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38 | B2B vs B2C: Which is Right for Your Coaching Business?
Episode 3830th November 2023 • Women in The Coaching Arena • Joanna Lott
00:00:00 00:12:17

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In last week's free workshop, a question came up that resonated with many of you, and I'm excited to delve into it further in this week's Women in the Coaching Arena podcast.

Should you focus on business-to-business (B2B) or direct-to-client (B2C) sales in your coaching practice? This decision is crucial, especially in executive, leadership, or career coaching, as it significantly influences your marketing strategies, lead generation activities, and overall messaging.

The Pros and Cons of B2B and B2C Coaching (00:01:20)

This topic discusses the differences between business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-client (B2C) coaching, including the pros and cons of each approach.

Marketing Strategies for B2B Coaching (00:05:02)

This topic explores the marketing strategies and activities that are effective for business-to-business (B2B) coaching, including building relationships with decision-makers, attending industry events, and showcasing thought leadership.


Marketing Strategies for B2C Coaching (00:06:04)

This topic discusses the marketing strategies and activities that are effective for business-to-client (B2C) coaching, including social media marketing, personal branding, and connecting directly with potential clients.


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Transcripts

Speaker:

Hello and welcome to Women in

the Coaching Arena podcast.

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I'm so glad you are here.

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I'm Jo Lott, a business mentor

and ICF accredited coach

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Microphone (Samson Q2U Microphone):

and I help coaches to

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build brilliant businesses.

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I know that when you prepare to enter

the arena, there is fear, self doubt,

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comparison, anxiety, uncertainty.

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You can tend to armor up and

protect yourself from vulnerability.

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In this podcast, I'll be sharing

honest, not hype, practical and

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emotional tools to support you to make

the difference that you are here for.

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Dare greatly.

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You belong in this arena.

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Hello, welcome to the 38th episode

of women in the coaching arena.

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I am so glad you are here.

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This week, I held a free workshop to help

people get clear on their niche offer.

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And somebody asked me a brilliant question

that I thought I would cover today.

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So am I selling business to business or

am I selling to the individual client?

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This is especially a quandary

when you are doing executive

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coaching or leadership coaching.

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Because it's hard to know.

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Is it going to be that individual leader

who perhaps sees your social media posts.

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Or are you marketing to organizations?

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So that's what we're

going to dive into today.

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This is a critical decision that can

shape how your marketing pans out.

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Your entire message on your website.

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It really is pivotal to your

success in your coaching business.

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So first let's define these items.

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So B2B refers to transactions

between businesses.

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So this would be you as

perhaps a leadership coach.

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Selling to an organization and

they are your paying client.

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B to C on the other hand involves

a transaction between you as

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perhaps a leadership coach.

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And your individual clients.

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You talking to that client

in all of your messaging and

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that client paying your bill.

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So let's talk about the pros

and cons of each of these.

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Business to business coaching

often involves larger contracts

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and longer engagement periods.

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It means more stability, potentially

higher income per client.

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However, the sales cycle

is longer and more complex.

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A lot of the time requiring you to get

through those different layers of an

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organization to get to that decision

maker that can sign off your invoice.

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On the flip side, B to C coaching

allows for more personal connection

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with your individual client.

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There isn't that confusion

about who is my contract with.

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The sales cycle is usually shorter because

that individual can just make a decision.

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You've got that flexibility to mold your

services, to suit that exact client.

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If they want more, if they want less,

you can negotiate with them directly.

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However, the trade off is smaller

contracts, less money per client usually,

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and potentially more effort in gaining

that client in terms of the marketing

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it takes to get that one client.

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So, how do you decide?

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It starts with understanding

your strengths, your preferences.

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Do you thrive in corporate environments?

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Do you prefer one-on-one interactions?

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Are you looking for long-term

engagements or variety in your clients?

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Another key factor is market demand.

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You would want to research both

markets of your area of expertise.

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What are the trends?

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What are most people doing that are

out there doing what you're doing?

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What do potential clients in

the sectors need the most.

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Are they happy to

purchase this themselves?

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Or is it the sort of thing that

they expect their employer to fund.

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So, for example, I worked with someone

who is providing maternity coaching.

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And she was selling it to the individual.

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But most people who are employed going

off on maternity leave kind of expect that

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that's something that their employer might

fund rather than them payout when they're

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about to take that hit in their pay.

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So often it's about really thinking about

your ideal client and are they seeking

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your service themselves to invest in.

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How you want to market is also crucial.

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So in business to business, building

relationships with key decision makers and

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understanding their needs is essential.

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You would be more likely to want

to do things like networking.

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Attend conferences.

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Do in person events for

business to business.

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The sales process for business to business

is very different for business the client.

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So you are likely to need very

different revenue generating activities,

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different methods of lead generation.

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For example, social media doesn't

really cut it with business to business.

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You have a very different

conversion rates.

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If you are talking to organizations

your usually building that relationship,

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therefore you will gain higher

trust and higher conversion rate.

