Business is buzzing these days for coaches and consultants, as more and more people start to realize the advantages of having a professional to help them improve their mindset to achieve their personal and professional goals. Establishing a coaching or a consulting practice from the ground up is no easy task. You need to present a unique selling proposition, smart marketing, and sales strategies, networking skills, social proof, and much more.
Still, as with any start-up, knowing exactly how to get clients as a coach or consultant isn’t as simple as putting up your sign and expecting them to come running in. To succeed, you’re going to have to learn how to find and enroll new clients. However, you don’t want to accept just any type; you want the types of clients that you are best skilled to help and the ones who will benefit most from your services. What can you do engage them to your new business?
To help you with this, we will explore some trusted and proven methods that will help build your client portfolio with success:
Genuinely helping in as many ways as you can instead of thinking of the cash help you build a strong bond in engaging with prospective clients. This can include speaking to groups (such as Meetups), delivering free webinars, giving anyone 5-20 minutes of your time to answer their burning questions. The more you help, the more you’ll be recognized as an indispensable resource. Once that fact has been established, you can be selective on who you accept as a paying client.
As a coach, we love to serve and believe that we have the capacity to serve anyone. With that said, finding the correct fit is important to delivering coaching success. Discovering a similarity in experience with your client can help foster a stronger engagement. Corporate moguls tend to want to work with executive coaches who have been in their shoes before. What experiences can you bring to the platform to those you want to serve?
Asking the right type of questions can aid in providing your clients with the results they want. Structuring a clear intake process by asking the right questions ensures that you are managing your clients’ expectations well. The power of your coaching partnership gets to build with managing those expectations.
Networking with others in the same shoes as you can help you grow your client base. Connect with other coaches and look at joining a local networking group. Your services do not cover every aspect of coaching, and theirs doesn’t either. With the right connections, you can start getting referrals for your areas of specialization amongst yourselves! It is a win-win for both parties!
One key method to employ when building your brand and practice is the art of turning the wrong prospect away. It may seem counter-intuitive, but ensuring that you are coaching the correct clients can help build your brand and your client base accordingly.
Another great way to build your client network is to turn to everyone in your life who has contributed to your success in any way, be it colleagues, mentors or friends. Call them up and give them a thank you for their help, and let them know that you have just become a coach and you’d like to offer them a coaching session for free! It has been proven that almost everyone says yes, and then based on the value they feel that you have provided during the free session, you can ask them if they would like to continue and do some more sessions. If anyone says yes, you have a new client!
This concept is known as loss lending in the business world, where a loss is incurred to offset a future stream of income. The key is to ensure that it is available for the first say 20-50 people that sign up for the offer so that urgency and exclusivity are manifested.
Another way is to be physically amongst where your clients are at. The most convenient and efficient way to lure clients is to physically be at where they are hanging around it, and let them know how your coaching can impact their lives. You must get amongst your clients and highlight to them why they need your services!
Enrolling clients wherever you maybe it is also a useful strategy to execute. As mentioned earlier, having a genuine outlook on your services and a connection with your client is key. When speaking with someone about your services, provide them with a compelling offer for them to join you. The emphasis is placed on inviting. By inviting, you have created a platform where they can participate in. And the best part? You can do this anywhere, anytime – be it at the supermarket, a café or even while in transit – as long as you have that connection and put an honest invitation forward. You need to be ready for these opportunities and seize them when they present themselves to you!
Various marketing tools can be used to propagate your brand further to attract clients. One way is to use videos to attract them on your brand platforms. We are a technological-infused society and when you have videos of your services with you in it, it can add some credibility to your brand. The video does not have to be fancy, but genuine and highlighting how your clients can benefit from the services and the current offers you have. Those who do not resonate with the videos, will not respond.
Determine your niche! Look back at what problems you were able to resolve with prior clients you have done well with. This can help direct the correct type of clients you are looking for. Writing topics relating to that field, such as regular blog posts or articles, speaking at events and making presentations can provide you with significant credibility and authenticity. When clients view you as part of their reality, their landscape, they are more than likely to enroll in your business.
As part of marketing to expand your client portfolio, you need to have a targeted branding statement which clearly outlines the two items: 1. your ideal client and 2. what can you do for them and why they should select you? If your target client is corporate moguls, then your branding has to target how your services can help these corporate moguls surpass their fears and competition. It is important during your brand creation phase to be mindful of identifying and differentiating your value so that your clients can recognize it easily.
As part of writing topics relating to fields specific to your clientele, look at embarking on writing an ultimate guide. The result of writing an ultimate guide is that you cover so much depth over a topic that there is almost close to nothing left for anyone else to say on it. This will position you as the expert in your content and potential clients who are looking for help in that area will want to work with you, as you have clearly demonstrated that you know what is needed to help them be successful with what they are trying to achieve.
Another method to implement into your overall strategy of building your client portfolio is to engage them through sending out monthly newsletters. Not only does it provide valuable content to your client/prospective clients about improving their lives or about your expertise, but it also helps you keep in touch with them. It allows for the conversion of readers into clients and for referrals to be obtained.
As part of marketing your business, ensure that you tap into advertising services. Services like Facebook Ads and Google AdWords has allowed marketing your business to be easier and more effective than ever. Services like these allow for targeting of a highly specific audience. So that means that rather than sending your flyers or emails out to the masses, this allows it for advertisements to be sent to a highly specific market, which ensures a high conversion rate. This can be especially useful in collating qualified leads that you can convert into paying clients.
When creating platforms for your business, make it easy for your clients to do business with you. This is especially so if you are advertising a large percentage of your business online, which is very common in the tech age. Having a selection of products and services clearly available can allow your prospective clients to feel like they can very readily select what they are most comfortable with. Allow your website to state clear payment and timeline options.
If you get prospective clients who seem interested and follow-up with sessions, that is absolutely incredible! But sometimes, prospective clients may express partial interest, such as responding to the first email only and not following up. It is significantly important to keep following up if you are looking to grow your client portfolio. As a general rule of thumb, keep following up once a week for the first month, and once a month after that, until they become a client or if they ask you to stop contacting them. Following-up with your clients shows that you are serious about their development and emphasizes the impact of your brand.
Another method to implement would be to create a solid elevator pitch, which you can deliver anytime, anywhere. Telling potential clients that you are just a coach does nothing! Craft a compelling statement which highlights to others what you do and how that serves them. The effect of your elevator pitch should ideally be, “How do you do that?”
The best way to develop clientele is to show up powerfully in the world and lead with an intention to make an impact. This translates to practicing what you preach and truly living in line with your values at the highest level of integrity and honesty. Unfortunately, these qualities are truly rare today and those who do embody them stand out of the crowd. To create the clients you really want, you’ve got to become the coach you would want to hire. Empathy is a key emotion in not only connecting with your clients during enrolment but also throughout the journey. You need to put yourself in their shoes to understand the service you are delivering and gauge what and whether that makes a genuine impact on them.
Empathy means making people feel heard and understood. This is important when connecting with clients so that you can meet them where they are at with their journey and understand your role in their journey and how it all fits in and works out.
Oftentimes, people don’t want to understand ways on how to get better. They want to be better versions of themselves through your coaching services. As a coach, your number one priority is to understand this and strengthen this for your clients through your services.
Lastly and most importantly, it is vital as a coach to re-evaluate your mind from time to time, especially if you are feeling down and out or desperate for clients. Do you feel aligned with the services you have to offer, what you’re charging clients, and how you’re branding the business? If your business is struggling with obtaining clients, or if you’ve been hiding behind your computer screen wasting time, it’s time to do the inner work. Right now, imagine yourself being the best coach that you can be. How many clients would you like to work with right now? What barriers are holding you back from achieving this? Assess your mindset about what is possible. It’s perfectly fine to talk to other professionals as well, such as fellow coaches, about achieving your goals.
At first, finding new clients can be one of the most daunting tasks of running a coaching or consulting business.
The secret of how to find new clients is that it takes consistent effort over time, but it is worth it because you get to make a significant difference in the lives of many people!
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