The top two ways to get coaching clients are referrals and presenting. For referrals start with reaching out to your professional and personal network. Social media is an option as is networking and simply reaching out to current connections. Let people know about your training and what you offer. Ask your connections to help you make other connections. Ask people to refer prospective clients. The International Coach Federation, ICF, is the top source for getting coaching clients.
For presenting, many start with free presentations at various organizations such as Rotary, professional membership chapter meetings, religious organizations, community centers, and educational institutions (for example the Center for Coaching Certification hosts guest presenters). As you build your reputation and expertise, reach out to businesses and offer inexpensive training programs. The next level involves submitting proposals to conferences. When you present, provide great, usable content for the audience to demonstrate your credibility and then give them you contact information for more.
Network both online and face-to-face. To network online, engage with social media. Create profile pages, connect with people, post, and participate. People will notice your questions, your answers, and your activity with others. To network face-to-face, research networking or special interest groups, how often they meet, plus where and when. Some events are open networking and others are professionals gathering with colleagues. Choose which groups to engage with based on your coaching niche.
Get creative and collaborate. For example, if you are a wellness coach collaborate with insurance agencies on workshops or even individual wellness coaching. If you are a business coach, collaborate with your small business centers or chambers of commerce on programs, groups, and individual services. If you are a career coach collaborate with local high schools and colleges to create programs and provide services. As an executive coach reach out to mastermind groups or HR groups such as SHRM or HRCI. If you are a life coach connect with youth groups, religious organizations, family services, community centers, and volunteer groups to present, offer a group program, or to be a resource. Keep going with this brainstorm: who can you collaborate with to create a win/win for them, for you, and for prospective clients?
Ultimately getting clients is about helping others and letting people know what you offer as a coach.