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Good deep long-term relationships with

a few really good potential leads.

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A lot of the marketing for

B2B is behind the scenes.

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So that may please some of you, because

I know visibility comes up a lot.

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That's not to say it's easy though,

because there is a lot of admin heavy work

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to do to gain those corporate contracts.

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It's about sending a lot of cold emails,

a lot of the time, making sure you have a

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really good system to follow up on them.

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Making sure that you're constantly

keeping in touch with people.

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So if you are thinking, it

sounds like the easy option

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there is still work to be done.

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It's just a different type of work.

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So you would need to

balance which you prefer.

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And if you are thinking

neither, I hear you.

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And all we need to do is really

shift it to how good you are going

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to feel when you gain that contract.

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For those of you who don't want to

use social media, that will please

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you that it's nowhere near as

relevant for business to business

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as it is for business to client.

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So B2B marketing involves thought

leadership, publishing articles,

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speaking at industry events.

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It's really about building your

credibility, showcasing your

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expertise to that business audience.

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They are less likely to be impressed

by your social media posts and more

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likely to be impressed by studies

that you've done in your area of work.

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And things that completely

raise your credibility.

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Let's move on to exploring B to C.

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With B2C expanding your personal brand,

connecting directly with potential clients

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through social media, really growing

that audience can be more effective.

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For B to C social media

marketing is a core part of

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your strategy most of the time.

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Blogging, email newsletters,

lead magnets, funnels.

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That kind of thing can be really

powerful to reach those individuals

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seeking personal development.

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That's not to say that

online is the only way.

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You can get out there

and your local community.

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Figure out people you can partner

with, who have your ideal client and

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might be able to come up with some

sort of referral arrangement with you.

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There are so many ways of building

those relationships and getting your

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message out there and the right way

will be the right way for you, because

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you need to enjoy it to ensure you

actually show up and do it regularly.

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The choice between B2C and

B2B isn't necessarily binary.

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Many coaches can blend both approaches.

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I would recommend doing a campaign,

for example, like the next six months,

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for example, I'm going all in on B2B.

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And everything I do is going to be

targeted at gaining that big contract.

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Maybe then once you have that big

contract, you might want to do B2C, and

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then you could kind of change things.

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I do think it's difficult

to do two at the same time.

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They're not impossible because the B2B

marketing is often behind closed doors.

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You will be probably cold emailing

or LinkedIn, going to conferences.

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It won't necessarily impact what you are

showing on your social media, for example.

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Nevertheless, I would still

always recommend making your

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life as easy as possible.

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And really going all in on one campaign.

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To sum up whether you

choose B2B or B to C.

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The key is to really align your business

strategy with your strengths, the

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market demands, personal preferences.

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The person, for example, who

asked about this on the workshop

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already has B2B clients.

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I think she was an HR consultant.

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So therefore it made perfect sense that

she would align her coaching in line

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with the rest of her business marketing,

rather than have that coaching as a B2C

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thing and then her HR consulting work as

B2B thing, and it would just get a bit

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confusing who her message was talking to.

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So let's share two client case studies.

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One doing business to business,

and one doing business to client.

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And see if it helps you

to gain clarity at all.

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So Zoe, my client was wanting to

work with leaders in agencies.

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Before she came to work with me, she

was focusing on business to clients.

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So she was talking to the leader

who has been promoted and he's

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lost and confused and stressed out.

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Rather than to the agency who wants that

leader to perform well in the business so

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they generate more profits, for example.

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So she transferred to business, to

business, and she has really thrived

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ever since, because she absolutely

loves going to industry events.

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She loves building relationships.

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She's way better in person

than she finds social media.

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So she really found business

to business, helped her.

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Saying that though one of my clients,

Kate is targeting the individual and

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she has done really well with that.

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Don't get me wrong she has

showed up every damn day building

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her business for entire year.

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So that.

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is why she is doing really well with it.

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So again, if you do want to gain

individual clients, It is going to

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take a lot more visible marketing.

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Both paths are exciting, have different

opportunities and challenges, and

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that right choice will depend on your

individual goals and the specific

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dynamics of your coaching niche.

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Thank you for listening

to today's episode.

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I hope this discussion has provided

a bit more clarity and direction

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for your coaching business.

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Remember your journey is unique.

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The right path is the one

that aligns best with you.

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Your vision.

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Your values.

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And as I say, at the end of every

episode, trust yourself, believe

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in yourself and be the wise Gardner

who keeps on watering the seed.

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Thank you so much for listening to this

episode of Women in the Coaching Arena.

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I have a mess of free resources on

my website joannalottcoaching.com.

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That's Joanna with an A

and Lott with two T's.

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joannalottcoaching.com.

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And I'll also put links in the show notes.

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Let me know if you found

this episode useful.

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Share it with a friend and

leave me a review, and I will

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personally thank you for that.

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Remember to trust yourself, believe

in yourself and be the wise Gardner

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who keeps on watering the seed.

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Get into the arena dare, greatly and try.

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