How To Get Coaching Clients Series #1 - 7 Steps To Welcome New Clients
Without a doubt, the number one, most frequently asked question from my clients is:
What’s the easiest way to get coaching clients?
See what I mean? Every one of these questions are different versions of the same two questions:
How do I get more clients?
How do I get clients now?
To help you navigate this challenge, I'm writing a series of blog posts and this is the first in the series. This post will explain what you need to do to be ready and able to receive clients.
Subsequent posts will give you the keys to having the right mindset, because what you’re thinking and feeling – your approach, attitudes and habits make as much difference as the steps you take. The third post in the series will outline some easy to implement steps to get quick results and finally the last post will share some long-term strategies and more complex methods to help you uplevel your business.
So, let’s dive in.
To have clients you must be ready to welcome them. What does this mean?
Well, if 5 clients suddenly landed in your lap today, would you know what to do with them? Would you be able to accommodate them easily and start coaching next week? Or are you too busy doing #allthethings?
Let’s talk about the basics. I’m not suggesting that you must have a complicated website and sales funnel, or a whole bunch of intricate processes with expensive marketing.
Your business can be simple and streamlined.
There are 7 Steps you must take to be set up and ready to receive your new clients.
You can work through these seven steps in a week. Doing this will save you oodles of time and frustration and really set you up for success.
Step 1: Know the kind of person you would like to coach.
You may have heard of choosing a target market, defining your ideal client avatar or creating your ideal customer profile. These are all phrases that mean the same thing. Who are the types of people that you most enjoy talking to? Who are the kinds of people that you know you can help?
If you’re a new coach, start by giving yourself a couple of hours to decide. Many experienced businesses spend days and weeks defining this ideal client and many hours doing research.
If you’re relatively new, it’s best to get started as quickly and easily as you can. Once you start coaching them, you may find they are not the perfect match for you, and you may find there’s something else that you’re more drawn to. You don’t have to make perfect choices at the start; the main thing is to start getting clients and coach them.
You can always return and fine-tune your ideal client once you've got more experience.
Step 2: Know some of the problems you can help them solve and how their life will improve.
Now that you’ve chosen the type of person you would like to coach, spend some time and create a list of the problems and challenges they might have. Also, list what you think they might aspire to?
Once you’ve got a good-sized list, decide which of those issues or dreams you can help with? Think back to your own personal history, what life experiences do you have that you can leverage? I recommend you choose between 3 to 5 common problems that you know you can easily help them solve or goals they can reach.
Next, create a list of how their life will improve once they’ve reached that goal or resolved their issues.
Again, if you’re just starting out, don’t spend days and weeks doing this. Your aim is to make a quick start and do a small amount of research. You might need to make some educated guesses or speak to a couple people and ask them what their current struggles are.
I’ve created a free PDF you can download to help you identify where you’d like to specialize. Download it here: 147 Proven Niches For Your Coaching Or Wellness Business.
Step 3: Know how to introduce yourself as a coach.
Once you’re ready to start finding clients you have to be ready to introduce yourself as a coach and explain the type of service you provide.
Speak about it from the perspective of the potential client you described in Step 1 and explain how coaching will help them solve the problems you identified in Step 2.
Check out the blog post How to Avoid the Biggest Mistake New Coaches Make. It walks you through a step by step template on how to easily design a highly effective introduction.
Step 4: Decide how much you will charge and how you will take payment.
If you’re not sure what to charge, there are a few different approaches. If you’re new, do your research. What are other coaches in your area charging? Once you know the range, then decide on a number somewhere in the middle of the range.
Once you’ve got this number, practice saying it to yourself in the mirror. If it feels relatively comfortable, that’s a great place to start. If it makes you intensely uncomfortable, try a number that is slightly less and again notice how you feel saying it. You don’t want to completely devalue your service, but if you’re incredibly uncomfortable, charging a rate that feels way too high you’ll end up sabotaging yourself anyway.
Remember, you can always raise your rates as you get more experience and as you feel more confident.
You need a way to take payment. Two quick and easy methods to start out with are e-Transfers through your bank and a PayPal business account.
Step 5: Decide how you will coach.
There are many ways to coach. The most common are in person, by phone or on a video conference. I’ve used Skype, Zoom Video Conference and Facebook Messenger for video calls and they’re all easy inexpensive methods to set up, all you need is good wi-fi.
How you will deliver the coaching is entirely your choice. You get to decide what you are most comfortable with, and what will set you up for the most successful coaching sessions.
Once you decide, you just need to explain it clearly to your new client. Most people have never had a coach before and they trust you to help them. So be clear on the logistics.
Keep in mind, if you choose to coach in person, you will either need to be able to have a place to meet your client or you might have to travel to the coaching sessions. This extra travel and coordination time will take time and energy, so you may need to increase your coaching rates to accommodate this.
Step 6: Have an easy way to schedule your appointments.
Do not play email tag to set up your coaching times, you’re a small business owner and your time is valuable and better spent doing lead generation and finding high-quality people.
I’ve made this mistake and it would often take 3 or more back and forth emails to finally establish a convenient time for a coaching session.
I highly recommend you sign up for an online scheduling software. My preferred platform is Acuity Scheduling.
Once you sign up, you get to set up the dates and times you are available for coaching. You will save both yourself and your client a lot of time and frustration if you simply send them a link to your calendar. It puts them in control, and they get to choose the best time for their coaching session.
Step 7: Have a simple process to welcome new clients.
I subscribe wholeheartedly to the KISS school of business processes (Keep It Simple Sweetie). If you’re a new coach you don’t need a lot of complicated paperwork. All you need to do is decide what your process is for onboarding new clients. Being efficient in this area of your business means you will be able to spend less time answering questions and more time finding people. Here is my recommendation for your welcome packet for new clients:
What To Send
When You Send It
A Welcome Letter
Once they’ve committed to coaching
Send it with the welcome letter
Thank you note that includes a link to your online scheduler
Once you’ve received payment
Basic Coaching Agreement
Pre-Coaching Questionnaire (to discuss on your first call and will help them get the benefits of coaching more quickly)
When they’ve set up their first coaching session
If you’re not sure where to begin, check out The 8 Must-Have Forms For Your Coaching Business I’ve created a package with PDFs of all the forms you need to jumpstart your business.
I'll be back next week with the second post in this series.
All posts in this series:
Note: some of the links in this blog are affiliate links and I receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. I only recommend products that I use and recommend myself.