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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 It’s outdated because it puts all of your success in the hands of other people.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!

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How We Sell Matters (+ Making an Ethical Move)

How We Sell Matters (+ Making an Ethical Move)

I don’t know about you, but I am so over the manipulative and icky sales and marketing strategies that are rife in the online business world these days.

Tactics like: manufactured scarcity creating a false sense of urgency that plays on our fear of missing out. Inflated promises that we can expect huge profits in a very short amount of time if we sign up to xx program or buy xx product. Webinars that pretend to be live when they are clearly pre-recorded (what is that about!? Do they really think we are that stupid?). Webinars that claim to be hugely informative but end up being yet another thinly veiled sales pitch. Pressure to buy now in order to make huge savings, using offers that threaten to disappear in a matter of hours or days.

Oh countdown timers I see you and I purposefully choose to ignore you. 

These tactics and many more like them are not only harmful to us as consumers, but they are potentially damaging to us as business owners. When we start to believe that we need to engage in unethical sales practices like these, in order to succeed, we do ourselves, our businesses and our clients a huge disservice. 

A few months ago I read an eye-opening e-book called “Don’t Buy Now” written by Mark Silver of Heart of Business and it changed everything for me about how I want to run my business. In it Mark shares, some of the most common unethical sales strategies we are likely to encounter, specifically in the realm of business coaching, but that also apply to many other things you might buy online.

As a Business Coach myself you can bet that I sat up and took notice of what he had to say on this topic and it shocked me to realise that I, myself,  had unconsciously adopted some practices that were less than ethical. Since reading Don’t Buy Now (which I highly recommend) I’ve made it my mission to educate myself further on the topic of running an ethical and conscious online business. 

And, as is often the way, since I made this my mission, the right teachers, mentors and resources have magically started to appear. People like Tad Hargrave, George Kao, Molly Mandelberg and Julie Wolk to name a few and even more recently I was delighted to discover The Ethical Move, a movement to create a new standard of marketing based on trust and honesty. How good that sounds to my soul. Marketing based on trust and honesty. Count. Me. In.

 

Charm Prices 

So whilst there are lots of things I’m changing about how I do business based on everything I’m learning, things that I will be sharing with you, my audience, in this post I wanted to share with you the pledge I’ve recently made as a signed up member to The Ethical Move. 

That pledge is to stop using ‘charm prices’ and instead to round up prices to whole numbers. So using a round number like $200 instead of a charm price like $197.

“Charm prices are used to make a product appear cheaper than it is, bypassing the conscious choice of the buyer. They are only created to generate more sales and do not benefit the buyer in the least.” 

Simple tactics like these might seem harmless enough, but the bottom line is that they are designed to manipulate the buyer into making a decision they otherwise might not make. This might be okay for some business owners but, as someone who deeply values integrity, it’s not okay for me.

I don’t want someone to buy one of my products or services because I tricked them into thinking it was cheaper than it is. I want people to buy my products and services feeling empowered and informed of all the facts.

 

Take the pledge

If you feel called to support The Ethical Move and to sign up for this pledge, you can do so by clicking the image below. What I love about this movement, is that once you sign up for the pledge they will check your website to make sure that you are true to your word (yay integrity) and once satisfied you’ll be granted permission to use a badge (like the one below) to promote your pledge to your customers and clients.

 

I’d love to know what this post brings up for you and for you to share in the comments any marketing tactics that really get under your skin and/or any ethical alternatives you’ve seen or use. Don’t be shy, join this important and long overdue conversation.

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Please know that I do occasionally share details of my products and services with my subscribers but you can rest assured that I do so without using any tactics designed to manipulate you to buy them. If you want to receive them, simply share with me your name and email address below and you’ll immediately get added to my list.