Whether you are a coach professionally or personally, it is an admirable profession. Coaches help people overcome their challenges and achieve their goals. It sounds like a dream job with amazing satisfaction. But, sometimes coaches struggle to get clients.
Yet, there is a frustration that bugs many coaches…
Feeling the frustration of spending time building relationships with people who weren’t converted into a client?
Thought about packing coaching sessions in, because clients seem to be at the end of a never-ending rainbow?
This is a problem that many coaches face.
But before you convince yourself you are a sh*t coach, it may just be you are a sh*t marketer.
If you are a sh*t coach, I really can’t help you. But if you are a great coach, you can learn how to market yourself effectively and it isn’t as complicated as many people make it out to be.
Resentment and anger can set in quickly, especially when you realise your network is full of tyre kickers.
I know some amazing coaches, but they lost everything because those elusive paying clients never materialised. The bad news is, you are the reason you are not getting clients. But, do not fear, there are clients out there for you.
You are the problem.
The good news is that in this article, I am going to highlight some of the main reasons you are struggling to find those paying customers.
Your Mindset is Wrong.
Everything starts in the mind. A famine of clients can contaminate your thinking. Your mindset and thought process about client acquisition could be the biggest barrier to getting clients. Your internal thoughts could be creating behaviours and actions that could the reason you are not managing to convert people.
You need to focus on the mindset of your customer. How are they thinking about their challenges? How do they see coaching?
When I consult coaches to help them grow their client base, I quickly look for thought processes that could be causing the problem. I dig deep with people by looking at the mind of their client. When you get a deeper understanding of how your prospective clients think about their problems, you can start to mould your service around their needs.
You Aren’t Moulding Your Offering Around the Clients’ Problems.
Every year, gyms embark on a massive marketing exercise. They work hard to help people to believe that if they join the gym, they will lose weight, get in shape and live a happier life.
The fitness industry attaches their service provision to their clients’ goals, pains and frustrations. We all know from experience, that just joining a gym won’t do it and the industry also knows that the drop off on their memberships is huge.
What is the pain or frustration your coaching can solve?
You’re not selling your skill or expertise, you are selling the end of the clients’ pain!
Of course, if you are committed to getting in shape and commit to the gym, it is more likely you will achieve your fitness goals. However, you could just as easily walk 15,000 steps each day, eat better and save the membership fees.
The fitness industry exists because people decide they have had enough and want to act. They align their services to fit the client needs, pain points and frustration.
Overall, people buy gym memberships for a reason, they don’t wake up and decide to go to the gym. What gyms have been great at doing is getting people to believe that going to the gym is the way to solve their problem.
You Are Not Talking About Pain, Outcomes and the Gap.
People don’t sign up or hand over money for wishy-washy ideas. People hand over money for clear and strong outcomes. This again builds on the mindset point. Your mindset or thought process could be deceiving you into thinking you have a strong offer, but in your clients’ minds, it is unclear and fluffy.
You can be a terrible coach, but if your marketing and offers are compelling, you will make a lot of money. I see a lot of coaches get angry and frustrated at coaches which are ‘not even half as good’, but are financially thriving.
It is all about the offer.
Here is an example:
The ultimate Confidence 30-day challenge
Which do you think would collect more interest?
Well, you may not like it, but the first one will.
This is because when someone has a significant pain point, they want to resolve it quickly and decisively. The first example is clear about the goal and the timescale. Of course, you need to be able to deliver, but like all personal development, the outcome hinges on the client also playing their part.
If you had a committed client, willing to do what it takes, could you massively improve their confidence in a 30-day coaching programme?
Any coach worth their salt could do this.
Also, the first programme would probably command a higher fee.
Does your marketing doesn’t highlight the pain, the gap and the outcome?
Here are some examples of how you can use the pain, gap, goal?
If you are struggling to get clients, how long can you sustain this business?
Do you want me to help you get 10 new clients in the next 30 days?
If you keep doing it the same way, you are going to keep getting the same results.
Goals are great, but without the gap and the pain, it won’t be as effective. The goal is a strong motivator if the client believes it is within grasp. Long term goals often need a carrot and a stick. For a client to make a significant decision, they must…
Be fed up of where they are (pain)
Believe there is a goal they can achieve (outcome)
Be aware they cannot bridge that gap alone (gap)
In your marketing, you should be highlighting and using goals to engage your clients but at the same time, it is important to make sure you give them enough reminders of the gap between the goal and their reality.
People are more likely to act or make a purchasing decision if their pain or frustration is high. Their aspiration or outcome alone can’t cut it.
Many people make decisions because they “they are sick of” something instead of having the mindset that they “want to” do something.
You Haven’t Built a Plan for Growth
In order to run a successful coaching business, you must be able to monetise it. That means building a plan and systemising it bit by bit. This plan and system must be constructed to take someone from a stranger to a referring client. Without this, you’ll bumble around and live through a roller coaster of boom and bust.
The process of acquiring one client is easy, you can dive into social media and do some stuff, hey presto you have a client. The process of acquiring 10 new clients a month needs to be systemised because if it isn’t, you’ll never be able to scale up and have any degree of work-life balance.
There are several things you need to be doing to get there, but it all starts with the plan. This then helps you build the system stepping up from having no clients to being fully booked. As part of your plan, you also need to consider what you plan to do when you reach your coaching capacity, do you have a plan for scaling beyond 1:1, what does that look like?
You can write a plan for client acquisition in about 2 or 3 hours. Building a system will only take a few hours, but the real work is diving into the mind of your ideal client.
You can spend months on new websites, weeks on designs, but in all honesty, you don’t need most of this stuff instantly. You can do all of this down the road, and at the moment, you need a simple plan and mechanism to get the clients coming in.
As you can see from this article, the real secret to getting clients is not in tools and tricks, but it is all about having a deeper understanding of your client. When you have this, you need to create this knowledge of your client into a compelling message.