Coaching is a familiar term in sports; coaches train athletes, find their gifts, improve their skills and help them achieve their potential. Coaching people in other areas of life is no different -- a professional life or executive coach can help you set goals, and then make changes to achieve those goals and find success. While professionals can market a coaching business in the usual ways, such as advertising, there are some unique ways to bring coaching to the public eye.
Build a relationship with people who could become potential clients. This first requires patience as relationships do not happen overnight. Also, you will need a large selection of people with whom to interact. Contact the college you attended, pick up a hobby or go to parties. Assume everyone can be a potential client, and conduct yourself in a way that encourages others to look at what you do, and not just who you are. Be the kind of person you would like to meet, making the relationship mutually beneficial.
Look for "in-house" coaching employment that can lead to new clients. While providing steady employment and providing valuable coaching experience, a client database for personal coaching can be maintained as long as it is not against company policy. Discuss that with any potential employers up front.
Give out a business card, every time you buy something, to the clerk. Advise them they can either use it themselves, or give it to someone they know who would benefit from your coaching services.
Expand your coaching business beyond your local market. Be willing to travel, for a fee. Offer online classes and personal sessions that do not limit you to a geographic location. And if possible, consider expanding your business overseas to a new market via the Internet.
Leave a business card on the table with your tip after eating out in a restaurant, or send them with any correspondence you mail out, including paying bills to other companies.
Offer your services for free to several clients who can assist you in building your business by word of mouth. Market this approach to your current clients first, and then expand it to include new clients you are approaching for the first time that have a large number of contacts.
Coupons or discounts on the back of your business card may prompt potential clients to pass it on rather than throw it away, even if they are unable to use it.
Before expanding a business overseas, make sure you understand the cultural differences in your targeted audience from those in the U.S.
Lori Lapierre holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science in public relations/communications. For 17 years, she worked for a Fortune 500 company before purchasing a business and starting a family. She is a regular freelancer for "Living Light News," an award-winning national publication. Her past writing experience includes school news reporting, church drama, in-house business articles and a self-published mystery, "Duty Free Murder."