School of Coaching Mastery

Coaching Blog

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

Marketing for Coaches: It's Not About Being Popular

Posted by Julia Stewart

Oddly, when you market your coaching, you really don't want to attract everybody. You only want to attract those who are right for you and your business. Erika Napoletano at TEDxBoulder 2012, explains in hilarious fashion, with a few swear words. Love her or hate her, hear her message.

Topics: Coaching, Coaches, marketing and sales, Attraction Principles, TED, Marketing for life coaches, marketing

How Do You Brand a Coaching Business When It's Not All About You?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Your coaching business is all about your clients, not you. So how do you market and sell Brand YOU? Below is an info graphic with some of the secrets of branding in today's world.

At the bottom is a link to register for the new Q&A class called, "What Adele Can Teach You About Marketing". Learn the subtleties of branding when it's about you, but it really isn't. We'll look at some of the ways the singer, Adele, has mastered this for mega-success. And if you'd like to attend this one-time-only class for free, help us promote the class on Facebook or Twitter and we'll thank you with a guest pass!

infographic Branding 02 resized 600 resized 600

Branding a coaching business is subtle. The success of mega-star, Adele, can teach you some lessions about branding. If you'd like to join the upcoming class, click below. To get it for free, join School of Coaching Mastery on Facebook or @MasteryCoach on Twitter and share or RT our announcements about this one-time-only class. We'll give you a guest pass to say, "Thanks!"

Join What Adele Can Teach You About Marketing

Topics: coaching business, coach training, School of Coaching Mastery, coaching class, marketing and sales, coach marketing, marketing

The Science of Attracting Coaching Clients

Posted by Julia Stewart

Double Dutch by PitsLamp resized 600

 

As a professional service provider, there are two things you must learn in order to succeed with coaching.

1. How to coach professionally: This includes polishing your coaching skills until you provide value worth approximately 10 times what your clients pay.

2. How to attract coaching clients: This includes filling your client roster for the first time (usually the toughest) and then keeping it full or even maintaining a waiting list of eager clients.

 

Obviously, #1, providing 10 times the value, will help you with #2. But did you know that #2, attracting lots of coaching clients, is the key to #1?

 

The data tell us that these two skills, delivering coaching value and attracting clients, comprise a constantly repeating feedback loop. One builds on the other and visa versa. That’s why some coaches are extraordinarily successful, while others seem to struggle forever.

 

You’ve got to step into that loop and stay there. Kind of like Double Dutch

 

If you learned Double Dutch as a kid, you know that just getting into the game is a challenge, especially for the newbie. It takes courage, lots of energy and great timing. And staying in the game requires 10 times as much of all three.

 

But that’s what makes it so darn fun.

 

You might not think that science and data are fun or even appropriate for coaching. After all, coaching done well is an art form. But when the data teach you what to do more of and what to do less in order to succeed quickly, you get more of what you want faster. And your clients get more value.

 

You’re in the loop. That’s more fun.

 

Unfortunately, most coaches, especially those who are new, do not have access to data that helps them get what they want. You need a large sampling from your own business to get actionable data that can guide you. This requires that you start experimenting early and often.

 

Think of experimentation as Play + Feedback = Rapid Growth.

 

I’ve recently collected data on 22 coaches who have participated in Coach 100 in the past year. Coach 100 is a long-term experiment that teaches coaches how to get clients by offering complimentary coaching sessions. This gives them a large enough sample to get actionable data.

Some Coach 100 coaches in my sample were brand-spanking new when they started the program. Others were long-time veterans. Collectively, they offered 464 complimentary sessions, or an average of 21 per coach. The most sessions offered was 106, by one coach, and the least, just 1 session each, by four coaches.

Between them, they got:

  • 219 testimonials (gold, especially for the new coach who needs evidence to prove their ability)
  • 75 referrals for potential clients (again, gold, especially when you’re building a new business)
  • 162 clients (gold, period).

That’s more than seven clients, each, or one client for every three complimentary sessions. That’s the average. Interestingly, the newbie coaches did almost as well as the veterans, especially the ones who coached the most people. That suggests they're learning really fast.

 

Could you use 7 new coaching clients?

 

Of course part of the treasure that the coaches receive is in the feedback they get privately from each person they coach via their Coach 100 Feedback Survey.

Their individual feedback data help them:

a. find their niche and specialty, which makes future marketing much easier

b. helps them learn to sign on clients with finesse, which brings all-important income

c. helps them become master coaches and even get certified (remember: 10 times the value).

Last but not least, Coach 100 gets coaches into that all-important feedback loop where they’re playing full out and simultaneously learn to deliver amazing value, while attracting plenty of clients. That’s where extraordinary success happens. Why?

 

See those master Double Dutch players doing back flips, above?

 

They’re performing in exhibitions and competitions. Think they practice hundreds of hours for those events? If they want to win, they do. Think they hone their craft with the feedback they get during every competition? Again, if they want to win. Lots of practice, lots of events, lots of feedback (data). That’s how you master Double Dutch. That’s how you win. 

Coaches need similar structures to get them into that feedback loop so they can master coaching sessions and master the science of getting coaching clients. The Coach 100 process does all that and gives a certification, too.

