As the year comes to a close most of us are looking ahead at what we'd like our 2016 to be like. Before doing that I like to reflect back on 2015 to remember all the valuable lessons, both good and bad and what I'd like to carry forward (and leave behind) in the coming year.
There were many lessons learned this year, quite a few of them that helped me achieve the multiple six figure mark so pay close attention, especially if you're a coach, consultant or solopreneur who wants to short cut the process for yourself in 2016.
Here's my top 10 list of Entrepreneurial Life Lessons I Learned in 2015
1. Speak Everywhere to Attract Clients
Granted, this is my thing…but in 2015 I spoke everywhere I possibly could. From small 2-5 person networking events, to telesummits, to hosting one day and multi day workshops, 50+ person live events, sponsorships, being a panelist and so on. Every time I could I used speaking as a way to sell my services and get my message out into the world.
Your Action: There's no doubt that speaking to attract clients works. The question is, are you doing it? Make a commitment to use it in your marketing strategy next year and I can almost guarantee you'll see an increase in the number of clients you get and amount of money you make.
2. Create and Sell a Course
As my business expanded I had to limit the number of clients I could work with privately. Realizing I wanted to keep reaching more people I needed to find a leveraged way of doing that. One of the ways I did that was to create a course.
After years of working with hundreds of coaches and consultants helping them with designing a signature talk for their live speaking engagements and webinars/teleseminars I decided to create a course teaching how to use speaking to attract and convert more clients. The course became a huge hit, generated thousands of dollars and allowed me to ultimately work with many of the participants either privately or in my Expansion Coaching Club. This simple strategy ultimately created a great deal of leverage and cash in my business.
Creating a course is a game changer however most coaches and consultants stay away from this assuming it's too hard, costs too much and isn't worth the time. I completely disagree and firmly believe that you can launch a profitable course if you carefully execute the steps and market it properly.
Your Action: Take a look at the one thing your clients ask you for over and over again. What's one thing they hire you for privately? What are the steps you teach them? Consider this can be a course and an easy way for you to leverage your time and make more money in your business. Start with asking these simple questions. If you aren't sure, start asking.
3. SURVEY Often: Never Assume to Know What Your Client Wants Keep Asking
It always surprises me how many business owners skip this step but it's the most critical key to effective marketing, creating content, courses, programs and more. Every single time I offer a new course I survey my existing community to find out what they want. In 2015 I did this many times which allowed me to create two profitable courses, one sold out workshop and my group coaching program, the Expansion Coaching Club.
In 2016 I'll be launching Client Converting Signature Talks, a course specifically teaching you how to use speaking to attract all the clients you need. In preparation for the launch I've created a survey and am already gathering information to make sure I deliver what my community wants. I'd LOVE for you to take the survey so I can be sure I'm on target. Click the image below to let me know. Or feel free to check it out so you can model questions for your surveys.
Your Action: Now is the best time of the year to find out what your community wants from you. Create a survey using a tool like Wufoo or SurveyMonkey. Then create what your audience wants.
4. Don't Be Everywhere Online
For years I prided myself on “being everywhere online” and quite frankly it was exhausting. It got to the point in 2015 where I'd really wanted to pull myself off the internet. In fact, at one point I even thought about only marketing myself offline. Realizing that was just silly and that I needed to embrace social media more, I took a look at what worked, where my community was and then decided where I wanted to focus my time.
Your Action: Are you struggling to keep up online? Then choose 1 social media channel at a time and work on growing that one. Don't move on to the next until you've got a grip on the first.
5. Make Time for Your Marketing
I was so guilty of this in years past, a lot of marketing in many directions and without applying the plan I was teaching my clients to use. Every week I'd start out with great intentions but would get overwhelmed and wouldn't follow through.
That all changed in 2015 when I created a marketing plan and followed through. Mondays became my marketing day and I'd spend the day getting my content together, organizing it and setting it up in my content sharing system.
I began using a tool called CoSchedule* which is both a social media content sharing tool and editorial calendar. It's the first tool I've consistently used to help me share my content and get my blog done and repurposed consistently. If this is a weak area for you, make sure to check it out here.
Your Action: Choose one day a week to focus on your marketing. Use it to create your content, schedule speaking gigs, network online, write your blog and repurpose your content. Then use a tool like CoSchedule to help you stay organized and share your content.
6. Host an Event (at least once)
Last April I hosted The Talk Design Workshop. A one day event designed to help coaches and consultants create their signature talk. It was an amazing event where everyone spent the day working on their talk. At the end of the event I offered my Expansion Coaching Club program. Later in the year I hosted Talk & Profit LIVE where I again offered the coaching club. These events allowed me to offer a program I'm extremely passionate about that's been helping entrepreneurs attract more clients and grow their business.
What I learned from these events is that when done right they can be extremely profitable. The events combined generated over $100,000 for me this year. (Not a bad way to do it!)
An event doesn't have to be grandiose or extensive to produce and it doesn't have to be more than 10 people for your first event. My first one ever was only 10 people and it generated $12,000. A nice payday I might say, don't you think?
What I learned is that I'll definitely keep hosting these events in the future and have plans for hosting two live events in 2016.
Your Action: Make a plan to host an event in 2016. Small or large it doesn't matter, just put it on your calendar for this year.
7. Show Your Clients the LOVE They Deserve
I speak of this often but I can't say this enough, I wouldn't be in business without my amazing clients. One of the reasons I have Business Breakthrough Sessions is because I think it's equally as important to interview the clients I want to work with. As much as I'd like to work with every coach or consultant, I know that sometimes we're not the right fit.
But once I get the opportunity to work with a new client I love to give all of myself to them and that means everything I know and can do to help them create a successful business.
This year I showed my clients lots of love in sending them gifts and treating them with extra TLC when they came to their live intensive in Newport, RI and and we had a scrumptious seafood dinner party and boat ride on the bay.
What I learned especially from hosting their live intensive this year is that they absolutely love this opportunity to bond with one another and that I must include intensives in my coaching programs in the future. Therefore in 2016 the Expansion Coaching Club now has two live intensives with one already in motion here in Rhode Island for February.
Your Action: Create a practice of thanking your clients. Treat them with the love and thanks they deserve. They will stay with you, grow with you and refer more business to you.
8. Stop Overworking
I'm a self-proclaimed workaholic. It probably stems from loving what I do. But working too hard has created an imbalance and at times I've let myself go.
This December I spent a lot of time planning my 2016. Not only did I work on ways to generate income but more ways to build out time to focus on my self care. The planner below from Leonie Dawson helped a lot and I'm excited to apply what I've written down. If you haven't gotten this planner yet, it's a gamechanger and I highly recommend it! Click here or on the image below to check it out.
In the last month since completing my planner I've changed my sleep schedule (going to bed no later than 11pm), created a yoga practice and schedule and am limiting the number of one on one clients I can work with at a time. I'm definitely going to carry this through to 2016 and know it's going to be my most profitable and healthiest year since starting my business.
Your Action: Create a balance between work, sleep and play. Don't hesitate to create a schedule for your business and life. Set boundaries to stay on track.
9. Create a Group Coaching and Mastermind Program
I've had them before but this was the year that my business really took off and the clients I started working with created faster and better results.
Up until this past year I was mainly focused on 1:1 client work and VIP Retreats but in 2015 I created the Expansion Coaching Club. By creating this group program I essentially solidified my business revenue and in turn created an amazing tribe of go-getter clients.
In the coming year I'll be expanding into more group coaching and mastermind programs and am excited to meet, teach and develop even more entrepreneurs.
Your Action: How can you create a tribe or community of your best clients to both leverage your time and give them the opportunity to create amazing results in their life and or business?
10. Spend More Time with Those You Love
This isn't a lesson learned as much as a reminder to do more of it. In 2015 I had the opportunity to travel with my family more and take time off with the kids when they were home from their college breaks.
This was the first year I involved my husband more in my business and I'm so grateful for his support. I know that with their love and support I have the potential for even greater growth and happiness in the years to come.
Your Action: Sit down right now and plan out your vacation with your family for 2016. Put it on your calendar immediately and when you do take time off make the time to be with them. Work will always be there but the good times and memories you create with your family cannot wait.
So that's a wrap of my 2015 and I'm excited about 2016 and what's ahead.
Now I'd LOVE to hear from you. What's one lesson you learned in 2015 and what's one thing you'd like to see happen in 2016? Let me know in the comments below.
Have the Happiest of New Years!