Make Money With NLP - 6 Ways
1 - Become an NLP Practitioner
The most common way to make money with NLP is as a practitioner, and the most normal arrangement is to charge clients for individual 1-hour or 2-hour sessions. Interestingly, no licensing or certification is required in the USA, and probably most other countries as well. I do recommend that you get proper training, which generally ends with a certificate, even though you won't need that certificate. But the training, you'll probably need that. Oh, I'll admit there may be some people on this earth who have an intuitive knack for this sort of counseling, and who could become good practitioners by simply studying this website, but I think that's rare. And there are those who have taken all the training, but still don't have enough natural empathy, or perhaps too much empathy to be effective NLP practitioners. I think it can be learned, but that's a subject for another article.
So, if you feel you'd be a good NLP practitioner, all you have to do is start! What I mean by that is you don't need to file paperwork, don't need to rent an office, don't need to get signs painted on your car (hey, wait a minute!). All you need is your first client.
The first client may be the hardest to get. If you are lucky, a distant family member, a friend of a friend, or one of your fellow students from NLP training would enjoy a session. If it goes particularly well, your first client may tell others, who tell others, and so on. But this is the real world. What you really need is 100 first clients. Then a few of them will tell their friends, who will tell their friends, and so on.
So, how do you get 100 clients?
Here are some ideas. Run with the ones you like, and ignore the ones that would bother you.
Print business cards, and hand them out to everyone within reach at all times. If you have a short, catchy phrase on your card, it will cause people to ask about what you do. As you know, once you start a conversation, you have the opportunity to 'sell' a session. Using your NLP skills and your heart, you can be genuinely curious about the person to whom you've handed a card, and find out if they would benefit from an NLP session. If not, no worries. Perhaps this person will pass your card on to someone who will call you. But if the person can benefit from a session, you don't have to sell it at all. Just let the person know about the benefits. Oh, it is certainly helpful to have a 'close' - such as "I have Tuesday at 10 available."
As you hand out business cards, it is most helpful to have an 'elevator speech' memorized. This is a one-paragraph description of what you do, so when people ask, you have a smooth, confident reply.
It doesn't take long to hand out cards to your closest friends and associates. So, you may want to take it to the next level. You can attend business mixers, evening talks, adult education classes and so on, so you have a larger circle of people to become your clients.
How about Internet presence? Most people who are practitioners of anything get a website. Most of these websites get three visitors a year, one of which is the practitioner's mother. You need to do a bit of search engine optimization. You can read up on the details of SEO all over the Internet, so I won't go into much detail here. The biggest tip, is to have an <h1> tag, page title, meta description, and inner text with NLP and the name of your community. For instance:
NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) Centroville, Malten, Aberdeen, Nebraska
This way, anyone who googles NLP and your community will come up with your page. Without the location, they'd get a thousand practitioner's pages, and yours won't be at the top of the list.
Phone book advertising doesn't work very well these days, takes a long time to become published, and costs too much.
Local newspaper, coupon and bulletin board advertising works well.
The main thing you'll need is patience. If your situation is typical, at first, you'll think whatever you've done for publicity was all a waste. You may spend $500 for radio advertising (not recommended) and get one client out of the deal. But, that client may tell others. And others who heard your radio ad two months ago may eventually pick up the phone and call you.
Here's the magic: If you keep publicizing - business cards, your website, telling everyone in sight, renewing your fliers on the bulletin boards, whatever, in a year, you'll start to earn a bit of a living. In five years, you get to charge a lot of money for each session, and turn down any clients you don't want to work with.
Example: I knew a fellow who became a licensed real estate agent. He found a broker willing to take him on. That was easy, because agents work on commission only, and the more agents a broker has, the better - within reason. He worked, and worked, and it took him almost exactly one year to close his first sale. That was years ago. Now he is a very successful broker.
2 - Training
One of the best ways to make money with NLP is to teach it. You can make more money faster than most other NLP incomes.
You can teach on any level. It is very easy to start with local community education centers, offering a beginning course or introduction to NLP. Then, if you're feeling well-educated enough in NLP, you can teach an intermediate course, an advanced course, a practitioner's course, even a master course. Just as with being a practitioner, you don't have to be certified or licensed in any way. (There are two sides to that coin, but that, too, is a topic for another discussion.)
So what about the schools that offer certification? It turns out they print their own. You too, if you feel qualified, can offer certification to your graduates.
You can also offer side dishes. For instance, you might present a course on "NLP and Family Relationships," or "NLP and Conflict Resolution" or "NLP in the Workplace," or "NLP in Sales."
3 - As an Employee
Imagine a factory or large office in which the workers can make an appointment with an NLP practitioner to work out issues like boredom, toxic co-workers, or family problems. This not only benefits the employees, but the company as well, since an unhappy or bothered employee is going to be less productive than one who is happy. You could be that practitioner.
Most such companies don't post job openings for an in-house NLP practitioner. In fact, I've never heard of one that did. They don't even realize how much they'd benefit. But if you were to approach the right people at these companies with your idea, it shouldn't take long to create your own job. And, it will most-likely be a high-paying job. We're not talking $10/hour. we're talking more like a minimum of $60,000 per year ($30/hour).
Example: I know a fellow who took up the odd sport of juggling. He wanted to teach juggling for a living. He approached the athletic director at the college in his hometown, and the best job he could get was to teach juggling to those college students who were interested for 1 hour per week. He had four students. But he was patient, and had a good style. In time, he had 20 students, then 200. 20 years later, he is the athletic director at that college.
4 - Mediator
Wouldn't it be great if anyone holding a meeting, whether it is to resolve a conflict, such as union vs management, or any meeting that would otherwise be chaotic, could hire a mediator to keep the meeting organized? Your NLP skills may make you perfect for the job. This too, is a specialty you'll have to create for yourself. This too, requires business cards, website, patience, all the usual ingredients.
5 - In Combination
You've probably already imagined how much more effective a business or life coach, instructor of any sort, spiritual leader, consultant, or sales person would be with NLP skills. Perhaps you are, or want to be one of these. Just pick who you want to be when you grow up, mix in your NLP skills, and become just that!
Some variations that come to my mind:
Advertising Consultant - You specialty is to look at all your clients' proposed advertising and publicity and tweak it for better effectiveness.
Toxic Office Exterminator - When the client calls, you visit the office, and work with the employees so their co-operation and dedication to the company is restored.
Teach selected NLP skills to children so they can become better communicators, eliminate bullying, feel more empowered (and therefore become better students), and become more empathetic. You might offer this as an afternoon activity, a summer camp, or an in-school program. I could imagine a classroom fashioned after Harry Potter's Hogwarts school, in which the NLP training is woven in with the benevolent wizards and witches metaphor. The children would be issued pointed hats, capes and wands on their first day.
What else can you think of?
6 - Remote Support
Whatever version of NLP or combination of NLP and other skills you prefer, you might like to consider working entirely by telephone or Skype. Suddenly, instead of a limited local community, you have the nation or the world at your disposal. One of the biggest advantages is that you can specialize. For instance, you might enjoy doing NLP sessions in Portuguese. Or, you might only work as a coach for musicians. You may find that by sticking to a sub-specialty, you get more, higher-paying clients sooner. If you were a coach for dress designers, for example, wouldn't any dress designer who finds about you, know immediately that you're the one - the one person who is best suited to her needs?
Have fun and prosper! - Jeff
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