You’ve hung your shingle as a coach, and you’re ready to take on more coaching clients. You’re in the right place!
Here’s what you’ll learn:
- Traditional vs. digital coaching: what’s the difference?
- 4 coaching models top coaches are using today: which is right for you?
- 7 tips to get more coaching clients
- How to scale your coaching business
Let’s dive in.
Traditional coaching vs digital coaching
Since the beginning of time, coaches have offered supervised learning, where students receive support and guidance as they learn new skills and transform their lives.
What is coaching?
Coaching is a partnership between the coach and student. The coach teaches and identifies areas where the student is weak. The student works with the coach to learn new skills and shore up their weak areas.
Coaching is done one-on-one and in group settings. Often, a coaching relationship has components of both — group sessions where the coach teaches a lesson and one-on-one sessions where the coach helps the student apply that lesson.
But technology has opened doors to new ways of working together. And globalization has removed barriers to working with anyone we choose.
A new type of coaching has evolved. It’s called digital coaching, and it’s perfect for today’s digital entrepreneurs and course creators.
What is digital coaching?
Digital coaching is an approach to coaching that’s scalable and independent of geography and time zones. Like traditional coaching, it includes training, coaching, mentoring, and peer groups.
But it’s delivered remotely, via technology. And because it’s digital, it encourages and supports self-learning.
Digital coaching can replicate traditional coaching. Set up a Zoom call with cameras on, and it’s almost like being in the same room together. But technology can also be used as an enhancement that drives self-learning.
This is key to digital coaching. By providing an always-on multimedia experience, it gives the student a richer, better learning experience.
Lessons are delivered asynchronously via video, graphics, and text. Live lessons may also be offered as an enrichment. Together, a multisensory environment is created that encourages students to learn, practice new skills, and gain confidence.
In the book, The Digital Coach, Stella Kanatouri suggests that the need for coaching is higher today than ever before. Globalization and technology are changing the way the world works. Professionals must stay up to date to remain relevant — and they need coaching to do that.
According to Stella, digital coaches “accompany individuals and groups in their reflection process, helping them solve their own problems and develop. In other words, helping them help themselves.”
Helping people help themselves is probably the best way to describe digital coaching. As a digital coach, that’s your primary goal.
How coaches are achieving success
How do you help your clients help themselves? Start with a coaching model that’s proven to work.
Coaching programs typically follow one of four models:
- Cohort coaching
- Blended coaching
- Remote coaching
- Online self-coaching programs
Model 1: Cohort coaching
One of the biggest challenges for both traditional and digital coaches is student compliance. Too often, people invest in your coaching program but fail to complete it. Life gets in the way, they get distracted or believe they don’t measure up.
When that happens, they’re unlikely to achieve the success you’ve promised. And that’s a reflection on you.
That’s why many coaches create cohort groups. They open enrollment for a short period, then start training after the cart closes. Lessons are taught on a regular schedule, and all students progress at the same rate.
With this model, you’ll teach on live video calls. Supplemental resources (like templates, checklists, and recordings) are released on the week of your training calls, usually on a course platform.
Cohort coaching is a good way to keep your students engaged. Because they have direct access to you, it’s each to gauge how well they’re learning and progressing.
Cohort coaching also works well if you’re launching a new coaching program. Since all the lessons are taught by you on schedule, you don’t have to have the entire program built before you launch. Just build each lesson the week it’s going to be presented.
Be aware, though, if students miss a call or two, they may fall behind and feel they can’t catch up. This is especially likely if you have coaching clients in multiple countries around the world.
Students who are in radically different time zones may not be able to attend your live coaching sessions. They won’t benefit from direct access to you. So you’ll need to find ways to encourage them to stay involved.
One way to do that is to record each of your lessons and upload them to your course platform with your digital resources. These recordings will help students get caught up if they miss a lesson. They’re also a good resource for students who want to go back and review your teaching points.
Tip: When your coaching program is complete, you can sell a digital version of the coaching program — the recordings and resources without the live teaching component — as a self-coaching program. (We’ll talk more about that in a minute.)
Model 2: Blended coaching
Blended coaching solves some of the challenges with the cohort model. It integrates live training, video training, and a group forum.
In this model, lessons are taught live or through video lessons. You may offer live sessions for hot seats, Q&A, and supplemental training. But most of the interaction takes place in a group forum, such as a Facebook group or Slack group.
Student interaction is core to the blended coaching model. In the forum, students can share what they’re learning, key takeaways, and successes. They can also discuss lessons and offer informal peer coaching.
For instance, in Rebecca TY’s Lifelike Portraits in 21 Days Coaching Course, students upload assignments to the Facebook group for peer reviews — gentle critiques from other students that help the student improve their portrait.
