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Shocking Ways the Climate Crisis Will Change Your Coaching Business

Posted by Julia Stewart

Climate Change Danger by Environmental Illness Network.jpg 

The Climate Crisis is announcing itself ever more loudly as epic floods, droughts, hurricanes, tornadoes, "rain bombs", enormous fires, "exploding glaciers", disappearing coastlines, civil wars, refugee crises, and even drug epidemics. Most of us are unaware how dramatic and widespread climate disasters have already become, because our news is primarily limited to our own regions, and because taking it all in is overwhelming and terrifying. However...

Acknowledging all this is positive, because...

The Truth is Always Positive.

It's time for coaches to fully acknowledge that the world we grew up in is gone and this new world portends unprecedented challenges, as well as enormous opportunities for us, for our clients, and for the world, itself.

There is already evidence that leaders in Climate Change are succeeding, which offers tremendous hope that humanity will head off the worst of Climate Change, before it's too late. But we've made too little progress, so far. Real change requires inspired action from virtually everyone, including those of us who elicit the greatness of others.

Because an insidious impact of climate catastrophe is overwhelming negative feelings, such as hopelessness, PTSD, crippling anxiety, and depression. No one is great when they're in the grip of negative feelings. Positive psychology coaches know that preparing for post-traumatic growth can head off the most debilitating symptoms of trauma, that we can assist people to become more resilient, more proactive, and to build resources to meet virtually any challenge. But...

We must help ourselves before we can help the whole world. Are you ready?

Climate Change is the single biggest existential threat to your coaching business, but with planning, inspired action, and intent, you can make that a net positive, rather than a negative. In so doing, you'll emerge as a much-needed leader in an increasingly chaotic world, but...

How do you lead in the Age of Climate Crisis?

This is a conversation all coaches need to have. We need to talk about it with each other, with our clients, with our own coaches, and of course, with our families, friends, and communities. The answers will likely surprise you.

You may think you know your calling or purpose, that you already live a values-centered life, but the trajectory of your life is being redetermined by the planet, herself, and she may send you places you never intended. The cool thing is that this universal emergency is forcing us all to identify what actually matters and to let all the other BS go.

The climate crisis has pulled me away from my usual concerns about positive psychology coaching and how to help my clients thrive, while teaching others to coach with powerful, evidence-based tools. All that still matters, but I had to I become a Climate Reality Leader in Al Gore's Climate Reality Leadership Corps, because right now, that matters even more. As a CRL, I'm licensed to share Gore's Inconvenient Truth/Inconvenient Sequel talks to my networks, in customized form.

The most emotional moment in the 3-day Climate Reality Training I just took with Gore and his team was when he acknowledged that, "we could lose everything we hold dear". Everything. Every one of us is in danger of losing all that matters most to us. This is no exaggeration, because many already have lost everything.

Or we can be heroes, leaders, inspirers, and creators of a new world.

I have answers, but I don't have all the answers. I'm a coach, so my Climate Reality talks must be interactive.

Will you come talk about it? I'm giving my first Climate Reality for Coaches talk on December 11th, 8-9 PM EST, via interactive webinar. Just to be clear, this is a talk about the Climate Crisis and how it impacts coaches. It is not about coach training. It is, of course, free of charge. Lead the change with me.

Come join me to talk about what this all means to you and to all you hold dear.

Register for the Climate Reality for Coaches Talk

 

 

 

 

Topics: coaching business, Values, Climate Change, positive psychology coach

Coaches: How to Look Like a Douche on Social Media

Posted by Julia Stewart

marketing a coaching business on social media

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:

 

  1. Always post about yourself and your business.
  2. Quote yourself on social media.
  3. Brag about how successful your business is.
  4. Brag about how good you are at what you do.
  5. Shoot down others when they're being brilliant.
  6. Brag about the great work you did with a client.
  7. Complain about your "bad" clients.
  8. Always one-up others in the brilliance department.
  9. Never admit your weaknesses.
  10. 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:

 

  1. Post or re-share more about others than yourself.
  2. Say smart things now and then, but save the honor of quotes for others.
  3. Talk about other businesses you love.
  4. Talk about how good others are at what they do.
  5. Like or Fav the brilliance of others.
  6. Talk about how brilliant your clients are.
  7. Acknowledge how fortunate you are to have great clients.
  8. Add your brilliance to conversations, but don't compete.
  9. Be a little self-deprecating now and then, preferably with humor.
  10. 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.

