Life coaching is a rapidly growing industry, and one of the biggest challenges that most new life coaches have is not knowing how to build their initial client base and how to market their new coaching business.
This challenge is often compounded when the life coach has an introverted personality type.
I know because I am an introvert and when I first started coaching and mentoring about five years ago I didn’t really know how to go about finding clients out there in the “real world”.
Most of the life coaches that I studied with and even used myself were extroverted people, so the way that they went about finding clients was not something I found enjoyable doing.
They actually ENJOY talking to strangers, mingling at parties, striking up conversations in line-ups at the grocery stores, and can get names and phone numbers from prospective clients SO EASILY.
That method of prospecting for clients is just NOT what I enjoy doing.
I tried pretending like I am an extrovert once in my life for a few months when trying to build a business in my early 20’s, and I overcame my fears of talking to people but I never learned to like it, and I sucked at, and produced horrible results doing it because I wasn’t being myself.
So when I wanted to get some life coaching clients for my business 5 years ago I decided to turn to my skills as an Internet Marketer to help me get clients instead of trying to pretend to be an extrovert.
It worked MUCH better. 🙂
How to Get Life Coaching Clients as an Introvert
The good news is that it is NOT hard to build up a coaching client base as an introvert *IF* you approach it from the proper perspective.
There are some mindset shifts that may be required for some people, and there are some strategies that need to be followed.
The first thing we need to look at is our beliefs around sales and marketing.
Selling as an Introvert
Unfortunately the majority of people have at some point in their lives had a BAD experience with at least one really bad, annoying sales person.
Some sales person out there acts like a complete jerk and a pushy a-hole, and it usually ruins our perspective on what SALES really is.
SELLING is nothing more than helping a potential client to find a solution to a problem they are trying to solve.
Last week I had a tree fall on our power lines here at my house and my wife and I were stuck without power.
We called and left messages with a number of different tree cutting companies, trying to find someone who would be willing to come out and to cut down the tree that fell as well as a few others which were hanging over our power lines due to a wind-storm.
We had a problem. Our problem was that we were without power because of this situation. The solution we were looking for was to have some trees cut as quickly as possible.
One company called us back, and listened to what problem we were dealing with, and offered to send out a crew to solve this problem for us.
We inquired about pricing as well, and then asked them to come out as quickly as possible.
The crew came out, cut down the trees and we were able to have our power restored the following day.
The person who we spoke to on the phone SOLD us on their services.
It wasn’t the annoying / jerk-type salesmanship that most people associate with “sales people”… it was just a simple, pleasant conversation and we were HAPPY to purchase their services.
In fact you could say that we didn’t feel like we were SOLD at all…
… yet we were.
See, that’s the truth about sales…
… when SALES is done properly, it doesn’t feel at all like you’re being sold… it feels like you are BUYING something on your own volition.
That’s what GOOD SALESMANSHIP is all about. It’s about helping someone solve a problem and to provide them with everything they need in terms of information and circumstances to be able to BUY from you.
BAD SALESMANSHIP is when a person feels pressured, rushed, annoyed, coerced or “tricked” into buying something they don’t even want to buy.
Unfortunately when most people think of the word “SALES” their mind only thinks of “BAD SALESMANSHIP”, because when we are serviced by someone who is a skilled sales person, it doesn’t feel like we are SOLD at all, so we don’t even think of that as sales in those situations.
As a life coach, you’re going to have to learn proper salesmanship techniques to be able to properly SELL people your service and to do it in such a way that the client doesn’t even feel like they were sold at all.
We accomplish this NOT by trickery or coercion or some sort of “hypnosis” or “mind control”.
We accomplish this by learning to get to know WHO your clients are, and WHAT their problems are, and then DEMONSTRATING to them how our coaching services can help them overcome those problems.
In essence, we become problem solvers, because that is really what sales is.
Sales = problem solving.
So if that is what sales is, then what is marketing?
Marketing as an Introvert
Marketing is the process of making yourself, your business and your brand attractive to your ideal client.
