If you’re looking for your first, or next health coaching clients, 7 experts are giving you a behind-the-scenes look at how they got started.

Because there are many ways to find health coaching clients, I decided to reach out to a few seasoned coaching experts, so they can share how they did it when they were just starting out.

I hope their experience and insights give you some inspiration and ideas to help you build your business. Remember, the key is to pick one or two strategies and be consistent for several months so you can gain traction.

Let us know what you think by leaving a comment at the end of the post!

Kathleen LeGrys

My first few health coaching clients came as a result of a Facebook group I had been running for over a year.  I found my first few participants for my online coaching program this way too.  Having a Facebook group made it easy to offer my services because the people in the group already knew me and trusted me.

 – Kathleen LeGrys

My first year as a health coach was a bit of a whirlwind because there’s so much you need to do, and you still have a lot to learn about not only helping your clients but also learning how to build a business.

My first few one-on-one health coaching clients came as a result of a Facebook group I had been running for over a year.  I found my first few participants for my online coaching program this way too.  Having a Facebook group made it easy to offer my services because the people in the group already knew me and trusted me.

I offered a reduced rate for my first online coaching program (with a limit on the number of people that could join) because it was a beta program that allowed me to test my systems and get feedback and testimonials. I also offered a discount for my first three 1-on-1 clients. I knew it was going to help me get the word out about what I do, get referrals, and build my confidence. Until you actually start helping people and seeing the difference you’re making in their lives, you can’t comprehend the positive impact you’ll have on people.  If you can’t imagine it, you’re going to have a hard time conveying it to others, so the easier you can make it for yourself to get started, the better.

I remember it was a bit nerve wracking at first, but just like anything else, the more practice you get, the better you become at it.

As you’ll discover in this post, there are many ways to get your first few clients, but only you can decide what will work best for you.  The best thing you can do is DECIDE and then TAKE ACTION.

Let us know what you decide to do, or share in the comments how you found your first few clients. We’d love to know!

Kathleen LeGrys

Kathleen LeGrys

Founder, Health Coach Solutions

healthcoachsolutions.net

Karen Pattock

When I first started as a Health Coach I chose one specific strategy that I repeated month after month that proved to be extremely beneficial in getting new clients… On average 50-60% of the people I reached out to made appointments with me.

 – Karen Pattock

The possibilities to find new paying health coaching clients are unlimited. Although it’s been my experience that some of the possibilities are easier than others.

When I first started as a Health Coach I chose one specific strategy that I repeated month after month that proved to be extremely beneficial in getting new clients.

I knew I needed a way to create relationships with professionals in my area that were connected to my ideal clients. If I could get them sharing my information and services with their clients I could get much more publicity than I could ever hope for on my own.

Every month I would go to my local grocery store to pick up a copy of the Natural Awakenings Magazine. (Find a copy in your area here.) I read the magazine cover to cover.

Each publication included articles being written about local doctors, chiropractors, yoga studios, etc. There was also a section in the back where local businesses would advertise.

I would compile a list of all of the resources I thought might be connected to my ideal clients. Once I had my list complete I would choose 2-3 names to reach out to each week.

I would mail them a letter that introduced my services and me. I also laid the groundwork of a possible referral partnership. I shared my contact information and when I would follow up with them with a phone call.

I would send the personalized letter along with one of my brochures.

Approximately two weeks later I would make a call to their office in an effort to set an in-person appointment to discuss a potential mutually profitable referral relationship.

This process was just a rotation of letters going out, follow-up calls being made, and in-person appointments being set.

On average 50-60% of the people I reached out to made appointments with me. Out of the in-person meetings I had 50% of those turned into referral relationships.

The reason this strategy worked so well is because I was committed to it. Every week, without fail, I followed up with 2-3 leads from the Natural Awakenings Magazine.

In your business, consistency wins every time.

Karen Pattock

Karen Pattock

International Business Coach and Educator

karenpattock.com

Amanda Cook

When I finished my health coaching certification, I emailed my friends (and my husband’s friends/coworkers) that I was taking on clients at an introductory rate in exchange for feedback and a testimonial – and I found my very first client that way.

 – Amanda Cook

My first two paying clients were both different.  The first was a friend of a friend. When I finished my health coaching certification, I emailed my friends (and my husband’s friends/coworkers) that I was taking on clients at an introductory rate in exchange for feedback and a testimonial – and I found my very first client that way.  She’d just had a baby and was actively looking for support with her wellbeing.

