By September 18, 2013 Read More →

Using The Internet To Attract New Clients

By Nicola Bird, Founder of JigsawBox.com

Nicola Bird smlMany coaches assume that most of their business is likely to come directly as a result of 1:1 coaching and from referrals. Whilst this is always the best form of new business generation, there is much to be said about the potential of the internet when it comes to lead generation.

I am still surprised at how many coaches aren’t tapping into the benefits of virtual coaching.

For me, the move to online coaching literally transformed my business overnight as one of my first product promotions resulted in $24,000 of sales, the majority of which were a passive revenue stream for me. I am not alone in my experiences either. There are many coaches out there making impressive revenues by selling their services online.

The great thing about it is that it applies to any type of coaching and training, not just the traditional personal or professional development coaching. A great example is a personal fitness instructor I know who made thousands from selling an online fitness bootcamp, containing content she had created years before, but had never found a way to utilise properly. What I love about that particular story is that it was simply creating additional revenue from what she already had in place. Additionally, it was a completely new market that was opened up for her and one which she’d never really thought about before. It meant that she could reach clients that she just physically hadn’t been able to do before, as location and time zones were no longer a barrier to accessing her expertise.

 

Steps To Boosting Your Business Online

1. Your Website

The first step to maximising your potential online is to consider your website. This covers the entire spectrum, from overall design and flow of copy to ease of navigation through the site, SEO and general searchability. It is worth speaking with an expert to review your website and ensure you have the right platform to begin broadcasting your services to the world! Ensure you speak to a few different consultants or agencies and try to speak with previous clients or go by trusted referrals before agreeing to any work.

2. Your Proposition

The next step is to really think about how you can productise your expertise into products that people will buy. Whether that’s, ‘How to stop smoking’ or ‘How to become a great business leader’, the secret is to focus on topics that you are really good at or passionate about, as the material will be stronger and will help you stand out and sell more.

The key is to get really clear on who you’re trying to help and what solution you’re trying to offer them. A lot of coaches in particular, have been trained to coach anyone on any topic. I actually believe that you need to have a really specific transformation that you help your clients achieve; teach your clients first and then coach them to apply what they’ve just learned, to help them get the results that they want.  So, teach them your subject matter that you really know, your process, your system that takes them from where they are right now, to where they want to be. The aim is to try and solve that problem that is keeping them awake at night.

3. Making Your Idea a Reality

Once you are clear about what you want to sell to your audience, you then need to build the programme and find a way to deliver it online in a cost effective and efficient way. There are many different online tools out there to help you get started with developing online coaching content and many offer free trials, so have a look around and see what works for you.

4. Reaching Your Audience

When your product is ready, the next step is to reach your audience! There are a number of ways in which to do this, from utilising social media to direct marketing, PR and partnership marketing.  Warm leads are invariably easier to convert than cold leads, so consider your existing database, previous prospects and clients as well as people who may act as advocates and promote your services to their customers, perhaps in return for a small commission fee.

If you are a little bit adventurous, you might want to try a new route to market. I love the story about my friend and successful coach David Key, who decided to productise his expertise in NLP last year and within a matter of months was changing the lives of thousands of people! So far, he’s sold $1.5 million worth of training courses and is expected to have in excess of 10,000 clients by the end of 2013.

Taking things online has enabled David’s coaching business to reach heights that he would never be able to reach using his old method involving postal orders. He wouldn’t be able to manage the clients brought about through Groupon, and he wouldn’t be able to start growing his business like he always wished. He does all this with free time and works to live rather than lives to work. It’s safe to say that David’s life has completely transformed, and he’s still only running his business from his office in his back garden in the countryside.

David was quoted last summer as saying: “Today, I watched the Olympics and replied to a few emails. This time last year, I would never have thought I’d be able to say that truthfully in the near future.”

So what’s next?

I’m sure you are reading this thinking, it can’t be that easy. It does take some thought to work out how to package up what you do, into products your clients actually want to buy, however, once you’ve made that first online sale, you can do it over and over again. I still love my 1:1 coaching as it brings me great fulfilment and helps to keep me challenged to develop my skills and experience. However, having more than one route to market and multiple revenue streams, means I get to live life the way I want to and that is absolutely priceless.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicola Bird is the founder of JigsawBox.com, an online subscription-based platform that helps coaches, consultants and trainers to package up their expertise and deliver it online. For more information visit www.jigsawbox.com.

With an MSc in Occupational Psychology and a diverse range of business experience, mother of three Nicola Bird went from earning $0 to over $500,000 online by mastering technology to transform her coaching business. Through JigsawBox.com, Nicola helps coaches, consultants and trainers to package up their expertise and deliver it online so that they can create more time, money and freedom to do the stuff they love.

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