28Jul/140

Reinventing Your Coaching Practice: Part III

By Todd Uterstaedt 

In parts I and II of “Reinventing Your Coaching Practice” I outlined the immense opportunity you have to have a greater impact and increased revenue by developing an online platform for your coaching business.  I received a few messages from some of you that said you were inspired to take action and a few messages that said you were not sure where to start. I hope this blog can help.

Partnership is a term that coaches understand. As I’m sure you know, coaches help their clients get remarkable results ONLY in partnership with them. I think the same can be said of reinventing your coaching practice. A great partnership with people who understand the world of online marketing is vital to the transformation of your business.

We faced the same question when we launched www.daughtersincharge.com. We were not sure how to position our new global niche of daughters working in their family business. We knew practically nothing about online marketing. Product launches, merchant accounts, WordPress widgets, bounce rates, newsjacking, etc. were all foreign to us. Along the way, we learned some things about finding the right partner to help with our own knowledge and skill gaps in these areas. I would like to share three key insights that I hope will help you find just the right partner.

1 - Generic Marketers versus Online "Expert" Marketers: As a coach with a global niche who has done your homework to “own” your 3-4 niche keywords, you need a partner who understands the unique art of crafting an “expert online persona” and growing an audience of potential clients. Our company is based in Cincinnati, OH, home of long time marketing demigods of Procter & Gamble, Macy’s and Kroger. There are MANY marketing companies here supporting these companies. But, most of them specialize in the marketing of consumer packaged goods, not "thought leaders” creating unique content that serves a very specific global niche.

2 - Start Small, Dream Big: There are many pathways to transforming your coaching practice into a global entity. Invariably you will encounter partners who want to sell you on THE process/approach/method that has worked for “hundreds of clients.” Be wary. There is NO one template to building this new type of coaching practice. And, the methods, tools, and software change weekly. Choose a partner who will encourage the right approach that works for you and your audience. Ask if you can start small and build from there. One company we interviewed wanted us to adopt a “be everywhere” approach that embraced blogging, weekly podcasting, weekly video tutorials, constant tweeting, and almost all social media platforms. It was overwhelming and unnecessary for our global audience niche. We needed a partner that would allow us to start small, learn as we go, and grow as we learn.

3 - Be Your Authentic Self: As coaches we advocate this for our clients, right? Should this be any different with us and our public digital persona? Stay away from partners who want to create your personal brand in a manner that makes you uncomfortable. Are you a formal person who wants a professional photo versus an image of you frolicking on a Caribbean beach? Is there a mismatch between your “voice” and the “voice" portrayed in the website copy a partner wants you to use? The key to creating a global niche is to present the “you that is you”.

Of course, there are other partners that can support your journey. They can include virtual assistants, accountants, professional writers, editors, legal experts and of course, business coaches who truly understand this new global online niche coaching world. There are many resources to find great people like this. Check out www.elance.com and www.odesk.com  as a start. We found our marketing partner, www.solamaragency.com, after we had a positive experience with a coach whose online program was very well put together. We found out who she used and contacted them for an initial interview.

My advice? Just take one small action today to move yourself that much closer to transforming your coaching practice. If you get stuck, find a partner. Or, email me. I would be happy to help. Good luck.

UterstaedtTodd Uterstaedt is President & CEO of Baker & Daboll, LLC, the leading Executive Coaching firm in Cincinnati, OH. He is also co-founder of “Daughters in Charge”, an online community for daughters working in their family’s business.
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