An Interview with Marketing Coach and Expert, Lia Walsh

How to attract and keep clients - in a non-pushy way
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Tell me about how you first got started blogging?

My very first blog was actually way back in 2001, when I was still a teenager! Back then, it was just writing about teenage angst, art and literally anything that came to mind. I’m pretty sure that very few people actually read it!

But some years later, in 2010, I finally started a focused blog on vegan food that did way better because I actually understood my audience and wrote for them. Then, in 2016, I launched my business-related blog on my website and I only really started taking blogging seriously as a viable income stream in the past 4 or 5 months.

It’s amazing how it never occurred to me until recently that I had this platform at my fingertips to help grow my business!

What is a marketing coach?

A marketing coach is someone who holds your hand through the sometimes really terrifying process of promoting your business! I offer my clients everything from SEO training to branding audits, all with the goal to increase their exposure to new customers who are excited to work with them.

What made you decide to be a marketing coach?

I’ve been doing online marketing and communications for over a decade now, and it’s something I’m really passionate about. I had originally launched my personal brand in 2016 as a graphic design studio, which I still do a little of on the side (I would miss the creativity too much if I stopped it altogether!).

But I started realizing that the part that got me most fired up was when I consulted with my clients on promotions, marketing and communications. Since I was so passionate about that, I reformulated my business into one where that was my primary focus, and specifically with women, because women are the actual best. (I’m pretty sure that’s a fact, right?)

A few months in, I’m mostly still focusing on face-to-face clients and the blogging element, but I’m also really interested in building more community around my brand, where folks can connect with one another and not necessarily through a course or what have you.

How did you get your first client?

Word of mouth is always where I start. My first graphic design client back in 2016 was a friend who had a budget for a political campaign he was running, and later on I worked a lot with a nonprofit that I had previously been in touch with a lot through my volunteer work.

When I re-launched as a marketing coach, one of my very first clients was a woman who I had met (again, through volunteering) who was trying to get her business off the ground. She basically became the walking, talking customer avatar that I would picture when I was asking myself how I could serve my clients better!

She was a total star client, and was quick to refer me to her friends because she loved that I took the time to make her feel like a VIP and make sure we actually got results.

I honestly feel the most valuable clients are your current clients, because if you’re doing it right, they do the marketing for you!

Interview- How to Attract and Keep Clients Returning

Tell us about your strategies for getting and keeping clients in a non-pushy way?

Low-pressure sales is a real passion of mine. Sales can be associated with so many negative things, like encouraging people to make impulse purchases that they later regret, and the kind of pressure and dishonesty that gives that “used car salesman” vibe.

I’m really excited to teach low-pressure sales to my clients because it helps them stay in business (rent’s not optional, last I checked!), while also doing sales in a more ethical way. One of these is doing away with trying to “convert” people.

Instead of attracting as many people as possible and trying to convert them into customers, low-pressure sales only attracts people who genuinely want to buy your product and would benefit from it. Then it’s about building and maintaining the trust of that customer, in a genuine way.

Customer care is the most powerful element of sales, as it also gains you new clients, like what happened with my friend. We all know that person who’s like, “OMG, I know the most amazing lady who does [insert thing here], and if you ever need somebody, I’ll put you in touch!”

Low-pressure sales really aims to be self-sustaining through things like referrals and organic traffic (SEO) so that most of the marketing is done by the time potential customers find you. It’s a better long-term strategy for business, as well as being much better for customers.

My number one tip for people starting out is: when you get your first client, treat them how you would want someone to treat your best friend. Nurture them, mentor them, and hold their hand through it, while also doing what you can to be as authentic as possible.

If you don’t really care about your clients, pretending to care isn’t going to cut it! Providing amazing service isn’t the same as getting walked all over or anything like that.

Good clients who feel well served will respect you as a professional. If they don’t respect you, either they’re a terrible client or you have something you need to work on. Try to always work to make sure it’s not the latter!

How can we find more of your amazing content online? Are there other ways to connect?

You can check out the blog at liawalsh.com or follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram: liawalshstudio. I also run a budding Facebook group for boss babes called Boss Business Babes Unite! And I’ll be releasing my full course on low-pressure sales strategies this Spring and I can’t wait to share it with you!

Lia Walsh

Lia Walsh is a #bosslady who makes it her business to help female entrepreneurs achieve their professional goals. She loves effective communications, empowered women and the magic that happens when those two come together! She’s been working in digital marketing, graphic design and consulting for over 15 years, helping entrepreneurs design their brand and promote their products and services. When she’s got a little downtime, she likes gardening, cooking and spending time with her tabby cat, Abigail.

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