In an effort to really jumpstart a blog's success and productivity, many people are starting to turn to Blog Coaches for help on running a successful blog business. The most important thing to remember when it comes to coaching and finding a coach, however, is that you are in charge. It’s your journey. If, somewhere along the way, you discover that your coach is not the right fit for you, don’t be scared to start over with someone else.
Knowing what to watch out for will help you avoid coaches who are not the right fit for you. Make sure you watch out for these red flags with Blog Coaches:
1. Coaches who don’t specialize
Coaches who cover too broad of an area aren’t usually as effective as those who are passionate about one topic. A coach who specializes will provide rich detail and vital “hidden” information that will benefit you in the long run.
For example, there are plenty of people out there who can coach you on blogging. The problem with this is there are so many types of blogging. So, if you’re a fashion blogger, you should look for a coach who specializes in fashion blogging. Better yet, one who’s been a fashion blogger herself.
2. People who don’t tell you what you can expect
We’re not just talking time frames and deadlines. We’re talking about those who don’t help you become familiar with their process and leave you in the dark. If they are not open with their communication, it might be time to do some more research and digging.
3. They haven’t “walked the walk”
You wouldn’t hire someone to teach you the ins and outs of fashion blogging for profit when they don’t even have a blog, right? You want someone who can prove they’ve been there and experienced what it’s like to start out. Make sure to find people who have history, social proof, and the success to back it up.
4. People who use too many “I” messages
The focus should be on “we.” The focus should be the both of you working together. If they are way too focused on themselves and talking about themselves, that is definitely a red flag.
5. They refuse to discuss any area or aspect of your coaching with you
Statements such as “you don’t need to know, you just need to do what I tell you” are evidence of controlling behavior—the very antithesis of what coaching is supposed to be all about. Again, open communication is really the key for finding a coach that you'll be happy with.
6. Don’t give you objective and clear feedback
After all, the reason why you got a coach in the first place is so that you can improve. But how will you improve if they don’t give you any feedback?
For example, say your coach suggested a new blog design–one that is more aesthetically pleasing and will attract a greater audience. You take her advice, but weeks have passed, and she’s never given you any feedback. This is counter-intuitive to your learning and not what you want out of a coach.
7. They demean or belittle you as a person
They should offer objective, non-personal criticisms. They may say they behave overly aggressively it to “get results.” But it's never OK. Do not ever team up with someone who uses bullying tactics and calls it “coaching.”
8. People who don’t follow up
Good coaches should be with you every step of the way. Plus, a lack of follow-up can also mean your coach is inexperienced or unorganized—and that’s not what you’re paying for.
If you have problems or get something wrong, you need to know:
- What didn’t work
- Why it didn’t work
- How to fix it
- How to ensure you “nail” it next time
What You Can Do to Prepare for Your Coaching Experience:
If you really want to get the most out of your coaching experience, you need to be one hundred percent committed to giving the coaching process your all. Let’s sum up how to prepare for your first coaching session:
1. Due diligence
Check out potential coaches thoroughly. Check out their blogs, their YouTube channels, and other social media accounts. Make sure they not only know enough about blogs, fashion, or whatever other aspect you want to focus on, but that they’re good at it.
2. Create an Agenda
Include what you want to talk about each session and what questions you want to ask.
- Create a goal for your each one of your sessions. Having goals makes you more accountable and focused.
- Prevent interruptions.
- Buy a voice recorder. Recording your sessions is effective because you can always go back and listen to them. Plus, they allow you to have every single detail of your session on record–and with very minimal effort on your part.
3. Carry a Notebook
Write down questions to ask your coach as they come to you. Refer to your notebook when planning your agenda. You can use your notebook, or even a mobile app like Evernote, to get organized and set up a folder that’s dedicated to coaching. You can categorize your sub-folders this way:
- Session notes
- Anything else that would help you stay organized, if you created a sub-folder for it.
4. Clear Your Calendar
Make sure you give yourself enough time to:
- Evaluate the previous lesson
- Implement suggested changes or strategies
- Prepare for your next session
5. Do as much work on yourself as possible beforehand.
Use quizzes and self-assessment tools to help you identify:
- Which area you need coaching right now
- Which type of coach you need (life, executive, business, or career)
- What you will and won't accept in a coach
- What you want and need in a coach
- What issues you need to resolve
- What is blocking you from success or from achieving your next goal
- Your preferred learning style
Do your best to allocate enough time for each item you want to go over. Also, allow for new items your coach might want to discuss as well.