Archive for May, 2008
Recently, I was a guest on The Coaching Show, the great internet radio show about coaching that I wrote about in a previous post. It was a great discussion about the pre-marketing work for building a coaching business. If you would like to listen to that interview, here is the link to listen right now -
One of the items we discussed was what I call “The Four Questions”. This is the contemplative work that each coach must be willing to do at the beginning and periodically throughout the life of the business. The four questions lead you to know how to market what you do because they are at the core of your business.
The first question is “Who Are You?”. This is about who you are as a person. To succeed in the coaching business, it helps to know yourself inside and out. As a coach, so “your stuff” doesn’t get in the way of the client and as an entrepreneur so that you can get the most out of your abilities and compensate where needed. How do you describe your own uniqueness? What is the combination of personality traits, values experiences, and history that makes you who you are. This is the vital piece that makes YOUR coaching business different than the other five thousand.
The second question is “What do you do?”. This is having the ability to talk about coaching and what it is. Being able to describe your work in a genuine, impactful way is vital to attracting the people that will want to work with you. As you are learning to talk about coaching, the more practice the better. Talk about coaching with anyone who will listen, read about coaching widely, research what others say about coaching and by all means have your own coach. All this is collecting knowledge to be able to put in to words the results that you and others can expect to get from coaching.
The third question is “What do you have to offer?”. This is who you are as a coach – what are your strengths and skills as a coach. Ask for lots of feedback as you are learning this about yourself. Perhaps your clients have insight into your traits that were most helpful for them. Other s to ask for feedback include your supervisor, coaching partners or peers. Think about your values and beliefs and how they impact the work you do as a coach. Decide what you believe about motivation and personal change and how that impacts your presence with your coaching clients.
The final question is “What is your purpose, passion and path?” – really 3 questions in one. Your purpose is the spark within you that makes you want to be a coach. Ask yourself what it is that you think is great about coaching. Your passion is the driving force that makes your coaching be genuinely from your soul. Yes, we are starting to think niche here! Your path is how you put all the elements together in a business that is unique to you. Think about what the essential elements are for the business to be authentically yours, how you intend to measure success and how these two factors will impact how you run the business.
This is a brief highlight of The Four Questions which are covered more thoroughly in the book, Mind Your Own Biz. Utilizing The Four Questions will help you lay the foundation of your business; revisiting this periodically will allow your business to flourish. It is the work at the foundation of attracting clients, making marketing easier, keeping you motivated and increasing your income.
Several weeks ago I wrote a post about resources to use as an entrepreneur. In that post, I listed several people who are influential in internet marketing and on-line business development. One of these is Alex Mandossian who is considered one of the top-ten freelance direct marketers in the United States. At certain times of the year when he is doing a specific promotion, you can’t help but receive emails from many sources hailing the wonder of his products.
My point today is not to tell you about Alex, really, but to tell you about some technology that he has reminded me is important for coaching entrepreneurs. After mentioning his name here, I discovered that someone from his blog had visited mine! That was fun in itself, but the important points are how he knew to visit me and how I knew he had done so.
First, let me tell you how Alex knew I had mentioned him. When you have a blog you have a private page that tells you all the current details of your blog. This is called your dashboard. You are reading a WordPress blog right now and WordPress automatically gives you a widget (a little piece of software) on your dashboard that goes out and looks for all the incoming links to your blog. You may have to periodically click “see all” to keep it up to date, but the info is brought right to your dashboard. This is probably how Alex knew I had mentioned him and had given you that link to his blog. The incoming links widget is a great way to see who is interested in your writing and exactly what content they have linked to.
Secondly, it is vital that you monitor the traffic to your blog like you would a website. The best, least costly way to keep track of traffic is to use Google Analytics. You or your web designer can install this for free on your blog in very little time. This will then tell you how much traffic you are getting, where visitors came from, what key words they used to find you and much more. For example, I am currently watching to see how much traffic comes from my recent appearance on WS Radio so I can determine if I should continue pursuing that marketing strategy. My tracking system told me about Alex’s visit. When I reviewed my traffic sources detailed report, there was Alex Mandossian listed on the websites that visitors had arrived from.
So thanks, Alex. Your visit was fun for me and gave us an opportunity to discuss some important technology. It’s amazing all that we can know today by using technology wisely.