Article Follow these three simple steps to get your first coaching client 1 2020 Life coaching How to get coaching clients life coaching Lifecoachhub Pty Ltd LifeCoachHub

How To Get Your First Coaching Clients: 3 Step Plan for 2022


Letting Your Ideal Client Get to Know You

Starting out as a coach is not easy – just like starting out with any other type of business. You need to be able to understand the basic principles of coaching while also learning new things about the practice. Here are three steps to get your first coaching client.

#1 Getting started right 

The moment you’ve realized you're meant to be a life coach, there’s no going back. Now, you should take the necessary steps to prepare yourself physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Instead of getting busy setting up or changing things on the outside, put more focus on changing yourself from the inside.  

As Anthony Robbins, an American motivational speaker and a remarkable life coach, said, “Any time you sincerely want to make a change, the first thing you must do is to raise your standards.” Before you invite others, like your prospects, to improve themselves, you must strive to change yourself first and be the person you want. 

You also have to get started growing your coaching business properly. Initially, you need to identify your area of specialty and research your audience to know who your ideal client will be. Taking these first few steps is vital for you to be a good coach and find your first coaching client.

Once you’ve carefully chosen your area of expertise, choose a particular niche you’ll focus on instead of being a general coach. A popular mistake we commit is that often we want our offer to appeal to many, making our messaging very broad. In the end, this only harms us because we didn’t get our message across, and in turn, we appeal to nobody. 

Instead, when you focus on a niche or that one segment to which you will give your services, you’ll get to know your target audience deeper - their needs, wants, and aspirations. This will allow you to help them more in solving their problems. Not only will you become an expert in that niche, but doing so will support you in building your reputation as a coach. 

Here are some things to consider when choosing your specialty:

  • Make an inventory of your interests and strengths: Make a list of the areas or topics you are good at and are genuinely interested in. Building a career in coaching will take a lot of time, so you need to make sure that you don’t get bored with what you are doing and stay fueled up along the way. Bonus points if you already have some knowledge or experience of the topics you like that are included on your list.
  • Draft a list of some of the popular topics people are interested in: Now, make a list of the topics that are currently popular among audiences. Note that you are doing it before any extensive research so you will be a bit biased. But don’t worry about it just yet because you will be able to find an audience even in unpopular niches.
  • Choose those topics that intersect: Then, choose the topics which are present on both of your lists. If there are several niche topics on your interest list that correspond to a general topic on your popular list, then you can count that as an intersection and consider those topics.
  • Pick your one niche: Lastly, pick only one topic where you will specialize. Tip: If you find it hard to choose, select the Top 3 areas you believe you can pull off if you start your coaching business tomorrow. Then trim down your list as we move on to the next step. 

Once you have chosen your niche, you will need to do extensive research and decide who your target audience is, because this is closely related to understanding your niche. While researching, try to paint a picture of your ideal client as a kind of muse to help orient you. Here are some tips on how you can do it:

  • Conduct Extensive Research: The keyword in this phrase is “extensive” or in-depth research. If you only touch upon the general topics of the industry, you won’t see the whole picture, your expectations might be skewed, and your data will be biased.
  • Don’t Be Afraid to Reject Part of the Audience: Don’t be afraid of rejecting a certain portion of the audience by specializing only in one particular niche. It’s not about how many potential customers you have. But rather it is about how many clients you actually get for yourself.
  • Build Your Reputation: You will need to build your reputation from scratch and prove your credibility over time, which is probably much easier in a smaller niche since it may not yet be served by many other coaches like yourself. Have patience and try not to get discouraged as reputation and credibility take a while to build. These are formed as you continue your journey as a trusted and reliable coach. 
  • Specialize in One Area: Once again, you need to specialize in only one area. Now is the time to select that one niche from a range of topics you earlier identified. Also, if you chose a broad topic such as “business coaching,” try to narrow it down and cater to a specific audience such as the “human resources team for SMEs” or “online business startups”. 

Choosing a segment of your target population earlier on will not only bring more clarity to your purpose and mission as a coach, but it will also attract way more prospects than you can ever imagine. Being a specialist in your niche serves a purpose - to build a deeper experience and gain that authority while clearly delivering your message to your prospects. 

Our next steps will require you to focus only on the niche you chose, so there is no going back.


#2 Creating your elevator speech

Picture yourself in a conference among hundreds of coaches and prospects. When someone comes to you and asks you what you do, how will you respond? 

You might think that creating your elevator speech might sound easy, but it is actually not as simple as it seems, especially if it is your first time doing this. Your elevator speech (also known as “elevator pitch”) will have to be only 30-60 seconds long. During this time, you have to describe what you do, what makes you remarkable, and why your prospects should hire you. Here are some tips on how to craft your elevator speech:

  • KISS–Keep it short and simple: Make your speech as short and as simple as possible. It should be a maximum of 60 seconds long! You might say it’s hard to put everything you say in just a few sentences, but you really won’t have much time to introduce yourself properly before people lose interest. Your success as a coach depends on your ability to “sell” yourself fast.
  • Show your passion: Showing that you enjoy what you are doing and you know what you are talking about sends a sign to your audience that you are credible and sincere in your purpose to support them in achieving their goals. 
  • Share your skills: To “sell” yourself and get your first client, you have to be persuasive, and it pays to build your skills and credentials to make you look credible and trustworthy. Try to sound confident but not boastful while sharing your skills and strengths so as not to intimidate or turn off your prospects. 
  • Don’t use industry jargon: The majority of the people you will meet probably will not understand what you are talking about if you keep using industry jargon and terminology. Yes, this can show that you are smart, but it won’t help you to communicate your main point and get people hooked. Remember to keep your elevator speech simple and easy to understand for you to make a connection and engage your prospective clients. 
  • Put it through several edits: Write down your elevator speech and make necessary edits for grammar, content, and overall impact. Do a self-check and put yourself in the shoes of your prospects. Is your elevator speech enough for them to sign you up? Keep developing and improving it until you yourself are persuaded by the pitch you prepared. You can read it to your colleagues, friends, or relatives to get some feedback on what they think should be changed. Tip: Time yourself to ensure that your speech hits its targeted length.
  • Memorize and practice it: This is an obvious one, but knowing your elevator speech “so-so” will not get you anywhere. You need to memorize it by heart and practice it in the mirror to hear how it sounds, and see how you want to look when presenting it to someone else. Only through practice will you feel comfortable and confident in giving your comprehensive elevator speech.

