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How to Market Yourself as a New Coach & Win Clients

11 April 2024

If you’ve decided that the time has come to take the leap and set up your own coaching business, congratulations!

Whether it’s a side hustle whilst you still work your 9-5, or whether you’ve jumped right in, it’s a big step to take.

And it’s likely to be the most fulfilling and liberating one in your career.

As a new coach, your ability to create an impact in the lives of those people you’re wanting to work with, is directly correlated to your ability to market yourself effectively.

It doesn’t matter how fabulous a coach you are, if you can’t attract clients, your business won’t survive.

So let’s talk about ways that you can get coaching clients through great marketing that feels good.

What’s your niche?

The first step in marketing yourself as a new coach is to clearly define your niche. If you understand your specific area of expertise inside and out, then you’ll be able to target your ideal clients effectively.

Be aware of what else is out there for inspiration and tune in to what other coaches are doing. You can check out successful coaching websites to see what you like and don’t like about the way that they’re presenting their offering and niching their services.

Whether you’re a life coach, business coach, health coach or any other type of coach, defining your area of expertise will help you find your unique selling point – so you can communicate your value to potential new clients.

It also makes it easier to identify the people you want to work with (and those you don’t) and enables people to refer you more easily.

Create a fast online presence

I’m a web designer, but I’m not going to tell you to build a website when you first get started.

Weird, I know.

Creating a website can take months, and it distracts you from the most critical task for you right now, which is gaining clients.

This is why I’m encouraging you to focus on working with your first clients before you do any of the fun creative stuff (which I know you’re dying to do).

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you can’t get clients before you have a logo and have built your website.

Clients have to be your top priority from the outset.

They are going to:

  • bring you much-needed cash
  • give you feedback on what is working, and what isn’t
  • clearly highlight who you can help and who you can’t, which helps validate that you’ve chosen the right niche (or haven’t).
  • provide you with testimonials (please remember to ask for them 😉 )
  • boost your confidence in your ability to coach

What you should do instead of building a website

Create a page which you can build fast – in a few hours, rather than a few months – which tells people what you do and how to get hold of you.

Because you don’t need anything more than that from the outset.

I call it your Imperfect PageTM.

Imperfect because it doesn’t need to be perfect from the outset.

It just needs to be something that looks professional, that you’re proud of, and that tells people how they can reach out and work with you.

It satisfies that urge to get something online and uplevels your mindset around having a real business.

When to build your actual website

And then when you have worked with some paying clients, have clarity around who you really want to work with and who you don’t, have had some feedback on your services, and know what coaching containers work to get your clients the best results – at that point, you should build your website.

How to build a professional website when the time is right

Your website is often the first impression potential clients will have of your coaching business. To be successful, it’s important that it’s professional, user-friendly and signposts users through a journey to find out more about working with you.

An effective coaching website is likely to have the following pages:

Home page: Your home page is the best opportunity to make a strong first impression. It should quickly provide potential clients with the information they need.

About page: This is how visitors learn about you and your services. It’s where you introduce yourself, preferably with a professional photo and create trust that you can deliver what your potential client needs.

Your About page also covers the kinds of coaching you provide and can include a couple of testimonials. If you’re new to the industry and don’t yet have testimonials, focus on your qualifications and the outcome your potential clients will achieve from working with you.

Services page: This section will detail the different coaching programmes or packages that you offer, along with the benefits and results you can expect from each programme or session. It can also include pricing information and how to sign up or contact you for more details.

Blog: This is a part of your website where you can regularly post articles, insights or any other content related to your coaching. Topics can range from tips and personal experiences to case studies and industry updates. For example, take a look at the steps I have taken for the email authentication changes in February 2024.

Sign-up page: Having a sign-up page gives visitors the opportunity to register for services or subscribe to newsletters. It collects details such as names and an email address so you can keep in touch with them via email.

The power of social media

Using social media platforms is an obvious way to market your business. A good tip is to find out where your target audience is most active and focus on that particular platform, whether it’s LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

You’ll find coaches who are successful on all of those platforms, but it doesn’t mean that you have to be on all of them.

Pick one of them and play to your strengths.

For example, if you’re really visual, Instagram could work well for you. If you’re great on camera, choose YouTube or go all in on Instagram reels. If you love writing, LinkedIn may be a great place for you.

No matter which platform you choose, share valuable content that showcases your expertise, such as blog posts, videos, tips and success stories. You can also engage with your audience by responding to comments, joining discussions and participating in relevant groups or forums.

But remember that solely relying on social media for marketing can be risky, as you’re essentially building your business on rented land. And your account can be taken away at any time. Additionally, change can happen quickly – from new social media rules to different user trends, such as moving away from a particular platform. Use it to your advantage but don’t rely on it completely for your marketing.

Social media noisy, full of your competitors and people are highly distracted when they’re there – you want to bring people to your own website quickly where you can command more of their attention.

Encourage word-of-mouth

Enthusiastic word-of-mouth from satisfied clients is a golden ticket to attracting fresh business. Even as a fledgling coach, from day one, ask happy customers to provide positive testimonials and reviews for you. These personal stories will make your services more real and trustworthy to potential clients, helping your client base grow.

Create valuable content

Creating and sharing useful content like blog posts, videos or webinars helps showcase your expertise and attract people who might need your coaching. Think about where your prospective client is at, and make sure your content meeets them where they’re at, and enables them to see how you could help them solve their problems.

This will help you become seen as a trusted expert in your area. Over time, this trust can lead to more people reaching out for more information about your coaching services, helping your business grow.

Engage with email

Email marketing is a great way to keep in contact with both new and existing clients.

This all starts with people signing up for your email list, and usually is a transaction of kinds in exchange for a lead magnet or first impression incentive. Often that is an eBook, a checklist, a meditation or a masterclass. Once they’re signed up, you can send them regular emails filled with useful information, tips related to your coaching and news about your services.

Think of your subscribers as real people (because they are). And build a stronger connection with them, through regular drops of value and stories in their inbox. When people are reminded of how you can help, it ultimately leads to more clients for your business.

Network and collaborate

Networking is a valuable tool for new coaches and expands your reach, and helps you get a handle on what people are looking for. Possible opportunities include attending industry events, joining coaching associations and reaching out to other professionals in your field.

Collaborating with other business owners who already communicate with the kind of people that you would like to work with, but offer different services, is a fabulous way to grow your network. Consider co-hosting events, workshops or webinars to support each other’s audiences.

Offer free or discounted sessions

Offering free or discounted coaching sessions can be a valuable way to enable people to experience your coaching style firsthand, and to build your confidence. This could be an introductory session or a short coaching program.

Ensure that these sessions provide real value and help potential clients achieve tangible results, increasing the likelihood of them continuing as paying clients.

And have clear boundaries around the first session being free/discounted, and ongoing sessions being at your usual rate.

Be authentic and consistent

Finally, being real and consistent is extremely important when marketing yourself as a new coach. Stick to your beliefs and coaching style and always share the same message everywhere.

Building a personal brand that resonates with your target audience takes time, but staying true to yourself and being authentic and consistent will help you gain their trust and respect over time in the long run.

Ready to create your website with my help?

If you’re ready to put your business online, I can help. Drop me a line at hello@thewebsitementor.com and we can figure out the best way forward for you.

Vicky Etherington

Vicky Etherington has been running her own online marketing agency since 2003, and in 2015 transitioned to working with coaches and therapists to teach them how to create their own client-attracting websites. 

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