I struggled for almost 3 years in figuring out how to get paying clients.You don’t need to

I started coaching full-time In July 2005 after turning my back on a successful and extremely well-paid career in sales.

Like most new coaches I had no clients, no subscribers on my list and no fucking clue how to build a successful coaching practice.

Consequently, I did nothing.

Then we moved to Orlando in February of 2006 and I did a whole lot more of nothing. 

Only this time I did it sitting next to the pool, reading a motivational book and drinking a cold beer. – which is a much nicer way to do nothing, I think you’ll agree.

I just presumed that as I’d spent many thousands of dollars on coach, NLP and hypnotherapy training that people would be beating a path to my door. Or at the very least, beating a path to my inbox.

They weren’t.

Do you have the desire and skills to coach and nobody to use those skills on who can pay you?


It’s frustrating not having enough (or any) paying clients.

By the end of 2006, I was starting to panic because my cunning tactic of waiting for people to find me wasn’t working as well as I’d hoped and I was burning through our savings.

I started to peruse Monster and consider the very real possibility that I may have to slink back into corporate sales.

That would be humiliating, and I’m not sure about you, but, I’m a very poor slinker.

I’d be accepting that all the people who scoffed at my new career choice were right to have scoffed and they would be scoffing again.

I needed to succeed so if nothing else, I could scoff at the scoffers.

Don’t worry if your initial enthusiasm has waned – it’s normal

I find a lot of new coaches are in this position, and you could very well be one of them. You have started in a blaze of glory and eager anticipation, but the initial enthusiasm is waning somewhat.

Two days before the end of 2006 and with my zest for coaching declining I realised that if I was to start attracting paying clients I would have to either start cold calling and attending Chamber of Commerce-type meetings or dive headfirst into the murky waters of online marketing.

The former held zero appeal, so online marketing it was.

I’d started blogging in September of 2006  but if you’d had asked me why at the time, I’d not have been able to give you a coherent answer.

There was no strategy and no plan. All I knew was that if all the cool kids were doing it, I’d better be doing it too even though I was neither cool nor a kid.

It turns out that it was a fortuitous decision because blogging was to become the bedrock of my coaching practice bringing me literally hundreds of clients over the following decade and a half.

I got lucky in spite of not having a plan but you can get lucky because you have one

The great South African golfer, Gary Player, once responded to a spectator who called him a lucky bum, ‘Yeah, the harder I practice the luckier I get’

In other words, Player knew he had made his own luck. As a coach, I know you will get that.

Literally, within a few weeks of starting to take my marketing seriously, I began to gain traction.

I remember my first paying client who wasn’t a referral and seeing the first person I didn’t know sign up for my newsletter.

Both were exhilarating and had me thinking – pop the champagne baby, I’m on my way!

But, life isn’t quite that simple and every time I thought the business was about to tip, enquiries would dry up.

2007 was a frustrating time of feast and famine until in the autumn I finally bit the bullet and decided to hire a business coach.

I had learned a lot about social media, blogging, search engine optimization and marketing on my own, but I knew that I didn’t know what I didn’t know and I needed to know that. If you know what I mean.

I got lucky in spite of not having a plan but you can get lucky because you have one

The great South African golfer, Gary Player, once responded to a spectator who called him a lucky bum, ‘Yeah, the harder I practice the luckier I get’

In other words, Player knew he had made his own luck. As a coach, I know you will get that.

Literally, within a few weeks of starting to take my marketing seriously, I began to gain traction.

I remember my first paying client who wasn’t a referral and seeing the first person I didn’t know sign up for my newsletter.

Both were exhilarating and had me thinking – pop the champagne baby, I’m on my way!

But, life isn’t quite that simple and every time I thought the business was about to tip, enquiries would dry up.

2007 was a frustrating time of feast and famine until in the autumn I finally bit the bullet and decided to hire a business coach.

I had learned a lot about social media, blogging, search engine optimization and marketing in general on my own, but I knew that I didn’t know what I didn’t know and I needed to know that if you know what I mean.

The single best business decision I ever made was to hire my own coach

It was a fabulous decision if I do say so myself because other than when I’m reversing my car off the driveway, I haven’t looked back since. And I am literally always paying to work with a coach these days. 

By 2011 I had a website that was seeing 1,500 unique visitors per DAY, a newsletter list with 10,000 subscribers, a waiting list of clients and my sitting by the pool reading motivational books could be measured in minutes per day rather than hours.

What could you do with that amount of traffic and those subscribers?

Attract a lot of paying clients as I did is the correct answer.

Then something totally unexpected and very cool started happening.

New and struggling coaches started contacting me to ask if I could help them do what I had done.

I enjoyed working with other coaches from the get-go because it allowed me to combine two things I loved. My old flame of coaching and my new love of all things marketing.

As I headed into 2012 I recognized that the messaging on my websites was starting to get confusing and it was far from clear who my ideal client was.

The thought of starting a brand new website and a new business from ground zero held little appeal.

But as a coach (or aspiring coach) you will know that we have to do things we don’t especially want to do from time to time if we are to achieve the results we desire. So I went for it.

Success leaves clues, you just need to know what you’re looking for

I presumed that I could build my new business which was to be called Coach the Life Coach in exactly the same way as I had built my first one because I now knew there was a process to follow.

And so it turned out to be. The process with a few tweaks yielded the same results of bringing in clients. Only much more quickly this time because I circumvented many of the silly and avoidable mistakes I had made the first time around.

Since I started Coach the Life Coach, more than 250 coaches have taken the courses I have run. A further 100 or more have worked one-on-one with me. And I have built a newsletter list that now has almost 5,000 coaches and two Facebook groups purely for coaches that have over 8,000 members. 

And I’m now doing it all again with this site,  The Fully Booked Coach 

And that is the kind of thing I can help you do, so if you’re ready to set up a 30-minute Zoom consult to see if we’re a brilliant fit, then click below and let’s talk. 

Book a 30-minute Zoom consult

Boring Stuff

In other about me stuff that I doubt you’re interested in, but ya know, it is an about me page after all and I feel somewhat obliged.

I’m old and very happily married to Helen with no kids. I enjoy walking my two Dobermans, complaining about the weather, eating midget gems, following crap sports teams, pondering death and watching as much live stand-up comedy as I can.