How to Get Coaching Clients without Social Media and Sleaziness

by | Apr 2, 2024 | 2 comments

Consider this blog post your step-by-step process to help you grow into selling a $10,000+ coaching package with ease, at will, and without social media or sleazy sales tactics. At its core, getting coaching clients is about embodying service, connection, and integrity. While social media will help scale your coaching business, embodying a service mindset will help you establish and sustain your business.

Whenever I want to grow my income, the first thing I do is double down on being in service. No fancy strategies, no 2 daily Reels, no extra Pins on Pinterest. Instead, I ask myself: Who can I serve today? What would make a real, positive difference in someone’s life, today? What can I create right now that can support someone’s (one specific person) current pursuits? 

Before we dive in, I want to offer a word of encouragement to you if you’re a digital nomad. I’ve found that many consider themselves as being at a disadvantage in growing their business while moving around. On the contrary, being a digital nomad puts you at an advantage:

Likely, you’re already engaging in new communities, growing your community left and right. Certainly, you’re off a give-and-receive mindset: sharing travel tips, asking for help, and roaming the planet with an open-minded, humble, and giving approach to life. This blog will help you take that mindset and apply it, strategically, to growing your business. 

Why you must learn to get coaching clients without social media

Coaching, at its core, is the business of transformation. The vehicle of coaching, foundationally, is loving honesty:

The coach offers a space wherein earnest reflection of the client’s patterns evokes insights that, when implemented, lead to profound transformation. 

Need I say more? You may have found me and my content through social media, sure. And you may find that my content resonates with you deeply.

You might find that something stirs awake inside of you as a result of consuming my content, webinars, or resources. This is your inner coach awakening. But be it my content or that of someone else, foundational insights cannot be achieved through the consumption of content alone. It requires personalization. 

This is why I recommend new coaches FIRST learn, strengthen, and master the skill of coaching and the skill of introducing an individual into a world that coaching can facilitate for them.

That being said, social media and other growth strategies such as blogs, Pinterest, or Publicity, are entirely and absolutely crucial if you choose to scale your business beyond individual and mastermind coaching.

However, much like scaling itself, growing an audience online is a skill separate from coaching and enrolling coaching clients. It’s also a skill I believe is not necessary when you first launch either a coaching or another form of freedom based business. It could even be a mistake!?

While I have no guidelines here, many ICF training programs will require anywhere between 100 and 250 paid or bartered training hours and I believe they have a point. 

So, go and coach. Once you have that down, now let’s talk scaling. For now, let’s move along to coaching, serving, and how you can get coaching clients without social media.

What you need in place to get coaching clients at will

Rich Litvin, co-author of The Prosperous Coach, outlines in the book’s appendix the phases he’s observed coaches go through in their maturation as a Coach / Business Owner. The first phase is, of course, the beginner’s phase. The Prosperous Coach phase is the final, most mature and masterful phase, most crucially indicated by the coach’s ability to create a coaching client (read: income) at will. 

Flatteringly, my partner recently pointed out that I, in fact, possess this very ability. It’s true. And freaking empowering: Knowing how to create a client, and embodying the mindset most conducive to that task, provides freedom. Freedom to turn the flame of client acquisition up, down, or keep it steady. Note that these are foundational business skills which, while they may take years to perfect, are not to be mistaken as a scaling strategy. 

There are two operative words here: Skills and Mindset. Who knew…Let’s first look at mindset: 

What sort of mindset does a coach require in order to get coaching clients at will?

Embody a service mindset

To serve someone, truly, means to aid or help someone. As I like to think of it: to serve as a coach is to contribute to one’s discovery of their true self. When I work with new coaches, we start by developing a service mindset and revealing who they need to BE as a coach. True embodiment, then, goes beyond strategy, and sifts into how one shows up in life. You could think of service as being a lifestyle.

I want you to entirely let go of any notion of having to sell coaching. Coaching is not a commodity. It’s a vehicle of transformation and must be treated as such:

Perhaps you hold the door open. You might choose to take 10 minutes to genuinely listen to someone. Or you send someone a book. You could invite someone to a talk you give if you think they could gain benefit from it. We’ll get into specific actions later on. For now:

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Ask yourself this question at least once a day and act on it: Who can I serve today so that their path towards fulfillment can be aided? 

You could think of this as the challenge I give my mastermind coaching clients: 30 days of selfless acts of service. Engage and see the magic happen all around. 

A healthy money mindset

Whether you’re a coach, employee, trader, or any sort of entrepreneur, chances are your beliefs about money and your own self-worth are dictating your actions. For better or for worse. Money stories show up in the fees we set, the proposals we make, and the space we hold while objections come up. They run rampant during tax season or are secretly keeping you from setting up your business account. Without working on your money mindset, you’ll be hard pressed to realize your full potential. 

SUGGESTED ACTIONS:

List 10 beliefs your parents or guardians taught you, explicitly or implicitly, about money. For each belief, identify where and how that belief shows up in your daily business actions. 

