5 Ways To Grow An Online Presence

“If your business is not on the Internet, then your business will be out of business.” – Bill Gates

It’s no secret that the landscape of business is shifting onto the online market.  With more and more attention being drawn to social media and other online outlets, the game of marketing has changed slightly.  As coaches, we have a burning desire to help our clients reach the next level of their development, the problem is if these people don’t know you exist…how can we ultimately serve them?  In order to attract your ideal clients you must put yourself in the position for them to find you, so if you have been curious about how to get started in the online space this article will take you through “5 Ways to Grow an Online Presence” to put yourself ahead of the game to dominate the online community!


Step 1: Who is your Ideal Client?

You’ve got to know who your ideal prospect is.  Before you go in guns blazing online, you first must know the type of client you are trying to attract.  What age range are they in?  Pain points?   Interests/hobbies? Do you know the ideal change they are looking to make in their life?  Getting specific as possible with the exact type of client you want to work with is vital for developing trust in your prospect…when you speak their language they will start listening.  BEFORE you even think about marketing yourself online, get clear with exactly who you would be serving and why.


Step 2:  Choose a platform

Social media is one of the biggest growing industries in the world.  In the last 5 years, over 3.5 billion people have signed up to a social media platform!  (Emarsys, 2019) Millennials make up over 90.4%, Generation X makes up 77.5% and Baby Boomers are at 48.2% (Emarketer, 2019).   Facebook has over 10% of its users from the age of 54 and older! (Clement, 2019) So there is an audience for you, the key is knowing where they frequent.  Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn etc. all have specific ages they are catered to, so when you know exactly where your ideal client spends their time online you can focus your efforts on that platform; which is why you need to first know WHO your ideal client is.


Step 3: Deliver your message

Content is king.  In order to attract your ideal client and get them interested in what you have to offer, you need to make content to get their attention.  The big ways to do this are in forms of: video, written, or voice.  Play to your strengths, if you are good in front of the camera and have an animated personality – go video.  If you excel more with written word – make that your go to type of content.  You might even be proficient in a combination of a few others, the point is deliver what you offer in a way that your ideal client is not only attracted to what you have to say but also makes them want to take action.


Step 4:  Find your niche

It can be a crowded field if you are trying to establish yourself online as a coach, especially now that everyone online is calling themselves a “coach”.  Generic life coaching will not be enough to attract an audience as it is too general…it’s like trying to catch fish in a big ocean with a small net.  When you are SPECIFIC with a focus in your coaching it makes it much easier to find a lane to advertise in and create content for.  What solution do you have for an ongoing problem?  Follow your passions to help you create your niche.  For example, my niche is in helping young men without direction clearly define their life’s path and transform into the man they’ve always wanted to be.  The more defined your specialty is, the more trust and authority you create with your prospect.


Step 5: Collaboration is key

Two heads are better than one.  There truly is strength in numbers, and if you want to increase your exposure then you would be wise to find ways to collaborate with other coaches/creators/entrepreneurs on social media.  Working together with like-minded people is critical, especially if you are just starting out and have a lot of questions; you can bounce ideas off of one another and promote each other’s content on each of your pages.  I think as coaches we all can benefit from having each other as a resource, and collaborating on ideas/content/business is a way to boost both of your exposure – the name of the game is attention and the more eyes you can have on your profile is critical.


In Closing

 If you follow these 5 steps then you will be well on your way to creating some serious buzz online!  Take your time with this, it isn’t going to happen overnight (unless something goes viral) so stick with it and always remember WHY you started.  Looking forward to seeing your booming success online!



Bio:  Tino is a transformational coach that specializes in helping young men without clear direction define their life’s path and transform into the man they’ve always wanted to be with his coaching company:  “The Sophisticated Man”.  Tino currently has a YouTube channel of over 8.9 thousand subscribers and an Instagram over 3.5 thousand followers with most of his content on those respected platforms… as well as a weekly Podcast show.

