fbpx
The Most Effective Way I Know To Connect With Your Ideal Client

The Most Effective Way I Know To Connect With Your Ideal Client

Until you understand your customers — deeply and genuinely — you cannot truly serve them.”
~ Rasheed Ogunlaru

In this blog, I tell you about the best way I know to connect with your ideal client and the business benefits of doing so. That way is audience research and I’ll be sharing not only my approach but 4 important benefits you can enjoy when you employ it.

In my experience, doing market or audience research is one of the most overlooked activities in the online business world.

So many business owners sit behind a screen trying to figure out the answers to questions like:

Who is my ideal client?
What is my ideal client struggling with?
What products and services should I create to best support them in that?
How much should I charge?
What language should I be using on my website to appeal to my ideal client?
What should I be sharing about in my content and marketing?

I’m going to let you into a secret. You won’t get these answers from client avatar exercises and/or pondering branding questions.

Our audience (or if we don’t yet have one, our market) knows the answers to all of these questions and more. Those answers are available to us, if only we take the time to ask.

My approach

The approach I teach my clients is to run what I call, 30/30 research call campaigns.

This is where you put out an invitation to your audience, via your newsletter and social media. Or if you don’t yet have an audience, in places your people already hang out such as Facebook or LinkedIn groups.

In the invitation, describe who your ideal client is and a few bullets on what they might be struggling with and then offer 10 x 60 minute conversations.

Share in your invitation that the first 30 minutes will be dedicated to market research (this is where you’ll ask a number of research questions — see list above for inspiration) and the second 30 minutes is where you’ll support them with their greatest struggle, this might be through coaching, healing, teaching or whatever modality you specialise in.

There is so much to be gained from running a campaign like this but here are 4 of the biggest business benefits.

1. Clarity on your niche

I’m a firm believer that your niche evolves over time and with experience. I don’t believe niche is something you can figure out intellectually or through doing branding exercises and answering journal prompts. For me, clarity around niche comes from being out in the field talking with people and testing various niches out through working with people or when you don’t yet have enough clients through research calls and/or offering gift sessions.

Often when business owners come to me, there are several types of people they could help and several things they could help them with. I often work with people who have a range of skills and work with more than one modality. They also tend to do the kind of work that would be beneficial to everybody and so niching can feel particularly tricky.

The problem is that when you offer services to everybody, nobody really sees that service as relevant to them or their specific issue.

In these situations, I recommend conducting market research calls with a specific group of people who might be struggling with a specific set of problems. This way, you get to test out niches and talk to people in those groups to see if it’s a problem you really want to work with.

Let me give you an example. Let’s say you are a life coach who can help people with a wide range of issues such as relationships, facing fears, achieving goals, breaking bad habits and so on. Instead of putting out a generic post that talks about general life coaching and helping people to “live their best life”, hone in on one of these. For example…”I’d like to have conversations with 10 people who have a clear and specific goal that they want to achieve but are finding it hard to get started. Perhaps you struggle with procrastination, self-doubt or a lack of ideas on what action to take, but at the same time you feel 100% committed to doing what it takes to achieve your goal.”

Can you see how much clearer this is? After talking to 10 people about this specific problem, you’ll soon know if this is something you want to cover in your niche or not!

2. Language and topics for your content and copy

How many times have you heard the advice to use your ideal clients own language in your web and sales copy? And how easy have you found that to be so far?

When we get into conversation with our ideal clients and ask them specifically about what it is that they are struggling with, they tell us! This means that they give us the exact language they themselves use to describe the issues they are looking for support with.

When we can describe what we do in terms that our ideal clients would themselves use, we create a deeper connection that makes sales far more likely.

It’s for this reason that I recommend recording research calls so that you can go back over the recording and jot down the exact wording used.

These conversations are also a rich source of content ideas. If you are talking to the very people you’d love to work with and they are telling you what they need help and support with, you can then go write posts and articles on these very topics, meaning that your content is also going to land much better than it otherwise would.

3. Input, ideas and suggestions for your products and services

Similar to the content point I just made, research calls can provide us with ideas and inspiration for our products and services but more than that we can ask direct questions about what people truly want and need.

