When you decide it’s time to hire a business coach or mentor, it can sometimes be difficult to know who is the best coach for you, personally. So let’s discuss how to choose the right coach or mentor for you and your business!
If you’re looking for an expert who can guide the success of your business, and you’re trying to figure out how to make the choice of who to invest with, this blog post and podcast episode is for you. I’m going to give you five factors that will help you make the decision, so you go with the right person, and so you invest your money and your time wisely and achieve the success you desire.
By the way, if you’d rather listen than read, here’s where you can tune in to this episode:
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HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT BUSINESS COACH
Maybe you’re looking for a business coach because you’re fed up with struggling on your own. You’re done with trying to reinvent the wheel, and you know it’s time to invest in expert support, because this whole piecemeal approach of trying to make it all up as you go is just not working.
So you’re ready for expert guidance. You’re ready to level up.
But who do you go with?
How do you figure out who is the best coach for YOU — not for anyone else, but for YOU.
And I get that this can be tough because once you start looking, you may find that there’s a lot of hype out there, there are a lot of experts talking about how their system is the best, and all of that marketing language, and you’re trying to read between the lines of all that and decide who to invest with.
I know exactly how daunting it is, especially when you’re looking for your very first mentor or your very first business coach. As someone who’s worked with multiple coaches, whether it was through private coaching, or group coaching (both big programs and more intimate programs), at this point I know a thing or two about how to choose the right person and the right program.
I’ve invested a lot of money in my own development and in my own business, and some decisions were good ones, and others not so much, perhaps, so I want to help save you some of the headache and some of the mistakes, in order to find that perfect match for you.
So let’s walk through what you should be considering in order to find the perfect business coach or mentor for you.
1. Do they have the business you want to build?
It’s important to realize there is more than one way to skin a cat.
There isn’t only ONE way to build a business. And let’s face it, the Facebook ads expert is going to tell you that Facebook ads are the way to go. The Instagram expert is going to tell you that you have to be on Instagram in order to find success. And so on.
But there are so many different paths. That’s why it gets very confusing out there, because everybody is giving you conflicting information, and they’re very persuasive.
So to cut through all that confusion, come back to you. What do YOU want? What kind of business do YOU want to build? What kind of business model feels the most aligned with who you are, and the kind of life you want and the work you want to do?
And then, take a look at the coaches you are considering.
Do they have the kind of business that you would want for yourself? Do you admire the way they show up? The way they present themselves and market themselves? Because it’s very likely that the way they do it, is the way they’ll show YOU how to do it, too.
Listen to the people who have the results that you want. Not just monetary results but also how they run their business. You really need to dive deep, and ask yourself: what type of business model do you see for your own business? And then narrow down which mentors you would like to follow in order to get that result.
Along the same lines, it’s important to be mindful of the stage you’re at. No matter how compelling and seductive it might be to listen to a coach who is talking about building funnels designed to help you hit 7 figures this year, (while you sleep, of course) … if you’re right at the beginning of your business, you really need someone who can help you build a solid foundation for your business first. Then, down the road, once you’ve secured a steady income and you know what you’re doing … THEN, you can begin to scale and grow.
I’ve had many early-stage coaches come to me after having dropped thousands of dollars on high-ticket programs that promised all kinds of lofty things, but required a LOT more technical complexity and marketing know-how than they were quite ready for, and they were just lost. They didn’t have the infrastructure yet, and it was like trying to run before they could walk.
Respect the stage you’re at. Don’t get seduced by those flashy promises —especially if you’re at the beginning. Likewise, if you are ready to move on to more sophisticated marketing strategies, because you’re poised to scale, then seek out a coach or a program that can help you hit that next level.
2. Do you resonate with their story and their style?
Understanding their business model is one thing, however it’s important to recognize that a lot of different people could have the same business model.
To further differentiate, pay attention to how they show up. What is their story? What is their brand all about, at its core?
Are they super casual, which would maybe resonate with a somewhat younger audience? Are they highly spiritual, emphasizing the intuitive and emotional elements of business? Are they ultra-buttoned-up, talking a lot about systems and tech? Or … are they a blend of elements?
None of those approaches are wrong. It’s all about what resonates with you, and what is the right fit for you.
But it’s important to ask yourself: Do they emulate the kind of entrepreneur you want to be? If you envision yourself as a confident, classy individual who ultimately wants to offer high-end, tailored programs then you would probably do best to work with someone who has the same vibe. If you envision yourself as a really casual girl-next-door who is totally accessible to the masses, then you may feel drawn to a coach who has that energy, too.
Also, what is their background, or their backstory? And again, there’s no background that is right or wrong. It’s all about what feels like a match for you.
But what life experiences have they had? What do they prioritize now? Do they travel, and work from wherever? Do they have kids? What life stage are they at? Again, those things may not matter at all to you, but it’s just worth giving it some thought.
At the end of the day, it’s not just the result that matters from the coaching experience, but it’s the actual experience you have, too, on the journey.
For me, I always sought out mentors who had qualities I wanted to step into, as both an entrepreneur, and as a person, too. That’s what mentorship is all about.
If there was a coach who didn’t really showcase certain qualities that I wanted to emulate and pattern myself after, I was less interested in working with them. Especially if, all other things being equal, I was trying to decide between two different coaches whose programs seemed to promise similar things, if one was more of a woman I wanted to BE … that was who I went with. And that has never steered me wrong.