Contact Tino at his current email:  FortinoRiganoCoaching@gmail.com


How Coaches Spend Their Time: A White Paper for Coaches

Beyond the actual coaching session, there are many additional tasks that coaches carry out in order to maintain a successful coaching practice, such as marketing, operational and administrative duties.

How do you spend your time outside of coaching sessions? Are you focusing on the same tasks that your colleagues do?

The International Coach Federation looked to understand how both internal and external coach practitioners spend their time with a job analysis that was conducted in two phases: a qualitative analysis and a quantitative survey.

The study found that while both groups are focused on client-related tasks, internal coaches spend a significant amount of time seeking support from their superiors and ensuring the program is aligned with organizational goals and strategy. For external coaches, the client remains more of a focus in all of the tasks they do.

To learn more about the research study and which activities coaches focus their time on, download the white paper.

What you need to know before hiring a business coach

Like human resources, coaching has a bit of a perception problem – people think anyone can do it. What should you look for when hiring a business coach for your organisation to avoid any mistakes?

The perception that anyone can do coaching is harmful for a few reasons, says Revel Gordon, a Sydney-based globally experienced executive coach and director of the International Coach Federation (ICF) of Australasia.

Like many other professions, coaching has experienced rapid growth in the past few years. Part of this is due to it becoming a standard aspect of leadership development and team development within organisations. Asa testament to the times, many different coaching models have evolved to deal with the new normal of business: ambiguity, complexity and uncertainty. This makes it more important than ever to make sure that coaches stay current with research and best practice, says Gordon.

When engaging a coach, he says human resources leaders have a duty of care to make sure the coach has the necessary experience to keep everyone safe throughout the process, that they understand coaching confidentiality, and that they keep ethical behaviour and standards front-of-mind.

Watch the video for more information about the coaching industry, plus the two questions you should always ask when looking for a business coach.

The  2016 ICF Australasia Conference, ‘Unlocking Potential’ will be held in Surfers Paradise from 26-28 October.

7 Simple Steps to Transform Your Prospects into Clients!

One of the biggest struggles coaches face is getting clients.

It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of trying to TELL or SELL coaching instead of asking questions to help your prospects understand what they’re looking for—and then letting them sell coaching to themselves!

Here are 7 Coach-like Steps to Turn Your Prospects into Clients:

Step 1 – Learn What They WANT:

Have a conversation. Ask questions to find out what they want and how you can help.

ASK: What are you yearning for? What would you like to be different? What problems are eating away at you? What outcomes are you aiming for? What’s stopping you or getting in the way?

Step 2 – Get To the WHY:

Find out why they want to change, why their goal is so important and why NOW (and not last week, last year or next month). Connect them to their deepest reasons for wanting change, and then help them connect to the value of making that change.

What’s the “Pain” of staying where they are? Ask: What is it costing you to stay where you are? E.g., financial, time, energy, emotional or relationship costs.

What is the “Pleasure” of making the change? Ask: What are the benefits? What will achieving this change give you? How will you FEEL once you’ve solved your problems/achieved their goals?

Top Tip: Work the “Secondary Gain.” Help your client see the benefits of staying just as they are. This could be why they haven’t achieved their goals yet—and may be an “aha” moment.

Step 3 – Move Them into a POSSIBILITY Frame:

Help them see that what they want is possible and that they have the answers or can find them. Help them discover what they need to do to make their dreams happen.

Ask: What could you do to move this forwards? What are the next steps? What is the first step? Where do you need to start?

Step 4 – Reflect and Recap:

Be the Mirror. Increase rapport by demonstrating you have “seen” them—help them “see” themselves.

This could look like: “It sounds like you’d like more free time, but you’re also excited about a business idea. You’re tired and overcommitted but don’t know what to drop. You know you need to plan but are often so tired you don’t feel like it or some new crisis pops up at work. You’d also like to make time for some one-on-one time with your family. You feel tired, overwhelmed and frustrated and want to get some clarity. Have I understood you correctly?”

