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Build Your Coaching Business Using the Blue Ocean Strategy

written byChris Frolicon 31/10/2018

The “Blue Ocean Strategy” is an ingenious metaphor from the same-titled book by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne. In a nutshell, companies find bigger profits whenever they can find untouched 'blue oceans' (new areas of business where competition is irrelevant), instead of the highly competitive and blood-filled 'red oceans'.

In the business world, Cirque du Soleil is seen as a blue ocean company. They totally reinvented what a circus can be, re-wrote the rules of the game (they don’t use expensive or controversial animal acts), and to this day their only competition is themselves. How many Cirque du Soleil shows currently play in Las Vegas?

I’ve applied the blue ocean strategy successfully multiple times in my life and continue to do so. It’s a metaphor I share with everyone I work with. This metaphor can easily be applied to your own coaching business.

Coaching, as taught through The Art & Science of Coaching from Erickson Coaching International, provides you with tools that can be applied to anyone and anything. There are endless possibilities to seek out blue oceans.

Blue oceans are found the more specific you get with niches you target for coaching, away from the red oceans where coaches are all competing for the same business. Instead, set sail for the blue oceans! Be the only coach offering solutions in a blue ocean all to yourself.

What solutions can you create and offer that a potential coachee has never heard before? Imagine the value you offer someone by being the answer to the problems they’ve never even considered.

What from your background could you leverage? I’m certain you have specific knowledge about people and groups that no one else might consider. You may not realize it but you are sitting with a map to your own secret blue ocean!

As a brainstorming exercise, try this:

  • List professions and interests that you have a background in that have been untouched by coaching. Stay away from all the established ones and challenge yourself to come up with some new ideas. I would also include familiarity with a partner’s background as well; you can also take advantage of that.
  • Think of special offers you could make, that no one has ever made before. What problem can you solve? What value could you provide? You want to speak to their specific needs, not just offer coaching.
  • If it’s a business, you could also ask yourself what offers you could put together that they might be able to offer their clients.
  • Dress up your “free session” as something of value built around the above.

Now test it. Reach out and make those bold offers. Don’t wait for your phone to ring on its own!

As I wrote this article, I challenged myself with the above exercise. I came up with a completely viable new market based on an industry from my wife’s past and constructed a “win-win” proposal.

Finding blue oceans will take effort and energy, but when you’re in one it is a beautiful place to find yourself.

What map can you draw that will bring you to your own blue ocean?

Discover more tools to build your coaching business with the Erickson Business Center