Whether you’re a new business coach just starting out or an old veteran, pretty much every coach wants to know how to attract better business coaching clients.
I’ve got some bad news for you: 90% of the time your ideal potential clients aren’t interested in hearing how great you are because they’re not currently looking to hire anyone.
Now for the good news: pretty much all the time they are open to new ideas and insights that will help their business or life.
That’s why there are so many business magazines, blogs, podcasts and YouTube channels out there. It’s probably why you follow this blog, even if you haven’t bought anything yet.
So if we focus on sharing and promoting our valuable ideas, our potential clients will be much more likely to pay attention and take action.
But it’s not a matter of just “sharing good stuff” and expecting clients to come knocking on your door. That simply doesn’t work.
What DOES work to attract better business coaching clients?
Probably the most commonly used philosophy of content marketing is that if we “deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.”
I don’t know about you, but I don’t “reward” people with my business. I give my business to the people I think will do the best job for me. Like everyone else, I look at what’s in it for me.
Now sure, if I’ve got good content from someone it’s going to make me see them in a positive light. It’ll influence my decision a bit, no doubt. But I’m not going to blindly reward them with my business just because they’ve shared valuable information with me.
That’s like asking your best friend to extract your painful tooth, just because you like him. Not gonna happen.
If you want your ideas to sell for you then you need to be way more strategic about which ideas and content you use. You need to make sure that they’re both valuable and influence the buying decisions of your potential clients in your favor.
If you want your ideas to sell for you then you need to make sure they’re both valuable and influence the buying decisions of your potential clients in your favor.
So what kind of ideas work to influence buying decisions?
Well, ultimately, the factors that influence your specific client’s decision-making are unique to you. So if you sit down with a pen and paper and get focused on the clients you know best, you can come up with a shortlist of things they need to “know and feel” to be ready to work with you.
For example, if knowing that you had relevant industry experience was a critical decision-making factor for your clients then you’d want to make sure that some of the ideas you shared were rich with those industry insights.
Generally speaking though, there are three big criteria you need to make sure your biggest, most prominent ideas meet.
Firstly (and I hope this goes without saying) they need to be valuable to your ideal clients. And that value needs to be immediately obvious.
This is what’s going to get them to pay attention when you speak, write or otherwise share your ideas.
Secondly, your ideas need to be unique.
Far too much content on the web is simply a rehashing of the same old material your clients have already seen time and time again. If your ideas seem to be the same ones that all your competitors are sharing too – why would a client want to pay attention and ultimately work with you instead of them?
It doesn’t matter how great or valuable your ideas are, if they aren’t unique then they won’t influence your clients to hire you.
Now your ideas don’t necessarily have to be unique to the world. They just have to be unique in the eyes of your client. They have to stand out from the other things they see and hear (eg from your competitors). That’s a slightly less daunting task.
So, for example, you could take an emerging idea from a different business sector or discipline and adapt it and tailor it for your clients. Or you could combine multiple ideas from other fields into your own model.
The third criterion is that your ideas need to be disruptive.
If all your ideas are simply minor improvements on what your clients are already doing then they’ll nod their heads in agreement with you, but they won’t hire you.
They’ll like you and tell you you’re doing great work. But if they’re already doing 80% of what you recommend, they won’t go to the time and expense of hiring an external person to help them improve. They’ll try to get better incrementally.
So out of all the ideas swirling around in your head and all the information you could share with potential clients, focus on the ones that are the most:
- Valuable to your clients
- Unique and different to everything else they’re hearing
- Disruptive and challenging to their status quo
By sharing those ideas, rather than just adding to the overload of “meh” content out there in the world you’ll be doing your clients a great service, and you’ll be influencing them so that they’re much more likely to hire you.
Win – win.
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