Step 5 – Get THEM to TELL YOU How to Help Them:

Get your prospect to tell you exactly where and how they need help!

Ask: “How exactly do you think I could help you?” or “What do you need from me to move forwards?”

Step 6 – Summarize and SHARE YOUR VISION for Them:

It’s time to bring it all together and add value. Now you know you can help them—and how—so don’t be shy! Tell them what you’d like for them and include any value you add. Finally, be sure to wrap up by letting them know you’d really like to work with them.

This could look like: “I’m hearing that you really want to develop your business idea. But work is getting in the way, and you already know that a first step is to stop working such long hours. I can help you do that and create space away from your job to brainstorm, plan and take action towards your dream.

I can also help you find the time to reconnect with your family—and make it fun too! And, as you mentioned, I’ll hold you accountable, help you stay committed—even when the going gets tough. I think we’d be a great team, and I’d love to work with you!”

Step 7 – Ask for the Sale:

Your client now knows 1) What they want and WHY, 2) that they CAN do it and 3) that YOU can help them.

But to turn prospects into clients you MUST ask for the sale. It needn’t be as icky as you think. Try:

  • When might you like to get started?
  • What else do you need to know before working with me?
  • It feels like we’re a good match. Would you like to coach with me?

Then BE QUIET for as long as it takes them to answer.

Final Tip: Even if they don’t say, “Yes” right away, some people just like time to think and process (I’m one of those people). So, unless they say a clear “No,” agree on a time to FOLLOW UP with them.

In Summary:

Making the sale is a skill, and you can learn it. And you already have a great head start—your coaching skills.

So, forget about trying to get prospects to understand what YOU do—just have a coaching conversation. Ask questions and remember to ask for that sale. It really can be this easy!

Emma Louise ElseyEmma-Louise Elsey has been coaching for 12 years and is founder of The Coaching Tools Company.com and Life Coach on the Go. Originally a project and relationship manager for Fortune 500 companies, she loves to write and create coaching tools and exercises. Sign-up for her exclusive newsletter for coaches, plus many great tools & free resources for your coaching toolbox at The Coaching Tools Company.com. We are a proud ICF Business Partner.

The views and opinions expressed in guest posts featured on this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the International Coach Federation (ICF). The publication of a guest post on the ICF Blog does not equate to an ICF endorsement or guarantee of the products or services provided by the author.

2016 ICF Global Coaching Study

The coaching profession grows and evolves daily, creating new opportunities for professional coaches and new challenges to overcome. The 2016 ICF Global Coaching Study, based on a 2015 survey commissioned by ICF and conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, uses information and insights from more than 15,000 professional coach practitioners and managers and leaders who use coaching skills to provide an up-to-date picture of coaching today.


The 2016 ICF Global Coaching Study was designed to engage with as many coach practitioners as possible to provide an up-to-date picture of the coaching profession and empower coaches to embrace the opportunities and meet the challenges ahead. The study was also designed to recognize the growth of coaching cultures within businesses and organizations. For this reason, it was widened to include managers and leaders who use coaching skills within their organizations.

Study results are based on the outcomes of an online questionnaire launched by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) in July 2015. The survey was available in nine languages:

  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Mandarin
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish

During the six-month fieldwork period, PwC collected 15,380 valid responses from 137 countries. ICF would like to thank all of the coaches, managers and leaders who participated in the study.

Access the Results

The Executive Summary of the 2016 ICF Global Coaching Study can be downloaded here free of charge.

The Final Report of the 2016 ICF Global Coaching Study is available at a price of $95 USD for ICF Members and $295 USD for non-members.

