We have a bone to pick with the “coaching” profession – and anyone else that discounts like crazy.
Yes, that means you, person who sent me the Twitter Direct Message saying how you can help me by coaching me to live my BEST life! Of course, to do that, you’re giving me a link to my FR*EE Coaching Session.
First of all – aside from the fact that you spelled “FR*EE” with an asterisk in it, to get past the spam filters – you’re leading with the wrong thing. Free is not the unique selling proposition here. Discounting your services to get us in the door I understand – but I don’t think you’re doing it correctly.
Might I suggest this approach instead…
1. Make the Free Stuff Standout.
Yeah, we’re back on our high horse about FREE and Paywalls and The Free Line. Start by showing us what you can do, what you propose doing, little and big changes you have helped clients make. White papers, blog posts, newsletters – things of value. Free, sure – but valuable so that the time I invest reading your stuff gets me thinking you might be worth hiring.
2. Don’t Start by Discounting.
Similar to our continuing study of Gilt Groupe vs. Groupon – once you get people (clients) in the door thinking that you have a value of “x,” it’s really tough to get them back in the door at a value of “x divided by 2.”
Note that a Free Assessment or similar tool is great – but don’t call it that. “No Obligation [insert name of tool].”
We once had a session, we were the client, and the coach said this up front: “I want to work with you. Let’s spend the first 15 minutes off the clock, then, if you and I agree that we’re compatible, we can have the next 45 minutes at my regular rate. If not, we’ll part as friends.”
3. Make Us Pay to Even THINK About Working With You.
I absolutely love this. Dead Serious. An application fee.
We filled one out a couple weeks ago – a coach who we have been following for at least a year, we like what this person’s up to, and we thought we might want to hire them.
We knew their going rate – posted at the bottom of their application – and it cost us a refundable $19 to fill out the form.
Not a gimmick; this isn’t something done so that we’d forget about it and the statute of limitations on getting a refund would run out.
We actually had a chat with the coach, found out we were not a good fit for each other, and got our refund 10 minutes after our call ended.
4. Oh, and Don’t Be A Coach if You Can’t Coach
Did you know that you can get a Life Coach Certification on the Internet?
This reminds me of the Diploma Mills that we used to bump into during our Higher Education Marketing days. There are respectable groups – ICF and ICA for the Life Coaching types, franchises such as The Growth Coach and The Strategic Coach, and there’s Vistage and others.
But there are crappy designations out there, many of them available for a few bucks.
Coaches are a dime a dozen. And, if you don’t communicate value, you’ll never be able to charge what you’re worth.