Are you an effective or successful coach?
So you’re probably thinking an effective coach and a successful coach are the same thing right? Well in this instance, no. Let me explain:
As a coach, you help to bridge the gap between where your clients are, and where they want to be. When this is achieved, that’s what makes you an effective coach. This is just one side of the coin though. The flip side is – Do you also have strategies in place that consistently attract clients and create a sustainable & profitable income? Because this is what makes you a successful coach.
When your marketing strategies are on point, you’re not only bridging the gap for your clients but for your business as well.
Ask yourself these 3 questions:
- Are you attracting clients (ongoing and new) that are generating consistent cash flow?
- Are your services sustainable? That is, is the way you’re coaching sustainable in the long term? (think burnout – is that a potential problem?)
- Is your pricing appropriate? Are you creating an income that will sustain and motivate you?
If you answered yes to these, kudos to you! Give yourself a high-five because you’re a successful coach!
Effective Vs successful. Consider these scenarios:
Effective: You’re an amazeballs coach who provides massive value to your clients, but you struggle with marketing and attracting leads.
Successful: You’re a marketing superstar who can sell anything to anyone… but can’t quite get the results your clients want yet.
I trust you see my point. Essentially, you can’t have one without the other… At least, not for long anyway. Being both effective and successful is the key to creating a lasting and fulfilling career as a coach.
Becoming an effective coach
If there are gaps in how effective your coaching is, there are plenty of ways to fill them:
- Allowing time for more progress, practice and experience.
- Additional education, online courses, training etc.
- Utilising other coaches in your network to get coaching for yourself to work on personal development, discover any roadblocks, guidance to reach your full potential and so on.
And, there’s no mad rush for this. In fact, it’s an ongoing process anyway; there’s always a new skill to develop, techniques to use and more learning to add to your toolkit to becoming a better coach.
The success side of things can be a bit trickier though.
Not everyone has the luxury of taking their time to grow, let alone scale their business. However big our dreams are, we all have other important aspects of our lives, not to mention bills to pay.
The sad truth is that many coaches; regardless of their coaching skills, fail in business. As many as 81% of coaches never make it past year three according to Taki from Million Dollar Coach. He says that – “Most of them go broke. They never quite make enough money or generate enough sales, so they go back to their previous lives and get a job.”
I find this heartbreaking because I firmly believe that anyone, regardless of experience or background can achieve success in business. You just need the right tools, resources and support to help get you there. This is one of my main sources of motivation to offer the services that I do at Life Coach Freedom.
It’s also one of the reasons that I created the online coaching directory – Coach Connect Australia. To provide another tool to help great coaches like you in their journey of creating both an effective and successful coaching business… More on that later in this article.
How do you run a successful coaching business?
As mentioned previously, it doesn’t matter if you’re a great coach if you don’t know how to run a business and market your coaching services effectively.
So here are my top 4 tips to help you put your best coaching foot forward…
- Get educated on business & marketing
- Choose a very specific niche
- Define your ideal clients & create a customer avatar
- Work on creating compelling copy
1. Get educated on business & marketing
So, the business and marketing side of things might not be your cup of tea. You’re a coach, so you just want to coach right? I get it, but the brutal truth is, if you don’t know how to run a successful business and fail to develop your marketing skills…. no one will know about you.
Don’t make the tragic mistake of being the best-kept secret in the coaching world. Your potential coaching clients are out there waiting for the incredible value you have to offer them! You need to get your head around being more than just a coach, you’re a business owner and entrepreneur.
There is a wealth of online courses, articles, training programs, and marketing coaches who are passionate about teaching people how to become successful coaches. As well as a plethora of other resources available to develop your knowledge and skills. Many of these coaching resources are paid ones, but a lot are completely free too if budget is an issue, so there’s absolutely no excuse.
I won’t go into specifics for every area of business and marketing training you should explore… there’s a bible of content right there! So instead, I suggest working out in order of priority which areas are giving you the most trouble, then focusing on one at a time. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, especially if you’re just starting out with all the things you have to learn. So remember; “Brick by brick, my fellow citizens, brick by brick.”
2. Choose a very specific niche
To be a successful coach begins with establishing your coaching niche. Before diving into that, let’s first clarify the difference between a niche and your ideal clients as the two are often confused:
Niche: the product or service you specialise in.
Ideal client: the specific group of people you serve.
Why is choosing a specialist niche important rather than a more generalised one?
Regardless of what industry you’re in, you will have competition and chances are the majority of them are offering the same thing in the same way. This makes it hard for you to differentiate yourself, leaving you to compete on price rather than on value.
When you start your coaching practice, you don’t have to pick a super specific niche right away while you’re still figuring out where your passions and skills are. But, getting super clear on it over time makes getting clients, or more importantly, getting the right clients so much easier. Why? Because people want a specific solution for their specific needs.
Let me explain. Imagine you’re going through a divorce and you want to hire a coach to help you through this major life transition. Would you be more inclined to work with a generalised Life Coach or a coach who has had training in coaching people through divorce specifically?
The answer is a no-brainer, but more importantly:
In the above example, what level of expertise and value would you expect, and be ready to invest in with the Divorce Coach compared to the Life Coach? Imagine being able to position yourself in a way that will make your prospects say: “I need that person, doing that thing, for my need… right now!
So, in your coaching practice do you want to be a generalist or specialist?
But won’t niching down limit the number of clients I can work with?
Yes, and No, but that’s the idea! Here’s why:
- When you focus on a particular sector, this will amplify your message to those that have a real need for your service. Marketing becomes so much simpler because it is targeted.
