Trademark Yourself

Craig & Megan

By Craig Johns

Do you know who you are and what your identity is?

Last year I was fortunate enough to deliver an impromptu presentation on Branding and Marketing for Coaches at the Triathlon Australia Performance Coach Course in Canberra at the Australian Institute of Sport. I was pretty excited to be able to speak to the next generation of performance coaches on this topic, as it is an area that isn’t given much time in the coaching world, but is extremely important to succeed in a world of limited opportunities.

“If you don’t know what you stand for, you will fall for anything.” 

SANDRA YANCEY

What follows is not only practical to sports coaches, but also to business coaches. managers and leaders.

The Trap

It is common for coaches to launch into coaching as a profession, with a world of passion and emotion, and fall into the trap of coaching everyone, no matter what age, ability, desire and characteristics. Coaches are like kids in a candy store without any boundaries, and before they know it they have consumed too much and are barely able to tread water, let alone have enough energy to lift the weight off their shoulders.

Authentic Delivery

A coach is a salesperson, whether they know it or not. To sell something effectively they have to know its heart and soul. To convince, motivate and inspire an athlete and team of athletes effectively, a coach needs to be able to deliver messages authentically and consistently. They need to know what it is that separates themselves, to stand out, from the rest.

The Connection

It doesn’t matter whether a coach is a volunteer, works on a performance program or sets up their own coaching business, being able to clearly define and nurture their identity will allow them to cultivate a successful career and most importantly deliver an environment where success, for the athletes, is inevitable. The coach needs to position themselves in a way that allows potential and current athletes to perceive, think and feel more connected to them compared to other coaches or coaching businesses. (Bence, 2012)

“Your  SMILE is your  logo, your  PERSONALITY is your  business card, how you LEAVE OTHERS FEELING after an experience with you becomes your trademark.”

JAY DANZIE

Trademark

Photo Credit: David Sun

Leave Your Mark

So what is branding for a coach? It’s about creating a consistent message through the way they talk, move, act, deliver, motivate, inspire and bring the best out in the athletes they are working with. It’s about developing an underpinning philosophy that the coach whole-heartedly believes in and is passionate about. It’s a way of life for the athletes the coach works with. Most importantly, it’s the distinctive aspects of the coaching style, personal characteristics and environment that leaves a mark on everyone who comes in contact with the coach.

Coaching Brand

It is important that a coach can identify what types of athletes (markets) are most suited to their coaching identity and market effectively to them. Whether it be speaking with a potential athlete for the first time or setting up a new website, the messages need to be clear, consistent and from the heart. A successful coach-athlete relationship, the foundation of coaching, is based on factors such as trust, emphatic understanding, acceptance and respect (Jowett, 2005). A clear, concise and consistent coaching brand will go along way to ensuring a successful relationship is created and developed.

People Sell, Not Products

For those starting a coaching business, it is important to know, that it’s the “person” that people are attracted to, not the product. Athletes are attracted to the personal characteristics of the coach and the business. The coaches ability to sell the products requires a consistent and powerful (coach) brand that they can passionately communicate. It is important a coach doesn’t just copy what other successful coaches are doing. They need to create their own identity.

Every time you shake a hand, you market your brand.”

How are you communicating your coaching identity?

 

What’s next?

Keep up-to-date on the latest membership information, research and ideas by signing up the the NRGizer Newsletter. SIGN UP NOW

Are you looking for more insights and ideas? Then read the following inspiring and thought-provoking articles by Craig Johns:

 

References

Bence, B. (2012) Five Ways to Build a Successful Coaching Brand at Little to No Cost. International Coach Federation. Sep 7. 2012. http://icfheadquarters.blogspot.com.au/2012/09/five-ways-to-build-successful-coaching.html

Jowett, S. (2005) The Coach-Athlete Partnership. The British Psychological Society. 18, 412-415. https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/volume-18/edition-7/coach-athlete-partnership

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: