- Joining a coach marketplace will stunt your growth because they cause you to forfeit control over your coaching relationships.
- A marketplace’s purpose is to match athletes to coaches for quick fix lessons. They will do whatever it takes to keep athletes in their ecosystem, including marketing other coaching opportunities to them.
- CoachNow will never introduce marketplace features. Ever. Read below to learn why.
Listen On the Go:
At CoachNow, we place unparalleled value on coaching relationships.
I know firsthand how difficult it is to grow your business and keep athletes coming back. I know how long the hours can be, and how exhausting it is to give your athletes all your effort and attention day in/ day out.
And, when I founded CoachNow, my singular goal was to develop products that enhance the coaching relationship and make coaches' lives easier.
Part of that goal includes a commitment to you – I’ll never do anything that could jeopardize your relationships.
Over the years (and especially as we've been ramping up our ConnectedCoach Academy) I've had quite a few coaches ask about my thoughts on coaching “Marketplaces”.
That is, I’ve had coaches ask me why they can’t advertise their services in the CoachNow ecosystem to potential new customers.
On the surface, this sounds like a great idea… Doing so could establish a win-win for the business – encouraging users to sign up for CoachNow, and make extra revenue from our existing members. Right?
While a lead generation/match-making tool (aka: lesson marketplace) seems like an obvious opportunity, early on we made the conscious decision to NEVER introduce this to the CoachNow membership.
And, while some may see this stance as us boxing out potential customers, we see it differently. We believe that a strength of our platform comes from our omission of features like:
- Searching and connecting with other members. (i.e. discovering other coaches)
- Social feeds across the network (i.e. distracting content from other coaches)
- Video content discovery (i.e. DIY videos from other coaches)
- Ads targeted at athletes inside and outside the marketplace, meant to drive leads or even product sales (i.e. advertising unrelated products to athletes)
I take a hard stance on this issue.
To start, it’s important to note that there are countless products in the so-called “instruction market”. And many well-funded instruction marketplaces have failed miserably.
And I think I know why: when you submit your info into a market, you forfeit control of the coaching relationship.
Your customers aren’t really yours, they are the marketplace’s.
And the singular goal of marketplaces is to keep selling lessons – they couldn’t care less if you or the coach next to you in the feed delivers them.
When your athlete sees other coaches pitching their offers in the same place they are being coached by you, they will, at best, be distracted.
At worst, they will leave you for another coach.
The last thing we want is for you to bring your athletes into our platform only for them to be distracted/enticed by other coaching opportunities.
That’s how you cannibalize a network. I want to keep the best coaches in CoachNow, not give others a platform to steal their clients.
And in my opinion, the worst offenders are the marketplaces that have coaching lessons built into the feature set.
I.e. ones that both act as a marketplace for new coaches AND a coaching communication channel for your existing client – where athletes go to the same place to FIND their coach and BE coached.
Invariably, these platforms collect tons of information from these athletes and use that information to market other opportunities to them.
They will place cookies in their browser, sign them up for a bunch of newsletters, and use this data to keep them around.
And, “keep them around” for these businesses means simply keeping them in the marketplace, not keeping them as YOUR client.
Because, remember: you aren’t the customer they care about, the athletes are.
Plus, the very format of the marketplace introduces risks.
Because you don’t have control over the discovery features of a marketplace, you also forfeit control over your first impression.
For all you know, your offer could end up next to a scam artist’s – that kind of misplacement can cause irreversible damage to your brand.
And, to top it off, these marketplaces will often charge 10%-20% in fees just so you can have the “privilege” of being on the feed.
This eats into your margins and, time and time again, I’ve seen situations where only a small handful of coaches become successful (usually due to spending more money to be at the top of the feed) and the rest fail.
In contrast, we want CoachNow to be a space focused purely on you and your athletes' relationship. We seek to be only the best private, distraction-free digital space for you to focus on your athletes’ progress.
Having a purpose-built coaching space that cuts out noise, allows a higher level of focus that advertising-laden, over-bloated social platforms and marketplaces simply can’t.
We’ve been around for 10+ years and I have tried to explain this issue countless times. Trust me, the downsides to marketplaces far outweigh the benefits.
I could go on and on but for now, I’ll recap my thoughts.
- YOU need to own your relationships.
- It’s crucial that you are careful about how you promote, and who you promote with.
- Marketplaces can work in some cases but you must understand that their true customer isn’t you, it’s the ATHLETE.
- DON’T use an online lesson tool/marketplace with your current customers if you want to keep them. It will only cause unnecessary distraction, competition and turnover.
One piece of parting advice: your business decisions should be made from the lens of an entrepreneur first, and coach second. Make decisions that’ll set your business up for success, rather than chasing the small-ticket lesson treadmill of marketplaces.
Always stick to what we teach at the ConnectedCoach Academy. Dig into your niche, create your own funnel, and own every step of the coaching relationship.
It might be more work at first, but I promise it’s worth it.
Here’s to carving your own path!
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