So you have heard somewhere that you should be focusing on Lead Generation for your coaching business? Yes, getting leads is part of any successful marketing strategy. But there’s lead generation for big businesses, and then there’s lead generation for coaches. In this blog, we’ll provide an overview of leads in sales, from understanding what they are to how this applies to your coaching business. But most importantly, we’d like to help you humanize those leads and. Because guess what? Leads are humans! And we know that as a coach you care about the humans you want to serve.
Introduction to Lead Generation for Coaches
What Are Leads?
So, let’s talk about leads. These are the wonderful individuals who have shown an interest in your business by sharing their contact details, like email addresses or phone numbers. When you obtain this information through ethical means, it’s your opportunity to build a genuine connection with them and, hopefully, guide them towards becoming valued clients.
Leads play a crucial role in your business journey, serving as the initial step in transforming potential prospects into satisfied clients. They can come from various sources, such as networking events, online forms, email campaigns, webinars, and social media interactions. However, it’s important to remember that not all leads will make the transition to becoming clients. It’s your task to nurture them and encourage them along their journey through the Gentle Sales Path.
Exploring Types of Leads
In the world of marketing, we often categorize ideal clients into three distinct types:
- Cold Leads:
These are individuals who are relatively unfamiliar with your services or offerings. They might have stumbled upon your website but lack a deep connection to your business. Converting chilly ideal clients into actual clients can be challenging, as they don’t have an existing relationship with your brand.
- Warm Leads:
Warm leads, on the other hand, possess some prior knowledge of your company or product. They might have visited your website, subscribed to your email list, or engaged with your social media channels. Warm ideal clients are typically more inclined to become clients, thanks to their preexisting connection with your business.
- Hot Leads:
These are the individuals who are ready to make a purchase. They’ve already expressed a strong interest in your product or service and are eager to take the next step. Hot ideal clients are incredibly valuable because they are on the verge of becoming clients.
From Lead Conversion Funnel to The Gentle Sales Path
Now, let’s dive into what we often refer to as the “Gentle Sales Path,” which is an alternative to the conventional lead conversion funnel. The aim of the Gentle Sales Path is to identify and engage with potential clients, gather their information, and nurture them into becoming qualified ideal clients who are ready to make a purchase.
This journey typically comprises several stages, forming the shape of a path rather than a funnel:
- Starting Point & Entry into your Gentle Sales Path (Cold Leads):
At the beginning of the path, you focus on attracting a wide array of potential ideal clients through various marketing strategies such as social media ads, search engine optimization, content marketing, and email marketing. As these potential ideal clients engage with your brand and provide their contact details, they take the first steps along the Gentle Sales Path.
- Middle of the Path (Warm Leads):
In the middle of the path, you employ nurturing techniques like the ones I explain at the end of this article, to nurture and deepen the relationship with your ideal clients. These strategies help build relationships with ideal clients and educate them about your product or service. As ideal clients become more interested and engaged, they progress further along the path.
- A Conversation with you in Your Serene Garden (Hot Leads):
At the endpoint of the path, your ideal clients are considered qualified and ready to make a purchase. This is when you implement sales techniques, such as one-on-one consultations or Discovery Calls to close the deal and convert the ideal client into a satisfied client.
The overarching goal of the Gentle Sales Path is to attract more potential ideal clients, nurture them into qualified ideal clients, and ultimately convert them into clients through a series of targeted and considerate marketing and sales efforts.
In the realm of humane marketing, we strive for a different approach—one that resonates with those who care, not only for their businesses but also for themselves, their clients, and our planet. So, instead of referring to these wonderful human beings as “leads,” we prefer to call them “ideal clients.” And the traditional “Lead Conversion Funnel” transforms into our “Gentle Sales Path.”
Doesn’t it feel different already? A Gentle Sales Path is unique for each ideal client, and it’s all about empowerment rather than forcefulness. It allows clients to make their own informed buying decisions, following personalized signposts along the way.
🚩 If you’re new to Humane Marketing, you’ll find great value in our Humane Marketing Words Glossary. It contains a collection of words we cherish, along with alternative phrases to replace pushy marketing language, such as “leads” and “lead magnets.”
