How to Position Your Coaching Business to Succeed in Your Market
Succeeding in business does not happen by chance. It takes planning and investment of resources. There’s no successful business person I know that achieved success by accident. They pushed through boundaries to be the best at what they do. They knew what they wanted and positioned themselves to get it.
One of the best stories I’ve read in the Bible is about Zaccheus. He needed to get Jesus’ attention but had some challenges. He was short, so it was difficult for Jesus to see. He could press through the crowd either.
So, what did he do?
He anticipated where Jesus was going and made his way there. He didn’t only get there before Jesus, he climbed a tree. This was to ensure Jesus saw him. He positioned himself to succeed in his quest.
A lot of coaches are struggling in business today. This is because they don’t know how to position their business to succeed. They run in circles, doing stuff that isn’t working. They end up worn out and frustrated. They can’t raise their head in the crowded market.
The coaching industry is a crowded market. There are so many coaches offering so many services. Your ideal client is the Jesus that the crowd of coaches is looking for. The fact that they are your ideal clients makes no difference. Other coaching businesses are also making moves to get them. So, like Zaccheus, you need to position your business well.
When you position your business to succeed, it stands out from the competition. Your ideal clients see you and come to you regardless of the competition. Even when you are charging high prices, they don’t mind. They come to you because you have positioned your business well in your market.
Let’s hear what the experts have to say about market positioning.
The Business Dictionary defined market positioning as:
“An effort to influence consumer perception of a brand or product. This is in relation to the perception of competing brands or products. Its aim is to occupy a clear and unique position of advantage in the consumer’s mind.”
From the definition, it means that there are a plethora of businesses wooing your ideal client. If you must succeed, you have to make efforts to get them attracted to your services. You have to take a unique position of advantage, like our friend Zaccheus.
The Economic Times also defined market positioning as:
“Where your product or service stands in relation to similar products and services. This is both in the marketplace as well as the mind of the consumer.”
They went on to identify certain benefits of market positioning as:
- It gives a product or service a unique selling proposition.
- It makes the customer see a distinct benefit out of the product or service.
- It stands a business out of the competition.
- It confers the business the ability to charge higher prices.
All the benefits mentioned are the ingredients of a successful business. So having a great market position is very essential for you to succeed as a coach.
Knowing the “what” and “why” is easy. The hard nut to crack is the “how”. So, let me show you how you can position your coaching business to succeed in your market.
1. Know Where Your Business is Right Now
This may sound like a walk in the park. Or, you may see it as unnecessary. But hey, this is a crucial step in charting the course for success.
Having a full picture of where your business stands can be challenging. It can also take time. This is because there are so many factors to analyze. These factors give a full insight on how your business is performing.
You have to know the exact place you are in business. It is possible you’ve been in the coaching business for five years, but your business is still at startup. You need to be honest with yourself when doing this. There’s no need for no over-estimations or under-estimation. This is not about impressing investors.
Well, this kind of internal scrutiny gets better results in big businesses and corporations. This is because there are external bodies like the Board of Directors or Shareholders, who demand accountability. They always want to be sure their investment is going on well.
Most coaching businesses don’t have this kind of set-up. There is neither Board of Directors nor Shareholders. This means they have to be true to themselves.
In evaluating your business, the key things you want to find out are:
- The perceived value of your services by ideal clients.
- The effectiveness of your marketing.
- Your sales performance – conversion rate.
Are you getting as many clients as you desire?
Are leads leaving your sales funnel too often?
What is your conversion rate like?
The right answers to these questions help you. You get to know where your business stands with regards to marketing and sales.
Another way is to get people’s opinion of your business. You could do a survey of existing clients to get feedback from them.
Your clients’ perspective is important. How do they see your services? This gives you a picture of the perceived value from your existing clients.
I have this friend, Shirley. Shirley is a coach who helps career people decide on a life insurance plan that suits them. To her, she was helping her clients make better life insurance decisions. One day, she got an email from one of her clients that read:
Thank you for helping me with that insurance stuff. I can sleep well knowing that my kids get to survive when I’m gone.”
