Creating connections is one of the most important pieces of building a prosperous coaching business.
When running your own business, it can be easy to get stuck in the routine of trying to create connections through the same avenues over and over again. We hope you continue pursuing those avenues if they are working for you, but today we want to talk to you about another way to create new connections that will simultaneously allow you to learn more about your target audience and better be able serve them.
You’ve probably heard about informational interviews for a potential career, but have you thought about using them for your potential clients?
As coaches, we know that there is always new information to be gathered and gained from our clients and target audiences. This information can help us create or improve our programs to better meet their needs which ultimately means serving our clients to the best of our ability. We must continue to grow and evolve our coaching skills and services far beyond our certification… and informational interviews are a great way to do that.
How to Begin
The first step is to identify what you’re hoping to gain from these interviews. Do you want to create a specific program? Do you want to gather more information on the pain points of your target audience? Do you want to find out what gets in the way of people moving forward? Get very clear on what you hope to gain and then do what we do best – put together your list of coaching questions to gather further insight for yourself (with the added benefit of helping your potential client create new awareness as well).
For example, if you would like to create a group coaching program for health care workers – what information would be most beneficial for you to know? For example, you may want to craft questions to learn more about their biggest struggles, hurdles and areas for improvement. Decide how long you want the interviews to be, and start drafting some questions to get started.
How to Invite
People love helping others and that’s what makes informational interviews so great. As coaches, we want to make connections and learn about others. Through this method, others want to help us do just that! Write your invitation to conversation by including who you’re hoping to speak with (your target audience), why you want to talk with them (to better serve others), how you will use this information (to create a new program, offering or just improve your current coaching) and lastly how to schedule a time to talk (email, private message, website calendar, etc.). You can send this invitation to conversation through email, a call, a social media post or any other method you can think of. Before you know it, your calendar will be full of connection conversations!
How to Facilitate
As coaches, we are great at holding the space, asking the right questions and viewing not only the problem, but the whole person. That is your goal in this conversation. Set the call up by recapping why you’re doing this and then work through the insightful questions you created. The main goal is to collect useful information and create the contact point, but if you feel comfortable, there are a few other options to consider.
If you notice a place you can serve the person, this may be a great opportunity to share about how coaching can help them and offer a complimentary intro session.
If you plan to create a program with this information, you can ask them if they want to be notified when the program is created. After all, who wouldn’t want to be part of a program designed to help them with their specific problem?
Another option is to ask if they know anyone else struggling with the same problems that may be open to an informational interview with you. A great way to expand your current reach!
How to Utilize the Information
As mentioned before, this information is a great way to create programs, restructure your services accordingly or just gather a deeper understanding of your audience so you can better serve. But you can also use this information to attract the right people to your coaching practice. Because this information is from the exact people you’re wanting to help, you can now utilize the content when you’re sharing about your services.
For example, perhaps you interviewed working moms who shared that they struggle with self care, asking for help and managing stress. When you create a program to serve these exact issues, you can utilize these pain points in your materials to attract the right people.
You can’t go wrong with using informational interviews as part of your client generating practices. Have insightful conversations, create meaningful connections, gather data to help improve your practice and utilize the information you gather in your marketing materials to help attract the people you’re most wanting to help.