6 Actionable Tips to Attract Your First Coaching Clients6 minute read
If you are an online coach, you probably worry about acquiring new clients for your business.
Especially when you are just getting started, attracting new clients can be extremely challenging, as you have a limited audience - or none at all - who does not yet trust you and is not yet ready to purchase your expensive services.
Once you start getting your first clients, it is going to become easier and easier to scale your business and spread the word about your coaching. But how do you get from 0 to 1 and more clients?
In today's article, we will share our best tips to start attracting coaching clients, even if you have no audience!
#1. Create Lots of Free Content
The main reasons why it is hard for you to attract clients are:
- Nobody knows about you
- If someone knows about you, they don't trust you yet
A great way to gain your customers' trust and position yourself as an expert in your field, is by generating free informative content. Start writing blog articles (at least once a week!), recording YouTube videos, podcasts and so on.
You should not be scared that giving away free content will make your coaching session less valuable. In fact, we wrote a whole article about this: Why Creating Free Content Won't Hurt Your Online Course Sales [Plus How to Do it]
When you are generating the content, remember to make it as valuable as you can and try to solve your audience's pain points. Once your content starts to get noticed - potential customers who enjoy it will come back to your site and eventually start to trust you and see you as an expert.
Content creation also helps you with increasing your organic traffic and SEO ranking; however, it takes time to get results (usually many months).
#2. Be Specific About Your Value Proposition (Niche Down)
The idea of choosing a relatively narrow niche and sticking to it can be terrifying for online coaches or course creators. However, it has many benefits and can help you gain even more clients.
You should be extremely clear about what you are offering (value proposition) and to whom (your niche). The more you "niche down" and the more specific you are, the higher your chances to attract your ideal customers.
Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience. For example, let's say that you are selling coaching programs helping new business owners launch their start-ups. This is a good niche, but it is still very general, and it includes lots of different smaller niches.
If you promote yourself as a coach that helps "new eCommerce businesses selling beauty products" - for example- it is much more powerful.
Imagine you are your ideal customer, someone who recently opened their eCommerce business selling beauty products and need help growing it. If they are looking for a coach to help them with their business, they will choose the coach that specifically addresses their situation and goals, rather than a coach that targets business owners in general.
Even if your expertise could help any business owner, sticking to a specific niche will make it easier for you to attract your ideal clients. If done well enough, niching down can also turn the tables around: customers will come looking for you, instead of you "begging" them to hire you. You want to be the "lighthouse", attracting customers looking for you.
Pro Tip: the more you niche down, the less competition you have! This allows you to charge a higher price for your services, as you are one of the few coaches operating in that niche.
#3. Get Out There
To attract your first coaching client, potential customers need to know that you exist.
It is a good idea to show up to virtual events, speak at conferences, join communities and so on.
The more you "show yourself" in front of your ideal customers, the more chances you get of building an audience of people who know you and trust you.
Do some research on which communities there are around your niche. Join the Facebook groups and start engaging with the members (not in a salesy way, but by providing honest advice). Check if there are any online events, and ask to participate as a speaker (for free). Ask to be a guest speaker in a popular podcast in your niche, or write guest blog posts.
Anything that comes to mind that includes you showing up in front of an audience and getting out there is worth trying. It can be scary to speak to a group, even virtually. However, remember that when speaking in an event, the audience will automatically assume that you are an expert in your field, and it is much easier to gain their trust if you are speaking directly to them and proving value.
#4. Exchange Your Services for (Honest) Reviews
A tactic that many online coaches use to get started and gain their first client is to offer their expertise in exchange for social proof.
You don't have to look too far to find your first "test" clients. Reach out to friends and family, past coworkers, or do some research online of people who are in need of an online coach.
Explain to them that you are just getting started with your business and want to build a small portfolio of clients you helped, which is why you are going to coach them for free. At the end of the session - if they found it valuable - you can ask them to record a small video review.
This is a win-win situation for you and your clients. They are getting free value and you are collecting social proof that will help you gain more - paying - customers in the future.
#5. Create Your Sales Funnel and Value Ladder
A sales funnel is a series of steps your build to bring your leads from prospects to paying customers. In other words, you should think about how potential customers find you, and how you introduce them to your services.
Your sales funnel does not need to be super complicated when you are getting started. For example, you might decide to promote your coaching services through a webinar. The people who sign up for the webinar are then added to your email list where you send them more value and free offers until they purchase your coaching services.
This is just an example, and you can have many sales funnels within your online business.
However, a sales funnel works best if you also have a clear idea of your value ladder.
A Value Ladder is a collection of products arranged in order of increasing value and price, and designed to meet a customer's needs and desires at each step in their journey. We explain all about value ladders in this article from our blog: The Value Ladder - How to Improve Online Course Sales by Segmenting Your Audience and Product Offering
The value ladder is also a simple concept if you think about it like this: a person who has never heard of you before and does not trust you will never buy a $2000 coaching session from you. Not without receiving value from you first.
So before asking a potential customer to purchase your high-price coaching program, offer them the other product offerings within your value ladder. These could be a free course, a membership site, lower-priced online courses, and so on.
#6. Promote Your Online Coaching Business
Let's not forget about more traditional marketing strategies to promote your online coaching business.
Together with doing all the steps described above, go ahead and promote your coaching business with organic and - if you have a high budget - paid marketing.
If you need more inspiration on tactics to promote your coaching business or online course, check out this article from our blog: A Complete Guide on How to Promote Your Online Course and Boost Sales
Getting your first coaching client is a milestone that many online coaches struggle to achieve. However, it is not impossible and can be done by following a few steps.
Once you have figured out your ideal audience and niche to focus on, start producing free valuable content to generate trust and be recognized as an expert in your field. Speak at online events, join communities around your niche and engage with potential clients.
Reach out personally to clients and offer your services for free in order to gain reviews, increase your social proof and leverage word of mouth advertising. Creating a sales funnel and having a clear understanding of your value ladder can also help you attract more clients.
Last but not least, you need a platform to host your coaching services and digital product. Heights Platform is the perfect solution for creators who want to offer a collection of online courses, coaching programs, memberships and digital products.Start Your Free Trial Today