How I Signed My First Client

TEMPLATE- Pinterest (17).png

I remember when I signed my first client as if it were yesterday.

I was on the phone with someone who I didn't know was a potential client at the time. In fact, I was asked to hop on the phone with her to talk about a completely different topic.

As the conversation transitioned, my first client - let's call her Jane - started talking to me about her online biz idea. Next thing I know I'm talking to her about how I can support her get there.

Something you should know is that a few days before I sat down and figured out my signature package. I had written down all of the benefits of working with me, the pricing in full and the payment plan. I had typed it up and printed it so that I can look at it later an make any changes. It was as if the Universe knew this phone conversation would take place. Now back to the phone conversation...

Once I realized that I could really help this potential client, I grabbed my signature package print out and read some of the benefits of working with me.

Within minutes we were talking pricing, the special bonus I made up on the fly for signing up with me that week and two days later the money was in my account.

I'm sharing this with you because my first clients came from my own network. People I met in other careers, referrals from friends, and so much more.

If you truly desire to sign your next client, the next person into your group program, onto your membership site, etc. Know that your early sign ups may not come from the online world. They may come from your current network. So don't hesitate to tell EVERYONE who is an ideal client what it is that you do and how you can help them.

Yes I recommend you are still visible online. But it could take someone who doesn't know you well 2 - 3 months before they're willing to invest. Even if that investment doesn't seem like a lot of money to you.

Here are some ideas for signing your first client this month!

  • Email everyone you know and let them know you've started your online business. In the email, let them know who your ideal client is, how you can help them, and how they can help you (ie. connect you with leads, have people sign up for free coaching calls, etc.)
  • Look up local events for entrepreneurs, while there - practice speaking about your business, who your ideal client is, and what the benefits of working with you are. 
  • Call people you're very close with, tell them about your business, and ask them if there is anyone they know who would be your ideal client.
  • Post on your Facebook Page about your new business, who your ideal client is and ask for referrals.
  • Update your LinkedIn Profile so that people are alerted to your new venture.
  • Message people on LinkedIn who you feel may be able to connect you with your ideal client. 
  • Do a Facebook Live about your business, who your ideal client is and how people can learn more.
  • Offer free coaching calls or strategy calls to people who are your ideal client and then ask them for referrals afterwards. 

Remember, when you're getting started - an ideal client is an ideal client. It doesn't matter if they come to you via online or offline marketing tactics at first. You don't have to neglect the "in person" world to grow your online business. You've SOOOO got this!!!

xx,

Nik

What Life is Like As A Coach Looks Like

I have recently spoke with many different people who are interested in coaching and really consider it as something that they could do for their career. 
And usually their first question is, "What the heck is it like to actually be a coach?" 

So what IS it like? 
What does it look like? 
What does it feel like? 
What could it be like? 

There are a lot of different coaches out there and a lot of different lifestyles of a coach. 
My journey might not look like others. 
But I feel like hearing all different perspectives is always more beneficial. 

I started my career in marketing. At first I wanted to be a journalists because I loved writing. After I did a summer internship with NYU I got a sense of the editorial side, the business side, sales and marketing and decided that I actually loved marketing instead. 

I worked at In Style magazine, travel and leisure. I then ended up taking a job at an ad agency doing media planning and buying for Kraft Foods. 
With each step in my career I kept I feeling like I needed to be closer to being the one that made the decisions. 

I decided then to go get my MBA, interned at Coke, and took a full-time position after I graduated at Intel doing digital marketing. 

But I still wanted something more. 

With each new job and new position I kept thinking I was getting closer and closer to be that someone that gets to make all the decisions. 
But what I finally realized along my journey is that it wasn't that I just wanted to make decisions, I want to actually OWN it all. 

I really wanted to just create something that would make a huge difference for people that would add value to their lives. 

I wanted to be the person that was deciding how it goes, 
how it looks, 
and how it feels. 

I set off on this journey to figure out what I wanted to do. 
First step? I quit my start up job without a plan.

I started consulting, doing marketing consulting on the side, and just thought "I have all this marketing experience and I love marketing so that's what I'll do!" 

