Marketing your coaching business doesn't need to be a flat out sprint for the finish. You can get better results by developing lasting relationships.
Sometimes the hardest part of running your own business is winning over new clients. Cold calling can be a daunting, and often thankless task. And other types of marketing can be costly, particularly if you aren't experienced with using them.
So with that in mind, we've got some game changers that don't make you feel like you're begging for business but rather that you're building links with the community you serve.
RAISE YOUR RATES!
The first time coach is often afraid to ask for what they're worth. This puts off clients rather than encourages them to engage with your service. Why? It's all about perception. You don't perceive fast food to have the same nutritional value as a Michelin chef's offering – and you know that as much by the price difference as anything else. Raising your rates makes you seem more appealing because it suggests that you add the same value (or more) as your price tag. So charge what you're worth and watch the customers start queuing.
VISIT TRADE SHOWS
Don't go on the first day or during the peak period. Head over during the quieter moments, then you'll find decision makers kicking their heels waiting for customers. You've got to be careful, this is a relationship building exercise not a hard sell. So spend some time finding out about the businesses represented, collect business cards and of course introduce yourself and what you do too. Follow up afterwards with a meaningful e-mail, talk about what you've learned give something specific to the person. Leave a sales pitch to later contact – make friends first.
HAVE A COACHING PARTY
It doesn't have to be an expensive event but invite potential clients to a free group coaching session. Throw in some wine and cheese and let people enjoy themselves. Again spend your time cultivating relationships rather than selling. People always enjoy a party and the “feel good” factor it brings can help you build lasting links for the future.
GET IN THE LOCAL PRESS
There is such a thing as free publicity. Contact your local newspaper and ask them if one of their reporters would like a free session (or series of sessions) in exchange for a write up. Alternatively why not put together a coaching column and offer it to your local paper for free in exchange for a small plug for your business at the end.
IMMERSE YOURSELF IN YOUR COACHING NICHE
Get proactive, join local groups for others working in your niche, find internet forums and discussion groups and take part. Show interest in every person you come in to contact with in your niche and listen to what they need and want. Take the time to market yourself without marketing at all – be helpful, be knowledgeable, share your expertise without flaunting it.
None of these marketing activities involve the hard sell, but they're all powerful ways to win new clients without appearing threatening. They'll boost your revenue, set you apart as an approachable expert in your field and they're much more fun than cold calling.