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Branching Out with NLP

With any kind of business and that includes NLP coaching, there has to be a focus toward growth and ongoing development.  What other markets would be appropriate?  Can expanding the demographics of a typical client reveal untapped opportunities?  Or, can shifting the focus in a slightly different direction create a potential new client resource.  Recently, I learned something about that last question from one of my clients.

Most life coaches, using that term in a general way, tend to focus on particular life challenges or areas for improvement.  Most business coaches, again generally speaking, look to particular industries or business types for a client base. What happens, however, when we take those two focal points and reverse them?  The life coach looks at business types and the business coach looks at people or life challenges?

One of my clients has two areas of specialization.  Her first is very definitely life coaching based in that she works with people who are transitioning in their careers.  Her second could be either life or business coaching as she specializes in helping women who want to own their own businesses.  During a recent session with this client, we shifted focus with both of her areas of specialization and made an incredible discovery.  The client discovered some large untapped markets by focusing on industries for career transition work and by focusing on particular women’s life area groups for her business development work.

As coaches, we can learn so much from the creativity of our clients and, many times, apply their ah-hah moments to ourselves, our businesses, and our clientele both in terms of coaching practices but also in terms of business development and expansion.  That was how I arrived at this notion of reverse marketing – a business coach focusing on people, a life coach focusing on industries.

Where I have focused on marketing to coaches who are building their businesses, I came to realize that I can also focus toward people who are in the early stages of thinking about building a small business of their own.  I can also market to people who want to create something as an avocation and grow that to success.  Success does not necessarily mean working at a business full time.  Rather, it means, as Earl Nightingale defined it, “the progressive realization of a worthy ideal or goal.”  The goal can be transitioning to full time but it doesn’t have to be.

If you are an NLP life coach, you might ask yourself if there are particular types of businesses where you might find an abundance of the very life challenges that you specialize in addressing.  As a business coach using the strengths of NLP, you might ask yourself if there are particular associations of people for whom you would be a good match in terms of helping them grow professionally.  My client focuses on women’s groups in order to grow her business development coaching work and on businesses for her career transition work.  It sounds backwards but it isn’t at all.

As I said, we can learn so much from our clients.  All we have to do is listen.