Coaches!! You all sat in coaching school with your phone calculator out, doing some quick math to see how much this new career could bring you, right?
Then once you graduated, you started to realize that ummmm…. this isn’t as easy as you thought.
So you get to work!
You figure you need a logo and business card and a website ASAP. Once you’ve invested time and hard-earned money into these items, the clients will come flooding in…right?
I’ve seen this happen so many times, and it’s seriously a bummer. Putting so much time and creative energy and not to mention MONEY into these things, and then still sitting around twiddling your thumbs wondering where the clients are.
Not only do these well-meaning efforts NOT get you business, but they can also set you back even further. Don’t believe me?
- Did you pay someone to design that website?
- Did you spend HOURS carefully putting together your business cards?
Whether you spent time or money—or both— you used resources on items that clearly didn’t deliver results.
That means starting back at square one…or does it?? At this point, you have ho fucking idea what the right move is.
If you’ve been an Uncaged Life lurker for a minute, you probably know I do things differently. If you’re new here—Hi! Nice to meet you!—get ready for some tough love.
Your average person has no idea WHAT a “life coach” is or WHY they might need one. Until YOU can clearly articulate what it is you do, how you do it, and the results you provide…let’s just say you’ll be hearing nothing but crickets.
So, let’s nail down your foundations and get you some clients!
How Coaching Foundations Help You Get Clients
Picture this—you’re in an elevator, waiting in line at the store, or some other venue where general chit-chat isn’t cringy. You’re having a light conversation with someone and they eventually ask, “So, what do you do?”
This is it! This is your moment to shine and tell people what you do. You’ve been eagerly waiting to pitch your services to SOMEONE, so you say, “I’m a life coach! I help motivate my clients to feel their best and live their dreams.”
Nine times out of ten, an explanation like that will be met with a blank stare, or possibly “That sounds so interesting, nice work” (the real-life equivalent of “liking” a post on Instagram and then continuing to scroll).
The truth? Life coaching is a really, really tough sell. Your average person probably thinks “life coaching” sounds interesting, but they don’t immediately see its value.
However, what if your elevator pitch from earlier sounded like this, “I’m a Career Coach. I help people seeking new career paths figure out what they want to be when they grow up so they can find a career they are excited to wake up for”
Now THAT is clear. That tells someone WHAT you do, WHO you help, and what RESULTS you provide.
When you clearly articulate your foundations, listeners understand whether your services might apply to them. Plus, even if they’re not a good fit, they might know someone who IS.
(Want more help with your describing your job title? Check out this post!)
Here are three foundations you’ll want to nail down if you want ANY clients as a life coach.
- Niche Down HARD
When you’re first starting out, it’s so tempting to just offer “general” coaching services. You figure that makes your services applicable to a wide variety of people, so you’ll get LOTS of clients.
Sadly, that’s just not how it works. When you try to cater to EVERYONE, you end up selling to NO ONE (because when you stay broad, it means you have to zoom out and water down your message, so that its works for everyone, which means no one really trusts that you can help them with their specific problems). Basically, not niching down had the opposite effect that you think it’s going to have.
Plus, niches are important for SO many reasons…
- Niches help you directly communicate with people in a language they actually understand, which makes them see you as the expert
- Niches help you build an audience because you can center your content around a specific focus, which is what build email lists FAST
- You’re more likely to get partnerships or speaking engagements because you have clear expertise and topic to focus on.
- It’s easier to price your coaching packages correctly, i.e. you can charge more because you are specialized
Plus, a niche doesn’t have to lock you into a certain industry (promise!). The way I teach niching gives you wiggle room so you can continue growing as needed and never get bored or stuck.
No, you don’t have to come up with arbitrary details like that client avatar exercise asks you to do (no one cares what kind of shoes your client wears).
However, you DO need to be specific when it comes to what problem your coaching solves– and it has to be a problem that your clients KNOW they have — d’oh!
Quick check — do your clients KNOW they have the problem you are selling them a solution to?).
It doesn’t have to be complicated or convoluted — simple and clear is the best way to niche!
(Niching is a HUGE part of my Uncage Your Business program, by the way 😉
2. Get Rid of Vague, Unclear, and Fuzzy Messaging
Remember that embarrassing “pitch” example from a second ago? The one with the really unclear message about being a life coach?
Yeah—cut that shit out. NOW.
People who decide to work with a life coach ultimately make that decision because…
- They have a problem in a specific area (finance, romance, diet, etc.)
- Their coach has a specific method to address these problems.
- Their coach will help them achieve a specific result.
Okay, now let’s reverse engineer those items so we can see how YOU can be the coach they decide to work with.
They have a specific problem → Clearly state your niche and who you help
Their coach has a specific method → Clearly state HOW you help
Their coach will help them achieve a specific result → CLEARLY state your results
You might have noticed a theme there—CLARITY.
If your messaging is unclear in any way, how the fuck is someone supposed to know whether you can help them!
That means you need to NAIL down that niche and make sure you’re clearly speaking to your target audience.
If your voice still shakes after that, then PRACTICE. Get in the mirror and practice your messaging until it’s smooth. If you did all that work nailing down your messaging, you should be PROUD of it!
If I have one sole focus in my program Uncage Your Business, it’s to help you get UBER specific about what you do (and feel great about it!). This is the biggest shift you can make that will bring you clients almost instantly.
3. Rethink Your Marketing Tactics
You might find yourself thinking, “Ok, I get it. I’ll niche down, clarify my messaging, and THEN make my logo, website, and business cards.”
Seriously, pump the breaks.
There’s a faster and less expensive way to start getting clients. It just involves rethinking traditional marketing tactics. You know, things like…
- Email lists
- Endless social media promotion
- Sales pages
Don’t get me wrong—those things ARE important.
When you’re first starting out though, it can take a long time to gain traction using those techniques. That’s why I’m a HUGE fan of leveraging your personal networks first!
Something as simple as talking to your close circle could yield serious results! Maybe one of your friends HAS been looking for a service like yours, but they just haven’t made the leap yet. Maybe they could refer someone to you!
Not only will you save time and money, but you’ll also be able to grow your network and start list-building for future marketing efforts.
Pro Tip: Does your niche have a vibrant community? Use that to your advantage! If it’s applicable, use their lingo in your messaging. Hang out WHERE they hang out (virtually or in person). Find meaningful ways to engage with that community. Not only will you find more clients that way, but you’ll also stay informed and have more pitch opportunities.
Uncage Your Business includes a TON of different resources for finding clients, scaling your coaching business, and making the kind of money that helps you live the life you want. It’s all about finding the right system. Wanna learn more about the program? Click here and sign up to get a discount!
I know building a business can feel overwhelming when it’s new to you, but I promise it doesn’t have to be so hard.
Our students do it ALL the time. And you can too.
PS. We run our LIVE Uncage Your Business program twice a year, and the next round starts October 18! Want to know more about we teach? Watch this free training that will show you the 4 foundations you need to have nailed in your business in order to make it work!