What Do You Do?

Every coach has to build a book of business, a fancy way of saying you have to get clients who will pay you for your services. So how do you do that?  Building a book of business takes two steps, marketing and selling. Marketing involves letting people know that you have something to offer, what that something is, and why they should want it (in other words, how it can help them). Selling is closing the deal. Let’s talk about marketing this time. Or really, marketing prep. Marketing probably makes you think about websites, Google ads, and other forms of communication. But that’s the wrong starting point. Those things are all about getting your message out. But first you have to know what that message is. What do you want potential clients to know that will make them want to come to you? To begin to find out, answer this…

For the Love of Tech

Are coaches going to be replaced by Chat GPT? Some people think so. In fact, there is data to suggest that within a few minutes of engaging with a chat bot, people get comfortable conversing with a computer. They seem to forget that they are not talking with a person. There are even those people who say that they like the privacy of talking with a machine rather than a person. Perhaps they put stock in Benjamin Franklin’s famous line: “Three people can keep a secret if two of them are dead.” Is that our future? If so, it sounds discouraging. I broke my crystal ball this morning so I don’t know if that’s our future, any more than anyone else. But I do know that the world seems to be rushing to embrace technology. We ask more and more of technology, and by golly, it keeps getting better, actually…

Fees

How much to charge? How to charge? How do I discuss charges with potential clients? These are vexing questions, particularly for those coaches in the early business-building phase. How Much to Charge: Please don’t read this post expecting to find THE number. The Federal Trade Commission gets really excited about price fixing. Professional groups are even forbidden to mention numbers on listservs and other mass communication mediums. I don’t think I’d like to have to wrestle with the FTC. But we can talk about how to think about fees. What kinds of criteria does one use to determine a fee? A number of them come to mind: What is your time worth to you? How does it compare to other ways that you could make a living? To what income level do you aspire? Consider the time, money, and effort you have spent getting trained. Usually, those years are lost…

Flexibility: The Undervalued EQ Skill

The man was at our home to service our HVAC system. He was a nice guy who did a couple of extras he didn’t need to do. While working on our system, he made an offhand comment about gun control that runs diametrically against my own view. I made a soft response, stifling what my reptile brain really wanted to say. Later, as he was leaving, I realized that I had an opportunity. I asked, “Can I ask you a question about gun control? I think differently than you do about it, but I promise that I’m not going to argue with you. I just want to understand.” He responded with a real smile: “Yes, he said. “We can have a civilized conversation, just as people should be able to do.” And we did. He didn’t win me over by any means. And I kept my promise not to argue…