Dear Shama….A Coach In Trouble

Dear Shama,

After years of working in the corporate world, I decided to strike out on my own. As a coach. I researched a lot of professions but this stood out for me. It just felt like my calling. I researched professional organizations and even got my certification from a well known coaching association. They did a good job going over the ethics and history of the coaching profession, but nada when it came to marketing. The advantage of being in the corporate world was that I never had to market myself. Clients came to us because of our big name. Now, I feel like I am drowning in a pool of coaches. How do I distinguish myself? Do I have a chance of making it in this field?

-Coach in Trouble in Dallas

Dear Coach in Trouble,

First things first. You do have a chance of making it. Even better, you are more likely to succeed because you are open to getting help when you need it. The question you are asking is a very important one, and one that I wish more coaches and professionals asked themselves. How do I distinguish myself in my field? Marketing works best when it is built on a solid platform. You can try every marketing strategy and tactic in the book without results if you don’t have a solid offering and niche. Your first task is to define who you want to work with and what problem you can help solve the BEST. A life coach cannot work successfully with everyone in the world. They are bound to have more success with certain types of clients and certain types of issues. Your job is to find that certain type of client and problem.

Second, offer them a solution that no one else is offering. A new or more updated solution to an old problem is what you are looking for here. For example, I was recently approached by two attorneys who want help marketing their law firm. I offered to come hold all our marketing sessions at their conference room. Is it a bit inconvenient for me? Yes. But does it make the service that much more valuable to the client? No doubt about it! By making one small tweak in the way I deliver my services, I had offered them something no one else had thought of offering them before.

Once you have clearly defined your niche and the problem you wish to help them with, we can talk about how to fill up your practice. But, first things first.

Best of Luck!

-Shama

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  • http://www.customerchaos.com Brian Massey

    I’ve just finished doing a conversion analysis for an executive coach, so this post is quite timely. I’d argue that being clear about WHO your most common or ideal customers are is makes is the first step. We profiled this coach’s visitors and realized that, for her clients, something had changed. Their company had grown and they’d gained more responsibility or they had met a plateau in sales. The way we positioned her message has changed significantly. We focus on results, detail the assessments she uses and talk about driving her clients’ teams toward a vision. She hasn’t changed her offering, but her story has become very clear. In a crowded market, the one with the best (supported) story wins.

    Decide for yourself. You can watch the transformation of her site by visiting http://www.executiveintelligentcoaching.com and signing up for her newsletter. The new site (new story, new focus) goes up in April.

  • Shama

    Hi Brian,

    That’s pretty fascinating. I look forward to following the site!

    Thanks for dropping by. = )