Firstly, it’s somewhat misleading to think of a practice client being any different from a client. The only real difference is that a) they probably know you’re going through training and so can adjust their expectations and b) you are probably going to coach them at a low-cost or even for free. And that makes it a whole lot easier.
But in all other respects, a practice client is simply a client.
This is a useful way of thinking because then a natural follow up question is what makes someone become a coaching client in the first place?
And, of course, the answer is that they’re seeking some kind of change in their life that will be helped by thinking and talking it through (reflection in relationship) – rather than, say, simply paying for someone to fit a kitchen, landscape the garden or mend a dripping tap!
So, where do you find THAT kind of person? The one struggling with some part of their life?
The answer is simple. Everywhere.
The real issue is not how you find them but how you get into conversation with them that leads to coaching.
Think about it, most human beings are challenged by some aspect of their life in which there is uncertainty, doubt, fear, hope, aspiration, procrastination, indecision and much more.
At a very basic level, these people are the people right next to you: friends, colleagues, neighbours, associates, parents at your school, social group members, service providers like hairdressers, postal workers, teachers, accountants and whoever else is in your life.
You don’t need to find them. You need to talk to them.
Perhaps the biggest mistake new coaches make is starting off talking about coaching. Instead, ask about that person’s life, business, job, parenting or whatever else seems appropriate to the situation you’re in. Simple questions can then begin to open up where they might like change at which point you can share that you’re training to be a coach and would love to offer them free coaching – valuable space for them to think through whatever is challenging them.
Can you find practice clients in other, more complicated ways?
Of course! You could advertise on social media, reach out to people on your social networks, use leaflets and much more.
But why do that when potential clients are right next to you?
So screw up your courage, open your mouth and begin a conversation.