fbpx
The One Thing I Can’t Teach You About Business

The One Thing I Can’t Teach You About Business

“Life is a balance between what we can control and what we cannot. I am learning to live between effort and surrender.”
~ Danielle Orner

In this blog, I want to talk about the one thing I can’t teach you in relation to growing a sustainable business.

Let me start by sharing what I can teach you.

I can teach you what to do in your business to bring about more growth. A huge part of how you apply this is, however, out of my control.

The part I can’t teach you about achieving business success is how to feel in your business.

Let me break down what I mean by how to feel in your business.

I’m talking about a few things, the energy you bring to your work, your attitude, the intentions you set (consciously or not), the mindset you have and so much more. It’s the intangible part of running a business and as many of you (as coaches and healers) will know, it’s what makes the difference between getting the results we desire and not getting them.

This is precisely why I never promise results in my marketing and why you shouldn’t trust anyone who does.

It’s why I could work with two clients and teach them the exact same strategies and whilst client A will succeed, client B won’t gain any traction.

How a person feels and shows up in their business has a HUGE bearing on how well they will do in business.

Now whilst this isn’t something I teach primarily, I do cover this in my work with clients. Not as extensively as a Mindset Coach or healer might, but it’s impossible not to come up against this when trying to apply business strategy.

Allow me to share some of what I’ve learned in this area over the past 10 years of working for myself and coaching hundreds of clients.

Your energy is everything.

One of the biggest issues I see when it comes to business is the energy the business owner brings to the work. In the early days of business when money and clients aren’t yet flowing, it can be easy to fall into a “grasping” energy. This is when you might feel so desperate to get the next client that as you put out your content and marketing and connect with potential clients, you unwittingly give off a desperate and grasping energy.

This is where I lose people sometimes because it’s a bit woo. But stay with me.

In my world energy is everything. It’s not something we can see or touch but it’s why you can get a bad or a good feeling about someone you’ve just met.

It’s how I chose the construction company for our house reno. Despite not having the biggest team or the most experience, the head builder we went with has good energy and I felt it the moment I met him. Within minutes of speaking with him (even in a second language!) I instantly knew that he would care for our home just as he would his own. It wasn’t anything he said, I could just feel it. And I was right, he’s been hands down the best part of this whole process. This is what I mean when I talk about energy.

Sometimes if we’re not careful and we’re not feeling especially confident about our work we can put out an energy that feels off. That’s why when we show up to our work desperate to get the next client, we may be subconsciously sabotaging our strategic efforts.

Something my first business coach taught me when doing gift sessions, was that whilst I might need a new client, I didn’t necessarily need this particular person to become that next client, allowing me to release all neediness and simply focus on being of service.

You may have experienced this, perhaps you’ve done a discovery call or gift session with someone and they expressed some interest in potentially working with you, but then they go quiet, as a result, you obsess over them, checking your email constantly to see if they’ve been in touch, counting the hours or days until you can message them again just to “check in” or follow up.

Even if you don’t actually tell the other person that you desperately want them to become your next client, your energy may well be sending that message. Nobody wants to hire a needy practitioner, so this is a really important one to watch out for.

Your attitude matters.

What’s your attitude like around business? Do you have a good attitude about the work or a bad one? I’m aware that terms like ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are crude, but bear with me.

If you constantly sit down to your work with an internal narrative that says: this will never work, this is hopeless or when creating content to market yourself, continuously hear a voice muttering what’s the point, no one is ever going to read this, then it follows that you’re going to have problems.

A negative attitude permeates everything (not least your energy!). When we feel and think negatively about our business, our subconscious looks for evidence to prove our point of view.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not one to tell you to suck it up and think positively and all will be well, but I have found that the more I focus on the positive, the more I feel grateful for the small wins, the better I feel and the clearer my energy is for my work.

This undoubtedly helps me to make better connections with potential clients, spot more opportunities for collaborations and just makes me a nicer person to be around.

The mindset piece.

Closely linked to attitude but not quite the same. Mindset for me falls into one of two camps. We usually operate from a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. I’ve written a whole piece about this before which you can read here.

To illustrate the point, I’ll use the words of Carol Dweck, Author of the book Mindset:

“When we have a “growth mindset,” we believe that our intelligence, creative abilities, and character are things that we can improve in meaningful ways. We can always learn and get better at what we do.”

