Is being a strategy coach relevant in 2020?
Yes, the market is challenging. If you are worried about whether clients will hire you, then your concerns are valid.
But I have a strong hunch that things will change for the better soon.
So the timing could not be more right for you to be a successful strategy coach.
Who Will Hire A Strategy Coach?
Let us look at the possibilities in brief.
Will businesses employ strategy coaches in this current market?
Of course, they will! Trust me when I say this.
Do you know why I think so?
Whether it is a large or small business, owners must make a choice at challenging times. One option is to bury your head in the sand and deliver according to needs. This may help a business stay afloat and meet with immediate concerns. But a business cannot survive without long term strategy.
And this is where you make your entry as a strategy coach!
Will a small or medium sized business owner want to invest in a strategy coach?
But you will have to sell them the benefits of strategy coaching. At a time like this, small and medium businesses have been hardest hit. Small businesses account for two-thirds of the world’s jobs and half of its GDP, according to this article. Given the new economic climate, these businesses need to innovate fast. This is where they need the help of an experienced strategy coach.
Will a client wish to hire a life coach or strategy coach for his personal development?
After all, this is a time when professional lives are being impacted by recession? Yes, they will invest if they treat this time of flux as a window for learning and assessing their goals.
A visionary will choose this time to hire a strategy coach and plan his future.
In all of these scenarios, you have a huge role to play as a strategy coach. In the last segment of this blog I have listed the link to my free webinar. Sign up and get ready to kick start your career.
What is a Strategy Coach?
What does being a strategy coach mean? What does a strategy coach help a client achieve?
Well, coaches have different ways of packaging their services. Some offer strategic coaching under the larger umbrella of life coaching. Some may do so under the overarching permit of a business coach.
Hence, it is important to spell out why a strategy coach is different.
The difference lies not so much in the manner of coaching but the specific purpose.
A life coach may use strategic coaching as a means to offer purpose to his client’s aspirations. The same goes for a business coach. A strategy coach, on the other hand, helps the client achieve the following:
- Understand their priorities
- Become aware of their strengths and weaknesses
- Develop their vision
- Work out a definitive plan with actionable goals and deadline
This holds true for those who hire a strategy coach within the business environment too!
A business strategy coach can positively impact a company’s baseline by helping leaders develop a clear vision and strategy for their company. This may require a radical shift in business operations but the strategy coach knows that the ultimate win is a positive impact on the company’s baseline.
Should a Business Hire A Strategy Coach or Consultant?
Is a strategy coach similar to a consultant? No, not really.
This article explains it best. “You pay a consultant as an expert to tell you something you don’t know. A coach, on the other hand, is there to help you work out what you already do know. Consultants ‘tell’, coaches ‘ask’. Consultants bring expertise to your business but don’t transfer the skills, though they may leave a strategy report with you.”
It is important that you understand this difference. You will then be able to explain it to your client better.
Knowing what your client needs will also help you to fine-tune your pitch as a strategy coach.
How Will You Find Clients As A Strategy Coach?
Are you worried about finding clients who will understand your value as a strategy coach?
The coaching sector is getting increasingly crowded and the market remains unregulated. This means more and more players can join the bandwagon. Everyone can and does call herself/himself a coach.
How then will you find clients as a strategy coach and convince them to hire you?
In short, how will you be successful in your career?
Let us try to identify what a client is looking for while hiring a strategy coach.
Traits of A Good Strategy Coach
There is no one size fits all in the coaching circle. So what one client wants from a strategy coach may be different from what another needs.
What do great coaches have in common? This can be irrespective of whether they are strategy coaches or not.
Coaching expertise and related experience is naturally a given. But what else do they have that separates them from the average coach?
Throughout my blogs I have provided tips on what you can do to become a successful coach. In my previous blog Top 10 Coaching Skills You Must Have as a Life Coach, I have mentioned the top qualities. Some of these that are particularly relevant for you as a strategy coach are:
The onus of this is on you as a strategy coach. The client has to feel safe. Only then will he or she be willing to walk on this coaching journey with you. For it will indeed be a journey. As a strategy coach, it is your duty to make every client feel empowered. The client needs to believe that all the answers lie within him/her. As a strategy coach, your first and most challenging task will be to establish faith that the client can trust you.
