The momentum is building. You’ve finished your classes, got your first client, and you’re off to a strong start. But like a racehorse that bolts from the gate but quickly falls behind, you wonder if you’ll ever make it to the finish line into full-time coaching success.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

In my first article, “3 Steps to Finding Your Sweet Spot,” you learned how important it is to find your sweet spot, to market to a group of people who already know they have a problem and are spending money to solve it.

But finding your sweet spot isn’t enough. Just as a jockey won’t enter a race without a strategy for success, smart coaches don’t market willy-nilly, running this way and that. They strategize how to cross the finish line a winner.

So on your business-building journey, once you’ve found your sweet spot, the secret is to create strategies and systems for success.

Creating Strategies & Systems

Your marketing strategies are the different ways you’ll use to tell people who you are and what you do. They could include personal contact, public speaking, writing, networking, social media or any combination of the above.

The key is to focus on a few strengths-based strategies (things you truly enjoy and do well) that insure you’ll have success. Then, repeat.

Unfortunately, that’s not what I did at first.

Before I knew anything about marketing, I thought more was better. So, I jumped headlong into tweeting, friending, following, speaking, networking, writing and more.

It was as if I’d entered the Marketing Olympics, signing-up for every category, hoping to increase the odds of winning by participating in all the events.

It was exhausting. And ineffective.

While it was tempting to chase every shiny marketing bauble that came my way, true effectiveness came from knowing what worked and putting my time and energy there.

Once I understood this principle, I decided to focus most of my efforts on public speaking. I’d give a speech, add 50 plus people to my newsletter list and then follow-up monthly. It worked great!

Choosing just a few strengths-based strategies will also work for you.

In fact, it will work so well that you’ll soon find yourself asking, should I be spending my marketing time nurturing existing relationships or should I make new contacts instead? The answer is ‘yes.’ You need to do both. And the only way this is possible is to develop systems that work for you even while you sleep.

Creating Systems for Success

While it takes time and intentionality to build an effective marketing system, it is the only sustainable way to go pro.

Think about it this way: Picture me watering my yard throughout the long Florida summer with garden hose in hand. To have a green lawn, I’d need to this repeat this day after day. My grass might be the envy of the neighborhood, but I’d never get anything else done.

Wouldn’t it be wiser just to build an irrigation system? Sure, it would take more time, energy and money upfront, but it would pay for itself long before summer had passed.

Building an irrigation system for your marketing looks like this:

Use your strengths-based strategies to point people to your website. As soon as they land on your site entice them to sign-up for your irresistible free offer and newsletter list. Since this sign-up process is 100% automated, potential clients will be enrolling even while you do other things.

Once a month you’ll send out your newsletter full of great information and tips. And regularly, you’ll invite readers into a free strategy session with you.

The beauty of this system is that it is completely scalable. People sign-up and get your free offer without any effort from you, and it doesn’t matter if you have 6 or 6,000 people on your newsletter list, staying in touch always takes the same small amount of time.

Having good systems in place will free you up to do what you do best, serve others.

So How Long Does It Take?

So, how long does this stage of marketing last?

Sadly, most coaches will never know. They’ll start strong with the willy-nilly approach but burn out long before they make it to the finish line.

I understand. This is a slow process, and there were some mornings when I wanted to give up, throw up, or stand-up and walk away – except for one thing.

Coaching is what God called me to do.

So, like most coaches who take a systematized approach, three to five years after I began coaching, a reliable, profitable business emerged.

I know; three to five years is a long time. But it was worth every minute. Not only did I get the coaching business of my dreams, the spiritual lessons I learned in those years changed me forever. Business building was more than a way to earn money, it was God’s invitation for me to know Him in a deeper, richer way.

How About You?

What strategies and systems do you need to integrate into your coaching business?