For most people spending the morning being asked to be a guest on two major radio stations would be a dream come true. However for my client, Alistair Miller, for whom this happened to last week, he knew that the work had just begun.
Alistair and I have been working together for some time now refining his niche, creating a message that would draw him the clients he wanted, and building his sales funnel. We knew that traction was important. In a crowded market, a career coach needs to stand out and have something a ‘bit special’ to say. For a solo entrepreneur the only way to build a sustainable business is to tilt the balance and make clients flood to you. It’s about positioning your self so all the fish swim to you naturally, so you don’t have to go hunting or chasing each and every one down.
Getting noticed by the radio stations and being asked to speak as an expert is definitely good positioning. It led to increased website hits that day and now the ability to put ‘as featured on’ on his website which adds to his credibility.
But what does it really mean for his business?
Firstly it means his message is spot on. That he is solving a real problem that people are talking about. Secondly it means that the way he has presented his message is recognised by third parties, and is done so in such a professional way that other people/ companies/ media are willing to hang their reputation on him by featuring him as an expert. This is excellent feedback.
However, it doesn’t mean that Alistair has made it. It means that he now has traction, that he has started to get the fish to swim to him, but the question is can he get them to bite?
In my book ‘Grass Roots to Green Shoots’ I tell the story of my friend who has created her own fashion line. One day I visited her website and was shocked to see how many front pages of glossy magazines her clothes had been featured in. I’d worked hard with her on her marketing and business plan. At first I was hurt that she hadn’t told me about this success, but then I realised that success isn’t in being featured in magazines or programmes, it’s in sales volume. Unless you can follow up publicity with sales, you really have nothing. The fact that you can attract free publicity is just good feedback that you have an attractive product.
Along with mastering marketing, is mastering the art of sales. Many entrepreneurs forget this. In a celebrity centred culture, publicity and fame have quickly become the celebrated end goal. And unless you recognise this for what it is you’ll always be ‘a hundred miles away from making it’. When you receive publicity you must turn this into sales volume, otherwise it is like celebrating that you’ve spotted dry land but forgetting to row to shore. We must recognise that small successes, are just feedback that we’re on the right track, otherwise we’ll always be ‘almost there’ but never making it.
Is your business getting traction? Does your niche draw a hungry audience? Do you know what to do with leads when they arrive in your business? Can you turn them into sales? Knowing where you are in business is imperative. If you don’t know the answer to these questions, they why not find out.
At MarketingHelpForCoaches.com we work with coaches to firm up their niche, develop their message, create marketing strategies and develop their sales skills. We do this through one to one coaching and online training programmes that are accessible across the world.