If I was starting today, I would still send personal emails, but I’d also post on social media to my friends that I was looking for ‘beta’ clients to try my new service.  My second client came in through my website.  I was in a fortunate position to already have had a blog for two years with a decent sized audience, and hadn’t offered anything for sale!  So when I announced my coaching to my audience, there was pent-up interest.  But for the majority people starting out without an existing online presence – go for people who you know, friends-of-friends, and people you can meet in person, that’s the quickest route to finding your first paying clients!

Amanda Cook

Amanda Cook

Founder, Wellpreneur Ltd.

wellpreneuronline.com

Amy Lippmann

I created compelling talks and gave as many local talks as I could book – usually 3 per month.  My talks were at yoga studios, pilates studios, mother’s groups, personal training studio, gyms, a couple of corporations, networking groups, chiropractors’ offices, and a large acupuncture clinic.

 – Amy Lippmann

My first year as a health coach, my goal was to consistently have 20 private coaching clients – bringing in 4K per month. A couple months after graduating from nutrition school, my husband and I moved so he could attend graduate school and I left my full-time job.

As you can imagine, the pressure was on to make a living as a health coach.

It was slow going the first 6 months, but once I had a plan and started being more strategic, the clients came in steadily.

Here’s what worked for me:

I created compelling talks and gave as many local talks as I could book – usually 3 per month.  My talks were at yoga studios, pilates studios, mother’s groups, personal training studio, gyms, a couple of corporations, networking groups, chiropractors’ offices, and a large acupuncture clinic.

Pro tip: One of the ways I got booked to speak was through local networking. Rather than focusing my networking efforts on finding clients, I used it to meet referral partners and people who might be interested in hosting me for talks.

At the end of the talks, I invited people into a free initial consultation.  I got as many people as possible to book them on the spot (before they left the talk venue).

During the free consultation, I focused the conversation on creating a connection – learning what they were struggling with, what they’d tried before, and what had worked and not worked for them. I shared insights into why they were still struggling and what would move the needle for them (without getting into nitty gritty details).

I asked if they wanted to learn more about how I could help. (They always said “yes.”) I shared information about 3 one-on-one coaching programs and then asked which one they thought would be the best fit for them.

Some clients signed up on the spot, but others had to think about. Instead of panicking if they said they needed to think about it, I used the “check in call” strategy. I asked them how much time they needed to think things over and then scheduled a time (right then and there) to have a check in call where they could ask me any questions they have about the programs and they could let me know how they’d like to proceed. Using the check-in call strategy, I was able to keep the conversation going with potential clients.  During the check-in calls I was able to address any concerns they had, and ultimately close the deal with more clients.  And for those who chose not to sign-up with me, I was able to “close the loop” with them – meaning I wasn’t left hanging, wondering if they wanted to work with me.

Amy Lippmann

Amy Lippmann

Marketing Strategist & Founder, Marketing for Health Coaches

marketingforhealthcoaches.com

Amanda Jane Daley

The best way to get clients when you’re starting out is from ‘in-person’ connection.

 – Amanda Jane Daley

There were several things I found to be successful for getting my first few paying clients, and the main thing to mention is that NONE of them came from online marketing (that came later in my business). Online audiences take time to build and nurture… but that doesn’t mean you can’t get clients in the meantime!

The best way to get clients when you’re starting out is from ‘in-person’ connection.

My very first client came from a lady I got chatting to in a health food store. It was the first time I was brave enough to tell someone what I actually do — this was SO scary in the first instance, but she showed a great deal of interest, and signed up for a Discovery Session the following week!  My next client was actually a referral from that first client — once she started our sessions, and loved them, she began telling her friends.

Next, I decided to host some ‘Healthy High Teas’ for past colleagues and friends — all of whom were my ideal clients (driven women on the verge of burnout, who wanted to take better care of their health) — and I got my next few clients by sharing what I did at the end of those afternoons, and inviting the ladies to a Discovery Session.

After experiencing success with my ‘‘Healthy High Teas’, I started doing talks at yoga studios and barre studios — which brought in my next few clients — followed by a couple of talks at entrepreneurial events.

In all instances, I got myself in front of people who were already interested in health in some way — spoke up about what I offered — and then got them on a discovery call to explore whether the program was a good fit for them.

Over time, I started to build my newsletter list, show up in front of them weekly by providing valuable content, and then offer discovery sessions that way – but that took a lot longer to build traction.

