You can already be in the Life coaching business for a while or you may be starting now, and are curious to know ‘How to find more Life Coaching clients?’ or ‘How to impress potential Life Coaching Clients?’ In either of the cases you would have already gone through (or considering) the first step of getting yourself trained from either an International Coach Federation (ICF) accredited institution (If you are looking to establish as a Corporate Coach and want to work with Executives, and Leaders in Corporates – ICF accreditation will come handy, though it is not mandatory to establish as a Coach), or might have participated in a regular Certified NLP Coach program, or might have attended Life Coaching Course from one of the many (there are many these days) coaching organizations. ‘How to select Life Coaching Course?’ can be read here, as the quality of the Life Coaching program also has an impact on your future as a Life Coach.
Learning how to coach is easy, in other words developing capability to coach others is the easy part, the difficult part is the business aspect – How to get more Life Coaching clients? Or in some cases ‘How to find first Life Coaching client?’
Whether you are looking for your first client, or looking to scale up, the strategies to find client(s) remains the same.
Depending upon the strategy supporting your goal around your Coaching career, you must have decided where you want to maneuver your business towards, and if you haven’t here are few considerations.
If you want to associate yourself with organizations and work with Senior Leaders or Executives in the organization, you might want to brand yourself as a Transformational, Executive, Peak Performance or Leadership Coach. In case you wish to associate with sports personnel, you might want to be called a Sports Peak Performance Coach. If you are planning on working with Businessmen, you may brand yourself as an Entrepreneur Coach or a Business Coach. Last but not the least, if you wish to operate in individual market space, and work with clients from all segments as a generalist you can brand yourself as Life Coach.
If you are clear that Life Coaching is the track that you want to move ahead with, then the strategies for ‘How to find more Life Coaching clients?’ will be slightly different than strategy to find Executive Coaching clients or Leadership Coaching clients.
Here the strategies and ideas presented are for the question ‘How to find more Life Coaching clients?
If there was a simple answer to this question, you won’t be reading hundreds of articles and spending your days and nights trying to look for the best possible ways to find more Life Coaching clients.
Now the interesting part is that while you probably thought that by getting yourself enrolled in an expensive training course (which promises thousand things on website or marketing collateral), you will get the answer to this question, but to your surprise during the training you may have found that this does not even gets discussed. This is because this requires business development sense, a growth hacking attitude, sales and marketing knowledge; and most of the coaching institutes focus only on development of coaches from a capability perspective. Nobody gives a though on how to make these coaches successful by providing them with knowledge about how to find coaching clients, how to develop coaching business, some pointers to get going in this area, or a bare minimum framework or tips about how to go about this.
Though business development is a very subjective theme, and everybody has their own ways of going about it, here are few strategies that you can consider to find Life Coaching clients.
Spread the Word
First and foremost be shameless about spreading the word around your new skill. Leave no stone unturned when it comes to promoting yourself. Start with providing free sessions to make your presence felt in the community, which would include everybody in your sphere of influence (friends, friends of friends, any Facebook group that you are part of, Whatsapp groups that you are part of, meetup groups that you are part of, your social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Google+), this includes your neighborhood residential community as well, where you are staying. The more you reach out, more chances you are giving yourself to land up with few Life Coaching clients, and set the ball rolling.
Volunteer in Organizations
You can also provide some voluntary services in the organizations providing coaching, and counseling. These can be charitable organizations which provide Coaching to Senior Citizens, Cancer survivor cases, homeless students etc. This can help you to get started, experiment with your coaching skills, and as well as generate some good will. Reach out to organizations like Rotary and see if you can help them in some of the projects that they may be running with respect to this. This can help you network with influential people, and they may in turn refer you to prospective paid coaching clients.
Volunteer work is fine to get started, but eventually make sure to balance out your social work, and your paid Life Coaching practice. Make sure that you are not over committing for volunteer work. Coaching is stressful, more so if you are coaching somebody on Life issues, as the issues will require lot of listening and working with deep routed personal issues which may be emotional in nature.