Free Social Media Marketing eBook

Topics: coaching business, Coaches, Coach 100, coaching clients, Coaching 100, coach, coach marketing, Social Media Marketing

5 Important Reasons Your Coaching Business Needs Science Now

Posted by Julia Stewart

Science of Coaching

Coaches are advanced communicators. We're positive, spiritual, creative, and empathic. So what do we need science for?

Everything. 

Professional coaching has changed dramatically over the 20 years of its existance. Early coaches and their clients were pioneers and early adopters. Those are very special people. They got an intuitive sense that coaching was "right" and they had the courage to dive in and act on their intuition.

But like every profession before it, coaching has grown up. This brings good news, and depending on your point of view, maybe some bad.

Here are five important reasons your coaching business needs science, now:

  1. Coaching has gone mainstream and the Wild West is over - this means there are many more potential coaching clients, but what they want has changed. The days of dreaming up an awesome-sounding coaching program - without first testing to see if it actually works - are over.
  2. Potential clients are skeptical of the hype and unproven claims of entrepreneurial coaches. Coaching is still unregulated, which makes the barrier of entry quite low compared to other professions, such as medicine, yet coaching fees are quite high. Unfortunately, this means there are more ineffective coaches than effective ones. Stories of clients who've been burned by bad coaches are everywhere. It is imperative that you distinguish yourself from "coaches" who don't know how to coach.
  3. Potential clients are less likely to be attracted to New Age or Consciousness messages. Also known as the LOHAS market (Lifestyles Of Health and Sustainability), and sometimes derided as the "Unicorns and Rainbows Folks", these were the early adopters of coaching in days gone by. Yes, those movements are growing, but they're still a tiny segment of society. Their members often have limited disposable cash. In other words, they may want coaching, but can't always pay for it. If your ideal clients are yoga teachers, massage therapists, Reiki masters, vegetarians, organic farmers, etc.; you know what I'm talking about. However, as the coaching profession penetrates deeply into the mainstream, we find huge numbers of different potential client who are interested in being happier and more successful and can afford to hire coaches - but they're looking for very different marketing messages than the LOHAS folks. There are simply too many life coaches today for them all to be tarketing LOHAS.
  4. Today's potential coaching clients want evidence and proof that the service you offer can truly help them. You don't need to be a research scientist to gather evidence that this stuff works, but a little science goes a long way in today's competitive coaching market.
  5. The science of coaching offers the evidence and proof you need to attract today's coaching clients. What worked ten years ago has changed. What will work in the next decade will be dramatically different.

No, you don't have to become something you're not in order to add science to your coaching. If you're like me and the big-picture, creative, communicative, empathic world of coaching comes naturally, (but the detailed, linear, siloed, objective world of science? Not so much), then becoming a researcher will never be for you.

Good. There are lots of researchers in the world. What we need now are more effective coaches.

That's why I created a series of science-based coaching courses that are designed for coaches, not scientists. They translate the research you need to know on what really helps people be, do, and have what they really want; and present it in easy-to-digest formats specifically for people who think like coaches. Now you can learn what you need to know rather quickly, without wading through mountains of information that doen't pertain to your coaching.

These science-based coaching courses are now woven together into our Certified Positive Psychology Coach Program, which gives you the info and tools you need to start coaching your clients with science, plus the data and credentials to communicate your authenticity as a positive psychology coach

Science of CoachingApparently, the International Coach Federation (ICF) agrees with me that science is
the next big thing in coaching, because its next ICF Advance conference in May is called, The Science of Coaching.

It's a perfect fit for the Certified Positive Psychology Coach Program, so School of Coaching Mastery is sponsoring one of the free introductory webinars that will precede the conference. By the way, we're applying for ICF approval for the Certified Positive Psychology Coach Program, so coaches who complete it will automatically become ICF ACCs.

Then there's the Institute of Coaching, affiliated with Harvard. They're devoted to research into coaching and positive psychology. Science is where the most exciting developments are occurring in the coaching profession. 

If you'd like to learn more about Why Your Coaching Business Must Have Science, watch the webinar video by that name. It's free.

