Like any other business, the success of a small business coach primarily depends on attracting clients. Here you will find some effective tips to attract clients to your coaching program.
A Small Business Coach without a Client is Not in Business
All Small Business Coaches are enthusiastic about becoming great coaches. Many of them go to learn to coach from well-known schools, get certifications, and even hire coaches who teach them to coach better. But without having enough number of paying clients, a small business coach would go out of business soon. How can you sell your service to small business owners is an important question. Many of the coaches fail, and many of them earn lower than their actual worth because of their failure to attract enough clients. Still, the process need not be so hard if we review the whole situation in the small business coaching niche and chart our course accordingly.
There are two avenues to connect with potential clients – offline and online.
For a new coach, it is important that he or she gets some clients and have some income flow at the earliest. That initial success is a great motivation for the new coach to progress further in his or her coaching profession. Offline coaching covers one-on-one and group coaching, while online coaching can take care of several clients. I recommend having both online and offline coaching in place to maximize profit.
Below is a step by step blueprint to guide new business coaches to attract clients.
Step 1 – Select Your Niche
Small Businesses exist around several hundreds of niches, only limited by perhaps imagination. Correct selection of a niche at the beginning makes things easier for a small business coach in the long run.
Examples of some popular small business niches:
Fitness and wellness industry
Restaurants, hotels, travel industries
Real estate business
Commodity distribution business
And so on.
For a new small business coach, selecting the correct niche can be easier if the niche fulfills the criteria shown in the diagram.
- The coach should have passion and knowledge in the selected niche, and
- The clients should be able and willing to pay well to get help from an expert in that niche
Once you complete the above exercise, you will be clear about the profile of your ideal client, and what you can offer to them.
Step 2 – Understanding the 3 Elements of a Successful Small Business Coaching Practice
The three elements that you need to put in place to grow a profitable coaching business are:
- Credibility and trust: Having some experience and expertise in the chosen niche is essential for having the required brand value.
- Locating ideal clients: Ideal clients in any selected niche will have a lot of things in common. This focus group can be called a ‘tribe’. You should find out, where your ideal tribe members hang out. For example, if your niche is Fashion Apparel Retailing, your ideal clients would be the apparel manufacturers and retailers. The best place to meet them offline would be various apparel exhibitions and export promotion meetings organized by different trade bodies. You can meet them online in various places like relevant LinkedIn groups, discussion forums, Web Directories, Quora, Ezine Articles, Facebook and many other sites.
- Visibility: Your presence in the niche, by way of your contacts, blog articles, a professional looking website asking for a call to action, to name a few.
Step 3 – Connecting with the Ideal Clients and Converting Them into Paying Clients
It depends on where the small business coach is meeting the potential clients. In a seminar during an apparel trade show, for example, a powerful presentation, followed by distribution of some free books, DVDs or Whitepapers can attract a lot of clients to be interested in your coaching program.
Being genuinely interested in someone’s business is another plus point in attracting clients. Once during my travel by train, I had a co-passenger with whom I was having a chat. I came to know that he was a manufacturer of plastic injection molded products.
I was genuinely curious to know about this business and asked him a lot of questions. At the end, he asked me what I do for a living. I told him that I help businessmen like him to increase their turnover by 70-100% within a year. He became very much interested and wanted to know more about my coaching.
We met after a few days. After a discussion of over 2 hours, he bought my coaching program for the next 6 months and paid the fees in advance!
In the online coaching world, the basic principles remain the same. The potential clients must perceive the high value the small business coach can provide to them. Since the potential clients are supposed to find your service on-line, you should have a well-planned strategy in place, as below.
- A professional looking website, promising solutions to their most burning problems, with a call for action.
- An optin page giving away something valuable against each sign-up, a well-planned mailing sequence and easy to understand coaching proposal are the main points to remember.
- Offer to avail free counselling and evaluation call.
- Branding yourself in the selected niche by helping others in relevant online forums, groups, writing articles in different blogs and publications and directing the readers to your coaching site via backlinks wherever possible.
This may sound like a lot of work but believe me, Google loves this kind of authentic authority building and rewards such sites.
Small Business Coaching can be a big business if proper steps are taken to attract, connect with and convert potential clients into paid clients to help them achieve their goals. This is one of the low-risk, high return businesses that is sustainable in the long run.
Hope you took some great value out of this post today! I’d love to hear your feedback, so make sure you leave a comment with your thoughts or questions. And also, you can click on the Twitter button below to retweet this article… Thank you!
Writing Team, Coaches Training Blog Community