How do I find high-paying coaching clients?

Whatever your motivation for being a coach, your coaching is a business. As such, it’s there (at least in part) to make money. Yet, just like everyone else in the world, you only have so many hours in the day. How do you make the most of those hours?

There are various options to maximise your business earnings and they tend to boil down to a question of efficiency. For example, you could look into creating multiple revenue streams — not just coaching clients but offering courses, selling materials and other resources that could earn you some passive income.

Whatever the option, our main focus is not on “getting rich quick” or using coaching clients to “make a fast buck”. As ethical marketers, our focus is on a fair exchange of value with the client in a way that sustains and nourishes you to deliver more of your important work.

The question is how to do that while being more efficient and maximising your earnings. One way is to look for clients who will pay a higher price for your coaching service.

You know what’s in it for you, but what’s in it for them?

Looking for higher-paying clients makes sense. Basic maths tells us that the same income can either come from a lot of people paying a small amount, or a few paying a lot. The former can leave you feeling drained or burned out, and if that sounds like you then the idea of having fewer clients is probably really attractive.

So, you’re faced with the obvious question: how do I find these higher-paying clients?

Except, the more useful question is actually: why would clients pay you more?”

Value is a point of view

People pay for value, and value is perceived by the client

Whatever value you think you’re providing, the key factor is the value the client perceives they are receiving.

When someone chooses to work with you it’s because the value they believe they will receive (or have received in the past, in the case of repeat business) is a fair exchange for the price they are paying.

So, there are two issues:

  1. Are you charging the right price for the value you are delivering?
  2. How can you increase the value that someone gets from your coaching?

Neither of these necessarily imply you need to deliver ‘more’ to clients; what you need to do is increase their perception of the value you’re delivering.

How to change client perception: focus on value

To increase your perceived value, you need to talk about the outcome, feeling or insight that you guide your clients towards. And you need to talk about it from their point of view. How?

First… flip your language from “I” to “You”

To illustrate this point, take a moment to open your website in a new tab and see how many of your sentences start with “I” — waits patiently… — I’ll bet you do it more than you thought! When you start your sentence with an “I” you’re generally talking about yourself. What clients really what to read about is themselves, sentences that start with “You”. This simple switch can make your content feel much more like it’s written for them.

Second, articulate your who, what and why

These are the three questions potential clients are asking about your coaching:

  1. Who do you work with? — When you have a specific niche, it’s clear to the client that you are best placed to guide them. When they see themselves in your who, they believe you will understand them, their situation, and their lived experiences and feelings.
  2. What outcome, feeling or insight do you guide your client to? — In other words, what kind of destination can and will you guide them to? This includes the journey in the sense of what method or process do you use in your work. You need to explain this in a way the client can understand and contextualise.
  3. Why can they trust you? If they feel they can’t, it’s a dealbreaker. If they can, it’s incredibly valuable. What is it about your experience, training and previous clients that make you a trustworthy guide. How does the potential client know they can trust you to deliver on your promises.

If your marketing is unclear on one or more of these three questions, your potential clients are missing part of the value equation. In that case, they’re unlikely to see a higher price as being a fair exchange.

However, if they feel like you work with people just like them, have a clear and easy to understand method for helping them get where they want to be, and they find you trustworthy, then the price they’re willing to pay will be higher.

But… “Can’t I just put my prices up?”

Yes, you can just hike the price, or use charm pricing or other tricks to make a client feel as if they’re getting more value. However, at best this will give you a short sales spike, quickly followed by the realisation that the perceived value wasn’t really there, leaving the client with an exchange that doesn’t feel fair.

This also often means that the one thing that most coaches rely on for business — referrals — won’t happen.
Clients who get the value they expected, or more, will refer you for years to come.

Whereas ‘clever’ pricing tactics and countdown timers can leave people feeling fooled or conned in some way — they might do the exact opposite of referring you!

Always focus on the (potential) client

If there’s one golden rule to ethically marketing your coaching, it’s this: keep the focus on them.

Talk about your who, what and why from the perspective of the person considering your services.

When you increase their perception of value, you can increase the price you charge for it — it’s a fair exchange.

Get support with finding high-paying coaching clients

We work with coaches on their product, pricing and value as part of our coaching-specific marketing training. Our marketing course is accompanied by bi-weekly check-in sessions where you can ask questions, share your progress and learn from other coaches on the same journey as you. We also host a community just for coaches where they collaborate and work on their marketing together. Try the course, take a look around, watch the videos and meet the other coaches with a free trial membership.

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