Want to know more about becoming a Certified Positive Psychology Coach? Click the button below and fill out the form to get the latest on this brand-new coach-training program: 

Become a Certified Positive Psychology Coach

Topics: professional coach, coaching business, professional coaching, ICF, Certified Positive Psychology Coach, Institute of Coaching, certified coach, Positive Psychology, positive psychology coaching, Science of Coaching

How to Plan This Year's Coaching Success in Just Fifteen Minutes

Posted by Julia Stewart

coaching success

Written by Julia Stewart

Here's a nifty tool for your annual coaching business plan. It harnesses the power of the 'top ten list', works for any type of small business, and it only takes fifteen minutes to create an effective plan for coaching success.

Follow these steps to plan for this year's coaching success:

  1. Make a list of the Top Ten things Your Business Did Right, last year. These could include a new strategy for attracting clients, raising your fees, upgrading your skills and credentials, hiring an assistant, increasing your sales, etc. This list should take 5 minutes to complete, tops, but spend at least ten seconds appreciating yourself for doing these things right.
  2. Now make a list of the Top Ten Things Your Business Did Wrong. Be honest, but don't wallow. Did you spend too much time on Facebook? Did you focus too much time or energy on a business strategy that just isn't working out? Did you spend too much money on tools, memberships, or trainings that didn't enhance your business? Did you fail to hire a mentor coach, even though you knew you needed one? Did you let your self care slide? Did you network, but didn't follow up on leads? If you suspect something you did or did not do is costing your business, you're probably right, so write it down and then move on.
  3. Prioritize your lists by numbering them in the order of best things you did and worst. You've probably noticed a pattern or two by now. That's good; it'll help you with your next list.
  4. Now write a top ten list on what you'll do this year for more success. With your last two numbered lists, this'll be pretty easy. And this is the list that'll help you succeed this year.
  5. Of course, lists like this one are useless unless you find a way to remind yourself to follow through on them. In this case, you need to follow through for 12 full months. You could post your Top Ten Things to Do This Year list on your wall or make it into a screen saver, but over time, it'll become invisible to your eyes. So here's what I do: I schedule it to be emailed to me once per month. I use a free service called, Yesware, to send this list in a reminder every 30 days, so I can check to see if I'm following through. It's already helping me prioritize what gets done.
There you have it: 15 minutes spent to create 365 days of coaching success.

 

Want more coaching clients in 2014? Try Coach 100 Business Success:

 

Get Paid to Coach. Join Coach 100.

Topics: coaching business, mentor coach, Coach 100, coaching clients, coaching success

Coaching Businesses Benefit from 2013 U.S. Business Trends

Posted by Julia Stewart

Written by Julia Stewart

MyCorporation just shared an excellent infographic based on research they did, along with Pepperdine University, that shows wonderful trends for coaching businesses. This was not a study of coaching businesses specifically, but of business, in general. 

Here are some highlights:

  1. 54% of businesses that grew in 2013, were "micro-sized". In other words, tiny businesses, such as coaching businesses, grew the most.
  2. One of the fastest growing sectors included "professional services". In other words, businesses such as coaching businesses.
  3. The "Khan Academy Effect" is driving a revolution in education, with tutoring expected to grow into a $100Billion business in 2014. As you may know, many tutors use coaching skills and many coaches do tutoring. In fact, Khan Academy doesn't call it tutoring; it calls it coaching.
  4. One of the few dark spots in this infographic is that apparently it was harder for businesses to get loans in 2013 than it was in 2012. Since coaching is one of the least expensive businesses to launch, that's not a problem for coaching businesses. Scroll to the bottom to learn more about becoming a successful coach.

MyCorporation - U.S.-Business-Trends Infographic

Want to learn more about becoming a coach and launching your own successful coaching business?

Save 10% on Coach Training Through Jan. 1, 2014

Topics: coaching business, coach training, become a coach, successful business, coaching businesses

How to Build a Flourishing Positive Coaching Business

Posted by Julia Stewart

Positive Psychology Coaching

Positive psychology coaching is on the rise, because it works. So have you ever wondered how positive psychology coaching can help your coaching business flourish? I'm talking about how actual positive psychology interventions can impact your thoughts and actions to bring you more success, happiness, and yes - more clients.

Curious?

