Marketing for coaches: 17 ways to gain more clients

From , on May 4, 2021

Marketing for coaches is critical to attract more clients. So you help them transform their lives, health, relationship, and businesses.

More and more individuals and companies are looking for ways to grow. And this is reflected in the way they spend money. The personal development industry is expected to grow from $9.9 billion in 2018 to $13.2 billion in 2022 according to Marketdata which has followed the industry since 1994. (1)

In this article, I’m going to dive deeper into ‘Digital marketing for coaches’ since the pandemic has changed consumer behavior. Now people are okay with online coaching.

Learn how anyone can gain coaching clients after the pandemic with digital marketing . Click To Tweet

Best of all, digital marketing allows you to scale lead acquisition and gain coachable clients who want change.

I’ve divided this article into 3 sections.

And these strategies work for any type of coaches:

  • Life coaches
  • Health and wellness coaches
  • Executive or business coaches

Section A: Stop this TODAY

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Stop these 3 things today

1. Stop charging hourly or monthly.

As a coach, you know that many things are happening in the background and in between two sessions. For example, you asked a question and the client goes on with his daily life, and then suddenly something clicked. And he experienced a breakthrough.

The client may think he came up with the breakthrough but I’d give the credit to the catalyst – the coach. So stop getting underpaid.

2. Stop being someone you’re not.

Being an introvert is okay, even preferable. An advantage of being an introvert is that you can experience empathy – which is critical for success.

Don’t try to be an extrovert if you’re not. And vice versa.

3. Stop enrolling uncoachable clients.

The success of Bill Campbell – who coached nearly every major Silicon Valley CEO was this simple rule.

Only coach the coachable.

If your clients have been forced to come to you by their spouses or bosses then it’s going to feel like you’re hitting your head on the brick wall. And some people might even assume that you’re the one who is going to get them the results – without them working for it.

I have a simple rule. I don’t take the uncoachable clients and smart alecs who have closed themselves to learning. It costs me in the short term. But it also means I’m able to contribute fully to my clients’ lives.

Section B: Start doing this to build an audience and gain leads

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start building an audience

You don’t have to hustle and slave on this for decades. It simply involves showing up with a strategy.

Imagine bumping into a CEO at the airport and she asks, “So what do you do for a living.” Most coaches have no idea of how they are going to explain to someone what they do for a living. And that means they miss out on potential business. So the first strategy is to create a strong foundation for your marketing to stand on.

4. Create a persuasive elevator and stadium pitch to pique interest in your business

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A persuasive elevator pitch can help you get the right attention

Imagine being in a busy elevator with the CEO. You don’t want to launch into a complex sales pitch. You want to simple persuasive statement that can pique her interest.

Follow this formula to create a persuasive elevator pitch.

i) Don’t say, “I coach, or I teach, or I can” like millions of other people.

You can add a power word to gain subconscious attention:

“I coach / help + build / create / electrify / boost / destroy…”

Click here if you need more than 500 Power Words.

ii) Next comes your who.
It could be a specific type of business or titles or interest based.

You can speak about your ideal client i.e., mid-level managers / Tech CEO / women etc.

E.g., “I electrify online businesses…”

Instead of trying to serve everyone and anyone identify a niche for your coaching business. Truth is almost every niche has grown big because of the internet and connectivity.

So, don’t think that by niching you’re reducing the potential of your business. Instead you’re supercharging the focus and speed of your business.

iii) Explain the results an ideal client can have – in an interesting way.

Be careful and avoid buzzwords – unless you want to break the rapport and make them look like stupid.

Imagine yourself as a complete newbie on your favorite coaching terminology and then explain what you do or help them achieve. The problem most coaches face is that their outcome or results are NOT quantifiable. They can’t say, “boost profit by 10X” or “lose weight by 10 kilos”.

So the best way to go about it to make it emotional.

“As an executive coach, I help CEOs go to the next level and get the most out of their time and their teams.”

That’s good enough.

And you can take it up a notch: “I help them tweak their leadership which makes their team rally around their goals and go after them like a pack of bloodhounds.”

Use metaphors to become a champion for them.

Remember you could write the best elevator pitch in the history of the world. Most people won’t hire you… AT FIRST. So there’s no point in making bold claims.

Just pique their interests and let the relationship do the heavy lifting. So liberate yourself from perfectionism.

You can put a short version of the elevator pitch on LinkedIn, or a Facebook page like mine: “I electrify business writing, so it converts browsers into buyers and makes the client a champion of the brand.”

The same goes for your stadium pitch. Imagine a stadium full of people and you have the mic. How are you going to get and keep their attention and tell them about your services?

I learned this concept from Chet Holmes. And you can use this to create your webinars or sales scripts or Lead magnets (more on this in a moment).

