Readying yourself to become a professional coach is the easier part, the more difficult job comes next – getting a coaching business client. As any veteran from the coaching business will tell you, landing that first client can be one of the most stressful and challenging experiences that a professional can go through. You think that you’ve got all the bases covered – the training, the credentials, the networking skills, even a certain amount of work experience and yet that paying client continues to stay as elusive as a yeti!
So, what can you do to attract new business as well as the right type of clientele? Here are 10 great tips on how to get clients for coaching business in 2023.
Communicate What You Do
For any client to sign up for your coaching programs, they have to be able to connect with you and that doesn’t mean just communication. They need to have access to all the information that reflects your credentials, education & knowledge, past work experiences, testimonials from past clients (if any), success stories where your coaching has made a real difference to a person’s life delivering a positive outcome, and more such things.
When you’re building your own website, understand that while you convey a particular message about the bouquet of services that your coaching program offers, you also need to take into consideration if it resonates with your prospective client.
For instance, convey in an honest, clear and precise manner what makes you the ideal choice for your prospect’s coaching requirements, what your specific coaching niche is (it is not enough to state that you are a business coach since it’s a vast concept – state what your area of expertise is, such as an expansion specialist or a small business growth coach, for instance), why you have chosen this particular segment of coaching or how your past experiences have contributed to that choice, and more.
Make sure that the content sounds realistic and not just like a commercial spiel; people can spot a trick quite easily and doing such things may put the trustworthiness of your venture in question.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
The coaching industry is bursting with plenty of professional coaches offering top notch services. In such a crowded and competitive environment, if you slack off in your effort to be in continuous touch with your prospective clients, it can well spell doom for your coaching business even before it starts. Simply put, out of sight is out of mind – you need to be visible for your potential clients to register your presence and then make an informed decision about the coaching skills that you are offering.
Online communication and social media have provided all of us with an easy and accessible way to connect with practically anyone on the planet (assuming you have a good internet connection!), so use that to connect with your audience on a regular basis.
Well-written & pertinent content, relevant information about the coaching industry, new trends and upcoming opportunities in specific market segments…can all be value added knowledge for clients. Try posting fresh information at least a couple times a week, if not more, to maintain visibility.
But while utilizing the power of online opportunities, don’t spread yourself too thin either. Having a strong presence is essential – popping up on each and every available platform is not! YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, podcasts, webinars, blogs & vlogs…it’s a very long list!
The temptation to be visible across all channels is immense and you may think that being everywhere will expand your reach to your potential audience, but actually that may not be so. Not only is it difficult to post non repetitive content on multiple mediums, but maintaining high standards of quality output will also be nearly impossible. There is only so much content and only a finite number of ways to present the same information in different ways in an ‘original’ manner.
Instead, concentrate on a couple mediums where you feel that your target clientele is most likely to be at and commit to those platforms fully.
Focus on Whom You Want to Reach
The businesses that succeed are generally the ones that specialize in their offerings. A Punjabi restaurant can serve idli sambar, but will you prefer eating that at that establishment or would you opt for an authentic South Indian eatery for the best experience?
In a rush to please everyone around you, the chances are that you may well end up appealing to no one. Simply put, focus on a particular niche and your chances of succeeding go up automatically. Clarity of your service offerings is the key to pulling in the right clientele; clients do not want a jack of all trades – they prefer a master of one!
For instance, if you are a life coach with a recognized knack of improving relationships and problem-solving abilities. In this case, your focus needs to be on reaching clients who are experiencing troubles or issues in their interactions – be it personal or professional. Tapping into your family & friends’ network or local community groups maybe the right places to start off on your search for prospective life coaching clients.
Life coaching is all about human connection, and generally clients are looking for a coach to address and guide them in solving issues (such as a difficult break up, improved relations with colleagues, connecting better with parents/siblings, and more) and improving some of the most important connections in their lives.
Create Relevant Content
As a coach, you need to be relentless in your quest for expanding your client base. And relevant content is at the core of that search. With almost the entire planet online, it goes without saying that your potential clients are all present on various networking sites, and social media platforms consuming and sharing a huge amount of information each minute.
You need to create content in such a manner that it stands out amongst all the non-essential information that a user is bombarded with. You don’t need to overwhelm your potential clients with a plethora of information; instead, just focus on creating content that is smartly informative, relevant to their requirements, precise, short and shareable. Most people struggle to read lengthy posts and tend to lose focus and interest if your intent doesn’t come through quickly.
Let your brand speak for you
Learn everything you need to know about branding in our ‘Branding for Coaches’ Toolkit!
Lay the Groundwork to Drive Traffic
You might have heard of driving traffic to your online presence – customized website, social media platforms, podcasts, webinars, online workshops, etc. So, what exactly is driving traffic? Internet traffic is nothing but the number of people who come across the content that you put out via online channels.
