Not everyone can be an effective marketing coach. While they may be able to help you with one or two things above, they will not be able to consistently help you move forward on all fronts.
So what’s important when you’re looking at hiring a marketing coach?
Consider the following:
- Industry Experience – More than anything, a marketing coach must have a deep understanding of the inner workings or your specific industry. If you are a lawyer you don’t want your coach referring to your “customers,” or not understanding the difference between plaintiff’s and defense work, or not understanding the ethics rules that govern marketing for lawyers.
- Chemistry – You will be sharing a LOT with your marketing coach. You need to feel comfortable with the person you are working with. You must feel they like you too and have your best interests at heart
- Creativity – You don’t want someone who will try to apply a cookie-cutter approach to you and your practice. You don’t want to do what everyone else is doing in your industry. You need a fresh and creative approach that will work for the unique butterfly YOU are!
- Systems and Processes – Look for someone who doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel for you. Rather, they will have some great systems and processes in place to help you move through the marketing assessment phase, into marketing planning and implementation.
- Enthusiasm – You need someone who is going to be as excited (if not more) about your success. One of the ways in which I measure my success as a marketing coach is that my clients will say – “You are so energetic and motivating – – After we talk, I feel so enthused about my marketing opportunities!”
- Flexibility – Your schedule changes on a dime. You need a marketing coach who acknowledges this and allows you the flexibility you need to integrate marketing into your day-to-day routine.
- Respect – It’s imperative that you respect your marketing coach, and that she respects you. Personally, my rule is that I need to know I would refer my coaching client to any friend, family member or colleague in need of their services. Mutual respect is a must.
- Trust – You must trust your marketing coach in every respect. You will be sharing personal details including your fears and insecurities related to your marketing efforts. You must trust your marketing coach enough to share these things with her.
- Confidentiality – This hardly needs mentioning, but you must be assured your marketing coach will hold every word and document you share in complete confidentiality.
- Negotiation and Business Skills – Coaching is not just about logos and presentations. Your marketing coach needs to know enough about your business that she can help you negotiate with a new employer, your landlord, or realize that you are significantly overpaying your staff (and provide ideas on how to fix the problem). Your coach should be able to help you negotiate your deal with a new firm, determine if (or when) to leave your firm, and have the skill and savvy to support you every step of the way.
You need a marketing coach who cares as much about your success as she does her own
Working with a marketing coach can help you produce results that, without your coach, would have been difficult, if not impossible to achieve. I can’t tell you how many times new and innovative ideas have sprung forth just from the two-way dialogue that happens in a coaching call or meeting. You need a marketing coach who cares as much about your success as she does her own; someone who will drop what they’re doing to answer your call or email, or who will talk with you early in the morning or late in the evening to accommodate your scheduling needs. It’s rare to find the exact right fit with your marketing coach. Make sure you do your due diligence before choosing someone to partner with you on something as important as your future success!
In 1997, Terrie Wheeler leveraged her 12 year career as an in-house law firm marketing director, and founded Professional Marketing Services, LLC (PSM). The focus of PSM is to deliver outsourced marketing department and individual marketing coaching services to clients in the legal and financial services industries. Prior to founding PSM, Terrie served as the marketing director at three large Minnesota law firms. During this time she and her marketing team led all marketing and business development efforts at the firm-wide, practice group, industry group and individual attorney levels by creating and implementing highly-targeted and results-oriented marketing strategies.