FAQs About Coaching with Mary Ellen Bates

Curious about my strategic business coaching services? The following are questions that people who contact me about coaching often ask. Please feel free to call me at 303-772-7095 if you have any other questions, or if you would like to start a coaching relationship.

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    So, what exactly does this coaching involve?
    A lot depends on what you want and need. The following offers a peek at the wide range of areas I cover in coaching.

    • Fundamentals of planning and starting up a new information services business
    • Taking your existing business to a new level and expanding to a higher-end client base
    • Identifying the most appropriate client bases or markets on which to focus
    • Effective marketing strategies for your specific client base
    • Annual strategic evaluations of your business and goal setting for the coming 12 months
    • Trouble-shooting difficult projects, clients, or overly-demanding prospects
    • Honing your research skills, and developing search strategies for specific client projects
    • Structure and a game plan with built-in accountability so you actually achieve your goals
    • Development of new products or services that are valuable to your clients and more profitable for you
    • Evaluation of your current client base and advice on how to grow your business in the best direction for you
    • Assistance in helping you get “unstuck” if the business has flat-lined

    A coaching relationship can last three months or three years, depending on what you find useful. In addition to phone calls, we can use Skype video (free service) if you like to have a more face-to-face experience.

    I also offer a free coaching conference call once a month for all my active coaching clients. We cover everything from how to get speaking experience to value pricing and writing a compelling proposal. I learn something from each call, and I think you’ll find it useful too. If you’d like to listen to a recent call to get an idea of the value of this benefit, just ask and I’ll send you a link to the recording.

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    OK, so what do I have to do?
    First, we sign a coaching contract, which spells out what you can expect from me and what I expect of you. You commit to following through on your short- and long-term goals. And we both agree to build a relationship based on trust and excitement in creating a business that truly reflects you.

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    What structure do you use? What's the outline of our coaching sessions?
    My coaching services are tailored to each individual, so the structure will be whatever best provides you with the support you can use. Everyone comes to coaching with different sets of skills, abilities, interests, and needs. One client might want some role-playing to feel comfortable negotiating a budget. Another client and I might go through her marketing plan once a month to review progress and add new strategies. And a third client might find it most helpful to discuss strategies for discovering who his best clients are.

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    How much will this cost me?
    I charge $150/hour, and I bill your credit card monthly for our coaching time. I do not require a minimum number of hours per month; you pay for only the coaching services you need. As an added incentive, if you pre-pay for four coaching sessions, I will pay for a year's membership in AIIP, the Association of Independent Information Professionals.
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    Why should I use you as my business coach?
    I have run a very successful information services business since 1991. This has been a full-time business from the beginning, and it has always supported me financially.

    I have twice been President of AIIP. In that capacity, I have met a wide variety of other info-entrepreneurs; I have learned what works and what doesn't in this profession; and I have represented our profession around the world. I have also written the handbook on info-entrepreneurship, now in its second edition, Building and Running a Successful Research Business. If you’d like to order it from me, you will also get a free half hour of my coaching services. You can order the book at

    I am enthusiastic about this profession and am committed to seeing every independent info pro succeed. In fact, I was the first recipient of AIIP's Sue Rugge Memorial Award, given to a member of AIIP who has significantly helped other members through formal and informal mentoring. As President of AIIP, I established AIIP's volunteer mentoring program, and before beginning my coaching services served as a volunteer mentor for more than a dozen AIIP members.

    I enjoy a reputation for creative problem-solving, excellent listening skills, imaginative marketing ideas, a strategic perspective, a passion for building strong, vital businesses, and a genuine desire to help those I coach.

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    What do I do next?
    If you’re ready to make greater progress toward your business goals, you can begin the coaching process by contacting me to set up your first appointment. Clients often find it helpful to send me their goals for their business and what specific areas or issues they might want to focus on. You can reach me at +1 303.772.7095, [email protected], or Mary.Ellen.Bates on Skype.

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