By contrast, a fixed mindset describes people “who believe their intelligence, talents and personalities are fixed traits that cannot grow. They believe we are born with a certain level of ability (or special skills) and we are unable to improve our level abilities over time.” (From the Big Life Journal)

If you have a fixed mindset when it comes to your business skills, you will inevitably miss out on the many opportunities there are to improve your skills.

I hear people talking from a fixed mindset all the time. Often using sentences that start with the words “I’m just not someone who can…” and ending with things like: create content on demand, stick to a schedule, use spreadsheets, get to grips with technology, write web copy and so on and so on.

If you can shift from a fixed to a growth mindset, I have no doubt that it will benefit your business immensely.

Check your intention.

Something I see often is people getting tripped up by the intentions they hold as they put their work out into the world. In my work, I talk a lot about holding an intention to serve because I believe that when people feel truly served, they are more likely to buy from you. I also love this intention because for myself, and the types of business owners I work with, being of service is the main reason we’re doing this!

However, due to the need to make money sometimes this intention can get muddied. When we sit down to write a piece of content, rather than hold the intention that what we create truly helps our audience to overcome their struggles, we write from a place of hoping it makes them want to work with us or that it gets enough ‘likes’.

Or when we offer a gift session to someone, rather than holding the intention to serve and come from a place of generosity, we fall into the trap of focusing on the outcome of making the sale.

Of course, this is all perfectly natural and you’ll find no judgement here.

Holding an intention to serve has been a practice for me since day one. In the early days of my business when I was just starting out as a coach and it was easy to get caught up in wanting to impress the other person or come across as a good coach, I used to meditate before sessions so that I could get my ego out of the way just long enough to make my intention about the other person and not about me! My best sessions were always when I forgot about my “performance”.

How to improve how we feel in our business.

Having shared a few of the places that how we feel can derail our strategic efforts, I feel a bit bad about not giving you my best advice on how to work on this side of things, but here’s the issue.

There is no one way to improve how we feel about our business.

Personally, my journey with this has been long and complex. Over the years I’ve seen a myriad of therapists, coaches and healers.

Lately with all the external “stuff” going on in my world, feeling good both inside and outside of my business has been hard.

When this happens to me, I don’t hesitate to call in support. I book sessions with my most trusted healers, Laura Perkins and Megan Caper, I use my EFT sessions with Liesel Teversham to work on what’s coming up for me.

I lean on my favourite mindfulness practices like morning pages and taking walks in nature and most recently I jumped at the opportunity to get a customised flower essence made for me by the wonderfulTracy O’Meara Smith | Holistic Therapist.

I’m aware that not everyone might have the resources to hire help but that needn’t stop you. Some of the resources I mentioned above have come about from exchanges, i.e. swapping my business coaching skills in exchange for someone else’s skills.

In short, I do what I can to get back to a place of feeling centred and grounded and good in my mind, body and spirit. The effect this has on my bottom line is undeniable.

Your journey might look totally different, as it should do.

The point I’m trying to make here is that you can’t build a sustainable business without spending some time on the emotional and spiritual side of doing so.

I hope what I’ve shared here is useful to you, let me know what comes up for you in the comments.

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.

Is It Time to Consider the Big Picture of Your Life + Business?

Is It Time to Consider the Big Picture of Your Life + Business?

We are well into September and it’s precisely this time of year, as we near the end of quarter 3 and the start of 4, that I like to check in with my life and business to see if I’m on track to have the year I set out to have and more importantly to make sure that I am living the life, I want to live.

There are a few reasons I like to do this now. Firstly, the back-to-school vibe that’s in the air gives me renewed energy and excitement for the season ahead and also let’s be honest, trying to do our reviewing and planning in December (along with the holidays and all the stress that can bring) is sort of bonkers.

Instead, starting in September, I like to take my time and spend an hour here and there, looking at the big picture of my life and business with plenty of time before the holiday season hits. That way, when the year ends, writing up my goals and business plan for the year ahead is a pretty quick and simple task.

As I do this work, I thought it might be helpful to share with you what I’ve been up to.

Reviewing my offerings 

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been reviewing my business model and contemplating what, if any, new products and services I might want to birth in 2023. I also look at which products or services I may want to retire. 

