The Ultimate Guide to Getting More Coaching Clients

Getting clients

If you’re just starting out as a coach, getting clients can be tough. Even those who are already pretty well established reach a point where scaling up gets tricky!

If you can relate to the worry of where to look to expand your coachee list, this guide will help you overcome the obstacles that most practitioners face—including effective ways to advertise your life coaching practice when marketing lies far, far outside your comfort zone.

Let’s get started—and don’t forget to start your $1 trial of Quenza to implement these tips right away!

The Basics of Building A Client Base

All new coaches face the daunting task of trying to build a client base from scratch. It can be even more difficult to find clients as a life coach, since your target audience may not be so well-defined.

However, this may actually be an advantage; while many people may not necessarily need business coaching (for example), just about everyone could benefit from life coaching. Most of us have at least one or two issues in our personal lives that we could use some help with, meaning that a life coach’s pool of potential clients is likely to be pretty broad.

How Do Life Coaches Get Clients?

Although the clients may vary by the type of coaching you do, there are some basic rules or steps for building a client base that apply to all coaches.

The best way to figure out who those potential clients are is to start asking around. Reach out to people you know and explain what you do, how you can help, and why someone would want to work with you.

Although there are many strategies for finding and securing clients, this simple and free strategy is a great place to start, specifically for life coaches.

Building A Successful Client Base: The Basics

Although the clients may vary by the type of coaching you do, there are some basic rules or steps for building a client base that apply to all coaches.

Whether you’re a business coach, a life coach, or any other type of coach, follow these steps to build a successful client base:

1. Define your desired clients

The first step in finding clients is to nail down a definition of your desired clients.

  • Who do you want to serve?
  • Who are you able to help?
  • What do they have in common?
  • What sets them apart from everyone else?

2. Build your brand

Once you have a good idea of who your ideal clients are, it’s time to define what you can do for them. Determine what your coach branding is, how you help your clients, and what your signature program delivers.

This is the basis of your practice, so it needs to be solidly defined before you move on to finding clients.

Quenza White Label Coach Advertising
Quenza’s White Label feature (pictured) is a simple way to feature your coach branding on all your life coaching solutions.

3. Create an online presence

When you know who you want to reach and how you want to present yourself, it’s time to start building an online presence. This may include a website and/or social media profiles. Figure out where your clients spend their digital time and make yourself present in those spaces. Let your brand guide you in what sort of information to share and how to connect.

There are numerous strategies and techniques to find clients; however, it’s vital to do your homework on these three steps first, or even the best idea will fall flat.

You need to know your desired clients, know yourself, and create the right image before you can start to sell yourself to those clients.

How To Get Coaching Clients Online and Offline

You may do most—or even all—of your coaching online, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be finding all of your clients online.

While there are great online techniques (which we’ll cover below), don’t forget about your non-digital options. There are some great ways to get clients offline, including:[1]

  1. Attending networking events. Attend, mingle, and form genuine connections with people. Even if the people you meet at the event don’t turn into clients, they may be able to refer people to you.
  2. Give a speech or run a workshop. Use the social cache that comes with being a speaker to draw in potential clients. Consider offering complimentary content or a session to establish the value of your services.
  3. Host a meetup. If you can’t find the right networking event, create your own! Make sure the topic is specific enough to attract your desired clientele.
  4. Create an ad or flyer. Design some promotional material that will actually be printed out and displayed somewhere, like an office or community gathering space where your desired clients are likely to frequent.

There’s also another mainly offline way to secure clients, and it works particularly well for coaches who are just getting started.

How To Get Your First Clients

One of the best ways to get your first paying clients is, perhaps counterintuitively, to offer your services for free.

When you offer your services for free, you may think you’re devaluing those services, but what you’re really doing is building a platform.

When you provide complimentary sessions, you establish your value to potential clients, lay the groundwork for getting testimonials, and potentially create referral machines. After all, who better to promote your practice than someone who has benefitted from it?

Life Coach Marketing Strategy Health Pathway
Offering free giveaways and sessions is one strategic way to get your first clients as a life coach. Pictured: creating a health coach giveaway with Quenza’s Pathway Tool.

