Preview: Get More Coaching Clients!
Get More Coaching Clients!
Helping life coaches, executive coaches and business coaches to promote themselves better and get more clients without the hard-sell.
Free Trial About to End!
Our Life Coaching and Business Coaching site has been going great guns, but we've had a few hiccups - as it to be expected when you're launching something this big!
It actually means that we're withdrawing the Free 60 Day Trial on MarketingHelpForCoaches.com NEXT WEEK (!) and if you don't want to miss out on the chance to try the site out for free, the time to act is now.
The reason it's being withdrawn is that the feature on our merchant account which should have allowed people to sign up for a free 60 day trial and then switch over to a paid subscription without having to fill in forms again, was unceremoniously whipped out from under us shortly after the site relaunched. It's been a bit of a pain in the backside, so we're going to be turning off the free facility next week (Fri 18th May) for any new members. Existing members will continue until their 60 day period expires.
Anyway, according to our records, you haven't taken up the opportunity to have a sneaky peak inside the members area of the site yet. That means you still qualify for the trial period! If you sign up now, your trial will last until early July.
You can sign up now here
When you join (and we hope you do!), here's what you'll find in the members area:
- Lively and supportive Coaching Community Chatroom
- chat to other coaches online and share experiences (people are having some VERY frank anonymous discussions in there about their hopes and fears)
- LIVE Recordings
- download MP3 recordings of interviews and tele-seminars with marketing experts and experienced coaches
- Download Library
- reports, Marketing e-books, tools & checklists - we help you to build your resource library for your practice
- learn how to use different marketing techniques and coaching tools
with famous coaches and every day coaches - read about how they got started
on different marketing techniques including using websites, press releases, newsletters, workshops and much more
- Special Offers and Recommended Resources
- members can benefit from promotions and offers
- Classified Ads
- connect with coaches who are interested in what you offer
- And much more
Here's the sign up page again
We'd really like to welcome you to the site and if you pop into the chatroom to say hello, you'll be greeted very warmly!
Coaching Community Chat
Coaching Community Chat is a chatroom for life coaches, business coaches and niche coaches.
Following feedback from members of Marketing Help For Coaches
we have now changed the format of the Discussion Forum to include chat about, well, anything you like!
The rules of the chatroom had dictated that members could only post questions about Marketing their Coaching practice, but people felt that they'd like a forum where they could talk to other coaches about the life, the universe and everything!
You can sign up to join the Coaching Community Chat below:(image)
New Content on Marketing Help For Coaches
I hope that the last month has been good for you, it's certainly been eventful for me - for example, being nominated for an 'Inspirational Woman' award, talking to Radio Five Live, and being interviewed for a feature in a new personal development magazine (watch this space!). I've also been kept very business in my own coaching practice, with lots of people who had been teetering on the edge of decision-making at the end of last year, coming on board as clients.There's a lot to tell you about this month, including a change to the law that could impact on your practice, so grab yourself a couple of minutes to read on!Warm wishes, Hannah --------------------------------------------------------------------------------Tele-Classes This Month - Internet MarketingThe next Members-Only Marketing Surgery Q&A session will be at 7pm on Wednesday 28th February. The theme for this month is Internet Marketing, so start thinking about your questions for this lively Marketing Surgery. Make sure you put it in your diary now! Full details of how to listen in can be found on the website - please make a note of this month's PIN number. For other events, including conferences and exhibitions, please check the Calendar.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Accessing the Members Only AreaDue to technical difficulties, some of you have experienced problems when trying to renew your membership of the site. We are working hard to rectify the problem and aim to get it resolved as quickly as possible. As a goodwill gesture, we have extended all expired memberships and those due to renew, until 1st March at no charge. This will allow you to access the Members Only pages, including information about this month's Tele-Class.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------New ArticlesThe amount of information on MarketingHelpForCoaches.com is climbing steadily and we now have over 60 articles on Marketing your coaching practice for you to read! New articles this month: Marcie MacLellan interviews Rasheed Ogunlaru, life coach and speaker about how his background helped him to develop his coaching practice'Modelling in Marketing' - is 'Modelling' simply an excuse to copy someone else's work and pass it off as your own? Hannah McNamara has a rant and explains what Modelling really means in the Marketing context Additional Revenue Streams using Affiliate Marketing' - Jason Hulot reveals how to earn money as an affiliate 'Do you know what your Alexa ranking is? And why should you even care?' - Hannah McNamara writes about Alexa, a service that allows you to find out your site's popularity on the internet 'I Celebrate my Eccentricity' - is there room for Polar Opposites in Coaching? Dave Robson thinks so and celebrates his eccentricity! Is it time you celebrated yours? 'How to Write Great Headlines that Hook the Readers You Want' - does anyone actually READ your articles or website copy? According to Westrow Cooper, many people don't get past the headlineInterested in contributing an article? Please read Submit an Article for more details.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Are Your Business E-mails Breaking the Law?As of 1st January 2007, UK legislation on business communications changed. There are implications for your business, especially if you trade as a limited company. Read the full article.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Book ReviewsThe BIG question: Niche Marketing For Coaches - is it any good? Find out what people have been saying about Hannah's new book. Here's one of our favourite quotes from Marie-Louise Cook, editor of Personal Success magazine: "it is so useful that it should be superglued into the hands of every graduating coach."PLUS Kathleen Sullivan reviews 'The 7 Rules of Success' by Fiona Harrold--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Download - Making The Case For CoachingOne of[...]
New Content on Marketing Help For Coaches
I won't ask if you've set your Goals for 2007 because I'm sure you already have - haven't you?OK, I'm going to try out my psychic abilities now...hmm... I'm willing to bet that somewhere on your list was working with more coaching clients. Am I right?If I am, that's great news, because there's loads going on at Marketing Help For Coaches that will help you to build your Life Coaching, Executive Coaching or Business Coaching practice! Just scroll down the page to see what's new!Tele-Classes This MonthThe next Members-Only Marketing Surgery Q&A session will be at 7pm on Thursday 25th January. Make sure you put it in your diary now! Full details of how to listen in can be found on the website - please make a note of this month's PIN number. For other events, including conferences and exhibitions, please check the Calendar.Recordings of the November and December 2006 sessions are available to listen to now. We are hoping to make these into downloadable Podcasts shortly so you can listen away from your computer.New ArticlesWe have a number of new contributors who have written articles for you this month:Marcie MacLellan interviews Katie Harvey, PCC about how she built her practice through word-of-mouth recommendations 'How on Earth do I Find My Niche, and Why do I Need One Anyway?' by Dave Robson. Dave's advice: Stop being such a control freak! 'What is an Affiliate Programme and How Can This be Used by Coaches?' by Jason Hulot. Tips on how to get other people to do your selling. 'A Sure Fire Credibility Booster...Let Them See Your Name in Print' by Leslie Guria. How to differentiate from the competition. 'First Impressions' by Tim Brownson. Tim explains how a networking faux pas nearly cost someone a contract. 'How to Choose the 'Right' Coaching Niche' by Piercarla Garusi. Her experiences as a coach and NLP practitioner. Interested in contributing an article? Please read Submit an Article for more details.Remember to check the Article Index to see articles which have appeared over the past few months. Contributors include Nicola Cairncross, Caroline Shola Arewa, Shaun O'Reilly, Joanne Mallon, C.J. Hayden, Bernadette Doyle, Marcie MacLellan (interviews with Dr Sally Ann Law and Gladeana McMahon) and of course all the articles written by me, Hannah McNamara!Coaching In The PressYou might remember that we featured an interview with Gladeana McMahon in November last year. Well, Daily Telegraph readers may have spotted her being quoted in an article about Black Tuesday! Black Tuesday was the day that people were expected to take action after the stresses and strains of the festive period.This was not the only national newspaper to feature coaching at New Year, the Daily Mail also ran a feature on Gurus who could turn your life around.Book ReviewsJoanna Puczkowski reviews 'Coaching with NLP: How to be a Master Coach' by Joseph O'Connor & Andrea Lages.Neil Williams reviews 'Liquid Thinking' by Damian HughesHave you read my new book 'Niche Marketing For Coaches' yet? What did you think? Would you like to be the first person to review it on the site? If so, let me know by replying to this email!DownloadsOver the course of the next few months, we'll be adding Members-Only downloads to the site. These are tools and forms that you can use when running your coaching practice.The first is 10 Essential Questions to ask Prospective Clients. This is a list of the questions which will help you to find out more about the client, judge whether they are the kind of client you want to work with and help to move the process forward.Thought for the MonthOne of the keys to success in marketing yourself as a coach is persistence. The quotation below might seem a bit strong, but in my experience, it's absolutely true. And if you ask some of the most successful coaches in their field, they'll probably agree!"Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all."Dale CarnegieMembershi[...]
Life Coaching Marketing Writers Wanted
Do you have an interesting story to tell about how you got started as a coach?
Perhaps you've discovered Marketing techniques which have helped you to win clients?
Either way, we want to hear from you. Marketing Help for Coaches, the re-vamped Life Coaching
website now has loads of articles on Marketing and we'd love to see yours featured there.
If you're interested in contributing, go to Marketing Help For Coaches
or for specific information including topics and suggested word count, go to Submit a Life Coaching Article
When does 'Modelling' become Plagiarism?