Lead Generation for Coaches is about Relationships
Ok, so I told you at the beginning of this post that the typical Lead Generation advice is for big businesses, and often it’s for product based businesses who have a transaction-based business, not a relationship-based business.
What’s the difference?
A transaction-based business is a business that requires a lot of leads and traffic to push products or other transactional offerings where no relationship is required, such as online courses.
A relationship-based business is a business, like yours, dear Coach, that relies on relationships. It’s a more intimate relationship, and the money transaction only happens when there’s trust between the two parties.
The price for the offering is higher since it’s service-based, and therefore you need less clients, and therefore also less ‘leads’ that convert into clients.
So, simply put, dear Coach, you don’t need a ‘Lead Generation’ strategy, you need a Gentle Sales Path with opportunities to invite more ‘leads’ aka humans onto your path.
Lead Generation Ideas for Coaches
Work on Your Website: Whether you engage in Online Marketing or not, at one point of the journey, your ideal client will end up on your website. Make sure your website is user-friendly and resonates with your ideal client. Use client-centric language, share your story, and clearly explain how your coaching benefits individuals. We work thoroughly on this in the Marketing Like We’re Human program.
Guest Blogging or Podcasting: Write and contribute guest posts to relevant blogs or podcasts within your niche. This showcases your expertise to a wider audience and establishes you as a credible source.
Collaborative Workshops: Partner with like-minded coaches or solopreneurs who offer similar services, such as therapists for example, to co-host workshops or events. This not only expands your reach but also builds trust through associations with other trusted professionals.
Content Marketing with Empathy: Create valuable and relatable content that addresses the specific challenges and desires of your ideal clients. For instance, if you’re a life coach, you could share success stories of clients who’ve transformed their lives through your coaching, focusing on their personal journeys. Extra tip: learn about Organic SEO to make sure your content shows up in Search Results.
Empathetic Social Media Engagement: Instead of pushing your services, actively listen and engage with your audience on social media platforms. Respond to comments and direct messages with genuine care and empathy, offering helpful insights or resources.
Client Testimonials and Stories: Curate and then share authentic stories and testimonials from your clients (with their permission, of course). Hearing about real transformations can be a powerful motivator for potential clients.
Referral Program: Encourage your current clients to refer friends and family to your coaching services. You could offer incentives like discounted sessions or exclusive content as a thank-you for referrals.
From the Gentle Sales Path to a Discovery Call
Once your ideal clients have entered your Gentle Sales Path, it is your job to nurture them and gently nudge them along your path so that they want to get on a discovery call with you.
Here are a few examples on how you can nurture your potential clients:
- Group emails: Personally I love email marketing. It’s where I feel most comfortable expressing my thoughts, sharing information and knowledge and sharing more of me and my worldview. In my emails I focus on the relationship aspect, and see them as a conduit to invite people to the next signpost on my path (listen to my podcast, maybe attend one of my workshops, or join the Humane Marketing Circle).
- Personal Emails: But it’s not just group emails. Also engage 1-on-1 with your ideal clients by sending them resources and other check-ins in personal emails.
- Webinars or other Zoom calls: These webinars are different from the ‘lead generation’ webinars above in that you recognize that they are geared towards your ideal clients who are already in your world. It’s a way to give them a deeper look into your work, share more value and just truly connect with them on a human-to-human level.
- Social media: Engage with potential clients on social media platforms by responding to comments, answering questions, and sharing relevant content. This helps build relationships and increase the know, like and trust factor.
Lead Generation for Coaches Conclusion
I hope this post has helped you understand how lead generation is different for coaches than the mainstream lead generation advice you hear. It’s more about quality, and less about quantity. You don’t need hundreds of leads. You need to focus on relationships and that can only be done with about 50 or so people.
Other Resources You Might Enjoy
Blog post: Leads Synonym: Humanizing Leads
Blog post: Discovery Call: Sell without a Script
Blog post: What Makes People Buy?
Blog post: The Humane Marketing Glossary: Humane Marketing Words we love
- Manifesto: The Humane Business Manifesto (no opt-in)
- Creed: The Humane Marketing Creed (no opt-in)
- The One-Page Marketing Plan (email opt-in)
The Humane Marketing Circle is our community of Humane Marketers.