I like to do research calls when I’m considering a new product and service so that I can be sure that there is a true need for what I’m thinking of creating. All too often, I see well-intentioned business owners pouring their heart and soul into making something fabulous for their people only to be met with zero or very few sales. Why? Because for whatever reason, it wasn’t what their people really wanted or needed.

You see as practitioners, who in all likelihood have already overcome the struggle our would-be clients are facing, we’re not always in the best position to know exactly what our people are looking for. I see lots of business owners putting forward the solution to the problem in their product and service when their people don’t yet know that’s what they need. If you don’t know you need something, then you’re unlikely to buy it.

4. Clients

Yes, you read that right! Conducting research calls can and does bring in new clients — I see it all the time with my approach. Why? Because first of all, you’ve hopefully described your ideal client well in your invitation, which has the people who respond feel seen and heard, and it also signals to them that you are someone who helps people just like them, with their specific struggle.

Secondly, when you use the second half of the call to deeply serve the person and demonstrate your expertise in your field, people get a real and tangible sense of what it would be like to work with you and if that experience is positive, often they will enquire about working with you.

I have had several clients get multiple clients from a single research call campaign. And even if people don’t sign up for your services there and then, in having this conversation, you’ve built a deeper relationship. One that may well result in future sales and/or referrals down the line.

So there you have it, 4 pretty big business benefits of conducting research calls. I’m such a huge fan of these calls and it’s often one of the first things I get new clients to do. Do let me know in the comments if this piece has inspired you to run a research campaign yourself.

SIGN UP FOR MY SOULFUL STRATEGIES WEEKLY

 

Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

If you want to receive the Soulful Strategies Weekly, simply share with me your name and email address below and you’ll start recieving emails right away.

The Best Way To Get Repeat Customers + Referrals

The Best Way To Get Repeat Customers + Referrals

“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.”
~ Bill Gates

I want to talk to you about something that many business owners overlook in their business and what you might be missing out on as a result.

In order to maximise your chances of having people buy from you again and again, as well as tell others about you, you’ll need to be creating regular opportunities for your clients and customers to give you feedback so that you can make improvements to your products and services. 

Take a moment now to consider when you last asked your customers or clients for feedback. If you can’t remember or if you never have, then read on, this is for you. 

If you are a business owner, then it follows that you have products and/or services. Not asking for regular feedback as to how those products and services are landing for your customers and clients means you have no idea whether or not they are fit for purpose. Whether or not they are serving your clients needs.

Creating a positive customer/client experience is crucial if you want repeat business and word of mouth referrals. When people buy something from you and it has a positive impact on their life, it follows that they will tell other people about you and/or will be back to buy more from you in the future. If the experience was less than satisfactory, at best they’ll never buy from you again and at worst they’ll share with others their negative experience. 

Now I get it, even though asking for feedback seems straightforward enough – I mean how hard can it be to send out some feedback forms – it’s actually something that a lot of business owners put off. Why? Well my best guess, based on my own experience, is that it feels vulnerable to ask people what they think about what we created for them.

It’s significantly easier to bury our heads and avoid the possibility of hearing from someone that we could do better. Believe me, I know from personal experience just how much it can sting to hear from others that we fell short of their expectations. And….

It’s absolutely crucial to ask for feedback if we are to have any hope of offering the best product or service possible.

Now that I’ve made the case for feedback, allow me to share with you just some of the ways I have created opportunities for feedback in my own business.

My two primary offerings – where I spend most of my time and generate the most income – are my 1:1 coaching subscription and my Conscious Business Mastermind.

With my 1:1 coaching, to overcome the natural resistance to asking for feedback, I’ve created an automated off-boarding system that kicks in when clients finish up with me. What this essentially means is that when someone’s subscription comes to an end, I have a templated email ready to go that shares a few things. A gift coaching session for them to use whenever they feel the need over the next 12 months, a link to a feedback form and an invitation to share a testimonial with me.

In my post-coaching feedback form I ask 9 questions including the following: 

What situation were you in before working with me? What were you struggling with?

What results have you achieved since we started working together? What is different for you now, how would you describe the change that happened?

And 

Is there anything you would have liked to see done differently or any improvements I could make to my coaching service? If so, what?

