ISSUE 4 November 2012
Coaching World Advancing the Art, Science and
What They Didnâ€™t Tell You in Coaching School Selecting a Specialty Dropping a Difficult Client
Practice of Professional Coaching
Dear Reader, This edition of Coaching World is a little different—it’s a dual issue. We wanted to feature topics that offered relevant and practical advice for all coaches on business and marketing, Coaching World is a quarterly digital publication of the International Coach Federation. It is distributed via email and accessible at icfcoachingworld. com. Coaching World is written and produced by the ICF Marketing Department.
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ISSUE 4 November 2012
IN THIS ISSUE... g aspircihn es
Case Study: Is the “Trade-Off Effect” Killing Your Revenue?
Lisa Ann Edwards, ACC
Five Steps to Starting a Successful Business Steve Mitten, MCC
Aspiring Coaches Checklist
coac ced hes
Why You Need a Personal Brand
Global Views: Challenges for the Aspiring Coach
Income Secrets for Coaches
The Dirty Work: Dropping a Difficult Client
Neil Scotton, PCC
Susan Chritton, PCC
Selecting a Specialty and Maximizing Your Reach Helen Attridge, MCC
Pursuing Coaching Excellence
Global Views: Challenges for the Experience Coach
Must-Read Coaching Resources
Janet M. Harvey, MCC
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What They Didnâ€™t Tell You In Coaching School Starting your own coaching business can be one of the most exciting and scary times of your life. On the one hand, most new coaches are often ecstatic to have finally found their calling and the possibility of making a difference doing something they love. Yet on the other hand, so many new coaches are anxious, if not downright terrified, about their ability to build a successful business and support themselves through coaching. If this is you, take heart; you are not alone. There are some 50,000 coaches who have felt the same way as they walked this path ahead of you. In an effort to share a bit of the collective wisdom of the many good souls who have come before you, here are five tips that might minimize your suffering.
Pay Attention to the Business Side Yes, you do have to learn to master the coaching skills. Fortunately there are now dozens of wonderful ICF accredited coach training programs around the world that will help you do this. And even though the journey through your coach training can be lovely, meaningful, and even intoxicating at times, please do not make the mistake of putting all your time, effort and money into studying only the coaching skills. You also need to learn some of the key business and marketing survival skills to build a successful practice. It is a sad fact that there are simply far too many well trained coaches out there struggling to fill their practices. It can be heartbreaking to finally find something you love to do but you end up having to get unrelated work because you never learned how to successfully market yourself as a coach. I have noticed that even the busiest new coaches (often balancing their day job, family commitments and their coach training), who can average at least two hours a week on the business side of their practiceâ€”learning skills, finding a niche, networking, giving talks, writing articles and newsletters, giving sample sessions, working social media, creating a websiteâ€”generally manage to get past the predictable obstacles and build a viable practice. Obviously, the more time you put into performing productive marketing activities, the quicker your start-up will be. Continued on next page...
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Find A Niche When I talk about having a niche for your coaching practice, I am simply talking about having a focus for your marketing. Having a niche is just about being really clear on who your ideal clients are, so you can know where they hang out, what they care about, and how to best talk to them about the problems/ challenges/changes they want to make, in a language they understand. Having a niche makes your marketing and practice-building life a whole lot easier. As to the process of finding a niche, remember a good niche has two parts, a “who” and a “what.” The “who” is a specific group of people. The “what” is a logical cluster of challenges those people face and want to resolve. There are thousands of proven niches in professional coaching, so you do not have to reinvent the wheel. If you are well branded and give your ideal clients good reasons to work with you, you will find enough clients. Look for groups of people you are called to work with, who have challenges that they are spending money on now, who are relatively easy to market to (because they belong to the same groups, could be accessed through the same keyword phrases, read the same books, go to the same conferences, frequent the same social media groups, etc.). When you identify a niche you are interested in, go out and interview enough people to confirm what they are struggling with; what they are trying now that is not working; what their payoff is; what the best way to market to them is; how many are willing to spend money for results they want, etc. Once you do a few interviews, you will know enough about any group to know if they are a good fit for you. And if it is a great fit, you will know enough to do very effective marketing.
Focus on Problems and Solutions One of the biggest mistakes new coaches make is trying to sell coaching. The problem with this is that many potential clients have never tried coaching and if they don’t know what it is,
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“One of the biggest mistakes new coaches make is trying to sell coaching.” they cannot value the service; and few people purchase what they don’t understand. So rather than trying to sell such an intangible thing like coaching, look for opportunities to market coaching as a great solution to the big challenges, problems or changes people are struggling with now. Look for the changes they really care about, the ones they cannot seem to solve on their own. When you know what someone is trying to achieve, understand the payoff they will receive, and help them recognize that they are not making the progress they want, it is far easier for them to see coaching as a valuable means of support.
