What would you do with your life if you had unlimited time, money, power, love, connections and other resources, and couldn’t fail?
It may sound like a cliché question that self-help gurus ask in their free weekend seminars, where you get a lot of stock-image filled leaflets and sales pitches. Actually, I heard this question years ago, in one of those seminars.
After giving it a good thought, my answer was: talk about deep things with people and help them find meaning in their lives.
Years later, this is literally what I do full time and get paid for. I’ve done different things throughout the last seven years running my online business: coaching, creating and launching online programs, video and written content, digital marketing and branding consulting, etc. But last year, my primary focus in my business was one-to-one coaching. I was fully booked with at least ten clients at the time throughout the whole year. Most of the time I worked less than 15 hours a week, travelled quite a bit, and had a lot of “me” time. Since I mostly coach other coaches, I’ve been asked, how did I do it? The aim of this article is to share just that.
Whether you’re an aspiring coach or been coaching for years, I’m not going to promise that these six tips will attract your ideal clients. All I’m saying, they got me 21 new clients in a year.
1. Before Anything Else – Be Really Good At What You Do
It is self-evident, but there are so many coaches who promise you will earn 10K in your first business month, but they just don’t deliver. Clients pay big bucks, but all they get is unfulfilled promises and broken dreams. Please, don’t be that coach.
How do you become good? Well, there are two elements. The first one is your innate gift and talent. Unfortunately, if you’re not an empath and don’t see people on a deep level, there’s nothing you can do about it. Find a better career. But if you’ve got it, the second thing is – practice, practice and once again practice. Coach for free for many hours. Don’t be fancy about it. I’ve done at least 200 hours of free coaching in my career (and I’m not even counting coaching my friends and acquaintances).
2. Know Your Ideal Customer Persona
A lot of coaches start their businesses with too many assumptions and guesswork. I made this mistake as well! I used to think that because I’m solving a problem that I had myself years ago, I intimately know my audience. Wrong!
Instead of doing any guesswork, interview your potential customers. In fact, this is how I got my first paying coaching clients. I offered free coaching in exchange for market insight, and I made sure I provided so much value during the call that they wanted to continue working with me.
3. Offer Free Sessions – Not Sales Calls
Help first. Get paid second.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been lured into a “free consultation” offer which gave absolutely zero value and was nothing but an aggressive sales pitch. I don’t mind being sold to and have absolutely nothing against sales (in fact, I love sales!). But please don’t promise one thing and deliver something completely different!
I understand that your time is precious and you have a lot to offer. Giving away free coaching sessions doesn’t mean your time is worthless. The way I see it is that it’s my mission to help people and as long as I’m fulfilling it, I will be rewarded, whether directly or indirectly. Some clients will sign up. Others won’t. Some people to whom I gave a free session came back months later, or they recommended me to their friends who became paying clients. I can’t stress this enough: if you focus on giving value, it will come back to you thousandfold.
Another objection I hear from coaches when it comes to giving free sessions is that if they offer all this value for free, no one will want to pay for the coaching later. The opposite has been true in my experience. The more value I give, the more people want to work with me. This is the abundance mindset, and if you adopt it, opportunities, clients, cash, connections and other things start flowing into your life.
Wondering how you can start booking free sessions? Announce it on your social media, email list (if you have one), reach out to your networks. Be authentic and transparent in your messaging. Need ideas on how to do it? You can book a free session with me, and we can brainstorm the best plan relevant to your situation.
4. Put Yourself On A Stage
I got most of my clients from the speaking gigs or through the referrals that came through the people that saw me speak on stage.
Networking events can be great. But can also be a massive waste of time. Have you ever turned up at the event where the content was in best case scenario – average, and mingling with people was either boring or awkward because all they wanted was to pitch their business that is irrelevant to you?
But if you’re a speaker, it’s a whole different story. The stage makes it easy for people to see you as someone they would like to learn more from. You also build trust and authority.
To become a guest speaker, network with event organisers and offer to speak for free.
An even better idea is to host your own event. It’s just a matter of choosing a topic, finding a venue, and spreading the word about it. Use resources such as Meetup or Eventbrite to help you organize and promote your event for free.
My 3 Upcoming Live Events in London
- If you’re in London, come to my workshop on the 4th September “Rewire Your Brain and Create Your New Self”. You can find all the details and get tickets here.
- I’m also giving a free talk about Finding and Living Your Purpose on the 29th August (you can find the details here).
- And one of the most exciting events I’ve ever participated in is the “Game Changers” conference on the 1st September. We’re going to talk about the female leadership. If you’re in London, you don’t want to miss this! Enter code “40” at checkout to get 40% discount on your ticket!
These are my last speaking gigs in London before I head to New York. I’m going to be travelling in the US for 3 months. If you’d like me to speak at your event or would like to collaborate, please contact me.
5. Become A Sales Pro
Almost every coach I’ve coached was afraid to sell at some point in their career. In fact, when I started my business, I also felt awkward about putting the price on my services, and even more uncomfortable when I had to reveal that amount to a potential client.
In my experience, there are two main reasons why we feel awkward selling. Firstly, our attitude towards sales in general – consciously or subconsciously we may feel it’s sleazy, wrong, etc. Second, it’s our own worthiness – we don’t feel worthy of getting what we truly desire, or we feel like the value we’re providing is not enough. It is not a conscious choice and purely logical explanation will not help overcome it – you will probably need to do some deeper work to change your worthiness, and I could potentially help with that.
My strategy is to provide as much value as possible – that always feels good. People open up, cry during the sessions, uncover the things they had no idea were holding them back, have a-ha moments and clarity on their next steps.
Don’t be afraid to sell – you’re changing people’s lives. Just do it from the heart.
6. You Must Be A Living Embodiment Of What You Preach
I remember meeting this woman at one networking event in Bali. She introduced herself as a business coach. “Oh cool, how many businesses have you built?” – I asked her. “It’s my first one.” Facepalm! Blind leading the blind!
Business coaches who have never built businesses. Overweight weight-loss coaches. Relationship coaches that are trapped in unhappy marriages. I understand, we all teach what we need to learn. But please, don’t be like “I’ve got the knowledge because I’ve read a book about it”. You don’t need to be perfect. You just need to be practising.
Once I got super committed to living my truth, I became a magnet to fully aligned clients. It may sound woo-woo, but I believe this is probably the most significant factor in my success as a coach.
If you want to be a successful coach who’s fully booked with clients and making a massive impact on people’s lives, first be really good at what you do. Practice a lot and don’t be fancy to offer free coaching.
Always focus on providing value and trying to help people, whether you think they’ll become a paying client or not (you’re gathering positive karma points at the minimum). Know your customers extremely well and tailor your message based on what problem you’re helping them solve.
Position yourself as an expert and authority by becoming a public speaker and/or running your own live events. There’s something magical about meeting people face to face; it builds incredible trust. Also, get comfortable and extraordinarily good at selling – this will help you to not only close new clients but also influence people in your life. And most importantly, believe in what you do and be a living embodiment of your message!
These tips helped me be fully booked with ten clients at the time. Try it for yourself and see what works for you.
Book A Free Session With Me
And if you want to dig deeper and take your life and business to the next level, feel free to apply for a free insight and clarity session with me.