I’ve already closed down my Back to Basics monthly subscription, to make space for new things I want to do next year. It’s always hard to let go of offerings you have created, especially when they’re bringing in money and have paying customers, but I learned many years ago that if I want to call in my true heart’s desires, I have to be willing to make space by letting go of that which no longer serves me. 

What has informed my thinking here is looking at my business model to figure out what makes most sense from a sustainability point of view. That means looking at my offerings from the point of view of how much time and effort they take versus the income they bring. If the former greatly exceeds the latter or I know that for the same amount of time, I could bring in more, I know that it’s time to make a change.

Tracking my finances

I track and review my finances on a monthly basis because I believe that, like anything, our finances thrive when we give them our loving attention and whither when we bury our head in the sand and pretend like they don’t exist.

Around this time of year, I can safely estimate what my end of year income and expenses will be. This helps me to set future financial goals that are rooted in reality rather than setting pie in the sky targets that I inevitably never reach.

Armed with this knowledge, I can do the maths to figure out what I want to make next year and how many of each of my products and services I would need to sell to make that happen.

Loosely thinking about my vision and goals for 2023 

I’ve also been giving myself permission to tap into my goals and dreams for 2023. Not just business but generally. Asking myself questions like: where do I see myself and my family next year? What are my priorities? What didn’t work this year that I would like to change? 

As I start to gently consider how I want my business to run next year, I can’t help but consider the life I want to live. That includes things like the number of hours I want to work each day and the number of days I want to work each week. How many holidays do I want to have a year and how much time do I need for my personal hobbies and fitness activities?

Given that I’ve been doing this kind of reflection for years, my business model is pretty well set up for having a healthy work life balance. However, it is very reliant on my 1:1 coaching practice, something that I’m giving more and more thought to is how to reduce my reliance on my 1:1 income and start bringing in more solid revenue from group offerings and digital products, thus allowing me to make more per hour of my time.  

Resistant to planning? 

I love doing this kind of thinking and nothing gets me more excited than a fresh page in a notebook and the intention to make new plans. I do know, however, that not everyone shares my same passion for planning.

With this in mind, if you are someone who typically avoids planning, I would encourage you at the very least to spend some time tapping into what isn’t working for you right now and what needs to change as well as what has worked well over the course of the year and how you can best make the most of that going forward.

Above all I would suggest that you give yourself permission to dream. I truly believe that we are all powerful creators and that when we put our minds to whatever it is that we want to create, magic happens.

Over the next few months I’ll be running several workshops on Creating a Sustainable Business model plus a 2-part Business Review and Planning Workshop. To receive dates and registration details, be sure to subscribe to my Soulful Strategies Weekly 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.

Are You Doing This Often Enough?

Are You Doing This Often Enough?

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

In this blog, I talk to you about something that so many of the business owners I work with struggle to implement — regularly letting your audience know about your products and services. I plan to share with you an approach for sharing your offers authentically and to give you a suggested plan to make sure you do it.

A while back I asked members of my Mastermind, the following question:

How often are you putting your paid offerings in front of your audience (and how)?

And I was a tad taken aback by the response, the vast majority of the women said that they weren’t doing it at all or if so, were doing it rarely and infrequently.

Now I shouldn’t really be surprised because the kind of business owner that is attracted to my work tends to be so precisely because they don’t like the sales and marketing aspect of running a business. They like my work because I focus on generosity and giving versus manipulation and hard selling. I myself have built a successful business, selling as infrequently as possible AND…

It’s so, so, so important to be letting your people know what you have to offer on a regular and consistent basis.

A chilling parable

Years ago I heard a story that had a huge impact on me, I have no idea where or how I heard this story and despite searching online (many times!), I’ve never been able to find it since. So this is my version of it. It’s the story of a doctor who moved to a remote village.

He didn’t want to tell the villagers on his first day there that he was a doctor, lest he come across as bragging or full of himself. That first night, shortly after he arrived he heard a commotion in the early hours of the morning, but didn’t think too much of it. The next day, he awoke to find the village in mourning. When he asked what had happened, he was told that a little girl had come down with fever and died because the nearest doctor lived miles away and they couldn’t get to him in time.

Of course, the doctor was devastated, he had assumed that a doctor must already live in the village and by not letting the villagers know his profession, a young girl had died.

Now whilst people might not die as a result of your silence about what you have to offer, it’s my honest belief that when we fail to share what it is that we can do for others (on the regular), we are depriving the very people we are trying to help from accessing products and services that could help them to live happier and healthier lives.

So, with that said, how do you let people know what you are up to without feeling like a sleazy car salesman? It’s easier than you think.

A simple reframe

I want to offer you a reframe from the sleazy car salesman stereotype to the courteous waiter.

We’re all familiar with the sleazy car salesman stereotype. The slick salesman who will use every trick in the book to get us to buy a car, even when said car is not in our best interests to buy. We see him as pushy and aggressive in his use of sales tactics and for conscious business owners like us, the thought of coming across as even slightly salesy in this way leaves us feeling cold.

Now think about when you go out for a meal in a restaurant and those points in the evening when the waiter brings over the menu, first so that you can choose your starter and main course and then again later so that you can see the desert menu and, if so inclined, order some coffee.

Do you feel sold to in those moments? No of course not, you’re usually grateful if the waiter or waitress comes over without you having to make eye contact and wave across a crowded dining room. When they come to ask if we want desserts or coffee, we don’t think “uff, I wish this guy would stop trying to upsell me!” No, quite the opposite, we consider it to be a service, one of the very reasons we’re out for dinner in the first place.

But at the end of the day, the waiter is in fact simply sharing what is available for you to buy. Yet for some reason, we never feel sold to. Why is that? Because waiters don’t have a vested interest in how much we spend, they aren’t trying to manipulate us into buying the most food possible. They are simply sharing with us what is on offer and we feel this.

When we can embody the courteous waiter as we share what we have to offer, we too can sell without feeling salesy.

Creating a schedule

What I’ve done to get over my own resistance to sharing about my products and services is to create a schedule for it. I now recommend to all my clients that they too create a schedule of sharing offers, gentle invitations, if you will, to buy something they have created that could help the very people they are trying to serve.

What I recommend my clients do, is to create a schedule for sharing offers/CTAs (calls to actions) that incorporates both those things you have on offer that are paid for as well as things you have on offer that are free. I have a tab in my content schedule spreadsheet just for this purpose (see image below). In it, I have details of all of my offerings, such as my online trainings (paid) and also invitations to subscribe to my newsletter or join my facebook group (free) plus the copy that I would use to share the details with my audience.

I then have a slot for these once a week in my actual content schedule that details where and when I’ll share this information (usually on Instagram or Facebook). I recommend that you share one of your offerings after every 5–7 pieces of valuable free content. Given that I publish content every day and I alternate between sharing about a paid offer and a free offer, I can do this weekly.

If you are not sharing free content as regularly, then your schedule might be different. However, I would recommend not going more than a month without sharing details of one of your offers with your audience at least once. At this rate, you’ll only be letting your people know about your offers 12 times in the whole year.

The reason I love to have a schedule with the copy pre-populated in a spreadsheet is because it makes it easier to share. Given that most conscious business folks I know (myself included) have some resistance to “selling”, automating the process as much as possible really can help. If I have to write the copy every week when it comes up in my schedule, you can bet that I’ll skip over it as soon as resistance rears its head.

It takes a bit of work up front, but once created, a pre-populated, schedule makes the whole process of regularly sharing your offers so much easier.

Some advice about your sales copy

Speaking from personal experience, the hardest part of getting this system set up is creating the copy that accompanies each offering. Here’s my best advice on how to do that. Stop worrying about trying to make it sound enticing, convincing or exciting. That’s where we start to feel inauthentic and salesy and as a result, resistance comes up.

Instead, remember the courteous waiter and simply share clearly and transparently what you have to offer that might help your ideal clients. I like to include all the details (no hiding the price over here) and also say who it’s for and who it’s not for so that people can self select in or out.

The key for me is to always stay out of the realm of trying to convince people that it’s what they need and instead to present clearly what’s on offer so that they themselves can decide if it’s something they want to buy or do.

Of course, this doesn’t mean excluding the potential benefits of your offer, but that’s very different to some of the sales copy you’ll see on the internet that focuses on pain points and uses manipulation and inflated promises to try and get the sale.