Offer More Than One-to-One Coaching While coaching can add great value and a high return on investment to many clients, the cost of one-to-one coaching remains out of reach for millions and millions of people. If you are well-marketed you will eventually be able to attract as many one-to-one clients as you want. However, you do yourself and the world a favor if you package yourself in other formats that lower the price of working together and dramatically increase the range of people who can work with you. For example, if you offer a small group coaching program you can materially increase the number of people who can afford to work with you, which increases your revenue. This is actually quite easy to do when you have a niche where many of your clients have similar backgrounds and interests and want help/ support/coaching on many of the same topics.
It’s A Mental Game Having seen hundreds of new coaches come into this lovely young profession, I am
convinced that the biggest challenge most of them face is mental. Seriously, I do not believe most coaches struggle because of a lack of knowledge available about the business or marketing side of coaching. These days there are so many books, courses, videos, etc. that any reasonably motivated coach could learn all they need to build a successful business. The biggest roadblock to most coaches’ ultimate success is their inability to move past the ubiquitous distractions, doubts, limiting thoughts and conditioned behaviours that keep them thinking and feeling that they are not ready or worthy to succeed as a coach. This of course is quite ironic, in that we coaches are so well trained in helping others get past their inner critics. However, our knowledge on this topic simply does not make us immune to the very same challenges our clients face. If you are serious about succeeding as a coach, do not appease your doubt and fears and for heaven’s sake do not put your gremlin in charge of your marketing program. In summary, the success, freedom and independence you seek in your coaching practice is always just beyond your current comfort zone. Get well trained, put the time into building your business, get the support you need (if you cannot afford a coach full time, set up a coaching circle with some colleagues), manage your stress (stress makes reactive, distracted, cowards out of us all), and get out there and share your gifts with the world.
Steve Mitten is an award winning Master Certified Coach, a Past President of The International Coach Federation, a yogi and a long-time student of developmental and positive psychology, myth and the wisdom traditions. He enjoys doing transformational coaching work with individuals, leaders and business owners. Steve is also an expert on the marketing of coaching services, a frequent presenter at coaching conferences, and the author of Marketing Essentials for Coaches. His main website is acoach4u.com.
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Aspiring Coaches Checklist Four “Must Dos” to kick-start your career Get training. Not sure where to start? Use the Training Program Search Service* to find high quality, accredited programs that fit your needs. The database contains more than 220 coach training programs that have been rigorously reviewed and demonstrate they align with ICF’s Core Competencies and Code of Ethics. This tool allows you to search programs using various criteria, including distance learning options, coaching specialty options and language preference
Plug into a coaching community. Find your local ICF Chapter by using the Chapter Search Tool. Join the journeys of other coaches who have gone before you; take advantage of networking opportunities; and engage in events that will help you grow as a coach.
Get Coached. The Reciprocal Peer Coaching Program* is ICF’s newest initiate that just launched in November. It is a new program that makes coaching more accessible. By giving coaching to one ICF coach, you can receive coaching from another ICF coach. In addition to offering your coaching services, you will only need to pay a nominal coordination fee for the program to match you with a coach and client and to monitor each reciprocal peer coaching relationship. Support your professional and personal development with the best means we know how—coaching!
Boost business leads. Increase your visibility by posting your profile on the Coach Referral Service (CRS)* and use the ICF Career Centre* to post your resume and find job openings. Organizations often use the CRS to find coaches to hire and the ICF Career Centre will help you sort through job openings so you can gain experience. *You must be an ICF Member to use these tools. For membership details visit icf.to/join.
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Why You Need a
Personal Bďż˝and Have you found yourself wondering why there is so much talk about personal branding? Are you questioning what the career advantages are to having a compelling personal brand as a coach?
Distinguishing yourself in the workplace is important in every facet of business. Creating a clear and concise image and reputation in the professional world provides you with an edge, whether navigating a career change, looking to be more successful in your current career, or building your business as a professional coach. So what exactly is a personal brand? Very simply it is your reputation. Your personal brand is the legacy that you leave; it is the way others remember you through your actions, your expertise, and the emotional connections that you make. Your personal brand becomes the promise you make about who you are and what you do that is strengthened every time people connect with you or your business. Personal branding is the strategic process of building a positive set of experiences for the people who need to know about you. Personal branding is about expressing your authentic self by allowing you to be the person you are meant to be. The process of personal
branding will help you connect with your unique promise of value and employ it in the world. Your personal brand acts as a filter to help you make decisions that are congruent with who you are and what you stand for. It identifies what makes you unique and clearly communicates your individuality to the people who need to know about you. Having a personal brand sounds like a great idea, but how do you get one? If youâ€™re serious about developing your personal brand, you will need a very clear road map to get you there. Here are the steps to guide you through every stop along that map. Think of this process as your own success story that is waiting to be written!
Know your brand To begin the process, you need to spend time up front studying yourself and figuring out what you really want. Only with a strong sense of yourself can you undertake the steps to build a personal brand.
1. Define who you are. Getting to know yourself and understanding what is important to you is your first step. The beginning of any branding process is being able to clearly define the brand. In personal branding, the product is you! What are your needs, values, goals, passions, vision, strengths and unique characteristics? Continued on next page...
