When you’re just starting out as a coach, you want to do a happy dance every time a client – any client – signs up to work with you.
This is a common newbie mistake.
The truth is, not all clients are right for you.
Clients have the power to make your coaching practice feel like a beautiful dream and they also have the power to quickly turn everything into a living nightmare.
Clients who are not an ideal match for your skillset and coaching style can trigger all sorts of problems for you including serious confidence issues and a permanently damaged reputation.
That’s why you must make it a priority to attract the right clients even if today happens to be your first day as a professional coach.
Here are 5 proven, actionable strategies you can use to get started.
Strategy #1: Identify Your Personal Style
This might seem like a strange strategy but you can successfully attract your ideal clients when you examine who you truly are as a coach.
Start by answering the following questions:
What are some of the changes and transformations you’d love to create for your clients?
What are your strengths as a coach?
What are your weaknesses?
What’s your preferred coaching style? For instance, do you like a gentle, measured approach or do you prefer rapid-fire, impactful coaching?
Ideal clients are those who are a good match for your unique methodologies as a coach.
Your answers to these questions will help you shine a light on your personal coaching style and philosophy so you can attract your ideal clients – the people who can receive the most benefit from your coaching.
Strategy #2: Serve, Don’t Sell
One of the most powerful ways to attract ideal clients is to serve from the heart.
Here’s how that works…
When you take your focus away from selling and begin to connect with your clients on an emotional level, clarity follows.
You’ll get to know people on a deeper level and start to gain experience, insights, and knowledge on the type of clients who light you up and inspire you to do your best work.
It won’t take long before you can quickly tell the difference between potential clients who aren’t a good fit and those who fit like a glove.
Then, you can easily strategize your marketing methods, copy, and messaging in ways that will bring the right clients to you.
Strategy #3: Connect with Other Coaches
It’s good to think of other coaches as your collaborators and not your competitors because connecting with them can open the door to a treasure trove of ideal clients.
Even if they specialize in the same specific niche or area of expertise as you do, you’ll find there are subtle differences in approach, style, and methods of coaching. This means there’s a high chance your ideal clients are different from everyone else’s.
This leads to one thing – referrals.
When you know other coaches and the type of client they prefer to work with and they know you and the type of client you prefer to work with, everyone gets the chance to refer clients to one another.
You can start the ball rolling by being the first to send a referral their way. You’ll start a positive cycle of giving and receiving when you do this.
Seeing other coaches as your collaborators is a powerful strategy to attract ideal clients but many coaches miss it.
Don’t be one of them.
Strategy #4: Give Yourself Room to Experiment
If you’re ready to find your ideal client, you must be ready to work with non-ideal clients.
So, try not to get too caught up with finding clients who come up to a 100% fit… especially not at first.
If you’re just starting to build your coaching practice, look at how you can connect and coach a wide variety of people
First thing to do? Put yourself out there.
Focus on increasing your coaching experience. Allow yourself room to experiment and give yourself permission to talk to lots and lots of people.
Attend networking events, seminars or retreats. Answer questions and coach people, every chance you get.
The more you do this, the faster you’ll discover your own strengths, likes and dislikes as a coach.
In this way, you’ll quickly understand the type of clients that brings out the best in you, so you can bring out the best in them.
Strategy #5: Don’t Be Afraid to Polarize
Do you find yourself “watering down” your message?
Do you hide your opinions and ideas?
If you said yes to these questions, you need to stop.
When you share who you truly are – your values and beliefs – you won’t have to search for your ideal clients because they’ll find you.
People are drawn to those who share their opinions and views.
Yes, it’s possible to coach someone who has a very different take on life but it’s probably going to be a lot harder on both of you.
Be bold, be authentic and share what you really think.
Take care not to offend or antagonize but don’t feel you need to hide your thoughts and feelings just so you can please everyone.
You are not meant to coach just anyone. You are meant to coach those whose who will experience the greatest transformations with your unique help and guidance.
These are your ideal clients.
When you know who your ideal clients are, go ahead and make “work only with ideal clients” your personal inspiration and aspiration.
This can feel a little scary at first but your courage will pay off big time.
When you decide to coach only clients who are right for you, your work as a coach becomes easy, satisfying as well as highly profitable.
And you’ll build a rock-solid reputation and a client base of raving fans who know you can deliver the results you promise.