As you can see, I’m trying to get a solid picture of the impact our coaching together has had, as well, of course, insight into any improvements I could make to my offering. 

When I used to offer a 3-month coaching package, I also sent clients a mid-program review, which contained questions designed to understand if the program was working as the client hoped it would and to offer an opportunity to course correct if it wasn’t. 

Since moving to the subscription model, I don’t do this, as I never know how long a client will stay with me. Based on my experience with subscriptions, it could be anything from 3 months to 2 years plus but as I write this, I’m contemplating ways to incorporate opportunities for feedback within the subscription itself, rather than just waiting until the end to hear how it went, which is too late to course correct if needed. 

In my yearlong Mastermind offering, I also have an end of year feedback form and an automated mid-year form that gets emailed in June. In terms of how I automate this, I use Dubsado (this is an affiliate link which means you’ll get a discount and I’ll get a credit if you use it), using Dubsado allows me to set up users when they become clients or Mastermind participants and then set up automations as needed.

For the Mastermind, this means that an email with the mid-year feedback form will automatically get sent out in June without me having to remember to do it. A cheaper approach than using a software tool is just to create a reminder in your calendar and use gmail templates for the email.

I should probably mention at this point that I use Google Forms for all of my feedback (and application) form needs. 

Now even though I have my end of year feedback form and my mid-year feedback form, a year is a long time to go with only one check-in. So to deal with this, I’ve also created a Suggestions spreadsheet in our shared google folder and regularly remind the women to add to it if they have any suggestions for improvement. I’ll also check-in on a fairly regular basis inside our private Facebook Group, to see what people are wanting and needing support with, which informs which content I create and teach.

I’ll also hop on calls with any of my existing or former clients and mastermind participants to dive deeper into what they think about how I can improve my offerings. Sometimes a form just doesn’t go deep enough, so when I see something worth digging into deeper, I won’t hesitate to set up a time to talk. 

Another area of my business where I feel feedback is a must is when I’m contemplating creating something new, like a workshop for example. If I don’t know what to create then I’ll conduct audience research (different from feedback) but if I already have a good sense of what my audience needs from me, then I’ll present possible options to my people (on social and in my newsletter) and ask for feedback on those options and or names. In terms of live workshops, I will of course ask for feedback after the event to see how it landed and to identify ways to improve. 

Even though I have all of these things in place, I definitely think I could do more when it comes to creating opportunities for feedback. I genuinely don’t think you can ask for feedback enough.

Now having made the case for asking for feedback, it does come with a warning. It’s important to remember that you can’t please everybody. What one person might love and value highly, another might be completely disappointed by. Your job in analysing feedback then becomes to work out who your ideal clients are and what they are saying about your work.

If someone buys something from you but you don’t feel they are a fit for what you do, then you can to some extent disregard their feedback, but there is still gold to be mined here. Why did a less than ideal client or customer buy from you? Are you failing to hit the mark in your marketing or sales copy? Could you make improvements that will help to prevent wrong-fit people coming your way? There’s so much to learn here. 

So there you have it, why I think asking for feedback is so important and some tangible examples of how I do it in my business. If this is an area you know you need to improve on and would love some guidance on how to implement it, let me know in the comments so we can explore how I might support you with that. 

SIGN UP FOR MY SOULFUL STRATEGIES WEEKLY

 

Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

If you want to receive the Soulful Strategies Weekly, simply share with me your name and email address below and you’ll start recieving emails right away.

How To Start Enjoying The Sales Process

How To Start Enjoying The Sales Process

“Sales is not about selling anymore, but about building trust and educating.”

~ Siva Devaki

I had the great pleasure of being interviewed by authentic business coach, George Kao. Now if you’ve known me for any length of time, you’ll know that I am a huge fan of George’s work and his approach to business.

George initially invited me to share about my most interesting insights and learnings when it comes to business growth and after spending not too long thinking about it, I decided that what I most wanted to talk about was how we sell. After making just a few notes on the topic, 4 distinctions emerged that I felt called to share. Distinctions that I think can help to reframe the sales process for you, the conscious business owner.

