How to Get 10 Ongoing, Paying Coaching Clients from the Web

Many coaches want to climb that first mountain of success in their coaching business – proving that you can do it.

Typically, this means obtaining a steady supply of paying clients, often 5 or 10, that will support your lifestyle, enable you to leave an undesirable job (or go part-time), or add a nice supplemental income stream.

get coaching clients

Oh, and let’s not forget that you can enjoy soul-satisfying work and feel great about impacting the lives of others. Celebrating wins, big or small, with clients is pure joy.

The ability to set your own hours and be mobile allows you to mold your lifestyle to realize your dreams – travel, hobbies, and other worthwhile pursuits.

V E R Y  N I C E ! ! ! 

As I update this article for 2019, here’s an email from a past client of mine, Mitzi, who is crushing it with her blogs. 

mitzi gets clients online with her coaching website

Her website is LetYourDreamsBegin.com, which is quite active.

If you were to get to a constant stream of clients from the Web, which paid you a good income and gave you flexibility, how would you change things in your life?

  • Would you get more sleep?
  • Spend more time with friends?
  • Visit places you’ve always wanted to go?

Whatever your dreams and goals are, to make that happen as a coach, you’ll need to bring in the clients and income, and do that using the Web.

Let’s talk about how to do that …

The 8 Steps to a Steady Supply of Coaching Clients from the Web

Step 1. Sharpen Your Message

An experienced lumberjack spends a lot of time sharpening the blade AND carefully picks his contact point on the tree. He cuts down trees fast.

Me, totally ignorant, would spend zero time sharpening and chop all around the base of the tree. It’ll take me forever to bring it down. Ineffective.

This is because focusing has more impact.

The same goes for your coaching business.

Instead of wielding a general, Do you want coaching? type of message anywhere on the Web, which is vague and weak, try honing it to a specific person with a tough challenge, and be selective where you share it.

Kenn Schroder

I like crafting a persona (a single person with a specific, big challenge) and then positioning online materials (website, email, messages, everything) to speak to them.

People can’t help but respond to what you say if it’s tailored directly to them.

Step 2. Find Where Clients Hang Out

With your ideal client in mind, your next job is to find ways to get your message in front of them online.

There is an ever-growing number of ways to do this, from article writing to networking, to cold emailing, to ads, videos, webinars, social media, and more.

For example, if you’re working with massage therapists and new-age bodyworkers, a quick search in LinkedIn Groups revealed one with 14,000+ members, shown here:

massage therapist groups on linked in

On Facebook, I quickly found a group of 33000+ members, shown here:

massage therapist groups on facebook

I like to brainstorm and search for ways to reach them where they hang out in mass. Spend time in those groups for direct access to your market.

Write articles to teach and educate and you’ll quickly become a voice people listen to. Be coachy and inspire, question, cheer, and challenge them to do great things, and they’ll look to you for support.

If you’re submitting an article or an ad to a publication, they likely have a blog or online community where you can show up as well.

Step 3. Make Some Noise to Get Visible

Now that you’ve found out where they hang out online, or rather where they pay attention, your job is to put a message (ad, article, post, etc.) that will get their attention.

You’ve probably seen heaps of ads on Facebook when you scrolled thru your news feed. They are from the marketers WHO CHOSE YOU based on the info from your profile.

They “made noise” where you “hang out” to get you to buy.

In essence, you’re doing similar to reach clients. Just do it smoothly, invitingly, as a good coach would.

If you were providing business coaching to massage therapists, you could join those groups in the previous step and start discussions, or share blogs, or even run an ad in those groups. You would check out the group rules and speak to the group leader to see how to go about it.

Step 4. Drive Them to Your Website

However you “make noise” in your various “hangouts” is up to you.

You’ll need to direct the attention you get to your website, where people can learn about what you do and be invited to talk to you about coaching.

Here are a few examples:

  • If you shared a link to your blog post titled, 3 Mistakes Massage Therapists Make that Stop Them from Getting New Clients in a group of massage therapists, then the link would drive traffic to that blog post. That blog post would then lead them into a call with you.
  • If you ran an advertisement on Facebook and chose people in that group to receive the ad, then your ad would drive traffic to a specific page you want them to see – perhaps your Strategy Session offer (a call to both help them and then invite them to sign up for coaching).
  • If you’ve posted a profile on Noomii.com (career and life coach directory), then your profile will have a link to your website. Noomii will handle the sales (get to know each other) process.

Your website is your selling system. Be intentional about it. Own it.

I wrote much about the intricacies of your website, The Coaching Website Guide. Don’t go online without it!

Step 5. Engage Them

When they get to your website, via an ad, article, link, or other, you’ll want your website to instantly engage them and get them reading, viewing, and clicking around to learn WHY you’d be the perfect coach for them.

Two biggies if you want instant immersion upon landing …

1. Headlines that promise value

Create headlines for your pages (home page, blog articles, about page, etc.) that make people want to read them.

That ultimately means that the headline alludes to something in the copy below that’ll be interesting, entertaining, enlightening, inspiring.

