The social media revolution has engulfed the world. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and a whole host of other services have moved in on virtually every aspect of human existence. Whether you’re saying hello to a friend, hunting for a job, checking out football results or selling anything from yurts to multi-million pound yachts, social media is there. A vast array of things are now available free of charge on the internet somewhere, and you can connect with exactly what you want via social media. And for the stuff that isn’t free? Well, Google+ and the rest are good at selling too.
All of which is about as much use to your average coach selling to corporates as an inability to ask questions and listen. For all their success in selling almost anything, Facebook and Twitter and the rest, aren’t much good at selling your coaching services to large corporates. It’s a fact, corporates don’t generally source coaching services via social media. For those that do, what chance have you got of being noticed? You could increase your chances with SEO (search engine optimization), but this costs and your visibility is still low.
On top of all this, you haven’t got the time, expertise or probably the inclination to market your services in this way.
There is, however, one supreme lesson all coaches can learn from the SEO driven Google+ brigade! That is:
Know your target market!
Successful online marketers know who their ideal clients are. That’s why they’re successful! They write their marketing messages to speak to their ideal clients, and they know where and how to connect with them. They then know how to make the most of the relationship to sell their products and services. The key is to know who your ideal client is before you start.
As a coach targeting corporates, if you want to sell your services, first identify the people you are selling those services to. Don’t be fooled into thinking that if you don’t do this you are keeping your options open, with a much wider pool of potential clients. You aren’t. Bill Cosby got it right when he said:
“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”
Bill is spot on. When you try to market your coaching to everybody, you are actually seriously reducing your chances of winning more clients.
To succeed you need to describe your ideal client, and market to them. You can make a start by thinking of someone you’ve previously worked with. Perhaps they got a lot out of your coaching and you enjoyed coaching them. If you haven’t worked with anybody suitable, think of someone else you know, who you think would be an ideal client. If you can’t think of anybody, you can skip this step. Although, it demonstrates why you need to do this exercise in the first place – you’ve never worked with your ideal client, you don’t know who they are or even who they might be.
When you have someone in mind, brainstorm characteristics of this person, such as their ambitions, values, attitudes, interests and lifestyle. Then identify facts and stats about them, such as their age, career level and salary expectations. Finally, include information about their emotional triggers, the problems they regularly face and desperately want to solve, the obstacles in their way, what they fear and what they want.
You then need to focus on the type of company your ideal client works for. Brainstorm characteristics of these companies, such as their philosophy, management style, reputation, commitment to learning and how entrepreneurial they are. And finally, identify facts and stats about them, such as industry sector, location, customers, number of employees, annual revenue.
When you’ve got all this information, you need to start making more sense of it. You could try writing an elevator pitch. This is a brief statement that summarises who you work with, the problems they face in their work situation and the outcomes they want. You can’t include everything you have brainstormed, so you will have to decide what to leave out. This is difficult but it will help you get to the true identity of your ideal client.
When you are clear on your ideal client, you can focus on how to connect with them, what to say to them when you do connect, how to describe the value you bring, how to develop the relationship beyond first contact, what problems they typically face, what results they will be looking for …
You can then actively seek them out, connect with them and turn them into paying clients.
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About Kevin Oubridge
I work with executive coaches who do the marketing stuff you're supposed to but aren't winning any business.
You want to win clients you like working with, get paid what you're coaching is worth & build long-term, highly productive relationships with your client companies where you win further business year on year.
Check out Blue Chip Tips my regular blog on growing your coaching practice.
Also have a look at The Leadership Coaching Alligator Handbook. Over 200 pages, where we reveal the process, tools and know-how we used to grow Accelerated Success, our thriving coaching practice.