I share these 4 distinctions as an alternative to the mainstream marketing advice you might usually find online about how to sell.

Sales and marketing present the biggest struggle for the majority of people I work with. This is I believe, a result of what they think they need to do in order to get more sales. My hope is that the 4 alternatives I present below, help you to see that sales can, in fact, feel good for you, the business owner and for the people you are selling to.

1. Create Vs Attract

I talked about this distinction in some detail in another article. If you didn’t see it then, head here now to get the full low-down. Essentially, what I mean by creating clients versus attracting them is placing a focus on building meaningful relationships with people in your network and audience versus trying to present a polished image to the world so as to attract people to your business. Mainstream advice would have us focus on things like branding, web design, professional photos and persuasive copy as a means to sell but in this alternative approach, none of that is actually essential.

Instead of focusing on how your business “looks”, it’s possible to create clients by showing up for the people you already know and serving them deeply, whether that be through your content, complimentary sessions or any other way of being generous with your expertise. An analogy I share in the video is this:

Imagine you were looking for the love of your life and rather than spend your time going out and having fun meeting people and making meaningful connections, you spent all of your time focused on your appearance, working out in the gym to have the perfect body, spending all your money on the perfect clothes and spending hours each day trying to make your hair and makeup look perfect.

How do you think that would go? Sure you might attract some people but would they be there for the right reasons? Would the connections you make be rooted in what’s important? Most of us know this when it comes to finding a partner but when it comes to our business we fall into the trap of trying to present the perfect image. Today, I’m giving you full permission to let go of that.

2. Demonstrating expertise vs describing it

As part of the mainstream attraction model, we’re often taught that in order to sell our products and services, we must become masters of persuasion. In order to “convert” our audience into buyers, we must becomes experts at describing our services in such a way that the potential client can’t wait to buy. There are many strategies touted online designed to manipulate people into buying from us. Check out the ethical move for a set of tactics we advise you avoid in favour of more ethical alternatives.

In place of trying to convince people to buy your products and services with words, I encourage you to demonstrate your expertise instead. You can do this in a number of ways including, but not limited to, offering complimentary sessions, hosting free workshops, publishing free training videos so people can see your work in action and last but not least, sharing your knowledge in your content. And with this last point, I advise that you don’t hint at what you know to get the sale, instead share generously and in doing so cultivate deeper trust with your audience.

3. Serving vs Selling

This is where our primary objective when connecting with people in our network is to serve rather than to sell. Be that to potential clients, your colleagues and peers as well as mentors and role models. Whenever you find yourself thinking about making an ask of someone, see if you can find a way to serve instead. Here are two examples of what this might look like:

Instead of writing to former clients to ask if they know anyone who might be interested in working with you, write to them to offer a pitch-free, complimentary session to gift to someone in their network. In doing so you give the gift of giving to one of your former clients, the gift of your service to someone new and at the same time, ask for nothing in return. No selling is involved, yet you get an opportunity to demonstrate your experience to someone who may benefit from working with you.

Another place this distinction shows up for me is in your content, how often do we read newsletters and social media posts that go deep into a problem we might have, only to lead us to a solution we then have to buy — which goes something like…do you have this problem? Is it causing you all of these sorts of suffering? Then don’t despair because everything you need is available in my course, e-book, program etc.

When you serve in your content rather than sell, you cultivate trust, demonstrate your expertise and allow people to get value from your work whether they buy or not. Now you might be sat there thinking but I need to sell or I can’t pay my bills. In my experience the less I focus on selling and the more I focus on serving, the more my business grows.

4. Authentic pricing vs Premium pricing

Again this is one I cover in some detail in this article but for the purposes of this post, I’ll share the distinction in a nutshell. Whilst mainstream business advice will nearly always tell you to raise your prices, I’m here to tell you that you can build a profitable business without charging insane amounts of money for your services. In fact, often adopting the premium pricing model for your coaching, mentoring or healing services can have the adverse effect of making less than money than you otherwise might.

Big prices don’t necessarily equate to big income. In fact for many people the opposite happens. The bigger the price, the harder they have to work to get the sale and the less income is being generated overall. I invite you to tune out the noise online about pricing and to tune into what feels right to you as a business owner.

