The thought of being your own boss and running your own business is an exciting prospect, wouldn’t you agree? After all, that’s why you’re operating your own coach or consulting business to share your talents and help people achieve their goals and true purpose.

Can you still remember the day you hung out your shingle, launched your website, and announced to the world through your social media channels that you were officially open to do business?

You continued to market your business, attend online and offline networking events, share helpful resources and even reach out to help people, with the goal of raising your profile and awareness of your services.

Yet regrettably that excitement turned to frustration and confusion. Because despite everything you’ve done (and continue to do) – the number of people that are interested in your services is not what you’d hope for. And, they’re certainly not investing in your services.  And when they do it’s not really at a level that is paying you what you’re worth.

You didn’t realise it was going to be so difficult (and exhausting) to get new clients.

So, you increase your marketing efforts, attend even more networking events, and stay up to the wee hours of the morning tweeting, blogging, commenting on other people’s blogs. You share other people’s information, and anything else you can think of to build awareness.

Can you relate?

Many service-based businesses can, so they increase their marketing, networking, and social media efforts, which unfortunately will NOT make any difference UNLESS they have 5 key pillars in place.

Without these 5 key pillars, the hours spent on marketing and networking won’t have the impact they’re hoping for therefore making it very difficult to get more clients, get paid what they’re worth, and build a 6-figure (or more) business.

Are these pillars missing in your business?

Your Ideal Client (Niche) For Rapid Business Growth

While your products/services may be able to help ‘everyone’ – if you’re trying to market your services to ‘everyone’, you’re really speaking to no-one.

Why? Because trying to be all things to all people means that you’re not speaking directly to the needs of your ideal client. Therefore, you’re unable to seize their attention and show them that YOU have the solution to their issues.

Here’s an example:

Imagine you’re a Job Search Coach and I’m currently looking for someone to help me get a new job.

When reading your website, the information you provide is not really convincing me that you understand what I’m going through. Nor do you position your services in such a way that I feel compelled to invest (or even make contact with you). So I’m off searching for another Job Search Coach who can help me.

Let’s see what happens if you were to niche your services and specifically target my needs.

I’m a Senior Sales Executive that sells high-end IT solutions to the financial market. However due to a decline in profits my company is looking at downsizing. With a family to support and a mortgage to pay, to say that I’m slightly apprehensive and anxious about my job prospects, would be an understatement.

Yet, you specialise in this area and you’ve helped hundreds if clients like me transition quickly into senior level roles with your services.

And, when reading the information on your website, on Twitter, LinkedIn, and through your Facebook business page, I get to know and trust you, and can see that you are someone that has the solution and necessary support that will help me achieve my goal. So I call you, and the rest is history…

Figure 1: Defining Your Niche

By niching and getting to know your ideal client so well that the next time your ideal client visit your website (or read one of your articles or posts/Tweets) your message will speak directly to the struggles they’re facing.

You show them you know exactly what they’re going through, AND more importantly, you spark their interest and create a sense of hope and possibility so-much-so that they feel compelled to get in contact with you to learn more about you.

My coach’s tip: Identify your niche and ensure all of your marketing material speaks to and reaches that market. You’ll soon position yourself as an expert in that niche market!

1. Your Powerful Signature Brand to Outshine Your Competition

Many people mistakenly believe their brand is their business cards, their website, and letterheads etc. While these are important they’re really ‘branding elements’ or what I like to call your ‘brand touch point.

Your ‘brand’ is your reputation. It’s the perception others have of you. It’s what they think of when your name is mentioned. More importantly, by building a strong Signature Brand YOU are the person that’s mentioned (and not your competitors) when someone is looking for a professional in your field.

If you’re unclear about what makes you unique, your brand voice, what separates you from your competitors, and why someone should invest in you, then you’re going to find it very difficult to position yourself as an authority in a crowded market.

My coach’s tip: Get clear on these elements and make sure you continue to portray these in all of your branding and communications.

2. Your Signature System to Gain Expert Status AND Paid What You’re Worth

Are you still charging by the hour?

There are only so many hours in the day and charging by the hour will restrict the amount of income you make. Also you may find yourself in a pricing war trying to justify your hourly rate when a prospect compares your rate with one of your competitors.

Remember, you DON”T get paid for the hour. You get paid for the VALUE you bring to the hour and for the results your client will achieve through investing with you.

Offering clients to pay you by the hour tends to devalue the benefits and results you offer as well as making it very difficult for you to distinguish yourself from all the other coaches and consultants offering similar services.

Therefore it’s important to create your Signature System and various programs and packages that incorporate your system and positioning that program/package to your prospect.

My coach’s tip: Develop your unique Signature System by defining the steps you take your client through, and then creating various packages and programs that involve more than just your time so that you can quickly gain expert status and get paid what you’re worth.

3. Your Irresistible Free Offer To Grow Your List

Have you heard the saying: “The money is on your list?”

Your irresistible free offer plays a key role in your list-building strategy.

While this is a well-known expression, I’m surprised at how many coaches and consultants aren’t pro-actively building their lists. And

Are you sending out regular messages to encourage people to access your irresistible offer so that your list is growing on a daily basis?

If not, you’ll need to get this key pillar in place immediately.

Remember, it can take 7 to 9 individual communications from you before someone decides to invest. And in a tight and difficult economy it can take double that amount of time.

Adding people to your list on a daily basis will give you the opportunity to send updates and helpful information as part of your keep-in-touch strategy so that YOU are the person they think of when they’re ready to invest.

My coach’s tip: If you’re struggling to grow your list, create a free offer (such as an e-report, a video or audio series etc) and make sure it’s relevant and of value to your ideal client and continue to encourage people on a daily basis to sign up for your irresistible free offer.

4. Your Memorable Personal Marketing Statement to Spark Attention

If I were to read your Twitter or Facebook bio – would I feel compelled to follow you? Or if we were introduced at a networking event, would your introduction inspire me to find out more about you?

Or do you sound like the dozens of other professionals in your area, with some of whom are attending the same event and using an introduction that sounds very similar to yours?

Unfortunately for many coaches and consultants, it’s often the later.

Your personal marketing statement should include elements of your Signature Brand, Your Signature System and the benefits/value you offer your clients so that people feel compelled to get to know more about you and the services you offer.

When done correctly you’ll definitely give yourself the edge you need to distinguish your service from all of the other coaches and consultants working in your area of specialty.

My coach’s tip: If you’re still starting your job title, or you’re not generating interest with your introduction then go back to the drawing board and make sure it’s memorable or compelling and relevant to your ideal clients’ needs and desires.

These 5 key pillars are a must if your goal is to make this year the year you make your mark in the industry, become recognised as the ‘go to’ person in your field, while create a 6-Figure (or more) business.

So, what do you think? Do you have some work to do? Or do you need some slight tweaking here and there to strengthen what you are already doing?

By the way, these 5 Pillars are exactly what we focus on in our Core Business Foundation Program.