Case Study: What Personal Branding Can Do for a Coach

Since coaching is an extremely personal service, when professionals decide to work with an executive, life or career coach they need to be sure before hiring one that there’s a good chance they are going to work with someone they can know, like and trust.

When there is not an established relationship with a coach, potential clients need to assess more than a list of names to make a decision about who they will work with.

That’s why an authentic personal brand is so important.

Our founder, Aenslee Tanner, and one of our personal branding clients were two of the nine coaches selected to be on a coaching panel by the learning and development manager of an organization that was sponsoring a leadership development program for women.

As part of the program, each participant could select one of the nine individuals on the panel to be their coach for their one-on-one coaching sessions.

All coaches on the panel were certified by the International Coach Federation (ICF), and invited to submit a two-page bio to be considered for the work.

These bios were then distributed to the 25 participants so they could learn about each coach and select who they preferred to work with as part of the program.

Ultimately, even with no prior relationships with anyone in the leadership development program and no opportunity to meet the participants in person, Aenslee was selected by nine of the participants and seven others selected our client whose branding and website we had developed.

We were awarded 64% of the business, leaving just nine of the program participants available to the seven other coaches.

So, what happened?

When asked how they had selected who they wanted to be their coach, the participants shared that they hadn't just relied on the bios of the coaches that they'd been given but had gone online to do additional research just like 89% of B2B researchers do before making a purchasing decision.

Imagine what the participants might have been looking for when they started researching online who they should work with.

Since there were no pre-existing relationships, it’s probable they wanted validation and answers to questions such as:

  • Who can I trust?

  • Who would I feel comfortable being open with or vulnerable in front of?

  • Who works with people like me?

  • Who has a track record of delivering the value and results I’m looking for?

Turns out, aside from Aenslee and our client, none of the other coaches had clearly communicated personal brands on their websites, and some didn’t even have a website at all.

Given the extra online research each leadership program participant did in order to decide who to choose as a coach, it was the authentic and compelling personal brands and websites (complete with brand-aligned photos, copy and design) that helped so many of the participants start to know, like and trust Aenslee and our client.

Since the value of each coach’s contract was dependent on the number of participants that chose to work with her/him, at a rate of $1,000 per coachee, Aenslee’s personal brand helped her earn $9,000 for that single corporate program.

A strong personal brand helps prospects build the know, like and trust factors with you even if they haven’t been able to meet you in person.

Even if you have a largely referral-based business, like many coaches do, it’s important to recognize that research indicates that a high-quality website is vital to the success of a referral strategy.

Anyone who wishes to refer you wants to look good, so if your online presence isn’t something they’d feel comfortable passing on, you could be missing out on valuable referrals.

Even when getting referrals from people they trust, most people will still do their own research, just like the participants in the leadership program did.

Is your online presence something that would attract new business and clearly showcase your unique value proposition?

Many coaches refrain from spending money to develop their personal brands and websites because they think it’s expensive or that by not investing in their business that they’re somehow saving money.

But that mindset can choke a business’ growth. Instead, a more useful perspective is to consider the return you would expect to get for your investment.

Was it expensive for our client to invest thousands of dollars in her personal brand and website when working with us? Not when it only took two sales for her to recoup that investment.

Want a personal brand and website that attracts clients even when they haven’t had a chance to meet you in person?

Contact Personal Brand Agency today for a complimentary discovery call to learn more about how we can support you.