Teresia LaRocque, MCC, is Canada’s first Master Certified Coach and co-founder of ICF Vancouver. Over the past 20 years, she has been a key player in developing the coaching industry in Vancouver, British Columbia and Canada.
One of the most effective ways to build your clientele is through increased exposure – letting the world know who you are, who you work with and how you help people. Unfortunately, you can only get so far by yourself. But if you had other people doing that for you, your reach would increase exponentially!
Strategic alliances are a very powerful way to get exposure for your business. By aligning yourself with a person or group that also serves your target market (but is not in direct competition with you), you can dramatically increase your visibility and promote your business to a larger, more targeted audience than you could ever reach on your own. You also gain a measure of credibility, because the alliance is an implicit endorsement of your expertise. (They wouldn’t partner with you if you weren’t any good, right?)
There are many ways to create win-win relationships that support your business. Here are a few ideas to consider:
Sounds like a great way to grow your business, right? It is! If you know your niche. That’s (usually) the pivotal factor in forming strategic alliances – a shared market/audience/specialization.
When you’re clear about your target market, it’s easy to ask yourself, “Where do these people hang out and how can I get in front of them? What organizations would benefit from what I have to offer? What leader or company has a business, community or audience full of my ideal clients?” Start asking these questions and new opportunities will begin to appear – sometimes almost magically!
Don’t believe me? Just ask Sherry Peters, an emerging coach and participant in the Erickson Business Center (EBC) program. She works with writers wanting to increase their productivity and creativity. Within 24 hours of taking the EBC class on strategic alliances, one of her coaching clients mentioned a new, online resource hub for writers. The site did not yet have an in-house coach to serve its community of writers, so Sherry pounced on the opportunity.
After taking some time to feel things out, she crafted a mutually-beneficial agreement with the owners of the website. And she gets to keep 100% of what she makes through her partner’s site! (Some strategic alliances involve referral fees, percentage of profits, etc.; some do not. It’s entirely up to the partners to negotiate an agreement that serves both sides.) To hear how she put this together, check out the interview below.
Strategic alliances are a great example of embracing the entrepreneurial mindset – leveraging your time and efforts for a bigger, bolder bottom line. With the right partnerships in place, you can have an effortless marketing system and a steady stream of prospective clients… and a lot more time to spend coaching!
Strategic alliances begin with discovery. This week, take some time to find out which groups, organizations, and businesses serve your niche. Then get your creative wheels turning. How could you establish a partnership that serves both sides – and most importantly, benefits your shared community of clients? Brainstorm a list of ideas; then identify the one(s) you want to act on.