A lot of people want to monetize their blogs, they want to help other people solve a problem that they are really good at solving. They might have the formal training and certification to do this, or the experience of working with others. They might have their own life journey where they overcame this problem themselves and now feel like they must help others.
Helping people in a certain area might come naturally to them and they find that all of their friends and people in their lives keep coming to them for help. They know they can coach, teach, or train others. But something is stopping them from actually making an offer.
They are actually afraid of attracting attention to themselves. They are scared of doing everything they should be doing to attract paying clients and keep them. They come up with all sorts of excuses to justify their behavior but the reality is that getting your first client may mean getting over your comfort zone. You have to do it to see the result.
If you are one of these people then keep reading as I have words to help solve this problem for good.
#1 People could do this on their own
Do you worry that because of all the free information that is available out there, why would anyone pay to get their problem solved? Allow me to explain.
First and foremost, just because you are interested in your topic and you live and breathe it, it doesn’t mean that everyone else is too. For some people it can just be something they need to get done and not necessarily spend hours learning it. They have more important things to do in life – things they are good at.
For example, there are tons of WordPress tutorials available on YouTube. If someone has an issue and they are technically competent, they could potentially locate the solution and then do it themselves. But a vast majority of them won’t. Someone would gladly pay a WordPress expert to do a fresh install, install a theme and all the plugins, and even update it regularly. This is why so many people offer this service.
Secondly, people are busy. They don’t necessarily have hours to look for the information they need, plod through it to see what is actually helpful. They would rather hire somebody to help them do it or outsource is altogether.
Finally, look beyond one-person clients. There are companies, organizations, and non-profits that routinely hire freelancers. Can they get the job done within the company? Maybe or maybe not. You just need to know they do. Look around to see all the ads and you’ll see it is true.
#2 Why would someone hire me?
So this excuse actually stems from a very common fear that almost every human has: fear of not being good enough. We all have this fear to some degree. The problem arises when we allow it to rule our lives and businesses.
The only way to bust this fear is to take action. If you feel you can’t get paying clients, start helping people for free in exchange for feedback and a testimonial. By working with real people, you will discover your strengths (and weaknesses), you will come to know what you love working on (and what you don’t), the kind of client you love to help (and the kind you don’t).
This will give you confidence like nobody’s business. And you will start to feel good in your bones about how you can help people. Secondly, you might struggle because you feel there is too much competition. This requires a shift in mindset as well.
People hire others based on what they bring to the table but more importantly, other than value itself they look at the person – you. What is your personality like? Are you a good fit? Do your ideas and work style resonate? This means no one can copy you because they are not you.
Lastly, by looking for clients you are not taking poaching clients from others. There is plenty of work for everyone.
#3 Can I get them the results I Promise?
This is an interesting one that I personally struggled with for a long time. This applies to you if you are a coach, consultant, advisor, teacher, or a trainer.
I had plenty of confidence in my own ability but I wasn’t sure that I could help someone get the same or even better results. I felt hesitant because I didn’t have the confidence to say I could help people go from point A to point B.
The a-ha moment came for me when I realized that the results depend on my ability to help people but even more so on their ability to take action. In fact, you don’t guarantee any results unless they commit to taking action.
It also depends on client’s natural ability to do the job (and I find this issue to be something nobody talks about). The way to counter this is to not think about the ultimate result your client desires but incremental, in-between goals that you set for them.
So if you are a weight loss coach and you help people lose 50 pounds for example, you might look at the first goal where you help them create a diet and exercise plan. That’s a result. They couldn’t have done it without you or they would have. The second goal might be to lose 5 pounds. The third goal might be have them do running.
Could you promise your clients incremental results? I bet you can.
#4 I don’t feel comfortable charging high rates
Firstly, you don’t have to charge rates. And what do you even mean by high rates? High rates or premium prices is such a subjective concept.
Let’s take a look at business coaches. Coaches who are starting out can charge from $200 and up. Elite coaches thousands of dollars per session. There is a huge scale.
Start with doing a competitive search to see what your competitors are charging to get an idea of what the market will bear. So if you see someone asking 10,000 dollars to design a website you know that’s very well possible.