Success occurs when you do the right things at the right times. Positive psychology interventions can help you do the right things at the right times with surprising effectiveness. And it's not precriptive (as in, 'You must do it my way to succeed.'), but rather points out what's worked for others, so you can customize it for your desires, strengths and values.

As a mentor coach who specializes in positive psychology coaching, I see this phenomenon, daily. Here are three recent examples:

  1. A new life coach who's building his business by leveraging his Primary Strengths. He's having a blast and his business is taking off like a rocket.
  2. Then there's the executive coach whose business has also taken off like a rocket, but she's not having a blast, even though she's living her dream life. She's still reliving negative thoughts and emotions about her past. In her case, we're using positive psychology and positive neuroscience interventions to help her mind catch up with her awesome life and business. This will help her sustain her success. Otherwise, she likely will burn out, or start repeating negative habits that could short-change her success. You're not flourishing if you're not having fun.
  3. Then there's the business coach who already thinks positively, but whose  business seemed to be stalled. What's up with that? We cracked through some blocks and limiting beliefs around making money and feeling ready for success, using Great Self Coaching (another positive intervention). You guessed it. Now his business is taking off like a rocket!

When I work with my one-to-one Elite Mentor Coach for High Achievers clients, their frame of mind is often the topic. At one end of the spectrum, the wrong frame of mind, for instance a limiting belief that it's too soon to expect success, can hold the coach back. At the other end, the coach may appreciate her incredible success, but still be stuck experiencing painful thoughts and feelings from the past. In my opinion, neither is experiencing a positive business, yet.

My definition of a positive coaching business is one that is both successful, as defined by the coach, and thoroughly enjoyed. My one-to-one mentor coaching may be financially out of reach for some coaches (although it's not expensive when you consider the training and certification that is included). However, this Fall, I'm putting together a new mentor group that uses the same positive coaching interventions to help coaches build flourishing businesses. It's quite reasonable and includes some training and certification, as well.

If you're a coach who is serious about building a flourishing life and business, click the link below to find out more and/or make an appointment to ask your questions.


Create Your Flourishing Positive Business Here

Topics: coaching business, group coaching, Coach 100, coaching success, Mentor Coaching, Positive Psychology, positive psychology coaching

6 Ideas That'll Change Your Coaching and Your Life

Posted by Julia Stewart

Positivity RatioI'm always looking for new ideas that'll upgrade, broaden, or deepen my coaching, so it's more effective. You too? Then you'll love this post.

It's a challenge to keep readers like you, well...challenged. You're a pretty sophisticated bunch.

But here goes: some of the best ideas I've encountered, which ultimately changed my life and the way I coach and may change your life and coaching too.

 

1. The Power of Negativity. This first one is possibly the most powerful idea to come out of positive psychology. It's the concept of the Positivity Ratio and the upper limit of positivity, which can be measured as both positive thoughts and feelings, as well as whether you're curious or defending your point of view, and/or focused on yourself or on those around you. To flourish, you, your relationship, your business, or your coaching, needs at least a three-to-one ratio of positivity to negativity. AND there's an upward limit around eleven-to-one, beyond which things go down fast. So, if you're a Law of Attraction Nazi, or if you focus only on the good stuff in coaching, stepping over the problematic stuff, or if you relentlessly reframe problems into opportunities, or (as one of my clients famously put it) FLO's (F*cking Learning Opportunities), you may hinder, rather than help your clients. (Read Barbara Fredrickson's Positivity.)

2. The Tyranny of Mild Praise. This one also comes from positive psychology and it's about relationships. Let's face it, the relationship between coach and client does much of the coaching for us. Therefore, the concept called, Active Constructive Responding (ACR), is critical. What is ACR? It's an over-the-top form of acknowledgment that includes positive tone of voice (genuine excitement, awe, wonder), positive body language (smiling, eye contact, touching), repeating the specifics of what the other has said, commenting on it's importance to the other, suggesting a celebration; all of which leads to flourishing within the relationship. NONE of the other types of responses, including Passive Constructive Responding (Flat tone of voice, general praise, "That's nice."), Passive Destructive Responding (ignoring, changing the subject, turning away), or Active Negative Responding (showing concern, pointing out problems); I repeat, none of these promote relationships. In fact they ALL have a negative impact on relationships, which obviously can negatively impact coaching. I've listened to thousands of coaching sessions over the years. Even "good" coaches tend to rely heavily on Passive Constructive Response, or a hybrid of ACR and PCR, which  clearly limits the value of their coaching. ACR can be a challenge to weave into coaching and for some of us, it's a challenge to make it truly genuine, but master coaches do it all the time. For others, over-using ACR (see above) damages our credibility. This is a tool that we can't afford not to master. (Read Martin Seligman's Flourish.)

