I’ve been a business and career coach for women of color and allies for over 5 years now and have helped 500+ clients build the business, career, life and/or coaching business of their dreams.
But let me be honest and share that behind every successful coach or consultant is the question, “How do I get consistent clients?” and the worry that their first paying client will be their only.
I’ve seen many business owners scrambling to get coaching clients fast by throwing their energy at all the social media platforms, burning themselves out, and spending tons of money on Facebook ads that don’t end up reaching their target audience.
As a business coach myself, I’ve learned that getting consistent clients is about so much more than making trending Tik Tok videos and obsessing over followers. You can listen to this podcast episode on how to be less dependent on social media if you want to learn more.
Getting consistent clients as a coach or consultant comes down to a mix of authentic relationship building and strategic marketing, and I’ll share with you my 4 steps to achieving those things.
But first, you can’t sell what you don’t understand, so let’s first clarify who you are and what you do.
What is the difference between a coach and consultant?
While there may be some overlap between the services of a coach and a consultant, there are still some fundamental differences.
You can think of a coach as someone that helps to facilitate growth in an individual. Coaches help people dig deeper into themselves and find the answers along the way, providing support and accountability through the journey. While they can provide insight into things like strategy and data, it is typically not their main focus.
A consultant is an expert of a particular process and is there to instruct someone how to solve a specific problem. A consultant is great for someone that knows the problem they are having and wants an outsider to instruct them on exactly what to do to solve the problem.
A consultant shows their client the path forward while a coach supports their client in discovering the path they want to take.
Before you can begin getting consistent clients, first ask yourself “What is the main focus of my work?” Are you going to offer coaching services, or is your expertise being a consultant within someone’s business?
Once you understand your own offers, focus on these four tips to get consistent clients as a coach or consultant.
Understand Your Client Journey
If you want consistent clients, you have to understand your current client journey.
In case you don’t know, your client journey is the process of moving someone from a lead to a paying client (and hopefully a renewal in the future).
If you expect to find and convert new clients, you should have a thorough understanding of the following:
- Where are your current clients first finding you? Knowing whether people are finding you from Google search results, Facebook groups, Instagram, or through word of mouth will help you know where to invest your effort. If most of your sales calls are coming from search results for example, you know that those blog posts you’ve been writing are serving their purpose.
- What are the touch points before they convert to a paying client? How often and in what ways do leads engage with you or your content in order to sign on to working with you? This could be a sales call, listening to your podcast, or reading your weekly newsletters. Are these touch points easily accessible to your leads? Are they free or does a lead need to invest something to build trust with you?
- What is your signature offer and who is your ideal client? If the people that are finding your work and consuming your content aren’t your ideal clients or don’t fit into your signature program, then you likely need to do some target market research to better understand how to connect to your target audience and market your business.
Having an awareness of your client journey allows you to focus on what’s working, add more efficient touch points, and convert leads more effectively so you can find potential clients that are ready to work with you.Create community
Creating a safe space to nurture and build relationships with your current and potential clients goes a long way in establishing trust in your business and services. Especially in these times where so many people are only focusing on social media, creating community can feel revolutionary for people looking to work with a coach or consultant.
What can you do to connect authentically with people in your community?
- Host in-person events
- Hosting virtual networking events
- Offer a few free/low ticket experiences to invite in new people and answer questions
- Create closeness with email lists and an intimate newsletter.
(For example, I send out a bi-weekly Color Your Dreams newsletter where I share personal stories, fun gifs, and give people a look into the behind the scenes of my business. You can join in on the fun if you want!)
Track Your Numbers
I’ve already established that I am NOT about obsessing over social media followers and engagement rates, but I DO know the value of regularly looking at the numbers that matter.
Do you know how much money you’re currently bringing in, and do you know which of your offers are making you the most money?
Do you know who is subscribing to your email list and which landing page they are coming from?
Do you know the amount of your monthly business expenses and if you are staying within budget?
These might not sound like the most fun questions to answer, but by paying attention to the right numbers, you can develop a marketing strategy that reflects what’s working already in your business.
And my favorite piece of advice for getting excited about your budget? Make it fun by creating a cozy ritual and setting the stage with a fun playlist. You can listen to my own personal playlist, Mr. Bear’s Budget Bangers which is full of 1990s/2000s hits.
Prioritize Customer Experience + Create a Safe Space for Feedback
At the end of the day, no marketing strategy, in-person retreat, or numbers analysis will get you consistent clients if your customer experience isn’t prioritized. Can you imagine being able to keep life coaching clients or any type of clients you work with if you didn’t care about their life fulfillment? When you genuinely care about your clients’ results and invest in their success, they will refer you to others and continue working with you.
One of THE best ways to show your clients you are truly investing in them is to create a safe space for their feedback. Directly asking my clients what I can do to better support them and improve my offerings and assuring them I truly value their perspective has given me the best opportunity for more renewals and referrals.
For example, a while ago a client gave me feedback that led me to implement a new practice in my coaching services. Now, each week, every single one of my clients receives their own individualized accountability documents and weekly emails with action items to help keep them on track and to show that I am up to date with what’s going on in their business or career.
Ask yourself, “How can I ask my clients for feedback and how can I make them feels safe in sharing it with me?”
Hire a business coach of your own.
If you want more support in understanding your client journey, tracking your numbers, creating community, and prioritizing your client experience, who’s to say that you can’t work with a business coach yourself?
If you would like further support in your career, business, or leadership, my team and I would love to support you in creating a sustainable life! You can schedule a 30-minute legacy business or career review call with me to see if it’s a good fit to work together, and you’ll receive 3 action-items from me.