Over the years I’ve been fortunate to win dozens of coaches as clients and in doing so witnessed the evolution of professional coaching as it is today.
From strategy and discipline to marketing and design I’ve seen and implemented these trends for clients and based on my experiences this year my predictions for coaching in 2104 will be:
1. Is technology a problem?
In 2014 technology will be an underlying factor for most problems that coaches will need to solve. Whether the technology is the source of a problem or a part of a solution; the self –development sector will see both the gift and curse of technology in today’s lifestyle. It pretty much spawns all the predictions and trends made below in one way or another.
2. Getting smart with smartphones
Coaches have always been quick to utilise tools to market and enhance a solution. At one point all coaches were all making CD’s and after that it was books, then mp3s and even videos. These have all been cost effective and achievable products for both the coach and end client.
Todays tools however are all very digital and transparent. From the smartphone and apps to social media and other new emerging trends, coaches have not been able to take advantage of these tools simply because the end solution needs more thought. However, we know that coaches have been tinkering away, thinking of a way to use these tools as a solution and in 2014 coaches will begin to take full advantage of apps and smartphones as a marketing and delivery tool.
3.Who else can you coach
Life coaching became popular and business coaching set itself firmly into the business world so the question is…. who else can you coach?
There will be lots of little experiments and exploration as the coaching industry tries to find new clients to serve but so far their looking at….
4. The Youth
Coaching the youth is not a prediction, its already happening. We’re seeing many business ideas revolving around coaching/helping a younger generation from teen to young adult and we’ve already carried out two projects this year.
In 2014 I think we’ll see even more youth based coaching businesses. The need for this solution could be a knock on effect from our change in lifestyle and technology.
Whether it’s a full blown business or just an initiative, have you got any ideas to help a younger generation?
5. Coaches Getting Trendy
Because of the above we’ve also had an overwhelming request to create trendy identities by coaches. However given the fact that design itself has taken a dry, flat and fashionable trend in 2013 the idea of a trendy design will go beyond youth based coaching businesses to all coaches/consultancies in order to stay current in 2014.
6. Coaches getting creative
In 2014 we’ll see more collaboration between coaches and non-related service providers to diversify solutions and create a different offering altogether. Coaches will be teaming up with developers, writers, publishers and quite frankly allsorts to produce new niche services.
7. Foundations & Orgs
The new alliances made above will pave way for a new approach to coaching being foundations and organisations. This is partly due to the effect technology has had on our lives. Today, everyone is looking for answers within a community more so then a service provider and creating a foundation or a help resource will take full advantage of gaining leads and reinventing coaching as a service.
We’ve already started on 3 similar sites so in 2014 expect to see more resource based coaching businesses/websites serving as foundations as oppose to service provider.
A few years ago women became all the rage. Women only networking groups, women leadership and women in business. Today that idea is not so much in your face but it’s still there and still relevant. We’ve had several proposed ideas this year revolving around a women only resource whether it be coaching, leadership or just good old lifestyle tips.
The difference is that the ideas are again evolving, tapping into new lifestyle trends and posing more as a resource then a straight up service provider.
In 2014 expect to see many coaches/resources focusing on women only.
9. Alternative disciplines
Over the last two years we’ve seen traditional and alternate types of help based businesses spawning from the role of lifecoach. Businesses focusing on Fen Shui and astrological solutions have created an emerging trend. These disciplines have been creeping in slowly but 2014 will see a bigger rise in these solutions for both business and personal life.
10. Niche Services
As well as alternate and traditional services, 2014 will see a development in existing and modern niche coaching services such as sports coach, physical therapy and ex-millitary solutions. These services have always been there, lingering in the background as a specific requirement but in 2014 I think they will be a little more prominent in the marketplace.
Now that brands and branding all have a common place with the social user, the strategy and regulation of marketing a brand is more important. In 2014 I expect business coaches/consultancies to be doing a lot more internal brand and team building coaching to cater for these new areas.
12. Self Investment
Coaches have not been so keen on self-development themselves during 2012-2013 possibly due to the economy or maybe its just the sector fixing itself. 2014 will show a rise in coaches re-investing in themselves with professional training, courses and marketing.
13. Sole Traders vs Consultancies?
It’s always been a boggling question for coaches. Do I act as a sole trader under my own name or create a company name? You want consultancy contracts but know individual ones are just as promising?
In 2014 you’ll see coaches getting smarter, not only operating under their own name with a personal brand but also holding an alliance with several others operating under a consultancy name.
It is the best of both worlds and it works and that’s what’ll be seeing more of in 2014.
14. The band wagon
The coaching sector loves a band wagon. As soon as one comes along, all coaches do seem to jump on in addition to a ton of potential gold diggers who’ll over crowd the market.
This isn’t a bad thing though as it expresses the ability to adapt, engage and progress as an industry, pushing self-development services to the new next step.
The wagon is usually taking you to either one of three places:
– A new type of coaching (a new target market)
– A new working tool for coaching (nlp etc)
– A new trend in coaching (a new marketing tool)
In any case the great thing about the coaching bandwagon is that it cleans up the mess it makes. The gold diggers fall out on the way leaving a stronger, more professional and purer bunch of coaches who’ve fought to stay on the wagon and utilse the new skills they’ve learned.
Theres always been a bangwagon, year after year, it’s the only trend that’s guaranteed but what other coaching trends will pop up in 2014?
What do you think?