Center for Coaching Certification

The First Two Secrets to Creating Change

by Beth Donovan, Certified Professional Coach –

Creating change takes dedication and effort.  It is possible.

I completed my coaching certification and am a wellness coach, so I will be using the example of someone with a weight goal as an example for going through the ten secrets to change.  The first two are here:

  1. Accept your mistakes and get back on track.

If you were given a speeding ticket, you wouldn’t go around breaking traffic laws all day.  So why blow your day over a slice of pizza?  It’s a progress (not perfection) attitude that will help you.  So the next time you are faced with thinking about how you’ve blown the whole day with a minor offense, just turn around and get back on track immediately.  Immediately is the time to get back on track.  Something is better than nothing.

If you are talking weight loss or exercise, this really applies well.  Any movement, regardless of how much, laps that person sitting on the couch.  If you feel like you are getting nowhere by moving so little, remember that every little move prepares you for the next big move.  When I was at 460 pounds, I felt like I had to do what someone who was healthy and weighed 150 pounds could do in order to exercise sufficiently.  What I found to be true was that 5 minutes here or there added up!  In the very beginning, I was lifting shampoo bottles in bed and just moving my feet.  It seemed futile.  I progressed to walking in my house and some small distances much more easily.

Do you realize that averaging one pound a week yields a 52-pound change in one year?  A 1.5-pound weekly change yields a 72-pound change in a year.  The safe amount recommended is 2 pounds a week and that yields 104 pounds a year.  The change is an average, and changing your weight is often like the stock market in that it goes up and down daily; it’s the overall trend that matters.  Play the long game.  Working with a coach who has completed their coach training provides you support.

Come back for more information and insight!

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Creating Change

by Beth Donovan –

Most people have attempted changes at some or many points in their lives.  For many of us, it is a daunting task to realize our dreams.  We visualize, we imagine, and we often sidestep the opportunities to create a lifestyle that will support our dreams becoming a reality.  Having a coach supports creating change.

For example, many of us want to reach a goal weight.  We begin with all our passion blazing and we are ready to conquer our food demons for good, only to crash and burn as we despair that diets are failing us or we them.creating change

After many different attempts myself, I achieved a change in weight of 210 pounds without surgery, crazy diets, or extreme exercise! By becoming more aware and balanced, expanding my emotions, experiencing new things, visualizing myself succeeding, and focusing on positive self-talk, I created change.  It was through sane thoughts, realizations, and hard lessons learned that I won my freedom from feeling trapped in my own body.  I discovered life actually does give second chances.

There are a few demons we can conquer with sane thoughts.  The insight that comes from going through the challenge of change to achieve a goal is shared here to empower you – this blog series gives ten secrets to master change that I discovered.  These help when coaching others or are coached.

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Coaching is a Profession; Coaching is a Business

coaching is a profession and a biz blogCoach training serves leaders, HR professionals, and training professionals well as a competency in their current roles.  Coaching certification is often a first step for people to enhance their skill set for their job.

Coaching is also an after career for these leaders and for them and those earning coaching certification to start a business, a big transition is to have an entrepreneur’s mindset.  It means starting a running a business in addition to being a coach.

Sometimes people think that once they complete their coaching certification they are all set and will immediately start coaching.  The reality is that like any other job or start-up business, it takes work to make it happen.

If your goal is to find a job coaching, start immediately, even while you are in coach training.  Watch job boards, network, and start fine-tuning your resume.  Then, after you earn your coaching certification, take action every day until you do have the job you want as a coach.

If your objective is to work independently as a coach, start researching and planning for your business immediately, even while you are earning your coaching certification.  Some things required for a successful business can be completed while you are learning to coach.  Then, when you qualify to be a member of the International Coach Federation and are ready to offer your coaching services, plan your time for running your business, marketing your services, and doing the coaching work separately.

Being a professional coach is one thing and having a coaching business is another.

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Multiple Ways for Earning in a Coaching Business

multiple ways to earn incomeCompleting your coach training is a first step for starting a coaching business.  As with many other start-up businesses, planning opportunities for multiple income streams is smart.  In addition to diversifying your income sources, the various income streams also often serve as a tool for promoting your coaching.

