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Coaches: This is how you get clients digitally

You are passionate about transforming people's life and transforming your own by having a successful business. Now it is time to get your marketing right. Here is how.

Written by

Hugo Sanchez

Founder at MoonDesk Media

So many coaches.

Life coaching is the second-fastest-growing industry in the world with an average yearly growth of 6.7%. And it would seem that while some few are selling $2k programs online, others are going through the rough patch of the early stages. It is a big leap, that requires severals phases.

Ultimately, if you are starting, your main asset are and will always be the relationships you have build. I will soon post an action plan for your first year as a coach. In the meantime, I want to go over a framework that every coach needs to understand about how getting clients work in the digital realm.

This framework is universal and points out the very marketing foundation of your practice. It is important to evaluate each part of the framework with honesty and critique. It can save you lots of frustration.

Your Offer

Your marketing needs to be as great as your offer. But no amount of marketing will sell a bad offer.

How do you know you have a bad offer?

  • Not enough people want it.
  • It costs more to sell than what it revenues.
  • It can't trickle down your referral pipeline.
  • The perceived value is lower that the price.

A good offer still needs lots of things to be supported, and by itself won't do. But it will make everything so much easier. When I started my digital marketing business I didn't actively marketed myself for over a year, because I was offering something a lot of people wanted at the right time. I did a good work and got referred... A lot! More on this later.

A good offer makes takes into consideration 3 key elements.

  1. Attunement: In his best-seller, To Sale Is Human, Michael Pink states the new ABC of sales (from the old adage Always Be Closing). Pink states Attunement as one of the most essential skills of modern sales-people. Attunement is being able to tune into the frequency your potential leads are and adapt. In the context of this article, attunement is how tuned is your offer with your dream client's desire and pain. Does it tap into their needs and wants? Are you communication accordingly? Being aware of what objections people might have on your offer is essential.
  2. The balance in offer vs. demand. Ideally you want to be in a blue ocean, but be cautious not to confuse a blue ocean with a dead sea. If there are too many people out there doing the same thing, become of aware of how this business works. Get informational interview with some of them and see how they started their path, get insights on how they typically get clients now vs. when they started.
  3. The balance perceived value vs. price: That is the basic of every transaction. Consider that price is absolute but value is subjective: $1,000 are not the same for everybody and people will value things based on their current and past situations and future desires, attuning your offer to your audience's experience will conclude in a higher closing rate. A low price can make your seem insecure about your delivered value. I will soon write a whole section on pricing your offers. The best offers are "free" to your clients, they will make more from it that what they spend on it.

You can download a formula for creating a compelling offer here.

Creating a good offer requires a mix of knowledge, intuition, research and adjustment. Let see.

Knowledge:

The more you know about the market environment, the better ideas you will get about what is a good offer. A lot of it comes with time and being out there, but also is by actively looking into what's out there at the moment.

Doing information interviews are great ways to fast forward your knowledge.But it requires for you to swallow your ego, imposter syndrome and be humble, yet it is so much worth it. Plus you start cultivating a beautiful relationship with a potential college, referrer or mentor.

I particularly despite the marketing people who are telling their stories of how THEY are so unbelievable awesome and that ONE TIME they got a massive return for a client. Can't we have normal conversation without you masturbating your ego? Please.

Intuition:

Your intuition is your inner compass that tells you that something makes sense. I remember the beautiful story of Melanie Perkins', Canva Founder, she just knew that the future of design was a DYI Cloud-based Saas, your can listen to it on NPR's How I Built This. Your intuition is a valid source of raw material for an idea of an offer and the more knowledge you have the more attuned your intuition will be.

Research:

Most coaches and consultants I work with don't validate their offer. They have a hunch and they go for it. As they should. After all you need to start tapping into the market but consider a few things.

Research everytime you are speaking to a lead. Everytime you are in front of a potential client, warm or cold, you have a huge opportunity to attune your offer. One of my favorite tactics is ask a few open questions:

  • Tell me a little bit about your (current situation, business, practice, life, relationship).
  • Where would you like to be in xx months?
  • How does success looks like for you?
  • What is getting in the way of your success? (ask this repeatability until you hit a core fear).

Asking these questions not only is a great consultative sell approach but a magnificent market research tool.

Research your competitor online. What are other people doing? Search your niche of coaching and see who is leading google searches. Explore their offer, messaging, what pain point and desires are they tapping into? What are their price points? How are they engaging in virtual channels? Spyfu can give you tons on insights.

Run a deliberate market research. Market research can sound scary, and expensive. But it doesn't have to be. Ultimately what you want is to gain some ideal client insights before putting lots of work into a new offer. 10 data points are better than none. Can you get 10 people to answer a survey? Can you get 10 people on the phone to ask them about an idea? Can you run a small focus group with 5 folks?

Another creative way to gain some insights is to publish two pieces of content, the same of week, one-week apart, and see which one drives more attention. There is lots of variable that affect how sharable an item is and it is not enough to put lots of investment into it, but it is a good lead to start wondering.

Adjust & Optimize:

No offer is perfect from day 0. The question is whether or not your offer will need to be adjusted the question is how fast.

A/B Test

A the micro-level you want to make sure you are A/B testing your offering, that is, present your offer to some people with title A, then present it to other folks with title B. Compare.

In a digital world, you can do this tools like Google Optimize. You are constantly testing landing pages, sales pages, opt-in pages, etc.

