Starting a new coaching business is always tough and one of the first few questions that you probably ask yourself is “How Do I Get My First Coaching Client?” You have spent hours and hours putting your business plan together, sorting out the financing, arranging your office, and building your website. And when the big day arrives you have to get out there and secure your first client. It all looked so easy when you were planning, but now the business has kicked off and it doesn’t seem as effortless as you thought. So, how do you get your first coaching client?
How Do I Get My First Coaching Client?
Here are some practical steps you can take to ensure your coaching business gets off to a flying start.
Put a Plan in Place
If you didn’t write a business plan, then putting pen to paper is your first step. A plan will help crystalize your thoughts and ideas and act as a springboard for creative thought. It will also be a useful boost when you come to review your progress against what you set out to achieve a cause for celebration or concern. The key element in your plan is to spell out exactly who your typical client is going to be. Are they young or old? Working or self-employed? Single or married? Once you have clearly defined who you are after, then getting your first sale becomes easier.
Email All Your Contacts
You may not think that personal friends and family may be interested in your coaching service, but don’t forget that they have friends and family as well and so can help spread the word! Email everyone in your address book and tell them, if they don’t already know, that you are starting up in business and need their help. In your email describe what you do and the coaching services you offer and request that they help spread the word. For those family and friends who don’t have email, call them, text them or write to them, to officially inform them about your business. Soon word will spread and enquiries and orders will start to flood in.
Ask for a Referral
It’s possible you may have tested your business before you decided to go full time. In that case, you will already have a small database of clients. Ask yourself this question: “Who can help me get my first coaching client?” Then see if they can provide you with some contacts of people or businesses whom they think may be interested in what you have on offer. A referral, or positive recommendation, is a powerful and easy way to give your coaching business a kick start. If you want, why not offer a small gift, or a discount on the next sale, for those who refer clients to you? This gesture will further cement your relationship.
Tell Everyone You Meet
Be a walking advertisement for your business! Find opportunities to tell people, especially strangers, what you do. Be enthusiastic and have a rehearsed opening which encapsulates everything about the benefits of your coaching services. Take your business cards wherever you go and leave them at strategic locations! Supermarkets, gas stations, restaurants, shops, anywhere where people will find them.
Be a Media Star
The local newspaper or radio stations are always on the lookout for fresh stories which are of interest to locals. Don’t expect them to run stories along the lines of “And today, Peter Smith has just started a life coaching business.” Your story needs to be interesting and have an unusual angle, i.e. “I travelled the world and came up with my idea whilst riding the Trans-Siberian train.” Did you have a flash of inspiration following a life-changing experience? Carry out a survey which shows that local people are crying out for a coaching service such as yours. Think of something that will grab an editor’s attention and this will increase your chances of appearing in print.
Don’t be disappointed if you don’t get a sale on the first approach. Sometimes you have to be patient. A way of getting your first coaching client is to concentrate on building a relationship with your prospective clients. Stay in touch with them and assuming you have targeted correctly, they may eventually place that coveted order.
Get planning right now and start to implement some of these ideas to get your new business off the ground!
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Writer, Coaches Training Blog community