“This article was originally published by the International Coach Federation”
With today being Valentine’s Day here in the U.S., I wanted to touch on a point that’s absolutely critical when it comes to successfully branding your coaching practice: Showing your clients some love.
Now before people take that wrong way, allow me to explain.
Clients, as we all know, are the lifeblood of our business.
No doing what we love…no business.
So obviously, they are super important. But here’s a question for you: If I took a straw poll of your clients right now, how many do you think would say they feel “super important” or “genuinely cared about” as it relates to their work with you?
But why not all?
You see, one of the things that’s made a huge impact on my business in general, and brand in particular, is that a large majority of my clients feel that I am “fully vested” in their success. Not just in a clinical, distant kind of way, but “fully vested”…emotionally.
That’s another level entirely.
And while I understand you want to maintain a degree of professional distance in your work, I also understand that my brand as being a “professional, emotionally connected” coach to my clients has had a huge impact on my practice.
I think it is one of the reasons why they sign up for additional sessions and why they initiate new work together. Also, in my mind, it plays a huge part in them passing me referrals because they feel like I care beyond the “I’m a coach just doing my job” kind of way.
While most coaches truly do care, professionally, for their clients, going beyond that and showing that you care deeply and emotionally for their professional well-being is a horse a different color!
So how do you “show the love” for your clients in the weeks ahead? Great question and here are some ideas to get you started.
Send a thank you card for all new clients. This is something I absolutely love doing, but I have to admit, it is something I’ve struggled to consistently do in the past. It just didn’t seem like a big deal whether I sent them or not. Now that I understand how much people like the “little things” and how much of an impact it’s having on my brand (“Oh thanks so much for the card! You didn’t have to do that!”), it’s become a branding staple for my business.
Always say thank you…like all the time. I signed on a new client the other day and probably said “thanks” four different ways during a 30-minute conversation. And not in a “Oh my gosh, THANK YOU for the new business,” but in a “Hey Bill, thanks again for working with me. I really appreciate you allowing me to be a part of this project and I’m really looking forward to adding some value.” In a time and place where entitlement has firmly taken hold, and people have all of sudden forgotten to say thank you for even the smallest things, this act alone will go a long way in your branding efforts.
Send them some business. That’s right, why not provide a referral or two if you can? Now obviously, this is something you won’t be able to do all the time, but to the extent that I can, I make it a point to either send a referral or do business directly with a large majority of my clients. If you’re not sure who would be a good referral or how you can best send them business, set up an “offline” meeting (maybe 30 minutes) and ask! That alone will help skyrocket your client brand.
Allow related clients to guest post on your blog. Again, this isn’t going to work for everyone, and if you don’t have a blog or online newsletter yet, then that’s a separate conversation (start a newsletter please…seriously), but I love giving clients a chance to guest post on my newsletter with relevant information for the folks who follow me. Not only does it give your client a chance to be exposed to your group, but it also gives your following a fresh perspective with some value-added content. And if you’re still working on your newsletter, that’s fine. Have them post on your Business Facebook page!
Bottom line: Business is business, and I totally I understand that you don’t want people to feel uncomfortable in how you interact. But I also understand that by branding yourself to clients as the “coach who really cares,” you’ll go a long way towards getting more business and spending more time doing what you love.
And on Valentine’s Day, isn’t that what it’s all about?