03 August 2009

Do You Have to Sell Yourself to Succeed?

A lot of advice for coaches, counselors, and naturopathic doctors revolves around collecting lots of business cards, telling everyone you know you're in practice, and asking for their referrals.

Once you've done that, this extroverted approach says, you have to follow up with everyone and tell them again.

Pardon me, but UGH!

For those with a more introverted personality who might rather eat worms than promote themselves in such outgoing ways, I'd like to offer another set of activities that work especially well for us.

1. Develop a client-centered website with lots of helpful tips for the problems your niche market struggles with. Make sure the site is 80% about them, and only 20% about you. Have a way for people to pre-pay for an appointment or package on your website.

2. Develop a signature presentation topic, in multiple lengths and formats that offers a solution to your niche market's biggest, most desperate problem, and demonstrate your skills as part of the presentation. Approach potential allied professionals and networking/ professional groups who are your niche or who worked with those who are, and offer to be the speaker at one of their meetings.

3. Find an online forum where your niche market turns to when they seek help, and become an active helper. Become their go-to person on your specialty topic.

4. Start a meetup group, host a coaching tele-group, or offer your services to meet a need in an already formed group.

5. Blog daily, or nearly, on topics and powerful questions you'd ask ideal clients in person.

6. Learn to interact with your niche using Facebook and Twitter.

7. Write an emotionally compelling marketing message about your client, not about you, and not about explaining coaching.

8. Don't give away free services, but do give well timed and well placed perspective shifting questions freely -- these are the best intro to your work and the most intriguing taste of your value, while also providing something of immediate value to prospective clients. It leaves people wanting more, and feeling just fine with paying you.


Dania Dbaibo Darwish: said...

You continue to impress me Deah. I read Jennifer's suggestions on the discussion board & I liked it. Until I read your reply & liked it even better. I don't know how to categorize myself (introvert or extrovert). I feel I'm equally both depending on the situation. I guess I'll use a mix of both strategies to promote my services:)

Coach Deah said...

Dania, it's certainly possible to have traits of both where one or the other is more prominent, depending on the circumstances. You're lucky, then, in terms of marketing that you can access both "energies".

Dlapedis said...

Deah, I appreciate your suggestions. As I begin to develop a marketing strategy to help launch my practice in the fall, your posting will be of great value.

I think it really depends on how you enjoy communicating. If you get traffic to your website, you really have to demonstrate clear value to get people intrigued and have strong navigation to draw them to a free intro call or teleclass.

Coach Deah said...

Yes indeed, enjoying direct communication is so important in client attraction for solopreneurs.

Niche marketing is all about creating conversation, speaking to your prospective clients' experience of the impact of a problem on their lives, and want they want instead. Anything else is just a recitation of our "process", which rarely builds the emotional connection that helps them want to work with us.