Beginner’s Mind: Coaching With A New Point Of View

I love this message: “Being as curious as a two-year-old about why clients behave as they do is one of a good coach’s greatest gifts. Boundless curiosity helps both coaches and clients drill down until they reach bedrock.”  (Source:  Adaptive Coaching:  The Art and Practice of a Client-Centred Approach to Performance Improvement” by Jess R. Bacon, PhD and Laurie Voss, PhD)

Curiosity is vital to coaching and powerful questions (exploring what, how, why, when, who and where) can help clients uncover transformational answers below surface thoughts.

Holding curiosity is what we do as coaches and, in my experience, the mindfulness attitude of “Beginner’s Mind” is how we can maintain and cultivate curiosity, in and outside of coaching.

In “Full Catastrophe Living,” Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, shares: “Too often we let our thinking and our beliefs about what we ‘know’ prevent us from seeing things as they really are…we need to cultivate what has been called ‘beginner’s mind,’ a mind that is willing to see everything as if for the first time.”

This month’s blog contains two stories plus a request, which you can accept or not: As you read further, I’m inviting you to shift into “beginner’s mind.”

This involves letting go of anything else you’re dealing with and any thoughts you might have about this topic or blog. Just give yourself the gift of space to ponder, enjoy and be curious about these stories and messages within—do they speak to you?  Or not?

Try experiencing this blog through a different lens—mindfully shift to feeling less tired, less rushed, more interested­—whatever is new or different from how you’re feeling right now.

The first story outlines a coaching experience in which “beginner’s mind” helped connect to curiosity:

I was coaching a woman, whom I’ll refer to as Jess. She was feeling challenged in applying for a promotion to a managerial position because “diversity appreciation” was listed as a job requirement. Jess started sharing how much she HATES that term and what it represents.

What happened next is very uncoach-like, and I’m not proud of it. It’s shared in the spirit of helping others avoid what I did. To that end, here’s how my internal self-talk played out, at light-speed, in reaction to Jess’ sharing:

“WHAT!? … How can anyone hate appreciating diversity in others!?  That’s CRAZY!   She’s going to have to find another coach…EVERYTHING she’s saying is against what I stand for…I’ll try to coach her through this, BUT if the conversation keeps unfolding this way, I’ll refer her to another coach after because…OMG, what am I doing!? <insert big breathe> I need to get over myself…and get into beginner’s mind…NOW!

With that millisecond inner dialogue behind me, beginner’s mind launched instantly (thanks to regular practice of that mindfulness attitude.) As Jess continued, I listened with true curiosity as if I was hearing everything for the first time, totally free of any thoughts or feelings of judgement or emotional reaction—I was back in coach-mode.

While the outcome could have been different, Jess had a light-bulb moment as to why the term “diversity appreciation” caused a charge for her. She walked away embracing how much she’d always been aligned with appreciating differences in others.

I learned a valuable lesson from that experience and now mindfully stay in curiosity by bringing “beginner’s mind” to coaching.

The next story touches on diversity appreciation and maintaining curiosity in conversations in a life situation.  It also speaks to the power of reframing,  which I view as facilitating beginner’s mind in others.

On arrival home from my Grade 2 class, mom was greeted with uncontrollable sobs as I cried out, “I HATE my hair!” She asked what upset me and I shared that, for weeks, all the other girls in my class wouldn’t play with me. They’d been teasing and bullying me because of my hair color!

The combination of my First Nations ancestry on dad’s side of the family and Irish from mom’s heritage resulted in my jet black hair. The other girls in class had either blonde or brown hair and I was considered different because of mine.

Mom pointed out that her hair was also jet black and that we were the only ones with the same hair color in our family of eight—I’m one of Jack and Katie’s six daughters. That made me feel a bit better, though, not enough to face criticism by the mean girls at school the next day, or beyond.

Sensing that, mom got curious and asked what was really bothering me about their teasing. My response was that I didn’t feel pretty or good enough to play with the girls in my class.

Mom briefly left the room, returning with a newspaper, which she placed on the kitchen table. It was open to a full-color page movie ad, featuring a gorgeous woman dressed in gold from head to foot.