Start With Realistic Goals
A person who is struggling to walk cannot start running from the first day of your coaching. Understand and assess your client’s abilities and limitations. And then sit together and draft realistic goals. Look at habits – both good and challenging. Help the client draw out her/his boundaries and show them the benefit of sticking to these. As a strategy coach your task is to change mindsets that will give clients the confidence and accountability to progress.
Balance the Inner and Outer worlds
Irrespective of whether you are dealing with a client’s personal or professional life, there will come a time when the two overlap. Work out a clear plan with the client about the rules of engagement. Where can you lend the most value? A business that hires a strategy coach will need help with innovation and competitive edge in the long and short term. The end of the result is employee happiness.
Dedication is important in a role like a strategy coach. However, do remember that you are in many cases the voice of reason. That is why you have been hired. And it is okay to voice an informed opinion and steer the client towards his definition of success.
There are several other qualities that make for a good coach. You may read my whole blog for more tips as a strategy coach.
These qualities mentioned are helpful for all coaches, including a strategy coach.
Prepare To Be A Successful Strategy Coach
There are 3 things you can do to be a successful strategy coach in challenging times such as these. All you need are:
- A list of clients who will give you great recommendations
- A targeted marketing plan to draw the right audience
- Recommendations that show you have the knowledge and experience needed
Are you starting out your career as a strategy coach and wondering where to start?
Well, do not worry. I have listed tips for coaches just like you in several of my blogs. I have listed a few here which will answer any additional questions you may have.
And if you have reached a midway point in your coaching career, rest assured. Check out my blog 40 Coaching Tools To Grow Your Coaching Business if you want to grow your business.
Finding the Right Strategy Coach
Your clients look for certain things when they need to decide which strategy coach is right for them. Knowing this will help you advertise these skills.
While many clients may not insist on a degree, some may prefer a strategy coach who has finished a certification program from a reputed coaching institute
Clients often look for an experienced strategy coach. Eventually your clients will also refer you to others. You should definitely ask for a client recommendation. Don’t be shy.
Marketing your USP
Is the coach available and trained to fit specific needs? Advertising your niche clearly will help clients understand your unique selling point (USP)
Building your own brand
Ultimately it will boil down to whether a client feels comfortable with you. Clients nowadays look for websites and blogs to get a better feel of a Strategy coach’s personality and style. So do look into investing in your online brand persona.
Does A Strategy Coach Need A Degree?
What qualifications can set you apart as a strategy coach?
While some may seek a strategy coach with certifications, others may not demand degrees. Experience and aptitude will go a long way in your career as a strategy coach. However, you may consider getting a degree from an accredited organization to prepare for your coaching career.
As a process, coaching is fairly common across all niches. Irrespective of whether you are a life coach or a strategy coach, you will follow the same process. You may follow a particular coaching style. In my blog Types of Coaching Styles and Models Every Coach Should Know About, I have spoken about some of these styles. Your style of coaching will depend on your personality and the niche of your coaching practice. But it helps to know the different coaching models and tailor your style to suit your client.
Is Certification Needed for A Strategy Coach?
No, so far you do not!
This is because right now, the coaching industry remains unregulated. This is expected to change soon, though.
What does this mean? This means anyone can offer coaching and call himself a Strategy coach. What sets you apart is your expertise at being a good coach, smart marketing and great client recommendations. Learn more about these in my blog Is Marketing Crucial to my Coaching Business?
Salary of Strategy Coach
How much do strategy coaches make?
While there are no references for strategy coaches, this means you can negotiate with business clients based on salaries that executive or business coaches draw.
The national average salary for a business coach is $40,089 in United States, according to Glassdoor.com.
Is there demand in the market for a strategy coach?
As you know coaching is a growing industry. But the current economic times are challenging across the globe. This does not mean an end to the growth of the coaching industry. It just means that you will need to strategize your own career smartly. Only then you can be a successful strategy coach in these times!
Let us look at some market realities. This sets the context in terms of what you can expect to earn as a coach.
