Social media has become a way of life and it impacts our personal and professional lives in a major way. There are millions of people each day sharing information about their lives, businesses, news, sports, and the list goes on. It is evident that in order for your coaching business to thrive, you must also utilize social media. If you are not using social media and you are successful as a life coach, then kudos to you. On the other hand, you are leaving a lot of money on the table by choosing not to be active on the world-wide web (www).
The one big advantage of using social media is that it is FREE! It adds tons of value to your bottom line when you market your services and products on these platforms. It is the first place people look to find you when you tell them you are in business. I am not a master at social media, but there are a few things I have learned that can help you with building your network full of potential clients to market your services to and to build a tribe who will respect you as a life coach. Below are a few tips to help you build your network without leaving your home. Especially, if at times you do not have time to do face-to-face networking. Below are a couple of things you can do to make yourself visible on social media and begin growing your network of potential customers and collaborators.
Get social! Choose social media platforms that are right for your coaching practice.
Establish yourself as a subject matter expert in your coaching niche(s).
Start and/or join groups and discussions on your social media platforms where your target audience is.
Don’t be afraid to connect with people you do not know. Add them to your network and establish a relationship before selling to them. Don’t be afraid to ask for a conference call or a face-to-face meeting if the person is local.
About Dr. Rhonda Anderson
Dr. Rhonda Anderson is a Life Transition Strategist and the President/CEO of A Scholars Touch, LLC. She specializes in Life, Education, and Business coaching. Dr. Rhonda serves youth (ages 12-21), adults, and entrepreneurs with obtaining success both personally and professionally. She has coached clients both nationally and internationally in group settings and individually. In addition, she is the co-founder of iNSPIRE Entrepreneurs and is the co-host of a web series called Changing Lives 365.
You’re an amazing coach and you know it. You’ve got the skill set to do your job effectively and provide the utmost value to transform your client’s lives. Yet, why is no one knocking on your door to sign up for your coaching services?
The answer is simple: You’re not promoting yourself.
I’ve got some pathetic news for you. 80% of coaches are unable to support themselves solely through their coaching practice. That means only 20% of coaches make a living doing what they love and what they’re good at. Are you part of the 80% or 20%? If you’re not part of the 20%, there is still hope to turn your income around!
To become one of the 20% of coaches who fully support themselves and get clients knocking on their door, you need to promote your services. There are many ways to promote your services and you need to know which ways produce the results you’re looking for.
Practice what you preach – Ask yourself how many clients you want right now. Write this number down on a piece of paper and write down why you want that number. Post this paper in a location you’ll look at everyday such as your desk, refrigerator, or next to your night stand. Say this number out loud several times a day. State the reason why you want this number when you wake up and before you go to sleep.
You need to do this so you have a concrete goal to reach for. You also need to believe in the goal you set for yourself. You know this works because you’re a coach and it’s worked for your clients.
Network, Even if You’re an Introvert! – Getting outside of your comfort zone and introducing yourself to strangers is the best way to meet prospective clients face to face. You get to ask questions to people and learn more about their daily challenges. Go to places like meet up events, local charity fundraisers, or community social mixers. When you go to these events, have a few business cards handy and get ready to introduce yourself.
This is your opportunity to promote who you are, what you do, and why its important. Make sure you speak from a place of honesty and integrity. When you start a conversation at a networking event, ask open ended questions that get other people to speak. This way, you can decide whether or not your coaching services align with their challenges and goals.
If you meet people who don’t need coaching at the moment, don’t be afraid to ask for a referral. Most people are happy to make introductions, especially when you’ve got a great service to provide!
Ask for the sale with confidence – You need to believe that your coaching service is the greatest investment anyone can make in themselves. If you don’t believe that, your future clients will never believe it either. You will only get a client to sign up for your coaching service if you ask for the sale. This means you need to clearly state what your services include and the associated price.
When you ask for the sale and your client follows through, make sure you provide the utmost value for their investment. You need to do this because this is what keeps clients coming back for more coaching sessions and make referrals to your business on your behalf.
These are a few pointers to get clients lining up for your coaching practice. The advice may sound simple and trite, but the techniques are timeless and effective. You deserve to have a fruitful coaching practice because you will be rewarded with personal and professional happiness, pleasure, and fulfillment. When your clients walk away with value and growth, they’ll thank you for your advice and send more clients your way to keep you busy for years and years to come.
About Max DuBowy
Max DuBowy is the founder of Your Success Launch. He helps introverted business owners make friends and sign-up clients in a way that’s easy, effective and fun!
