I know my big fan club has all been waiting patiently for the second installment in my series, why I don’t coach coaches, and I am thankful for the incredible feedback I have gotten, both on this blog and other social media sites. However, I am going to write this post and not be influenced by the awesome feedback I have gotten.
How do I manage to do that? By writing this post before I have the massive fan club steering me in one direction or the other, hoping, just hoping I will get the message that they have for me to see things from their point of view. I know I have been like a broken record about not taking advice from people, well here it is, me steadfast in not taking any and all advice.
So, in part one we talk about visibility and credibility, how in order to gain clients as a coach you need to be both visible and credible. We then discuss how coaches are already primed to see you, a coach as both visible and credible and thus want, no, actually crave coaching and hope that by paying a coach they will get the much needed coaching in order to move their life forward and achieve their goals. In this second part, why are going to talk about why this is a bad idea and how it not only does it damage the visibility and credibility of coaching as a whole, but it also isn’t the solution to most of the problems coaches face.
First of all, we will discuss what coaches actually need help with when they are looking for coaching. Life coaching falls into one of several major categories, or several minor ones, the major ones are career coaching, business coaching, health/fitness coaching, and relationship coaching. Within these broad major niches, you will often find several sub niches, for instance in the career niche you might find, well any career you can possibly think of, but coaches like to focus on lucrative careers so you probably won’t find to many specializing in the careers on the bottom of the ladder if they want to be profitable, hence, not a lot of retail worker, fast food worker, or personal care technician specialty coaches. For the business owner one, you will probably find vague terms such as “heart centered business owners, momapreaners (moms who also run businesses,) or focusing on holistic healing practices. Under the health and fitness, pretty much any health or fitness related thing has a coach. This is excellent and can make a huge difference in a person’s life. Lots of times people drag their heals on making positive lifestyle changes like eating healthy and exercising. Other coaches focus on specific health conditions as they relate to goal setting. Relationship coaching can involve things like caregiver coaching, romantic relationship coaching, either finding a partner or getting on with the one you already have, parent coaching.
Of all these types of coaching, what most coaches are looking for the most falls into the business category, they want to start a business and make a good income from it like, yesterday. This is a major pain point for coaches and they are often willing to spend money on it. After all, they probably just spent some money on some form of coach training, so it only makes sense that they spend money on a coach to get them from point A to point B. After all, training isn’t really enough, they often still can’t figure out how to make any money at business, especially if they don’t have any prior experience making money at a business.
Straight up coaching might or might not do, so sometimes coaches look to find someone who combines the coaching expertise with some form of consulting in something such as sales, marketing, copywriting, website and brand design. They figure since they haven’t figured out how to get clients, it would help to find someone with expertise in one of those marketing things to help them out. The first thing they go over is the coaching niche, so once a coach has their niche figured out, they know what they need to do to set up a sales and marketing funnel, or they can take the target everybody track and learn the art of meeting lots and lots of people and letting everyone they know about the coaching business, easier said than done for most introverts.
There are a lot of templates, packages and advice, but what actually works? When it comes to the actual coaching business there sure is a lot of conflicting advice. You can try it and see what sticks, you can hire a coach and hope that your inner wisdom will tell you what to do after talking with your sounding board, er I mean coach for a while, or you can join the coach coaching pyramid and target your niche and coaches, you already know where they are, so you can set yourself up as a top coach, and coach them on coaching. A small percentage will figure out how to play the coach coaching game, the rest of them, by necessity most of the rest, will decide it is all one big scam and give up on coaching, leaving the world bereft of a much needed life coach. Some people will actually figure it out, the formula is simple. There is actually more to life than life coaching.
To all you coaches who are inevitably reading this hoping with some vain hope, I’m actually going to coach you, I have an important message. Your life is not about life coaching and making money from it. Few people actually wake up one day and say “I want to be a life coach.” without a lot of soul searching, or at least some basic thoughts about why life coaching makes sense as a career for them. This part of life that has nothing to do with “coaching” is probably why you want to be a life coach in the first place. It becomes hard to justify all that sales, marketing niches, whatever, without questioning why you want to be a life coach at all, and I don’t mean some kind of surface answer you give at parties when you need to give a one liner before everyone leaves your little chat circle to go to the restroom, I mean the real in-depth soul searching reason that not even your best friend would know.
This is why so much of the coach coaching stuff is a complete waste of your time. You aren’t going to get where you want to go just by dumping ever more time and money into coach coaching, because if you just skim the surface of it, nowhere is where you are going to get. Some coaches swear they got where they are because they hired top coaches. Others complain that in spite of hiring the best coaches, they still got nowhere.
Lastly in spite of me personally refusing to do it, this isn’t a blanket ban on any coach ever coaching any other coach for any reason, it is more of a general guideline that applies to the vast majority of cases where coaches are looking for coaching. It also specifically applies to me and the services I offer my clients. If I refuse to take you on as a coaching client because I find out you want coach coaching, that is my choice, and you should respect that. If, after reading this, you still feel you need to waste money on coach coaching, go waste it somewhere else, and you can’t say I didn’t warn you.
In part three of this blog, I will talk about what would be coaches should do instead of hiring ever more coaches or investing in marketing or sales programs. I will lay out a comprehensive plan of action that will lead you in the right direction instead of the wrong ones that have you spinning in circles and ending up with no clients what so ever.