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7 Brilliant Women Share Their Best Advice on Creating Clients (Part 2)

7 Brilliant Women Share Their Best Advice on Creating Clients (Part 2)

[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.

www.allisoncrow.com

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.

www.heiditaylor.ca

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.

www.becomingwhoyouare.net

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.

www.liahberlioux.com

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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Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I’m learning about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

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7 Brilliant Women Share Their Best Advice on Creating Clients (Part 1)

7 Brilliant Women Share Their Best Advice on Creating Clients (Part 1)

[This is part 1 of a 2-part series on creating clients]

The first thing I would like to point out here is that this post refers to creating clients rather than attracting them. This is an important distinction. There are already a gazillion blog posts in existence that suggest that if we just have the perfect website, the perfect branding, the perfect Instagram feed, a punishing social media schedule (perfectly executed of course) and let’s not forget about the perfect mailing list and the perfect sales funnel, then we’ll instantly have mobs of raving fans beating down our door, thrusting their hard earned cash into our hands.

Let me tell you now that this isn’t one of those posts.

The impetus to curate this article came when a woman inside my business academy asked for my views on the best way to get more clients. I told her I would give her question some thought and get back to her. In my thinking, I realised that whilst I have created many clients and certainly have a view on the best way to go about this, I wanted to give this woman (and my wider audience) more than just my limited opinion on this highly important topic.

I had the idea to pull together an in-depth article that gathers some of the best and current strategies people are using to create more clients in their service-based businesses. I reached out to female business owners whose work I admire and/or whose business advice I myself have benefitted from. I wanted to find inspiring examples of strong women sharing their gifts and doing business with integrity, something I don’t think we see enough of.

The depth and quality of response that I received from the following 7 women, meant that one article would have topped 5000 words, so I’ve broken the information into a two-part series.

There is some real wisdom in this post around an important topic, so my suggestion to you is that before reading on, you grab your notebook and pen and make yourself a cup of your favourite hot beverage and settle in to learn some soulful yet strategic steps you can take to grow your client base with integrity.

Ashlie Woods is a Retreat Leader, Coach + Photographer who believes that we are infinitely powerful and inherently creative and helps people to know that truth in the most undeniable of ways so that they can embody it in every area of their lives.

www.ashliewoods.com

The most helpful thing I’ve done to create more clients has been to show up and share myself and my work in a visible way. Facebook lives and Instagram stories have been highly effective ways for me to connect with new viewers and engage people in conversation. This has allowed me to get a better sense of where my potential clients are, what they’re actually dealing with and what they need. This means I can better serve them and it also means I can refine my message to find potential clients faster in the future.

The misconception that I had about creating clients is that I needed to be able to explain my work in a way that they could understand it. This had me focus more on what I was doing than on the ways that I could potentially support them. Shifting my focus to listen for where they are and how I’m best able to serve them has made a huge difference in my ability to speak directly to them and make that connection.

Own what you do and the value it has for people and the world.

Stand in that knowing as you interact with people and be willing to share it with conviction and humility.

Appreciate that creating clients is a process that takes time and be patient and continue to nurture the relationships with attention and love. BE your work. Embody your message in a way that communicates it to anyone that meets you. Keep doing what you know to do with a faithful heart. All is coming. 

Molly Mandelberg supports coaches, healers, and emerging thought-leaders to expand their outreach, so they can connect with more people, and make more money with less time spent.

www.wildheartsriseup.com

The most helpful thing I’ve done to create more clients is build my following. (And learn how and when to offer my people the next step.) The big misconception I had about creating clients was the ‘If you build it they will come’ idea, and what I’ve found it that it actually takes a lot of showing up and being visible for anyone to really know what you do and what you’re offering. 

There are ways to do that with automation and lots of flow, but it also takes some setting-up-of-things for it to be easy. What makes that all a faster process of discovery is knowing who your people are and what they are most wanting. 

Start with the end results in mind. Give your people what they actually want. Pay attention to who is already showing up, asking for your support, AND what they are asking you for help with. Then build the things that will easily guide them down the first leg of that journey.

Whatever happens, ask big questions,

take bold action and remember that you are here for a reason. 

Helen McLaughlin is an action-oriented coach, writer, and artist who helps people take small steps toward their big (even not-so-big) dreams.

www.helenmclaughlin.com

The most helpful thing I’ve done to create more clients is to ask for referrals. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine referrals would be my biggest source of perfect-fit clients (because let’s face it: There’s absolutely a difference between clients and perfect-fit clients, and I’m always after the latter). When I first began my coaching business, I was under the impression that finding clients had to be harder than simply asking someone who already knows and trusts me to connect me with specific family, friends, and colleagues. For some reason, referrals seemed like the throwaway approach; perhaps cheating the system, certainly a last-ditch effort, and maybe even a little embarrassing (why couldn’t I find clients on my own?). Also, did I really know enough people who would be willing to make referrals for me?

