The First and Most Important Stage of Building Your Life Coaching Business is to Attract Your Ideal Life Coaching Clients
This means knowing who you want to serve, and who you do not want to serve.
Life coaching is one of the most rewarding career paths you can choose. You measurably enhance the life of each person you work with, and because you’re following your heart and giving from your soul, you’re enhancing your own life as well.
But what about the business side of life coaching? You may be wondering how to build a life coach business that thrives, so that you can help others and earn an abundant income doing what you love.
Successful life coaches understand that they cannot appeal to everyone. Instead, they form a clear picture of who they most prefer to work with. This helps to ensure that your clients experience better results AND that your business generates the results you are looking for.
Because it’s incredibly important to hold a clear vision in your mind of the kind of person you’d really love to work with, so that you can begin attracting these types of ideal clients to your coaching business.
Don’t fall into the trap of believing that just because someone is breathing, and they’re willing to pay to work with you, that these two things make them an ideal client.
This is NOT the case!
Keep in mind that you have just 24 hours in a day, and the work you’re doing matters! So ideally, you want to work with people you enjoy being around and can make a big impact on. This will help you to maintain positive energy in your life and forward momentum in your coaching business, which will ultimately empower you to grow and help even more people.
The 4 Traits of Your Ideal Coaching Client
At Brave Thinking Institute, we’ve found that the easiest way to identify and attract your ideal client is to look for four specific qualities or traits.
In order for me to consider working with someone in a coach-client capacity, the person must meet the four criteria below. I look at these 4 traits like a checklist: I need all 4 boxes checked before a potential client is even on my radar for working together.
1. They’re ready for transformation.
You are a life coach, not a therapist. You’re not here to sit and listen as your client tells you the painful stories of their past over and over again, like why something didn’t work out, or how much something hurt.
While it makes sense for a client to share something they feel challenged by or stuck in, for example, you don’t want to make room for your client to tell you these stories on repeat.
Make room for this, and you only support them in perpetuating the power of these stories, and it becomes impossible for them to move forward. How can they if they are still tethered to the past?
So again, listening to someone relive the painful experiences of their life over and over again is NOT what a successful life coach does.
If you have someone who wants to work with you because they are dealing with an extremely emotionally-painful issue, you may want to lovingly and kindly refer them to a counselor or therapist.
Your job as a life coach is to help your clients focus on and move toward the results they DO want to create for their life. This is why it’s important that any potential client who wants to work with you is someone who really, truly ready for growth and transformation.
2. They have a goal or a dream, or simply a deep longing for more.
Ideally, you want to work with someone who either has or wants to have a dream for their future.
What is it that they want to create for themselves and their lives? What is it that they want to bring forth?
Maybe they want to meet the love of their life, or take their existing relationship to amazing new heights of fun, adventure and intimacy.
Maybe they want to find their dream job, or start their dream business.
Or perhaps they don’t have a clearly defined dream yet… maybe they just want to find ways to inject more fun and play into their lives, and they’d like your help creating this for themselves!
You want to work with someone who has a clear dream for their future, or who is willing to create one with your help. Without this, you’ll have nothing to work toward in your coaching relationship.
3. They’re coachable
You can be the absolute best coach in the world… but if you have a client who is NOT willing to be coached, that’s going to not only be frustrating for you, it’s going to be extremely frustrating for the client, too!
If you have someone who isn’t willing to accept your guidance, it’s going to be difficult for them to make forward progress on any goals or dreams that require them to stretch outside of their current comfort zone.
So what are the characteristics of a person who is coachable?
A person who is coachable is willing to listen to feedback. They’re able to receive constructive criticism without taking it personally. And they’re open to looking at their own performance in order to improve it.
Your ideal client is a person who understands the value of mentorship and doesn’t hesitate to apply what he or she learns.
Many coaches find it valuable to assess someone before they begin coaching them. After having your first one or two conversations with a potential client, sit and contemplate the following six questions:
- Is this person curious about themselves? Does it seem like they look inward on a regular basis, out of a desire to reflect on their results and improve their life?
- Are they willing to take personal accountability for the results they currently have in their life, whether they like those results or not?
- Do they respond with enthusiasm when presented with new challenges and learning opportunities?
