Feeling salesy when attracting clients, is the dark cloud looming over being-your-own-boss for many life coaches and solopreneurs. Myself included, when I started out.
I mean, wouldn’t you rather work with clients or create programs for them—than spend time finding them?
Yep. I know exactly how you feel. And yet, marketing through our salesy feelings is, as they say, the price of doing business. Let’s look at this further.
Grit is a popular way to describe people who succeed by overcoming obstacles, setbacks, delays, miscalculations, fears, and missteps. In her excellent book, Grit, Angela Duckworth shares studies and research—both hers and other experts’—demonstrating how vital the characteristic of grit is for anyone taking on a challenge, business, new job, or degree program.
Duckworth dismisses the myth that talent, intellect, or experience alone can help us achieve massive goals. While those attributes are valuable, study after study shows that grit is often the deciding factor.
My favorite explanation of ‘grit’ in Duckworth’s book is: “A never give up attitude.”
Today, I’m asking you to think about your reservoir of grit. After all, it took you a lot to start your business. Essentially, you started something from nothing, didn’t you?
You drew on your inner strengths to come up with your business idea, to plan and launch it, and to get to where you are today. Giant props to you! No matter how long you’ve been in business, when you look back, you’ve overcome a ton of pitfalls, haven’t you?
Do you feel like marketing your expertise is self-promotional and salesy? If it seems that it’s a persistent, pesky pitfall, still outside of your comfort zone dear reader, you’re in great company. Here’s the truth, many women experts still deal with feeling self-promotional or pushy when it comes to marketing their offers.
Let’s look at some tactics you can put in place to shift your marketing mindset monster once and for all. And dump your salesy, hype-y, inner critic for good. Ready to dive in?
#1: Gain clarity on your goals, so you can dump salesy feelings.
The reality is, you’ve got to do marketing. Sadly, even if it’s your least favorite thing, when you’re a business owner, you’re also a marketer.
When it comes to gaining clarity on how to grow your business the way you want, you’ve got to make choices.
The reality is, you can’t do everything. And, until you’re at the point where you can hire assistants or a team, marketing and sales falls squarely on your plate. If bringing in new clients is your number one strategy to expand, then that’s your clarity.
It doesn’t do you, or the clients who need your help, any good to procrastinate and resist marketing. Do you have (or can you develop) a reliable, steady stream of referrals from business partners / friends? If so, great. If not, choose the marketing actions that will help you build the business of your dreams.
Whether you’re working to have more free time, more income, to create a larger platform for your work—or all three, marketing’s likely the lever that’s going to make a difference for you.
Now, back to the grit you’re going to use to choose and implement your client generating goals and actions.
Your client generating goals might include:
- Creating content consistently to make your web presence shine.
- Committing to making calls to prospective clients each week. Without fail.
- Expanding relationships and sharing referrals / leads with colleagues.
- Enhancing your website to appeal to the dream clients you want more of.
- Setting the intention to follow A Weekly Plan to connect with potential clients.
#2: Become scandalously comfortable with the value you provide clients.
Scandalously? Yes. You hear all the time, “own your value”, “step into your value”, am I right or am I right?! It’s all true, necessary, and a wise action for you.
Be unapologetic when you explain how you help your coaching clients, get unstuck, solve problems, and become the better version of themselves they want to be.
Become fierce when you tell stories about how you’ve helped past clients realize their dreams and desires.
Especially for women, being genuinely secure about explaining the benefits your clients enjoy from your services can be a constant struggle. Let’s talk about some ways handle this puppy, shall we?
3 Tips to remind yourself of the value you bring clients
1) Make a list of 50 benefits your clients enjoy after working with you.
What do they say to you after completing your programs, working with you one-on-one, and consuming your content?
If you journal regularly, this is a topic you want to write about.
It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to develop your benefits list. Think of this, how energizing will you feel to relive your work with thriving, successful clients? What happiness nuggets have clients shared with you that you perhaps forgot?
