Coaching

An independent consultant once joked with me that he spent 75% of his time marketing, 50% of his time delivering and 25% of his time doing admin. Guess which of these slices he since reduced? Today, he earns double the revenue that he earned when we started working together… in fewer hours of work.

In today’s marketplace, professional life takes real energy and stamina. It’s not just a question of getting the strategy right; it’s also important to energise business-development, so that it can be done in less time. To do so, energy (and focus) is just as important as strategy.

Since 1998, I have coached over 650 professionals, many of whom have achieved dramatic increases in revenue, working fewer hours.  I am also a co-founder of the European Forum of Independent Professionals, that campaigns across Europe for better trading conditions for freelancers.

By working together, we build skills, confidence and energy from week to week. In particular, we work on dialogue-skills, such as story-telling, as this often determines a professional’s credibility as well as their fees.

Courage is equally important. As Churchill said, “Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities… because it is the quality which guarantees all others.” Here are some of the typical issues:

 

THE CLIENT WORLD:
- Identifying your ideal client: Who are they? To whom are they talking? What language are they using? Why you?
- Setting out your stall: your website, blog and SEO (search engine optimisation). Positioning your services at the heart of the client world.
- Building credibility and trust: basic Do’s and Don’ts of compelling communication.
- Social media: using Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter to expand your network and build a sense of connection with you.
- Your marketing plan: identifying your five best sources of clients from: networking, writing, speaking, PR, partnership with others, keeping-in-touch, Google, other professionals, advertising, running open groups, open house, charity events etc… (because we just cannot do them all!)
- Turning one-off sessions into regular clients
- Dealing with appointments, no-shows, late arrivals, last-minute requests etc.
- Creating a system to stay-in-touch. Surveying your clients.
- Making it easier to get referrals, testimonials and recommendations.

 

MONEY:
- Basic financial planning and budgeting .
- Pricing. Dealing with “Oh, I can’t afford that” and other awkward money-related conversations. Should you discount?
- Growing your confidence: “You cannot charge a fee if you cannot say the words!”
- Using gift-certificates and the power of “Thank You” in private practice
- Additional revenue without using your hands / time
- Questions to ask before doing the next course (and/or making other investments).

 

ENERGY:
- Protecting time to think and plan.
- Recharging your batteries, energising your practice from day to day.
- Juggling time for clients, time for business-development and time for life.
- Nurturing a compelling vision, that makes all the effort worthwhile.

 

GROWTH:
- Developing a top reputation in a niche
- Being a model among peers
- Managing your support team

 

Sorry for the long list! Some of my clients have felt like the farmer who said to the agent: “Please don’t tell me how to farm any better… I’m not even farming as well as I know how to already!”

The good news is that about half of the above items only need to be done once (or maybe once a year). Example: building a website. Half of the remainder become habits: such as pricing. So your weekly action list should not exceed 2-3 items per day. They key to success to doing these items consistently… a bit like fitness. In other words, building momentum.

Which is why energising yourself to do 2-3 things per day, consistently, is the single most important thing you can do to grow your business ☺

 

Flexible arrangements to suit your requirements: Feel free to call me on +32 479 474 182 or email john@vco-global.com

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