I received a message from a MoneyPlan SOS podcast listener looking for advice for a “newbie coach”. It’s a question I get a lot, and a question I hate to answer. Why? Because it’s full of roadblocks and Do’s & Don’ts.
What a bummer message, huh?
When we get excited about building a new business we tend to think we can run through any barriers that get in our way. The problem is that even a rhino can get tired of running through barriers after a while. Who wants to be told that it’s hard or even be told that he/she shouldn’t start? Well, that’s what this message is about. Bummer.
The following is the list I sent in response to his message. If you’ve considered becoming a coach then please read through it. If you find it useful then please send me a message or comment below. I would also appreciate any additional thoughts that you find helpful that I didn’t include here:
- …blog every once-in-a-while (like I do. Ugh).
- …use social media to sell your stuff.
- …use a free website to host a business or blog. When Dave Ramsey read my blogpost on the air in July 2010 I was using a free WordPress.com site. Do you know how unprofessional that looks? Ugh.
- …say “You” in your posts or on Twitter; how do you know who “I” am (the reader)? See, it sounds like preaching when we say “You…shouldn’t/should/need to”
- Start a podcast.
- Wait for people to come to you just because you started a business.
- And please, for the love of God, DON’T EVER say “Dave Ramsey says” unless you are quoting a statistic or event. If people want to know what Dave Ramsey said then they can listen to him 3 hours every day – which makes him the expert and you become his messenger.
- Blog consistently (probably once a week). You could do it more often but know what you are getting into when setting reader’s expectations and stick to it.
- Use Social Media to have conversations with people and begin a dialog, Example: My podcast will not get me a client, but it does give people a way to hear who I am and what I am about before they ever try to contact me.
- Get a professional-sounding email and websites. Websites and associated email accounts are cheap – and using the WordPress.org engine makes doing a blog very easy.
- Say “We” or maybe “I learned (that…when I was stupid….etc).
- Listen to old CoachRadio.TV podcast episodes. Not the recent ones, but the first 50 or so.
- Get out and offer to do public speaking for free. A personal touch, and I do mean physical touch like a handshake or even just being present in the room, will get you clients where the web will find you a bunch of tire-kickers and people looking for free help.
- Become the expert. Look for your niche’ and talk to that person in blogposts, social media, etc…
Get out there
It’s hard for us to see the problems in our own lives. How do you think a single mom feels when she kept the house in order to “minimize the trauma of the divorce” for her kids or when a young couple is losing their feelings for each other while using separate checking accounts? Our society is bent upon selling them a bunch of debt while the human condition is constantly weaving a tapestry of emotions, experiences, and accomplishments. You can help so many people who don’t know they need help if you are just there. Be where they are, find them in the middle of their messes. Find them in the place where they think the problem is someone or something else. Then help them to see that they have the tools and the ability to change their lives.
One last request
I urge you to reconsider coaching as a business unless you are certain that you can stick through “The Dip” (Oh, go read Seth Godin’s book!). Don’t be the typical financial coach who thinks they can start a business because they got themselves out of debt or because they took Dave Ramsey’s Counselor Training class. They tend to tell their friends, print business cards, start a blog, and then give the coaching business a bad name because they quit when it gets hard.
It takes dedication and lots of work, more work than the typical person wants to commit to. But if you think God gave you that special gift of perseverance and skill then I will be behind you 100%!
Let me know if I can help you in some way.