Management & Leadership

How to Create Your Coaching Profile

Oct 14, 2021
How to Create Your Coaching Profile - SACAP

Your coaching profile is your calling card. It needs to catch a prospective client’s attention and should ultimately get them to contact you. Essentially, you need to see it as your “door-opener” that will decide your future work opportunities. So, perfecting it and polishing it regularly is a must. Here’s how to get started.

“A good profile creates opportunities.”

Tap into Expert Advice

John Paisley, Director of Procoaching, has been working as a teacher, lecturer as well as a learning and leadership specialist for over 30 years. He’s reviewed hundreds of coaching profiles. Paisley advises that a coaching profile is a powerful marketing tool. This is because it’s often the first point of contact with a prospective client. How it’s crafted can make or break whether you win their business. Thus, spending time and effort on your coaching profile, as well as annually reviewing it, is time well spent.

5 Expert Hacks to Creating Your Coaching Profile

1. Identify with Your Intended Audience

Who do you want to coach? A good profile elicits a positive response from the right person. Do you want to coach young people making career choices? Be a life coach involved in family coaching? Help executives making strategic decisions? Assist middle managers to build teams?

To figure things out, you need to know the answers to these questions:

  • Who do you want to coach?
  • Why do you want to coach them?
  • What do you know about them?
  • What will attract or interest them?
  • Why would they want a coach?

Within your profile it is also important to convey information about yourself. This is so that your potential client can make the link between their needs and how you can assist them. Therefore, these 5 questions need to be answered:

  • Why are you a coach?
  • What do you do particularly well?
  • How do you define your purpose?
  • Where is your passion?
  • Are you values outlined?

“Know why you want to be a coach and who you want to coach.”

While you can’t please all the people all the time, you do need to give the person reading your profile a good sense of who you are. Thus, rather than being a jack-of-all-trades, showcase your niche and the specialities you offer. An efficient way of doing this is to have a few profiles that are each tailored to an approach. For example, one for coaching, another for consulting and one for working as a facilitator.

2. Focus on Your Purpose

Who is going to read your profile? What impression do you want to leave them with? What do they need to know? Remember your profile is not about what you want to say, but what your potential client wants to know. So, it needs to speak to a potential client’s needs and show how you can meet them. As such the purpose of your profile is:

  • Tone: Choose the tone that suits your intended audience. Writing in the first person conveys intimacy (I spent 15 years in the financial industry). Whereas, writing in the third person provides distance and perspective (Joe spent 15 years in the financial industry).
  • Language: You want to sound professional and knowledgeable while remaining approachable. You do not want to lose your reader with industry jargon.
  • Style: Remember people’s attention span is short. As a general rule, one page is enough to convey the essentials without overwhelming your audience. Therefore, keep it easy to read by using bullet points to convey pertinent points. And use short focused sentences to narrate your own story where relevant.
  • Format: Limit visuals. You want your profile to be clear and easy to read. Accordingly, avoid complicated layouts, multiple columns and decorations in corners or down the sides. You want it to be easy to read and uncrowded.

“With the right tone and language – less is more.”

3. How should it be Written?

  • Tone: Choose the tone that suits your intended audience. Writing in the first person conveys intimacy (I spent 15 years in the financial industry). Whereas, writing in the third person provides distance and perspective (Joe spent 15 years in the financial industry).
  • Language: You want to sound professional and knowledgeable while remaining approachable. You do not want to lose your reader with industry jargon.
  • Style: Remember people’s attention span is short. As a general rule, one page is enough to convey the essentials without overwhelming your audience. Therefore, keep it easy to read by using bullet points to convey pertinent points. And use short focused sentences to narrate your own story where relevant.
  • Format: Limit visuals. You want your profile to be clear and easy to read. Accordingly, avoid complicated layouts, multiple columns and decorations in corners or down the sides. You want it to be easy to read and uncrowded.

“With the right tone and language – less is more.”

It’s most likely that you will distribute your coaching profile electronically or have it as a download on a website. Therefore, ensure that it’s in a user-friendly format. By having it as a PDF you can manipulate the size of the document and prevent it from being changed. To avoid irritating your downloader, avoid zipping or encoding your document. Remember, power point presentations are best kept for in-person meetings as they generally aren’t user friendly.

4. Include a Photo

A picture says a thousand words. Consequently, ensure your photo is flattering and professional. Consider hiring a portrait photographer as an investment which results in a well taken and appealing photo. As experts they can also assist you to better convey your intended visual message to a prospective client. Keep a range of photos with different resolutions on hand. This way you don’t need to edit and adjust when you need a photo of yourself.

5. Test it Out

Distribute your finished profile to friends and colleagues. Ask them for an honest review of what it looks like, how it reads and if they would want to find out more. Then adjust things accordingly. Effectively, you want to know: Would those you’d like to coach choose you to coach them?

An Example of a Great Coaching Profile Outline

Name, Photo and Date

Perspectives

In this section you want to outline your

  • Qualifications
  • Experience
  • Philosophies and approach
  • Professional memberships
  • Community activities
  • …. Etc.

This helps the reader understand who you are, where you “come from”, and what “formed” you.

Process

Here you describe how you coach.

  • Do you have a coaching programme? If so, what is your minimum/maximum number or duration of sessions?
  • Do you use a particular process or model?
  • What happens in a session?
  • Which assessments do you use?
  • Do you have an agreement?
  • Do you have coaching rooms or do you travel? How far?
  • What are your rates and payment terms?

Often these last points are left off your profile if it’s sent to a corporate buyer by a coaching company.

In a nutshell, this section provides clarity on how you work and what is involved. Yes, you can be flexible, but it’s important to still give your parameters.

Purpose

Here you describe who you coach. The purpose is to help to create a sense of connection, that results in your reader wanting you to coach them.

  • Who is your ideal client?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What is the purpose of your coaching?

Experience and References

Conveying experience supported by credible references is ideal. Especially if previous client’s testimonies include what positive changes your coaching brought to their lives. Ahead of listing satisfied clients and their contract details, check that they are comfortable with you using them as a reference. Asking previous clients for short testimonials that can be included in this section is also a good idea.

Contact details

List your relevant contact information. Note: Do not include these if your profile is distributed via a coaching company as prospective clients will contact you through the company itself.

  • Contact numbers: Mobile, Skype ID…
  • Website URL
  • Email
  • Street Address

If you use an online platform for business purposes you may want to include links to a social media account. For example Facebook business page, Instagram or Twitter.

Qualifying as a Coach

Qualifications and affiliations are an important part of your coaching profile. Undergoing training through an accredited institution with a well standing reputation, can make the difference in career doors opening for you.  The South African College of Applied Psychology (SACAP) has a range of coaching courses. These are accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and aligned with COMENSA. For more information on how to start becoming a coach, enquire now.

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