2. Logical, organized, easy page layout

If a page is chaotic looking, disorganized feeling, or in any way confusing, people will resist digging into your content.

  • Your logo should be at the top, not big.
  • The menu should be positioned obviously, and not too overwhelmingly.
  • The hierarchy of content should be simple, intuitive.
  • Fonts should facilitate easy reading.

People need to feel like your website is a good place to spend time before they get comfy to spend time there.

Here are 8 Web Writing Tips for making content easy to read.

Whatever content you put together – success stories, infographics, free downloads, or videos – they must deliver something useful to your visitor.

I wrote a lot about the approach I use to engage website visitors, get them to read your content, lead them onto your list, and then into a call with you is detailed in a big-ass, super juicy PDF called The Coaching Website Guide.

The Coaching Website Guide

The skills learned in creating captivating headlines to engage people is one of the best things in it.

Step 6. Grow the Relationship

While some people will contact you right away for coaching, many will not. It’s a good move to invite them to your email list for following up.

Over time, as you grow your list and share handy info with them, you’ll have a pool of people who know, like and trust you.

And at any time, you can send an invitation for a free session with you where you can invite them to become your client.

It’s like having a waiting list of clients to keep your practice full.

The Money Move!

If you do write articles, you can (1) and post them to your blog for credibility and search traffic, and (2) you can also (tactfully) share those blogs in hangouts online to get attention, and (3) you can send those articles to your email list to serve them.

One article does three great things for your marketing. That’s so money!

Step 7. Call Visitors to Action

As your list grows, it will provide you with future clients, keeping you happily busy.

All you have to do is send an email to your list with a juicy invitation to get on the phone with you.

In that email invitation, be sure to give folks a hoop to jump through, like asking them questions to respond to, and even a small fee to:

  • qualify themselves so you can avoid the time-wasters
  • get them to spend time and energy (invest) in the process
  • give you an idea of what they are facing to help you go deeper in the call

The selling process is faster and easier when generating leads from your list than it is with cold leads from unknown sources because your “tribe” already know and like you.

Here’s a neat article to get more action from your message: 5 Ways to Get More Free Session Requests from Your Website.

Step 8. Wow Potential Clients in the Call

At this point, you’ve got a potential client on the phone with you.

It’s time to impress them and show them that working with you would be the thing to do.

What I’ve found most valuable in getting clients to sign up are two things:

Firstly, being fully present and closely listening to their situation deeply, including their struggles, their goals and everything in between is a huge trust and relationship builder.

They will feel things start to happen, momentum will build, and YOU will be seen as the catalyst. 

Secondly, if they help them get clear on their desired future state AND their unwanted future state (if they continue on their current path) then it will be clear what’s at stake.

I call the difference between the two future states, the investable difference. 

Hiring you will bring the desired and avoid the unwanted. 

In The Coaching Website Guide, I’ve written a chapter about the strategy session and the investable difference, and how to get potential clients to eagerly sign up with you. It’s like selling without being salesy.

In conclusion, if you want a steady supply of coaching clients via the Web, you’ll need to set up an exciting, engaging path that leads them to an easy decision to work with you.

Yes, an overly-simplified statement, but true in its essence. Just know that …

  • There are plenty of clients out there, and they are stuck, struggling, and frustrated.
  • They are waiting for you to show up in their lives.
  • Get out there, tell them about your coaching, and invite them into a call with you.

Here are those steps again:

Step 1. Sharpen the blade by focusing on a specific person and pain.

Step 2. Find hangouts where these ideal clients put their attention.

Step 3. Make some noise in those places so that clients can discover you.

Step 4. Drive them to your website to be wowed.

Step 5. Engage them right at the home page with content.

Step 6. Grow the relationship and win their trust.

Step 7. Call visitors to action like requesting a call with you.

Step 8. Wow your potential clients in the call by becoming their confidant for success.

Your thoughts are pouring out of those ears. You might as well post them below.

 

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16 Responses to How to Get 10 Ongoing, Paying Coaching Clients from the Web

  1. Scott Shannon June 12, 2019 at 7:10 am #

    This is a great article, Kenn. You have laid out a path of focus, concentration, and a way to slowly build a list of clients to create a rewarding practice. I retired from coaching last year but wish that I had had this valuable information years ago.

  2. Dasha August 22, 2018 at 10:52 am #

    Thank you so much for this post, very informative and helpful! I have a few areas I’d like to focus on and I hear everywhere that in order to be successful I’d need to pick one specific challenge and target all my attention to it. This doesn’t fell authentic to me and what I’d like to offer… what are your thoughts on picking several target personas of interest and targeting them separately? Thank you very much! 🙏

    • Kenn Schroder August 22, 2018 at 11:45 pm #

      Hi Dasha.

      Focusing is a good move. If you do so, make your content speak to that market’s pains.

      It can be very tough to create a strong message if you have many targets.

      If you do have multiple targets, is there and underlying struggle, pain or frustration? Like staying focused may be challenge for online workers and creative folks alike.