Over the past few weeks I have noticed something in our coaching community that’s got me concerned.
Recently a coach called me to say that she was worried because somebody had published an article that she had written for one of her website pages. “Extra publicity – great for her”, you might think but the problem was that she wasn’t credited at all and no one had asked for her permission to use it. In fact, if you didn’t know better, you’d think that the coach who published it had written it.
What’s got me concerned is that this sort of things seems to be happening a lot – it’s happened to me where people have lifted the FAQs section from my coaching website and passed it off as their own, and it may have happened to you or someone you know.
Here’s what I think might be happening...
Those of us who have studied NLP understand the power of modelling. You find someone who’s already successful and break down what they have done to become successful. Anthony Robbins describes this process as finding out someone’s recipe for success.
When we come to setting up a coaching practice, we look around to see who’s already doing well and ‘model’ them. The problem is there’s a fine line between ‘modelling’ and ‘plagiarism’. Copying someone else’s website content word for word isn’t
So what do can you?
If you don’t have the time to write your own content, there are lots of sites where you can use other people’s articles for free so long as you reproduce the article exactly as printed and include their resource box in full. The resource box contains the author’s name, contact details and any promotional message from them.
Sites where you can find articles like this are:www.ezinearticles.comwww.goarticles.com
Of course, if you’d like to submit articles for other people to publish on their websites and in their newsletters/ezines you can add them to the site for free. Every time they’re used, you’ll be credited and your contact details will be published.
To protect your content, make sure that you put a copyright notice on your web pages and at the foot of each of the postings on your blog.
There are some free tools online which allow you to check whether someone has copied one of your pages.
One of these tools can be found at www.copyscape.com
It also allows you to use their banner (example below) on your web pages to alert visitors that your content is your own copyright and you’ll be checking up!(image)
If you do find that someone has copied your content, copyscape has a guide on what to do on www.copyscape.com/respond.php
© Copyright Hannah McNamara 2006
Niche Marketing for Coaches nears completion
Today is D-Day - Deadline Day.
It's the date I'd set myself for completing the book and you know what? It's almost there! This weekend I've squeezed in a trip down to Bath (from London) to go to a friend's wedding reception and still managed to knock out a few more chapters.
I reckon one or two more days and it's going to be done. The editors have started work on the chapters I've already finished.
The next step is to work on the publicity for the book. This should be fun - Marketing's my passion, so I'm going to start following my own advice from the book and get on with starting up the promotional machine. Here we go.....!!
The Cavalry Arrives!
Phew! My willing volunteers are going to save my life! I published a request for some of the coaches I know to help me out by proof reading and editing sections of the book and some amazing people have put themselves forward. This means that they get a sneak preview of the book and I find out what they thought of it and if it makes any sense!!
I'm making very good progress with the book and have completed chapters covering networking, PR, public speaking and direct marketing. I've got my work cut out to get everything done by Monday because my husband and I are off to a wedding in Bath, so that knocks out most of the weekend, but to be honest - I could do with a break!!
They might have been right...
After having spent this week in client appointments, preparing workshops for both this weekend (The Coaching Academy) and next week (two new corporate clients, woo hoo!!), I haven't squeezed in much time for writing the book. But I am about half way there.
The first section is all about 'you' the reader (assuming you're a coach!) and how to choose the type of coach you want to be and the clients you want to work with.
The next section is the tricky stuff - how you make it all happen. So that includes networking, article writing, internet marketing, etc. This book could be enormous! I'd better keep things in check.
Oh, by the way, I went my osteopath early in the week and she told me in no uncertain terms that I wasn't doing myself any favours by spending so much time at the computer writing my book. Why does this feel like the scene in "Super Size Me" where all the fitness experts are telling Morgan Spurlock that if he carries on with his experiment he could become seriously ill??
An impossible goal?
Well, I've just made a public announcement that my book will be finished by 31st July 2006. That's about two weeks away and already I've had some people offering help and others saying I must be mad and how can anyone expect to write a book in two weeks!
Recently I read somewhere that providing you know your subject, you should be able to write a book in a weekend.
I'm not sure how true that is. It all depends on the size of the book! A pocket book or a tips booklet, maybe, but the kind of task I've set for myself....hmmm, we'll have to see!
What I'm aiming for is a decent sized paperback with everything you need to know about setting up a coaching practice. So I guess I'll keep writing until I'm done!