Additionally, I highly recommend reading and working through Barbara Stanny’s book, Overcoming Underearning. Additional books on the topic are recommended here.

A bias for action

This is your permission to get messy! Trying to perfect your coaching skills before scheduling your first coaching session is a sure death sentence to your coaching career. Let how you get coaching clients be messy, funny, imperfect. Let yourself be out of questions and not know how to handle a client situation.

Frankly, this is why I recommend every new coach hire an individual coach as soon as possible. Having a coach mentor makes the ride not only smoother, but more effective. Think of the first 6 to 12 months in your business, coaching or other, as an experimentation phase. This doesn’t mean you won’t make money. It simply means that you have permission to eff up, invite as many coachees as possible, create packages you don’t know will work, and soak in as much information and experience as possible. 

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Create five spots for one-off client sessions and invite individuals until you’ve filled them. Use language something like this: 

“I’m currently offering 5 complimentary coaching sessions to 5 individuals in my community that stand out to me. [describe the type of person you want to work with]. You’re one of the people I’ve thought of immediately. [point out one or two traits that make them stand out to you]. 

Would you be interested in having a coaching session? The session would be focused on you, your dreams, and what’s standing in the way. We will sit for 90 minutes and the entire session is free of charge and held in confidence. 

Let me know either way. 

With loving, 
[SIGNATURE]

Note: Do NOT copy-and-paste this. Highly individualize this to the recipient.

An intention to lead

Coaching is leadership. You can either be in service with a people-pleaser’s mindset or as a leader. If you mistake service for people-pleasing, you will end up overextending yourself, loosening your boundaries, offering uncalled-for discounts, and underperform as a coach.

If, on the other hand, you step into your innermost leader and serve from that perspective, you’ll put yourself in a unique position: A coach leading from service can point out things that not even a best friend would dare say. That coach can hold the client accountable to their actions, behaviors, patterns, judgments…you name it, like no other. That coach can achieve true transformation for their clients and, in turn, for their income. 

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Leadership begins in the mind: Pick out one leader, fictional or real, that inspires you; name 10 traits that you see and admire in them; list them: [Name] is [trait]; now, turn to a mirror and speak that list out loud, filling in YOUR name for their name. 

How would THAT person show up to their next client? 

An offer that you stand behind

An offer is nothing more than how you deliver your work. And within that, it’s a transformational promise that can only set in if BOTH the coach and the client make an unwavering commitment to the process. In other words, it’s a crucial ingredient you require in order to get coaching clients. Again, developing this takes time and direction, but here are a few pointers specifically for individual clients: 

  • Propose only after you’ve learnt, in-depth, what your clients’ innermost dreams and fears are. Once you do propose, lead with something like: “Do you have any questions?”, “We’ve come to the end of our free coaching calls; I see a lot of potential here. Would you like to know how we can extend this relationship to realize that potential?”
  • Price your offers as a package, not hourly. How long does it take to achieve said transformation? 3 months? 6 months? A year? 6 hours? 
  • Charge in full or installments no smaller than 25% each. Charge upfront, before the work begins. Be clear on how you take payment (it’s okay to offer two options: Wire or Credit card).
  • Know when and how often you’ll meet – be transparent and upfront about it. 
  • When you propose, create a vision first, explain the container second, and state the investment last and only with permission. (see what I did there? I remained in leadership while serving powerfully)

SUGGESTED ACTIONS:

Decide on your offer and practice it in the mirror. Can’t decide on an offer? Great, get them all out on a vision board. They’ll be great for scaling later. 

get coaching clients without social media

Fantastic, these are the core aspects of a prosperous coach’s mindset. Note that you’ll be working on this, likely, throughout your career. We can now move onto how this mindset can propel you into service-based actions that will sustain your business throughout all phases, start-up, growth, scaling, and selling:

What are the actions you can and must take, away from social media, to get coaching clients at will?

Creating a community of infinite clients

Now, this is where being a digital nomad becomes a big advantage, although it’s not necessary to be one, of course. The process of creating clients at will is one of serving without expectations, establishing and nurturing connections, and providing actual experiences of coaching all before you make a proposal. This is it. It’s that simple, and entirely uneasy to implement. So let me help you. We’ll divide this up into activating your existing community and expanding your community. 

No matter which category you focus on, my Number 1 invitation for you is to continuously do three things: 

  • When in doubt, work on your mindset and coaching skills always.
  • Check yourself: are you leading from service or ego? 
  • When unsure of your business growth, double down on connecting with people, and prioritize this over blind pitching and proposing. 

How to activate and serve your community

Oftentimes, people overlook this incredibly potent part of the game: connecting to their existing community. If you’re truly just starting out, this might take place one on one: 

“Hi, I’ve recently launched my coaching practice and I’m offering 10 individual coaching sessions to individuals that I see are up to something amazing. Given [insert situation], you came to mind…” 

However, as your reputation as a coach grows, you can expand beyond individual invitations (but never move on from ~), serving in a more holistic way. Below is a list of things I do regularly: I engage in one such act of service every day, Mo-Fri, sometimes 7 days a week.  

