How I Got 12 New Clients by Creating a Coaching Program - and Why It Was a Turning Point for My Practice! April 12, 2013 Reading Time: 5 min Share22TweetShare19Pin2061 Shares I was writing a teleseminar this week about 'concretizing' coaching - finding ways to demonstrate the value and power of coaching in a tangible way. And it reminded me of a turning point in my coaching business several years ago - a coaching program I created that got me 12 clients in 2 weeks. It literally took me ONE day to put it together - the morning to plan and outline it, and the afternoon to create the poster and words. My first new client signed up that very afternoon (my mortgage broker who had stopped in to get some paperwork signed). I had just printed off a few posters and she said, "Sign me up!". I didn't believe her at first, until she got her cheque book out... As I look at this poster now, it takes me right back to that time years ago, when I was setting my practice up, questioning myself, and struggling to describe coaching and get clients. I was on a tremendous learning curve and kept wondering if it would all (ever) work out. So, getting 12 new clients in such a short space of time was a HUGE confidence boost for me. I had been building a list through my newsletter, workshops, networking and had been getting a slow, small and steady stream of clients. But it was this program that made my coaching business feel REAL to me. Now, there are different ways you can SHOW people what coaching is, like giving a great sample session, taking them through a coaching exercise or running a workshop or teleseminar series. But you have to get people interested in the first place! And I was having such difficulty explaining what coaching was that I thought, OK, I'll just create my own coaching program using my coaching exercises - at least they're 'concrete'! So, I spent a morning thinking - and listening to my intuition. What do my potential clients need help with? I sat down and thought about the problems and goals my clients and contacts tended to have, then looked at the coaching tools and exercises I'd created. I wrote a bullet point list of 9 steps that would help them with these problems and goals. Then for each of the 9 steps I identified 1-2 SPECIFIC coaching exercises that I could do with them. The idea was that having these concrete steps made it super-easy to be confident when I explained the program to potential clients. I called the program, "Free Yourself and Get Happy!" and gave it a special promotional price of $195 for 3 sessions a month. The catch (my reason for the special price) was that I asked for a time commitment of 6 months - and a testimonial if they liked what we did together. Now this program AND the poster are FAR from perfect. These days I would make the program simpler, more specific to a particular problem, goal or issue - and try to cover less. But this program - as it was - got me clients AND left me feeling proud and confident for the first time in a long while! I talk about this and more on a teleseminar I did for Noomii.com: Practical Business Building Tips with Emma-Louise Elsey So, why did it work so well? Here's what I think: My excitement and enthusiasm were infectious. I truly believed in what I was offering and knew that these clients would learn a lot. At LAST I could CLEARLY describe what I would do with my clients! The timing and topic aligned well. It was Spring and people were ready for a "Get Free!" type of program. The special deal price was good (and knowing it was a really good deal, helped ME talk about it confidently). I gave my program an inspiring title (even it it was a bit grandiose and/or vague) I listed the topics and exercises as CLEAR STEPS that people could actually envisage themselves doing - the client understood exactly what they were going to get from working with me.. I put a timeframe on the program so the coaching was not some nebulous going on for years type-activity. So, we have excitement, enthusiasm and confidence from me. And clear and relevant topics, good timing, great pricing and a time limit for the clients - so they understand exactly what the coaching involves. Yes, I still had to put the poster up around town, email my contacts, mention it my newsletter and put it on my website. But it was totally worth it to get 12 NEW clients in under 2 weeks don't you think? And this was before I was even ON Facebook! I didn't spend days creating a detailed, rigid program that gave my clients all the answers. I just created a simple framework that told people what I would do with them to move them towards their goals and solve problems they might have. I still coached them towards their self-defined goals, I still 'danced in the moment' during our sessions. But the program's steps gave us (me!) a focus - which took the pressure off me, and gave them something concrete to picture themselves doing. So, ESPECIALLY when you're starting out, a coaching program can be IMMENSELY helpful to help you clearly and confidently describe what you do in a way that people will understand. It's something you CAN explain, feel GOOD about and go out and USE to market yourself and get some new clients! So, why not CREATE Your OWN COACHING PROGRAM? In fact, if it helps, here is the ACTUAL Microsoft Word Program Poster I used*** for you to use as a template. This is exactly as I used it - and I have learned a LOT since then. I recommend having only 5-7 points, trying to cover less, coming up with your own name that addresses a specific problem or goal, and picking colours that tie in with your business and images that represent how your clients will FEEL once they're completed your program. ***PLEASE NOTE: The poster has images, shapes and text boxes. If you're a basic Microsoft Word user - just use it for inspiration or get some experienced help if you want to use this as a template. And for ideas, here is the here is the ACTUAL Program Detail with Tools I created for the first 3 Months of the program. You'll see I was clearly trying to do TOO much, but it felt great to have so many options up my sleeve and lots to inspire my clients! And if you liked this article about Coaching Programs you may also like: How to Decide What to Charge for Your Coaching Program - 5 Steps with Specific Examples to help 10 Easy Steps To Create Your Own Seminar Handout - Use to create a seminar handout, or your own Coaching Exercise for your new program! 