Book of the Month - April 2006
(image) The Coaches and Consultants Marketing Bootcamp
Unusual Marketing Strategies For Attracting All The Clients You Can Handle
by David FreyHannah Says:
"I love Marketing and I like to keep abreast of all the new techniques and products out there to help coaches to find more business. I've worked through quite a few of them and there's one that stands head and shoulders above the rest - The Coaches and Consultant's Marketing Bootcamp from David Frey. This must-have guide to easy-to-use Marketing techniques - that actually work - should be a part of every coach's toolkit."Note:
When you click on the link
to find out more, be sure to sign up for David's audio tips: 22 Secrets of Superstar Coaches and Consultants - they're excellent!"The Author Says:"You Too Can Have an Ultra-Successful Coaching and Consulting Practice In Less than 6 Months Starting From Scratch...
Why Do Some Coaches and Consultants Attract All the Clients They Can Handle While Others Have to Fight Just to Make a Meager Living?"
It's true. Some coaches and consultants bring home $200,000 or more a year while others struggle just to make $20,000. It seems strange, I know. There is a vast disparity between similar consultant's income. In fact, I personally know a few coaches and consultants who are NOT very impressive but they still seem to get all the clients and projects they want. Would you like to know why?
If you pay close attention to what I'm about to reveal, you'll find out why.
There's an old saying in marketing...
“...Any Fool Can Make Soap, It Takes a Clever Person to Sell It”
You see, you can be the best coach or consultant in the world. You may be able to turn people's lives around or double the revenues of any small business -- but if no one knows about you and what you can do for them, you'll go no where.
The faster you understand this truth, the closer you are to becoming a well-paid, highly-respected coach or consultant."
to find out more.
Getting Your First Coaching Clients
Last week a coach asked me a question that I'm sure new coaches everywhere would like to know the answer to - "How do I get my first paying client?".
So I thought I'd share with you some tips, based on experience.
- Get focused about the types of clients you want to work with. If you work with clients you don't want, you can end up frustrated and clients will pick up on it.
- Once you know who you want to work with - TELL EVERYONE!! Generally speaking, the people you know genuinely want to help if you would only ask! Want to coach sales managers? Ask your friends if they know any.
- Offer a free sample session only if prospective clients meet the following criteria:- a) they are a client you want to work with (see point 1), b) they want to be coached and c) there's a good chance that they'll be a paying customer. There's no point trying to force people who don't want coaching to be coached and there's no point spending your time on free sessions with people you don't want to work with.
- Run open workshops so that people can experience your coaching style first hand before they commit to one-to-one coaching. Then be clear about how they hire you.
- Ask for the business. Make it clear to people who are having sample sessions what's involved in a coaching programme, how much it costs and when you can start. Be ready with two options on dates and times that they can start and be clear about how long sessions are and how much they cost. Right at this moment, clients all over the world are making the decision to work with a coach. Coaches all over the world are booking sessions with clients. Coaching is not in its infancy anymore. It's becoming normal for people to have a coach and your client will feel safer with you if you give them the impression that hiring you as their coach is the most normal thing in the world.
Book of the Month - March 2006
(image) Coaching for Performance
Growing People, Performance and Purpose
by Sir John Whitmore
£8.57 through AmazonHannah Says:
"The essential reference book for every coach's shelf. Whether you're a Life Coach, Executive Coach or Business Coach, you'll find useful insights and examples of coaching techniques in use. This book is particularly useful if you're a manager who would like to start using a coaching style of management."The Publisher Says:"Clear, concise, hands-on and user-friendly, Coaching for Performance is a coaching guide written in a coaching style.
Now in a new, expanded and fully revised third edition, this bestselling handbook will help you learn the skills - and the art - of good coaching, and realize its enormous value in unlocking people's potential to maximize their own performance.
As John Whitmore writes, 'Coaching is not merely a technique to be wheeled out and rigidly applied in certain prescribed circumstances. It is a way of managing, a way of treating people, a way of thinking, a way of being.' This third edition of the definitive guide moves onto new psychological ground with three new chapters on coaching for personal meaning, purpose at work and on corporate values and culture - to GROW people, performance and purpose together.
Adopted by many of the world's major corporations, this easy to use title argues persuasively for:
- Using effective questions rather than instructions or commands to raise awareness and responsibiliity, with extensive examples
- Following the GROW sequence - Goals, Reality, Options, Will - to generate prompt action and peak performance
- The growing need to relate to the individual's sense of meaning and purpose
and examines why:
- Coaches now need enhanced skill levels
- Coaching is the essential team leadership skill.
Live Marketing Workshop This Weekend (Sat 4th March)
Just a quick post today to say that this weekend I'll be presenting an all-day workshop at The Coaching Academy on Saturday.
It's the second time that I've done this particular workshop for The Coaching Academy and there's going to be extra material and exercises this time.
