8 World Class Life Coaches Give You Their Advice

There is any number of LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ groups for Life Coaches all full of people either looking for or looking to offer free advice.

In my experience, some of the advice is good, some bad, and some very, very ugly.

In fact, on many occasions, I have been staggered by the stupidity of the help offered to new coaches.

I feel sure the people offering the poor advice mean well, but just have an ass from elbow recognition issue when it comes to running a Life Coaching business.

Without wanting to appear arrogant, I feel qualified to offer advice in many areas of building a Life Coaching practice online because I’ve been doing it so long.

I’ve had numerous failures and made a great many mistakes over the last 9 years or so, but fortunately, I have now got to the point where I have a full client load and actually understand what is needed to maintain and grow my business.

Unsurprisingly I’m far from being the only one. There are a lot of other coaches who have succeeded despite the odds and the intense levels of competition, many to go on to achieve 6 figure salaries and more whilst having a blast and helping others.

The problem is, you cannot easily tell who they are from the outside looking in.

Very few coaches want to portray their business as being anything other than highly successful because it doesn’t help generate new clients.

Unfortunately it’s relatively easy to give the illusion of success, but it’s a lot harder to actually achieve and then maintain it.

Fortunately, after working in this industry for so long and knowing so many coaches (often on a personal level) I have a fairly clear understanding of who the real players are and not to put to finer point on it, who are the ones that know their shit!

So I contacted a few and asked them;

“What is the one piece of advice you would give to newbie or aspiring Life Coaches?”

Below are the responses and they are responses that if I were you I’d take very seriously, because these aren’t wannabe successful coaches looking to impress you. These are people who have been there and done that.

These are the people who I shut up and listen to when they are talking, and I think we all know that doesn’t happen very often!

1. Michael Heppell – Best Selling Author of Flip It and the UK’s #1 Motivational Speaker

“Develop and use your intuition. There are dozens of coaching models, methods and principals but sometimes by forcing a round peg into a square hole won’t give your client what they need.  If your intuition is crying out ‘Do this!’ Then do it. Your intuition is always right.”

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2. John Strelecky – International Best Selling Author of The Why Cafe & World Renowned Public Speaker

“Imagine you’re in a closed ring boxing match and you’re getting your ass kicked. The referee intervenes and tells you you can have 60 minutes to enlist the help of a coach. Are you going to hop on Google and type in “Sports coach”?

No, you want a the best damn boxing coach you can find to help you. The reason your clients want help is that they feel there is an area or areas of their life that feel they are having their ass kicked in. They want a specialist, not a generalist and that’s where so many coaches fall down.

Think of the kind of people you can help the most and who you want to serve and then make them your niche. Be very clear with your marketing (like Tim is) as to who you do and don’t coach and stick to your niche at all times.

Be the person that if a reporter were looking to cover a story on your niche and went to Google it he or she would find you first and immediately see you as the go-to person.”

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3. Jen Louden – Best Selling Author, Teacher and Ontologically Trained Coach

“Focus on mastery. Learning to be a great coach takes years as does learning to effectively market your business. Overwhelm can swallow you whole if you believe you need to master everything by next week.

You don’t and you can’t, and thinking you should be able to will drain you of energy and resiliency. Be realistic about your energy, your skill level, your talents.

Runaway from quick fixes and instead focus on how to effectively master what you wish to excel in. And please, remind me to do the same.”

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4. Tony Teegarden – Helping You Turn Your Problems Into Profits Better Than Anybody Else

“My biggest piece of advice for new coaches is based on strong marketing principles: know EXACTLY WHO it is you want to market to – as well as that individuals wants and desires.

be yourself oscar wildeWhen you know this – your best return on investment will be mastering how you communicate to that individual market.

Knowing EXACTLY who it is you want to serve, down to smallest detail, is everything. I call this creating your customer avatar.

Far too many times I see new coaches trying to be everything to everyone and they end up just taking on anyone who comes along in order to help and get paid.

Getting paid shouldn’t be an afterthought – you’re running a business and unless you’re running a non-profit, you can’t run a business on good intentions.

If you try to be everything to everybody – you’ll be nothing to no one. And this is a sure way to NOT get paid at the level of transformation you provide.

Your perceived value is based on your ability to communicate to a precise individuals pain or desire. The more ambiguous that communication – the less value is perceived and the less you attract your ideal client.

You end up trying to competing on price and charge way too little for the outcomes you provide.

When you attempt to be everything to everyone you negate having “filters” in place that weed out prospects who are NOT best to receive your work. Believe it or not, EVERYONE is not an ideal client.

You’ll actually make LESS money and end up working WAY too hard if you don’t have this strategic communication in place.

Behavioral Specialist Wyatt Woodsmall brilliantly said – “When you can explain someone’s problem to them, better than they can explain it themselves, they will automatically see you as the authority and seek you out for the solution.”

Don’t just be another life coach – seriously, Tim already has that market cornered 😉

Instead – REFINE your approach. Become a midlife crisis coach for men or become a dating coach for women.

These are much more refined markets and allow you to speak much more specifically to your audiences needs than just being a life coach.

Most importantly – work on the communication of how you deliver people from where they are to where they want to be. This is how you’ll attract your most ideal prospects and charge much more appropriately so that the client is fully committed and you are paid highly.”

