourages your visitors to talk about you in a potentially viral venue. Likewise, be sure to add social sharing buttons to all of your blog posts (if you have one – recommended). All the major forms of blogging software (like Wordpress) have them available. Finally, you can add social conversations to your website by adding social streams from Facebook, Twitter, etc. (scroll down to the right to see one of ours) The more ways people can find you and talk about you online, the more people will find you and talk about you online. Trigger the viral nature of social networking and your customers will market for you!

To get indepth instructions on how to build your coaching business with social media, along with many other approaches, join Coach 100. There are three levels to choose from, depending on your experience and how much you want to spend. Each one provides a proven system for attracting paying coaching clients and filling your business.

To get the free eBook, The Essential Guide to Social Media Marketing for Solo Professionals, click below.

Click me



Topics: Coach 100, coaching clients, Free, Facebook, Business Coaches, Life Coaches, twitter, Attraction Principles, coach marketing, LinkedIn, Social Media Marketing, Free eBook Social Networking

Coaching Success: How to Build Your Marketing List

Posted by Julia Stewart

Coach 100 Business SuccessIf you've read blog posts on how to become a successful coach, you know that building your marketing list is a must.

As the saying goes, 'The money is in the list!' But things have changed. Now that inbound marketing is replacing traditional marketing for small business, the marketing list is a must for local face-to-face marketing, as well as for internet marketers.

Not only that, but social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, have permanently altered the definition of 'list', as well as how to manage a list and nurture more sales.

So if you think the size of your list is what matters or that email is your principal marketing tool, you're missing out on some huge opportunities to connect with your potential coaching clients and get hired by more people. In short, you're losing money.

What if you're a new coach who has no list at all, yet? You need a strategy for building one, right now. The good news is, you don't need a website to start building your list.

Learn the myths of list building for coaches and find out what really matters when it comes to marketing your coaching business in the one-time-only upcoming free tele-webinar:

 

How to Build Your Marketing List

When: Thursday, October 27th, 9 - 10 PM Eastern/NY Time

Everyone who attends this live tele-webinar will receive 2 free bonuses, plus an opportunity to save $100 on the Coach 100 Business Success Program.

 

Go here to find out more about Coach 100 and register for this free class:

 

Click me

Topics: Coaching, blogs, become a coach, coaching class, Coach 100, coaching clients, Coaching 100, coaching success, Facebook, twitter

What is Coaching Success?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Coaching Success Kit You could say that all coaches are in the business of success.

Our clients hire us to help them succeed at big goals, life dreams and personal growth. Good coaches know they transform their client's lives, so it's only natural that every coach wants to feel successful with their own goals and dreams.

Just like our clients, we coaches have our own personal definitions of success.

My definition of success is that I get to be my best self, doing work that I love, that is changing the world for the better. Oh yeah, and I get paid for that! I know I'm succeeding when I'm lit up daily and having fun most of the time.

To reach this level of success, I had to learn and relearn my vision of myself and how the world works. I then had to practice thousands of hours to master this new way of seeing, being, and doing. Along the way, I had to craft a business that would support me while I spread this thing called 'coaching' that seems to change everything.

How do you define coaching success for yourself?

If you could use some help with your definition, I've put together our top 3 most popular ebooks into one free 'Coaching Success Kit':

  • It starts with 'Become a Coach!', an ebook designed to help the new coach get started in this booming industry and it includes 8 hours of recorded coach training, plus a side-by-side comparison of some of the top coach training schools.
  • Next, there's the Coach 100 Business Success ebook, with tools to get you started with one of the most effective processes for filling a coaching practice EVER (while becoming a masterful coach, at the same time).
  • Finally, there's the Seven Secrets of Mastery Certification ebook, with tools and tips on how to inspire yourself and achieve an elite coach certification. It includes a quiz that will help you determine, once and for all, whether you even need to get certified. 

If you know how to coach masterfully and you know how to fill your practice with clients, then you have what you need to achieve coaching success, however you define it.

Coach Michael Jay Sullivan left this unsolicited comment about the Coaching Success Kit on Facebook last week:

"It's amazing how transformative for me Julia's free Coaching Stuff in a box has been. Better than some of the paid training I've gotten." 

I love unsolicited testimonials; they are usually the most honest!

Get your Coaching Success Kit

 

Get your free Coaching Success Kit here.

By the way, please tell us how YOU define coaching success, in the 'comments' section, below.

Topics: coaching business, become a coach, Coach 100, coaching success, Facebook, Coach Certification, How to Become a Certified Coach, Become a Masterful Coach, how to become a certified life coach, coach training schools

How to Kill Your Coaching Business with Social Media

Posted by Julia Stewart

Find us on FacebookI love social media for my coaching business.

 

I've been attracting coaching clients and students with online social tools for the past five years. Some of my favorite clients, ever, have come from web 2.0. Many of my Coach 100 students have had extraordinary success building their businesses with online tools. School of Coaching Mastery has had a strong social presence since its launch in 2007. Heck, we even have our own social networking site!

