The Real Key To Becoming A Successful Coach

I am a big proponent of coaches seeking to be interviewed whenever possible.

It really doesn’t matter whether it’s a podcast with only 100 listeners, a blog with 5,000 subscribers or a newspaper with millions of readers

Because by default, if somebody wants to interview you it’s because they see you as being an authority.

And one of the most critical elements of your online marketing is positioning yourself as an authority in your field/niche.

In and of itself that’s probably enough reason to say ‘yes’ to almost any interview, but there are two other benefits

Firstly, in most cases, you will be given a link back to your website and that link helps you with SEO (search engine optimization).

As a rule of thumb, and presuming the site is relevant to what you do, the more popular the site the more valuable the link is.

I took A Daring Adventure from a website with no traffic and no readers to averaging 1,500 unique visitors per day and almost 20,000 subscribers on the back of inbound links. They can have massive value.

Secondly, every interview exposes you to a new audience and gives you the opportunity to impress people who may never have heard of you before.

I have gained a lot of clients from interviews over the years – possibly even more than from guest posting.

As such, ever since I started helping coaches attract clients I have been banging the drum to never, never, turn down an interview request if it is from a site that is remotely relevant to what you do.

Then somebody had to go and spoil it.


Here Come The Scammers

I used to love LinkedIn.

Until that is, a couple of years ago.

Recently a veritable army of ‘high ticket closers’ ‘sales funnel builders’  and ‘experts’ who all purport to be able to help coaches build six-figure practices with little to no effort have run amok.

If you think you can become a successful coach without working hard, then I have a bridge in the desert to sell you.

Fortunately, most coaches realize these people are no more able to help them build a coaching practice than a blind aardvark with learning disabilities.

I wrote a post a few months ago after doing some research and finding I was no more than 2 connections away from over 1,000 people claiming to be high-ticket closers.

I have never even met a coach who needed such a ‘skill’ and if they did I could teach them how to close in an hour, maybe two.

Obviously, things are a bit tricky for these people seeing as they are offering a service that nobody wants or needs.

Training to become a high ticket closer who specializes in working with coaches is akin to training to become a clown who specializes in funerals.

So when times are tough you have to get creative and here is how you do it.

You deceive people.

It’s quite brilliant and makes life so much easier than actually having to learn skills and become proficient at something

Yesterday I got another connection request on LinkedIn from an HTC, as they all like to call themselves, only this guy had an offer for me. And here it is:

“I am interviewing coaches and professional to submit an interview report to the Success Magazine and have about 10 spots/interviews left. I read your profile and you seem like a good fit. Would you be interested in a discussion?”

Now that’s clever.

mouse trap

It’s Just A New Kind Of Mousetrap

Understandably, a few people will fall for that ruse and find themselves on a bait-and-switch call in which they end up being hard sold to.

I’ll take a wild guess that he asks some questions about success and if it becomes obvious the person isn’t tripping over clients he sounds concerned.

Then he miraculously proposes a cure for all their problems. And that solution is to hire him!

Admittedly, he never said his article had actually been accepted by Success Magazine, so that wasn’t a lie.

But, I will wager s shiny new penny that the whole, ‘I only have 10 spots’ thing was nonsense. He’ll be taking as many calls as he can because he’s in a numbers game.

He (probably) knows that if he gets 50 people on a call, maybe 5 or 6 will believe that it’s serendipity and indeed hire him.

It’s tough being honest in the online world.

Because, in the short term at least, you can see people profiting from being, at best economical with the truth, and at worst lying and manipulating.

I’m just reading a book by a well-known old-school marketing guru and he has just started to talk about the importance of indoctrinating people.

I audibly sighed.

Is that where we’re at with marketing, trying to indoctrinate people?

I know what he means in terms of changing people’s beliefs, but come on man!

Yesterday I signed up to do yet another marketing course (marketing courses to me are like shoes and cute puppies are to my wife!) with a well-known company that operates in the coaching space.

I literally hadn’t finished paying them before they were trying to upsell me to a significantly more expensive offering.

Then 15 minutes after the money left my account and I got the confirmation email from them I got another email. It said there was a problem with my order and that I had left my discount code for the upsell in my cart.


Do marketers have to stoop to such levels?

And if so, does that mean we as coaches have to do likewise

The answer to both questions is an emphatic no.

There are plenty of successful ethical marketers and lots of ethical coaches who are crushing it.

The reality is though, that unless you have a sack of spare cash to spend on hiring somebody to do it for you, you’re going to have to learn the basics of marketing.

I know, I know, that all sounds tiresome, but it is what it is.

A poor coach who understands marketing will kick the aff of a good one who doesn’t when it comes to attracting clients.

The bad news is that the coaching industry is saturated.

The good news is it’s saturated by coaches who either don’t understand marketing or don’t want to bother learning it.

Being a good coach isn’t the key to succeeding, being a good coach who understands the fundamentals of marketing is.

6 thoughts on “The Real Key To Becoming A Successful Coach”

  1. I’ve been getting all sorts of LinkedIn messages as well – not that one yet – but I don’t care at all for the bait & switch approach. You become connected and then you’re hounded to join something. This is why I came to you 4 years ago and why I still work with you. No hype, no bullshit – the truth of what it takes to build a business. And with your guidance I have been and continue to build a solid business. Thank you Tim!

  2. Great read, Tim. And an encouraging one too, with respect to the idea that you can make a perfectly fine career out of being honest and helpful, rather than deceitful. and cunning.

    Book suggestion: “Lying”, by Sam Harris. Politics way off to the side, he says that sometimes lying is the ethical choice (the classic example of someone living in 1940s Germany being asked, “Are you hiding any Jews in your basement?), but then again sometimes it’s the ethical choice to say, “I don’t think I’m the right coach for you, here are some others I would recommend.”

    Anyway, thanks for being You, man. I feel lucky to have stumbled across your path. All the best, my friend.

    • Coincidentally I’m just reading The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris in which he looks at values/ethics etc.

      And I agree entirely which is why I always prefer integrity of over honesty. Churchill lied to Parliament all the time knowing the info was getting back to Hitler. Seems fair to me!

      Thanks for the kind words good sir!


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