Build a strong network
One of the key skills that will help you to be successful as a Life Coach is your networking skills. There is a popular saying, ‘Your net worth is equal to your Network’ Look out for people in your neighborhood, people you know from previous engagements, or through social networking. Connect with them and tell them about your life coaching venture. Try to help them out by getting to know them and the problems they are struggling with in life. Also, provide them with few free sessions to get a flavor of what you have to offer.
Give out your visiting cards to the people you meet in social events. Engage with people and ask relevant questions regarding how are they sailing in their life journey. Tell them how you will be helpful to them for countering the challenges they are facing in life. Invite them to your sessions and extend that invite to their friends and family members. The more people you can network with, the more the reach.
Spend your time with potential clients
Look out for networking groups around yourself, probably in the same city that you are staying, and also online considering everybody in the world is connected now through various social channels. Connect with professionals and tell them how your coaching can change their life.
Creating a trustworthy presence is very important. So, attempt to have your timetable with free openings for discussions, where individuals can book openings and take a firsthand experience of your coaching. The more you help people, the more you’ll be recognized as a valuable resource, and it all starts by being able to build trust and rapport.
Make Internet your selling platform
Blog about life coaching techniques and how others can benefit from it. Create Facebook page, Twitter page and keep posting snippets and videos related to coaching.
We are a screen-fixated society, and when you feature yourself in a video, it can lend credibility to your practice, or best have few video testimonials from previous clients to boost your credibility. A short video that shows potential clients how they may benefit from your coaching will resonate with many.
Make a branding statement
A targeted branding statement that clearly defines 1. Who is your ideal client and 2. What you can do for them, and answers for the readers “What is the value proposition??” and “Why you?” and “How this will make a difference”, will keep the content marketing messages for a focused group. Incorporate this messaging style according to your audience into all your marketing collateral, from your website, to LinkedIn, to your Social pages etc. Keep the branding message same for any printed material, so that the message is consistent across all channels.
Connect with other coaches
Your competitors (well there are none in reality) are not always your enemies. World is moving more towards a collaborative based model. People do not like to work in silos anymore. Being in touch with people with similar goals, similar interests will keep you motivated, and always in touch with your niche domain. Help others succeed, and you will succeed as well. Connect with other coaches, who specialize in different coaching verticals. You can gain from each other in terms of knowledge, network, and potential clients. If you make the right connections, you can start referring clients to one other. You can also get useful insights on your own problems just by listening to theirs. Make it a win-win situation for people that you collaborate with.
Coach college students
Helping students as part of your coaching can be very helpful in near future with potential paid clients. Organize few sessions for the college students, and let them know of your work. Help them with skills which will help them to get going in corporate world. The faster they succeed, the more traction they can generate by spreading the word about your skills. Treat them as your future ambassadors in corporate world.
Learn marketing skills
Coaches are generally not that good at selling or in marketing. To find more Life Coaching clients, coaches have to step out of their comfort zone themselves. Digital media marketing is a good starting point. World is moving towards technology, and to get started, there are plenty of free Digital Media marketing courses available. Get started by creating a Facebook Page, Instagram Page, and learn how to manage them yourself. Build an audience and followers, as those can be potential coaching clients in near future. People will follow you on social media channels if you add lot of value. They will come back and read your content, watch your videos, listen to your podcasts, and they are the new age content marketing channels.
Become an Influencer in your domain
How do you become an Influencer in your domain? This one is simple. Share learning through your blog, educate readers about Life Coaching, about benefits of Life Coaching, and share free tools which helps them to get started with Self Coaching. Once you get started you can write on related topics connected with Life Coaching. More you share more you increase your visibility on the internet, which will attract readers, build credibility and increase the chances to expand your Coaching business.
Gain from other entrepreneurs
Though their profession might be different, there will be some marketing strategies that you can use to your own advantage. Attend business and entrepreneur meetups and make it a point to discuss few marketing strategies from 2-3 participants. They will be from different industries, and will be open to share some ideas. You can always offer a Free Life Coaching session to build more rapport, and in return request for some leads or referrals.