Volunteer Coaching and Coaching Service Donations

This is 22 in a series of 24 blog posts on Business and Marketing.

Often people who are getting started in coaching ask whether doing coaching for free is a good idea to get started.  There are pros and cons.  On the pro side, it is an opportunity to gain experience and ideally references.  On the con side, as a coach if you start by providing free services you establish an expectation that the services have less value and create a mentality that resist charging a market rate later.  As an alternative, many coaches will barter with people they know and exchange coaching services for expertise in areas related to getting a coaching business up and running.

A different option for coaches who want experience, want their services valued, and want visibility is to volunteer with a local nonprofit organization and offer coaching services to their board, staff, or to the people they serve.  A variation on this idea is when the nonprofit uses auctions as a fundraiser, donate coaching services as one of the auction items.  In either case, as a coach you are gaining valuable experience.  The coaching services you offer are perceived as more valuable because there is a price associated.  The coaching business you own gains visibility as a donor and as a provider of service.

Making this happen as a coach is often fairly simple.  First, based on your coaching niche areas, research nonprofits in related areas of interest.  Alternatively, research board members whose career is within your target market.  Create a nice one-page coupon for coaching describing your coaching services.  Then contact the nonprofit and ask about helping as a volunteer or as a donor.

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