Does your coaching business feel like a hamster wheel? Are you constantly running but totally at a loss for how to get coaching clients? Many coaches share your struggle.
How do I even get clients? is the million-dollar question that keeps many life coaches up at night. We’re here to help by exploring some time-tested and foolproof strategies for how to get coaching clients fast.
In this post, we will walk you through the client acquisition process. From understanding who your ideal client is, to building authentic relationships with potential clients, to leveraging marketing initiatives like public speaking, we’ve got you covered.
Building a sustainable client strategy is all about forming a reliable approach that ensures steady progress in your customer base. While we tend to focus on life coaching (which you can read all about in our guide here), these tips can be applied to practically any kind of coaching business.
How to get Coaching Clients: the Basics
The first step to getting coaching clients starts with identifying your ideal client, the target audience of your coaching marketing efforts. Working from this archetype, you can market yourself with specificity and precision. It won’t help your coaching business if you keep picking up the wrong clients!
Recognizing Your Ideal Client
Whose needs do your coaching services meet? What difficulties can you address for them? As you craft the archetype of your ideal client, consider their needs and desires.
Go a step further and research the types of people who fit this category. Where do they shop? Where do they live? Whom do they follow on instagram? How old are they? What are their pain points? As you answer these questions, write out some exemplars. These can be as simple as a few bullet points on a notepad or as complex as a set of slides with stock images, names, and fake backstories.
These individuals form your target audience. You need not only identify but also understand them thoroughly – their fears, hopes, dreams, and challenges. Once you know who they are and what makes them tick, attracting such coaching clients becomes easier.
The more refined your understanding of your ideal client becomes, the more effectively you’ll be able to tailor your marketing strategies towards them. Remember, your clients might not realize how much they need your coaching services–you have to illustrate how hiring you as their coach addresses their pain points and challenges.
Building Authentic Relationships with Potential Clients
To get those coveted paying clients on board fast requires building authentic relationships that foster trust in your abilities as a life coach. A strong bond between coach and client forms the foundation of any successful coaching service. These relationships differentiate good coaches from great ones.
This relationship-building begins even before someone becomes a paying customer. Use social media, email lists, and other online marketing to build a community around your coaching business. This builds trust and credibility while giving you even more insights into your target market’s needs.
Not everybody who fits the archetype of your ideal client is ready to hire a coach right this minute. By community and relationship-building, you can engage your ideal clients such that months or years down the road when they need a coach, you’re the first person they think of.
How to Get Coaching Clients: Developing a Marketing Strategy
To get coaching clients fast, many coaches blend organic and paid marketing strategies. We’ll focus on organic today, since at the start of your coaching journey that’s probably what you’re most interested in. Even without paid ads, you can get a lot of great marketing done with wise use of your digital assets.
The Role of Social Media in Your Marketing Strategy
Engaged social media communities serve as great platforms to attract the attention of potential clients. You can form these communities on just about any platform, depending on where your ideal clients hang out. You don’t need to spend money on ads when engaging content does the trick. Here’s where knowing your ideal client comes into play: if you understand their needs and interests, it’ll be easier to create posts that resonate with them.
YouTube channels are another valuable asset – they not only give you a platform to share insights but also help build authentic relationships with viewers who might become future paying clients.
One great online resource for learning about organic marketing for coaches is The Coaching Jungle, a Facebook group for coaches to learn together about how to get coaching clients without spending money on ads.
Email Marketing for Client Acquisition
If social media helps draw attention to your coaching business. Email marketing keeps clients interested enough so they won’t swim away. An email list allows you to send regular communications to keep prospects, followers, and fans engaged and informed about your business and your field.
You don’t have to bombard inboxes every other day. What’s important is to deliver consistent value. Quality trumps quantity every time.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) can help you find organic coaching prospects. With proper use of relevant keywords on your website, you will rank higher.
Optimizing for keywords related to your city is useful if you’re targeting local clients who might search for coaches in a geographic locale. On the other hand, if you offer virtual coaching, you have lots of competition–use SEO to optimize for search terms by your ideal client.
Content marketing through regular blog posts is another great way to use SEO to your advantage. Establish yourself as a thought leader by taking your readers along a learning journey with you as you address trending topics within your niche. You can send out updates about these posts to your email list and turn the topics into talks, podcasts, livestreams, you name it! All the pillars of marketing are interconnected!
There are many free tools at your disposal to start using SEO to your advantage. Even before you research keywords, make sure your website checks all the boxes that algorithms look for like clean navigation structure, readable mobile format, and engaging meta descriptions.
How to Get Coaching Clients: Leveraging Public Speaking Opportunities
Many coaches turn to speaking as an avenue for increasing their impact and getting new coaching clients. Speaking establishes you as an authority in your field and allows you to equip a wider audience with solutions to their challenges. Even better, it gives individuals in your audience the opportunity to hire you as a coach to dig deeper into the transformation process your talks initiate for them.
Getting started as a Public Speaker
If you’re looking for casual opportunities to hone your public speaking skills, consider joining a local chapter of Toastmasters International. This org is devoted to aiding people in sharpening their communication and leadership skills. You can also network there–many Toastmasters members are local business leaders who might be in need of coaching services.
