Executive coaching is often extremely rewarding for both you and your clients. Your clients can use the skills they learn in your coaching sessions to build company morale, become more confident leaders, and accomplish their business goals.
As for you and your fellow executive coaches, you may reap many rewards as well. Not only do you get the joy of seeing the tangible differences that you make in your clients’ lives, but executive coaching can also be very lucrative.
Simply put, the business coaching industry is booming. Having said this, there are downsides. One of the most prominent is the never-ending battle to get coaching clients.
Ideally, you will always have a steady pipeline of leads. However there may come a time where you need to find a bunch of new clients in a relatively short amount of time.
That’s why we want to share seven easy ways to generate leads for your executive coaching or career coaching business. Whether you choose to leverage some or all of the strategies below, we are confident that they will help you add new clients to your coaching business.
Seven Strategies to Find New Clients for Your Executive Coaching or Career Coaching Business
1. Get referrals from your current list of clients
This is a powerful strategy for several reasons. Simply put, if you are coaching an executive or another senior manager, the odds are good that they will have colleagues or friends who also need your help.
Along with that, by recommending you to those colleagues or friends, your colleague is providing social proof. He or she is vouching for the work that you do and the positive effect that you have on your clients’ lives. Positive references cannot be overstated. It is a form of word of mouth advertising, which is one of the best marketing tools out there.
And better yet? Your clients may be happy to refer you to their network for free. Or you might want to offer a form of incentive, such as a referral fee for each new client they send you.In sum a powerful tactic to find your next client.
2. Offer a loss leader
As you likely know, a loss leader is a product or service given or sold at a loss in exchange for future business down the road.
Being a business coach or executive coach, you have many opportunities to leverage loss leaders to find new clients. The simplest offer would be a free coaching session. While you are taking one hour of your day with no income in return, you can think of this free hour of coaching as a marketing cost.
A more passive alternative is to offer a free ebook or other digital product in exchange for a prospect’s email address. Ultimately, loss leaders are an investment, yet they are an investment that can yieldlarge returns.
3. Leverage the power of video and social media
This is a long-term strategy to get consistent clients. Meaning, that it may take longer to get things going, yet it can pay off in spades.
By consistently creating video content and uploading it to your favorite social media platforms, you are building a following in the executive coaching and career coaching communities and verticals. Assuming that you are providing real value in their lives, your audience will eagerly await your content. You can then convert a portion of your audience into paying clients.
We recommend video over text content for several reasons. Most notably, video is extremely engaging and is a terrific tool for storytelling. You can simply take your phone, record a selfie video of your thoughts on any subject related to coaching, and then share it with your audience.
4. Embrace public speaking
Public speaking sends shivers down many people’s spines. Yet it can be an excellent way to grow your coaching business. It’s a terrific opportunity for you to share your story, your perspective toward coaching, and how you can help clients achieve their fullest potential.
Beyond any fears of public speaking itself, you may be deterred from this strategy because you don’t know where to speak. While you will want to do some independent research, there are plenty of organizations or event organizers that need to fill speaking slots. Don’t hesitate to reach out to them—even if you aren’t being directly compensated for your time.
5. Write guest posts on others’ blogs
This is somewhat related to the public speaking strategy and can be very effective in finding new coaching clients.
However with guest posts, instead of presenting content on someone else’s stage you present your content on someone else’s website. Taking your time to deliver a polished, comprehensive take on a particular topic allows you to position yourself as an industry thought-leader and to promote your own business at the same time.
Like referrals, guest posts also take advantage of the built-in credibility that the blog has with its audience. This social proof can go a long way in convincing blog readers to become potential clients.
6. Rely on social media advertising
While this may be more expensive than some of the other strategies on this list, social media advertising can be an effective resource to get coaching clients.
Social media ads are powerful for a number of reasons, but one of the most obvious is due to targeting. Whether you run social media ads on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or any other social media platform, you can easily get your ads in front of a relevant audience.
By targeting social media users who are receptive to your message and likely want coaching, you will find it easier to fill your pipeline of prospective clients.
7. Take advantage of webinars
Webinars are great tools to pitch your coaching business at scale. The webinar subject can be anything relevant to the topics you discuss with your coaching clients.
Good examples are problems that many of your clients face in their lives to common roadblocks that keep them from reaching their goals. Whatever it is, the point is to provide value so that the viewer is intrigued to learn more. You want to show the audience that you are credible, friendly, and can make a true difference in their lives. Doing this will help you move your client prospects down your marketing funnel.
Start Getting Clients Today
Even though it can sometimes be difficult to get coaching clients, the strategies above can make it much simpler. Yes, all of them require consistent effort. They won’t happen by themselves.
But that said, if you are looking to grow your executive coaching or career coaching business, we’re confident that you will find the above strategies useful. Best of luck!
Ulrike Seminati is a certified coach, author and inspiring keynote speaker based in Zurich, Switzerland. She is a former C-level Executive with over 20 years of experience as a Communications professional across different industries and countries.