An interview with…

Since passing his certification in coaching, Phil Drinkwater has created and generated a profitable business coaching service. We met up with him 8 months after qualification to find out what’s been going on and how he’s moved on.

What was your initial vision of your practice, and has it changed?

My initial vision has changed at least a dozen times. 

In the coaching market, I’ve learned it’s essential to be clear about your proposition. So after my dozen changes, my offering has been refined significantly. I am attracting and ultimately working with people who are the right “fit” and those with who I can develop rapport. 

So my business coaching is now tailored to the totally right area for me: people pleasers and neurodiverse entrepreneurs. Like 40% of all entrepreneurs, I’m ADHD, so I have a real passion for supporting those individuals. 

How do you market yourself?

Having worked in SEO for over 20 years, I’m fortunate to understand how to gain website traffic. I’ve gone from zero to approximately 300 targeted visitors a month, who book, on average, 10 discovery calls.

However, I have had to learn how to use social media and bravely produce videos for Instagram and TikTok. I’m now also veering towards YouTube shorts for increased awareness. 

Regardless of channel, it’s essential to have an apparent offering that attaches to a clear problem your target audience is experiencing, or you’ll be wasting time and energy. 

The key thing to remember, this all does take time, so be kind to yourself as you’re working out who you are as a coach and marketing a new business! But start as soon as possible, build your website, develop your social messages and take that leap. Your future coaching self will thank you. 

How should someone get started with their coaching business?

As I tell my customers, businesses start one at a time. I wouldn’t worry too much about building the processes needed to run a coaching business with 15 customers. I’d begin day one with your marketing and finding someone – just one person who wants to buy what you’re selling.

If you already have access to a network, that can be a fantastic place to start. Tell everyone you’re now a coach and be specific about how you can help them. 

You might also search on YouTube for coaching business strategy, which will help you understand how others are successful. Just be cautious because many of these people will have expensive programmes that promise to make you $10k a month, which typically fall short of these promises. However, these videos contain good information that you can start working on or hire people to work with you.

During your training, think about who you want to be as a coach and immerse yourself in the broader industry so you can start to pick up how it’s working today. That will give you a head start when you qualify.

We know there’s a lot of tech out there. But what have you used or tested to help you build your business? 

I broke it down into four key elements when developing my business, focusing on running smoothly and effectively.

  1. Your marketing has to bring people to your offering, wherever that exists
  2. You need to have a sales system to help people decide to buy it
  3. They then need to pay you
  4. You need to deliver the coaching

The combination of Google CalendarIntrowise and Calendly has been superb for my one-to-one coaching business and in helping me to quickly build effective processes. All have free options. 

For creating copy and content, and heyjasper have also been excellent when developing calls to action on the content. 

Upwork (or YouKnowJuno, or Place.Me) has been fantastic in finding experts to do small or medium-sized marketing tasks that I would otherwise need to learn.

So what next for Phil Drinkwater Coaching? 

I think I’ll launch a group coaching programme at some point, possibly based on entrepreneurs struggling with focus, a specific issue for ADHD people. And develop my app for People Pleasers, as they are two communities that I identify with. 

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