“Personal branding is about expressing your authentic self by allowing you to be the person you are meant to be.” 2. Spot your target audience. Your target audience is the
people you want to know about you and can include clients, community groups, or your current boss. You promote your personal brand to your target market so that your brand has a specific direction.
3. Get to know your competitors. In order to have a strong
brand, you need to know who your competitors are and which market niche works for you.
4. Craft a personal brand profile. This all-important tool
gathers all the data that you collect about yourself, your target audience, and your competitors into one defining document. This profile helps you pinpoint your unique promise of value and allows you to write a statement that succinctly expresses your brand. The personal brand statement acts as your compass to guide you in the way you want to be seen.
Communicate your brand After you know your brand, your next challenge is to communicate it clearly, concisely, and consistently to the people who need to know about it.
1. Craft your story. You will want to tell your story so that it is
appealing to others. The most common way you tell your story is through your personal commercial.
2. Brand your communication tools. Your personal
branding tools are your letters, resume, professional biography and presentations. Your communication tools need to answer these questions: • • • •
Did I represent myself the way that I want to be seen? Am I using my personal brand promise? Am I consistent with my brand identity? Did I focus on my target market?
• Was I clear and concise with my story?
3. Communicate your brand online. You make an
so you will want to merge the world of social media with your personal brand.
4. Create a communications plan. This plan sets forth your
communication goals so that you’re sharing your brand on your own terms and not leaving anything to chance.
Manage your brand ecosystem Your brand ecosystem encompasses every element of your life, from your clothes to your professional colleagues, and influences how your target audience perceives you and whether it wants to learn more about what you’re offering.
1. Your image: Whether you like it or not, what you look like on the outside does matter. Fashioning your image to match your personal brand helps you communicate something authentic about yourself at first glance.
2. The appearance of your branded materials: From
business cards to your website, you want to create a consistent visual image for your brand that makes the right impression on your target audience. You want to select images, colors, and fonts that create the visual effect that expresses your personal brand.
3. Your network: The people you associate with are very
important; they factor into the impression you make on your target audience, as well as your ability to make connections.
4. Your performance in your current workplace: Personal branding is not just for entrepreneurs. A strong personal brand will mean success in your current workplace.
Personal branding supports and enhances your work as a coach. Your best success comes when you recognize your own gifts and are able to help your clients discover their best selves. Your personal brand helps you make the most of what you’ve got to offer by understanding who you are and what sets you apart from every other person on this planet. It helps you navigate the direction of your life. Live your best self and to make it your personal brand.
impression online in much the same way that you do in person
Susan Chritton, M.Ed., PCC, NCCC, is an Executive Coach, Master Personal Brand Strategist, and author of Personal Branding for Dummies. She guides professionals looking to engage their authentic self in the world through personal branding. Clients come to Susan when they are strengthening their careers inside an organization, are in career transition, or when they need to jump start a new career path. With her wealth of credentials and extensive experience in career development, she is able to draw on her ability to identify each individual’s uniqueness and then arrange the variables to map out a strategic direction. Connect with Susan at susanchritton.com; LinkedIn linkedin.com/in/susanchritton; Twitter @susanchritton
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“What are the greatest challenges for aspiring coaches and how have you overcome them?” “My biggest challenge in starting my own coaching business has been in aligning my coaching purpose with my intention and then creating a viable and conscious business model and forum that would reach the most people in my niche. My first coaching business was founded with no more than passion and a prayer to help empower and inspire children. I was definitely credible, but I knew nothing about how to start and run a business. After spending more than a year ‘trying’ to build my coaching practice and enroll clients, the universe sent me down a different and completely unexpected path, Addiction Recovery & Life Coaching. Then it was a matter of gathering my resources which included: hiring a business coach, writing a new business plan (Specifically, Jennifer Lee’s Right Brain Business Plan), hiring a website designer, and creating a Facebook Fan Page and Twitter account. If I could measure ‘success’ by joy and passion, then I would say I have created a very successful coaching practice!”
Joy Rigberg United States
“The greatest challenge is to help new clients understand the true value of their investment and therefore be able to charge your fees. For me this meant helping them put a price on the success they would achieve, and how much they would pay to purchase that success. In all cases, this value was much less than the cost of the coaching I offered them. From starting a yoga class for musicians to getting their new dream job, the financial value far exceeded the cost of their coaching.”
Join the conversation on Twitter by telling us your biggest struggles as an aspiring coach!
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Selecting a Specialty and
MAXIMIZING Your Reach THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION STATES that species must adapt to their changing environments to avoid extinction, and their ability to fill specific ecological niches increases their chances of long-term survival. Likewise, professional coaches must adjust to increasingly complex, changeable and competitive market conditions in order to thrive. That’s why it’s essential to choose a coaching specialty that matches your skills and interests with the demands of the modern marketplace. A specialty is the scope of what you do as a coach (your services) and who you coach (your client base). Having a specialty enhances your chances of success by enabling you to stand out from the crowd, become known as an expert in your field, attract the kind of clients you want and get paid well. There are many different specialty areas, ranging from Life Coach and Relationship Coach to Career Coach, Corporate Coach and many more. Most coaches then specialize even further within those areas by providing specific types of coaching to clearly identified clientele. For example, during the course of my fifteen-year coaching career I’ve practiced over half a dozen specialties, from working with women going through major life transitions to helping philanthropists use their wealth to improve society. While I chose some of these specialties based on my skills, interests and background, others chose me: they resulted from career opportunities that just happened to come my way, and not all of them ultimately worked out. Fortunately, there is a more rational and reliable method of choosing a specialty that lets you decide.
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Making Your Dreams Real As Director of the Academy of Coaching and NLP (ACN), a coach training school that is accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF), part of my job is helping students decide what they want to specialize in. Drawing on your past (for instance, your experience, education and credentials) is a good way to start thinking about a direction, as that will give you a solid foundation to build a practice on. But you also want to consider the future as well—your ideal career lifestyle. For example, if money is a priority, then target clients who can afford to pay premium rates for coaching, such as CEOs in the corporate sector. Conversely, you may find serving underprivileged clients in partnership with nonprofit organizations much more rewarding than a six-figure income. Either way, instead of choosing a title from among a list of specialty areas, start your specialty search by defining exactly who you want to work with, the specific challenges they face and the solutions you intend to offer them. I’ve learned that the key to a wise decision lies in aligning your values and internal passion with the external realities of the current marketplace. You can bridge the gap between internal and external forces by gaining the skills you need to get from where you are to where you want to go. This three-part specialty-choosing process is encapsulated in the Passion Triangle.
In the ACN program, we use Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) to facilitate the self-discovery process. NLP is essentially a method of systematically organizing information in the brain to solve problems and achieve desired results. I’ve seen NLP transform and expand students’ view of themselves and their potential. When people see what is actually possible, the question “What do I really want?” takes on a whole new meaning—and the answer often determines their chosen coaching specialization.
An Ongoing Process What choosing a coaching specialty really boils down to is knowing yourself and your life purpose. But you and your calling will change over time, whether a little or a lot, so you may need to repeat the process throughout your coaching career. If you’ve never chosen a specialty before, know that the first time may be the hardest because you haven’t learned how it’s done yet. But it gets easier: especially if you view choosing a specialty as part of an overall career trajectory. For instance, just as the average worker changes careers three to five times in their lifetime, coaches also change their specializations, so you certainly don’t have to stick with the one you start with. Or one specialty may be merely a stepping stone to another, and that to the next one leading toward your long-term goals. Or you can expand and build on the specialties you accumulate over time, combining them to offer more and better services to a larger client base. If you already have a coaching practice, consider where your business is now and where you want it to go—and determine whether that requires learning a new specialty.
which are increasingly popular because they are more cost-effective for corporate clients. Last but certainly not least, coaching is rapidly expanding into new markets. This includes reaching out to underserved cultural groups (such as Spanish speakers in the U.S.), and meeting the growing but largely untapped demand for coaching in other countries (including China, India and South America). It’s especially important for those in the international market to have a clearly defined specialty because they must understand the needs of people from specific cultures and speak directly to them in their native language.
Helen Attridge, MCC, is the Director and President of Academy of Coaching & NLP. In addition to being a Master Certified Coach, she is also an NLP Master Practitioner, and was an International Trainer for the NLP and Coaching Institute of California before becoming Director of ACN. In addition to her training experience, Helen has built her own successful coaching practice, which currently focuses on empowering leaders who are passionate about changing the world.
Coaching Trends: Today to Tomorrow
In the current uncertain economic climate, it’s particularly important to consider the future because today’s hot specialties may someday become obsolete. Which coaching specialties are likely to flourish in years to come? Only time will tell, but I can speculate based on what I’ve seen of certain emerging specialties. High unemployment and sluggish job growth in Europe, the U.S. and other Western nations has created a highly-competitive global employment market in which millions of people are in career transition and companies must innovate to survive. Some professionals—such as corporate consultants and psychotherapists—have adapted to changing needs by integrating coaching with their other services. These trailblazing “hybrids” show that coaching doesn’t have to be a new or separate profession: it can complement and enhance an existing career. While individuals combine coaching with other professions, collaborations between coaches are also becoming more common, as are alliances between coaches and other types of service providers (such as social media specialists and communication experts). These partnerships are especially suited to providing comprehensive group coaching services,
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Measuring ROI It doesn’t take a lot of information gathering to know that coaching is in! Not only is coaching a fast growing profession, but the ways in which coaching is utilized are growing. No longer is coaching only for executives. Instead, it’s becoming more common to see coaching used in various ways, such as a supplement to a new hire or a way to support transfer of learning to behavior of new job skills. In spite of the wide acceptance of coaching, the challenge to demonstrate the benefit and return on investment (ROI) of coaching remains. By utilizing the ROI Methodology™, many organizations have been able to demonstrate the monetary impact and ROI of coaching programs related to coaching. For example, in our book Measuring the Success of Coaching: A Step-by-step Guide to Measuring Impact and Calculating ROI (ASTD Press, 2012), we provide six case studies that illustrate the various ways coaching can be utilized. They include: 1) A coaching skills and tools course in the medical technology industry 2) A mentor-coaching program for executives in a beverage company 3) A management learning program for managers in a plastics company 4) A coach training program for internal coaches in a financial services company 5) A structured executive coaching program for senior executives in a hotel company 6) Leadership development for supervisors in a freight transportation company All of these case studies use the same approach, the ROI Methodology™, to demonstrate the monetary impact and ROI.