  • Curate your email list or blog posts as if they were a gold mine for someone finding that content. Serve powerfully, ask insightful questions, give your best thoughts away for free. Provide resources, Podcasts, and even short recorded webinars for free. 
  • Create webinars or free trainings that you invite your community to. Pick a powerful topic and invite people either 1:1 or through your email list (hint: this is a GREAT list-builder AND launch event) 
  • Set two or three weeks aside during which you offer free coaching sessions. Once the weeks are picked, you can advertise this to your list and/or reach out to people individually, highlighting the nature of the sessions: exclusive, time-bound, complementary, and without pitch. 
  • Gifts: As you’re connecting more intentionally with members of your community, you’ll find out what exactly they need: a session with a marketing expert, a book you know will change their life, an introduction to someone you know, concert tickets, a podcast. Send it to them with a personal note. 
  • Make introductions between two people you know, highlighting their strengths and the potency you see in them being connected. 
  • Connect with your coaching group or mastermind colleagues 
  • Reconnect with every boss and/or co-worker you’ve ever worked for 
  • Check in with 2 former clients you haven’t worked with in longer than 6 months 
  • Reach out to classmates from college (think: classes, studygroups, extracurriculars, sororities/fraternities, TA, students jobs) 
  • Handwrite and send a letter to someone in your life. 
  • Sit in silence for 30 minutes nad speak to someone who’s no longer in their body 
  • Create a resource specifically for someone in your community that has never paid you a dime (this is how I’m writing this very blog post: it’s for one person I recently met) 

Suggested Action:

Create a game for yourself and take one action from the list above (and below) every day for 30 days straight. See what happens (let me know, too!)

How to grow and expand your community

At some point, you’ll seem to have exhausted the list of people in your community. That’s normal. AND, I’d offer that as you begin to approach your business with a service mindset, your list will be ever-growing. This is because service breeds connections. And connections breed potential clients. So, as you’re activating your current community, you’ll also want to explore new communities with intention and curiosity. Again, as a digital nomad, you’re already doing this 24/7.

A reminder that you can take any of the actions listed here either from a place of ego-attachment or a place of service-detachment. Detachment meaning that you’re not looking at a new connection with dollar signs in your eyes, but with a genuine willingness to connect. That’s why half this post is about mindset.

Here are intentional actions you can take regularly to expand your community and get coaching clients off social media: 

  • Go where your clients are: remember when we defined your ideal client? Where do they hang out? Join THOSE clubs, meetups, events, conferences. 
  • Get on Podcasts or guest-write a blog post.
  • Join co-living communities (if you’re a digital nomad) and be intentional about creating connections at the coffee table, dinners, etc. 
  • Join co-working spaces, even if you’re not traveling, and attend their events. 
  • Attend MeetUps in your area 
  • Ask two members of your existing community to introduce you to the most interesting person they know. 
  • Engage actively in two or three (no more) Facebook Groups focused on topics you and your ideal clients are interested in. 
  • Connect one on one in any Slack groups you’re in, eg. for courses you’ve bought. 
  • Talk to your neighbor…anywhere. (I met my best friend in a car accident…) 
  • Create a workshop, invite 5 people to that workshop, and offer that their ticket is free if they bring a Plus 1 (also free) 

Suggested Action:

Integrate this list into the game I suggested you play with the previous list. You could do them one-after-the-other. However, my suggested is to create an ever-lasting dance between activating and expanding your community. It evokes much more abundance and eliminates any feelings of scarcity or finiteness.

Concluding

It is important that you develop the skills of creating coaching clients away from social media. That way, you will be able to hone your coaching skills and your ability to serve the worlds you’re a part of. Combine these two things – coaching and serving – and you will be quite powerfully equipped by the time you venture into online audience growth. At that point, you will have come to embody coaching and service, and your online content will reflect your genuine, authentic, and powerful ability to ignite a transformation in someone’s life.

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Hi! I'm Dina

Way of the Founder offers a pathway to holistic success, where personal growth, spiritual exploration, and business leadership converge. Come join me on this incredible adventure called LIFE!

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2 Comments

  1. Julien

    This blog post contains a ton of informations and tips to apply! I’ll come back to it and try to do the suggested actions little by little. I feel like doing too much in a short amount of time could be overwhelming.
    What I feel like to do is to do the suggested actions in order of appearance in the post. I must say I’m excited to grow as a coach but also a bit scared because there are so many aspects to learn and handle.

    Thank you Dina-Marie for all these precious advices!

    Reply
    • Dina-Marie Weineck

      Hi Julien! Congratulations on starting on your journey as a coach. Your commitment to growth and service shines through your words. I acknowledge you. I see you.
      Absolutely, don’t try and enact everything in this post all at once. Rather, think of this as a routine for a ballroom dance. Have this post teach you the basic steps first. Then, as you grow, you will find that you can add on here and return to the basics over there. For example, as you apply a suggested action, you may find that you keep sabotaging yourself, or that you get triggered. This would be a good time to return to the mindset basics. Let me know how it goes!

      Reply

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