Becoming a life coach can be a fulfilling and rewarding endeavor. Not only do you get to help others realize their goals and work towards achieving them, but it can also be a lucrative business idea if you can help build up a client base and spread the word. However, as anyone who’s spent time trying to establish a new business can attest, you’ll need to be organized and have a system in place if you want to turn those relationships into paying clients while you expand your offering and your wellness business.
Indeed, you’ll need some sort of client relationship management system to make heads and tails of your clients and your time. In fact, if you grow beyond just a few clients, managing them will start to take over your entire day with various demands on your time. If you’re not careful, you could end up spending your days managing clients and their expectations rather than dispensing advice and building your business.
That said, a little bit of time upfront can do wonders for your day, and a client management strategy can help keep all that busywork from spiraling out of control. Here are some things that you should keep in mind as you take on those clients.
Charge for Your Time
While it can be tempting to give out free advice and help to new clients or if you’re just starting out, it’s important that each of your clients understands your time has value. If you start giving away complimentary sessions or other advice without that important distinction, you could be wasting your time on those that may never intend to become paying clients.
Sure, getting yourself out there is an important part of the client management process — after all, you need to keep bringing in new clients to build your business and to offset any clients that have moved on — but that doesn’t mean you should spend your days working for free. One of the best ways to prevent that from happening is to have a handle on your client relationship management.
Some coaches like to bill their clients monthly for their time while others may opt to bill their clients before each session to ensure they get paid. No one approach is right, though you’ll quickly find that some kind of client relationship management piece is needed to help keep track of everything you’re doing, as well as who’s already paid you and who has outstanding bills or invoices. Much of it depends on you, your needs and the clients you have. Besides, it’s your business, so what you say goes.
Take Time to Onboard New Clients
Whenever you have a new client, it’s important to fully integrate them into your offering. Sending a welcome email or some indication of what they can expect — as well as how they can reach you at different times of day or via different platforms — will go a long way towards helping to set that new relationship off on the right foot. This is also the place to set boundaries and expectations with your clients. If you’re available 24/7, mention it, but if you’re only available at certain times of the day on certain platforms, make that clear, too.
By sharing a bit of information up front, you’ll be introducing your client to how you work, as well as what they can expect at your events or more personal one-on-one sessions. If you have any prepared materials such as videos, onesheets or a website, you can add those helpful links at the bottom of your introductory email. If clients will need access to a portal or a third-party instruction or coaching website, that should all be included. It’s an important piece of client relationship management, and it’ll allow you to move forward instead of being stuck answering the same questions over and over.
Schedule Time With Your Clients
Once a new client has been onboarded and things start moving along, one crucial client relationship management skill is to actually set aside time on a daily, weekly or biweekly basis to talk to your clients. Some clients, especially if they’re compensating you for your attention, may need a check-in every day while others may prefer a weekly or biweekly check-in instead. To make things easy, keep that weekly day or time constant so that both you and your client know that at, say, 3 pm each Wednesday, there’s a half-hour session booked.
This is where a client relationship management system really shines. By blocking out your calendar and receiving convenient notifications before any upcoming meeting or event, you’ll be able to stay on top of all your coaching duties while meeting the various needs of your clients. Better yet, a public calendar — with defined working hours, if necessary — can empower your clients to book time with you ahead of time, reducing the need for you to juggle your calendar yourself.
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Whether you’re just starting out with a coaching business of your own or you’re looking to expand your offering and take on more clients, the Health Coach Institute has your back. Access coaching resources and more great advice that can help you start or expand your coaching career.
Coaching is a great career that you can help others, while also learning how to help your own personal growth. Health Coach Institute is a top health and wellness coaching certification program. Join our Become a Health Coach program and begin coaching in 6 months! If you are already a coach and want to advance your skills, check out HCI’s Coach Mastery program. Feel free to get in touch with with one of our clarity coaches directly, by calling 1-800-303-2399.