on 29 October 2004
Fairley & Stout will not teach you how to go about becoming an accredited coach or how to develop the sorts of skills from which you hope to earn a living: these you will have to learn elsewhere. However, once you feel confident enough to set up your own business, this book will become an invaluable source of ideas and information. Fairley & Stout focus on that one strategic dimension which many small businesses skimp upon ... Marketing!
If you are setting up your own business, you will need to demonstrate your competence in your chosen profession - you will need to offer quality goods and services. But building a better mousetrap is never enough. To succeed in business, you have to sell, sell, sell. This may be an alien concept for anyone coming to coaching from, say, counselling, social work, or psychology. Nevertheless, marketing may be the lynchpin in your success or failure.
Fairley & Stout offer an excellent introduction to the arts and science (or is it witchcraft) of marketing. They focus on the specific challenge and tasks of marketing a professional coaching business - the lessons could equally apply to anyone setting up in private practice as a therapist or counsellor - making a primary distinction between personal coaching and executive coaching. They do tend to concentrate on executive coaching - where there is potentially more money - but the lessons are well delivered and highly relevant.
The authors take you, step by step, through the challenges of marketing your business. Note the emphasis on 'challenge' - no one in coaching talks of problems! They offer stimulating and coherent advice, page after page.
Well-written, highly accessible, the information is presented in logical fashion, but never as a blueprint. Working in an arena where you will be required to motivate and inspire, Fairley & Stout do an excellent job of emphasising that coaching is a creative business. They offer sound starter advice ... leaving you the scope to hone your skills by creating and re-creating different and better means of overcoming the challenges you will face. Creatively stimulating, this book should tickle your imagination and motivate you to want to succeed.
Of course, the major lesson delivered by the book is that it will be hard work. The authors are realists. You will have to be proactive, you will have to go out there and sell yourself and your services, but they do provide you with a first-class starting block. Excellent book, limited only by its concentration on American rules and regulations ... or maybe this is another challenge, inviting you to translate it into local knowledge.
on 30 January 2008
A good resource for coaches or people considering developing a coaching practice; smart tips for budgeting, billing, building a client base, and expressing your value in terms of results, not just the services you offer. Useful and practical.
on 2 March 2010
Many people who want to enter the world of coaching recognize the importance of acquiring the right skills and abilities, together with becoming accredited. However, this accreditation does not mean that you have the skills to market your services and that is the gap this book fills.
Fairley & Stout deal very effectively with how to identify your target market, dependent upon which style of coaching you undertake. It is full of great practical tips and advice like how to build a client base and how, in these times of reduced learning and development budgets, to demonstrate a return on investment for your prospective clients. They do not pretend that the process is easy and make it clear, throughout the book, that your level of success will depend on your level of effort.
For any coach who is intending to start their own business this book will prove invaluable and, from my experience, is one that you will keep revisiting.