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Wendy Buckingham  /  Creator, Life Coaching Professionally

 Discover The Benefits Of Strategic Alliances For Life Coaches

Page Summary

The benefits of strategic partnerships for life coaches are significant and a fantastic way to enhance and build a coaching business. Here are 8 ways to make it successful and profitable.

FYI: I may receive commissions at no cost to you. Please see my affiliate disclosure for more.

What Is A Strategic Partnership For A Coach?

Strategic Alliance of two figures surrounded by romantic red hearts

A strategic alliance or joint venture partnership is basically a relationship developed with another coach, practitioner or business who's services compliment and can benefit each other. 

There may be no actual money involved though some may decide on a referral fee. It's really up to the parties to the partnership to decide.  

Another type of a strategic partnership can be becoming an affiliate partner for a product or service that compliments your coaching and you can offer to your clients, such as a software personality profiling program.

For example, my affiliate partners for this website include Amazon and The Coaching Tools Company.  

Some examples of strategic partnerships for coaches:

  • A career coach, might set up an alliance with a recruitment company 
  • A coach specialising in coaching people through divorce, may find a lawyer or accountant a good cross referral source. 
  • A fitness or health coach may benefit from a strategic alliance with a gym or a doctor
  • One of the most common examples is setting up an alliance with a respected therapist, for when you feel a client needs this rather than or in addition to your coaching. In turn they may pass on clients you who they think may benefit from coaching as well as therapy.

How To Find Strategic Partnerships For Your Coaching

The trick to finding good strategic partnerships for your coaching is to find someone who has influence with a lot of possible clients, So, the questions to ask yourself is

"Who has my possible coaching client and where can I find them?"

In other words, who is likely to have clients who may need what you offer as a life coach.

As you can see from the examples above it could be your local GP, a psychologist, a fitness instructor, a nutritionist, lawyer, and so on. There will be plenty of related fields depending on your coaching niche or specialty.  

Another way of finding people where there can be a mutual benefit is through networking, either in person where you get to chat and create relationships or through social media. You can also research possibilities for those partnerships and joint ventures and make a direct approach.

Recommended Reading: Finding the best type of alliance partners

Becoming a Key Person of Influence by Daniel Priestly

To get more help with finding the best type of strategic alliance partners for your coaching Become a Key Person of Influence by Daniel Priestley could be really useful 

I loved this happy little book, full of information, illustrations and examples and Daniels's own experiences.

In particular there is a whole chapter on how to go about creating the various types of strategic partnerships. Check it out by clicking on the link or the image.

As with any kind of business partnership there are traps to avoid and tips to make sure the  alliance is a profitable success, rather than a regretted failure. Let's now discuss these. 

How To Make Sure You Reap The Benefits Of Strategic Alliances

These eight strategies will help you achieve successful alliance and joint venture partnerships and highlight some of the reasons why they sometimes fail. 

1. Make sure the attraction is mutual!

When someone approaches with an offer of working with you, it’s because they find you and your coaching practice attractive and see benefits for them in hooking up with you.

And that’s great for the ego. But you need to make sure that they are as attractive to you, in a business sense, and offer something of equal benefit to flow your way.

Of course some of the people you refer clients on to may just be part of your service - and offer no real benefit to you. But they may pass on favourable comments about you - that can raise your profile and possibly result in clients. 

2. Discuss all the benefits of the alliance and any fears. 

Have an initial meeting to get clear on what both of you hope to achieve from the alliance or joint venture and and how it will work. Set some firm goals and outcomes for what the partnership is to achieve.  

In that meeting also have no holds barred (but polite) conversation where you not only discuss all the benefits you see in working together but lay on the table all the fears you have about what could possibly not work or go wrong.

Getting all this out in the open right at the start and having the necessary conversations to clear up any misconceptions or misunderstandings is essential to save future disagreements and disappointments. It also helps you to get to know the other party really well!

3. Seek out the opinions of others on the proposed alliance

Ask questions of colleagues or friends who have worked with this person or company. Here are some of the things you might want to check out.

  • How did it work?
  •  Were they reliable? 
  • Do they have a good track record? 
  • Did they have integrity in their dealings? 
  • Did they follow through with their agreements? 

4. Catch up regularly 

A good policy is to have regular catch-ups, either face to face or online, to discuss how it is going, ask questions and handle any problems, considerations and possible misunderstandings, however seemingly trivial.

In other words, keep the space between you clean and don’t let uncertainties fester into upsets that could blow the relationship apart. 

5. Have a trial period 

Not all strategic alliance partnerships that you set up as a life coach will work. For instance you may find you are sending a lot of business their way but nothing is coming your way. Or you get unfavourable feedback from your clients.

A trial period allows both parties to enter into it more confidently knowing that the agreements are not set in stone.  

6. Continually put everything in writing

 If you are forming an alliance where money in exchange for referrals or some other tangible exchange is involved, have written signed agreement to prevent any misunderstandings. 

If the intended partner questions the need for this, tell them it is for the benefit of your both so there are no misunderstandings. 

7. Confirm all discussions

After each meeting or conversation with your strategic partner, write an email confirming what was discussed and any decisions made. This will make sure you are both still on the same page.

Be wary if there are delays in their responses, excuses or justifications when you are setting up. It could be a taste of how the future relationship will be. 

8. About those goals and outcomes

Cover of Mastering the Art of Goals Coaching

My book,  Mastering the Art of Goals Coaching (click on the link to get a taster of the content) is a particularly useful  handbook for you to use to set goals, whether for yourself or with your strategic alliance partner. 

One section deals with failed goals which may help you get positive about the relationship again if you have had a bad experience with a previous alliance. 

Another, guides you with the challenges and pitfalls of joint goal setting and how to make it work successfully. 

Give strategic alliance a go

In conclusion, if you choose and research your strategic alliances and keep track of the benefit they are to you, they can be a great way of attracting more clients and expanding your network. 

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Created and written by Wendy Buckingham, Class One Productions P/L. Sydney

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