How to get coaching clients fast, even if you’re just starting as a coach. There are many ways to get coaching clients. However, in a competitive market, capturing your ideal client’s attention can be a challenge. Thus, to stand out from the crowd, you need to learn new skills and apply different strategies before discovering what works for you.
So how do you get coaching clients fast as a beginner coach?
Identify where your ideal clients are hanging out. Engage with them regularly, and use effective marketing strategies to get a steady stream of clients.
In this article, I want to walk you through steps you can take to attract your first coaching client.
Let’s get started.
How to get your first coaching client
You must become the go-to expert in your coaching niche. The more specific it is, the better.
If you aim to be a generalist, people will ignore you and will instead find a specialist.
Imagine you’re a client who’s having trouble meeting a life partner.
You’re considering hiring a coach.
Which coach in the following examples would you hire?
1- A coach whose website establishes them as a dating coach. They help people in their twenties and thirties find love.
2- A coach who can help everyone.
Which coach do you think your client will pick?
1- How to choose a specific niche
- Know what your clients want: Because the worst thing that can happen is to promote a coaching service no one wants to pay for. Do some research to determine a profitable niche that matches your ideal clients’ needs. Your niche must tie in with your expertise. Examples of profitable coaching niches include nutrition coaching, life coaching, executive coaching, mindset coaching, health coaching, career coaching, etc.
- Figure out problems YOU can solve: What skills or life experiences can you leverage to help your clients? Think about your background and your current job. Draw on your expertise or something you have experience in that’ll help clients get results. For example, maybe you struggled with weight issues in the past. But through exercising and dieting, you got in the best shape of your life. You could turn that into a coaching service.
- Listen to the language your clients use: You could market yourself using the language your clients used to describe their problems and solutions. People seek to be more, have more, or feel more. They may want to be more attractive, more successful, or healthier; or they may want to have more money, more freedom, or a better job; or maybe they want to feel more confident, more energized, or more at peace. Here’s how that looks in practice: instead of saying, ‘‘I want to help you take your career to the next level’’, you could say, “I want to help you get the job that’ll allow you to have more freedom and make time for other things in your life.”
2- Position yourself as the go-to expert in your niche
Now that you identified your niche, it’s time to show people why you’re the right person to hire. To do that, clients need to value your expertise. The more they’re familiar with your coaching, the more valuable it’ll become in their eyes.
So how do you establish the value of your coaching services?
Get on stage
The moment you get on stage in front of a large group of people, you have the power to showcase your expertise. The stage gives you the advantage of appearing knowledgeable and adept. If you want people to know you have solutions for their problems, you’ll need their attention first. Nothing grabs people’s attention better than showing authority and knowledge on a stage.
1- Pick a topic: Be strategic about your topic choice. If you’re a career coach, for example, and your specialty is to help clients succeed in interviews, talking about strategies to boost job interview skills is ideal. Make sure your topic is something you can turn into a package when your attendees decide to work with you.
2- Pick a venue: Find a Rotary club or a chamber of commerce in your area. Almost every community has one local chamber of commerce. Its goal is to help small businesses get exposure and assist with marketing and promotional techniques.
3- Market your event: For organizing, creating material, and promoting your event, use resources like Meetup, Canva, Bylde, Citysocializer, Foursquare, or Eventbrite. Canva is about designing catchy promotion materials to spread the word and entice people to join your event. Meetup (and the other sites I mentioned), do the advertising for you and help you network with a specific group of people.
4- Give a clear call to action: After people watch you talk about how you can help them, now is the time to show them the next steps they need to take, such as scheduling a complimentary call or a coaching session.
Just like getting on stage, attending events will help you find clients faster. Networking and interacting face-to-face with people will allow you to:
- Let everyone know about your business
- Encourage referrals
- Build trust
- Learn more about your client’s pain points
- Find business partners
- Connect with other coaches and learn from them
To attend events, you’ll need to clarify who your ideal clients are. First, identify the networking events and conferences in your area where your clients hang around. Then, once you’re there, interact with your potential clients. Show how you can help them overcome their problems with your solutions.
Write high-quality content
Writing long-form content—guides, how-to articles, list articles — is a great way to show your knowledge to get coaching clients.
You will establish your niche expertise by demonstrating how you’re going to help your potential clients. Plus, it’s passive; once you publish and promote your best piece of content and clients see it, chances are they will want to work with you.
The idea is to pick a pain point your clients have. Then, write an in-depth blog post that’ll make them visualize solutions to their problems. Seeing is believing. Showing clients solutions will give you credibility.
Ask yourself these questions when writing your content:
- Does this topic allow me to showcase my expertise and leadership authority in a way that pleases the imagination of the reader?
- Can they imagine themselves with my solution?
