Using Social Media in Growing your Coaching Business

On July 11, 2016 I facilitated a discussion with the folk at Triad Coaching Connection in Greensboro NC.

The primary purpose of the discussion was to give guidance to the group on the high level Best Practices of using ‘Social Media to grow your coaching businesses.’

The coaches represented in this meeting crossed a broad set of coaches, including;

  • Life Coaches
  • Career
  • Executive
  • Leadership
  • Health & Wellness
  • Diversity
  • Personal
  • Social Media

I started the conversations with a high level discussion of topics we need to think of as we grow our business, including:

  • Balancing growing your coaching business and the Impact we have on our clients/customers/communities
  • Keeping ourselves motivated thru the pits and valleys of business
  • Doing the many different marketing activities we need to do
  • Being consistent with our activities, message and deliverables
  • Staying on Scope and not letting the work we do ‘creep’
  • Being Focused on what is important at the moment and in the long run
  • Building and managing Scalability, Sustainability and Succession planning into our business plans
  • Being able to consistently being able to Demonstrate Expertise by consistently learning and refining
  • Making sure we are always relevant to the markets we want to serve, again by consistently learning and accepting feedback
  • Managing our expectations thru the roller-coaster ride of building a business
  • Being sure we are always aware of Our Value.
  • Knowing Time Management is not just a cool business phrase, but rather a life style
  • Keeping our Passion on Fire without Flaming Out or too hot.
  • Balance work, life, self-care, family, community, etc.

Another big conversation we had was the importance of knowing “Who AM I Focused on our Most Important Viewer

I brought this conversation up because in business, as well as in the use of Social Media, we must know two things clearly

#1 – Who am I?

I shared the story of how when I started my business I knew I wanted to focus my training, coaching and public speeches on individuals in business. I also wanted to refer to myself as a “Networking Strategist.”

Networking as defined in my book Networking for Mutual Benefitis “finding, developing and nurturing relationships that mutually move people forward through life.”

Strategist as defined by Webster, “a person who is skilled in making plans for achieving a goal : someone who is good at forming strategies”

However, just because this is what I wanted to be known as, it’s not a term anyone else understood or wanted to think of me as.

I had to Pivot.

I then began to tell people “I’m Teddy Burriss, a Certified Social Media Strategist.” The Problem with this is ‘my most important viewer’, enterprise business professionals, did not want to contract a Social Media Strategist. They thought of Facebook and the drama, cat and puppy pictures on there when I used the phrase Social Media.

I had to Pivot again.

In 2014 I began referring to myself as a “LinkedIn Coach, Trainer and Public Speaker focused on helping individuals in business achieve their business goals using this business tool.”

This “Who Am I” statement began getting the attention of my “Most Important Viewers.”

Maybe I’ve made the correct Pivot. Doing the necessary research, paying attention to how our most important viewers respond is important to get to the correct “Who Am I” statement.

#2 – Who is Our Most Important Viewer?

Marketing 101 philosophies tell us that ‘Everyone is not our potential client.’  We need to know who our best possible clients/customers are.

Initially I thought I wanted to primarily serve small business owners. I spent a lot of time working to build connections and relationships in this space. I truly loved the work I was doing. However, I soon learned that most small business owners could not afford me for the rates I needed to charge. This was not going to be my Most Important Viewers. (Don’t misunderstand me – I still love to help small business folks.)

I had to Pivot again.

I discovered for my business model I needed to focus on enterprise organizations. Companies with 10, 20, 50++ sales professionals.When I learned this my pipeline started to fill with more and bigger opportunities.

My Most Important Viewer is the leader of the sales teams in enterprise (fortune 1000) organizations.

To be successful growing our coaching practice we need to know Who Am I focused on our Most important Viewer. (Again, I still love to help small business folks as I can.)

Let our Networks Organically Overlap

In my discussions I shared this philosophy which has helped propel my business as well as my life in general.

We all have three primary networks

  1. Friends and Family Network
  2. Business and Career Network
  3. Civic and Community Network

We often try to keep these networks in their own little bubble.

I went ‘radical’ and decided to let my three networks organically overlap. This means I will not discourage a friend from being a business connection, a business connection from becoming a friend etc, etc. I have the same criteria I’ve always had for defining friends, clients and community involvement, however I have taken down the ‘barriers’ for these three networks to overlap where they can.

The result – I do work with my friends, I volunteer in civic groups with my clients and my friends better understand my business. I’ve created a larger and more inclusive network for life, career and business.

We discussed challenges to growing your Coaching Business. Ideas that were shared included:

  • “Do it!”
  • “My Consistent Uniqueness of being better & different
  • Discovery of the right markets for my business
  • Staying connected and Publicly Present
  • Have a Process and work the Process
  • Paying attention to the details
  • Deliver Exceptional Follow thru
  • Get support, we can’t do it all on our own
  • Have integrity and never let it be tarnished
  • Walk the Talk
  • Practice being a Coach

I wrapped up this session with high level discussion of using Social Media in Growing your Coaching Business

There are four primary aspects to using social media to create any type of success, including growing a coaching business:

  1. Have a Plan – Who am I, What do I do, Who is my most important viewer, what social media tools do they use? What types of information are they looking for? How often should I share content, etc, etc, etc.
  2. Build a Social Presence – All of the social media tools we use should have profiles that clearly show Who we are and What we do. We should use primary keywords that represent us in the text we develop for these sites
  3. Build a Relevant Network – This is a perpetual process of connecting and developing some level of relationship with the people we connect with. Finding the right people to connect with is important. Remember, connect with people you can assist on their journey as you also connect with people who can help you on your journey. It’s the relationships that open doors and create referrals.
  4. Build a Professional Reputation – The reputation develops based on our activities using social media. It’s in the engagement, the sharing, the commenting, the conversations online as well as IRL (in real life). Our reputations develop based on how much we help our network as we go down the journey of building our coaching business.

We discussed why some folks are not on social at all. The reasons included time, risk, fear, the desire to stay away from drama, chaos, trivial discussions, etc.

These discussions were broad and interesting as we learned from each other. Thanks TCC for allowing me the opportunity to share with the group.

Lets talk soon and see if I can help you in any way work on using social media to grow your coaching business.

Teddy

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