Are you starting an online business and looking to attract coaching or consulting clients? Today, I’m going to be talking about the top three mistakes keeping you stuck when trying to secure new clients, and what you can do to fix each one. After working with dozens of people starting an online business inside of my signature program, the Content Accelerator, these are the mistakes that I see new business owners making again and again.
Mistake #1: Not being clear on your perfect-fit client
Now, in my experience, this lack of clarity with new business owners comes from one simple reason. That reason is fear. As a new coach, consultant or business owner, you’re really worried about getting clients at the beginning stages. What a lot of newbies do is they start trying to attract everybody, because anyone could technically be a client. But what ends up happening when you try and attract everybody, is that you end up attracting nobody. Why? Because your ideal client (i.e. the person who you are aiming to attract) should inform all of your messaging.
Why nailing your messaging is vital when starting an online business
Your messaging is essentially how you talk about your offer, how you sell the offer and how you persuade others to buy it. Specifically, it’s to do with the way you talk about it. So the words and the language that you use. Messaging is what you use when you talk to clients, but also is what you’re using all of your online content and all of your social media.
What happens when the messaging is a little off or isn’t super clear, is that your ideal clients don’t know if you can actually help them. And without super clear messaging, they are not 100% sure that you are the person that’s going to solve their problem, and therefore they don’t buy. So getting crystal clear on who your “perfectly aligned client” is is really important right from the start, because that’s ultimately going to determine whether you actually secure clients.
If you are a little bit fuzzy on this, then here is how you fix it (and I like to think about it in very simple terms):
You, as a coach or consultant, are essentially solving a very specific problem for a specific person.
Have a think: who is that specific person that you help? That is your perfectly aligned or ideal client. A really good way to conceptualise and think about your ideal client is thinking about that one person that you would love to work with again and again. It’s not all the different people that you could possibly help. It’s just always having in mind that one person who you would love to have as a client over and over again. In order to communicate all of this, there are lots of different formulas you can use e.g:
I help (ideal client) to (result) without (pain point)
I help (ideal client) to (result) using (process)
You just want to make sure that when you talk about your offer, you’re essentially answering these questions in some way or another:
- Who can you help?
- What is the outcome or transformation that you help them with?
- What problem are you solving?
It doesn’t have to follow this exact formula here; you can have some sort of variation on it. But it’s really a good idea to include all of that in your messaging.
Mistake #2: Not leading with the outcome/selling the transformation
The next mistake is not leading with the outcome, or selling the transformation of your program. What a lot of new coaches and consultants do is when starting an online business is talk about the features of their offer. They talk about how many calls they get and how many hours they get, instead of actually selling the outcome or the transformation that the client is going to get from working with them. The reason why just talking about the features isn’t compelling enough is because we make emotional buying decisions. So what the human brain does is it makes an emotional decision to buy first, and then it tries to justify that decision with the logical reasons for buying.
What this means for you as a coach or consultant is that your clients are going to be sold on the outcome of your program before they even look at the features. So they’re going to make that emotional decision that they want that transformation, and that they want to work with you. Only then are they going to look at all of the logical reasons (all of the features of your program) in order to justify the decision they’ve just made. At this point, you might be thinking .. “Okay, that’s great. But how do I actually sell the transformation?”
How to sell “the transformation” in online consulting
The first thing I suggest you do is familiarise yourself with the buyers cycle, because this is really going to help you understand the psychology behind how we make buying decisions.
The next thing is to remember that if you’re a coach, consultant or expert, then you are in the business of change and impact. So what that means is that the people you’re selling to need to actually believe that what you’re selling is possible for them as well. The way you do that is through your content, as well as what you say on sales calls.
This is too much to dive into here, but if you want to understand what type of content you should be posting to convert followers into clients, check out this blog post here.
Mistake #3: Not making enough invitations
The next mistake is not making enough invitations or, in other words, giving up too soon! When you’re starting an online business, sales are the lifeblood of everything that you do.
The biggest reason that businesses fail in their first year (regardless of what business you’re in) is because of a lack of sales.
If you don’t have enough sales, then you simply can’t support yourself as the CEO, and the whole operation ceases to exist. You never actually have that impact that you wanted to have when you first set out to do this. So as you can see, sales are important.
Now what a lot of new entrepreneurs do is that they make the lack of sales mean something about them and their ability, and they give up on their business too soon. Whereas in reality, you just need to give it time and you need to build that momentum. Think about a rocket launch, for example. I
I read somewhere that around 90% of the energy required to send a rocket into space actually happens before the rocket takes off. It’s exactly the same in your business.
How to get momentum when starting an online business
So how do you get this momentum at the start? Well, you make invitations! Invitations are essentially you inviting someone in, and creating the opportunity for them to say yes to working with you. And then asking for the sale. When you just start out in business, this is going to be very hands on. So you’re likely going to be on social media, promoting your offer and inviting people in. As you grow and scale, it’s going to become more automated. So eventually, you won’t need to be actually extending those invitations yourself.
But if you’re here, you’re likely new. So ask yourself: how many invitations have you made in the past week? If you haven’t made any invitations, then don’t be surprised if you’re not getting any sales! The more invitations that you make or opportunities you create, the more sales are going to happen. As a new coach or consultant, you should be creating these opportunities daily.
Signing clients using Instagram Stories
If you’re on social media, I found that the best place to do that is on your Stories. These are a goldmine! Now if you’re a bit unsure about what to actually say on stories in order to attract clients, then I created these Instagram Stories Sales Frameworks specifically for you, if you’re starting an online business.
These are plug ‘n’ play frameworks that you can follow, which include scripts that tell you step by step what to say, so that you can secure clients on your Stories. Make sure you grab them! They’re completely free, and they’re going to completely transform the way you show up on Stories and talk about your offer.
Make sure to check out these blog posts as well: