Getting Found Locally: How Clients Find Coaches

How do your clients or customers find you? Do you ask?
One of the keys to successful local marketing, attracting and selling to people in your community, is gathering information about how people find you. One thing we do at Kona Impact is to ask every new client how they found us.

Was it a referral from an existing client? If so, I want to reach out to that client and say thanks.
Was it online? Did the new client click a paid ad or was it through an organic search? The difference is important.

We keep this client acquisition data private, of course, because it becomes part and parcel of our marketing plans, budgets, and strategic planning.

I can, however, share how coaches get their new clients. By coaches, I mean Life, Business, and Wellness coaches, not soccer, baseball, and swimming. This data comes from a marketing survey we did for an online coaching directory.

How do coaches find clients?

Of the following, what are the THREE most common ways your current clients have found you? (Check no more than three.)

Referral (from other client, friend, relative, etc.)83.5%
Personal connection (you knew each prior to your coaching relationship)67.1%
Your website41.2%
Social media website (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc)23.5%
Seminar, retreat or training session23.5%
Online coaching directory14.1%
Print advertisement (newspaper, phone book, magazine, etc.)5.9%
Online ad (Google AdWords, Bing ads, etc.)2.4%
Radio or television appearance2.4%
Direct mail1.2%
Radio or television advertising0.0%

As you can see, referrals and personal connections are critical for coaches to grow their businesses. Social media, seminars, and coaching directories also had a role in client acquisition.

Traditional media–radio, television, mail–were seldom used by coaches.

The results are clear: if you have a personal services business, you need to get out in the community and make connections with people. Don’t neglect your online presence either; a website, social media and online coaching directories might make the difference between a few clients and a lot of clients.

Should you avoid traditional media like radio, television, mail, and newspapers? These might be missed opportunities for coaches, or, as many might assert, they are not cost-effective for coaches.

Clients often ask us where they should be found. Our answer is always the same: everywhere! This is especially true when it comes to professional services: you want anyone who is considering your services to come up with your name first. Simply relying on one medium or strategy is clearly not effective. That said, the survey results clearly show that some of the old media are likely to be ineffective.

The other thing that comes from the coaching survey is the need to ask clients or customers how they find you. Keep records. Use this information to fine-tune your marketing.