I was bouncing up and down when this first got published on the Evercoach blog and I wanted to share it with you today…
So. You’re an introvert.
You’re in your happy place having quiet time by yourself. Hot cocoa on a winter’s night. Fresh flowers just cause. Working in your jammies because you can.
I get it. For as far back as I can remember, I struggled with shyness and feeling socially awkward at times.
When I worked in corporate, I organized and attended many group functions. I put my game face on but secretly I felt self-conscious. I didn’t know what to say and I didn’t want to look stupid.
I watched in awe as my engaging colleagues and strategic partners captivated the attention of the room. Meanwhile, I scanned the crowd and gravitated towards those I knew, bypassing the herd to engage in more intimate conversation.
Fast forward to last year when I started my coaching business. I watched seasoned coaches captivate the attention of their community. They excited. They grabbed and engaged. They were fully booked.
I wanted that. So I did what so many coaches do. I signed up for multiple programs thinking getting more credentials and know-how would even the playing field. Wrong.
You Don’t Need More Credentials and Tactics
When I got serious about getting clients, I immersed myself in learning sales and marketing strategies but most strategies were for the extroverted coach. Not me.
I’m sure you can relate. I bet you’ve tried getting clients in traditional ways like Networking groups, conferences and other in person events.
Likely your results, if anything like mine, were dismal. And you simply felt awkward.
All I had to show for those early efforts were sweaty palms, quivering knees and a handful of business cards (if I was lucky).
So, is it really is possible to create an explosive coaching business when you’re happier working on your computer in your cozies at home? YES! The key is to embrace your super powers as an introvert.
So mingling into big crowds isn’t your thing. But connecting with others more intimately is. Be strategic with that.
Advantages Of Being An Introvert
As an introvert, you have an ace in your pocket when it comes to attracting clients. You are a deep connector. You value the richness of a few close relationships.
That level of intimacy is the key for success, especially in the early stages of your coaching business.
When you let go of doing what everyone else is doing and align yourself with what feels good for you, you’ll shine.
As an introvert, you’re likely up to speed with your favourite experts. When I first got the coaching bug, I was obsessed with Marie Forleo and Tony Robbins.
I knew them inside and out. Watched all of their videos. Got excited each week when my inbox would ding with their latest shareable.
I virtually stalked them. Even though they had no idea who I was, I felt like they were my BFFs because I knew everything about them. They shared stories that resonated with my desires. They gave me tangible tips on how to move forward in my life and business. They understood me. At times I felt they knew me better than I knew myself.
I wanted what they had. I wanted that kind of loyalty and affinity with my own tribe, so I could enrol clients with ease.
I finally figured it out. Here’s how…
5 Ways Introverted Coaches Get Clients
1. Share Your Story
The first way to intimately connect with your tribe and get paying clients is by sharing your story.
If you came from a corporate background, you were likely stripped of your personal identity in favour of the corporate collective.
It’s what happens. You trade in your uniqueness to conform to the standard. That’s precisely what you need to avoid in your business.
Don’t do what everyone else is doing because it worked for them. You need to identify the strategies that leverage your unique genius. Let go of the rest.
As an introvert, you prefer having privacy about your life. You don’t stand on the soapbox and shout out about how great you are. You believe you do great work and it should speak for itself.
Wrong. You cannot wait around to be discovered. It won’t happen.
How To Connect Through Story
First. Share your credibility so your tribe knows you’re worth listening to.
Next, share a before and after story on what you’ve overcome that makes you especially suitable to help your ideal clients. It’s key to be open and vulnerable about your before.
You likely have a few before and after stories. Pick one that deeply resonates with your tribe. One of the stories I share is about my struggle with selling myself.
I had an impressive corporate wrap sheet and was the right hand in building a 7 figure business from the ground up.
But when I started my business, I shrank when it came time make an offer. I felt icky. I pictured the used car salesman. I didn’t want to be pushy.
There were times I’d just skip the offer completely. If I did make the offer….I shrank. Voice faded. Palms sweaty.
The resulting “no” felt deeply personal.
It was a different kettle of fish selling myself. There was no company. No team. Nobody else to fall back on. Just me.
Things shifted when I realized selling was helping. By not sharing my offer, I was doing my ideal client a disservice. She deeply wanted the transformation I offered. If I couldn’t effectively connect the dots on how my services could help her, how would she know otherwise?
Noes turned into yeses when I came from a place of service.
Sharing your story is key to connecting to potential clients. It’s how people relate to you. When I’ve asked my clients why they hired me, do you know what they say? “I resonated with your story!
2. Partnering with Influencers
The power of influence and endorsement is the fast track to success.
Consider this. Overnight, Weight Watchers shares more than doubled after they announced Oprah Winfrey had taken a 10% stake in the company and joined its board of directors.
So maybe Oprah’s not on your influencers list yet, but you can leverage your ability to create intimate connections by partnering with key players in your field.
Just imagine how quickly you can connect with your ideal clients by leveraging the reach of influencers.