Finding Coaching Clients: 5 Practical Tips

When you’re just starting out, there’s a lot to think about before you can start bringing in new clients. If you’ve got your bases covered and your first two or three clients, you’ve got the ball rolling.

But how do you keep it rolling? Keep these tips in mind:

  1. Stay authentically you. You want to bring in the RIGHT clients, not just any clients.
  2. Turn away clients who you can’t help; consider referring them to other coaches, if you know any that might be a good fit.
  3. Network and collaborate with other coaches, so you can be on the referring and receiving end of tip #2.
  4. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box! Try new things and take advantage of any opportunities you come across.
  5. Take time to build relationships before you offer your services; a good relationship will increase the odds of your offer being accepted.

How To Scale Your Practice

So your practice is successful, but you want to grow! What are your next moves?

Quenza Groups Coach Advertising
Quenza’s Group Coaching feature is perfect for running group or team coaching programs with multiple clients, with real-time results tracking, bulk import and exports, and private, secure instant messaging.

You have a few different options when it comes to scaling up your practice, including:

  1. Bringing in more clients (as your time and schedule allow)
  2. Increasing your prices (including capacity-based pricing, where your last few slots are filled at a higher rate)
  3. Bringing in associate coaches and taking a cut off of the revenue they bring in
  4. Creating a group program to enroll multiple clients at once
  5. Packaging your program into content and offering that—in lieu of or in addition to—individual or group sessions

You can use any combination of these strategies that work best for you and your practice. Think about your needs and your clients’ needs, and choose the right path forward for yourself.

Attracting More Clients To Your Practice

If you’ve already established your practice but need to start bringing in more clients, your struggles and opportunities are a little different from a brand new coach.

Here are just a few of the ways you can go about bringing in more clients:[2]

    • Connect with fellow coaches, build mutually beneficial relationships, and participate in referral exchanges.
    • Create engaging and useful content to bring in interested individuals.
  • Use podcasting to reach new people and establish yourself as an expert in your field.
  • Share your stories and let potential clients get to know you; go live and talk about your journey—just make sure to be authentic.
  • Use blogging to build authority and generate interest in your services.
  • Engage in relevant Facebook groups to join the conversation, add value, and build a presence.
  • Use LinkedIn to build and strengthen relationships you already have, and make new business-minded connections.
  • Create high-quality videos to show the personal side of your business and highlight how your services make a difference in clients’ lives.
  • Use the right hashtags, including hashtags that aren’t super popular; those will lead you to the specific groups you want to connect with.

Best Software For A Successful Business

Once you have your practice set up and you start bringing in lots of clients, you’ll quickly find that you need software tools to help you manage your practice.

There are lots of things a good software system can help you with when it comes to running your business, including things like scheduling, communication, invoicing and billing, tracking and accountability, and reporting.

However, one of the most valuable uses of software for coaching is to boost the actual delivery of your coaching services. Quenza can do just that.

Quenza How To Get Coaching Clients
With Quenza’s Activity Builder (pictured), you can create your own customized content and adapt existing, evidence-based resources to share with your clients at the click of a button.

With Quenza, you can:

  • Create your own customized content and adapt existing, evidence-based resources.
  • Roll your coaching tools, content, assessments, and techniques into easy-to-follow packages.
  • Send these life coaching packages to clients at the click of a button.
  • Track client progress, monitor their compliance, and share information with clients.
  • Chat with clients, send them reminders, and keep them engaged.
  • Keep your client information all in one place with client profiles, including notes.

It’s important to find ways to bring clients in, but remember that the best way to bring in new clients is to serve your current clients successfully. Happy customers will be a boon for promoting your practice.

Advertising and Marketing For Coaches

You probably didn’t get into coaching for a love of advertising and marketing. Like most coaches, you likely entered this field because you love the work you do and you love helping people, not promoting yourself.

However, to get the opportunity to help people effectively, you can’t escape this fact: you’ll need to do some self-promotion.

Fortunately, below are some handy guides and tips available to help you with this task.

Crafting A Marketing Strategy: 5 Considerations

To get the opportunity to help people effectively, you can’t escape this fact: you’ll need to do some self-promotion.

