Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Posted on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 by International Coach Federation
If developing and deepening interpersonal relationships comes easily to you, you can leverage this ability to take your business to the next level – and the next one after that! As they say, business IS relationships.
To create your community of raving fans and a nurturing circle of influence, begin by assessing the relationships you already have. Think of everyone from your best friend to your tax advisor. Think family, friends, clients, your list of 500, former colleagues and beyond. Which relationships could lend support to your business?
The next step is to look beyond your existing relationships and consciously create new ones.
1. Create your mastermind team. Masterminds are goldmines of opportunity, from strategies to support on so many levels, all in the spirit of, “How can we support each other in taking our business to the next level? I’ll rub your back; you rub mine.” Sometimes that means referring each other clients, but support can come in many packages. For example, when I launched a new Facebook fan page, my mastermind members not only liked it, they promoted it to all of their contacts. It was an effortless way to get exposure and referrals.
2. Develop strategic alliances with related groups. If you have expertise in a specific realm, you can leverage that expertise in collaboration with others who serve that realm. For example, Kevin had a long career as a golf club manager. When he moved into coaching, he leveraged his history to create a strategic alliance with the North American Golf Association, coaching people who hold jobs like he used to have. He writes articles for their monthly newsletter, and every time there's a conference, he's the speaker they call. This exposes his coaching practice to 3000 golf managers throughout North America. So think about your ideal clientele and the organizations or associations serve them, and then find a way to position yourself in a win-win situation.
3. Cross promote your way to a thriving practice. Do you know someone who works with your ideal clientele, but does something different? For example, let’s imagine you’re a productivity coach and you meet a professional organizer. Perhaps some of your clients could really use her services; and maybe some of her clients are an ideal fit for your business. You two could come up with an agreement and a set of incentives that work well for you both. Having a large online community really helps, so look for connections with an established network that they can promote you to. For example, let's say you offer your community a free conference call with the professional organizer. You interview her for tips and suggestions, and at the end, she gives your community a free gift or promotes a one-day workshop. In turn, she's does the same for you in her community. This is a win-win because it not only benefits you both, but it also adds value for your communities.
4. Become a corporation’s in-house coach. If you have a contact that works for corporation, and they don't yet have an in-house coach, that’s a great opportunity. Nearly every corporation is open to coaching.
5. If you know someone who has great exposure, like a keynote speaker, consider becoming their back-up coach. They may be speaking on a specific topic that's aligned with your specialty, where they may get in front of a large group of your ideal clients. You can take advantage of that if you develop the relationship and ask for it the opportunity.
Teresia LaRocque MCC, is the Director of Entrepreneurship and Business Building Mentor for the Erickson Business Center – www.ericksonbusinesscenter.com at Erickson College International www.erickson.edu. 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. She is the founder and facilitator of the Passion into Profit Program, a customized business building program for coaches and is committed to supporting coaches to take their talent and passion for coaching and make their entrepreneurial dreams come true.