3. Do they specialize in working with people in your area/sector/niche?
Because it’s important to look at who they work with. Are their clients in a similar sector as you? Which would suggest that they will know what they’re talking about when it comes to your business.
Now, everybody’s business is unique, of course, so you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who specializes in your EXACT niche, and only your niche … but let’s talk general terms. If you’re building a brick-and-mortar business, that’s a different animal than an online business, for example, and you would ideally want to seek out someone who specializes in the type of business you’re building.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with going with a coach who has a broader expertise, but just know that much of the advice you’ll be receiving will be from that more general perspective. You may have to extrapolate the content to your particular situation.
If you enroll in a program that is designed for all-comers, people from all different fields and sectors, then just be aware of that. It may totally work for you, depending on your stage and what you want to get out of it, but it may not. And you want to ask yourself the question, so you can factor it into your decision.
4. Look at their proof of success, their testimonials, and the results they’ve obtained for their past clients
Take a look at their success stories, or ask them for testimonials. You want to know what kind of results their past clients achieved after working with them.
Do those results line up with what you want for yourself? Anyone can make claims, but do their testimonials back up their claims?
If you’re considering a publicity coach, for example, do they have proof that their clients have been featured in major publications or media? If you’re considering a mindset coach, do their client testimonials talk about breaking through internal blocks and barriers and opening up to an up-leveled mindset? If it’s a brand strategist, take a look at the portfolio of brands they’ve helped to build.
Basically, before investing with someone, you want to do your due diligence and make sure they have a track record of helping people achieve what they say they can help you achieve.
5. How much contact will you get with them, personally, versus their team?
Now this is also where you need to know what you want, and how you work best, and what you’re looking for in a mentor.
I’ve personally hired coaches and mentors who I worked with 1:1, it was just the two of us, working on my goals together, and I’ve also joined really big, high-ticket group programs where there were tons of other people in the program, like I’m talking hundreds of other women, but I had very little direct contact with the actual coach, the leader at the top of the company.
And both of those models have merit, for sure. They both have their place. I gained different things from each program I invested in. I definitely enjoyed myself in those big group programs, and there was kind of a fun, almost party-like atmosphere inside them.
Now, did I have the most incredible transformation, personally? Did I make the most progress on my own business? On my own projects? Not really, to be honest.
In my experience, the biggest noticeable differences in my growth have always happened when I was inside either a 1:1 program with a coach or mentor, or in a small, elite group of people. A really high-touch experience, with plenty of contact with the woman at the head of the company. She wasn’t tucked away, like the man behind the curtain, with a bunch of showy smoke and mirrors on display, and a large team that kinda kept her protected and at arm’s length.
Again, those kinds of big programs can definitely be fun and exciting — but for me, whenever I really want to get down to work and accomplish a lot, and get expert guidance and a tailored experience, it needed to be inside a 1:1 program or a smaller group experience.
So you have to know what you need and what you want, for yourself, for whatever it is you need support around. You really need to be intentional about this.
Before you invest in something, think about what you want to get out of the experience. Are you looking to feel like you’re part of a massive movement? Do you feel more comfortable, maybe, knowing that you’re inside a large, multi-tiered system, even if it’s a little anonymous? Or would you prefer more of a high-touch experience where you actually get direct contact with the person at the top?
This is in fact why I designed my group program the way that I did. Because I value that high-touch element. So I created what I describe as a “boutique” experience for my clients. I keep my numbers small, I’m selective about who is a good fit, and I don’t outsource any of the actual coaching to anybody else. When you work with me, you get me. It’s important to me that I know all of my clients’ and group participants’ businesses inside out. If you’re inside my group, I know exactly what you’re working on and what you’re struggling with. All the coaching, the training, the mentorship — that all happens with me, personally.
Okay, so there you have it. Those are my five factors to consider when you’re trying to choose the right business coach and mentor. Let’s just recap what those factors are.
- Do they have the kind of business that you would want for yourself?
- Do you resonate with their story (and their brand or style)?
- Do they specialize in working with people in your area/sector/niche?
- Do they have proof of success, testimonials, and past client results?
- How much contact will you get with them, personally, versus their team?
And now I’d love to hear from you! Let me know: Have you hired a coach or a mentor for your business? How did you choose the best person for the job? I’d be really interested to know.
Catapult Yourself Into Your Dream Business
If this blog resonated with you and you’re also feeling stuck inside a job or a career that just does not fulfill you anymore, I’m inviting you to join my online training, the 4-Part Formula For Replacing Your 9-5 Income With A Coaching Business You Love.
You know that you’re meant for more, and you would love to create a business of your own, a coaching business that provides not only meaning and impact, but also the freedom and flexibility you crave.
Inside this free online training, I’m going to teach you my 4-part framework, my proven method for creating a freedom-based business for myself, and how I’ve helped all my clients do the same. All you have to do is claim your seat at, and then you can be watching that training this week, and taking the next step on the path to the business of your dreams.
Are you ready to start pursuing your dream career? I’d love to help you! Click here to get started today!
Resources & Links:
- The 4-Part Formula For Replacing Your 9-5 Income With A Coaching Business You Love (my free training)
- Business Academy for Coaches
- Health Coach Squad (my free Facebook Group)
- The best platform for your coaching practice: Practice Better
- The landing page program I recommend: Leadpages
- The email marketing system I recommend: ConvertKit
- 3 Ways To Get New Clients (my free guide): drkimfoster.com/getnewclients
N.B. some links are affiliate links.
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