A study by Denning & Dew (2012) explains the real benefit of elevator pitches in communicating with potential customers. Contrary to the popular view that a pitch must directly receive acceptance from your prospect, the study reveals that an elevator pitch mainly aims to spark small talk and drive an engaging conversation. So don’t worry if you don’t make a sale right on the spot–you are aiming just to spark that small talk and get your potential client aware of what you do.

#3 Develop your network

Now that you’ve successfully created your elevator pitch, get ready to network. 

Starting something new is never easy. But as the saying goes, we should be grateful as we are not starting from scratch but with experience (even if that experience may be totally unrelated to coaching). Thus, don’t be intimidated to go out and form connections with people. 

Keep in mind that you are the company’s face and product. This is why you have to let your ideal client get to know you better, and why they need you in their life or business. 

You should also make it easy for your clients to do business with you. Be ready to talk, engage, and answer their questions in an approachable tone. If you’re an extrovert, this step can be more fun for you than the previous stages where you “set everything up”. But if you are more of the introverted type, allow yourself to gain confidence in speaking with others, as good communication becomes handy for successful life coaches.

Letting your ideal client get to know you better can work wonders if you let your audience trust you. Here are some working tips on how you should structure your strategy to develop your network and let potential customers know you better:

  • Send helpful resources: Ask your potential customers and current clients to give you their emails or directly subscribe to your mail list through your website. Once they do, send them helpful resources like articles, e-books, and more.
  • Invite potential clients: When you know that you will be participating in an event, always invite your potential clients. Send out invites, especially to those who haven’t used your products or services yet.
  • Leverage your previous career: To enhance your network, use your previous career(s) in promoting your new profession. Tap your former colleagues, even your acquaintances with other companies, and inform them of your new field.
  • Create social media accounts: Social media marketing is one of the most effective and efficient forms of digital marketing. It can help you get closer to your target audience at no cost while letting them learn more about you in return. Once set up, share professional content, inspiring messages, or quotes that will attract your audience.
  • Meet up with your clients regularly: Meeting up or checking in with your clients regularly will show that you don’t forget about them once they’ve paid for your product or service. Express your willingness and availability to engage especially when they need help.
  • Be a public figure: Being a public figure is difficult, but you probably should have expected this if you decided to become a coach. Put yourself “out there” and let people see you.
  • Don’t be afraid to get personal: Letting people know about some areas in your personal life will show them that you are a genuine person just like them and not someone who only wants their money. Sometimes, telling someone our experiences, may they be heartbreaks or winning moments, allows that person to understand us better, creating a common ground that leads to deeper and more meaningful conversations. 

The final step also involves making it easy for your potential clients to do business with you and can be achieved in several ways. Here are some tactics you can start using:

  • Provide clear payment options: You can lose many potential customers just because they didn’t understand how to pay you or were afraid that your website wasn’t a safe place to make payments, so make sure to work on your payment options.
  • Offer a variety of products or services: Having several options to choose from is always better than having only one. Try to add some variety to your products or services. It’s also better to offer at least three different coaching packages to your prospects.
  • Let your clients easily get in touch with you: Communication is essential for good business, so always make sure that your clients can easily get in touch with you via phone, social media, email, and so on.
  • Form your own team: Lastly, you can even consider forming your own team when you have reached a certain milestone. This team will make your coaching business easier to manage.

Final Thoughts

To sum up, becoming a coach and finding your first clients might take some time, but with enough dedication and hard work, you will definitely see the results after you put in the time and effort required to get started.


1. What is the fastest way to get coaching clients?

Organic methods such as content building and SEO will get you clients, but it takes time. Paid advertising on the other hand will get you clients more quickly but can be very expensive. Lead services can be a good, fast way to get clients quickly. Also, make sure to sign up for coaching directories as a featured coach.

2. How can I grow my coaching business?

Once you have properly laid the foundation of your coaching business, the next step is to let it grow. 

Here are some tips for growing your coaching business:

  1. Go back to basics by examining your business goals and vision.
  2. Assess your ideal client’s interests and aspirations.
  3. Create offers based on your client's needs and promote them with the help of webinars.
  4. Echo your message and get the attention of your target audience.
  5. Identify efficient and effective marketing strategies that work for your company.
  6. Make sure your coaching bio is up to snuff.
  7. Pursue avenues for more education and training.
  8. Invest in coaching administration software to save you effort and help you have more time for marketing.

3. How do I structure my life coaching sessions?

You can structure your life coaching session in 6 steps: 

  1. Build rapport.
  2. Set aside your first few minutes to quickly discuss accountability.
  3. Identify the most pressing concern by listening carefully,
  4. Ask powerful questions to help reframe the challenge and solve it together.
  5. Guide your client in formulating strategies. 
  6. Set a clear timeline for your client’s action plan.

Learn more about how coaching works and what coaching sessions are like.


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  • Sarah
    February 17, 2021

    Thanks for putting this together, so helpful!

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