How Savvy Coaches & Consultants Find Clients

notebook-womanEver notice how we entrepreneurs talk in code about our real problems?

For example, the most common question I get from other business owners is “how do I find clients?”

If you’ve ever asked that question then you know there’s more lurking between the lines than the words coming out of your mouth.

So let’s unpack . . .

How do I find clients?

What I’ve found from my own experience and from working with my private clients is that this question is often code for one or more of these scenarios:

  • “I need to get my first clients”
  • “I need more clients”
  • “I need better clients”

No matter which of these is true for you, here’s what to do . . .

Instead of bogging down your brain with how do I find clients, get it working on a question that will lighten the brain overload.

What problem do I love to solve and who do I want to help solve this problem?

What you do may solve hundreds of problems but when you focus on the problems you love to solve (e.g., I love to help my clients talk about their business clearly, confidently & compellingly), it’s a lot easier to offer something of value to another person.

So if you teach people how to meditate, for example, maybe what you especially love about meditation is when you help a person who is stressed out, overworked & distracted become focused & productive.

Which brings us to the second half of the question in italics  . . . who is that person?

Because if you can’t answer this, you’re marketing to EVERYONE which gets you NO ONE. Ok, maybe you get SOMEONE but it takes a lot more time and effort because you have to sort through EVERYONE.

Know what I mean?

At the very least, you want to narrow it down to a group of people you’d like to help.

Why?

Because once you know what group of people (aka your audience) you want to work with, it’s a lot easier for you to find out WHERE they are and get your smart, problem-solving self in front of them. (Not to mention you can also tailor your marketing messages specifically to them.)

So, let’s say you love to help professional women improve their focus and productivity through meditation.

Get in front of them at:

  • Business & networking events
  • Social networking groups on LinkedIn & Facebook
  • Your own event that you host specifically for them

For most people, “networking” is about as much fun as a root canal BECAUSE they put so much freakin’ pressure on themselves.

Relax, breathe & do what you would normally do in a SOCIAL situation.

That’s it!

There’s a time and place for your elevator pitch, and REAL conversation isn’t always it. Hey, here’s some rebellious advice (not really), if the idea of passing out your business card to as many people as possible or barfing your elevator pitch all over them like a robot doesn’t work for you, DON’T DO IT!

(Yes, I can hear that sigh of relief from here.)

Just focus on having a conversation that leads to another conversation that will lead to working with that person OR another conversation with them down the line. When someone asks you “what do you do?”, my friend Cami Baker has the best advice . . . Get them to talk about themselves first!

Here’s what that might look like for our imaginary meditation teacher.

When you say “Oh, I’d love to share with you what I do, but how about you go first?” they give youinformation. Information is your secret weapon, so listen carefully to their response.

Maybe she says “I’m a paralegal in a busy law firm working on high profile civil suits.”

Then you can say “Oh, that’s really interesting. I help busy professional women like you improve their focus and productivity. Is it difficult for you to stay focused and productive in that kind of environment?”

She says, “Oh you have no idea. I get interrupted and pulled in a million directions all day every day.”

Then you say, “Have you ever tried meditation?”

She says, “Huh, meditation? No, I don’t even have time to go to the bathroom, never mind meditate.”

You say, “I bet. Many of my clients feel the same way. And once they see how little time it actually takes and how quickly it improves their focus, productivity and mood, they can’t live without it. In fact, one of my clients finally got the big promotion she’d been trying to land for months after I lead her through my meditation program.”

She says, “Really? How can do that?”

You say, “It depends on your situation and the best way for me to assess that is for you to have one of my complimentary Finally Focused Sessions. Would you like to set that up?”

“YES! What do you have available next week?”

Simple right?

And if you already know this, you might be thinking no news here but if you’re in the “need more/better clients” camp it’s time to revisit those questions again.  Because as you work with more people, you get clearer about who you REALLY want to work with and who you REALLY don’t want to work with. But even when you’ve made an upgrade in your mind, that doesn’t mean your messaging, branding and marketing automatically upgrades too.

