Friday, March 22, 2013

Converting interested prospects into coaching clients

Posted on Friday, March 22, 2013 by International Coach Federation

As coaches in business we will spend the majority of our time “marketing” (yes even when you are an established coach). To leverage your marketing efforts you want to ensure you have captured contact information.

Once you’ve attracted someone’s attention and captured their contact info, you’re in position to seal the deal – by converting interested prospects into committed clients.

No matter what kind of marketing activities you’re doing – online marketing, speaking, networking, or something else – the goal is to create your community (through your blogs, social media, weekly newsletter etc) and steer people toward a complimentary coaching session.

Before jumping into how coaches specifically can create community, it is helpful to look at how other local businesses are successful. For this example we have chosen local bakery and brand name, Terra Breads. Terra Breads was one of Vancouver’s first artisan bakeries, they have a strong commitment to community and authentic artisan baking remains stronger than ever. They operate four bakery locations around Vancouver. So, how do they garner a community?

First, let’s look at what they do offline:

This screenshot from their website shows how many different existing communities they get involved with. Helping other communities is a great way to introduce yourself into the right circles and start to get your name out there. Depending on what kind of coach you are will make a difference with what existing local communities you can start to penetrate. For instance, if you are a life coach who has experience in personal finance, then making yourself known and offering some hours at the local nonprofit credit counselling service is a great way to meet new people within your community.

Let’s turn our attention to online marketing. Terra Breads have an easy to navigate, well branded and informative website. It tells the visitor everything about artisan breads, shows the visitor some rich media in the form of photos and gives great detail about Terra Bread's story. This on its own is not enough to garner community; however it is imperative to facilitating an online following. Without a central place to find information, how will people find you? Terra Breads also run a Facebook Page and Twitter Feed to keep their followers up to date on company news, local events and promotional offers. It is important to notice that they do not just talk about themselves on social media, they share and comment on other companies Page's in their community (see below). For coaches this means getting online friendly with your local ICF Chapter, nonprofit organizations and other relevant businesses to your type of coaching.

Now for some coach specific points; this is the lynchpin of the marketing process, and there are a few ways to work it.
  • At regular intervals, invite the prospect to contact you and inquire about coaching options. (Have your tiered menu of offerings and new-client package ready).
  • Periodically let your list of prospects know that there is an opportunity for them to get the support they need to move ahead. (“I have three new spaces open in my practice at this time. If you’d like to see if coaching is for you, I’m offering a complimentary coaching session to anyone who may be interested in exploring new ways to get what you really want”).
Another pathway into your practice is to enrol people in a group program. Often, this eliminates the need for a complimentary coaching session. (“In two months, I will be starting a 10-week tele-class series, and the first 10 people to sign up will get to register for half price”).
A word to the wise: As you nurture leads and aim to convert prospects, be sure that the majority of your messages are value driven, not promotional. If you’re consistently delivering value in short, bite-sized pieces, people will stay on your list. If you’re too heavy handed with promotional messages, your prospects will soon abandon ship. So be sure you honor their interest and maintain their loyalty by consistently delivering more value than they ever expected.
Passion Into Profit Coach Challenge: Be consistent in sharing value with your community and be clear of your call to action strategy.
Teresia LaRocque MCC, is Director of Entrepreneurship and Business Building Mentor for the Erickson Business Center – at Erickson College International Teresia is a pioneer in the booming profession of personal coaching, the first recipient of the International Coach Federation’s Master Coach Credential in Canada and cofounder for the Vancouver International Coach Federation chapter. Teresia is committed to supporting coaches to take their talent and passion for coaching and make their entrepreneurial dreams come true. Teresia is the founder and facilitator of the Passion into Profit Program, a customized business building program offered through the Erickson Business Center.

1 comment:

  1. Great Stuff Teresia!
    Keep the ideas coming. You are in inspiration to coaches!


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