[This is part 2 of a 2-part series on Creating Clients]
In this 2-part series I asked 7 brilliant women to share their best advice on how to create clients in an authentic, rooted in integrity way. In part 1 of this 2-part series on creating clients, we heard from Ashlie Woods, Molly Mandelberg and Helen McLaughlin about their best strategies for creating new clients for their business. To read about their strategies and to hear the back story to this series, click here.
As you’ve probably already gathered, there are a multitude of different strategies out there designed to help us get more clients and ultimately more money into our business. This series is a little different because we focus on creating clients rather than getting or attracting them. What lies beneath this simple distinction are a few subtle but powerful differences.
When I talk about creating clients, I’m talking about being proactive about cultivating deeper connections and relationships, rather than simply relying on clever marketing techniques designed to encourage people to click through to your business and buy. It’s a slower approach. It’s a more meaningful and service-driven approach and it’s what you’ll find details of in this post.
Allison Crow is a Better Life & Better Work Coach, an Irreverent Priestess, and Teacher. She helps people learn to follow the heart path in life and work, guided by their own inner wisdom and the Divine within.
Thus far, the most helpful thing I’ve done to create more clients has been showing up on a regular basis and contributing value to my audience (that also builds my audience), learning in front of other people, sharing authentically my heart and making invitations to work together. Face to face and voice to voice are the strongest for me. Either in person or LIVE video – being visible and valuable works.
I’m in the middle of a giant expensive experiment – and boy did I have a misconception about ADS. I’d heard of so many people who invested large sums in ads and made a huge profit. After watching from the sidelines and learning everything I could I hired a team to help me. And I invested a ton of money in the setup and in the ads. What I thought would happen is that once we launched I’d wake up to a flood of registrations and new clients and I’d make a return on the investment quickly. Like ALL things in this business, even creating clients with professional ads takes time, experimentation, tweaking, testing, adjusting, and reworking. My initial webinar sucked big time and so I’ve spent the last 3 days learning and reworking my brain because of all the doubt and the webinar because if I’m gonna spend this much, I’m freaking determined to get it good and right and working. It just takes more effort, time, and money than I thought. And, incidentally, in the time I’ve been trying my hand at paid marketing, I’ve created 7 clients organically and 2 by the ads.
If I were helping someone who was just starting out to create more clients, I would say:
practice, practice, practice. Experiment, give value beforehand. Grow your skills. Help someone so much they can’t resist working with you. If you actually help people, many will end up hiring you. And to get good at truly helping takes practice and time on task.
I’m 14 years in, and this week I’m re-surrendering my business to Spirit, re-surrendering my money goals to Spirit, thanking Spirit for what I do have, and becoming a beginner all over again. I am willing and excited, like a beginner, to learn, to rework, to adjust, to practice…and finally to make right aligned offers!
Heidi Taylor is a relational sales + business coach who helps talented, non-linear creatives learn how to sell in a relational way. To find some steadiness in their business and sales.
By far the most helpful thing I have done to create more clients is to reach out to potential clients and start a conversation instead of waiting to be invited in. Reaching out instead of waiting to be asked builds confidence and resiliency as a business owner. When you reach out you start to create the conditions for a sale to happen. I have found that sales happen when we get into relationships with the people who have a need we can help them find a solution for. Before I reach out, I do my homework, I make sure there is a natural connection I can point to or an insight I can share that will quickly earn the trust of the person I am connecting with. Once I reach out, I offer value/help/insight/ and as much truth as I can to help the person I am in a relationship with to succeed. I am not pitching a sale here, I am offering my expertise and extending an insight to support the person I am reaching out to. I am not trying to prove myself, offer my services, or show off my own expertise, it’s about helping someone else further their own cause.
These kinds of business relationships don’t just happen, you have to be intentional and aware as you scan Facebook, Instagram, in person, or anywhere else you spend your time in community.
Reaching out and offering insights to help someone else, starts the ball rolling and creates a relationship.
The goal is to stay engaged enough and to be consistent and helpful without expecting a sale to be the end result. Often it is, but not always, so, being aware of any motivations that might be lurking in behind the desire to help, is really important. No one likes to feel “sold to” but we do like help solving our struggles.