I hope you’ve found those distinctions useful and if you want to hear me and George chat about them, you can watch the video of our conversation here.

SIGN UP FOR MY SOULFUL STRATEGIES WEEKLY

 

Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

If you want to receive the Soulful Strategies Weekly, simply share with me your name and email address below and you’ll start recieving emails right away.

Stop Asking For The Sale (And Do This Instead)

Stop Asking For The Sale (And Do This Instead)

“A salesperson’s ethics and values contribute more to sales success than do techniques or strategies.”
~ Ron Willingham

Let me start by sharing the fact that I’ve built both my current and former businesses without ever “asking” for the sale inside of a conversation with a potential client.

I started my life coaching business back in 2014, following the 4-step approach laid out in a book called The Prosperous Coach by Steve Chandler and Rich Litvin. That approach looks like this:

Step 1 – Connect – Who would I love to speak to?
Step 2 – Invite – Would you like to experience a powerful coaching conversation?
Step 3 – Create – Serve them so powerfully they never forget your conversation for the rest of their life.
Step 4 – Propose – Are you in? Hell yeah or no?

As a strategy for creating clients, I loved it. This approach allowed me to coach people regularly even before I had many clients and, in doing so, spend most of my “business” time doing what I most loved to do – helping people to create the transformation they were seeking in their life.

I had absolutely no problem with step 1 – connecting with people, in fact outreach was and still is one of the favourite parts of my work. Nor did I struggle with step 2 – because being able to offer the gift of coaching to people who can really benefit is a wonderful way to practice true generosity in business, which feels wonderful to me! In terms of step 3 – I’m not sure if all of my complimentary coaching sessions will be remembered forever by those that have had one BUT giving my all to each and every session never failed to leave me with a feeling of deep fulfilment.

Where I struggled and where many of the people I work with struggle was with step 4 – making the proposal, i.e. asking for the sale or inviting someone to consider or discuss working together. For me it felt so out of alignment with my values. Offering someone the gift of a complimentary session and then trying to ask for the sale. Bringing up working together after a deep coaching session just felt off, so I refused to do it. Despite the fact that I was paying $15,000 for a 6 month apprenticeship with a coach who was teaching me this very approach!

Rather than trying to force myself to learn how to ask for the sale and or get better at making the proposal, I worked on everything else that would support the outcome of working together. I worked on:

1. My inner game. Getting myself to a place where I could genuinely show up in service to the person in front of me without feeling needy for the sale AND at the same time being completely open for a sale to occur, should it be a fit for both parties.
2. My service. Making the coaching session (as well as the set up and aftercare) as professional, powerful and impactful as possible.
3. My paid for offering. Getting clear on how someone could work with me should they want to and making my offering clear and easy to find. I’ve worked hard to refine this over the years.
4. My content. Showing up consistently with content that shares my best strategies, methodology and point of view so that the people I’m having gift sessions with already know a lot about the problem I solve, who I solve it for and how I solve it.

Instead of asking for the sale, I would get to the end of my gift session and I would simply say: “is there anything else I can support you with?” and with time something magical started to happen.

People started to consistently ask me what it could look like to work together at the end of the complimentary coaching session. I genuinely don’t recall the last time someone didn’t ask me about working together at the end of a free session with me.

Given that I don’t ask for the sale and my 1:1 practice is still full with a sizable wait list, I know that it’s possible to build a thriving business without becoming an expert at asking for the sale. I have no doubt that putting my attention on all of the above has been far more fruitful for my business than focusing on how to get better at asking for the sale.

If you are giving complimentary sessions in your business and people are not asking you about working together at the end of them, then consider the four areas I outline above and ask yourself which needs working on.

Are you showing up in the right energy or do you feel needy about getting the sale? Something I have found useful to remember over the years is that whilst I might need or want a new client, I don’t need THIS particular person to be that client. That always allowed me to lean back into trusting the process and knowing that the right next client will come.

Are you showing up powerfully to the coaching session and giving your best? If not, consider what you would change in the set up or delivery of your calls if you were to treat this person as if they were already your highest paying client.

