How To Avoid This One Major Pitfall As A Coach (And How To Rise Above It)
When I began my transition out of a corporate career to start a coaching practice, I immediately noticed a disturbing trend within the coaching industry that I knew I wanted to stay far away from. A trend that once made many coaches 6 and 7 figure income earners but a tactic that is also turning many off to the benefits of coaching: telling people they need a coach.
Yes, it's a saturated market and a noisy world out there. As a woman who feels passionate about helping others in your niche it's easy to get sucked into the messaging that everyone else is using; sales pages and social media posts trying to convince others how much they need life changing info and break through sessions that only a coach can provide.
Programs, emails, Facebook ads and social media posts are filling up our space designed to tap into the fear that we somehow need the latest and greatest offerings in order to "make it", to write our own success story but these tactics are no longer working and many coaches who rode the wave all the way to bank are now struggling to recreate those once thriving sales funnels.
Why? Here's the no-nonsense brutal truth: no one needs to hire you. No one needs your coaching services and consumers are wising up much faster to these marketing tactics and realizing on their own they in fact don't need to hire a coach to achieve their goals and dreams. They simply don't buy into being told what they need anymore.
It's time for us as coaches to do better for our industry and that starts with understanding that when someone hires us for coaching it's because they want it, not because they need it. By doing that, we not only serve our industry with more integrity but we position ourselves to rise above the masses who are still hanging on to doing business the fear of missing out way.
So how can you avoid this pitfall facing the coaching industry? Embrace the reality that the people you are marketing to do NOT need you. I address this in more detail here in a short and to the point Facebook Live video.
So what are your thoughts? I hope you have a different perspective about your role as a coach. So how do you rise above the noise and stand out?
Here are some points to keep at the forefront of your mind and your coaching business:
GIVE VALUE FIRST
I know this seems obvious but it still amazes me how many coaches are doing webinars and creating content centered around fear of missing out messaging to push products while actually giving very little consistent value.
Unless you set a precedent of value first above all else that clearly conveys why someone would want to hire you, that 45-minute webinar you are pouring yourself into to sell a $1,000 program probably won't work if you are using "you need this" selling points.
Yes, time is money and I get that in order for you to spend time on preparing and delivering a webinar, you need it to generate results but in this consumer savvy market, value is what drives sales, not hardcore selling.
MAKE AUTHENTICITY A NON-NEGOTIABLE
Gone are the days where throwing up your link to a 'You Need This Now Because It Will Radically Change Your Life In 24 Hours' sales page will have them eating out of your hand while they gladly click the Buy Now button. People have heard so many "I was homeless and broke and made a gazillion dollars in 90 days with this program" stories that while that may be a 100% true story for you, others have abused it to the point of it not even sounding impressive or sincere anymore.
Of course stories are great. Of course they are highly effective in inspiring and selling, storytelling is here to stay but what they want more than your rags to riches story is your consistent authenticity and your willingness to be transparent. People no longer want to see a perfect highlight reel of your life and how your business got you there. They need to see the real, messy you too so they can relate to you as a real person that will lead them to want more of what you have to offer.
WHAT'S IN IT FOR THEM
While your story is important and inspirational, your tribe is way more interested in what you can do to help them. They don't need to hire you to get to the next level of their business, they don't need your latest and greatest coaching program to hit their next promotion. What they do want is to be shown that you care about their needs. What they do want is for you to be more interested in their needs than you are making your next sale.
So ask yourself: How are you serving up valuable high-quality brain food your tribe wants on the regular basis?
Yes, this relationships-focused approach where you give people what they want, that yes requires more time, thought, energy and creativity than telling them how badly they need what you have is a slower way to grow your business and takes time to build genuine, deep trust with your audience but the measurable results you will have for the long term in your business will speak for themselves.
The coaching industry is going through an evolution that some will not survive. As business owners and coaches we must stay open to listening to our tribes and moving with the flow of change. Marketing tactics that worked 3 years ago don't work anymore and I believe now is the time to get back to the basics of doing business, to be mindful of needs v. wants and how you share that message with your audience. Are you speaking at your tribe telling them what they need or are you taking the time to listen, ask questions and provide value that is wanted?
Those that get this principal and faithfully practice it will not only survive the changes and disruptions in the marketplace but rise above it to grow thriving coaching business. Those that don't, will sadly not be around to help those who decide that hiring a coach is a want they need to invest in.
Of course, I’d love to know what are your thoughts on this needs v. wants concept so be sure to leave me a comment and let's chat more!
Kendra Dahlstrom is an expert coach to dynamic mompreneurs. She is a mom of two, a high-performance leadership & business coach, a professional keynote speaker, and an author who helps clients unearth their natural-born leadership so they can live to their full potential in life and at work, all while scaling their business and balancing their lives so faith and family can come first. She is also the founder and CEO of Aspire to Be International, a one-of-a-kind global platform for female entrepreneurs to connect, share, learn and grow.