I see it all the time. Someone has a great idea for a coaching business, puts all the pieces together – sets up their Facebook presence, builds a beautiful website, etc – and assumes that as soon as they build it, clients will just flock to the business.
But… that doesn’t happen. And even if a few clients show up, it’s not consistent. Soon the coach starts to question their business model, their tactics, even their own abilities as a coach.
Does that sound familiar?
Lost in a Field of Dreams
This is something I call the “Field of Dreams” mentality. It comes from the Kevin Costner film of the same name that offers the famous line, “If you build it… they will come.”
So many coaches use this mentality when they start their businesses – assuming that if they simply build an amazing service/solution, clients will magically appear, wanting to work with them.
“If you build it, they will come” might work in the world of Hollywood baseball fantasies, but it doesn’t really work here in the real world.
The simple truth is, there is just too much competition out there. The sheer number of coaches – on any subject – is mindboggling, so the odds of someone just stumbling onto you is slim to non-existent.
So how can you make it easier for prospective clients to:
– Find you, and;
– Be attracted to you and what you offer?
Clarity is Key
Prospective coaching clients need to have total clarity about what it is that you do. You can’t afford to be coy here – if you make it hard for them to understand your value, they’ll go elsewhere without a second thought.
Far too many coaches believe that to attract more customers, they need to have a broad range of skills to offer. In fact, the opposite is often true. Let me give a simple example.
Sandra has set up a business as a “Life Coach.” She’s very talented and skilled and decides that to attract as many clients as possible, she needs to offer coaching in multiple areas such as:
– Life Balance
– Small Business
– Personal Finance
Assuming she has certifications and training in all these areas, Sandra should be very successful, right? Well… no. The difficulty is, her value is so diluted amongst so many different areas, it’s difficult for her to stand out.
Even her title of “Life Coach” is so broad that it says nothing to a potential client.
Niching your Niche
Focusing on one area (such as relationships), and then a subset of one of those areas (people in narcissistic relationships) would allow Sandra to become an expert and stand out in her field. The narrower the field of focus, the more you’ll be able to stand out, and the easier it will be to find your ideal client. This is known as “niching your niche,” and it’s something you hear me talk about, a LOT.
I’d like you to try something for me. Look at the way you speak to your prospective coaching clients now – your website copy, social media posts, etc. – and ask yourself this question, objectively:
“If I was a stranger who knew nothing of this business, would I be able to instantly understand what I do?”
In other words, are you making what you do clear to your audience? Or are you being too vague? Or too broad?
The tendency for most of us is to say, “Yes, it’s perfectly clear!” But consider this: The more services you offer your clients, the less clarity you’re creating.
Too many services and you begin to look like a “Jack of all trades,” which doesn’t sound so bad, until you remember the second half of that aphorism:
“…master of none.”
Building a Solid Foundation
Now that you’ve learned how to create a level of clarity in your business, let’s create even more. Ask yourself the following questions:
- WHAT specific problem/issue do you solve?
- HOW do you solve this problem/issue?
- WHO do you solve it for?
- WHY do you do this work?
When you communicate all of this to your prospective clients, don’t try to be clever. Don’t use titles that no one understands, or that are so vague it could mean anything.
What you are building here is something called your “foundational message” – it’s the foundation upon which your business is built.
Here’s a key point to remember: People will only buy when they feel understood, not when you understand them. The point of your foundational message is to help your clients feel completely and totally understood.
Remember that a confused mind never buys, so removing ANY confusion from your prospective client is critical to creating a never-ending stream of business.
Is your messaging crystal clear and understandable for your ideal clients?
If you want to know more about ways you can obtain more coaching clients, you can join the NeverEnding Clients Community and connect with coaches who are scaling too.