One of the easiest and most often overlooked ways to attract new coaching clients is through the use of Joint Ventures (JV). This mutually beneficial arrangement has been around forever, but can be successfully integrated with today’s technology and social media and is only limited by creative thought. Let me explain with a few examples to get your wheels turning.
The concept of a joint venture is simple. You team up with someone (something) else and arrange a mutually beneficial exchange of information or services. For example, say you have a local running/triathlon store that is frequented by customers that you would like to meet and exchange information with. You could agree to hold a free discussion on a Saturday Morning about the “5 Things every New Runner Needs to Know”, or “How to avoid overuse Injuries as a High School Runner”, or maybe ” The 3 things you must include in a successful running schedule”, or maybe “Plantar Fasciitis, how to avoid it, how to heal it”, or whatever subjects would be applicable for your target demographic. You give a 15-30 minute talk/Q&A and offer assistance and service. The store helps with marketing your presentation and by giving you someplace to hold it.
The store benefits with additional traffic and is viewed as providing public information and services, and you get exposure and a group of leads. Work together with them for flyers,Facebook and email notifications and advertisements. If you are a bit uncomfortable with a group presentation maybe you can team up with the local high school X/C coach to focus on a youth presentation where you share info. Or in the triathlon world, perhaps you schedule your presentation as part of a vendor days when bike/swimming vendors will be there to provide info. about their products.
Obviously this type of presentation is mutually beneficial in an athletic store, but you can really provide the same type of information in any business that would benefit and appeal to your target market. Coffee shops, health food stores,gyms,personal/fitness trainers, the list is practically endless. Be open minded when considering your possibilities. Think about your target market, where they go and what they do and what they want and how you can help them get it. Maybe your local gym would like to increase exposure to drive membership sign ups. You agree to hold a weekly Sat. AM run originating from their facility in exchange for use of the locker room. Maybe they agree to have you “advise them” on basic running programs for their customers. You are the gym “Running Expert”. Do you think you would benefit from the increased exposure? You could suggest that they have a twice weekly class on “Core Exercises to benefit Runners”, or beginning yoga for Endurance Athletes, or whatever appeals to your shared demographic. Maybe they offer a discount to your coaching clients. Be creative in your joint offers!
Let’s take things on step farther. In my gym example (or the running store ) you make arrangements for a free sample of a nutrition drink by your local health food/nutrition rep. at the end of the talk/run/whatever. You can tie in several people in a synergistic way that all can benefit. Now, let go even deeper.
After you’ve established credibility and value with your JV partner(s) why not provide shared discounts to be mutually beneficial? By that I mean that in the running shoe store for example, they hold a raffle for a free 30 min. coaching session with you to drive traffic to their store. Perhaps your local running/triathlon club would also be interested in a similar arrangement for your services and expertise. Offer to develop a generic training program for a local race for “members of the club” to encourage sign ups. You provide the coaching, but also get copies of all the leads. You can make agreements for discounted services for your specific clientele. You agree to exchange your client list with the gym or nutrition affiliate in exchange for their endorsement of you and your discount to them. Perhaps they give you some type of acknowledgement in their store,web site or other advertising mediums as their recognized “Running/Triathlon Advisor” in exchange for your driving traffic to them.
I will elaborate on this arrangement in a future posting, but keep open minded about bundling your services with others in a mutually beneficial arrangement. It can be a great way to grow your business, make friends, and help more people.