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It’s a sobering statistic: 82% of coaching businesses fold within the first two years.
While coaching can be rewarding, navigating the business side of things is often a steep learning curve.
In this article, I’m sharing 30 actionable strategies to defy that statistic and thrive in the competitive field of coaching. Let’s go!
30 Ways to Grow Your Coaching Business
Alright, let’s get to the good stuff. Below are 30 tried-and-true methods to help you expand your reach, increase your revenue, and make a bigger impact. Whether you’re a life coach, business guru, or wellness expert, there’s something for everyone on the list below.
1. Know Your Niche Inside-Out
It’s not just about picking a niche; it’s about becoming the go-to expert in that space. Spend time researching, studying, and interacting with your target audience. Know the challenges they face and how you can solve them. Not only will this expertise help you offer top-notch coaching, but it’ll also make your marketing efforts more effective.
2. Level Up Your Brand
Your brand is more than a cool logo and a catchy tagline. It’s the whole experience you offer, from the first interaction to the last. Make sure every touchpoint—website, social media, email—echoes your core values and unique selling proposition. And don’t forget to keep it fresh; as you evolve, so should your brand.
3. Offer Diverse Coaching Formats
One-on-one sessions are fantastic, but let’s spice things up. Think about diversifying by offering group sessions, workshops, and webinars. Each format caters to different learning styles and budgets, making it a great way to scale your income. Plus, mixing things up keeps things exciting for both you and your clients.
4. Become Social Media Savvy
You don’t have to be everywhere; you just have to be where your audience is. Choose platforms that align with your target demographic and focus on delivering valuable content. Use analytics to understand what’s working and what’s not. And don’t just broadcast—engage! Answer questions, join conversations, and show some personality.
5. Encourage Referrals & Reviews
Word of mouth isn’t just old school; it’s good school. Encourage satisfied clients to share their experiences on review sites and social media. You can incentivize this through a referral program, offering discounts or freebies to clients who bring in new business. People are more likely to believe their peers over a well-crafted ad.
6. Master the Art of Content Marketing
Blog posts, articles, eBooks—content is king. But it’s not just about churning out words. Make your content actionable, valuable, and aligned with your niche. Good content positions you as an authority and boosts your SEO. Once you’ve built a content library, you can repurpose it across different platforms.
7. Don’t Ignore Email
Don’t overlook the power of a well-crafted email. Start by building a robust email list, then segment it to deliver targeted messages. Newsletters, updates, and drip campaigns can keep your audience engaged and remind them why they signed up in the first place. A well-timed email can also be a gentle nudge that converts a prospect into a client.
8. Collab & Partner Up
Why go it alone when you can join forces? Look for professionals in complementary industries for joint ventures like webinars, workshops, or even package deals. For example, if you’re a career coach, team up with a financial advisor to offer a comprehensive “Life Reboot” package. Partnerships can introduce you to a whole new audience without doubling your workload.
9. Invest in Continuing Education
The coaching game is ever-changing, so staying up-to-date is a must. Whether it’s grabbing some new certifications, attending industry seminars, or just keeping up with the latest books and articles, make learning a habit. Outside of your niche, also remember to invest in business education to learn the latest techniques for running your coaching business! I offer several online business courses if you’d like to take a peek here!
10. Offer Free First Sessions or Consultations
Everyone loves a freebie, and a free first session could be the hook that reels in a long-term client. Use this session to offer genuine value—help them solve a small problem or reach a mini goal. Show your potential clients you’re not just about the talk; you’re about action and results.
11. Analyze and Adapt
Don’t just set and forget your strategies; measure their impact. Use analytics tools to keep tabs on everything from website traffic and social media engagement to new clients and sales. Use this data to understand what’s working and what needs a tweak.
12. Craft Custom Packages
Not all clients need the same level of intervention. Consider offering a variety of coaching packages tailored to different needs and budgets. A basic package might include monthly sessions and email support, while a premium package could offer weekly sessions, texting, and emergency calls. The idea is to provide options so you can cater to a broader audience.
13. Launch Online Courses
Take your expertise and package it into an online course. This allows you to reach people who can’t commit to regular coaching sessions and gives you a source of passive income. Choose highly sought-after topics in your niche, and make sure to offer plenty of actionable advice and resources.
14. Get Published
If you can write a blog, you can write an eBook or even an actual book. Publishing enhances your credibility like few other things can. Whether it’s a step-by-step guide or a collection of insights, make it a worthwhile read that provides value. Plus, it’s another revenue stream and a great marketing tool all wrapped up in one. Need some pointers? Check out this SmallBizChat podcast with Stephanie Chandler: Traditional and Self-Publishing 101.
