‘I know a coach who has loads of work, and she told me that she’s never had an ideal client’. This is a something said by a coach with whom I had with a conversation recently. Andrew is struggling to get clients, and so found his way into a telephone chat with me about what he wants to do, and how The Coaching Revolution might be able to help him.
‘That’s great’ I said in response to his statement, ‘so why haven’t you just done what she did?’
Andrew told me that he didn’t have the same ‘little black book’ of contacts that this coach had, so it wasn’t possible for him to use her marketing techniques. He asked about our business development process which I described as the following:
- Work out who is most likely to benefit from your coaching (your ideal client)
- Create a unique marketing message, especially for that kind of client, in which you describe the benefit to them of working with you
- Find them, both on and off line and deliver your message where they are
Andrew was at pains to tell me that his coaching was suitable for anyone. He didn’t want to be pinned to a particular kind of client, he wanted to help the whole world.
Marketing To Everyone Is Futile
At this point, I explained that our business development process was a marketing process. What I mean by that, was that the process I have described above is about generating inbound enquiries.
A coach can actually coach anyone who approaches them and asks them for coaching, irrespective of whether they fit the ideal client profile, but – especially to start with – this kind of client is incredibly rare.
You Just Can’t Market To ‘Anyone Who….’
Marketing designed by coaches for ‘anyone who’, tends to use language like ‘limiting beliefs’, ‘mental barriers’ and ‘I can help you reach your goals’ and the sad fact is that no one cares about those things. Limiting beliefs are invisible to those who have them; they are simply perceived as the truth. If individuals don’t understand that everyone (including them) has limiting beliefs, then they will assume that you’re not talking about them at all and will scroll past your best efforts.
It’s no coincidence that coaches who just post optimistic quotes and memes are the ones with few – if any – clients.
Your Resources Are Limited – Use Them Wisely
Coaches have limited resources. Those resources are time, energy and money. It makes far more sense to use all wisely and focus your marketing at a group of people who have a specific problem, that your coaching can help to resolve.
This equation is not true: Coaching qualification = paying clients
This one is: Targeted and focused marketing = paying clients
I Don’t Believe The Ideal Client Thing
Andrew doesn’t believe in what we teach. Without any experience of having built a business, or business acumen, he feels that his intention to work with ‘anyone who’, will bring him better results than our process.
Fortunately for our mentees, we have extensive experience of having built businesses of all kinds, as well as coaching businesses. Between our mentors, we have decades of business acumen. We’ve made almost all the mistakes it’s possible to make, so our mentees don’t have to.
I wish Andrew luck, and look forward to talking to him again in the future.