As a business and success coach, I’ve taught women how to generate $10K-20K in sales in the matter of a few weeks. I’ve spent years studying marketing and sales and have learned the most effective strategies that allow any women to create a business that’s both personally and financially rewarding.
Some straight talk about marketing & promoting your services that often seems complicated
If you’re a coach, consultant, solo-entrepreneur or service professional you have to have paying clients to stay in business. Period. The way that you do that is to find and nurture relationships with people who need the solution that you’re offering through your business. It doesn’t matter whether you’re primarily marketing online or offline—this is key to having a financially thriving business.
This means that you must have a clear idea about who your ideal client is and what problem they are willing to pay to be solved. It then means have a clear message that let’s your ideal client know that you are their “problem-solver.”
Why I’m writing this post….
According to the Small Business Administration, 90% of service businesses will fail within the first 5 years. They fail NOT because they don’t offer great services, but because they owners are uncomfortable with traditional marketing and sales. Even for the ones that stay in business, the majority are limping along. Statistics show that less than 5% earn more than $100K a year.
The result is that most coaches and solo-professionals are frustrated, isolated and overwhelmed because they don’t know there’s another way—a highly successful approach to marketing and sales and it’s the core of my business and success coaching: Being Paid to Be You. Being Paid to Be You is based on my proven system for getting more clients—and it works.
Here are 20 things that work whether you’re a new coach, or one’s been in for a few years
1. Determine what “solution” you’re offering to your market
It’s not enough to be passionate about a topic, or to have a “good idea,” you have to know specifically WHAT problem are you helping a particular set of people are experiencing.
Are you helping new moms to lose their baby weight?
Are you helping teenagers get clear skin?
Are you helping long-married couples to spice up their love life?
2. Identify who is your true ideal client
Your ideal client isn’t a general category, such as women, mothers, diabetics or real estate agents— it’s a sub-set of that group. This is group of people who share several of the same concerns, challenges, characteristics or traits.
It’s critical to nail down these factors because you have to be able to talk to people in a way that they understand—as well as talk to them about the issues and challenges that matter to them. These people also will be interested in the solving their problem in the way that YOU’RE offering.
Are your ideal clients:
Busy (Time crunched)?
A particular race or ethnic group?
From a particular industry?
The difference between “chasing clients” and having clients come to you is you learning to create solution-based programs that your potential client highly value.
3. People pay for tangible results not fluff
People willing to pay to solve a major problem want to know in clear language how your program or service will help them to:
*Save or gain more money (or advance their career)
*Improve their health, sex life or vitality
*Improve their interpersonal relationships (with bosses, friends, relatives, spouses, children)
*Improve their relationship with themselves (and/or their spirituality)
The same holds true even if your area of expertise is more esoteric or considered alternative. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a tarot reader, energy healer, astrologer, etc. people still want to achieve concrete results from working with you.
4. People willing pay for help want to work with experts
You have to become known in your field for one main subject, instead of being a “jane of all trades.” Paying clients want hire people who specialize in a particular area, not people who have some basic generalize knowledge.
Although many entrepreneurs label themselves as multi-passionate, unless all of your interests naturally overlap (or you can explain the connection) it’s a turn-off to people who are serious about resolving their problem. This means that it’s important that you learn how to integrate your expertise, experience, training and passion in a way that highlights you as a credible expert.
5. Don’t offer low-priced single sessions
Psychological testing continues to show that humans judge items with higher prices to be more valuable. More specific, as a coach, low-priced single sessions make you look less valuable in the marketplace. Consequently you attract less committed clients who aren’t willing to invest the time or the money necessary to adequately solve their problem.
Another reason NOT to offer single session is not you can’t help someone to solve a problem in 45, 60 or even 90 minutes—the best that you can do is scratch the surface. Again, single session will repel committed clients because they’ll want a longer term process that will help solve their problem, not just gloss over it.
6. Accept that marketing is part of owning a business.
People can’t hire you if they don’t know that your business and programs exist. This means that you must regularly engage people who are already members of your community or tribe (they are on your mailing list) and reach out to new people. Schedule at least 3-5 hours per week in income-generating activities. This means having a simple but effective marketing plan about how you’re going to use your time.
Among the things that you should be doing weekly includes:
Create content (e-newsletters, videos, podcasts)
Following-up with potential clients
Connect with potential joint venture partners
7. Regularly communicate with you potential clients
Whether it’s online or in real life, you have to really go to the places where your ideal clients hang out. Understand that depending on who your people are they may be more apt to be at the yoga studio or health food store rather than at a networking event. If you’re working primarily online this means participating in Facebook or Linked In groups
Hosting Google Hangouts, Twitterchats and/or webinars are also good ways to showcase your expertise to existing community members and invite new potential clients to join.
8. Social Media doesn’t work without a clear marketing plan
Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. are great tools to help you to engage potential clients. However their ability to cultivate clients and generate sales lies in them being part of a defined marketing strategy.
