How do I get my first coaching client?

So, you’re just getting started as a coach – congratulations.  It’s a rewarding business and can open the door for your personal, professional and financial growth.

Here’s just one issue that comes up every time.  How do I get my first client?

The difference between an amateur and a professional is just $1.00.  As soon as you’ve been paid one dollar you’ve moved from amateur, volunteer, good neighbor and empathetic shoulder – to a professional.  The key then, is to learn how to replicate that process.

We know why people have coaches in basketball, golf, tennis and swimming.  People use coaches in other areas of life for the same reason; they want someone to work with them, to encourage them, to push them, to make them better.  Many people who engage coaches are already successful.  They understand the process of setting goals and reaching them – they just want to achieve more in a particular area.  They want the unbiased feedback a coach will give them.

No matter how good you are as a coach, if you sit around and wait for word-of-mouth to bring you your first client, you may be sitting for a very long time.  Word of mouth is wonderful, but only comes after you’ve been coaching for a period of time and have a strong base of happy clients.  Getting your first client can be compared to a recent college graduate getting that first job.  Employers want people with experience, but the new grad can’t get experience without having a job.

But you can break into the coaching arena by being creative – just like a new grad can if they know how.   Here are my 5 of my 10 Tips for Getting Your First Client.

1.  Identify your area of specialty – don’t be a generalist.  Don’t say you are a Life Coach.  Say you work with Moms who are re-entering the workplace or Baby Boomers who are close to retirement.

2.  Know your Ideal Client.  Don’t worry about being too narrow or rejecting a large segment of the population.  You will build your credibility and reputation much faster by being known as a specialist in a particular area.

3.  Create your Elevator Speech.  Be able in 30 seconds to describe what makes you remarkable.  Instead of being a “dentist” you are someone who helps people gain a new sense of self-confidence in one hour.  Then you have the opportunity to tell how you do that.  Make sure your response to “What do you do?” initiates further conversation.

4.  Let your Ideal Client get to know you better.  People do business with people they know, like and trust.  If you are speaking somewhere, invite a potential client to come with you.  Send them a helpful article or book.

5.  Make it easy to do business with you.  Have a selection of products and services so people can feel like they can chose what they are most comfortable with.  Provide clear payment options.

Set a timeline.  I will have _______ paying clients in the next _________ days.


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