Occasionally, Rebecca offers a response, but in many cases, other students have already pinpointed the area that needs improvement.
Blended coaching is a more sustainable coaching model than cohort coaching. A lot of the learning takes place in the forum via discussions with other students. Students actually enjoy supporting one another. And because they do, you don’t have to do it all yourself. That gives you time to improve the course and help struggling students succeed.
The blended coaching model is naturally asynchronous, which means students can engage in the forum from anywhere, in their own time zone. The key is to encourage member activity in the forum, so it becomes an active, enriching learning environment.
Model 3: Private coaching
Private coaching is one-on-one training, offered remotely. This is the model that’s most like traditional coaching. It’s more personalized than cohort or blended coaching and can be as flexible as you need it to be.
With private coaching, you meet with your students one at a time and work with them to achieve the goals they set for themselves. Sessions are held on a digital platform, such as Zoom, or on a phone call.
When you teach in a group setting, as you do in cohort and blended coaching, you have to teach general concepts that will apply to the majority of your students. It’s up to them to figure out how to personalize the lessons.
With private coaching, you work one-on-one with one student at a time. Because you can talk to them and understand their unique challenges, you can personalize the training, making it easier for them to achieve their goals.
Here’s how the NewFuturist describes his private coaching:
Tip: Your private coaching can teach the same lessons that are offered in your cohort or blended program. But because you work one-to-one with your client, you can chart more for this type of coaching.
Model 4: Self-coaching programs
Self-coaching programs are courses that are experienced by the student alone, without input from the coach or a forum. Lessons may be video, text, audio, or visual. They may include templates and other resources.
All the teaching materials are uploaded to a course platform, and students are given login credentials when they buy the course.
Self-coaching works well with short training programs that teach a simple, step-by-step process. Students work through the lessons on their own time. They are often encouraged to do worksheets, exercises, and challenges. But they’re responsible for keeping themselves motivated and on track.
Today, coaches are realizing that, left to their own devices, few students finish self-coaching programs. To help, they may create a Facebook group where students can connect and support one another.
They’re also using self-coaching programs as a lead magnet. Students may learn foundational skills in the self-coaching program. But they become acutely aware of what they don’t know and where they struggle.
More expensive coaching programs become far more appealing when students realize the value of personalized support.
How to get more coaching clients
Getting clients is all about marketing and making offers. You must let people know what you do and how you can help them transform their lives. Let’s look at seven ways you can do that starting today.
Client Attraction Tip 1: Build (or optimize) a website
To get clients, you must look like a credible resource. When prospects look for you online, they need to be able to find your professional website.
Your website must:
- Attract your best clients
- Clearly explain how you can help them achieve their goals
- Host landing pages where they can sign up for your strategy sessions, coaching, and courses
- Include a shopping cart, so you can sell your coaching programs
- Provide a learning platform, where your coaching students can access lessons and resources
You have two choices when building a website.
Your first option is to buy a different tool or software for each function you need. The challenge is finding software that plays nice together, then integrating it all so your students have a smooth customer journey.
The second option is to use a platform that has everything you need to grow your coaching business built into the platform. Kajabi is an example. It’s a complete tool set for creative entrepreneurs: website hosting, landing page builder, email marketing, shopping cart, funnel builder, and course platform.
This type of platform makes it easy to operate your business, even if you’ve never considered yourself “techy.” You don’t have to worry about building or fixing your tech stack. Instead, you can focus on attracting and keeping your best clients.
What do you need on your website?
Focus first on your home page. Make sure you clearly explain what you do, who you do it for, and what the prospect will achieve when they work with you.
Your second priority is a “Coaching” page, where you describe your coaching program, how it works, and how to get started. It’s a good idea to put a form on the page, so prospects can sign up for a 15-minute strategy session.
Here’s how Coaching Lab founder, Malorie, does it.
On this page, she describes the program, what you’ll learn, the cost, and why you should work with her. The call to action: schedule a discovery call.
Client Attraction Tip 2: Create a unique brand
When creating your website, you may be tempted to look at other coaching websites and imitate what you see. But hold on! That’s the last thing you want to do.
To get more coaching clients, you need to stand out from the pack by creating a memorable brand. Your brand can include:
- The look and feel of your website (and you)
- Your story and why you do what you do
- The way you interact with your audience
- The transformation you promise
- The way you work with your students
- Your success rate
Here’s a quick look at how successful coaches are branding themselves today:
Tamsen Horton’s brand fully captures the life most coaches want: priority on family, business growth, and freedom. She uses the color blue in her brand and lots of pictures of her family. Her voice is crisp and professional.
There’s no doubt Tamsen knows what she’s doing. Her brand immediately engages her target audience by showing them real pictures of her family, living a life anyone would envy.
