One of the biggest heart-sink realisations for me when I’m talking to a coach is when they tell me that they’ve given up work in order to put themselves under pressure to succeed with their coaching business. (A quick caveat here is when someone’s position has been made redundant (or taken voluntary redundancy). They have a pot of money that can cushion them financially until they start to generate income from their business – that doesn’t make me worry).

Building a business, particularly a coaching business, happens one client at a time in the beginning. Gaining traction with your target audience takes time because marketing is a process, not an event. Until your potential clients have become aware that you exist, become interested in what you have to say and decided that you’re someone they want to know more about, a potential client won’t book into your diary for a conversation.

Know, Like, Trust

The old adage that someone has to know, like and trust you before they spend money with you is an adage for a reason – it’s true! Building that knowledge, becoming likeable and engendering trust takes time, and when I say time, think months, not days.

I get really cross about these ‘gurus’. You know the ones. They hop into LinkedIn inboxes and promise the earth (in terms of clients) in a fascinatingly short time: Six-figure business in 90 days! That kind of nonsense.

Can you begin to engage clients in 90 days? Well potentially, but it depends entirely upon to whom you’re marketing. If you’re marketing to corporates for example, then the chances of an initial engagement with someone in 90 days are small. Can you make 6 figures in 90 days? No – not realistically, not unless you’re one of those coaches with a little black book (and monetiseable credibility)

Do I promise that Coaching Revolution mentees will engage clients in the first few months? No, I don’t. It can take that long to get your target audience chosen and your marketing message clear and so it makes me mad when these gurus do. I can however reassure everyone that the marketing process, like the coaching process, always works if the appropriate time and actions are put into play.

One Client At A Time

The way to build a sustainable coaching business is to do it one client at a time. Generating inbound enquiries is a skill and like all skills it takes time to master. As time goes on, you learn more and more about your target audience from the conversations you have with those people who fit within it. Clients come more quickly as time goes on, and often, lots of opportunities will come along that you never imagined. The kind of things I’m talking about are speaking opportunities, workshop opportunities, group coaching opportunities etc.

The secret to marketing – which isn’t a secret at all of course – is consistency. Consistency with your message, consistency with your visibility and consistency with what you offer.

Succeed In Business…

If you’d like to learn the initial stages of this process for free, may I invite you to join our 4-Day Challenge? It starts on 17 April, it’s designed for qualified coaches (or those who are taking a qualification). It’s designed to get you to the starting point of comfortable, effective marketing. Yes, everything is recorded and you’ll be sent it in a daily round-up email each day. You can join us by clicking here.

Here are some comments from qualified coaches who attended previous challenges.