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Want to build your coaching business? This year’s focus for me is going back to a realer world

24 January 2019 Anthony Eldridge-Rogers

The world in which we live is not a fixed place. That might sound like an obvious statement but hiding out in the obvious are simple truths that can easily be overlooked. Change is happening all the time but what is different is the speed of that change. As the way we do business changes and with technology changing this even faster, it’s natural to try to find a fixed point in the flow of change and make that a dominant reality and then plan our lives and business marketing according to it.

But when it comes to marketing our coaching businesses, we hear the call to go online and jump into the online marketing river, along with loads of other coaches, and rush along with the crowd. And it is crowded. There is no problem with this. But what we can say is that keeping up with all of this can be tiring and exhausting.

Problems with new marketing fads and trends

There’s no doubt that there are marketing fads and trends. And one big problem with adopting these marketing fads and trends is that we get persuaded into thinking that they are proven to work. In many cases they are not. The basics, the psychology of marketing, have not changed. But the tools and methods have. Don’t mistake the two.

I’m old enough to remember when I could get loads of junk mail through my letter box. Almost all of it went in the bin. The same is true of email and marketing splurges that come into my inbox. Every day I am contacted and marketed to by people offering me services. The problem is that I am just an email address or a name that almost none of these people and businesses have bothered to investigate or research.  They have no idea who I am and what I really want or what I am trying to build in my life and work. Usually they have seen me online or on Linkedin and think that I’m a likely prospect. I’m a part of a numbers game. The bigger the list of people, the thinking goes, the better. But quality totally outweighs quantity.

What do you think will be a better environment to run your business in? A massive list of 250,000 people with less than 1% who engage with you or a smaller niche list that in a much more intimate tribe of people who you are in touch with?

What I think people want, based on what I respond to, is to be seen as a real person who is an individual. I may be a coach, but I am not some cardboard cut-out kind of coach that conforms to a generic set of values and attributes. It’s relevant and irrelevant that I am a coach in some ways. Unless you know me as an individual human there is no way you can understand what really makes me tick. Look at all those ‘How to get more clients’ marketing messages. Of course, some, maybe many coaches want more clients. But just because I am a coach that doesn’t mean that I do. If you generalise me and send me a generic message, boom. You’re gone from my inbox and my attention.

Four cornerstones for marketing your coaching business

This year, I’m developing my relationships in the wider business world on the following principles:

1. I am orientating my work around meaningful ‘extreme service’. That means getting what I am doing and building right. It means being connected to the meaning and purpose of my work at an emotional level and bringing that through into all my communications coupled with impeccable value adding service.

2. I am using careful research to understand people I want to collaborate with. No cookie cutter approaches. This takes time, but it is worth the investment. I practice a form of ruthlessness about this. If it doesn’t feel right, I don’t pursue it. My gut instincts have never let me down. That’s one reason I’m good at coaching.

3. I am taking my focus back into the face to face physical world. I call it the ‘realer’ world. It’s the one that humans are most attuned and evolved for. That means, although I have online presence, my main actions are around meeting and getting to know people I want to work with and meet them face to face. Wow! How old fashioned. But actually it’s not. When online internet technology started to really boom many people predicted the end of the face to face meet up. In fact the opposite has happened. The conference industry has boomed as have festivals and meet ups of all kinds. We humans are designed to be together, to be physically with each other. We are not suited to be isolated in a room somewhere constantly online. We need community and people. So my mission is to get to know people. To listen to them and then make sure I spend more of my time with great wonderful people than I do staring at my screens!

4. I am focused on getting a mix of people around me who are aligned with my mission. I don’t mean employees or consultants I hire. I mean people with other projects that are pulling in the same direction. These projects need to be broadly aligned with my values and direction. I’m not planning to hang out with any old-style business people any time soon. I don’t do ’macho’ and I don’t do cynicism or moaning. That stuff just is a distraction. I want people to connect with not so they can help me in my business and projects but so we can soak in a positive atmosphere together. We can share stories and ideas and we can be a positive community pulling in roughly the same direction. That’s what I am offering too.

I’ve been basing my life on these principles for several years, but I’ve not been perfect at it. But I am improving. The outcome has not been extreme money, notoriety or fame but great satisfaction, joy and connection to meaning. These are the things I value most and which I love to see come about for people.

This coming year, in this amazing time in which we live, I’m focusing hard on being with as many different kinds of people in as many different ways as possible.

If you want  to reach out to me because some of this chimes with you, please get in touch via Linkedin. We can have a chat and see what we might do together that lights us both up!