There are several ways to do this.
An Effective Partnering Strategy
You’ve heard it before, list building is key. But in the beginning you might only be adding a few names at a time to your list and it can feel painstakingly slow.
Experts tell you the money’s in your list. So. You focus on list building efforts.
Experts say to treat a tiny list as though it were thousands.
I don’t know about you, but I found it hard to stay motivated to write great content for an itty bitty list (that included my dog) in the beginning.
I knew there must be a better way…than scrounging up the odd business card from each networking event.
Leverage the reach of influencers by hosting a tele-summit.
Come up with a theme. Research a list of 20 experts that offer unique approaches. Ex. Social Media. Online Magazine. Retreats. Ebooks. Speaking. Copywriting.
Don’t be discouraged that you don’t have much to offer. You do. You’re providing the vehicle to support the collaboration and reach of the combined group.
Approach them with an offer of what was in it for them. List Build. Exposure. Leverage.
Make it easy for them. Create done for you sharable copy and social media graphics.
When I did this, experts said “YES!”
I saw my list grow by hundreds each day as I received personal endorsements from these experts.
It doesn’t stop there. By nurture your relationships with those experts, you can create long term partnerships.
They can connect you with opportunities to gain visibility though their network that you wouldn’t have been able to land on your own. Podcasts, tele-summits, guest posts, magazines and radio. They can send droves of clients your way.
Relationships are the key to success.
3. Facebook Groups
This can be one of the most effective ways to get clients organically.
Pick 3-5 Active FB groups where your ideal clients are hanging out. Observe the discussions for a few days to ensure the energy of the group connects with your brand.
If it does, then start showing up at as the expert and contribute to the group and engage with it’s members.
Commit to posting in the groups daily.
Posts can include any of the following:
- An Introduction
- Solutions to Urgent Problems (Ex. Step-by-step, How to’s)
- Conversation Starter (Ex. If you were a flavour of ice cream what would you be? Comment below.)
- Stories (Ex. Before and after from #1)
- Why you do what you do (Ex. Your Mission, Your Why, Your Message for Humanity)
- Do you like A or B? Share a graphic with two to four option. (Ex. ebook cover, headline, pictures of you, etc.)
They key is to add value, be useful, connect and engage with people who respond. You might not have lot of engagement in the beginning. Don’t stop or get discouraged. Be consistent. Every expert still hears crickets on some of their posts. Remember people are still watching you.
Include a call to action, even as simple as comment below.
Comment on other people’s posts. This will encourage more engagement and support others.
Pick a theme each week based on an urgent problem your ideal clients have.
For example, if the theme was HowIntroverted Coaches Get Coaching Clients, you could break it down into several smaller checkpoints for each post. Ex. each step of this article could be one post.
Ask people to self identify by writing in the comments.
Engage and build relationships with those people. Start conversations. Learn about them. Give value like a free PDF checklist or relevant resource that will help them solve their urgent problem.
Through conversations or promo posts if allowed in the group, start offering a free tele-classes, webinars or assessments. Pick one, maybe two.
4. Direct Outreach
Direct outreach is key to getting clients.
Personally reach out to everyone who raised their hand and engaged with your previous posts on Facebook. Get to know them. Personally invite them to take advantage of your free offer.
Be sure to include an overview of the specific benefits a potential client might get.
Connect with your entire network, even if you’ve changed fields. Coaches tend to ignore their current network which is where they should begin. These people already know, like and trust you. Tell them what you are doing now, who you help and what problems you help solve.
Personally reach out to new people on your email list. Start a dialogue. Get to know them better. Ask them about their challenges. Build that intimacy and know, like and trust.
I know what you’re thinking. How can this possibly be on a list for introverts? Right?
You might be surprised to know that many introverts are incredible speakers. Truth is you don’t need to be a great conversationalist to be a good speaker.
One of the famous hit radio DJs in my community is the most socially awkward person, yet he gets up on stage and captivates the room.
Speaking is a step removed from being in the thick of a crowd. You’re prepared. You’re scripted. And you’re showing up as the expert. Instant credibility.
How do you get speaking gigs?
By connecting with organizers and asking. Or you can start your own Meetup Group.
Nobody knew who I was when I first started, so I created a Meetup. My first event had only one person show up. My second event, five people came. Dismal right?
Wrong. One lady from my second event, loved what I had to say and referred me to speak at a conference for one hundred and thirty ideal clients.
That speaking engagement landed me several paying clients and substantially added to my list build. It served as a platform of experience and testimonial for future speaking opportunities.
There you have it, five incredible ways that you, as an introvert, can get clients in a way that feels in line with who you are. Take out what works for you and throw out the rest.
As an introvert, don’t adopt the client attraction methods geared toward the extroverted. It won’t work. Know your strengths, know where you shine and leverage that brilliance. Don’t be the square peg in the round hole. Find your square hole and sink into it with ease and grace.
That’s what you can have — a business built around your brilliance. Raving fans as clients and a community of virtual stockers.