2) Inspire yourself.
Need some inspiration? Or to jog your memory? No worries, look over your testimonials, relive the great conversations you’ve had with ecstatic clients, scan through emails or texts from successful clients. Now, fill in your list of 50 benefits.
Remember, it’s your job to provide value to your perfect, ideal clients. That’s why you pour your expertise, experience, and talent into the products, programs, and services you create for them.
Pro-tip: Don’t give in to your inner mean girl. As you rethink client experiences, don’t dwell on the not so great interactions. If someone didn’t enroll in your program, then they aren’t your ideal client. What’s more, it doesn’t matter a whit what they said.
- How specifically did you help your dream clients?
- What did they say they loved about working with you? About their results?
- Don’t omit any details of your clients’ happy outcomes after working with you.
- Which of your talents, skills, knowledge bases, processes, or techniques did you apply for each client success story?
Here’s a post with a great exercise to help you reset everything that makes up the value that clients get from your work:
3) Inventory your skills, talents, experiences, expertise, and training.
To remind yourself of how life-changing your impact is, as you replay client successes, consider which skills you called upon to serve them. Ask yourself:
Don’t forget to list your skills that have become ‘second nature’ to you.
These are things that you do all the time, automatically, almost without thinking.
Once the details of your expertise are down on paper, you can see clearly the building blocks of your unique genius. And you’ll see how each layer of your special genius provides value for your clients.
Next, recall this exercise when you talk about your clients and your work with potential prospects. That will help you vanquish the feeling salesy monster!
Create Client-Attracting Content
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#3: Reframe your marketing mindset to dump salesy emotions.
I wish I could tell you differently, but as we’ve agreed, marketing is necessary. On the bright side, the better job you do of marketing your business, the easier job you’ll have of closing sales. Why? Because you’ll attract more of the right kinds of potential clients.
As a still-newbie business owner in 2003, the biggest factor that helped me reframe my marketing mindset was finally having this aha moment.
The more precise I became about who I serve, and the outcomes I help them achieve, the smoother the sales conversations are because I’m talking to “my people”.
When you’re intentional in your marketing, you’ll pretty much eliminate the “tire kickers.”
Marketing is everything. Without proactive marketing you must rely on the following: referrals from business colleagues and constant in person networking, with all of the travel time it takes.
Seth Godin, celebrated author and human, in his newest book, This is Marketing, frames marketing this way,
You’re one of the providers doing marketing the right way, because you believe in the change you can help clients make. You’re prepared to “…engage with the market because you know you can contribute to the culture.”
Seth continues: Keep this firmly in mind, you’re approaching marketing in an authentic way, because you know it’s how you earn the three most valuable things your audience of future clients can give:
For you, action might look like:
- subscribing to your email list
- following you on social media
- sharing your work online
- referring you to others
- visiting your website, and, ultimately
- enrolling in your programs
- hiring you!
Please take this truth to heart:
Call it what you will; self-promotion, marketing, or business development.
At the end of the day, you need to let the right people—those you can help—know that you exist. You don’t have to reach or convince everyone. Just “your people.”
I know what you’re thinking, I’m not telling you anything new here. It’s true. And yet we all need to be reminded from time to time.
So I’d love it if you’d put a sticky note on your calendar or computer:
Marketing helps my dream clients become the better versions of themselves they’re working hard to be. Without marketing, my clients and I may not find each other.
Honestly, I wish I had a magic pill you could take every morning as you set out to do the important work of marketing your business. Alas, no such magic exists.
What I can share with you is the marketing mindset that’s worked for me. And that is coming to terms with this fact: you are the #1 person bringing in clients.
Until your business grows large enough to hire a team, it’s on you to connect with and bring in new clients.
Whatever it takes, wrap your head around embracing marketing as your bridge to freedom and profitability, and vanquish the salesy monster for good.
