The other day I was listening to a fellow colleague’s Instagram story on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. She was comparing this well known hierarchy to the process of building a business. In her SOLE system, she identifies the first tier as the Emerging CEO. It’s the stage when we are in survival mode and our sole focus is to make money. And as a coach, the only way to make money is to have coaching clients. So while this is definitely a primary focus for a newbie coach, it’s essentially the overarching goal of any coach, at any stage of business.
It’s not just about helping people and changing lives, it’s also about finding clients to help. The challenge of gaining new clients is often the biggest hurdle for coaches. In today’s world, though, there are so many avenues to explore, and each one offers unique opportunities to reach potential clients.
In this blog post, we will go over 25+ actionable strategies that coaches can use to increase their chances of landing more clients. These strategies include speaking engagements, podcasting, online marketing, networking, and some more unconventional approaches. So, if you are a coach looking to expand your reach and grow your business, follow along!
Getting Coaching Clients through Speaking
1. Public Speaking Engagements:
Look for opportunities to speak publicly, whether it be in front of small groups or large events. This will raise your profile and get you in front of potential clients. When I first started my life coaching business back in 2004, the majority of all my clients came from public speaking.
Start a podcast that focuses on a topic related to your coaching niche. Share valuable insights, discuss industry trends, and interview other experts to establish yourself as an authority in your field. This is exactly what I am doing late summer – launching the Boosting Business Breakthroughs podcast, so be on the lookout.
Host in-person workshops or seminars that offer value to attendees and showcase your expertise. Workshops are a great hands on way to engage prospective clients while also helping them create a transformation.
4. Host a Retreat:
Host a retreat, either online or in-person. Retreats are normally full day or multi-day experiences, giving your attendees an opportunity to build a strong relationship with you while also getting immense value. Some people will want to go even deeper with you.
Host free webinars on a topic that provides a quick win to a known challenge your ideal clients have. This can help you build your email list and generate leads. And if you want to generate some income at the same time, consider offering this webinar at a low cost of $27, for instance. One of my clients recently made $2160 from 80 people that signed up for her paid webinar.
Use the Power of New Audience Exposure
6. Online Summit:
While a lot of work, online summits are great list builders and give you exposure to lots of new audiences. Get together with a group of industry experts and host an online summit with a theme that will appeal to your ideal clients.
7. Guest Posting:
Consider writing guest posts for reputable websites in your niche. This can help you establish authority and reach new audiences. Look for blogs and magazines that your ideal client might be reading and offer to do an article for them. When I was coaching, I would do guest articles for parent magazines all the time.
8. Joint Ventures:
Collaborate with other coaches in your industry to create projects and develop shared services. This can help you expand your network and reach new markets. Swap resources (like your freebies or discounts on courses) so you can build your email list and start nurturing new people.
9. Guest Podcasting:
Somewhat similar to starting your own podcast, consider being a guest on other people’s podcasts. These individuals already have an established audience and you can share your value, offer a free lead magnet and provide links on where to find you. Podcast episodes live on forever so you never know who might listen and find you.
10. Join An Agency:
You can join an agency that represents coaches, which can bring an increased number of clients. The International Coach Federation has chapters all over the world. Even though you will be networking with other coaches, it can still be a great way to build your referral network while also learning about how to grow your coaching business.
Conventional Ways to Land Coaching Clients
Attend events, conferences, and meetups that are relevant to your niche. Get to know other coaches in your industry and build relationships. Recently, one of my former clients joined BNI and has found a multitude of people she can potentially work with. Networking, either through Zoom or in-person, is still alive and well.
12. Referral Programs:
Develop a referral program that rewards clients for referring others to your services. At Amazing OBM, we offer clients $100 off their monthly services for anyone they bring to us that becomes a client. The best leads are word of mouth – they are incredibly warm when they come to you and are often the easiest to sell.
13. Cold Calling:
Utilize cold calling as a way to introduce your services to potential clients. Although this is definitely one of the hardest ways to get new clients, it is a long-standing way that most organizations use to build their client roster. In my opinion, this strategy is best used for B2B coaching organizations.