  • Publishing: publishing a book can create revenue if you actively promote it plus it is also a credibility builder when you sell it online or at speaking or training engagements.
  • Speaking: if you are new to speaking, start with a few free presentations and then advance to small honorariums and continue expanding by submitting proposals to speak at conferences. Different groups have different budgets so often this requires research and inquiry.  Be sure your pitch for a presentation targets the interests of your prospective audience.
  • Training: providing training, whether through programs you create or are hired for, is an opportunity to earn while you establish credibility, build your contacts, and find new clients. Training provides information to people and follow-up coaching serves as a process for implementing change based on the information.
  • Consulting, HR contracting, Recruiting, Organizational Development: coaching skills are utilized in other professional roles and increasingly coaching is specifically requested as an add on service.
  • Mental Health: mental health professionals help people become whole and for many a next step is looking to their future with goal setting, action planning, and working with an accountability partner or coach to move forward. For mental health professionals doing counseling (for example) and coaching is a powerful combination.

The Center for Coaching Certification provides graduates with resources and opportunities to expand into publishing and speaking.  Specifically, coaching certification graduates can write a chapter in the annual Coaching Perspectives book, be a guest blogger here, or be a guest presenter in the continuing education webinars offered monthly.

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Be Clear on Coaching versus Other Services

be clear on coaching services 2Most coaches start their coach training after working in other fields.  Often they start with offering coaching in conjunction with other work or services.  Consider that for HR, Recruiters, Organizational Development, Talent Development, trainers, consultants, and mental health professionals sometimes coaching is offered in conjunction with other roles or as an add-on service.

In coaching certification, the Code of Ethics is studied and it requires being clear on which role and which service is being utilized.  The first step is to determine what services you will offer.  For example, many career coaches offer training, consulting, and coaching.

Next, prepare for this challenge: How do you incorporate multiple roles in one agreement?  An agreement can outline training programs offered which are follow with consulting or consulting then training.  The coaching may start after training and consulting or occur simultaneously.  Be clear about the blocks of time for each service throughout the time you are working with the client.  In the agreement define each type of service.  Be sure to list which service is being provided when, and at the start of each block of time clarify it again.

How do you ensure separation of the roles?  By defining each role clearly, scheduling time based on each role, and verifying it at the start of your time which role and service is happening, you are clearly separating the roles while also ensuring the various services are coordinated and work well together.

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Provide Quality Coaching and Get Referrals

EXPERIENTIAL_LEARNING_ACTIVITIES_WITH_THE_COACHING_PROCESSThe coaching certification you earned provided you with a coaching process.  The quality of your coaching process and the services you provide leads to referrals.  This will happen naturally in that satisfied clients will send other people.  It is also smart to be proactive and ask your clients for referrals.  Plan ahead for ways to approach it, what you want to offer, and the timing of your request for referrals.

For example, because the Code of Ethics calls for full disclosure of compensation for referrals a great win/win is to offer both the referring client and the new client the same benefit.  Some coaches give a free session, others provide a gift card, or be creative and offer a special resource that has value for your clients.

As a coach it is important to let your clients know that you want and appreciate referrals whether or not you offer something for the referrals.  Make it easy for your clients.  As one example, invite your existing coaching clients to give their contacts a free introductory session with you for coaching so they are comfortable making the referral.

Be ready when your clients thank you for how you helped them or when they share their successes and follow-up with an email or note asking them to help others they know utilize the coaching too.  Provide a link to information about how coaching will benefit them, your coach training and related experience, and how they can easily schedule an initial session.

When your coaching services make a difference they want to share it with others and by making it easy for them to refer people they win, their contact wins, and you win too.

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Actively Offering Coaching Services

actively offer coaching services 2Coach training is exciting and fun.  Then after you earn your coaching certification comes the time when you focus primarily on building your coaching business.  Networking online through social media and also at face-to-face is a very important part of developing your coaching client base.  Be intentional about your efforts.  Schedule your time to engage on social media, contact people, and attend events.  For networking focus on finding the events that your ideal client is most likely to attend.  Plus, every time you are out and about you will be meeting people and each conversation is a networking opportunity.

A great way to get in front of prospective clients, demonstrate your credibility, and create a connection is through training or speaking.  As an added bonus it is also a way for you to earn while building your coaching client base.  When you know your niche and your ideal client, develop speeches or training programs that appeal to them specifically.  Identify where you can offer it to existing groups or where you can effectively promote your own event.  Then, let attendees know about your coaching and how it benefits them.