15. Attend and Host Events
Attend industry events, but also think about hosting your own. Whether it’s a small local workshop or a big online webinar, hosting puts you in the spotlight and draws people in. Use these events to showcase your skills, provide value, and generate leads.
16. Streamline Admin Tasks
The nitty-gritty admin work might be boring, but it’s important. Consider investing in a customer relationship management (CRM) system to keep track of sessions, follow-ups, and payments. This will free up time to focus on what you do best—coaching.
17. Tap into Corporate Markets
Why limit yourself to individual clients? Many companies invest in coaching programs for their employees. Tailor your services to address corporate needs like leadership training, productivity, or employee wellness. It’s a different ball game but one that can be very rewarding, both in impact and income.
18. Use Testimonials Wisely
You’ve got happy clients? Great! Now, get their stories in front of prospects. Use testimonials in your marketing materials, on your website, and in your social media feeds. Real-life success stories are incredibly persuasive and give potential clients a taste of what they could achieve with your help.
19. Leverage Video Content
In a world that’s moving at breakneck speed, sometimes a video is more digestible than a long article. Create short but impactful videos offering tips, insights, or answering common questions. It’s good for engagement and relationship building. Take it from me—my Boss Tips series on TikTok has been a huge success!
20. Be Consistent
Consistency is key in everything, from your branding to your coaching style. It builds trust and sets client expectations. If you’re posting on social media, do it consistently. If you’re sending out a newsletter, ensure it goes out at the same time each week or month.
21. Retain Existing Clients
Holding onto your current clients is just as important as finding new ones. Consistently provide exceptional service, check in between sessions, and make sure they know you value their business. A long-term client provides a steady income and becomes a powerful advocate for your brand.
22. Increase Average Value Per Client
Think beyond the coaching session. Could you offer add-on services like eBooks, workshops, or specialized training programs? The goal is to increase the amount each client spends with you without compromising on your value. More services can mean more value for them and more revenue for you.
23. Start a Podcast
Starting a podcast can do wonders for your visibility and establish you as an authority in your niche. Whether it’s a series of interviews with experts or solo episodes where you dive into specific topics, make sure it’s packed with value. Promote it across your other platforms to create a cohesive content strategy.
24. Boost Your SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t just for tech geeks; it’s crucial for any online business. Optimize your website with relevant keywords, quality content, and backlinks to rank higher in search results. A higher rank means more visibility and more visibility means more potential clients finding you when they search for coaching services.
25. Understand Your Competitors
Don’t operate in a bubble. Keep tabs on what your competitors are doing so you can identify gaps in the market or areas where you can differentiate your services. Whether it’s a unique coaching style, specialized packages, or unbeatable pricing, knowing your competition helps you stand out.
26. Ask for Feedback
Never underestimate the value of client feedback. Regularly ask for it and actually use it to improve your services. Whether positive or negative, feedback is a treasure trove of insights that can help refine your coaching techniques and packages.
27. Set Clear Goals
Having clear, measurable goals gives you something to strive for. Make sure your goals are achievable but still stretch you a bit. Share these goals with your team if you have one, so everyone is aligned and working towards the same objectives.
28. Use Email Marketing Smartly
Don’t let your email list gather dust. Regular newsletters packed with valuable content keep you in your clients’ minds and can be a direct channel for special offers or new services. Just be careful not to spam; make every email meaningful.
29. Optimize Pricing Strategies
Pricing is more of an art than a science. Experiment with different pricing models, like package deals, monthly retainers, or sliding scales, to see what your market responds best to. Just make sure you’re not undervaluing your services; quality should always come at a premium.
30. Celebrate Successes
Small wins are still wins. Celebrate them, whether it’s a client hitting a significant milestone or you achieving your monthly revenue target. Celebrating keeps morale high and reminds you why you started this journey in the first place.
Developing a Plan to Grow Your Coaching Business
And there you have it! These 30 strategies give you a complete toolkit to grow your coaching business. So how do you get started? Here’s a plan:
- Review the list to see which ideas are most appropriate for you given the type of coaching business you own, your stage in business, and your growth goals (your ‘big’ list)
- Narrow down to a list of 5-8 ideas that seem most feasible for you to accomplish and/or complement the things you are already doing (your ‘medium-sized’ list)
- Narrow down further to the top two or three ideas that you believe will make the biggest impact on your growth (your ‘short’ list)
After that, you can get started on the short list RIGHT AWAY! Meanwhile, you can save the items from the medium-sized and big lists to pursue in the future. That way, you’ll always have a pool of growth ideas to explore when needed. Best of luck as you grow your coaching business. I’m rooting for your success!