How to Get Clients for Your Wellness Coaching Business
One of the most frustrating things about being a new wellness coach is not knowing how to get clients for your business.
You’ve got your wellness coaching certification, you’ve set up your office, and you have apps to make your work flow more easily. You’ve set up a website and blog. You’ve even gotten featured on some high profile publications. All you’re missing is clients. After going through all the work of becoming a wellness coach, you’re getting frustrated that you’re not actually getting to put your awesome knowledge to good use.
You’re passionate about helping people achieve their health goals, and you can’t wait to have a full roster so you can do just that. After all, that’s why you started a wellness coaching business in the first place. But waiting for clients to fall on your lap just won’t do.
You need a strategy to attract high quality, high paying clients that will allow you to follow your passion while also making a decent (or better yet, awesome) living. This post will help you do just that. Here are 8 things you can do to start attracting more clients to your wellness coaching business.
1. Build your email list, offer awesome content, sell (in that order)
If you already have a website and blog, but haven’t yet set up a lead magnet for attracting email subscribers, get on that today. An email list is still the number 1 way of attracting potential clients. Once you’ve got a list of email addresses, you have a group of people who are already interested in what you have to say. You can then offer them an awesome amount of value just for signing up to your list. It’s important that you do this before trying to sell your services.
If you develop an awesome email series, your leads will get used to seeing your name in their inboxes, and when you send that promotional email, they’ll be more likely to buy—because they’ve come to trust you.
A good rule of thumb in marketing is that it takes 7 connections with a lead before they’ll purchase from you. So it’s a smart idea to develop an email series of 7 emails that provide awesome value for your clients, and send the call to action for a purchase in your 8th email.
This strategy takes time, but it’s more efficient than trying to sell to your leads right away. If clients sign up for your mailing list and you try to sell to them right away, they’ll more than likely hit “unsubscribe” faster than you’d like.
But if you offer a great amount of stellar information that they can implement right away, they’ll be more intrigued when you offer extra help through your paid coaching services.
But how do you get people to come to your website in the first place? You can have an awesome email series, but if you’re not getting traffic to your site, you won’t get sign ups. Here’s where online networking and guest posting shines.
2. Collaborate with other people in the wellness coaching business
Even 10 years ago, most people would never dream of collaborating with someone who worked in the same field and sold very similar services. After all, those people are your competitors! You don’t want them taking your clients away from you!
The world doesn’t work like that anymore. The earth really is flat. Whereas in previous centuries, we mostly worked in small communities with intense competition, we now work in a connected world, where there is work to spare if you know how to market yourself. And in a digital, hyper-connected world, competitors have now become colleagues.
When you’re first starting out (and later on too), it pays to connect with people who have “made it” in the wellness coaching world. Read: write guest blog posts on the websites of health coaches with a large following. It’s a win-win for all involved: the more prominent wellness coach gets free content for their site, and you get exposure to their large audience. Combine that with an offer for this large audience to get your free email series, and you’ve got an excellent way to get sign ups for your own mailing list.
Guest blogging is an excellent way to drive traffic to your website. And once that traffic grows and you have an audience to sell your coaching services to, you’ll also have a captive audience for other products. So start working on those!
People who aren’t interested in paying high prices for individual coaching may be interested in lower cost, more generic programs. These are another excellent way to get more clients and add to your income as a wellness coach.
Setting up an email series and guest blogging are excellent ways to drive traffic to your website and potentially get more clients. But don’t get so far into the online world that you forget your own community. Chances are, you can get clients right where you live, too.
3. Attend in-person meet and greets (especially those geared toward health & wellness)
When you’re a new wellness coach (or entrepreneur of any kind, really), you have to show up—in every sense of the word. You need to show up at your desk every morning and work on marketing your business online. You have to show up in Google searches. You have to show up on other people’s blogs. And you have to physically show up. At local events.
Too many wellness coaches who take on the challenge of promoting their business online forget that there’s a wealth of leads just waiting to make a connection at events like business meet and greets.
