Metrics, insights, and learnings from the Coach Showcase project
For 2023’s International Coaching Week, I interviewed 15 great coaches to get their thoughts, tips, and insights.
In addition to hosting them on my website and YouTube channel, I posted each video to my LinkedIn profile. One a day during International Coaching Week, then one each week following on Thursday mornings.
Read on for early results, some learnings and the common themes that emerged, and the work that actually went into the project.
Early results: LinkedIn metrics
My goal was to help raise awareness for professional coaching, give a few of my peers some exposure, and help answer the question, “What is the benefit of professional coaching anyway?”
The vast majority of interactions came from LinkedIn, where I have my biggest following (2,200 followers). Views on YouTube were negligible and not worth reporting on. I may someday post these to Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, or Threads, but I have not yet.
I uploaded each video directly to LinkedIn, on the untested hypothesis that LinkedIn would be more likely to elevate a native video over an external link. Thus, although there were lots of video views, there were almost no clicks to the showcase page.
The 15 videos so far have generated
- 12,336 impressions
- 5,247 views
- 215 LinkedIn reactions (like, insightful, etc.)
- 106 LinkedIn comments
- 11 LinkedIn reposts
The first video has been online 73 days. The last video has been online 13 days, so a comparison between the individual videos is not really fair. That said, here are some observations from the data:
- Four of the videos enjoyed more than 500 viewers each, with the most-viewed video having 652 viewers.
- The least-viewed video had just 95 viewers and has been online for 10 weeks.
- The people with the least followers got the biggest value in terms of new reach. This is not a surprise, as they benefited from the popular people’s large follower base while adding little of their own audience to the mix:
- Six of the 15 participants got more impressions than they have followers
- Three of the 15 participants accounted for 65% of all followers, yet their videos only accounted for 25% of all views
- The other 12 videos got 75% of the views but only accounted for 35% of all followers
- With the data I have, it’s impossible to know how much of each video was watched. That said, here’s some information, for what little it’s worth:
- Average video length was 2:51. Shortest was 2:10 and longest was 3:27
- Total view time of all 15 videos was 1,318 minutes (nearly 23 hours)
- The minutes-per-view is remarkably consistent across all the videos—between 16 and 18 seconds for nearly all the videos. Other than the remarkable consistency across all the videos, this is a useless statistic because there’s no way to know how autoplay affects it, or whether people skipped ahead, or whatever.
Other random observations from the data:
- The number of impressions did not seem to be affected by the number of reactions, which is a surprise. I see “so-and-so reacted to this post” all the time on LinkedIn, so I figured more reactions would result in wider reach and more impressions. The data doesn’t support that.
- This may be because many of the comments were from other participants.
- The other worthwhile data point is unrelated to LinkedIn: I posted the Showcase “event” to ICF’s International Coaching Week events page, and that generated 15 clicks to the showcase page.
- The Showcase was also recognized in the ICF San Francisco chapter’s member email, though I don’t believe it generated any clicks to my website or the videos.
Overall, I’m happy with the outcomes here. Many of the coaches got visibility on LinkedIn they wouldn’t otherwise have had. I met some amazing people who are now part of my trusted network. And the insights that these coaches shared are really worth listening to.
Key themes and learnings
Although each video is under 3:30 in length (including about 30 seconds of intro and outro), each interview was 30 to 60 minutes long. While each coach had their own unique style, origin story, and perspective, there were definitely some common themes that emerged. Here are some of them.
- Self-confidence is a common theme for a lot of clients, particularly for life coaches but also in the workplace.
- Self-awareness is a similarly common theme—clients often need an external, unbiased helper to see things from a new perspective.
- Nearly all the coaches expressed a focus on connecting with core values as key to getting to the best decisions.
- Every coach expressed that one of the most important factors in a good coaching outcome is for the client to feel comfortable with, safe with, and a strong trust with the coach.
- That is because, as most coaches expressed, the client has to be willing to “go deeper” and let the coach lead them into places they might not feel comfortable talking with most people about.
- Although every coach has their own origin story, most said they had personally benefited from a meaningful coaching experience in the past.
Each of the coaches I interviewed is credentialed or was working toward a credential at the time of our interview. Although I didn’t include this in any of the videos, I asked each coach why having a certification was important to them, even though it’s not required. Here are some of the themes that emerged, which match my own experience:
- Nearly every interviewee expressed that they were surprised how much they learned and how much their skills improved through the training. Even those of us with long careers and extensive experience found that the training was critical for being a truly effective coach.
- Many of us have friends and colleagues who have had bad experiences with non-credentialed coaches in the past. Coaching has exploded over the last decade, and because there is literally no bar to entry, a lot of unqualified and unskilled people go into it not really understanding what they’re doing. Having the ICF certification is an indicator that the coach has studied the craft, understands where coaching fits in the pantheon of helper professions, and is more than just a self-confident know-it-all. (Those are my words to describe the theme that emerged, not direct quotes from any of the interviewees, by the way.)
- Universally, the interviewees expressed a commitment to a strong ethical core in their coaching practice. This is required to maintain an ICF certification, and it shows a deep commitment to client benefit.
What I put into it, and what I got out of it
I really had no idea what I was doing when I got started. I emailed my half-baked idea to my coaching contacts, and the response was immediate, gratifying, and frankly a little terrifying.
I’ve done some video interviewing before, on both sides of the camera, so I knew what I was getting into. Still, my skill set is still in the hobbyist realm (not professional), and I really wanted to make sure everyone who went on camera felt good about the final product.
I’d estimate that on average, each 3 minute video was about 4 hours of my own effort. This includes coordinating the interviews, the actual recording, the editing process, and posting online. I’m also including the time I put in to record my own intro and build my templates, create a new web page, do outreach to ICF, etc. So, a total of probably 60 to 65 hours invested.
Each interviewee got to sign off on the final package I produced before I posted it publicly. They each also got a copy of the full interview recording that they can use for their own purposes.
One person recorded an interview and decided against being included in the final showcase.
I am deeply grateful to everyone who said yes to this project, even when they didn’t have much idea what they were saying yes to… at the time, I didn’t have much idea either. I hope they feel their faith in me was justified.
The future of the project
I have interviewed all the coaches who said yes so far. If you are a professional coach (ICF certified or working toward certification) and would like to be included in the showcase, let me know and we’ll talk.
I may also post these on other platforms like Instagram, TikTok, or Threads (I am no longer on Twitter).
I’d love your thoughts!
If you have any thoughts on the Showcase or what I’ve written here, or anything else, please comment or drop me an email. If you have something to say and would prefer not to put it in writing, email me ad we’ll set up a phone or zoom call.
And please visit the Showcase page and share it, or any of the individual videos, with others. There’s a wealth of talent, wisdom, insight, and skill in this group that really should be exploited to its maximum benefit.
Also, here is a picture of Alice, who was still alive when this project got started. Just because it’s always nice to have a picture of a cat, isn’t it?