Kristen Smith Marketing uses the color orange to create a unified look and feel for her website. Notice that she even wears the color orange.
Kristen’s target audience is women entrepreneurs. Her site leans feminine but maintains a professional look and feel. That said, she isn’t buttoned up. She doesn’t wear a suit, and she talks like a real person.
Her value statement is a good example of this relaxed tone: “I’m the CEO of this starship, and we help 6-figure earning queens scale to a million.”
Ed Baxter, of Genuine Attraction, has built a brand that’s strategically designed to attract Ed’s target audience, men who have just experienced a break-up. The colors are somewhat muted. The logo is black and red, a powerful combination. The buttons are a deep green, which stands out from the typical orange CTA button.
The tone of Genuine Attraction is compassionate and masculine. It captures the voice of two guys sharing relationship war stories: “Betrayal sucks” and “get your MOJO back.”
Think about how you can do the same:
- Who do you serve?
- How do they talk?
- What color and tone will communicate your brand personality?
- How can you send a strong message that you “get” them?
Client Attraction Tip 3: Share your expertise online
To attract your clients, they need to know you exist. Once your website is built, you need to take your message and brand online, in social media, where your best clients will see you.
Choose one or two social channels where your target audience is already hanging out. LinkedIn and Twitter are good channels for B2B coaching. Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram are good options for B2C coaching.
Once you’ve found your audience, you need to provide value for them. Post as often as you can, sharing stories, tips, and insights that will establish you as an expert at what you do.
Here’s an example by Daymond John on LinkedIn:
And here’s an example from Chair Whimsy’s founder Wendy Conklin on Instagram:
As you can see, sharing your expertise doesn’t have to be dry or boring. Post an entertaining video. Tell a story from your own life. Give a quick tip. Answer a question you’re frequently asked.
The key is to turn your post into a learning moment, make a point, and ask for engagement. Do that consistently, and you’ll build a network of people who are good prospects for your coaching business.
Client Attraction Tip 4: Become a content machine
The posts you share in social media are going to build your audience, but you also need to publish content on your own channels. This content will build your expertise, answer questions, and give your prospects a taste of your coaching services.
The first piece of content you need to create is a lead magnet. A lead magnet is a freebie that you give away in exchange for a visitor’s contact information. It should relate to your coaching offer, give people a quick win, and introduce them to your style of teaching.
When you promote your services, you’ll send people to your lead magnet landing page.
By offering your lead magnet for free, you set yourself up as a credible source for transformative coaching. It also helps you build a list of people who might benefit from your coaching services.
Once you have a list, you can engage them with emails that link to other valuable pieces of content. Which brings us to the second type of content you need to create.
Regular content published on your website — often blog posts or podcast episodes — gives people a reason to visit your website. In this content, you can give visitors useful information, some quick wins, and your own branded wisdom.
Client Attraction Tip 5: Gain exposure
Up to now, we’ve been focusing on basic marketing tactics. They establish you as an expert, send traffic to your website, and help you drive interest in your coaching.
Taking your marketing to the next level is about gaining exposure. To do that, you need to get your name and ideas on high-trafficked sites that your audience visits regularly. Think guest posts on industry-leading blogs, guest appearances on top podcasts, and speaking events.
To get started, make a short list of media outlets that would give you instant credibility and greater exposure. Study their content. Look for content ideas that they’d likely want to publish.
Pitch your idea to the host of the podcast or the managing editor of the blog. Introduce yourself and share your idea. It’s that simple.
Client Attraction Tip 6: Write a book
Another way to build instant credibility and boost your credibility is to write a book. As a coach, you have a story, a message, and a method for achieving transformative growth. You just need to put it together in a long-form piece of content.
Don’t be scared off by the idea of a book. As Kathryn Aragon, founder of the Author-ity Book Coaching Program, says, “If you can talk, you can write.”
Today, books don’t have to be 200-plus pages. Your book can be 50, 75, or 100 pages and still be called a book. Publish it as a Kindle book, and you’re now a published author.
As the author of a book, you have instant credibility. And the book becomes a lead magnet that directs people back to your coaching services.
Here’s how to tackle a book-writing project:
- Clarify your message. What will your readers learn, and how will it help them? (This should be very similar to your coaching program.)
- Create a rough outline: the sections of your book and/or your step-by-step process.
- Write or dictate the chapters.
- Make your final chapter a call to action. Promote your coaching and include a link to your website.
- Get an editor to clean it up for you.
- Publish on Kindle.
Client Attraction Tip 7: Offer 15-minute strategy sessions
You need to be connecting with and talking to people every week. Selling only happens if you’re having conversations with people: Not sales pitches. Conversations.
The best way to do that is to offer 15-minute strategy sessions.
