How do you feel about marketing yourself to prospective coaching clients?
Comfortable? Assured? Positive? Confident?
Or are you (even a little) nervous, uneasy, hesitant, uncertain…?
Whether it’s a 1-to-1 pitch, a Zoom call, or recording persuasive content to camera, if you’re feeling any of the latter emotions, you have company. Most people don’t like the idea of putting themselves, or their business, out there. It often feels daunting to explain or justify what you do… especially in front of a camera!
If you feel in need of more confidence when selling and marketing yourself, read on for three practical steps that will help you put yourself out there and feel better about doing so.
4 common confidence-sapping misconceptions
Whatever the root cause of your lack of confidence, at root I’m willing to bet it’s driven by one of the following underlying attitudes:
- “No one wants to hear what I’ve got to say.”
- “I don’t have anything interesting to say.”
- “Everyone already knows what I know/do.”
- “What I do is so obvious/simple, I shouldn’t need to explain it.”
Any version of these beliefs will hold you back from putting yourself out there and pitching your business to prospective coachees.
The reality is that what you do is pretty sophisticated (even if you can explain it simply), your clients don’t have your knowledge and expertise, and if they’re in need of coaching services, what you have to say is interesting.
Whether they’re having a conversation with you, or just clicked PLAY on a video clip on your website, then they clearly want to hear what you have to say.
The thing to bear in mind is that more and more, people buy people. By which I mean it’s the person (you!) who makes the sale. And that means that people who put themselves out there have the advantage. In a world where so many people believe the four statements above, just showing up with some confidence makes a difference.
Getting to know you…
That ‘people buy people’ point is especially true of coaching. You’re pitching a service that includes — let’s be honest, is based on — building a relationship with the client. Before they commit to working so closely with you, your potential client naturally wants to get to know you. Who is this person that they’ll be sharing their personal goals and ambitions (and barriers and weaknesses) with?
So, you have to give people a way to get to know you before you ask them to buy.
The average person spends a total of seven hours researching and thinking about a major purchase. For most people, coaching is a major purchase and often involves a significant shift of mindset (‘asking for help’ doesn’t come easy to most of us).
During these seven hours, whether they realise it or not, they’re looking for someone who can help shift that mindset. These days, they’ll likely be online, checking options, reviews and recommendations via websites, YouTube, podcasts and social media (all places you can have a confident presence). They’re hoping to motivate themselves to make the leap from This is something I want to work on to I am going to work on this.
Really, this ‘putting yourself out there’ isn’t about selling. It’s not about bragging about your offer. It’s not about you telling people things they already know.
It’s about being present where they can find you, and then using your conversation or content to show them who you are and that you can guide them to the outcome they’re looking for.
3 steps to inspire confidence
If you’re going to feel more confident about putting yourself out there, you need to reframe how you think about these interactions with potential clients. Namely, remember it’s not about you, it’s about them.
You don’t need to swoop in and wow them with your awesomeness, you just need to demonstrate you can understand where they are and can guide them to where they want or need to be.
How to do that? Here are three things you can do to help reframe your approach:
1) Think about the three most common things your clients think or believe are holding them back.
2) Think about what you would say to someone who was thinking these things to help them see their situation more positively.
3) Think about someone who has been in that same situation, worked with you, and has now got the outcome they wanted.
These answers will give you the best start to create content and hone your online presence and persona. You can take these answers and write a blog post, make a video, record a podcast… Best of all, approached like this, it feels more like having a conversation with a client and not ‘creating content’. Naturally, these three questions will also help you work on how you come across in person with prospective clients.
But… “I really don’t want to be on camera.”
You don’t have to be. There are plenty of ways to present yourself confidently and you don’t have to start with making your own business videos!
For example, how about a blog post, sincerely written and shared with your network via LinkedIn or Medium?
You can use that as a stepping stone to presenting that blog content verbally for a podcast. You could discuss the blog post with someone via Zoom and record the call (a conversation can come across as more natural-sounding).
And when that goes well, try presenting the content to camera and make a short video (it’s not obligatory to get fancy — a simple ‘talking head’ style can work brilliantly).
There are lots of ways to put yourself out there. Start with the ones you feel comfortable with and that comfort zone will soon expand.
The only thing holding you back, is you
Your potential clients are out there searching for knowledge, opinion, process and guidance.
You have what they need but they won’t know that unless you’re out there to be found. And if you’re not, someone else will be.
Get yourself out there using authentic content. Focus on the client and what they need, and show them that you can support them to achieve it.
If this blog has got you thinking and inspired you to put yourself out there then we think you’d get a lot out of our coaching community. We’re creating a space for coaches to come together, learn, share and collaborate as they grow their coaching business. You can join the waitlist to be the first to know when to ‘doors’ open.