My hairdresser, my chiropractor, a Bible study visitor and the lady next door – every single one of them expressed in interest in life coaching and I didn’t do a thing about it.
Not a single thing!
When I first began training as a life coach, my enthusiasm was full to over-flowing. So, of course, I told every one I met. Some people nodded, smiled and moved on. Others looked at their watch and tapped their feet. But quite a few people (like my hairdresser, chiropractor, etc.) surprised me with their interest.
Eagerly, I mentioned my website. Handed out my business card. And each of prospects fell into a black hole from which there is no return.
They didn’t call me because they had other things on their minds. I never followed-up because I didn’t know how.
I had no plan for staying in touch, getting to know them, better understanding their dreams and desires, building a relationship or adding value to their lives so they could begin to know me, like me and trust me.
I had no idea what to do, so I did nothing and got no clients as a result.
This doesn’t have to happen to you.
What I’m about to say is radical and out-of-the-box, but if you give it a chance, this one tip could transform your business in the year to come.
Put off the website.
Don’t worry about the business cards.
Who cares if you have a logo or clever design?
None of that matters, until you have a natural, helpful way to stay in touch with the eager prospects that God puts in your path.
If you only do one marketing activity this year, do this!
Start or grow your newsletter.
A monthly newsletter is the single most powerful client-generating tool that exists.
Here are 5 reasons why:
1. Newsletters grow the “know, like and trust” factor.
As a coach, you are asking people to invest hours of their precious time and hundreds, maybe thousands, of hard-earned dollars in hopes of transformational change.
That’s a huge investment and a big risk. Very few people go from “Hi, how are you?” to writing a check the first few times they meet you.
Instead, studies show that the more people get to know you, like you and trust you, the more likely they are to do business with you.
2. Newsletters build relationships naturally – over time.
Research shows that most people need to hear from you an average of 7-12 times before they seriously consider doing business with you.
How can a coach stay in touch that many times without being a pest?
Nothing is more natural and helpful than showing up in someone’s email box at least once a month with some added value and a friendly “hello.”
Even if your prospect doesn’t get a chance to read your newsletter just seeing your name sends a gentle reminder of who you are and what you do.
3. Newsletters are permission-based.
Pay attention today to all the people who try to push their way into your life (and wallet!) “Buy me. Stop here. Click now. Don’t miss this opportunity. Turn your life around. Make 6 figures in 6 weeks.”
What used to be called advertising is now more appropriately named Interruption Marketing.
Interruption Marketing is like a complete stranger banging on your front door and demanding admittance into your house. There’s only one obvious response. Slam the door and run the other way.
That is NOT the result we are going for.
That’s why newsletters are so powerful. Newsletters use Permission Marketing. On your website, through your free offer or even at networking meetings, the only people you ever add to your newsletter list are those who have given you permission.
Imagine opening the front door and seeing the next door neighbor holding cookies baked just for you. You’ll fling the door open wide and invite them in.
Your newsletter is an invited guest (you) who comes bearing a gift (your excellent and timely information.)
4. Newsletters add value.
The only people who sign-up for your newsletter list are going to be those who are interested in the types of problems you help people solve. Whether your niche is parenting, leadership, ADHD or better communication, you and your subscribers care about the same things.
Thus your monthly articles allow you to add consistent value around the most important things in your subscriber’s lives.
Instead of becoming a marketer clamoring for attention, you are becoming a trusted partner in their lives.
5. Newsletters go where your potential clients are.
If your website or business card is your primary follow-up mechanism, all you can do is cross your fingers and hope that in the midst of their busy lives, your prospects remember you.
On the other hand, arriving as an invited email in your prospect’s inbox increases the odds to over 59% that you will be the first thing they see (source: ExactTarget) when they sit down at their desk in the morning.
You can’t beat that.
The first year I began coaching, potential clients slipped through my fingers like water through a sieve. I didn’t know about the power of using newsletters to stay in touch. Those opportunities are gone forever, and I’ll probably never run into most of those people again.
You can do it differently.
Make this year the year you begin to turn every prospect into a raving fan and eventually a client by using an electronic newsletter to stay in touch.