#4: To not feel salesy, do this
When you’re introducing yourself at networking groups, explain who you help and the problems you help clients resolve.
When people ask what you do…
Don’t say, “I’m a wellness coach”, or “I’m an accountant”. Instead:
If you’re an accountant you can say, “I help frazzled business owners who are also parents, make it to their kids soccer games AND keep the IRS happy.” ⚽️ ⛹️♀️
Are you a wellness coach? How about, “I help women going into menopause avoid hot flashes and weight gain so they can keep wearing their favorite clothes.”
Do you teach healthy cooking? You could say, “I teach moms how to become Dinner Ninjas so their kids can’t wait for meal time.”
What’s your favorite self-introduction answer you’ve heard lately?
Ask yourself, “Who gets the best results from my work?” Talk to them in your self-intro.
Pro-tip: Think about clients who need you, so you can renew your commitment on days you need an extra boost to get out there with an attention-grabbing, memorable elevator pitch.
#5: Refresh your ideal client story.
I can promise you this; once you know your ideal clients, you’ll soon recall what a joy they are to work with. They pay on time, show up excited to make the transformations you offer, collaborate, and refer other clients just like them. How great is that?!
And here’s the best news of all—they’re ready and waiting for exactly what YOU have to offer.
In order to create marketing content that calls to your ideal client, you must become incredibly familiar with who they are. Their situation. Their hopes and dreams. Their pain points.
The best way to do that? Write a story starring your perfect client. Not a writer? Rest assured, no one sees this story except you.
Keep in mind that it’s important to write the story down.
Your dream client’s story doesn’t have to be in any particular format. In fact, if you want to fill a few pages with a bunch of bullet points, that works.
Amanda’s easy-peasy client story
One of my clients, *Amanda*, wasn’t excited about writing her clients’ story. Instead, she collected, over a span of three months, 8 pages of rich bullet points describing her dream client! She said it was a snap. She would add to the document after client sessions and conversations, answering questions via email and social media—whenever she interacted with one of her IDEAL clients.
Amanda captured phrases, problems, complaints, and dreams that said to her: “Wow, this is the third time I’ve heard a client mention this.” The content/story she assembled included:
- Questions her clients asked constantly… (What do I actually eat? When can I snack?)
- Emotions clients shared about how their results made them feel… (Because I could fit into my fave dress, I felt like a million bucks at the party!)
- Hopes they expressed for what their lives would be like after Amanda helped them solve the big problem… (I just want to be able to keep up with my grandkids.)
- Lists of solutions, tools, and processes clients had tried before working with her—that didn’t bring results… (Extreme workouts, restrictive eating plans)
After putting together her client story, Amanda confidently created blogs, emails to her list, and videos, based on the common themes she heard over and over. As a result, she increased the size of her list and began to sell out her programs.
When you’re looking to banish any lingering salesy feelings around marketing your business, draw on your deep reserves of grit.
To ground yourself in grit, compile a juicy list of all the great stuff you do for clients.
Think of your ideal client story as a renewing resource you can use each time you create content or spend the day marketing your offers. It will refresh your memory about your ideal client’s situation and empower you to speak directly to them.
Keep this post handy.
Refer to it each time you create marketing content for your website or prepare to attend a live networking event. That way, your messages and conversations remain focused on what your perfect clients want to learn, solve, and achieve. And how your abundant skills, help them do so!
I’m excited for how your renewed sense of value will empower you and your clients.
What if you could finally create content consistently?
If creating your marketing content has felt like a chore, a time-suck, or a massive mystery, you may have given up on content entirely.
But the truth is:
Content is key to attracting ideal clients and filling your programs. So don’t give up!
If your content ideas are buried in your beautiful brain, you want a process to help your words flow.
You want specific actions to implement so that the content you create stands out to your dream clients.
When you schedule a free Clarity Call, together, we’ll uncover your personalized marketing content actions. That way you can impact more clients. Click below to set up your FREE Clarity Call.