If you’re just starting out as a life coach, getting clients can be tough. Even pretty well-established coaches 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 show you how to get coaching clients using strategies that truly work. Read on to discover how winning coaches make clients come to them, and not the other way around!
From Leads To New Coaching Clients
If you have no idea how to attract a steady flow of clients to your life coaching business, you’re not alone.
Life coaching is one of the most popular niches to be in right now, and on top of this, landing clients involves a different skill set than you need to coach.
If you’re less of an entrepreneur rather than a helper, here’s a golden rule: if you want to land more clients, you first need to attract more leads.
What Are Leads? The Fast Way To Attract Life Coaching Clients
You attract leads by positioning yourself as an authoritative expert with knowledgeable answers to their questions. Then, you convert leads into clients with a clear, convincing promise that you will change their lives.
Leads are quite simply people who are interested in your coaching services and who may eventually become your clients if they are interested in what you have to offer.
This process is called conversion:
- You attract leads by positioning yourself as an authoritative expert with knowledgeable answers to their questions.
- Then, you convert leads into clients with a clear, convincing promise that you will change their lives.
We’ll dive into this as we reveal five different coaching marketing strategies.
Marketing Yourself As a Coach: 5 Strategies
You have a few different options when it comes to scaling up your practice, but it all comes down to four basic steps:
- Formulate a powerful value proposition
- Create an effective life coaching website
- Attract leads to your website with a coaching marketing strategy, and
- Sell your life coaching packages, products, and services through your website.
The following are some of the most effective coaching marketing strategies based on these steps, all of which are proven ways to attract more coaching clients.
1. Nail Your Value Proposition
A good value proposition is very much like a promise that you make to potential clients.
If where they are now is their “before-state,” the first step to getting more clients is to craft a promise that specifies how you’ll get them to their desired “after-state” by helping them solve a problem or achieve a goal.
It should also specify:
- Who you help (People)
- Where you help them (Place)
- What you help them with (Problem)
- The Product (or service) related to their transformation, and
- How much (money) you will help them for (your coach Pricing)
A couple of strong health coaching promises might look as follows:
“I help 25-35-year diabetics in San Francisco to manage their condition by coaching them to adopt a keto diet for $150 an hour.”
“I help people newly diagnosed with Celiac disease to overcome gastrointestinal issues by coaching them to completely reinvent their diets for $200 an hour.”
A strong promise, clearly communicated, is key to attracting the right kind of leads to your business.
2. Be Present Throughout the Whole Marketing Funnel
A 100% conversion rate is nowhere near realistic for a self-employed coach or even a multi-million dollar company.
Here’s an important thing to know about marketing for coaches: converting leads is always somewhat of a numbers game.
Take a look at the diagram below, which illustrates a realistic version of the conversion process we described at the start:
As you can see, a 100% conversion rate is nowhere near realistic for a self-employed coach or even a multi-million dollar company.
Not all of your leads will end up working with you, but understanding the conversion process is critical if you want to land more coachees.
Why? Because it reveals the two fundamental strategies you can pursue if you want to get more clients:
- You can attract more leads (or interested prospects) to your coaching business and/or
- You can convert more of your leads into active clients.
The following tips will help you cover both of these angles.
3. Market Yourself (Everywhere) Online
Once you’ve nailed your formula, the following are a few ways to create clear, effective messaging online:
- Organic SEO: Think about what your clients might type into a search engine when looking for a solution to their problem, for example: “keto diet for diabetics,” “manage diabetes keto coach” or “nutrition coaching celiac disease.” Using these “keywords” in your website copy will give you a higher chance of appearing in search results, which means more interested visitors to your website.
- Create and publish content: From blogs and videos to social media posts, the range of keyword-rich content you can create to attract leads is broad. Create high-quality content that you think will be of value to your potential clients so that you establish your expertise and give them a (wonderful!) taste of what it’s like to work with you. Check out these writing tips for coaches.
- Guest blog on other websites: This is pretty much the same strategy, but leverages the larger readership that more established sites have to offer. Do a little digging to see what existing, high-profile sites might be good places for you to contribute your coaching content. Sites like Quora, Medium, and even LinkedIn tend to be popular options that might suit your expertise.
- Offer free samples: Create a free coaching resource that your potential clients will benefit from, and offer it far and wide. Personalized exercises, worksheets, and habit journals are all easy ways for you to build credibility in your clients’ eyes and can be put together in a few minutes with coaching software like Quenza. The Habit Creation Plan (or Setting Process Goals) Expansion template shown below is one example exercise that you can personalize and share as a free giveaway.
4. Learn How to Use Social Media Properly
Using Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn as a coach is a huge part of online marketing, and social media is one of the best ways to promote your business.
With that said, it’s definitely not foolproof.
When you’re ready to start promoting your business on social media, you have even more considerations to keep in mind. Make sure that you do the following:
- Consider that every aspect of your profile reflects on your business and life coaching niche—from your username and description to your profile picture and banner. 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! A healthy balance to aim for when advertising coaching is to 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!
5. Consider Offline Strategies for Your Business
While online marketing is a powerful “pull strategy,” not all marketing is going to happen on your coaching website or social media.
A sizable portion of society does not use social media or browse online very often, so you’ll likely need to come up with a strategy for non-digital marketing.
Among your many options for marketing your coaching practice without the internet, you can try:
- 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 coach 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.
How To Get Your First Coaching Clients
Perhaps counterintuitively, offering your services for free is also one of the best ways to attract your very first clients as a life coach.
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.
Consider the following: 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?
Because you are starting from zero, it’s not a bad idea to supplement your efforts with a little bit of offline effort. Think about the following offline strategies and how well they might work for you:
- Show up at networking events. Attend, mingle, and build authentic relationships with people. Even if the people you meet at the event don’t turn into clients, they may be able to refer leads your way.
- Give a talk 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 – use our Running An Interactive Workshop article for some powerful tips.
- Organize 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.
- 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.
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 for coaching like a pro, don’t forget to start your $1 trial of Quenza today.