My sincere hope?

That after reading this, you’ll see the importance of sharing with your audience, details of your products, services and other opportunities to go deeper with you, without a fear of coming across as pushy or salesy.

And that you can totally do it in a way that provides a service to your people.

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.

Celebrating Five Years Since I Launched This Business + 21 Lessons Learned

Celebrating Five Years Since I Launched This Business + 21 Lessons Learned

Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
~ Winston Churchill

On Thursday 19th May 2022, I celebrated 5 years in business as a business coach, around 8 years in business total (I was a Life Coach before that) and around 10 years of working for myself. As such, I thought it would be a great opportunity to share some of what I’ve learned over the past 5–10 years.

The most exciting thing for me to be able to share after 5 years in business, is that it’s working.

I make a good living, working only 6 hours a day. Often working only 4 days a week, as I regularly take Fridays off. I love what I do and I’m having a positive impact on the lives and businesses of others (so I’m told!). What more could I ask for? In many ways, it feels like a dream come true.

Whilst I share this, I’m painfully aware that it hasn’t always been this way that there has been a lot of struggle and fear over the years as well as courage, blind faith and dogged determination. A lot of highs as well as a lot of lows. There have been months where I’ve made more money than I knew what to do with and months where I’ve not known how I was going to pay the rent (more of the latter than the former so far).

In this blog, I’m going to share just a few things I’ve learned along the way.

1. Your income doesn’t reflect your worth. Period.

2. The number of likes, shares and comments on your content doesn’t determine the value of what you have to say. Most people aren’t even seeing it.

3. There is no shame in getting part-time work to pay the bills while you’re waiting to get your business off the ground. Financial stability is a really good place to operate from.

4. Belief that you’ll succeed is key. I genuinely believe this is one of the most important factors of my own success. I never said “if my business works” I said “when” and I meant it.

5. In many ways your business is just like having a job. You have to show up for it and do the work or you’ll lose it.

6. It takes time for things to work. In my experience, it’s taken at least a year of consistent application of any given strategy before I’ve seen good results. Strategy switching kills your business.

7. Less is more. The more you do, the more exhausted you become and the more confused your audience gets. Pick a few things and do them well.

8. Keep it simple. Don’t try to be too clever in your business, try to be clear. Remember a confused mind says no.

9. Do what you love rather than what the mainstream marketers tell you you should be doing. You’ll be more consistent that way.

10. Support is essential. Over the years, I’ve worked with many coaches, taken a lot of courses and had several amazing mastermind partners. Even now, I wouldn’t hesitate to reach out to a mentor if I’m feeling stuck or unsure about my next steps.

11. There’s no quick fix or magic bullet when it comes to building a successful and sustainable business. Those people on the internet who say that there is, are profiting off your desire to succeed. Be in it for the long haul and know that these things take time.

12. It takes about 4 years of consistently working on the right things to reach a level of sustainability in business. That’s been my experience and it’s the number I’ve heard shared by other experienced business coaches I respect.

14. The two most important strategies to implement to grow your business are: consistent content creation and practising authentic outreach (aka, talking to people!).

14. Strategy trumps tactics. It doesn’t matter if you are on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, writing long-form, making videos or doing reels. What matters is that you are showing up consistently and being of value. That’s strategy. The former is tactics.

15. It’s more important to challenge your clients than it is to please them. In my line of work anyway!

16. Generosity is a wonderful way to do business. But don’t over give as it doesn’t serve you or others.

17. Be mindful of what you consume. Unsubscribe from or unlike anyone whose advice feels toxic or makes you feel less than. Choose your mentors wisely, based on shared values.

18. You don’t need to worry about bothering people, if you are a business owner, then you must accept that people are in your audience and on your list because they expect to be sold to.

19. Ask for feedback as much as possible, but focus on what your ideal clients are telling you more than anyone else.

20. If you really want to master something in business, taking action trumps all the thinking, studying, reading and listening you can do.

21. Give more than you ask. Genuinely put people before the sale and interestingly you’ll make more sales.

There’s so much more I could say but for now, I’ll leave it there. I hope that in some small way, my lessons learned over the last 5–10 years, are useful to you on your journey. Now over to you, what’s your greatest lesson learned in business? I would so love to know.

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 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.