How To Find Coaching Clients: The Ultimate Guide 
You can have the juiciest coaching packages with the best outcomes and the happiest clients, but unless you learn how to market your services, you’ll still struggle to make money. And your impact on the world will fall short too.
Referrals are great – they seem so easy, but they’re so unpredictable. And even the best coaches run out of referrals eventually, when their network has been exhausted.
After a couple of years in business, you want to have a secure way to attract leads and clients every month. This is why you need to get good at marketing. This guide will help you do just that.
Below is a list of strategies that can help you find your first clients and create a system that helps your coaching business get leads and clients every week. Because you want to sleep well, knowing people are booking your discovery calls consistently.
Guessing, and feast and famine cycles should be a thing of the past once you hit your second year in business. Use the strategies below to build up to a place where your lead generation is totally predictable because you know exactly how to find coaching clients:
Why invest in organic marketing?
Before we get into organic marketing, here’s why you need to start working on this right away. Organic marketing encompasses social media, video creation for youtube, blogging, and search engine optimization. It is a great place to start because it’s free. But it should also come with a word of warning because although it doesn’t carry a dollar price, it does carry a cost.
Marketing on social media will cost you a lot of time. You will need to learn how to use the editing tools and how the algorithm works. You’ll need ample time to create
Videos, edit them, write copy and create imagery as well as understand the topic and frequency that are best for your social media account.
You can do all this and still not grow too many followers. Most platforms will also NOT show your content to most of your followers, so unless you add a budget, growing a following is going to be hard.
I’ve worked with clients who came to me after burning out on social media to create tens of thousands of followers that produced a measly 2 clients per month – on good months. When I started taking programs to learn how to promote my coaching business online, I was very surprised to see people use this as their core strategy. In 10+ years of owning my agency, we always discouraged clients from buying social media by itself because we felt deceitful – we knew social media wouldn’t get long-term results. It starts off giving you leads because you’re tapping into your existing network, but soon the leads run dry. New social media leads can take 8 months up to a year to warm up. This is why it’s very hard to see any results without investing in ads on social.
Experienced agency marketers will tell you that social media is used as an amplification tool. Meaning that it should not be the core strategy in your marketing. Social media works best as an amplifier – to amplify the results of another core strategy such as a Youtube Channel, Social Ad Campaign, or SEO-ed Blogging.
So how can you decide…
Which organic marketing strategy is best to find coaching clients?
Blogging to find coaching clients:
By far the most profitable strategy I have tried for clients and for my coaching business, blogging is the holy grail of coach marketing. It is easy to leverage because it ticks all the boxes that a coaching brand needs – authority, trust, and valuable information-sharing.
Blogs can be nicely SEO-ed to rank on the first page of Google. They can be shared on social media and also amplified through paid advertising. A good blog will bring you leads for years and it will create the highest converting and shortest funnel you’ll ever create.
The blog medium provides coaches with the opportunity to share their knowledge and also bring readers closer to their point of view before inviting them to book a call.
Once you have crafted a blog that converts, all you need to do is pick a strategy to put it in front of as many people as possible.
Will Podcasting get you coaching clients?
Podcasting is on the list of every coach marketing article on the internet, so I felt I had to add it too. I do have a podcast and I have experimented extensively with ranking show notes and lead generation.
And I have to come to the conclusion that coaching businesses, they’re not great for lead generation but they help warm up an existing audience. So if you use social media, or have a freebie that’s growing your email list, you can use your podcast to warm up those leads faster.
This is why every podcast episode you create needs to contain the following:
– how you work with clients ?(example: 3-month packages 1:1 and 4 months in a group setting)
– what kind of results do you get for them? (For example, I help them create the funnels and systems to generate leads every week and teach them how to close most of their leads)
– what struggles you resolve? (For example, I help people who are burnt out on social media or don’t have much time to market their coaching biz because they still work another job
– what is your approach to your work is ( (For example I make sure my clients pick the right strategy for their personality and create the right systems so they can stay consistent and generate more and more leads every week)
Find coaching clients in Online Communities:
Online communities a.k.a Facebook and LinkedIn groups are great places to market however what was acceptable a couple of years ago might get you kicked out of a group these days.
Most groups do not allow you to share links and admins have clocked onto the storytelling posts that sell or value-sharing and that will get you kicked out too. So groups are still great places to make connections, but there are only a few strategies effective you can use these days.
Use surveys by getting permission to share them in a group. Very often an admin will give you permission if you’re not a competitor. Design your survey in a way that helps you identify the ones with the strongest pain points, and reach out to them to offer a 1:1 laser session in exchange for asking a few research questions.
This will help you get to know your ideal clients better or help your niche as well as get some clients right away. Because some of those people will buy.
Freebies and groups go together like butter and toast. But make sure you stick to the ones that have the freebie or offer to post once per week. Always follow the rules!
You can also make it really prominent on your personal profile (and use a bright profile picture). When you about your day engaging in groups, people will notice you and click on your profile to check out what you do and who you are.
So put your freebie link on your profile banner and/or about section.
I’ve added this section to flatly tell you not to do this.
Do not DM people you don’t know. But you might DM people who ask you to or who you’ve been engaging with for a while. But be very clear, honest, and skilled in your interactions or you will be seen as a spammer. And as a coach, you cannot afford to be seen to do this as it will ruin your reputation and dilute your authority.
Offline Communities can work too:
Offline communities are just as valuable as online ones – if not more. Face-to-face networking is important if you intend to work locally. The trust-building process happens a lot faster in person. You can land a client real quick.
And if you don’t you can always keep in touch after and share your valuable online content with them to help them understand what you might help them with.
But the best way to leverage offline communities is probably to be a speaker or a sponsor. Find a community that has your audience, and organizes regular events. Show up and get to know them. Find out how what you offer can be useful to their community – contribute and collaborate in any way possible.
Guesting and Contributing to find clients:
Reaching other people’s audiences is a very time-efficient and resource-efficient way to get new leads. Other people are building their audiences too, you can leverage this by appearing on other people’s podcasts, writing guest posts on their websites, or simply organizing live videos with people who are at your level.
Never forget to network sideways – network with people who are working with the same mentor, and who are at the same stage in business. These people need exposure too so lending them your audience in order to ‘borrow’ theirs is always a fair exchange.
Becoming a contributor for an online magazine or blog is also a great way of leveraging your visibility. Publishing blogs on other people’s sites such as The Huffington Post, MindBodyGreen and similar will give you long-term visibility. It will also give you valuable backlinks to your website that will help your own website rank better in search engines.
Search Engine optimization – let coaching clients come to you:
Search engine optimization a.k.a SEO is the art of finetuning your website, and your written and video content to be found in Google.
It’s by far the most lucrative marketing strategy out there because it has a cumulative return on investment. You can write an article today that ranks on the first page on Google and then another next week. If you learn SEO well, you can rank and keep your article ranking high on Google. This generates a lot of leads and because you can keep ranking more and more articles, the return on investment stacks and is retained in the long term.
No other form of marketing offers this.
Facebook ads stop yielding leads when you stop spending.
Social media posts die after a day or two and disappear into the abyss.
But articles (and other content) that ranks your website on Google will keep bringing you leads in the long term.
Read or listen to this, to learn how SEO for Coaches works
Paid Social Ads – a cold or warm audience?
When it comes to social media, ads are the one thing that will give you the most visibility. It’s not a coincidence, social media platforms are businesses and their business model makes a living from these ads.
This is why social ads will always be the most effective and fastest way of getting visibility on social. Many people avoid them because they think they are expensive however when used wisely and in conjunction with other strategies you can make a big saving and still leverage this marketing tool.
If you already have SEO traffic to your website, you can retarget people who have visited your website with Facebook ads for a fraction of the price for cold traffic.
If you have an email list of clients, you can leverage this by uploading to Facebook and creating a lookalike audience or targeting your email list directly.
Once you have an article that you know converts visitors into clients (because they will tell you how they found you and what they were reading) you can simply reach more people by boosting that article on social media.
Google Ads helps coaches scale up with more discovery calls:
Google Ads are another great way to reach people. When you start creating content, SEO-ing it, and ranking it on Google you will begin to get discovery calls booked through your website and can easily take your coaching business to 100K a year using this marketing strategy alone.
But there will come a time when you need to scale to 500K and higher and this may not be possible in every coaching sector. Some will require Google Ads to scale. Google ads will help you reach more people more quickly. However, it’s not for everyone.
Some start off with Google ads while they build their organic traffic. This can work too if you really know your ideal clients well. For people who want fast results targeting ‘low-hanging fruit’ keywords can be a good way to start. However, you need to price accordingly. On average you will pay $300 per client, so make sure you’re selling your highest-priced packages.
Organic Social Media – can it still attract coaching clients?:
I’ve left organic social media for last because it’s my least favorite. It requires a lot of elbow grease, you will be spending a LOT of time creating videos and writing long posts to get some visibility and if you’re lucky some engagement too.
However, this is very effort intensive. It is also not scalable. A lot of my clients are burnt out from social media or see little to no results when they start working with me. The most common complaint I hear is that at around 10 to 15 hours a week are producing only 2 clients a month.
And this is ok for someone starting out, but after a few months, you want to be able to get more clients. And when going to 4 clients a month means doing 30 hours a week on social it becomes impossible. Because as you grow more hours on social media you also need more hours to do your discovery calls and more time to onboard new clients.
This quickly leads to burnout.
The ideal way to start is to create core content in the form of an article on your website and then repurpose that on social media, adding some posts for brand building and some to get people to take action. This will bring you your 2 clients a week whilst you build your Search engine traffic.
It can take a few months, but if done with focus, even a little traffic will convert quickly.
You just need to make sure that:
- you’re writing about the right topics.
- you learn how to use blogs to persuade your audience to book.
These 2 things will change your business and open up the floodgates when it comes to client bookings.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can plan your marketing in a way that gets you clients fast and also long-term results, book a free consult here at stephaniefiteni.com/call
About the Author: Stephanie Fiteni
Hi, I’m Stephanie, a Content Marketing Coach and Business Mentor for Coaches. I’m the creator of the Profitable Content Marketing Method™ and help coaches generate more leads and clients through their blogs and websites whilst helping them build a business that makes good money with ease. My clients get fully booked with just 2 hours of enjoyable marketing per week!
I have over 15 years of experience creating websites, building businesses, writing blogs, and creating social media campaigns, and funnels. As well as ranking articles, videos, and podcasts on the first page of Google. I also managed the content and web dev team in my own agency for over 10 years.
I can teach you how to create content that will convert your visitors into discovery call bookings, every time. Let’s Talk