- Are they willing to experience discomfort or have difficult conversations to rebuild relationships that may have broken down in the past?
- Are they willing to try on different assumptions or beliefs? Or does it seem like they have a strong commitment to always being right?
- Do they seem open and receptive to feedback?
Ask yourself these questions after your first one or two conversations with the person to help you more easily see if this potential client will be coachable if the two of you decide to work together.
4. They’re willing to invest in themselves
Your ideal client is someone who is willing to invest in themselves for the result they say they want, by means of investing in a coaching program with you.
Think about it this way:
I fly frequently. When I buy a plane ticket from United Airlines, I don’t really want the plane ticket, I want the end destination. But, I know that I can’t get there without the support of United Airlines or some other airline. I don’t own a plane, and I don’t have the expertise to fly one to get me to where I want to go.
It’s the same for any client you consider working with.
They come to you not because they want a coach, but because they have an end destination in mind. They have a goal or a dream in mind, or even just a deep longing and yearning for more in their lives that they don’t know how to articulate and fulfill on yet.
Your potential clients know they need someone to help them bridge the gap between where they are now and where they truly want to be in life. They know that if they could have fulfilled their goals and dreams on their own, they would have done it by now! They know that you are the jet plane that is going to help take them there, and so they are willing to invest in working with you to achieve the results they want in their lives.
Here are some signs that a potential client is someone who will likely be willing to invest in themselves:
- They have invested in personal growth coaching, programs or events in the past.
- They invest their time into reading books to build their knowledge and expertise in the area of personal and/or professional success.
- They seek out opportunities to meet and connect with other like-minded, success-driven people.
- They express that they are eager to have the support and guidance of a coach, and want to know how quickly the two of you can get started.
When a client possesses all four of these qualities, they are your ideal client
Before you know it, your client will turn to you and say,
“You have changed my life, you have saved my life. I’ll always remember what’s happened here with you.”
There aren’t enough thank you’s to begin to compare to the feeling of satisfaction one gets when they help another create a life that they truly love living!
Here’s How to Get Your First Life Coach Client
First, I’d like you to imagine a couple of different scenarios.
Scenario 1 – “Get”
Imagine walking into a room intending to “get” something from the people already there. You’re looking around and wondering who you can “get” as a client. Notice how that feels in your body.
You’re going to notice that you’re going to feel lack– a contracted emotion. You’ll likely to come across as a little more needy and slightly more tense, because you’re coming from this place of lack.
Scenario 2 – “Give”
Now imagine walking into a room and you’re there to give. No matter with whom you speak to, whether they become your client or not, you have a way of engaging with them that lights the fire within them of a life they’d love living.
Whether your conversation with that person lasts five minutes or 30 minutes, it will be of value to that person because you know how to be a person of increase as a life coach. You will be relaxed, welcoming and curious.
The natural result of being trained to be a person of increase is that people will ask you, “Tell me more about what you do.”
You will intrigue them and they’ll want to know more about you, and that may lead to signing them on as a client. When you come from a place of “give” you will attract all kinds of things to you that you can never imagine would come your way.
I’ve heard of newly certified life coaches who have signed up clients they met on an airplane or after sharing a taxi, just because they came from a place of “give” instead of “get.”
And here’s an additional tip for how to attract your ideal clients…
Be the type of client you want to attract.
Be a growth-seeking, forward-thinking individual who is vision-driven, coachable and willing to invest in themselves.
Be the type of client that you want to attract, and you’ll be surprised just how quickly your ideal clients will begin to show up around you, and how easily you’ll be able to recognize them and enroll them in a program with you!
Growing Your Client Base
As a life coach, attracting new clients is always going to be a part of your business.
Every successful entrepreneur will tell you that the most effective way to grow your business is to offer additional products and services to your existing clients.
These are the people you’ve already established a relationship with, and that already know, like and trust you.
Once your clients complete the transformational curriculum you guide them through, and they see and experience the results for themselves, they’re going to be eager to continue working with you so that they can continue enhancing the quality of their lives.
As your client’s lives start to expand and improve, they will begin saying to you,
“This has been amazing, I want to keep going! What’s next?”
They’re going to want to continue the forward momentum that they’re experiencing…
So ideally, you want to find a coaching certification program that gives you access to additional programs that you can offer your clients when they ask what’s next.