5. Launch your ‘expert website’ – for this little-known reason

According to ICF 2009 Client survey, a website is the second most important source of information for a client. (3)

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Source of information coaching clients prefer (ICF 2009 client survey)

The interesting thing is: You don’t need thousands of pages like Tony Robbins – a few pages are enough to get started. What’s more, you don’t need anything flashy. What you must have is a strategic message that takes your ideal client a step ahead in their journey.

How to set up my website?

Here’s a word of caution: don’t do it on your own – don’t go down another rabbit hole unless you know what you’re doing. Because it’s not about the website it’s the technology behind it that matters. Here’re a few things to remember:

  • Use the free WordPress CMS (it’ll get you more traffic from Google).
  • Use a fast server.
  • Build your website on minimal coding so it loads fast.
  • Build your funnels on your website so you’ve more control.
  • Collect names and emails on your website (so you can send them regular emails professionally)

Lastly, it’s about the brand you project. Be yourself on your site. Get in touch with me if you need to set this all up. If you like what you read, then please share this:

Discover how to project your brand and create a website for your business… Click To Tweet

6. Show your values in your blog content to attract the client who works hard for results.

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show authentically who you are

Start with 3 blog posts. Remember your website is the second most important source of information for clients. So how do you go about giving information?

If you’re just starting out then chances are you’ll have a lot of referral traffic rather than the search traffic (from Google).

You’ll need something which helps them make a decision on whether they should deepen the relationship with you or not. For that keep these things in mind:

  • Make your values clear.
  • Don’t post cookie-cutter tactics or strategies for results.
  • Identify with their emotions.

What do I mean by values? And why does it matter? Values are the qualities you value most in yourself and in other people? (HINT: coachees).

My top values are:

  • I am humble but brutally honest.
  • I am a lifelong learner.
  • I strive to understand my strengths and weaknesses.

And interesting thing is you can display your values when you post your content. For example, a business or leadership coach could post content around:

  • Should a leader develop their people? Or treat them like a slave to make the numbers?
  • Should you develop a community at your work-place or let the politics run?
  • Should you get down to the business right away or start your meetings with more meaningful small talk?

When you read those questions I’m sure you had your values clear. Notice I didn’t say anything about authenticity, integrity, or spirituality.

Title and content matter. While you can find millions of headline formulas I recommend you begin with the simple ones:

  • How to get (the desired outcome)… without (the hated stuff).
  • The truth about (call out your audience or niche)
  • The case against (their go-to but poor strategy).

When you post your content on other blogs then it’s called guest-posting.

7. Why your network should know about your coaching business

As I just told you, friends and family members are the first source of information for your clients. That’s why you need to tap into your network by sharing with them what you do and if they know someone with specific “problems” then they can arrange for an introduction.

It doesn’t need to be too complex. If you don’t want to share this with your current colleagues then skip them. Just prepare a script and shoot it toward your past colleagues, social media friends, or your well-wishers.

Any old customer database can be as good as gold.

8. Create Lead Magnets to attract fresh leads

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Lead Magnets help you get the right client

It’s basically a PDF or an audio/video you can give away to attract ideal client.

It can be content upgrades or something which helps them get something. Like for this article you can have 500 Power Words.

This is important so pay attention here.

According to an ICF global research, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC and the Association Resource Centre Inc., clients said they went for coaching (instead of therapy or counseling) because it offers an action plan. Coaching clients don’t want to explore (childhood) “issues”. So don’t prepare “healing” content unless this is the first step for them.

The bottom line is while creating Lead Magnet give them a plan of action or an action step. And offer your coaching services to support them in executing it.

Here’re a few examples,

“15-second script to get your first date”

“3 things to put on a resume that managers can’t ignore.”

“3 actions you must take before you file for divorce”

“3 words you can say before you fire your next employee.”

Remember it can be baby step for you. But it’s not for them. So keep this simple.

Additionally, human beings have an innate tendency of reciprocity. If you give someone a piece of useful information then you naturally have a relationship with them.

Plus, giving makes world a much better place to live.

9. Give your coaching business a face-lift on social media

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get on social media
  • According to research, an average person checks into Facebook 13.8 times a day. And that too for at least 30 minutes. (4)
  • 79% of users check Facebook within 15 minutes of waking up. (4)
  • YouTube is the second largest search engine (after Google). And 74% of US adults use YouTube. (5)

Evidently, you can’t ignore social media marketing. But ultimately, where should you go first, and what should you do before you go – everywhere?

10. First, create branding assets to project your business on all social media platforms

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create branding assets

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 Brand Colors. One primary.
  • A simple elevator pitch
  • A profile pic
  • Banner images
  • A flashy logo (nobody cares what your logo looks like).

WARNING: Don’t try to “cultivate an image.” It will be a fake. And it’ll fail. Forget about product branding. Your product isn’t a soft drink.

