Some coaches get all bent out of shape about the idea of selling rather than educating.

They use words like ‘inauthentic’ to describe selling or think that marketing and selling are not ‘heart-centred’. They think marketing a coaching business isn’t necessary if you’re a good enough coach, and then curl up with shame when clients aren’t beating a path to their door.

This article is for you if you’re one of these coaches.

If you are one of the coaches who thinks like this, you’re looking at the whole sales and marketing process through the wrong end of the telescope.

Let me explain.


The acronym AIDA is a great one for describing the marketing process, because it describes the client journey.

A = Awareness

The first A is for awareness. Before you appear on the radar of your potential clients, you do not exist in their world. They are not aware of you. This A, is the first step in the process of gaining paying client; make them aware that you exist.

Let me be very clear – until the moment that they realise you exist, you are nothing in the eyes of a potential client. Even once they realise you exist, you aren’t going to sell coaching to them, because before that can happen, you need to move them to the next letter of the AIDA acronym.

I = Interest

The I is for interest. Before anyone will work with you, they need to become interested in what you’re doing.

A harsh truth coming right up: No one (apart from other coaches) is interested in the coaching process. No one cares about goal setting or removing limiting beliefs. Honestly, they don’t give a toss. They care about one thing and one thing only; what’s in it for me?

You will only move people from awareness to interest if you actually interest them.

What that means is that you need to talk directly to your potential client (this is where the ideal client work comes in) about what their life could be like if you worked with them to remove their 3am problem. The thing that keeps them up at night that coaching can solve. (If you’re scratching your head wondering what on earth a 3am problem is, let me help you. Here’s a link to my book, A Coaching Business In A Book, it tells you everything you need to know about the 3am thing.)

D = Desire

The D is for desire.

This is where the interest that your potential client has shown in what you’ve said in your marketing (that clear, concise message about how you can help them that educates them on exactly what’s in it for them) has lead to them pricking up their metophorical ears and thinking ‘hmmmm this coach is talking about me! Maybe I need to speak with them?’.

A = Action

The second A is for action.

This is the best bit. This is where your hard work pays off.

The action that your client takes is the one that you’ve encouraged them to take. Let me be quite clear again, if you don’t spell out what the action they need to take is, they won’t take it. I suggest that people book a slot in my diary. It’s free and it’s at a time that’s convenient to them. I share my diary link often as my ‘call to action’.

A call to action is your instruction to your potential client about exactly what action you want them to take. Examples of such actions are:

  • Book a slot in my diary
  • Comment on my post
  • DM me

This is the part where you get to talk to them. Most coaches I know are confident that once they get to sit down with a potential client, they can convert them to a paying client. This is that bit.

How To Educate And Move Clients Through The AIDA Process

Don’t try to sell coaching to people. People in general don’t like being sold to and in today’s sophisticated market, we can sniff out a pushy sales person in an instant.

Instead educate your ideal client. Teach them what they need to know to get out of the fix they’re in. Don’t worry about giving too much away because you can’t. If you could, then all any of us would need to do would be to read a book and we could implement anything, right? And yet we don’t.

The education process I’m describing will set you apart from the others. It will carve you a position of authority within your chosen niche.

So, stop fretting about the idea of sales or marketing and go and educate your potential clients. If you’d like some help with this, maybe we should talk? This is my diary.