I remember being dazzled by all the ‘client getting’ strategies and systems, funnels and formulas being touted to coaches and consultants when I was looking for answers to the burning question ‘How can I attract clients into my coaching business?’
We’re bombarded with information and shiny offers that can quite literally drive any self-respecting coach to the bottom of a family-sized tub of Ben and Jerry’s (as an answer to overwhelm? Not recommended).
It certainly got me, more than once. In those early days I invested in courses and programmes that I’d start off excited about but then, without knowing why, I’d fail to follow through on them or if I did do everything I was ‘supposed to do’ I still didn’t get the results. It was so frustrating!!
Now I’m approaching the 5th anniversary since making the leap from Corporate and getting my passion-fuelled coaching business off the ground. Having succeeded in my business in ways that once upon a time I could only have dreamt about, I’ve come by some truly valuable driving principles that underpin success in this business of being in business.
No amount of ‘client-getting strategy’ will work for you without these core success principles nailed down, so here they are:
Clarity, and alignment, with your coaching business niche and your ideal client avatar, is vital to your ability to market yourself and communicate your services effectively and confidently.
Being clear on what problem you solve and what keeps your ideal client awake at night enables you to craft your messaging and create your solution to speak directly to those pains and frustrations.
But for me, clarity and alignment with your niche and ideal client run deeper than just at the marketing level. You see, when you are clear on, and passionate about, what you do and whom you do it for, you tap into a positive energy that has momentum and quite literally accesses your higher states of possibility, resourcefulness, and creativity.
In short, you have got to love what you do and do what you love.
Currently there are no requirements to be qualified or certified to start your coaching business, but there is a definite need to be credible to attract your ideal clients.
What makes you credible as the ideal solution for your dream client? Is it your life experience and some challenges you’ve successfully overcome? Is it your professional experience and / or specialised knowledge? Maybe it’s the proven results that you help your clients achieve or you have been featured and published in your area of expertise?
Quite possibly it’s a combination of all these factors. The important thing is not only that your ideal clients see your credibility factor, but also that you feel credible. If you don’t feel credible and you harbour doubt in yourself and your abilities you’re going to self-sabotage your best efforts to get in front of those clients that need your services.
Being consistent in your message and your marketing means showing up every day, multiple times a day, across multiple platforms so that your ideal client can find you and you build that all-important know, like and trust. There is no shortage of coaches flooding the market place, but as my early days’ marketing coach said to me ‘you’ll rise like cream’ with consistent and persistent activity because so many coaches lose the will very quickly if they don’t see immediate results.
Be consistent behind the scenes too, with your daily disciplines and habits to keep you in a peak state – both physically and mentally. As Stephen Covey says, ‘Sharpen the Saw’.
I sharpen my saw by reading personal development books, studying further education in coaching and NLP and going running and meditating.
This was a hugely rewarding shift in focus for me personally. When I was having a tough time and I was feeling desperate for cash I created blogs and vlogs from a place of ‘what will this get me?’
The focus of all my activities was on getting clients and as a result, my energy was ‘off’. I felt rudderless with no sense of direction and flow. I became attached to the outcome and so when nothing happened (which was inevitable considering my ‘off’ energy) I became even more desperate and needy. A self-perpetuating downward spiral. Once I transferred my attention to giving value and contribution, everything shifted! I felt back on purpose and my confidence and self-worth were fuelled by my belief that my message was seen and heard by whoever needed to see and hear it.
Ironically, this focus shift resulted in more enquiries from prospect clients because they were loving my authenticity, my energy, and my enthusiasm.
So, focus on contributing and giving and you will not only feel amazing and up-lifted, but you will also evoke the law of reciprocity.
Get curious and find YOURSELF the most interesting person in the room. Question everything about yourself to peel back the layers and discover your authentic self. It’s said that if you want to learn about yourself and truly grow as an individual, then be an entrepreneur! It’s very true, but we also have blind-spots and blocks that aren’t always obvious.
When you feel triggered by something or someone this is the perfect time to practice curiosity! Notice what is happening in your body and ask yourself ‘what thoughts are behind these feelings?’ If you’re procrastinating or feeling overwhelmed, ask yourself ‘what am I believing right now about this task / myself that is keeping me stuck?’ I have had so many breakthroughs about myself from getting curious and it helped me to up-level my business.
It takes courage to push through your fears of rejection and judgment and put yourself ‘out there’ and market yourself and your coaching. Everything can feel so personal and it’s easy to perceive a rejection of your services as a rejection of YOU. This is where your daily mindset muscle-flexing pays dividends.
Spend time focusing on your vision and affirming everything you want to experience and become as though it’s already happening. Celebrate all your successes and wins – no matter how small and within no time at all, you’ll start noticing more and more reasons to celebrate.
Become your biggest cheerleader knowing that everything you want is on the other side of acting and pushing through the fear.
Be creative every day and have fun with this. Being an entrepreneur means liberation from any ‘should do’s’ and ‘ought to’s’ and growing a business that is aligned with your unique brand and personality.
My biggest money months come from showing up and being myself and I get the most joy out of creating content and coaching offerings that are a total embodiment of my gifts and talents and being creative about how I market them.
Being creative also means being resourceful and in a state of open possibility to the infinite ways that you can attract new business and make more money. I used to fixate on my known and familiar channels of revenue rather than relaxing and being open to both known and unknown sources of income and clients.
Since becoming more open I’ve landed wonderful and surprising contracts, speaking opportunities and resources to help me grow that I never would have envisioned.
As I learned to introduce, apply and be guided by these 7 principles I find myself operating my business from a higher state of purpose and a deeper sense of meaning.
I feel more in flow and aligned with my mission and my message and I’m ‘showing up’ as the real me without the crippling self-doubt and fear of not being good enough.
And as I show up, so do my dream clients