How to Establish Credibility as a Business Coach
As the old adages goes, “reputation is everything”. Your reputation as a credible and trusted mentor will supersede everything.
Invest in yourself
Obviously your qualifications, experience and credentials will set the tone. People feel reassured when they know they are working with someone who has the knowledge and experience to guide them in navigating the challenges they face in their business. Nowadays, there is a business coach around almost every corner. Some have studied, some haven’t. Some have started and raised successful businesses, some haven’t. Some have a strong business background, some haven’t. Some are qualified to do what they do, other quite simply are not. You want to be the business coach who has, who does, who is! So, invest in yourself. Make sure that you have qualifications behind your name and continually strive towards growing your list of credentials. You can never assume that you know everything or stop learning. If you are just starting out, get professional training, enlist a coach or a mentor, and network with industry thought leaders. Becoming part of the ActionCOACH family means you will get the right training and credentials. It will also connect you to a global community of professionally certified experts who provide tremendous support and mentorship.
The best way to grow your credibility with clients is to help them resolve their issues as quickly and effectively as possible. To do this, you have to be accessible, visible and there for them. This is at the very core of building their trust in you. Be consistent, be available, be empathetic, and always focus on adding value.
Establish a voice
Building your brand as a business coach means establishing a voice. In this digital, highly connected age, people will take to the internet to research you before they hire you. They will look for success stories and testimonials online and they will also speak to other people about their experiences with you on forums and social media. Use your social media platforms to share your knowledge and insights. Basically, you must have an online presence. Regularly share posts that demonstrate that you know your stuff. If you have a website or use LinkedIn, use these channels to share success stories and case studies about your clients. Build a list of testimonials and case studies. If you are just starting out, share stories of your own experiences in business. Whether you have successful started and run your own business or you have achieved successes with projects in your career that could help showcase your experience, share your stories. Make sure that everything you put into cyber space is aligned with your brand, your values and who you are. Regularly engaging online with well planned and insightful messages will help you to establish yourself as a leader in your field.
Many coaches gain credibility, experience and connections by volunteering in their industry or communities. Volunteering as a speaker, mentor or guide will make you more visible while enhancing your expertise and strengthening your network of contacts. Think about how you can use your knowledge and expertise with nonprofits, colleges and universities, and other organisations that align with your personal passions. Speaking at corporate events, roundtables and forums is another great way to bolster your profile as a business coach. Within ActionCOACH, we have Coaching for a Cause, where coaches are encouraged to give back to charities and community initiatives of their choice.
In all of your dealings, strive for genuineness and authenticity. Your clients must feel like you genuinely understand what they are dealing with, that you are real and as we have said before, there for them. Be prepared to walk alongside your clients to empathetically support them in achieving what they might otherwise believe is unattainable. They must never feel like you are just in it for the money.
Build a track record
As we have discussed, it is important to build and share success stories and testimonials. These do not have to be specifically related to your business pursuits. Many successful coaches, by their very nature, have stories to tell of their achievements in other spheres including sporting and personal pursuits. Their diligence and commitment to these crafts and pursuits is a great indicator of their commitment, dedication and passion. If you are a goal setter and a go getter in whatever your passion might be, tell your story because it is part of your history and part of what shapes you. It is your track record.
Join a coaching network
By joining an established and recognised coaching franchise or network you get the value and credibility that comes with it. The more prominent the brand you are associated with, the greater the gains will be in terms of exposure and credibility. ActionCOACH is the world’s number one business coaching franchise with more than 25 years of experience. When you become an ActionCOACH, you are instantly part of an established, credible and trusted community of business coaching experts. The training is unparalleled, the ongoing support is unmatched and the access to the library of ActionCOACH’s proven systems and process will put you ahead of the competition.