Ep 136 – The Downside of Coaching for Corporations

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Show Notes

This episode is for those thinking they’ll make a lot more money coaching for corporations.

I had a Strategy Session recently with a client to help him choose his target audience and niche. We were discussing whether he wanted to target individuals or corporations.

I asked that because I could see his expertise and interests were centered on helping execs develop talent.

At first he wasn’t sure so I told him the pros and cons of targeting corporations. Mainly, it’s about the hassle factor.

When a corporation hires you you will likely have to:

  • Compete for the many corporate and executive coaches plus coaching firms.
  • Write proposals and give presentations to get the contract.
  • Invoice the organization and be paid slowly.
  • Be certified by the International Coach Federation or another well-known accreditor.
  • Have significant expertise in corporate and possibly in the roles you’ll coach.
  • Possibly report to the supervisor or HR department about your progress.
  • And likely not be able to hold all confidences.

Not to mention that you will have to charge market rates.

All of that boils down to giving up a lot of control — of your income, your hours, what you deliver and how.

Also, you’ll need to market to the decision maker — the person who will evaluate and hire you — rather than the individual or groups you coach. You’ll need your website and other messaging to be about the outcomes the corporation wants not the individuals.

A lot of people believe that you can earn significantly more money with corporate contracts. Not necessarily true.

You may earn more for a set term or contract but only if you don’t charge higher prices for work you do with individuals.

I advocate that coaches create a long term, high ticket Signature Program and provide a VIP service to individuals. You’ll only need a handful of clients each year and can earn well.

Me? I like to control every aspect of my business. It’s one of the main reasons I wanted to work for myself.

I want to decide exactly how I’ll work with clients, what I’ll charge, when I work and who I serve. A good fit is important. That won’t be 100% possible with corporate coaching.

With corporate coaching you may not have control over any of those things.

I also really appreciate that the people I serve and also the people that invest in working with me. I find they are highly dedicated to the process and their own success. Whereas sometimes when someone else is paying for the services the individual you coach is not fully invested.

Think about it … when you pay out of your own pocket you’re a lot more motivated to squeeze all the juice out of the experience.

All that said … I realize that for some your skills, background and passions may be perfect for corporate coaching. So, if you decide to go that way do your best to have control over your business.

The best way to do that is to narrow your focus. That’s right … niche down.

Rather than trying to do everything for all corporate employees, specialize. If you become known for offering something no one else does in the corporate arena, and it’s something that is highly prized by decision makers, you’ll have more control.

That Strategy Session client? That’s what he decided. To avoid the dog and pony show he’s targeting mid-size businesses in a certain industry.

These businesses don’t have internal human development departments. They aren’t snobby about certifications. They want competent help and will recognize it by the fact that he speaks their language and understands what’s in the way of their big goals. Smart!

That’s how you stand out!