3 Key Elements to Transition from Coach to Thought Leader Like a Boss


3 Key Elements to Transition from Coach to Thought Leader Like a Boss

Don’t get me wrong – I understand the benefits of excellent quality coaching and I know there are a lot of fabulous coaches out there, but let’s be honest… every man and his dog seems to be a coach these days. The bar just seems so low. And I bet you wish you had a dollar for every eye roll you’ve been met with when you tell people that’s what you are. Or maybe you avoid using the word “coach” at all for this very reason?

Add to this the fact that even though most people have met plenty of coaches, they actually have no idea what a coach does. People seriously just don’t get it. They don’t go out looking for a coach. If they have a problem, they just want the solution. They don’t want a coach, they want results.

Attracting clients as a coach is a real struggle and the failure rates for coaching businesses are extremely high. It’s heart breaking. Most people who become coaches are motivated by their desire to make real change. But if they can’t attract clients, they’re not exactly helping anyone, are they?

If you happen to be one of the lucky ones who actually manages to attract clients as a “coach”, you’ll eventually reach capacity working one on one. The reality is, your income and impact is limited by the number of hours in the day.

Enter the allure of the thought leader!

Thought leaders command the credibility coaches dream of! They are seen as experts in their field and they seem to magnetically attract clients.

And when thought leaders move into leveraged income, their impact is multiplied and they are making real change for more people in less time.

It sounds great, doesn’t it? But it’s not for everyone. Transitioning from coach to thought leader requires three key elements as shown in the diagram below.


Zone of Genius

You can’t just jump on the thought leadership band wagon because everyone else is doing it. The starting point for thought leadership is actually being an expert at what you do. It also means being really clear about why you do what you do, who you do it for, the problems you solve and solutions you provide.

Thought leadership is about bringing a fresh perspective to your zone of genius and developing your unique methodology and intellectual property. Personally, I’m a big fan of diagrams and infographics. If you can chunk what you know and visually represent your frameworks and methodologies, then you make it easier for your audience and clients to digest your message and remember it.

Create and develop your own intellectual property. Develop methodologies and frameworks that you become known for and you will seriously own your zone of genius.


A thought leader has presence and visibility. They are leading a movement and they have influence. This takes time building a brand, positioning, making connections, generating publicity, social proof and testimonials. Thought leaders are typically published authors and are seen speaking on stage.

Consider your online presence and profile. What do people find when they google you? Ensure that your profile authentically and honestly shines the best light on you.


A thought leader gets real results for clients. They are an agent of change. They have proven systems and processes and they share their expertise far and wide. To expand your impact as you transition from coach to thought leader, consider writing articles and blogs, recording videos, speaking, creating courses, programs and workshops.

So those are the 3 elements you need to develop and master to totally rock the transition from coach to thought leader.

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  • Rosemary

    Excellently put. It is a skill to transition from supporting people to do their best, to having a soapbox of your own. And learning that you will be helping even more people in the process.
    Believe me, I know.

    • Renee Hasseldine

      Thanks Rosemary. I hadn’t thought of being a thought leader as having a soapbox of your own, but I think I like it!

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