The topics I'll be covering include:Strategy & Planning
- Using Coaching Tools in a Marketing context - Wheel of Marketing, using the GROW Model to build your business
- Identifying and maximizing your strengths
- How to write a Marketing Plan - aims & objectives (what outcome do you want), what you're going to do, working out your budget
- How to use these tools with your own clients
- Creating rapport with prospective clients (creating rapport through your marketing)
- Techniques for negotiating with suppliers, e.g. printers, advertising sales people
- Networking & personal branding
Getting Yourself Known
- Seminars & Workshops - how to get yourself booked as a speaker, how to organise your own workshops, what to put in your promotional materials and feedback forms
- Teleclasses/conference call coaching
- Newsletter marketing
- PR - writing press releases, how to get yourself featured in national and local publications, online magazines, etc.
- Using other people's contacts to win you clients
Creating Systems to help you save time and earn more
- Essential items for your Marketing Toolkit
- Products & other services - more about passive income and introducing the 'funnel'
- Databases & CRM - how to use them to ensure you never forget to follow up with a lead and approach people/organisations at exactly the right time
- Referral strategies
- How to use testimonials effectively
How to convert a prospect into a client
- What to say when the phone rings
- Asking for the business
- You get the chance to work with fellow coaches on creating a Marketing Plan and you could win a prize!!
I'll be running these workshops throughout the year for The Coaching Academy and they are open to everyone (even if you did your Coaching training with someone else). Full details are on http://www.the-coaching-academy.com/business_program.html This is a weekend event and the second day on Internet Marketing is run by Guy Levine.
Running a networking group raises your profile
You might know that I'm the Chapter Director for the BNI group in Putney, SW London. I've been doing this for the past 5 months and I'm due to 'retire' in April. (In fact I'll be taking over as Membership Co-ordinator, which is an even busier role!!)
What's really struck me in the time that I've been running it is the power of Goal Setting. And going further than that, the power of making those goals public.
When I took over the chapter in October 2005 we were in trouble, to put it mildly. We'd just had some resignations, some of the founding members had left and there was a miserable feeling in the room. Whilst other people were concentrating on getting visitors in and hoping to convert them to members to boost the numbers, my view was that we could get all the visitors we liked, but they were unlikely to want to join with so much negativity in the room. The only way to get new members to join was to make the existing members happy because if they weren't happy, they wouldn't invite people to come along. Eventually we agreed to set a target to increase our membership from 22 to 28 by the end of the six month period and set a straetgy for doing so.
Since then, we've got members meeting each other throughout the week (not just at the breakfast meeting), we've had a phenomenal visitors day and there is quality
business being done between the members. There are a lot of friendships which have been made and also joint ventures. There's trust between members - we're very comfortable recommending each other's services and everyone's involved in the performance of the chapter.
And if the people who have just e-mailed me put in their applications at the meeting next Tuesday, we'll have 29 members - a month ahead of schedule.
Why am I telling you all of this? Well, because there are all sorts of benefits of you doing something similar in your own networking groups. I have a slightly different approach to BNI than many other coaches. I use it to constantly push my comfort zones (every week I'm running a 90 minute meeting in front of a bigger and bigger group!), I brush up on my Management & Leadership Skills (I'm backed by a terrific team of motivated people), I've transformed the website (it's www.bniputney.co.uk
and it's gone from no one seeing it, to attracting lots of new members) and of course, there are the networking opportunities.
But there's something that I hadn't quite appreciated until now. People had said that being a Chapter Director raises your profile. It does. But I thought that it would just be about being seen as the Chairman of the group. I've earned a lot of respect from fellow members and members outside of my own group for how the chapter has been transformed and it's this that's getting me clients.
If you can visibly walk the talk, clients will come naturally. There's an expression, Lead By Example
. When you're promoting coaching, prospective clients can't see, touch or hear the 'product' - they're buying an unknown. Even if you show them a testimonial, there are no guarantees that they'll get similar results. All you can do is consistently show them how to motivate others, set goals and follow through on the strategies for achieving those goals.What could you do today that would show your prospective clients what things could be like if they hired you as their coach?
What a Helpful Group You Are!
On Thursday, I was contacted by a new members who had experienced problems with accessing the Members Only area of www.marketinghelpforcoaches.com
from her Mac.
I sent a message out to the rest of the members and within a couple of hours had received a flood of emails from members who offered help and support.
The vast majority of Mac users and IT specialists who responded said that there appears to be a problem with the Safari browser. Apparently, it doesn't like sites that require authentification, i.e. Membership Sites.