Content marketing, to include publishing articles, white papers, or books, and blogging, is a great way to increase your visibility online, drive traffic to your website, and demonstrate your credibility.  Attaching a blog to your website and then posting once or twice a week ensures you have fresh content and that people come back for more.  Posting or publishing articles on LinkedIn or for specialized groups is a great way to target your ideal client.  Offering white papers on your website can help you build your contact list.  Publishing a book and being on Amazon is a great way to get noticed plus it gives you a product to sell when you speak or train.

Specific packages that provide a set number of coaching sessions at a set rate can be a way to promote your coaching services by offering specials.  For example, new coaches offer discounted rates for a limited time to a limited number and ask for a testimonial in exchange.  As your business grows, offering more sessions at less per session when the client commits and prepays gives a motivator for that client to follow-through with the coaching.  Be creative with your coaching packages and promotions!

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The Basics for Getting Found

basics for getting found blogWhen you are getting started as a coaching professional, in addition to your coaching certification creating an online presence makes sense.  While many hope that a website is how they will get found, do consider how many websites you are competing with for attention.  It is more likely that prospective coaching clients will hear of you, meet you, or see you speak first and then go to your website to learn more.

A website is much like a listing in the phone book and it indicates you are a real business.  It is possible to have a website up and running in a day at very little to no cost.  Alternatively, you can invest tens of thousands on design and programming.  If you opt for a fancy website, then your efforts with search engine optimization will ensure your investment is going to be seen.  For most coaches it makes more sense to have a nice website and invest most of your money and time in other forms of marketing.

Social media is a free way of establishing and growing both your online presence and your network.  It is also easy to get wrapped up in social media sites and lose time.  Be intentional: schedule time to create or update your profile, then plan set amounts of time, for example 15 minutes, for engaging by posting, interacting, and connecting.

When you have organized your business and established your online presence, reach out to your network of colleagues, friends, family, etc.  Let them know what you are doing and ask for their help spreading the word.  Give them specifics on your coach training and on your coaching services.

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Knowing Who and What

Once you have completed your coaching certification and are focusing on building your client base, initial steps include naming your business, defining your coaching niche, and describing your ideal client.  Identifying your ideal coaching client sometimes occurs before choosing a business name or writing a business plan because it influences your choices.  Sometimes you define your ideal client first because it informs choosing your coaching niche. Other times you define your niche first because you know your background and passion, so then you identify your client based on your niche and passion.

At the point it makes sense for your decision making and planning, describe your ideal client fully.  In addition to the basics of gender, socio-economic status, location, age, occupation, etc., consider who they are in terms of their interests, passions, and challenges.  List what they want and their reasons for engaging a coach.  Be clear on what you offer so your prospective clients see you as a solution and an opportunity to move forward.

Coaches often wonder if it is best to define their niche or to simply start coaching.  Consider how it comes across to perspective clients when you are vague about your focus versus having defined areas.  For example, if you say, “I do Business, Executive, and Life Coaching.” versus “I do Leadership and Work/Life Balance Coaching.”  Also consider how you plan your marketing in undefined areas versus defined niches.

As is discussed with graduates of the Center for Coaching Certification after coach training, it makes sense to define your niche because of the credibility it lends your work, the focus, and also to target your marketing efforts.

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Setting-up for Business

setting-up your business blogWith so much focus on the coach training, legal structure, and business planning, it can be easy to forget how important your office set-up is for your success.

At a basic level, the Code of Ethics for coaching calls for confidentiality which means a lockable space where you control who has access and when.

Next to consider is how your office is arranged in terms of desk space, computer, files, etc.  The comfort of your chair and desk will impact your productivity.  Decor is a factor because when you like being in the space and it feels good, then you are both more productive and more effective.

An up-to-date computer and appropriate software are essential because these are tools for the work and also because this is how you interact with clients and prospective clients.

Forms that coaches use include their coaching agreement plus various intake or session questionnaires.  Many coaches also have forms for clients to reflect and report or forms for different assessment tools.

Processes for taking care of your business, such as the accounting, promoting your services, maintaining an online presence, signing on new clients, coaching, and closing out a coaching engagement are best organized from the beginning and then adjusted as you grow.  In this way you have the thought behind it, a way to work with others, plus free up time when you start while also maintaining flexibility.

Resources for you as a coach and also resources for clients make it easier for you to stay on track and to support your clients.  The Center for Coaching Certification provides a multitude of tools on the coach login page plus ongoing support for the business and marketing efforts of graduates.

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