6. Attending any networking seminar will do. Many starting businesses end up going to the same networking events (chamber of commerce etc.) Problem is, many starting businesses do not have the budget for coaches.
Solution: Thoroughly research at which events your clients will hang out. And once you know that, prepare your elevator pitch (if you had 2 minutes in an elevator with someone to convince them to buy your service….what would you say?)
7. Attending short training events for marketing and networking, which overpromise.
Solution: hit and miss on these. Keep in mind the people that attend these seminars need to find customers, much like you. It is actually only the speaker whom may be able to set you up with a client or two, because they do have a network. At a seminar with 50 people or more, you need to have a strategy in order to get to speaker on your side.
8. Offer a lot of things for free, and people will come.
Solution: We have seen people offering free sessions, free ebooks, free everything in order to get customers. Some people have success initially with free sessions, because it allows the client to meet the coach. It does allow you time with a potential client in the room, to be convinced of your services. At the same time carefully consider if your services aren’t too valuable to be “free” (is that the image you want to put out there?) Also if someone is serious about getting a coach, wouldn’t they be willing to pay a fee to try out your services? The solution is, carefully consider making this move. Try it out, both with offering something for free, and without. You will find out soon enough.
9. Off-line (paper) advertising will earn itself back automatically.
Solution: it really depends on where you advertise. Students communicated to us that inexpensive advertising in free of charge magazines tends to be more often then not, not the way to go. Expensive advertising in paid magazines, seem to be hit or miss (it depends on the readers, magazines, and the quality of your advertising.) You won’t know, until you find out. Instead of getting hooked in a 12 month advertising scheme, try one shot and evaluate the response. Set a strict budget for this, and move on if it is not yielding results.
10. Assuming conventional ways of getting your name out there is enough.
Solution: We gave discovered an interesting parallel with starting life coaches without network, whom ended up attracting clients versus those that didn’t. They went beyond the obvious routes of online and off-line advertising, websites, and twittering. They made bold moves offering interesting low cost workshops, sending personal letters to key figures in business organizations, created their own networking events, making cold calls inviting key figures in organizations to lunch, started offering services to self-help or empowerment groups, finding their way in the speakers circuit, writing a book, doing high impact fast result coaching (curing phobia’s for instance) that WOW people so much they are going to talk about it.
Getting people to talk about your services, that’s key! You are really offering a feeling. If you are a coach, your client wants to feel that you hold the keys to the magic kingdom. People respond to word of mouth, reputation, an impression they have of you after engaging with you in some way.
You can choose to be considered a email/facebook/twitter SPAMmer, or to be considered someone whom elicits a feeling of “Let’s go for it!”‘