Simple strategies to start reaching people who don’t know they need you – yet
Sooner or later, today’s client won’t need you.
That’s because you’re good at what you do. Issues get resolved, goals are met, lives are enriched, and clients move on because you’ve been successful in helping them.
When your work is done it’s graduation day for your client. It’s a good thing, right! As you bid au revoir to a successful client, you look forward. You’re ready to help the next person.
To do that (and to keep paying your bills and having fun) you need a steady stream of new clients.
You need two streams of marketing. One stream targets your existing clients, and one is for future clients
Let’s look at the second group – your future clients.
Are you certain your current practice is aligning with the needs of your future clients?
To find out we need to take a glance at the marketplace and a deeper look at your practice.
There is astonishing demand for you
The self-improvement industry is booming because demand is exploding. Specialties and niche markets are evolving to meet every imaginable client need. And the number of people working as coaches, therapists, gurus, is skyrocketing.
In 2019 the Health Coach Institute quotes a PricewaterhouseCoopers study:
Professional Coaching is a multi-billion-dollar industry according to an ICF Global Coaching Study conducted independently by PricewaterhouseCoopers. “Amidst the current global financial crisis, coaches everywhere are still seeing an increase in clients and coaching generated income,” explained ICF Global President, Janet M. Harvey…. Over 12,000 coaches representing 117 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America participated in the study.”
“The profession of coaching is growing, with an estimated 47,500 professional coaches generating over $2 billion CAD in annual revenue/income.”
Why am I including this?
This dynamic growth means there’s demand and competition. You are one professional of thousands and thousands. Given the high demand for coaching you should never be worried about finding new clients.
Before digging in to design a marketing campaign for future clients:
3 questions to ask yourself
1. It’s human nature to make assumptions. If you regularly review your practice you can notice trends or gaps. This is useful to know before you work on your marketing strategy.
For example: can you describe your typical client (i.e. age, gender, role, income bracket, level of education, hobbies). Do you have one typical client, or do you have a variety of client profiles? Which profiles do you enjoy the greatest success with? This probably confirms your strengths in your work.
Gather this information to identify if you want to continue as you are, or if there’s elements you’d like to change.
2. Are you diligent about your personal and professional development?
Perhaps you’ve attended conferences, been invited to present at a conference, ran a sold-out workshop, or wrote for an industry journal. Are you highlighting that on your social media?
Staying up to date is a good common sense. Keep notes of new information you’ve discovered. And keep track of how or when you were recognized for your expertise.
3. Consider being the one-stop shop for client needs. It’s wonderful to help clients locate other professionals they may need (i.e. maybe a good massage therapist to manage stress, or a tutor to work through workplace upgrading).
Having this information at your fingertips is a double bonus: you look great to your client because it quietly show you’re well connected, and you’re helping a colleague.
However, when the list is outdated, it’s not so useful. Make sure people are your list are available and accepting new clients.
Now you have a snapshot of your practice as it is today:
Is there anything you want to adjust? Is there anything you need to direct more attention to?
When you’re happy with your answers, you’ll be crystal clear in knowing who your target audience is and how you can help them.
Now, it’s time to start reaching out and inviting new clients into your practice.
Finding the next client
Alright. This market is exploding, right? More and more people are in search of someone like ‘you.’ How can you help them find you?
Here’s 5 straightforward strategies to start:
1. Develop content marketing: It’s not just a buzzword. It’s effective. Content marketing is the art of offering your future clients something of value without obligation.
You can do this because you know who you target audience is and the journey they are on. You write content to lead them towards you. You’re the helpful expert. This builds trust from the very beginning.
Be sure your content marketing addresses the needs of your clients by recognizing the ‘start’ of their journey to find you.
2. Go where they are. Follow groups where your ideal clients are hanging out. This is when your social media profile is important (be sure it’s up to date!). Join the group(s) and thoughtfully contribute to relevant conversations.
As you do this remember, it’s a friendly conversation not a session, not a lecture, not a directive.
And a warning! This is not a time for a sales-pitch but a time to be helpful (as you are in content marketing). When people click on your profile, they can see who you are and what you do.
3. Embrace storytelling: Everyone loves stories. Be sure your website and all social media uses stories. It helps future clients see how their lives can be enriched by working with you.
Ensure your backstory is inspiring and case studies are up to date. If you have testimonials be sure they’re written with story telling techniques.
The storytelling is engage while highlighting your skills and sharing your clients successes.
4. Use search engine optimization: while Google still runs the show, the rules around SEO do change. Learn how to use SEO in all your website pages. This will get your pages higher rankings on Google searches.
To do this you need to know the keywords your clients are using to search with.
Then, knowing the key words, you write content using those search terms.
5. Prove your credibility: There’s lots of fakers out there and today’s clients are wary. Stay away from over-promising or offering deals that are too good to be true.
Instead show your credibility in your profile information. List your certifications and training. If you’ve received awards, list them to.
However, another warning. Don’t sound like a braggart; sound like a professional who is genuine and authentic.
Great places for this information is both your website and LinkedIn or other industry lists. And, by the way, your testimonials show your credibility, too!
Finally, be a business-minded professional
Business minded professionals devote resources to working on their business. Developing a solid and responsive marketing plan takes effort.
Its takes time to focus and write material. It takes time complete solid research about your clients. It takes time to test out different approaches and discover what works best for your clients.
If this is overwhelming, you can hire a freelancer copywriter, or work with an agency, to take some of the pressure off.
If you like doing things yourself, there are many local community education opportunities offered through public libraries or on-line. If you choose to do this, be sure to take the time you need to follow-through and implement the marketing plan.