I just got off the phone with a financial coach who has been full time in his business for about 12 months. We’ve talked on and off over the past few months about growing his business to the point where it actually supports him. At that point he can do what he loves to do every day…and get paid for it!
There’s a problem, however.
This coach doesn’t have any clients.
The Three-Step Formula to Finding Clients
I’m about to dive into a three-step formula for finding clients. Keep in mind that your formula must fit both your market as well as your unique personality style. There’s nothing I can give you in a blog that will be 100% specific. But, I bet we can get close, so let’s dive in.
You must have not only a good website, but a killer website. In Become a Coach I say you can have a simple website, and that’s still true, but it’s so easy to move beyond and have a great website. It’s not costly, but you should bring in an expert if you’ve never done it in the past.
Social media is great for becoming known, building relationships, and interacting with others. It’s a fun way for people to contact you and ultimately hire you, but it’s long-term. You can turn social media on and you likely won’t have a reliable stream of clients for another six or twelve months.
I’m not concerned about finding a client tomorrow by the way. I’m always focused on finding clients to work with six to twelve months from now. But you need a client now, so get your website looking good.
Have an about page where you talk like a real person. Don’t be too professional here; you’ll turn people off. We do business with people, not large, faceless companies.
Create a blog and keep up with it. You need to be consistent. Once a week is the least I would consider posting. If you can’t post that often, don’t start or you’ll look bad, like you’ve abandoned your website.
The more you write, the better. Notice how writing fits in with your website? It’s important that your marketing strategies link back to each other. There’s little sense in spending time in an area that doesn’t also get you benefit in another area.
The more you post to your website, the more traffic you’ll get. It’s common sense, really. Give people content they can share. You won’t hit it out of the park every time, but post good content often. If your blog is a part of your homepage you’ll always have updated content to point visitors towards. Google also loves that by the way.
In addition to your website, contribute to other people’s blogs. When you leave comments, your name is always linked to your website, so be sure those comments are good and insightful. You could receive a lot of traffic by doing this. Before you do, grab your avatar so your picture is always displayed with your comments. Be sure to use your picture and not your logo.
Send letters to your local paper. Send reporters interesting story ideas that have nothing to do with you. Position yourself to be interviewed by local, regional, and then national media.
Write a great weekly newsletter and promote it. When you get permission to be in someone’s mail box, you’ll be top of mind and they’ll call when they’re ready to work with someone they trust. It could be this week or it might be two years from now, so stay in touch.
Is there anything holding you back from writing a book? You’ll have a revenue-generating marketing tool that will also help you get booked for speaking engagements. If it’s overwhelming, start with an info-product and get it out there. You won’t have much work to do to when you transform it into a physical product. Become a Coach was an ebook for two years before it went to print.
Speaking is the third way to immediately get your name out to your community and become known. If you aren’t visible you’ll have a tough time getting hired.
Speaking can take a number of forms but I’m mainly talking about speaking for free here. Develop 20, 30, 45, and 60-minute talks that you can give in businesses, community colleges, churches, rotary clubs, chambers of commerce, and anywhere else a group will host you. My team gave a talk once in a warehouse of an elevator company.
Why not get paid to speak? At the Speak it Forward Boot Camp, we talk about giving away the ‘what’ and ‘why’ when you speak for free and going deep on the ‘how’ when you’re getting paid.
When you’re getting paid to speak, you actually get paid to market your services. We do this with our Past Due: Boot Camp. We get paid to lead it and a certain percentage of people always hire us for 1-on-1 coaching when the class is over.
An audience of one is a great start. Record yourself on video and use the content in a blog post. I do this at least once per week.
Don’t Go it Alone Resources
Let’s face it, you can be in business for yourself, but it’s awfully difficult to do it by yourself. I know…I tried. It didn’t work.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money either. I’ve been members of groups like the Free Agent Academy for years. I meet with a group locally twice per month. I pay $195 to hang out with ten business owners to brainstorm and it’s worth far more than I pay.
You’ll find free teleseminars and webinars all over the place. You can even subscribe to podcasts to get a regular boost of knowledge and motivation.
The most helpful thing I did when I started reaching out after my first year of flailing was to go behind the scenes with a coach. I do the same thing at coachU but in a very small group. It’s affordable and will give you the insight you need to become profitable quickly.
If you’re a coach, I know you have a great love for helping people. If you combine that with a bit of business sense, you’ll be completely unstoppable!