If you're a Mac user and you've experienced problems getting into the Members Only Area (www.marketinghelpforcoaches.com/members
) try downloading the free Firefox browser instead. Firefox is fast becoming a popular alternative to Internet Explorer. You can download it from http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/
This problem also highlighted something else - many of the people who responded hadn't visited the Members Area yet!! There are factsheets on promoting coaching and audio recordings of recent teleseminars. Do keep checking out the Members Area as I will be adding more information soon!!
The Dreaded Elevator Pitch
Last night I went to a speed networking event.
To be honest I really didn't feel like going because I've been struck down by this cold that's going around. That'll teach me to get myself over-tired at Internet Marketing Conferences and then stay up late plotting world domination!!
The problem was that if I didn't go the event, I'd be missed. I'm not saying that everyone there would have been crying into their fizzy water because they didn't get to see me - I was the speaker and I think I would have been noticed if I didn't go.
Thankfully, I was only on for about 15 minutes to talk about how to network effectively - the dos and don'ts, how to follow up with contacts and what to include in an elevator pitch. It was interesting how different people picked up on different things.
One person said that when I went through the list of don'ts, he was guilty of one of the major no-nos - looking over people's shoulders to see who else is in the room. He hadn't realised how awful if feels when you think
you're having a great conversation, but the other person starts looking over your shoulder to see if there's someone more interesting to talk to!
Another said that she really struggled to come up with an effective elevator pitch that would get her noticed. And she said that after the event, a few other women had said they struggled as well. We raised the question why women seem to feel uncomfortable 'selling themselves' and men don't. Yes, it's a sweeping generalisation and I'm sure you'll tell me that you're the exception to the rule, but on the whole there do seem to be some differences.
I've been in BNI for over a year now and I'm currently the Chapter Director of BNI Putney
. This means I run the breakfast networking meeting once a week. At BNI every member has a minute to present their business to the rest of the group. Our chapter is growing fast and once the paperwork is processed, we'll have hit the magical membership of 30 people.
What I'm saying is that I get exposed to around 30 different elevator pitches at least once a week. The people who give the most boring ones are those that state their profession/trade, a list of things that they do and say "if you know anyone who might be interested, tell them about me".
The people who deliver the best elevator pitches are those that ask questions, talk about benefits, tell success stories and give specific examples of the types of clients they'd like to work with.
That last point is vital.
You'll know that I'm a big fan of niching. When you niche, you can be very specific about the types of clients you want to work with. And magically, they appear. Last night, I mentioned one of the niches that I operate in and as if by magic, the man I was talking knew the HR Director of the organisation I'd been trying to get into for ages. They are going to be reviewing their supplier list in two months time. (I'm sure you can understand why I'm not posting details about their organisation on this blog otherwise I'd open myself up to loads of competition and I've worked bloomin' hard on this!!).
So, today, think about who would be your ideal client and tell people! If you don't ask you don't get! If you want to work with, say, stressed head teachers - tell people because it's a lot easier for them to think about whether they know any than try and guess who might be interested in your coaching.
The Greatest Coaching Taboo
Did you see the first episode of the new series of The Apprentice (UK) last night? Good wasn't it?Even though the girls went a bit overboard with the flirting (and may have done themselves more damage than good in the long run), one of them said something that struck a chord. I can't remember her exact words, so I'll paraphrase 'when you're starting a business, you do whatever it takes to get going'.Whilst doing a bit of surfing this morning, I came across a top tips section for entrepreneurs on www.msn.co.uk and there were two points that really hit home:6. Be prepared to work harder than you’ve ever done before7. Do something you loveI think we'd all agree that number 7 is a given when we start a coaching practice, after all if we didn't love coaching people we wouldn't do it! But number 6....Last week I got a call from someone who'd found me online and wanted to talk to me because he was thinking about changing career and becoming a coach. He was asking for some tips. He'd heard about Life Coaching and thought that it sounded like a good job.I had a choice, do I perpetuate the myth (coaching's growing so fast that people are falling over themselves to hire coaches, all coaches make £100 an hour coaching 20+ clients every week - that's £2,000 every week or £100k per year!!, all coaches work part-time, have a fantastic work-life balance that millionaires and royalty would be jealous of and earn mega-bucks as soon as the diploma is hanging on the wall, blah blah blah) or be absolutely straight with him.I decided to be straight.Firstly, I asked him whether he'd worked with a life coach himself. No.Secondly, we talked about life coaching as a 'career choice'.Thirdly, I challenged him on coaching being a 'good job'.I explied to him that he was unlikely to find a full-time job as a life coach. Yes, there are a few jobs as internal coaches within large organisations, but the vast majority of life coaches are self-employed and responsible for all of their business functions - including finding work for themselves, managing their finances and administration.Coaching is supposed to be based on openness, honesty and setting SMART goals. So why are there so many coaches sitting alone in their spare bedroom/office thinking that because the phone wasn't ringing like mad the moment they'd framed their diploma that they'd failed?Starting a small business takes hard work and why should starting a coaching business/practice be any different? People need to know that you're there and to trust you enough to invest in hiring you to coach them. To do that, it does take hard graft and determination. Recently I've taken on a few clients that I first started talking to a year ago. Had I tried to 'sell' them coaching a year back, I'd have lost them forever because they weren't ready. If there's one thing that I've learned in running my own coaching practice, it's that you cannot and should not 'sell' coaching to anyone. The only way to do it is to present it in a way that they want to 'buy'. But that's not to say that you shouldn't learn how to move the process forward, otherwise known as 'closing' - that's a skill that is absolutely essential.It's even more essential when you're marketing on the internet. You know what? Of all the clients I've had via the internet, I would reckon that the primary reason I got the business was that I followed up with them and kept in touch. This works with people you've met too. As an example, last year someone called me out of the blue and said, "I don't know if you remember me, but we met briefly at a networking event about 6 months ago and I've be[...]
