Last month, January 2023, we created US$22K in sales in the business. This is our highest income month yet.
And not gonna lie, when the month of February came around, I was like, “Uhhhhhhhh I don’t know how I did that last month”. So I had to sit my ass down and really evaluate what I did, what worked, what might not have worked, and what I want to do differently moving forward.
I want to share some of my observations about what worked this past month. More specifically, I want to share three unconventional ways to sign a 1:1 coaching client this month.
Before we dive in, if anything we talk about in this series resonates with you and it’s how you want to take your brand and business to the next level, I’d love to invite you to join us inside the Thought Leader Club 1:1 + Community Program focused on helping you build a body of work that not only lets you become known for something but also magnetizes clients and opportunities to you.
For all of the details, head on over to cheryltheory.com/program to send in your application. I cannot wait to see you on the inside.
Here’s what a lot of people do. After you work with a client, you off board them and then you lose touch. You kind of see them on Instagram here and there, and they watch your Instagram stories here and there.
But it’s like, a quiet follow-each-other type of relationship, which is fine. I’m confident you played a role in this client’s life during the time you two worked together.
But I just want to offer the option of reaching back out to the client, even if it’s been a long while since you worked together, and extend an invitation to work together.
This is exactly what I did in January. So in January, I extended an invitation to a past client who I worked with last year, and I shared with her the personalized game plan I had in mind for her and what I envision to be her next steps if we work together again.
I talked about how this round of coaching will be even more elevated than the first round, especially since now we have such a strong relationship from coaching together. And I’ve been able to identify the clients’ mindset patterns within the scope of her business, so the coaching I can offer in the next round of coaching is only going to be quicker, sharper, and more impactful for the client.
That’s exactly what I did, the client thought about it, and ultimately decided to join our coaching program again for another round!
Simple, right? It really is.
But now some of you might be thinking, “GASP! I can’t possibly reach back out to a past client. What if they’re thinking of working with another coach instead of me? What if they don’t like me anymore since it’s been so long since we worked together? What if they weren’t even thinking about me at all since we last spoke?”
Here’s what I will say. All of this might be coming up because you might feel like you have to convince your past client to work with you again.
And by the way, if you feel like you’ve been convincing clients in order to get them to work with you, I just want to offer the possibility that this doesn’t have to be the case.
Because inside The Side Hustle Club Program, we teach the skill of soft launching, thought leadership, and building a uniquely differentiated brand, which are going to help clients come to your sales calls ALREADY sold on the idea of working with you. You don’t have to convince clients just to get them to work with you.
If you’re now thinking, “Wow, there’s definitely clients whom I loved working with in the past and I’d love to work with again”, I want to share two quick tips on how you can go about making an invitation to them.
Tip 1: Ask if you can share the offer with them first before actually making the offer. This applies to any client or potential client. If they didn’t consent to a sales conversation, don’t impose a sales conversation on them. Otherwise the both of you will just end up feeling sour about the cold DM pitch you sent them out of nowhere.
Tip 2: Hold a vision for your client and tell them the vision you see for them. Oftentimes, the client might not even know what’s possible for them unless you tell them.
For example, one of my clients first came to me saying, “Cheryl, I just want to sign my first 2-3 coaching clients. I think I’d be really happy with that.” When we officially onboarded the client, I said, “Okay, we’ll work on that, but let’s think longer term and dream bigger. You CAN sign more than 3 clients. You can do this.”
By the end of us working together, the client ended up making two times the investment of our program. But if I, the coach, said, “Okay, let’s only aim for 3 clients”, then I wouldn’t have coached the client the way I did.
I wouldn’t have thought about the client as deeply as I did, even outside of our coaching calls. The client and I wouldn’t have been as creative and in deep problem solving mode when we were thinking about how we can refine her messaging and content strategy.
Both the client and I showed up differently because I was able to hold the belief for her, even during the times when she might not have been able to hold the belief herself.
And also, we both showed up differently to the container because there was always a next step we could work towards and there was always further growth to step into.
That elevated the client’s self concept and self belief because she saw herself at a higher standard. She was actually excited by that vision she had for herself, because I told her the vision I saw for her.
Personally, when someone tells me they believe in me, that means a lot to me. It really elevates your own self belief when someone simply tells you, “Hey, I think you can do this. I really think you can make this work”.
But this can only have this sort of impact on me if I can sense that the person genuinely means what they’re saying. And that’s exactly why I need YOU to first have the belief in the client and what’s possible for them, first and foremost, before you even say something to the client. Otherwise, it will just be empty words.
And side note, the opposite thing can happen too. If you as the coach have limiting beliefs about the client or their ability to create results while working with you, for instance, then how do you think you’ll coach them?
How do you think you show up to the coaching relationship? How do you think you’re negatively impacting the client’s experience AND also their results while working with you, because you, the coach, have thoughts about the client?.
The first way to sign a client in an unconventional way, is to make an invitation to a past client, and genuinely be excited about what’s possible for them. Articulate to them what results you think they’re more than capable of and what’s your plan to help them get there.
