How to Build a Coaching Business That Naturally Attracts Clients
For just a moment, think back to when you started your coaching business. Whether it was a leap of faith or you had been doing the work for someone else, it was an exciting time. You were eager, hungry, and willing to tackle every challenge head on. Puts a smile on your face, right? Now, months or maybe years later, have you found yourself struggling to grow the client pool? Is the passion still there, but the grind a little more exhausting?
If you’re approaching this rut for the first time, don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Honestly, it’s not uncommon for the most seasoned business owners to have to do some digging. It takes time and dedication, just like it did when you started your company, to get out of a slow season. And, we’re here to help. This Coaching Action Plan can assist you along the journey – help you reassess where you’re at, what your brand stands for, and how to make the client pool as deep as you are willing to swim.
Find Your Voice
Think about your favorite brands, coaches, and businesses. There’s something each of them likely has in common… the way they make you feel. You probably trust, listen to, relate to, and genuinely enjoy these brands. You resonate with their messaging and believe in what they are sharing with the world. Now, ask yourself, does your coaching business do the same?
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in business for a short or long time, your brand must have a clear voice that your audience identifies with. And, there’s nothing wrong with adapting that voice to suit new audiences over time. Don’t throw fancy buzzwords and jargon at your potential clients, be a guide that they believe in. Make sure that as a guide, you are staying true to your voice and beliefs. No one wants to later find out that the coach they hired is nothing like the one they’ve grown to like through content.
So, before you draw any conclusions about what voice you’re going to use, figure out what kind you have. One fun way to dig deeper into your root qualities is to take a personality quiz. Another way to define your brand’s voice is to ask the people closest to you what words they would use to describe you. Do they think you’re patient, outgoing, forward, or calculated? Some of these terms will help you hone in on a brand voice that really reflects who you are and what you offer. Remember that the client wants YOU as their coach, so everything you broadcast should reflect your core values. It needs to come through in your seminars, courses, written content, logo, and branding. Everything. As Jeff Bezos says, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
Execute the Plan
Sometimes, the hardest part of executing a plan is simply sticking to it. Think about this for a moment – your clients are coming to you likely because they cannot stick to a plan themselves. They want a coach, someone to keep them honest, humble, and on track. You yourself must stick to a plan if you hope to help your clients do the same. Live by example.
If this sounds difficult for you, that’s okay. We all have to start somewhere. Perseverance is like a muscle, it’s not strong unless you work it out and use it frequently. If you get to know the anatomy of your determination then you’ll know how to improve it, maintain it, and grow it. Incorporate this understanding into your business planning and you’ll be stronger than you thought you could be. Need inspiration? Check out this presentation by Angela Lee Duckworth on grit.
Use the Right Tools
Similar to staying on plan, you have to stay organized. As a coach, you’re responsible for far more than just yourself. Your clients’ progress hinges on your ability to coordinate and predict their moves as well as your own. Consider investing in tools that will help you effectively market your business, dedicate your time, and even track your own growth. We love organizational tools like Slack, Asana, and Trello.
Of course, you’ll want some of the standard business tools like G-suite with Google and Office365 by Microsoft. Free versions of email and calendar tools are nice, but they often limit your capabilities. Make sure you’re communicating under your brand’s name. Domain-name based email, tailored web design, and simple project tools are well worth the investment.
On the side of active marketing, there are several helpful tools to maintain your presence. For instance, if you’re going to make your presence felt on multiple social media platforms, Buffer is an app that allows you to post on all your feeds from the same convenient place.
There’s no denying that we’re marketing all the time, both personally and professionally. Whether you’re networking around the water cooler at work or swapping numbers with people over the weekend, you’re sharing your message with the world.
Relationship Networking is one of the more valuable tools you can have as a coach. According to Salesforce, customer satisfaction is key. These happy clients come back for more, and often times they’ll recommend you to a friend or colleague. Check out some of their strategies for Relationship Networking to make sure you’re not leaving anything on the table.
Every business finds themselves having to evolve to the demands of their market. As we mentioned above, this is especially true for coaches. Not only will you have to improve your business strategies and adapt to the demands of your clients, but you’ll have to stay on top of new trends and softwares. You’ll face road blocks, giant hurdles, and forks in the road… just keep moving forward. A progress over perfection mentality is a valuable tool here. The only thing guaranteed in business is that it will take you somewhere you didn’t expect. Good, bad, sideways – that’s the beauty of the adventure. To quote Jordan Peterson, “Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today.”
No matter how deep you’re swimming in the client pool, following steps like these will help you stay afloat. With a clear brand voice, solid networking efforts, reliable tools, organization, and perseverance, you’ll attract the right clients. And, with the right clients by your side, your business will naturally grow through their satisfaction with you.
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