We share your joy in the success of setting up your coaching business. Now, your website is up, your coaching packages and coaching materials are ready and you’re excited to get bookings!
Where do you offer your coaching services?
How do you find coaching clients?
How do you create awareness about yourself and your offer?
Where do you start building up your presence to garner attention?
At CoachVantage, we aim to help you deliver exceptional results for your coaching business and clients.
In this article, we provide some pointers and useful hacks that show you how to find coaching clients.
UNDERSTANDING WHY IT’S HARD TO ‘FIND CLIENTS’
To get a better understanding of why it’s hard to ‘find clients’, it is important to look at both sides of the coin: from the perspective of a coach and that of a client.
As a coach, you’re not selling a tangible product. The value of coaching can be subjective and is also highly dependent upon the actions (or ‘coachability’) of your clients.
Across many coaching forums, groups and articles, one of the prevalent reasons why coaches are finding it hard to find clients is due to the misconception of the coaching profession.
According to CNBC, “Life coaching is unregulated, and scandals of life coaches running ponzi schemes or college admission schemes haven’t helped the profession’s reputation...”
Another dominant reason is that the majority of coaches, ironically, possess their own limiting belief that selling is ‘sleazy’.
Due to these distorted perceptions, most coaches refrain from “selling” and rely instead on referrals or word of mouth to get clients.
To be clear, referrals are an excellent channel of securing clients. Referrals typically come from past clients or people who have worked with you and can vouch for you. You’ve earned their trust and so they confidently recommend you to their network.
However, what if you are just starting out as a coach and you don’t have the benefit of happy clients who are willing to stick their head out and refer you to others?
This is often the challenge of new coaches when they are just starting out and find it difficult to find coaching clients without a ‘track record’ behind them.
At some stage or other, we’ve all been in challenging or sticky situations where we’ve needed help or guidance to navigate out of.
What did you do in those personal circumstances?
Did you google “How to find a life coach”?
Or perhaps you posed a question within your Facebook group or googled something like..
“How to get my moody teenager to open up to me?”
Do you see the difference?
People who are in difficult and challenging personal situations aren’t searching for ‘coaching’ or a ‘life coach’ per se.
At least, they may not be aware of it yet at that stage.
They are looking for how they can get out of a sticky situation, some advice, some help from others who have been in that situation before or can help them find the answers they seek.
Your potential clients are therefore not (yet) in the mindset of seeking ‘coaching’, however, they are desperately seeking for someone to help them accomplish something or overcome some obstacle.
SO, HOW DO I FIND COACHING CLIENTS?
With these insights in mind, let’s explore an approach that you can take as a coach to ‘find’ coaching clients and do it without feeling like a ‘sleazy salesperson’! This approach involves shifting your mindset by thinking about how you can genuinely help your potential clients by putting out valuable content that’s of benefit to them.
By doing so, will you serve authentically to help others and fulfill your purpose rather than viewing it as ‘selling’?
There are people every day who are indeed searching for help for something or the other. Now it’s up to you to provide the help that they need. You can do this in a variety of ways without making it seem as if you’re selling your coaching services.
It’s how you go about selling yourself, without making it seem as if you are. It involves adopting a genuine helping mindset. This is a powerful technique, especially when you sell high-touch services like coaching that require a great deal of trust to be forged between you and your potential client.
We’ve put together some hacks below on how you can build up your credibility and how to get your content out to your ideal target audience, meaning, the people who need help in your specific niche of coaching.
What is organic marketing?
Organic marketing is a strategy that generates traffic to your business over time rather than using paid methods. Otherwise known as inbound marketing, these strategies work by building up a loyal fan base over time and cultivating authentic relationships with your audience. The key to a successful organic marketing strategy is creating valuable content that’s highly targeted to your niche audience. Valuable content boosts your credibility and, in turn, will increase lead generation.
7 Simple Hacks for Organic Marketing Strategies
1. Website optimization (SEO)
Repeat after me: “My website is my digital real estate”.
If you don’t have a blog on your website, do start one now. To build your authority and garner traffic, you need to feature regular blog posts that are highly targeted and specific for your niche.
Write about trends, experiences, challenges, solutions, etc. that engage with your audience and give them a reason to return to your site. Your content should resonate with your audience and they should be able to extract high value from it.
Do keep in mind that in order for your blog posts to get found you need to rank well on Google search. Hence, take the time to learn the basics of SEO. SEO research will also help you understand your clients and competitors better.
