Something had to happen. First the rash of publicity about garden coaching led me to create the Worldwide Directory of Gardening Coaches, now 32 strong and growing. Then newbie coaches and wannabees started writing and calling me with long lists of questions, and although I’ve tried my best to answer, these attempts at mentoring have just highlighted how much I don’t know, like:
- What’s the ultimate income-earning potential of coaching? My initial reaction had been to discourage people with anything more than part-time aspirations. But then people started asking: Have you tried leaving flyers all over your neighborhood? Communicating with your existing clients to suggest call-back visits? Emailing them with reminders of what to do when, good deals at local nurseries, offers of my extra plants? Nope.
- How about talking to those local nurseries about distributing your business cards or posting your flyer? After all, they have oodles to gain from coaches bringing their clients to their shops and helping them choose the right plants. Coaches could then go home with the customers to make sure they plant them right, water them right, and generally instruct them in the fine art of keeping the damn things alive for at least one season until the nursery’s guaranteed plant-replacement policy has expired. People are just plain intimidated by garden centers, so smart nurseries would naturally be eager to promote coaching services as the user-friendly way for their customers to to get into gardening, or at least enhance their property without busting the budgets. More good ideas I haven’t tried.
LET THE BLOGGING BEGIN
So clearly we could all learn from each other, and to that end I’ve created a blog, hosted right here on the Rant: TheGardeningCoachBlog.com. What’s there now are all my own coaching stories but here’s what I hope to be receiving soon from coaches around the world:
- Coaching stories of actual clients you’ve worked with, relating what’s worked and what hasn’t, using photos, if possible.
- Different business models you’ve tried – maybe partnering with a maintenance crew to do the heavy digging for clients.
- Different services you’re offering – like the new Year-Round Maintenance Plan I’ve recently researched and written for two new clients. Clients love it.
- How to create a cheap-and-easy website. Here’s a cool one – maybe Jack will tell us how he did it.
- More. Let’s see if we can take this thing to a more professional level.
HOW TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE BLOG
- Coaches, just email me your story ideas. You can just send me stories (not in Word but copied into email messages) with attached photos (no larger than 300 pixels wide, and in jpg) and I’ll post for you, with your by-line and a link to your website if you have one.
- Regular contributors can do it for themselves (it’s truly easy) using their own password.
Let’s do it!