Project your unique personality, your god-gifted talents, and your crafts that you’ve mastered. There’s only one YOU. Don’t overthink this. Go according to your personality. Also, remember this while coaching clients far more successful than you.

In this article, I’m going to give you my own (ready-for-mobile) templates but get in touch with me if you want something custom.

11. Get on YouTube to gain coaching clients

Here I did a search for “get slim” and I was shown other keywords that users use.

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YouTube is the 2nd most visited site & has no competition.

Step 1: Create a YouTube channel. Or if you’ve it then click “Your Channel”.

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create your channel

Step 2: Let’s customize your channel

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click the blue ‘customize channel’

Step 3: Click on the “Branding” tab

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create your Branding

Upload your profile pic. Make sure this pic is consistent everywhere.

Plus, upload a quick “banner image.” Here’s is my YouTube banner image for FREE. Create a free Canva account – make changes (using free elements) and download it. Check that on mobile to ensure your message is visible. Oh and before I forget here’s Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, PayPal banner images too.

Canva has many other free Banner image templates. But make sure you’re using the specific pixel ratio. Otherwise, things might look weird.

Step 4: Put your basic info AKA elevator pitch and website “Links”

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Step 5: Click the “CREATE” button in the top right corner and go live or upload videos.

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create youtube videos

Neil Patel has written an extensive guide on YouTube Marketing here I highly recommend you go through it.

The most important element is to use keywords in your titles and descriptions. You can sign up for Ubersuggest to discover keywords or use the Google Keyword tool. Another way is to begin Google advertising and gain a wealth of keywords.

12. Why you need to be on Facebook to reach your clients

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Join me on facebook

Frankly, my love affair with Facebook goes back to 2010 when I created a community of 10,000 young folks. Some of them went on to become IPS (elite police services) and bank officers. Later I announced our divorce in 2011 and blocked it.

Recently, I realized it can be used to create business relationships. And in that process, I might help or encourage someone.

Here’s a fact, almost 1.84 billion people check Facebook daily and that’s an increase of 11% over the last year. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO said on Jan 27, 2021, “I’m excited… as we build new and meaningful ways to… build community and help people just have fun.”(6) In fact, Twitter has also jumped into the scene and has announced a group-like feature.

The bottom line is you can’t ignore Facebook and its Groups because it’s going to get even bigger.

Here’re a few Facebook tips for coaches:

  • Reciprocity builds the community. So give, give, and give.
  • Grow your group around expertise, passion, belief, or situation for a sense of belongingness.
  • Create a schedule and go LIVE regularly.
  • Post inspirational & educational content (Truth is most groups are negative but you can stand out with your positive content).

I’d highly recommend you upload videos or go LIVE on your Facebook Business Page. Why? It’s all about the Facebook Ads. If you feel like you need more help with getting on camera or Facebook in general then join my Facebook group.

13. Publish in local newspapers, magazines or try HARO to expand your reach and authority

Journalists need stories. If you can help them succeed, they will help you expand your audience and authority.

In a short time, I was able to publish two stories through HARO. What’s HARO? It’s Help A Reporter Out. Sign up here.

HARO connects 1 million sources (people like you and me) with journalists and bloggers.

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Sign up as ‘Source’

Once you sign up, check all that applies to you:

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get relevant alerts

Then everyday you’ll receive emails seeking experts on a story.

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check the topics – takes 2-5 mins

Then use the email to send a relevant pitch.

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use the email to send them your pitch

As you might know, journalists get 50-100 pitches every day. The good news is most of them are useless. But still, there are strategies you can use to make your pitch stand out.

Here is PR strategy.

  • Find relevant publications.
  • Look for relevant journos who use Social Media to interact with others.
  • Help amplify their content. Comment, like, share on their content to build a relationship.
  • Value their expertise.
  • Don’t write essays. Use bullet points. Get straight to the facts.
  • Avoid hyperbole, buzzwords, and rambling ‘Game-changing’, ‘Revolutionary’, ‘Disruptive’.
  • As in any case, consistency is the key.

This is what a journalist sees when they receive a pitch via HARO:

Hello [Reporter],
Here’s another pitch from a HARO source! Hope you find the perfect match for your story.

The HARO Team

Source Contact Information: [The information listed in your HARO profile]
Pitch Title: [This is your email’s subject line]
Pitch Contents: [This is whatever you (the source) wrote in your email pitch]
Track and Respond: [This is a HARO link for the reporter to keep track of their messages]

Instead of going crazy with your Pitch Titles help them find and organize your pitch in their inbox. So your email subject can be: SUMMARY + MEDIA OUTLET.

This way they will know the story (summary) and the media they wanted to publish it for.

