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Do you need a writing coach?

We can all be better communicators. Collaborating with someone to improve your skills, boost your productivity or crush an important process, and increase your effectiveness has measurable impact on your success. Whether you've got a big speaking opportunity ahead, are eyeing a promotion or career change, or want to be a more compelling communicator -- working with a writing or leadership communications coach could be the difference-maker. Same if you find you're in a rut that's impeding your progress, or have developed bad habits that keep you from making your point clearly.

What does a writing coach do?

How can a writing coach help you?

Most of us benefit from coaching in two areas:

  1. Developing or enhancing skills to communicate clearly
  2. Learning tools and techniques to produce more effective content faster and consistently

Nifty chart showing different ways to work with writing coach Margot Lester

What are our hang-ups about getting a coach?

Seems pretty straight forward, right? Yet some people feel weird getting help with their writing or communications projects, for the same reasons we don't get help with other stuff. We're self-conscious. We're not sure how it works. We're worried about cost.

Becoming a stronger and more effective writer and communicator isn't a "nice to have". Everybody writes, no matter what job we have. Work with someone to get strategies, tools and feedback designed to make you a better writer (as opposed to make the commenter look smart) makes increases your ability to excel at your current job, be more prepared for a new job, and get the support you need for important projects.

Questions to ask before you hire a writing coach

Ready to take the plunge? Here are some questions to ask and answer before engaging a writing or communications coach:

Ask yourself:

  1. What is the specific help I need and what results do I want to see? The more you understand your needs, the better a coach can understand how to meet them. 
  2. Do I need a writing coach near me? You may want someone who can literally sit down with you, or prefer to meet via video or phone call. 
  3. What are my expectations for availability and services? If you want rapid review of your writing, you need a coach who's able to provide it.
  4. What's my budget and timeframe? This information helps coaches your requirements going in.

Questions to ask a communications or writing coach

Here are 6 key questions to ask any coach you're considering:

  1. Do you have experience with this kind of writing or project? A book coach probably isn't going to be much help with your content marketing writing.
  2. How do you figure out the help I need and how we'll work together? You need to trust your coach and feel confident they can get you where you want to go.
  3. What's your process and availability? When your coach's process doesn't mesh with yours, you're not going to get results. Ditto for scheduling and responsiveness.
  4. What's your approach to feedback? A coach who's focused on providing corrections or rewriting for you isn't focused on making you a better writer.
  5. What tools and techniques do you use to help me improve and keep me on the path? Successful coaches equip you with proven strategies and methods that make you a better writer and that you can continue to use after your engagement ends.
  6. How do I know I'm getting better? A good coach develops criteria with you to measure results.

Look at your career, personal and business goals and opportunities for 2019, and think about how a communications or writing coach can help you meet them.

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