Life Coaching 101: How Do I Get My First Coaching Client?
Working with your first coaching client is a defining moment for any new coaching business.
But you might have noticed by now that a fancy website, social media followers, and cool graphics might roll the red carpet out for your clients, but that’s about it:
It’s nice to have and makes people feel special, but it isn’t going to fill the seat.
Which is why you’ll hear this saying a lot: The first client is the hardest to find.
But what if it were easy?
It can be, and I’m about to show you how through a process detailed in the Thriving Coaching Business Checklist.
I’m laying out the 6 steps to land your first client so you can get over the initial speed bump and find clients you’ll love! And to fuel you up, I’ll share some success stories from our coaches on how they landed their first “yes” to the career of their dreams!
The same is possible for you, so let’s get up to speed.
How to “Get” Your First Coaching Client When You’re Starting Out
Most beginner coaches experience a cocktail of impostor syndrome, doubt, and fear. These are all natural responses whenever you set off to do something new or different.
Usually, there are two routes people take at this point:
Or, they try to do everything all at once.
While this sounds productive, it doesn’t set you up for success or time freedom in the long-term.
With that said, winning the early game is all about preparation and mindset. Before we go into the 7 steps of successful prep, let’s get in the right headspace.
Trade a “Get” Mentality for Brave Thinking
“Getting clients” sounds like a quantity game when it’s really about quality.
In other words, having a “get” mentality comes from a lack mindset.
“You don’t have this, so you need to get that.”
This is what we call “common hour thinking.” It’s the default language we go to when we’re feeling scared, insecure, or doubtful. It focuses on what we lack and what we “need” to have.
Translate your desires through brave thinking and language.
It can be as simple as adding the word “to”. As in, I “get to“…
I get to work with my ideal clients…
I get to help people create their dream life…
I get to enjoy time and money freedom as a life coach…
This isn’t to say that you should ignore your circumstances, situations, or conditions. We’re not pretending negative emotions don’t exist.
But rather, we’re acknowledging, releasing, and then replacing the negative.
That’s the energetic level and mindset that will set you up for success.
Now that you’ve put on an empowering mindset, let’s go through each of the 7 steps to land your first coaching client!
1. Identify Your Ideal Client Avatar
As tempting as it may be to say yes to the first person that comes through your door, I encourage you to be more selective.
By sticking to your ideal client avatar, you’ll save precious time and energy in your coaching sessions. You’ll also give your potential clients an opportunity to find a better fit.
If you don’t have an avatar ready, you don’t need anything fancy. Start by asking yourself the following questions:
- What are some key characteristics of your ideal client like age, gender, income, location, and education (demographics)?
- What are their aspirations, personal values, problems, lifestyles, and goals (psychographics)?
- Who are their major influences?
- What do their social circles look like?
- What would they love most in their life?
In other words, be as specific as possible. The focus is to think about the exact type of person you’d most enjoy working with.
2. Get Clear on Your Promise
Craving a confidence boost?
Write down your offer and get it down to as few words as possible.
For example, let’s say you write down: I help mothers create a life they love.
This is a good start for your target demographic, but I encourage you to add even more detail.
Where do they live?
Are they full-time mothers or stay-at-home? What if they’re entrepreneurs – would you be able to help them too?
Then, move on to psychographics.
What problems are these mothers facing on a daily basis? What are their values and beliefs? Are they just burn-out or do they have other, bigger worries?
From there, your promise might look like:
I help single, burnt-out, working mothers create a life they love.
This draws a clearer picture of your target customer’s pain points. The question at this point becomes: what is the ideal outcome for your client?
Move on to the “so what?”:
I help burnt-out, single, working mothers create a life they love so they can achieve time and financial freedom.
By getting specific about the problem you solve and the results you help your clients create, you’ll show up with more clarity and confidence.
3. Craft a Heart-Centered, Persuasive Offer
The step we’re focusing on is the first and most crucial thing you can do in crafting a heart-centered, persuasive offer:
Explore and speak about what’s most important to your client.
There’s a tendency for life coaches and entrepreneurs in general to over self-promote. This results in repelling potential clients who are a good match for them, and that they can help.
Instead, craft your offer with the following questions in mind:
- What challenges are they facing right now?
- What would they truly love to be – do – have – and give in life?
- What’s the gap between where they are and where they would love to be?
From there, talk about the “how”.
Listing the components of how your business can help people will add to the value of your offer.
On top of the “how”, remember to discuss the benefits and outcomes of having all these elements in your offer.
By placing yourself in your client’s shoes and sharing the direct benefits and outcomes of each component, you will be able to create a compelling offer that perfectly fits your target client!
4. Have a Coaching Curriculum that Creates Proven, Reliable, Repeatable Results
Now that you can communicate what you do and who it’s for, let’s talk more about your confidence in serving your life coaching clients.