3. Change Your Brain to Change Your Mind. This one comes from neuroscience and it has profound implications for positive psychology coaches, as well as every other type of coach. As members of my positive psychology course know, the Positivity Ratio can be used to measure and increase your current potential for flourishing and it'sa nifty coaching tool. There are also tools, founded in modern neuroscience, that can change the brain to sustainably increase peace, happiness, love and other elements of positivity. Literally, you can grow some areas of your brain so that they become more dominant, relatively permanently. And over-developed areas that may be problematic (such as the over-sized amygdala of those who suffer from anxiety) can shrink, again causing sustainable change. Change your brain; change your life for good. I just took a neuroscience seminar on this, but you can read more about it. (Read Rick Hanson's Buddha's Brain.)

4. Coaching's Not Complete If It's Not Integral. I'm taking a course from Integral Philospher, Ken Wilber. Some people say he's the most important philosopher since Plato, but that statement begs an argument, so I won't say it. Suffice it to say, if you don't know his work, your evolution may be stymied. And that of your clients, as well. As coaches, we say our clients are whole, complete and perfect. Trouble is, we may be blind to some of that perfection. And our clients almost certainly are. Blind spots make trouble (see #5, below). Wilber's Integral Model, known as AQAL, is an elegant map that streamlines how we know anything and how we evolve. It's closely aligned with Spiral Dynamics, which I'll be teaching next month. But AQAL goes even further. The AQAL Map is a beautiful tool to use when helping our clients design accountability structures, supportive systems, environments and strategic habitats (or whatever you prefer to call them). With AQAL, we can easily see if we're leaving anything out, or if the client is blind to some aspects of reality (almost everybody is). Plus, we have an evolutionary framework. It makes the complex simple, when you understand it. I'll be teaching an introductory course on integral coaching soon, but start reading books on Integral Theory now. (Read Wilber's simplest book, Integral Vision.)

5. All Coaching is Shadow Coaching - Or Should Be. My first lesson from Zen Master, Genpo Roshi, included a joke - on us. To paraphrase, he said (with a laugh), evolved people like to say they're whole, complete and perfect, except the parts they don't like about themselves. But you can't be complete without all of it! So what parts of yourself don't you like? The part that overeats? The part that's naive? The part that gets tongue-tied at parties? It's not those parts that keep you fragmented, it's the fact that you try to disown them. Then they become blind spots, which grow into shadows, which undermine and sabotage you. That's what fragmentation really is. For many people, the first step toward wholeness is integration of the parts they formerly disliked. That's the underlying cause of stuckness and it keeps coming back until all aspects of the self are integrated (or Integral). Some people are so fragmented that they lose the ability to choose wholeness. That's what is known as mental illness and I'm not suggesting that shadow coaching can cure that. But even healthy people have shadows and we can choose to integrate them with assistance from a skilled coach.  I use this approach in my Great Self Coaching. Genpo Roshi is incredibly masterful at it from a Zen perspective. (Read Genpo Roshi's Big Mind/Big Heart.)

6. Your Business Model May Be Too Infantile to Last. I've also been studying Adizes Management Methodology of late. Ichak Adizes is a legendary management consultant who deftly identified several different stages of a business life cycle. His theory explains, among other things, why the US Government is floundering these days (no, it has nothing to do with Republicans vs. Democrats). One thing that strikes me about it is that most coaches base their businesses on one of three early-stage levels and expect their businesses to continue at that stage forever. It won't happen. I'm happy to say, I saw this even before I studied Adizes and I'm ready for it. I'll write more at length on how you can design your business to last in a future post. But this issue could explain why our industry is so successful, but some coaches never enjoy that success. (Read Ichak Adizes' Corporate life cycles)

We all have access to too much information these days. But there really is no substitution for knowing the right stuff.

