As a small business owner, it’s easy to get trapped into the never-ending cycle of a heavy focus on marketing, followed by way too much client work. Then when the client work dries up, back to the heavy action on marketing.
I don’t know about you, but this is probably one of the most stressful parts of owning a coaching and leadership development business.
But there is good news. It doesn’t have to be that way.
What if you could develop a system to continually bring in consistent leads throughout the entire year?
Outlined below is the system that we’ve developed to bring in a steady stream of prospects throughout the year. We also included five strategies for attracting new prospects to your professional coaching business.
SYSTEM STEP #1: IDENTIFY YOUR CLIENT ATTRACTION STRATEGIES
The first step in the system is to make sure you have three primary marketing strategies that you consistently execute throughout the entire year to build awareness and drive prospects to your business. Below are five sample strategies that have worked well for us.
Attraction Strategy #1: Leverage Your Active Clients
Expanding your coaching engagements with existing clients is more cost-effective and efficient than any other marketing strategy you can implement. You have an existing relationship and they’ve already experienced the great value you bring to the leadership coaching process. Here are some ideas on how to leverage your existing client relationships:
- Look for opportunities to extend an existing coaching engagement.
- Offer add-on services to your existing coaching engagement.
- Ask for testimonials in your final coaching session when your client is fully experiencing the progress they made with you.
- Better yet, ask for referrals to others they may know within or outside of their organization.
What new opportunities are available right now with existing clients?
Attraction Strategy #2: Stay-in-touch Marketing
I learned this strategy when in a marketing mastery program with Robert Middleton. The idea is simple. You may have ended a coaching engagement with a client, but you should still stay in touch with them. You never know what their future needs might be. Staying in touch is simple through text, email, newsletters and periodic phone calls. The client may not initially respond to your messages, but I have countless examples of clients who called me after not working together for years, all because I was top of mind when a need arose.
What former clients have you neglected to stay in touch with and when will you connect with them?
Attraction Strategy #3: Share Your Thought Leadership to Build Awareness
You can be a great coach, but if leaders and businesses don’t know about your services, it doesn’t matter. You can build awareness about your executive coaching services by starting a blog, using social media, advertising online, podcasting and more. The bottom line is that as coaches and trainers, we have a ton of content, knowledge and resources; by repurposing that content through multiple platforms we can get our name out there and start building awareness about our brand.
In what ways can you share your knowledge and expertise?
Attraction Strategy #4: Get Out and Speak
Speaking at conferences, association events, and trade shows can be a great way to position yourself as an authority in the field. When you offer something of value at the end of your talk or keynote, like a white paper, infographic, checklist, worksheet or follow-up webinar, you have the opportunity to continue to nurture your relationship with potential clients. Over time, you’ll build trust, and when a need arises, you might just find yourself top of the list.
What speaking engagements do you have lined up in the next year?
Attraction Strategy #5: Build Your Network
Tony Robbins often says, “Proximity is power.” Networking is a great way to expand your professional reach and get in front of your target audience. It could be potential coaching prospects or referral partners. Perhaps you want to build your network of other coaches who might be looking for subcontractors. When you are clear who your target audience is, find out where they hang out and go meet them.
What are you doing to get in proximity with your target audience?
SYSTEM STEP #2: BLOCK TIME ON YOUR CALENDAR EACH WEEK
After you have a handle on your key marketing attraction strategies, you need to make time on your calendar to get those activities done. One idea is to dedicate specific time blocks on certain days of the week. For example, I try not to do client work on Mondays or Fridays so that I have enough time to focus on the business instead of always acting in the business. Those two days give me time for planning, client preparation and marketing.
SYSTEM STEP #3: MEASURE YOUR ACTIVITY
You’ve heard the saying – what gets measured, gets done. The same applies to your marketing activities.
The final step in the process is to create a simple spreadsheet where you can track your marketing activities on a weekly, monthly and annual basis. How many new prospective clients did you reach out to? On how many existing leads did you follow up? How many meaningful conversations did you have?
Tracking these important marketing activities for your coaching business will help you gain optics into how much marketing you are actually doing. It will give you a baseline of how much activity it takes for your existing level of revenue. It will also give you insight into what is working, or not working, and what needs to be changed.
Where do you go from here?
When you create a system around your marketing, and consistently execute it no matter how busy you are with clients, you’ll create a consistent stream of prospects to fill your pipeline.
Stay tuned for our next post where we’ll explore strategies for engaging your prospects once they’ve found you through your client attraction strategies.
In the meantime, check out Coachmetrix. It’s a great way to set yourself apart in the crowded executive coaching space, providing you with a platform to prove your results. As Marshall Goldsmith says, executives buy results, not coaching.