Through the process of marketing we attract our ideal clients to us, and we repel clients that are NOT our target market away from us so that we don’t waste our time or theirs.
The most effective way to market yourself as an introverted life coach is to setup a website and a Blog that’s optimized for marketing yourself, your business and your brand.
Setting up an optimized website / blog used to be fairly complex and somewhat expensive.
I’ve built websites for people and companies that range from $5,000 to over $1 Million.
Fortunately, as a life coach you won’t have to spend anywhere near that amount to get setup with a proper website.
For example, the platform I run this website / blog on is called Kalatu and it’s a highly optimized marketing platform with a price tag of less than $50/month and NO additional SETUP fees!
In fact you can get started for just $25/month.
It only takes about 10 – 15 minutes to get your site setup, and there are training videos and support who can help you if you ever get stuck with any technical details.
Once you have your website / blog setup, you’re going to need to setup a few key pages on your site which will act as MAGNETS for attracting the right type of clients to you.
I’ll dive into the exact setup and structure of these pages in a future blog post, but here are the basic pages you’ll need to setup.
- Home Page – Your website’s home page should offer a first impression that’s in alignment with who you are as a life coach and people should be able to see and feel YOUR energy on your home page.
- Services Page – Your website should have a services page where you outline the services you offer as a life coach and the rates you charge as well as a way for them to click a button to purchase your services.
- Testimonials Page – A testimonials page is one of the most important pages on your website. People want to see social proof that your coaching works and has produced results for others. Even if you start out with just ONE testimonial, make sure you have a testimonials page.
- Blog Page – Your website should have a Blog attached to it which will be the magnet that goes out there and helps you to attract the right type of clients to your business. Luckily, Kalatu is built on the world-famous WordPress framework which is the world’s most successful blogging platform, so by using Kalatu you’re getting the best of both words – the power of WordPress for blogging, combined with the marketing optimization and support features built into Kalatu.
- About Me Page – Your website should feature an “About Me” page where you dive into more detail about yourself, who you are, what you’re about, etc. You may want to include your certifications here, and use this space to differentiate yourself from other coaches in your market. People buy life coaching services from people they LIKE, so your About Me page is going to be one of your most important pages for helping people to get to know you and to like you.
- Contact Me Page – Your website should also have a contact page where you make it easy for people to reach you either by phone or email or Facebook or Skype or some type of channel of communication. I’ve visited many websites where I’ve tried to contact the service provider to ask a question before buying their services and there was no easy way to contact them! This made it frustrating to do business with them, and people don’t like doing business with people who frustrate them. 🙂 Luckily, Kalatu makes it super easy to setup a “Contact Me” page automatically.
These are the basic pages you will want to have on your website which will help you to market and sell clients.
Now you might be asking yourself HOW does a website help you market and sell your potential clients, right?
It’s actually pretty simple…
Once you have your Kalatu site setup, you’re going to start BLOGGING with the very specific intention of solving your target market’s problems.
For example, if you’re a life coach who specializes in relationship coaching, you’re going to write blog posts which offer help and guidance to people who are struggling with relationship issues.
Each blog post will address and solve one specific challenge your clients may be struggling with.
Obviously not all problems can be solved by sharing information in a blog post. After all, as a life coach you know that there are many tools and techniques that can be involved in helping someone overcome something in their life. It’s NOT just about the information…
… however, by SHARING your wisdom with people in your blog posts, even if you only help them with the challenge they’re facing by 5% or 10%, they will begin to TRUST you and that will help you to attract the perfect client to you.
The more blog posts you write, the more problems you solve, the more people will start to trust you.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that by blogging you’re going to be “giving away all your secrets”.
There are an infinite number of specific challenges and problems you can blog about, and no matter how many specific things you help people solve with your FREE blog content, your target clients will always find something else to come to you for.
So as you continue to write blog posts, those blog posts will act as one of your marketing channels that draws people TO your website.
