This article was originally published by the International Coaches Federation.
As a coach for over 15 years, I often get asked what other coaches can do to build their brand and grow their practice. With so many options available, it can sometimes be overwhelming knowing exactly which road to take. So with that in mind, I will share two ways that you can use right now to build your brand as a coach.
This is an area most coaches are familiar with, but perhaps not all are actively doing it right now. I’d encourage you to reconsider for the simple reason that public speaking is one of the few times where coaches can leverage their time and talk to a large number of people all at once!
And as far as branding is concerned, public speaking is a great way to position yourself as a Credible Expert, and show people you know what you’re talking about. Because let’s face it: There are a ton of coaches out there, all saying they can do the exact same thing as you.
But when you’re known as a “speaker” and seen as an expert in your field, your brand visibility goes up exponentially and people have no problems hiring you as their coach.
Now sometimes coaches tell me that they’ve tried speaking before, and it hasn’t resulted in much business. That’s a fair point.
When coaching clients on this issue, I usually find the problem to lie in one of three areas:
- The presentation itself wasn’t very good. I hate to be harsh, but if this is the case, you’ll need to visit a Toastmasters group to work on your “platform skills” so that you can be more effective in front of a group.
- “Over teaching” during the presentation. If you “teach” too much during your presentations, they’ll certainly be impressed…but they won’t feel the need to hire you. A good rule of thumb is to presentthree main points for a typical 30-minute presentation and allow more time for Q&A.
- Not asking for the business. This is tricky because you don’t want to come across as being pushy, which can have the opposite effect on your brand.
- Instead, consider a “15-minute laser coaching session” sheet that you can pass out halfway through the presentation. This gives people who are interested in potentially working with you a “test drive” to see if you can really help. I’d recommend listing three dates on a sheet of paper with a dozen specific time slots. Pass it around the room so people can write their contact information, and afterwards, call them at the appointed time.
- This is a great way to not only increase your brand— professionals work by appointment—but also to have a chance to sign on new clients.
Over the years, public speaking has been my most effective tool for getting business and building my brand as a coach.
PUBLISH CONTENT ONLINE
For this brand building tip to work, you’ll need a website to serve as a platform for your content. But once that’s in place, publishing online is a terrific way to build your brand because it allows you to reach a large audience with just one publication.
Now I know what you might be thinking, “I don’t have time to publish a blog!”
Alright…but I can say from experience that it’s not as hard as people think.
As a start, list some frequently asked questions you get from clients. I know in my practice there are some common themes or issues that come up, so why not write down a few you can think of.
From there, you have a few choices on how to get those answers out:
- You can write it out in an article,
- Record a video, or
- You can pull out your cell phone and just record a 3-to-5 minute “audio blog.” (My personal favorite since it’s an easy way to get out quality material in an efficient manner).
The reason publishing content is so important is because people are skeptical. Some of them have even hired a coach in the past and weren’t pleased with the results. And while that’s not your direct problem, it is something you’ll have to work through with potential clients.
And that’s why publishing online content can be such a brand builder; it allows people to see you in action and realize just how different you are from everyone else.
They see the video or hear the audio and think, “Maybe this person can help me out,” and off you go towards securing a potential client.
So there you have it, two quick ways to build your brand as a coach. Enjoy!