I was recently listening to an interview with my colleague Bill Baren. He was speaking about how central niche is to getting new clients and he laid out his five step system to getting new clients. It struck me how similar it was to what I’ve done and to the pattern I’ve seen with so very many of my colleagues (e.g. Mark Silver, George Kao, George Huang etc.)
Five Steps to Getting More Clients
You must all of these five steps. Bill points out that each of these steps is like a stop at a train station. But if you try to skip the step it’s like you get stuck at that station until you do it.
1) Identify who you serve and what results you offer them.
Identifying who you want to reach is always the first step.
Perhaps you’re a Life Purpose Coach focused on professional women who’ve lost a sense of purpose and have lost their energy because of that.
Perhaps you’re a meditation teacher who focuses on people who are depressed and helps them find joy and peace in their lives again.
Maybe you’re a yoga teacher who really focuses on the activist community and helps them deal with the overwhelm and burnout they feel.
Maybe you’re a money counselor who helps single dads get back on their feet again after a divorce.
Whatever it is, choose something.
2) Create your compelling packages.
This is a vital step that so many people miss.
Most people have misdirected drive in their marketing. The drive is to ‘get their name out there’.
Let that go as the drive. Make your focus, ‘How can I sustain myself while sustaining the community’.
Before you do any outreach you really want to think about your container. Before people find you – you want to ask yourself, ‘And what happens when they do?’
I’ve seen people do lots of intro events and talks only to have people clap politely (even standing ovations) and they end up with no clients. I’ve seen people get tonnes of media exposure and PR . . . and still be clientless.
Keep your eye on the ball. You want clients who are a fit.
And you don’t just want them for one session. Or two. You want long term clients.
But the critical mistake that most people make here is to book people in for one session. And then to (maybe) offer them another session and then (maybe) offer them another session etc.
This is so much work. And it’s not much money. And people often don’t even get the results they came for.
What if you created a package of multiple session (and perhaps through in some products, live workshops, teleseminars etc.) that could really help people make the journey?
What if you created a contract for a whole year of coaching?
What if you offered an ongoing monthly contract that they could stop at any time?
What if you offered them a 90 day program? A ten session package?
You might be thinking, ‘Nobody would go for that. Or they’d be offended.’
You’d be wrong.
In fact, many will say, ‘yes’ (if you share it in the right way) and most will be so thankful.
- Life Purpose Coach creates a year long coaching program, “Life Purpose Breakthrough Program: Seven Steps to Creating a Life of Power, Purpose and Passion.”
- The meditation teacher for depressed people creates a 9 month program called, “Healing from the Darkness: A Nine Month Program to Transforming Depression into Peace, Strength and a Gift to the Community.”
- The yoga teacher for activists creates an ongoing monthly program called, “Occupy the Present: A monthly program for becoming a more powerful, resilient and loving force for positive change.”
- The money counselor for single dads creates a program called, “The New Life Program: A year long program for single dads to make their finances a source of pride and strength”
- I created my Niching for Hippies program: A Six Week Virtual Course on How You Can Make More Money, Get More Clients and Work Less by Figuring Out Your Niche
- Bill Baren created his Master of Enrollment program on how you can get all the clients you want without doing any selling.
Most of these are all off the top of my head, but they’ll give you an idea.
And then you can charge a good amount for these – enough to make sure you don’t resent the time. An amount that feels genuinely wonderful and has you excited about doing it and being fully present with the people who are hiring you. Stop offering a single session. When it feels like a fit offer a more complete package. You’ll be shocked how many people say yes and are excited.
But before offering it – just design it.
Talk to people in your niche. What would they want in this kind of a package? What would help them more than anything? Create a package you’re proud of. If you’re niching around your wounds – then create the package that you wish you’d had when you were going through the troubles.
You might consider having a bronze, silver and gold level of the packages so people can opt in at the level that feels right for them.
3) Creating opportunities to reach people in your tribe.