Pointing to it, mom said, “This actress is considered the world’s most beautiful woman—her name is Elizabeth Taylor—she has jet black hair like us! She’s starring in a movie as Cleopatra, the great Egyptian Queen, who also had black hair. So you see, our hair color is special­—not everyone has jet black hair like the most beautiful woman in the world and a famous Queen!” I recall instantly feeling strong, beautiful and confident.

Mom’s curiosity got to the heart of the matter and the reframe that she facilitated using that newspaper image was brilliant! The resulting new point of view—beginner’s mind­—had powerful, positive lasting effects.

No words or taunts could change the fact that I had something in common with mom, Elizabeth Taylor and Cleopatra! My feelings of strength, beauty and confidence remained solidly in place the next day at school and are still with me today, as strong as ever­—thank you, my sweet Mom!

What are you taking forward from your beginner’s mind reading experience?

Carolyn Hamilton-KubyCarolyn Hamilton-Kuby, PCC, CEC, is a coach and public speaker known for her vibrant spirit and calming presence. She’s the owner of Morningstar Leadership Development, a part-time business in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Carolyn holds a Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching from Royal Roads University. She also graduated from St. Francis Xavier University (Diploma & Certificate in Adult Education and Diploma in Ministry) and St. Lawrence College (Certificate in Human Resources Management.) Carolyn is a Certified Practitioner in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®.) She’s also a licensed trainer for Coaching Out of the Box® and an Official Partner of World Business Executive Coach Summit (WBECS). Carolyn invites you to visit her website at http://mstar.ca/site/ or connect with her on LinkedIn.

The views and opinions expressed in guest posts featured on this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the International Coach Federation (ICF). The publication of a guest post on the ICF Blog does not equate to an ICF endorsement or guarantee of the products or services provided by the author.

Giving the gift of coaching.

The Gift of Coaching Awards program celebrates ICF Chapters with impactful pro bono coaching initiatives that make a difference in their communities and in the world. The ICF Foundation’s Gift of Coaching Initiative launched in 2012 as a means of connecting nonprofit leaders with pro bono professional coaching services. The Gift of Coaching Awards program represents a shift in focus for the Foundation, intended to leverage the excellent work ICF Chapters are already doing to increase awareness of and better their communities through professional coaching.


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5 Tips for Delivering Tough Feedback that Fuels Performance

The ability to give tough feedback ranks as one of the most important and difficult of leadership skills. Before we go on, let’s define “tough feedback.”

Many think tough feedback is always negative, like bad news. It implies the recipient has messed up or done something wrong. That’s not necessarily true.

Tough by definition is “unyielding, firm, durable.” So it’s more useful to think of tough feedback in that context—it may be uncomfortable for someone to hear what is being said simply because it’s not consistent with how they view themselves.

Here are five coaching tips to help your clients provide tough feedback that will get through to their employees and, more importantly, help them grow.

1. The 6-to-1 ratio

There’s a number of theories you can encourage your clients to follow that suggests the best balance between positive and constructive feedback. The one I have recommended to clients comes from leadership consultants Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman. Their research shows the ideal ratio of praise to criticism is 6:1—the highest-performing teams were nearly six positive comments for every negative one.

Getting the ratio of positive to negative feedback right is important. What made the greatest difference between the most and least successful teams, according to Zenger and Folkman, was the ratio of positive comments. This isn’t the same as “candy coating” or softening the message. It’s about achieving the right balance.

2. Don’t stockpile tough feedback

This follows directly from the 6:1 rule-of-thumb. If your clients wait for a “timely moment” to deliver all of their tough feedback in one meeting, they risk setting the stage for a difficult if not overwhelming meeting for their employee. This may lead to disengagement that can fuel tension rather than resolve a potential performance or behavioral problem.

Difficult performance conversations are also best held as soon as your clients become aware of a performance issue with a member of their team instead of waiting for the “right time” where issues may lack context and fall prey to poor memories.

