- 19 Jan
With the expansion of the coaching profession, and mounting evidence that coaching can bring results, a huge number people are entering the field. Clients—both individual and organization—have to search through hundreds of websites and Linkedin profiles for the right coach. Because of this, trained, credible and experienced talent is often lost among the sea of fancy websites, clever marketing, and big promises.
Here are some ideas that might help you stand out in the crowd:
1. Make your website about your clients, not about you: Coaching service websites often focus on the coaches’ credentials, experiences and expertise rather than what a client might gain on the coaching journey. While a coach’s credibility is essential, potential clients are usually more interested in results. Just make sure not to promise those results—it is ethically safer to let your client testimonials tell the success stories. That will reach those on a search more personally.
2. Coach in your chemistry meetings: Many coaches use complimentary consultations or chemistry meetings to sell their services to potential clients. What can be more effective—with the potential client’s permission—is to spend 15-20 minutes in an initial meeting coaching them around a topic they share with you. A short session with a beginning, middle and end can be very productive and leave a potential client wanting more.
3. Take your craft seriously: Being a respected coach and getting good results requires that you become a master at your craft. Even if you have completed a full coach training program, old habits can creep back and laziness can set in. Some schools provide practicum-based advanced coach training that can keep you sharp, and expand and broaden your repertoire. Do what you do with excellence, and always be a learner. You will stand out as a coach of substance.
4. Don’t take yourself too seriously: Masterful coaches rarely worry about being a “good coach”. They know there are no ‘right’ questions, statements and observations, only powerful ones. This requires being present and available to the moment. Drop the pressure to be perfect. Your humanity is an essential part of what you bring, and, as you embrace that, potential clients will connect with you on that level.
5. Raise your credibility: Just ten years ago, most of our corporate clients didn’t ever mention credentialing while choosing from our list of coaches. Today, we are contractually required by all of the major corporations we work with to exclusively provide ICF coaches at PCC or MCC levels. That’s a big shift! ICF has truly become the gold standard in the coaching world. An ICF credential gets noticed.
6. Know thyself: Masterful coaching starts with self-awareness and self-mastery. If you don’t have your own coach, consider working with one to expand self-awareness. Get feedback from your clients about how you come across, and what works well and what doesn’t. This will allow you to accurately market yourself and target the clients that fit.
7. Say “no” when necessary: If you keep saying yes to every job that comes along you may get lost. Your coaching path must have its edges, otherwise there is only a field of uncertainty. Your parameters are what separate the roles, relationships, and opportunities that fit, and those that don’t. Get clear about the areas you want to work in and say “no” to where you don’t, and you’ll gain a reputation for specialization.
8. Refer when it’s out of scope: One of the first things we teach our coach training students is to know when to refer clients to other professionals. Unless you are totally qualified, a client that obviously needs psychotherapy, consulting, training, legal support, or medical intervention should be referred elsewhere. This will keep you out of ethical hot water and will show that you’re a professional who puts your clients’ ultimate wellbeing first.
9. Be a master collaborator: Not only do we enjoy collaborating with other coaches, we love watching graduates from our coach training programs team up to deliver workshops, retreats, and even start businesses together. Together we are stronger and more resourceful, and that stands out to those seeking coaching support.
10. Walk the talk: When a coach says to me, “I’ve been divorced three times and know what bad relationships are like, so I’m going to be a couples coach” or “I constantly get into debt and am an expert at dealing with creditors, so I think I should be a wealth coach” or “I don’t have kids but I’m going to be a new parent’s coach.” I ask them to think twice. Coming across as credible in your coaching niche means you must have successfully overcome the issue or mastered that topic in yourself.
11. Be Inspired: To stand out and inspire others we must first be inspired. A passion for life is attractive. If you’ve become bored or uninspired with coaching, it will transmit through all your communications. Get juiced up again and read some of the great books out there on the subject or stretch yourself by attending an advance coach training.
Here’s to your success!
Please share this with your coach friends.
About the Author
Justina Vail Evans, MCC CHt
Justina is co-founder and program director of Envision Coach Training, serving the company in multiple roles including lead instructor and mentor coach. Justina is a Master Certified Coach, hypnotherapist, grief recovery specialist and master NLP practitioner.