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Beyond word-of-mouth

A coach I know spent a year recording 50 episodes of her podcast. When I asked her how many had been released, she replied, “None…” She told me that she was nervous about people listening to them. 

Don’t be that coach. 

Another coach I know is working really hard to create his book. He wants to get a publishing deal, so he’s trying to make the book perfect. But he’s spent no time building an audience or a community. Without a platform, no publisher will be interested in publishing him. And if he self-publishes, he’ll discover that without an audience, there will be no one to buy the book – other than his mum and dad. 

Don’t be that coach. 

If you want to grow beyond a word-of-mouth business, you need to create and share intellectual property (IP). 

IP includes articles, videos, podcasts, tools, scorecards, double axis charts, diagrams and distinctions. 


[Quick interlude: I’m hiring… I’m looking for an extraordinary team member – a Program Manager, with a passion for coaching, teaching and building community. This is a full-time role in a growing business and not for someone who wants to build a coaching practice on the side. Learn more and apply here.]   


Build depth

If you already have a community, you can create and share IP with them, to build depth. 

A community can be as small as a group coaching program of 6 clients, or a Facebook group with 45 members. 

Share tools, provocative ideas, 2×2 matrices, scorecards, distinctions and spiky points of view, to generate conversation and connection between the members of your community. 

Fascinate your community by provoking their thinking and they’ll keep coming back for more. 

This will also have the ripple effect of growing your community still further, by word-of-mouth, as members talk to friends and colleagues about the ways you stimulate their thinking.  

Build breadth

If you would like to build a community, or your community is still relatively small in size, instead of building content around your IP, build your IP around the biggest challenges your clients are facing…

Pay attention to the magazines, periodicals, newspapers, TV networks and streaming platforms that your clients read or watch the most.

Use headlines, or even popular movies or shows, and create IP out of them, to serve your ideal clients. 

A colleague of mine is an expert at helping companies find, hire, grow and retain top talent. When Amazon recently announced they are more than doubling base pay for tech and corporate workers to $350K, she wrote an article for leaders in the corporate world teaching them how to retain their top talent, instead of risking them being vacuumed away by Amazon. 

Now that’s a great example of how to create IP for people outside of your community. 

Insight to Action

  1. Do you need to create IP to build depth in your community? 
  2. Do you need to create IP to go wide and grow your audience?
  3. Pro tip: if you could only choose option 1 or option 2, which would you choose?
  4. What’s one tiny step you’ll take as a result of reading this article?

Love. Rich


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  3. Become my Protégé. This is for a single coach who wants my mentoring to help them transform every element of their coaching business – mastering The Prosperous Coach Approach, writing books, scaling your business, building a team, or becoming known as a Thought Leader…
  4. Want to work with me but not sure where to start? Check out our coaching journey and pick the program that suits you best. 



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