ICF Research tells us that the top two sources of new clients are referrals and public speaking.
Sometime coaches hesitate to ask for referrals. Perhaps they don’t want to impose, or they think they are too new or they are afraid of how they will be perceived. Consider it this way: letting your network know you completed coach training and are now offering coaching services is much like providing an update on your career. It is often enough to get referrals! Think also – if people in your network ask you for a referral, what will you do? If you know someone interested, you will refer them because you know that person! If you don’t know anyone now, you will wish that person well, and remember for future reference when you meet someone that does want a referral!
Public speaking will be based on your own comfort level. Post covid it is easier than ever because there are many online opportunities! The ideal is speaking to group that your ideal client is part of so you can connect. Provide valuable information, give examples of challenges and how coaching supported facing them successfully, ideas on how they can do it, and let them know you are available for additional questions. This is what is commonly referred to as content marketing. Providing valuable content demonstrates expertise and credibility. The secret is to give enough for it to be useful without giving so much that they are overwhelmed, or they believe that is all they want.
If public speaking isn’t your thing, consider writing white papers or articles as an alternative. Get your writing out where your ideal client will see it and will see how to contact you!
When you do have a conversation with someone about coaching, instead of selling, coach. Ask the person: What do you want? What does it mean to you? What might prevent you from achieving that? What is your understanding of how coaching supports your success? How will coaching benefit you? What is important to you when hiring a coach? How will you decide if it is right for you?
If someone wants coaching, it will be of value. If someone does not want coaching, it will be ineffective at most. This means instead of selling coaching services, coach people to think, reflect, and make their own choice. If someone wants coaching, that is when it makes sense to move forward.