I hired a business coach. And when I hired my business coach it hit me: That's a job?! 

And boom, that's what I wanted to do. 

I got rid of my consulting clients and I switched. 
I started coaching because I really realized that coaching was basically what I do. 
It's how I live my life. 

It's who I am. 
It's who I am to people I meet. 
It's who I want to be. 
It's really just somebody who is there helping people and supporting people in reaching their biggest dreams. 

For me, business really excited me. 
Working with women entrepreneurs really excites me, so that's where I focus. 
But what else does coaching look like? 

I honestly had no idea.
I just knew that if I could spend time talking with people about their businesses,
and making a difference for how they did things,
and had them bringing in more money,
or really getting clear on what it is they wanted to do and finding their passions,
that lit me up.

-----------------

That's how I got started - but once I started coaching I realized that as a coach you are not just coaching people, you are a business person, a sales person, a leader, and in many ways a student. 

There's managing your books, there's scheduling, there's the back end work of getting everything up and running, there's website design, if you need a website or a membership site, there's photo shoots. I love doing the photo shoots, but there's also a strategy to them.

You may find yourself asking yourself- "What am I gonna do on Instagram? What am I gonna do on Facebook? What am I gonna do on YouTube? What am I gonna do with my emails? What am I gonna do on my blog?"

I tell you all of this because often times I meet people who want to be a coach to help people and forget that you also have to want to be a business owner or at least not hate the idea of being an entrepreneur. 

Because the reality is - there are not weekly paychecks coming your way. There may be times if you have a team that you pay your team and not pay yourself. Early on there are months when you make less than you thought you would or nothing at all. 

But with all of that - it's incredibly rewarding AND you develop so much!

I can't tell you what life will look like as a coach for you. But for me - it's the only rollercoaster I'll ever get on. There are highs, there are lows, and I wouldn't change it for the world. 

 

for more inspiration, sign up for my free course!

I will tell you my exact steps to getting clients and keeping them. 


The Strategy Coaches Use To Grow Their Email List

Pinterest_Nikki 3 (1).png

To grow your email list, Facebook group, social media channels, etc. you should have some quality tips and content to give away in exchange for your dream clients email address, Facebook contact information, etc. That's the strategy that most if not all coaches use to grow their trip. Free content in exchange for contact information. 

In the marketing world, we call a freebie a lead magnet. This could be a free worksheet, guide, webinar, training, etc. You are currently in the middle of a lead magnet. At some point, you gave me your email address to receive this content. That's what you're going to do for your dream clients.

Need ideas on what your lead magnet should be about? If someone is going to give you their contact information, the key is to focus on providing your dream client with content they want. Here are some ways to confirm what your dream client wants in a lead magnet (aka freebie). 

  • Post in Facebook Groups with a quick description of your ideal client and ask what their biggest challenge is (in the area that is relevant to your coaching biz) 
  • If you have anyone on your email list or in your Facebook Group already - ask them!
  • Reached out to current or past clients.
  • Ask people in your life who are your ideal client! Don't ask you mom or best friend unless they are 100% your dream client. 
  • Create a survey or a poll and shared it online in different places (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)
  • Pay close attention to what your dream clients is speaking about online and says they are struggling with. Read comments in Facebook Groups, on Instagram, etc.

Before you create your freebie - make sure it's relevant to your business and your current offerings. Once your dream client gets your freebie, you'll send them a sequence of emails, messages, etc. to continue to build your relationship with them. Then you'll invite them to work with you. 

Here are some ideas for your lead magnet aka freebie:

  • Live Video Training (I like to do these in my Facebook Group and send the details via email after people sign up)
  • Webinar
  • Free Report or Case Study (PDF )
  • An Email Course (that's what this is)
  • A Challenge 
  • Template/Checklist
  • Guide
  • Live Group Q&A Call With You 
  • Audio recording 
  • Workbook 

Now to create your freebie you don't need to be complicated - you can create it in Microsoft Word, Apple Pages, Create a Facebook Live and then download it, use Zoom, etc. 