15 Types of Coaching Products to Create! Article written for Back-to-School time, but these ideas can be used anytime! Create a Spring Clean Your Life! Coaching Program or Workshop with our Seasonal Toolkit (only available until April 30th) Renew YOU, Love Your Life! Coaching Program Your 90 Day Coaching Program in a Box! Help clients transform their ‘Blahs into Ahas!’ with this comprehensive framework and tools. Everything you need to market, promote and deliver an inspirational experience to new and existing clients. See the 23 products included >> Add to cart $197.00 Brandable Categories: Coaching, Coaching Inspiration, Coaching Tips, Coaching Tools & Exercises, Marketing and Sales, Running a Coaching Practice 26 Comments Rhona Morris April 15, 2013 Hi Emma Louise What a great article! Some brilliant thinking and very practical advice! I loved the fact you described your early experiences of coaching so honestly and shared your original program details and the valuable insights you gained in hindsight. Trying to put coaching into words can be a stumbling block and having a "product" to sell rather than just ourselves provides so much more clarity about what we do, for everyone! Thanks so much, you're doing a fabulous job! Warm wishes Rhona x Reply Emma-Louise April 15, 2013 Thanks Rhona! Coaching can be a tough business to get started in... And a lack of confidence makes a HUGE dent in our ability to be successful! Glad you found it interesting. Warmly, EL Reply Steffi Black April 15, 2013 Thank you for such a clear and concise article..inspired me to get a new program for spring in the works! Thank you for taking the time to share tips. Reply Emma-Louise April 15, 2013 Thank-YOU Steffi for taking the time to share your thoughts! It keeps me going and doing what I do!!! Warmly, EL Reply Nicole April 18, 2013 Hi Emma-Louise, Thank you so much for this article. I love the idea and plan to make a program of my own. Can you tell us where you find some of your homework activities? Many of them sound interesting and might be helpful with my clients as well. Reply Emma-Louise April 18, 2013 Hi Nicole, Thanks for taking the time to comment and your kind words! I use the coaching tools and exercises I created that are available on this website: https://www.thecoachingtoolscompany.com/coaching-tools-catalogue/#alltools They make excellent homework - and then you (the coach) review the homework, delving deeper - so what did you learn about yourself? how did you feel after completing that homework? what will you do differently as a result? (And other questions that are specific to them from their answers) There are some free coaching exercises here (like the tolerations https://www.thecoachingtoolscompany.com/free_resources/tolerations-coaching-tool/ which is a great, simple homework that raises our client's awareness about what they're tolerating - great to coach them around!) And finally, for a list of all free coaching forms and tools go here: https://www.thecoachingtoolscompany.com/free_coaching_tools/#alphalist Hope that helps Nicole! Warmly, EL Reply Lalitha Brahma April 22, 2013 Hi Emma Thanks a lot for providing resources. 1. I am not a certified coach, but my clients give me feedback that makes me feel that I am doing the work of a coach, but not considering it as a revenue stream and adding to my business. I have over 17 years of experience in management position in banking and Immigration. I transitioned to self employment/entrepreneur in 2002. I do have the ability to help a person think beyond their barriers and act on their possibilities. 2. I am very passionate about helping a) employees transition to entrepreneur. b) Women going through changes in careers/relocation. I want to start off by coaching one person and getting paid. Can you suggest the resources that I can use/buy from your website to coach one person first and see for my self, if that is what I really want to do. Thanks again! Lalitha Reply Emma-Louise April 22, 2013 Hi Lalitha, Thanks for your question. The Careers Toolpack could be helpful for the women with career changes. You may also like this article: https://www.thecoachingtoolscompany.com/career-coaching-tools-when-clients-have-absolutely-no-idea-what-they-want/ For the employees transitioning - they will need vision and clarity. So there is the goal-setting toolpack, but it's all goal-focused tools and you would probably just find these 3 tools helpful that I mention here: https://www.thecoachingtoolscompany.com/life-plan-life-vision-exercise-ideas/ I am working on a business coaching toolpack, but it's a while before that will be put together. There is a Business SWOT Tool coming in the next 2-3 weeks that you may find helpful. Hope that helps. Warmly, Emma-Louise Reply Lalitha Brahma April 26, 2013 Hi Emma-Louise Thanks a lot for your response! I will look at these links and get back. Lalitha Reply Sirli January 21, 2014 Hi Emma-Louise! It is incredible how one can think in such complex ways! I'm talking about myself here! 😀 I'm just currently putting together 7 weeks e-course to sell and to take the focus off myself and put it more in what I do and what are the results my clients will get. Your article though was an eye opener for me. I just realised that can use the same outline that I've put together already "7 steps to your dream" which has 7 different topics and coach my clients around that same framework in 1-1 sessions! How brilliant is that! 