Every sale starts with one of these sessions. When someone downloads your lead magnet, your follow-up emails will offer a free strategy session. In your book, you’ll offer a free strategy session. In social media, this is your offer: the chance to talk with you one-on-one.
In this call, you don’t need to sell your coaching. Your goal is to learn more about the prospect about their business or life. Once you know their goals and their biggest struggles achieving those goals, you can decide whether they’re a good fit.
So this is your goal: to listen.
Throughout the call, offer ideas, solutions, and tips. Then, at the end of the call, if they seem like a good fit for your coaching, let them know it’s available.
How to scale your coaching business through Kajabi
The best way to grow your business is to focus on the tasks that will attract more coaching clients and get them to buy. Here are some quick and dirty ways to do that.
Fill your website with high-quality content
We’ve talked about this already. For knowledge entrepreneurs and coaches, content is one of the best ways to spread your message and get noticed by your best prospects. That being the case, you want to create as much content as you can and put it where your prospects will see it.
When your prospects are looking for answers, they need to find your content. And that content needs to be on your website.
You can publish content in any format that works for you:
- Blog posts
- Podcast episodes
- YouTube videos
You can publish content on whatever schedule works for you. Choose a frequency that you can manage without sacrificing quality.
Most knowledge creators publish original content on their blog at least once a month. Some publish on a weekly basis.
For podcasts, YouTube channels, and social media posts, an episode every week is good. Daily is even better.
What should you talk about in your content?
Great content offers free advice and tips. It answers frequently asked questions. It tells stories that engage and entertain.
On Kajabi, you can easily add content to your website. With just a click, you can start a blog or embed a podcast. And it’s easy to add videos to your blog posts and web pages.
As you build an audience, you want to capture prospects’ contact information so you can send them messages that speak directly to their interests and desires. To do that, you need to get them to join your email list.
Kajabi makes this easy. Their built-in email software makes it easy to add forms to your landing page, tag people based on their behavior on your website, and trigger email automations that turn them into super-fans.
Email automations are email sequences designed to be sent to people when they perform a “trigger event.” A trigger event may be:
- Joining your email list
- Clicking a link
- Visiting a page on your website
- Opening an email
- Not opening an email
When your subscriber performs the action you set up as the “trigger,” they’re added to an email sequence that informs, entertains, and encourages them to take the next step with your business.
Kajabi makes it easy to engage your audience without having to send individual email campaigns. Write an email sequence once, then set it up to be sent out automatically at whatever point your subscriber is ready for it. Easy peasy.
Funnels that attract your best clients
Funnels are similar to email automations, but they’re designed to turn visitors into subscribers, and subscribers into clients. To do this, they use email marketing, combined with landing pages.
Funnels are one of the most powerful marketing strategies being used today. But they’re notoriously time-consuming to build.
That’s why Kajabi built Pipelines, a collection of blueprints for the most common types of funnels you’ll use as a coach. Simply choose the pipeline that fits your objective, and tweak to fit your brand and voice.
For instance, you might offer a lead magnet (an opt-in offer). When people sign up, they’re added to a marketing email sequence. They’re given a freemium (free offer). Then they’re sent to a sales page to learn more about your coaching offer.
Funnels shorten the sales cycle by quickly teaching prospects who you are and what you do, and by building trust that you can deliver as promised. And with Kajabi, you can build advanced funnels in an afternoon.
Coaches don’t always have to work one-on-one. By offering blended coaching and self-coaching options, you can scale your coaching business without having to add hours to your work week.
Prefer to work one-on-one with your clients? Adding a course to your program allows you to give supplemental training at scale. Rather than teaching the exact same lesson to every client, you can assign different lessons to each client, based on their interests, challenges, or growth stage.
To deliver your course, you need a learning management software that allows you to quickly build intuitive, easy-to-navigate courses. You need Assessments to make sure your clients are learning. And you need analytics to be sure they’re not getting stuck.
Kajabi does all this and more. Our mission is to make it easy for knowledge entrepreneurs like you to build a profitable business sharing your knowledge. We offer the industry’s best course platform plus an entire suite of the marketing tools that you need to grow your business.
As a coach, you need to be able to quickly turn your ideas and knowledge into lessons and courses. You need to be able to start with one course, and then add more courses as your students progress.
Your goal: to always be at least one step ahead of your clients. So you can continue to support them along their learning journey.
Get more coaching clients for your business
To get more clients for your business, answer some basic questions about your coaching practice:
- What type of coaching do I want to offer?
- How hands-on do I want to be with my students?
- How can I start engaging my clients before I sell to them, so working with me is the natural next step?
Using the seven tips you’ve learned in this guide, you’ll be able to quickly attract your best clients and turn them into coaching clients. And with Kajabi by your side, you’ll be able to save time and energy doing it.