When you’re creating your marketing strategy, you have a lot to think about.

To help you craft a successful strategy, here are some important considerations:[3]

  1. Design your strategy around the goal of getting people to “the conversation” (i.e., your chance to share your passion for what you do, tell your story, and show people how you can help them). Once you get them here, it’s a lot easier to convert them from a lead into a sale.
  2. Decide what your landing page is and build it out. Where do you want to lead interested parties? What do you want them to see? Create a welcoming landing page.
  3. Think about the relationship you want to build with potential clients, and make sure you include enough touchpoints to build their understanding of and trust in you by the time they get to the invitation to buy.
  4. Remember, your marketing strategy is about how to show desired clients that working with you is the next logical step, that you can help them solve their problem.
  5. Create content and share information that will grab people’s attention. You need their attention before you can even start the process of leading them to your landing page or inviting them to work with you.

Promoting Your Business on Instagram & Social Media

Quenza Coach Marketing
You can easily encourage clients to engage with your brand by creating free social media giveaways from customized Quenza Expansions, like Thinking about Alternatives to Your Pasts (pictured).

When you’re ready to start promoting your business on social media, you have even more considerations to keep in mind.

Social media is one of the best ways to promote your business, but it’s not foolproof.

Make sure that you:[4]

  • Consider that every aspect of your profile—from your username and description to your profile picture and banner—reflects on your business. Choose the right information and the right vibe for your practice.
  • Maintain a high level of professionalism, but also let your personality shine through; be authentically you.
  • Find the right balance between engaging and promoting. You need to promote yourself, but you also need your audience to like you! Post useful, relevant, or entertaining shares with occasional self-promotion weaved in.
  • Create a good relationship with followers by not only offering useful content, but also soliciting their feedback and engagement with your brand.
  • Be present on social media often, even if it’s only to answer a question or make a quick comment. You don’t need to post all the time to keep your potential clientele engaged.
  • Connect with others in your field to stay up-to-date on your field, but make sure you’re making quality connections rather than friending everyone with the right title.
  • Stay focused on your desired outcome: getting more clients! Don’t let social media catch you up in battling for likes or mindless scrolling. Keep your eyes on the prize!

Marketing Your Services Without Social Media

Of course, not all marketing is going to happen on social media.

A sizable portion of society does not use social media or does not use it very often, so you’ll likely need to come up with a strategy for non-social media marketing.

Among your many options for marketing your coaching practice without social media, you can try:[5]

  • Attending a conference or event with people who work in the same area and may collaborate or refer clients to you.
  • Figure out where your ideal clients spend their time and put up some good old-fashioned physical posters or flyers in those areas.
  • Hand out business cards to anyone and everyone you come into contact with.
  • Start a loyalty or rewards program to keep your current and former clients close, as this can lead to returning clients and greater word of mouth.
  • Give out free merchandise with your branding on it to keep your practice on people’s minds.
  • Create a referral program for your current and former clients to spread the word.
  • Reach out to your current contacts, including family and friends, to see if they are interested or know someone who might be.
  • Start a meetup based on your niche and host get-togethers.
  • Create a free resource that your potential clients will benefit from, and offer it far and wide.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re just starting out or trying to expand your practice, the need to attract new clients is pretty universal. It’s the rare coach who finds themselves putting more energy into turning away clients rather than bringing in new ones.

This guide is full of valuable tips, techniques, and ideas for finding new clients, but the really important work happens before you start sending friend requests or placing ads.

First, you must do your homework and determine what your brand is, what you’re offering, and who can benefit from it. This is at the heart of any good coaching practice. The details will change with time and technology upgrades, but the basics won’t.

Make sure you come back here often to stay up-to-date on building and maintaining a successful coaching practice, including the hunt for new clients. And if you’re ready to start marketing your services as a coach, don’t forget to start your $1 trial of Quenza today.

Happy hunting!


About the author

Courtney is currently working as a healthcare workforce researcher for the state of California and is a regular contributor to the Quenza blog. She has a passion for taking research findings and translating them into concise, actionable packages of information that anyone can understand and implement.

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