One of the things that I wished I hadn’t dragged my feet on was finding a business coach that was right for me. I just didn’t know where to begin and I don’t want this for you so today we’re diving into how to find a business coach that is right for your online business.
IE 82: How to Find a Business Coach for your Online Blogging Business
The topic for today’s episode came up while I was at the Haven conference recently when another blogger began to tell me about the negative experience she had with business coaching.
I was so glad that she felt like she could be honest with me about her experience, even though it wasn’t me, and I really wanted to take some of the things we talked about and that I shared with her and share them all with you so that you get the biggest bang for your buck if and when you decide to hire a business coach. Let’s jump right in and talk about the things you need to know before you hire a coach…
Are You Ready for a Business Coach?
This is the very first question you need to ask, not of the potential coach, but of yourself. I’m sure that may catch some of you by surprise but the truth is, you can hire the best coach in the world and if you aren’t ready for it, it will completely bomb.
Here are some specific questions to ask yourself as related to being ready –
- Are you ready to be pushed, even prodded, when it’s needed?
- Have you been setting goals?
- Do you have an idea of where you want your business to go?
- Do you feel like you’ve plateaued? Do you feel like you’re spinning your wheels?
- Are you confused as to the next step you should take?
If you feel stuck or aren’t sure what to do next in your business, it might be time to hire a coach.
Does the Business Coach Understand Your Industry?
The first question to ask about the coach is if they understand your industry. They don’t necessarily have to be in your niche but they must have a grip on the industry you are in.
What do I mean by industry? If you are a blogger, the coach needs to have an intimate understanding of blogging as a business. They should understand the necessity of creating stellar content, how to use social media to grow a blog, how to create products, and the importance of growing your email list.
So why does niche not matter as much? Simply because the things that work for food bloggers can also work for DIY bloggers and parenting bloggers. The same things that a lifestyle blogger does to grow her list can also work for a fashion blogger. It’s not a matter of your specific niche; it’s a matter of understanding the industry you are in and how to take your business to the next level.
Does the Business Coach have Personal Experience?
Once you find someone who has a thorough understanding of your industry, ask if they have actually put the things they teach into practice. It’s one thing to say that you know what you’re doing but it’s another thing altogether to have done it.
There are tons of “gurus” in the online space these days with plenty of “ideas” on growing your business but if they haven’t tested these ideas out on their own business and had success with them, why would you trust them to tell you how to grow your business?
I am in no way saying that they are bad people. They may have a heart of gold and truly want to help people. The issue is that they won’t have a hands-on grasp of what it takes to get you where you want to go if they haven’t done it. They may miss crucial pieces of the process and cost you growth in the long run.
Another thing that I strongly prefer is that they are still active in this process. If they have passed all of their own business off to a team, don’t hire them! Why am I so adamant about this? It’s as easy as looking at how things change in the online space. If they no longer even look at their own social media or Instagram…if they have no idea of the latest algorithms on Facebook…if they haven’t personally pinned to their Pinterest account in months…how can they tell you what works?
What Does Their Website Look Like?
If you think you’ve found the right coach, after you ask the above questions, I want you to take a look at their website. Not for how pretty it is or if it loads quickly, but for some specific things that will make a difference in your experience with them.
When you get to their site, look for links to their social media accounts and a way to contact them. If you don’t see links to these things, it is highly likely that they don’t understand the importance of social media in growing your email list.
Next, can you easily find their lead magnet? In order to grow your own email list, you have to have a high-quality lead magnet. If someone is going to be coaching you but they don’t have an easily visible lead magnet for their own site, they may not understand why you are so adamant about building and sharing your own.
Get a Referral for a Business Coach
Oh my goodness, if I hear one more person ask in a Facebook group if anybody “knows a good business coach”, I think I will scream. Do not do this! Number one, you probably don’t even know any of these people personally. And number two, you don’t know if they’ve actually worked with the person they recommend. They could be giving you an affiliate link to someone or just naming a name they’ve heard.
When you are ready for a referral, get it from another blogger that you know, have worked with, or that you know is where you want to be with your own blog. Is there a blogger that you look up to and trust? Ask them for advice. When I got ready to hire a coach, I reached out to Kate Ahl of Simple Pin Media. I knew Kate already, I admired what she has done with her business, and I knew I could trust what she told me.
Obviously, a lot depends on what you can afford to pay for a coach and what you are trying to accomplish, so keep that in mind when you are deciding who to ask for the referral. You’re also looking for someone who can commit to a 3-6 month coaching relationship. You will not see the growth you want by doing one coaching call with someone. You need that ongoing relationship in order to get where you want to go.
Does the Business Coach Offer a Discovery Call?
A discovery call simply means that you have the chance to chat with them, on the phone or through an online system like Skype, for 15-30 minutes so that you can decide if they are right for what you want to accomplish.
You can learn a lot about a person by talking to them for 15 minutes. Will they be able to push you as much as you need pushing? Are they too gentle or are they the right amount of tough for your personality? What kind of questions do they ask you during the call? Do you feel like they have a firm grasp on what you want to accomplish?
Follow Prospective Business Coach
If you want an easy way to find out about a person before you talk to them or ask someone for a referral…if you want to narrow the field of possible coaches before deciding on one…the easiest way to do that is to follow a few.
Gather some names and follow them on social media. Sign up for their email lists. Then sit back and read. How do they engage with their email list? Are they professional in the way they write to their list? Do they offer valuable content to their audience for free? Are you gaining helpful knowledge from their emails and their social media content?
Finally… what is the cost of the Business Coach?
Hiring a business coach for a one-on-one, long-term relationship will likely be the most money you have spent to date on your business. It can feel scary, I get it. When I hired my coach, it was the most money I had spent in a very long time.
I didn’t have to worry about where the money was going to come from; I knew our budget had the money and that I could be using it to move my business forward. Please be sure that you don’t over-stress yourself by using money you can’t afford to use. This will only serve to set you back, not move you forward.
If you are looking for a business coach, I would love for you to take a look at what I offer as a coach. Let’s chat and see if I might be a good fit for you! I offer both part-time and full-time coaching options. Feel free to reach out today and let’s get your business on a path to growth.
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