How to get coaching clients online is the most asked question we get from our audience. The problem is that so many coaches are trying all the things, but they don’t work. Taking the wrong sales approach not only hurts your success as a coach, but it also takes valuable time away from things that work.
Running a successful coaching business is not just about posting blogs, posting to social media, and developing fancy methodologies. It’s also about having a clear strategy to convert your audience to leads and leads to paid clients.
It’s time to remove the mystery behind getting coaching clients online. Inside this blog post you’ll learn:
- How to stop self-sabotaging behaviors that keep you from earning what you’re worth as a coach.
- The 2 things you must know and create before you start generating leads online.
- 3 tried and true marketing strategies to help you get coach clients right now.
But first… you have to stop self-sabotaging your success.
We are all prone to self-sabotage, even when we have achieved considerable success. The price of being caught in this trap is high and it must not be underestimated:
- You’ll lose money.
- It will ruin your self-esteem.
- You will lose confidence in yourself.
Leaving you frustrated, burnt out, and resentful of your coaching clients or your business. And oh yeah, even more self-destructive behaviors. This downward spiral can quickly become devastating, but if you recognize the symptoms, you can stop it in no time.
Self-Sabotaging Behavior #1 – Procrastination
Perhaps your high-end coaching program never launched? Maybe you were going to send that proposal to that client, but your attention got distracted? Or maybe you didn’t reach out to your targeted market this week and missed out on an opportunity to get leads?
Missed opportunities like these can always be blamed on procrastination, one of the worst habits a coach can have. This is why we’re working late into the night to meet deadlines, what costs us money in late fees, and even what costs us business.
If you procrastinate a lot, try these techniques to stop:
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- Recognize that you’re afraid. We can often get stuck because we are afraid of failure, so we put off launching, or we don’t send a proposal because it’s not designed right.. But finding success in business means learning to recognize and face your fears, then doing the work anyway.
- Think about the life and business you want. You can visualize having the coaching business you’ve always dreamed of having. Imagine your ideal workday and that gorgeous vacation, and how it would feel to have VIP retreats with your clients.
- Give yourself a reward. Try going out to lunch, buying some new shoes, or taking a break. Those are all fun things you can do to motivate yourself to get what you need done.
Self-Sabotaging Behavior #2 – Never Finishing What You Start
Tell the truth. Do you have a bunch of half-written coaching books, unfinished coaching offers, and unfinished products cluttering up your hard drive?
The answer is probably more than one if you’re like most coaches.
All of them started out great. You planned out each module or chapter, outlined all the slide decks, and perhaps even outlined the sales page. But then…you didn’t do anything.
For many coaches, this bad habit is a symptom of a lack of confidence, which keeps you from the success you deserve. Maybe you tell yourself you’re too busy. Maybe you need to research more. Or maybe you lost interest. Whatever your reason, it’s stopping your success.
If you never finish a project, you cannot know how successful it will be, and you cannot improve upon something that you’ve never done. So finish what you’ve started, even if it’s not perfect, and even if you’re afraid it won’t sell.
Next, you have to do these two things before generating leads online.
A big reason marketing and sales strategies don’t work for coaches is they don’t do enough market research. They work on assumptions. Here are 2 things you need to do before diving into lead generation:
#1 Develop products and services your audience needs and wants
Providing your audience with what they need will sell itself. The best way to do this is to create avatars for your ideal clients, understand their pain points, and then redesign/create offers based on research… not assumptions.
# 2 Know where your coaching clients hang out
If you know where your coaching clients are, you can target them there too. You can run ads there, post your tips, network with them and speak at their events. The more you show up, the more they’ll buy from you. Conduct market research to find out where your clients are.
How to Get Coaching Clients Online Without Spending a Dime
After you’ve beaten self-sabotaging money habits and found out who your ideal clients are, it’s time to generate leads online. These three strategies will always work.
#1 – Create Search Engine Optimized Content
It’s the number one way we get customers here at Lovely Impact. At the moment, too many coaches have given up SEO and content marketing in favor of social media. That’s good news for you. Keep in mind that this strategy takes anywhere from 6 to 11 months to really pay off, but it works and it’s FREE.
At the most basic level, here’s how it works:
Step 1: Do keyword research around your ideal clients pain points and struggles. For example, if you are a health coach, meal planning may be a pain point for those with chronic diseases. Go into a keywords search school and search for “chronic disease meal planning”. You’ll see how many people search that term, how easy it is to rank, and other related terms that you can use as well.
Step 2: Create an in-depth blog post (like this one) helping your audience SOLVE that problem. Be sure to optimize the content for searching engines by including your keyword in the title, the text, and in the headers.
Step 3: Included a opt-in in that closely relates to content. This means you will offer them a free meal planning checklist, or a free strategy call with you.
Step 4: Sit back and wait for the Google Gods to bless you with traffic from your keyword based article. This can take 3 to 11 months depending on how competitive the keyword is.
Step 4: Once people start visiting and opting in to your freebie, send them an email every week that educates them, keeps them engaged and gets them on a call so you can sell them into your program. It’s so funny when I hear that coaches don’t want to offer free coaching sessions! How else will you get clients if you don’t coach them??
