One of my agendas for the day was to create a profile on Upwork as an Executive Coach. Not exactly my way of doing things but the idea was suggested by one of my benefactors. And since it didn’t hurt to create one, I just made it.
Of course, I looked up other coaches in the marketplace. They had great profiles and I could tell money was flowing in too. All that is great, except, their work history reflects projects like transcription, spreadsheets, writing an article or creating social media posts with images! My head was spinning! I couldn’t help but think… WTF?
Why the heck would people create profiles as executive coaches to work on assignments that have got nothing to do with their primary skillset? Perhaps their business pipeline has dried up and they’ve got mouths to feed. I get it. Respect.
I looked around and noticed Upwork actually doesn’t have a category for support professionals like coaches, psychologists, and consultants (the latter falls within in the Accounting & Consulting category). And that’s a shame.
I won’t blame them though. I guess it’s the desperation that’s driving people to bid for assignments that isn’t what they would normally do. But even then lowering one’s standards shouldn’t be the only option. We ought to keep looking for avenues.
What could be a possible solution to end this scarcity?
A better marketing plan? Possibly. But we have a tendency to overcomplicate it, so that’s a pass. What about looking at the right marketplaces (like coach organizations) and leveraging the existing marketing strategy at play? Look, I don’t think anything beats speaking directly to the clients you would like to work for but that can’t be the only option you have to have.
You will eventually think about scaling things up. And that’s when joint ventures come in handy. You can partner with someone who’s already a big player in the market (for a fraction of the profit per sale, of course!) or simply empanel yourself with organizations that prefer to have a talent pool such as yourself.
The worst one can do in any given situation is to be a slave to the marketplace. Why? Because it won’t ever allow you to grow to your potential.