This post claims that the life coaching industry has crossed the $1 billion dollar mark. Average income for life coaches ranges from $27,100 to $73,100. Specialty coaches can charge more than $100,000 annually. Executive coaches can earn a handsome salary too. Salaries start at $150 and can go up to $350 for most coaches. Executive coaches can also charge $1,000 per session.
But there is hope. Growth projections for the life coaching industry are an estimated 6.7%. This would take revenues to $1.34 billion by 2022.
Since a strategy coach is already operating in a very specific niche, there will definitely be a demand. Tap into this enormous market by positioning your services to your target audience.
Now, you may be wondering how you will you get your brand name noticed? The market is evolving and growing. But the competition is also getting tougher. You may want to refer to my blog How to promote your life coaching business? for tips on this. Although the blog is about life coaches, you will find several pointers for your business as a strategy coach.
Grow As A Strategy Coach
Is there an end to learning? No, there is not.
This is why I recommend that you keep reading books, articles and all kinds of research to stay updated.
A simple Google search will show you several articles, books, videos and podcasts online. You may want to look up some of my previous blogs and stay updated in your career as a strategy coach.
Books for A Strategy Coach
A search on GoodReads will offer several books for strategy coaches. Some are:
- The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Bungay Stanier
- Coaching for Performance: GROWing Human Potential and Purpose – the Principles and Practice of Coaching and Leadership (People Skills for Professionals) by John Whitmore (shelved 137 times as coaching)
- Co-Active Coaching: Changing Business, Transforming Lives by Henry Kimsey-House
- Coaching Questions: A Coach’s Guide to Powerful Asking Skills by Tony Stoltzfus
- The Prosperous Coach: Increase Income and Impact for You and Your Clients by Steve Chandler
- Co-Active Coaching: New Skills for Coaching People Toward Success in Work and, Life by Laura Whitworth
- Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for ScrumMasters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers in Transition by Lyssa Adkins (shelved 53 times as coaching)
- The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance by W. Timothy Gallwey
- The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown
- Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck
- Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink
- The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
- Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall B. Rosenberg
- Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Kerry Patterson (shelved 39 times as coaching)
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey
- Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown
- Supercoach: 10 Secrets to Transform Anyone’s Life by Michael Neill
- Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock Potential in Yourself and Your Organization by Robert Kegan
- The Talent Code: Unlocking the Secret of Skill in Sports, Art, Music, Math, and Just About Everything Else by Daniel Coyle
- Executive Coaching with Backbone and Heart: A Systems Approach to Engaging Leaders with Their Challenges by Mary Beth A. O’Neill
- Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
- Becoming a Professional Life Coach: Lessons from the Institute of Life Coach Training by Patrick Williams
- Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling by Edgar H. Schein
- Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman
- Coaching: Evoking Excellence in Others by James Flaherty
- Presence-Based Coaching: Cultivating Self-Generative Leaders Through Mind, Body, and Heart by Doug Silsbee
- Coaching with NLP: How to be a Master Coach by Joseph O’Connor
- The Mindful Coach: Seven Roles for Facilitating Leader Development by Doug Silsbee
- Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell by Eric Schmidt
For the FMCG sector, you may want to read FMCG: The One Store Strategy Coach: Complete Guide to Coaching & Evaluating FMCG Sales Teams by Bruce Pincott.
You may want to read some life coaching books too. Here is a list of some top life coaching books. This list is helpful as it breaks down books on the basis of training books for coaches and audio book recommendations.
Top 5 best sellers listed for aspiring coaches are:
- Co-Active Coaching – Laura Whitworth, Henry Kinsey-House, Phil Sandahl, and John Whitmore
- Transformational Life Coaching – Dr. Cherie Carter-Scott and Lynn U. Stewart
- Coaching Questions: A Coach’s Guide to Powerful Asking Skills – Tony Stoltzfus
- Becoming a Professional Life Coach: Lessons from the Institute of Life Coach Training – Patrick Williams and Diane Menendez
- The Life Coaching Handbook: Everything you need to become an effective life coach – Curly Martin
Podcasts and Videos for Strategy Coach
There are several YouTube videos and podcasts online to learn from and better yourself as a Strategy coach. Some of the links are here: