Two Ways to Get Coaching Clients: Buckets & Pipes

Remember the story about the buckets and pipes?

Here’s the essence of it …

There was a village that needed water, and the nearest spring was quite a walking distance.

Carrying buckets took a lot of work. One person could carry 10 buckets full over five trips and then be tired.

Creating a pipeline would take a week or two to build, but once in place it could bring 30 buckets every day and only require maintenance of a few hours per week. Much, much better.

The same goes for getting coaching clients.

Here’s the bucket way (very simplified for example purposes):

  1. Go to 3 networking events in a month (9 hours including commute time and getting dressed)
  2. From each event, you walk away with three leads for total of nine (pretty good)
  3. Of those nine, six lose interest or magically disappear (this is the reality)
  4. You continue to follow up with the remaining three (say five hours of calls and interactions)
  5. Of those three, one signs up as your client

That’s about 14 hours to get one client to sign up in a month. To get ten clients, that would be 140 hours over 10 months. And, those clients won’t stay with you forever. You’ll need to go replace them as they end coaching.

Here’s the pipeline way (again, very simplified):

  1. Research and choose a group of people to work with
  2. Creating web marketing systems for automated follow up with those people
  3. Write articles, give talks, or attend network groups
  4. Direct people to your web marketing systems
  5. Out of the many come, the ones that really need help will call you

This may take 50 hours to get into place, but would only take 10 hours of work each month to keep going.  And, a system like this can get you as many clients as you can handle.

Bucket method: 140 hours to get 10 clients. If you need 30 clients over a year, that’s 420 hours.

Pipeline method: 50 hours start-up plus 10 hours per month marketing for endless stream of clients. If you need 30 clients, then that’s 170 hours for the year.

Do you want a small handful of clients over the short term, or a big supply paying you well over the longer term? What are your goals?

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