by Suzi Pomerantz
As a coach, there are many challenges you face when it comes to building your coaching business: the economy, market saturation and that you were never really taught what to do other than give away a free session.
But none of those is the real reason you aren’t seeing the results you want from your marketing efforts. The real reason is that you have some expectations, fears or assessments that are blocking you from taking the right action. Your mindset needs work.
Does this sound like you?
"I talk about coaching to everyone I know, but they just don't seem to get it."
"I’ll be ready to market my business when I finish my website."
"I’ll be ready to market my business when I’m clearer about my message."
"I don’t know who my niche target market will be yet, so I can’t start now."
"I've been to so many networking breakfasts and I haven’t gotten any clients! Networking doesn't work! "
"I’m on all the social media sites but I’m not making any money online."
These are common concerns I hear when speaking to coaches all over the world about their business development challenges. Do you see the common theme in these statements? These are all coach-focused (I talk, my website, my message, my niche, I've been, I’m on, etc.). See the pattern?
Mindset shift required
It’s time to be other-focused. You can’t sell coaching if you’re focused on yourself as the coach, and you can’t sell coaching if you’re focused on coaching as the solution.
You must focus on the client. You must demonstrate with your language that you care about their goals. You must seek to understand their world, their mindsets, their challenges, their fears, their issues, their dreams, their roadblocks, their strengths. It’s all about them. Marketing is not about coaching and it’s not about you.
Let’s get more specific:
Marketing is a push outward of the material and messaging around the results you produce with your clients; it’s what you say about yourself, your services, your products, your results, your methodologies and your business. You will use a variety of media to do this: web, publications, speaking, advertising, social media, etc.
Networking is about creating a genuine human connection—with no agenda beyond genuinely connecting. It’s about seeking ways to serve. It’s about exploring possibility. It’s about gathering people into your circle. It’s not about going to formal networking events, rather it’s about engaging with communities that are meaningful for you. That way, you’ll be connecting with other folks with whom you already share a common passion, so that even if they are not seeking a coach, they will be great sources for referrals for you! This, by the way, is the power of social media…Twitter is an especially great networking tool!
Branding is about how you’re regarded in your industry, in the market, in your community and in the world, and is about shaping and managing what you want others to say about you. What are you known for? What distinguishes you from all the other coaches out there? Social media is also helpful with branding.
Selling is about having a specific, systematic conversation to propose or offer an equal exchange of value, and the acceptance of that proposal or offer. It’s those conversations you have with prospective buyers where you determine their buying motives and seek to understand their decision-making influences so that you can match your offer to their reality in a way that will compel them to buy from you.
To succeed in business as a coach, you need to become skilled at all of the above. Marketing your business is not enough to make a decent living. You need to be networking, marketing, branding and selling your business strategically and simultaneously in order to get the fastest results.
The good news is that none of this is far outside of what you already do well as a coach. The key thing to remember is to shift your focus onto the other person. Then all of your coaching strengths will kick in, you’ll let go of your self-consciousness, and your other-consciousness will allow you to see exactly how to best serve the client.
Suzi Pomerantz, MT, MCC, is a CEO, the author of Seal the Deal and an award-winning Master Executive Coach with 17 years experience coaching leaders and teams. She is the founder of the Leading Coaches’ Center and co-founder of the Library of Professional Coaching as well as ICCO. http://LeadingCoachesCenter.com