So whether you’re a marketing newbie or a marketing master, you want to regularly ask the questions

What problem do I love to solve?

Who do I want to help solve this problem?

(Leave a comment below if you have the answers to these questions!)

Then go get them, because I don’t care if you build something that’s straight out of Field of Dreams . . . they won’t come if they don’t know who you are and what you can do for them.

If you’d like to know how you can solve your favorite problems for more of your favorite people (and get paid handsomely for it), take advantage of my free Simplify Your Marketing Session.  

You’re Elevator Pitch Sounds Goofy (Here’s How to Sound Like the Real & Outstanding You)

Entrepreneurs have been asking me lately how to introduce themselves and their businesses. Essentially, how to deliver an elevator pitch without rambling or clamming up while sounding like the REAL you.

I break it down for you in today’s video and I challenge you to try it on for size.

There’s an optional element — The Call to Action — that I will sometimes use ONLY when it feels right. I don’t include it in the video but this BONUS section is simply inviting someone to take the next step with you. For example, “If you’d like to learn more, you can . . .” and add a free offer — “schedule a complimentary consultation” or “request my daily affirmations”.

What’s your “Free to Be Me” introduction? Share it in the comments below. 

What Dating & Business Has Taught Me About Value, Clients & Commitment

Going strong since 2001!

Going strong since 2001!

A wise and successful entrepreneur once told me “The value that you believe you have is what your price tag is.”
Looking back on my single years, I see now that I dated lots of guys who didn’t value me. They talked a good game and somehow convinced me (or got me to convince myself) that they really, really liked me.

So why they heck was I always getting dumped or feeling like I didn’t matter as much to them as they did to me?

The truth is, I didn’t really know what I wanted in a relationship. And while going through the lousy ones helped me sort that out, it was often a painful experience. Finally, after pining away for one particular guy for two years (yes, two years . . . ) and not getting what I wanted from him or from love in general, I got fed up.

One Saturday morning I raced along the Massachusetts Turnpike in my little black Mazda MX-3 and showed up on his doorstep, without telling him I was coming.

(I know, it’s a little cuckoo-cachoo).

I simply said “I want to be with you. No one else. You.”

And it was immediately clear from his reaction (or lack of) that he didn’t want the same thing.

It sucked.

For a week.

But then it was liberating.

Because I finally knew what the hell I really did want . . . a respectful, mutually loving and healthy relationship. I was ready for the real deal.

Three weeks later, I met my husband.

And that happened because:

1. I got clear and committed about what I wanted

2. I shifted my own value (from “please love me” to “I deserve love, real love . . . and I’m done with even entertaining anything less than that”.)

Business sometimes feels like you’re going on 100 bad first dates. You keep putting yourself out there and attracting duds for clients. Or maybe you feel like you’re going for a potential client who is “out of your league” and you blow it because you get freaked out. So then you go back to courting the wrong prospects. You know, the comfortable ones. The warm leads who will tell you that they love you, think you’re great and REALLY want to work with you, but they never commit. You let them tell you this for months. Maybe for years.

And at first you’re OK with it. It feels good because hey, they like SOMETHING about you right?

But after awhile it feels like hollow promises.

Just like I spent two years waiting on the wrong man to finally commit to me, I’ve spent far too long waiting for less than ideal potential clients to do the same thing.

Can you relate?

If so, here’s what you do about it:

1. Draw your line in the sand. It’s one thing to know and say you want a different kind of client (you know, the kind that can’t wait to work with you, happily pays you and is committed to doing what it takes to get results?), but until you say “enough is enough” to those less than ideal clients and commit to something different, things rarely change.

2. Get clear on your perfect fit. Marketing and brand strategists (myself included) love to talk about creating ideal client profiles. It’s good advice, but sometimes it’s really hard to extract from yourself what would make an ideal client. Talk to someone else. Some of my biggest revelations about the type of clients I want to serve don’t happen when I’m sitting at my computer filling out an ideal client questionnaire. They come from having conversations with my coach and my peers about who I do and don’t want to serve. You need the combination of your own experiences, reflection and discussion to get a clear picture of who is the perfect fit for you.

3. Cut your ties. You’ve got to let go to make way for something better. Wrap up whatever remaining agreements you have with existing clients who are less than ideal for you. Stop chasing leads who want to nickel and dime you and don’t respect your time. It’s much harder to focus on attracting Mr. or Ms. Right Client, when you allow the wrong clients for you to take up your time, energy and attention.

4. Feel, then move on. Breaking up stinks, no matter what the situation is. You need to take time to process what happened, what you’re feeling and what you’ve learned. Take the time and feel what you need to, but don’t wallow. With each day, focus more on what you want and what you’re moving toward and less on what you lost.

5.  Go for it. With your new clarity, you’ll know the right client when you see her. Step into your value and be bold with your intentions. When I met my husband at a cookout, he was flirting with another woman most of the night. He talked with me too but he seemed more interested in her. I was discouraged at first so I didn’t make a move that night. When I went home, I knew I really wanted to get to know him more so I found a way to stay in touch. Soon we started talking on the phone almost every day, and not long after we had our first date. This happened in a matter of weeks. Within a month we were seriously dating and that other girl was long forgotten.

The same happens in business. Maybe your ideal client is working with someone else or simply just considering working with someone else. That doesn’t mean you have no chance. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a conversation. I’m not saying go out and steal clients, but a little competition can be a good thing. It helps you see how much you really want this relationship, and what you’re willing to do to create something amazing for both of you. Be curious about the person you’re courting. Find out how you can complete them. Go for it . . . the worst that can happen is that they say no.

And wouldn’t you rather get a definitive answer either way than wonder how awesome it could’ve been if you’d just gone for it?

As always, I’d love to hear your lessons learned from running your own business. What would you add to this list? 

 

 

How to 2x (or more) your list & skyrocket your visibility

A 6-figure coaching colleague of mine has a well-oiled marketing funnel and system. She’s speaking, hosting events, converting subscribers into clients, doing joint ventures and filling her programs.

So I was a little surprised when she said “but I still feel like I’m not reaching enough people.”

She’s serious about getting her message out in a bigger way and making a big impact. She’s doing a lot of things right. So what gives?

Since she had a solid system in place, I floated an idea by her.

What about generating some free publicity?

She hadn’t even considered it, and even though she already had some advanced marketing strategies in place, PR wasn’t even on the radar because she didn’t have a book, hadn’t been in the press and wasn’t heading a big company.

Ah hah! Here was my opportunity to set the record straight.

Expanding your visibility with publicity is one of the most powerful ways to exponentially grow your list, serve more clients and make the difference you were born to make. When done well, publicity is the thing that tips the scales in your favor and makes clients, partners and more media chase you.

The best part?

Tweet: You do not need to be an enterprise, star or best-selling author to get free publicity. http://ctt.ec/F8IPw+ Yes, it’s true that you’ll probably have an easier time if you fit into one or more of those categories but the truth is that the media is looking for anyone who can share great information and stories with their audience.

That’s not all that different from the content that supports your marketing this very instant, is it?

So what do you need to crack the publicity code?

The right mindset: The thought of being in the public eye can bring up fears. Worries about saying the wrong thing, not properly representing yourself in the media are common or simply not feeling ready can become roadblocks. Generating publicity and being in the media is a learned skill. Mistakes aren’t failures unless you don’t learn from them. I often find that the fear of success is really what stops entrepreneurs in their tracks. Will you be able to handle an influx of business? Will your website crash? Are you really worthy of the media’s attention (yes!)? Think as if you’ve already received massive exposure and create a plan for success before you actually do. Think about where you want the media to take you and create a dream team to support your operation before you get there. Whether it’s fear of failure or fear of success, being prepared will help you create the right mindset and put what you need in place to be a sought-after guest.

