July 11, 2018
WATCH THE LIVE GROUP COACHING CALL WHERE PAUL COVERS THIS TOPIC
This week’s Mentor Monday stirred up some interest amongst our students regarding Coaching Teens. I got several emails thanking me, and, as I promised, I’d share a few tips on marketing Teen Coaching.
Let me pick up with what I said on Monday:
The first consideration is that you’re not simply marketing to a teenager. As a matter of fact, you’re going to have to get buy-in from both parents and teens.
This isn’t something to be overwhelmed about.
It’s important to not simply market yourself as a Teen Coach – that likely will not get any traction.
Teen Coach describes your target market, but it’s still vague. There are a lot of aspects of a teenage life, so we really need to dial it in and communicate what our focus areas are.
Anytime you choose a niche, I recommend choosing things that you’re passionate about working on or areas of life/goals in which you enjoy helping others get solutions.
Obviously, there are a number of areas you could choose, but some consistent areas of interest to both teens and their parents/guardians are:
During the teen years, school is taking up more of a teen’s waking hours than really anything else. Whether a teen is struggling with motivation or is making straight A’s, you can bet that there are a lot of parents and teens who are interested in some support in this area.
Teens these days are more overbooked than ever. Children of the 80’s and younger had to come up with ways of occupying themselves. But, more recently, the ownership of planning/programming a teen’s life has fallen into the hands of parents.
Perhaps kids stay out of trouble because they’re too busy to find it, but the issue of busyness has created its own problem: namely, stress.
Managing a schedule, never having downtime, never processing life creates anxiety, and many teens don’t know how to do anything but go! Go! Go!
This is a big opportunity for coaches of teens.
With the skyrocketing cost of education, parents and their teens are constantly re-evaluating the future. In the past, parents could tell their children to go to college and burn the first 2 years figuring it out.
With the kind of debt that college grads are walking away with these days and no guarantee for a job, it’s simply not a good investment to spend 2 years figuring it out.
Parents are even questioning: Does it make sense to go to college anymore? Should their teen go to a trade school? Etc.
This is another possibility for coaches of teens.
For most teens, relationships are their greatest concern, and definitely a niche to consider for coaches of teens.
Stress, anxiety, social pressure, conflict, etc. are normal, everyday challenges in the life of a teen.
And how about the relationship to self? Confidence, self-image, body image, etc. – are important aspects of life that a teenager could use support.
Obviously, there numerous niches that could fall under these 4 niches alone.
I harp on this one constantly, and that’s because coaching in quite intangible.
What impact will your coaching bring into the life of the parent/guardian and teen? That’s what you have to focus on.
Be extremely clear on what pain points that you’re solving for both the parent/guardian and teen.
This week, I was asked what’s the best way of marketing yourself as a teen coach, and if marketing yourself to a high school is a good route to go.
Obviously, there are some places to advertise in schools that typically takes the form of gifts and sponsorships. I can’t say I’m opposed to it, but I think that advertising alone will never get any traction. If you did a sponsorship, it should be reinforcing something much more important: building relationships.
A local school, or multiple local schools would be one of the first places that I’d start if I was going to coach teens simply because the vast majority of teenagers in a city or region are going to be there 9 months out of the year and 40 hours per week.
The best strategy is actually to find meaningful ways to serve the school so that teachers, principals, support staff, and, of course, parents/guardians and teenagers can develop a relationship with you.
Note: You do not need to have a teenager enrolled in the school to invest there.
One example out of my own life was when our middle child starting attending our community elementary school. I decided that I was going to invest some of my skills into the school to make it a better place for the entire school community. So the first place I started was attending PTA meetings.
When you go to those meetings, you find the core people who care and have the most influence within the school, and you also discover the unique challenges that the school faces. I attended those meetings for a while to become a familiar face while lending encouragement and support, but I also looked for ways to share my unique gifts.
I noticed nearly all of the fundraising had a very low return on investment, meaning it would require extraordinary effort from the volunteers for sometimes only a few $100 of fundraising dollars.
In one meeting, they talked about their largest event of the year and how they needed someone to chair it, so I volunteered. I’ve always been a visionary and knew that I could apply some leadership and some business savvy to this even to make it successful.
When the event finally rolled around, I’d stayed under budget while building an event that needed no volunteers as I had vendors do all the work. For the first time ever, PTA parents who’d never gotten to actually attend an event before as spectators got to enjoy it with their family.
The big kickers though were that they event beat the previous attendance record by 100s of people, and they made about $25,000 more than they ever had for a single night’s work.
As you can imagine, out of this one event, I had enormous visibility and recognition. People came to me all the time for ideas, support, and more. I honestly didn’t work that many hours on the event, but it weighed so heavily in my favor for years at that school.
These are the things that coaches can do. I’m not saying that you have to live at a school. What I am saying is that you can begin to build your influence by doing a lot of small things that don’t require money, and many of them aren’t actually coaching people.
Attend sports events. You don’t have to even attend the whole game, but be a face and mingle. Attend special meetings and events. Schedule a meeting with teachers or the principal and ask what their challenges are and how you might be able to help out.
What if you offered a seminar, etc. around exam time centered around stress management? What if athletes are going through batting slumps and you give a quick session on how to break them out of limiting mindsets?
Schools are wide open and are typically seeking the help of professionals.
Have a strategy and work that strategy so that you can build trust, credibility, and influence.
As I always tell our Jumpstart coaches: if you’ll have your hand open to serve people, you’ll never have an empty hand when it comes to business either.
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