We have focussed in recent blogs on how to go about setting up your new coaching practice. At some point in time you are going to have to think about how to get lots of coaching clients otherwise you will be a very unhappy coach! The time to do that is NOW.
I have listed below 14 key attributes required to run a successful coaching practice and things that you will need to think about in terms of your marketing.
- One of the key attributes of a successful coach is to think and act like an entrepreneur. If you are not prepared to be entrepreneurial and market yourself, then you have chosen the wrong career.
- Pick a niche. It is so much easier to market your services in a particular niche of coaching rather than as a general coach. In terms of your internet marketing having a niche means that you can target your website keywords at this niche, it also means that when the potential client gets your website returned in their search results they will be impressed that you such an expert in exactly the area of coaching that they require. It is also beneficial to have a niche in terms of other types of advertising that you may need. Say you decide to become a golf coach rather than a general sports coach, you can imagine that all of a sudden you would know where specifically to hand out your business cards.
- Tell everyone what you do. Get on the various social networking sites, contact everyone that you know and tell them what you now do and how you can help people.
- Make it easy for clients to say ‘yes’ to your coaching. This might seem like a strange one but some people put unnecessary obstacles in the way to clients agreeing to become clients. Think, “do I really need a contract?” Clients are going to be much more likely to proceed if they know that they can pay by results. Offer money back satisfaction guarantees. Agree to work on a meeting by meeting basis rather than agreeing to 10 meetings over 10 weeks for example. At then end of my meetings I always ask “When do you want to arrange another meeting?” I find it much better being flexible rather than sticking to a rigid programme.
- Become a master of your art. Keep training, keep developing yourself. The more you learn the more of an expert you beome. There will be a time when a client challenges you over some part of your knowledge or over your level of development as a human being. If you are not continuing to fully develop yourself, then how can you promote this to a client?
- When you first start as a coach and you consider how you are going to gain clients, then it can seem a bit daunting. The problem is that the mind cannot think of more than one thing at a time, and if you are trying to think in terms of gaining more than one client, then you will get confused. Best to concentrate “how do I get my next client?” and see what comes into your imagination. You will find that the mind accepts the challenge much more readily.
- When people ask you what you do, what do you say? If you feel less than congruent about what you do then that will come across to the other person. Make sure that you are easily able to describe what you do, how you do it and who you do it for. Practice answering those questions to yourself.
- In terms of your google marketing, use Google Adwords to market to your keywords. Have a benchmark price that you are willing to pay for each click on your advert and stick to that benchmark.
- The more that you shout out to the world about what you do, the more people are going to hear you and the more energy you are going to put out there. Start blogging. When you are thinking about how to title your blogs, think about what sort of problems you solve for your coaching clients, and use those phrases for the titles of your blogs. Put yourself in your clients shoes, if you were them and you were going to look for a solution on the internet to their problem, what would you search for?
- People want their coach to be enthusiastic. It might sound obvious but you need to sound and behave enthusiastically about life and about every moment in this beautiful world of ours.
- Price your coaching services correctly. There is a general rule of thumb with coaches that we call the 20% rule. If 1 in 5 of your clients complain that you are overcharging then you have got your pricing about right. If more than one in five are complaining, then you may need to think about reducing your tariffs. If nobody complains then you are not charging enough!
- Think of other ways to get people to hear what you do. Are there any public speaking engagements that you can do? Are you a specialist in another field? If so, then maybe you can do some free public speaking in that field. Of course make sure that you take plenty of business cards around with you and broadcast to people exactly how you can help them at these events.
- Get testimonials from coaching clients that you have had successful results with. People love to read success stories, it creates great pictures to them of how their future could look. Write case studies and put them on your website.
- Do not be ruled by fear. You are at a delicate stage in your progression to be a professional coach, you are out of your comfort zone. You may well find yourself looking over your shoulder and wondering what might happen if you do not succeed. Remember that this is fear that you are feeling, and remember that you have a choice over what you focus on. Get a picture back in your mind of why you decided to become a coach and what you want to achieve in your chosen career. Focus on that picture instead! You can do it!