This is called “extending the client path” — it’s extending the coaching experience, which also increases your business revenue and, more importantly, your clients’ results!
Most life coaches are never shown how to master extending the client path
The most successful life coaching businesses are not coaching businesses where clients buy one coaching hour at a time, or three months of coaching, and then another three months of coaching after that…
Clients love it when they feel like they’re really progressing through a learning experience, while their life is expanding and growing in harmony with a vision they have for their life.
I’ve invested the last 40+ years teaching transformational principles to individual clients, to small groups and in front of thousands of people, live from stage…
And for decades, people kept approaching me saying,
“Mary, I have the same calling that you do. I want to make a profound and lasting difference in the lives of others. How can I do what you do?”
I would always say,
“Well, you know what Gandhi says: ‘Become the change you want to see in the world.’ Create a life that you truly love living, and you’ll inspire others to do the same.”
I hope you realize by now that if you’re reading this, you’re on the extended client path I’ve created through founding Brave Thinking Institute 😉
On my 60th birthday, something in me shifted
I absolutely loved my life and I love what I was doing, but I knew that I was not going to be able to travel and teach and speak forever…
And so I began thinking of a way to empower others to teach and coach what I’ve been privileged to learn, develop, teach and coach.
And so, in 2009, Brave Thinking Institute was born out of this longing to help more people help more people… to certify others in how to teach and coach transformational principles and the invisible side of success… so that together, in a small or large part, we could co-create a global impact and leave a lasting legacy for future generations.
Brave Thinking Institute has quickly become the premier certification program for heart-centered life coaches.
We’ve now trained and certified over 3,000 coaches from all walks of life, and from all over the world in a proven system of transformation for living a life they love living as coaches… AND in helping the clients that they’re working with design and live a life that THEY truly love living as well.
At Brave Thinking Institute, we give our certified life coaches access to a powerful series of transformational programs that they can offer their clients
Our coaches have the ability to extend the client path for up to a year or more, to continue helping their clients generate extraordinary results over a longer period of time. This is one of the reasons why many of our coaches are exceeding six-figure incomes per year.
Here’s something else that’s important for you to know – there has never been a better time to be a life coach. In fact, Forbes magazine called life coaching “one of the fastest growing six-figure careers” in the United States, and this growth is happening all over the world!
As you probably already realize, we are living in a time of expanded awareness:
- living in the moment…
- being a more awake and aware person…
- expanding one’s possibilities…
…most people didn’t really discuss these concepts 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago!
25 years ago, if you told someone you were a coach, they would say, “What sport?”
But now, as the awareness of humanity continues to grow, these topics are becoming a part of the normal conversation of everyday life.
More and more people are realizing that there is a hidden pattern to success, and they want help understanding this pattern and applying it to their lives in a way that will help them produce extraordinary results quickly and easily.
Getting Certified as a Life Coach and Saying Yes To Your Dream
So. Knowing what you know now about:
- What it takes to identify your ideal life coaching client
- How to give your best gifts and talents to the world and begin attracting your first clients, and…
- How to continue to serve them by extending the client path and creating repeat business for yourself
We acknowledge that there are many great coaching certification programs available in the world today, so when you shop for your certification program, you want to look for some important things:
- Trainers with a proven track record.
Trainers in the program all have a six figure coaching business of their own. They have the hands-on experience as coaches, they haven’t been just trained to train.
- A program that’s a good fit with your values.
If you’re a heart-based person, meaning, you believe that we all have untapped, unlimited potential inside each of us, and that we have the power greater than our circumstances, then you want to look for a coaching certification program that matches those values.
- A certification program that offers training in the economic engine behind coaching.
You can be a great coach, but without the skills and knowledge to market yourself and actually run a successful BUSINESS, you won’t be able to help anyone. With an effective economic engine behind your coaching business, you can help lots of people create a life they love.
- A certification program where the trainers actually care about your results.
You shouldn’t have to do it alone. You want a program that offers support and encouragement as well as hands-on training.
Brave Thinking Institute offers all four aspects as a part of our life coaching training. It would be our absolute pleasure to walk with you and support you on this journey.
For more information on how you can become a successful life coach, we’ve put together several valuable resources that we hope will guide you to a life-giving decision regarding life coaching.