As life slowly returns to normal for many life coaches, the word normal is taken with a pinch of salt. With world plunging deeper and deeper into a recession it could be argued that a life coach is a nice to have which can easily be dispensed with. On the other hand and my stance is that at this difficult time, securing the services of a life coach is the perfect investment to get your clients back to excelling in their lives and pursuing those dreams which were temporarily put on ice whilst the virus gripped the earth.
However there’s is the stark reality. Many life coaches, themselves had perused their own dream of becoming a life coach. Many, if not all are or were self-employed but the sad reality is that as many clients decide they need to apportion their disposable income elsewhere many have dispensed with the services of their coach or NLP practitioner. Many find themselves with a now extremely small number of clients and some, none at all. For some life coaches, they need to search for alternative, more regular employment simply to pay their rent or mortgage or put food on the table.
In these dark days for the self-employed it is essential to not lose focus of what you love or loved to do (coaching) and look at new avenues to earn an income doing something you truly love. If you have built a successful coaching or NLP business, it is important not to give up fully. It may simply need a refocus. Reach out to a fellow life coach for inspiration, guidance and tips and tricks. Most successful entrepreneurs are also avid collaborators. Shift your mind set from one that people in your field are your competition. Shift it to people in your field are your colleagues. If you continue to strive towards and deliver excellence, clients will make their own choices as to which of your colleagues in the coaching arena they want to secure the services of. Get collaborating!
If clients have not resigned with your services post-Brexit and new clients are increasingly difficult to secure, this downtime may be the perfect opportunity to give attention to the aspects of your business that you may have neglected or forgotten about. Here are some suggestions;
Your Website. This is the shop face of your business. Your ‘online business card’ so-to-speak. Does this reflect what you offer? Is it up to date or still sporting old photos of you, tired content you produced a few years ago. If it’s not mobile responsive, make it so. If it’s not easy to navigate, make it so. Make what you offer stand out. People make a snap decision in you and your service. Make your website a fair reflection of the quality you offer.
Your business cards. This is a more tangible version of a website. Where your website is your online business card – this tangible little piece of cardboard should tick the same boxes. Does it reflect who you are and what you do and offer clients and easy and obvious way to contact you. If not, changing the look and feel of your business card is a great way to breathe great life into networking events or speaking opportunities you may have to give some of your cards out.
Networking events. I mentioned these a moment ago but they really are a great opportunity to get your face in front of potentially influential men or women. In turn they may give you access to their larger network. Use LinkedIn to communicate your service and what you offer and overcome any preconceived ideas that these are just free events. Consider it work – where the pay-off will come in securing some new clients.
Other social media channels. I mentioned LinkedIn. It is of course important to not overlook your social media presence. There has never been such a time, age or generation that we can connect with so many people and get so much content into the hands of other people to entice them to find out more. Make your content relevant, innovative, fun and shareable and you WILL see potential clients making contact with you! Use Facebook, Twitter and of course Instagram to communicate your message to others. Use sponsored post to gain an even greater reach and use automation tools such as Hootsuite to automate your content so that if you are way or on holidays – you remain in the forefront of potential clients minds.
Outreach. Reach out to clients or potential clients or businesses. Show that what you do and what you can offer them. Explain how you can bring value to them, their family, their business or their culture. Reach out and into new areas you have not considered working in. Schools, community groups, the prison service, the NHS, support groups, self-help groups.
What your customer wants. Whilst it’s important to explain what service you offer and how it can improve the lives of others, it’s important to 1st understand what the potential client or customer wants. You may discover that you need to tailor your offering to their needs and market yourself accordingly. This may give you room to expand your knowledge and enter new fields you had not considered previously.
Fees. Review how much you charge. Consider if you can keep your fees the same as they were pre-coronavirus pandemic. Look at the market. What kind of saturation is there? Have many life coaches decided to stop practicing yet the demand is as high as it was? Alternatively, has demand fallen away as people have less disposable income, yet the market place is still saturated by both qualified and unqualified life coaches and NLP practitioners? Based on these decisions you could look at moving your fees up or down. Alternatively to reducing your fees, consider what you could add on as a benefit. This could be a longer session for the same fee, a face to face session for the same fee as a skype session; you decide.
Alternative revue streams in keeping with your profession. It is worth considering other review streams. I don’t mean different kinds of work but ideas may include giving talks in community centres, offering your services up to the armed forces etc. For other revenue streams you may consider creating a life coach app, writing a book, developing a YouTube channel etc.
Excellence. Above all, continue to strive to deliver excellence. People will want to pay for the best. If you are offering the best you possibly can both individually and in the market place then clients will return. Even if you are not the best in the marketplace, collectively we will be raising the bar of quality for the whole life coach and NLP practitioner industry.
Good luck and feel free to share this post with fellow life coaches, NLP practitioner and in fact any self-employed person so they too can return to a level of normality as soon as possible.