How To Host a Simple Focus Group So You Can Attract Your True Clients

When I first was starting my coaching business and thinking about focusing on introverts, a colleague suggested I host a focus group for introverts to explore this idea further. Me: “Huh, focus group?”

Can you relate? My self-employed clients usually have the same quizzical response too. So I will unveil the mystery of this very simple action that can give you SO much. I’m providing a complete cheat-sheet here for hosting a focus group.

I bet you’ll even enjoy focus groups! Especially when you see what a difference it makes in your work.

My Focus Group Hosting Experience

My colleague helped me plan my first focus group. I just invited some introverts to a free discussion for about 5 people. Once there, I could see how easy and natural it was to host a meaningful conversation for a handful of people, on something that I and they cared about.

That’s all it is, really. A meaningful conversation that you and they will likely enjoy. It’s a win-win. We all enjoy the connections, and I learned a lot.

Focus group discussion - how to

A focus group is simply a meaningful conversation that you and the participants will likely enjoy.

It turned out people wanted more of these gatherings and so I hosted some more. What I learned helped me to create a solid foundation for my offerings and my marketing. I’ve since done it other times when I needed more input.

________________________
I now believe that first focus group was one of the
smartest things I ever did to get my business going.
________________________

Is It for You?

In reality, not everyone likes hosting small group discussions like I do. If you’re feeling any dread about the idea, start with reading more here about what it is and then decide if it’s for you. You can also get help to do it.

In this post, I’ll give you a cheat-sheet, with the when, why, how of focus groups. This is a simple model designed for service professionals like coaches, consultants, and healing arts professionals.

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The Secret to Easier Marketing for Self-employed Introverts

Marketing Head Spin!

Marketing Head Spin!

Marketing angst is probably the most common concern I hear from people who are self-employed or considering self-employment, so I want to bring some hope to the cause right now.

I’ve been writing a business and career advice column for introverts that appears on Quiet Revolution and Huffington Post, and most of the letters I get from self-employed people are about some kind of dislike of marketing.

Here’s a question from a self-employed service provider that captures it well. I’ll give you an excerpt from that column plus a link to read the whole answer.  Continue reading

1 Easy Step for Getting New Clients Now

Spring EmergenceThis is not some gimmick. I’m going to give you the exact step below because I’m concerned that so many people skip over this easy and effective step.

I notice that people starting businesses, or even with existing businesses, make it way too hard on themselves to get a few new clients.

You don’t even need a website, a speaking engagement, a business card, or a networking event to get some new clients.

This is the easiest and fastest way to get new clients.

I recently had a first coaching session with a client who we discovered was ready enough to have her first customer, but she wasn’t sure how to find customers. I nudged her to try this one idea and by the time we met the second time, she had two new customers! Continue reading

Are You a Reluctant Business Owner?

Business can be fun!

Many business owners want to ignore the fact that they own a business. In a way it sounds funny but I see it all the time.

Most commonly, these “reluctant business owners” are artists, writers, service professionals, and healing arts professionals. They are so busy focusing on their service or craft that they would like to forget they are also responsible for pricing, marketing, etc.

Even if they accept that they have to deal with the business side, many still harbor an underlying resistance to it.

I definitely did resist when I was first self-employed. I wanted it to magically be resolved, and yet I could feel the weight hanging over me, knowing I would eventually have to look under the hood. I can open a literal car hood and not know what the heck I’m looking at, and I was afraid it would feel like that, so why open the hood? Or so I thought.

I’ve heard a lot of comments like this lately: “How do I make my business less of a business?” or “How can I get someone else to handle all that stuff?”

A better question would be: “How do I make the business side easier and more fun?”

The answer is to look at what the business side really means, because it’s not the monster you thought it was. I predict that you’ll find you like it! It’s like a gift waiting to be opened. Really. Bear with me here. Continue reading

Put Your Local Business on the (Google) Map

Val on Google Map.

Back in the day, a business needed to be listed in the Yellow Pages if you wanted to be found, but now everyone searches online. However, most small businesses, especially service professionals like coaches and healers, are not easily found online.

But you CAN be found, much more easily than you think, with some simple steps that are free. Make sure you’re found in the primary online business listings. Google is the new Yellow Pages.

Google offers a free and easy way to include your business in their search results. It’s designed for local businesses, but it works even if your clients are beyond local. You don’t have to have your address shown publicly.

Here’s where to start:

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