It’s becoming easier and cheaper to start businesses these days, but one thing that really hasn’t gotten any easier is finding early customers, and health coaching is no exception.
Finding your first several customers can be daunting as you lack any type of data or testimonials to support your ability and prove that you are a trusted source for coaching.
Regardless of whether you are searching for your first client or looking to scale your business to allow you the freedoms of working from home, we’ve put together a guide mapping out the process to help you sustainably attract more prospects and grow your business.
Keep in mind that nothing happens overnight and it’s important that you spend the appropriate time on the front-end laying a foundation to generate sustainable inbound interest from prospective clients.
Step 1: Create an effective web presence
It all starts with putting together an effective website that informs visitors (and prospects) of what you do, and how you can help them achieve their best selves with you as their coach.
If you want the most cost-effective approach you can utilize tools like Squarespace or Wix, which are services that allow you to build beautiful websites without the hassles of messing with code. Make sure that your site consists of several key items…
- A BLOG to host your created content
- A SUBSCRIPTION tool allowing people to subscribe to your content
- A CONTACT FORM allowing people to get in touch
- A DOWNLOADABLE document giving someone a reason to give you their email address
More about these later...
The more expensive (but probably more effective) approach consists of utilizing a company to help put your branding and web presence together. There are plenty of companies to help you build a website, but companies like The Health Coach Group can help you leverage a proven model for coaching as well as get your web presence up and running in no time.
Another company worth checking out is The Healthy VA which is a coach-run virtual assistance company focused on helping coaches with anything from website design to creating newsletters.
As you can see, there are a wide variety of ways in which you can create your web presence depending on your level of comfort with technology. This is a critical piece of attracting clients, so it’s worth spending the necessary time and energy to get it right.
Step 2: Become a thought leader
Creating great content is one of the best ways to be discovered online. Think about it this way - people are constantly searching Google for ways to improve their health and with each piece of well-crafted content you are able to create, you improve your chances of getting in front of those searching.
Putting content together can be time-intensive but it’s one of the key methods in which you can directly enhance your site traffic over time.
Based on your focus as a coach, try to map out content you think would help position yourself as knowledgeable in the space and as an obvious person to employ as their coach.
For instance, if your core offering is based on coaching those with diabetes then you may want to publish content focused on items such as some of the risk factors, interesting studies or articles, regular tips in coping with diabetes, etc. This content would help position yourself as a thought leader on the topic and would make you far more discoverable online.
Don’t forget to also promote your content on various social media channels to help get the word out. The goal is to lay the foundation for a sustainable increase in visitor traffic to your coaching website.
Step 3: Create a meaningful offer
Not all site visitors will be ready to hire you as their coach so it’s important that you find a way to collect a visitor’s contact information in order to stay in touch and nurture the relationship. But here’s the thing - people won’t want to simply give you their contact information for free.
People want something in return for giving you their contact information and downloadable documents are great, inexpensive items to offer.
For instance, we recently created a document highlighting various tech solutions for health coaches that I’ve included below as a reference…
Includes tools for ...
- Managing touchpoints with clients.
- Scheduling and collecting payments.
- Incorporating apps & wearables data.
- & more great tools for your business.
What you will notice is that this document is generally more robust than our typical blog posts and was something that took more research on my part to ensure it was valuable to coaches searching for the appropriate technologies. The goal is that this document will provoke a person to give you their email address so this is something worth spending the appropriate time to maximize effectiveness.
Once a person has given you their email address, it’s critical that you stay in front of the prospect with regular content to nurture the relationship so that you are the first person that comes to mind when he or she (or one of their friends) needs a coach.
Leverage services, like Mailchimp, to help with managing your email list to send out regular newsletters, or creating automated email campaigns.
Step 4: Make the ask
Pumping out regular content is great to nurture your relationship with prospects, but at some point you need to make “The Ask”, pushing your audience towards making a purchase.
If you are just getting started, you need to do what you can to build up some data points and get a few solid testimonials highlighting the value of your service. No one wants to be the first customer. Consider offering some type of low-risk, first step for the prospect, such as offering one free month, to get a person interested and willing to reply.
They say they it often requires 6-10 touchpoints (emails, calls, etc) to close a sale, so do what you can to elicit a follow up conversation.
Final Note: This is not a shortcut
As a quick note, the process above is not a quick solution to finding clients and any type of content marketing strategy can take months to develop. The key is consistently producing meaningful content that will draw a person to your website, then utilizing the appropriate mechanisms resulting in a visitor giving you their email address - consider using a valuable downloadable document. From here you will have a growing database of names (your audience!) to which you can market yourself.
Once you start to convert a few into paying clients, you officially have a roadmap to success. I hope you find this valuable, and if you've had success with these, or other strategies, please share them in the comments below.