The Self Promotion Game
We’ve all done this…
We set up a fancy website. We run an ad. We make and post videos and Like campaigns on our Facebook page. We go out and give a few lectures and presentations. We network. Then we sit back and wait for the hordes of prospective customers and clients to show up to sign up, visit our website, or call us.
Then? Maybe a few show up or express an interest. But usually they are “tire kickers” or people who just like to talk. At first you are excited they may buy, but then get disappointed when they don’t.
Suppose we put ourselves in front of lots of people? A few express interest. Then what…?
Nothing. No clients sign up. Or very few.
But why not? If we are “the best,” then why doesn’t God or Allah or the Law of Attraction send us dozens of paying prospects so that we can do our part to raise world consciousness and usher in the Age of Enlightenment?
If you have to ask this question, you are a victim of “magical thinking”…
It’s a Numbers Game
Contrary to popular belief, customers don’t show up just because you are the best life coach, consultant, therapist, plumber or architect. Or because you are throwing out “positive vibes into the universe” to attract them. They show up because
- They had a particular problem or need,
- They heard about you, and
- They trust that YOU are the only one who can solve their particular problem or need.
Each of these steps is part of an age-old sales formula called “The Funnel.” A funnel is simply a way of pouring a whole lot of prospects into the top (the wide part) and getting paid by your best customers or clients at the bottom (the narrow part).
A successful sales funnel is the most important thing you can add to your business, whether it be life coaching or plumbing. And the success of your sales funnel depends on only one thing throughout the entire process: Conversion.
How many prospects are you converting in each and every step? If you don’t know, then it may be time for you to learn. Otherwise you “business” is really only a hobby!
Based on most client needs, here are some basics that I hope will help you get – and keep – more clients and customers: 1) Find your ideal customers, 2) have a unique message, and 3) become the authority.
Step 1: Find Your Ideal Customers
Who are your ideal clients?
Male or Female? Young or middle aged? Where do they live?? These all determine whether or not you’ll be able to “convert” someone from a prospect to a client or customer!
If you are selling a weight loss product, it may be all women over the age of 35. If you are selling YouTube marketing or Online promotions, however, your market (or “niche”) is more narrow . . . probably any small business that obviously needs your services, i.e., those who are still running Yellow Page ads!
Ask those who might be your ideal clients. Survey them to find out what are their biggest problems or concerns. Ask them what they are looking for to solve these problems or concerns.
Once you know who your ideal customers are, you must then determine how many of them you can handle. This would determine your capacity for doing business. If you are a small service business and can only handle 3 jobs a day, for example, your “capacity” is 3 jobs a day, or 15 in a week.
As such, you only need to go after a smaller pool of prospects than, say, someone who is selling a virtual online product. These businesses can sell as many units as possible with hardly any strain on their system. Their “capacity,” therefore, is practically unlimited.
Conversion Formula: Determine WHO your ideal clients are, WHERE they are located, and HOW MANY there are, and how many you can handle.
Step 2: Have A Unique Message
Once you identify your ideal customers, how do you get their attention? In a huge market like weight loss, you simply have to create a message that speaks to your prospects in such a way as to present a different and guaranteed approach. In such a large market, you will have lots of competition, but are sure to get enough to pay attention that you can grow a business.
For weight loss, Facebook ads might work best. Or running radio ads. Or speaking to local women’s groups. Each of these strategies have advantages and disadvantages, but the idea is to test and find out if your target market is even responsive to your UNIQUE message in your particular market.
But what is you are a Coach? Or a plumber?
If you did your homework in Step 1, you already know WHAT their problem is. Your job in Step 2 is to offer a UNIQUE solution to solve it. Get their attention by offering to do something outrageous, i.e., fix their plumbing, then clean their whole house afterwards! If you are a life coach, offer a free gift for finishing the program, and for every referral.
So what is your unique message? Put yourself in the mind of customer, and seek to understand what they are really looking for. For example, if I were to suddenly have a toilet start overflowing, who would I call first: the plumber who says “I can fix ALL your plumbing needs”? Or the one who promises to “fix that stubborn clogged toilet”? Probably the latter.
The fact is: By narrowing your niche to ones who have the biggest problem in your market (i.e., clogged drains and toilets), you will effectively make more money. Why? Because your customer will feel like you are speaking directly to him or her and saying you can solve his or her most urgent need!
Conversion Formula: Test to determine a) how many prospects you can reach and b) how many respond to your ad or message.
If you are advertising, you need to measure the “reach” or number of people who see your ad, divided by the number of people who actually respond to your ad. Then multiply this fraction by 100 to get the “Click Thru Rate” (if running online ads) or the “Response Rate” (if you are a restaurant or other local business asking folks to bring in a coded coupon for something free or discounted).
Example: I run a Facebook Ad with a budget of $20 per day. Facebook says my reach is 1500 prospects a day. The ad’s actual reach, however, is 1000 per day, with 25 people clicking on the link to my website or offer. My CTR (click-thru rate) is, therefore, 2.5% (25/1000 X 100)
Step 3: Become THE Authority
So how do you become an authority in your niche or field? Simple: Position yourself as the ONLY solution to your customer’s or client’s problem!
Here’s how: Using the plumbing example again, you can simply answer the ad for your unique service (will unclog your toilet), do a good job for a reasonable price, then inform them you can fix other plumbing problems as well.
Guess who they are most likely to call when they need a plumber next time? They will call YOU.
Why? Because you are the “expert”! You didn’t try to solve all their problems at on time. You solved their most immediate problem, then based on their experience with you, became the Go-To guy (or gal) for all their OTHER similar problems!
If you do this properly as a coach or therapist, you will have become an expert merely by doing a good job and letting your clients know you are available for them. This leads to direct customer loyalty. They’ve seen what you can do, and will trust you to do the same in the future.
But how do you become “The Authority” to those who have yet to do business with you?
Try this: You can use a little sweat equity and write articles, post on blogs and in online forums. If you have more money, you might hire a PR person to get you gigs in the media, i.e., radio or TV interviews. You can also book these yourself, but you gain more credibility if someone else handles this for you. And make sure you have a newsworthy “angle” or new approach to an old problem that will merit their audience’s attention.
TIP: The biggest boost to authority – and the best “newsworthy angle” you can have – comes when you publish a book. As an author, you have an almost instant credibility with the public, and also have the “unique angle” that media interviewers are looking for.
Perception is reality, so use that principle to promote yourself. And don’t be shy, coy or “too spiritual.” Business success often goes to those who make the most noise in the marketplace!
Conversion Formula: Here you want to measure your actual Client Conversion Rate. If you are a coach, this can be measure by dividing the number of prospects you get to actually sign up for your coaching by the number of prospects who come to a free coaching session. If 10 come, for example, and 3 sign up, your CCR is 30%.
Another important measurement is your Client Retention Rate, i.e., the ratio of how many customers or clients you have, and how many hire you again. Repetition is the surest measure of trust and authority. If you get 100 clients, but only 20 return, your RR is 20%. Seek to always improve this number. Survey your current clients to find out what might be missing from your services that they need!
I always appreciate your comments on this and other articles!