Originally published in December 2020, this article has been updated to include new content and information.
If you aspire to become a successful life coach, there’s no shortage of content available to hone your skills and grow a booming practice. From certification programs to business accelerator courses, you’ve undoubtedly come across a ton of resources already.
But what about community?
In the vast ocean of coaching content, we’ve noticed that the topic of peer support is rarely touched upon. Overlooking the importance of your professional network can be a costly mistake. At Lumia Coaching, we’ve learned that coaches benefit from having a network of trusted colleagues.
When it comes to community, we’re not referring to fee-based masterminds or group coaching programs. Those are effective, and have their place. What we’re talking about is a peer network - reciprocal support that comes without a price tag.
Whether you’re just getting started or are a seasoned pro, there’s something to be gained from connecting with other coaches in a freely given exchange of ideas, information, and encouragement.
So how does participation in a coaching community benefit your business? Let’s take a look...
Expands your scope
Who do YOU talk shop with?
Many coaches are solo practitioners, working from home or coaching as a side gig. When a tricky situation arises in your practice, it’s helpful to have people to discuss it with so you can get a fresh take.
A coaching community is a group of fellow coaches who gather regularly to keep the conversation going about tools, techniques, and business development. You can build yours through:
- Events and conferences for coaches
- Continuing education programs
- Your coach training program alumni network
- Online forums like Facebook groups
Participating regularly in these communities is an effective way to exchange ideas and learn from peers. These dialogues offer an alternative lens through which to view your own practice, and helps you discover the wide range of approaches others coaches might take when tackling the same business problem or client challenge.
Testing ground for new ideas
It never ceases to amaze us how generous our community can be around sharing resources, creative ideas, and troubleshooting challenges. In Lumia's alumni network, we see this happening every week.
Let’s say you’re in the process of launching your first online course. You can pose a question to your coaching community about which e-learning platform others are using, and discover shortcuts and best practices based on the real-world experiences of the group.
Or how about podcasts? Maybe you’re thinking about starting one up, but don’t know where to begin. Your network likely includes people with podcasts who’ve ridden the waves of both success and failure. They're bound to have tips to make the process easier for you!
Wondering what to include in your coaching contract? Asking a group of coaches for a sample of what they use can often yeild helpful results.
Cuts through the noise
A simple Google search can answer many questions that will come up as you are building your coaching business. But not everything you’ll find online is accurate, helpful, or relevant to the particular situation you’re in!
Would you rather:
- Read five articles comparing the merits of all the payment processing systems available on the market?
- Ask a group of savvy coaches what systems they are using?
People you know and trust are often your best source of information. Shopping your question to a group of like-minded colleagues often yields more relevant and efficient results. What you’ll also get from your peers is nuance and insight into your particular situation.
Practice, practice, practice
A supportive community gives you a safe, non-judgmental space to work on new skills, iterate, and improve.
For new life coaches, there is no tool, workshop, program, or technique that beats good old fashioned practice. But finding willing collaborators to log hours with can sometimes be challenging. A coaching collective gives you access to others who are usually willing to trade sessions, or serve as beta testers for your new offerings.
An authentic professional network isn't the place to sell your services to other coaches, unless explicitly invited to do so. Done right, community is a place to freely trade ideas, give one another useful feedback, and find committed accountability partners. Bonus? New client leads are often an organic outgrowth of your participation in community.
Sometimes you’ll have a prospective client that isn’t the right fit for you. When that happens, you may want to refer the client out. What better place to turn than your coaching community? Having access to a network of peers in various niche areas is valuable because it allows you to offer vetted referrals.
The beauty of this practice is that it goes both ways. One day, you might tap the network to help match a friend, family member, or prospect to the perfect coach for them. A few months later, one of your peers might in turn send a new client your way!
Builds enduring friendships
Coaches are humans who value other humans. Part of what we love about the work of coaching is that it's all about connecting deeply with people.
Whatever your niche or focus area, you’re likely to find kindred spirits within your coaching community. You’ll rub shoulders regularly with people who have similar interests and share your values. Individuals who are curious, and engaged in continuous learning and improvement. In short: people who GET you.
Over the years, we've had the opportunity to witness firsthand the sense of family that has developed around Lumia's coach training program. We’ve seen powerful, lasting friendships emerge within our alumni network. Collaboration has also led to new ventures and professional partnerships between our coaches. In this communal space, seasoned coaches often take the time to answer questions and mentor newcomers.
At Lumia, our coaches invest in one another because we know that coaching isn't just a job. It's a way of life.
Care To Join Us?
A lot of talented people like you dream of having a coaching business, but aren’t quite sure how to get there. We train and certify adventurous coaches, making sure you’ve got all you need to build a business you love and transform lives, on your terms. To find out what you can expect from our community, check out Lumia Coach Training: Support, Connection, Community. If you'd like to talk with a member of our team to find out more, we invite you to schedule an informational call today!