Coaching Blog

5 Reasons Life and Business Coaches Need Inbound Marketing

Posted by Julia Stewart

Inbound Marketing for coachesIf you are a coach because you enjoy helping people, the last thing you want to do is bombard them with marketing hype.

And yet, most marketing programs do just that. Here's one that doesn't and it won't cost you a cent, because it's free on this site.

We use it and we love it. Maybe you will too. But don't take our word for it. Use it because it's right for your business.

5 Reasons why inbound marketing is right for your business:

1. Inbound Marketing is based on relationship building and mutual respect. This is the foundation of any effective coaching relationship and you simply can't have it if your marketing is based on annoying or manipulating people. So if you've been put off by marketing up until now, your intuition has been steering your right!

2. Inbound Marketing is all about listening first. As an advanced communicator, you know that listening is the first step in any transformational conversation. How can your attract your ideal clients if you're not listening to them first?

3. Inbound Marketing is not about you. Great coaching is always all about the client, so how can you market your coaching if you make it all about you? Learn to attract clients by making it all about them from the very beginning.

4. Inbound Marketing leverages your natural generosity. Great coaches are creative and love to give. If that's you, then inbound marketing is the perfect way to leverage your creativity and generosity. What could be more fun?

5. Inbound Marketing works. Don't let any 'marketing maven' tell you that you have to do things that make you cringe in order to be successful. Inbound marketing works better than traditional marketing, because your clients hate be treated like 'Joe Customer'. They love be treated with respect, generosity and listening. And quite frankly, they love it when you make it all about them!

If you really want to succeed as a coach, use marketing that reflects your own values. For most coaches, that's going to be inbound marketing. I've put together a page for you of some of my favorite inbound marketing tools. Enjoy them all for free!

Inbound Marketing for Coaches


Visit the Inbound Marketing Hub here.

Topics: coaching business, coaching clients, Free, Business Coaches, Life Coaches, coach marketing, business

Ten Secrets to Finding Your First Coaching Clients Part 1

Posted by Julia Stewart

 coach chasing client A major right of passage for any professional coach is getting your very first paid coaching client.

Some coaches feel a little anxious until they get their first client, especially if it doesn't happen quickly. But it doesn't have to be that way. My first client volunteered to work with me. In so doing, he inspired me to attract several new clients in my first year of coaching by following the following simple rules. It can be this easy for you, too. These principles can help you stop chasing and let your clients find you, instead.

Your 1st steps are really about setting the foundation for your coaching success. It's almost impossible to show up as a great coach if doubt, fear and anxiety are causing you to feel a little desperate. Here are several things you can do to make the whole process easy as silk and still maintain your enthusiasm.

1. Develop crystal clear goals. Both short term and long term goals need to be clarified. And you might be interested to know that according to the Wall Street Journal, the single variable that is most likely to predict how profitable a business will be is how big the original goal was. Just be sure you have a plan and can see how you will fulfill your really big goals. In the meantime, have smaller, doable goals, so you know you're on track. My 1st year goal for my coaching business was to break even each month, so that my coaching income at least equaled what I was paying for coach training and for my mentor coach. I achieved it. My 2nd year goal was to pay myself back for everything I had invested upfront in my coaching business, so I could make a genuine profit. I achieved that too. By the beginning of my 3rd year, I had a full coaching practice and what I was earning was virtually all profit. Sane goals like these will keep you on track while you're creating the business of your dreams.

2. Simplify everything, including your life and your business. Relationships, jobs, family, volunteer work, etc. can all derail your business plans, if you're not careful. Beware the 'Super Coach' mentality that says you just have to do it all. Nobody can do it all. Since in the beginning, filling your coaching business takes more energy than merely keeping it full, and since early on is when your coach marketing skills are likely at their weakest, plan on putting in lots of hours and energy into your business at least for the first year or two until it's full, with a waiting list, and you have a reliable marketing engine. That may mean learning to say, 'No', a lot more often. Resign from demanding volunteer positions. Explain to the kids that you may miss a soccer game or two. Delegate at work. If coaching is your calling, you owe it to yourself and the world to clear the decks to get your business set up successfully.

3. Make sure all stake holders are on the same page. Speaking of family, friends, etc. Guilt can make building your coaching business more challenging. But your loved ones can also assist you and make it easier. Rather than feel bad that you're not doing as much for everyone else, use your coaching skills to fully communicate what you're really up to. When you share your inspiration and how much this means to you with them, the people who care most about you will whole-heartedly join your team and they may even help you find clients. This is different than trying to convince someone of the value of coaching, by the way. See #6 in tomorrow's post.

4. Get the money handled. When you know you have enough money coming in already, you can afford to trust the process of attracting clients. Starting a business is not like starting a new job. You won't get a paycheck in two weeks. But your time investment will payoff handsomely, if you go the distance. This is a good time to simplify your financial life, along with everything else. Reduce debts by negotiating for lower interest rates. Stop paying for things you aren't using. If you're not confident you have enough money coming in already, consider getting a part-time job. Some of the most successful coaches I've known took service jobs before they became successful. That way, they could focus on what they wanted to create instead of worrying about the money.

5. Tell everybody what you're up to. This is technically known as marketing, a.k.a. telling people how you can help. In your first year of coaching, even if your coaching skills aren't fully honed, yet, share your excitement and inspiration about coaching with pretty much everybody. Don't be attached to getting them to understand coaching the way you do. They probably won't. Do share your energy. That's naturally attractive and even contagious. My first client volunteered to work with me (and paid me) because I shared my excitement with him about what coaching can do. That's all it took! And he continued coaching with me for 7 years. You don't  need to convince people that you can help them. Convincing never works. See below.

Come back tomorrow for the last five secrets of finding your first coaching clients.

Are the first five secrets helpful to you? Do you have secrets of your own to share with other coaches? Please post them in the comments section.

Coach 100 eBook


Download the free Coach 100 eBook for more ideas on how to find your first coaching clients.

Topics: coaching business, Coaching, Coach 100, coaching clients, Free, coaching skills

Become a Master Coach with Free Triads

Posted by Julia Stewart

Coaching Triad I spoke to a member of Certification Bootcamp this morning about her Coaching Triads.

She called me because I sent her a rather cryptic message:

  1. Stop being 'nice'; start being honest.
  2. Dig deeper. 

But maybe I should back up a bit and mention what a coaching triad is and how it helps you become a master coach. A coaching triad is a tool I dreamed up with one of my mentor coaches many years ago as a way for coaches to prep for IAC Certification. Triads provide learning on multiple levels and they are free. Three coaches get on a three-way-calling line or use a free bridge line. They each take turns being the coach, the client and the observer. After each coaching session, they talk about what they heard. Everybody learns - fast. This is an 'extra service' that Bootcamp members are using to prep for the live intensive - fast.

Back to the coach who called me. You see, someone (I thought it was her) from the bootcamp emailed me over the weekend, and asked how to tell a triad partner that her coaching was missing the mark. She also mentioned that she was having trouble coming up with a problem or goal to be coached on in every triad session. Hence my advice above.

It turns out I sent the advice to the 'wrong' coach, but it fit perfectly for her. And I can't find the original email from whoever sent it and I suspect it doesn't exist. (Imagine the theme from the Twilight Zone playing).

Those questions are common problems for coaches in triads until they start thinking like master coaches. Then the problems disappear like 'magic', because their thinking has changed.

We employ as many tools like these as possible so our student/coaches become master coaches faster. Certification, especially live certification, turns up the heat like a catalyst in a chemical reaction. Learning become almost instant.

I believe it was Leonard Bernstein who said that to achieve great things, it takes a plan and not quite enough time. So I suggest you plan to be a master coach faster. It's the surest way to coaching success. Once you start thinking like a master coach, you'll understand why.

Coach Certification Bootcamp

Ready to achieve great things and become a master coach faster? There are 2 seats left at the early bird price for the live Certification Bootcamp intensive. Join us!

 Oh, and if you're the one who sent me that email, you're answer is above.

Topics: Free, Become a Master Coach, becoming a certified coach, Coach Certification, Coaching Triads, IAC, certified coach

Life Coaching, Terrorism and Harvard. Wha??

Posted by Julia Stewart

Coach Reporter

While prepping for my interview tomorrow with Coach Reporter, MarkJoyella, I came across some fascinating tidbits on coaching in the posts filed by Mark at Coaching Commons.

As a former TV journalist (and Emmy Award winner), Mark keeps his finger on the coaching pulse like the pro that he is. Who better to interview on current trends in coaching for the January teleconference meeting of the IAC North American Virtual Chapter?

Some of these trends ultimately will impact how you practice the profession of coaching. And if there is one trend in coaching that never seems to go away, it's that the coaches who succeed best are either the ones leading the way or those who keep up and adapt quickly to important trends. 

You need to be at this interview. 

We'll be talking about the latest research on coaching, business mergers, high tech developments and job opportunities and we'll even touch on the story that I think proves that coaching has already gone mainstream!

There'll be a quick Q&A at the end of the interview, followed by 30 minutes on some Mastery 1 coaching skills that you probably already have, but may not be using, which can simplify your coaching and lead to happier more successful clients. 

We meet Thursday, January 14th, 2 - 3:30 PM Eastern/NY Time. To join this call and receive notifications on upcoming calls, as well as a white paper on 'How to Become an IAC Certified Coach', a recorded interview with IAC Certifiers, Natalie Tucker Miller and Elizabeth Nofziger, plus the IAC Notes - all for free -

IAC White Paper


Join IAC NAC Here. 

Topics: Coaching, Free, how to become a certified life coach, Life Coaching, IAC, Coaching Commons

Find a Coach 2.0

Posted by Julia Stewart

Mastery Coach Exchange

 Mastery Coach Exchange (MCX) is School of Coaching Mastery's own find-a-coach/social networking site.

MCX is designed to give professional coaches and the people who want to hire them, a chance to interact before money exchanges hands. It's also a great place for people who are thinking about becoming coaches to interact with coaches who are already doing it. In other words, MCX is an interactive coach directory. 

Many of my first clients came to me through coach directories that I participated in. The process was frustrating though, because directories are/were completely passive. All you could do was list yourself and then pray that potential clients would see your listing and call you.

Web 2.0 rewards coaches for doing what they do best: communicating and relating. Trouble is, most folks on Facebook and elsewhere are there to socialize, so you need to market delicately, if at all. Otherwise, your marketing message will be about as well received as that FBI warning on your favorite DVD. Market poorly online and you risk turning off the very people you'd like to attract.

MCX is clearly designed for professional coaches and those who want to hire them and/or learn more about them. Potential clients want to hear your marketing message. In fact, they want to get to know you. What better place than in a safe online community?

Best of all, you can add your profile to MCX for free. However, to be approved for membership, you must add a head shot of yourself, your first and last name, and at least one website or blog  address and/or social networking profile, so we can determine if you are who you say you are.

MCX is undergoing some upgrades right now to make it even more effective. Adding social share app's will help to spread your message across the web. We're also adding a monthly newsletter, to keep you updated on what's happening and you'll receive cool opportunities and discounts on School of Coaching Mastery programs.



Join MCX Here. 

Topics: Coaching, Coaches, Free, coach, social networking, clients, web 2.0, FIND A COACH

Coaches and Others: Lose Your Isolation.

Posted by Julia Stewart


There aren't many companies that I would write a love letter to or about

Here is just one that I thought I would share with you, because you'd probably love them, too. And even if you aren't in the market for their service, you might as well try it out, because it's free and trust me, you'll find cool ways to use it.


Here's my experience.


As the owner of a "cutting edge" coaching school, I went on a mission last year to find the perfect way to share coach training. Something that would combine the intense experience of live training with the convenience and cost-savings of teleclasses. I knew there had to be something better than teleclasses. I was right, but it took a long time to find it.


I explored every software out there from WebEx, to GoToMeeting, to InstantTeleseminar and a whole bunch you've never even heard of. You know what I found out? They are all expensive, clunky, sometimes hard to use and they almost always require participants to wait while the system downloads something to their computers, before they can even join the class.


