WHY DO SOME LIFE COACHES AND BUSINESS COACHES FAIL TO MAKE A VIABLE BUSINESS?
Practical business lessons for Coaches and Consultants
What would be different if you thought of yourself as ‘an entrepreneur’ first and ‘a Coach’ second? How would this small shift change your luck, your circumstances and your income?
Grow More Leaders
The prospect of becoming a Coach
Life and Business Coaches set up to make a difference. They have a deep desire to be helpful. To make a difference and transform lives. In pursuit of this dream they may take additional qualifications or accreditations. They may invest time developing their ideas and offer. For others, they go down the book writing route. The assumption being, this will give them more credibility in the eyes of their potential clients. All of this is worthy work. You never lose when you invest in yourself. But this does not mean you will have a coaching practice that pays the bills and gives you the lifestyle you aspire to. So where do some Life Coaches and Business Coaches fall short?
Here are 5 common traps that await Life Coaches and Business Coaches.
- They consume more content than produce content
‘I’m not ready yet’. Or, ‘I’ll go live after I’ve achieved my accreditation’…..For some becoming a Life Coach and Business Coach is a lifetime’s ambition. They want to start off on their best foot. In their strive for perfection and wanting to be seen as credible, they delay, wait and consume more content. They attend courses. They watch videos, read articles, order books – all in the pursuit of learning my craft.
But what they’re not giving enough time and energy to, is building their client base, building up testimonials, producing their own videos and articles to begin engaging potential clients.
Top tip: you have to be both a content producer and content consumer. But make sure the former out-weigs the later. Personal and professional growth never stops. The skill is to keep making your offer stronger. But start from where you are – not where you aspire to be.
- They take rejection too personally
Accept everyone – no matter how brilliant they are as a Coach – will face rejection. So long as you prepare and do your best for each client, the rest is out of your hands. Bag the learning and vow to be even better next time.
Grow More Leaders
Rejection is an occupational hazard for Life Coaches and Business Coaches alike. You may be one of three or four Coaches on the shortlist. The ‘chemistry meeting’ does not go well. There are so many reasons why you may not secure a coaching assignment. Many of them are subjective ‘I didn’t hear enough of your past track record’. Or ‘you were too expensive’.
If you don’t have many irons in the fire, it is natural you may take rejection badly. It means you are short of work. But you may also have your confidence dashed. You may begin to question if you’re good enough. How you handle setbacks and rejection will determine how high you fly.
Top tips: accept that you may only win 1 in 2 or 1 in 3 opportunities. Focus on the things you can control and make sure you give each opportunity your best shot. Hand-on-heart, did you prepare well, did you ask the right questions, did you show up as the best version of yourself’. If after this, you don’t get the work, get as much feedback as you can. Write down your learning in a journal. Then move on to your next opportunity. Wallowing in despair will only prolong the pain. Having thick skin helps when you’re self-employed.
- They don’t like to ‘sell’
Some Life Coaches and Business Coaches can have an unhealthy relationship with ‘selling’. They have a picture in their mind of what a slick salesperson is – super confident, chatty, can sell snow to the Eskimos, larger than life. And they conclude, this is not me and therefore I can’t sell.
But what if you substituted the word ‘selling’ for ‘influencing’? Your role is to be a generous listener. Find out where your potential Life Coaching or Business Coaching client is ‘stuck’. Where they believe they need your help. What they’re tried so far and what results are they seeking? Based on this intelligence gathering – you can then offer tailor made solutions. Solutions which touch on every pain point they have shared with you. In doing 80% of the listening, you are more likely to build deep understanding and stronger empathy – where they want to work with you.
Top tips: change your relationship with selling from a ‘push’ approach to a ‘pull approach’. Your potential clients will buy from you if they feel understood. Accept that even if you do everything brilliantly, there is still a reasonable probability they will choose to go with another Life Coach or Business Coach. Never take this personally. Your potential client may just be seeking ‘free ideas’ and have no intention of working with a Coach in the first place. Sleep well, knowing you have it your best shot.
Put your deep expertise to work, but don’t be defined by it. You are more than your specialism. You are a Coach, Trusted Advisor, Entrepreneur, Thought Leader….embrace them all and you will have a sustainable business.
Grow More Leaders
- They ‘box themselves in’
It’s important for Life Coaches and Business Coaches to have a niche. Something they excel in. An expertise on which to build their reputation and brand.
But what if that niche begins to define you. What if your sense of identity is so strongly associated with this niche, you miss opportunities to add value beyond this niche? Now this can become a problem.
Imagine you’re working as a Business Coach and you are coming to the end of your coaching commitment with your business client. Your client has already mentioned in their conversations with you the challenges they’re facing in developing a strong team. They’re frustrated with the lack of collaboration in their team. In addition, they need to start developing successors and future leaders at every level. A failure to do this will inhibit their growth plans.
Do you engage your client in exploring some options? Could you be the ideal person to be combining some team coaching and skills development? Could you be calling in other Associates to help you with the delivery of the coaching, team development and future leaders workshops? If you don’t have this conversation with your client, who else will they turn to? And will these other Coaches have the same level of awareness and understanding of what outcomes your coaching client is seeking?
Top tip: it is always helpful having a network of Coaches and Consultants who have their own niches and expertise. By bringing them in and supporting your client you achieve two outcomes. First, you enhance your own skill set by working with other experts. Second, you strengthen your working relationship with your client. You can be the ‘relationship manager’, without being involved in any delivery.
- They go from famine to feast
Chances are you get your joy, energy and fulfilment from adding value to your clients. You love coaching. You get a buzz from helping clients fulfil their potential. You just want to fill your calendar with coaching meetings.
Here’s the challenge. Whilst you’re coaching, how are you filling your pipeline of work? Are you leaving it to luck? Are you setting aside 30-50% of your time to grow your client base? Are you using paid traffic – FaceBook Ads or Google Ads? Are you using LinkedIn and posting valuable content. Are you attending networking events? There is no shortage of things you could be doing. Problem is, the thinner you spread your time and marketing spread, the less effective you are overall.
Top tips: pursue marketing activities you enjoy. If you’re outgoing and enjoy meeting people, then find ways to get in front of potential clients. Run free seminars, webinars, taster sessions. Ask your network to plug you into their network. See this as an important part of being an entrepreneur, beyond being a Life Coach or Business Coach. As a business owner you have to wear multiple hats.
If you’re an introverted thinker, you may want to create content to send to your clients. What’s the primary role of content? To keep you front of mind, to build your authority and to make it easy for prospects to book a call with you. So have your email address, a Calendly booking or phone number, where clients feel comfortable starting a conversation with you.