Networking can be an uncomfortable feat for many coaches entering their first few years in business. They’re intimidated by titles and worried decision-makers are unapproachable. In fact, making more connections means growing your coaching network and increasing your potential client outreach. Following up with your network not only warrants eventual contracts in the future, but it also keeps interested parties “in the loop.” As your coaching network begins to grow, your efforts will not go unnoticed. You can build your network by participating within local chapters and organizations, frequenting mixers and events, and even socially through sites such as Alignable and LinkedIn. While we have heard the cliché, “it’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know,” there is truth to the matter. Here are a few points to consider:
First, identify your network. Pay attention to who your audiences are and who is most interested in the services you offer. Realize the ways in which each audience member benefits from your brand. Utilizing DISC theory will allow you to understand the personality types your audience is comprised of, while value-based assessments will allow you to focus on what’s most important to their core being. Second, define the needs of your audience and seek to fulfill those needs through the services you provide. Utilize the hidden passions of people to predict their internal motivators and how they buy before you embark on your mission. Make sure your audience can easily envision the future under your tutelage.
Know who you are as a coach. Establish your niche as a subject matter expert. Become a leader who creates other leaders. Implement tactics to provide your clients with empowerment and the overall willingness to succeed.
Make small steps, as you want to get a feel for the public perception of you as a coach and to intimately understand your limitations while working under pressure. Acquire speaking engagements, speak to groups of all sizes and gain individual referrals. Find out what works with each group dynamic, make adjustments for what doesn’t.
Never undervalue your brand. Show the crowd your brand is worth every dollar as you provide them with a better service than that of your competition. Work daily to strengthen your brand and build up its value. Make sure your name holds power and rings credible. Obtain your credentials. Become recognized as an expert in your field. Repeat, yet again.
As you begin to build your reputation, your demand will grow while increasing your value. Don’t forget to plan ahead and never overpromise what you can’t deliver. You can keep your evangelists hailing praises by ensuring quality and satisfaction every step of the way. Those praises will help your brand continue to rise. As you plan for growth, you may need to duplicate your business model. Since you are the business, you are going to build your team. You are going to want to weed out those who do not share the same ideals as you, while finding those who share the same vision. Optimizing your team early in the hiring cycle ensures your team is positioned for greatness, while encouraging them to go above and beyond for your clientele.
The first step in being prepared is making sure you have an amazing elevator pitch. You want to tell prospective clientele who you are in a way they will remember. For the fast-paced, busy decision-makers who are probably a D-type, keep it brief at 30 seconds or less. For the C-Personality, give all facts and let them take their time to make a decision. Do you get the idea…? Use your knowledge in behavioral analysis and DISC to craft your pitch to fit the different personality styles in a way which will resonate best. In business, you will deal with many ups and downs. Be prepared for failure and to take responsibility for any failure you bring to others. Don’t get caught up in that failure, however. Most successful people, and especially coaches, will admit if they hadn’t taken risks, they wouldn’t have made it. Keep your approach to personality positive and borrow a few traits from the I-Style.
Fortify your business. Analyze what you are doing wrong. Learn what you are doing right. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. This not only shows you care, but it also shows you are working to continually improve individual experiences. Get to know your audience. Learn not only their personality types, but also their behaviors and motivations. This also means to understand interdisciplinary communication between personas and how each person reacts both under stress and within their immediate environment. Grow your credentials as you grow your database. In fact, we encourage you to check out ways PeopleKeys can help you build those credentials while building your business. PeopleKeys has a number of tools that can help you achieve your future goals and send you on your way!