I don't know about you, but I'm pretty leery about downloading anything that I don't already understand and I hate to wait.


My clients and students are the same way. I bet you are too. And I bet your friends, family, clients, customers and/or students are, too.


Somebody finally answered my prayers (Thank you, Seth Godin, for pointing the way). Less than a year ago, I discovered a brand new company that had set their sights on turning the business of webinars upside down.


You're not interested in doing webinars? Well, do you...


  • Wish you could visit with family and friends, like they were in the room with you (smiling faces and all)?
  • Do you wish you could watch your favorite videos with your faraway friends and chat and laugh like you were together?
  • Do you ever have long-distance phone meetings where you're all trying to follow they same notes, contracts, reports, etc.?
  • Do you ever wish you could stop driving/flying/training and spending time, money, fuel and what's left of the environment, just so you could do your work with others?


In other words, if you could use this service for nothing, then why on Earth wouldn't you? The only reason I can think of is that you just don't know about it, yet.


So I'm telling you: Get Dimdim.

It's as close to perfect as it comes. You can meet freely. And easily. And do lots of cool stuff with the people you love, no matter where they are.


Yes, you can do more if you pay something (An annual subscription is a fraction of what WebEx costs for one month), but for most people, the free account is all you'll ever need and it's not a free trial. It's free forever!


And yes, Dimdim has offered to expand my service if I tell my friends about it, so that's my selfish reason for writing, but I already brag about Dimdim to everyone I know. So.





Topics: Coaching, coach training, Free, Coach Training Programs, Seth Godin, teleclass, video coaching, coach training school, In-person coach training

Should Coaching Be Free?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Notice how certain memes seem to be on everyone's mind at the same time? Makes you wonder. I read the Wired article on Chris Anderson's book FREE! last night and in my inbox this morning was TrendWatch's Free Love article. None of the ideas in either article were really new to me, but they did spark several new inspirations, so that's pretty cool.

Learned a couple of new words: Freevertising and Freeconomics (not the book, the phenomenon)

Basic idea: Business is quickly moving toward $0.00 for everything. Great news for consumers, eh? So how do you make any money?

Answer: Get real creative. A lot of people who read this blog have already experienced the excitement, love and loyalty this type of business model creates, because they were members in an early FREE business venture, one that was a featured Purple Cow, back in the early 2000's. Remember Thomas Leonard's "free web-based coach training?" About 30,000 people signed up in two years and Thomas made 2 million dollars. Whoa. How does that work?? It was brilliant.

If you read the aforementioned articles, you'll find that most money is being made via advertising. Think: Google. That's not how Thomas did it, exactly.

However, the concept is the same. In today's market, you don't prosper just by getting people's money. The competition is too stiff. It takes more: Prosper by getting people's attention and by creating value for them. A lot of it. Today everyone seems to do that by making stuff free.

Chris Anderson makes the point that there is a huge psychological difference between cheap and free. Especially now that stuff from China, service from India and virtually anything on the web is so cheap you can hardly believe it. 

If you want to make a statement, make it FREE.

This does beg the question: How can you possibly stand out if everything is free? (Much less make any money?) That's where your creativity comes in.

You might be relieved to know that I actually don't think coaching should be free. Not most of the time, anyway. But "free" is a valuable tool, so don't throw it away.

The Trendwatch article pointed me toward Kevin Kelly's Technium Blog
about the stuff that shouldn't be free. That's where the money is. He had a list of 8 things and added a 9th: Trust. These are what people pay MORE for.

Here's the list:

1. Immediacy

2. Personalization

3. Interpretation

4. Authenticity

5. Accessibility

6. Embodiment

7. Patronage

8. Findability

How many of these features does your coaching have? How can you tweak it so it has all of them? That's right. You can charge MORE for all that.

Now how can you make stuff free for the sheer joy of it ~ and create raving fans for your business? 

You see? You really are brilliant!

Copyright, Julia Stewart, 2008
All rights reserved.

Topics: Free, Kevin Kelly, Chris Anderson

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