It turns out, if you have any family at all (we’re talking distant cousins, even), a handful of friends from different periods of your life, or former coworkers with whom you recall working amiably—you’re in a fabulous position to ask for a few referrals. These people who are already in your life very likely ‘get’ you on a fundamental level and can articulate what it’s like to be around you, what you stand for, and how you make others feel; essentially, they can serve as ambassadors for you out in the world—and oftentimes they’ll do so happily, once asked. And while you can ask just about any acquaintance for a referral, I’ve found that asking the folks who know and love me and/or the folks I’ve already coached is best. There’s a personal relationship there, which means everyone’s more invested.

A misconception I had about creating clients was that the would-be clients had to initiate the relationship. I was terrified of being seen as pushy or aggressive—and, to me, outreach could be easily misinterpreted as pushiness or experienced as aggressive. If I waited until a prospective client contacted me, I’d know for sure that a connection was welcome, that I wasn’t alienating anyone. So in the early days of my business, I waited. And waited…and waited, expecting clients to come out of the woodwork and ask after my coaching services, maybe even hire me on the spot. Perhaps needless to say, that didn’t happen. I could’ve waited a lifetime (Look! I’m being so respectful!) and nothing much would’ve happened in my business—because business doesn’t result from waiting.

I realized it was on me to make the first move, to be a little bit bold in connecting with prospective clients.

What I’ve learned since is this:

A coaching conversation is a gift.

There’s nothing pushy or aggressive about offering up a gift to someone.

 

Anyone is free to decline my gift (and many have!) if it isn’t of interest. Likewise, anyone is free to accept my gift (and many have!). My only responsibility is to offer the gift—and to make sure that I’m doing so with a pure heart (in other words, I need to make sure my offer isn’t coming from a place of personal ego or neediness or attachment to a particular outcome). How my gift is or isn’t received isn’t up to me; I can’t know or control others’ interpretations of my offer. All I can do is recognize a place where I might be of service (or even where I suspect I can be of service), and extend a simple, “Would you like some help with that?” The rest falls on the other person! What a relief, right?

If I were helping someone just starting out to create more clients, here’s what else I would say to her: Offer gratis sessions constantly and shamelessly. Truly, this is the best way to 1. become a better coach, 2. learn about the kind of client whom you most enjoy coaching, 3. discover your niche or specialty, and 4. create paying clients. Challenge yourself to make five offers a day for a month. If you do that every Monday through Friday, you’ll have made 100 offers by the end of 30 days—and, chances are, you’ll have created a boatload of conversations…maybe even a handful of clients. Oh, and don’t forget: Just because someone doesn’t become a client immediately doesn’t mean she’ll never be a paying client. You’re playing the long game here. Relationship-building is paramount. Trust is essential. In three years’ time, you might find that all your paying clients are folks with whom you first connected back in these early days of offering up gratis or low-cost sessions. And through referrals, too, of course.

There is so much wisdom contained in these words and I find myself agreeing wholeheartedly with the advice given by these three talented and soul-led female business owners.

I built my business using many of the suggestions offered here. Offering complimentary coaching sessions, as Helen suggests, is the primary way that I built my own coaching practice from zero to fully booked over the course of my first year in business. I coached hundreds of people that year and several of those people became paying coaching clients and/or bought my other products and services. Some even became great friends!

I love what Molly says about building her following and then knowing how and when to offer people the next step. Such a simple strategy but one that is overlooked by many. If you’ve been working to build your following, the chances are that much of your audience is willing to take a next step with you. What often happens however, with entrepreneurs earlier on in their journey, is a resistance to offering that next step out of a fear of coming across as too pushy or of damaging the relationship. Here’s the thing though – knowing how and when to offer people the next step comes from trial and error – you need to do it and see what works and what doesn’t and above all you need to ask your people, what it is that they want from you.

If you’re feeling unsure about how to even build your following then I recommend that you take heed of Ashlie’s advice around being more visible. This is another area that I see new female business owners struggle with, as I did too. Allowing yourself to be more visible is definitely a journey and even if the idea of putting yourself out there terrifies you a little, persevere and maintain a growth mindset around it. I spent many years telling myself (and everyone else) that I couldn’t do video before I realised that it’s a skill I could practice and improve at. Now I make videos regularly.

Above all else, I want to encourage you not to simply read this post but to take notes of the ideas and strategies that resonate and most importantly to implement what you learn.

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. To read the second post in this series, click here. 

SIGN UP FOR MY SOULFUL STRATEGIES WEEKLY

Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I’m learning about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

If you want to receive the Soulful Strategies Weekly, simply share with me your name and email address below and you’ll start recieving emails right away.