9. Don’t just post inspirational quotes or cute animal pictures on social media
You can get a lot of “Likes” or “Followers” by posting quotes or random photos but it’s unlikely that these people will be interested in your actual programs or services. Your social media engagement should be used to foster discussions and connections based on your area of expertise.
10. Publish valuable content on a regular basis
Online, people need to hear or see you a minimum of 7 times before they will feel comfortable enough to buy from you. It’s therefore important that you are regularly providing valuable content through your ezine, blog, podcast, videos etc. so that when they are ready to hire someone you are top-of-mind.
I want to be candid. There’s content that gets you seen and then there’s content that gets you clients. Your goal isn’t just to create videos and blog posts,it’s to learn how to create sincere and valuable material that attracts potential clients.
11. Create a proprietary system that you can market to potential clients
Having a proprietary system means that you’ve developed a “process” or a consistent set of steps that you take clients through to help them to achieve their goals. Having a system is a creates a competitive edge because you can explain to potential clients in a clear way how you’ll be working with them. (There is always room within your system for individualization)
12. Decide how you’d prefer to work with clients
Depending on your preferences you can work with clients 1 on 1 or within a small group (3-5 people). Also there are program formats in varying lengths from 1 day to 12 months and 1-7 day retreats.
If you don’t have consistent income then I don’t recommend starting with a larger group coaching model. To fill even a 15 person group requires a more complex marketing (that it does for 1 on 1 and small groups). Typically it also requires that you have at list of at least 1000+ ideal clients, or be willing to pay for leads via Facebook ads or Google.
13. Determine how much money you want to earn each month
Your monthly income goal. They decide how many clients you’d like to work with daily or weekly to reach that goal. These numbers help you to determine what your program prices should be. Although there are no 4 hour work weeks, there are many women who have designed coaching businesses that allow them to work around their children’s school schedule; take several vacations or simply have more time to themselves.
The key thing is being honest about what your financial and lifestyle goals are…and then being willing to get the support that you need to bring them a reality.
14. Create high-end signature programs
A program promises a specified result within a stated time period: 1 day; 90 days; 6 months etc. This is VERY different than offering a package of “single” sessions. The single session(s) is selling the client “coaching” whereas the program is selling a desired outcome.
As I stated about single session, people who are serious about paying to solve a problem want results–more important they are willing to put in the time and make the investment to receive the,
15. Have no more than 3 high-end programs
A confused mind doesn’t buy, and that’s what happens when you offer too many programs. It’s best to have a basic or entry-level program; a mid-priced or intermediate and higher-priced, comprehensive program
16. Don’t overstuff your high-end programs
Clients who invest in high-end program are busy and don’t need or want a lot of useless material or an excessive amount of time with you. This means designing your programs and supplemental materials so that everything is relevant to your clients achieving their goal in a supportive but efficient manner
17. Become comfortable conducting enrollment conversations
Potential clients who are considering working with you privately will rarely buy your high-end programs directly from a sales page; you will need to conduct an enrollment conversation. Instead of “selling” it’s an opportunity to help your potential client to gain clarity. around her goals and challenges and offer your solution A structured conversation allows you to organically offer your program to the right candidates.
18. “I can’t afford it” is a signal that your marketing message needs refining
If you are getting a lot of people saying, “I can’t afford it” your marketing message is attracting people who are unwilling to invest the time and money needed to resolve their problem.
Are you offering single session (or a package of single sessions)?
Is the solution/result/benefit that you offer through your program crystal clear?
Are you speaking to one particular group of people or are you speaking to everyone?
“I can’t afford” it may also reflect that in the enrollment conversation you’re not adequately explaining how your program can help your ideal client achieve his/her desired goal. Successful enrollment conversations require that you ask great questions to learn about what your potential really wants and why.
19. Don’t discount your prices
It’s been said that your prices reflect your confidence in what you’re offering. If that’s the case, discounting instantly undermines the value of your program or service. You shouldn’t have to convince someone to enroll. “Quick Action Savings” are a way to give a price break to people who really want to work with you.
20. You Can Be Paid To Be You
As a coach or solo-professional, you’re not only providing knowledge, your also offering your clients the benefits of your unique combination of background, experience, perspective and training. There are people in the marketplace who are hungry to work with someone like YOU to solve their problem. This means that you don’t have to be a big named guru to make a difference and earn a great income—-you just have to be yourself.
By copying someone’s style, you’re not honoring your individuality or helping potential client to locate you in the marketplace—-you sound like everyone else.
These are only a few ways that you more effectively marketing and promote your programs and services so that you attract highly committed clients. You probably have some questions, unfortunately I couldn’t write everything that I teach in this post….it would go on for pages.
If you’d like more information I invite you sign-up for my upcoming FREE training: “5 Steps to Creating a Lucrative Coaching Business.” In this training I will be sharing valuable information about how you can use your expertise and training to attract great clients and grow your coaching business. CLICK THIS LINK TO SAVE YOUR SEAT