Congratulations! You’ve made it through coach training, become a member of the International Coach Federation and you are ready to help others turn their lives around.
Uh… what others?
That’s the rub, really. Everyone can see the need for a business coach, an executive coach and especially leadership coaching; those types of coaches present their clients with very specific steps towards achieving specific goals.
Besides, business leaders and executives have the funds necessary to engage in professional development!
A life coach’s purpose is a bit more imprecise, isn’t it?
In preparing for this article by asking random people what a better life means to them, the top two answers were: more money and not having to work.
Some also said a Mr or Ms Right would make life better, but that would be the job of a relationship coach.
To be sure, nobody here will discount the value of money and the impact it could have on one’s life, but does it provide a better life overall? A deeper, more meaningful relationship with oneself and those in his circle?
Can you see the uphill battle that a life coach may have in establishing a coaching business?
No worries! Your Superprof is on task to find the best ways of attracting clients who really want to make fundamental, holistic changes in their lives and need you to guide them.
They just don’t know it, yet.
By all means, hang up a sign, but advertise your coaching business in other ways, too Source: Pixabay Credit: Geralt
It is never easy to market oneself when starting a new business, and the level of difficulty grows exponentially when promoting a service most people cannot conceive of in the first place.
Still, just like a newcomer to any field, you must start somewhere!
Unfortunately (fortunately?) for certified life coaches all over the UK, this task is made a bit easier because there are no laws or certification requirements for life coaches in our country.
Nevertheless, we strongly recommend you undergo coaching training and obtain your accreditation through the International Coach Federation because prospective clients will want to see your credentials!
Besides, they would look really good on any adverts you might post while waiting for clients to come to you.
Fliers in the library, at your local grocer’s or salon spa; and don’t forget your community centre!
Because we live in modern times where we have Internet and social media, you could also list your services on Gumtree or your city’s Freeads.
You could start a Facebook page and post motivational messages and bite-sized nuggets of daily wisdom; ask all of your friends to tell their friends about you and the services you offer.
Linkedin, the professional’s social website, is another great place to advertise yourself!
You might establish such a profile, listing all of your training – what coaching programs you have attended as well as what coaching services you will provide and if you are accredited by the International Coach Foundation.
As a registered Linkedin member, you may peruse articles penned by other professionals that address the issues you’re facing in starting your business.
You may even want to write an article or two yourself; not necessarily about the vagaries of starting a business, but about the benefits of life coaching!
These strategies are all cheap-to-free ways to launch your business; they really take more time than money to implement.
Do you have any business cards yet?
If so, get them ready because now, we’re taking things to the next level and you’re going to be handing them out like candy!
Building and maintaining a website is not as difficult as it was, say, ten years ago. In fact, you will find tutorials and tools online, ready to help you help yourself to your share of Internet traffic.
You might reason that if websites are indeed so easy to build, then anyone selling/promoting anything could create a website… and you’d be absolutely right!
Anyone can have a website, but where your site stands in the rankings – its effectiveness and how much traffic it gets, is what’s important.
The first step in getting the page views your business needs to grow involves using the right keywords.
SEO keywords, to be specific!
There is a bit of psychology and more than a bit of technical know-how that we simply don’t have room to cover in this article, but The Web Designer offers up an informational article on the subject.
If you don’t mind tinkering with page layout and content, you might spend some time on the computer creating your site on your own.
If you are not thus inclined, you might hire a web designer!
Either way, you should be aware of the impact your website can have on your personal coaching business.
You may even consider online coaching directly from your site!
Imagine that this is your audience’s response after a motivational workshop! Source: Pixabay Credit: 089Photoshootings
Many major corporations are coming to realise the benefit of including life coaching in employees’ benefits packages.
Workers want employers who care about them.
Those companies that offer coaching sessions as a perquisite find their employees are more motivated, more loyal and hardworking, taking fewer sick days and not jumping from job to job nearly as often.
For you, just starting your business, this is a virtually untapped market!
Do some research: what businesses in your area make coaching tools available to their staff? What businesses don’t?
And then, business cards in hand, prepare to make the rounds: visit the businesses that have not yet accorded their employees such an advantage.
Be sure you have a plan in place: what rates you charge, how often you would be on-site, and whether you would host seminars or one on one coaching.
Perhaps you could offer group coaching initially, working with individuals later on!
As your reputation grows among those clients, they may refer you to their friends who don’t work at that company.
Word of mouth truly is your best advertisement!
At your community centre or, if you are transitioning from typically employed to being self-employed, pitch the idea to your boss: you would like to host a life balance seminar.
Your topics could include:
Unclutter your life!
How to manage your time more efficiently
Effective listening – something more people should learn, anyway!
How to take charge of your life
What do you really want?
The benefits of continuous improvement
You may expect to pay for all of the preparation, in time and in cash.
Creating materials such as Powerpoint visuals, possibly having projection equipment, and the printing of handouts (with your business card attached!) will likely all be on you, even if you are billing it as a free training program.
This is the type of investment that all new businesses face; yours is no different!
However, once your slideshows are created, that is the extent of that time investment. And, if you have your handouts bulk-printed, you may realise a bit of money saving there, too!
The payoff for these free sessions is, again, word of mouth advertising.
When those seminar participants tell their friends and family all about what you’ve taught them, those worthies may want to find out what you’re all about, too.
Imagine your business card changing hands. Your phone starts ringing more often, your calendar fills up…
If you have a website up, you may encourage your audience to leave feedback which, in turn, will drive your site’s traffic up, which will promote your business, and all of the positive, glowing reviews…
Well, you can just imagine!
But there is one way to avoid all of this expense – of money and time…
To grow your coaching business, you will have to put forth a bit of cash. Source: Pixabay Credit: Nattanan
If you build a website promoting your coaching skills, you will have to buy a domain name and spend time building and maintaining it.
Or you would have to pay someone to do that for you.
You may host the most transformational, empowering workshops, but you can still count on a sizable cash outlay, even if the client testimonials resulting from your presentation will ultimately grow your business.
In other words, short of relying on those free marketing avenues mentioned early in this article, you may as well face the music: you will have to invest in yourself in order to help others.
Or do you?
Creating a profile on Superprof effectively cancels out most of the negatives in these self-promotion proposals!
You would not have to pay anything to build your profile page, and you may get as detailed as you’d like in listing your education, experience and competencies in professional coaching.
You may empower your clients via webcam, in person or a combination of both methods.
You may set your rates as high or low as you’d like – just be sure to not price yourself out of competition!
Your clients can leave testimonials right on your profile page for all to see!
Whatever method(s) you choose to promote yourself as a certified life coach – and there should be several tactics employed, know that it is not just your clients that benefit from your efforts.
First and foremost, the benefit is yours!