Coach Contracting: 17 Keys To Effective Coaching Business

Coach Contracting: 17 Keys To Effective Coaching Business

What is “coach contracting” and why refer to this term as opposed to just “coaching”?

As a marketing coach, my goal is help my clients with their businesses businesses through coaching and consulting. Coaching allows me to collaborate with clients to set goals, develop strategies, and track progress, ultimately leading to successful projects.

Many coaches offer one off calls. And that’s a great, flexible option.

However, the most transformation happens in a longer term agreement, which is where coach contracting comes in.

Coach Contracting: The Actual Coaching Contract

The Contracting Process

The first key to success with coach contracting involves establishing the actual agreement. There is no regulating body for the coaching industry, but the International Coaching Federation (ICF) is the closest thing. They have an example agreement, and I found a bunch more on the web as well.

Looking for contract and agreement templates? Go here for coaching agreement examples.

Coach contracting process

The contracting process begins even before our first session. With VERY few exceptions, I always have an initial conversation with people for making sure I align with what the client needs (as far as skills, knowledge, and even pricing).

From there, I send over a detailed follow up email with the contract and a link to pay. This way the client can review all the terms with additional info like my background, past client examples, the goals I think are realistic, etc.

A coach contracting template should request basic information from the client’s side, including:

  • Full legal name
  • Job title
  • Company name
  • Phone numbers
  • Email address

I advise clients to seek any necessary legal advice around coach contracting details and encourage them to suggest any amendments. An effective contracting process involves transparent communication and good faith between concerned parties.

Once we agree on the scope of the coaching engagement, and associated fees, logistics of our sessions, and all other terms, we finalize and e-sign the contract. This sets clear expectations all around and serves as the foundation for a productive working relationship.

Whether you’re new to coaching or shifting your existing business to more contract coaching, having an effective, clearly defined contracting process is essential. This allows you to establish trust and alignment with clients from the initial conversations and set up every engagement for success.

How to Get Coaching Clients In 10 Steps

Coaching Session After Coach Contracting

The coaching session (after coach contracting) is where the magic happens after laying all the necessary groundwork around contracting. I establish some ground rules and structure for my coaching sessions as part of our initial coaching agreement. This allows my clients to understand the full coaching process.

I reserve 60-90 minutes per session depending on the scope of our engagement. Government contracts often stipulate specific session durations I must adhere to as well. I send a calendar invitation to block off time and ensure we both come prepared.

At the start of each call, we check-in briefly on any pressing updates but then dive into the meat of the session. As part of our contracting, we outline key objectives, challenges or opportunities to tackle. I create a loose agenda to structure our session time most effectively.

The coach-client relationship is founded on trust, mutual understanding, and accountability. My clients know I’m fully invested in their success and will ask tough questions and challenge assumptions while being fully supportive. We determine action steps and commitments at the end of each session.

Between sessions, clients have full access to me for any pressing questions by phone or email. I also hold them accountable to actions discussed by following up and checking on progress.

With clarity on intended outcomes/key results areas and the right structure around scheduling, duration and commitments, coaching sessions stay focused and productive. This allows me to maintain trust and transparency even in brief, coach contracting engagements.

Clear Expectations

Establishing clear expectations from the start is key to building an effective coaching relationship with a new client. As part of our first session, I ensure we align on several key points:

Number of Sessions

We agree upfront exactly how many coaching sessions are included, based on the client’s needs and budget. This could be a set number like 6 or 12 sessions over 3-6 months for example. Defining the scope sets clear limits around my availability and involvement.

Here’s more info on creating coaching packages.

Goal Setting

Understanding the client’s goals is critical for a successful coaching relationship. In our first session, we explicitly talk through short and long term goals for the engagement. This ensures I can develop customized strategies and content to help achieve intended results.

Refund Policy

Although rare, I clarify upfront under what exceptional circumstances a client may qualify for a partial or full refund, and any constraints around timing and approval. This avoids unpleasant surprises down the line.

By taking the time to ensure a clear, mutual understanding on these key areas, my clients gain full transparency on what to expect over the course of our engagement. Setting these expectations early on also holds us both accountable to commitments and intended outcomes from our very first session. Maintaining open communication and clarity is critical for an effective contract coaching relationship marked by trust and results.

Realizing Positive Outcomes

The ultimate measure of success for any coaching engagement is whether the client achieves their desired results and professional development goals. Through contract coaching, I work to build a strong coaching relationship where my clients gain valuable insights that drive transformational change.

In my experience, when human beings feel seen, heard, and understood, they unlock greater self-awareness and intuition around reaching their full potential. My coaching approach is to balance active listening and powerful questioning with accountability and commitment to action.

This leads clients to uncover obstacles that may be holding them back from realizing their goals. Through our sessions, I see clients build motivation, knowledge, and confidence to push past these hurdles. The momentum and clarity gained leads to lasting positive outcomes long after our engagement ends.

While every client’s needs and objectives differ, some common positive outcomes from our work together include:

  • Increased sales and revenues
  • Stronger marketing campaigns and funnels
  • Greater authority and recognition as a thought leader
  • Improved messaging and positioning
  • Higher conversion rates on websites and landing pages
  • Stronger customer targeting and segmentation
  • Deeper competitive insights and differentiation

The proof is in the results. My proudest moments are when clients meet or exceed the positive outcomes we defined early on. This success motivates them to continue applying the strategies and mindsets developed through our contract coaching engagement.

Here are 53 powerful coaching questions to ask.

Types of coaching practices

There are a variety of coaching niches, and contract coaching can apply meaningfully across many of these areas. Whether serving as a business coach, career coach, executive coach, or even life coach, outlining clear expectations upfront allows me to deliver significant value.

Resources for types of coaching

For example, I may offer a 3 month contract coaching program for executives focused specifically on elevating their personal brand and thought leadership. We would define key objectives for their professional development along with a structured engagement including regular 1:1 calls.

Alternatively, a business coach could offer contract coaching for early stage founders seeking to gain momentum. Deliverables may include strategic plans for growth, financial modeling, competitive research, and more over a defined 6 month relationship.

Contract coaching also lends itself well to monthly group coaching programs covering specific topics. As a group coach, members would sign up knowingly for my 12 month program to receive consistent support, resources, and access in areas like human-centered marketing strategies.

Across various niches and stages, coaches deliver exceptional value through professional services that lead to transformation and results. Defining contract terms simply allows us to align on expected outcomes given a client’s unique needs and budget. With so many potential types of coaching, contracts provide helpful guardrails and structure.

Whether you focus on career coaching, organizational development, consulting, or beyond, clearly outlining any engagement demonstrates commitment and builds trust.

This ability to tailor contract coaching across niches and formats allows me to best serve diverse clients.

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