I did quite a lot of networking last week… unusual for me, but, like buses, several interesting events came along together so off I trundled.
Generally, they were good – lots of new people to talk to and although I didn’t meet anyone I was interested in for my own business, there were a couple of lovely people there who might well turn out to be useful contacts for my clients.
So, there I was, happily chatting away about websites when he appeared, the one person you dread meeting at an event like this. That’s right, the “Networker from Hell” or NFH, as I like to call him. (NFH, as we all know, stands for something else entirely, but it’s also a fitting acronym here too, with the words “no” and “hope” applying perfectly)
We’ve all met this guy. Strides right in from left-field, business card in hand, which he then proceeds to thrust into your unsuspecting hand, while trying to shake the other one simultaneously. Ignoring any other ongoing conversation, he (or even she) then proceeds to bang on about themselves for the next five minutes, asks you nothing about your own business, then strides off purposefully looking for his next victim, leaving everyone slightly shell-shocked in his wake. Fantastic!
Could it get any worse? Well actually it does! In fact, this particular individual has met me before on no less than four previous occasions and yet he still pounced on me as a potential new source of business and treated me as a total stranger. He clearly had no recollection of any earlier encounters. I’d like to think this has nothing to do with me and my ability to make a stunning first impression and everything to do with the fact that he obviously pays very little attention to who he actually meets at these type of things.
This is clearly not networking at its best. What does he really hope to achieve by this approach? I’ve no idea, but I do know what my response to it will always be. His business card will go in the nearest recycling receptacle, never to be thought of again.
In short, he has No Flipping (trying to keep it polite and professional) Hope!
Fortunately, Mr NFH is a rare breed these days. Most people know how to network and are a pleasure to meet and chat to, regardless of whether there’s any business to be done.
But, if most have sorted it out on an actual basis, why oh why do so many fail to grasp the niceties on a virtual platform? I’m talking about LinkedIn here and those individuals you’ve never set eyes on before who send that dreadful standard, lazy message “I’d like to add you to my network”
I bet you would! But it’s not going to happen.
LinkedIn is, among other things, an online networking tool. It works very well if you use it correctly and can be great for getting to know people you might not otherwise get to meet, particularly if they live miles away or even on another continent. I’ve made some very valuable contacts through LinkedIn, by commenting on discussions and generally being sociable, by striking up conversations with others who share similar, as well as conflicting, opinions. I now have a number of contacts across the UK, as well as in America, that I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting face-to-face, but through the conversations we’ve had to date, feel I’ve got to know them fairly well and they have become valuable connections.
The key here is “networking” – it’s just like the face-to-face stuff, but online. So you should act accordingly. If you’re not a NFH in person, don’t be one online. If you want to connect with someone you don’t know, give them a reason to respond to you. Show interest in them and what they do. Start building that relationship. Explain why you’d like to connect. It’ll make all the difference.
Don’t be an NFH.
Just because you’re not meeting someone face-to-face, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make the proper introductions.
Treat online networking like it is in real life; show interest in the person you’re trying to connect with and start building a relationship
About Lisa Chilvers
Lisa Chilvers is a business development specialist with emphasis on improving customer retention and delivering five star service, helping SME’s implement strategies to grow their businesses by building better relationships with their customers and clients.
She specialises in providing the tools and strategies needed to address business issues and delivers bespoke development consultancy, training and coaching to companies across the UK, helping them to be the best at what they do.”
Being a coach, may that be life, business or corporate coach, is a wonderful profession. As I hope you agree!
It can, however, also be challenging. Business wise and emotionally.
Let’s quickly explore the business challenges faced by coaches today. Contrary to many training providers message to aspiring coaches, the market is very competitive and many coaches struggle to find enough clients to run a sustainable business.
There are a number of reasons for this that I’ve experienced and witnessed; both personally and in my coach mentoring clients. They include that:
The market is pretty flooded with coaches. It’s sold as an inspiring and easy way to earn money, on your own terms. Whilst it’s incredibly inspiring when you work with great clients, it’s pretty tough if you can’t get them!
Coaching isn’t yet a regulated profession meaning the market gets even more flooded as individuals with no relevant qualifications nor experience are free to call themselves coaches.
The lack of regulation also challenges the reputation of coaching, and some are skeptical about its effectiveness due to a bad experience with a cowboy or cowgirl, or simply have heard of bad experiences by others.
Great coaches are not always great business people. For some, their emotional sensitivity can act like a saboteur of their business mindedness and focus. Whilst it’s part of what makes them fabulous coaches, it can leave them a little vulnerable to the competitive, hard nosed reality that many experience.
