The Business Side of Coaching: Selling Yourself

I am entering my 3rd year as a coach on the CoachUp platform and as a new coach in general. I had a solid foundation in the game of baseball but not on the business side of private coaching, and I have very much been learning as I go.

I only coach part time on the weekends, so the number of sessions and subsequent income I have generated are not huge numbers.

Having said that, in 2017, I doubled my coaching income from 2016 and so far this year, I am projecting a similar percentage increase for my coaching business.

My client base has grown over time which of course helps, but I attribute most of this growth to being more confident and comfortable on the sales side of my coaching business.

One of the biggest realizations I have made over the last three years is that in order to do more sessions and generate more business, sometimes the only thing you have to do is ask the client if they want to work with you again.

And when they inevitably say “Yes, but we are busy this weekend” sometimes all you need to do is ask again.

When I first started out, I felt uncomfortable with asking people to pay me their hard-earned money and make time in their busy lives to work with me. I am generally a reserved person, so I found it hard to aggressively sell myself and my services. My thought process could be boiled down to, “Well, if they want to work with me again, they will reach out.”

I found this wasn’t happening as much as I would like and after getting to know many of the types of parents I was working with, I saw two main reasons for this:

  1. Scheduling is a nightmare for many parents: Most of the parents I communicate with have multiple kids playing multiple sports and are generally running around like crazy. Not surprising thinking back to my youth playing days. It’s not that they don’t want to work with you, but they also may not be actively looking for one more thing to try and cram into their hectic lives. However, if you consistently give them times, dates and locations you are available, and one happens to work, you may be in luck. You have to initiate it though.
  2. Clients want to know you are into it: Parents are taking time away from their busy lives, paying a premium for one-on-one coaching, and entrusting their child’s development with you. I am not a parent, but I am confident I would feel infinitely more comfortable and willing to commit to a coach who is committed to their craft and committed to my child. The way to demonstrate this is by consistently letting them know that you are still coaching, and still wanting to help their child improve.

I am not advocating for you to spam every client who has ever contacted you, or selling yourself to someone who you might not have been a great fit for. However, we have all had those clients who you made great strides with for a couple sessions, their parents liked the experience, and then they ran off into the next sports season. Those are the clients who sometimes need to be nudged, and whose athletes have oftentimes made the biggest improvements. They are also the ones who take me from doing 2-3 sessions in a weekend, to 4-5 sessions.

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