Topics: coaching business, Coaching, Coaches, Law of Attraction, master coach, Great Self Coaching, Spiral Dynamics, Ken Wilber, Genpo Roshi, Big Mind Big Heart, Integral Philosophy, acknowledgment, coaching tool, Positive Psychology, Martin Seligman

Life Coach Salary Rate: the Free Guide to How Much Coaches Make

Posted by Julia Stewart

Life Coach Salary Free eBookHave you ever wondered about life coach salary rates or how much money executive or business coaches make? Or are you setting up a coaching business and wonder how to set your own coaching fees? Or are you wondering if you should become a coach? If you said YES to any of these then you need to read the new information-packed FREE eBook: Life Coach Salary.

We took several of our most popular coaching blog posts and added the 'How to Set Your Coaching Fees' worksheet, previously only available to SCM students. Then we combined them into an information-rich free ebook. It's a quick read that will help you understand how much professional coaches make, how coaches set up their businesses for profitability and how to set your coaching fees with confidence.

Let's face it, confusion is the enemy of success. This free eBook can wipe out your confusion about coaching costs and help you take the next step toward becoming a successful life, business or executive coach.

You'll learn:

  • Worldwide trends in executive, business and life coaching
  • How much do executive, business and life coaches make?
  • How many clients does the average business, executive or life coach have?
  • Why every coach needs a steady paycheck
  • Why coaching costs so much
  • Why setting your fees too low can backfire for you and your clients
  • How to set your coaching fees so your clients get what they want and your coaching business is successful
I reference large-scale coaching surveys from the ICF and Sherpa Coaching, plus information on setting fees from three top mentor coaches, Donna Steinhorn, Barbra Sundquist and Mattison Grey.

If you want a full coaching practice, you can't afford not to read the FREE Life Coach Salary eBook:

Get the FREE Life Coach Salary eBook

 

Topics: business coach, coaching business, executive coach, coaching blog, mentor coach, become a coach, Free, ICF, Life Coaches, life coach salary, Mattison Grey, How to, Donna Steinhorn, Barbra Sundquist

3 Reasons to Not Participate in Affiliate Marketing Programs

Posted by Julia Stewart

Affiliate marketing programs

This Spring I made a conscious choice not to participate in an affiliate marketing program that made School of Coaching Mastery some money last year. In fact, I've decided to avoid future telesummits and most marketing partnerships that come my way and...maybe it's none of my business, but I think you should, too. Here's why...

Actually first, let me answer the question, "What is an affiliate marketing program?" Affiliate marketing programs are strategic partnerships which "leverage the power of the list", meaning they leverage the combined power of mailing lists when two or more coaches/internet marketers/gurus team up to promote products. A key example of this is the coaching telesummit, which usually offers free teleclasses or webinars, that upsell to paid information products. 

Number 1 Reason to Avoid Affiliate Marketing Programs: The program may benefit you financially in the short run, but be a disservice to your clients and members of your mailing list...and that could be a financial disservice to you in the long run. 

Here's an example: Recently, a client of mine mentioned something that he could use that a coaching colleague of mine does very well, so I mentioned her to him, not for an affiliate fee, but because I know she could help in this area. My colleague happens to be involved in a lot of telesummits. My client was already familiar with her and said, "No thanks. I used to be on her list, but I got bombarded by email marketing messages from her and from a lot of other people, as well, so I unsubscribed from all of them." He was tired of getting several marketing come-ons everyday. They were confusing and annoying and turned him off from potentially working with this talented coach. Now, I've decided not to recommend her anymore. That's what I mean about affiliate marketing being a disservice to your potential clients and ultimately to you, as well.

Number 2 Reason to Avoid Affiliate Marketing Programs: Unless you know all the people involved in the program, you may inadvertently be recommending low-quality products and services that reflect poorly on you. In my case, if a fellow coach, who has a track record for only recommending the best, recommends someone to me, I follow up on that recommendation and if it turns out well, I think even more highly of them. But if a colleague recommends a coach who disappoints, I think a little less of both of them and I make a mental note to ignore future recommendations.

For example: Last year, I signed up School of Coaching Mastery as an affiliate of a large coaching summit, because some good people were involved. I emailed my list to try out the free teleclasses and I tried out some of them, myself. With only one exception, I thought the teleclasses were just the usual cr*p. Several of my students mentioned being disappointed by them, as well. 

