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How a well-developed pipeline grows your IDEAL business!

A review of our April networking event by Susan de Vriend of The Life Coach for Expats.

allison-daily-outfit-wbii-networking-the-hague

Social Media got you down? Don’t know which way to go with your marketing and how to reach your client?

As a fellow, and relatively new, entrepreneur, often I find myself screaming and pulling my hair out when I try to understand marketing, social media, funnels, niches, and Ideal clients! How to use them or find them  is one thing. But why to use them has not been very clear to me until last week’s networking event speaker’s presentation for the WBII.

Allison Rohe Hamilton, owner of DailyOutfit, Personal Style coach and fellow WBII member, took us eloquently through the whole meaning of what it is to have a pipeline. It’s a robust subject, to say the very least.

In her presentation, Allison navigated us through the process of:

  • who our IDEAL client is
  • what is a pipeline exactly & how to create one
  • what conversion steps can look like
  • what are  funnels

The whole shebang in just slightly over 30 minutes!

Allison had a charm and wit about this subject that was very helpful and well, honestly, comforting. She makes sure to say that she is not a business coach nor a marketing coach. She is sharing her wisdom through her own knowledge that she gained over several years in business and hiring the afore-mentioned gurus.

Because she is not the “expert” she assumes that we all have a few things already known within our own businesses. Those assumptions are that we have; our purpose, websites, business cards, and most importantly, that we have identified, our IDEAL CLIENT.

She reveals that in the beginning of her business she did not have all of these basics answered. She talked about a few things about her perceptions regarding marketing and building towards your IDEAL client. It was here that I had an AHA moment when she said, “Understanding Sales and Marketing is a service to your clients.”

This is saying that we are not “trapping” our clients, we are, in fact, educating and showing them the way to our front door. If they so choose.

This feels so much healthier than pushing and getting. “They come to your website to know, “are you the person I want to work with?” The Ideal Client must be developed and woo-d, she says. “Think of it as dating.” She summarises some of the “known” clients:

The Rare Gem – A special type that we almost never see. This is the client that seemingly appears out of the blue and is ready to get started and jump right in! The one where you only have to say, “How do you want to pay for that?” A mantra, Allison kids, we should all adapt and say daily. But all jokes aside, these clients are not the ones we experience every day.

Then, there is the High Maintenance Client –this is the one who wants things custom-made for them or revised in some manner. They require a lot of hand-holding and work. These clients end up being unsatisfied because they weren’t meant for your business. This is a flag for you to know, you haven’t prepped your client properly. She confronts us with “You have to take some responsibility if you are getting a lot of clients like this one.”  :-O

Finally, the IDEAL Client – this is the one where they will come to work with you, in one way or another, because they understand you, your services and products, and how you work with your clients. Allison used the story of Iman and David Bowie to illustrate this point further.

Your IDEAL Client, Iman, will not be the two other types, demanding or easy. She/he is the one that if you do your homework and build a relationship will be the most accomplished and happiest of all your clients! This one will benefit more in your services or products because you took time to educate and build a rapport of mutual trust. They know you and you know them. You know what they need and want from your services. This is the client that will say to you, “It’s like you are reading my mind.” Ta-da! The reason to build a pipeline has never been put in such a clear and concise way to me before this presentation. Big take-away!

Allison uses her own pipeline to demonstrate each step. It starts with a wide group of people who filter down your pipeline while learning along the way. They are also taking actions through-out the journey. They will sign up for your newsletter, get a free video series, e-book, podcast, whatever your offer, etc… then be presented with an option to go further which is usually an item that is bought. This happens in a number of stages and conversions, that Allison has taken careful time cultivating.

As you grow your audience and your business it will become clear in the ways you need to build your pipeline. She makes something resoundingly clear that the pipeline is created for your IDEAL Client. This means someone who will eventually buy one of your services along the way. They are your audience and they are engaged.

So when someone leaves her funnel she is grateful because it’s not meant for them! She recognises that she could not possibly work with everyone nor would she want to. This is what the modern marketing template all about. We are not pushing clients into buying, she emphasised, we are reaching out and showing what we have to offer.

As with my A-HA moment, the energy behind why you would take the time to make a pipeline is that you want the right people whom you built your business to serve, to come to you because they know you and they trust you.

For those that missed it, Allison’s presentation is available here.

For members of the WBII, Allison shared her dry-run in our Members Only Facebook group. You can access it here#notperfect


About the author:

SusandeVriendSusan de Vriend also known as the Life Coach for Expats. I’ve been living in the Netherlands for 7 years. I support expatriates in creating an exciting and fulfilling life fit for their new home in the Netherlands by exploring with my client on what home feels like to them.www.susandevriend.nl

Main photo, credit: CristinaStoian.nl

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