SEO is a big topic that takes time to learn and get better at. However, fundamentally, you should write content that addresses what your clients are seeking answers for. That’s a great place to start researching what topics to write about.
2. Social media
Assuming that you have your ideal client profile identified, you can easily identify which social media channel platform/s they frequent. The main ones are: LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube and Clubhouse.
Tip: Follow coaches and coaching groups. If your ideal client frequents Facebook, start a Facebook group where your clients can interact with each other and you can interact with them personally.
3. Email marketing
I cannot emphasize how important building your email list is. While social media gathers thoughts, impressions, shares, and likes, email marketing is a much more personal method of communication.
When you have earned their email address, you have earned their trust. You can continue to deepen the engagement from there. Remember that it takes, on average, seven touchpoints before someone makes a ‘buy’ decision.
Email newsletters or updates about new blog posts are typical ways to continue the engagement.
So, please don’t be disheartened when leads aren’t rushing to sign up to your coaching package from the very first email you’ve sent!
4. Online communities
To further expand your coaching network, you can search for potential clients or collaborate with like-minded coaches by joining communities like Toastmasters or Reddit.
This has an additional benefit in that you can form an ‘alliance’ with other coaches who have different niche areas of specialties and can refer potential clients with specific needs to each other.
5. Guest blogging
Sharing your blog post or content on another website is an evergreen strategy.
When you share on a high-traffic website, the visibility of your brand, site and lead increases.
Here are some great examples of sites that you can guest blog on to increase your visibility:
Tip: You can use online apps like Buzzsumo to view trending articles or content and take examples from there.
Podcasting is the art of articulation. And it is low cost. It gives your ideal audience the feel of how you communicate.
There are two ways that you can approach podcasting to help you find clients.
First, is to be a guest on multiple podcasts that cater to the same audience. Second, you may start your own podcast which increases your authority to interview other coaches and even, big names or influencers in the coaching space.
Podcasting is a great channel strategy if you struggle with writing but do keep in mind that written content is still one of the best ways to get found via online searches.
7. YouTube Channel
Build a community with other coaches or influencers with video content on YouTube. Videos provide body language cues.
Don’t have a camera? That’s fine. Begin with your phone. If you decide that your audience frequents YouTube, you may gradually invest in equipment to help you shine. Let’s get creative!
Whether you have an existing channel or have yet to create a new one, here are some starter tips for you to optimize your channel for reach:
a) Cover image
This is the first thing that your audience will see. Your cover image should include:
- It should be within the recommended dimensions
- Include the nature of your channel (eg. grounding techniques for anxiety)
- Your social media handle where viewers can find you
b) Channel trailer
Your channel trailer needs to be your elevator pitch. In your settings, you will be given options of what videos you would want to show to “recurring visitors” and “new visitors”
c) Social media links
You’ll be surprised at how many YouTubers take this for granted and lose the opportunity for new followers. Do include and ensure that your social media links are working.
d) About page
Tell your audience what your value proposition is in a few sentences. Don’t forget to include a call-to-action to your website.
e) Contact email
Even if you get spammed, one inquiry is bigger than five spam emails. Provide a contact for your audience in the form of an email or if you’re following the trend, your business mobile number. You may never know when someone might be interested in your services that would lead to a discovery call. (Source: Sean Canell Youtube Optimization Checklist)
If you’d like to learn more about optimizing your YouTube channel we recommend following Sean Canell from ThinkMedia, as he provides valuable insights on YouTube strategies and algorithms.
Finding and growing your clientele is vital because it is the bloodline of your business. Coaching is indeed a very high-touch service that requires a great deal of trust and credibility to be established with your clients.
The relationships that you build with clients will last for a long time, and hopefully result in renewed business or referrals. Therefore, while it is vital to find coaching clients to ensure your business sustainability, be sure to set realistic expectations about the length of your sales cycle. Expecting immediate results through organic marketing the day after publishing your content will only result in disappointment.
Take the long-game approach, plan ahead and spend time on focused content strategies and get to understand the emotional triggers and needs of your niche clientele.
Don’t fall into the trap of spending too much time working ‘in’ your business rather than ‘on’ it. In other words, focus on the aspects that will generate business and revenues.
We built CoachVantage to help coaches with streamlining their business workflows and administration so that they can devote more time to working ‘on’ their business.
Click the link below to try CoachVantage for free and let me know how you get on with your organic marketing. I’d love to hear from you!