Thinking back to the first time I heard someone refer to another person as his or her coach, I was very confused. I happened to be watching a talk show where a famous singer was discussing her dieting habits with the host. She proceeded to highlight that she is now on a rigid diet—and that her coach had set a strict plan for what she can and cannot eat.
Now, this may come across as a very simple conversation to you but, on my end, the message was not received. This wasn’t because I held conflicting emotions about dieting or anything. I just simply couldn’t figure out what a coach was—because to me, a coach was someone who worked with athletes.
They weren’t necessarily guarding the refrigerator.
Of course, the concept of hiring a coach to provide guidance in various facets of life has become very accepted over the years. There is now social value in seeking guidance from a professional.
Suddenly . . . it’s totally OK to be vulnerable.
And people believe more than ever that you don’t have to settle for the hand you’ve been dealt. People can change. Especially, when they’re willing to invest time, money and energy to be happier, feel better and, ultimately, be more successful.
Today, there are tons of coaches out there. According to an International Coach Federation report, the 2016 ICF Global Coaching Study, there were around 17,500 coach practitioners in North America in 2015. And that’s just an estimate. There are likely many more.
As a marketing consultant, I’ve worked with life coaches, business coaches, fitness and wellness coaches, leadership coaches, a sales coach, divorce coaches, grief coaches, parenting coaches, and even a personal finance coach.
Yes, Betsy has been around the world a few times . . .
However, if you are a coach (or considering becoming one) you may be worried that if there are so many coaches out there, there are not enough potential clients for you to sustain your business. Questions such as “How can I stand out?”, “What kind of networking will work?” “WHERE do I network?” “Should I even do this?” – are all valid concerns.
But listen . . .
Regardless of what type of coaching you provide, you have your own secret sauce that enables you to connect with clients in a distinctly unique way.
And there are enough people out there that need your specific approach to keep you busy for YEARS!
The key is: You must be crystal clear about your ideal client.
For example, I have consulted with two parenting coaches: one who works with parents who have children involved in sports and another who works with parents whose children have behavioral problems.
And, guess what? They are both successful because they specialize!
I’ve worked with two business coaches: one who specializes in working with entrepreneurs who left the corporate world (and never sold anything in their lives) while the other works with entrepreneurs who need a business plan and a money strategy.
While both coaches technically work with entrepreneurs, they tap into separate markets because they have drilled down to their own unique genius and know exactly who to attract and how.
So, in closing, I’d like for you to take some key thoughts with you:
1. Define your unique genius and commit to working from that place.
2. Don’t invest time talking to people who don’t see the value in what you offer (don’t try to sell a need).
3. Get totally clear about who your ideal client is, where he or she is, and what to say to connect with them in a genuine way.
You’ll discover that there aren’t too many coaches out there…because there’s only one you.
I’m headed out the door this morning to see my coach. Are you?
This article originally appeared in Be Visible.