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I'm going to make a prediction: Coaching is going to be The Next Big Thing. Personal coaching, corporate coaching, and their spinoffs will become increasingly popular in the next few years.
You can benefit marketing-wise from studying the coaching approach, methodology, and principles contained in the coaching model:
Coaches work mainly on the phone and via the internet and fax machine. They have regular contact with their clients in one-on-one phone sessions, but they also use telecourses for both marketing and coaching. They may provide free telecourses that are an overview of coaching principles and methodology and for-a-fee-telecourses focusing on each of the principles. Coach U, where one studies to become a coach, is a two year program taught entirely by telecourse.
Here's how a telecourse works: The teacher/leader buys a time slot (generally an hour in length) on a "bridge line" from a company that also may list the class on its web site and handle payment and registrations. The student is sent, by email, the phone number for the class and teleclass instructions (no cell phones, background noise, etc.). At precisely the time of the class all students call in and are immediately in a virtual room with all other students and the teacher.
Teleclasses are at the same time intimate, close groups and private and protected, in that one can feel a part of a private conversation in a small group of people, yet no one can be seen at all, and participation is voluntary. It's a totally new way of learning and interacting, requiring skills and approach that differ from those employed in a regular face-to-face classroom environment. Fortunately, you can take a telecourse on how to conduct telecourses.Marketing possibilities:
Writers can conduct telecourses from almost anywhere on the subjects of their books, forthcoming books, and projected books. One's books are the natural texts to use as a reference for such classes. Publishers can buy blocks of time on a bridge line, set up a web site presence for all their participating authors, and link to the authors' products and personal web sites. Service providers can use telecourses to serve their clients and reach prospective clients. The telecourse is a natural extension of one's web site. As is the other favorite of coaches, the email newsletter.Email Newsletters
Coaches' newsletters are brief, usually sent weekly, and contain a central "Tip" consisting of a short, practical, inspiring and encouraging essay based on one of the principles of coaching a la Thomas P. Leonard, the Grandpappy of the coaching world. Material in his book, The Portable Coach is the basis of it all. The newsletters also market telecourses and upcoming appearances by the owner, products, and web sites.Marketing possibilities:
Everyone online could produce one of these brief, useful newsletters, adapting form and content to their own book(s), products and/or services. I suggest you subscribe to at least two and innovate from them for your own purposes.Coaching Books as Models
Good coaching books are different. They are hybrids, laid out in short segments, almost like meditation books, with reference material at the end of each chapter or embedded within it. They are upbeat, helpful, and precise as well as general in application. They assign tasks. They approach the written page as though it were a page in a web site, with the references serving as links to other books, organizations, or actual web sites.
We can study effective and successful coaching books for style and design, and also for the way content is provided in sequence yet satisfyingly readable in short bits wherever one dips into the book. One can book surf in the pages of the best coaching books.Coaching Book Examples:
The chief coaching principle is Attraction, which is simply that it's easier and more rewarding to attract good things to yourself than it is to chase them. The second major principle is Extreme Self Care, which means that if you take extremely good care of yourself you will both free up your personal megabytes for the good things you are going to attract, and do only what you love and what you're good at, outsourcing everything else.Marketing possibilities:
Design and present your products and services in harmony with coaching principles and you will attract good things to yourself too, namely customers who find the coach philosophy attractive to them.Watch Out Though
Because coaching is based on one-on-one interaction, with integrity as a central part of the principles it teaches, it's particularly important to be honorable and sincere in your dealings with customers and clients. One has to walk one's talk to make the coach model work as a marketing approach. If you engage in quick and dirty or slipshod, or fake enthusiasm, it will come back to bite you. I've noticed that the human voice is particularly revealing on the phone. Fake enthusiasm in the teacher is pretty obvious to the listener in a teleclass and will have an opposite effect to the one desired.
I had an experience that made me realize how vulnerable to discovery shady dealers are online. I was enjoying some trial coaching with a coach who didn't seem quite the best match for me, but I was getting good stuff, and mostly enjoying our sessions.
The coach (who shall remain nameless) asked me repeatedly to share any of my ideas for improvement of the service, web site, or anything at all about the company she represented. I, asking if she was sure she wanted me to do that, was told she really did, so I would from time to time tell her something I'd noticed or thought of. She always profusely expressed her appreciation for any nuggets I shared. But, she inadvertently forwarded to me a string of email correspondence that had gone back and forth between her and her boss--about me! What I discovered was that she had been misrepresenting me as a terribly critical client, probably afraid she wasn't doing a good job with me--making me look bad to make herself look good.
Coaching's communication techniques make possible opportunities for interaction with one's clients and customers that were unknown previously. But it also makes possible ways to turn off clients and customers, permanently, that weren't possible before either.Who's Doing It
Oprah Winfrey. Watch her show, go to her web site, and, particularly her magazine O for how to use the coaching model in marketing. Not every ad in the magazine fits the model, but the magazine is produced and presented in accordance with a coaching approach. Martha Stewart is another good example to study.Conclusion:
There is a growing aversion to what I call "the David Letterman Syndrome," a pervasively cynical, derisive response to just about everything. People want something to feel good about. They aren't as interested in examining their imperfections as they once were. Now they want to get on with the good stuff. It's time for a new model, and coaching is it.
Coaching facilitates change and personal evolution without the disadvantages of the medical model most therapy is based on. Most people aren't sick, they aren't broken, they just want to do better, be happy, and use and develop what they have, and get more good stuff and opportunities. For most personal change, the coaching model is far better than the therapy model it supersedes. We can use principles, techniques, and expertise from coaching to write, design, produce, and market our books and services to a growing number of people who find coaching satisfying and effective.
Where to learn more:http://www.teleclass4U.com
Learn how to conduct telecourses. Brian Van Arsdale is highly recommended as a leader/teacher. You can also buy time on a bridge line for your own telecourse here, and have it listed on their site.http://www.teleclass.com
Learn how, take teleclasses on other subjects, list your own telecourses, rent a bridge line.http://www.lifecoach.com
Web site for Talane's Coaching Company, which uses both teleclasses and email newsletters effectively. Judy Lowry is recommended as a good teleclass leader/teacher example.http://www.cherylrichardson.com
Subscribe to her email newsletter for an example of how to do newsletters, she also has a free teleclass.http://www.coachU.com
Coach training, plus a large referral database for coaches with links to their web sites and opportunities to subscribe to their email newsletters, most of them free.
Copyright Patricia Gundry 2001. This report may be freely shared with others providing it is shared in its entirety, including all author contact and copyright information. It may not be posted on a web site or used in a money making venture without the author's permission.Pat Gundry
James A. Cox
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