FOUR EFFECTIVE BUSINESS PRACTICES – #4
Thomas Jefferson once said, “The harder I work, the luckier I am.”
So, what does luck have to do with getting clients? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
You’ve worked hard to become a masterful coach. You’ve invested time and money. You’ve studied, you’ve practiced, and you’ve probably made some mistakes. But still, you’ve gone back out there and tried again. Good for you.
However, for those coaching skills to be put to use, for you to serve the people God has called you to serve, for you to make the difference in the world you long to make there’s one more big hill to climb. Your potential clients need to know you are there.
Unfortunately, being a great coach doesn’t ensure that you will have clients.
Clients come the same way your coaching skills improved, through hard work. Harder work than you would like.
If you still don’t have all the clients you want, read through the 6 reasons below, identify what has been holding you back and adjust your course. You and your future clients will be glad you did.
6 reasons why coaches don’t have clients
1. You haven’t told enough people – Some people will never hire a coach. In fact, a lot of people will never hire a coach. Unfortunately the ones who will never hire a coach look exactly the same as those who will. Thus, in many ways, marketing is a “numbers game.”
You need to have a large pool of “semi-interested” people that you are nurturing relationships with all the time. Until your practice is full, your number one job is to keep growing your newsletter list (your newsletter is how you stay in touch with those you’ve met) from tens to hundreds to a thousand people or more.
2. You haven’t told the right people – If I were a retailer of the world’s finest winter wear but I set up shop in the desert, I wouldn’t sell any coats.
If you have a large newsletter list but still don’t have enough clients, it could be that you are trying to sell coats in the desert.
Make sure that you have clearly identified your niche, that you are offering to help them with a problem they are actively trying to solve and that they are willing to pay money for that problem to be solved.
In other words, set up your coat store in an under-clothed city in Alaska.
3. The people you’ve told haven’t heard from you enough times – Marketing is telling people what you do again and again and again.
If people don’t sign-up with you the first time they hear about your services, it’s not because they’re not good candidates for coaching. They just have other things on their minds.
People need to hear from you an average of 7-12 times before they consider becoming a client.
Your goal when you meet qualified prospects shouldn’t be to “sell” them on coaching but to add them to your newsletter list. Then you have permission to stay in touch and to continue to add value to their lives as they get to know you and like you.
4. People don’t see the benefits of coaching – It’s hard for people who have never been coached to understand the incredible difference it can make in their lives.
Make it easier for them by mentioning some of the concrete, measurable benefits they may experience, things such as waking up earlier and feeling more energized, spending more time with their family, getting a promotion at work, resolving conflict, clearing out their clutter, getting more things done, etc.
Also, in your conversations and your newsletter tell stories (within the bounds of confidentiality, of course) about the successes your clients have experienced.
5. You’re not spending enough time marketing – Exceptional results come from exceptional effort.
Until you are coaching fulltime, marketing is your fulltime job. Literally.
When I first began my coaching practice, I knew that I wanted to coach about 20 hours a week. So, I set that time aside even though I didn’t have any clients in those slots. Thus, I marketed 20 hours a week.
When I had 5 clients, I marketed 15 hours a week and coached 5. And when I had 10 clients, I marketed 10 and coached 10. You get the idea.
I know that some of you are working other, non-coaching related jobs and trying to build your coaching practice at the same time. It’s hard. If I could wave a magic wand to suspend this sowing and reaping principle for you, I would! But I can’t.
Most entrepreneurs choose to invest in a season of great sacrifice the first few years of starting their business so that they can enjoy a lifetime in a job they love.
Ask God to show you what you can temporarily cut out of your schedule so you can spend more time creating this business He has laid on your heart.
6. You need to persevere – It takes an average of 3-5 years to build a sustainable business of any kind. Coaching is no exception.
Do some people fill coaching practices sooner? Absolutely.
Those who launch their coaching businesses more quickly tend to be those who already have a large network of people (see #1 above), full of ideal clients (see #2 above). Perhaps you fall into this category.
If you don’t, of course God can still miraculously intervene and bless you with any number of clients, at any time. I love when He does that! But remember, it’s called a miracle for a reason – because it is not the “natural” way it usually happens.
3-5 years probably sounds like a long time, but it will pass at the same rate whether you spend it building your coaching business or just wishing you had.
Why not have something you love at the end of it?
Thus, the fourth essential business practice is perseverance.
Discouragement and hardship along life’s way doesn’t mean that you weren’t called to do what you are doing.
Abraham got discouraged waiting for the birth of Isaac. I’m sure Noah wondered if he had really heard from God about 50 years into building the ark.
Circumstances alone are rarely an indicator of whether we have heard correctly from God.
Successful coaches and entrepreneurs are not smarter, luckier or savvier than those who don’t succeed. In fact, at times it seems as if they’ve had GREATER obstacles and MORE setbacks than those who fall by the way. The ONLY difference is they persevere IN SPITE of these things.
3-5 years later they are living in the promised land of coaching and enjoying every minute.
How can I help you persevere? What can I do to help you go the distance and live the dream? These are the questions I constantly ask myself and God.
The Marketing Momentum program is a large part of that answer.
- live coaching
- group coaching
- Facebook group
- training seminars
- peer support
- targeted tools
- multiple touch-points
- and so much more
Everything about the Marketing Momentum program was set up to help you succeed. All it needs is you.
Will you commit to persevering? Will you choose in advance to overcome the obstacles that will come your way?
My prayer is that you will. And when you seal your commitment with action, please pray about letting me walk beside you for the next six months, guiding you every step of the way.
If God has called you to use be a Christian coach, don’t give up. Do whatever it takes to make it work.
It’s not marketing. It’s a mission.
I hope you will take a minute to check out the Marketing Momentum Program.
But even if you don’t, prayerfully consider how God wants you to get the help you need in the year ahead.