Topic: Research/Metrics

Can’t Find Paying Customers

Posted by low30 on 250 Points
I have worked for 25 years as a advertising strategist and copywriter. However I needed a career refresh. After completing my facilitator training in a revolutionary personal development program that changed the course of my life I set out to create my own business as a facilitator.
I did my research, got much positive feedback on how much demand there is for helping people overcome their mental blocks, fears, beliefs and social conditionings holding them stuck from achieving success, I launched my business.
With my marketing background I was confident in striking out on my own.
I have spent thousands of dollars on marketing including my web site and advertising in social media, direct mail and even radio. I have offered sessions pro bono to develop positive client feedback.
Unfortunately after 5 years I have not generated one paying client. I have tweaked my program to refocus on specific niches that showed promise in research.
I am at a loss on how positive test marketing results can go so cold. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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  • Posted by Jay Hamilton-Roth on Accepted
    The clue was that after few months you had no paying clients. That points to either: 1) your offer (why should someone hire YOU), 2) your target audience (right message, but wrong people), 3) your research (there aren't many opportunities), or 4) your skills. People telling you that there's a need is, as you've found out, quite different from people offering you money to help them ("money speaks louder than words").

    Looking back to the training organization: What have their graduated accomplished? Do they have a placement service? Are you marketing yourself as a facilitator, personal coach, or professional coach?
  • Posted by Mike Steffes on Accepted
    Can we check out your web site? More data often improves the diagnosis.
  • Posted by mgoodman on Accepted
    My guess is that your research was not truly objective. People gave you positive feedback because they didn't have to make a commitment, so they told you what they thought you wanted to hear. (You may also have telegraphed your own bias and/or loaded your research sample (of respondents) with people who knew you already.

    The question now is whether to keep retooling and adapting, or scrap this particular business idea and move on to something else. That's a difficult call, as only you know what you're prepared to invest in terms of time, money and emotional energy.

    If you decide to stick with this business, you might want to consider talking with a market research professional about how you can assess the potential, identify the right target audience, and/or deliver your message in the most compelling manner. The cost will be small compared to the value, but it will still require additional investment on your part.

    I'm sure many of us can identify with your situation. We'll certainly be available for further discussion and to act as a sounding board for you.

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