Why I trained as an accredited coach and what it means for your pet business


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When you’re looking for a pet business coach or mentor, is it important that they are certified?

This means that they will have followed a structured training programme, are affiliated with a professional body, and follow a code of ethics.

The coaching industry is unregulated, similar to the dog training industry, and anyone can say they are a coach.

I know this causes frustration in the pet professional world, as it’s important to follow an industry standard.

And it’s why I decided to train to be a coach and studied for the ILM Level 5 Certification in Coaching and Mentoring which I completed in December 2022.

I thought qualifying as a coach would simply mean I felt more comfortable describing myself as one, but what happened on the course helped my business evolve.

In this podcast I’m sharing why I trained, what I learned and what that means for you as a client or a podcast listener.

Listen in on the player link or you can read the key points covered in the blog post below. 

My background and why I decided I wanted to gain accreditation to be a pet business coach

I used to be a full time journalist and then a few years ago, I began working with small businesses in the pet industry showing them how to get press coverage. 

This started when I launched a pet blog, www.thepawpost.co.uk as a passion project back in 2017.

Pet businesses approached me to feature on there, and when they realised I was a journalist and could help them to get in larger titles, they asked for help.

In 2018, I decided to put it all in a book called Publicity Tips for Pet Businesses, which I wrote in one month, and popped it on Amazon.

I also set up a Facebook group which is now the Publicity for Pet Businesses community so anyone who read it could connect and ask any questions.

This snowballed into working with clients one to one, launching an online course, a membership and a podcast, but I was aware I was calling myself a coach when I wasn’t accredited.

Being a qualified coach means you follow go through rigorous training and assessment, adhere to a Code of Ethics, meaning you’re better equipped to help their achieve their goals and overcome challenges.

That’s what inspired my decision – I wanted to make sure I was doing my best to serve my clients.

What pet business coaching is 

This is a definition from my ILM assignment, it’s not perfect but it will give you an idea! 

“Coaching is a form of learning where a person, a coach, supports somebody else or coachee to make progress in their personal or professional life. 

“By using questioning, listening and observing. The aim is to support and guide the coachee around reaching goals, solving problems and improving their performance and resourcefulness. 

“Coaching is normally a conversation or a series of conversations between the coach and coachee that relates to their objectives, and helps to resolve issues and improve results, focus and direction.”

What I offer is a blend of coaching and mentoring, so if the challenge is around the topic I’m an expert in, publicity, I will advise and guide and the approach can be more directive.

What pet business coaching isn’t (in my opinion!)

It’s not saying, ‘Follow my system and you’ll have passive income or a six figure business.’

Or me telling you what to do, that you’re getting it wrong or making mistakes.

It’s not about you feeling like you’re being bent out of shape trying to fit into an ideal or system that the coach has created that they think will work for you but you find awful.

The best person to figure out the way to move your business forward most of the time is you.

You just need the space to think, to have someone to listen to you and to be a sounding board. 

How what I learned changed my perspective

I’m focused more on helping people with working on the confidence they need to be visible, which often comes way before pitching to the press! 

My work now is helping clients get unstuck so they move forward and exploring the hurdles that that might be in the way of the things they want to accomplish.

I’ve been supporting people with is finding a way to put their businesses out there that feels right for them.

This means looking at your values, your mission, the impact you want to make, what you feel passionately about, the message you want to put out into the world and what you want people to think of when they think of you.

Confidence is a big part of it too. 

That might mean putting yourself out there on social media, writing about yourself on your website, pitching to be on a podcast or writing a blog about your product or service. 

It’s about finding the right words, finding the storytelling skills, finding the confidence for you to not just put the content together, but to be brave, press publish and go for it. 

Why coaching is part of my work and what that means for your pet business 

Coaching is a part of all my offers, from my membership, Pets Get Visible to my one to one packages.

In Pets Get Visible, there’s two coaching calls a month where members can come along with a question and get unstuck. 

We have a coaching exercise or I share something about marketing for 15 minutes, then the Q and A.

This is so valuable when you’re working on your own and need someone to bounce ideas off, but in a space where you know you can trust people.

Plus you get your marketing planned, a listing on my pet blog and directory, and loads of other useful resources, and it’s £20 a month.

I also offer one to one coaching, and this is available as a one off 90 minute or half day session, or long term with six blocks of 90 minutes.

Finally, I have a Mastermind programme where I work with a small group of no more than eight pet business owners. 

This includes two group calls each month and a one to one and if you’re interested in applying, send me an email at rachel@rachelspencer.co.uk. 

Are you thinking of training to be a coach?

I trained with a wonderful lady called Claire Bradshaw. 

She runs an ILM Training Centre online and in person and she’s brilliant, and you can find out more about her work on her website.

Learn more about Claire Bradshaw coaching: https://www.clairembradshaw.co.uk/

Links mentioned in this episode:

Check out my pet blog and directory at www.thepawpost.co.uk

Join my Pets Get Visible mini-membership: https://publicityforpetbusinesses.mykajabi.com/pets-get-visible

Listen to Sarah Jones talk about growing her My Anxious Dog business: https://rachelspencer.co.uk/in-the-spotlight-sarah-jones-from-my-anxious-dog/

Listen to Sarah Mills from Albie’s Boutique talk about putting on her Big Girl Pants: https://rachelspencer.co.uk/spotlight-sarah-mills-albies-boutique/

Read about the programme I took: https://www.i-l-m.com/learning-and-development/management/coaching-and-mentoring/8580-level-5-coaching-and-mentoring

Keep in touch!

Find me in my Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/publicitytipsforpetbusinesses

On Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/rachelspenceruk

On Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/rachelspenceruk

On LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachelspenceruk/


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