3. Link tough feedback to goal progress

Tough feedback is more likely to have a positive impact on motivating an employee if it’s tied to something practical like their progress on a goal. Ayelet Fishbach, a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, proposes that “positive feedback motivates goal pursuit when it signals an increase in goal commitment, whereas negative feedback motivates goal pursuit when it signals insufficient goal progress.”

For your frontline manager clients, this also underscores the importance of establishing clear goals with employees and talking about their progress on a regular basis. A conversation about goal progress provides the opportunity for your clients to share feedback that will motivate rather than demoralize an employee. This approach to providing feedback can help your clients keep their team focused and productive on what’s important.

 4. Make it specific

The usefulness of any feedback, positive or negative, is amplified when your feedback is specific, timely and targeted. Saying something like “Look, you are consistently late with your projects and that really needs to change” is a bit vague. As you can see, there are a number of key and helpful details missing. If your clients take this approach to giving tough feedback, they won’t be seeing any change in behavior. How many projects is the employee late with? How late were they? The absence of specifics doesn’t set the stage for performance improvement.

Instead, they should say something like “Over the last three months, four of your past five projects have been completed one week after the agreed upon project deadline without any explanation. That makes our team look disorganized. What can you do to manage expectations and your projects better?”

The specifics of the second approach establish instant credibility for the manager’s criticism and a foundation for addressing the performance concern. It also provides the opportunity to have a dialogue about what can be done differently in the future.

5. Don’t beat around the bush

Most people appreciate getting bad news or constructive criticism in an upfront, straightforward manner. A 2014 survey by Zenger and Folkman found that 72 percent of respondents thought their performance would improve if their managers provided corrective feedback. That number rose to 92 percent when the caveat of “if delivered appropriately” was added. A sugarcoated message risks an employee not even realizing that their manager is actually being critical of their performance.

One coaching tip I’ve found useful, particularly when I have had to give tough feedback, is to prepare in advance what I want to say. This helps ensure I can clearly convey the meaning in a way that is constructive, not confrontational or lecturing.

Be clear about what needs to be said and say it

The goal of feedback, positive or negative, is to provide useful insights about the performance or behavior of another person. Unfortunately, many leaders mistakenly try to soften the message, which makes it more difficult to articulate the point they are trying to get across. The result is a confusing message that won’t really have an impact one way or another.

Giving tough feedback is seldom fun. However, when delivered correctly, it can be the most valuable feedback your client can give to an employee. Following these five tips will help them deliver that feedback like a leader while motivating their employee to peak performance.

Your turn

What other tips and techniques have you found to be effective when coaching your clients on how to give tough feedback?

Anita Bowness, HalogenAnita Bowness joined Halogen Software in 2014 with nearly 20 years of experience in consulting and professional services where she has enabled client organizations to leverage the talent of their workforce to achieve desired outcomes. In her role as business consulting lead at Halogen, Anita draws upon her prior HR and consulting experience in the areas of recruitment, onboarding, performance management, learning and development, succession planning, organizational development, competency mapping, and change management. Anita holds a Bachelor of Commerce with a Major in HRM from the University of Ottawa and a Masters in HRM from the University of Leeds.

The views and opinions expressed in guest posts featured on this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the International Coach Federation (ICF). The publication of a guest post on the ICF Blog does not equate to an ICF endorsement or guarantee of the products or services provided by the author.

How have YOU benefited from being part of ICF Pittsburgh?

This week I was asked “How have you benefited from being part of ICF Pittsburgh?”  As I thought back over the past five years, I had a George Bailey-esque moment (a la It’s A Wonderful Life)….(cue strumming harp music)…what would my life and business have been like if I hadn’t joined ICF Pittsburgh?  The image that flashed through my head was full of familiar faces.

