Networking Ideas to Grow Your Coaching Business
Imagine yourself mingling in a room full of smartly dressed people, trying to sip their drinks, shake hands, give their perfectly rehearsed elevator pitches, and pass out their business cards all at the same time. Would you find yourself struggling and trying hard to remember the name of the person you are currently talking to? Could you fight the feeling that this person just wanted to sell you something and had no personal interest in you at all?
Perhaps networking events like this are something that you prefer to avoid. You would rather have a meaningful and transformative conversation with your favorite client. You would rather focus on your coaching practices in your quiet office. You may believe that networking takes a huge amount of time and energy out of you. But you’re risking an empty office or, if you’re coaching remotely, that there will be no one on the other end of the line.
It is said that networking is one of the most effective ways for entrepreneurs to build their businesses. Some people you meet online or face-to-face will become your clients, as well as other vital contacts such as industry experts, investors, accountant and lawyers—all people who can help your coaching business in other key ways. You’ve probably already grasped the power of recommendations. too. Maybe you’re just wondering how to find the right event or platform for you? Allow me to point you towards networking.
I bet that you’re someone who is described by others as easy to talk to. As someone who listens actively, asks powerful questions, communicates directly, and is present, honest and respectful…sounds familiar, right? Make the most of it using the core coaching competencies that you already have. Without doubt, it will help you build a network of contacts that provide support, information and business referrals. Yes, you’re more than ready to do it.
So, what opportunities do you have at your disposal? On the one hand, you can meet total strangers and, on the other hand, you can reconnect with people you already know. There are lots of events, local networking groups, conferences and trips you can attend, where you can make new connections. Go volunteering or go to yoga classes; have a hobby outside of your professional area. Remember, networking can happen almost anywhere!
Even if you don’t feel like a natural connector, you can still make an effort to get out of your comfort zone. Choose a person and initiate the first step. You can ask a question, find common interests, exchange information, help to solve a problem, connect with someone you know or do something as simple as giving a compliment…And keep your conversation in balance. Try to get to know this person and their needs, but also don’t forget to open up and share your own story. It’s not a full-time coaching session (at least not yet).
Make sure that people around you know what you do for a living. Think about your family, friends and neighbors. Reconnect with your old friends and clients. Keep them up to date. It may be as simple as sending them regular birthday wishes or just asking how they are doing from time to time. Let them know what the challenges are in your business, who you are working with and what your niche is. Tell them how they can support you. Make it clear.
Be active on social media. Join forums and engage in discussion. Leave a comment. Show up as an expert in your field. Know your followers…and meet them, too. Create a community and organize your own real life event. Connect people who have things to offer to one another. Don’t forget to follow up and stay in touch. Play with all these possibilities and find your own networking style. And always keep in mind: The more people you know, the more opportunities will come your way!