14. Network with Employers:
Networking with employers, who relate with your niche, can help secure coaching contracts or referrals from these organizations. One of my clients, a leadership coaching duo, relies solely on networking with employers to offer their team coaching and executive leadership programs. They have yet to do any online marketing.
Use local newspaper or online classified ads to advertise in the community you serve. Better yet, advertise in industry publications that your ideal clients are reading. Although a somewhat dated strategy, my very first coaching client came from a postcard mailing I did in my community.
Don’t Forget About Good Ole Social Media
16. Social Media Marketing:
Use various social media platforms to build your brand, share content, and connect with potential clients. Platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram can help you reach a wider audience. And if you’re feeling extra feisty and progressive, jump on the brand new platform Threads.
17. Google Ads:
Consider using Google Ads to rank higher in search engine results and increase visibility. One of my clients, a public speaking coach, uses brand awareness campaigns with Google to drive traffic to her website. Granted, this strategy can attract less than ideal clients, if done properly, it can produce leads on autopilot.
18. Facebook Groups:
Join and actively participate in Facebook groups that are relevant to your coaching industry. This can help you connect with potential clients and build your online presence. While FB groups can be a time suck, there are very specific groups that are specifically geared towards the coaching community.
Video is hot and there is no better way to quickly showcase your personality and build rapport. Start a YouTube channel and offer valuable content related to your niche. This can help you build brand awareness and reach new audiences. But remember, like any social media strategy, it’s a long game.
20. Participate in Facebook Lives:
Participating in Facebook Lives in front of your network gives you an opportunity to connect with potential clients on a deeper level. Whether you are hosting your own FB live, or being a guest on someone else’s Facebook Live, it can offer similar benefits as podcast guesting, only shorter lived.
Other Online Ways to Get More Coaching Clients
21. Online Courses:
The e-learning market and online course industry is booming! And people are looking for DIY solutions to their problems. It’s a lower cost way for your ideal clients to be introduced to your services. Many people who invest $497 for a course, if they get results, will also consider joining a higher ticket offer like a group coaching program or mastermind group.
Optimize your website with relevant keywords and metadata to improve your search engine rankings. Write keyword rich blogs on a regular basis to increase your chances of potential clients searching for your content and landing on your website. With 220+ blogs on our website, potential clients often find us through the Google search engine.
23. Online Communities:
Join online communities that are relevant to your coaching niche. Participate in discussions, offer valuable insights and connect with potential clients. I have often heard that coaches and other small service providers connect with new clients in masterminds, memberships and group coaching courses.
24. Email Marketing:
Create an email marketing campaign to stay in touch with potential clients and keep them informed of your services. Provided you have been actively nurturing your email list, working with warm prospects is always a lot easier to convert than cold leads. Many of my clients have been on my list for awhile, and reach out for my services when they feel ready.
Try These Harder and Unconventional Ways
Respond to questions posted by persons interested in your niche. Responding to questions gives initial exposure to you. Just like with social media, you can spend a lot of time on these types of platforms. So this idea should be a last resort.
27. Authoring and Publishing Books:
Writing and publishing books on a relevant topic is a powerful way to showcase your expertise, influence, and increase your chances of being found. My client Sue Barber authored The Visibility Factor and later went on to launch The Visibility Factor podcast. By connecting with a multitude of new guests, she gives exposure to her book and her services.
28. Create Objectives:
Taking a strategic approach to landing more coaching clients is necessary in this day and age. Set objectives, create a plan and follow through, track your progress and adjust your strategy as needed. And remember to give each strategy some time before you give up.
While I have offered over 25 ways to get more coaching clients, the key is to choose a few strategies and focus consistently to create sustained momentum. So, get out there and connect with potential clients, develop lasting relationships, and grow your business—for ultimately that’s what you wanted to achieve as a coach.
Lori Young is a business growth coach and founder of Amazing OBM, a digital marketing agency focused on helping coaches increase visibility and grow a sustainable business. Specializing in website and funnel development, content marketing and launch management services, we are your heart-centered, one-stop marketing team. To learn more, visit www.amazingobm.com.
25+ Actionable Strategies to Land More Coaching Clients
July 11, 2023