Growth in your coaching business doesn’t happen automatically. You have to approach it like you would when trying to grow anything. Like, for example, hot peppers. You don’t just pick a seed packet at random and scatter the seeds wherever you happen to be standing at the moment and then forget about them. Of course not. There’s a process you go through to find the right kind and make sure your plants thrive.
Likewise, growing your business is an active endeavor; it takes attention and it takes effort. In this blog, I’m going to outline a four-step process I use to gain more coaching clients. I call it SCAN.
S – Study
Moving a business forward significantly takes certain knowledge and actions. Chief among these is identifying your target demographic, the coaching clients that are right for your coaching services. So here’s a question for you: Do you know who your ideal client is? Knowing this is more than just something to check off your list. It can make a huge difference in fulfillment—for both you and your client—and, of course, profitability. And it’s not a once-and-done process. It’s a great thing to check in on at the beginning of every year. Here are 10 questions that can help you hone in on your ideal coaching client.
- Who do you click with the most?
- Which clients are you seeing the most growth and success with?
- How old are they?
- Are they female or male, or is there a mix?
- Which are most profitable (without you having to spend your entire week holding their hand)?
- Are you targeting professionals who are ready to make a career or life change?
- What is the biggest pain point of your top clients or prospects?
- Do you see the most success when coaching upper management to build on their strengths and develop areas for growth?
- Where are your target clients located? Are they near you or not?
- Are they from major metropolitan areas or suburbs?
Ideally, there is a building synergy; you energize each other, and your ideal clients help you become more successful and profitable even as you help them reach their goals.
C – Cultivate
Your current clients are your best source for growth. Studies tell us that it’s 7 times more costly to obtain a new client than it is to sell to a current client. So how do we treat our current base? Being a giver, not a taker is so important. You want to give your clients more than they expect. Send them hand-written notes, call to see how they’re doing, or call to ask how you’re doing. Offer to co-present at a conference, follow them on Facebook, retweet their posts. Host a “clients only” webinar. Get to know them personally and what their interests are. Send them an invite to an interesting event or tell them about a festival you’ve found that they might like to check out.
A – Align
As a coach, you’re a great help to your clients. But yours is not the only service they’re going to want. They need other products as they move toward their goals. Here’s what I mean: hook your clients up with your contacts who offer things they’ll need. This might mean presentation software—or someone who can train them to use that software. It could be a professional videographer so they can post high-quality videos on social media. Maybe they would do well with art workshops to help develop creativity and critical thinking. A wardrobe consultant, or even a good yoga instructor. Whatever it is your clients need, share a connection from your professional network. That way, you’re not only helping your people and your network, you’re building bridges with other providers who service the same kinds of accounts you do. This increases the likelihood that your contacts will come to you when their clients need your services. It’s a win-win-win.
N – Nurture
You’ll likely gain prospects from aligning your services with other providers and from your current client base. If you’ve cultivated these connections well, it’s a no-brainer for them to introduce you. But what happens after that? Perhaps you met with a prospect once but they aren’t yet open to getting together. What are you doing to foster that relationship? Try to figure out what resonates with that person. Might they be looking for motivation? Send a link to a blog post you’ve written on that topic. Perhaps they love to read to gain more expertise. Send them articles you think they’ll like or a book review relating to their field. “Court” them by showing interest. By providing helpful resources, you keep the conversation going and the relationship building.
So SCAN—study, cultivate, align and nurture. It’s a great way to make sure your business is thriving at every touchpoint.