These days, anybody can become a coach, but what most new coaches (and existing coaches) don’t know how to do is find coaching clients.
Coaches is easy, all it takes is for you to be better than anyone else at something very specific and charge them for your experience and expertise.
This is where the old cliche of “knowledge is power” comes from.
If you’re good at preparing healthy meals, you can do the same for people and help them become healthier. If you’re really good at organizing things, maybe you can offer your organizational skills to help people organize their homes.
But here’s what most rookie coaches fail to understand….becoming a coach is not the problem, the problem is being able to effectively market your coaching services to bring in enough clients and actually generate a profit.
Good news! Marketing and growing your coaching business is easier than you think, here’s 5 marketing tips to help you find new clients and grow your coaching business.
1. Have a Professional Web Site.
Coaches, is 2017, if you don’t have a website to promote your services, you will NEVER grow your business!
But, what if you have multiple social media accounts, is that enough?
No is not, here’s why.
Social media platforms are just channels for you to promote your products and services, find and connect with prospective clients. Those leads are not yours, they belong to those social media platforms.
Your goal is to use those platforms to direct traffic to your website so you can build trust and a relationship with them. Then you can promote your products and services to them.
Now that you have a flow of traffic coming to your website, is your website professionally built? Is your website loading fest? Does it look great on any device, especially mobile devices?
PLUG: Here at InsoyMedia, we offer complete digital marketing services at very reasonable prices, from web design, graphics design, email marketing, to social media marketing. Check out our Services page to learn more.
Please keep in mind that your prospective clients will judge you on how your website looks. If your website looks crappy, most likely they’re going to think that your services are crappy as well.
2. Explain EXACTLY What Your Services Are (and how you can help them).
Sometimes we tend to get carried away with big words and flashy stuff that add absolutely zero value to your brand. Instead, introduce yourself, focus on ONE prospective client and explain to him/her what exactly you do and how you can help them.
If you’re a personal trainer, tell them how you can help them loose weight and create a healthier lifestyle, not how good you looked on your latest NPC competition.
If you’re a dating coach, explain that you help men and women find that one perfect person.
If you’re a career coach, tell your website visitors that you help them figure out the perfect career, and then you help them find a job that reflects their career choice. And if you’re a business coach, tell them how you can help their business succeed.
3. Publish a Newsletter.
Not everyone who comes to your website will immediately become a coaching client. Not everyone who comes to your website will buy your products and services immediately. You need means to keep in touch with people who come to your website, but are not ready to hire you or purchase your products.
A newsletter is a great tool to keep in touch with your website visitors, share information with them and educate them about your products and services.
Make sure that you have a newsletter subscribe form on every page of your website, and that you offer a compelling reason for your web site visitors to subscribe to it.
4. Optimize Your Web Site for Search Engines.
Search Engine Optimization, commonly referred to as SEO, is the process of modifying your website content following a set of standards and tactics that help improve your search engine ranking for that page.
Let’s say you Google: “personal trainer in Miami, FL.”, those results that come up on the search list are pages that have been optimized around that particular keyword and Google have rewarded that page by listing it.
SEO helps your page move up the search results so more people click on your link and land on your website. A successful SEO strategy will greatly increase the number of visitors that come to your web site since over 70% of people who are looking for products and services use search engines to locate them.
For more information about SEO and how InsoyMedia can optimize your website, check out our SEO Service page.
5. Offer Pro Bono (FREE) Work.
If you’re just starting out, the best way to gain experience, generate positive feedback and word of mouth is to offer free services.
When InsoyMedia was started a few years ago, our team offered free website analysis (we still do), free web design for small projects, free advice on how to setup an email marketing campaign, etc.
The point is, pro bono work allows you to build your infrastructure and generate great testimonials without having the burden and pressure that comes with actual paid services.
There are generally 4 reasons why as a coach you would undertake pro bono work:
1. You’re a new coach and want to build your confidence and coaching hours.
As a new coach it’s very important to build your confidence. Your confidence (or lack thereof) will play an integral role in your success or otherwise. With this in mind, offering pro bono sessions in the early stages of your business can be worthwhile.
2. You’re a coach that has been practicing for some time and perform pro bono work for benevolent reasons.
Offering free coaching sessions for benevolent reasons is simply a matter of personal choice. As a coach you should have a clear vision of what you want to achieve. If delivering free sessions for benevolent reasons fits into your vision, then go for it.
3. You offer a free session as part of your sales process.
Many coaches offer free introductory sessions as part of their sales process. A free session upfront assists the potential client understand the coaching process and builds rapport.
If you go this route, be sure to offer the free session as part of a longer term contract with a guarantee.
For example: You get your prospect to sign up for a 3 or 6-month coaching contract, and as part of that contract you provide a free introductory session. This will ensure the prospect is serious, and upsells them into a larger contract that may otherwise be difficult to achieve later.
This strategy can work well when used in conjunction with a guarantee. You simply say to your prospect that if they enter into the contract, you will provide them a free introductory session, and if they feel for whatever reason that coaching will not assist them achieve their goals, they can opt out of the contract at any point.
4. You’re a practicing coach that performs pro bono work as a strategy to build your business.
Many coaches provide pro bono sessions to assist them build their business. They achieve this by very carefully selecting their pro bono clients.
A pro bono client can assist build your business if they’re well networked within your niche and willing to provide referrals or can assist you in other business building aspects of your business.
Delivering Pro Bono Services.
When delivering pro bono services, here are 6 important things to keep in mind:
1. Treat all pro bono clients as paying clients. There is nothing worse for word of mouth than undervaluing the coaching relationship with a pro bono client. Remember, word of poor service spreads 10 times as far as word of good service!
2. Find them, don’t let them find you.
3. Get testimonials. Testimonials are a very powerful endorsement of your service. When prospects consider contracting your services they can be dramatically influenced by testimonials. Even more so if the testimonial is from a recognized leader, expert or acknowledged person within your niche.
4. Get clients from your niche, and preferably someone that can help you into a network. If you can do this, it will be a powerful leverage for your business.
5. Get paying referrals. Always get referrals from pro bono clients. And don’t offer pro bono work to referrals of pro bono clients.
6. Don’t overload. This stands to reason. Your time is your commodity. If you spend all your time providing services for free, you’ll have no time left for paying clients.
RECAP: If you’re struggling to generate new clients for your coaching business, remember that marketing is the key to finding and closing new clients.
I strongly suggest providing pro bono services to a few initial clients, or if you’re an established coach, offer pro bono work sometimes, that should generate great testimonials and a positive word of mouth.