Now there are millions of people who surf the internet, but it doesn’t mean that they all are potential clients! The idea is to get the right people to view your content, spend time on your website & social accounts, go through your coaching program details, read informative blogs that will appeal to their needs, and more.
There are certain steps that you need to take, as a coach, to ensure that your offering is reaching the correct audience and you do that by driving traffic to your content. There are numerous ways how you can widen your reach and get more prospective clients, such as SEO (search engine optimization) and digital marketing, online & offline ads, referrals, affiliate or third-party advertising, learning platforms, joint venture partnerships with influencers who can promote your coaching business, community forums and groups, etc.
Use Organic & Paid Marketing Smartly
In the earlier segment we have already seen that a strong online and social media presence is a must for any coach in maintaining continuous visibility for their prospective clients. Marketing your services is a crucial part of building up your coaching business and getting prospective clients onboard. Your audience has to know that you are in the market offering your coaching services.
Of course, the eventual success of any marketing strategy generally depends directly on your ability to spend! But there are ways how you can get the desired results without breaking the bank.
Organic marketing is a smart way of reaching your clients. Organic marketing includes activities that can bring in more potential customers without paying for it. Using social media, podcasts, blog and guest blogging, and using online forums and groups are some of the known organic marketing mediums that can help you build a loyal customer base and cultivate long term relationships with your clients.
Paid marketing is more about pushing through new content in a bid to target a previously untapped clientele. This can be done by doing tie ups with relevant social media influencers who promote your coaching services, using paid ad options on various platforms such as Facebook, display ads, PPC (pay-per-click), google ads paid search (driving relevant visitors to your sites), retargeting (showing your ads to visitors after they visit your site), paid content discovery (those related articles links that are present at the bottom of a website), online video ads, and more.
But paid marketing works better only when you have taken the effort to put in place robust organic marketing strategies. Paid ads can bring in customers to your site, but it has to have updated and relevant content to be able to hook the prospect.
Connect with Other Coaches
Contrary to the belief that getting friendly with the competition can kill off your chances of succeeding, having a solid support system (one that understands your coaching journey, its challenges, and rewards) is likely to increase your chances of actually making it in the ultra-competitive coaching segment.
Becoming a member of coach groups or networks can open your mind to opportunities that may have previously seemed unrealistic. It can become a mutually beneficial collaboration that presents fresh ideas, new coaching tools and techniques, training courses to upgrade your own skillsets and knowledge, client referrals from fellow coaches, and lots more.
In addition to networking with your coaching peers, following up with past clients, building a referral network (not just with coaches but also with local bodies and organizations who have a considerable client list themselves and who can pass along your coaching reference), and actively growing your email list can also help in getting clients.
Offer a Free Coaching Session
It’s human nature to be attracted to anything free! Tap into that temperament and offer a free first coaching session (or a webinar, an e-book, even a group program) to your potential clients.
It works on multiple levels; firstly, it conveys your self-confidence about your coaching abilities.
Secondly, it works towards establishing yourself as a trustworthy and honest coach – it says to your client, come and gauge the coaching offerings and only if you are convinced sign up for the program, – basically experience first and pay later! Also, you never know how offering this freebie can reverberate in the long run and get you referrals in the future.
Thirdly, it gives you an understanding of whether you are targeting the right sort of clients or if you need to tweak your client acquiring strategy based on the kind of individuals who actually turn up for the free session.
Offering your expertise without expecting remuneration at the start will help establish you as a powerful resource for coaching needs, one who is truly invested in helping people overcome their challenges and achieve their desired objectives.
Be the Coach You Would Sign Up With
When you are trying to convince a client to sign up for your coaching service, ask yourself a very pertinent question – if you needed a coach, would you sign up (as a paying customer) for the coaching program you are offering? Is it worth the price charged? If the inner voice answers a resounding yes, then go all out and to connect with your prospective clients and market your coaching services wholeheartedly.
No Shortcuts to Success
There are no free lunches in this world and there are no short cuts to real success! No magic wand is going to deliver a hoard of clients to your doorstep – only discipline, hard work, patience and not giving up in face of setbacks are things that will take you far on your coaching journey.
Integrity, transparency, professional ethics, trust and sincerity are at the core of your coaching business, so don’t compromise on your values to get that one extra client. In the long term, these true qualities are the ones that will help you not just build a high volume of coaching business clients but also sustain a successful career as a top-notch coach.
1. How do you get more coaching clients?
Clients are the lifeline of any business and getting those first paying customers is often the most difficult breakthrough to achieve for a new business. By sticking to the simple basics, instead of being over ambitious and reaching beyond your capacity, you can attract more clients to your coaching business. Conveying the value that your coaching services, choosing the right fit clients, thinking out of the box and not sticking to the tried formulas, creating a robust online presence, establishing a strong brand, having a smart marketing strategy, networking with fellow coaches, putting in sincere efforts, working hard & smart and staying resolute against setbacks can help a coach get clients.
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