As people visit your website to find the solution to their specific challenge, they will also see your other pages listed like “About Me” and “Services” etc. and some of them may decide to hire you as a life coach to help them with a specific challenge they’re facing.
So your Blog posts basically start to act as a MARKETING CHANNEL, a stream of leads that get attracted to your website, and your WEBSITE acts as the “SALES ENGINE” which converts those prospects into customers without you having to SELL them anything yourself.
Think of it like this…
BLOG POSTS = MARKETING ENGINE which drives targeted leads to your website… and…
YOUR WEBSITE = SALES ENGINE which converts casual website visitors into customers who PAY you for your services…
… and this is all done WITHOUT you having to go out there and do any “extroverted” stuff like wondering around malls talking to strangers or without having to try to hard-sell anyone on your services on the phone. 🙂
When I setup my website properly and started writing blog posts which help people to solve their very specific problems, I began to create a following of visitors who began reading my content on a regular basis and SOME of those people needed life coaching help so they went to my services page and they ordered life coaching services from me.
I didn’t have to go out there and FIND them…they found ME!
I also didn’t have to go out there and try to HARD SELL anyone on anything… Those who wanted my services just showed up and bought them through my website.
As simple as all of this may sound, there are some pitfalls I have seen some people fall into when trying to implement this strategy.
Here are some of these pitfalls…
What Doesn’t Work
The basic strategy I outlined above absolutely works for marketing yourself as a life coach even if you’re introverted.
Of course it also works for extroverted people as well, but most extroverted people will be too busy wondering around malls or going to events and parties mingling and talking to people to implement this strategy so it’s primarily introverted people who will really enjoy this.
However, this strategy does NOT work if you fall into the following traps…
Trap #1 – Trying to be “SALESY” online.
I’ve seen some introverted people trying to all of a sudden become a “salesy” type personality because they think that is the only way that they can build a business.
For example, some of the behavior I’ve seen people engaging in is setting up their website and then jumping on Facebook and SPAMMING everyone they know with private messages and a link to their website saying “Check out my services!!!”.
Another thing I’ve seen people do is try “infiltrating” certain groups on Facebook or LinkedIn or other social media sites and SPAMMING their website on there…
Essentially the real world equivalent of this would be like if you went to the mall and ran around with a megaphone screaming “I’M A LIFE COACH. BUY MY STUFF!!! BUY MY STUFF!!!!”
You wouldn’t do that in real life, so DON’T do it online!
Trap #2 – Being an “Undercutter”
Another trap I’ve seen a LOT of introverted people fall into is the line of thinking that goes something like this…
“I don’t know how to sell. I don’t know how to market myself properly. I’m too lazy to learn either of these… BUT I KNOW!!! I’ll just offer my services for 10% – 20% cheaper than everyone else, and I’ll get a TONNE of clients!!!”
The “Undercutter” goes out and undercuts everyone in the industry, attacking other people’s clients with lower pricing.
If someone is charging $250 for a 1 hour life coaching session, they’ll offer their clients life coaching for $199 per hour.
If someone is charging $150 per hour, they’ll offer that person’s clients coaching for $99 per hour etc.
Now I’m not saying that you can’t set your prices at a lower rate when you’re first starting out, but what I’m saying is that you should set your prices based on who your target market is, what you’re helping them with, what the market is willing to pay and the value you provide them, not by just choosing a number that’s lower than your competitor and attacking their client base with that.
Go out there and get YOUR OWN clients, based on your perfect client profile and set your prices according to your own factors, not based on a discounted rate off of what someone else charges.
Trap #3 – Being a “Freebie” Dealer
Another trap I’ve seen many introverts fall into is offering WAY too many freebies with their services.
This usually happens when the introverted person hasn’t made the decision to learn how to properly do marketing and sales, and so they have no idea how to get ANY clients at all.
They can’t get anyone to BUY their services, even at discounted pricing, so instead they start giving away freebies in an effort to make themselves feel better.
