I was mooching around recently misting my orchids (there’s a sentence I never thought I’d write), when the phone rang and it was one of my BARB students, who won a bonus call with me.
She was stressed.
She’d spent the last month putting herself out there as a coach, and she was worried that she just didn’t have the chops to make it in this industry.
I FEEL all the feels whenever I hear anyone say that, because it’s a horrible feeling and experience to go through. But I’ve also been in the game for awhile, so I know the situation is often not what it seems.
In fact, this kind of problem is actually often simple to solve! It just takes *a few* questions.
So, put on your own mentor-coach hat for a second (mine is a deer-stalker because I love detective stories), and riddle me this: What was she doing wrong?
Here’s some background to help you diagnose the problem: My client works in the career niche, and had said she had attended three networking events for business owners, she’d sent out two newsletters to people in her community, she’d posted a few blogs on LinkedIn, and she had updated the copy of her website based on what she had learned from the program… but was getting crickets in every area.
So….what was she doing wrong? Was she doing anything wrong?
Take a second and think on it, because this is a really interesting case study. I’ll wait :).
(Pauses to drink tea, eat some chocolate, and poke at an orchid).
Got your answers?
Let’s see how you did!
Problem 1: Her website wasn’t generating interest
What do you suspect the problem was here?
I looked at her website and her copy was good. She had a few layout issues but nothing major.
So my first question to her was: “How many website visitors do you get every day, week or month?”
Her answer? She didn’t know but estimated it was just a few people.
(And that’s 100% okay, by the way, in the beginning data is a low priority as you work just to get things set up).
But ultimately sales is a numbers game. If you have just a couple of people visit your website, then OF COURSE you are going to hear crickets. It takes time to build up traffic to your site, and it takes a good amount of people before you get requests to chat or paying clients coming in the door.
I wish it were different, but sadly, not so much.
So her big problem wasn’t her copy or her website, it was her expectations. The greatest copy in the world doesn’t matter if no one sees it…and again, it takes time to get traction.
So if you are worried your website is terrible or your upgrades aren’t working, then start by pulling up google analytics and getting real information on how many people are even seeing your work!
If it’s not that many, there’s your first problem. It’s not that you are a bad coach, it’s just that you are new. You’ve got to start working on marketing to drive traffic to your site, which will take some trial and error.
You’ll get there!
(And if you don’t have a website yet, here’s some helpful inside information on how I built mine and exactly what I spent!).
Problem 2: Three networking events for business owners
Let’s chat about this one a little more closely.
I’m a HUGE fan of networking, and find that even at random events you can potentially make an amazing connection.
However, if your goal is to get clients, then you need to think strategically about how you are approaching networking, and what will play to your strengths.
My question to her was: “What is your goal at each event, and are you meeting the right people to help you get there?”
Her answer was that she didn’t really have a goal or strategy. And that no, she definitely wasn’t meeting the right people.
So first off, she was going to networking events that were attracting other business owners, not professional career women and men in need of help. So her chances of finding potential clients was limited.
Secondly, she didn’t have a real strategy behind the networking, so it is hard to judge her progress.
Sample strategies could include:
1) Going to random events simply to get better at chatting with people.
2) Going to events to connect with the organizers and potentially become a speaker or partner.
3) Going to events to have good conversations with potential clients, and beginning the sales funnel process.
4) Going to events to connect with business mentors and influencers (here’s an article on how to do that without being annoying if you want more help).
…and so on and so forth.
You can have almost any strategy, it just depends on where you are and what you need as a coach!
As we chatted it seemed that she did have hope of making potential client connections as an unconscious strategy, so we talked about whether or not events like this are good for her.
The answer is no. 🙂
Her time would be better spent at events that attract her kind of client, not ones that attract other business owners.
So if you are networking and feeling like you are getting nowhere, review your strategy and see if it lines up with where you are spending your time.
If not…that’s okay! Just make some simple adjustments and go out and try again.
Problem 3: Her two blogs on LinkedIn didn’t seem to be doing anything
So my question to her was this: “Are you asking people to take action at the end of the blog, in a compelling way?”
Her answer was “not really.”
Okay, first problem solved!
Always give people a really strong or intriguing reason to click through and visit your website or take action after reading your article. A general request is not enough.
Bad: “Hey read some more here.”
Good: “Read this super helpful blog on how to combat stress in 5 minutes before breakfast right here…click.”
But there is something here that’s also not her fault: LinkedIn is no longer a great place to generate reach as a blogger. Two to three years ago, it was amazing. They had dedicated editors helping to promote and curate great content.
Now, I’m not sure what their strategy is, but it’s not one that’s focused so much on homegrown talent anymore.
For instance: It took me 7 months to go from 0 to 14,000 followers on LinkedIn. Then my editor left and wasn’t replaced.
It’s taken me another 2 years to go from 14,000 – 14,500.
So, posting blogs on LinkedIn is good for establishing credibility and allowing people to see some of your work, if a potential client googles you or connects with you they can get more of a flavor of what you do, without having to find your website.
However, as of writing this, LinkedIn is *unlikely* to drive a lot of people to your website if you are just publishing a couple of blogs and not doing much else.
That’s okay! It’s a specific tool and it requires a lot of time to use as a marketing platform. You don’t have to use it, but you also can’t expect it to do much if you aren’t really on it.
So make sure you commit to your marketing platforms, or align your expectations.
(Keep reading for problem #4)
Problem 4: She wasn’t getting great results from her newsletter
Do you know what my first question was? It had nothing to do with her content.
Nope, it was: “How big is your email list and how many email opens do you have?”
Again, if you don’t know that’s okay – it’s super simple information to get and not something to worry about in the very beginning.
But, I was asking to prove a point: If you have a newsletter that goes out to 100 people, and you have a really high email open rate (really high is *maybe* 30%), then only 30 people are opening your email.
Of those 30 some won’t even bother to read it.
And, only a tiny percentage of the total list, around 1-5%, will bother to click through and go to your website if you are sharing a blog or service.
So…in this case *maybe* one or two people would have clicked through?
Which leads us back to the first point: Sales is a numbers game, and if you don’t have the virtual numbers, you won’t have a lot of action.
That’s one reason why I advocate in-person selling as much as possible in the beginning, because otherwise it’s SO difficult to get people’s attention and get your business going, PLUS these conversations will give you ideas on what to write about :).
If you don’t have an email community or much of an email community, please don’t worry! Focus first on in-person connections if you need to start getting paid right now. You can grow your email list in the background :). Here’s an article on how I did it back in the day!
How did you do?
Did you diagnose the problems correctly?
If so, awesome!
If not, that’s okay! I hope you got something helpful from this article. 🙂
Mostly, I want you to know that you aren’t a bad entrepreneur and you can do this.
All it takes is a little time, and knowing that as you put in the work your numbers will grow and your business will start to pay off.
You’ve got this!
And if you enjoyed this post and want more advice like this, then grab our informative and fun free guide on how to start your coaching business and *actually* make money, without all the bulls*t.