I get asked how to get coaching clients every day — and if you’re asking this question too, rest assured, you are not alone!
There is over 1,000 unique Google searches per month for the magic question of how to get coaching clients!
Therefore, I thought, as I provide marketing leadership to coaches every single day, I feel that I have a responsibility to share my strategy on how to get coaching clients with my coach-readership, and hopefully help you understand how to get coaching clients for your own coaching business too.
How to Get Coaching Clients
My answer actually comes in 3-parts.
1) By knowing what you’re actually selling, and to who.
2) Building brand credibility, by being yourself.
3) By getting help with your marketing and taking action.
This post will start with answer number one, and will assume you are a coach or the owner of a coaching business that wants to know how to get more coaching clients.
I’ll start with a simple question for you to answer!
As a coach, what is the main product that you’re selling?
If you said “well that’s obvious, I am selling coaching services” you’re wrong.
Let’s try another question:
What would you say Starbucks’ main product is?
Coffee, right? — well that’s wrong too!
Let me explain;
I’m sat here in Starbucks on Islington High Street writing this because my wife is attending a training workshop on City Road all day (she’s a Counsellor & Psychotherapist).
I said I’d drive her here to reduce her stress levels instead of getting the train, as it’s the London Marathon today *Supportive Husband!* (thank you to Marshal Goldsmith for the advice!)
Anyway, it’s been one full day since I was at the ActionCOACH Business Excellence Forum & Awards in Harrogate, Yorkshire, and I have been sitting here in Starbucks on my MacBook for approximately 6 hours and 16 minutes (so far) — listening to music, replying to emails I received from business coaches at BEF17, and catching up on other coaching-related business.
Notice how I didn’t mention I’m drinking a coffee? (even though I am!)
Starbucks’ Main Product is NOT Coffee
In a business context, Starbucks’ main product is in fact productivity, not coffee.
This also includes other sub-products such as: plug sockets, WiFi, socialising, relaxing and doing business, amongst other things.
All of which are totally FREE and obtainable pretty much anywhere else outside of Starbucks.
I assure you this blog post is still about how to get coaching clients. Bear with me, it’s worth it.
So, here’s the proof it’s not coffee;
When I decided to come into Starbucks today, I got to the counter and I hadn’t even given one single thought about what to order.
When the guy asked me what I wanted, I literally went to my stored habitual order of “a Flat White, please” — this is because all I was thinking about being here for was to be ‘productive’ — and I have actually been very productive today!
When you think about it this way, Starbucks is actually a trendy, productive work-space that happens to sell nice coffee and snacks to it’s customers — not a coffee shop.
Starbucks uses free working-space and facilities as the carrot on the end of the stick, to sell food and coffee — the outcome for their customers is productivity.
So, I’ll ask you again; as a Business Coach, Executive Coach or any other type of coach, what is your main product?
The answer is; you sell an outcome that your client wants.
I Get Asked “How do I get Coaching Clients?” Every Day
From the UK to Australia, I have spoken with hundreds of professional coaches around the world who want to know how to get coaching clients. It’s literally the first question I get asked when I meet or speak to a coach at an event or via email.
I work with coaches every single day of my life, and it still baffles me when I hear good, professional coaches tell me that they “sell” coaching.
Why is This so Important for You and Your Coaching Business?
When a prospective client — who has no idea what they need — lands on your website or your social media profiles, and all they see is “I am a business coach” or “book a free consultation now” or “grow your business” etc. — what do you really think they are going to do if they don’t know that they need a coach?
THEY DO NOTHING!
This is because most coaches are not using any sort of outcome based marketing at all.
It’s all ME, ME, ME and not, THEM, THEM, THEM!
The outcome that your client ‘wants’ is usually not what they ‘need’ — let’s be honest, most prospective client’s have no idea what they need. For example:
What They KNOW They Want:
To go on holiday without World War 3 breaking out in the office
What They DON’T KNOW They Need:
A Business Coach; a diag, an alignment, 1:1 Coaching etc.
It’s your job as an ethical coach, a coach with with integrity and credibility, to convince your prospective client that you can help them get what they ‘want’ —so that you can then educate them (and deliver) what they really need.
If my Credibility Coach® website just promoted my coach marketing services and my coaching programmes for professional coaches, without talking about the challenges that coaches know they have, then I wouldn’t be working with any coaches at all — because I wouldn’t get any opportunity to build trust and educate coaches about what they truly need… (marketing leadership!)
Hint: this very blog post is a good example of this marketing strategy in action.
Clear Steps on How to Get Coaching Clients
One: by building your personal brand on the knowledge and understanding of your client’s main pain points, their industry and by speaking their language; both in person and on your website and social media channels.
Two: you need to position yourself as a credible coach in that space, by creating quality content about the things you know they want and the main problems they are facing — in order to educate them about what they really need.
Three: you need to build trust and offer them a clear, risk-free solution — that’s where your offer of a free consultation over a coffee or Skype comes in.
So, to the 1,000+ Coaches who are searching “How to Get Coaching Clients” every single month:
Stop promoting and selling what your prospects don’t know they need, and position your coaching brand to promote and start to sell what they know they want!
As a coach, it’s only once you focus on your client’s wants, will you be able to help them meet their needs (even though they don’t always know what they are!).
If you enjoyed my post on how to get more coaching clients, and you feel you need some marketing leadership in your life — in order to grow your coaching business the right way, just get in touch with me! I don’t bite (at this stage!).