The ‘in-person’ simple stuff works the best when first starting out. You simply do not need a website or anything fancy to get in the game!!

Amanda Jane Daley

Amanda Jane Daley

amandajdaley.com

Alysa Rushton

I remember hearing how Tony Robbins started out by giving a talk every week.  And I decided, in like fashion, that I would I give a talk everywhere that would have me.

 – Alysa Rushton

My initial plan to get clients was really simple – give as many talks as I could and meet as many prospective clients as I could at those talks. I remember hearing how Tony Robbins started out by giving a talk every week. And I decided, in like fashion, that I would I give a talk everywhere that would have me. I walked in to (or called) every business within 100 miles of where I lived and asked them if they ever had speakers come in to give talks.

Once they said yes, I’d give them my pitch and tell them that I gave talks on helping people ditch their sugar cravings and asked them if they’d want me to come in and give a talk on that along with a really cool smoothie guide designed to help their audience ditch the sugar cravings. This worked really well for me and my ability to “just ask” got me booked to speak again and again.
Then, I’d show up and give a great talk. At first, I didn’t ever ask people to work with me while giving the talk. I was waaaayyyy too scared to sell myself and my services. Instead, I gave out coupons for a discounted session along with a smoothie guide to help with sugar cravings. I gave them out in person and via email after the event.

Here’s an example of my smoothie guide and first coupon:

During that first year of coaching, I gave about two talks a week. I spoke at Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, Le Creuset, William Sonoma, (Le Creuset and William Sonoma both pay their speakers in cookware, by the way), local women’s shelters, yoga studios, exercise studios, private golf clubs, women’s groups, private tennis clubs, women’s groups, Catholic and Christian church Mom’s & MOP’s groups, The Jewish Community Center, the library, food allergy groups, local and national pain support groups…and the list goes on. I quickly learned that my most productive groups to speak at and get clients were women’s groups.

Even though I redeemed just a few of those coupons, the very act of me getting out and speaking on my topic started to attract the right clients, people and opportunities to me. And soon I had plenty of clients, a waiting list, and a great business on my hands!

Carmen Hunter

Getting clients locally (and online) takes the desire to help others and the confidence to know you can, but it takes putting yourself out in the community to give people the chance to know, like and trust you.

 – Carmen Hunter

Over seven years ago, a friend who was also a personal training client asked me for help with her food.  She said that no matter how “clean” she ate the weight wasn’t moving.  Using the knowledge I had gained on my own health journey, I started asking questions about her thyroid, her hormones, her stress levels and so on.  She was blown away by the depth of my knowledge, and after getting tested and asking her mom for some genetic history, she found out she had thyroid issues.  We worked on optimizing food, sleep, dialed back on exercise and she started feeling better and losing weight.

That was all it took, the right client with the right experience and the referrals never stopped.  I still get referrals TODAY from people I worked with over seven years ago.  Getting clients locally (and online) takes the desire to help others and the confidence to know you can, but it takes putting yourself out in the community to give people the chance to know, like and trust you.  Sometimes that means giving someone a free session, speaking for free at a local business or just renting a space and holding a meet and greet and going for it!

Online getting clients is a little different, but it still took the same dynamic.  I needed people who believed in what I did and were willing and wanted to tell others.  That meant being seen in live videos sharing valuable information for free and providing hope and help.  I am a type triple A personality with a bit of introvert thrown in, so I LOVE engaging with people and sharing what I know.

Putting passion behind your knowledge is the best thing you can do to bring clients to your door.  Just having faith that what I had to offer would bless the world was a huge piece of getting people that were committed to their health.  There are plenty of sick people in this world looking for coaches!

As you can see, there are many ways to attract new clients, and sometimes that can be part of the problem: there are so many possible strategies, so it may leave you feeling a little confused about where to start. I recommend you choose one method to focus on at a time and give that your complete focus (consistently) for 3-6 months, then evaluate what’s working for you. Once you have that in place, add another strategy and test that too. Choose the strategies that appeal to you the most, so you won’t be tempted to procrastinate. Just like we tell our clients, there is no one magic pill – it takes time, consistency and effort before you’ll start seeing results.

You’ve got this!

~ Kathleen

P.S. Be sure to grab YOUR FREE Ultimate Health Coach Toolkit for 7 essential templates, scripts, client worksheets and more that will get you (and your clients) off to a great start!

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