So I'm not the coach you'd expect to say that social media could kill your business. And no, I don't mean that your Facebook addiction might keep you from working on your business as you should (although it could). And I don't mean that you should be out shaking hands at live networking events instead of using online social networking (although some coaches really should be networking live instead of online).

I mean that the actual tools of social networking, if used poorly, can cost you coaching clients. And given how time consuming a good marketing plan can be to implement, tools that actually work against you can indeed kill your business.

What kinds of social networking tools could hurt a coaching business? Anything (and I mean anything) that annoys people. And let's face it, that covers a lot of territory.

Most new (and some veteran) business and life coaches have poor marketing and sales skills to begin with, so opportunities to do it poorly are abundant. But if you screw up your elevator speech at a live networking event, you only risk annoying a few people (and if you can laugh at yourself, you'll probably make a few friends, instead). But tools that allow you to contact everybody in your network in ways or at times that they don't want, can help you annoy thousands of people with one innocent little click. Ouch!

Repeat that innocent action again and again and your coaching business will be dead in the water before you know it.

Why is annoying people such a big deal when it comes to marketing your coaching business? Well, remember that cliche: 'Long after people have forgotten what you said, they'll remember how you made them feel'? You don't want to be remembered as the annoying coach.

Question: If you were looking to hire a business or life coach and you had narrowed it down to two coaches who both seemed to meet your criteria perfectly, would you hire the one who annoyed you are the one who didn't?

Sales decisions come down to subtleties. Sometimes a client doesn't even know why they chose to hire one coach over another. You don't have to annoy someone very much to tip the scales away from you.

What do you need to avoid in order to not kill your business with social networking tools? 

Well here are a few items that will help you to not annoy me. But get feedback from your own networks to find out what really bugs them.

1. Social SPAM. Any social app that's designed to spread itself automatically at the expense of annoying your network is social SPAM. The inspiration for this post is an innocuous little tool called, Boxbe, that's spreading around School of Coaching Mastery. Everytime someone I know joins it, I automatically get an invitation to join, too. I don't want to join. And I don't want to get email invitations to it several times per day. It's social SPAM and it's annoying. Plaxo is also annoying. Some poorly designed Twitter apps do this sort of thing. (And don't get me started on SpamArrest. I consider SpamArrest SPAM.)

2. Social Temptation. How often do you get invitations from Facebook or any social networking site to invite or notify everyone in your Outlook,Yahoo, Google, or other address book? How often do you do it? In my book, you get to do it once. One time. Resist the temptation to tell everybody you know about something unless they followed you or joined your group or fan page. Otherwise social temptation becomes social SPAM.

3. Social Scams.  @UnMarketing just posted a link on Twitter to this blog post about scam apps on Facebook. It's easy to get tricked by these because they look like so many other apps on Facebook. Maybe you should avoid temptation and not allow every app out there to connect to your account. (While I was researching this, I came accross Scott Stratten's - A.K.A. UnMarketing - blog post on how to lose friends and tick people off on Facebook.)

4. Social Abbrev. There's nothing wrong with LOL, WTF, Ouch! and KEWL unless you use them constantly. Remember you annoying uncle, cousin, spouse who said the same things over and over until you wanted to stuff mashed potatoes in your ears? Don't be that coach.

5. Social Games. As well as gifts, etc., ad nauseum. You can have fun at work but please stay focused so the rest of us can. Sorority Life, Mafia Games, Farmville, etc., I tolerate these from my relatives (barely), but not from you (unless you find a way to combine all three, which might be interesting). Don't you feel silly posting your latest livestock aquisition on Facebook? I don't think this would persuade even Old MacDonald to hire you to be his coach.

6. Social Pics and Tags. Not all of them. Most are great. You probably don't need me to tell you not to post the pics of you throwing up at that college binge party (the real sorority life). If not, stop reading this post and get thee to a 12-step program, fast. But consider your headshot. If you coach kids, then a shot of you with your kids is appropriate, but if you coach Fortune 100 execs, maybe not. And if somebody else posts or tags you in an unflattering shot, quietly request that they take it down. If you haven't annoyed them, they probably will. If not, be prepared for radical transparency. You have no more secrets.

7. Social Compulsion. Please don't fill people's Twitter streams with constant inane tweets. They will unfollow you. Direct messages are even worse. And you're not kidding anybody by tweeting nothing but Twitter names in the hope of getting noticed. Don't tweet or post unless you have something to say and definitely don't tweet constantly.

Well that's it for now. I could annoy you with a bunch of links to friend/join/follow us, like the 'Find us on Facebook' link above, but probably more valuable to you will be for you to get some training on how to attract clients effectively, which we do in our Coach 100 classes. They start again in February and they teach what actually works.

WARNING: You'll have less time for social networking when your coaching practice is full.

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 Check out Coach 100 classes here.

Topics: business coach, Coaching, School of Coaching Mastery, coaching clients, Facebook, Life Coaches, twitter, social networking, marketing, web 2.0

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