There are only about 2000 companies in London that fit the description of the place that my ideal client works!
One of our mentees said this, he was horrified, he thought it was a recipe for certain failure.
The reason he’s wrong is this – he hasn’t thought about how many clients he wants to achieve the income he’s looking for.
This particular chap – Phil – coaches in the corporate environment. His ideal client is buried within quite a specialised industry. Phil was convinced that there being only 2000 companies that fit the criteria he was setting, meant that it was an impossibly small niche. He was hanging on to the cast your net wide theory of marketing, and it’s a mistake many make.
The way for Phil to look at this without quaking is to think about how many clients he actually needs.
Corporate clients are different from ‘individual’ coachees, in a couple of ways. One, that they aren’t paying for the coaching themselves, their company is paying. Tthe other being that the sums paid for coaching tend to be much (much!) higher.
Do The Math! (as the American’s say)
The maths is actually quite simple. Start with this question, how much do you want to earn each year? Accept the fact that it’s going to take you a few years to reach that particular goal. I believe that around three years is the average. Then work backwards from there.
Let me give you an example using ‘easy’ numbers.
Let’s say you want to earn £100,000 per year – that’s roughly $140,000 (USD) or €120,000 (EUR), or $190,000 (AUD).
First of all remember that what we’re talking about is a turnover figure for your company, not ‘pay’. To work it out using £100k as your actual pay, you’d need to figure out all your expenses – including tax – and go from there. However, for ease of maths, we’re going to stick with £100k turnover.
Phil has worked out that his coaching package includes 6 x coaching sessions for each participant and that for the companies in the niche that he’s chosen, there are likely to be 3 x participants from each client signed. His coaching package is priced at £20,000.
20k x 5 = 100k.
Phil needs to have 5 clients per year to meet his financial goal. 5 is 0.25% of 2000 (the number of companies in his niche).
The Numbers Work When Finding Clients
What that means is that there is theoretically 400 years’-worth of clients in the 2000 that exist for Phil’s numbers to work, and that’s just in London.
By focusing very carefully on marketing to those 2000 firms, Phil can position himself as the expert within his niche. By consistently marketing to this niche, and because he knows the niche inside out, he is speaking their language in everything that he says. He can become known as the go-to expert for the particular issue that he has chosen. They will understand that he ‘gets’ them. His marketing message will hit home every time. He already has people recognising themselves and/or their colleagues in the message he delivers.
One of the areas of resistance I’ve seen with corporate coaches is that they don’t want to become known as an expert in one particular area. They want to be able to coach in any area. Here’s the thing; the purpose of a niche and an ideal client with a particular problem to solve, is that it’s the ‘hook’ to get that kind of corporate client into a conversation. Having that conversation means that you are more likely to get the opportunity to submit a proposal for any coaching contract that may be available.
We as coaches all know that once you’re a couple of coaching conversations in, that all coaching is ‘real-life’ coaching. That the coachee may well begin their journey with you with what they perceive to be the problem, but that’s not where they will stay. Use that hook to give yourself the opportunity to have conversations about a particular problem and find out about corporate opportunities.
If anything I’ve written is resonating, and you are a coach who wants to work in the corporate sector, perhaps we should talk? This is my diary.