How to Get Coaching Clients (high paying ones included) In 7 Easy Steps
If you want to know how to get coaching clients, you are going to love our time together today. If we haven’t met, I’m Jeannine Yoder, creator and founder of the most personal, high-touch and soulful life coach training and certification program for women, Mentor Masterclass. My free Mentor Masterclass Self-Discovery Week, seven days of soulful practices to help you become a successful life coach, is one of the most popular free online coach training programs available to new and established coaches.
You’ve landed on part three of a 4-part podcast series, Become A Life Coach: Everything you Need to Know to Start and Grow a Successful Coaching Business + Clear Action Steps to Begin Today:
Part 3: How do I get coaching clients? (the question we’ll answer here today in this blog post/episode)
Today I’m answering the question: how do I get coaching clients?
Listen and subscribe to my podcast series, Walk With Me, here:
There are three types of coaching clients: free clients, trade clients, and paid clients. While I believe there’s a unique path for you, just about every coach goes through this process of starting with free, trade, and then paid clients and it’s important for creating sustainable success as a coach. (I talk about this at the 06:56 point in the episode if you’d like to hop directly there.)
Newer coaches who try to skip these steps tend to struggle in one way or another. If you’d eventually like to get high paying coaching clients, begin with learning how to get free coaching clients.
How to Get Coaching Clients Step #1: Start With Free (trust me it’s worth it in the long run)
Getting free practice coaching clients is important because you want to establish your expertise, discover who you love (and hate!) coaching, who you’re especially great at coaching, and who you’re not. Your confidence will increase as you gain clarity about who you’re meant to serve and you’ll gain diverse experience.
The best way to get free or practice coaching clients? Let people know you’re looking to establish yourself as a coach and would like to offer them a free session in exchange for their feedback. Great life coach training programs pair you up with other coaches and training, and also teach you how to work with your family members, friends, neighbors, and acquaintances.
To make your free offer even more compelling, give your free session a title, like Confidence-Building Session, Career-Changing Session, or a Life-Purpose Session. Once you’ve given your coaching session a name, people will know whether they’re interested and you’ll get more practice coaching clients. (I chat about this at the 8:59 point in the episode.)
Your free sessions should last between 60 minutes and 90 minutes. You can even set up a package with your free clients to give them a number of free sessions with you within a certain period of time so you’ll gain experience coaching one person for a longer period of time. This will help you to get clear about who you serve best and how and leads to high paying coaching clients in the future because this is the ONLY way to establish yourself as an expert withing a niche.
Once you’ve done enough free sessions you’ll feel established and have more confidence. You’ll know more about who you like to work with and what type of coaching you most like to do.
In my signature life coach training program Mentor Masterclass, I set my clients up with partners within the coaching program so they have this experience built into their life coach training.
Now it’s time to establish your worth and gain social proof for your brand by getting trade or testimonial coaching clients…
Step #2: Move On To Trade and Testimonial Clients
With a trade or testimonial coaching client, you’re not exactly coaching them for free. There’s some kind of energy exchange established. You’re setting some clear boundaries and you’re saying, I will give you this if you gave me this.
Begin with trading things that feel valuable to you. This teaches you that you’re valuable as a coach and prepares you for the day you’ll charge for your services.
In the early days of my own coaching business, I established a trade with one of my best friends, a personal trainer: for every hourlong personal training session she gave me, I gave her a 1-hour coaching session. I did the same thing with a friend who was a massage therapist, and with my very first virtual assistant.
Trading like this is great for so many reasons, but the best part is it helps you know your worth. When you see that a personal trainer who charges $150 an hour gives you a session for your coaching session, you begin to think of your coaching session as being worth at least $150. (I chat about this in the episode at the 11:48 point.)
Sometimes you don’t have to do a literal trade-for-trade exchange. You can also trade for well-written testimonials (or even a testimonial video). One of the most important things you’re trying to do is create a higher-level demonstration of your expertise — and when you have testimonials to share, this can help establish you as an expert. When your clients can point to the results they’ve gotten from working with you, it’s very powerful in making other people want to pay to work with you.
Another method that worked well for me in the early days: if one of my free or trade clients referred a new client to me, they’d get an additional free session. I also learned that even if you’re coaching someone in a trade arrangement, it’s important to draw up a contract and set the details, terms, and boundaries. This step helps you to create strong and professional business structures. When you start charging, you will want to have practices with these structures and systems automated and in place.
When my Mentor Masterclass students are having a hard time charging for their services, I often advise them to pay their trade clients, and vice versa — even if the amount of money is the same. As an example, I pay my personal trainer $100 and then she pays me $100 for a session. Technically it’s still a trade, but you’re getting used to receiving payment for your work. This is powerful.
Then comes the big moment: I’ll never forget the first time the money from my very first paying client hit my account. It’s the best feeling in the world! (I recount this at the 14:45 point in the episode if you’d like to hear it!)
Step #3: Make the Move To Paying Clients
One of the best ways to open the door energetically to call in paying clients is to hire a coach yourself.
The biggest resistance my students have around making money is feeling like a fraud — not knowing their worthiness, or really not feeling ready. If you invest in a coach yourself though, you’ll have a personal story, a personal relationship, and a deeper belief in the value of coaching. This will then help you to show potential clients the value of investing in you as a coach.
