What to do when you're not making any money

Sometimes we're moving right along, making money in our business and out of seemingly nowhere we hit a dry patch that makes us feel like we’ve hit a brick wall. 

OMG it’s so frustrating and scary too! 
The most common thing is to start to panic. Maybe you’ll even:

  1. Begin to second-guess yourself and your business,

  2. Consider lowering your prices,

  3. Work with anyone (even if they really aren’t the best fit, which can lead to big headaches)

But before you do any of that. I want to ask you to take a deep breath and go back to step 1, which is to make sure you are aligned with your summary. 

You see your summary is a one paragraph statement of who you are, who you work with and what you do for them. 

There are real gems in your summary that will get you back on track. Let’s break down an example: 

I am an executive-coach for high-achieving women with 10+ years of experience who love their jobs and want to be promoted to the next level but are secretly starting to burn out. 

I help them break bad habits and make better decisions so they can confidently take the steps to reach their goal without the burnout and overwhelm. 

Now let’s break that apart so we can start making money. 
#1. Who are you?  

I am an executive coach. 

Note, I am not a life coach. This is an important distinction that will help me find my ideal clients. 

Why? Well, a life-coach may look for clients in places very different than an executive coach. 

#2. Who do you work with? 

I work with high-achieving women with 10+ years of experience who love their jobs and want to be promoted to the next level. 

OK, there’s so much good stuff here!

  • First, you work with high-achieving women and they want to be promoted to the next level.

  • You DO NOT work with women who are new to the work force.

  • You DO NOT work with women who want a career change or think of their job strictly as a 9-5.

Now think about where your ideal client “high-achieving women with 10+ years of experience”  hang out. 

  • Industry events, she’s committed to her job, so she’s always trying to learn more, network, be in the market.

  • Career blogs, maybe she reads The Ladders or HBR.

  • She’s on LinkedIn, never on Instagram or Facebook — who has time?!

Knowing where your ideal client is KEY because you must meet her there. She will not come to you, you must go to her where she already is. 

#3. What do you do for her? 

I help her break bad habits, make better decisions so they can beat burnout and overwhelm and get promoted. 

Great, now we tell her how we can solve their problem in her language. So maybe your ideal client doesn’t say, "I have bad habits", but you hear her say, "I never leave the office before 8:00 pm." 

You think, red flag, this is a bad habit! Hmmm, maybe she stays late because she doesn’t say no. Another red flag! Perhaps this is a confidence issue or she’s just focusing on the wrong tasks during the day. 

Now let’s put it all together. 
You're an executive coach (this is what your ideal client needs) you’ve met your ideal client (a high-achieving woman with 10+ years of experience) at an industry-related networking event (you’ve gone to this event because you know this is where your ideal client is hanging out)

You strike up a conversation where you are genuinely interested in getting to know her. (Note! You are NOT looking for a sale!) and she mentions it was hard to leave the office to get to this event because she’s always in the office until 8:00 pm. (Red flag! You think I may be able to help her!) 

You say something like, a lot of my clients have struggled with that too! I’ve helped them leave the office at a reasonable time and get promoted! (You’re telling her how you can solve her problem.) 

Give her an actionable and free tip (you're being of service here) and exchange business cards. Then be sure to follow up and check in to see how she’s doing. (You’re building a relationship here and this is where your ideal clients become paying clients.) 

See how it all started with your summary? 
So if you’re feeling like you’re up against a roadblock to making money in your business, take a step back and re-visit your summary. 

  • Do you know who you are?

  • Who your ideal client is?

  • Who their problem is and how you can solve it?

Make sure you’re totally aligned here and it will give you the clear clues to where to find your ideal clients and start to turn them into paying clients. 

Still feel stuck? 
Just respond to this email or post in the comments and we can chat about getting your summary together. 

Marissa BishopComment