Could you coach 100 people without the program? Theoretically, yes, but I’ve never seen anyone do it. It helps to have a structure that streamlines the process and supports the coach through to the end. Coaches need structure and systems to succeed, just like their clients.

 

Want to win at master coaching sooner, rather than later?

 

You may want to join a small group of high performers who are focused on filling their client rosters in about three months. I’ll be your personal mentor coach.

runner small

 

Master the science of attracting coaching clients here.

 

Double Dutch photo by Pitslamp

Topics: coaching business, group coaching, Coach 100, coaching clients, make a living as a life coach, Coaching 100, marketing and sales, master coach, sales training for new coaches, coaching niche

Marketing and Sales: Nice Girls Don’t (Nice Coaches Don’t, Either)

Posted by Julia Stewart

Nice girl?If there's one thing that makes some coaches (OK, a lotta coaches, especially new ones) feel kinda squeamish, icky, or dirty; it's marketing and sales. Makes you feel like you did when those snotty, dirty boys pulled your dress up on the playground. You're not that kinda girl!

Okay, I'm being a little silly here, but if that's how you feel, it can get in the way of your success, Big Time. Unless of course, someone else is signing your clients on for you! So let's see if you can shift your perspective, here.

Gosh, where to begin with this issue? Let's look at why coaches feel this way to begin with. So what are all the reasons you've ever felt funny about selling? Please reflect on that. Make a list. Here are some I've heard about:

  • You were raised to be modest
  • You don't want to look pushy
  • You don't want to seem self-serving
  • You don't want to have an agenda
  • You don't want to be greedy

Hmm...notice the word all those phrases begin with?

YOU.

Yeah, ouch! There you go, worrying about yourself instead of focusing on the client! Oddly enough, when you're busy worrying about your modesty, you're ego is getting in your way. (And don't bother re-writing your list of reasons. Regardless of how you worded them, I can virtually guarantee that your objections to selling are ego-based, unless you honestly believe coaching is sleazy, in which case, why are you coaching?)

Your ego doesn't belong in a coaching call.

You probably already knew that, but how do you get your focus off yourself, onto the client, and still make a sale? Well, it's easy, once you get it AND until you get it, it's impossible!

Let's look at why you became a coach, in the first place. You may want to make another list. Here are some possible reasons:

  • You want to help people
  • You have a gift in this area
  • You've done a lot of work on yourself and you want to share it
  • You want to change the world

Well, these are pretty noble reasons and you may have noticed that there's a lot of "You" in there, again. But, what if you took "You" out?

  • Help people
  • Share gifts
  • Change the world

The noble stuff is still there and the phrases get more active. And your stuff is gone. If you're not in the picture, then your modesty, how you want to look and be, don't even matter anymore. The focus is off you and onto the action. Now you're ready to take action and make it all about the client.

I'm not just playing word games here; this is real.

If "you" didn't exist in a selling conversation, who would the conversation be about? The client, of course. Whose needs would matter? Whose finances, etc.? Does this person need a coach? Maybe. Do they want one for free? Probably not, because healthy, well-functioning people - the kind who make good clients - don't want handouts. They might even feel uncomfortable and say "No" if you insisted on coaching them for free. (The client, by the way, gets to show up to the session with all their ego stuff. It's you who needs to park it.)

Most clients will feel better about coaching with you if you let them pay you what coaching is worth to them. So that's the money thing.

And then there's the rejection thing. If you're worried about it, then it's your ego again. Strangely enough, clients worry about rejection, too. That's why making an invitation is so important. If you're doing a complimentary session with someone who sounds like your ideal client, park your fear of rejection and make an offer. Otherwise, you may be denying the other person a beautiful opportunity to grow and have a new life. Get yourself out of the way and find out if they're ready to take a chance. Often, all they need is an invitation from you.

Good coach marketing and selling is just clean above-board communication and relationship building.

Think about it. Part of being authentic is communicating honestly about who you are. That's integrity. If coaching is in integrity with your authentic self, then communicating about the gifts you have to offer the world as a coach, is part of your authenticity. If you're refusing to market and and unwilling to make a sale, a.k.a. communicate honestly and make invitations, then you're out of integrity. Your ego is in the way. Nobody is served.

So if you feel uncomfortable with marketing and sales, I have a tongue-in-cheek suggestion for you: Stop thinking dirty. Start taking actions that help more people experience the benefits of coaching. In other words, fill up your coaching practice!

Come on! You'll still respect yourself in the morning!

This is a theme we visit again and again in Coach 100, but especially in C100 classes #5 &6, "Successful Complimentary Sessions, Part I & II", and class #11, "I Hate to Market!"

Copyright, 2005, 2006, Julia Stewart

Photo by Skirt Girl Monica at Flickr Commons

Topics: Coach 100, marketing and sales, ego, coaching call, communication

    Subscribe for FREE: Learn About Coaching

    Follow Us

    The Coaching Blog

    If you're a professional Business or Life Coach or you're interested in becoming one, the SCM Coaching Blog covers topics you may want to know about: How to Become a Business or Life Coach, Grow a Successful Coaching Business, Get Coach Training and/or Business and Life Coach Certification, Become a Coaching Master and Evolve Your Life and Business. 

    Subscribe above and/or explore by tag, month or article popularity, below.

    Latest Posts

    Most Popular Posts

    Browse by Tag

    Top Career-Jobs Sites Living-Well blog