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What to measure? There are five levels of evaluation to consider in measuring the ROI of coaching. The outcomes of your coaching program and include: 1) Level 1: Reaction and Satisfaction. At this level, we measure the coachee’s satisfaction, reaction and planned action as a result of coaching. 2) Level 2: Learning. At this level, we measure the coachee’s change in knowledge, skill or attitude as a result of coaching. 3) Level 3: Behavior, Application and Implementation. At the third level of evaluation, we measure the coachee’s changes in on-the-job behavior, application and implementation of new knowledge. 4) Level 4: Business Impact. At the fourth level of evaluation, we are looking for the link between behavior (doing) and business impact (monetary impact). 5) Level 5: ROI. And, finally, at the fifth level of evaluation, ROI, we are looking for the answer to the question: after all costs of the program, including indirect costs, are captured, what was the return on our investment?
Where to begin? The process of the ROI Methodology™ includes four steps in the overall process and they are: 1) Evaluation Planning. In this stage, we partner with key stakeholders to develop the objectives of the coaching solution and outline the evaluation plans, including collecting any baseline data. 2) Data Collection. At stage two, we collect data during the coaching implementation and/or at the end of the solution implementation. 3) Data Analysis. At stage three, we isolate the effects of the solution which means that we determine what percent of the monetary benefit is attributable to the coaching solution and what percent is due to other factors. We also convert data to monetary value, capture all of the costs of the solution, including indirect costs, calculate the return-on-investment and identify intangible measures. 4) Generate Impact Study. Finally, at stage four we create the impact study that includes a written document as well as a presentation for all primary stakeholder groups.
How to ensure consistency in the approach? Finally, throughout the process it’s important to consistently apply the same principles and operating standards each time. This ensures that the process is credible. These principles and operating standards are represented by the 12 Guiding Principles listed below: 1) When a higher-level evaluation is conducted, data must be collected at lower levels. 2) When an evaluation is planned for a higher level, the previous level of evaluation does not have to be comprehensive. 3) When collecting and analyzing data, use only the most credible sources. 4) When analyzing data, choose the most conservative among alternatives. 5) At least one method must be used to isolate the effects of the project/initiative. 6) If improvement data is not available, it is assumed that little or no improvement has occurred. 7) Adjust estimates of improvement for potential errors of estimation. 8) Extreme data items and unsupported claims should not be used in ROI calculations. 9) Only the first year benefits (annual) should be used in the ROI analysis of shortterm projects/initiatives.
Continued on next page...
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10) Project/program costs should be fully loaded for ROI analysis. 11) Intangible measures are defined as measures that are purposely not converted to monetary value. 12) The results from the ROI methodology must be communicated to all key stakeholders.
What’s next? These steps outline the basic ways to implement the ROI Methodology™ so that you can measure the monetary impact and calculate the ROI of your coaching program. While following these steps will be helpful, you may also be interested in attending one of the Bloom Coaching Institute’s upcoming webinars to learn how to implement the methodology. Adapted from Measuring the Success of Coaching: A Step-byStep Guide for Measuring Impact and Calculating ROI.
Lisa Ann Edwards, M.S., ACC, is a partner of Bloom
Coaching Institute (BloomCoachingInstitute.com), an organization that advances coaching effectiveness through research, tools, training and consultation on ROI of Coaching. Lisa’s coaching work has demonstrated as much as a 251% return-on-investment and has been shown to lift employee engagement nearly 20%. As head of Talent Management for Corbis, a Bill Gates’ privately owned global media company, Lisa was responsible for designing and implementing effective talent development solutions such as leadership development and coaching programs to ensure talent engagement, improve talent retention and serve to feed the talent pipeline. Lisa is a frequent contributing author to trade publications and has authored or contributed to several books, including Measuring the Success of Coaching: A Step-by-Step Guide to Measuring Impact and Calculating ROI (ASTD Press, 2012).
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Case Study: Is the “Trade-Off Effect” Killing Your Revenue? There’s a dumb mistake entrepreneurs make when they price their products and services… and it leaves a TREMENDOUS amount of revenue on the table. Are you making it? And if you are, don’t worry. It’s EASY to fix once you know what it is. Don’t take my word on that though, instead trust the hard data and the real-life case study I share this episode of Social Triggers TV.