Here is a short list of options for Creating Lead Magnets:

But to receive the email addresses of your dream clients, you'll need to create a lead page and have an email sequence. In an earlier blog post I shared how I use Leadpages to  create my leadpage and Drip for my email automation system. There are other options for your lead page (also known as opt-in) system. Check out 

My EXACT recipe for nurturing your community

Pinterest_Nikki 3.png

The first thing you should know is that I believe that marketing is a form of relationship building. And that before you offer your coaching services, online course, group program, etc. Your dream client should get to know you.

That is why nurturing your community (aka building a relationship with the people who follow you) is so important.

Here's how I do it!

I simply give my dream clients free tips, tricks, advice, trainings, etc. that will 1.) help them see success in their business or in your case the area of life you are supporting them with 2.) showcases my expertise and 3.) keep the conversation going. 

If you want to sign clients online - add value to people's lives. Build relationships. Give them amazing content and then invite them to have a free coaching session with you or a discovery call to determine if they are a good fit for coaching with you. Keep It SIMPLE!

Now you may have a few questions. Let's start answering them: 

How much free content is too much free content? 
In my honest opinion - unless you're giving people multiple free coaching sessions or all of your online courses for free - you should be okay. There will be people who will not want to invest in their business or have strong beliefs that they cannot. That's okay. They will consume their free content and may or may not see success in achieving the goals they want to reach. 

But the people who you want to work with know that a blog post, email sequence, Facebook Live, or webinar are not going to substitute working with you one on one, in your group program, your mastermind, etc. These are your people. So trust your gut. If you don't feel like you're overdoing it in the free department, then focus on what piece of content you'll be creating next.

What content should you create?
First I think about my dream client, what they're dealing with, and the challenges or problems they would like my support in solving. For many people - they have been where their dream clients were at some point. So think back to when you were in their shoes and start asking what tips, tricks, advice would have made a difference for you. 

If you're stuck or you want confirmation - then ask your dream client. Create a poll, survey, or email people who meet your dream client description what they are currently challenged with or struggling with. Then create a blog post, Facebook Live, recorded video, audio file, or email that helps them solve that challenge.

How often should you nurture your community?

EVERYDAY! You don't need to create brand new content everyday necessarily. But you should spend time everyday nurturing your community. It could be via email, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, a podcast, etc. If you're just getting started - pick one or two social media platforms you love and share free tips and tricks everyday. Also email your list at least once a week to start with free tips. 

What tech or systems will you need?

I do most of my content creation with my phone and my computer.  But here are some apps and additional tools that I find helpful!

For my Facebook Lives - having great lighting made a HUGE difference in the quality of my videos. I use a Neewer Ring Light and put it on a tripod. 

I also put my my phone on a tripod and use a GripTight Mount to do so. When I travel instead of a tall tripod I use a Joby stand.

I also download my Facebook Lives and host them online so that I can embed them in blog posts, emails, etc. I use Wistia. Other options are YouTube and Vimeo. 

If I could give you one piece of advice it's to remember that you will likely be the only person to see EVERY piece of content you create so feel free to repurpose, reuse, recycle content. If you do a Facebook Live, share it via email or put it on YouTube. If you do a challenge, turn it into a paid course later. Just take it one day at a time and continuously nurture your community!

And if you haven't already - head over to my Facebook Group for more trainings. 

The Only Systems I Needed When I Started Coaching

14.png

When I started coaching - I wanted to make sure I had EVERYTHING I could possibly need to grow my business. And to be honest, early on I spent money on fancier tools than I needed and even on things I didn't need at all because that's what "everyone" who was "anyone" seemed to be investing in. The truth is - early on, I didn't have a business. I had an expensive hobby. I had all of these tools, invested in all of these trainings, and didn't have a client to show for it. 

But after a few months, I started really thinking about what I needed to grow my business, and only investing in tools that I would use regularly. I only added tools when I saw a gap in how I was running my business and needed a solution. So all that being said - I'm going to share with you the tools that I used for my business frequently and why. You may realize for your own business - you don't need some of those tools and that's perfectly okay! Just

1. A Professional Email Account.
I personally love gmail and you could do this one of two ways. You could either create a regular gmail account that's something like yourbusinessname@gmail.com or you could create an email address that's like your domain. yourname@yourbusiness.com. I started off with the yourname@yourbusiness.com route from the beginning. For me personally if made me feel like this was a serious, polished business. Honestly that was my belief system when I started my business and it doesn't have to be yours. 

If you do want to go the route of yourname@yourbusiness.com. The way I did it was through G-Suite.  That's Google's business solution. You still have gmail, google drive, etc. just as you would if you went the @gmail.com route. You just have more storage, more support, more security, and your own email address domain name. Now if you want to sign up for G-Suite -  you can get 20% off your first year by using my special link for G-Suite and using this promo code 6A4E4QETY73YJU4. Full disclosure - I'm an affiliate of G-Suite so if you use my link and code, I'll receive a small kickback. If this is something you're interested in doing for yourself - read my blog post on affiliate marketing. You'll learn not only how to sign up as an affiliate for programs, but my two cents on choosing companies you trust and believe would add value to your ideal clients lives! 

2. A Payment System.
If you want to sign clients, you need a way for them to pay you. :) When I first started I used a system I no longer invest in. It was crazy expensive for a newbie coach even though I used it for more than just payments. That being said. Today I use Stripe. The first thing you should know about Stripe is that it is essentially a behind the scenes way to process credit card transactions. Your ideal client would still need a place to go to type in their credit card, etc. I use Leadpages for this. I'll tell you why and how I use Leadpages in a little bit but below is  an example of a checkout page I've created using Leadpages

Leadpage Checkout Example


 
3. Legal Documents And A Way To Send Them. 
Once I receive payment from a new client, I send them a contract. The great thing to know is that there are lawyers like Lisa Fraley who offers DIY Legal Templates for coaches and entrepreneurs. You'll be able to edit documents she provides (with the help of her videos) to create legal documents for your own business. Once you have your legal documents, you can send them to your new clients and have them sign online. I prefer DocuSign. Why? Because it was the most user friendly for me personally. I tried EchoSign and I know lots of people who love it. I just couldn't figure it out. :| If you use this link for Docusign you'll receive 30 days free and 10% off your plan. #affiliate

4. A Way To Make Graphics. 
I use Canva. It is a super easy way to make Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media graphics. I'm in Canva all the time. I pick a template that I love for each platform and then I keep it consistent. What I love about Canva is that anyone can use it. It has easy drag and drop templates and you can also create your own. For a previous job I was in InDesign all of the time and I love InDesign. But as a new entrepreneur - I didn't find it necessary to invest in such a tool when Canva was free and did more than enough for what I needed to promote my biz online. 

5. A Way To Collect Leads & Nurture Them. 
My first clients came from word of mouth (WOM) and my own personal network. Which was amazing. It allowed me to sign clients quickly in my business and to get great experience coaching others. And I wanted to have an online business where I was generating leads online. To do that, I provided free content in exchange for the email address of my new lead.  If you're new to this - it's called offering a lead magnet (aka a freebie) in exchange for someone's contact information. Now the lead magnet itself could be a worksheet, a workbook, a 5 day challenge, a webinar, an audio file, etc. But some sort of system is needed so that you can create a page or a popup box for you to drive people to. Here's an example:

I use Leadpages to create the pages I use to drive people to (and to create the checkout pages). Then I have Leadpages collect the email addresses of people that sign up and send those names to my email automation system. For that I use Drip now (previously I was with Infusionsoft). Now you may be asking - why do I have Gmail and Drip. Well Gmail I use to send emails to my clients. Drip I use to send out newsletters and to create a sequence of emails that my potential clients receive as I build a relationship with them. You are in an email sequence that I've created using Drip. Now Drip was acquired by Leadpages so the integration is pretty easy. But you could connect so many other email automation platforms to Leadpages as well. Full disclosure - since I loved Leadpages and Drip so much - I signed up to be an affiliate. Personally, I only sign up to be affiliates of platforms that I already use and love. 

Those are the main systems I use. An additional favorite is Calendly. It's what I use to schedule free coaching calls with potential clients after they fill out an application (I use Google Doc for that).