Monday, August 24, 2015

Marketing matters




*Today's article comes to us from:
Ling Wong who specializes in coaching her clients to include all their big ideas into one cohesive message, nail the words that sell and design a plan to cut the busywork and do what matters. Visit http://business-soulwork.com/blog
Find Ling and grab her free "How to Find YOUR Winning Formula" Training Series at http://business-soulwork.com/ywf-free/

-- Marketing Matters --

A coaching client was nearing the end of her intensive program. We were at the stage to design a marketing plan for the next 6 months so she can cut the busywork and do what truly matters.

She is an experienced coach using a particular method. However, she has been "selling" the method in a very generalized manner without much focus. As a result, she had only been doing some workshops here and there for anyone and everyone who walked into the door, and never been able to funnel many of the participants into private clients and charge a premium for her services. Her pre-session assignment was to write down where she wants to be in 6 - 12 months. She came to the call empty-handed.

She felt paralyzed. She had these ideas that her goal "should" look a certain way - like, get 30 coaching clients, have a full practice, launch a blockbuster program, or earn $50k. She couldn't wrap her head around any of those. Not to mention whenever she thought of the "how" she froze. So I asked her, "what would you like to see happen in you being in your business in the next 6 months?" She told me she wanted to get a better sense of her ideal clients and the market. She wanted to gain more confidence by testing out her unique process on her new-found niche and clarity. She wanted to know that she has a solid footing.
Then she added... "but I don't know what I want in 6 months!"

I told her, she had exactly told me what she wanted - to gain a solid footing! The next question is - what does she need to know and what skills does she need to acquire, in order to get there.We created a plan to help her get a solid footing by knowing her market better, refining her offers and gaining more confidence through working with more clients.

"Progress" doesn't have to look like having 30 clients or making $15k a month. For my client, having a solid offering, getting great word-of-mouth, and gaining the confidence to build out her business is the exact progress she needs. Her plan takes into account her pace and where she is at right now. It is designed to help her test her process and build her confidence, while generating an income and getting testimonials by having a "pilot program" with a slightly lower price point (rather than giving away her services to people who may not be committed to doing the work.)

We mapped out her activities for the upcoming 6 months with HER in mind - in what way can she best utilize her strengths to attract new clients? Where are her ideal clients, and how is she going to communicate her relevance to them in a way that is congruent with her personality?

Finding marketing activities and promotional venues that are congruent with her personality turns out to be very important for this client who is an introvert and does a lot better in private conversations than in groups. First, we acknowledged that there is absolutely nothing wrong with her that the typical "networking" event is not her cup of tea, even though she has found her groove in conducting small group workshops.Then we mapped out how she can put herself in the path of her ideal clients using her strength (in this case, maybe a workshop) and quickly funnel them into one-on-one conversations that lead to the sales of her private program.

In a nutshell, here are the components she needs to put in place for the next few months:
  • Conduct conversations with those in her target market, which will inform the creation of her pilot program.
  • Create her pilot program (and set a cap or deadline for the special pricing to end.)
  • Brush up on her enrollment conversation skills.
  • Find local venues to conduct workshops or online "partners" (e.g. trade associations) through which she can offer a teleseminar or webinar.
  • Craft 1 to 3 signature talks to funnel potential clients into enrollment conversations.
  • Sell her 1:1 pilot program during the enrollment conversations.
Yes, there is website copy to write and list to build. Or a product to launch, or a book to write. But until she gets a solid footing, those can turn into busywork she can hide behind without really making an impact on her progress (i.e. getting clients and generating an income.) This may sound pretty simple - and that's the elegance of it. Now she only has to do a few things well to put herself on the fastest path to client, instead of having to do 29 things at a time - throwing spaghetti on the wall and hoping something would stick.

She can now focus on doing what matters - isn't that the ultimate goal of having a plan?b Unfortunately, when creating a "marketing plan", many get caught in the "how it should look like" instead of how it's going help you do want truly matters.

Look at your marketing activities and promotional tactics, and ask these questions:
  • Are they putting you in the path of your ideal clients? (Mastering Twitter ad may not be worth the ROI if your peeps are hanging out on Instagram.)
  • Are they congruent with the way you want to show up? If there is a misalignment and you are dragging your feet to do the work, your prospects can smell it from miles away.
  • Do they serve to put your strengths and superpowers in the spotlight? Being lost in the sea of mediocrity is not where your big bucks lie.
  • Are they giving you ample opportunities to demonstrate why you are relevant to helping your ideal clients solve their problems? You can be all smart and sophisticated, but unless you are relevant, they don't care.
  • Do they work with each other to present a coherent message and a holistic view of your personal brand? Or are you stitching together a bunch of "templates" that make you sound like a schizo from one platform to the next?
  • Are they meeting you where you are at in terms of where your business is, so you are not trying to run before you learn to walk? Trying to launch a group program before you have a responsive list and work out the kinks with private clients may not be the best use of your time.



Award-winning authors Dave and Lillian Brummet:

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