Speaking is one of the fastest ways for entrepreneurs to get clients, but it is particularly successful for coaches.
People hire coaches when they trust them and think they can make a significant difference in their life and speaking is an easy way to establish that “know, trust and like” factor, if you do it well.
It is rare for someone to find a coach through a Google search, then sign up for a breakthrough session (strategy session, free session, etc.) on their website, and hire them on the spot. Usually coaches are found and hired through a strong personal/professional network or some sort of credibility marketing, like speaking.
When you’re on stage in front of an audience, you have the opportunity to build credibility quickly.
As you speak, you demonstrate the value of what you bring to your client relationships, develop trust, and give everyone in the audience a chance to see who you are and determine whether they are aligned with your work.
When an ideal client can clearly see that you can help them and feel that you are a vibrational match, they will raise their hand to talk to you.
In my experience, the most successful way for coaches to garner new clients with speaking is through generosity.
Generosity means going in with the intention of sharing deeply with your audience and demonstrating the value of your work. The idea is that people will walk away with value whether they hire you or not, but any ideal clients in your audience will really recognize they need and want more. By being generous, you don’t come across as “salesy” (a huge fear of most coaches) and you’ll build credibility and trust. It’s also just good karma!
Taking this approach with speaking, most of my clients will get 30-50% of the room to sign up for a breakthrough session. In some circumstances, it’s 80-90% of the room. Now, this doesn’t mean they have to meet with all of them as you can limit the slots you give away and have people answer some questions to help determine who would benefit from those slots the most.
Speaking can be so powerful that I have had clients literally fill their practice through one speaking event.
Most of my clients will get at least two awesome new clients through each speaking gig, but often they’ll get more. Speaking is truly a valuable tool to have in your toolbox if you are happily willing to put yourself out there!
However, if the thought of speaking really doesn’t resonate with you, there are many other ways to build your business… but if it does appeal to you, it’s a powerful strategy to add to your business development plan.
Of course, the key to having a successful speaking event is to make sure your enrollment conversation skills are in tip-top shape. If you don’t have a great enrollment process, even a very successful speaking engagement will not yield new clients. I call this the 1-2 punch: knock it out of the park when you speak, and seal the deal when you talk to them on the phone later. You certainly don’t want to spend hours and hours talking to potential clients if you aren’t able to have rich and powerful discussions that have your ideal clients “leaning in”.
If you would like a little guidance in crafting and practicing your enrollment conversations, check out my Nailing Your Breakthrough Sessions Workbook.
Tara Butler Floch