But no one in your niche knows about it yet. So, you’ve got to let them know somehow. You’ve got to make it really easy for them to find you.
And there are plenty of ways to do that: there’s writing articles, PR, online video, blogging, speaking, being interviewed, networking, hosting events etc. And they can all work.
But, let’s focus on speaking since it’s one of the easiest ways.
You create an introductory talk that gives people a genuine taste of what you have to offer. It gives them a strong sense of:
- why the topic matters so much
- your story of how you came to it
- your point of view on it
- some case studies and examples of people you’ve helped
This kind of presentation gives them a chance to raise their hand and say they’re interested.
- Life Purpose Coach creates a presentation called “Create a Career you Love” and delivers it to groups of professional women
- The meditation teacher for depressed creates a presentation called, “Happy Again: The Seven Reasons We Get Depressed and How To Turn them Around.”
- The yoga teacher for activists creates a presentation called, “The Sustainable Activist” and delivers it at activist events and conferences.
- The money counselor for single dads creates a program called, “Cleaning House: The Three Biggest Blunders Single Dads Make That Keep Their Finances an Embarrassing Mess”
- I created my Niching 101 for Hippies: A Ninety Minute Webinar on How You Can Make More Money, Get More Clients and Work Less by Figuring Out Your Niche
- Bill Baren created his program called: How To Enroll New High-Paying Clients Without Doing Any “Selling” (So that your ideal clients say “YES” to gladly investing in your services, ANYTIME, ANYWHERE!)
4) Offer them an initial consultation.
During your presentation, offer them a free, thirty minute, initial consultation.
It’s a sort of discovery session where you’ll both find out if it’s a fit to work together and they’ll get some help.
- Life Purpose Coach names her session “The 30 minute ‘Discover Your Life Purpose’ discovery session” and delivers it to groups of professional women
- The meditation teacher for depressed people names the session, “The 30 minute ‘Identify the Roots of Your Sadness’ discovery session.”
- The yoga teacher for activists names the session, “The 30 minute ‘Burnout Be Gone’ discovery session.”
- The money counselor for single dads names the session, “The 30 minute “Clean Up Your Money Mess” discovery session”
- I’ve offered a thirty minute session called, “The Hilltop Sessions: step back and get perspective on where you’re at with your marketing.”
A portion of the people who hear your talk and resonate with what you have to say, will take you up on this consultation.
And then, you will book times to speak with them and do it.
5) Powerful consultation where you enroll people into your program.
If you do this right, you’ll have them asking you at the end to tell you about what services you offer that could help them.
But beware of making the Three Classic Blunders most people do in these initial consultations. The goal of the session is for both of you to see if it might be a fit to work together further. Can you help them? Do they want to be helped by you?
And during the session here’s the basic flow you want to go through:
1) Where do you want to be? What is the result they’re craving?
2) Where are they now? What’s it like being them right now?
3) What do they see is in the gap between where they are and where they want to be?
4) If it genuinely feels like a fit, offer them the package.
Do these five steps and you will get clients.
THREE KEY LESSONS HERE:
- LESSON #1: NICHE - But . . . notice how these steps all hinge on step #1. The niche. If you don’t have that figured out, all the other steps fall flat. But, with a solid niche you might just be shocked at how well this all works.
- LESSON #2: NO PACKAGES = YOU GO BROKE. If you remove step two, then it turns into you doing a bunch of presentations (for free) and then offering a follow up consultation (for free) and maybe getting people in for a few sessions. Having the packages crafted and designed in advance turns this whole model from one of struggle to one where you can create a lot of income fast.
- LESSON #3: NO SESSION = NO PACKAGE. If you do a 45 minute talk and try to pitch them on your $1500/month package . . . good luck with that. It’s likely too much too soon without enough trust. The consultation is vital.
If you’d like some more direct guidance and hand holding on figuring out your niche then go and check out my Niching for Hippies coaching program
If you want more help figuring out a non-gross and non-awkward approach to selling then check out my Heart of Selling Interview with Mark Silver