This video ﬁrst appeared at SocialTriggers.com. Derek Halpern’s website is designed to teach people to use psychology to create loyal subscribers to your brand, persuade people to buy your products, and encourage people to share your content and website.
Derek Halpern founded Social Triggers. Derek is an expert marketer and entrepreneur who has been featured in publications like Forbes and the Huﬃngton Post among others. After building several successful websites in various niches (entertainment, fashion, etc.), he’s refocused on what he loves most: building and marketing businesses. He developed his approach to marketing and over the past few years, it has helped him build a few wildly popular websites, one of which attracted more than 1,000,000 page views in a single day. More specifically, he uses the perfect blend of data driven marketing (conversion rates, academic research, and personal case studies) and content marketing to get traffic, attract customers, and sell products online. Visit SocialTriggers.com to find out more and follow him on Twitter @Derekhalpern. Coaching World |
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INCOME SECRETS RESEARCH OFFERS INSIGHT INTO RAISING YOUR INCOME
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MONEY. It’s an emotive subject. Are you happy with what you are charging? Is it going the way you want it to? The subject came up when I got a call; “We’d love you to write a piece—‘More Experienced, More expensive? Evaluating your fees.’ There’s great information in the 2012 ICF Global Coaching Study.” It was a surprise. This is not what I normally write about, and frankly I’ve probably still got lots of my own ‘stuff’ to deal with on this topic. But hey, life’s for learning, it’s good to explore the dark places and something intuitively felt that this would be interesting. I wasn’t wrong. I loaded the survey and began looking. There certainly is evidence that experience matters. Stay in the game for 10 or more years and the statistics say that on average you’ll be charging 2.5 times as much per hour as coaches in their first year. You’ll also have more clients. And longer assignments. And so earn a lot more.
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Does this all just come with experience? Part of me said that’s not the full story. I kept looking. And interesting facts appeared.
ATTRIBUTES IMPORTANT TO CLIENT* Effectiveness of coaching process: 93%
And then the big bang—page 113. The average number of methods used to evaluate coaching. These include methods such as feedback interviews, client self-assessments, benchmarking and others. Just look at the statistics:
Personal rapport with coach: 92% Personal referrals: 80% Explanation of coaching process: 78% Client references: 78% Level of coach-specific training: 66% Cost of coaching: 62%
AVERAGE NUMBER OF METHODS USED TO EVALUATE COACHING PROCESS AND AVERAGE HOURLY FEES $350
Curriculum vitae or resume: 53%
Coaching experience in industry: 55% $300
Level of formal education/schooling: 52% Delivery method used: 50% Other relevant experience/background: 49%
Number of years as a coach: 48% Work experience in industry or job: 46%
Coaching credential or certification: 49% $200
Physical location of the coach: 34% $150
*As perceived by coaches who participated in the 2012 ICF Global Coaching Study.
There’s a section on ‘the most important attributes in the coach client relationship as viewed by the client.’ Three of the top five, by quite a way, are the effectiveness of the coaching process, personal rapport with a coach, and explanation of the coaching process. I’ve seen coaches, fresh out of training, who are brilliant at these so why the need for years of experience? The other two in the top five are personal referrals and client referrals. Sure, these may take time to build but 10 years? Indeed, I found of the 17 attributes suggested, the number of years as a coach was 14th, and the number of clients served was last. Something very interesting is going on.
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Number of clients served: 29%
3 4-5 Methods Methods
The average of what you make from coaching in a year increases by a factor of 2.5 between no methods and 4-5 methods. Now, coaching for me is about a whole lot more than the financials. And I know that’s true for many. But the money is certainly not
irrelevant for a whole host of possible reasons. And a key message for financial returns in this profession is to be REALLY interested in your clients, and get them involved in evaluating your work, and the impact it has. I was immediately reminded of a Saturday a couple of weeks ago, clearing out some shelves and going through some early wisdoms I’d collected. And something Lisa Wynn, a past UK ICF Director, wrote in a blog jumped out: “What I see—and hear— again and again is that many coaches have complete faith in ‘Coaching’—they just don’t have faith in THEIR coaching…When I knew that MY coaching was valuable and worth paying for then the business know-how started to land and make sense.” It seems clear that getting a true picture of the value and benefit of what YOU do is huge. With lots of great quality feedback I can see how it can develop that all-important faith in your coaching, and the value it brings to clients—and therefore what you feel is right to charge. And no doubt it’s of real help in shaping your skill development, marketing and niching and probably depth in the relationship with the client.
PROCESS COMMUNICATION MODEL ®
train the coach > Mastering Process Communication Model and its richness > Use a powerfull tool to gain faster results > Process Communication Model Personality Pattern Inventory (PPI) > European Network > A certifying program by a Master Trainer > A diploma signed by Taibi Kahler
• Process Communication Model Train the Coach course in 2012 is accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF). • More than 350 european coaches trust the Model, more than 1,000,000 people worldwide have been trained or coached with PCM.
