How to Get the Most Value From a Business Coach
The right coach can direct you to the best opportunities
Remember that old commercial with the woman peering over her reading glasses and solemnly suggesting that "Everyone needs a little help now and then?" I can't for the life of me remember what the commercial was for, but I certainly haven't forgotten her advice. 'Cause it's TRUE. Especially when it comes to our business.
I love turning to coaches to help me through a rough spot or to give me an objective, straightforward, no BS opinion when I need it. You can't argue with direct, practical advice! Sometimes we're so mired in the minutia that we have trouble seeing the big picture.
This is especially useful at the start of a new year. I've hired coaches to help me at different times with all facets of my business. As an on-camera and voice actor, training is on-going via workshops and classes. Coaching, though, is much more personal and takes one of two forms: elevating my performance as an actor or focusing on the marketing and development end of my business.
As a coach myself, I've hired experts in areas such as marketing, website design, and social media to help me clarify my direction and service offerings. There's no way we can know or do everything ourselves! Some are hired on a one-time one hour consulting basis and others are contracted to work with me over a fixed number of sessions (especially when there's a particular goal I need their help to achieve). My amazing marketing/website guru guides me in a monthly session on an on-going basis. Thank you, Sara!
Just last week, I met with Heidi Rew to evaluate my voiceover business strategy for 2024. Heidi, with her husband Mike Stoudt, are co-owners of the Atlanta Voiceover Studio. Not only are they two of the nicest people you'll ever meet, they were also my very first VO instructors way back in 2017. I figure they know me pretty well by now! I usually see one or both of them weekly when I stop by their offices, which they share with Get Taped, an on camera audition taping service that I use regularly. So, when I was looking for guidance in my VO career, I knew where to turn. And I wasn't disappointed!
Working with coaches makes me a better coach, too. I know from my own experience that clients deserve a coach with demonstrated expertise, a sincere desire to be of service to them, and the ability to deliver what's been promised. It's up to the client to do the work and see the results of those services, of course, but a good coach can show the way. I'm most satisfied when the requirements (needs, goals, whatever!) are stated clearly upfront and understood by both parties. Once we both know where we need to go, it's much easier to chart the path and lay out the milestones I need to achieve.
On Camera Confidence: Video Mastery
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Steps to Get Your Money's Worth Out of a Single Coaching Session
When I hire someone to help me with a specific area of my business, I like to dive right in and get to the heart of the matter as quickly as possible. Time IS money, and the faster my coach knows what I need, the more time we can spend developing a workable solution.
I was very happy that Heidi had me do a little homework before we met, just to shorten the discovery process and avoid spending too much of our time together talking about the problem. Much more efficient for me to gather my thoughts first, know what I want to achieve, and then help her prepare by sending her this information via email ahead of time. More succinctly, I'd suggest the following to anyone planning a coaching session....
Checklist for an effective coaching session
Your goal(s), simply stated
A brief history to give the coach perspective
The immediate problem or obstacle - what's holding you back?
What you hope to achieve as a result of this session
Your measurement of success
Everyone needs a little help now and then, so don't be afraid to ask for it!
That may seem like a lot to achieve in a session of one or less, but you'd be surprised how much you can accomplish with some pre-planning! So how do you get the most out of a series of coaching sessions? Much the same way, except that the process is more detailed, with each session focused on a different step of the process. Progress is made when the client applies what's been learned afterwards and in preparation for the next step of the process.
This is how I like to go about my coaching with clients, too. I also want to know how a new client likes to work with a coach. Some prefer just a direct exchange of information and feedback. Others do better with gentle encouragement and hand-holding along the way. A good coach can adapt to the personality and needs of the client, but the best work happens when there's a match between coach and client. Some people click, while others are just on different wavelengths.
My coaching is building on camera confidence for anyone preparing to speak in a video, give a Zoom presentation, or appear as a guest in an upcoming webinar, podcast, or interview. As someone with years of experience in both the business and entertainment worlds, I can help you become (and look!) completely comfortable and charismatic on camera. Interested? I invite you to schedule a free 15 minute consultation to see how we can quickly get you there.
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