The Everything Life Coaching Podcast, featuring JRNI Coaching founders John Kim and Noelle Cordeaux, is a deep dive into the experience and business of being a life coach. In this episode, we explore the consumer research behind why people hire coaches, and how you can use this information to inform your client acquisition strategies. Subscribe to get new episodes weekly!
Why People Hire Life Coaches
They say that a good coach can serve anyone, on any topic, with zero prior knowledge of the situation at hand. Why? Because we coach the person, not the problem.
Coaching clients, on the other hand, often see it differently... at least at first.
When a client enters the coaching relationship, they don't yet know that they have every single answer already inside of them. They often come to the space of coaching freaked out, scared and stuck. In this state, they are unlikely to realize that the job of a life coach isn't to give them the solutions, but to draw out their inner gold.
Regardless of your coaching niche or specialty, it's your job to bridge that gap. Here's what you need to understand in order to succesfully connect with potential clients and build a thriving coaching practice.
“Stuckness” is the #1 reason that people hire a life coach.
Stuckness, however, is not a generalized human condition.
When people hire a life coach, they are usually looking for help with a very specific problem. Yes, coaching will ultimately help any coaching client improve their game in many areas of life. BUT… there has to be an entry point first.
Let’s take a look at common reasons that clients seek coaching, and then compare those to the most commonly reported outcomes.
People hire a coach in order to:
- Change careers
- Set strategy for career advancement
- Get over a breakup
- Find a new relationship
- Make new friends or build community (when moving to a new city, etc.)
- Improve fitness and health
- Explore purpose, meaning and spiritual development
- Start or scale a business
- AND SO MUCH MORE
NOW - let’s take a look at the most commonly reported outcomes of coaching. According to the 2017 International Coaching Federation’s Global Consumer Awareness Study, clients who have partnered with a life coach report a variety of positive impacts across the board.
Outcomes from life coaching:
- Improved communication
- Increased self-esteem/self-confidence
- Increased productivity
- Optimized performance
- Improved work/life balance
Notice the disconnect between what folks come in for vs. what they get out of coaching?
If you are scratching your head on this one - we feel you! The truth is that coaching to achieve one specific outcome will by default improve your whole life.
How To Reach Clients
When marketing our services to prospective clients, we must bring an awareness of the disconnect between what a client thinks they want, and the full scope of what is actually delivered through the coaching partnership. Coaches choose to approach this phenomenon in different ways. Let’s look at a few of these now.
Client acquisition strategies:
1. Some stick to a specific niche area so that they are recognizable to their target audience. These coaches get really good at addressing just one type of issue or problem.
2. Some coaches operate under a broad umbrella such as “relationships”. They might then coach around all of it: romantic partnerships, friendships, parent-child relations, community, etc.
3. Some coaches build their practice around a technique or theoretical approach, like Positive Psychology or Wellness Centered Coaching.
4. And some really do tackle this space as a "generalist life coach", driven by networking connections and word of mouth. People come because they’ve heard from trusted sources that this coach is effective, and therefore want to work with them specifically.
5. Others still break into the field by working for someone else, taking the clients that they are assigned. This is a growing field, and there are many great coaching companies to consider affiliating with!
So, bottom line… as a coach, what do YOU need to know?
Your clients will come to you as caterpillars and leave as butterflies.
Meet folks where they are at. While you know that they are likely to get unstuck, they may not know it yet. Honor the issue at hand and validate it. Work the goals they are telling you that they want to work. There is no single way to approach change. Allow the process to unfold, from whatever point of entry your clients arrive.
Ready to Help Others As A Coach?
One of our values at JRNI is that we dare to be different. Our coaches ignore the expectations society tries to impose on them, and seek to live from their own truth instead. If you are ready to step into your power and you’d like some partners in the process, come check out JRNI Life Coach Training. Grounded in science, our ICF accredited program features authentic instructors, a robust curriculum, and business instruction to prepare you for liftoff.