Once upon a time, the word "coach" evoked images of men and women shouting at athletes pursuing a ball, puck or prize. These days, there’s just as much coaching going on in offices. The field of motivational coaching, also known as life coaching, has become a hot career as people seek answers to questions about what's stopping them from attaining goals and dreams. Your potential for earning in this field of work is unlimited.
Take classes in behavioral psychology and sociology, if you don’t already have a degree in a social science. Learn the basics of human nature. Support behavioral curricula with classes in marketing, accounting and business practices. Add sales courses to the mix to learn techniques that will boost your business acumen, as well as your coaching skills.
Survey motivational coaches in your area to evaluate the competition. Assess their fees, marketing strategies and service menus. Based on this information, conceive a Unique Selling Proposition — the one thing you plan to offer potential clients that nobody else in your area does — that separates your coaching service from the crowd. For example, your USP may be limiting your coaching to women or offering your services to disadvantaged people at reduced rates.
Solicit clients. Use social networking tools. Launch a website and encourage word- of-mouth referrals. Develop a brochure that includes your biography with an emphasis on your education and training. Provide a list of skills clients will learn as a result of your coaching techniques. Supply your contact information. Don’t mention your fee structure in any of your printed material, just in case you change your rates before your supply of marketing materials runs out.
Start coaching. Remember that your job is to help each client solve an individual problem. Identify that problem immediately so you’re able to get to the heart of problems fast and begin the process of overcoming roadblocks such as fear, lack of confidence or self-esteem. Teach skills for dealing with these issues and feelings, including positive self-talk, identifying triggers that cause reactions and probing the reasons each client hasn’t had success attaining desired goals. Ask clients to set goals at the start of the relationship. Provide plenty of positive reinforcement.
Continue to grow your business by adding clients to your roster. Improve your credibility by affiliating with a professional organization dedicated to supporting motivational coaches. Become certified in coaching so prospective clients know you’re in this profession for the long haul. Place logos representing the affiliations and certifications you earn into all of your marketing and advertising materials, including your brochure, website and display ads.
Know when to let go. Some clients will let you know when they’re ready to fly solo, but others may exhibit a hard time letting go. When, in your judgment, a client has made all of the progress she is capable of making, you may have to kick her out of the nest — with a reminder that you’re as close as the phone if she needs you in the future.
- business colleagues preparing for business meeting image by Vladimir Melnik from Fotolia.com