7 First Steps to Start Your Coaching Business

starting your coaching business

7 First Steps to Start Your Coaching Business

Beginning your journey as a transformative coach is both exciting and daunting. You’re finally about to do the work you love but you’re also wondering how on earth you get clients in the first place!

But don’t worry. You are not alone. Many coaches have already trodden the path you’re about to go on and they have left a clear route for how to go about it. 

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, you just need to do what works and put your own unique spin on it.  And this article gives you that “wheel” – the tried and tested process for gradually building your coaching business.

Let me share seven marketing steps that can serve as your guide, leading you to connect authentically and effectively with those who can most benefit from your transformative coaching.

1. Understanding Your Audience

Start by deeply understanding your potential client. 

Who are they? What are their struggles, fears, and aspirations? What has stopped them solving their challenges without coaching? What will they get from coaching that they won’t get by mulling over their issues over a coffee?

Where do they live? What do they do? What’s their relationship and family life like?

You might be thinking that you will coach anyone and so can’t answer these questions but try to answer them for your “ideal” client.

This insight will allow you to tailor your message in a way that speaks directly to their hearts.

Action Step: Create a client persona. What is their day like? What challenges do they face? Use this to guide your communication.

2. Building a Personal Brand

Your personal story and why you became a coach are your greatest marketing tools. Share your journey in a way that is both authentic and relatable.

Your story is what makes you different from every other coach.  It is not the coaching education you had but how that coaching shows up because of what makes you so unique.  

For example, if you overcame some kind of adversity and found strength through coaching, share this transformation. It’s powerful and inspiring.

Action Step: Write your story down.  Get clear and what makes you who you are. Your upbringing, your career, your challenges, your achievements.

3. Leveraging Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool for building relationships. Share valuable content, engage in conversations, and provide a glimpse into your coaching style. 

It might feel like a slow journey to gain clients through social media but the sooner the start the sooner you’ll build a credible and inspiring personal brand.

Action Step: Create a calendar of posts which guide what you post and when.  Think about mixing stories, resources, testimonials, case studies, and invitations to work with you.

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4. Content Marketing: Blogs & Videos

Create content that provides value, such as blog posts or videos that address common challenges or offer tips. 

Nowadays, there are so many ways to share content with the world.  You might have your own website but you can also use Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube or other social media platforms.  

Action Step: Plan what you would like to share and create your first blog post or video. Take the leap and share it.

5. Networking & Collaborations

Build relationships with other coaches and professionals. Attend events, join forums, and consider collaborations.

In addition, be open to networking wherever you go.  This is not about selling your services but simply being ready to share what you do and an openness to connecting.

Action Step: Get clear on what you will tell people about what you do then find one place you can network either online or offline and dive in. 

6. Client Testimonials and Case Studies

Share success stories and testimonials. This not only showcases your impact but also builds credibility. If your client agrees for you to share their name and story that’s perfect – but, if not, use anonymised adapted versions.

Action Step: Request testimonials from past clients and share these stories on your website and social media.

Seek Referrals

7. Seek Referrals

As you went through your coach training, you will have worked with practice clients. Ask them for referrals – they may have friends and family who would benefit from coaching too.

You can also seek referrals from your existing connections – former colleagues, LinkedIn contacts, and friends.

Action Step: Choose 3 people per day and ask them for a referral.  Explain what you are doing now and ask them if they know someone who might benefit.  As a top tip, don’t just say you are a coach – explain the kind of change you bring about.  


As you stand at the threshold of your journey as a transformative coach, remember that your path is not just about helping others but also about continually nurturing your own growth.

Each step you take in marketing your practice is not merely a business strategy; it’s a bridge you build towards someone who is seeking change, someone who might be feeling lost or overwhelmed, just as you might have felt at some point.
I encourage you to take these strategies and mould them with your unique voice and experiences. Remember, your authenticity and empathy are the most powerful tools you possess. They resonate far beyond any traditional marketing technique. Share your story, listen to the stories of others, and find that beautiful place where your journeys intersect.

Take Action Today: Choose one of the strategies mentioned above and take a small step towards implementing it. It could be as simple as writing down your personal story or drafting your first blog post. Celebrate these small beginnings, for they are the seeds of greater connections and transformations to come.
You are not just building a business; you are creating a space where growth, transformation, and change occur.

Your courage to take the first step, and your willingness to be vulnerable and authentic, are what will draw people to you and your coaching practice.

Author Details
Seong Rhee is a professional researcher on coaching and the coaching profession. Her interests lie in executive and corporate coaching and the impact of coaching in the workplace.
Seong Rhee

Seong Rhee is a professional researcher on coaching and the coaching profession. Her interests lie in executive and corporate coaching and the impact of coaching in the workplace.

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