Are your offerings clear? A big mistake I see is when service providers have a lot of services on offer without clarity on the difference between them. If someone has taken up your offer of a free session, then it’s highly likely that they’ve checked out your website first, if your services are confusing. absent (you’d be surprised how common this is!) or simply not aligned with what your people need then it doesn’t matter how powerful the session was, a confused mind says no.

Are you creating and sharing content consistently? When people come to your site, are there recent and relevant articles that demonstrate your expertise and speak to the struggles your ideal clients have and the solutions to those struggles? If not, then you are missing a huge opportunity to generate interest in working on you outside of the sales call or free session.

The opportunity to enroll a new client doesn’t simply happen at the end of a free session or discovery call. You could be a master at making the ask and still fall flat if you haven’t taken the time to work on these fundamental pieces.

SIGN UP FOR MY SOULFUL STRATEGIES WEEKLY

 

Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

If you want to receive the Soulful Strategies Weekly, simply share with me your name and email address below and you’ll start recieving emails right away.

Creating Your Next Client

Creating Your Next Client

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
~ Peter Ducker

Years ago, when I worked with a Business Coach for well over a year to set up my Life Coaching practice, there were two things he repeated to me regularly.

Clients are created not attracted.

And

No client is ever created outside of a conversation.

Which meant for the purposes of growing my business, I needed to be in conversations every day. I duly followed his advice and grew my coaching practice quickly and relatively easily.

Clients are created

This approach to client creation is best laid out in a book called The Prosperous Coach by highly successful coaches, Steve Chandler and Rich Litvin. Here’s what Rich has to say in the book:

“You don’t get clients. You don’t acquire clients. And you definitely don’t attract clients.

Clients are created.

‘Getting’ clients is an old-fashioned, hunter-gatherer approach to growing a coaching practice. It’s outdated because it puts all of your success in the hands of other people. It puts you in an aggressive mindset that isn’t conducive to having people say yes. And it has your clients on edge, waiting for that moment when you are about to manipulate them.”

If you’ve spent any time at all on the internet looking into how to get clients for your service based business, you’ll likely have heard that having certain things in place, such as beautiful branding, a fancy website, photos of you looking amazing and sun-kissed, enticing copy and highly converting marketing funnels, are all a must if you are to attract your dream clients.

The key to this approach is attraction — make yourself as irresistible as possible to your ideal client and they’ll be putty in your hands. But what to do if you don’t have $15–20K to spunk on professional branding, web design, copywriting and a set of personal branding photos? Or if, like many of my clients, the whole idea of portraying a perfectly polished image online, leaves you feeling cold.

Well I don’t mind telling you that I have none of these and I’m doing just fine on the client front thank you very much. I’ve also pretty much DIY’d all of the above.

For the bootstrapped business owner who has little choice but to DIY it, not needing all of these fancy bells and whistles to enrol clients, often feels like a blessed relief. But if we don’t need to go to all this trouble of attracting our ideal clients, what then?

Well my lovelies, this is where the fun beings. Instead of trying to attract clients, we get to create them. And we create clients by doing what we, as purpose driven, conscious folks love to do.

We connect with people and we help them.

Before we get into that though, I want to share another thing my business coach used to say.

Your next client is right in front of you.

This one has been a game changer for me because it has allowed me to a) focus fully on the person right in front of me and b) put my attention and care on looking after the people in my network rather than have my focus on the growing the number of people on my list or following my Facebook page.

When you seek to help the people you already know and take the time and effort to cultivate deeper connections with those people (regardless of whether or not you think they can afford to work with you), you will inevitably create your next client. And you’ll also grow your audience because when people are blown away by how you’ve served them, they go and tell everyone they know about you.

All too often I see business advice that encourages business owners to be looking out at the horizon for their next client rather than focusing on the people and followers they already have.

How often have you put a piece of content out and bemoaned the fact that only 1 or 2 people commented or shared it? Rather than focus on the lack of engagement, I invite you to celebrate those who are showing up, reading, commenting and/or sharing your work. When we do that, people feel seen and appreciated, which inevitably and organically leads to more business.

Being of Service

This is where I favour 1:1 connection versus 1:Many. So much marketing advice would have us shouting to the masses, posting on social media and churning out marketing designed to attract clients to us.

