Is your business coaching practice recession-proof?
If not, it’s time to get moving: we may be heading into a recessionary period.
GDP is slowing. Supply chain issues continue to gum up production. Inflation is rising. We’re on the cusp of a bear market on the S&P (the Nasdaq is already there).
This can be a time of panic for business coaches and their clients.
Or it can also be a time of opportunity and growth.
Here’s what you need to know to recession-proof your coaching practice.
Recessions can be a time of panic for business coaches and their clients. Or they can be a time of opportunity and growth.
Get Your Mind Right
First, get your mind right. The real difference between a successful entrepreneur and one who is not so successful is the way you respond to challenges. We have basically two options:
Blamers find someone to shift responsibility to: the economy, the government, our employees, our spouse, our business partner. But what we know in our experience as business coaches is that successful entrepreneurs discipline themselves to avoid this sort of fallacy.
Instead of blaming, take a posture of learning. Prioritize getting a handle on what helps business owners during recessions. Keep your thoughts positive.
One great strategy is to use affirmations. No, this isn’t a “woo-woo” self-help technique. It helps you stay grounded and positive.
Affirmations should start with “I am.” Use positive language (avoid “not” or “don’t), and be short and powerful. For example:
- I am a successful business coach.
- I am changing business owners’ lives.
- I am committed to helping others.
- I am the best investment a business owner can make.
Do a practice of short affirmations for 3-5 minutes each day. Record yourself and play the affirmations back to yourself. This will help quell the anxiety and keep your mind focused on the task at hand.
Position Yourself Properly
Business coaching clients aren’t buying a product or service. They’re buying YOU! So learn how to position yourself in a way that instills trust. Be sure to be able to clearly articulate your value in these three areas: competence, client relevance, and character. Often the best way to summarize all of this is to put together a one-page “hot bio” about yourself that you can share with prospects.
Under competence, summarize the major periods of your professional life, list any awards and achievements, and detail the education, certifications, and accreditations you’ve received. Be specific; use statistics and real numbers as often as possible!
Under client relevance, be sure to talk about the experience you have working with businesses like theirs–and be crystal clear about what’s in it for your prospective client!
Under character, share some personal details about your family, any adversity you’ve overcome, and what passion projects or causes you stand for.
We have eight basic lead generation strategies we recommend for business coaches. You don’t need to be good at all of them; instead, choose three to master and work them hard.
Which ones should you choose?
We divide lead generation techniques into two categories: hunting and farming.
Hunting strategies are hands-on, active, and outbound. Think referrals, networking, direct mail, telemarketing, and “bold walking” (actually going into businesses to meet potential clients). In general, they’re more time-consuming than farming strategies, but they also produce clients much faster.
Farming strategies are passive and inbound. For example, social media, content marketing, and strategic partnerships. They produce more volume, but also take longer to close (months instead of weeks).
Which should you employ?
If you’re just getting started, making less than $5K per month, all three of your strategies should be hunting strategies. This will help you get your business off the ground. If you’re making between $5K and $15K per month, we suggest two hunting strategies and one farming strategy. If you’re making more than $15K per month, reverse that: one hunting strategy and two farming strategies.
Be sure to measure your results! Keep track of how many leads you generated from each tactic, and how well the leads converted. Continue to invest in the tactics that produced more clients, and drop the ones that didn’t.
Recessions can be scary, but they don’t have to derail your business. Use these strategies and you’ll be poised to build a recession-proof business coaching practice as we head into the next downturn.