Interview: How I attract clients with Emily Hodge From Coaching Emily
Welcome to the first interview in this new series – “How I Attract Clients”
The series will feature interviews with freelancers and business owners sharing how they go about attracting clients.
Why have I chosen this as a topic?
When I started thinking about leaping out of employment and into freelance work, attracting clients was one of the biggest fears for me. Turned out my fears were completely unjustified but there you go!
I wanted to learn about what worked for real people but instead I found a lot of generic articles and high pressure sales pages and expensive programmes. I found my way through trial and error, asking for advice and just going for it. I’d love if this interview series provides some information you need on your journey.
The first interview is with Emily Hodge from Coaching Emily. The lovely Vanessa Rinaldi from Mrs Social made me aware of Emily and I loved her approach to business and attracting clients.
I’ll let her tell you all about herself and her approach. Enjoy!
Tell us about yourself
I’m a Psychologist and Mindset Coach helping established business owners lead their businesses more gently and successfully to sustainable impact.
I do this because we’ve been shown previously that to succeed we must do it through markers that don’t suit us in the long term – hustle, carrying on, pushing through, stress.
None of that works for a balanced, sustainable business or a balanced, happy business owner and so by bringing the elements of ‘gentleness’ and success together we’re looking at balance across both the business and the owner for long term sustainable success.
This, I’ve seen, leads to far more impact in their business – their income, their energy, their creativity, and thus the impact they’re looking to have on the world and in their mission. So it’s absolutely win win.
Who are your ideal clients/who do you love to work with?
I love working with these clients because they’re driven by so much more than money – they’re driven by empathy, understanding; community, cultural and societal impact, and also their own intuition and in business we don’t often get to lean on those things for fear we’re not going to make something ‘work’.
I also love working with them because the more of ‘them’ I find the more of ‘us’ we realise there are. And whilst I work predominantly with women these aren’t unique female traits – we all have them and are often too scared to share them for fear they’ll ruin our businesses.
Yet learning to lead from the heart and from what’s right is vital for use to be great leaders for our businesses and to demonstrate to others that they can do this too.
What’s your favourite way to attract clients?
By being real! Through honesty, connection and integrity. The honesty is the sense of being able to share the ‘negative’ and neutral stuff alongside anything positive. In fact I’ve probably been less positive and motivational than anything which perhaps doesn’t attract some people, but it never attracts me when I saw constant positivity and growth so I’ve stuck with what I needed and wanted to hear, and it works because the exact right people, who I adore working with, find me through those messages. I also find they leave room for greater conversation – why are things feeling neutral or negative, and how can we adapt with that, rather than glossing over to the more positive elements straight away.
In terms of then creating a sale, I love to connect personally – often through instagram DMs and then phone calls.
I technically have a funnel or two in place, and use different processes for different services, but essentially they still end up in only a few places to work with me – the Gentle and Successful leadership programme, my 1-2-1 coaching or retreat, all of which we’ll have talked at some point anyway.
Some of that personal work isn’t scaleable of course, but I’d rather work deeply with a few people than otherwise.
I also love going on podcasts and collaborating which, when you choose the right ones, are really powerful ways to get in front of new audiences.
What mistakes have you made when trying to attract new clients?
Thinking there was an ideal way to attract clients because someone said it would work and realising it didn’t work for me.
I’ve often adapted guidance and taken snippets of what works and then tested it with my own audience – so there’s been lots of times things haven’t worked as well as I hoped – like an online launch framework with lots of different stages in it, as opposed to my own framework which has way less stages – but, as cliche as it sounds, it’s always taught me something I can use in future.
Also thinking it will happen straight away and assuming one action will lead to a clear outcome. Rarely does this happen, so learning to let go of some expectation and feel satisfied that you have a version of a good outcome at times is good enough!
What advice would you give to someone who wants to attract more clients?
We can get really busy doing ‘all the things’ and we think this means we’re going to get clients.
But if we audited all the activities we’re doing and saw which ones are actually bringing in clients, we’d probably be surprised. Some activities are closer to client outreach/attraction than others and so we need to make good decisions about which ones are important for us and working, and which ones aren’t.
Maybe someone told us we have to be on Linkedin, but we’re still just getting our email up and running. Maybe we felt we should start a podcast, but we haven’t got a clear offer or place to send people yet. Maybe we’re spending a lot of time offering freebies, but we haven’t figured out how much time they’re taking away from making formal paid offers now.
So take a look at what you’re doing – what’s got more potential than something else, and stop doing so much!
What do you think holds people back from attracting more clients and what could they do to overcome that?
So many things!
Not knowing how to do it or knowing a process that might suit them – this might come through testing over time rather than finding ‘one formula’, so knowing we can be bolding and try out a few ways and learn what suits us is vital. Picking up advice from others really helps, but don’t be lead into thinking there’s just one way to do things – there’s lots, and knowing ourselves and our clients is vital to understand what ‘process’ will work best.
By process it can be many things too – a social media post or an email to your list with a call out to book a discover call, through to a complicated online sales funnel with upsells and vidoes and all sorts in between. There’s no one way, so trust your intuition as much as you can.
Not being clear in what they’re offering and to whom – get one clear offer that you love and that answers your audience’s problem(s) and start there. Test is (as above) and listen to what people say about it. Don’t be too stuck in what YOU want to offer because you think it’s great – listen well and adapt based on what’s needed.
Fear of rejection from the client – get a mindset coach (ha!), but honestly, this is always being tested whatever stage of business you’re at, so building resilience and looking into that fear to face it head on in a safe way e.g. through journaling, talking with a trusted person, and testing out how to eradicate the fear, is the best way to more forward. When you have a really clear offer and know how you want to offer it to people, this becomes easier too, because you feel more confident to reach out and share it with others, whatever their reaction. Plus facing any rejection and judgement (because it happens!) helps to move forward from it.
Fear of judgment from others even when they’re nothing to do with our business or our client base – this also happens and can hold us back from making strides in our businesses, like what if Jenny from school sees my post about this, or what if my coaching friend thinks I’ve copied them when I launch this. But the things to remember here is: will you let what you think Jenny or your coaching friend thinks stop you from making a go of your business, which has the potential to have huge impact for the people who are your community and customer? No, of course not, so managing our mindset around pushing past fear of judgement (with kindness) is vital for our success.
What client attraction plans do you have for 2020?
- Strong, real, authentic content with clear calls to action
- Instagram DM reach outs for engaged members and interesting accounts
- Instagram story ads for my Gentle and Successful Programme launch
- Personal and professional connections, current and previous client referrals for my live event and retreat
- Podcast guesting and hosting my own
Thank you so much Emily! So many useful and insightful things here.
If you’d like to find out more about Emily,
If you’d like to be interviewed for this series, get in touch!