Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The latest Coach's Corner

Here's this week's advice from Milana Leshinsky who is with the life coach people:

There is a fine line between being a successful coach and being a shameless self-promoter. No offense to Debbie Allen (author of Confessions of Shameless Self Promoters), but those coaches who shamelessly promote their products and services are secretly regarded as peddlers of hype, spam, and B.S.

The Fine Line
There is even a finer line between a cautious promoter and a starving coach. The question becomes, "Are you in business to make money, or to give charity?"

I talk to many different people in our business, and they all fall under one of four categories:

#1: The Curious Coaches are brand new to coaching. They have either just graduated from a coaching school or simply decided to become a coach. They either break through the first year of business building struggle, or call it quits within just a few months.

#2: The Conscientious Coaches believe that their expertise should speak for itself. They know they are good and feel it is below them to market. Their biggest concern is that helping people contradicts asking them to pay and usually never reach a full practice.

#3: The Methodical Coaches believe that no business is possible without marketing. They consistently promote their coaching business and build full practice within 6-12 months. These coaches also begin developing products within their first year in business. They make a good living.

#4: The Hard-Core Coaches never miss an opportunity to promote. They rarely care what other coaches or business owners think of their tactics. Their over-promoting makes them look like they'll market anything just to make money and they start losing respect.

Where are YOU? Which category do you want to fall under?

I think I'm in category #5, the Hard-Core Conscientious. I never miss an opportunity to over-promote, but I'm embarrassed by it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A Gift for R < $20

No need to go to Montreal, Canadian Tire has the Foldaway BBQ [Product# 85-1020-4] for $19.99:

And if it gets him cooking like a man, so much the better.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Swimming in the Soup

Holy frig! "You can't be all things to all people, 5M," I said, "Maybe you should let the soup lovers go."

She's decided to focus on a niche with a vengeance and gone after the soup lovers. And not your Campbell's or Heinz soup lovers. No Knorr packs for the Muse. Oh, no, it's spagetti squash with red peppers or roasted red peppers with blue cheese and balsamic vinegar, black olives, sweet-potato soup.

That R puts more stuff in his soups than I have in my ice box.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Coaching Advice: Niches

I've not been passing on the weekly coaching advice. I apologize for that. This week we have:

Focusing On Your Niche

Discovering and capitalizing on your niche can be the single most powerful concept you develop for your coaching practice. Defining your area of expertise and marketing that to the world differentiates you from your competition and allows you to operate from a position of strength and confidence.

Here are three reasons to become an expert in your field:

    1. Experts make more money.
    2. Command more respect.
    3. Gain more control.

The Magic of Thinking Small
In developing your niche, smaller is better. The more focused you are on a specific market, the better you can serve that market. The smaller the market, the easier it is for you to research and meet the needs of those clients. The added bonus is that it is easier and also less expensive to market to those prospective clients.

Serving too many different types of clients can stunt your growth and hold you back. You can't be all things to all people. People won't be able to "get you," which - after all - is what they are buying. Is it not?

There you are. You know this is good advice because it has a 3-item list. Now are we applying it?

Me: I'm going after the people who follow 5M's exploits and are interested in space travel. Yes. A nice small niche.

Coyote: People who like elegant poetry. Yes. Perhaps a smaller niche than it should be.

IO: People interested in Nordic artifacts. Well done, IO.

Chair: People interested in dating issues and can put up with someone who has commitment issues. Yes, another small niche.

Bob: Home renovations? Entertaining? Going Out? You're a little more Lifetime network than HGTV, Bob.

Lucy [and here]: Hmm. Poetry lovers = small niche. Art lovers = broad niche, especially with the wide variety of topics covered. Perhaps, Lucy, you should only do frog pictures.

5M: Okay, you had that narrow niche of people who liked ongoing dysfunctional relationships. Then you started going after the kitten lovers. Then the new relationship that's working out. You can't be all things to all people, 5M. Maybe you should let the soup lovers go.