What’s the point of content marketing coaching? (or any business coaching)
A recent conversation with an editing client of mine really hit home when they said, ‘I don’t get the point of coaching, isn’t that what networking and friends are for?’
People often do seek support and guidance from those sources, so I can completely understand why you might not think coaching is necessary.
It also made me think about what I see on social media and in bookshops these days. There are coaches for everything from sports and book writing to business and self-care.
Is coaching just sales jargon?
I think part of people’s scepticism around coaching comes from the term being thrown around across pretty much all areas of life these days. It’s been present in sports for decades but using it in relation to business and our personal lives is still fairly new.
Then there’s the view that it’s just hype, business jargon or a buzz-word to get people to part with money.
The truth is, it’s just another term for something people have been doing for centuries. It’s having a mentor, an advisor, a confidant, teacher, guide, consultant or guru. Ultimately, they all pretty much mean the same thing.
Taking it back to sports, it’s like having your own Judy Murray or Gareth Southgate. They know what works and they’re happy to guide you and show you, so you can reach your goals.
What are the benefits of working with a content marketing coach?
When I work with coaching clients, often they want to learn new skills, build on existing knowledge or they’re seeking guidance in a particular area. Although these may be what they initially come to me for, the additional benefits of coaching go far beyond.
Content marketing takes time and effort and plenty of people start out with good intentions, but fall off the bandwagon somewhere down the line.
There’s a reason that people are more likely to stick to going to the gym if they make plans to go with a friend. Or why when learning to play a musical instrument you might be more likely to practice when you have regular, scheduled lessons. You don’t want to let that person down, or turn up and admit you’re no better than you were last week because you didn’t practice.
Consistency is key in content marketing, so having someone there to check-in with you regularly, adds another, far more personal level of accountability.
Consistency is key in content marketing, so having a coach to check-in with you regularly, adds another level of accountability.
If you don’t post to your blog this week, chances are your audience may notice but it’s less likely that they’ll email and say, ‘erm, excuse me, where’s this week’s blog post?’ With a coach though, you may well get an email that says exactly that. Don’t worry though, it won’t be done in a head teacher telling you off way, that’s not what I’m about, I just want to see you reach the goals you’ve set.
Knowledge and a brain to pick
This is usually a key factor for people when choosing to invest in coaching. You’re likely to be looking for someone who has been where you are but is now a few steps ahead of you.
Don’t forget that it’s not just about gaining knowledge on whatever their niche may be. Obviously, my clients ask me about content marketing more than anything else but it’s not unusual to ask a coach about other areas of business, especially if you know it’s something they have experience in.
As an example, I did some work with a café last year and the owners knew that I love to try all sorts of unusual flavours and blends of tea; I’ve even travelled to locations with the sole purpose of drinking and learning about tea. So, it made perfect sense for them to ask for my opinions on the options they were thinking of offering and they asked me to try a few.
It wasn’t directly related to content marketing but I don’t know many coaches who would refuse to answer questions outside of their niche. We’re a pretty friendly bunch.
A coach will look at your business from all angles and ask questions you might be scared to ask yourself, or may not have even thought of.
This is the biggie for me (along with a safe space – see below) and was the main reason I joined a mastermind group last year.
Being part of something like that or working 1:1 with a coach, can bring a level of support that most people just can’t get from friends, family and networking. Of course, those closest to you can offer support, advice and give opinions (and for some people that’s enough), but they also have their own lives and jobs to get on with. A coach on the other hand is earning their living from taking a focused and dedicated interest in you and your business.
A safe space, free of judgement
Those who are closest to us can mean well when they point out the pitfalls of running your own business, but it’s not always helpful when you’re pouring your heart and soul into something you feel passionately about.
I myself have had people ask, ‘why don’t you just get a normal job, it would be so much easier?’, or make comments like, ‘people don’t get to do what they love for a living, you’re being unrealistic’. Or they look at you like you’re a crazy person when you tell them that you want to speak on big stages, help hundreds of people or make enough money to build your own home from scratch (a self-build is my big dream).
Working with a coach means you’re not having to deal with people’s ingrained views of the world. A coach isn’t there to stop you doing what you dream of, they want you to succeed in every way possible.
An outsider’s perspective
When you’re in your business it can be hard to see things objectively – you’re too wrapped up in it and you can subconsciously self-sabotage too.
A coach will look at your business from all angles, much like a counsellor or psychiatrist would for their patient, and ask questions you might be scared to ask yourself or may not have even thought of.
Although I have good knowledge of the creative industries, I’m not the architect drawing house plans or the wedding planner putting together a country house extravaganza. So, my natural instinct is to ask questions about the who, what, when, where and why of any business and that’s often how our sessions get started, especially when it comes to planning out content.
A confidence boost
Having a safe place to ask questions, talk about concerns and share ideas can also work wonders for people’s confidence. More often than not, I find clients have amazing ideas, they just don’t always have the confidence to trust their own judgement.
Coaching effectively means you get a teacher, an advisor and a personal cheerleader rolled into one, so your knowledge and your confidence both get a healthy boost.
So, should you work with a coach?
If you’re looking for someone to do all the leg work for you, then coaching probably isn’t right for you.
Investing in coaching of any type is not something that should be done on a whim; you have to choose the right person for you and be willing to put the work in to get the results.
Coaching means you get a teacher, an advisor and a personal cheerleader rolled into one.