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Business Building As A Life Coach Involves Building You

August 6th, 2014 | 21 comments


If you are a new to being a life coach – maybe you are in training or have just pressed publish on your incredible new website – it’s very understandable that top of your mind is getting clients.  Very understandable.

And with all the ‘help’ that is swirling about on the inter webs right now about ‘How to have your first five figure month,’ ‘Get your next ten clients,’ ‘Have a waiting list by the end of this month,’ and more, it’s also very understandable that attracting clients could become the number one thing you start to do with your time as a new coach.  Lots of social media.  Attending networking events.  Blogging your heart out.  Emailing newsletters with new offers.  And all of those things and more could be very legitimate uses of your time; especially as I know you are undoubtedly a talented life coach who deserves to have clients and help them achieve what you know you truly can.

In your business building as a life coach however, there may just be something that you have overlooked or possibly taken a leap over, while you’re scheduling that next tweet or creating that next launch plan.

And that is your skill level as a coach.

I see so much information and enticements marketed towards life coaches (and other types of coaches too) that are entirely focused on business building and client attraction.

There is nothing wrong with this.

I do wonder however, if sometimes the intense business and marketing focus is taking us away from another very important area of attention that we must never forget – and that is our skill, empathy, communication, encouragement and overall coaching abilities – as a coach.

After now having been in the coaching industry for nearly fifteen years, if it is one thing I have learned it is that to be a great coach you need to constantly be checking in with your level of self-awareness, commitment to your own learning and personal development practice.  These things must always take just as much of your precious time as do your marketing and business building efforts.  However something tells me that in the sometimes almost desperate ‘need’ for clients, we turn away from our deepest core and inner work and start to focus on external things that we think will ‘fix’ the ‘issue’ of needing more clients.

And so here are some potentially illuminating (and quite possibly challenging) questions for you to ask yourself as you go about business building as a life coach…

When was the last time you read and implemented a book or guide that was entirely focused on helping you become a better and more confident and self-loving person?

When was the last time you spent more than five frantic minutes before seeing a client preparing for your session together?

When was the last time you emailed or sent your client a message for no other reason than to cheer them on and tell them you think they are great?

When was the last time you spent some deep reflective time immediately after seeing a client thinking about how you listened, were present and focused (or not), and skilfully spoke in a way that meant the entire attention was on their needs?

When was the last time you truly thought about the quality of questions you are asking your clients?  The quality of the questions you ask is in direct proportion to the amazingness of the experience your clients have with you.  

When was the last time you actively chose to learn more about a particular issue or circumstance you know your ideal clients are experiencing right now?

If you can manage to do this type of soulful and reflective awareness work as a coach as well as truly challenging yourself to learn and grow all you can for your clients – while also confidently investing in marketing and business building strategies – you will create the business and life as a coach you desire and deserve.  And while the striving for balance in life so often ironically contributes to imbalance, the more you can manage to balance these two areas of being a life coach – the more confident and happy you will be in your coaching skills and the level of client attraction you are experiencing.

So go tweet, market, and business build your heart out beautiful you.  Just don’t forget the vital work that also needs to be done building you too.

And the delicious and very welcome irony in always remembering to focus on building you?  It feeds directly into building your business anyway as the more skilled and confident you are in your coaching abilities the more people will have amazing experiences with you that in turn they will gladly tell others about, opening the doors of organic referrals straight to where they need to go.  You!

21 people have commented
  1. I absolutely adore this post, Julie. Could not agree more. Although I’m not a life coach myself, I feel the unrealistic expectations raised by some marketing ads, can lead to coaches feeling extremely pressured to focus only on their marketing efforts. Some of these ads truly exploit the fear of not “getting” x amount of clients in a prescribed amount of time. A sense of balance + perspective is indeed needed!

    Of course marketing + business building is important, I’m not disputing that. But life coaches who give equal (or more) attention to their own self-growth + focus on outstanding client service are the best in book. Your illuminating questions are perfect for all heart-centered service providers, not just life coaches. Thank you xx

    • Thank you Kate! I think we might be kindred spirits when it comes to this area of marketing, business building and above all serving our clients. And thank you for pointing out that these questions and this concept is so suitable for many other entrepreneurs and service providers besides coaches. While clearly what we do hear at BYCA is focused on coaches I feel as if so much of what we write and share is transferable to others – which I love!

