Ladies – are you:
- A woman with a defined area of expertise or a unique skill to offer the world who is trying to determine if coaching is the right pathway?
- An ambitious female entrepreneur who started your own coaching business and is trying to figure out how to get your business out of first gear?
- A woman who ealized that the corporate world was not for her and left to use your expertise as a coach in your field?
- A professional coach with an established coaching business who isn't earning what you deserve?
If you fit into any of these categories, keep reading.
The Coaching Business is like a game of chess and every woman entrepreneur must play to win. Regardless of your current position in the industry, all women share one common drive – to become the Queen of our respective domain. However, in order to become a Power Player, you must have more than desire and determination; you need to have a Framework for Success.
Let me start by setting the table:
In my twenty-four years in business, I’ve had the opportunity to sit in the C-Suite of two National Healthcare Corporations, work as a Division Chief for three State Government Agencies, serve as a Commissioner for Women in 2 states, and direct a National Women’s Association. In these roles, I hired a variety of coaches to help with skill development, provide training and speak at conferences. Today, as a National Business Consultant and Trainer, I have the pleasure of coaching hundreds of women (and men) in corporate leadership roles, as well as small business entrepreneurs.
Coaching is an industry that’s ripe, if you pick from the right tree! I want to see women entrepreneurs rock the coaching industry like never before; and now is the ideal time. But the only way this can be done is if more women learn how to become “Power Players”. A Power Player is a women that, no matter where she began her coaching journey – be it in the “Hood” or at “Harvard” – knows how to play the game exceptionally well, stand out, and even change the game altogether.
What Does It Take to be a Power Player?
The business arena is the ultimate proving ground for one’s skills and abilities, especially as a coach. It’s the ultimate self-development and growth experience. The business world provides you with the opportunity to stretch your mind and broaden your expertise in the process of producing results for your clients. Coaching is a matter of expanding the capacity of one person or many to win in the Super Bowl of their own life or career, but your coaching skills have to be a proficient enough to show them how to do that.
The structures, models and methodologies of the coaching business are numerous, but most are designed to facilitate learning new behavior for personal growth or professional advancement. Coaching is the process of helping to identify the skills and capabilities that are within a person, and enabling them to use them to the best of their ability. As a coach, you must possess the skill, ability and ingenuity to help people envision and create the better future for themselves or their organizations.
Becoming a Power Player in the coaching industry encompasses four things:
- Learning the Game – This involves knowing the rules of the industry, understanding your niche in the field, and figuring out what it takes to be one of the top contenders.
- Playing the Game – This involves knowing how to connect with the right networks, figuring out where to focus your efforts to build your clientele, and what products and services you should offer.
- Mastering the Game – This involves figuring out how to build eminence in the market and how to position yourself to continuously move through a series of destinations to avoid complacency.
- Redefining the Game – This involves leaving your mark in the field, becoming a revolutionary coach, and creating a legacy that will impacting others for years to come.
Now that you know what it takes, let’s outline the Power Player Manifesto. To be a powerful coach in today’s business environment, you must be serious about putting your coaching services on the national map and this requires a specific vision, mindset and method. The infographic below provides a framework to show you the four most critical areas for coaches to establish themselves and/or improve in order to step-up their game during the last quarter of 2012 and in 2013.
- Business Strategy – How You Compete:
This helps establish your “position” in the field and guides how you compete. Coaches aren’t and shouldn’t try to be experts in every area. What is your established area of expertise? What type of coach are you – life, business, career, health, fitness, spiritual, executive, dating, financial, etc. Find and establish your niche. Trying to be a jack-of-all-trades makes you a master of none. Likewise, if you were a mailroom supervisor making $38,000 a year at the height of your professional career, you shouldn’t jump into the coaching business claiming to be able to show people how to make a million dollars as entrepreneurs – unless you’ve already made your first million.
Compete based upon what you know, do well, and can demonstrate past results! Your clients will know if your expertise is being recited from a blog or a book or if it came from your own experience and knowledge. Your business strategy should always flow from the position you’re establishing in the market. For example, Life Coaches offer very different services & products, and address a completely different set of issues than Executive Coaches and you don’t want to send a mixed message to clients or potential clients.
- Branding Strategy – How You Build a Name, Reputation and Loyal Clients:
Once you know your business, then you can build a powerful brand. Your brand as a Coach is the platform upon which you stand and the promise of what you plan to offer to clients. Therefore, your brand messaging has to be consistent with the business area in which you’ve positioned yourself. If you’re a Business Coach, why would you market your latest “healthy living” product or "organic soap"? However, if health & wellness is a part of your business coaching platform, how have you integrated the two areas? Do your clients understand the correlation between all of your products and services? You don’t want potential clients to think that you’ve changed focus areas based upon your brand messaging, particularly if you cater to corporate clients.
- Financial Strategy – How You Profit:
This is where the rubber meets the road. If you’ve started or plan to launch a coaching business for lifestyle economy reasons (i.e. to augment your 9-5 paycheck) and you’re not looking to build wealth as an entrepreneur, then none of this information is really pertinent. But, if you are in the coaching business to build an enterprise economy, then you must have the right financial strategy and revise it as the needs or trends in the market change. Do you know what are other coaches charging? Are your products comparable? Upon what did you base your pricing model? Did you know that pricing is related to and can actually dictate your target market? Pricing too low or too high can also make it difficult for you to move up or down at a later date.
Keep in mind that Ken Blanchard can bill a million+ dollars for his teams coaching services. Your products and methods may be just as good, if not better, but you have to prove that you are worth the higher bill rate. Posting YouTube videos of yourself sitting on your bed giving a coaching lesson in business management strategies won't get you to the million dollar club! Proven business experience comes from results and outcomes. What results can you show with current clients to substantiate your pricing model or bill rate?
- Leadership Strategy – How You Build Eminence and Grow Your Business:
Okay – now for some real talk. If you don’t consistently play this game like you’re a “true” WNBA player, then you’ll end up on the bench or in early retirement. You must focus on optimizing what you offer and maximizing the results for your clients. Every day hundreds of men and women are stepping into the coaching field, including CEO’s from billion dollar corporations with “proven business experience” and the competition is fierce. Whatever got you to where you are today, won’t keep you there tomorrow.
If you want to be a leader in the field, you must be innovative and focus on solutions. Leaders don’t follow the same tactics as others, they figure out how to do things better and how to add more value than their competitors. Ask yourself this question, if you had to pitch a proposal for coaching services in "Change Management" to a group of CEO's from 3 Fortune 500 Companies, what innovative service or product could you bring to them that would make you a top contender against Ken Blanchard Companies, Anthony Robbins, or even another small business coach? This question illustrates why your leadership strategy must focus on where you want to go as a coach, and not just on where you are today!
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If you are serious about becoming a Business-Savvy Entrepreneur and a Successful Coach and you want to increase your earning potential, Monique Stoner can help!
Visit her website at www.moniquestoner.com. Monique has upcoming webinars focused on helping women in the Coaching and Consulting Businesses. LIKE her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MoniqueStonerFanPage to get immediate notices about her webinars.
Monique is also launching the MBA Center for Women website and virtual training services on Oct. 16, 2012 at www.mbacenterforwomen.com.
Check out the MBACW e-Brochure!