Without ICF Pittsburgh, I would not…

  • Have valued relationships with other coaches, many of whom have become friends as well.
  • Be part of a community that is collectively increasing the value of coaching in our region.
  • Have walked through doors opened for public speaking, meeting key contacts, peer coaching and yes, new business.
  • Be a valuable referral resource to my network and clients.
  • Have learned about coaching and business from talented and wise program speakers and pee
  • Have received leads through being a Premier Partner and being listed on Find A Coach

Below are some of the specific personal and professional benefits I have received through my affiliation with ICF Pittsburgh.

2010-11 – Attended my first ICF Pittsburgh meeting where David Goldman, Chris Posti and Bill Weil shared their wisdom as a panel.  Received support from more than a dozen local coaches who met with me one-on-one for coffee, as I built knowledge and confidence to transition from corporate America to my own business.

2012 – Established a mastermind group as part of Sam Wieder’s Program on “Mastermind Magic” The group still meets 9-10 times per year and has provided feedback, coaching and accountability that have led to revenue.  Co-chaired Coaching Works Event at PNC Park with Bette Novak.

2013  – Delivered a workshop at the Pittsburgh Human Resources Association Conference with Jan Sabatine and Jane Patterson Abbate. Joined the board.  Became a better business owner after attending the Mark LeBlanc program on “Growing Your Small Business.”

2014 – Spoke at the Vibrant Pittsburgh Conference with Anne Papinchak and Eric Kulikowski.  Was able to refer 2 ICF Pittsburgh coaches to a client who hired them for multi-coachee gigs.  Became a Premier Partner on the ICF Pittsburgh Website.

2015 – Gave and received coaching for several months with another local coach – we are now referral partners. Served with Jan Ferri-Reed, Alyson Lyon, John Porcari, and others as a panelist at the November meeting.

I realize that each of us has a different take on this question.  What is YOUR answer to the question “How have I benefited from being part of ICF Pittsburgh?” And what else would you like to give to and receive from our chapter?  Let me know at evy@severinoconsulting.net , call me at 724-612-5235 or fill out the form below with your answer.

I want to hear from you! See below a few of the responses I have received thus far.

How have I benefited from being part of ICF Pittsburgh?:

“I’ve gotten so much out of my membership this year. The Mark LeBlanc workshop was invaluable in helping me transition my brand and build out my business plan and marketing strategy. While at the workshop, I made several new contacts, including connecting with Bonnie Budzowski about writing a book, which is now underway. Finally, I started working with two new clients from my profile posting. How’s that for a return on the investment?!”

What else would you like to give to and receive from our chapter?:
“I would be delighted to do a presentation or webinar for the group, perhaps something about coaching across difference (age, race, gender etc) or about life design (creating structures for living in alignment with one’s essential self). I hope to continue to benefit for the great thought partnership and supportive community that ICF Pittsburgh provides. Even though I can’t attend meetings very often, I am bolstered by the knowledge that there are so many great resources at the ready, when I am able!”

Lauren Lambrecht

How have I benefited from being part of ICF Pittsburgh?:

“ICF-Pittsburgh meetings offer a wonderful atmosphere of personal and professional support. It is almost like being a part of an inspiring mastermind group whenever we get together. Aside from the ideas and inspiration I’ve gained to support the success of my coaching practice, I appreciate the opportunity to associate with a group of professionals who are so committed to making a positive difference in the world.”

 Sam Wieder


how have you benefited from ICF


Build Your Coaching Business by Embracing the Future of Coaching Now

By Tom Volkar

Butterworth (1)If you really want to build your coaching business you must accept that time for the thriving coaching generalist is over.  Differentiate or die is your wakeup call.

The future belongs to coaches who are willing to vulnerably align with and boldly express their core individuality so that they offer prospective clients a radically distinctive choice from all other coaches.

Due to the Web, we live in a time of ever-increasing visibility and transparency. So much so that it has become more important than ever to really know and express what makes you distinct from everyone else in your profession.