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5. Peter Shallard – The Shrink For Entrepreneurs

“Niche is everything. No one would hire a “general sports coach” to train them on tennis, golf, skiing and scuba. The same goes for life coaching. Be specific. Be a specialist. Build a reputation for solving one problem better than anyone else.

You’ll still get to work with all sorts, on all kinds of issues… but having that one thing you’re famous for will bring clients to you in the first place.”

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6. Barrie Davenport – The Life Passion Expert

“I would strongly recommend that new coaches start a blog in a very specific niche related to their coaching niche. Having an online presence where you share information and strategies with people all over the world will exponentially broaden your base of potential clients and open doors to so many opportunities.

You can coach groups, host online workshops and webinars, offering speaking engagements, and develop joint ventures with other coaches and bloggers. And if you start a blog, be sure you learn how to do it professionally so it well reflects who you are and the quality of your service.”

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7. Mark Silver – The Heart Centered Business Coach

“I guess I would say, don’t be attached to your process, don’t fall in love with coaching, fall in love with who you want to help.

See them as clearly as you can, the problems they struggle with, the language they use to describe those problems.

Bring empathy and compassion to them, and be a safe space for them to step into getting help. And don’t try to sell coaching.”

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8. Mark McGuiness- The Creative Coach (and poet!)

“1. There’s no substitute for experience. Becoming a great coach takes time, lots of client hours, trial, error, persistence, and plenty of what Seth Godin calls ‘emotional labor’.

The good news is that the experience will always stand you in good stead – once you’ve encountered the same challenge a hundred times, it won’t seem so daunting or difficult.

2. Being a great coach is not enough. You also need to become good at the business of coaching – finding an endless supply of the kind of clients you love  to work with, and convincing them of the value of your work.

Again, the good news is, once you master this side of the business, you’ve set yourself up for a life in one of the most fascinating, fulfilling and rewarding careers imaginable.”

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So there you have it and I’m sure you have noticed the themes running through most of the answers.

It seems most successful coaches, listen to their instinct and know how to niche themselves.

Who’d have thought that eh? 😉

So what’s your take, which advice resonates most with you as a new or soon to be Life Coach? Let me know in the comments.

Comments

  1. Claudia

    A lot of good advice.
    What I needed to hear (maybe for the 100th time) right now:
    it takes times and it takes courage.
    Thank you.

  2. Bobbi K

    What stands out for me is knowing what niche to build upon… being new to this I am a bit unsure of which path to take. I have been thinking that I could utilize my own experience in starting life all over again from scratch (in my late thirties) but I am worried that this approach might alienate some prospective clients who just need a little push in the right direction instead of a full on life makeover like mine. Tim, do you find that narrowing the field helps clients relate to you? Thank you for pulling together some of the best advice I have seen thus far, I always look forward to the latest blog or newsletter because it is always relevant to the questions I have 🙂

    • timbrownson

      Yeh for sure Bobbi.

      But for me my blog is the vehicle for people relating to me. I’m very outspoken, don’t pretend my life is perfect or even close and I’m not afraid to use profanity and humor because I do in real life.

      Some people get it, some don’t and both are right. The people who don’t, move on and find a coach better suited to them, those that do stick around and sometimes hire me.

      Don’t worry about forming your own niche and your own approach, within reason of course. I am sure there are easily enough people looking for what you would like to offer to keep 25 coaches busy. It just then comes down to the marketing.

  3. I’m sure Tim will chime in here in a moment Bobbi – however being worried about alienating some “prospective” clients is what will keep you in a bad spot and wasting your resources such as time, energy and money.

    I can only say myself, I don’t look for those who “need a push,” I look for those who are ready to push through…and I do this by vetting my audience. By publicly stating what you stand for and what you stand against, you’ll attract those who will resonate with your message and you’ll turn off those who don’t.

    There’s a big difference in the amount of effort required to help your ideal client get their desired result. It’s a lot easier when they’re on board with doing what it takes to get the outcome as apposed to those you have to beg and drag across the finish line.

    My philosophy is offend them early lol. It may seem harsh but we don’t have time nor the energy to waste on those who need convincing.

    • timbrownson

      Sorry matey I just fished you out of my spam folder for some bizarre reason.

      And yes I agree with what you said. I’m not in the market of persuading people to hire me, I only want to work with people who want to work with me.

  4. Nothing is more powerful than listening in awe to the pros telling it like it really is!
    Best arrangement of advice that I have ever seen!
    So grateful that I tuned in.
    Thank You Tim.

  5. Very helpful – thank you Tim for taking the time to talk to and connect with such inspirational coaches, and sharing with us.

    I have sooo much to learn, feeling humbled …

    Sandra 🙂

  6. Hi Tim,
    Somehow onky recently discovered you and your content and am amazed of how straight and true you are with your answers. Its fantastic so here is my question to you. Can you have Two niches and if so can you have them on same website or seperate websites seperate social media pages and business cards? Sorry its long but its a crucial question for a big decision im currently making with my business right now. Hope you can help me. Thank you in advance. J!

    • timbrownson

      Can you? Yes.

      Is it making it much harder on yourself, yes.

      The reason I set up a different site from A Daring Adventure with this site is because it’s almost impossible to market the fact that I work a lot with other Life Coaches, but they only make up about 30% of my client load. The risk is you confuse people and end up appealing to neither group.

      I guess what I’m saying is I wouldn’t do it, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.