More information on: www.processcommunication.eu
So the bottom line to earning more is not just years in the profession. It’s about ask, listen, reflect, act. How very coaching. You may get something else from this survey. It is certainly going to change the way I do things. Buy the 2012 ICF Global Coaching Study today.
Neil Scotton is a past President of the UK ICF,
and co-founder of The One Leadership Project— supporting and enabling catalysts; the people initiating and accelerating positive change. Visit his website, enablingcatalysts.com or follow him on Twitter, @OneLeadership.
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enced experaiches co
THE DIRTY WORK: Dropping a Diâˆžcult Client
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Tired. Drained. Exhausted. Those are the three most common words I hear coaches use to describe how they feel after working with a difficult client. Clients tend to be negative in the beginning because they are afraid of really stepping into the essence of who they are and making those big life changes. Most coaches usually stick it out for a while to see if that shift will happen. With certain clients, though, it doesn’t. One particular client I had was both negative and rude. For me, that’s where I draw the line. Its fine to have reservations about the coaching process (it is brand new to most people after all), but as coaches we must expect to receive the same respect from our clients that we give to clients. When the exchange of respect is not aligned, then it’s time to let them go.
Every time I left a session with this client I felt miserable. I was zapped and had no energy left for my other clients. I also started feeling bad before our sessions even started. Regardless, I hung in there. I tried. I was waiting for the shift, but it never came. I realized that I had a healthy practice full of successful clients that I absolutely loved working with, and I couldn’t justify keeping him on as a client anymore. After coaching for any length of time, you can probably relate to having a difficult client. Even though your other clients love their coaching experience, that one negative client will take up the majority of your energy. If you are thinking about letting a difficult client go, it can be challenging, especially if you’ve never done it before. You’re in luck because I’m going to share my five best tips for the client “break-up” process:
1. It’s not fair to your other clients.
As coaches we usually want to help everyone and will stick with people for far too long. When you have a difficult client, he or she will drain your energy and consume more time that your ideal clients do. It isn’t fair to those ideal clients who are actually doing the work. They need you at your best, and that means not being brought down by another client.
“You are responsible to your clients, but not for your clients.”
2. It’s not a reflection on you as the coach.
Don’t take it personally when a client isn’t experiencing success. You are responsible to your clients, but not for your clients. Let go of any obsessive need to force anyone you work with to have success.
3. You could be doing them a tremendous favor.
In the book Necessary Endings by Henry Cloud, the author talks about how it can actually be good for the person when you let them go. I highly recommend this book if you have any issues at all around “firing” clients. It can be just the wake-up call they need to finally take action.
It could also be possible that you aren’t the right coach for that client. Maybe the difficult client needs a coach with a different approach. Similar to how we aren’t supposed to be best friends with everyone, we aren’t made to coach everyone. Be okay with that.
Continued on next page...
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Maybe they don’t need a coach at all, but they do need another professional. Letting them go could help them find the person that is right for them.
4. Pinpoint your ideal clients.
It’s never more apparent who your ideal clients are than when you have a super difficult client. Knowing exactly who you love to work with can reduce the amount of difficult clients you come across.
When you have systems in place such as the right marketing materials, a comprehensive application process, and an effective intake session, then you will learn to spot difficult clients from the start. When you detect a difficult client, don’t hire them, even if you feel that you “need” the money. When we pass on clients who aren’t right for us, it opens up doors to attract more of the right clients.
Take time to reflect on which clients you really love working with and what they have in common. What do they do for a living? What types of books do they like to read? Which magazines are they subscribed to? What are their hobbies? Where do they spend their time off from work? Even the most seemingly small details will give you clues on where to find more clients like them. This will help you create your ideal client profile.
5. The truth will set you free.
When you do decide it’s time to part ways with a client, just be honest with them. Being direct and to the point will help your situation tremendously. Don’t engage in conflict and stand your ground. If you know of a coach who you think would suit them better, feel free to refer the client.
Afterwards, let it go. Don’t let your mind worry and wander with any guilt, what-ifs, should haves, or regrets.
When a client of mine is trying to decide whether or not to let a client go for any reason, I ask them one simple question: “Do you feel more energized after your coaching sessions than before you start the session?” The answer is usually something along the lines of, “Oh I feel absolutely drained after a coaching session with this client, even when I’m full of energy before!” Even when you are coaching around issues such as divorce, being laid off, death, etc., you should still leave the coaching session feeling good.
Sometimes you have to kiss a few client frogs before you are really able to know who your client princes are. That’s okay. When a frog gets through just chalk it up as a learning experience and move on.
Brandi Graves is a Mentor Coach who helps her clients manifest their life purpose into a profitable and passion-filled coaching practice.
