This year’s Coach The Life Coach survey had the most coaches partake than ever with 111 respondents.
A huge thanks to those of you who took the time to offer feedback and good luck in the draw on Monday to see if you got the free coaching.
The results are fascinating and give some interesting insight into the life coaching industry as it stands today.
Rather than just give you a bunch of random stats I’ve given my take on what I think they mean in the grander scheme of things.
But, you’d better buckle up because things are about to get bumpy 😉
Coach The Life Coach Survey Results
Where do you live?
With previous surveys over 60% of coaches were in the US, but since I moved back to the UK I’ve seen a significant shift in subscribers and followers to Europe
This trend is likely to continue and is almost entirely down to me now having a UK IP address rather than any statistical change.
Google and Facebook know where I am and what I’m up to and will treat me accordingly.
Whereas it’s not at all impossible to attract clients from outside the country you live in, it’s more difficult and worth bearing in mind for any of you moving territories.
How serious are you?
It’s interesting to know that nothing will stop over half of the coaches from succeeding.
But, it’s a little bit like the stat that suggests over 90% of people think they are an above-average driver, the maths just doesn’t stack up.
The reality is, most coaches don’t manage to succeed in building a profitable practice.
Sorry if that’s a body blow to you.
There are things that can stop you because there are always things that can stop anybody in life.
Knowing that, means you’re far more likely to look for things that can potentially trip you up and plan for them.
You’re far more likely to succeed if you know you can fail.
Are you a full-time coach?
Only eight coaches from 111 had enough paying clients.
Three of those had enough because they had another job and another three were ex-clients of mine – just sayin’ 😉
That is worrying, especially when so many coaches say nothing will stop them.
I know a lot of the coaches who took the survey are new, or relatively new.
I also realise that coaches fighting back clients with a pointy stick are less likely to be reading my newsletter or in my Facebook group unless they’re clients.
So, the figures may be somewhat skewed.
But, if you’re one of the 103, that should make you take stock and get serious.
What’s a client worth to you?
Two things are concerning with these responses, although both are easily remedied.
Firstly, that 12 coaches had never stopped to figure out what a client is worth to them.
If you don’t know how much a client is worth, how do you know how many you need to meet your financial needs?
And how do you know how many leads you need, or what you can afford to pay to attract those leads in terms of advertising or hiring your own coach?
Secondly, too many coaches are charging waaaaay too little.
Under £1,000 (or the equivalent such as $ or €) never mind £500, will pitch you in with every coach selling on price.
You’re not Walmart or Aldi.
Figure out what makes you unique from a coaching perspective and what value you can deliver.
Then sell your services based on that value.
I sell myself based on almost 18 years of coaching experience, another 20 years of sales experience and a fabulous ability to say fuck a lot.
The latter may not be that useful, but the former two are, if not unique, very rare in our industry.
The more you stand out the more people will want to work with you.
What are your marketing skills like?
Two coaches out of the 111 feel they are excellent at marketing and one of those isn’t even coaching yet, so it’s really one.
The biggest indicator of your likely success isn’t your ability to coach but your ability to market yourself.
It’s not even close.
If you’re in the group who said nothing will stop you from making it as a coach and you don’t learn marketing then let me tell you a secret, something is about to stop you.
Either learn on your own, hire a coach like me to teach/help you, or outsource it.
There’s no other route.
Have you hired your own coach?
In hindsight, I wish I’d asked a follow-up question for people saying they’d no intention of hiring a coach, why the fuck not?
I get people wanting to but not being able to afford it, but I really don’t get the reason for not even wanting to when you want to be a coach.
Hiring a coach speeds up the success process and it also makes you look more credible.
To the 57 of you who have put your hand in your pocket to hire a coach, well done!
How much have you spent on coaching?
16 coaches have spent over £5,000 on coaches and a further 22 over £2,000 – nice one!
About half have paid less than £500.
I have spent about $25,000 and continue to spend $1,000 every month
Where do you get marketing help from?
This worries me, a lot.
The two things I think are the most important elements for a coach to utilise (other than hiring a competent coach) is books/audiobooks and courses.
Less than 45% of respondents sign up for courses and less than 40% read books.
I read about one book per week on marketing and do several courses per year.
The reason I like books so much, especially books that have gone through the publishing process, is that they have also gone through a level of quality control.
Yes, books sometimes suck or be wrong, but they are less likely to be wrong than a random Tweet or Facebook post.
One of my biggest headaches with the Coach the Life Coach Facebook Group is keeping an eye out for bad advice.
I don’t want any coach reading something that’s objectively wrong in my group and then implementing or disseminating it, because it reflects poorly in me.
I have seen terrible advice given (almost always in good faith) in groups or on social media go unchallenged.
If you’re using social, just be careful and follow people who know their shit.
The same goes for newsletters, blogs and podcasts.
Some are brilliant, some are terrible.
What about the Coach the Life Coach newsletter?
I’m glad that I’m adding value with 64% of coaches ranking my newsletter 8 or higher out of 10.
And thanks for the laugh one person (sadly anonymously) gave me who said it was shit and still read each one!
The most useful information for me, however, may also help you.
I gave people the opportunity to tell me how I could make it better and something I wasn’t expecting cropped up.
About 25% of coaches commented on it getting too technical, and another quarter that I didn’t drill down enough.
Because of that, I intend when I relaunch the site to offer you the opportunity to be on one of two lists.
There will be one list for newbies who want the basics and another for more advanced coaches who want to take it to the next level.
Of course, you can be on both if you want to.
How long are you prepared to spend on your marketing each week?
The coaching industry is probably the most competitive on the planet not called porn.
There are hundreds of thousands of coaches worldwide and not enough people searching for them.
Like most industries, the people who will rise to the top will be those who are best at marketing themselves.
Marketing takes time and patience.
Five hours per week is not enough, yet that was what about 20% of coaches were spending.
Over half were spending 10 hours per week or less.
I honestly doubt 10 hours is sufficient, but it may be if you’re really good at marketing and aren’t in a hurry to generate clients.
If you consider yourself a professional coach then that should be reflected in how you run your business as well as how you coach.
What is your biggest problem as a coach?
This final question threw up a bunch of different responses with one major and unsurprising theme, a lack of clients.
A couple of people were procrastinating, two lacked confidence in their coaching ability and a handful were nervous about putting themselves out there.
But finding a niche, SEO, sales and just getting clients, in general, kept coming up again and again
And I’m not surprised because it aligns with what I see every day with coaches online.
I feel bad if you are struggling as a coach because I’ve been where you are now and it fucking sucks!
But, the good news is, I highly doubt anybody who filled in this survey is incapable of building a successful coaching practice.
I doubt some have necessary the time, others the resolve and /or resources, and others the belief, but that’s not the same thing at all.