Research on Niche Marketing
I wonder if you can help me? I'm doing some research on Niche Marketing in Coaching and I'm looking for coaches who would be willing to be part of a case study.
- Do you operate in a very specific or unusual niche?
- Have you found that being in your niche has helped or hindered your Marketing efforts?
- Do you have examples of clients who have hired you as their coach because you were the only coach offering your particular services?
If so, please can you drop me an e-mail on email@example.com
P.S. When the case studies are published, I will change your name if you would prefer to be anonymous.
What a Great Response!
Wow! It seems you guys are really interested in Internet Marketing from the responses I got to my e-mail!!
This blogging lark seems to have everyone excited! Yesterday I spent a lot of time working on improving the visibility of my blog and tried to get my head around the idea of RSS and Pinging. RSS is Really Simple Syndication and it's a way of getting new messages sent out automatically when site content (like articles on a blog) are updated.
You might have noticed the square, weird-looking orange button a bit further down on the right hand panel of this page. If you click on it, you can have new posts sent to your web-based news reader, like My Yahoo! Why don't you have a play with it and see what you think?
Internet Marketing Rocks!
I've just come back from a three day internet marketing marathon learning from people like Fred Gleeck, Stephen Pierce, Richard Beaty and many, many more about marketing on the internet.
To be honest, I think my head is about to explode with all the possibilities, but it's really opened my eyes.
So many coaches, myself included, fall into the "Time Trap". No I'm not talking about a black and white swirly thing that transports you through time, I'm talking about falling into the trap of exchanging time for money. There are only so many hours in the day and the only way to increase your income is either to charge more or coach while you sleep.
Now there's an interesting thought. What if you could
coach while you sleep? What if while you were sleeping, someone was using your coaching questions and techniques to coach themselves
and get the results they're looking for? I don't know about you, but this got me interested....
I've been using the internet for about a year to promote my coaching practice and I'd estimate that around 80% of my new coaching clients find me online. I've always known that lots of people look on the internet for information about coaching and to find a coach. But I'll be honest with you, when I really
tapped into the power of the internet this January and got more enquiries than I could realistically handle, I found something out. There were people who desperately wanted to work with a coach, but they weren't able to afford realistic coaching rates. OK, so my coaches do operate at the higher end of the spectrum (around £150/hour for personal clients), but there were some people who couldn't even afford £30 or £40 for a session.
This did get me more than a little frustrated because the prices were published on the website and it was sometimes only after we'd had a few conversations that they admitted that they couldn't afford it. One in particular had been introduced to two of my coaches and had an exploratory meeting with one of them before revealing that she was on benefits - even though we'd talked about rates the first time we spoke!
So how can coaching be made available to more people? Through using the knowledge and expertise we all have. We can produce ebooks, run teleseminars, record audio CDs and even have paid membership sites. As well as making coaching more affordable for more people, it gives us as coaches access to a passive income. Once your ebook is out there, people can pay, download and read it while you sleep. When you wake up in the morning, check your computer to see how much you've earned from your coaching skills overnight!
I'm so excited about this!! Whilst none of this is exactly new, I now have the tools to make the most of it! Watch this space and I'll tell you how I get on....