Adjust is more than A/B testing. Adjust means being in constant communication with the folks who are receiving the value from you. If you run a course, send a survey in between sessions "Next week we will discuss [this theme]. Because I want to make sure I cover all the bases, what would you want me to cover?"

Adjusting starts within.

One of the biggest adjustments I did in my firm was setting the boundaries of my offer. I was being too generous. In therapy, I learned that came from a sense of insecurity and not being good enough, therefore I over-delivered. Until my offer wasn't sustainable anymore and it diluted the value of my time.

On the other hand, I have had clients who had been doing the same thing for several months without seeing results but are stuck with this idea because of loss aversion or lack of self-reflection.

What we do for a living is a big chunk of our identity, after all we spend more of time working. Specially if it is your own business. We are not our jobs, but sometimes we forget. That is why adjusting starts within. To adjust, to truly adjust, you need to de-personalize your offer. So an alteration in your offer is not threat to your identity nor your value as a person.

Adjusting sometimes requires a pause.

This is just a note of caution. Adjustment requires clarity. It is so easy to get into the weeds that we can't see around. Research suggest that when we are in a hurry we care less about people. Ultimately, your offer needs to be attuned, attunement can't happen without caring. The best offers come back to the essence of being of service to people, because YOU CARE.

Consider a pause, where you can gain distance and clarity over your situation. I strongly recommend Achim Nowak's article: In Praise Of The Pause.

Awareness

Your next challenge is all about Brand Awareness. How do you get people to know about you, or the new you.

In this section we will cover.

  1. How to Launch a business.
  2. How to ring the bell among your network.
  3. A content scalability blueprint. (From post, to blog, to webinar, to product)
  4. The basics of putting your name on the market.
  5. Sources of traffic

Consider the different levels of awareness buyer typically go through:

Unaware

Problem Aware

Solution Aware

Provider Aware

Trust

In essence. If there is no trust there is no transaction.

People need to trust 3 things.

  1. They need to trust YOU.
  2. They need to trust YOUR OFFER.
  3. They need to trust YOUR OFFER WORKS FOR THEM.

Here are the basic of trust. I highly recommend the Trusted Adviser by...

Tercero, explica algunas generalidades de la confianza:

  1. La confianza no aparece, va creciendo: No hay una regla o una trampa para ganar la confianza rápido, la confianza crece poco a poco a través de experiencias con el cliente.
  2. Es tanto racional como emocional: Muchos profesionales se ofenden al personar que la relación con sus clientes se vea afectado por algo más fuera del conocimiento técnico, sin embargo, aunque el conocimiento técnico es un término NO-negociable e indispensable, no es suficiente. La confianza tiene varios componentes emocionales (Se describe en la ecuación de la confianza)
  3. Es una relación de dos vías: Podemos amar, odiar, admirar o respetar a alguien sin que esta persona sienta lo mismo por nosotros; con la confianza no es así. Se debe escoger bien con qué clientes se quiere tener una relación de confianza, pues debe ser recíproco. No se pueda ganar confianza cuando todos los esfuerzos son unilaterales. No se puede forzar la confianza.
  4. Está intrínsecamente relacionado al riesgo percibido: La confianza sin riesgo es como una Coca Cola sin gas, no tiene sentido. No hay motivos para la confianza sin que exista un riesgo. Claramente, el riesgo varía según la situación.
  5. Es diferente para el cliente que para usted: En la confianza siempre hay alguien que confía y alguien que es confiado. Es como un baile, uno debe guíar y otro ser guiado. Esto implica que solo porque usted pueda confiar no quiere decir que pueda ser confiable para otros. Así mismo, si es incapaz de confiar, probablemente tampoco sea confiable para otros.
  6. Es personal: La confianza es entre individuos, no se puede confiar en una organización, aunque si se puede relacionar a una empresa con ciertos atributos, la confianza como tal es algo que se alcanza únicamente con las personas.

Cuarto, explica las dimensiones y componentes de la confianza:

Uno diría que si el cliente confía en lo que digo me tiene confianza, esto no es tan simple. La confianza es multidimensional. Las dimensiones son las siguientes:

  • Credibilidad: Se refiere a las palabras, el cliente confía en lo que digo y lo que sé.
    • Ejemplo: Confía en lo que dijo sobre…
  • Responsabilidad (Reliability): Se refiere a las acciones. El cliente confía en que haré y lo haré bien.
    • Ejemplo: Le confío la tarea de….
  • Intimidad: Se refiere a las emociones. El cliente confía en hablar conmigo.
    • Ejemplo: Me siento cómodo discutiendo sobre…
  • Orientación (self-orientation): Se refiere a los motivos. El cliente confía en mis motivos y en una relación ganar-ganar.
    • Ejemplo: Confío en que se preocupa por…

Cualquier fallo en algunas de estas dimensiones nos caracterizan de algún modo:

  1. Un fallo en la credibilidad, nos caracteriza de Charlatanes.
  2. Un fallo en Responsabilidad, nos caracteriza de Irresponsables.
  3. Un fallo en Intimidad, nos caracteriza de Técnicos.
  4. Un fallo en Orientación, nos caracteriza en Tramposos.

In a digital realm in specific. You want to leverage of all the things that add or erode your trust:

  • Authority
  • Social Proof
  • Knowledge
  • Confidence
  • Time
  • Results
  • Technology

Trust is with spelled with a T for Time.

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