One of the complaints I hear most often from coaches is that they don’t know where to find clients.
They know they need to be out there looking for people to serve. They understand that just having a website or posting on social media isn’t going to create clients quickly, especially if you’re just getting started. But what coaches often forget – or perhaps don’t realize in the first place – is that you don’t have to know exactly who your ideal clients are, or even where they are.
All you have to do is start looking somewhere, because clients can literally be found anywhere.
There is no “right” person to connect with.
Now, you may be thinking, he doesn’t really mean anywhere.
But I do.
The main mistake people make when trying to connect with people is, they think they need to find a certain person–or type of person–to connect with. So I invite you to, instead of agonizing over who the “right” person is, just go out and start connecting with people.
Practice connecting with people in general, and stop worrying about who they are or whether they’re going to be a good fit.
Sometimes those connections will bear fruit, sometimes they won’t. People will hire you, and others will decline, but rejection, experimentation, and getting it ‘wrong’ are all parts of the process. I invite you to look at these as “stepping stones” or building blocks on the journey of becoming good at connecting naturally with people, because that’s the real goal here.
As you connect, you build relationships, yes; but, you also develop the skills you need to get even better at connecting.
Start with a pre-connection.
I recognize this may sound a bit broad, and you may still be unsure where to start. So, let’s break it down.
First there’s a stage of connection called pre-connection, which is all about setting your intentions and making a plan to connect with someone.
You might begin by making a list of people you want to connect with. You might find some events to attend, or even just set an intention to connect with someone on a certain date and see where it goes from there.
The next stage is simple: CONNECT!
This is honestly as easy as can be. Start asking the people on your list if they’d like to set up a call. Start connecting with everyone you meet: your uber driver, the cashier at the grocery store, or anyone else you interact with on a casual basis.
Ask them about themselves, and try to sustain a conversation for 3 or 5 minutes. If they’re not at work, you might even push it to 10 minutes.
The key to connecting with people is to genuinely want to find out more about them.
Interestingly, one of the things I’ve learned over the years is that people usually like to talk about themselves. They will tell you their story, if you ask.
Here are a few good questions you might use when you’re connecting with people:
- What’s your biggest challenge right now?
- What are you excited about right now?
- What are you looking forward to in the near future?
- What makes you amazing?
These questions can often indirectly reveal deeper levels of what people are experiencing, which can lead into potentially deeper conversations.
No matter how good you are as a coach, strong connection skills are always necessary.
If you aren’t able to connect with people in a genuine sense, then no amount of clarity around your niche, quality of your website, or quality of your social media presence can replace that. Simply knowing how to connect makes finding clients so much easier than all the other tools combined.
So ask yourself, where are you drawn to show up? Where are there existing groups of people who might need or resonate with your mission? Where are the people who want what your best clients want?
Feel into it, and start showing up there.
If you’re willing to find out about people, and if you’re interested in making real connections, then you can find clients anywhere.
Remember, the wrong question is, where can I find the right people? The right question is: How can I start being in connection today or this week?