Here's something you need to know: once you decide to become a professional coach, you are ripe for the picking by untold numbers of coaches, consultants, marketers, webmasters, trainers and more, who know you're going to need products and services to build your business. There are a handful of folks who do extraordinary work...and there are thousands of me-too folks who want a piece of the action, even if they have nothing of real value to offer. Too often, telesummits are larded with the latter.

The telesummit in my example was well designed and they paid promptly. It was just enough money for me to consider doing it again, but it didn't pass my personal test for whether I should market something: Does it offer genuine value to my clients and potential clients? Or will it likely confuse them, waste their time, or talk them into buying services that aren't useful?

Number 3 Reason to Avoid Affiliate Marketing Programs: You may waste your own time and never get paid. Last year I was contacted by a coach I knew via social networking who pitched a product to me that she said would help my students. Normally, I would have ignored an email like that, but a student of mine had just ask me if something of that sort was available, so I checked it out. It was business-management software for coaches that included a coaching website. It looked pretty slick, so I agreed to talk to her about it.

Long story short: she offered me a free membership and what seemed like a great affiliate opportunity and it really looked like it would be helpful to my students. I spent six months promo-ing what I called a coaching-business-in-a-box to my mailing list. Quite a few people signed up, although a few of them told me they didn't like it, because it was too clunky and they could do the same tasks more easily without it. I eventually dropped it for the same reasons and...the company never paid me. I emailed the owners about it a couple of times and they never even replied to my emails! In my book that is: Really. Bad. Business. So now they're on my sh*t list and maybe, just maybe, I'm on someone else's list because I recommended them. I can say I'm sorry, but it might be too late.

So there you have 3 reasons to think twice before participating in affiliate marketing programs. Because they may be a disservice to your clients, or reflect poorly on you, or simply give you a lot of unpaid work to do.

It may surprise you (or maybe it won't) that School of Coaching Mastery has its own affiliate marketing program. Why?

Well here's an example: recently, a former member asked me if he could join my affiliate marketing program for Coach 100, because, as he said in his message to me, “Coach 100 was the best thing I ever did to get off to a fast start in my coaching business!” He knows me, knows the program and has seen the results and wants to share it. That's the kind of referral that works well for everyone involved and I'm happy to pay a fee to members who recommend us.

But here's the thing: you can make more money and experience more fulfillment by coaching your own clients. Recommend others based on value and supplement your coaching income by serving instead of leveraging a marketing scheme.

If you'd like to know more about Coach 100...

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Topics: coaching business, School of Coaching Mastery, Coaches, Coach 100, coaching clients, webinar, testimonials, teleclass, Marketing for life coaches, marketing, internet

Life Coach Fail: Are You an Unpaid Helpaholic?

Posted by Julia Stewart

life coach fail

A good life coach can be everybody else's best friend and their own worst enemy if they don't know how to say NO at the right times. Why? Because people will naturally want your help and will eventually, accidentally even, suck you dry. (Imagine what would happen to Sookie Stackhouse if she didn't take a "Back off!" attitude towards most vampires.)

A dried-up grape = a raisin. A dried-up coach = useless.

But saying NO requires discipline, because it feels good to help. And it feels really good to help for free. And it's real easy to get clients when you're doing a great job of helping everybody for free. But it's unprofessional.

Charity is a beautiful thing under the right circumstances. Coaching isn't one of them.

Charitable coaching is unprofessional, because when you coach clients for free, or for too little, it undermines their potential. People play small when they don't have enough skin in the game. That's just how we're wired.

It feels challenging - scary even - to ask people to pay for coaching. But get paid you must, unless you're independently wealthy. So that's another reason why coaching for free is unprofessional.

Here's a third reason why coaching for free is unprofessional. It allows YOU to play small, because coaching for free lets you off the hook when it comes to delivering great value.

I'm not saying that coaches should never coach for free of low fee. It's okay to do that at first (I even recomemmend it), or later if you're changing your business, but be sure you know what you're getting in return, such as experience, learning, referrals, or something else that will pay off in the long run.

Bottom Line: People reach their Greatness when they are givers, but you can receive even while you're giving. And if you don't receive for your coaching, the other people (a.k.a. your clients) won't reach their Greatness.

And isn't Greatness what coaching's all about?

Get Paid to Coach. Join Coach 100. 

Image by Bradleygee

Topics: coaching business, life coach, Coaching, coaching clients, Free, life coach salary, greatness, getting clients

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