Most coaching training programs spend most of their time on teaching and mastering fundamental coaching skills. The International Coach Federation established specific core coaching competencies as part of the foundation for their coaching credentialing process examination. Over 90 percent of coaching programs focus on mastering those core coaching competencies, but less than 10 percent on teaching the core business skills to build a profitable coaching business.
While mastering these coaching techniques is very crucial, it will not guarantee a steady flow of new coaching clients. But instead of learning fundamental marketing and business principles, many coaches decide to get even more coaching training and certifications, thinking that if they become better coaches, their business will grow as well. Well, reality shows this doesn’t work. You can be the best life coach in the world, but if you don’t know how to build a business you’re not going to to succeed.
The 4 P’s of Coaching Marketing
The most important aspect of building a successful coaching business is marketing. Creating a successful marketing plan mostly falls into the following 4 controllable categories:
A common mistake many coaches make is that they want to sell their coaching as a product. When asked what they do, they usually say something like :“I am a coach, I provide coaching.” Unfortunately, whether you are a life coach or a career coach, coaching as a product does not sell.
What does sell is when you’re positioning your coaching services as a solution to a problem. Unless your coaching practice is solving a real problem or providing a solution to a need, there is no reason to be in business.
Ask yourself:” What is my ideal coaching client?” and ”What solution do I provide?” Focus on selling a solution, a system or a result, not the coaching itself.
Promotion is the a key component in marketing your coaching business. Learning how to market your business solution online through social media and creating a personal brand that evokes a strong emotional connection with your coaching niche market are vital components in your promotion strategy.
Time is money, so defining a profitable pricing structure is another important key in growing a successful coaching practice.
Many coaches start out by only providing their coaching services one-on-one. They build different pricing structures with a single coaching client in mind. Yet even if you offer a free coaching session, the most number of clients you can possibly create is only one.
As long as you are creating a situation where you are exchanging your time for money, you might as well look for solutions to create a maximum return on your time investment. You can facilitate workshops, provide teleseminars, set up interactive online webinars, build coaching groups, develop coaching information products, write e-books etc. What other solutions can you think about so you can reach thousands of potential coaching clients and transform your coaching business?
If you only provide your life coaching services in person, you’re obviously limited by your geographic location. Besides working in person with your coaching clients, consider offering your services over the phone or via voice over IP services such as Skype. This will enable you you to connect with clients who would not otherwise be able to benefit from your life coaching services.There are many benefits in providing your coaching services via Voice over IP. Over the phone coaching establishes an emotional comfort zone allowing your client to connect more easily and communicate without feeling pressured to make eye contact or communicate non-verbally.