Another client who joined The Side Hustle Club in January said something very specific on her application form, “I resonated with A LOT OF THINGS with you. One thing that I really resonate with is that we have similar backgrounds (Asian) and parental expectations. I went into [insert career] for my own reasons, but also a huge part of it was my parents. (I still like [career] and will return one day but not now haha). I feel that I resonate with you culturally, but also your energy. I basically see me in you! :D”
When I went back and read this application form again, I realized that, yes, your brand story can help you stand out for sure. Because it seems like the client resonates with my story of quitting law school and quitting the PhD. And she seems to resonate with a lot of content where I talk about parents and disappointing my parents because of my decisions.
But this is the first time where someone not only said that they resonate with my story, but more specifically, they resonated with my story about my ASIAN PARENTS and PARENTAL EXPECTATIONS. Like this is REALLY specific. Because I’ve gotten “I resonate with your story” multiple times before on application forms or sales calls, but no one has ever been this specific.
Although it sounds like I’m surprised. While I was low-key surprised, I was also low-key NOT surprised because since January, I’ve been a lot more explicit in my content. Explicit meaning, I’ve been a lot more bold and specific whenever I’m sharing my story.
For example, I recently posted a carousel post on Instagram called “Being a disappointment to my Asian parents”. I talked about how back in my early 20s, my Asian parents were constantly disappointed in me (and they would let me know) because of decisions I made, such as getting multiple tattoos or doing questionable early 20s things. And the biggest one was quitting law school despite getting a 100k HKD scholarship.
Then I talked about how our relationship now has been even stronger than it has ever been. Last year, they were fully supportive of my decision to quit my PhD to move to Singapore to marry my husband.
And just a few weeks ago when they visited me in Singapore, they even asked if I needed a new set of podcasting recording equipment because they happened to pass by some sort of podcasting kit on sale, and they wanted to support my work.
I then shared some of my takeaways. And the overarching message of the post was to create your own dream career and life, not the one your Asian parents want or expect of you.
Here’s what I chose to take away from this experience by literally saying “Asian parents” instead of “parents” over the past few months. I’ve seen a lot more engagement in my content where I talked about Asian parents but also, one client said that one reason she wants to work with me is specifically because she relates to my journey related to my Asian parents.
Also, another person booked a sales call and she told me that she REALLY loves my recent content about my Asian parents. This tells me, hey, maybe being more specific and explicit with my choice of words is what my people really want and need to hear from me.
One of the biggest mistakes I see coaches make when sharing their brand story is:
1) They don’t share it enough in the first place. Like they literally would talk about it once or twice, and then for months you won’t even think to loop back to it, and
2) they’re worried it will either be “too much” or “too specific” (For example, in my case, this could look like worrying about how non-Asians cannot relate to me because I said Asian parents. But one of my clients, who’s not Asian, told me she really, really appreciates my transparency in my content and she told me “ I know I’m not Asian but I think that content is so powerful” So… Just some food for thought here.)
Please remember that your story is what differentiates you from all the other coaches in your niche or industry. No other coach has your story.
Also, your story is your culmination of everything that makes you the coach and business owner that you are. Meaning, it’s the foundation of your thought leadership. The more you share your story, the more you’re demonstrating your leadership in your industry. It compounds.
Be willing to repeat your story, and play around with sharing your story from different angles each time! It’s not because your story isn’t life changing or sparking someone into action, but oftentimes, people need to hear the same thing over and over again before they kick themselves into action.
It’s not new information that people usually need, but they just need the information repeated over and over again before they start taking action.
Use your own lived experiences and story to create new concepts, frameworks, or tools for your clients.
For example, I didn’t invent mindset work or any mindset tools. But I’ve adapted what I’ve learned to create my own tool that works for me and for our clients. I found a process where I would create content based on my mindset work that I did for that day.
A good example I can give here is the 6×6 challenge, which is a tool I created. This is essentially a set of daily mindset prompts and content prompts that you follow, 6 days for 6 weeks.
The prompts for your mindset work and the content you’ll create for those 6 weeks are already intentionally designed to help you talk about your offer in a way that will help you build demand for your offer over the course of 6 weeks.
More specifically, you first do the mindset component for the day, then you do the action component of the day, which is inspired from the mindset component you just did. So the mindset work will actually inspire your content for the day.
Ultimately, the goal of this six week challenge is to help our clients improve their marketing, build your confidence in your offer, and book sales calls.
I wanted to share this example because ultimately, if something worked for you and/or for others, run with it. People want a process that works. That’s very important.
And in this case, my clients aren’t going to quit on me just because I wasn’t the originator of mindset work or a belief challenge. They continue to use my 6×6 challenge tool because they have never done a belief plan and content plan from this angle before, and it’s helpful for them.
This is an example of creating your own tools or frameworks based on your story and experiences with the intention of helping not just yourself, but also creating something that helps clients as well.
In summary, share your story and be specific and bold when sharing your story. Continue repeating your story and practicing sharing it differently each time. And finally, tap into your creativity and infuse your story into common ideas that’s often covered by others in your industry.
Here’s how one of our clients joined The Side Hustle Club last month. They were initially part of another offer I launched back in December, called The Podcast Club, a group coaching program focused specifically on podcasting and becoming known for your unique thought leadership to sign clients through your podcast.
