A Five-Step Guide To Getting Your First Paid Coaching Client

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It’s never been easier to start making money through coaching services. 

It wasn’t always this way. Nearly ten years ago, I looked into “being a life coach.” It sounded fun, and a great way to make money. But I was quickly discouraged; it appeared you needed several expensive certifications, a personal brand, an official website, and years of experience to even start coaching. I gave up on the idea.

A few years ago, I decided to try coaching again. I still didn’t feel worthy, and still had no idea what I was doing. 

But after buying some online courses on coaching, I set up my first coaching sales page. I priced an hour-long coaching call at $100. 

In the first three months, I had nearly 40 coaching clients. 

I struck gold. I’ve since raised my prices, built more expansive coaching services, and now, coaching is an integral part of my business (and a very large income stream).

Here’s a simple, five-step process for getting your first paying coaching client and starting a real coaching business. 

1. Ask Your Readers One Question: “What’s Your Number-One Problem With [YOUR FIELD]?”

Before you set up any coaching, you need to know the problem you’re going to solve. 

You can find out with a simple email.

Too many entrepreneurs skip this step and start trying to sell something they like…yet find that no one really wants to buy. It’s not about telling the world about what you know, it’s about getting people from point A to point B. It’s about solving real problems for real people, and that means asking them what those problems are.

I used a free survey (Google Forms will do) and asked one question. As a self-help author, my question was, “What’s your biggest frustration with self-improvement?”

(Don’t forget to have them leave their email – very important.)

Answers started trickling in. According to Jon Morrow from Smart Blogger (an absolute pro at this model), you want to shoot for at least 50 responses, ideally 100 or more.

For me, I tried to get as many answers as possible: through emails, in calls-to-action, in my articles, wherever. 

This brings us to the next step. 

2. Find the Most Common Answer From Your Responses

You’ll probably see lots of the same answers in your responses. Many people have similar problems, and we’re getting actual data on what these problems are.

Here’s what I began to see:

The answers might’ve been complicated, but they usually related to a specific theme. I began boiling down the answers to brief problems: following a routine, lack of knowledge, fear of the future, and lack of confidence. 

After simplifying each answer, I narrowed down the most common response. For my readers, the most common problem was consistency. Apparently, most readers didn’t know how to be consistent, build momentum, and stick with their goals. 

Sift through your answers, boiling them down to a core problem. Then, find the most common problem.

Then, you’ll be ready for step three.

3. Figure Out How To Solve That Problem

Now, it’s time to find the answer.

Fortunately, you probably already have a good idea of how to solve that problem – it’s a very common problem in your field of expertise. But if you still need to learn more skills or knowledge, take time to do that.

This is what will separate you from 99 percent of other coaches in your field; you’re creating a specific solution for a specific problem, one that you absolutely know your readers are interested in.

Again, most entrepreneurs and would-be coaches trying to get coaching clients usually approach this backwards: trying to sell a solution to a problem people might not even have. 

You’re going to position your knowledge in a robust sales funnel, but for now, learn everything you can about how to solve that problem.

4. Call the People Who Wrote Down That Particular Problem

This is where you begin to really create a world-class coaching package.

Once you’ve determined the most common answer, email every reader who wrote down that particular answer. Ask them if they’d be willing to have a short, ten- to 15-minute follow-up call with you where you have a few more questions about their problem.

Most people love this. It’s free, they feel like they’re helping, and they get to talk to you. You can probably expect a 70–80 percent response rate for this.

Once you’re on the phone, your goal is simple: find out, in their own words, how they describe their problem. Ask several follow-up questions. Here are some I used:

  • Why is [problem] your number-one problem?
  • Has anything ever worked to solve the problem? Why or why not?
  • What’s the one thing you wish you could do about this problem?
  • What do you think you need to be successful?
  • How could someone like me help?

During these calls, I’d be furiously writing down their answers, exactly how they worded it. This is more valuable than any SEO tactic or keyword research strategy; you’re hearing from real people how they describe their problem.

I had about eight of these calls, and after I finished, I had an enormous amount of feedback from real people.

This leads us to the final step.

5. Create a Sales Page Using All the Feedback, Phrases, Keywords, and Responses

Now it’s time to finally create your sales page.

Do you see the difference here? Would-be coaches start here, filling up the page with everything they think they know about the problem, their solution, and how you’ll be 100 percent satisfied working with them. 

You, on the other hand, are approaching customers with a custom-made, personalized package backed by actual data that speaks directly to their problem, in their own words. It’s an incredibly effective strategy, one that you can use to start getting dozens of clients immediately.  

This five-step model ensures this sales page is exactly what your readers are looking for, immediately recognizable as someone who really cares, and really understands the problem.

Here’s the link to my old sales page for my particular coaching package on this topic:

If you read carefully, you’ll see dozens of phrases, keywords, and responses from real people describing their problem and their ideal solution.

The first few paragraphs really capture this:

You know how frustrating it is, but what can you do?

You know exactly what you should do. You want to do it. But for some reason, you procrastinate. You don’t even know why, but that’s what happens every time.

You’ve started strong so many times.

You block out a time on the calendar (or an entire day) to just do it: Write. Workout. Start that business. You promised yourself you’d be disciplined, maintain your motivation, and be consistent. You force yourself to sit down, butt-on-chair, follow a routine, and just do the work.

These were actual responses from the eight people I interviewed. People said, “I just want to force myself to sit down and put my butt in the chair.” Or, “I just block out time on the calendar, but that never works.” 

I wrote them all down, stuffing the sales page with their words. 

There are a million different structures for sales letters, and I won’t get into them now. I like the Star, Story, Solution structure from Russel Brunson, founder of ClickFunnels. It’s a three-part script that I’ve come to love (here’s the actual script if you want it). 

Whatever structure you use, make sure to use as many of the responses, phrases, and keywords your readers used on the phone.

In Conclusion

Now, it’s just a matter of getting people to see that sales page. Your hottest leads? The people you spoke with on the phone, obviously. I had about a 50 percent conversion rate for those people. 

Your next hottest leads are the rest of your responders to your initial survey. I got about a 20 percent conversion rate for those people. 

With each coaching call, I began tweaking and updating the sales page with even more phrases, keywords, and feedback I got. Soon, it was running itself; I’d funnel new and current readers to the sales letter, and I got dozens of clients in a few months, topping out around nearly 100 clients in my first year.

Many entrepreneurs replay the same mental block to themselves over and over: “I’m not a coach. I don’t know how to coach people. No one would pay me to coach them. I’m not certified.”

I’ve learned that coaching clients don’t want fancy certifications, they want results. If you can help someone get from Point A to point B, they’ll pay you.

Do the work. Find out your readers’ biggest problem, then solve it. The money will follow.

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