According to a recent Google search 30% of the United States’ work force is independent and according to another Google search over 600,000 folks are working in the consulting or coaching space. The desire to work independently is only going to continue to grow as we fly forward.
So amidst all that noise how do you stay relevant? How do you continue to grow and improve so your clients want you as a lifetime resource? At a recent event we conduct for our consultants, an interesting discussion that unveiled is … how to create lifetime clients. Part of the discussion that drove this blog is the statement … in order to generate lifetime clients, you need to stay relevant.
Many folks that take the leap to coaching or consulting are encouraged by their peers to do so based on their 20-30 years of experience being a successful corporate problem solver. Albeit the 20-30 year pedigree is impressive and is a great historical overview of what you have done, which 5 of these are relevant? It is a great question for which I can’t take credit for, I am borrowing it from the conversation, last week about generating lifetime clients.
Whether you have had your coaching or consulting practice for 1 year, 3 years, 10, years, or 15 years, what action steps are you taking every year to stay relevant for your clients? Obviously this article is asking this question rhetorically, and we thought we would share some of the actions our consultants and coaches use to stay relevant.
- Be part of a peer network
Being part of a peer network provides continuous exposure to ideas and thought leadership from folks who are doing something similar with clients. Many peer networks host events for live learning opportunities to network, interact, and learn from others’ successes and mistakes. As an example, we hold 3 events every year for our consultants and coaches to participant in and learn from and share with their peers. The energy is always high and the knowledge shared is second to none.
Many of our consultants are also adjunct teachers at undergraduate or graduate institutions. Preparing and sharing a robust curriculum that is meaningful and worthwhile requires you to stay relevant. Your students will quickly question your credibility if you are not able to stay with the times.
A number of our consultants have written one or several books. Writing a book is a great way to generate market credibility and successful marketing activities like speeches. However writing a book has another benefit as it will help keep you relevant. If you want the book to be well received and generate the credibility in your market place, the book needs to be well thought out and the concepts you are sharing need to be timely and meaningful.
- Investing In Your Learning
We have several consultants and coaches in our network that have a line item in their business budget allowing them to invest in seminars, new certifications, etc. in order to keep their sword sharp. Whether their budget is $1,000 or $10,000 they have made a financial commitment to continue learning what they need to learn in order for clients to see lifetime value.
Another popular conversation among consultants and coaches is about the peaks and valleys between marketing and servicing. Imagine what your business would look like if your strategy moving forward were to generating lifetime clients. A great conversation for a future article. The question posed today is how to stay relevant so a potential client sees the value for a lifetime engagement.
What are you doing to stay relevant?