Why Do So Many Coaches Hate Marketing?

I would be rich beyond belief if I had a dollar for every time I heard a coach say, “I hate marketing”.

This phrase has come out of the mouths of many of the students I teach at the Co-Active Training Institute, a lot of coaches who approach me for help with their businesses and, more often than you might imagine, coaches who are successful and have been at this a long time.

The sentiment is surprising to me, and I don’t think it’s true. It is one of those blanket statements that cover a lot of ground and, in doing so, misses the main point.

Marketing, at its most basic, is simply letting people know what you do

Where the HATE comes in, I believe, is in not understanding this, and a few other simple things I am going to lay out here.

So, we will use the coaching skill of making distinctions to break this down and uncover the different parts of marketing. Always good to throw in some coaching skills to make understanding the world — and in this case marketing — easier!

Let’s look at a simple list of the three main activities of marketing:

  1. Let people know what you offer
  2. Learn who they are, what they want, and what they long for
  3. Discover how to meet them where they are and communicate the benefits of your coaching.

A big aspect is helping people see that what you offer is valuable to them. This is where the HATE often comes into play.

Coaches collapse the valuable part with their own identity. What stirs up the saboteur crap for sure is thinking that marketing is about them and their own personal value, or even the value of their particular coaching.

It’s not about you — the point of marketing is to find the value you offer other people and let them know the huge benefits THEY will get from coaching. 

Can you see this is a very different perspective from which to view marketing? 

Can you FEEL the difference?

You let people know what you offer and how it will benefit them. Then you find out if they think it would be helpful to them. This can seem scary, I know This is the part of marketing that is heading into a sales conversation. 

It can start to seem slimy, and you might find yourself wanting to convince people that coaching is the next best thing to sliced bread. That icky, needy feeling might creep in. Will they like this? Will I be rejected?

“I HATE MARKETING” often arises at this moment and you want to go running for the hills. Am I right?

What is really called for at this moment is for you to simply be a coach!

Find out what people need, what excites them, what makes them tick, their dreams, and the obstacles they face. 

And very importantly, do not let yourself become attached to whether the person would find your coaching of value or not.

It may not be right for them. You don’t need to coerce or convince them.

Don’t get attached to making a sale. Be more interested in deepening the relationship to find out if the two of you are a fit. 

Vulnerable? Yes, it may be… but not something to HATE. In my opinion, marketing is something to embrace as a relationship-building activity. 

After all, this is at the heart of coaching, and the good news is that it is also at the heart of a successful and fulfilling coaching business! .

I go over this more thoroughly in my book which you can order here

And here is a simple way to get moving if you are just starting out as a coach:

  1. Set aside a regular time in your calendar to make connections with people. 
  2. Choose a way to connect. Social media, text, a phone call, email, etc. 
  3. Reach out to one or two people you know with true curiosity about them. Once you have made this connection, you can share what you love about coaching. 
  4. Build relationships with the folks who resonate with your message. 

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