If you are seriously interested in becoming a public speaker, you’ve come to the right place. Our podcast is a great place to start learning more about how coaches combine coaching and speaking to propel their business forward and diversify their streams of income.
If you want to dig deep into the opportunities afforded by professional speaking, get in touch with us and learn more about our programs at The Speaker Lab here. We will walk you through every step of the way–from carving out a niche that aligns with your coaching business, to designing your website, to getting you booked and paid to speak.
The Advantages of Public Speaking
Even if you just take on the occasional speaking gig, the ripple effect will have huge ramifications for your coaching business. And by honing your speaking skills, you will also become a more confident verbal communicator. As host webinars, post videos, or network with potential clients out and about, your confidence will attract clients and set you apart from other coaches without speaking experience.
How to Get Coaching Clients: Networking
Making the Most of your Existing Network.
Word of Mouth is always the most effective marketing tool. In all industries, at all times. Make sure everybody in your existing network knows you coach. Preferably, let them know a vague idea of your target client too.
Many entrepreneurs, including coaches, underestimate the network within which they already exist. Sure, you might be confident that your close friends and family aren’t about to hire you as their coach. But do you know about their friends, coworkers, aunts, uncles, pickleball partners, and baristas?
Your existing connections want to help you, so let them! You should be the first person who comes to mind when somebody they know says “hey, I’ve been thinking I need a coach.” If you know people who have connections in industries where you are trying to network, take them out to lunch and ask for introductions. It never hurts to ask, and this kind of networking often continues to pay off years down the line.
Especially if you’re looking to develop professionally and learn more in your field, networking should include meeting new people too! Networking events sponsored by organizations such as your local Chamber of Commerce or BNI are fertile grounds for these connections. If you’re looking for local clients, look into joining community organizations such as the Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions, or whatever has a strong presence in your community. Find the “watering holes” where people with whom you can have mutually beneficial professional relationships gather.
If you are primarily online coaching, you can replicate many of these networking experiences on social media or in specialized forums. Look into Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, virtual conferences and events, and hashtags to join these conversations and make new connections.
How to Get Coaching Clients: Establishing Authority with Interviews
If you’re seeking effective ways to get coaching clients, consider the power of interviews. By getting interviewed or conducting interviews yourself, you can boost your credibility and attract more people to your online coaching business.
The classic form of an interview meant getting your name in a local paper. Today, podcasts, youtube channels, blogs, livestreams, and myriad digital channels open up the possibilities for thought-provoking conversations.
How Interviews Can Boost Your Coaching Business
An interview is not merely a dialogue; it’s an occasion for potential customers to recognize what sets you apart. One-on-one conversations often elicit more insights and personable commentary than monologues. This builds trust with listeners.
Where you seek interview opportunities is really up to you and your niche. Matchmaker.fm, for instance, is a great place where coaches can find podcast hosts looking for guests. You can also contribute a guest post to a popular blog in your niche, or co-host a livestream with a well-known thought leader. Figure out where thought leaders in your space congregate and throw your hat into the ring.
Similarly, hosting interviews helps too. Inviting successful coaches and thought leaders onto your platform–through interviews, guest posts, and more–allows you to tap into their fan base. More importantly though, when listeners witness how well you interact with industry experts during these sessions, it reassures them about the quality of service your life coaching business offers.
How to Get Coaching Clients: Consistency and Persistence
In the realm of organic marketing, two traits reign supreme: consistency and persistence. Like a marathon runner training for race day, your marketing strategies need these qualities to succeed.
Leveraging Technology for Consistent Outreach
Email automation tools are great resources that help maintain consistency without draining all of your energy and attention daily. You might also consider webinar software options which allow scheduling regular live interactions with group members – this keeps them engaged while helping build authentic relationships gradually.
Technology can also help you collect and analyze data to inform your continued marketing strategy. Using CRMs for your email lists and the available data analytics of your social media platforms will help you see what’s really working and repeat those methods. Before you make a big pivot or give up on an initiative, always go back to the data to make sure it backs up your decision.
A Persistent Mindset Matters.
In entrepreneurship, you gain momentum slowly before you see massive results. Most marketing initiatives have to be pursued slowly and systematically for months before you start getting clients. Let your persistence fuel continuous effort needed in refining different strategies. Every successful coach started out without any clients! When the outlook seems bleak, look at the data, adjust, and keep trucking on.
Mastering how to get coaching clients is no walk in the park, but it can be an enjoyable experience.
The power of understanding your ideal client cannot be overstated. Tailoring marketing strategies that speak directly to your target market will save your time and energy for the people who really need your coaching.
Building authentic relationships on social media can lead to incredible networking connections and coach-client relationships.
Persistence and consistency are your allies here. Stick with the methods we recommend, tweak as needed as data suggests, and watch your coaching business flourish over time.
How hard is it to get coaching clients?
Getting coaching clients can be challenging but not impossible. With consistency, persistence, and a strategic game plan, you can make it easier!
Why am I not getting coaching clients?
Two likely culprits: either your marketing isn’t aligned with your ideal client or you’re ignoring data that suggests you take your marketing strategy in a different direction.
How can I promote my coaching?
You can promote your coaching business through public speaking, social media marketing, and community networking. All of these things, coupled with grit and determination, will help you master how to get coaching clients.