Every coach has been there – especially when you’re just starting out: you need clients, and the quicker the better. At least, that’s how it feels. So, how do you attract people to work with you?

Whatever your motivation for being a coach, your coaching is a business. As such, it’s there (at least in part) to make money. Yet, just like everyone else in the world, you only have so many hours in the day. How do you make the most of those hours?

Social media is a great tool, especially LinkedIn. Making connections, networking, joining like-minded communities, and of course, finding clients. But like any tool, it only works when you know how to use it. In this short guide, I’ll answer the three most common questions and talk about how as a coach you can use LinkedIn to attract clients who are the perfect fit.

Is your marketing an accidental success? To put it another way… do you get results because of the marketing you do, or despite it?
A lot of marketing only ‘works’ because of the effort of the recipient. It lands in front of someone who is ready to buy and is willing to do the work to decode the marketing message. Why do we say “decode”? Because all too often, the marketing message isn’t focused on them, it’s all about the coach and what they do. The potential customer has to do some translation work – The coach does X… therefore I will potentially get Y. The marketing is only working by accident. So how can you start marketing on purpose?

As a coach, how many clients would you say you need? Or, to put it another way, how many can you work with in any depth? You certainly don’t need 10,000 clients (and couldn’t manage that many anyway) so why does so much marketing advice push to get so many followers or ‘fans’ for your online content?

Where do your coaching clients come from? A lot of coaches say that they get most of their business from word-of-mouth referrals. They tend to think of this as being the primary, or often only, form of marketing that they need. The problem with relying on word-of-mouth marketing is that essentially what you’re doing is hoping that by doing a good job, people will talk about you and more clients will come your way. It’s the business equivalent of a free lunch, lovely when you get one and you appreciate it, but you can’t really rely on it to feed you. So, realistically, how can you orchestrate more referrals – rather than waiting for that free lunch?

Why do your coaching clients work with you? Presumably because what you do resonates, supports, guides or otherwise works for them. When clients are deciding if they want to work with you they are asking themselves three questions: Who does this coach usually work with? What can they help me with? Why should I trust them? Most coaches are great at talking about the what but are less sure about the who and the why. So let’s look at how to talk about all 3.

Most coaches start with the hardest bit of marketing. If it seems that you’re always talking to people who don’t understand coaching, let alone that they would benefit from it, then you too are engaged in that ‘hardest bit’. It’s exhausting, isn’t it? A lot of work and effort with limited engagement in return… because these people are unaware of their situation or that coaching might help. It is often assumed that these people are your only potential clients, but luckily there are other people with whom your marketing will resonate much more easily.

Many coaches say they don’t need to niche; some say they already have (but secretly haven’t): and others are clear and focused already on their niche audience. If niching is about a target audience rather than a method, approach to coaching or outcome, then how can HAPPINESS be a niche??

If you’re a coach looking for new clients, your first clients or you already have clients, why is it important to identify your ideal client? In Chapter 2 of the Better Bolder Braver Marketing Journey, this is the question we answer by guiding you through finding your niche and articulating what, why and who you serve with your coaching practice.