With coaching, you are the brand and the product, so you must market yourself in a way that reflects your style. Coaching can take many forms; It might be about life, executive matters, job, or skills, but they all share the same objective, which is to help people get answers.
Being human, we are often the biggest obstacle to ourselves and our progress besides being unable to fulfill our potential unless there is someone else to highlight it, and the result is that the coaching business is blooming.
In the professional field, one survey found that almost one in six entrepreneurs benefit from business coaches for self-improvement. The life coaching market in the United States alone is estimated to be worth about $1 billion.
While coaching is in high demand, new entrants hoping to make it into the field rely heavily on building a reputation and starting new discussions related to health, critical thinking, and positive action. Moreover, unleashing this uniqueness is bold in a field full of competitors.
However, the coaching industry is in constant motion and there is always the possibility of some turmoil. So, here are 4 tips for starting a coaching business, with perspectives from some of the top coaches.
1. Create your own brand:
With coaching, you are the brand and the product, so you must market yourself in a way that reflects your style. At the outset, you should ask yourself: "What am I trying to achieve?" and “How to make people like what I'm doing?” Creating a brand is not just about introducing yourself to the world; It's about finding ways to get people to listen and trust you.
Your story is the foundation of your brand, and with coaching becoming increasingly popular in recent years, you will need to stand out and show yourself as a compelling and engaging person. The more open you are about your experiences, motivations, and weaknesses, the more honest you will be to others.
The Ceo and Co-Founder of UNBLINDED company Sean Callagy says: "People like honesty, and being yourself is what they like the most." Try to focus on the parts of your story that distinguish you from other coaches and make you a decision-maker in your field. For instance, the situations that led you to start a career, the times you questioned the things you believe in, or the events that made you decide to change the course of your life.
Once you define your story, hire a team of like-minded people to produce your visuals. In the process, avoid using humor or sarcasm because it quickly alienates you and lowers your status as a coach, as Kalaji says: "Influence is the only real superpower."
2. Set an agenda:
It is easy to think that establishing a for-profit company somehow negates your desire to support people, but this is not true. There are a whole host of coaching companies that have profound influences on their clients, and they are still prioritizing revenue, growth and development. In fact, to help most people, your business should be self-sufficient and expandable.
A common misconception is that in the early days you should offer coaching services for free, and that’s not true either. People value the things they pay for, and services that don't cost much are often viewed as low quality.
So, trust your abilities as a coach and give people your time from day one, which is also smart about getting social proof, where you can ask clients to express their opinions on you, which will be more credible because they have already spent their money on your services.
Some coaches choose to set up a value-based payment system, where clients are charged according to the amount of value they get from the courses, and this method is not suitable for startups that need fast revenue. However, it's a great way to make sure you have a client-interested mindset that can determine the exact amount of assistance you give to people.
3. Introduce your thoughts:
Nowhere is more effective than a podium and a microphone. Whether it's on TV in front of 10,000 people, on a video call with six people, or through a social media post, the most effective way to spread your ideas is to speak as often as you can.
Marketing is just as important to coaches as it is in other fields, and it will show people that you are a curious entrepreneur by being a beginner in the discussion. The most powerful point you can promote is yourself, so use all the platforms at your disposal.
Start by creating high-quality content. Blogs, videos, and podcasts are acceptable and allow you to speak directly to audiences, and you can also invite people from your network to join you for discussions on certain topics while benefiting from their audiences.
Gabe Zichermann, CEO of Failosophy, who has introduced coaching and mentoring to hundreds of founders on public speaking and building startups, reminds us that the power of leadership thinking in building a personal brand should not be underestimated. Potential clients are looking for people with a lot of knowledge and experience that will guide others in turmoil, both personally and professionally. By posting short educational videos on Facebook, blogs on Medium or LinkedIn, all of which offer actionable perspectives for a better lifestyle, or through articles, coaches can focus their messages on providing real advice that can add value to clients' lives.
Remember, you have to be active on social media to get people engaged, so make a conscious effort to follow the people and organizations who share your views or who are inspired by them, re-sharing and commenting on their content, or even tagging people to ask for their opinion on articles and updates, is a great way to stimulate discussions and spread your philosophy in the future.
Kalaji stresses the importance of making people feel that you notice them and that by inviting people to meet online or face-to-face to talk about new ideas, you make yourself their connection to change.
Also, activities and workshops are another option to present your ideas and to build an audience for your brand. Sharing personal advice can build trust and allow people to get to know you personally. It can also be an opportunity to gather feedback on what works and what doesn't work for people and direct your thoughts toward their most pressing needs.
4. Make your clients the ambassadors of your brand:
Working as a coach allows you to guide others through particularly difficult or stressful times in their lives, as well as coaches who go the extra mile to provide support during times of need (for example, by making themselves available to make out-of-hours emergency calls, or articulating their personal challenges), or simply giving a new opinion on the challenges facing clients), they can build long-term relationships and attract a lot of stakeholders.
“Coaching is a business relationship, and you have to be able to connect with people, show empathy, listen well, and show your weakness when needed,” Zuckerman says. Zuckerman also states that if having enough experience in your coaching field is the most important condition for success, then communication skills and building strong relationships come second.
In coaching, word of mouth is key; Your clients are not just clients who pay money, but rather they are your ambassadors. Of course, that decision is theirs, but there are things you can do to encourage them to promote your ideas and services, and as with most elements of business, it's about the value and more specifically the shared value exchange.
The value you provide to clients goes beyond the services you provide, and the value can be in the form of ongoing support, flexibility, personalized feedback, discounts, advanced resources, or anything that makes people's lives easier and better. The more value you give your clients, the more they honor you by recommending you to others; It is a win-win deal for both parties.
In exchange for introducing someone to your program, you can offer clients improved services, free consultations, or access to your own sources of information, and there's no problem in showing everything that makes your coaching job special as well. Your clients may love what you offer them, but they may need a gentle reminder of what it is exactly. Be sure to maintain regular communication letting them know the impact you're making, and how you'd like to expand your business and influence in the future.
Although the field of coaching is competitive, it has some effective impact on people's lives. So, start attracting people by portraying yourself as an expert, but don't be shy about boldly making your business model profitable and turning your most loyal clients into brand ambassadors. A strong company means having a strong and effective foundation to guide others through difficult times.