    • Corrie Ann Gray March 19, 2019 at 1:09 am #

      Dasha – it is possible to target different people in your marketing; however, the key is to find a connecting theme. Like Kenn mentioned, find an underlying pain point or frustration. I am a multi-passionate entrepreneur and I combine several of my passions under one over-arching theme. This is what I help my clients do too. It takes some work, but it is possible.

  3. Wendy March 12, 2018 at 4:00 pm #

    Why not coach both. I find their needs for coaching are often similar when you get past the job titles.

  4. Lindsey Novak March 12, 2018 at 1:19 am #

    Thank you so much. I’m torn between wanting to work with executives or the rank-and-file-individual. I’ll look at your site when I’m wide awake tomorrow. Thanks so much for your input.
    Lindsey

  5. Wendy March 11, 2018 at 5:26 pm #

    Hi Lindsey. I understand your dilemma. And congratulations on getting a lot of traffic.

    Have a look at my personal coaching site (www.wendybuckingham.com) which these days being semi-retired I use as my only marketing tool. I publish my fees which saves the money conversation, which I also hate, and I offer a half hour Discovery Session. In the preparation for that session I ask if they have looked at the programs I offer. I never negotiate or discount (learned that the hard way). Rather I keep my rates reasonable and offer several programs. By the time I get to talk to a prospect they are usually already enrolled and have chosen a program. As Ken says, it’s about having a “juicy” content rich site so do follow his guidelines.
    Also have a look at my page about setting fees on my Life Coaching Professionally site for coaches. It may help you.
    Good luck. Wendy

  6. Lindsey Parker Novak March 11, 2018 at 9:05 am #

    Sorry for all the typos! I a syndicated columnist and I guess tired of always being perfect! Copy, that is!

    • Kenn Schroder March 11, 2018 at 2:55 pm #

      I find that my ideas and thoughts come faster than I can type, and often means typos. But hey, that’s what editing is for.

      Yes, this sucks => “I am so torn between writing and coaching, and I am tired of people negotiating fees.” Much better when people contact you, nearly ready to go and without fuss about paying your fees.

      Without know much more about your situation, I’d take a closer look at (1) who would make a great client for you (2) what they deeply need, and (3) is your website speaking to that with calls to action that are prominent, juicy and visible.

  7. Lindsey Parker Novak March 11, 2018 at 9:02 am #

    I can see I get stuck on catching g people who visit my site. I get a lot of traffic, but I am not sure what to say to get them to try me. Strangers and friends have used me a their life coach since I was 17–no kidding. Then I went into focusing on the workplace, so I do both, but I have not gotten one contact from my site. I am so torn between writing and coaching, and I am tired of people negotiating fees. I won’t do it anymore. So what do I do from here?

  8. Kenn Schroder June 9, 2017 at 4:45 pm #

    When stones tumble, the earth moves? ;D

    I remember a while back when I took a solid look at my sales process and chose to super simplify it.

    I minimized back and forth, gave plenty of detail (email content, web page) while keeping things moving speedily with simple logical next steps. Was like this …

    1. I got an email from possible client who filled out a lengthy form, which asked them for some times they could chat. The times had some guidelines as to when I was likely free.

    2. Then I’d reply with an email with a link to detail on how I work with clients along with one suggested time to talk. This game them a chance to get more info, know my rates, how I did things and more juicy stuff to point out the value.

    3. They would agree to the time, or suggest one, and we’d have a call.

    4. Call was about an hour, just getting more detail, answer questions, having a few laughs, and then if I felt good about it (you know that feeling when things are jiving and they clearly need help) simply, “If no questions, we can get start by …” … and then if any hesitations or questions were still there, they’d ask.

    And we’d be on our way …

    A clear process, I felt, made them trust me, know that things will get done, a sense of professionalism.

    Granted, I’ve got a content-rich, juicy website, nice emails to help me warm them up.

  9. maryfranzcoaching June 9, 2017 at 7:10 am #

    “Any delay in the offer kills the momentum (bad for both your income and their momentum) and other things in life will just derail your client securing efforts.” I’m experiencing this on my end…

    Brainstorming resources I have to share as well as coaching options (ie 30, 60 90 min. calls, daily accountability, etc) is time worth taking. All in all I get the cold/warm conversations, joining groups, giving help making offers… the fine line between offering resources and making offers to get paid is delicate yet feels like cement.blocks..

    …stones tumbling in my head

  10. rachelhillnz June 8, 2017 at 5:52 pm #

    Thanks Kenn… Great tips for anyone wanting to grow their influence and get noticed in a low key way. Fear is what holds us back and patience is the key…..

  11. Wendy Buckingham May 19, 2014 at 8:46 pm #

    I’d actually just got back from a long overseas trip, so only had a few clients and need to remove any at that time.;) By the way, love I can just post here without going through all the paraphernalia some sites have.

  12. Wendy Buckingham May 17, 2014 at 9:35 pm #

    Nice one Ken. What I once did was prepare folders for the number of new clients I wanted and put them in my client drawer. With all the other tips, it adds just that little extra push. And it worked.

    • Kenn Schroder May 19, 2014 at 7:56 pm #

      Oh great. I like that. Making space for them. Did you remove other folders to help create that intention? 😉

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