If you are serious about becoming a book coach, you’ll find that it’s not necessary or even advisable to start off by looking for clients nationwide. Book coaching is a highly personalized service, and sometimes the very best place to start is in your own backyard. You can do that with astute use of your local Yellow Pages and a can-do attitude.
Get yourself some decent looking business cards. They don’t have to be high end, but they do need to look good. There are plenty of services for ordering business cards online, or you can go to a local printer and have your order for business cards do double duty as your first contact. Don’t worry about getting four-color or engraved cards. Your main requirement is that your card be eye-catching and have large print. Large print is especially important, as you’ll see later.
Next, develop an elevator speech and practice it. If you are a typical newbie book coach, you’ve probably spent a lot of time silent. You’ve been quietly reworking manuscripts for years and rarely enjoying extended conversations with authors. An elevator speech is a great first step in coaxing out your closet extrovert.
What is an elevator speech? It’s a way of describing yourself and what you do in a minute or less-about as long as it would take to talk to someone who asks you what you do as you are riding up a few floors in an elevator together.
Don’t try to write it out and memorize it. That will sound fakey. Instead, jot down a few notes and try it out alone. Use your computer or some kind of voice recorder to record your elevator speech. Play back and evaluate. Do this as many times as you need to until your message sounds totally natural. Then try it on real people, preferably a friend who give you honest feedback and won’t mind your doing it over and over again until you’re both happy.
Get out Your Local Yellow Pages-Yes, The Book
Almost every Yellow Pages contain certain categories that are useful for developing contacts. For a book coach, these include editing and editorial services, advertising agencies, coffee shops, marketing and public relations firms, printers, publishers, and other writers.
Make a list of all of these, writing down their names, addresses, and phone numbers. This is your first business contact list. Your next step is to create what salespeople called call qualified leads.
There are several ways to do this, and you can decide which is best for you based on what you already know about your community. If you know any of these individuals personally, go visit them and tell them what you’re about, using your elevator speech to break the ice. Leave them with a few business cards and ask if it’s okay if you add them to your newsletter subscriber list. (Setting up your newsletter will be the subject of a different article.)
For the rest, you can either stop by and have a chat or send a brief letter letting them know you’ll be calling within a few days. Do about five letters every other day. It’s too hard to send 20 letters in one day and then made 20 phone calls three days later. It’s best to stagger them.
Your goal here is not to find customers, but to make friends. Client development is a long game, and it requires systematic dedication to get your name out effectively.
Less obvious because they’re not located in the regular alphabet, but also useful are listings in the Yellow Pages for libraries, adult education, convention and visitors’ bureaus, and chambers of commerce and civic groups.
What better place for a book coach to find aspiring authors then libraries and bookstores? Look for opportunities to speak to groups that meet their. The topic of your speech should be some aspect of book writing or publishing. You’ll never be invited back if your whole presentation is is turns out to be a sales pitch, so make sure you’re delivering good value for the time they’re willing to invest in listening to you.
Adult Education Programs
If you have experience in writing or editing, you may be able to land a job as an instructor in adult education program. These don’t pay well, but they are a great resource for getting experience doing public speaking and teaching. You may also run across people who want to write books or who from where friends who want to. If not, that’s still okay, because teaching an adult education program is still a wonderful opportunity to develop your skills in public speaking.
Convention and Visitors Bureaus and Chambers of Commerce
Businesses who care about their public reputations make sure that they have a high profile in the publicity a region distributes about itself. The same is true for members of chambers of commerce. They are generally civically inclined, and they care about their public images. If you find that your local Yellow Pages has way too many businesses for you to cover in a reasonable period of time (say, 3 to 6 months), use the listings published by these other groups to do your marketing. In fact, combining the listings from the Yellow Pages and other sources will help you evaluate a company as a potential client.
Civic, Religious, and Veterans Groups
These groups are not easy always easy to find in the Yellow Pages. For starters, look up “Clubs.” There you should be able to find such groups as the Elks, the Lions Club, the Masons, the Knights of Columbus, and various veterans groups. Almost all of these clubs look for outside speakers for their meetings. They may not pay, but once again, if you speak to at their meetings you have an opportunity to spread the word about your book coaching services and skills.
No direct sales pitch, of course. Your best bet is to call them up and ask for the person who schedules speakers. If you get a booking, find out exactly what the audience would be interested in hearing about with regard to your subject.
Here’s some advice that’s easy to follow:
- Your business cards: never leave home without them.
- Bring along a little baggie full of brightly colored pushpins.
- Whenever you see a bulletin board, use a pushpin to post a couple of business cards.
- Use your elevator speech every chance you get.
- Always, always, always ask for referrals even if the person you’re talking to doesn’t plan to write a book. Then follow up on them.
You Can Do This!
Developing a clientele for any specialty is not easy. But once you do it and your name is out there, you won’t run short of work. You may even find yourself looking for partners or associates to help with your overflow business-but that’s a topic for another time. For now, understand that a little pavement pounding will pay off in the long run. San Diego SEO company will provide the services according to the needs and requirements of the business firms. The developing the relation will be beneficial for increasing the profit of the business firms.
Jane Castro is a journalist and media enthusiast. She graduated from the University of Bacolod in the Philippines. She loves skating, scuba diving, and archery on her free time.