Picture this: You’re a professional coach with a dynamic niche. Over the past five years, you have worked so hard to develop a substantial client base; having been a keynote speaker for live speaking engagements, traveled abroad to expand your horizons, and even started building a team to help grow your business. You work daily with small companies, community leaders, and corporate executives. Before heading off to bed, you sealed the deal to deliver six onsite training sessions to a new client. The next morning you receive a call to inform you your previously booked engagement has been canceled until further notice due to a pandemic. And this starts an avalanche of canceled meetings scheduled to occur over the next two weeks. Reality begins to sink in; you are facing unprecedented times!
Was this you, Coach? This time, it was a global pandemic that threw business for a loop. Was this the first time you ever experienced a challenge that caught you off guard and unprepared to respond? You’re not alone!
Coaching professionals throughout the industry experienced the same challenges you faced when life as we all knew it shifted. It brought about a learning experience and a time of growth no one had experienced or prepared for. Coaches across the globe have banned together, helping each other learn how they could pivot their businesses to adapt.
The following are four insights into some shifts that helped many rapidly move from cancellations to bookings, even during the pandemic:
Many coaches quickly began utilizing virtual meeting platforms to conduct team meetings, meet with clients one-on-one, and record and present content. Some had technical challenges as this approach was new for them and did not have the equipment readily available. A learning curve had begun! The result? Capability - that gets easily transferred to your clients, trying to figure out how to work remotely. Many coaches are now offering their clients services on running remote teams and utilizing online platforms for their coaching business.
Many coaches created virtual events and groups to network, train, teach, and coach. This avenue provided multiple options for paid access or complimentary access to coaching expertise while building relationships and networks. The unprecedented times brought new topics and goals to coach on, ranging from managing stress to boosting sales in a quarantined world. There are endless opportunities to present yourself and your coaching business virtually, and you can do as much or as little as you want, on your own time, and from the comfort of your own home! The result? Flexibility. Coaches now have multiple avenues and topics to create income they previously did not consider.
Many coaches seized the opportunity by utilizing their time at home and online to complete new online training in Managing Stress or certifications in DISC which would help them understand human behavior and guide positive change. The result? Knowledge! Many coaches are now better equipped to serve their client base despite the pandemic’s added stressors and can operate in more challenging environments due to increased knowledge and resiliency.
With the transition to the virtual office, for coaches, every virtual meeting, phone call, and e-mail was critical to developing and maintaining a support network that also served as a built-in referral network. The result? Support and new prospecting opportunities. Many coaches have learned how to prospect in a global environment, successfully remaining in business in the face of adversity.
While not all-inclusive, the above were critical moves many coaches made towards maintaining their coaching business. As a coach or consultant, the ability to remain teachable and flexible is important. Long-term success depends on how you equip and position yourself today.
Don’t fear changing your business model to adapt to the current state of events.