Step 5: Rinse and repeat every week or multiple times per week, depending on your bandwidth.
#2 – Turn Your Social Media Into a Funnel.
Social media works. I know that it can be hard to crack the code and figure it out, but it really does work if you know what to do. The trick to social media is to focus on your audience and your audience only. Do not get caught up with your competitors, influencers, etc. Focus on speaking with and engaging with your ideal clients.
Here’s a strategy that works:
Step 1: Look at your ideal client avatar research and review their pain points. Use that information to brainstorm content you can post every single week. Try to mix it up. Use quotes, story telling, client stories, motivational content, educational content, and more.
Step 2: Choose ONE social media platform and commit to it. Optimize it for your ideal clients by making sure your profile image and bio speak only to them.
Step 3: Create content and post every day or every other day. Seriously. Show up. This isn’t about wasting time on social media, this is about generating leads and brand awareness. If you can’t commit to showing up, choose another strategy.
Step 4: Engage with your targeted audience religiously. This is the most important part. Spend 30 minutes a day or more commenting and liking your ideal client’s posts. Don’t try to automate this. Genuinely comment and like.
Step 5: For everyone you engaged with in step 4, send them a private message introducing yourself. Once you get a genuine conversation going, offer them to access your free offer or offer them a free coaching call.
#3 – Partner with Complementary Business Owners
One great thing about networking and studying your competition is you will meet some fantastic people who will want to work with you. Use that opportunity to keep an eye out for joint venture partners. This is simply a non-competitive business that also serves your ideal clients. For example, an executive coach may partner with a financial planner that services CEOs.
Here’s how to launch a Joint Venture program:
Step 1: Brainstorm all the businesses that are not competitors and service your ideal clients. This could be websites, blogs, professional services, directories, influencers, tools, apps, podcasts and more. Create a list and collect their emails.
Step 2: Think of an opportunity you could pitch to that partner. This could be guest blog posts, going live in their Facebook Group, an email challenge, joint webinar, or more. Make sure whatever it is, you include a call to action to join your list or to jump on a free coaching call.
Step 3: Email all your potential partners and pitch them on the opportunity, keeping track of who says yes and what you need to do to deliver the best service possible. Most partners are happy to work with you! Creating content is hard, so if they can have you assist their audience, it’s a win win for everyone.
Coaching the Coach: Final Thoughts + More Resources on How to Get Coaching Clients
Thank you for reading this far! Are you ready to learn more about how to get coaching clients online? Take advantage of these pro tips, templates, and resources to take your coaching business to the next level.
1 – Choose one thing, systematize it, and then repeat. So many clients try to do all the things all at once. Don’t be that coach. Choose one strategy, test and tweak until it starts converting, create a system for it, and then AND only then start a new strategy or platform.
2 – Offer free coaching sessions all the time. The only way to get people to trust your coaching and hire you to be their coach is to…. COACH. Groundbreaking, right?. Let them experience coaching with you. Then sell to them. It’s so crazy that so many coaches think they don’t need to coach to get coaching clients.
3 – Give you partners extra incentives through an affiliate program. If you are choosing to develop partnerships with other non-competitive businesses, so you can get in front of their audiences, offer them a referral fee for every person that signs up.
4 – Get help if you can. The title of this article says “without spending a dime” – perfect for coaches that are just getting started or testing new strategies. But, if you can, get help. As a coach you know the power of people and how important they are to build successful businesses. Hire a virtual assistant, copywriter, or web designer if you need help or get stuck.
Free templates from our resource library:
Inside our comprehensive resource library we have everything you need to start and build your coaching business – and it’s yours free, including:
- Ideal Client Avatar Worksheet: Use this worksheet to outline your ideal client’s hopes and dreams so you know how to talk to them.
- Marketing Research Workbook: A step by step workbook to help you through the essential parts of market research for your coaching business.
- Blog Planning Checklist: A fun checklist to help you plan your coaching business blog strategy + get organized.
Save yourself hours of stress and get the above templates for free here: https://lovelyimpact.com/free-resource-library-for-coaches >>
More blogs to read on how to get coaching clients:
Our blog is a lot of fun! More tips on how to get coaching clients online can be found here.
- Understanding Your Coaching Clients’ Pain Points
- Wait For Coaching Clients to Find You, OR Try These 3 Things Instead
- Niche Marketing for Coaches: How to Analyze & Conquer Your Niche
Podcasts to listen to:
Dare to coach is our marketing podcast for coaches. Check out these episodes for more help on getting clients;
Suggested books on how to get coaching clients:
Here are some books we have personally read and recommend for your journey to learn how to get coaching clients:
- Get Clients Now! (TM): A 28-Day Marketing Program for Professionals, Consultants, and Coaches
- Make Money As A Life Coach: How to Become a Life Coach and Attract Your First Paying Client
- Wellpreneur: The Ultimate Guide for Wellness Entrepreneurs to Nail Your Niche and Find Clients Online
About The Author
Hey! I’m Tee, a brand and marketing coach and the Co-Founder & CMO at Lovely Impact, a website template shop for coaches. I help coaches grow their coaching businesses digitally. Here on our blog, my content focuses on web design, marketing, business, and social media strategy.