You might have heard other marketing coaches talk about “getting your name out there”, but before you go crazy on social media or start filling your diary with networking events, let’s look at why it’s important to be visible.
Think back to one of the last services you paid for. Did you hire a coach, visit a homeopath, start classes with a yoga teacher? Did you go to a talk, get a massage, see a nutritionist? Remember back to how you made the decision to commit to paying for that service.
When we hear about a new practitioner or product, we don’t tend to think “I must part with my money right this very minute!” Our instinct is generally to want to find out more.
When we’re planning a holiday, we might spend hours on YouTube looking up videos of the cities we want to visit, reading hotel and hostel reviews, looking on forums, checking train times. We don’t want to have a conversation with a reservation agent straight away; we want to do our research and check out things from a distance.
If a friend suggests we come along to a gig, we’d probably check out the band’s music on his MP3 player before we buy a ticket.
What this means for your business
You want plenty of people to become paying clients. Right now, many of those people are strangers. There are various phases in the journey of them moving all the way from stranger to paying client with you and I affectionally call this early “checking out” stage the stalker phase.
The stalker phase is a really natural phase and it’s your job, as service professional, to enable and encourage this. It’s your responsibility to ensure prospective clients can get a sense of you and your approach before making initial contact with you.
There are a number of ways to do this, but let’s first check how stalkable you are now.
Imagine you’re someone other than you – in fact, you’re your ideal client. You’re sitting at home (or wherever you are now) and you’ve just heard about you from someone and you want to check you out.
Try and find out as much as you can about you. Look on Google, see if you can find your website, look on Facebook or see if you’ve been tweeting.
As well as your professional credentials and principles, people like knowing the little things. Your favourite food, where you’ve travelled, the music that gets you moving. They’re not deciding factors in whether they hire you or not, they’re just nice little extras that show you’re human – and we human beings tend to feel safer with other human beings.
Make a list of how many ways people can currently find out more about you and your approach without you yet knowing they exist.
Haven’t got many options on your list?
Become more stalkable
Here are some options for making yourself more stalkable:
- Have a website, even if it’s very basic.
- Include a photo (Caroline Webster in North London does great headshots).
- Reveal a little more on your About page; paint a picture of yourself as a whole person, rather than hiding behind qualifications and staid professionalism.
- Give a talk or teleclass. Someone can sit quietly hidden in an audience and experience you live and it’ll build their sense of safety that they could work with you.
- Record some videos, upload them to YouTube – the next best thing to live events.
- Write a blog or an article for a magazine (online or paper) so people can get a sense of your voice and your approach.
- Be visible on social media and combine your professional messages with more personal whole-life stuff.
Prospective clients need to be able to find out about you, get a sense of you and see if they resonate with your approach. If you’re not adequately stalkable, they can’t yet do that – so make it your mission to stop hiding and be findable.
Have you found it useful to “stalk” a practitioner before hiring them? Did it lead to a better investment of your time and energy? Any top tips on how to make it easier for prospective client to stalk you? Leave a comment below, let us know.
From strangers to paying clients
You’ll discover a lot more about how to take strangers through to becoming paying clients in chapter 7 of Turn Your Passion To Profit: a step-by-step guide to getting your business off the ground. Get your copy of the book here > >
© Corrina Gordon-Barnes 2012