Developing the skills & tools necessary to create a thriving helping business...
As a helping professional, it’s very likely that you have devoted energy and resources developing the skills necessary to help your clients. Yet, time and again, Experts have shared with us their frustration at being at the top of the game in education/experience and at the bottom of their game when it comes to growing their business. We completely understand your frustration. The skills that you employ to help clients sometimes don’t match the skills you need to grow a business.
That said, growing a business isn’t rocket science. There are tried and true strategies you can put in place that over time, will net you results. The key is that you must put in the time to grow your business or it simply won’t happen.
For many Experts, the drive to help people is the strongest undercurrent running their business; after all, you got into this profession to try and make a difference in the world. But, if the process to find clients is not a part of your regular day-to-day business, the only clients you’ll have, are the ones who find you.
For some, that system may be ok, but I can guarantee you that it won’t deliver results that you can count on. If you want to take charge of your business and be the driving force behind it, you have to take the wheel and drive. You must take charge.
Certainly, that doesn’t have to mean that you spend hours each day growing your business; after all you do have clients you need to see! But, it does mean that marketing your practice becomes a regular part of your week like paying the bills, watering the plants, and reading up on the latest research. If you want to grow your business, it first starts with an attitude shift and a plan.
Think of your marketing toolkit as the foundation that helps your business to grow.
You have already laid the first steps by developing your expertise through education and experience.
Marketing is all about taking those skills and sharing them with a targeted audience who is interested in your message. The stronger the alignment between the audience and the services you offer, the easier it is to make a match between the two.
Below is a basic primer on all of the elements that make up a complete marketing toolkit. On some level, all of these items are necessary to grow your business, but they can certainly be developed one at a time if needed.
An Expert’s toolkit consists of the following items:
Your Website: Tells the world about you in a basic way: Who you are, what you do, why you can help them and how to connect with you. On many levels, your website is a tool you create once and revisit from time-to-time to update. It’s the facts about you, your business and how to find you to learn more.
Your Blog: This is the tool that allows you to connect with people; think of it as your megaphone for having a conversation with the world. Interacting with your audience is a critical part of developing a pipeline of interested clients.
Your blog allows you to write on various topics, peak people’s interested and most importantly, share your knowledge as an Expert with readers. When you write on a given topic it also serves as a very soft advertisement for you in the context of a topic your reader is seeking information on.
By providing your readers with insight and information you showcase yourself as someone who can speak on this issue and ultimately help that reader with the problem.
Blog content serves as a supremely soft pitch for the writer because it requires nothing of the reader. If the reader chooses to reach out for more, it’s 100% in their court to do so. This process is very comfortable for most helping professionals because they are not asking their readers for anything, instead they’re just sharing their thoughts/insights. If someone is inspired to want more, the ball is in their court to ask for it.
Your Store/Product(s): This is the bucket of things you offer to the world in exchange for payment. Ideally, your offerings run from free to paid items and make up the elements of the sales pipeline mentioned above.
In classic sales, we tend to think of this pipeline as consisting of people at various stages of “yes”. Some will be at a place of wanting to read what you have and nothing more. Others will be at a place of saying yes to a free newsletter, e-book or download. And still others will want to buy your book at full price or schedule a full-fee session.
You need to have products available for people at all stages so you can stay connected with them as they progress through the pipeline.
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