Some or all of the above hurdles, can result in self-doubt. Self-doubt around whether you’ve chosen the right profession, whether that ‘calling’ you enjoyed early on is to be trusted and maybe even whether you’re actually any good as a coach.
Such a spiral of negativity and self-doubt can, if left uninterrupted, result in any manner of self sabotage.
Whilst self sabotage is a concept many coaches have knowledge of and regularly help clients recognize and overcome, ironically, it’s also a concept that many coaches themselves accidentally fail to recognise and address in themselves and in the development and maintenance of their coaching practices.
Here’s a few tips on how to ensure you stay in control and don’t allow yourself to inadvertently sabotage your own success or enjoyment:
1. Accept that you’re selling a service not YOU. When identifying what you offer as yourself, rather than a service, you may feel inflated pride when someone buys your services. This feeling can be very seductive! However, the flip side to this is that you’re also vulnerable to feeling rejected when someone says no thanks. You then find yourself taking an emotional nose dive! Too extreme a high and too severe a low. Reframe your thinking and consider it as you would an offer of a free coffee – if you turn it down, it’s not personal to the coffee shop. You’re just not in the mood, you don’t know how delicious their coffee is or you haven’t got time to stop. The same goes for coaching.
2. Don’t expect yourself to be perfectly happy and confident always. Just because you help others maximize aspects of their lives doesn’t mean YOURS has to always be perfect. After all, we accept there is no such thing as perfect and wouldn’t expect our clients’ lives to be. So why set ourselves up to fail like this?
3. Don’t knock a little bit of self doubt. It’s the thing that might ensure you keep learning and listening. It’s what makes and keeps you great and it could be key to your success. If you had none, ever, always knowing you’re right and excellent, you’d run the risk of becoming pretty unbearable. It also helps you relate to your clients, increasing your level of empathy and ability to coach them effectively. Keep it in check though – it needs to be at a healthy level!
4. Are you uncomfortable networking and marketing your services to your contacts? Do you worry they might not respect coaching? Remember, you’re not contacting them for validation but to let them know what you offer. They don’t need it? That’s fine! Like it’d be fine if they don’t need new paper to a paper salesman. S/he’d rather you bought some but s/he’s not personally affronted that you didn’t.
5. Insecure about justifying the value of coaching to those who are successful without it? There are people who complete a marathon without much training. It doesn’t mean they wouldn’t have got a better time, or wouldn’t have enjoyed the run more, with the right training
6. Don’t confuse wisdom with common sense. Often intuitive coaches feel their insights, deductions and conclusions are obvious and therefore undervalue them. In the words of Brian O’driscoll, “knowledge is knowing tomatoes are a fruit. Wisdom is not to put them in a fruit salad.” You have the knowledge and wisdom and you’re a great coach because of the very fact that they feel obvious to you.
If some or all of the above resonate with you, try having them nearby as a reminder to call upon whenever you feel the self doubt creeping in along with the classic avoidance techniques (or self sabotage if you will) such as procrastination, missing deadlines, avoiding the calls to potential clients or spending time on negative self talk. Use them as a way to centre yourself, pull yourself out of autopilot responses and crack on with the next positive thing. Make your coaching practice the wonderful experience it truly is, for your clients and yourself!
About Charlotta Hughes
Charlotta has been coaching professionally for over 12 years and in March 2013 she won Life Coach of the Year, awarded by the national body Association of Professional Coaches, Trainers and Consultants.
Her background is within Human Resources and she started her busy coaching practice, be me life coaching, in January 2007.
Charlotta specialises in coach mentoring, confidence, direction and entrepreneur coaching.
Her academic qualifications include professional Life and Corporate Coaching qualifications. She also has a BSc (hons) in Psychology & Computing, an MA in Human Resources Management and she is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
I am really keen to ‘connect’ the right people for mutual benefits, hence I love networking. I get a buzz from putting someone in touch who can help someone else and benefit themselves too.
One of the things I find surprising in my therapeutic business is the ‘fear’ of connecting with other people in the same or similar business. A fear, perhaps, of losing clientele to someone else, or someone taking your ideas – I understand. But really, in effect, getting together to network, collaborate or just connect on a regular basis can only bring benefits for all! Like what, you might wonder?
• Learning about other options available in your community – for you, your clients, your family and friends. There are so many different options now that can meet various needs e.g. holistic events, Christmas markets, social events and business support options are just a few.
• I need to find someone to meet people’s needs where I can’t – for example:
* I don’t offer hypnotherapy, EFT, mindfulness per se, or other relevant services *Although Person centred trained, I work more integratively using my counselling coaching skills to benefit each individual client and meet their unique needs * Other practitioners don’t have my set of services or skills to meet an enquiry needs * We all have resources others could use but may not have, and could share * Sharing marketing maybe – advertising, forums, share service provisions
Cover for breaks or absences that could help keep your business and income running * Ongoing personal and professional development and support through sharing, listening, hearing each other
• Understanding where you fit in the health & well-being/development service community
• You can be the connection and the solution for clients in need – that can only be good for marketing!
• Stimulating your ideas and creative business management – motivation, inspiration
• Encouragement and support to get through hard times, celebrate good times – and just connect!
• PD groups – learning, growing, sharing experience and perspectives
• Market research – share ideas but make sure it has boundaries, confidentiality and use restrictions to protect you and your business/creativity
• Sharing clients! Believe it or not – you could! I know I can’t be all things to all clients, so sometimes enquiries don’t move on – they don’t ‘like’ me or my practice, I’m not local to them, they need something but don’t know what
• Mutual support, inspiration and motivation
• Someone takes a client who could have been yours – unlikely or they would have chosen you!
• Someone steals your ideas – agree mutually beneficial, safe and respectful boundaries for working together and networking
• Competition is healthy – it keeps us on our toes (not direct challenges maybe, but options)
• Someone judges you (you think) – it’s good to be challenged, it helps you develop!
• Missing out and harder work – maybe but motivating too.
So try it and see! What do you have to lose? And to gain?
Feel free to link with me on social media below. I love the stimulation and insights, the comments and perspectives I find from other therapists and new ideas I can use to help my clients, from those further away who won’t feel threatened by my practice.
Think about how you benefit or could do, and how it could hinder your business – and take action by connecting, commenting, explaining to others how you feel and how you might be challenged by them.
About Julie Crowley
Julie Crowley, Personal Counsellor and Career Coach based in Lees, Oldham – Clear Mind Life Coaching & Counselling. May aim is for people to explore their potential, achieve it if they wish to and develop their Personal Power to create the life they want to live – informed choices, effective decisions and working to strengths whilst managing areas for development!
Over the next few days I’m going to briefly recap the last years worth of guest posts that appear here each Friday.
Today we start by looking at the first three months of this year.
In the first post of 2012 Amber Fogarty shared how she is in the “habit change business” discussing something she talks about a lot with clients in “Developing Better Habits”.
Coach and trainer Lorraine Hurst then followed with a post that could be of use to both yourself and your clients. “Blue Monday – what colour will yours be?” was published just prior to the third Monday of the year – read the post to see the significance of that date!
Coach and author of “Secrets of Successful Coaches”, Karen Williams, shared her expertise and knowledge in the third guest post of the year: “How does your mindset affect your business?” Read how Karen believes mindset, marketing and business knowledge will affect a successful coaching business.
The final post in January saw Karen Wise sharing a personal experience in the post “Relationship drama.” How familiar is this incident in either your own life or with what your clients tell you?
As we started the second month of the year, coach Marie Yates turned her attention to the action taken to the goals and plans made at the start of the New Year. This post contains a series of questions to assist you to make progress. Read “The warm up is complete… It is time for the main event.” 11 months since this was first published – what would your answers to these questions be today?
Liz Scott loves bringing coaches together to share experiences and knowledge. Her post focused upon “Parallel conversations and coaching”, using her personal experience as a lesson to be used in coaching sessions.
Lenny Deverill-West shared how he has been practically incorporating other teachings into his own work with clients. Read more about what he is doing in “The Coaching Aha!”
Coach Angus MacLennan, who delivers practical Business Support to Business Owners, turned his attention to the subject that can have many new coaching business owners scratching their heads in the post “Niching Has Failed”
How to market your coaching is an often requested topic, in our next guest post coach Cindy Hillsey shared her expertise and knowledge in “Marketing and your Ideal Client”
This was originally published as a bonus article in the Coaching Confidence weekly email during October 2011. To start getting your very own copy each week enter your details under “Don’t miss a thing!” to the right of this page.
The self-publicising cat
One of our cats appears to have developed a love for self-publicity and telling us what she is doing. When she goes for a drink she’ll meow to tell us she’s going, when she’s finished having a drink she’ll meow again.
As I sat down to write this message there was a meow from behind me – apparently to tell me that she had entered the room and now intended to curl up in comfort.
She is very considerate in sharing what she is doing and if she knows we are already watching, and already know what she is doing, she keeps quiet.
The vet says she is very healthy so it really does seem to be her way of attracting our attention, and sometimes getting our assistance so she gets what she wants – which in her case is usually a fuss or rearranging the bedding so it’s comfier!
