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The Absolutely Best Advice About Being A Coach or Consultant

If you’re an educator, coach, consultant or advisor you usually want one main thing for your clients – that they use your advice.

That only makes sense, right? They’re paying you fees, sometimes large fees, to help them either change something or accomplish something that they just can’t manage on their own. It doesn’t matter whether you’re hired to give advice, as a consultant might do, or be more hands-on in helping with change as a coach might – the desired outcome is still the same.

This sometimes leads to pressure to help our clients get results. A little pressure on the client to change is good. After all, change is seldom easy and often requires a little push to get started (okay, and sometimes a big push).

Yet any good coach or consultant knows that we have to manage our clients and how they progress with a bit of skill. Sometimes we can put it all out there and people get it. Other times we have to pull back a bit and offer change in small steps. So we give each client what they can handle in the way they can implement it best. As I’ve seen it, this is the art to being an effective coach or consultant – and even to being an effective teacher, parent, spouse, or friend really.

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How You Can Help A Friend With Their Business

one2one-sm.gifLess than a year ago, my good friend Adam Kayce decided to change careers.

For years Adam was a successful intuitive healer and teacher who helped countless people work with and heal their personal issues and physical diseases. As a teacher, Adam could explain the most complex ideas about consciousness and healing to people in ways that were easy to understand.

It was as a teacher that Adam got his first experiences working with businesses. Soon, he was focusing more on bringing spirituality and personal development into the workplace. And he loved it.

So this past fall, Adam decided to close down his healing practice and begin working as a business coach. Now his focus is on helping people find the “purpose and meaning behind their work, so you can attract and serve the people who love what you do.” (his words).

And so was born, Monk at Work.

Why did I tell you this story (other than Adam being a close friend)? Well, in our latest one2one conversation, Liz Strauss asked me

What do you do when your business is going well and close friend's is not?

My answer…YOU HELP!

monkatwork.jpgWhat else could I possibly say?

Like most new business, Adam had to endure the early, lean stages of Monk at Work. All the pieces were in place – knowledge, experience, expertise, great service and products, and…great looking blog (if I do say so myself). What he lacked was clients.

That’s where I knew I could help. I knew that I could use my own success to help my friend get started toward his. Of course, it didn’t hurt that the core of my work is to help businesses go from where they are to where they want to be.

Adam consulted with me on blogging, marketing strategy and relationship building. We talked a bunch about how to use the conversations on his blog to create momentum around your business. We talked about blogging as a central marketing strategy. I helped him with solutions for increasing his website and product reach. I even introduced him to people who are now fans of his work.

More than anything, I think what I’ve done is help Adam understand how his website/blog are the foundation for his marketing efforts. And now, Monk at Work is building momentum. Am I responsible for that – not really. He still had to put what we talked about into practice. I simply filled in his gaps in knowledge and helped him focus his efforts using his website/blog.

Do you have a good friend who’s struggling with their business? What can you do to help them?

And Liz, since we’re having a one2one conversation,

What tips can you offer for writing quality, conversational blog posts and website copy?

The Part of My Business I Look Forward To Doing More Of…

Continuing our one2one conversation, Liz Strauss asked me (and you):

What's the the part of business, besides relationships, that you look forward to doing more of?

one2one-sm.gifOkay, so here’s how I read your question…”what other part of business, besides building relationships.” I hope this is what you meant, because my entire business is about relationships. From how I market to how I work with my clients, what I see in my business IS relationships.

But I can look through building more and stronger relationships at aspects of my business. So that’s what I’m going to run with.

I’ve been building websites for more than a decade at this point. So it’s mostly what I’m known for. It’s also the easiest way people can describe what I do to their friends, clients and colleagues. So more often than not, I get calls about website design.

What ends up happening, however, is that the people soon find out that I do so much more than most web designers. They learn that I understand business development, marketing, product development, copy editing, etc. And often, they hire me to consult and coach them while we’re working on their website.

So really, I’m really a born teacher. I know that sounds like a vast, presumptuous statement. Yet at every point in my life this fact has been mirrored back to me. In elementary school I used to show my classmates how to do math problems when they didn’t get it. As a baseball player I could spot mistakes in a teammate’s swing and help them feel the correction. Even when I had a private healing practice I would somehow find a way to explain complex spiritual concepts in a way that people just understood.

Even as a web designer, I’ve been very successful at making the technical easy to understand – even a neophyte. This gives clients the power to make their own, informed decisions about their business.

So like you, Liz, I am a teacher. I’m a teacher and I love to solve problems. And this has led me to doing more consulting/coaching/educating-type work. I love it. And it’s opened up a whole new part of my business.

Now people don’t have to need a new website to work with me. They can hire me to help them with any number of projects or aspects of their business: from service and product development to marketing, increasing traffic and building relationships to branding, utilizing a newsletter to just plain problem solving.

And best of all, they can hire me to help them learn how to use social media – blogging, social networking, etc, – more effectively, to grow their business or to increase the visibility of their blog. That I’m doing already with a handful of clients.

So that’s what I want to do more of…coach people to a more rewarding and successful business, consult with people to solve their business problems and educate people on how to do anything they need without being dependent on me. Does that make me a coaching strategist? Maybe.

So Liz (and you, reading this, too), speaking of strategy:

What do you feel is necessary to create an effective strategy to promote a business?

If you got this far, I’d love to hear your answers to either question. Join our one2one conversation in the comment box below.

And if you need some help with your business, let’s talk about it.

How To Become A Successful Consultant or Coach: The Best Advice

takeaction.jpgBoy, that’s an exciting headline, huh? What could possibly be the most important thing you could be doing to market your coaching or consulting business?

Most marketing experts will tell you it’s clearly branding your business or creating your comprehensive marketing plan. Both those are certainly important.

But according to 19 year-old entrepreneur Ben Casnocha, founder of Comcate and author of My Start-Up Life: What a (Very) Young CEO Learned on His Journey Through Silicon Valley, the most important thing you can do when starting a business is “harbor a bias towards action.
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How To Stay Focused For Greater Productivity

I almost never work on the weekends. And I rarely work in the evening. So, then, how do I manage to remain a thriving solopreneur? How do I get my work done on time and under budget? Simple (mostly) through good productivity practices.

I have a number of processes that help me keep a stable and productive workflow. Yet I’m always looking for better and more efficient ways to run my business.

So is Ben Yoskovitz. But he wants to help all of us with our productivity. That’s why he’s instigated (sorry Ben, couldn’t resist) the Ultimate Guide to Productivity Group Writing Project Meme.

ultimate_guide_prod.jpg

Ben kicked it off by tagging Alister Cameron, Adam Kayce, Chris Brogan, Guy Kawasaki, Andrew Wee, David Armano, Tony Clark, Mike Sansone and Chris Cree. As of tonight, Adam and Andrew have responded with some solid tips. I’d love to hear from everyone else Ben’s tagged.

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How One Post Can Make All The Difference

Well, now that I’ve bared a bit of my soul for you all to see, I’m not sure where to go next.

When I wrote the post on Friday about my ‘Gotta Get Goals,’ I didn’t realize it would have such an effect. Not only on you, by your comments – which I thank you for, but on me as well. Over the weekend and into today I’m a little foggy on how I want to proceed.

I’ll certainly continue blogging about small business development, marketing, using the web, blogging, etc. And, it feels right to begin doing so with even more of my own, unique perspective.

When I work with clients, it’s never just about business building. It’s much more. Often I share with my clients how to bring themselves more forward in their business. Not just ‘own,’ but how to bring more of their own, authentic selves forward in caring for their clients and customers.

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