Book of the Month - February 2006
(image) The Life Coaching Handbook
Everything you need to be an effective Life Coach by Curly Martin£13.59
through AmazonHannah Says:
"This is a great resource for all new coaches as not only does it give you a good grounding in coaching techniques, including some real life examples, it gives you tips on how to actually get started as a coach. Curly shows you how to skilfully use language to demonstrate the benefits of coaching and help your clients to make a decision on whether coaching is for them."The Publisher Says: "This complete guide to life coaching reveals what life coaching IS, how to coach yourself and others effectively and how to create and sustain a successful coaching practice. Leading you through a comprehensive programme of Advanced Life Coaching Skills, it contains key NLP-based techniques that include:
- State Control
- Spiral Coaching
- The Milton Model
“The Life Coaching Handbook” is the essential guide for life coaches, and a key sourcebook for NLP practitioners, human resources managers, training professionals, counsellors and the curious. Curly Martin is a professional life coach, author, trainer and internationally qualified NLP Master Practitioner. Coaching for more than twenty years, her clients include celebrities, CEOs, directors and doctors.Click here to order.
Testimonial from Jay Norbury
I'm so proud of one of my recent clients, Jay Norbury who has been making lots of progress and the world of Corporate Coaching should watch out because she's about to make her mark!!
This is what Jay said about us working together (she's gonna make me blush!):Before I worked with Hannah, the thought of planning my business was overwhelming. Over a series of 6 sessions, Hannah was able to articulate my issues and replay them back to me. This allowed me to see the wood for the trees and start to identify short-term realistic goals to work to in order to make my business a reality. Before I knew it I had set up my limited company, found my niche and importantly identified my target market. All this has given me increased confidence. I am truly positive and feeling very excited about the future! Thanks Hannah!For more information about one-to-one Marketing Mentoring, go to www.marketinghelpforcoaches.com/help/prepareforliftoff
Book of the Month - January 2006
(image) Coaching Charisma (PDF)
Branding for coaches who deserve more clients!
by "Dangerous" Debbie Jenkins
Only £9.99 - yes, I know, What A Bargain!Hannah Says:
"Within minutes of opening this eBook, I knew you were going to love it and I couldn't wait to share it with members of www.marketinghelpforcoaches.com
. "Dangerous" Debbie Jenkins shares the same down-to-earth, practical approach to Marketing that I have. She has some real pearls of wisdom which are explained in straight forward terms. At just £9.99 it's an absolute steal. You can see for yourself by viewing the FREE eBook Preview by clicking here
."The Publisher Says:"This book has been especially written for the professional coach. It shares proven techniques for boosting your business attractiveness (coaching charisma) so that you can magically attract the best clients and earn the fees you want.
Amongst other things you will learn...
How pricing affects more than just your earning potential
Why the USP doesn't work and what to do instead
How one question will have all the brilliant people you could ever need queuing up to be coached by you"
Beware! Your competitors are stealing your clients!
Well it's almost New Year's Day and it's the time when you're surrounded by Hot Prospects!
Let's look at some of the New Year's Resolutions people make:
- Give up smoking
- Lose weight/Get fit
- Make more time for friends and family
- Get a promotion or change jobs
- Make more money
- Start a business
- Find that special someone
- Have more fun
- Pay off debts
The list goes on....
How many of those New Year's Resolutions could you help out with? I bet you could probably help people with at least two or more of the items in that list.
January is definitely a key month for attracting new coaching clients, but if you're not aware of your competitors and fail to get the upper hand with your marketing, your new clients will end up spending their money with someone else.
But your competitors are hiding.
They aren't in the places you'd expect to find them.
The chances are you're thinking that your major competition comes from other coaches at this time of year.
Your competition comes from everything else that your clients might be paying attention (and money) to in January:
- Gym memberships
- Slimming clubs
- Business seminars, training and networking
- Fitness videos and equipment
- Self-development products - books, CDs, etc
- Dating services
- Recruitment consultants, websites and job sections
- and of course, Credit card repayments
Because people come out of the New Year party season a bit fuzzy, they often go to the most obvious solution to their problems, e.g. Feeling down about your job? Look for another one.
And because they're looking for a quick fix, they often don't focus on what's behind the issues.
I'd like to set you a challenge this week. Think about who you're competing with in your niche and then work out how you could work together to achieve the same goals.
For example, would your local gym manager consider running a joint promotion with you? If you offered a life coaching session with each new membership, you could create a win-win scenario.
If you're a career coach, would your local recruitment consultant send one of your articles out to their candidates as part of their own newsletter?
I'm sure you can come up with many more ideas for your own niche.
REMEMBER: You can use the spirit of competition to your advantage. Why not send out a newsletter to your subscriber list asking them to compare how much it's going to cost them to join a gym for a year to how much it would cost for a couple of months' worth of coaching? If they're anything like most people, they won't use their membership far beyond February, they'll be saving money by coming to you instead!
If you've got a success story about something you've done to attract clients in January, I'd love to hear it and I'll include the best ones in a future newsletter. (You'll be credited in full of course!).
For more information about Marketing your coaching practice
, go to www.marketinghelpforcoaches.com