I was coaching this client for maybe 3 weeks after The Podcast Club program started in January, and she reached out to me privately and asked about joining The Side Hustle Club, which is my signature program. By the end of the month, the client was also inside The Side Hustle Club.
Here’s my takeaway from this instance: No matter what your offer is, and no matter what the price point of the offer is, give your absolute best to your clients. Deliver the best client experience you can, irrespective of whether they renew with you for coaching again or whether you have another offer they can join. Just coach the client, without judgment and without attachment.
When a client decides to work with me again, it is an absolute honor. Seriously. Client renewals are an honor. Because, let’s be honest, there’s no shortage of coaches who do the same thing as you do. But if your client was so impacted by coaching together that they want to do it all over again? An honor of a lifetime. Seriously.
I think it is this sincerity that my clients can feel from me during our coaching together. Their results aside, I think clients can feel that I see them as individual human beings and that I genuinely believe in each of them. They’re not just another screenshot I post for social proof purposes. They’re not just another testimonial on my website. I genuinely love coaching each of them and care about them.
Now, for some of you, a question that might be coming up could be. “Ok, I hear you. But how exactly do I become a good coach?”
First, I want to say, I myself don’t have any sort of coaching certification or training. All of my coaching skills came from actually working with coaching clients, and our clients have gotten results from my coaching despite me not being certified.
Second, if I had to summarize what has helped my clients get the biggest “mindset” shifts or breakthroughs on our coaching calls, it’s when the client is able to see their business situation from a new perspective or angle that they never thought of before.
Now, there’s a lot more possibility and hope because they’re able to see their business from this new angle. Because if coaching was simply dependent on the client taking actions, then every client would have a seamless time working with us.
But what happens is that clients have certain thoughts, doubts, fears, limiting beliefs, etc, that’s getting in the way of their implementation of what they need to do in order to create the change and results that they want.
So our job as the coach is to be very attuned to the client’s thought patterns and be able to shed light on the situation and help the client reframe their viewpoints where necessary, so the client themselves can execute on whatever it is that they want to do, and hence create results.
For example, on a sales call, I often get clients saying that they’re really worried they can’t make their business work because they’re really busy due to having multiple priorities on top of their business. They’re tired and they barely have time to work on their business.
When I dive deeper, a common thing I uncover for these clients is that the content creation process is taking a very, very long time. For example, an Instagram carousel post might take two hours or more.
The more we talk, the more I would come to learn that the client has a lot of expectations about what their content is supposed to look and sound like, and they feel like they need an optimal environment in order to get their brains to work and for ideas to flow.
But then I would tell them: What this sounds like to me is that you simply haven’t mastered the skill of creating content efficiently. It’s not that you are inherently slow at content or you are lacking time. But maybe, you just haven’t practiced the skill of creating content quickly.
Also, because you’re spending so much time spinning out about not having enough time, rather than actually creating content quickly and showing up to market your offer, this is what’s currently preventing you from getting where you want.
And now that she’s aware of what’s actually happening, she’s able to see that taking action in terms of creating content and marketing her offers is actually not as complicated or exhausting as she initially thought was required.
Where I think coaches might fall through the cracks is that when the client says they don’t have time. And you literally believe the client and say, “Oh, right, maybe you really don’t have the time. But I’d say, “2 HOURS TO CREATE A CAROUSEL POST? We can make so much happen in those 2 hours. Let’s get to work.”
Helping clients achieve “mindset shifts and breakthroughs” simply means helping the client gain awareness over why they’re not where they want to be yet, and helping them see the situation from another angle so they can take action with that new perspective. and, just like anything, being a good coach is a skill you have to practice. And you have to work with client after client after client to really sharpen your coaching skills.
These are my three not-so-conventional tips or ways to sign a client. This is exactly how I was able to sign several clients last month, in January 2023, which resulted in US$22K sales.
I hope that there were some nuggets in here that were helpful for you and that this helps you with your business, content, and marketing too.
Also, if you’re ready to hone in on your unique thought leadership and create a budding six-figure brand and business I’d love to invite you to join us inside the Thought Leader Club 1:1 + Community Program focused on helping you build a body of work that not only lets you become known for something but also magnetizes clients and opportunities to you.
For all of the details, head on over to cheryltheory.com/program to send in your application. I cannot wait to see you on the inside.
I appreciate you for taking the time to listen to this episode, and I look forward to seeing you on the next one.
In the meantime, do take some time to marinate on the key points we discussed in this episode and start implementing what you’ve learned.
Join us in the Thought Leader Club 1:1 + Community Program is the exact room you want to be in if your 2023 and 2024 vision is to:
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✨ Attract both clients and opportunities that you once felt were out of reach for “someone like you”… But you now see that you’re completely capable of
Step into the version of you who stops following else’s playbook of “traditional success” and instead, proudly create something that’s truly of your own.
Get all the details and apply. We’ll then book a sales call to make sure that the program is the best fit for you and we can onboard you as early as next week. Our first inaugural cohort starts on November 1, 2023 👀
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