Be clear about what you offer!
Have you ever searched for the word “coach” or “mentor” online? When you do, you get millions of hits! And not only relating to our industry but also “bus” coach services, the Coach luxury leather brand, etc. So, when consumers search for service providers in our industry, it is to be expected that they will narrow down their search by adding more and more search words - such as type of service, industry, niche, geographical area, or whatever else jumps to their mind - to hopefully filter out a list of providers who can deliver what they need. But even with adding more search words, there may still be a mismatch between the service provider’s offer and the consumer’s needs.
I can list numerous examples but let me stick with a few of the most recent ones I came across. I spoke with a lady the other day who had trouble finding the right “business coach”. In the conversation, it became clear that she was actually looking for a mentor, but because she didn’t know the difference between a mentor and a coach, she had been searching for the wrong thing. I also spoke with a coach who recently enrolled in a “marketing & sales for coaches” course. From the description, she expected to develop some practical marketing and sales knowledge and skills, but instead, she found herself enrolled in a course that was teaching her all applying the law of attraction. And how about my dear friend, who wanted to improve her lifestyle by consulting a health coach, and instead found herself speaking with a Herbalife consultant who called himself a “health coach”?
As long as our industry remains unregulated, we can’t change what’s happening in the outside world. But what we can do, is make a collective effort to be crystal clear about what we offer. And by that, I don’t mean that you should make hard promises on results that you can’t deliver. Just be clear about who you serve, how you serve them, and what they can expect!