Today the speed of change and the ever-increasing availability of overwhelming information have created more rapidly closing windows of opportunity, so more than ever before it is important to differentiate your coaching practice from all others.

In the future only coaches who are truly experts in deep and narrow niches will survive.

In all of your marketing you must answer this question that gets to the heart of your most valuable selling point.

“Why should I choose to do business with you rather than every other option including doing nothing?”  — Dan Kennedy

Every coach who has built a practice knows that one doesn’t sell coaching because very few are looking to buy coaching.

Prospective clients are buying desired outcomes and solutions to pressing problems. They often know exactly what they want and if your specialty doesn’t clearly speak to what they are already searching for then you aren’t even being considered.

If you are still trying to build your coaching business by being all things to all people, it’s time to become the expert you know you could be.

Generalist’s unnecessarily struggle to build a coaching practice for three main reasons:

  1. They lack a clearly defined expertise and marketplace advantage.
  2. They are often uncomfortable with self-promotion.
  3. They aren’t consistently using an aligned marketing strategy that values their individuality.

This lack of differentiation and focus causes coaches to doubt their own capacity to build a practice and doubt their execution of marketing tactics.

Niche-choosing misconceptions that further get in the way of effective business-building.

  1. Thinking that doing what you love is enough to build a business. Simply doing what you love is too broadly framed to give a distinct advantage. Now and in the future you must also give clients exactly what they need in the way they want to buy it.
  2. Choosing an ideal client niche based on economic feasibility alone is too outside centered to be accurate.
  3. Choosing an ideal client niche based on demographics alone is too broad to be distinctive.
  4. Continually searching for missing solutions by attempting to mimic successful experts’ marketing leads you further away from developing a marketing strategy that’s aligned to your unique makeup and desires.
  5. Believing the fearful conclusion that narrowing your niche limits possibilities.

How to Be Relevant in the Future of Coaching

Of all the things you can do there is one thing that you can do better than anyone else. That one core thing is elemental to your nature and allows you to come into your own while standing out.
Distinctively expressing this one core thing, in a way that others desire it, is essential to enjoying both deep fulfillment and lasting prosperity.

“There is no more effective way to be different than to be exactly who you are.” – Bernadette Jiwa

Playing small serves no one; go for the biggest possible dream that honors who you are. Compromising or dialing down your core distinctiveness will lead to mimicry and failure.

Expressed uniqueness is rare and what’s rare is most highly valued.

Your most valuable selling point is found at the intersection of your unique individuality and your ideal client’s most desired buying point.

The most effective way to build your coaching business is to highlight the one core thing that you could be best in the world at delivering. This is not the thing that you want to be best at.
It is also the one thing that of all your capabilities is most highly valued by your clients as well as the client outcome that you deliver more effectively than anyone else.

Two Steps to Discover Your One Core Thing

1. Increase your awareness of what’s possible by asking powerful open ended questions. Don’t rush to answer the following questions. Instead allow them to simmer in your imagination until your awareness expands.

  • What would it look like to see far beyond the contextual reality of coaching as we know it?
  • What would it take for my one core thing to reveal itself easily and effortlessly?
  • What’s possible for my coaching practice beyond anything I can now imagine?
  • What fixed viewpoints about coaching are keeping me from seeing greater possibilities?

2. Interview your most satisfied clients to determine the answers to these questions.

What is the most valuable outcome of our working together that you could not have easily reached on your own?

What’s the essence of what I did to guide you to see and choose that outcome?

You could also join us for this powerful teleclass on September 1: Discover Your One Core Thing & Get More Clients.

You can be viable and relevant in the future of coaching as long as you build your coaching business on a foundation of differentiation.  Begin today to discover and embrace what makes you different and the future shall be yours.

Tom Volkar guides solo service providers who want to start and grow an ideal business that is aligned with their individuality.  Download your free guide, Choosing Your Ideal Niche: How to Decide with Confidence and Prosper from Your Signature Edge.