5 Top Tips to Stand out from the Crowd as a Professional Coach

Amanda Rosewarne, CEO & Co-Founder of the Professional Development Consortium – home to the CPD Standards Certified Coach, and Coach of Excellence certifications – gives her 5 top tips on how to stand out as a coach and get your coaching message out there.

1. Find Your Sweet Spot
The most overused word in business when it comes to marketing is ‘niche’. You will always hear in conversation ‘identify your niche’ or ‘niche this’… Blah blah blah.
In today’s world, with a global pandemic raging, you simply need to find your sweet spot and work with clients you find interesting and enjoy working with. Sometimes you might be clear on your preferred area e.g. coaching in education, or coaching within addiction.
However, sometimes it’s easier to just take some time out and decide WHO you like working with…. Maybe it’s SME’s, maybe it’s individuals based in France, maybe it’s executives in large global corporations, or even entrepreneurs in big tech. The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter who, you just need to ‘nail’ who you want to serve as a coach.
Once you know who you like to work with, you can capture business in that field.

2. Be a Phenomenal Professional
This tip is straightforward: Do your own CPD and follows our four pillars of CPD for Coaches in the diagram below.
To get the best from your CPD, develop an ‘Investment’ Mindset.

3. Become Relentlessly Reliable
Many people ask me… ‘why should I become accredited?’, and it’s a great question.
Where coaching is concerned, my answer is simple – ‘because it is an unregulated industry’.
In a pandemic world, with everyone buying, selling and doing business online – accreditation & third-party verification has never been more important.
Unfortunately, the coaching industry is awash with individuals offering ‘coaching programmes’ that promise wildly ambitious and alleged results, some even without recognition or accreditation.
Many unscrupulous people attempt to self-promote their expensive, nonsense ‘coaching programmes’ via social media channels to unsuspecting individuals. It is SO important to publicly demonstrate that you are authentic and deliver true value as a coach.
An accreditation proudly earnt….
ICF ACTP is what you need to be looking at. It is also a ‘digital trustmark’, which once earned can be highly visible across all your online channels.
In the age of ‘fake news’, the notion of trust has become a cornerstone of business services.
Hence, in 2021 TRUST has never been a more important word. Throughout all of your marketing, business positioning and communications, it is critical that you display digital proof that you, and your coaching practice, have been formally recognised and provide the governing body websites.

4. Engage Support Stakeholders
Every professional coach regardless of their field or specialism should have a focused supervisor, coaching peer group. The rule is simple, you cannot coach others, without receiving a form of coaching from another person.
Why? Well, coaching touches the most ‘human parts’ of any coaching relationship, and you need to ensure you remain centred, engaged and ethical. It is impossible to do this without a third party (be that an individual or a group) who can hold a mirror up to your practices and keep you accountable.

5. Be Curious*
In a changing Covid world, many things are moving and developing every day.
Whether you like him or not, Warren Buffett Spends 80% of his day reading.
Spend the time that would have been commuting, or working, pre pandemic to explore new areas that relate to your work or hobbies.
Dedicating some time for ‘coach curiousness’ great for not only you, but your coaching business also.
This could range from buying a different newspaper or signing up to a different online newsfeed, binge-watching documentaries on Netflix, or something bigger, such as developing yourself personally or professionally, and finding your inner creativity or learning a new skill.
Source information on what is most important to you and invest your time and money into making yourself the best version of yourself. These could focus on your health, wealth, career or family.
Of course, this links back to your CPD, however being curious is about the bigger picture and understanding the conversations that are happening locally and globally.

You may, or may not, agree with these tips, and that’s ok. However, over the past decade, the CPD Research Project has consistently found scientific evidence that third party verification of professional coaches, and the result awarding of accreditation, create dedicated trust in the business realm.
Undertaking any, or all, of these tips sends a powerful message to yourself and the world around you. So take that leap of faith, and reap the rewards from being Reliable, Phenomenal and Curious. Engage with your Sweet Spot and Stakeholders…. It’s amazing what you can achieve if you put your mind to it.

* ‘Curiouser and curiouser!’ cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English);` now I’m opening out like the largest telescope that ever was! Good-bye, feet!’ (for when she looked down at her feet, they seemed to be almost out of sight, they were getting so far off). Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll, 1865.