It’s HARD Finding Clients!
It’s not as easy as you believed, is it?
Finding clients probably didn’t even feature on your list of what you were going to need to do when you finished your qualification and set up your coaching business. In my experience of talking to coaches (lots of coaches!) the things that they were focused on post-course included logos, branding, websites, coaching packages, pricing, office-arrangement – I could go on.
If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say that you’re nodding along with me and mentally ticking of a list of what you did.
Finding clients wasn’t even going to be an issue was it? Who wouldn’t want to be a coaching client? Coaching is transformational, we know this because our lives were transformed by it when we first found coaching. It’s a superpower and we found ourselves in the lucky position of having a coaching qualification which has allowed us to wear our knickers on the outside of our trousers, and the superhero cape!
Where Are My Clients?
Almost without exception, the coaches I speak to who are struggling, have felt that the reason clients aren’t beating a path to their door is that their coaching skills aren’t up to the job.
I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong. You can breathe easy because it’s nothing to do with your coaching skills.
The reason that you don’t have coaching clients is because you’re probably going about the process of finding them incorrectly.
What’s The Worst Way Of Marketing A Coaching Business When Finding Clients?
Logic tells us that the best way to get clients is to make sure that absolutely everyone we meet understands that we are coaches and we’re open for business. We can talk about reaching goals and helping our clients to overcome limiting beliefs until the cows come home and guess what? No one cares! They are certainly not going to pay us for the privilege of reaching and overcoming.
Another way of getting no clients is to indiscriminately network. To attend every possible networking event you can find and to talk to as many people as possible about what you do and how you do it. Take as many 10-minute 1:1s at these events as you can to explain the coaching process and then wait for the clients to roll in. Guess what? No one cares about this either!
There’s a belief that marketing is simple, easy even, and therefore all we need to do is set up shop and talk about what we do. However casting your net wide is the absolute opposite of what you should do, and yet it feels right. It feels logical.
What’s The Best Way Of Marketing A Coaching Business?
Marketing a professional services business isn’t difficult, but it is a skill which needs to be learned in exactly the same way as your coaching skills were learned.
The fastest way to get a steady stream of inbound enquiries from people who understand what you do and are prepared to pay you for it, is to define exactly who you want to work with. In particular, define exactly what problem they are grappling with which your coaching can help them overcome.
Here’s where coaches scratch their heads and say ‘how can I possibly say what the problem is, it depends entirely upon the client!’.
If you’re thinking this, may I suggest that in a Worzel Gummidge-like way, you take off your coaching head, and put on your marketing head. Coaching and marketing are two different aspects of your business and need utterly different skill sets.
- As a coach, you deal with whatever is happening with the client in the moment.
- As a marketer, you talk to a defined client about a defined problem that they have, that coaching can solve.
Marketing Is NOT Grubby!
Marketing is not a dirty word. It’s a professional skill, just like coaching. If finding clients is grubby, then yes, marketing is grubby. But finding clients isn’t grubby, is it? You can’t help to change the world if no one wants to buy your services!
One of our mentees said this about what she learned from us
To any coaches who read what Sarah writes, I wish I had realised months earlier how right she is. She turned around how I approach things and the results I get. I’m still me, I’m not compromising what I’m about or what I stand for, but I am able to express it in a way to get the attention of the people I can help
Would you like to chat to me about how we might be able to work together? This is our website. Click on any of the ‘book a call’ links and it will take you to my diary.