Some life coaches decide to figure things out as they go along, and end up absorbing problems instead of guiding their clients through them.
Listening is a key component of the process, but it takes more to produce results.
You’ll need a guide to transformation: a proven curriculum!
A curriculum is separate from the coaching methodology. It’s the material you use.
For example, let’s say you’re leading clients through the DreamBuilder Program, which is 12 weeks long. There would be 12 weeks’ worth of curriculum they would go through on top of the weekly coaching sessions.
Our Life Mastery Consultants have a more extensive curriculum of programs to serve their clients. These programs are the pinnacle of 50 years of our founder’s study of transformational and spiritual principles that create reliable change.
The curriculum educates them based on universal principles.
Whereas in coaching sessions, there’s no teaching. But without the information, each session would be more or less like talk therapy.
A successful coaching session is about knowing how to evoke the answers that are already within your clients that empowers the transformation. This coaching technique is called the “evocative coaching model.”
As a transformational life coach, you support your clients beyond their current circumstances, situations, or conditions. You’re not putting a band-aid on their problems; you’re doing spiritual surgery.
With a proven, repeatable system, you’ll be able to help your life coaching clients:
- Release limiting beliefs.
- Discover their purpose.
- Fulfill their dreams.
- Experience major breakthroughs in all areas of life!
Now imagine having this system ready for your first coaching client.
Think of the ease you’ll have with a step-by-step guide to proven transformation and your confidence in making an impact!
With a reliable system in place, you’ll end up with a successful first client, gain social proof, and open the door for greater impact. And with a community of experienced coaches and expert mentorship, you’ll be equipped and ready for every client!
5. Build a Platform and Leverage Other People’s Platforms
If you’re at a point where you have your customer avatar nailed, signature story and offer crafted, and your system ready to go – it’s time for marketing!
Nowadays, there are an infinite number of ways to market your coaching services. Here are just a few platforms to consider:
Social Media Platforms:
Building a social media presence can help spread the message as well as create opportunities to engage with your target audience. In addition to building awareness, those relationships are more likely to lead to conversions!
Start your own blog and create valuable content that your avatar will love. It doesn’t have to be a blog about coaching, but it helps to focus on a topic relevant to your target customer.
Look for podcasts that serve your ideal avatar. By showing up and creating value, you build credibility and awareness. While it may sound intimidating at first, podcasters are always looking for people to interview.
Video Marketing (YouTube, TikTok, Reels, Instagram Reels, Live Streaming, etc.):
This is also a great way to engage with your audience and show up as your authentic self! By consistently providing value and sharing personal stories you establish a connection with the audience you would love to serve!
These platforms are meant to bring your coaching practice front and center to the audiences that matter most to you. Remember to be open to opportunity, but don’t feel like you have to do everything at once.
Consistency is key. Start off by showing up.
6. Make the Investment Process Easy
The call-to-action or “close” is the part where a lot of life coaches and other entrepreneurs shy away or cringe.
That’s why we encourage and teach principles of heart-centered enrollment.
A majority of business professionals hate sales because it feels like you’re taking advantage of someone or talking them into something they don’t really want.
But with heart-centered enrollment, the conversations flow by sharing what you’re passionate about and how you can genuinely help your prospective client.
What’s the easiest way to accomplish this?
Throw in a fast-action bonus! For instance, if your program is $10,000, you can offer them a 10% discount if they make the decision here and now – or perhaps within a 24-hour time frame.
Think about adding a VIP bonus as well! There is no limit to your ideas.
For example, you could include free tickets to a high-value workshop or a free copy of your book!
Or, if you give “general clients” a 48-hour window to reply, then you could guarantee your “VIP clients” a 24-hour response time!
At the end of the day, you’re giving a special opportunity to help someone make a decision, and to help them reach a point where they can say:
“This is my moment. This is my time. I want the life I said I wanted, I’m going to do something about it, and I’m going to have you help me. I’m ready to invest in ME!”
Ready to Land Your First Coaching Client?
What if it were easy?
I have full faith that by leaning into these 6 steps, you’ll experience the breakthrough you’ve been waiting for.
But if you’re seriously done with waiting, let’s talk about how you can get to where you want faster and easier than doing things on your own.
By doing so, you can move beyond landing your first client to being able to create more income and impact.
So, like any successful pilot, I’m giving you a pre-flight checklist before flying.
It’s called The Thriving Coaching Business Checklist and you can download it for free – my treat.
This checklist will cover:
- How to structure your coaching business for success right from takeoff.
- How to create a business that runs on autopilot (so you can work when you want, where you want).
- A step-by-step guide to building a profitable business that truly makes a difference.
In case you missed it earlier, download the checklist here.
To attracting the best clients ever,