The best way to learn how to build business relationships is to start reaching out. You will make mistakes, you will learn, you will grow, and you will create clients as you go. One of the most important points I can make is this; business relationships are not usually the same as friendships, the clearer you are about the difference between the two the easier it is to give without expectation, and to receive without attachment. You may be friendly, but being friendly doesn’t differentiate you from all of the other friendly people in business. Sales happen when we reach outside of ourselves and offer something to someone who needs it, is asking for it, and who is able to receive it. Keep looking for people who want to receive what you have to offer. Don’t wait to “be found” go out and find someone you can share your work with, so you can create the conditions for a powerful business connection.
Hannah Braime is an author, coach and blogger who helps people to create a full and meaningful life with greater courage, compassion, and creativity.
The most helpful thing I’ve done to create more clients has been getting super clear on who I coach and how I can help them. Everyone says this is important and I resisted it for the longest time, but it’s true! Also, embracing the fact this piece evolves and being willing to let go and move on when it’s time. I now work with clients in a completely different area than the one I imagined when I started out.
A misconception I had about creating clients was that everyone is a potential client. Perhaps this is the case for some coaches, but I know I work much better with certain qualities and personality types than others.
Being willing to refer clients who are not a good fit so I can devote more time and energy to those who are has been key to growing and evolving my practice.
Again, I have found this to be something that develops with experience.
If I were helping someone who was just starting out to create more clients, I would invite them to coach as many people as possible to start with. Give yourself space and time to explore who you support best and how you best support them. Also remember what comes naturally and easily to you doesn’t necessarily do so for others. Your “secret sauce” and the ways in which you can make a difference to other people’s lives might be hiding in plain sight within something you do, think, or experience each day.
Liah Berlioux is a transformational coach who helps her clients weave the tapestry of their life just as they had hoped, according to their desires, passions, their gifts, their values, and their heart and soul.
The most helpful thing I’ve done to create more clients has been to reach out multiple times a week to people on Facebook (in FB groups that really interest me such as: yoga, meditation and on FB pages of people I love like Marie Forleo and Tony Robbins). The important thing to remember when reaching out is that it has to be genuine, what made you want to reach out to that person? Was it their photos of them traveling? Their inspirational posts? They grew up in the same town as you? They do something you love like sing or dance or paint etc? You can’t reach out to people just because they have a name and they’re a breathing human. Make a genuine connection with someone, who knows they may become a friend if not a client.
One misconception I had about creating clients was that I thought it had to be all about numbers, reaching out to lots of people to get sales (I did sales in my early 20s so this perception probably had something to do with that), it actually just has to be aligned, focused, and quality oriented. It really is true that the more you know who your soulmate clients are, the easier they find you and you find them. So think quality here more than quantity. This will avoid burnout and feeling soul-less as well.
If I were helping someone who was just starting out to create more clients, I would say to them:
“Breath, relax, have fun with it, remember each day why you’re doing this. What is your work going to be able to do for your clients? Get really emotionally charged and excited about that. Visualize what will happen as you work with your clients and the results they will get from working with you.
That is how you get pumped every day when you’re new and getting more and more clients. Especially if you don’t have testimonials yet. You’ll get there. Trust the process. Your work is needed in this world.”
There is so much wisdom shared in this post by these 4 brilliant and accomplished women and whilst there are various strategies outlined, a common theme of cultivating deeper relationships through service and the giving of value, free from expectation of getting the sale really stands out to me.
There is also an important lesson from Allison about testing and experimenting as well as combining organic and paid for strategies for client creation. All too often, we try things in our businesses and when we don’t see the results we were hoping for we feel disheartened and give up. Allison’s determination to figure it out shines through here and is an important example of how to succeed. She encourages us to practice, practice, practice and I couldn’t agree more.
Heidi makes an important point about reaching out to potential clients rather than waiting to be invited in. Often as women, we don’t want to appear pushy or intrusive but what I love about Heidi’s advice here is her focus on providing value and helping the other person to further their own cause. What a wonderful way to grow your business.
Hannah invites us to get super clear on which people are a fit for us and to be willing to let go of anyone who isn’t. I know from firsthand experience that this can feel challenging when we’re trying to grow our business but I’m with Hannah on this and have found that when I create more space for my ideal client by letting go of people who aren’t a fit, more of my ideal potential clients seem to magically appear.
And finally Leah reaffirms this approach of making genuine connections with our ideal client and makes an important point about quality over quantity in those approaches. She also makes a really lovely point about enjoying this process and having fun with it, something that can be easily forgotten when we’re in the midst of working on our businesses.
If you have any questions about the strategies outlined here, please don’t hesitate to write them in a comment below and if there is someone you know who would benefit from reading this article, please do share it.
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