That email gave her a whole new perspective of her coaching business. She discovered that her opinion was different from her client’s perspective of the service she received. She got a better understanding of the value her clients get.
The current state of your business may be good or bad. In any case, you should know. Knowing where you are, prepares you to take steps leading to where you want to be.
Like our dear Zaccheus, he knew his current state. He was short and the crowd was overwhelming. He realized that in his current state, he would not succeed in his mission. So, he decided to do something to help his ambitions.
2. Envisage Where You Want Your Business to Be
You have done a great job figuring out where your business is now. It is possible that it’s on the right track. It’s also possible that it is performing below expectations. Whatever be the case, it’s good that you know the exact position of your business. The next thing is to figure out where you want it to go.
This is where you specify what success means to you. Truth is, success means different things to different people.
Whatever spectacle you look at it with, success in coaching business is a function of value. It’s about having clients that you get results for on a consistent basis. So you have to see it to achieve it.
For you, it may be about offering more valuable services. But, you need to be careful so as not to appear as a generalist. The extra services should be a complement to the services you offer. They should all be a part of your coaching program.
Again, the new services should address the current pain points of your ideal clients. This makes your offering more valuable and attractive to them. It increases the advantage you have over the competition. Your market position is further solidified.
You can also look in the direction of a merger with smaller coaching businesses. You could be the savior of a struggling coaching business. You can leverage the expertise of the coach you’re merging with to give your business a stronger market position.
I advise caution here, though. Your rate of achieving success increases when you merge. But, if you don’t thread with caution, it can be the Waterloo of your business. You want to be sure you are up for it before you head on.
Bottom Line: It is important you have a clear picture of where you want to take your business. It is that picture that will inform the actions to take. With a clear picture, you can always know if you are on the right track to success.
3. Implement Strategies That Positions Your Business to Succeed
Let me go back to our old friend, Zaccheus for the last time.
He did something to succeed. He located where Jesus would be and outran the crowd to get there. He didn’t stay and wait; he used the tree to gain an advantage. He made sure that Jesus would see him on arrival.
Positioning your business for success is not about a long list of wishes. No genie can catapult you to business success. You have to take the necessary actions that guarantee success. Success requires work. It needs action.
Everything you do to succeed as a coach revolves around three major things:
- The Value You Offer: You have to be consistent in delivering value. This means you are never disconnected from your ideal clients. You should always be in tune with their pain points and current needs. You should also refine your methods to align with client needs. In the end, the success of your business depends on it.
- Your Marketing Strategies: If you are still depending on the obsolete ways of marketing, then you’re in big trouble. You need to know where your ideal clients are always. Outbound marketing will waste your time. You even get to put in tons of money only to get little or no results. Targeted ads are the most effective in putting you in front of your ideal clients. If you have to climb a tree like Zaccheus, do. Make sure your marketing brings the right leads into your sales funnel. You are at liberty to tweak your marketing strategies to deliver great results.
- Leverage the Deficiencies of Your Competition: It’s okay to snoop into your competition to find a hole in their services. Don’t get sanctimonious; they might be doing the same to you right now. What makes your service unique is what it has that the competition doesn’t. If you are a business coach, what are the gaps in business coaching that your competition is missing? Finding and implementing them in your business gives you a strong market position.
Bottom line: Knowing what to do is great. But, doing what you know leads to success.
It’s Time to Take Position…
Success is waiting for you in your market. And guess what, you have all it takes to succeed. You have the talent, the wisdom, the passion, you name it. Everything you need to succeed is right within you. There’s only one thing you need to do now: Take Position!
Remember, for you to take position, you need to:
- Know where your business is right now.
- Envisage where you want your business to be.
- Implement strategies that will position your business to succeed.
I know you need this, but your challenge is how to implement it in your business. Don’t worry; we have a business strategist on our team waiting to help you.
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