But there absolutely is another way.

What if rather than spend your time trying to attract clients, you spent your time simply serving people. Showing up to your network and being generous and helpful with your gifts and your content? Read blog posts here and here for more on outreach and activating your network.

Finally, I’ve also created a graphic that simplifies the distinction between the attract and create approaches below. I think I can already guess which approach you’d rather take!

SIGN UP FOR MY SOULFUL STRATEGIES WEEKLY

 

Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

If you want to receive the Soulful Strategies Weekly, simply share with me your name and email address below and you’ll start recieving emails right away.

A Conscious Approach to Client Creation

A Conscious Approach to Client Creation

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”

~ Maya Angelou

What I’m going to share in this post can work for most service-based, conscious business owners, be they teachers, healers, wellness practitioners or coaches. But of course, my experience comes largely as a coach and it’s from that perspective that I share. It’s important that you consider how the approach might apply to your specific business.

Most of the advice we see online these days comes from the perspective of “getting” or “attracting” clients, we also hear all manner of nonsense about creating offers so irresistible that people will be fighting to hand over their money to you. The strategies most often taught focus on crafting the perfect image, message or brand that will, so they say, have people flocking to you. This is not the approach I teach nor is it an approach I advocate.

“Getting” clients is an old-fashioned, hunter-gatherer approach to growing a coaching practice. It’s outdated because it puts all of your success in the hands of other people. It puts you in an aggressive mindset that isn’t conducive to having people say yes. And it has your clients on edge, waiting for that moment when you are about to manipulate them.”

~ Rich Litvin

The approach I advocate is less about getting, attracting or persuading and more about creating. Creating clients comes about when we invest in the relationship with the person in front of us. When we put aside manipulation, persuasion and making the sale in place of creating a deeper relationship.

I don’t, for example, have a complicated or sophisticated sales funnels with trip wires and squeeze pages. Instead I have my knowledge and skillset and and a deep desire to see people succeed. I use these to do the following two things on a regular basis to facilitate deeper relationships with my right-fit people:

  1. Creating and sharing content consistently.
  2. Practicing authentic outreach.

Let me share with you more of how I use these two activities to create clients and to grow my business.

I put out content on a consistent basis and do my best to make that content meaningful and useful. I share the best of what I know freely and when people engage with that content and share with me how it helped, I use authentic outreach (more on that in this post) to reach out to get to know that person better, I offer my support. I start a conversation and if the conversation goes somewhere and I feel called to go deeper with the person, I will invite that person to have a complimentary coaching session with me. Not a “taster” session or a “discovery” call, in which I give a little and sell a lot. A full 60-90 minute, pitch-free, coaching session, where my number one goal is to serve powerfully.

At the end of the session, I give the person homework, regardless of whether or not I’ll ever speak to that person again, I want to leave them in action, I want to have them feeling the impact of our work together, beyond the time we spent on a call. If it’s a person who I feel excited to go deeper with, I offer a second complimentary session. I do this from a place of service. I never mention working together (I know some coaches do) and I only occasionally mention my services, yet I’d say 8 times out of 10, the person I’m coaching asks me what it could look like to work together. They don’t always become clients, but it follows that if someone feels powerfully served, they are curious about going deeper.

As my business has grown, I have less time for complimentary sessions but it’s still a huge part of my business model. Now maybe I do one every week or so but when I first began my coaching business, I coached hundreds of people, sometimes having as many as 5 complimentary sessions a day! The benefits of doing this are not just for the other person. The more I coached in my first year of business, the more confident I felt, the more referrals I got and the more testimonials I received and ultimately the more clients I created. I also fell into bed each night feeling like I’d made a difference. Like I’d had an impact. For me building a business this way was and is far more fulfilling than spending hours on social media, tweaking web copy, or trying to create the perfect brand.

I’d love to know what you think. Have you tried this approach to creating clients? Can you see how it might apply to your business? If so, I’d love to hear from you so drop me a line in the comments below. 

SIGN UP FOR MY SOULFUL STRATEGIES WEEKLY

 

Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

If you want to receive the Soulful Strategies Weekly, simply share with me your name and email address below and you’ll start recieving emails right away.