If you’re a service professional such as a consultant or coach, I’m sure you’ve experienced what it’s like to struggle for clients. The competition can be stiff, and very few people jump from finding your Web site on a search engine to forking over $100/hour to talk with you on the phone. But there are strategies for getting more clients. Here’s three to get you started.

1. Be able to succinctly say what you do and who you do it for. This should be a one sentence statement that helps a total stranger get a feel for what you do and be interested in learning more. Use this statement when someone asks you what you do for a living. Use it on your Web site, your business card, everywhere.

Here’s mine: “I help talented professionals discover, define and deliver their message to the online world.” You probably won’t gather from this statement how I help clients use articles, ezines, ezine advertising, information products and other methods to accomplish this. But, if you’re a talented professional, it will be enough to make you want to learn more.

So what’s yours? Fill in the blanks: I help (or work with) ____(who?)______ to ________(do what?)__________. Make sure the “do what” part of this statement is something that your typical customer really wants.

2. Create lead-in products that easily convert lookers into buyers. If you charge $100 per hour for consulting, don’t expect too many people to beat down your door to pay you that right off the bat. Baby step them into doing business with you. Create products and services at different price points so that people can easily have a buying experience with you. Typical baby step products would be ebooks, books, online courses, teleclasses, workbooks, CD’s and audiotapes, workshops/seminars, etc. For example, you might have a $12 ebook, a $19 book, a $49 manual, a $89 multi-session teleclass, etc.

Once someone does business with you, they’ll feel like they know you on a better level. If that experience was good, it builds trust. It takes more trust to pay you $100/hour for a phone consultation than it does to buy a $12 book. But once someone’s bought your book, they’ll more readily enroll in your $89 teleclass series. Once they’ve taken your teleclass, they’ll be more likely to hire you on an hourly basis for one-on-one consulting. But to expect someone to jump from visiting your Web site to paying you $100/hour is asking too much.

3. Promote your free and low-end products & services first. Once you’ve created products and services at different price points, spend your marketing dollar promoting your lead-in products. Send visitors who read your articles to your ezine subscription page, to a free product or service page, or to information on one of your lower-priced products. Don’t waste valuable marketing dollars promoting your most expensive product or service. Build trust first. Lead them through your products and services step-by-step until they’re happy to pay your hourly consulting rate.

~ by Marnie L. Pehrson of PWGroup.com

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