I Need Clients, NOW!

Need more clientsI 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.

Website

Build a killer websiteYou 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.

Writing

writing as marketingThe 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

speakerSpeaking 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.

Record your talks on video or even just audio.  Post them to your blog.  Highlight them on your homepage.  You can even tell your story on your About page in video.

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!

(Photo credits jypsygen, leedav, profstewartrk)

Author: Justin Lukasavige

I help businesses do business better and I love what I do.

  • I’ll add more of a theme than a direct action item, and that’s “DO IT!” Quit talking about your business and do it. Do it for free if that helps you get started. Just be active. Like you said, if you have the right spirit of helping, the money will follow.

    It’s like a boxing match. Many times the guy that is more active and throwing more punches wins the fight. While the guy looking for the one punch KO never finds it.

    I was in the rut of over-planning how to start my business and never really doing anything. I finally had enough and took action… I built a website and started writing. Social media is a good place for writing as well. It’s only been a few weeks, but I already have leads for clients and the word is spreading around my circles of family and friends.

    Funny thing is, that all that “planning” I did wasn’t very useful compared to taking action.

  • Anonymous

    What my wife and I are working on doing is replacing the creative JOB search with a creative CLIENT search using the same 48 Days principles that Dan talks about – intro letter, resume (or something that would be a good substitute), then follow-up. Not sure how well it will work, but it’s worth a shot.

  • April-miller

    Excellent info… speaks to the competence of your skills I’m sure.

  • I think you’re on the right track, Rob. I think Dan actually takes his process from a traditional sales approach. The trick there is cutting through the marketing clutter with that intro letter.

    If you haven’t read it, pick up a copy of Seth Godin’s “Permission Marketing.” It’s a few years old but still applies today. May give you some ideas for your piece to substitute for the resume as well.

    Good luck!

  • I’m getting a lot of the “just do it” since I put out that video this week (http://www.coachradio.tv/how-to-get-things-done). You’re right Josh, plan a bit, but then get out there and make something happen.

  • Thanks April. It’s worked well for my entire team over the past few years.

  • I know it’s going to work well for you Rob. I tell business to do that all the time. Kent and I even talked about that on the show yesterday (episode #66). Two letters and a phone call.

  • Jill

    Great tips Justin. Hopefully I now have an avatar.

  • Pierce

    I have facilitated several 48 Days Classes and my son’s story I just wrote about is one of the best…especially on thinking out of the box. If you would like to read it…I don’t think Justin will mind…you can find it at http://www.marrscoaching.com and click on the blogs. It is at the top.

  • Pierce

    Justin…love the blog…very to the point. Thanks for the reminders.

  • Coachv

    Awesome stuff, Justin! Thank you!
    victor

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  • It’s there! Well done.

  • My pleasure, Victor. I’m here to help.

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  • Jack Lynady

    Thx, coach. Sounded like…work on the fundamentals, get stronger, practice well, play hard on Saturday. repeat the next week. 😉

  • You know I love systems, Jack. That’s exactly what to do to find clients.

  • Eric Swanson

    Great info. I am in the very beginning of my journey to becoming a coach, so clients are important. You mentioned a website. I just set up a self-hosted wordpress site and I’m learning my way around right now. 

    What would you recommend the top 2-3 things I do to help my site. Actually, saying site is generous, its a page with one post, but I’m getting there.
    Thanks!

  • Great to hear you’re taking the right steps, Eric. Top things:
    1. Great logo
    2. Colors that convey what you want visitors to feel
    3. Professional (not stuffy, but a really well done site that makes me feel you know what you’re doing)

    Notice none of these are plugins or tools that you can install. This is the work of a great web guy or designer who gets you and knows what you’re doing.