The challenge with this approach is that in most cases the people who come to you looking for freebies will not be your target market, they’ll be people who don’t value coaching or your help, but who are just looking for some “entertainment”.
They’ll take you up on the offer for “free coaching” either out of obligation or as a form of amusement, which is NOT what you became a life coach for.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t start your business off by doing some free coaching sessions to get some practice. I’m not saying that.
What I’m saying is that you should limit your freebie sessions to getting your experience and after 5 or 10 sessions you should no longer be offering anything for free. Your services are VALUABLE, and you DESERVE to get paid for them!
This includes “exchanges”. If someone wants to exchange services with you, get them to PAY you for your life coaching session and then PAY them for whatever service you’re exchanging.
This will help you establish the habit of PAYING and GETTING PAID in your mind.
For example, if I was exchanging a 1 hour life coaching session with someone for an energy healing session, I would ask them to PAY me for the coaching session, and then I would PAY them for the energy healing session.
Even if it’s the same money that moves from one person to the other, and then back to the first person again, your MIND will see it as you getting paid for your services and it will help you to BUILD your confidence in yourself and your services, instead of tearing it down.
Any time you give away your services your telling your mind “My services are worthless”… and any time you get PAID for your services you’re telling your mind “My services are valuable.”
That is how you have to see the situation.
Trap #4 – Wasting Time on “Technical” Issues
I’ve been a computer programmer since I was a little kid…which is over 25 years ago.
I had a computer before most people had one in their home.
I used to be the chief technology officer of a publicly traded company and was in charge of building a website with a multi-million dollar budget.
I have a dozen programming languages under my belt, but you know what?………
…. I don’t waste my time being a “techie” anymore, instead I outsource that by using the Kalatu platform to run my Blog…
Because I don’t want to waste my time on “Technical” issues…
The Kalatu team runs my Website / Blog software for me and they take care of all the technical issues related to running it.
They take care of the hosting…
They take care of my WordPress platform setup…
They take care of keeping my WordPress updated and secure…
They take care of keeping my WordPress plugins installed, updated and secure…
They take care of backing up my website…
They take care of any support questions I may have…
They take care of all the technical issues that most people waste their time on trying to run their own website!
I *COULD* do all of those things myself… I’m trained and experienced as a computer geek / programmer / techie, but I don’t waste my time on that stuff…
… that is why it boggles my mind when I see people who are NOT techies trying to setup their own websites from scratch, trying to save a few dollars a month…
It’s a dumb way to spend your time in my opinion.
It’s like that time I bought this “Sushi Making Kit” and tried making my own Sushi!
It turned out looking like a BLOB of overcooked mushy rice in a soggy overstuffed seaweed pocket and tasted horrible.
It did NOT look like this…
This is why I’m such a big advocate for using the Kalatu platform for your website / blog.
Kalatu takes care of all the technical issues of running your website, so that you can focus on what you SHOULD be focusing on which is COACHING and MARKETING / SELLING your coaching!
Most introverted people I know have a LOT to say…
They are INTELLIGENT and AMAZING people, who really shine when they combine their innate gifts and abilities with a communication platform like a website / blog.
The reason for this is because a website / blog gives the introverted person a VOICE and a medium to communicate their message in a calm setting where the introverted mind can do it’s best work without feeling rushed or pressured to say the next word because of fear of being interrupted by someone else.
If you’re an introvert, I HIGHLY recommend setting up a website / blog for yourself and learning how to use it as a marketing / sales tool that does the selling and marketing work for you on your behalf.
Get yourself setup with a platform like Kalatu and then just focus on creating content aimed at helping your target market solve their biggest challenges and concerns.
When you become known and your brand becomes known as a person who is GIVING and who solves people’s problems, you won’t believe how easy it becomes to attract customers to your life coaching business.
P.s. Once you get your Kalatu site setup by clicking on this link now, shoot me an email or message me on Facebook and I’ll pop by your site and offer you some tips for how to tweak your Kalatu to be an even more effective platform for your coaching business.