As much coaching is a science, it is also an art. Regardless of the approach, paradigm or method that a coach follows, coaching requires a substantial degree of human inference, establishing a meaningful psychological connection, drawing from data & theory and personal experience.
And while anyone can call themselves a coach without any coach-specific training, the road to mastering coaching requires that you grow your resources and skills in your core competencies.
Here we have put together a few ways a life coach can grow and develop their business. Not only will these help you grow as a professional but will also help you deliver optimal results for your clients.
Resources to Grow Your Practice
As a coach, you are your business, so success begins with you. When you live a life that you love, you can more effectively guide others to do the same. Holding a clear vision for your ideal life will shape your work and inspire you to stay motivated during challenging times.
Ahead are some of the resources that will help you grow and develop your practice into a profitable and enriching business:
1. Have a standard intake process for clients
Coaching is a skill in which you’ve invested time to learn, practice and improve upon. And to ensure you’re setting yourself and your client up for success, the first thing you have to do is screen potential clients through a standard intake process.
A good intake process is important as it will help you scout for clients who have the potential to be coachable. It is essential to understand that not every person in the world is coachable, and choosing the right set of people to coach can be the difference between success and failure.
Just like a talent scouting company can figure out if a group of people have the talent for a particular skill, a good intake process will help you choose coachees who will be more receptive to your coaching skills, thereby ensuring better results.
2. Offer free discovery sessions
It is not easy for a new coach to get paid work initially, and that is why offering a few free sessions might help you get started on the journey. It is essential to remember that you approach the clients without any fixed agenda during these sessions and remain fully committed to them.
Additionally, a free coaching session gives your prospective client a chance to experience coaching, discover what they want to achieve, get a taste of what is to come, and be motivated by the results they can achieve if they proceed with the coaching relationship.
During the discovery session, you can demonstrate your expertise and build a safe space for the clients to share their thoughts, goals and ideas and gauge if you and the client are a good match for each other.
3. Create custom coaching packages
People don’t ‘buy’ coaching; they are looking for solutions to their problems. So, coaches need to be able to solve specific issues. That is why you must pick your area of expertise, whether it is life coaching, business coaching, health coaching, executive coaching, or anything else. But before you choose your area of knowledge, remember the following things.
- Having a defined area of expertise helps you shape your coaching business and identify your clients
- The niche may be an obvious one, or it may take some time for you to discover based on your background knowledge, lived experience, or passion
- Market research and piloting are critical before committing to one area
Once you have chosen your niche, it is may also serve you well to create custom coaching packages for clients looking for a particular result. Your possibilities become endless when you package your process and systemize how you aim to help clients.
You can provide one-on-one or group coaching, provide additional resources that clients can use themselves, and even build a community that will further enhance your services. Here are some of the critical elements your coaching packages should include
- Your story: No matter how much you automate your coaching packages, your clients will still begin with who you are as a coach. People are looking for someone they can relate to, and more importantly, someone they believe can help them. So, you need to tell them who you are, what your goals are, who you have helped and what they can expect from you.
- The Result: Next, you need to talk about the specific results that your coaching can deliver. Whether it’s transforming a brand, business, or health, clients need to know what exactly you can do for them and why they should believe in you.
- Duration: Whether you’re using the single-result or an ongoing model, you should still talk about the duration of your coaching programme. If there’s no set duration, you can position it as a benefit of continued support and guidance.
4. Make yourself easily accessible
In today’s digital age, it is vital to have an online presence, especially if you are trying to sell a skill or service. Social media is a must and a website is critical. If you plan to launch a website of your own, we recommend that it contain the following points:
- Your website should have a description of your critical skills and expertise. It is a good idea to add a photograph of yourself on it as well
- The website should also contain information about who you want to work with – for example, maybe you’re a business coach who wants to works with HR personnel or a health & wellness coach who wishes to works with yoga enthusiasts
- If someone has stuck around to read through your website, they’re probably interested in finding out more. What should they do next to better know, like and trust you? They might sign up for your newsletter, download a free worksheet, schedule a free consultation or join your online community. Whatever that next step is, make sure your website enables them to do this in an easy manner.
While it is essential to have a website, we know that not everyone has one, especially at the start of their career. In such a scenario, it is a good idea to post about your expertise and knowledge on relevant sites to increase your visibility.
You can also invest in other (not so expensive) sources like blogging and podcasts or even collaborate with other coaches.
5. Invest in a repository of tools & resources
Have you ever wondered why some super knowledgeable people are not particularly successful, whereas others of apparent lesser intelligence are highly successful?