- By narrowing your market, you reduce the amount of competition so you can compete on value rather than price.
- Trying to serve everyone is hard work; you have to be competent in a wider variety of skills and be able to communicate with a wider variety of people, making it difficult to do either effectively… As the old saying goes, “Jack of all trades master of none.”
- When you specialise though, all your time and energy can be focused on upskilling in that one particular area and becoming an expert in it; raising your authority, credibility, and subsequently, your value.
- As your expertise in your speciality continues to develop, so will your ability to provide an amazing service and experience for your clients.
3. Define your ideal clients and create a customer avatar
With running a business being as busy as it is, it’s easy to get caught up in what you’re selling and overlook who you are selling to. As a result, if you’re not reaching the right people in the right way, your coaching skills and services are irrelevant if you’re unable to reach your sales goals. This is where getting super clear on who your ideal clients are and creating a customer avatar comes in.
A Customer Avatar is a semi-fictional character that is based on your ideal customer. You create one by gathering demographic and psychographic data:
- Demographic data: refers to things such as age, marital status, location, etc.
- Psychographic data: is about a person’s personal traits such as fears, frustrations, wants, needs, buying motivations, and more.
This information helps you to understand your ideal customers better and target them specifically, rather than taking a hit & miss approach with a generalised audience.
Why having a Customer Avatar is the secret sauce to being a successful coach
At the foundation, knowing your ideal customer allows you to hone your marketing efforts to high-quality leads. Then, create messaging that resonates with them in the most compelling way possible, persuading them to buy. This is by no means manipulative or “salesly”. You’re simply helping your perfect customers to achieve their desired outcomes because what you’re selling is exactly what they need.
Want to dive into this further? Check out the article below which includes a free worksheet for you to get started on creating your customer avatar:
4. Work on creating compelling copy
Copy is a crucial aspect of any marketing campaign, whether it be your website content, social media adverts and so on. Yet so many people get it dead wrong, actually turning off potential customers, and missing out on sales as a result.
With more and more businesses getting online, plus a multitude of scams and silver bullet solutions, it’s never been more important to provide potential clients with the elements they need to feel comfortable buying. This is even more crucial in the coaching industry when you often work with clients on such a personal level.
Here are some of my top tips for writing compelling copy:
- Write a kick-ass title that demands attention: An effective title must grab attention, be easy to understand and tell people what to expect… and do this in 1 punchy, concise sentence.
- Write as though it’s a conversation: Most people will connect with a conversational tone or storytelling much more than getting a lecture. Furthermore, it’s made even better (and easier to write!) if you have a specific person in mind, i.e. your customer avatar.
- Keep it short and simple: Everyone’s in a hurry so if you can get your message across in 1 sentence instead of 3, that’s always the better way to go. Speak plainly without any waffle, minimise jargon, use words that your audience will understand and above all, keep it genuine.
- Focus on benefits over features: Features are the tangible attributes of your product or service. Whereas benefits are what the customer gains from the features. In short, features tell customers what, and benefits tell customers why. And it’s the “why” that makes sales.
How Coach Connect Australia can help you build a successful coaching business
As mentioned previously, I firmly believe that anyone, regardless of experience or background can achieve success in business. You just need the right tools, resources and support to help get you there. That’s why I created Coach Connect Australia.
Now, I promise that this is not where the obligatory sales pitch comes in
I’m not going to blabber on that Coach Connect Australia is a silver bullet solution… because it’s not. While it can increase your visibility online, the quality of the content you provide, how compelling it is and how you nurture leads… falls to you.
Additionally, the directory should complement your other advertising campaigns, not be the only egg in your advert basket. Like all marketing, a holistic approach will help set the stage for long-term growth.
Interested in joining the fastest-growing destination for world-class coaches?
There are no hoops to jump through or tricky requirements to join. As long as you are an Australian-based coach or consultant who is passionate about serving others, we would love to have you on board!
Final thoughts on how to be a successful coach
In summation, becoming a successful coach is very much a hero’s journey. There will be challenges, new worlds to discover and people to help you along the way. The hardships of the journey will be so worth the victories though.
When you’re in a position to offer a high-value service to your clients, it’s incredibly fulfilling. When you develop the skills to also be a successful coach though, who has a profitable business, that is where the real magic happens. That is the key to gaining the freedom to create the life you want.
Like any good coach I’m sure you know the following better than anyone, but here’s a quick reminder anyway:
- Always be working on your personal and professional development
- Build relationships and genuine connections with your ideal clients
- Take each setback as feedback (not failure!)
- Just get started. Don’t wait for everything to be perfect because it never will be. Everything is an ongoing learning experience and the industry (and world) is forever changing and evolving, so you have to as well.
- Always be expanding your comfort zone and work on growing your self-belief. As Ryan Mathie says “Have an unshakable belief in your ability to build something extraordinary. The future of coaching belongs to those people who are most brave, most courageous, most willing, and most true to themselves.”
Finally, if there’s an area in your coaching practice that is a stretch for you, outsource! So many people avoid doing this because they think it will eat into their profits. More often than not though, it can actually save or even generate money.
The work gets done quicker, (and probably better) whilst your time can be better invested in doing what you do best. Stay in your zone of genius, and let someone else take care of the areas that aren’t.
How Life Coach Freedom can help you be both an effective and successful coach
If you want to grow your coaching business without confusion & overwhelm and save yourself oodles of time & energy, you’re in the right place.
My goal is to help you ditch the drama around running your coaching business so you can launch and grow with confidence. And in doing so, build a successful business so you can create the life you want.
All the best!
Digital Resource Specialist
Life Coach Freedom