For an online coach + business owner, a sales funnel is probably the most important marketing tool you have. And yet many entrepreneurs (coaches, digital nomads, etc.) - both new and established - have no clear understanding of what a funnel is or how this business tool works.
As you can imagine, failing to fully understand this critical part of your business means fewer sales, lower profits, and ultimately, an unstable business.
When you think of the words 'networking' and 'marketing', what comes to mind?
Do you think businessmen in suits, handing their cards out, trying to make the sale?
Or do you think about connecting with people on a deeper level, making friends and having fun conversations?
Do you hate that word as much as I do?
It causes such a visceral reaction within me. Like, makes my body really warm and tingly, but not in a good way.
I am NOT fearless. I feel alllll the fear when I'm making big decisions.
And I do it anyway.
I want to share with you some of the things I've been hearing in my business lately...
If you have a business with an online component, chances are you're spending a lot of time in front of the computer. The internet is an amazing thing, as it has the ability to both simultaneously grow your business and wipe out hours of your day.
If you don't have the proper tools in place, you'll spend more time going back and forth trying to make appointments and post content than you will talking to and connecting with your ideal client.
My Top 5 Tips to Creating a Killer Social Media Presence So You Can Attract Dream Clients You Want to be BFF's With!!
1. All of your social media platforms should be consistent and streamlined so you can build a strong + iconic brand.
Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Periscope, LinkedIn, Google+. All of these accounts should either have your name, or some variation of it, or the name of your company, as your handle.
If for some reason your name is not available, sometimes adding a middle initial is an option. (This is also a good way to help you figure out a company name if you don't want to use your personal name. If all of the social media handles are taken, maybe think about a different name for your company.)
You want people to recognize your name and brand without having to think about it.
When you see a red can with white cursive writing, you don't need to pick it up to know that it's a can of Coca Cola.
Having a brand that is strong and recognizable will set you apart from all of the other ---insert what you do here--- out there.
When you're a coach, YOU are your business.
When I was creating my business, one thing I deeply desired was to get paid to work on myself. I wanted a career where I could read self-help books, journal, do my own personal development work, and share my insights.
I desired a career where I was held accountable for a healthy lifestyle, where people looked to me for guidance and support.
I wanted a career where my business was an extension of who I am.
I had no idea what I was in for!!
Today I sit here with the career of my dreams, and it is cracking me WIDE OPEN!!
As a Life + Marketing Coach who helps new entrepreneurs build businesses that feel authentic + aligned with their higher purpose, one thing I've noticed that holds many new coaches back is the inability to decide on a niche.
When you're first starting out as a coach, it's important to know who you want to serve and who your ideal client is so you can gear your messaging and content towards the people that light you up.
As a new coach, I wasn't really sure who I wanted to work with, or who would 'light me up', so I took on several pro-bono clients to practice my new skills and find my ideal client.
What a learning experience!
I realized very quickly that I didn't want to coach people who were going through breakups or divorces. I didn't want to coach around relationship issues or with women who were struggling with eating disorders or weight issues. I also knew I didn't want to coach people who were struggling with addiction issues or who weren't in active recovery.
Through figuring out what I didn't want, I started to realize what I DID want.
I had no idea what my business would look like, but I wanted to coach women who desired to live big, gorgeous, outrageous and fulfilling lives!! I wanted to coach women who were ready to do whatever it took to change their lives. And I wanted to work with women who were on the edge, ready to jump and needed support from a coach.
Coming to that realization took MONTHS and the coach I was then is certainly not the coach I am now.
My intention of this article is to show you just how much my niche has transformed and changed in my first year of coaching, and how it pays to be open and fluid in finding your niche, if you so choose to have one.
How it all started...
When I moved to the island three years ago, I had NO IDEA how I was going to get to where I wanted to be, I just knew WHAT I wanted.
Once you put your dreams out into the Universe, the rest is handled. I didn't get caught up in the HOW.
It was none of my business. I just focused on the WHAT.
