The role of a professional coach - is an important part of a companies' culture. Professional coaches encourage employees to continuously develop their skills, keep up with the latest training and fosters critical analysis and ways to improve not only their own performance but in turn the company's overall performance. As a result, the professional coaching market has shown an increase in recent years, as companies and individuals compete in an ever challenging global business environment.
Jobs relating to coaching and relationship management have been booming in recent years.
OpinionWay's study completed in 2014 on professional retraining showed that 74% of the employees surveyed considered changing jobs or careers, and 60% had already already changed profession.
With this ever competitive environment, how can a professional personal life coach find new customers?
Who Is Your Target Market?
As a professional coach it is fundamental to ask who your future clients may be and how to find them?
It will be important to identify who you can help, individuals and/or the companies that you can offer your services to.
A potential customer must feel drawn and interested when they come upon your PR material - website, business card, resume, advertisement, etc. - so it's important to have a comprehensive and attractive profile of your professional coaching services..
It's important to research and understand your potential clients, the challenge is being able to give individualised, tailored support in order to best help them achieve their goals.
As a professional coach its critical to develop specific skills sets in order to specialise and to best fully understand the needs of your "ideal client", whether they are managers, entrepreneurs, business coaches and for what specific sector (banking, insurance, real estate, industries,
As you gain more experience as a professional coach, you will be able to better define more precisely your target market: companies in difficulty, companies at risk of bankruptcy, general management, commercial management, political leaders, etc.
Therefore, as a professional life and career coach it's important to refine your services for your future clients like your expertise in helping them: achieve personal empowerment goals or improve their overall self-confidence, successfully navigate a career change, support for a professional project, perhaps help with public speaking or to improve negotiating skills, better stress management, and etc.
Their are numerous ways in which a professional coach is needed for support and to help someone's quest for their personal and professional advancement.
To succeed as a coach it is important therefore, to establish a relationship of trust and is usually established early on based on emotional factors and establishing that valuable connection with your potential client.
Transforming potential clients into your customers will require that you fully engage and listen to their problems and concerns. Also being empathic and having a systematic approach and strategies to help them, will show them that you are indeed the perfect coach to help them achieve their personal and/or professional goals.
Remember if you are a specialist in stress management or conflict management, then your best advertisement is reflected in how you handle those situations yourself!!
To attract future customers, it is important to show them your personality and those attributes, like assertiveness and self confidence, qualities that they are probably in search of improving or enhancing in themselves.
It is always best as a professional coach to mirror the very qualities that exude the self confidence and empowerment so necessary to achieve professional success, and part of the reason they are in search of a professional coach who can help them get there.
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Research The Market And Identify Leads
An analysis of the potential demand in your target market is essential to becoming a professional coach.
Doing a study will help you develop a marketing strategy, especially critical moments of activity: organisation of your business, creation of your website and promotion of your business, and gaining the desired visibility on social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) and other advertising opportunities..
There are more firms that are now choosing to set up professional coaching departments, by hiring independent self-employed coaches, or recruiting partners from career management practices.
The target market is increasingly segmented and is varied in its potential to service;
- Careers demands (employees, professionals, civil servants, business leaders, etc.),
- Theme Specific (changing jobs, career management, professional project, managing emotions or stress management, accompanying life change like divorce, regaining self-esteem and confidence, etc.),
- Professional issues skills training, improved communication, frustration, stagnation, career prospects),
- Personal (overcoming pain or trauma, self empowerment, life skills)
- The financial means of your target market: who can pay and who is inclined to pay for individual coaching?
Since the professional coaching businesses is a very competitive market structure, you may find yourself in the position of accepting market price for your services, rather than setting your own rate.
If you can establish yourself in a specific, under marketed niche- with a sustainable potential client base, you will be in a good position to have a stable dependable work flow as a professional coach.
At a certain level, with completion of all the training certifications and accreditations, specific training programs, and all the professional skills required of your speciality, this will give you the most comparative advantages. The more you know the better your position in the professional coaching market will be.
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Develop Your Coaching Methods
The last steps to becoming a personal coach is choosing the methodological approach that you will use to coach your new clients. There are several different methodologies that you can train and get certification for before commencing.
Coaches have different strategies and methodologies to help motivate their customers, some value neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), which is probably the most well-known methodology. There are other approaches that are also successful like: systemic approach, nonviolent communication, enneagram, Process Communication, dynamic spiral, Otto Scharmer's U theory, Ken Wilber's integral vision, Maslow's pyramid, the contributions of transactional analysis, etc.
Once you have completed your training as a professional coach, it's important to communicate and promote your services to potential clients (website, blogs, social networks, references) and establish connections and possibilities through networking.
Based on your professional experience and additional training, helping your customers reach concrete results and tangible goals will further increase your visibility and reputation as a professional coach. Depending on your client base, coaching methodology and unique client needs, you can streamline and organise your coaching sessions.
Whether its one to one coaching sessions for personal empowerment and confidence building, or coaching in groups within a company or industry for stress management in the workplace, or organisational efficiency, etc., it's important to show that the cost of professional coaching is really an investment into optimising an individual or company's greater potential!
Determining the right rate as a professional coach is important to establish and is important to set competitively. If you choose to set your rates on hour-long individual coaching sessions or on a multi-session basis, your prices should reflect your experience in the market and allow you to earn a profit, but also not too high so you can be competitive especially as you attract new clients and establish your professional coaching reputation.
Note that any potential client will compare the profiles of many professional coaches, including their varied and specialised degrees, any relevant experiences and training courses, all certifications or accreditations that they may have completed, as well as the methods they offer.
Optimising Your Networks And Cultivating Partnerships
Collective intelligence they say can have a greater reach than individual action. Teams with greater cohesion, are those where each member shares their interpersonal skills and so benefits the team as a whole. New and older businesses alike succeed on the basis of how resourceful and the skills that each individual contributes to the team.
Partnerships are an excellent way to find clients and ensure continuous sustainable work: your first clients help you build your business by referring you to those within their network. The larger their network is, the greater your chances of gaining additional clients through their collaborators.
Relationships and personal interactions established with your clients will be paramount to the success and future of your career as a professional coach. Effective communication with your clients, continually assessing your marketing strategies, staying current and up to date with the most current developments in Professional Coaching, and staying knowledgeable of changing and evolving corporate cultures of your clients will be critical to success as a Coach.
Finally, to establish and maintain strong relationships with customers, its highly recommended to attend or organise seminars, web seminars , press conferences and networking conferences, to find new clients.
Networking and marketing will account for potential customers, ensuring a successful career as a professional coach.