If clients can see your skill, your expertise, your knowledge, and themselves with your solution, they will most likely reach out to you.
Steps to write quality-content
1) Choose a topic and research existing content on it: Research the topic. Since your goal is to create the best piece of content, you’ll need to assess what’s out there first. Then, use the “Skyscraper Technique” by Brian Dean. This technique is about finding a popular piece of content and making it better. Top blog posts are sitting on the 1st and 2nd pages of Google. Pick one blog post, improve it, and build on it. Better yet, go through all the pages that rank #1 on Google. Analyze them and find a content gap—topics or areas they missed. Take notes of what they covered. Then write a better article.
2) Choose a platform where to publish your content: LinkedIn publisher and Medium are prominent examples. Unlike having a website or a blog — which requires a bit of know-how—, LinkedIn and Medium are free and easy-to-use platforms for writers and business owners who want to double up visibility on the web.
3) Guest posting: Big sites, like Forbes, The Huffington Post, and Entrepreneur, have thousands of visitors every month. Bloggers, writers, and business owners like to guest post on these sites. They pitch an idea for a blog post, get it published, show they are a leading authority in a specific field, and eventually develop their online presence. Content posted on these sites will help you become more visible to your clients.
Use your current connections to find clients.
The first place to check when trying to find clients is your network of friends, family, coaches, and business partners. Start there.
Your network will help you spread the word out about your business with referrals and introductions to potential clients. People love working with others they like, know and trust.
To do that, everyone in your inner circle needs to know about your business. Show people how you can help them. Referral marketing, or word of mouth, can be powerful. People we love and trust are more than happy to offer help. When you get the chance to talk about what you do, never hesitate to be clear about the specific problems you help clients overcome. Your network will have acquaintances in need of solutions like yours.
Whether you are meeting people in events, the park, or the supermarket, clarity about your expertise and the problems you solve for clients is crucial. Attracting clients through personal connections is the best way to go because you are offering value to help people.
Diversify your offers to stand out
“Free” is an eye-catching word. Use it when marketing your services. Of course, this doesn’t mean that everything should be free. It’s good to offer free 15–30-minute coaching consultations as a start. However, the problem with that is that everyone’s already doing it. Instead, what you can do is to come up with other ways to help clients get a preview of what it’s like to have you as their coach. It’s about setting their expectations.
Many coaches, professionals, and companies use different strategies to show the value of what they do. They offer free trials, free consultations, free content, free courses, and more. This is a great way to stand out from your competition. It pays off in the long term.
Experiment with your offers and discover what grabs your clients’ attention.
Here are ways you can do that:
- Give your clients quick wins: For clients to understand what they’re getting in return, you need to help them visualize the quickest wins in the next 15 to 30 days. “Any goal you make should only be 90 days out”, says Todd Herman, a world-class performance coach. “While it’s important to keep the big picture in mind, sticking to the concrete, 90-day goals help you stay focused on getting there”.
Show clients the first wins they’ll gain in the shortest possible time. For example, the quickest win for someone in a rocky relationship is to help them improve one aspect of the relationship in the next week (like communication, intimacy, etc.). The quickest win for a person who’s struggling with weight issues is to help them gain motivation and confidence to exercise. The quickest win would be to lose 1 or 2 pounds every week.
- Use video to educate your clients: A great marketing strategy is to walk people through what they want to achieve using YouTube videos. Coaches everywhere use this strategy to show expertise. Although written content is valuable, people will connect with you more when they look at your face. This way, they can visualize what a coaching session with you will look like. Use video just like you would a coaching session; create engagement by giving your clients worksheets, cheat sheets, and actionable advice. When they achieve results with your help and material, clients will most likely want to hire you.
- Offer free courses: This may take work but can be quite effective. Again, clients will always jump on the opportunity to get free value. Courses allow you to create as much value as possible for your clients so they can get the best and quickest wins. Courses don’t guarantee clients will work with you. However, they will make a good impression; clients will remember you and may even refer you to others.
You can turn these courses into written content, such as a series of blog posts or email sequences sent out to your potential clients. Another option is to offer your courses by publishing a series of YouTube videos.
You can create a free course (with low to zero investment) by 1. Choosing content that solves your ideal client’s problems, 2. Structuring and gathering your knowledge around the course topic in a way that makes learning smooth and actionable (like including practical advice at the end of every course), 3. Promoting your course with social media, your network, referrals, word of mouth, coaching events, and any other marketing channels.
By applying the strategies in this article, it’s just a matter of time before you get a steady flow of clients.
Before you know it, your reputation as a coach will grow stronger and clients will line up to work with you.
Now I’d like to turn it over to you:
Which strategy are you going to try first? Do you know other strategies to get coaching clients?
Let me know by leaving a comment.