“The definition of great content is not the content that makes the most sales, but the content that people most want to share with others.” Write content that your target audience find relevant and engaging and want to share with others.
Another new feature that is not really known is the unpublished posts. These are used to target specific groups – you can send relevant, targeted posts to different groups, even if they’re not fans of your page yet.
Best tools: Advanced Search, Published Content, LinkedIn Groups and Trending Content Tool
Linked In is your professional self, online – it already has great features to allow you to find people and companies based on industry, location, past employer and education provider. With LinkedIn Premium, you can advance your level to Advanced Search to target specific people and companies. What clients do you want – Fortune 500 executives? With LinkedIn Premium you can do just this – and contact them directly through a Direct Mail to their inbox.
Publishing Platform: This used to only be available to the likes of Oprah and Richard Branson – it’s currently being rolled out so all members can have access.
By publishing quality content you can position yourself as a thought leader to drive leads. Published posts become a part of your professional Linked In profile, and are shared with your network, and allow others to follow you who are not in your network, increasing your influence as your new content then appears directly in their LinkedIn news feeds.
Leverage Groups: Join groups relevant to your industry and expertise. This includes searching groups where your potential clients are at – providing you can add value to these groups. Share good content and ask opinions of others.
Still don’t know what to write about? Use the Trending Content Tool and search by categories to see what people are talking about or interested in.
Build a loyal following by searching for your audience. Utilize the search option – search for conversations or groups you are interested in, then jump into the conversation and give what you have.
“Twitter is a cocktail party. How do you become really good at a cocktail party? You show up, you go into a circle, you start talking. If you are a listener and you actually add something to the conversation, we become friends.”
If your target audience has questions, answer those questions with your coach wisdom. Provide value. By doing this again and again you will gain trust and be known as the expertise in your field and you will start to gain a following who will listen to what you have to say.
Gary’s social media formula:
Content + Context = Relationships
- Work on your content – make sure it’s of high quality and easy to understand
Again, look at the content you’re creating and putting out there. Is it easy to understand? Build a brand that’s easy to talk about and easy to share. Get to the core of your message so that anyone can understand it or communicate it, especially your target audience.
Work on a marketing strategy that makes it easy for your current clients to share and your prospective clients to draw attention to. Use your content to draw repeating clients to come back and follow you, and challenge them by imparting ideas and experience so they are fully engaged and want to hear more. This builds your subscriber list and allows you to get in front of them many times and the more people that know you offer help, the more potential clients you will get.
People will want to what is inside your head in a way that is tailored to their particular situation. The more in-demand that advice is, and the more people who know you offer help, the more customers you will get.
Make sure whatever you’re writing has these vital elements:
- A great first impression that presents you in a positive light.
- Content that is easy to understand and speaks to your target audience’s challenges.
- An effective subscription method that keeps them wanting more.
- Check your online and offline networks
Look at your existing networks. Is everyone aware of what you offer? Do your contacts in your personal and professional circles know what you do? For those of you who have transitioned from other careers or professions or are just starting out in coaching, it’s important that you make a formal announcement and let people know you’re there and you’re ready to go! I’ve heard so many coaches who have just finished their coaching course and they’re sitting around wondering why they don’t have any clients yet. That’s because nobody knows that it’s on offer, or worse, that you’re a coach! Whether you choose to announce the launch of ‘Coach You’ via an email blast to friends and family or use social media pages or put an advertisement in the local newspaper or community magazine, it’s important that when you do it, you’re prepared in your content and you do it effectively (see Points 5-7). If you haven’t already prepared your marketing material (which include your coaching website, any digital or physical flyers of special packages you offer, social media pages etc.)
Another way to make yourself more valuable to your clients is to become a source for everything they need to succeed. Develop a solid network of experts in related areas that you can refer and introduce whenever the need arises. By being the “go to” resource for your clients you become irreplaceable and ultimately highly referable.
Do this both offline (in real life) and online (if you’re not sure which online platforms to use, checkout Point 6 with my tips on how to best utilize social media). In addition to live networking coaching events, look at organisations and events that you could get involved and gain experience from being within a larger system. Which organisations work within areas of interest for you? Perhaps you could even do some volunteer coaching to get your name out there. Partner with associates in your business network and see what creative ways you could collaborate together.
- Collaborate with other coaches
Instead of looking at other coaches as competition, built your networks by creating formal ways to collaborate with them. Share ideas, interview each other and post on each other’s blogs, freely offer an experience of your products and services. A strong network is also a powerful business tool to use as a sounding board and social outlet, especially for the solo coach.
Peer Resources is a great website which lists a number of the world’s top Professional Coaching Organizations, Associations and Networks in the coaching industry. It explains the differences between the various categories (such as Support Networks and Coach Referral Services), outlines each organisation missions and benefits and even shares web traffic numbers for the organisation.
- Don’t stop there. Keep training your business habits!
It’s an ongoing process. Once you’ve developed all your systems and protocols and you get in the flow of things, don’t slack off. Be rigorous in your business work habits. Discipline those skills so they become part of your coaching routine. To do this you must have excellent time management skills.
Like any sole-trader, entrepreneur or business owner, you must keep yourself motivated even when things seem slow. In reality you will only be spending 30% of your time actually coaching and the rest of the time doing administrative work and business development. So train your good working habits along with your coaching skills and the combination of both will ensure a successful coaching business!
The Business and Practice of Coaching - Finding Your Niche, Making Money, and Attracting Ideal Clients - Lynn Grodzki and Wendy Allen (2005)
Starting and Running a Coaching Business: The complete guide to setting up and managing a coaching practice - Aryanne Oade (2009)
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