I just wrapped up my last weekend working in a restaurant, dare I say it, FOREVER.
I am feeling ALL the feels right now. Sheer excitement. Total passion for my business and what I'm about to create. Sadness that I'm leaving a place that has been my home-away-from-home for the last 2.5 years, where I've made friends and created my Chosen Family. Panic and dread of the unknown.
Depending on when you catch me right now, I'm either on the verge of tears, actually crying, having a panic attack, trying to talk myself out of a panic attack, or in a Zen-like place of confidence + clarity.
I'm on a total roller coaster of feelings and emotions and it feels fucking amazing!!
THIS. THIS RIGHT HERE. THIS IS HOW I KNOW I'M ALIVE!!!
I haven't felt like this since I got on a plane on April 17, 2013 to move to Grand Cayman. Exhilarated and scared shitless for what was to come. But knowing, deep within my soul, that I was making the right decision. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the right decision.
But yet I still have all of the what ifs. What if I fail? What if I go through my savings? What if I have to find another job? What if people don't buy my services?
What if this is one more dream + career that doesn't work out?
And then this quiet voice comes over me and I hear, "Yeah. But what if it does?"
And I smile and nod in agreement. What if I actually pull this off? What if this is EXACTLY what I've been working for my whole life? What if this is exactly what I need, what the world needs?
And I take a deep breath and release all of the what ifs.
Let's play a different 'What If' game.
What if it DOES work out? What if all of your dreams DO come true? What if this is EXACTLY what you need? What if you make ALL of the money instead of lose it, like you're worried about? What if ALL the clients hire you and you have a waiting list? What if you write the book and it's WILDLY SUCCESSFUL?
What if, what if, what if...
SO I'M SAYING IT OUT LOUD: I'M DONE.
I'm done playing this bullshit game that fills me with anxiety and dread. I'm done worrying. I'm done thinking about what could go wrong. If it does, which it won't, but if it does, I'll just figure it out, like I've always figured it out. Everything has ALWAYS worked out, even when it seemed like things were going to shit, they were actually working out. Because here I am, in Grand Cayman running my own business.
What bullshit 'What If' game are you playing with yourself?
What would happen if you let all of that shit go and started listening to your intuition instead of listening to your fear? What would be possible for you if you stopped playing small, stepped into your greatness, your power, and started going after what you wanted?
You got this, Boo!! Take the leap with me!!
Three years ago I ended up in Urgent Care because I looked like this. Swollen eyes and face. My face was on fire and itchy and I was worried about being able to breathe.
Until this happened to me, I had no idea anxiety could do this to a person. I was getting ready to make one of the biggest decisions of my life and I was Scared. Shitless.
It started with my eyes. The corners of my eyes started to get itchy and red. And then I could feel my ears get hot and burn, like when you say something embarrassing or you get caught doing something wrong. My temperature started to rise, my neck got hot and splotchy red, down my whole chest. And then the intense itching started. I wanted to take sandpaper and rub it all over my face. Or use a fork to scratch my eyeballs.
It was March 2013 and I was selling everything I owned and moving to a country I'd never even been to. I knew two people and had a place to live, but no job lined up. I had about $6000 in savings and no Plan B because Plan A HAD TO work.
I was moving to start over, to make a complete change and to figure out what I should be doing with my life. I had been caught up in drug and alcohol addiction for 18 years, switched careers twice by the time I was 33 and I was so lost.
"Each of us looks for fulfillment and authentic happiness in our own way.
Sometimes the yearning for fulfillment becomes a call so loud and so intense at midlife that we cannot help but step off the path we are on and devote ourselves to the search for fulfillment.
As many midlife questers discover, fulfillment often means returning to deep sources of satisfaction that we may have had glimpses of many years ago. At that earlier time, we may have lacked the courage to follow the call, or we may have allowed life's stresses and serious pursuits to cover up the glimmer of what we knew to be true.
This pattern takes place in the lives of so many because each of us has a life purpose that has been with us since we were very young.