If your coaching business is quiet you’re probably not on your own. The holidays and summer are times when business tends to take a dip. In fact, it’s so common to have a period when your coaching business is quiet that it’s a wonder we don’t expect it - prepare for it even. On an intellectual level you can ‘get’ this - but on some other, less... grounded one, can lead to many a coach or holistic person (hey, we’ve all been there) having a mini freak out that goes something along these lines:
“Why am I bothering? is there any point in putting out a blog post. No one’s reading - or maybe they are but I’m not getting the clients. There must be a reason my coaching business is quiet - is it something I'm doing wrong? (cue inner critic doing the macarena) Why AM I bothering? Maybe the last clients were all just luck. What if I don’t get any again? What if it doesn’t pick up?...I should do some hustling now to drum up some business… but no one’s going to want to think about coaching now, they’re all getting ready for the holidays….argh!”
and so it goes on.
Instead, take the advice of my wise friend Lara Heacock:
"Things happen when the time is right. I fully believe that even when I don't want to. Also, every little thing you do matters. ...Slow periods suck. I give us permission to feel meh and be cranky about them sucking. Just remember why you're doing this"
So in the spirit of freak-out avoidance here are 21 things you can do when your coaching business is quiet to grow your reach and get you out of the freak out zone.
- Take some time to reflect and assess - what worked well? what could you do differently? What energizes you the most? What drained you? What lessons have you learned? How much did you progress? Research tells us that this is a key way to boost your self esteem and stay resilient - rather than focus on all of the things still to be done, look at home far you’ve come.
- Do some work on your biz. Enjoy the space and time to do some studying or lay the foundational pieces for a great 2016. Take a class or a course that addresses a specific area you know you need to improve.
- Finish the e-books you’ve already downloaded (but not read)
- Review your website and offers - get some clarity of what worked, what didn’t and how you can build on your successes and have more ease in your business.
- Spend some time clarify your message and getting super clear on who you help and what you help them with. I swear this is THE most important factor in making your coaching business a success. This isn't the easiest thing to do on your own - but you honestly can't afford not to nail this.
- Take some time for yourself. Pushing can only go on for so long, after a while you have to let yourself kick back and relax. Use the natural pause that the holidays give to allow yourself to recharge and refresh. Take a step or two away from hustling and practice just ‘being’. It’s certainly one of my areas for development and one I’m planning on getting really good at (Who’re you calling Type A????)
- Make a list of 10 people you’ve connected with recently and invite them to work with you. The personal touch often works wonders. Yes it’s scary but fortune favors the brave as they say.
- Create a special, mini offer just for the season - people are often stressed out and strapped for cash around holiday and vacation times so something that’s lower in cost and time commitment than your usual offers but addresses a specific need (30 minute stress reduction sessions, a family survival mini coaching package, healthy eating over the holidays etc.)
- Get on the phone. Invite people in your network to a complimentary laser session or consultation
- Really dig in and understand your customers - review your intake forms, any feedback and testimonials you’ve had from past clients. look for patterns and key phrases to help you with your messaging and copywriting.
- Write some guest posts. These are great for generating buzz, raising your profile and adding people to your audience. Make sure you have a bio written and a compelling invite for interested readers to come back to your site (mention your opt in and how it will help them).
- Do a bunch of free sessions and massively boost your profile, confidence, and understanding of your potential clients (and pick up a paying client or two)
- Round up some testimonials and put them on your website. Check out your Facebook and twitter comments (take screen shots for that extra authentic touch), messages and emails from clients.
- Make some pretty images using Picmonkey or Canva with your client’s testimonials on them and post them on social media.
- Plan out your content over the next few months to tie in with any big promotions you’ve got, seasons and holidays.
- Allow yourself to experiment and play about with different forms of content creation.E.G. if you usually write long personal blog posts, try doing a ‘how to…’ post. Or create a video or audio.
- Send out a Friends and Family email telling them about your services and asking for referrals. Scary I know but one of the most effective strategies around for spreading the word and drumming up new connections and recommendations (especially when you’re starting out).
- Find a mastermind - or start your own. Having peers and people who ‘get’ what this journey is like, can hold you to account and talk you down off the ledge are invaluable (and as rare in the ‘non - entrepreneurial world as a measured and reasonable debate involving Donald Trump). If you don't know where to start, hop on over to The Coaches Collective (My private Facebook group) and give a shout out there for like-minded coaching folks who are walking a similar path who might be interested in setting up a regular mastermind group.
- Survey your audience - set up a simple questionnaire using something like SurveyMonkey or Typeform (my personal favorite - so pretty). Find out what they want next from you (then give it to them), what their key problems are (which you can then solve for them), or what they’d most like to learn (which you can then teach them).
- Reconnect with a past client. Send them a free gift like a checklist or some coaching questions to help them reflect on their progress since your last session. Then maybe invite them to hop and a call with you for a free top up session.
- Properly take some time OFF. Like completely - commit to it, enjoy it. Give yourself permission to recharge and refill your emotional and spiritual well. It’ll do you the world of good I promise! And do you know what? It will give you the extra energy and drive you need when the time is right to start the push and hustle of your business in a few days or weeks time. Honestly this is sometimes the best thing you can do Your business isn’t going anywhere unless you want it to. So relax, and enjoy the time to remember why you're doing this, and why it's worth the ups and downs of this crazy ride that is running a coaching business.