February 26, 2018
It’s always our mission to help you grow your practice and with Mentor Mondays, we try to do that in some really bite-sized chunks.
The vast majority of my conversations these days are with coaches and every day I literally talk to coaches all over the world – from big cities to small developing economies in countries that you wouldn’t even think they even know what a coach is. I get to talk to women who are forerunners in Arab countries who are new entrepreneurs and bringing breakthrough to a whole new generation of women.
It’s amazing. Coaches everywhere are simply amazing people.
Most coaches are incredibly optimistic, but every now and then I’ll meet a coach who will tell me:
“Paul, I’ve done everything there is to do to start a coaching practice, and no one is interested in coaching.”
And, I’ll reply: “Well, tell me what you’ve done.”
And they’ll say something like: “A 100 different things, and they don’t work.”
Now, if you’re a coach – even a beginner coach – you’re intuitive enough to know that they haven’t done “everything,” and they probably haven’t even done “100 different things” to get their coaching practice started.
But I’ll listen anyway and get the full scope of things which typically sounds like:
- They went to X school to get certified.
- They weren’t taught how to get clients.
- They tried a couple of terrible strategies that don’t work like printing flyers and hanging them up in the library.
They got trained, certified, launched their practice, and got disappointed and defeated, and all this happened within a month.
Let me say this really quickly: I don’t think starting a coaching practice is difficult. There are many more difficult things in the world many of which you’ve already been there, done that, and gotten the T-shirt or the scars.
But you can’t just get a credential and think that people want to work with you. Frankly, people don’t care about your credential. Yeah, we are a coaching school, and I am a master trainer, but people don’t work with you because you have a coaching credential.
The primary reason why people work with you is because of trust. We work with people we trust. Coaching is a relational business. The service is completely relational and time oriented. You want to work with people you trust, and you want to spend time with people you like.
But what are the factors that build trust with people?
We’re going to spend a lot of time for the next several weeks on what it takes to retain clients, but, honestly, building trust needs to happen long before we get a client. In fact, it’s essential that we’ve earned trust before a client will sign the dotted line.
Consistency is one of those factors.
And consistency won’t just build trust on the other person’s end. Consistency will actually build a successful coaching practice for you.
Here’s where a coach needs to have consistency to build their coaching practice from nothing to a thriving practice.
The Right Things.
Don’t just do “things.” When a coach tells me they’ve done a million or even 100 things to build their coaching practice and they’ve all failed, I have to think: “Okay, what are these ‘things?’”
You don’t want to just do “things.” You need to know what things are effective. You need to know your next step. You need an actual plan of action.
A lot of new coaches just spin their wheels and try random stuff that has little or no effectiveness. When discouragement kicks in they quit.
Listen: doing the wrong things will discourage you.
You don’t have to do the wrong things. The coaching world has been so focused on training people that they haven’t taught even the basic principles of establishing a coaching practice. It’s why we launched Jumpstart Your Coaching Practice a couple of years ago. If you’re oblivious to your first or even 10th step, you don’t have to be.
Do the right things, but understand that there are adjustments.
Pretty much every invention we have on the planet came out of trial and error. In fact, some things like WD-40 and Silly Putty came out of error and still created something useful that we all enjoy.
How does this apply to coaching?
Well, I don’t think starting a coaching practice is a lot of trial and error. What I do believe is that as you’re doing the right things, sometimes you discover a niche along the way, you discover a group of people that really love what you offer, and you didn’t have an intention of serving those people. Sometimes you find something that clicks and it makes you adjust your messaging or re-introduce your coaching services with a slight bent.
How do you know? Well, you’re consistent. You keep doing the things that you need to do.
When you’re doing the right things, you’ll be able to measure what is effective and what isn’t and make some adjustments.
You won’t know what’s effective or not if you don’t stay consistent.
Consistency creates its own momentum.
I know what it’s like starting out when you feel this inertia. You feel this lack of movement. But if you have a plan of action and keep consistently pushing, not only will the car get moving, but it will start carrying you. I promise you this is true.
The Right People.
Consistency requires that you find your people. You don’t have to do this alone. And I’m pleading with you: please don’t try to do this alone!
You have to choose the right target market. Yes, you get to choose who you work with!
Here’s a hint: don’t choose people who don’t have money and don’t value changing, growing, or developing anything. They won’t value coaching.
Choose people you’re excited about and are highly motivated to help.
And build a network of the right people who’ll consistently open doors for you.
Did you know that trust is formed by just consistently showing up? It’s the easiest thing that you can do for your business. Just showing up consistently to the same networking group every week where the same people see your face builds trust and gives you an edge over others.
Now it’s easy to show up. Next level is having a plan to relate and to serve that network of people which allows that consistency to build your reputation with others.
The Right Time.
98% of the students of LCTI are working full-time trying to break in to coaching.
As I always tell our students: you don’t need a lot of time, but you do need productivity.
You need to know the right things to do, and you need to schedule when you do those things.
In order to be consistent, you have to take control of your schedule. Decide what days and times certain things are going to get done.
Do you have Tuesday mornings free at 6:00am? Great! Block that time out and don’t let anything else interfere with that time outside of what you’ve designated.
Find a Tuesday morning networking group and give your commitment to it. Ask for opportunities to serve that group – not just to sell to it. Find a committee to join. Be the point person for communications for the group. You’ll be the person everyone needs, the person every knows.
Pretty quickly you’ll be invaluable while everyone else is just dying to pitch their service.
And it’s one hour per week. And through relationships with the right people, you’ll get clients simply because you were consistent, showing up and helping others.
This is how we do it, because every part of our business is a relational transaction, and every time we help someone overcome a barrier, they are receiving a benefit from being in relationship to us.
This is living a consistent message. It’s not just about pitching people coaching. It’s living the life of a coach.
You don’t have to be a relational juggernaut. You just need to have your hand open to serve and do the right things….CONSISTENTLY!