You: You may want to hire a publicist or PR firm to land interviews on your behalf. There’s nothing wrong with that approach and in fact, once you’ve mastered being a great media guest hiring someone to handle these details so you can waltz in, strut your stuff and waltz leverages you. When you understand how the media thinks, what kinds of stories interest them and how to create instant rapport with reporters, editors and producers, you’ll know what to look for when it comes time to hire help.

I’ll be sharing more details about how you double, even triple your list, and skyrocket your business with publicity in my upcoming teleseminar.

Join me Thursday September 25 and you’ll discover:

  • My experience with The Oprah Show and how it lead to the revelation that entrepreneurs, not just enterprises, can achieve the same level of publicity success
  • The exact strategy that gets you massive visibility, without a hefty marketing budget
  • What it really takes to attract national media attention (it’s not what you think)
  • The one mistake that will blow your chances with the media (& how to avoid it)
  • How to meaningfully impact thousands, tens of thousands, even millions of people through this process

 

Go here now to register and I’ll see you on the call!

7 sizzling signature talk elements that attract clients like wildfire

photo by kris krug

photo by kris krug

If you’d met me two years ago and mentioned the words “signature talk”, I would’ve cocked my head to the side and said “what’s that?”

That’s because in my corporate and agency days, my world was filled with proposals, pitches and presentations. We’d gather up the team in a conference room or on a conference call to discuss an opportunity and put a game plan together.

  • What would our theme be?
  • What approach would we take?
  • Who would produce what?
  • What deadlines did we need to hit?
  • How would we present the total package?

This is how we were marketing and selling our services. It’s fine to go about it this way, but I can tell you that it took lots of hours, lots of human resources and we were producing something different every time.

Sure, we recycled certain things, but as a marketing and sales tactic, it’s wasn’t the most efficient or cost-effective.

So when I discovered the concept of creating a signature talk, I was pretty excited.

What is a signature talk?

A signature talk is NOT a speech or sales presentation. It’s a business tool to attract clients. Your signature talk is your key business presentation that incorporates your core brand message, brand themes, point of view and story. It’s what you want to be known for, it’s a way to position yourself as an expert and it’s a method for selling your products and services. This a go-to tool in my own marketing toolbox that I use for building my list, launching programs and enrolling new clients.

You may tweak your talk slightly for a specific audience or occasion, but the idea is to create an on-brand talk that you can use over and over so you don’t have to create new content every time you speak. That’s what makes it “signature”.

How does a signature talk set you up for success?

When you have a signature talk, you’re positioned as the expert on that topic. You literally stand out in the room. People remember you. Having a signature talk:

  • Gives you more visibility
  • Grows your list
  • Gets your message out to more people
  • Provides an opportunity to introduce people to your products and services

And all these things will allow you to make more money in your business.

Having a talk will open up other opportunities for you too. I’ve had clients who were asked to be interviewed and invited to speak at other events after they gave their talks. A signature talk streamlines your marketing. You can use it in many different ways – from live events, teleclasses and telesummits to interviews and more.

What are the basic elements of a magnetic signature talk?

When it comes to crafting your talk, it’s not enough to just throw a bunch of words on a page. A successful signature talk, one that gets people lining up to speak with you and jumping out of their seats to get on your list or buy your products and programs, must include these key elements [Tweet This!]:

Your core beliefs – Why are you in business? Why do you care about sharing your message and your work?

Your expertise – Who are you? Who do you help? What results do you get? What makes you different from others in your field?

Your audience – Why should they care about your talk? What’s in it for them?

Your story – What was your journey? What personal transformation have you experienced and how can they get the same transformation without the same risk?

Valuable content – What 3-5 solutions can you give them that they can use right away to help them along their own journey?

ONE offer – What’s one thing they can do to get bigger and better results by working with you? Is it a free consultation? A product? A program? Pick one and use an incentive or limiter so people will be more likely to act in the moment.

Gratitude – Always thank and reward your audience for the time they’ve invested in listening to you! Bonuses, gifts and simply sticking around for questions after your talk goes a long way when it comes to building deeper rapport with your audience.

What about you? Do you have a signature talk bringing in clients and opportunities? And if you don’t have a talk yet, what’s stopping you?

 

 

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