Challenges that Face Life Coaching as a Profession
By Christopher Jon Luke Dowgin
With the Labor Movement growth in the 1800's, the eight hour work day was created. These union strikes, such as the Haymarket and Pullman, ended in much bloodshed as workers united against business and the government. Some might ask what need do we have for Life Coaches? Starting in 1996, many corporations discovered the high threshold for workers to double their productivity at the cost of hiring fewer employees. With the initial cost savings in Medicare, social security, and Unemployment insurance; employers seen the benefits of reversing the popular stopgap on overtime. Unlimited overtime and unemployment was on the rise. For those still employed love the conditions when others found new trades. Along with this fact and withdrawal of society into work since 911, Life Coaches are needed more than ever.
But if Life Coaching is to grow and sustain as a bonafied profession, some standards need to be created. Albeit, not governmental, but along some manner of guild system. Granted we have some schools that accredit coaches, but the real problem lay in the fact that no real state or federal body accredits these organizations. The other fact that remains with these schools is that no one knows if they stick or follow to any form of standards in pricing, codes, or activities. Some my say that there is more Life Coaching schools than Life Coaches.
But for Life Coaching to remain viable in the left brained financial word, we as coaches must form some standard ourselves along with education materials and group marketing of what our profession is. For when most people hear of Life Coaching, they shrug their shoulders. Or for the others they get the impression of Tony Robbins or the Nip and Tuck Character, Ava. Some may say that any press is good press, but is it really? So in coordination, either privately or group orientated, we must push forward the marketing and education of the public to this field. But we need some standards first.
Take pricing. I tried initiating a sliding scale based on income level checked against pay stubs or W-2's. But I felt like I lost clients due to presumed value. If everyone else in the field was charging a higher premium than I, without garnering trust, my services was held as unscrupulous.For the average of pricing per month, not hour which I was going by, was between $250 to $500 a month for 4 45 minute calls. The price per hour was between $25 and $500 dollars at the most. Now I was coaching clients up to 3 times a week at hourly rates, but I find out this was not the norm. A guild would set up guidelines for such issues.
Then what is the standard, Phone, email, or in person. What do we as coaches do we want the public to think about first thing. For many when you think of auction, they think online. When others think education they think brick and mortar ivy league. What do we want our customers to think of us first. In person gives us the luxury to meat, joke, and share with a real living person. But online gives us far more potential to reach people around the world through email or on phone. Especially with the advent of broadband VOIP services giving worldwide coverage for minimum costs, we can bring our occupation to most barren location of Alaska and still be viable entity on a fiscal map. But we need to market and inform the public on validity of what ever we choose.
Frequency, I did touch on this a little above, but let me give this topic its full measure. How many times a month and for what duration should be suggested? Should impromptu home calls throughout the week be allowed, or just strict scheduling? How far in advance should schedules be kept or fulfilled? With a new field emerging and an uninformed public, we need to answer questions like this collectively.
Marketing practices! Well so far we are all SEO experts fighting a war with each other. With over 36,000,000 listings showing up in SERPs for the keyword Life Coach, we are strangling each other for a word few even ever heard of. My friends laughed at me when I started, even though I had been advising them for twelve years before I went professional. With only 1,000 searches on average a month, we are failing here! We need real live marketing strategies with real people. But who? Trader Joes and other whole food stores, tends to have mini seminars promoting alternative health professions. Panera Bread cafes have back rooms that have been used for Buddhist meetings and other new age events for free or limited cost. Organized health fairs. Possible meetings with the DA's office and the probation department along with prevention centers. How about human resources of major local companies. On the Brain Brew there was one coach who specialized in getting the lawyer who does not play well with others to straighten up instead of firing him. But How do we keep our internet presence strong and grow real living connections at the same time?
One last note on the internet. Maybe we need a guild directory that lists our profession by location and specialiality. A natural linking directory for Goggle points, but also something entertaining aesthetically and functional for the public. Niches are always stronger than obtuse markets. This directory must be promoted as the standard, for now we have too many that no one can get through more than five listing before they give up. Very few click throughs ever show up in my site reports.
Education, education, education, and education. For us is more important than location. I suggest writing free content for syndication through sites like Go-Article, Ezine, Article Hut, Article Marketers, Article City, and Self growth. Also writing free content to your local news papers and creating flyers to be hung at food stores and town bulletin boards. Even Local or State government offices. They are always trying to get brownie points for informing the public on services. Get a State or county Rep to back you in a community project, or at least inform them of your existence. Maybe befriend your local high school guidance counselors. For clients or career options for the youth. But education, education, education, education is a must at this time!
So I presented many challenges to our growing profession that need to be looked at and addressed collectively in some fashion. I hope we do so. For Colonel Sanders had a more daunting task traveling with a pressure cooker in his truck around the nation, or Edison powering a Manhattan neighborhood with the first light bulbs, or the Wright brothers receiving any money to build flying machines when they only built bicycles for children. We can get through these birthing pangs, but we need some collective effort to do so.
If Any be of interest, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org if anyone would be of like mind.
About The Author
Christopher Jon Luke Dowgin is propietor of Docspond Life Coach Services providing Individual Counseling, Group facilitation, and key note addresses that speak to the heart of the mission while delivering the bottom line finacial growth. Helping millions find their bliss and return meaning to success! Guaranteed 20% improvement in your quality of life after the first meeting!
Also is the propietor and designer at Norgeforge Illumination Studios that will SEO illuminated design giving Aesthetics to traffic driven sales.So get out of the cold and get Norgeforged!