And remember, if you want to call in paying coaching clients, you’ll have to make space for them, energetically and literally. It’s similar to having guests in your home: for everyone to feel comfortable, you have to have space on your calendar, both literally and energetically. You have to be prepared.
How Much Should You Charge Your Coaching Clients?
The next part of that is establishing how much money you’d like to make as a coach.
What are your monthly or annual goals for coaching? Once you’re clear on that, you can reverse engineer the process, deciding how many coaching clients you’ll need to meet your goal.
Next, you’ll zero in on how much you’ll charge per hour, and how many sessions each client be getting, how the offer changes if they pay in full, payment plans you’ll have available, what’s included, etc. Once again, this helps you reverse engineer your process and decide your unique pricing. You’ll need to create a package, a service, and a price point that you’re ready to talk to about at the end of each free session.
(In part one of this series, I talk in detail about how much coaches can charge per hour and make per year.)
How to Get Coaching Clients Step #4: Know Where to Find Your Paying Clients
Start with personal outreach. Make a list of everyone you want to email or talk to about your coaching services and offer them a free session with you to experience it. Then ask anyone who does a free session with you (or even those who didn’t want one) to send you a referral of someone who might be interested.
Use all your social media platforms to spread the word and to invite people into a free session with you. Finally, look for chances to collaborate with aligned joint venture partners. (I explain this at the 19:36 point in the episode.)
The exciting thing is, you’ll run into potential clients and aligned joint venture partners everywhere you go: restaurants, juice bars, yoga studios, networking events. Your approach in these situations should be very similar to tapping into your existing network: either to offer people a coaching session, or ask if they’d extend an invitation to people in their networks to experience a free session with you. I teach my Mentor Masterclass students exactly how to form these joint venture partnerships with their celebrity mentors.
Step #5: Establish Your Coaching Market
A market is a community that has both a shared problem and a shared desired result. If you’ve done free coaching, trade coaching, and some paid coaching, you’re going to start to understand who you best serve.
To establish your coaching market, ask yourself these questions:
What kind of coaching do I love?
What kind of coaching do I hate?
What kind of people do I love coaching?
What kind of people do I hate coaching?
What do I hate talking about?
What do I love talking about?
Who do I get the best results for, and how?
This process will help you see who you’re uniquely qualified to serve. You’ll begin to answer the question, Who is inside that overall market that has a shared problem and a shared desired result that I can uniquely serve?
You’ll want to learn what websites they visit, where they hang out, what magazine they read, then become a visible, consistent presence at these places.
Be sure to practice with several clients from this exact market before you commit yourself. Once you’ve settled on a market, the results you get for each client are going to build buzz and exposure. You’ll discover more and more about this niche market, establishing yourself as a greater expert who charges higher rates. People will be very willing to invest in you, because they’ll see you’re the one for them. (I discuss this more at the 23-minute mark in the episode.)
Step #6: Know How Much To Charge Per Session
We went deeply into this topic in episode one of this podcast series. In short, most personal coaches are charging between $100 and $300 an hour, and specialized coaches usually charge $500 an hour or more — and sometimes it’s even into the thousands, depending on the specialty and client success record.
Your own price range will depend on the community you serve. If your ideal client is a millionaire, they’ll likely invest more and see higher value in things.
Most coaches take on an average of 10-21 clients per month. These clients are usually enrolling in a coaching package, getting a little bit of a discount per hour for committing to two to four sessions per month. The math turns out to be, on average, $400 to $2,000 per month per coaching client, depending on what you’re charging for each hour and how many sessions you’re offering in the month.
If you went through the process of getting great training, carving out space in your life, starting with free coaching clients, moving on to trade and then practicing paid clients, you’re likely going to know how much to charge by now.
And if you’ve hired a coach and paid for coaching yourself, you’ll have no problem inviting clients who’ve just finished a free session with you to become a paid coaching client and to invest in your coaching packages.
How to Get Coaching Clients Step #7 Join the Mentor Masterclass Self-Discovery Week Training — For Free
If you’re ready to learn even more about how to find the perfect clients and niche, join my free Mentor Masterclass Self-Discovery Week. It’s seven days of soulful practices to help you become a successful life coach.
You’ll get a video and worksheet each day to help you actually step into the role of a coach. Start and grow your coaching practice right now with self-confidence, inner guidance, and feminine power.
You’ll also learn how I got paying clients my first week in business and how I filled my practice within 14 months of becoming a coach. I’ll help you discern whether life coaching is the right path for you, and share how you can get certified — and move in the direction of making money as a coach today.
Sign up for the free Mentor Masterclass Self-Discovery Week right now.
You can also join my LIVE webinar today, How to Start and Grow a Thriving Coaching Business: Discover the Self-Confidence Skills and Inner Trust to Build a Coaching Practice with Heart, Soul, and Feminine Power.
Make sure you’re caught up on this podcast series, Become A Life Coach: Everything you Need to Know to Start and Grow a Successful Coaching Business + Clear Action Steps to Begin Today:
Part 3: How do I get coaching clients? (the question answered in this blog post/episode)
For now, make sure you’re on my list to get free weekly support, action steps, and resources delivered straight to your inbox.
And comment below: What questions do you have about what to charge and how to find high paying coaching clients? Let me know, I read and respond to every comment!
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