Next start looking at all the criteria to come up with a price that is a perfect fit for your audience. Start with your credibility. What are your qualifications, certifications and work experience like? Have you got a boat load of testimonials by raving fans?
Have a look at the kind of results you have helped your clients achieve. What is your track record like? You most likely don’t have a line of people waiting to work with you so don’t charge prices where you have trouble people signing up.
Finally, you have to look at your branding and positioning. To charge premium pricing, you must have branding to match. You have to remember that pricing is a marketing tool. It’s got nothing to do with your worth. Your rates should be based on the kind of value you bring to the client.
#5 My audience don’t have the money
Well, if your target audience is housewives then you know they won’t be able to pay $500 a session with you (unless they are wealthy).
Jokes aside, generally speaking don’t have any assumptions to how much people will pay. People come up with money for something they truly want even if they don’t have enough cash or otherwise credit cards companies won’t exist.
If your rates are fair and you see plenty of folks charging similar rates and getting paid, you don’t have anything to worry about. If you are still worried. Consider offering payment plans.
You get to consciously decide which type of clients you want. So if you have made offers and your audience hasn’t taken you up on it, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t have the money. It might just be that they are not a good fit for your offer or your offer is not very good to begin with.
If your audience is using your free sessions, you many need to brush up your sales skills. If your audience is not interested, consider going after a different audience.
#6 What if we are not a good fit?
This issue can be avoided by calling out your ideal client in the first place. Do you know who you want to work with? Have you got an ideal client persona? When you are clear on who you want to attract, you will attract the right person. The likelihood of them being not a good fit goes down considerably.
When you don’t know who your ideal client is, not only will you have trouble attracting an audience in the first place, you will find it very hard to sell to these people. Lastly I want to emphasize the importance of being yourself in your marketing so you attract well-suited clients. Don’t be afraid to infuse your personality in your writing (your blog content, newsletter and emails).
Don’t shy away from telling people who might not be a good fit. Don’t just say that you don’t work with unmotivated, lazy or people who are not coachable. Tell people whether you only work with solopreneurs or enterprises, if you work with women over 40, writers, or mothers looking to change careers. Be specific.
#7 What if they ask for a refund?
Generally speaking service charges are non-refundable. You can make this very clear in your terms and conditions. If they are not happy, they can simply stop working with you. You are under no obligation to give their money back.
Get them to sign a contract. Have them agree to your terms. It’s up to you to charge prices upfront or ask for a partial deposit. State clearly what happens if either of you wish to terminate the contract early.
There is also a slight chance that the client might default on the payment. But that’s a very small percentage of people who will do that – just like the people who ask for a refund. It’s best to not worry about them in advance.
#8 I don’t know how to look for clients
Again, this is simply an excuse. You don’t know how to get clients? Then learn how to.
Start publishing a blog and publish highly useful, relevant content so you attract your ideal audience. Learn to do email marketing. Learn how to put packages together and create offers that your audience is eager to buy.
Invest in Facebook ads to drive traffic to your website. Guest post on blogs where your audience hangs out. Spend time in forums and Facebook groups. And learn to master the sales process.
#9 I suck at sales
Do you think sales are slimy, sleazy and simply evil?
What comes to mind when you think about closing sales? Do you feel like a used car salesman? Do you feel like you are taking advantage of people? Do you feel uncomfortable in your stomach? You need a reframe.
Let’s say you have baby who just refuses to sleep. You have tried everything you can think of but no joy. You have asked your friends for help but nothing seems to be working.
While looking for a solution you read this very insightful article from a nurse who specializes in sleep. You are delighted to see that she is offering a free, no-obligation 20 minute call to assess your needs. You get on the call and she talks to you about your problem, asks questions, gives you two things you can do now and offer to work with you. She assures you can make the problem go away in a specific time period.
Will you be offended? Will you think she’s being way out of line by making an offer? Or would you jump for joy and thank heavenly stars that you now have a shot at getting a full night sleep. The moment you realize that you are helping others and they are happy to pay for your time and expertise, you begin to enjoy the sales conversations.
Be helpful. Be yourself. Highlight what is possible. It’s not that hard.
So now you know you are not alone. There are tons of other people who have the same issue as you. They struggle to find clients because of all the excuses that fill their heads. How many excuses did you get rid of today? Share with us in the comments below!