How and Why to be an ICF Brand Ambassador
ICF works hard to represent the gold standard of professionalism and ethics for the coaching profession. As such, being an ICF-credentialed coach carries with it a certain amount of pride in affiliation. And likewise, ICF is proud to associate with coaches who embody those high standards of excellence and professionalism.
Often times, with that pride comes perceived integrity, credibility and notoriety, both for the coach and for ICF. In a broad sense, this is known as being a brand ambassador – when you feel enough pride to display or otherwise boast about your affiliation with an organization. You serve to represent all that ICF stands for and enhance your own standing as a coach at the same time.
What it Means to be a Brand Ambassador
A brand ambassador partners with an organization to help raise awareness about its mission, values and offerings.
For example, a fitness influencer might partner with an athletics company such as Nike to promote a shared mission of improving health for all and empowering the athlete within everyone, Nike’s brand mission. Such influencers also highlight features from Nike (such as workouts from Nike’s fitness app, or insights from their fitness experts) in addition to their own content and services. This creates a win-win-win for the fitness influencer, the company and the audience who gains access to the best offerings of both.
Similarly, when you decide to feature your affiliation with ICF on your website, social media or other channels where you have a presence, this can benefit your business, ICF, as well as your community of followers, potential clients and coaching peers.
How to Be an Ambassador for ICF
There are many ways you can serve as an ambassador for ICF. Check out these ideas to get you started:
Include ICF in your professional bio.
Be sure to include a mention of your ICF membership and/or ICF Credential in your coaching bio. These are premier affiliations of considerable significance that speak to your professionalism, ethics and standards of practice. When submitting your bio for online use, go a step further and include a link to ICF’s membership and credentialing web pages. This gives readers the opportunity to gain an even deeper understanding of their significance and why it speaks to your credibility, all while underscoring ICF’s value and relevance in the industry.
Feature your ICF Member and/or Credential badges on your website.
Pictures truly are worth a thousand words—it’s been proven that a person’s eyes process images faster than text and are drawn to images first. Luckily, ICF has integrated a way for Members and credential-holders to easily and securely show off their accomplishments. If you’re an ICF Member or credential-holder, you can learn more about each badge on their respective web pages – ICF Member Digital Badge and ICF Credential Digital Badge. You can use these digital badges on your website’s “About” page, or even in a sidebar or footer. They also can be used in your social media banners and linked directly to professional profiles on LinkedIn.
List ICF on your profiles.
Just as your ICF affiliation belongs in your bio, it also can help build your credibility when you include it in your LinkedIn profile—such as in your License & Certifications list. It can be mentioned in your profile, on other social media networks too.
Share ICF resources.
It can be daunting for a person to search for the right coach on their own. When you provide resources coaching clients can trust, you become an ally in their search, which can give you a competitive edge. Consider linking to ICF’s Coaching World articles or other helpful content (such as the Credentialed Coach Finder or Code of Ethics) in your own blog posts, or sharing among your other social media content. You can also to begin receiving ICF’s Social Media Ambassador – a weekly email with content you can post directly to your own social media channels to help engage and grow your business.
A Win-Win-Win for Awareness and Professionalism
Just as ICF works hard to protect the highest standards of professionalism and ethics for the coaching profession, you worked hard to earn your credential and contribute to ICF membership.
As you engage with your community of coaches, potential clients and others, acting as an ambassador offers an opportunity to increase your credibility, raise awareness for ICF and build trust and credibility with potential clients. Start building your ambassadorship now by taking some of the steps laid out in this article. That’s a real win-win-win for all.