If you’re just starting out as a business coach (or maybe if you’ve been one for a while!), you’ve probably felt a bit overwhelmed at how much it seems you have to learn, and how much it seems you have to do if you want to get a steady flow of clients. That’s why I want to share some marketing basics for beginning business coaches.
You see, the world is full of people desperate to sell us their latest new trick, hack, or tool that will win us more clients at the drop of a hat. And they need us to think that everything we’ve done in the past is out of date and we need to get their shiny new thing instead.
And it’s true that tools and techniques do need to evolve over time.
But in order to know what will work for you, you need to have a really solid foundation in place. And that’s something most people don’t have.
In order to know what will work for you, you need to have a really solid foundation in place.
So they jump from shiny new object to shiny new object because they don’t have a way of knowing what’s actually important to their business and what’s going to make a real difference.
So What Are the Marketing Basics for Beginning Business Coaches?
In my business, I’ve found there 4 key activities you need to focus on to succeed in getting that steady flow of leads and clients going. And I’ve found the same activities work for my clients too.
The first activity is something you do yearly or quarterly. It’s to get Focused.
Focus is about zeroing in on your ideal clients, building deep understanding of their problems, challenges, goals and aspirations, and creating a compelling USP that helps you stand out in the market.
Getting focused simplifies everything in your business. It means you have a message that hits the spot for your ideal clients and you just “know” instinctively what and how to communicate.
Lead Generation is the first practical step to building a flow of new clients. It’s where you make that vital first contact and give “value in advance” to start building your authority with potential clients.
This is where the “shiny new objects” tend to distract us, because this is often the hardest part of marketing for most people. So this is where we have to be the most careful.
It’s not like the people telling us about their fantastic new approach are deliberately misleading us (well, not in most cases). It’s more that what works for them simply won’t work for you because they’re in a different market to you with different clients and different skills and resources.
That’s why figuring out your focus is so vital: it steers you to the right lead generation approaches that will work for you. I advise sticking to one main approach you can master, and then having one approach you’re testing out but not reliant on.
Next is Ongoing Nurture. Since the vast majority of potential clients won’t be ready to hire you when you first contact them, you’ll need to keep in regular contact to build credibility and trust.
If you work with a small number of clients at any time, this can often be done personally (though I’d advise being systematic about it). For larger numbers of prospects you’ll need to automate more and this is where email marketing comes in.
Finally, you need to Win Clients. That means turning those nurtured relationships into paying clients. And to do that you need a method for getting into sales conversations with clients and for handling those conversations.
Go with the FLOW
Four areas: Focus, Lead Generation, Ongoing Nurture, Win Clients. It’s no coincidence they spell FLOW.
As long as you have one solid approach in each area, you’re good to go. No need for shiny new objects or continually flip-flopping trying to find the next big thing. It’ll simply work.
And the truth is that when you have all four areas working together, you don’t need to be exceptional at everything. Doing one area really well is enough.
So if you’ve focused on the perfect ideal client and have a really strong USP, the rest of your marketing can be pretty average and you’ll do OK.
Have a fuzzier market definition and “OK but not great” lead generation? If your Ongoing Nurture is brilliant you’ll still be fine.
You don’t need to be brilliant at marketing to get a steady flow of clients. Just make sure you have a strong FLOW-based system with each of the components working well.
By the way, if you want to get my very best training on FLOW and a “library” of marketing strategies you can use at each step to get you going fast, then take Momentum Club for a 14-day test drive for just $1. Or, for more basics for beginning business coaches check out Eric’s FREE ebook, How to Become a Business Coach.