🙂 So thank you for sharing this article and inspiring me! Sirli Reply Lillian Courtney March 21, 2014 Hi Emma Louise, Many thanks for that amazing article. I am a Certified Business & Life Coach with affiliation with the ICF just setting on on building my coaching Business here in Ireland.I have completed 3 seminars as to date but wanted to send around flyers. I was going to put more information ref my credits etc but now realise that would be on my fb ,Twitter ,Linkendin accounts. My Website is under construction therefore I just am going to order a minimum amount as I am taking a stand at a charity ball on Thursday . Many Thanks Lillian Lillian Courtney Coaching. Reply Emma-Louise March 24, 2014 Thanks Lilian! I am so glad you found the article helpful - and thank-you for taking the time to comment. Enjoy your stand at the charity ball! Warmly, Emma-Louise Reply Maureen May 19, 2014 Thank you Lillian, I've only just "discovered" you but I am so grateful to you for sharing your early adventures and how you made that first programme. I have only just become Certified and have been trying to work out how to go about making a programme for those elusive first clients and then onwards and this gives the template so I can formulate what I need to do, I just didn't have a clue and now i can dive right in, a thousand thank you's of gratitude I need to do the foor slogging round of Naturopaths, beauty salons and the like to drum up some potential clients and so become the coach I envision becoming. Maureen Quantum Leaps life Coaching Reply Emma-Louise May 20, 2014 Hi Maureen, I am so glad you found the article helpful! Also, you may like this article (not so much about programmes, more about being comfortable with where you are in the business and skill development process). I think it's an article every coach should read: https://www.thecoachingtoolscompany.com/3-stages-of-building-coaching-business-where-are-you-in-this-creative-process-by-marcy-nelson-garrison/ Good luck with your business and finding new clients! Warmly, Emma-Louise Reply Lillian Courtney September 14, 2015 Hi Maureen, Thank you for these kind words. Keep in contact, Lillian Reply Bridgett Tulloh June 7, 2014 Thank you for this. Is this an offering you did at your office space? I'm at the point where I'm trying to find space to rent and am wondering about the feasibility of online versions of this for meeting with groups. Sorry for such a simplistic question, but I just wondered… Where do coaches actually meet their groups?? Thanks! Bridgett Reply Emma-Louise June 9, 2014 Hi Bridgett, the simplest questions are often the best! When I started out I ran this program one-on-one with my clients over the phone. If I was doing it as a workshop, if you have enough space at home, yes you could do it in your office space or home. 4-6 people could be a nice intimate group. And if you want to do a larger group, a comfortable space that has a good feeling. You could think creatively - I used an art gallery for some retreats, have used library rooms (if they feel cosy/classy), yoga/exercise studios for a few examples. If you're going to offer a program online - it's still about the environment. But this time you CREATE the comfortable environment / space online. Sharing, warmth, space for people to get to know each other. I hope that helps. Warmly, Emma-Louise Reply Nicky August 15, 2014 Wow! Thank tou so much for this! I have tons of ideas for clients- once I get them! And this has reqlly helped me frame my work and give me a storng direction to work along. I have many ideas for workshops which is my aim but getting clients is hpwhat I need to run them! Big thank you for sharing. Totoally inspired byt this and the whole website, the Universe has answered my prayers! Reply Emma-Louise August 18, 2014 Hi Nicky! Thanks for commenting - and so glad you found this article helpful! It takes time to build a business, loyal clientele etc. A coaching business is no different. But get out there and start running workshops, make authentic connection with people and over time you'll get a great following! Good luck and keep up all your good work. Warmly, Emma-Louise Reply Leah Delos Reyes January 11, 2017 This is a great site! Lots of helpful information here. May I ask permission to use your template? Reply Emma-Louise January 12, 2017 Dear Leah, First, thank-you for your email and kind words! So, I'm not sure which template - but if you mean the poster or word document outline linked to on that page - then yes. Please use these as templates! Warmly, Emma-Louise Reply Joe Ranieri May 27, 2017 Hello: Thank you so much for the helpful article. My question is where around town did you put your flyers....how did you go about distributing them etc. I'm thinking of creating my own flyers but I'm not sure how to go about distributing them around the city? Thank you. Joe Reply Emma-Louise May 29, 2017 Hi Joe, I put my flyers up in coffee shops, on notice boards like the health food store and at the gym. Think about where your target market hang out - and put up flyers/ask if you can leave flyers there. Other ideas include the doctor's surgery and dentist for example. But do ask for permission. Hopefullly that gives you some ideas 🙂 Warmly, Emma-Louise Reply Robin December 20, 2017 Hey Emma-Louise, Very useful and needful article you shared!! Really I feel motivated and wish to have my own coaching program 🙂 Thank you and keep posting. Reply Lori Carnale May 2, 2018 Hi Emma-Louise, Thank you for sharing your article and life coaching program. The customized coaching program is a terrific idea and can easily be tailored to various types of coaching strategies. Your easy to follow and articulate framework will be of help to many aspiring life coaches. Wishing you continued success. Lori Reply Emma-Louise May 3, 2018 Than-you Lori! What a lovely comment to receive 🙂 Warmly, Emma-Louise Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.