The certificates are ready, the workstation is all set, mentally you are ready to go out into the real world and put your coach training to use and truly begin your journey as a professional life coach! But how do you pull in your first client?
Of course, you can’t be a coach without a client – so getting your first client is essential to move from dreaming of being a top life coach to becoming one in reality.
Just because you are in a profession that is one of the most sought-after (life coaching is the second fastest growing industry globally), doesn’t make it easy to scale a life coaching business to success. The biggest businesses start small, learn, experience and then grow. Well begun is half the work done, so getting your first client is a coveted moment for any coach.
But how do you actually go about getting that all-valuable first paying client? Here are some easy ways… whether you are starting out as a life coach or transitioning from a different coaching domain, if you’re wondering how to get clients as a life coach, this will not only help you start out but also build a sustainable method to attract life coaching clients in the future…
1. Select your life coaching niche
People opt to invest in the services of a life coach to help them overcome a specific issue – personal/professional, transitions, roadblocks or stagnation in their lives be it related to health, career, relationships etc.
Zeroing in on a particular life coaching niche ensures that you concentrate on gaining expertise in those particular sectors rather than stretching yourself and becoming a jack of all trades and master of none.
By focusing on a couple of areas, you can reach the right clientele, rather than just a large non-specific audience, improving your chances of getting the right new clients. You can zone in on your specialization as a life coach depending on your passion, skills, experiences, work style, and knowledge.
2. Convey information about your services clearly
Offering real and quality content regarding your services, coaching programs, pricing packages, credentials, knowledge, experiences, feedback from previous clients & success stories (if available) is essential to attract clients.
Create a dedicated website or sales page that gives detailed information about you, your services, experiences etc. The client should feel that you are the right person to guide them through their problems, that you would understand their issue & goals and speak their language.
Stating what services you offer your clients and what results they can expect from them is one of the ways you can stand out from other life coaches. If you have any previous coaching experience, put out those client testimonials too – real life inputs connect the most with potential clients.
3. Understand your client’s requirements
Understanding the interests, issues, desires and goals of your intended clientele would be the first and most important step towards attracting the right client.
As a new coach, however, you might wonder how to understand your target clients’ requirements. Connecting with prospective clients online via social media by offering top quality, relevant content is one of the most effective strategies to engage prospective clients where they are most present. Make sure the content you create is engaging and valuable to attract a client, and start an initial conversation on their challenges by posing meaningful and pertinent questions.
For instance, if you are a health & wellness coach, different clients might have different fitness related issues and goals to achieve. Asking questions about what their short term/long term fitness goals are, what motivates them to change their lifestyle and get serious about their health, what do they hope to achieve in terms of fitness, etc. lets you, as a health coach, get a fair insight into their thought process, challenges & desires. That understanding is the key to being able to convert prospective clients into paying clients and establishing a long-term coach-coachee partnership.
4. Market your services online
In the present scenario, post pandemic, a lot of coaches, life coaches as well as others, are making use of virtual platforms to establish their brand and expand their reach.
Select a few important platforms that will help you reach your potential clients – Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, YouTube are well known, LinkedIn which is the largest professional networking and career development social networks will obviously have a treasure trove of potential clients.
Emails are another great way to have a direct connect with your would-be clients with a more personalized approach.
Make sure you have a sustained presence on each of the platforms that you have chosen – writing blogs, creating vlogs, uploading informative videos, setting up webinars or podcasts and sending out newsletters are some of the ways where you can use online platforms for successfully marketing your coaching business.
5. Network with other coaches, generate referrals
The coaching community is a supportive one. You are likely to benefit from the collective wisdom of the community if you join a few networks, either online or in your city. Not only do you gain knowledge, but it is also a boost to your credibility as a life coach to be a part of a respected group. Innovative thoughts, fresh ideas and techniques, discussions on commonly occurring client problems and exposure to new resources are some of the many advantages of networking with a community of coaches.
What’s more, the group might also enable you to get client referrals through other members or an opportunity to join another coach for group coaching or perhaps conduct a joint podcast on a common topic. Being a part of a coaching community might well open up opportunities to expand your reach and gain new clients.
6. Offer the first coaching session for FREE
By posting meaningful content and information on your social media platforms you have already connected with your potential clients, so take the next step and further sweeten the deal by offering a free first coaching session, a free entry to a webinar, a couple free sessions of group coaching etc.
Let’s face it, FREE is an offer that is irresistible to most of us. Pro bono has tremendous benefits, giving the clients a peek into what you have to offer and that may well result in actual paid clients.
7. Be a maverick – don’t stick to tried and tested formulae
Running your own business might mean that the responsibility for its success or failures is your own but it is also an opportunity to do things your own way. Sometimes not following the set rule book, and going by your gut feel, can deliver success.
For instance, even in this digital age, some life coaches still rely on old fashioned contacts and word of mouth to get clients… and it works for them! Others are convinced that a massive online presence is their chosen way to building a successful life coaching business – and it does give them great returns.
It’s also important to be open to change – if you decide your chosen niche is not working for you for whatever reason, don’t be afraid to pivot. Change need not always be something to be afraid of instead it can bring about unexpected benefits.
8. There’s no substitute for hard work and discipline
Anything worthwhile in life requires a lot of hard work and dedication for success to become a possibility. There are no shortcuts, 2-minute gimmicks or miraculous wands that will land you heaps of clients at the snap of your fingers. You may have to work for free, work with difficult clients, make your way through never-ending administrative work, and still find the time to build your network and focus on getting new clients!
So focus on long-term goals, don’t be afraid to put out more hard work than the worth of your rewards, and invest in relationships and networks that will have a compounding effect later.
We hope this article on how to get clients as a life coach will truly help you get your first clients and be the steppingstone for building a successful life coaching business.
1. How do life coaches get their first client?
The most important thing that a life coach needs to do to get their first client is go out on various platforms (online and offline) and make people aware of their coaching services. The next steps include focusing on a particular niche of life coaching and then targeting their real audience, creating a strategic plan to convey a strong message about their services and then market those services online via multiple platforms, creating valuable content, becoming a part of a coaching community, actively post new content to keep up presence across platforms, and most importantly work hard and be patient.
2. How do I promote myself as a life coach?
There are many online platforms available for promoting your services as life coach. Have a dedicated website with personalized branding to have a distinct presence and stand out against competitors. Multiple online platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, YouTube, Podcasts, Vlogs, blogs, Group discussions etc. are a great way to advertise your services as well as expand your search for potential clients. You can also opt for offline avenues such as city-based communities, business conferences and so on.