It takes a marketing mindset to be a successful coach and marketing for coaches is generally categorized into two schools of thought.
The first school of thought positions the prospect as someone reluctantly influenced into utilizing a service. This school of thought comes from the paradigm that by marketing, you are proactively influencing someone in their decisions. We call this train of thought the Influencing Paradigm.
The second school of thought accepts that prospects are people who have identified for themselves their need to invoke change. And they’ve identified that a coach will assist them to make that change. We call this train of thought the Service Paradigm.
As a coach, it’s critical that you put yourself in the second paradigm of thinking. Only then will you be able to ethically fulfill your objective of assisting your clients and build a successful coaching business.
The extent to which you are able to fulfill your objective is contingent upon two factors. Firstly, your skill and effectiveness as a coach; and secondly, on the number of clients, you are able to affect through the application of your services.
For coaches who fall in the first school of thought, we’re going to explain why marketing is both ethically valid and commercially crucial.
There is an enormous (and growing) market for coaches. This market consists of people who would benefit from coaching services. Let’s call these people prospective coaching clients or prospects.
These prospects have specific goals they’d like to achieve or challenges they’d like to overcome, with a view to leading a better and more fulfilling life.
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As a coach, you have a certain duty of care to assist these people. You can only begin to assist them once they’re utilizing your services. Marketing is the link between the prospects desire and your ability to assist them to fulfill their desire.
Marketing for coaches only becomes unethical in the circumstance that you are not able to fulfill your marketing promise to your client. In this instance, you’ve misled your client, either knowingly or unknowingly, and have acted unethically.
Coaches should fully, comprehensively and transparently disclose to prospects what services they offer; where their specialties lie; what experience they have; how they’ve assisted people with the same desires in the past; and how using their services will benefit them. Or to state it more simply, to undertake marketing.
Marketing is commercially crucial because it links prospects with skilled professionals to assist them to achieve a certain outcome.
By seeking out information on coaching services, prospects have already identified for themselves:
1. That there are certain things in their life they’d like to attain or challenges they’d like to overcome.
2. That a coach is a person with the requisite skills and experience to assist them.
3. That they are willing to invest financially in the process.
Marketing for Coaches is Essentially…
Putting yourself in the Service Paradigm of thought in order to assist clients to meet their objectives. As a coach, you should:
a) Actively promote your services through compelling advertising that clearly describes what you can offer clients.
b) Understand that as a coach and a trusted advisor, you are often in a better position of knowledge to ascertain your client needs to assist them to attain their goals.
c) Be empathetic to the needs of your clients and actively offer solutions to them through various products and services.
d) Value your client’s intellect and decision-making ability.
f) Always act as an ethical advisor.
Once you embrace the Service Paradigm to marketing, you’ll realize that marketing provides you with a much greater opportunity to fulfill your primary objectives – to assist your clients and to build a successful coaching business.
These objectives become complementary and you create a truly win-win situation between the desires of your clients and your own desires.
Writer, Coaches Training Blog community