Here’s a sample bio you can send along with your pitch:

My name is Mohinish Nirwal and I’m a certified coach and digital marketer who works with coaches to help improve their marketing.
My work has been published by,,, And let me know if you’ve any questions on business, digital marketing, or health and fitness. We can chat via email: [email]

14. Get on Podcasts or publish one yourself to be everywhere

What YouTube is for the Video content, Blogging is for the written text, Podcasting is for the audio content.

Let’s see who else has joined the podcasting party?

Barack Obama, Paris Hilton, Bill Clinton, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Joe Rogan, Kim Kardashian West, Warner Bros. of DC Comics, and Marvels. They all have launched their podcast.

People listen to a podcast while working out and commuting. But audio can be immersive too especially when you’re unwinding. Here are some stats for you (7):

  • Spotify bought Joe Rogan’s podcasts in a $100 million deal.
  • While there are 1.7 million active podcasts with 43 million episodes in Jan 2021. Over 900,000 new podcasts were started in 2020 alone. (HINT: they need content. Can you chip in?)
  • 37% (104 million) of the US population listened to a podcast in the last month – up from 32% in 2019.
  • Nearly three out of every four podcast consumers in the US say they enjoy tuning in to podcasts to learn new things and do so on a monthly basis (Statista, 2019). That means aside from comedy and news, listeners want “how-to” or inspirational content.

The best part here is the guest podcasting. Every podcaster needs ideas and stories. So if you have 20-45 minutes then you can share your story and provide value and generate some influence and authority for yourself.

The best part is you can test storylines and promising materials easily.

Section C: How to turn strangers into coachees.

15. Publish a book to get yourself on their bookshelf

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Anyone can self publish these days. And sell them around the world.

But should you sell ebooks or the physical books?

I highly respect the authors who are on my bookshelf. Once somebody asked who are the marketers I follow and the first name that came to my mind was Russell Brunson. Now he is a great guy but I actually haven’t read his book. It’s on my list but I was surprised how his name came to my mind when I follow others too.

So if you’re on someone’s bookshelf then you know that they’ll always have you in mind. They’ll always have a relationship with you.

The good news is your book doesn’t need to be some kind of epic. And you definitely don’t need to become E. B. White. But it’s easier said than done. However, if you have content or blog posts available then you can turn the best of them into a book; plus, add a few bonuses too. Here’re some more tips.

16. Offer strategy sessions to create rapport, transform lives, and invite for coaching

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offer strategy sessions

A strategy session with a prospect is how you understand what’s going on with them.

This is a great way to add value to someone’s life. And to invite people who are a great fit for you.

I’ve analyzed strategy calls for a coaching company and two things stood out for me. One, the ability of the coach to create genuine rapport. Second, the transformation they could bring for the client. If you try to sell your coaching services – it’ll feel weird. And can break the rapport.

Let’s talk about rapport first. Do you know that according to the ICF 2009 Client survey (3), 83% of the coaching clients said personal rapport with the coach was “very important”? Even more important than their certificates?

How do you create rapport?

The easiest way is to mirror your prospects. Pace them before leading them. If they cry – you cry. If they smile, you smile. If they are cool, calm, and deliberate – you be cool, calm, and deliberate. Then you can lead them to change their lives with coaching.

The good thing is it doesn’t take hours. Just 1 or 2 minutes.

17. Offer webinar, workshop funnels, or packaged digital products to give them some confidence

Every client is different. Everyone has a different story.

Yet everyone needs a step-by-step game plan to win. It’s like football. Show them where the goal post is, tell them about the team’s strategy, and give them some encouragement.

And then leave them to figure it out… chances are they’ll do their best to put the ball through the goal post. If your can systemize your knowledge then webinars, workshops, or packaged digital products are a wonderful way to get great clients.

The best part is, it just takes some upfront work. And you can leverage that for many years.

To run the workshop or webinar funnel you can use these tools:

  • Webinarjam ($1 trial for 14 days)
  • A webinar script
  • A recorded video (if you want to have the webinar run on autopilot)

17. BONUS: have a coach who can help you show up with full confidence and energy

Before things head downward spiral, ACT.
self reflect regularly how you’re doing

Talk is easy. As a coach, your duty is to evolve your skills. And that includes marketing and business. Once you’re in a position of abundance yourself, you’ll be able to help your clients from a much higher level.

I know your business is different, your stories are different so I invite you to join this workshop and discover how you can move to the next stage and change the world.

Conclusion: Marketing for coaches is not rocket science.

It’s too important to ignore. Here’s what to do today. Prepare your elevator pitch and think about the ways you can gain the right attention, at the right time. Tell me how it went.

Do you know that according to author Chet Holmes (who shared the stage with Tony Robbins), 96% of businesses go out of business within 10 years?

If you want to stop spinning the wheels then discover these 5 common reasons why 96% of coaching businesses fail…

Marketing for coaches helps you gain their trust, earn their respect, and be seen as an expert.



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