As a general rule, pre-paying for marketing coaching is not the most recommended idea. For the most part, marketing coaches are financially solvent enough that they do not need money this instant. Anyone who attempts to force you to pay a substantial portion of their fee in advance is generally not reputable, or they are in such dire personal straits that their marketing coaching may be subpar due to a lack of focus on their part. However, in many cases a contract will call for a small amount of pre-payment after your initial consultation but before the full delivery of your marketing coaching services. This is reasonable to expect for the security of the coach’s time and to demonstrate your commitment to the process, and it is often negotiable.
In many cases, as a solopreneur or a freelancer you may be in a low capital situation. In cases like this, you may find that offering a payment plan in lieu of immediate cash may be acceptable to your coach. If you are legitimately in need and your coach accepts this, there is nothing wrong with setting up a payment plan. In fact, many reputable coaches can understand if your situation is less than ideal at the moment. However, do not be surprised if many coaches consider not having saved sufficient capital to engage their services to be a mark of lacking commitment on your part.
Determining Profiles, Benchmarks and Pay Structure
Before anything else, your coach should walk you through the psychological profile of the individuals or companies you are attempting to market to. If your marketing coaching does not have this as a core component, do not engage with the coach. Prior to payment, there must be services — and this is foremost among the services you should expect to receive.
Secondarily, you want to determine benchmarks. Your benchmarks may be in percentile terms, in straight monetary terms, or in any other terms that seem appropriate for gauging how effectively your marketing coaching is working. If there are no benchmarks, it will be nearly impossible to determine when you should render payment.
Finally, you need to outline the exact pay structure you will accept for your marketing coaching. Obviously, full pre-payment is a bad idea. Putting a certain amount down and having benchmark payments is standard procedure for many types of consulting, which is the heart of this sort of coaching. Provided the benchmarks and payment structure work for both you and your coach, this is an important part of your contract.
In some cases, such as when your cash flow is poor or when you want to work with an elite coach, you may wish to offer an equity stake. In this case, if your coach is interested in such an arrangement you would want to outline the details in your contract. This will only work if you have incorporated your business, and you will want to speak to an attorney about the specifics of drafting up such an arrangement.
When you want to work with a premier coach, check out John Pyron. Engaging his services and taking his advice can help take your marketing planning and execution to the next level.