Most of these meet and greets are free to attend unless you are holding a booth—which is a good idea to do if you have the budget for it. More often than not, having a booth at a local event is not overly expensive, and it’s a great way to get your new business noticed. But even better than a business mixer is holding a booth at a lifestyle or wellness show.
4. Hold a booth at a lifestyle show
People who attend lifestyle shows are already interested in health and wellness. That means you have an audience that is potentially interested in your wellness coaching services.
Holding a booth at one of these shows could bring you leads that could eventually turn into customers. You can have some kind of giveaway to attract customers to your booth, and then talk to them about the benefits of wellness coaching. But just like with the email series, remember to provide value before trying to sell.
Most people know that a discovery session leads to a sales pitch, and many aren’t interested in jumping into it right away for that reason. But if you provide super tips on meditation, healthly eating, keeping calm in the face of adversity, or any other information that relates to your services, without pushing for a sale right away, you’ll start earning the trust of these leads.
You can also collect emails during these shows. One way to do this is to provide some great information and then let them know that if they sign up for the mailing list, they’ll get even more in-depth info.
Having a booth at a day-long event isn’t the only way to connect locally. Another way you can connect to local leads is by doing lunch and learns.
5. Do lunch and learns
The great thing about lunch and learns is that you can come up with one single ½ hour presentation, and then do it over and over again, creating small touches here and there to personalize it for each office that you visit.
Lunch and learns require some upfront investment, but are an awesome way to connect to local leads. Providing a healthy lunch to a group of 5-10 people will get them interested in what you have to say about business and wellness.
Here again you can collect email addresses to provide more information on health and wellness, and to potentially sell wellness coaching services in the future.
Great places for wellness coaches to do lunch and learns include gym corporate offices, nutrition houses, and larger health food and supply stores. Complementary health service providers such as chiropractors, osteopaths, massage therapists, and naturopaths would also be good places to book.
6. Connect to your network by offering (truly) free services
Most of your friends have caught on to the “come for a free party” nonsense, and everyone’s tired of not having the opportunity of partying with friends just because. Having a party to try and sell stuff to people right away just doesn’t work like it used to, and even when it does, it can cause resentment between friends.
So make sure that at least in the beginning, both in person and online, you’re offering truly free services to your network. Give away your products with abandon to those who are closest to you, and you may just gain brand ambassadors without even trying.
You could, for example, connect to your friends and family via email and offer them your email sign-up giveaway without them having to sign up for your mailing list. Then you can ask for referrals. Think of something like this:
Hi [insert name of friend here],
How’s it going?
As you probably know, I’ve started a business as a wellness coach. I wanted to show you a cool [insert name of giveaway here] I’ve come up with to give away to email sign ups. I’d love to know what you think of it, as I plan on putting it up on my website soon.
This kind of “hey, here’s what I’m doing and here’s some free stuff” email isn’t pushy, isn’t asking for anything other than an honest opinion, and will preserve your relationship while possibly netting you some referrals (and you didn’t even have to ask for them).
You could also directly ask for referrals too, but I’d leave that for your closest, closest friends, whom you speak to regularly. There’s nothing worse than getting an email asking for referrals from someone who hasn’t spoken to you in 10 years, or who you know absolutely nothing about. That’s right up there with asking for LinkedIn endorsements from someone you’ve never worked with.
7. Ask current clients for referrals—and make it worth their while
If you already have at least one client, consider offering a referral rewards program (or affiliate program). Every time a current client refers a friend who signs up for your services or buys a product from you, that client could get a discount on their next session, for example.
That encourages your current clients to refer your services, and everyone wins.
8. Give talks at local gyms or walking or running groups
In addition to lunch and learns, you could also do talks at local gyms and small businesses for the general public. Come up with a broad enough topic related to your services, give a great talk chock-full of great info, and then gather those email addresses. You can also do a direct pitch at one of these talks, but most coaches find more success by first building trust with their leads via an email series.