Now, before you get any ideas that I’m about to suggest that you to take the example of the cat and squeal every time you enter a room, relax! By all means if that’s the approach that you want to take feel free however there is less extreme approaches you can use – or not use, as you see fit!
Last year I attended a training event where there was a mix of businesses represented. The organisers had purposefully included a section of the day to “network”. I got chatting to someone in the queue for lunch prior to the allotted time for networking.
He was busy sharing that he already knew that there was no point him staying to “network.” He only worked with large multinational companies in certain industries. From an exercise earlier in the day he knew that no one currently worked for a company that size and in the industries he wanted.
As it happened later that day I was talking to someone who had previously worked at a multi-national level in the very industry this gentleman would have loved to have connected with. I looked around to introduce the gentleman I had been talking to at lunch there was no sign of him. Presumably, because he knew there was nobody there directly doing what he’d wanted, he’d already gone home!
Does that mean that if that gentleman had stayed and met this second person a connection would certainly have happened? Well I’m certainly no psychic, so who knows what may have happened. I do know that it’s statistically more likely to have happened if that gentleman had stayed and then asked!
It appeared that the gentleman who missed making this new potential connection had ignored the fact, that we may have a friend, family member, former colleague etc who fitted his description.
This week I invite you to think about a goal/project that you are currently working towards/would like.
How many people know what you are doing/want to do?
And as a bonus follow-up question:
How many people have you shared how they can assist you with your goal/project?
Have a week full of questions, sharing and invites,
About the Author
Jen Waller is on a mission to support, nurture and encourage coaching skills and talents from non-coach to coach and beyond.
She has created a free 7 day e-course about how to create your own unique coaching welcome pack that works for you and your clients. Get your copy here.
You may not know this, but Life Coaches have a bad reputation on the networking circuit. Anyone can call themselves a life coach and start a business without any formal training or certifications. So many people feel that because they have undergone a crisis, it qualifies them to be a life coach. The reality is there are more people wanting to be a life coaches than there are people looking for life coaches.
(Using the Google Keyword tool to find out what people are searching for on the internet, shows that each month 368,000 people search for the phrase “How to be a life coach” vs. 2,900 searches for “How to find a life coach”.)
Now let’s assume that you are still reading this and you are serious about earning a living from helping others develop themselves. What can you do to come across more professionally at networking meetings? Well, here are some of the mistakes that give life coaches a bad name.
1. Not realising that you are running a business
You may feel that you have found your purpose in life through what you do, but if you don’t make any money from doing it, it is just a hobby. It is not enough to be a good coach. You also need to be good at marketing and selling your business otherwise you won’t have any clients. If you don’t have the business skill yet, then it is time to make the effort to learn. There are many people at networking meetings who can give you advice.
2. Bad Business Cards
You don’t have to spend a fortune on business cards, but handing out a cheap looking business card won’t do your business any good. Some of the worst business cards have been given to me by life coaches. Some indications that you don’t take your business seriously are:
Printed on a flimsy card,
email addresses or numbers crossed out and corrected,
“free” business cards from companies such as Vistaprint
Email address is obviously a shared family addresses or a Hotmail or yahoo address
3. Saying you can help everyone
If someone doesn’t know what type of customers you are looking for, how can they help you? If you can’t be specific about what type of client you want to work with, how do you expect other people to know whether you are a good match for a friend or acquaintance that needs some help? You cannot help everyone with everything. If you are too general, you will end up with no business.
4. Assuming that everyone knows what life coaches do
Most coaches are good at talking in coach talk with other coaches, but most people in a networking meeting don’t know what life coaching is about. Be aware of any jargon you might be using and think about what other people might be interested in. Stop talking about you and start thinking about what your audience might need.
5. Coming across as though you need a life coach yourself
If you want people to trust their inner most feelings with you, don’t air your dirty laundry or share your latest crisis with people you have only just met. People need to be confident that their secrets are safe with you.
If you are passionate about what you do, you need to find a way to make a living from doing it. Be professional and learn the skills you need to grow your business.
About the Author/Further Resources
Nicky Kriel, Guildford’s Social Media Queen, is passionate about empowering small business owners to use Social Media to grow their business. Her background is in Marketing and Sales and she is a Master NLP Practitioner.
As a Communication Coach, she helps people remember the “Social” aspect of Social Networking: It is not all about tools and technology, but about people and human relations.
Aside from her private coaching clients, she runs Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook workshops for business owners and bespoke courses for SMEs. Nicky really enjoys helping business owners to level the playing field by harnessing the power of social media.