  2. Hello Ms. Julie
    This post is exactly what I need. We give time over time to our clients, marketing and social media,that we forget about self improvement for ourselves.

    Thank you for bringing clarity to such an important area in life coaches.

    Gladys

  3. Brilliant advice Julie (as always!). I know myself that I am more present, focused and productive in my business and with my 1:1 clients when I take regular time out for self-care and self-development. My family also tells me it makes me a much nicer person to be around too!! 😉 Thanks for the reminder to invest in ourselves as well as our business and clients. x

    • Same here Sonya! So often what we think is time ‘wasted’ or being ‘indulgent’ is in fact time that makes us happier and more whole – always a great thing for our clients, as well as of course, us.

  4. Ahhhh Julie, this spoke straight to my heart. It’s so easy to get caught up in ‘frantically finding clients mode’ – I’ve certainly been guilt of it – yet, I always find I have the most enquiries for coaching when I’m 110% focussed on the clients I already DO have. So now, whenever I think ‘hmmmm I’d like to attract more clients at this point’, I choose to spend some time pouring even more gratitude, energy, love and attention on the clients I am ALREADY working with. Makes for a better, more soulful and powerful experience for everyone. Awesome, awesome post! 🙂

    • And therein Claire (I believe) lies the ‘real secret’ to how to attract more clients as a coach. Instead of focusing all or even too much of our time and attention on getting ‘the next one’ we should instead be focusing on delivering the most outstanding and brilliant experience to the ones we have right in front of us.

      Because when we do that a) our confidence in our abilities as a coach and to naturally attract more clients rises exponentially and b) we develop through our sheer commitment to service and being present with our clients a posse of out of this world super happy people who will shout from the rooftops to all they know about how great their experience was with us. And that sort of word of mouth referral cannot be bought and is more powerful than (I believe) any level of marketing or business building we could ever do.

      In other words….the best way to find your next client is to be amazing with your current one. Thank you so much for your gorgeous comment and stopping by.

  5. Thank you so, so much for this, Julie. The questions you ask above have given me a lot of food for thought. As I’m building up the ‘coaching’ side of my business, I’m trying to remain open and loving, but my ego sometimes jumps in and wishes everything would move a bit quicker!

    Really love your blog- thanks Julie! xx

    • Good on you Katie for recognising that – I know you’re not alone – and as I say that desire to get clients is understandable. Even the fact you’re thinking about things like the topic of this post tells me you’ll get the balance right.

  6. Hi Julie,

    This is wonderful and I was just talking with my coach about this very thing yesterday. Talk about serendipitous! We talked a lot about how you can only support your clients to the point that you have supported yourself so it’s so important to keep doing your own work as well. I love your questions and I am going to print them off and post them above my desk as a reminder. Thank you!

    PS -I love all of your coaching advice. Wish your program was extended outside AZ. I live in the US : )

    • That sounds like a brilliant idea Amanda and I’m sure you will come up with even more questions of your own too.

      Good news! In 2015 we are going global – so watch out for us!

  7. Julie I love this. As a new coach I find the ‘build your list/build your business’ totally intimidating and off putting. I makes me wanna gag in my mouth. Thank you for being so authentic and bringing it back to whats truly important. xx

    • Ha Tanya! Well…that list building is important for sure – but bringing things back to our skill level as coaches is just so important too. I hope we never lose sight of that!

  8. Love this post, Julie! And luckily I had an amazing teacher who taught me the importance of doing this stuff so it’s naturally become part of my everyday business operation (phew). But a great reminder all the same!

    There is a lot out there in the marketing/business/coaching world and it’s so nice to hear someone standing up and asking for a more heart focused approach to business x

    • Thank you Katherine! And so great to hear this approach comes naturally to you. I would love it to come naturally for ALL coaches!

  9. Hi Julie,
    what a refreshing and soulful post… I find myself so caught up in the ‘rat race’ sometimes that just a thought of taking some time off for myself ‘stresses me out’ 🙂 You are so right: developing yourself will also help building your business. Thank you for the reminder, the message is very timely…

    • You’re super welcome Jarka. Stepping away at the right time so often means – stepping out – rather than out. I think we forget that sometimes!

  10. Brilliant advice and so true. When we develop our craft we give ourselves a more stable and long lasting set of skills. We are very lucky to have your wisdom Julie. Enough get rich quick, launch formulas and more sustainable long term offerings to our clients.