Have you ever felt that you’re all over the place with your coaching business? Today, you’re speaking at a brown bag corporate meeting about team leadership. Yesterday you gave a talk at your church about relationships. Next week you’ve got a gig at Borders where you’re giving a career choice seminar. You’re versatile, but is that helping you attract enough coaching clients? Probably not.
It feels good to be recognized, so you say ‘yes’ to speaking and training opportunities even if there’s no continuity to the topic or the market. But what are you recognized for… and is it something you can leverage to become financially successful in your coaching business?
If you’re morphing your message, your title and your coaching niche to fit any opportunity or potential client that comes your way, you are actually making more work for yourself! And, if you do the math, you’ll find that most days you’re lucky to be making $25/hr, when you could be making at least 5 – 10 times more if your coaching business had more focus.
When coaches get tired of working hard for little return, they hire me to help them “fix” their coaching business. The fix is simple. I help them get more star coaching clients and make marketing fun by focusing and leveraging their efforts. Here’s how:
1. Pick one narrow distinctive niche market that is easily accessible and that has disposable income. You’ll know the niche market is narrow enough if you know exactly how to get in front of them. Ideally, it’s a group you have some knowledge about. But that’s not critical because you can learn what makes your market tick.
2. Make it your business every day to find out what your niche market really cares about. Research your niche market, get into their heads, step into their shoes, read their publications… understand them.
– What is keeping them up at night?
– What are the unique top challenges they continually face?
– What are their top goals that have been elusive to them?
Instead of focusing on what you have to offer them, find out what they need first. Resist the temptation to generalize their problems to what anyone may be challenged by. When it comes to marketing coaching services, narrow and specific wins every time over broad and general.
3. Stop trying to convince clients to hire you by selling them on the idea of coaching. Coaching, in and of itself, doesn’t sell. When you learn to think like your niche market does, you’ll know what to sell.
DOs & DON’Ts
Do speak to your niche market’s challenges and how you can help them achieve their top goals.
Don’t speak generally about what all life coaches can do for clients (balance, values, fulfillment).
Do remember that coaching is co-creative. It’s about reflecting back the client’s wisdom, not about telling them what to do. Give yourself time to learn how to serve them and become an expert.
Don’t worry about whether you have the expertise to support this group. Your interest in them is a big part of the attraction factor. And they WILL bring agendas you like to coach about no matter who they are.
Do attract their attention by specializing your services just for them. And value your time highly.
Don’t be a generalist, trying to coach anyone for any price. When you act as if you are successful and valuable, then you are!
4. Set success criteria to keep your focus on actions that will have the greatest impact on your LONG TERM success. Success Criteria are guidelines that will help you determine how to dedicate your valuable time. Say ‘yes’ only to ideal clients and ideal opportunities that meet your success criteria, rather than anyone who wants you for anything.
Within a few months of making these four changes in your approach to attracting coaching clients, you’ll see the results you want:
Instead of scattered, you’ll be focused.
Instead of feeling uncertain, you are clear about your value.
Instead of feeling overwhelmed by all there is to do, you leverage your time.
Instead of limping along with a small income, you’ll break through to six figures!
Now that IS fun! And you’ll actually enjoy marketing because the struggle is over and you know exactly how to attract your ideal coaching clients every time. They will flock to you!