It was love-at-first-client when Brandi started coaching many years ago, and she whole-heartedly believes coaching can change the world by empowering others to be their own gurus. Brandi’s heart-centered mission is to make effective coaching skills available to everyone in the world, which is why she created iCoachUniversity.com, offering one of the most popular online coach training programs on the web. You can also visit YouGrowGirl.net to learn more about Brandi and enjoy her wise words on self-love and self-growth.
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Pursue Coaching “Being a Master Certified Coach compels me to be present outside of what is comfortable and known; to possess deep caring for people and community as a value; to strive for excellence in both deed and the quality of experience in life.”
Excellence How a Credential Deepens Vocation
eciprocal inspiration happens in small meaningful moments when your breathe catches, tears well up, laughter escapes spontaneously, and reverence for inner beauty is discovered and reclaimed. It’s co-created between coach and client and it’s generative and extraordinary, unpredictable and yet relevant to unleashing potential. A global Sales Manager for a company headquartered in Germany hired me so that she could exercise authority with respect and alignment with her own values. I asked my client one day what she felt when she kneeled down and looked her twin, four-year-old girls right in the eye. In that moment her eyes flooded with tears and a bright smile came across her face. She said, “I feel hope for the world, joy in the wonder of being human, love and the knowledge that anything is possible when we care enough for each other.” She has carried my question with her and for two years now has scored the highest rating on this measure of success of her peer group and her superiors.
Both humbling and inspiring, my vocation is the vehicle by which my soul lives its purpose. My own growth and development as a human being, required by my development as a Master Certified Coach, has fueled my opportunity to serve others. Being a Master Certified Coach compels me to be present outside of what is comfortable and known; to possess deep caring for people and community as a value; to strive for excellence in both deed and the quality of experience in life.
Janet M. Harvey, MCC ICF President
Learn more about credentialing!
Clients were more likely to be satisfied with their coaching experience and recommend coaching to others when they worked with an ICF Credentialed coach. 2010 ICF Global Consumer Awareness Study
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Global Views: “What are the greatest challenges for experienced coaches and how have you overcome them?” “The greatest challenge for experienced coaches is, I believe, to remain a beginner—to not get caught by the idea that, because we have been coaching for ten or fifteen years, etc, we know about coaching. There is a quote that I love that says, ‘the difference between an expert and a master is that an expert wants to get to the answer as quickly as possible, whereas a master wants to stay in not knowing as long as possible.’ So, we have to keep learning, keep putting ourselves in places where we don’t know. Life certainly provides plenty of opportunities for that!”
Aboodi Shabi, PCC
“I love what I do, but I have neither experience nor interest in the tasks of running the business. My accountant was the first step towards lightening that burden. A virtual assistant will be next. I enjoy working from my home office, but the isolation is a killer. I am on the lookout for a part-time co-working center with the perfect comfort/price balance. Close attention as to where I find satisfaction and renewed energy is helping me focus on my ‘target client.’”
Patricia Comolet, ACC
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“From my perspective and what I hear a lot, the greatest struggles for coaches are their ability to earn a good income and getting clients. I work with individual clients and work in small companies rather than going into big corporations where rates are much higher. For me, my rates are in alignment with the value that I put on my coaching and the end result that the client is going to get from working with me. My hunch is that many coaches don’t put a high enough value on their worth so they don’t make enough money. Also, marketing ourselves and what results clients are going to get by working with us is the best way to get clients. I have an extensive website and spend money refining it constantly. I am also out in the world a great deal meeting people and talking about the value and benefits of coaching. Also, referrals are the best way to get new clients. Coaching is a business even though we are in the business of helping people, it is still a business and we have to market ourselves as owners of a business.”
Terry Yoffe, PCC United States
Must-Read Coaching Resources 5 books highly recommended by ICF Members Co-Active Coaching: Changing Business, Transforming Lives by Karen Kimsey-House, Henry Kimsey-House, Phillip Sandahl and Laura Whitworth First published in 1998, this revised third edition highlights transformational change in the client and extends the Co-Active Model into leadership management. As a bonus, this edition also contains an online Coach’s Toolkit, several new coaching demonstrations and more than 35 updated exercises.
What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter Executive Coach Marshall Goldsmith shows business people how small “transactional flaws” can lead to negative perceptions that can hold one back. Goldsmith’s straightforward, practical advice can help you make some simple, yet effective changes.
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The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield This concise, engaging and useful book can help navigate the roadblocks of success in any creative environment. Pressfield dishes out some tough love and highlights the resolve needed to overcome obstacles of ambition and reach creative discipline.
Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting out of the Box by Arbinger Institute The book’s central insight explains the key to leadership— that it lies not in what we do, but who we are. Leadership and Self-Deception focuses on the psychological processes of an executive who is facing challenges at work and at home, and this new edition was revised to make the story more readable and compelling.
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Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown In her recently released book, Brown challenges the common concept of vulnerability. Based on 12 years of research, she asserts that vulnerability is not weakness, but rather it’s our clearest path to courage, engagement and meaningful connection. Participate in conversations like this one at facebook.com/ICFHQ.
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