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How networking can help in the coaching industry

Taking on the responsibility of managing a business can sometimes feel overwhelming. Tasks feel infinite, and managing challenges can sometimes bring out uncertainty and self-doubt.

These hurdles are the calling cards of business coaches, who come in and listen, observe, support, and ultimately offer guidance on how to achieve goals.

With a plethora of businesses being launched in recent years, the coaching industry has grown exponentially. According to Luisa Zhou, a business mentor and teacher for new entrepreneurs, there are currently over 60,000 business coaching organisations in the US alone. This figure implies that there is a rising need to differentiate and not be “just another brick in the wall”. The key to this is networking, as networking grants access to new relationships, new ideas, and potentially new clients.

Competition in the business coaching industry is becoming more aggressive, and coaching organisations typically share similar qualifications and expertise in their respective fields. It is paramount to stand out, and here’s how you can achieve that through networking.

The benefits of networking

Networking opens doors to opportunities for collaboration with other coaches and experts, exposure to new ideas and best practices within the industry, and ultimately increases the moments you have to develop a unique personal brand. Making time to connect with people shows them who you are and how you can relate with them. Coaching is a key element in the people business, and networking is all about forging connections that will not only contribute to your success but enables you to reciprocate and contribute to the success of others as well.

In your networking journey, you may discover business coaches with similar goals with you and inspire collaboration. For example, an Apple podcast by Jennifer McGurk brings together business coaches that work with healthcare professionals to share insights on how they started their careers, their challenges and opportunities, and the future of their industry. 

Initiating collaborations with like-minded business coaches can create fruitful opportunities to share more about yourself and your experience, enabling professionals to get to know you better and potentially approach you. Reach out to professionals in your industry, it may lead you to new collaborative ventures that can help you stand out as someone who is capable of contributing to the success of others, as well as your own.

One key factor in networking and creating a personal brand is expanding your intellectual horizons. This is especially true when you are guiding entrepreneurs and business owners on their path to success. Networking done right can introduce you to people who may likely differ in the way you think, offering new insights and perspectives. 

Founder and CEO of Startup Professionals, Martin Zwilling, states that “if you limit your relationships in business to people who are just like you, your business potential is severely limited… Only by understanding their differences can you fully appreciate what others bring to the table, even if it is contrary to your view.”

Learning from people who differ from us is a crucial skill that can help us display our humility in learning something new, as well as being someone who can share learning processes with others.

Setting a strategy that fits you

Forging new relationships and extending your intellectual horizons are critical to a successful network. Strategies you can include in your networking efforts involve attending industry events, joining professional networks, and leveraging the reach granted by social media platforms and online communities.

Paul Axtell, corporate trainer and author, expresses that “in-person meetings provide a sense of intimacy, connection, and empathy that is difficult to replicate via video.” Start more meaningful conversations and identify elements that matter to your newly formed contacts. My conversation with Robin Dunbar, renowned evolutionary psychologist and anthropologist, shows the value of in-person meetings and how they contribute to a better understanding of the people you connect with.

When looking to grow your knowledge base to connect with professionals beyond your industry, peer groups are a great avenue for not only learning new skills or accessing critical information, but also for displaying your expertise.

The CEO of Maryland’s Better Business Bureau, Angie Barnett, discussed the power of peer groups for CEOs, however, I would like to argue that peer groups offer benefits for business coaches as well. Being a part of a peer group as a coach is telling of your credibility which in-turn helps you stand-out even further. Displaying your capacity for reciprocation is best done by showing, rather than telling, and a peer group is an excellent way to achieve that.

In the context of creating a unique personal brand, networking on social media platforms is a very effective method of doing so. According to Oberlo, there are more than 4.59 billion people using social media, about 58 per cent of the global population. Essentially, you are increasing your opportunity to interact with like-minded people, and those who are in need of your services.

Share your thoughts through blogs, comment on people’s posts, and document your processes to enable others to feel closer to you and your values. Your personal brand is key to creating relatability and trust, using social media platforms to amplify your reach.

Co-founder of Y Not You Media, Tony Pec, explains that “building a brand on social media is like having a sales team work for you 24/7/365. As your brand gets established online, new people will stumble upon it ofer time to learn about what you offer.” View social media as a tool to meet and attract new like-minded connections that you can nurture.

When you are competing in a saturated market, your main goal is to differentiate yourself and to start developing your personal brand. Meeting with people in person creates critical opportunities to form relationships based on relatability and trust, while displaying your values and who you truly are, beyond your title as a coach. By joining peer groups, you give yourself the chance to learn something new, and also contribute your knowledge and expertise to a group of credible and respected professionals, which shows others how valuable your insights and experience are. 

Amplify the reach of your personal brand through social media platforms, where you can share your thoughts, your projects, passions, and in-turn form a strong sense of relatability with prospective clients and partners. Networking is key to developing your personal brand as a coach, as it builds on your expertise in the people business and creates windows of opportunity for you to shine among competitors.

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Yiannis Gavrielides

Yiannis Gavrielides

Yiannis Gavrielides is the co-founder and CEO of Covve, helping professionals grow and nurture their contact network. He actively supports entrepreneurship as a partner at Invelopment Partners.

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