A lovely coach approached me last week. Passionate about what coaching can do and absolutely full of excitement for the future. Qualified about a year ago and hasn’t had the success he had hoped for in finding clients.

They wanted to talk to me about marketing a coaching business. We had a zoom call.

Finding Clients This Way? It’s Not My Cup Of Tea

On the zoom call,I was describing to him what we teach in our mentoring process. As I went on, his nose crinkled.

I talked about having

  • a target audience in the form of an ideal client,
  • a marketing message that is written for exactly that kind of client,
  • and to make sure that he was where that kind of client was, with his message so that his potential clients could hear it.

‘It’s not my cup of tea’, the coach said. I’d rather just continue what I’m doing and let my coaching speak for itself.

Finding Clients Your Way? How Many Clients Have You Had?

Referral business is without doubt the best form of client acquisition, and so I asked the coach how many paying clients he’d worked within the last year.

He squirmed.

Turns out that this coach hasn’t actually had a paying client yet. Given away lots of coaching and everyone who experienced it said that they thoroughly enjoyed it. Said that they would recommend to their friends and colleagues and truly believes that it’s just a matter of time before the floodgates open.

Have You Had A Single Referral Yet?

When talking about referrals, the coach clearly felt that he was on stronger ground and proudly told me that actually several of the people coached had come from referrals.

‘The ones who were referred to you, you coached them for free?’ I asked.

Turns out that’s exactly what’s happened.

When Is A Referral Not A Referral?

A referral from someone who was coached for free inevitably leads to them expecting free coaching. Imagine the conversation:

‘You should have a chat with Bob! He’s a sound guy and he knows what he’s talking about’ isn’t actually a referral from someone who thinks you’re going to charge a professional rate, is it? And will result in them also wanting free coaching.

Make It Your Cup Of Tea!

Marketing a professional services business doesn’t mean that you have to be pushy, or salesy. It doesn’t involve becoming something that you’re not. It simply means that you learn how to articulate the benefits of coaching in a way that the people you can help can actually understand!

If you have recognised yourself in anything I’ve said, maybe we should talk? That link goes to our website and every single ‘book a call’ button will send you to my diary.

If you’d like 2021 to have actual paying coaching clients in it, I can definitely help you. We even offer payment plans to spread the cost of our mentoring programme across 10 months.