Have you ever considered becoming a coach or adding a coaching element to your business to help clients to deliver results?
As I see it there are four ways of becoming a "business coach" (let's think broad definitions rather than narrow):
- You can be an unknown expert (i.e. you have high level technical skills but you don't have a well known reputation) and learn some coaching skills and go out and find clients. (Remember an expert is someone who knows more than the client - hopefully a lot more but coaching can work very successfully by adding common sense, focus and accountability to a business).
- You can decide that you want to be a coach and go off and do the coaching certification courses but these organisations want to a) sell you on the idea of being a coach and b) sell you their training courses - and probably some ongoing subscription.
In some ways certification is a nice idea but 1) it doesn't mean much to your potential clients - the only people who have ever asked me about certification are other coaches and 2) it diminishes any differentiation you have. The more you emphasise the adherence to strict coaching methodologies rather than personal inspiration and insight, the more you become a commodity, just like anyone else with the same certification.
As a junior coach it also keeps you firmly in your place. If you aspire to being a Master Certified Coach (or whatever) then you are acknowledging that they are better than you. So unless you are much, much cheaper, you are sending the potential clients a very mixed message - use me I am good, I use a standard methodology but I'm not as good as those other people.
- You can coach under a major brand as a franchisee or licensee. If you want to be a business coach, you may have looked at the Action Coach franchise or some of the others. I did the Guerrilla Marketing Coaching Course because I thought the value was outstanding, Jay Abraham has just re-introduced his protege training and in the Internet niche, Jeff Walker has announced he will be creating certified Product Launch Managers (these last two are more consultants than coaches.)
- You can become an acknowledged, widely recognised expert and have prospective clients virtually begging you for the opportunity to be coached by you.
Which Route Do You Want To Go?
I started on route 1 - I had a very good reputation in my own little circle but the circle was very small and beyond that, no one knew me or my ideas on business development.
Route 2 never appealed to me. I have looked at courses from time to time but they tend to come from a life coaching approach - where I think certification is useful since there is little else to hang your hat on - but they weren't for me. My business coaching style is too direct and whenever I have delved into the life coaching literature it all seems very worthy but wishy-washy to me.
Route 3 I have dabbled with but the franchises are expensive - and not guaranteed to succeed as I have heard a number of tales of woe - and I have never wanted to lose my own identity. The beauty of being self employed is that you can create something special and unique.
I believe route 4 is the best way to go and now that I am older and wiser - and linked into the Internet marketing world - it is fascinating to see coaching programs being added on as the highest level upsell.
It is also the route promoted by marketing great Dan Kennedy who I have been paying a lot of attention to this year. He has helped a large number of his clients become very respected and high earning coaches in niche markets like restaurants, chiropractors, dentists, mortgage brokers etc.
But you have to become an acknowledged expert so you need to have information products out there in the market to establish your expertise - books, audios, video training.
The PR push you can get from going through a big launch with plenty of joint venture partners is tremendous. Look at what Formula Five did for Paul Lemberg, even though he already had a great reputation. Even Jay Abraham uses the JV promotion method as he is on his latest book The Sticking Point Solution
The Challenge Is How To Be Acknowledges As The Expert
Most coaches go the reverse way - they coach clients and then think about developing information products as a way to escape the "time for money" trap.
That's where I am.
But if you think about it, an information product establishes your reputation so that you are seen as the expert and that makes it much easier to get clients because, no matter how clearly you lay out what needs to be done, some people always want more.
If you agree with the logic and want to develop your own information products, this course looks to be extremely comprehensive.
Guru Home Study from Eben Pagan - he has built a $25 million per year information business - originally in the dating and relationship niche and then the make money niche - and this course will teach you how to create and sell information products but it will only be available for a few days.
After that it will be off the market - probably for 6 to 12 months to help build up anticipation.
What Do You Think About The Four Ways To Become A Coach?
If you are a coach or you would like to become a coach, what do you think about the four ways you can do it?
Which route did you take and with the benefit of hindsight, would you take a different route now?
Let me know by leaving a comment.
Disclosure - I am an affiliate for the Guerrilla Marketing Coaching Certification course and if you buy after clicking through from my link, I earn a commission. This page takes you to a number of other pages on my blogs which include affiliate products.