Having a high IQ is a measure of intellectual functioning and can explain how well we can accomplish technical tasks. However, another form of intelligence is called Emotional Intelligence which affects our ability to manage our emotions appropriately, work collaboratively with others, and be strong leaders.
To be a good coach, you must strive to develop both these types of intelligence.
An excellent way to grow your technical knowledge is to invest in varied sources like articles, video links, and PDFs that contain information about becoming a better coach. Always make sure that you only refer to reputable sources of information like the International Coaching Federation.
On the other hand, emotional skills can be improved by listening and communicating. You can enhance communication through deep listening and building trust by learning communicative skills. Critical thinking skills are enhanced by improving the ability to ask questions with intent.
6. Make a good marketing and sales plan
When building a successful business, many essential components are indispensable, some of which include the following:
- Marketing and sales – creating brand awareness and demands
- Product or service development and delivery – creating and sharing your values to clients
- Accounting and finance – the backbone of the business to support its stability and growth
When creating a good marketing plan, it is essential to develop compelling content. You can start by creating “content pillars” or core areas that you want to write about. For example, if you are a health and well–being coach, you could write about healthy meal ideas, simple exercises to lose weight, or how to reach your health goals.
Social media can be an essential tool in your marketing plan. Whether you decide to promote yourself on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Quora, make sure you choose a platform that will help you maximize your clients. Alternatively, you can choose to do collaborations to help you connect with your target audience.
Resources to Grow Your Skills
As a coach, one of the vital skills you will have to develop is creating a safe space for your clients to share and express their feelings. This will help you connect with them and discover aspects of their personality that might be hidden. Ahead, we talk about the tools and resources for life coaches to grow and develop them into better professionals.
1. Invest in training programs
Every client you will encounter in your career is unique, and there is no one set of rules that can apply to two of your clients. That is why it is essential to invest in training programs, as it will help you expand your learnings and enable you to reach a broader clientele base and help your clients from different angles.
To choose the best training program, first assess what you hope to gain from the training, identify the resources you can commit to, and consider how you best learn & retain knowledge. Here are some other things you should keep in mind.
- Invest in coach-specific training. Do not assume that you don’t need coach-specific training simply because you’re an experienced coach
- Determine the goals for your coaching career
- Consider the time, money and focus needed to complete the program
- Talk with individuals who have attended programs that interest you and ask for candid feedback
2. Coach even when you don’t feel ‘ready’
Even the most experienced coach at one time had no experience. And while we know that anyone who starts anything new is bound to make mistakes, the biggest mistake you can do is to start coaching only when you are 100 percent confident.
While you might find it challenging to get paid work initially, a few free sessions with clients can act as a good start. If you are offering free trials, reach out to them for testimonials and word-of-mouth promotions, as these can be effective methods to grow your coaching business.
Asking powerful coaching questions is an art that can be perfected
We have a guide to help you do just that!
3. Ask for feedback
Constructive feedback is essential for professional development. Whether you are at the start of your career or a qualified coach, constructive criticism can help you grow and develop into a better professional. As a standard practice, it is a good idea to ask your clients to fill out a feedback form after their session.
This will help you assess what is working in your process and what you need to change.
4. Have a mentor
Having a mentor in the field of coaching is a precious resource. If you can get advice and guidance from someone who has been in the coaching industry, then it is an excellent opportunity for you to shadow them and learn from their experiences.
While we understand that getting a mentor is not always possible, you can always follow inspirational coaches in the digital world. Read what they post on their social media handles and garner as much information and insights from them as possible from them – all of these can be a valuable stepping stone in your journey to be a coach.
1. What is not life coaching?
Life Coaching is not counselling whereby your client will have to delve into their past to facilitate healing. It is also not a therapeutic intervention to help someone deal with any significant mental, emotional or psychological issues.
Life coaching is also not attempting to change someone’s goals or desired outcomes, but instead accepting their goals and trying to discover why behind their motivation.
For example – if someone says that they want to lose weight, life coaching tries to understand why losing weight is so essential for that person. Life coaching is essentially results-oriented, where the past is delved into only to gain a certain idea about the motivation behind goals but not dealt with in an in-depth manner.
Simply.Coach is an enterprise-grade coaching software designed to be used by individual coaches and coaching businesses. Trusted by ICF-accredited and EMCC-credentialed coaches worldwide, Simply.Coach is on a mission to elevate the experience and process of coaching with technology-led tools and solutions.
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