Want to know? The single biggest mistake I made as a life coach was trying to sell coaching. I didn’t realize that few people seek out coaching as a solution. Add to that, I was trying to attract big groups of people that weren’t easy to reach — women in transition and later, midlife women.
Just thinking about it makes me tired.
I didn’t know any better. All my peers were picking a topic they felt passionate about as their coaching niche. I blindly followed them onto that rocky road and never stopped to question whether that was the way to make a good living as a coach. Turns out, it wasn’t.
After two years, very few clients and paltry income later, I did shift to targeting a niche market — women entrepreneurs — which was way too big of a market with massive competition. And still I was scraping by, feeling like a fraud, and running frighteningly low on resources.
Still, whenever I did get a client, they valued my coaching. And I loved it. But I knew what I was doing wasn’t sustainable. I was working too hard for poor results.
I remember the day I finally let go of my resistance and narrowed my niche. I observed that the coaches who had plenty of clients, profitable products, and big ticket programs also had distinguished themselves, not by being an expert, but by focusing their attention on a small group of accessible people. They had become THE go-to person for a very small, accessible group of people who seek out professional support to grow personally and professionally.
And here’s the thing: they weren’t trying to convince people to buy their coaching. But they were in high demand as a coach. It was only one simple mindset shift away all along.
This life lesson falls into the already very full “if I only knew then what I know now…” bucket.
When I narrowed my coaching niche to targeting one viable market was when I became truly committed to my success, not just to the idea of coaching. That real commitment, as well as the pinpointed focus that came with it, was a huge breakthrough. An immense RELIEF.
It felt like the blindfold and hobbles came off. And I realized I could market much less and have a bigger impact. In fact, clients started calling me ready to hire me!
Fast forward to today. The last time I had to convince someone to buy my coaching is a dim memory. In fact, I haven’t given a sample session in eons. Free coaching? Only as a conscious gift, never as an act of desperation to get a client. I can afford to be very choosy about who I give my time to, since I targeted a niche market that will go the distance.
As the demand for my coaching grew and my bank account filled, I breathed a sigh of relief — the relief I thought would come to me when I quit my JOB to become a coach was finally mine! And the freedom… it’s as good as they say it is.
I’ve gone on to make other classic mistakes as a life and business coach. Most have been character building and beautifully tested my resolve. But YOU can skip most of those mistakes. There’s just no need to waste your time and heartache on client attraction methods that don’t work.
Speaking at the Chamber, endless live networking hoping someone will do more than smile and nod their head when you tell them about coaching. That’s what I call “selling your wares”. I won’t do it any more and you don’t have to either.
No more beating the pavement for you. You can